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Old 10-08-2004, 05:10 PM   #1
Imladris
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Tolkien Why is the Hated Loved?

I searched but didn't find what I was looking for. If I missed a topic, please forgive me...

I was reading the Silmarillion and I was surprised and perplexed at the similarites that Gollum, Melkor, and Ungoliant possess:

Quote:
for she [Ungoliant] hungered for light and hated it.
Melkor does not love light, yet he lusted after the Silmarils (made from the Light of the Two Trees). He would not give give them up, even though they burned his hand:

Quote:
nor was he ever free from the pain of the burning, and the anger of the pain.
And then there is Gollum, who loved and hated the Ring.

What do you think that Tolkien was trying to say?
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:32 PM   #2
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Imladris, good topic, I don't really have a definate answer. I will say that I think Morgoth kept the Silmarils, because of greed. But, I wonder if this is Tolkien trying to show the "evil/hated" used to be good.

When you think of light, you think of "good." If you think about it, nobody is "born" evil. Nobody is born/created with the intent of killing, or murdering, or raping, they at one point of their life were "good." Melkor was at first good, Gollum was, unfortunately I don't know a lot about Ungoliant so I wouldn't be able to say. When you think of Sauron, he too was at first good, then turned evil. Is this Tolkien trying to show evil comes out of good? I happen to believe one year old babies don't have any thought of killing people. I'm pretty sure Stalin at one year old didn't ever say, jeez I want to murder 20 million people. It's what that person experiences/learns to become the way he becomes, a good example Sauron. Then how does evil begin? if nobody is "born" evil? Greed. Greed for money, greed for power, maybe curiosity, who knows. I don't even know if Tolkien meant any of this, just splurting out a possibility.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
What do you think that Tolkien was trying to say?
That human beings are very perverse.

We desperately desire a lot of things that are bad (or, if you prefer, "unhealthy") for us, but we want them anyway.

At the same time we know the damage these things can do to us and are afraid of it and angered by it when the damage is done, but we can't let go.

So we dislike the thing (hate) but we can't free ourselves from it because we still want it (love).
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:07 PM   #4
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The word "addiction" comes to mind.

If a guilty pleasure pleases and satisfies, it does so only for a time, and then the satisfaction is gone and replaced by guilt. So we indulge again. The cycle escalates til we realise that we no longer control ourselves; instead, the cycle of indulgence/guilt controls us.

Most people hate being out of control. Once we realize we are addicted-- helplessly addicted-- to a pleasure, we may hate it even as we indulge.

Gollum, Melkor, and Ungoliant are clear examples.

The other that comes to mind is dear Frodo; after the Ring was destroyed, he still longed for it: "It is gone, and now all is dark and empty." He knew how evil it was; none better. And he hated it. But that didn't free him from desiring it.
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:12 PM   #5
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All right....

But if they took pleasure in light, then why did the Valar send light across Middle Earth to stay Melkor's hand?

*is confused how this all works together*
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:15 PM   #6
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I think Melkor's and Ungoliant's lust for the Silmarils has everything to do with the nature of evil - specifically, the desire to own & to corrupt all that is 'good'. Melkor desires omnipotence, essentially in the form of rulership over and corruption of all that was once Eru's (&, thus, the Valar's - the Light of the Trees, the Silmarils, etc.).

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Old 10-08-2004, 08:46 PM   #7
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Good point, Son Of Numenor-- I guess Morgoth's addiction is to power, not to light. So maybe addiction isn't the answer to why he hated the light but loved the silmarils. Food for thought.
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:47 PM   #8
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Yes. Melkor and Ungoliant did not want to simply bask in the light and be near its beauty; they wanted to be the ones to own and control it. Out of greed and the lust for power, they were compelled to seek out the Silmarils. The simple action of sending light to "stay Melkor's hand" would perhaps frighten him, but not stop him -- I assume you are talking about the creation of the Sun and the Moon here? In this case, Melkor was definitely shocked by their creation, but it also served to infuriate him. He hated the fact that the Valar could control the light and he could not.
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:58 AM   #9
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Very intersting topic, Imladris

So maybe Morgoth lusted for the silmarils exactly because they encompassed the pure and good ("light") that he was so afraid of. He wanted to corrupt that which was most precious to the good ones and most dangerous to him, therefore scoring a 'double victory': deprive the Valar and Elves of the light and confront his own fear in the process. Corrupting and ruling over the thing he feared and hated the most gave him a 'satisfaction' as similar to 'love' as he could get. Because he was technically 'unable' to feel 'love' - in the true sense of that word, so when we speak of love in relation to Morgoth and Ungoliant we mean lust, or a base satisfaction.

