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Old 05-04-2005, 08:01 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eruanna
With regard to the scenes mentioned earlier. On the bridge we see them alone together for the first time. It is highly romantic, the two pairs of hands clasped, he strong and she demure. A clear image of courtly love, especially when accompanied by the lilting theme music.
In the later scene, Arwen's negligee type gown and Aragorn's open necked tunic, with his bootless feet on the couch/bed, seemed to suggest to me that it was 'afterwards'. It is a very peaceful scene and Arwen's speech and body language towards Aragorn are very tender and 'wife-like'. I thought that it was beautiful and showed that the two characters were very comfortable and at ease with one another. It was a refreshing change to see lovers portrayed in that way, without the usual gymnastics that seem to count as romance in films these days!
Part of my original question was 'is even the suggestion of a non-consumated relationship fitting for a fantasy movie involving high romance?'

I would agree with your assessment of the scenes; however, being married more than just a few years, I would not consider my and my wife's life together to be considered fantasy romance. Don't people prefer to see something fantastic, whether it be 'gymnastics' between two buff bods or tear-extracting romance where the couple just have the most perfect conversations, words on their lips, meaningful looks, and remember every anniversary with a unique and well-thought out gift (hand-made, of course)?
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:27 PM   #42
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Lush, I have to say I couldn't disagree more with you more on the books - there is so much textual evidence (in LOTR let alone in HoME and UT) and I think the love story loses its whole point is they were " de facto". However I have to get back to work so Iwon't go over all of it again.
That's cool. I'm mostly basing it on the relationship between Beren & Luthien, since I'm pretty much convinced that they did it right away. Not that it matters.
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:55 AM   #43
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Silmaril I remember "Ooh la la Luthien..."

I'm with Lush on Beren and Luthien. I found the "slain by bliss and grief" passage rather more than you'd expect even from embracing the most beautiful thing in existence. Also it explains Luthien's later tenacity when Beren continually sets off without her. They are married already, in Elven terms.

Aragorn and Arwen, on the other hand...it could easily have happened in Lothlorien, when that mischievious match-maker Galadriel dolled Aragorn up. But in Aragorn's case, I doubt it somehow. Beren was under no promise to Thingol when he first met Luthien, and after his vow they always considered the option of running away and living in the wilderness together, as befits husband and wife. But Aragorn wouldn't break his promise to Elrond, or force Arwen to mortality prematurely; he'd wait till he was King of Gondor and Arnor.
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen
I think your interpretation is more possible with the films because they don't go into the backstory so much and their scenes are much more open - however I still think it unlikely - epecially since Arwen sets out for the havens before the end.
Mithalwen makes a good point. In the films we see Arwen heading for the boat to Valinor, after the scene where they have supposedly slept together. Now if we take Tolkien's statements about Elves to be what we should base our assumptions on, then if they had slept together, Arwen would be Aragorn's wife and hence a mortal, so she would not be allowed to leave for Valinor.

The act of marriage for an Elf is to sleep with their partner. Once that is done then they are married for eternity. I don't know if this holds for mortals, but if one half of the partnership is Elf then it must mean they become married at that point. So for Elves, there is simply no possibility of sex outside marriage. The text can indeed often be suggestive, but the rules must always be considered. In the case of Beren and Luthien, if they had slept together then what would be the point of Thingol's trickery? It would all be in vain from his point of view.

When we read the text where it is suggestive of sex and interpret it that way, then that is our own ideas being laid onto it. If it is not a possibility according to Tolkien then the reality is that they probably did little more than holding hands. We might find it impossible to hold out for so long, but why should the people in Arda? Elves have all the time in the world to do whatever they wish, and to hold out for a few more months/years will probably seem like no time at all to them. Though how it must feel to the mortal in the partnership I don't know! Perhaps this explains why men such as Beren and Aragorn have such a sense of determination, they are trying to distract themselves?

Of course, this all depends upon whether we ought to apply Tolkien's rules to PJ's films. But if we do not, then much of what is heart-wrenching about Aragorn and Arwen's tale would become redundant anyway.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:08 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Lush
That's cool. I'm mostly basing it on the relationship between Beren & Luthien, since I'm pretty much convinced that they did it right away. Not that it matters.
Ah well so am I and in HoME Tolkien categorically states that they didn't!!! But I posted in Ooh la la so again I won't repeat!.. But going on the silmarilion text ... our modern eyes read a lot more into some things so I do understand why it is read that way - I mean the mores re pre-marital sex have just about completely reversed - when Tolkien was a young man, couples were expected to wait and a nos jours ..... Oh Lal as usual has said it so much better!

Personally the literary did they /didn't they that has always intrigues me was Dorothea and Mr Casaubon in Middlemarch ...
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:22 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alatar:
however, being married more than just a few years, I would not consider my and my wife's life together to be considered fantasy romance. Don't people prefer to see something fantastic, whether it be 'gymnastics' between two buff bods or tear-extracting romance where the couple just have the most perfect conversations, words on their lips, meaningful looks, and remember every anniversary with a unique and well-thought out gift (hand-made, of course)?
I think that most people would prefer the fantasy version. After all, we want to be entertained or lifted out of our more ordinary lives for a few hours.
I too have been married for more than a few years. So long, in fact that just remembering the anniversary is enough, let alone the unique, hand-made gift

As to that part of your original question, 'is even the suggestion of a non-consumated relationship fitting for a fantasy movie involving high romance?'
I would say yes, it is quite fitting. These are not everyday, mundane characters. Arwen is a sort of 'Holy Grail' of womanhood, she is not to be won without the greatest hardship and sacrifice. That is what makes their eventual wedding so satisfying.
I must say that the more I read of Elven custom and lore, the more I agree with Lalwendë and Mithalwen that Aragorn and Arwen would have been considered already married if they had 'done the deed'. This is definitely a case of PJ muddying the waters with his having Arwen set off for the Havens.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:30 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eruanna
I think that most people would prefer the fantasy version. After all, we want to be entertained or lifted out of our more ordinary lives for a few hours.
I too have been married for more than a few years. So long, in fact that just remembering the anniversary is enough, let alone the unique, hand-made gift
Note that my wife and I have a great relationship, but would assume that the 16-25 years old crowd would find our life a bit dull and definitely unromantic - as we would now, being older and possibly wiser, see their relationships as a bit silly and shallow.


Quote:
As to that part of your original question, 'is even the suggestion of a non-consumated relationship fitting for a fantasy movie involving high romance?'
I would say yes, it is quite fitting. These are not everyday, mundane characters. Arwen is a sort of 'Holy Grail' of womanhood, she is not to be won without the greatest hardship and sacrifice. That is what makes their eventual wedding so satisfying.
I must say that the more I read of Elven custom and lore, the more I agree with Lalwendë and Mithalwen that Aragorn and Arwen would have been considered already married if they had 'done the deed'. This is definitely a case of PJ muddying the waters with his having Arwen set off for the Havens.
I had wondered that we were reading too much into the scenes as maybe today's youthful romantics might see the same and never think that that something had occurred. As stated, it could be possible that people today could be that familiar without being intimate - don't know.
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:03 PM   #48
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In the films we see Arwen heading for the boat to Valinor, after the scene where they have supposedly slept together
I thought that was one of the most screwed-up plot changes in the entire three films combined. I think they simply added that for dramatic effect; I do not believe that their intention was to try to define the status of the Aragorn and Arwen relationship. Therefore, I have a hard time using that as evidence to back up either argument in regards to whether or not they were already "doing it."

