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Old 11-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
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Silmaril Occupy Formenos!

- To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren

- His envy grew then the greater within him; and he also took visible form, but because of his mood and malice that burned in him that form was dark and terrible.

- Then Melkor lusted for the Silmarils, and the very memory of their radiance was a gnawing fire in his heart.

So even if Melkor couldn't have created his own Silmarils, he could have something at least as great and wonderful. But he didn't, which led to me ask: what *did* Melkor create?

Not included are things that he perverted/twisted, but what is truly his.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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In my humble opinion...

Short answer: lies. Long answer is... long.

- In the powers and knowledge of all other Valar he had part, but he turned them to evil purposes, and squandered his strength in violence and tyranny. For he coveted Arda and all that was in it, desiring the kingship of Manwe and dominion over the realms of his peers. ~The Sil, Of the Enemies

- He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not posess it for himself alone, he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into Darkness. ~The Sil, Of the Enemies

(I remember a more general quote that Morgoth wished to have everything better than the other Valar, but when he could not reach that by "nice" means he started messing up Arda. I might be making something up here, though, since I can't find it.)

- The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. ~LotR, The Tower of Cirith Ungol

- Yet the lies that Melkor [...] sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men are a seed that does not die... ~The Sil, War of Wrath


So based on those passages we can say that Morgoth "created" two things: lies and evil. Both are in the realm of philosophy that I will not attempt at this late hour. However, he didn't really create even that, since concepts exist even before anyone "discovers" and uses them... As soon as there is harmony (Ainulindale), there is the possibility for the opposite (Morgoth's banging). The whole thing about opposites existing only when there is an opposite....

I'll leave that for tomorrow. Enjoy the quotes. They give more information than my ramblings.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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My point is that Melkor had gifts like no other being, and yet instead of making something of it, he chose to covet others' works.

Melkor raised up his own theme in the Music; why could he have made his own 'world' on Arda that was completely his own, then invite some of the Children in to live with him? Wouldn't that show up those Valinoreans?!?

On the other hand, I guess that he *did*, but was envious, as though Utumno was exactly as he wanted it, he still yearned for the light.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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My point is that Melkor had gifts like no other being, and yet instead of making something of it, he chose to covet others' works.
He once had those gifts. By the time the Elves awoke I'm pretty sure he lost them.

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Melkor raised up his own theme in the Music; why could he have made his own 'world' on Arda that was completely his own, then invite some of the Children in to live with him? Wouldn't that show up those Valinoreans?!?
First of all, it would still would not be truly his. The Children are their own. They are given free will (though I'd prefer not to start a debate on this topic!) and do not "belong" to any Ainu, much less to Morgoth who has done everything to prevent them from living happily.

Secondly, he is not like the Valar, trying to persuade the Children to come to a nice place where they would live happily ever after. He wants absolute power. He does not want to wait for someone to say "look at his ugly wasteland! I wanna live there!".

Quote:
On the other hand, I guess that he *did*, but was envious, as though Utumno was exactly as he wanted it, he still yearned for the light.
Again, it's true to some extent. But you can argue that the soil/metal/whatnot that it was made of belonged to Aule, not Morgoth. He only used the "ready products", just as he used the corrupted Free Peoples. He cannot create. We learn that only harmony, goodness, and hard work can give you anything that is "your very own". Morgoth wanted ALL, NOW, BETTER THAN OTHERS', and he took the "easy way out". Instead of making his creation by the same method as the Valar he decided to grab it. And failed. And then he was too deep into his* creation: evil.

*Though I think that even that is not really a creation. If there is anything good, there has to be something bad. The moment there is harmony, there is a chance for discord. As soon as someone says a word there is a possibility for both a truth and a lie. So really it depends on how you look at it. I think that "concepts" are always there, even before anyone uses them.


The Enc. of Arda also sys something I found interesting:

Quote:
Melkor was always jealous of the power of the Flame Imperishable, and desired it for himself, but it remained beyond his reach. For this reason, he was unable to create beings of his own, and so his armies were therefore filled with beings he had twisted or corrupted to his own ends.
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/f/flameimperishable.html
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
The Enc. of Arda also sys something I found interesting:

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/f/flameimperishable.html
Setting aside my curmudgeonly wariness of citing online sources instead of their primary texts antecedents, the question, Galadriel55 is *why* this quote interests you. Insofar as it's not Tolkien's own words you're quoting, it would be far more interesting (to me, at least) to know why *you* find this articulation interesting.