As for poor Gollum, (and Frodo. to some extent), it was a different story. Mark12_30's addiction idea comes close to explaining it, but it's so weird, because even when the Ring was in their possession, they felt no happier...Gollum was certainly miserable, hungry and grumpy even when he had the Ring, while poor Frodo had awful visions and felt helpless and terrified.
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:29 AM   #10
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Good topic!

I think that perhaps the thread title is, however, the wrong way round. . .as it seems to me that these characters hate what they love, not the other way round.

Since nothing is evil in the beginning, then all beings must, by nature and definition, love the good. Some, unfortunately, get all messed up and confused in that love and begin to equate their desire to be near or with the good with the desire to possess the good. They don't want to share the good with others, but to own the good.

This makes them really mad, and they begin to hate -- not the good -- but the fact that they can't have the good as their own. They hate the way that the good is making them feel about themselves, and they externalise this hatred of themselves onto the good. So Melkor hates not the light, he loves the light, but the fact that he can't have the light for himself and the subsequent sense of loss, isolation and emptiness that he has imposed upon himself.

Er. . .right. . .?
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Old 10-09-2004, 08:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordim Hedgethistle
So Melkor hates not the light, he loves the light, but the fact that he can't have the light for himself and the subsequent sense of loss, isolation and emptiness that he has imposed upon himself.
I was going to argue that Melkor can never own the light, even though he badly wants to, whatever the reason. The thing which proves this is the fact that as soon as he tries to touch the silmarils, his hand is burned and he suffers an agonizing pain. So even by his 'owning' the Silmarils (because technically he did own them), he did not fully make them his own: his evil deed only apparently succeded. This probably (surely!) left him even more bitter than before. Just as Gollum and Frodo can never truly get the Ring to obey them - they are merely the Ringbearers (they bear the Ring from place to place, mostly acting according to the Ring's own devices), they are not the Ringmasters.
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:00 PM   #12
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I'm not sure the 'hated' is 'loved' - I think its desired - which is pretty much the case for all of us - we dwell on what we hate, we feed our desire for it by dwelling on it. We find it as impossible to let go of our desire for what we hate as we do for what we love. As Buddha said, life is suffering - we suffer because we desire, & the way to be free of suffering is to be free of desire.

The suffering we find in Tolkien's world is instigated & prolonged because of desire - someone's desire for something, & the stronger the desire the worse the suffering.

'Love not too well the works of thy hands' as someone says to Feanor(?). Its this 'love' (strictly desire, that leads to all the falls we see throughout the Legendarium. Morgoth desires the Silmarils - but what else is he capable of? If it wasn't the Silmarils that obsessed him it would be something else. Ungoliant & Shelob desire light, to consume, transform & vomit out as 'darkness' - its opposite, its negation.

This is why, for me, we are not dealing with 'love' in these cases, because there is no wish for the things desired to survive, to be loved by others, to even continue to exist - Morgoth 'loves' nothing - his desire is to destroy all things, to reduce them to primal chaos. Why? because he didn't make them - they don't owe their existence to him. He is not God, & so he hates the things he is not God of.

Of course, he begins with the belief that to be 'God' is simply to have absolute control, but in the end he realises that rule is not the be all & end all of divinity. He has not made the things that he desires, so they can never truly be 'his', because they sprang from another mind & will. Eru will always be present in their essential nature. So it seems he decides that the only way he can be 'God' is to destroy all things which originated outside himself - yet, he himself was made by Eru, & in the end he must destroy himself also.

But he cannot destroy Eru, so he is doomed to failure in his only desire. He turns on himself as much as he turns on other thngs. He ends up hating himself & desiring himself at once - as does Ungoliant & Shelob - who ends by consuming herself, because thats the nature of desire: it consumes itself, & ends up with nothing.