Quote:
our modern eyes read a lot more into some things so I do understand why it is read that way - I mean the mores re pre-marital sex have just about completely reversed - when Tolkien was a young man, couples were expected to wait and a nos jours .....
Yes, but if we are to agree that for Elves sex is an act of marriage, then there is no such thing as pre-marital sex. It's not even an issue. Hence, if Aragorn & Arwen, or Beren & Luthien, are "doing it," then that's their business. I looked back at my Luthien thread to refresh my memory on your comments there; and I agree that it throws new light on the issue, but I'm also not sure that Beren & Luthien went on that dangerous quest just to be able to, you know, have sex. I think Beren's reputation and Luthien's love for her father were at stake as much as anything. I would agree that having no public ceremony was not really done, but when you take the entire tale in context and all the other horrible stuff going on around Beren & Luthien at that time, it actually makes sense for them to keep their commitment private.

Could you possibly provide the HoME quote you are referring to?
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Old 05-06-2005, 04:16 AM   #49
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(Laws and Customs among the Eldar)

The Eldar wedded once only in life, and for love or at the least by free will upon either part. Even when in after days, as the histories reveal, many of the Eldar in Middle-earth became corrupted, and their hearts darkened by the shadow that lies upon Arda, seldom is any tale told of deeds of lust among
them.

Marriage, save for rare ill chances or strange fates, was the natural course of life for all the Eldar. It took place in this way. Those who would afterwards become wedded might choose one another early in youth, even as children (and indeed this happened often in days of peace); but unless they desired soon to be married and were of fitting age, the betrothal awaited the
judgement of the parents of either party.

In due time the betrothal was announced at a meeting of the two houses concerned, and the betrothed gave silver rings one to another. According to the laws of the Eldar this betrothal was bound then to stand for one year at least, and it often stood for longer. During this time it could be revoked by a public return of the rings, the rings then being molten and not again used for a
betrothal. Such was the law; but the right of revoking was seldom used, for the Eldar do not err lightly in such choice. They are not easily deceived by their own kind; and their spirits being masters of their bodies, they are seldom swayed by the desires of the body only, but are by nature continent and steadfast.

Nonetheless among the Eldar, even in Aman, the desire for marriage was not always fulfilled. Love was not always returned; and more than one might desire one other for spouse. Concerning this, the only cause by which sorrow entered the bliss of Aman, the Valar were in doubt. Some held that it came from the marring of Arda, and from the Shadow under which the Eldar awoke; for thence only (they said) comes grief or disorder. Some held that it came of love itself, and of the freedom of each fea, and was a mystery of the nature of the Children of Eru.

After the betrothal it was the part of the betrothed to appoint the time of their wedding, when at least one year had passed. Then at a feast, again shared by the two houses, the marriage was celebrated. At the end of the feast the betrothed stood forth, and the mother of the bride and the father of the bridegroom joined the hands of the pair and blessed them. For this blessing
there was a solemn form, but no mortal has heard it; though the Eldar say that Varda was named in witness by the mother and Manwe by the father; and moreover that the name of Eru was spoken (as was seldom done at any other time). The betrothed then received back one from the other their silver rings (and treasured them); but they gave in exchange slender rings of
gold, which were worn upon the index of the right hand.

Among the Noldor also it was a custom that the bride's mother should give to the bridegroom a jewel upon a chain or collar; and the bridegroom's father should give a like gift to the bride. These gifts were sometimes given before the feast. (Thus the gift of Galadriel to Aragorn, since she was in place of Arwen's mother, was in part a bridal gift and earnest of the
wedding that was later accomplished.)

But these ceremonies were not rites necessary to marriage; they were only a gracious mode by which the love of the parents was manifested, and the union was recognized which would join not only the betrothed but their two houses together. It was the act of bodily union that achieved marriage, and after which the indissoluble bond was complete. In happy days and times of peace it was held ungracious and contemptuous of kin to forgo the ceremonies, but it was at all times lawful for any of the
Eldar, both being unwed, to marry thus of free consent one to
another without ceremony or witness (save blessings exchanged
and the naming of the Name); and the union so joined was alike
indissoluble
. In days of old, in times of trouble, in flight and
exile and wandering, such marriages were often made. [Thus Beren and
Tinuviel could lawfully have wedded, but for Beren's oath to Thingol.]
The underlined sentence probably expressing the following:

Quote:
(Ephesians 5:28-5:30)

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
also

Quote:
Corinthians 6:16 - What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
also

Quote:
Mark 10:8 - And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
The meaning being, the mere act of love is enough for the 'flesh' to become 'one', the rest being rituals

So, in Elves Tolkien was making 'real' what he held to be real for humans: sex is an act of marriage.

Aragorn and Arwen: I do not suppose they were 'doing it':

Compare wording, btw:

Quote:
(In Lorien, Aragorn aged 49)

But Aragorn answered: "Alas! I cannot foresee it, and how lit may come to pass is hidden from me. Yet with your hope I will hope. And the Shadow I utterly reject. But neither, lady, is the Twilight for me; for I am mortal, and if you will cleave to me, Evenstar, then the Twilight you must also renounce."

'And she stood then as still as a white tree, looking into the West, and at last she said: "I will cleave to you, Dúnadan, and turn from the Twilight. Yet there lies the land of my people and the long home of all my kin." She loved her father dearly.
with:

Quote:
Matthew 19:5 - And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
(Consciously so in the revision )

That was a side note, to back me up in my quoting of the New Testament. Now for the 'doing it':

Quote:
Rivendell, Aragorn aged 20

'But Elrond saw many things and read many hearts. One day, therefore, before the fall of the year he called Aragorn to his chamber, and he said: "Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dúnedain, listen to me! A great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin. Many years of trial lie before you. You shall neither have wife, nor bind any woman to you in troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it."
and also

Quote:
(Rivendell, Aragorn aged around 50)

My son, years come when hope will fade, and beyond them little is clear to the. And now a shadow lies between us. Maybe, it has been appointed so, that by my loss the kingship of Men may be restored. Therefore, though I love you, I say to you: Arwen Undómiel shall not diminish her life's grace lot less cause. She shall not be the bride of any Man less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor.
and finally

Quote:

And at last when all was done he entered into the inheritance of his fathers and received the crown of Gondor and sceptre of Arnor; and at Midsummer in the year of the Fall of Sauron he took the hand of Arwen Undómiel, and they were wedded in the city of the Kings.
'Took the hand' implies it was a first time.

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Old 05-06-2005, 06:13 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lush
Yes, but if we are to agree that for Elves sex is an act of marriage, then there is no such thing as pre-marital sex. It's not even an issue.

You failed to include the vital first phrase "going on the silmarillion text" by which I meant if you did not know HoME and so the laws and customs of the Eldar it is easy to read certain phrases as evidence that they had consummated their relationship before marriage. Obviously if you know the "law" the consummation would have been the marriage.....
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:17 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Lush
Yes, but if we are to agree that for Elves sex is an act of marriage, then there is no such thing as pre-marital sex. It's not even an issue.
To back up just a step, assume that in the movie just after the Bridge scene that Aragorn and Arwen have a grand moment of passion (or whatever euphemism you'd like to add). Now, I have no problem if people 'see' that as that's their thing.