*coughs*

Anyway, beyond that pseudo-intrusion of my budding professorial life into my Downs habits, I wonder if the answer to Alatar's question isn't ultimately rather simple: Melkor didn't actually create anything.

After all, what we know from the first of these quotes that Melkor had the greatest power and a share in all the gifts of his brethren; we do not know that he ever used them. It seems quite possible to me that Melkor's power was in terms of potential*. We know (from the various essays in Morgoth's Ring, mostly) that Melkor squandered his power by infusing it into the very matter of Arda, in an attempt to subdue it to his will (hence the term "Morgoth's Ring," since this infusion of power is echoed in Sauron's later, more focused, action with the Ring).

What could Melkor have done if he had not gone bad? What if he had used his power like Aul, Yavanna, or Varda instead of pouring it into the stuff of the earth--not to shape it and build it up (in its own right, one might say), but to dominate it? We don't know. After all, Melkor's fall takes place before E is even
spoken into being, so it seems fair to assume that he began very early to attempt to subdue matter itself to his will--and it is clear from the Morgoth's Ring essays that subduing matter in this way meant, in the long run, simple annihilation of any form or shaping given to it. Indeed, already near the very beginning of history we see Melkor's actions aimed at simple destruction: the ruin of Almaren and the overthrow of the Lamps. If there was ever a "creative" and not wholly destructive time during Melkor's existence in Arda, it must have been very early indeed.

After all, even when we see him "twisting" the creations of others--the Orks being the prime example, whatever origin story we select--his twisting is always a step on the road to annihilation.



*If it helps anyone, I'm thinking in terms of Aristotelian potentiality and actuality, but I'm not really pursuing that rigidly... it's just where I'm coming from tonight.

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Old 11-04-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Setting aside my curmudgeonly wariness of citing online sources instead of their primary texts antecedents, the question, Galadriel55 is *why* this quote interests you. Insofar as it's not Tolkien's own words you're quoting, it would be far more interesting (to me, at least) to know why *you* find this articulation interesting.

*coughs*
It was a different explanation of why Morgoth could only twist existing beings. I was not citing it as the ultimate truth, just as another person's opinion that varied from mine.

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Melkor didn't actually create anything.
Wasn't that what I said in my previous post?...

Quote:
After all, what we know from the first of these quotes that Melkor had the greatest power and a share in all the gifts of his brethren; we do not know that he ever used them.
See above.

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?
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:03 AM   #7
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Wasn't that what I said in my previous post?...
Well, I wasn't disagreeing with you, so that would make sense.

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?
It's entirely possible that I imagined the whole thing... but I could swear that Alatar posted right after I did...
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by alatar View Post
- To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren

- His envy grew then the greater within him; and he also took visible form, but because of his mood and malice that burned in him that form was dark and terrible.

- Then Melkor lusted for the Silmarils, and the very memory of their radiance was a gnawing fire in his heart.

So even if Melkor couldn't have created his own Silmarils, he could have something at least as great and wonderful. But he didn't, which led to me ask: what *did* Melkor create?

Not included are things that he perverted/twisted, but what is truly his.
I feel, you know, that the power of true creation was denied him due to his corruption. Tolkien did see evil as mechanical, and if we look at his works then it's mostly (or perhaps only) the good guys who have the power to create things that are simple, pretty artifacts. Not that the Silmarils were simple artifacts, but you take my meaning.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
He made the Misty Mountains, a beautiful and impressive accomplishment imho.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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He made the Misty Mountains, a beautiful and impressive accomplishment imho.
Did he make them, or just shape them? Building 3 sandcastles is cool, but not extraordinary. Thangorodrim was, of course, more than sandcastles, but Morgoth isn't your average toddler either.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #11
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Did he make them, or just shape them? Building 3 sandcastles is cool, but not extraordinary. Thangorodrim was, of course, more than sandcastles, but Morgoth isn't your average toddler either.
You mean his minions built it, while he kicked back and sipped a cocktail
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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You mean his minions built it, while he kicked back and sipped a cocktail
Right.
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