(Here endeth the lesson!)
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Old 10-10-2004, 01:54 AM   #13
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Silmaril

I agree with Evisse that the proper term for this is lust. Love, desire, and lust may be quite similar terms, but lust alone has a negative connotation. Negative, because they resorted to evil in order to gain what they wanted.

However, I believe that Morgoth and Gollum are in two different cases altogether. Morgoth was so desperate for revenge (and rebellion) when he took the Silmarils that he endured the pain they caused him. He knew that as he suffered, the Valar and the Elves - those whom he hated - suffered with him because of, ironically, the Silmarils' absence and corruption in their Enemy's hands. On the other hand, I think mark12_30's suggestion of addiction is Gollum's situation. He knows he has no power over the Ring and he can do nothing with it, as opposed to the damage indirectly caused by Morgoth's possession of the Silmarils (and Morgoth is powerful!), but he has this running in his mind the whole time: "The Ring is ssso beautiful, m'Preciousss." He is probably unaware of the "political (and whatever else) implications" of the Ring's being on his finger, but hey, "the Ring is so perfect to my sight, I don't care! I want it and I should have it...at all costs!"
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Old 10-10-2004, 10:51 AM   #14
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the short and sweet of it

If you love someone and then hate them the next minute, then that means that you are in love!

At least, that's what I learned (and confirmed) from a tv show recently, and it goes to show how dependent a person can be over something or someone.

As for Gollum, he was dependent on the Ring, and it was the very thing that made him into what he was, and he didn't even fight it for his life (and sanity).

Morgoth, as I see it, loved the silmarils the way he seemed addicted to it, was because it was such a power trip for him to own something in spite of his own evil self. It was his own way of showing Middle Earth that he is the boss of everything, including good and evil.

Desire is the driving force behind the evils that plague the doomed characters in ME.
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Old 10-11-2004, 09:22 PM   #15
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One version of the making of Ea in Unfinished Tales says that Melkor's original corruption was due to his love of and want to control light. This is one reason why he hated Varda, as she was given light by Eru. Melkor originally appeared shining light and it was only after his fall that he was turned to darkness (anti-light). He still had desire for the light, and in the Silmarils was a form of the uncorrupted primevil light that he had desired. By taking the Silmarils he was able to keep for himself and control the light that he had always wanted but couldn't have.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:18 PM   #16
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I like what you guys are saying (especially Davem) but I don't think we are going back far enough.

I was in my Modern Mythology class today and we sort of touched on this subject. Melkor, since the beginning of time, has wanted to possess the Flame Imperishable so that he could create, and become Illuvitar. He even tried his own pidley attempt at creating his own theme.

The Silmarils represent the Flame Imperishable because everything that was created comes from the Flame -- it is the Flame that gives life. So, the Silmarils are a "cheap" imitation of that.

Yet the Flame is pure, and Melkor cannot touch even an imitation of that Flame without being burned (makes you wonder what would happen if he got is hands on the real Flame). However, I'm thinking that he hates it because it is of Illuvitar, yet he wants it, lusts after it because he wants to create.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imladris View Post
I searched but didn't find what I was looking for. If I missed a topic, please forgive me...

I was reading the Silmarillion and I was surprised and perplexed at the similarites that Gollum, Melkor, and Ungoliant possess:



Melkor does not love light, yet he lusted after the Silmarils (made from the Light of the Two Trees). He would not give give them up, even though they burned his hand:



And then there is Gollum, who loved and hated the Ring.