Now in TTT we have Aragorn in Arwen's room. Okay, so we allow that they've experienced physical intimacy, but do they have to act like a mortal man and woman not of high/royal lineage? It's a fantasy film, he's the heir of kings and she's an elven princess, they are in Rivendell in Dad's house, important events are on the horizon and Aragorn acts (to me) like he's in some dorm room with some woman he's been sharing space with for a few semesters - nothing to spectacular going on here, and this is just another day.

Where's the fantasy, the dream-like quality of the scene? I expect the almost-King to keep his shirt buttoned up unless off camera.

Or do modern films have only 'mortal/flawed' heroes/princes and heroines/princesses?
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:23 PM   #52
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Quote:
'Took the hand' implies it was a first time.
Or it implies that he took her hand. Ok, no, seriously, I just don't get it; because first we see Elrond harping on about "no troth" until you prove yourself boy! Then he goes and proves himself, and Arwen and he do end up engaged and "wander" together in Lorien and stuff like that. The whole "troubled times, times of war, times of wandering" situation is what seemed like the grey area to me in all of this. I've really never seriously speculated about it though, because it seemed like a giant waste of time and didn't add or take away from my enjoyment of the books (what did take away from it was the fact that Arwen was such a bit player; perhaps me seeing something in her relationship with Aragorn prior to the official ceremony implies a subconscious interpretation and consequent rejection of the image of Arwen as trophy...Hello, Dr. Freud).


Quote:
You failed to include the vital first phrase "going on the silmarillion text" by which I meant if you did not know HoME and so the laws and customs of the Eldar it is easy to read certain phrases as evidence that they had consummated their relationship before marriage. Obviously if you know the "law" the consummation would have been the marriage.....
The part of HoME that I find not entirely clear on the subject is the last bit, that Heren provided: "It was the act of bodily union that achieved marriage, and after which the indissoluble bond was complete. In happy days and times of peace it was held ungracious and contemptuous of kin to forgo the ceremonies, but it was at all times lawful for any of theEldar, both being unwed, to marry thus of free consent one to another without ceremony or witness (save blessings exchanged and the naming of the Name); and the union so joined was alike indissoluble. In days of old, in times of trouble, in flight and exile and wandering, such marriages were often made. [Thus Beren and Tinuviel could lawfully have wedded, but for Beren's oath to Thingol.]"

What has always confused me is the fact that on one side, you have all of this romantic stuff going on between Beren & Luthien, and then all the tension and anger and oath-taking when the parents get wind of it. It's almost as if Tolkien contradicts himself, because a private commitment seems to have been made before Beren took that oath. HoME & the Sil do play off each other in interesting ways; though it seems that on this board, people tend to take the Sil less seriously (which disappoints me, because I find it to be infinitely more readable). Part of the reason I started the thread on Luthien & Beren way back in the day was because of all the conflicting reports you get on this stuff, and nevermind the fact that we all tend to through in a little bit of our worldview in while we're at it.

Quote:
. Okay, so we allow that they've experienced physical intimacy, but do they have to act like a mortal man and woman not of high/royal lineage?
Well, technically Aragorn is mortal. And Arwen is about to follow suit (or she already may have, except for that silly "boat to Valinor" episode that completely breaks the flow).

Quote:
and Aragorn acts (to me) like he's in some dorm room with some woman he's been sharing space with for a few semesters - nothing to spectacular going on here, and this is just another day.
Hey, hey, don't knock the dorm room, man. Serious commitments and great dramas erupt there. No, what I really mean is, I actually enjoyed the idea of seeing Aragorn and Arwen in a "non-spectacular" setting. Less pretentious that way.

Quote:
I expect the almost-King to keep his shirt buttoned up unless off camera.
I think we've entered the personal tastes area now; I don't really feel that an unbuttoned shirt subtracts from the fantasy. I hardly even noticed that it was ubuttoned, until you brought it up, that is! But that's me.

Quote:
Or do modern films have only 'mortal/flawed' heroes/princes and heroines/princesses?
I'm not really sure what you mean by "flawed." The two characters are shown to have a deep commitment to each other (once again, aside from the stupid boat to Valinor thing; if anything, I'd be more critical of that) while they engage the forces of evil and battle temptation. I don't see any flaws in that scene that one could write off as modern reinventions; at least "flaw" is not the word I would use.
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Old 05-06-2005, 09:21 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lush
I think we've entered the personal tastes area now; I don't really feel that an unbuttoned shirt subtracts from the fantasy. I hardly even noticed that it was ubuttoned, until you brought it up, that is! But that's me.
Not that it put me over the edge either (unlike the Valinor boat ride... ), it's just that PJ did it deliberately, and so I figured that he was trying to say something.

Or maybe the costume crew was too busy with the "To Valinor or Bust!" crowd to notice.


Quote:
I'm not really sure what you mean by "flawed." The two characters are shown to have a deep commitment to each other (once again, aside from the stupid boat to Valinor thing; if anything, I'd be more critical of that) while they engage the forces of evil and battle temptation. I don't see any flaws in that scene that one could write off as modern reinventions; at least "flaw" is not the word I would use.
Your word is better - pretentious. I want my heroes and heroines larger than life, not at my level or lower. This isn't Sam and Rosie (wasn't Sam's shirt buttoned in the Green Dragon? ) but the new rulers of Middle Earth.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 05-08-2005, 06:39 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Lush
what did take away from it was the fact that Arwen was such a bit player; perhaps me seeing something in her relationship with Aragorn prior to the official ceremony implies a subconscious interpretation and consequent rejection of the image of Arwen as trophy
Now there's an interesting point. Is book Arwen really just a trophy, or is it our modern minds interpreting her to be as such? For myself, it does at first appear that she is a rather old fashioned idea of perfect womanhood, but there is much in her character which is deeper than that. In that she inspires Aragorn to such great deeds, doesn't she actually have an incredible power over him?

Sometimes I wonder if PJ's interpretation and presentation of Arwen was in response to our modern era and the need to have positive female role models. He did indeed alter a major character and change her into a figure of action rather than a seemingly passive figure, but was he right to do this in terms of presenting positive female images? Is it right to take a long established female character and change her in order to make her a better role model for our times?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Where's the fantasy, the dream-like quality of the scene?
To me it is more magical, more indicative of high romance, if they do not experience any intimacy until they are permitted to be married. Aside from any physical urges, the thought that they cannot be together until the final goal has been achieved imparts a sense of yearning to the relationship, and gives Aragorn a sense of urgency! And remember it is a serious business for Arwen to marry a mortal; when she does so the day will quickly come when she must say goodbye to her entire family forever, with no meeting after death as the Elves are tied to Arda. So I would not doubt that she would be prepared to wait until everything was perfect.

In the film, Aragorn is uncertain about his destiny, but in the books he is not. How much of this is due to the 'promise' of Arwen at the end of his duties? In the films, if he is already 'maried' to her, then he does not need to have a sense of urgency about following his destiny except for satisfying the desires of everyone else. In the books, he also has personal reasons for following his destiny.
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:40 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Now there's an interesting point. Is book Arwen really just a trophy, or is it our modern minds interpreting her to be as such? For myself, it does at first appear that she is a rather old fashioned idea of perfect womanhood, but there is much in her character which is deeper than that. In that she inspires Aragorn to such great deeds, doesn't she actually have an incredible power over him?
Never saw her as a trophy bride, something to be won. She and he decided to make a life together in ME. He knew that she would elope with him, but he loved her, and so would not demean her by even suggesting the same. Aragorn even wanted her to 'be free' as he loved her so much.

But of course she didn't listen to a word of it.

In order to have a safe neighborhood in which to raise their children, Aragorn simply had to destroy Mordor and become king of the reunited north and south kingdoms - think that my wife made similar simple requests before we got hitched .


Quote:
Sometimes I wonder if PJ's interpretation and presentation of Arwen was in response to our modern era and the need to have positive female role models. He did indeed alter a major character and change her into a figure of action rather than a seemingly passive figure, but was he right to do this in terms of presenting positive female images? Is it right to take a long established female character and change her in order to make her a better role model for our times?
Did he need to make her a warrior? Can a woman be modern and 'active' and not carry a sword? I'm just glad that PJ did not have her at Helm's Deep.


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To me it is more magical, more indicative of high romance, if they do not experience any intimacy until they are permitted to be married.
Very much agreed.


Quote:
Aside from any physical urges, the thought that they cannot be together until the final goal has been achieved imparts a sense of yearning to the relationship, and gives Aragorn a sense of urgency! And remember it is a serious business for Arwen to marry a mortal; when she does so the day will quickly come when she must say goodbye to her entire family forever, with no meeting after death as the Elves are tied to Arda. So I would not doubt that she would be prepared to wait until everything was perfect.

In the film, Aragorn is uncertain about his destiny, but in the books he is not. How much of this is due to the 'promise' of Arwen at the end of his duties? In the films, if he is already 'maried' to her, then he does not need to have a sense of urgency about following his destiny except for satisfying the desires of everyone else. In the books, he also has personal reasons for following his destiny.
Doesn't the concept of delayed gratification exist? What does it say about the character of a person who succumbs (or not) to passion? I never got the feeling from the film that Aragorn or Arwen were saying, "Look...I'd really like to carry this further, but I got a job to do first." Doesn' t the story seem a bit better if these two really really want to enjoy the moment but abstain in order to fix Middle Earth first?
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Old 05-09-2005, 04:36 PM   #56
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This is the first time I've had the nerve to post on this thread, but I have to say that I didn't really see any indication that Arwen and Aragorn had 'done it' in what PJ gave us, onscreen. (Then again, that might just be because I'm coming from a background where I'm expected to wait and I'm like anyone else; I assume, unconsciously, that everyone else does things my way. It's a different story when I think about it consciously.)

I did think that Arwen's dress in that dream sequence or whatever it was in TTT looked like a nightgown, though. And I did wonder why Aragorn and she were lounging around on her bed... But anyway. That's not the point of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Doesn't the concept of delayed gratification exist?
Not in this society. Microwave and instant messenger raised, that's us.

Quote:
What does it say about the character of a person who succumbs (or not) to passion?
Succumbing says that he isn't the noble king that I remember from the books and that she's not got enough respect for herself and for her father to wait until they have reached the goal in mind.

Quote:
I never got the feeling from the film that Aragorn or Arwen were saying, "Look...I'd really like to carry this further, but I got a job to do first."
I didn't either. Truthfully, they reminded me of me and my boyfriend. That's something I don't want to see from a high, noble couple in Rivendell; there's plenty of that right here, everyday, in the mundane world and it's not what Arwen and Aragorn have always been to me; I always imagined Arwen as being pure and clean and waiting for Aragorn to finish what he started before he even considered taking her to bed. I don't know, maybe I'm an idealist who's read too many stories where eros and immediate gratification is superseded by something higher, but maybe Tolkien was too.

Quote:
Doesn' t the story seem a bit better if these two really really want to enjoy the moment but abstain in order to fix Middle Earth first?
Yes.

Middle-earth over personal pleasure all the way. Middle-earth lasts a whole lot longer than a few nights of stolen passion.
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:00 AM   #57
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Quote:
Is book Arwen really just a trophy, or is it our modern minds interpreting her to be as such?
First of all, I would object to the idea that modernity is responsible for my dissatisfaction with Arwen's character. I am not a big fan, because compared to other characters in the book, she strikes me as rather incomplete and almost decorative. I do agree that she is shown to have a strong positive influence on Aragorn and his decisions, but for as powerful of a force that she is, I think that her character is ultimately poorly constructed; I believe Tolkien relied on power of suggestion, which is a wonderful literary device when used with razor-sharp precision, but here strikes me as having been dulled for a variety of reasons.

Also, I would argue that it is not modernity that inspires in us the desire to see well-defined instances of female agency. Ultimately, I do not believe that Tolkien was as great in developing his female characters; even Eowyn's arch falls flat for me in the end. I wrote up something about all of this here.

Arwen's film character I actually liked a bit more.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:16 AM   #58
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You keep luring me out...

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Originally Posted by Lush
Ultimately, I do not believe that Tolkien was as great in developing his female characters
Can not agree less

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Men in Númenor are half-Elves (said Erendis), especially the high men; they are neither the one nor the other. The long life that they were granted deceives them, and they dally in the world, children in mind, until age finds them – and then many only forsake play out of doors for play in their houses. They turn their play into great matters and great matters into play. They would be craftsmen and loremasters and heroes all at once; and women to them are but fires on the hearth – for others to tend, until they are tired of play in the eve¬ning. All things were made for their service: hills are for quarries, river to furnish water or to turn wheels, trees for boards, women for their body's need, or if fair to adorn their table and hearth; and children to be teased when nothing else is to do – but they would as soon play with their hounds' whelps. To all they are gracious and kind, merry as larks in the morning (if the sun shines); for they are never wrathful if they can avoid it. Men should be gay, they hold, generous as the rich, giving away what they do not need. Anger they show only when they become aware, suddenly, that there are other wills in the world beside their own. Then they will be as ruthless as the seawind if anything dare to withstand them.

Thus it is, Ancalimë, and we cannot alter it. For men fashioned Númenor: men, those heroes of old that they sing of – of their women we hear less, save that they wept when their men were slain. Númenor was to be a rest after war. But if they weary of rest and the plays of peace, soon they will go back to their great play, manslaying and war. Thus it is; and we are set here among them. But we need not assent. If we love Númenor also, let us enjoy it before they ruin it. We also are daughters of the great, and we have wills and courage of our own. Therefore do not bend, Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down. Sink your roots into the rock, and face the wind, though it blow away all your leaves.
Thus spake Erendis, embittered one, who loved and have been loved in return, but haven't lived happily ever after. May be applied by your average woman to your average man, general, I reckon. Check out your mail for the full story, and let us speak about Tolkien’s inability of writing out female characters afterwards

Eowyn? hmm...

I agree though that Arwen is not that developed. On the other hand, you answer it yourself: power of suggestion.