What do you think that Tolkien was trying to say?
Did Melkor lust after Silmarils? I think not. I feel he stole them because they contained the light of the Two Trees; and he wanted them to keep from good side i.e. Valar. Light represents hope, and Melkor would certainly fear/hate them, but he'd hate the fact that the light is in possession of his enemies. After all he spent his entire lifetime in darkness and wanted to rule the world by that.
Ungoliant's case seems same to me. She lusted after the light and would eat(?) it. She was fulfilling the purpose of Melkor: spreading darkness. She and Melkor hated the light, but lusted after it so that it should not be in possession of the good, also light was their strength.
Gollum's case was different. He was not like Melkor or Ungoliant. He lacked morals but wasn't devoid of them like the other two were. Ring amplified his "evil qualities", and he let the evil consume him. His hatred for the Ring was basically because he still had a human part safe, in his soul; and he loved it because he was addicted to it, he got "energy" from the Ring to survive.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:26 AM   #18
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Did Melkor lust after Silmarils? I think not.
"Melkor lusted for the Silmarils, and the very memory of their radiance was a gnawing fire in his heart." (The Silmarillion Chapter 7)

"Fëanor looked upon Melkor with eyes that burned through his fair semblance and pierced the cloaks of his mind, perceiving there his fierce lust for the Silmarils." (The Silmarillion Chapter 7)

"The Jewels were coveted by Morgoth the Enemy, who stole them and, after destroying the Trees, took them to Middle-earth, and guarded them in his great fortress of Thangorodrim." (The Lord of the Rings Appendix A)
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I feel he stole them because they contained the light of the Two Trees; and he wanted them to keep from good side i.e. Valar. Light represents hope, and Melkor would certainly fear/hate them, but he'd hate the fact that the light is in possession of his enemies. After all he spent his entire lifetime in darkness and wanted to rule the world by that.
"He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not possess it for himself alone, he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into Darkness." (The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta")
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Zig0‹4r View Post
"Melkor lusted for the Silmarils, and the very memory of their radiance was a gnawing fire in his heart." (The Silmarillion Chapter 7)

"F0Š5anor looked upon Melkor with eyes that burned through his fair semblance and pierced the cloaks of his mind, perceiving there his fierce lust for the Silmarils." (The Silmarillion Chapter 7)

"The Jewels were coveted by Morgoth the Enemy, who stole them and, after destroying the Trees, took them to Middle-earth, and guarded them in his great fortress of Thangorodrim." (The Lord of the Rings Appendix A)
"He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not possess it for himself alone, he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into Darkness." (The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta")
Thanks for the clarification about the first quote. I meant in a different way actually.
Why did Melkor desire the Silmarils? Not for himself certainly. Though my impression was that he'd want them to keep from the Valar. Taking away the sources of the lights would weaken their powers- In his mind(may be?)- and so Melkor would be able to defeat them, and thus claim the light as well.
Sorry, again for the mess.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #20
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Why did Melkor desire the Silmarils? Not for himself certainly. Though my impression was that he'd want them to keep from the Valar. Taking away the sources of the lights would weaken their powers- In his mind(may be?)- and so Melkor would be able to defeat them, and thus claim the light as well.
The hunger for Light seems to be a common thread among the evil in Arda.
Ungoliant was said to be a devourer of light, as was her offspring, Shelob. I think that may be related to the desire of the Nazgûl for, as described by Aragorn, 'the blood of living things, desiring and hating it'. Evil may only recognize its ultimate emptiness when seen in relation to good as embodied by Light, and thus wants to possess that light, though it cannot endure it.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:52 PM   #21
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The word "addiction" comes to mind.

If a guilty pleasure pleases and satisfies, it does so only for a time, and then the satisfaction is gone and replaced by guilt. So we indulge again. The cycle escalates til we realise that we no longer control ourselves; instead, the cycle of indulgence/guilt controls us.

Most people hate being out of control. Once we realize we are addicted-- helplessly addicted-- to a pleasure, we may hate it even as we indulge.

Gollum, Melkor, and Ungoliant are clear examples.

The other that comes to mind is dear Frodo; after the Ring was destroyed, he still longed for it: "It is gone, and now all is dark and empty." He knew how evil it was; none better. And he hated it. But that didn't free him from desiring it.
This is the nature of addiction. The never ending cycle of craving and self-loathing when one gives in to the cravings.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:03 PM   #22
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Tolkien

With Melkor's case, he likely loved possessing the Silmarils, but hated the pain they caused him.

With Gollum, I'd say similar to Melkor, but more because the Ring forced him to love it, and the 'halfling' side of him hated what it had done to him.

I'm not sure what to think about Ungoliant and the light, however, as it isn't really expanded on like Melkor and Gollum.
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