I do hold it is better so. What it suggests is The First Love (stage one), when one (I’m speaking from the male point of view, mind you, I do not know how it looks from the other side) is inclined to wish for all kind of disasters to befall the hometown all at once, in order to save the beloved from the fire by swimming the flood on the white charger out of earthquake's way figthing off ‘be-sombreroed’ bandits with a lightsaber, but in ‘real life’ be as dumb and shy as one is probably ever able of being, not mastering mere 'good-morning' when addressed to by the beloved by the start of the day, to undertake feverish mental quest for the rest of the day for something clever/important/funny to come up with in answer, only finding appropriate words when school is one hour over and the beloved is already gone home to have the evening tea. It is to suggest the refusal to walk with her on the grounds of 'I have a great big important thing to do just now, a-ha, my baseball cards to review, my stamps to order, that kind of thing', being totally free (or never ever being a baseball fan or philatelist in the first place) and secretly cursing oneself for being such a coward. Walking of the two when the feeling is of the kind suggested may be innocent (in the meaning ‘not sensual bodily’, but sensual indeed on all plains at the same time). Nay, it is even bound to be innocent. Sex per se never occurs to the male partner on the seesaw at this stage. (Contrary to popular belief, we (men) do not think about sex all the time, if you follow my meaning, kind lady ). What occurs, on the other hand, is the great urge to ‘do deeds’ for her (even when it is obvious even for the doer she needs them not). It is Don Quixote fighting windmills for Dulcinea del Toboso. Remember also the book we are discussing is about the pious hidalgo, and his beloved is important to define him rather then in her own right (not denying her the virtue if only the book were about her). You don’t blame Remarque for not having strong females in his All Quiet on the Western Front. You know he writes them well, per instance, in Three Comrades, but on the front line, you are bound to find males written out in puny detail and females merely suggested.

Stage one is admiration (it is good she exists, even if not for me, I would be rather denied her and suffer than know her not and feel all right) + urge to give/protect (I will stand between you and the world) + urge to receive/need to be gratified (I need you, I can not live without you)

Stage two, if it ever reaches it, is all three above + affection (we’ll trust each other, we’ll cleave to each other) and friendship (if there is common thing to be friends about - we will work together). But on all stages it wants the beloved as The Whole, as a person not as a means for bodily pleasure, nor bodily pleasure per se. I do not intend to say it would not enjoy the bodily pleasure, it probably will enjoy it even more, as a spice to the soup already good, but at some point quite tea and silence by the fireside may be equally enjoyable. (I know also you know it well without my verbose homily)

Coming to the point, any minute now - even after [un]official ‘engagement’, all their dialogues suggest the actual wedding is the future event: ‘Will you cleave? I will cleave’ of the quotes above (given also the fact that marriage in ME is fully accomplished only after bodily union takes place) indicate, for me, the future aspiration rather than confirmation of the deed done. The bodily union (as far as Eldar customs suggest) is the vow in itself, stronger than any rituals, ceremonies or words, and the Naming of the Name is suggested to perform the role of the ‘best man’ to witness the vow taken by the act of union. Kind of opposite to Fëanor’s oath, which so sworn ... may not be broken, and ... shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world's end

Quote:
Thus Beren and Tinuviel could lawfully have wedded, but for Beren's oath to Thingol
History repeats itself here. Thus Aragorn and Arwen could lawfully have wedded, but for Aragorn’s agreement with Elrond on the ‘no less than king of both Gondor and Arnor’ issue.

Trophy re: from one angle, it is so. On the other hand, no – Aragorn is not winning something, he rather proves he is worthy of Arwen, rises to her level, traveling the path from youth of Estel to manhood of Elessar by holding on to higher virtues than love between man and woman may be, holding on to his word, even if the word is given to the third party. It is chivalry, which, on the surface, values nothing as the courtly love, but comes out with:

I could not loved you that much
If I loved not the honour more
*

(*totally misquoted, and I remember not who it was who have written thus, but the meaning is what I need here)

Or, to look from the other angle, there is (as far as I am any judge) certain attitude towards love with Tolkien:

I did it for love maxim is the working one with him, but not in a modern sense: Not that I’ve forsook my duty for it (to the heck with Sauron, I’ve found my personal happiness), or (in worse cases) betrayed, stolen, murdered, and all of this is somehow sanctified by my state of ‘being in love’, but as I’ve become better, just, more merciful and brave, I rang true to my love when I abstained from love itself and thus made myself worthy of it more.

Or, another concept ('I will cleave' is not statment of 'I will always feel this way' (it is impossible) but rather 'I will always do as I've said I will do') contrary to modern belief of emotions being something uncontrollable (you can't help falling in love) - the will is what comes first, and is pretty well capable of governing emotions, thus ennobling them, rising them up. So, love is not as much emotion of love, but rather the whole bunch of emotions, thinking and willed action, expressed in deed, the thing one 'does', not merely 'feels' or 'experiences', the thing one makes happen, not finds happening to him/her.

Not a modern approach, to be sure.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:47 AM   #59
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Great post, Heren. Can't say they make me like Arwen's character any more, however.

Quote:
I’m speaking from the male point of view, mind you, I do not know how it looks from the other side
It looks pretty much the same.

Quote:
Not a modern approach, to be sure.
My biggest quibble is this modern vs. old-fashioned dichotomy people keep using when discussing romance & genders; I do not believe it is entirely applicable here. It is ultimately misleading, because it limits debate in such a way that it cannot progress from the "oh, you're just saying that because you're a modern person" type of discussion. It presumes that female agency and interiority (or, for that matter, various expressions of sexuality and romance) is a post-modern artistic concept; it also presumes that, for example, had I lived 50 years ago, I would have had no qualms with the Arwen & Aragorn relationship.
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:43 AM   #60
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Quote:
It presumes that female agency and interiority (or, for that matter, various expressions of sexuality and romance) is a post-modern artistic concept; it also presumes that, for example, had I lived 50 years ago, I would have had no qualms with the Arwen & Aragorn relationship.
I see were the terms employed by me may have caused the feeling.

I did not intend to imply total lack of sexuality, and the choice of wording (i.e., 'modern', may have been unfortunate). I do, however, imply it haven't been expressed directly as the act of bodily union. Holding hands walking in Lorien must have been sensual experience.

In my previous, I was deliberately abstaining from the word 'religious' (even if I quoted New Testament in the previous but one, indicating my view indirectly) If 'old-fashioned' is replaced with 'religious' and 'modern' with 'secular', the dice fall approaches double six.

What connotations would religious-secular dichotomy cause if I were to highlight key points from that angle?

Well, I should interpunctuate, it seems

'Naming of the name' mentioned as part of the wedding customs is 'Calling Eru as witness to our union', no less. I hold it is part of Tolkien's belief, put into his writing 'consciously so in the revision' (words Tolkien said to describe his Catholicism attenuated in his work), and the whole was intended to reflect what IRL is known as Christian marriage. Said presupposes pre-marital chastity.

Hence logical reasoning:

1. If the witness of the marriage is Eru Himself
2. If the custom reflects what Tolkien thought proper way for humans to behave in our world
3. If the vocabulary employed by the pair in their vows (cleave) parallels that of New Testament
4. If, according to Paul and Gospels the bodily union is what counts, and the rest is [mere] rituals
5. If the customs of the Eldar state the same

The conclusion to follow is: Aragorn and Arwen, no more than kissing. End of story.

I do not stick labels of 'good/bad' to either 'modern' or 'old-fashioned', I simply list reasons why I think they were not having sex before wedding in Minas-Tirith and provide my grounds

So:

Quote:
It is ultimately misleading, because it limits debate in such a way that it cannot progress from the "oh, you're just saying that because you're a modern person"
Well... I would not 'think bad' of either Aragorn and Arwen if they were engaged in 'bodily union' the first evening of the acquaintance, I just feel the grounds I provide are strong enough to convince the participants of the thread in the opposite. Did I sound arguing from an 'oh, you are just saying...' angle? My apologies, than, if I sounded like that.

cheers
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:38 PM   #61
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Here's another thought (probably prompted by mormegil's thread and my own three children:

As stated previously, know nothing about elvish contraception, gestation, anatomy, etc, but what if Arwen and Aragorn conceived before they are married in Gondor?

Would this be a problem for the new King? Did Tolkien give examples of children born thus, and if so, are these (for lack of a better word) out-of-wedlock children shown in a better or lesser light?

Did not PJ use the fact that Arwen and Aragorn have a son later to show why Arwen decided to hang around ME a bit longer? If there was more than kissing in Rivendell, then how would they know that they, well, weren't? Would Arwen have been permitted to take the boat to Valinor if she were pregnant? Would either want to take the chance?
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Old 05-16-2005, 12:30 AM   #62
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There were precedents: The heir of last king Arvedui must have been born 'out of wedlock'

Quote:
Tale of Years, appendices to LoTR:

[T.A.]1940 Gondor and Arnor renew communications and form an alliance. Arvedui weds Fíriel daughter of Ondoher of Gondor.
Quote:
HoME vol 12: The Chieftains of the Dunedain.

Aranarth. Born 1938 [T.A.], lived 168 years, died 2106
After Arvedui's death, however:

Quote:
Tale of Years, appendices to LoTR:

1976 Aranarth takes the title of Chieftain of the Dúnedain. The heirlooms of Arnor are given into the keeping of Elrond.
It would have been interesting to learn how did they do it, if the communications were renewed in 1940 T.A. only. Story similar to Aragorn (as Thorongil) serving in Gondor as a mere captain in the days of his youth jumps to mind.

But apart from speculation, conclusion is, no drawbacks for children born out of wedlock

Another grave 'but': But, given the 'bodily union' as the main criterion for the marriage, it would seem logical even without evidence of Aranarth. There would have been no such thing as 'out of wedlock', having wedding confirmed and made lawfull by the act of union itself.

See also: The out-of-wedlock Child by Saulotus

As for 'would's and 'if's of your last paragraph, alatar, begging your pardon, I reckon there is no point to them

cheers
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:11 AM   #63
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HerenIstarion, thanks for doing the research. As you say, if bodily union equals marriage then...just wondered what others (i.e. Elrond, the people of Gondor, etc) would think of the missing formal ceremony.


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Originally Posted by HerenIstarion
As for 'would's and 'if's of your last paragraph, alatar, begging your pardon, I reckon there is no point to them
Thanks - I'm surprised that I've actually written stuff that has made a point .
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:49 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerenIstarion
There were precedents: The heir of last king Arvedui must have been born 'out of wedlock'

Aranarth born 1938, Arvedui not married to Firiel until 1940

It would have been interesting to learn how did they do it, if the communications were renewed in 1940 T.A. only. Story similar to Aragorn (as Thorongil) serving in Gondor as a mere captain in the days of his youth jumps to mind.
Here is where I try to knock holes in Heren's theory:

The problem with your theory is that you take Aranarth's birthdate from the HoME, which isn't a 100% canonical source. So it might well be that Tolkien ended up displacing this birthdate...

I doubt if he would have had the Chieftain of the Dunedain as an illegitimate son, although I can hardly say that it is impossible. I'm also doubting that if Aranarth was born in 1938, that it was as Firiel's son. I don't see Arvedui leaving the kingdom that, as Crown Prince, he is a main defender of.

Which leads to my alternative theory...

Firiel was Arvedui's second wife. His first, the mother of Aranarth, had died before; quite possibly in childbirth.

Interestingly, this little speculation could help to explain why Pelendur and the Lords of Gondor rejected the Arvedui-Firiel claim: it was based on FIRIEL's lineage, which would not be inherited by Aranarth. It could also explain why Aragorn, when making his claim and stating his lineage, declares himself the Heir of Elendil and Isildur, and makes no mention of Anarion.

Of course, I could be reading a lot more into this than necessary. However, I think I have successfully shown that Heren's presentation is far from solid.
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:38 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
Of course, I could be reading a lot more into this than necessary. However, I think I have successfully shown that Heren's presentation is far from solid
*H-I mutters under his breath: The cheek of these youngsters... they think they know everything, they do... I can't be having with that, can I?!. H-I reaches out for his books again...

All right, Sir:

Quote:
HoME vol 12, the page previous to the one which stated Aranarth to be born in 1938:

24 [24th since Elendil-H-I] Araphant. born 1789 lived 175 years died 1964.

Angmar recovers and makes war on the Dunedain. Araphant seeks to renew ancient alliance and kinship with Gondor. In 1940 his heir Arvedui wedded Firiel daughter of King Ondohir [> Ondonir] of Gondor. But Gondor is engaged in the long Wars of the Wainriders, and sends little help. Ondohir [> Ondonir] and his sons fell in battle in 1944, and Arvedui claimed the crown of Gondor, on behalf of Firiel and himself as representing 'the elder line of Isildur', since no close male claimant to the throne in Gondor could at first be found. The claim was rejected by Gondor, but Arvedui and his descendants continued to consider themselves as the true heirs of Anarion as well as of Isildur
Page apart. No mention of other wives (you do bring more x-ses in than wipe out by this 'previous wife theory', you know that)

Same from the Gondor side of things:

Quote:

31. Ondohir. [> Ondonir) born 1787 lived 157 years slain 1944.

War continued with the Wainriders. In 1940 Ondohir [> Ondonir] gave the hand of his daughter Firiel (born 1896), his third child, to Arvedui heir of Araphant, King of the North kingdom; but he was unable to send any help to the north against the evil realm of Angmar, because of his own peril. In 1944 Ondohir [> Ondonir] and both his sons Faramir and Artamir fell in battle against an alliance of the Wainriders and the Haradrim. The king and his sons fell in battle in the north and the enemy poured into Ithilien. But in the meantime Earnil Captain of the southern army won a victory in South Ithilien,
destroyed the army of Harad, and hastening north succoured the retreating remnants of the northern army, and drove the Wainriders off. In the great rout that followed most of the enemy were driven into the Dead Marshes.
On the death of Ondohir [>Ondonir] and his sons Arvedui of the North claimed the crown of Gondor as the 'direct descendant of Elendil', and as husband of Firiel. The claim was rejected by Gondor. At length Earnil the victorious Captain received the crown (in 1945), since he was of the royal house
Claim was made by Arvedui himself, not by Aranarth (even if we imagine (for a tiny moment) the impossibility of him not being Firiel's son)

P.S. Third party may lawfully knock holes in both theories, indicating the whole story as mere typo on Tolkien's part. But I prefer to dream romance behind it, masked Arvedui climbing the walls and swimming over Anduin to (not to lose sight of the title) kiss his beloved, that kind of thing. And little Aranarth being as much a cause for the wedding as political necessity may have been. Things tend to be hushed up in higher up circles, yer honour. Having in mind marriage customs, though, every union is automatically 'in wedlock', so 1940 T.A. may be viewed as the year of 'official rituals', confirming the fact.

cheers
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:26 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerenIstarion
Page apart. No mention of other wives (you do bring more x-ses in than wipe out by this 'previous wife theory', you know that)
I was afraid that it said something along those lines... Pity, it was a nice theory.

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Claim was made by Arvedui himself, not by Aranarth (even if we imagine (for a tiny moment) the impossibility of him not being Firiel's son)
Yes, I knew that Arvedui made the claim, and one his own behalf. However, Arvedui's claim rested on Firiel's descent from Anarion, whereas Aragorn makes no mention of Anarion, but explicit mention of Elendil and Isildur.

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P.S. Third party may lawfully knock holes in both theories, indicating the whole story as mere typo on Tolkien's part. But I prefer to dream romance behind it, masked Arvedui climbing the walls and swimming over Anduin to (not to lose sight of the title) kiss his beloved, that kind of thing. And little Aranarth being as much a cause for the wedding as political necessity may have been. Things tend to be hushed up in higher up circles, yer honour. Having in mind marriage customs, though, every union is automatically 'in wedlock', so 1940 T.A. may be viewed as the year of 'official rituals', confirming the fact.

cheers
There you have the very reason that I find it unlikely. I just really don't Arvedui, Crown Prince of Arthedain in a time when it needed every captain it had, jumping off to Gondor for two or three years. And the Palantiri were still in possession of both Fornost and Minas Anor, so there is no diplomatic reason for his absence. My personal thought train, therefore, is that Tolkien got the dates somewhat mixed up (as he did in several other places), but that it was never noted or corrected.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:57 AM   #67
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Aw!

I want to stick up for Heren Istarion's story. It's such lovely fanfiction! So I'll point out that it's standard in literature, and chivalric tradition, and much of the history of sexual interaction, for men to be lovers at a stage in their career before they become fighters.

I have Tolkien on my side, in "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen".

I have historical logic on my side. Before men risked and often lost their lives, they wanted to imprint their genes on the world. Hence breeding sprees before and during the First World War.

And-most incontrovertibly-Shakespeare, who saw into minds and hearts, backs me up. Jaques in "As You Like It", in his Seven Ages of Man speech, lists

-Baby ("mewling and puking")
-Schoolboy ("creeping like a snail unwillingly to school")
-Lover (can't recall how he's described at all...)
-Soldier ("full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard")

For all these reasons, I declare that I envisage Arvedui being educated in courtly ways at Gondor, falling in love with Firiel and only after his passion is consummated and a child secretly born being summoned back to Arnor for war. Tearful farewell. Discovery of Aranarth. Negotiations. Arvedui summoned back to Gondor for a more-than-shotgun marriage.

Furthermore, I'd like to see someone write this...
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:20 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Anguirel
I have historical logic on my side. Before men risked and often lost their lives, they wanted to imprint their genes on the world. Hence breeding sprees before and during the First World War.
Think that that's biological - in bad times maybe the species can 'breed' an answer to the stressor.

Plus, in regards to going off to war, it's a great line for guys to use..."we may never be together again."
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:15 PM   #69
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another speculation. Feel free to fan-fic

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I want to stick up for Heren Istarion's story. It's such lovely fanfiction
Thanks

Thing being, I acknowledge (and did acknowledge in my previous) high probability of the dates being merely mixed up, after all. It just would not do to contradict myself in matters of chastity of the royal houses of Westernesse too. That's why I said I dreamt romance behind the dates, not stated it.

Probability of Arvedui serving in Gondor in disguise, however, is not that negligible. After all, Aragorn, who was a single governing body of a hundred or so Rangers, spent years there. Presumably, he would have been more needed North than Arvedui, who was free unless his father died, and even than would have had a whole officialdom at his disposal to rule when he was away, say, swimming across Anduin and stuff.

Besides, Aragorn (Thorongil) probably (apart from his Sauron-defying activities, Denethor was not that blind, after all) was 'studying the field' - i.e. preparing himself for probable take over of the throne. Arvedui may have been in Gondor with the same issue in mind. Don't take it that long, I do not imply he was planning coup d'etat, but the Northern line always considered itself superior, Anarion's blooldline added or not. Cf:

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Appendices to LoTR

'On the death of Ondoher and his sons, Arvedui of the North-kingdom claimed the crown of Gondor, as the direct descendant of Isildur, and as the husband of Fíriel, only surviving child of Ondoher. The claim was rejected. In this Pelendur, the Steward of King Ondoher, played the chief part.
'The Council of Gondor answered: "The crown and royalty of Gondor belongs solely to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur relinquished this realm. In Gondor this heritage is reckoned through the sons only; and we have not heard that the law is otherwise in Arnor."
'To this Arvedui replied: "Elendil had two sons, of whom Isildur was the elder and the heir of his father. We have heard that the name of Elendil stands to this day at the head of the line of the Kings of Gondor, since he was accounted the high king of all the lands of the Dúnedain. While Elendil still lived, the conjoint rule in the South was committed to his sons; but when Elendil fell, Isildur departed to take up the high kingship of his father, and committed the rule in the South in like manner to the son of his brother. He did not relinquish his royalty in Gondor, nor intend that the realm of Elendil should be divided for ever.
And then anti-Arvedui party of Gondor goes and hastily digs up Eärnil, 'victorious captain', more a figurehead to my taste. Feels like frantic endeavour, desperation to have anybody but not the northerners in power, this time successfull. Seems like political fan-fiction (not without romantic elements) would be more in order, as to how Arvedui reconnoitred the political wheather in the South. (And fell in love with King's daughter. Maybe not even without political considerations)

The post being mostly speculative, but nevertheless plausible, I reckon.

P.S. I have a feeling we have lost something along the way. Lemme see... um... mmm... Ah! Arwen! It was about love, and we are already knee-deep in politics. The way of life I reckon. You start out full of love, long curls and bright t-shirts, and end up an organization man with no hair at all and an austere tie. Poot.
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:12 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguirel
I want to stick up for Heren Istarion's story. It's such lovely fanfiction! So I'll point out that it's standard in literature, and chivalric tradition, and much of the history of sexual interaction, for men to be lovers at a stage in their career before they become fighters.

I have Tolkien on my side, in "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen".
Aha!!

The primary reason, right there, that I do not find Heren's theory totally convincing. You DON'T have Tolkien on your side. Whatever PJ may have intended in the movies, I think it should be clear that TOLKIEN, in his own mind if never explicitly stated in the books, saw Aragorn and Arwen as waiting for marriage. Now, this doesn't necessarily affect Arvedui's story. After all, just because Aragorn is noble doesn't mean his great-manys-grandfather was. However, Tolkien (the man, if not necessarily the book) is NOT on your side.

As for your suggestion that Aragorn was more needed in Arnor than Arvedui had been, I doubt it. The Dunedain of the North had been led by somebody other than Aragorn during all the long years that he was growing up in Rivendell. Furthermore, Arvedui was a prince (and if he was in a Boromir-like situation as I imagine, then he was also a major captain as well) at a time when Angmar was a very dangerous threat to Arthedain's survival. Whereas in Aragorn's day, the danger was to Gondor, from Mordor.

Plainly not the same.

Resting my case for the moment,

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Old 05-18-2005, 05:44 PM   #71
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from the eyes of a hopeless [young] romantic

The Book:

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that Aragorn and Arwen had anything going on apart from stolen kisses and handholding. Tolkien was too much of a prude (by today's standards, of course ) for that sort of thing. In all seriousness, it would have taken so much away from the high tragedy.

Aragorn and Arwen were very much the proper noble couple. Sure they loved each other with all the depths of the deepest oceans and all that poetic nonsense, but Arwen loved her father also, and respected him. If Elrond said that they couldn't get married until Aragorn proved himself, then the two would understand that the physical aspect of their romance was on hiatus until the world was a safer place. Honestly, that makes it so much more important for the good guys to win, because then our hero (Aragorn) gets his heart's desire (Arwen), and you know that the entire romance was pure, noble, honorable, loving, and above all, deserved.

Never went through my head that they might have been engaging in hanky panky in some private cluster of trees somewhere. That's just so... common. It takes away from the idea that they are above us, and truly noble. There is, of course, noble in birth, and noble in deed. These two are supposed to be both.

----------------------

The Movie:

A translucent silk nightie? Very pretty, very delicate, and above all, very revealing. I never would have put an Elf in something like that. I'd put a woman who's been married a grand total of three weeks to the man of her dreams in something like that.

When I first saw the dream scene, I think I looked something like this:

But then it ran through my head that this was Aragorn's dream. Subconscious thought. Of course he's going to be dreaming that he's with his true love, in a place with no danger, where they can simply be together.

But at the same time, I was still shocked by the whole kissing-while-prone thing. Reminds me of the talks that I and seven other teenage girls have at the lunch table (actually, I'm usually concentrating on eating quickly so I can get back to whatever project I'm working on, but that's another story). You know the "...and then his mother walked in!" type stories. It's so... not... tragic.

Yes, she's telling him not to give up hope. Yes, he's feeling hopeless and his true love encourages him. But did they really have to make out to get the point across? I suppose that they wanted to show the audience that even though he kept giving Eowyn meaningful looks (and yes, tp, I agree with you about those), that his heart and thoughts belonged to Arwen.

But really... an almost see-through night gown while he's comfortably lying in her personal chambers? If Galadriel had seen that thought I bet Aragorn would have blushed.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:25 AM   #72
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Quite, Fea! "No Elessar for you, naughty boy..."

Formendacil, all I mean by quoting the Tale is that Aragorn fell in love with Arwen before he departed for Gondor to become a soldier-reinforcing the love first, war later, point. Also, Gondor was quite as threatened by the Wainriders as Arthedain was by Angmar. The only difference was that Earnil was a great general and Arvedui an indifferent one (not to mention possessing a really depressing, morale lowering name...)
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:32 AM   #73
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It's not a theory, it's not a hypothesis...

It's merely a speculation!

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Originally Posted by HerenIstarion
I acknowledge high probability of the dates being merely mixed up
See?

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and if he was in a Boromir-like situation as I imagine, then he was also a major captain as well
You bring your own evil with you to Lorien. Major captain as he was, Boromir was actually sent to Imladris. Speculating, as it were, about political reasons of Arvedui serving in Gondor, I don't see barriers for him being sent away.

Quote:
...Arvedui an indifferent one...
Would not bet my money on that. Circumstances being what they were, he was an unlucky one, true...
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:09 PM   #74
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Major captain as he was, Boromir was actually sent to Imladris.
Some might argue that it was Faramir who was sent and Boromir who went.... sorry OT.....
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:01 PM   #75
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Originally posted by Feanor:
But then it ran through my head that this was Aragorn's dream. Subconscious thought. Of course he's going to be dreaming that he's with his true love, in a place with no danger, where they can simply be together.
I saw it more as a memory. Hence my unease at the 'sexing up' of the romance.
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:45 PM   #76
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Or a hallucination.
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:27 AM   #77
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Just finished watching the 'few' seconds of The Captain and the White Lady ROTK EE scene.

Faramir and Eowyn share a few words, Faramir takes Eowyn's hand firmly, they look at each other and she leans over and rests her head on Faramir.

Any doubt that these two are (at this moment) in love?

PJ was able to convey this, at least to me, in a very brief scene with little more than meaningful looks, held hands and possibly an embrace (not sure if Faramir hugs her as Eowyn leans into him).

In comparison, Arwen and Aragorn look like an old married couple.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:20 PM   #78
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I just wanted to point out that Tolkien was a very religious man, and sex out of wedlock is highly frowned upon in it...so I'm pretty sure that HE certainly never put nor hinted it in the books.

As for the movie, it could be that PJ wanted to add some of that appeal, perhaps to bring a rounder audience for the love triangle aspect (which I thought was really overdone) but honestly, I thought Aragorn's dream was just plain awkward, as was his kiss with her at the end of ROTK...just because Arwen is after all an elf, and elves are things of beauty and grace...so you don't usually expect to see them...making out. It just didn't quite fit with the characters.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:48 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Parmawen
I just wanted to point out that Tolkien was a very religious man, and sex out of wedlock is highly frowned upon in it...so I'm pretty sure that HE certainly never put nor hinted it in the books.
Yes, but the RCs tend to frown on incest as well, but that didn't stop Tolkien from including it in his works. He may have been a religious person, but he was neither stupid nor blind to the reality of the world. People have sex and sometimes they have sex before they are married. That the movie should acknowledge this, and perhaps even celebrate it, does -- I think -- PJ great credit for having had the nerve to make his Elven Princess a creature of flesh and blood and desire, rather than a distant and idealised figure carved from cold stone.

That kiss at the end of RotK was wonderful. It was the big pay off to their whole relationship insofar as they can openly demonstrate to everyone not just that they are in love, but that they desire one another. After all, the "point" of their union -- in the historical perspective -- is that they are going to produce an heir who reunites the bloodlines of the Eldar and the Edain: and there's only one way they can do that....
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:23 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parmawen
I just wanted to point out that Tolkien was a very religious man, and sex out of wedlock is highly frowned upon in it...so I'm pretty sure that HE certainly never put nor hinted it in the books.
Parmawen, it is possible that authors, even very highly ethical ones, don't always share contemporary understandings of sexual mores or ethics. You might want to read more in Tolkien's letters and his other texts for his concept of chastity and sexual ethics. For instance, in Tolkien's theory about elven marriage, "sex out of wedlock" is not possible. For elves, the very act of sexual intercourse constitutes marriage. In fact, for him, the social or cultural control is very much the less important aspect, as Tolkien disliked any wiff of imposed authority. Thus, he made the personal and private choice or decision the determiner of the state of marriage. I suppose one way of saying this is to suggest that for Tolkien sexual intercourse was not fallen, and so that the act of sexual intercourse was the act of marriage. You slept with someone, you were married to that person. Desire for elves was apparently pure in this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordim
That the movie should acknowledge this, and perhaps even celebrate it, does -- I think -- PJ great credit for having had the nerve to make his Elven Princess a creature of flesh and blood and desire, rather than a distant and idealised figure carved from cold stone.
Well, I'm going to take a slightly different tack here. It's not that I disagree with Fordim, but I want to consider Aragorn and Arwen from a different perspective, one not so completely based on psychological realism.

One type of hero in old mythologies was the hero who underwent his battles and quest in order to earn the love of the goddess. Only by proving himself could he take full possession of his bride. It is a mystical marriage and made possible only after he has demonstrated his right to be called hero or king, to turn aside egotism, pride, vanity, and submit himself to the journey. Seen in this light, Aragorn and Arwen are less characters in a realistic novel and more figures of an ideal in fantasy. They each must earn their Heart's Desire by denying themselves at first. This aspect of the novel I think Jackson missed in his--albeit somewhat legitimate--desire to turn Arwen into a more modern woman. The concept of chastity, not simply physical chastity, but that of the entire body, mind, and spirit, is a hard sell these days.

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