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Old 03-04-2003, 03:02 PM   #41
The Saucepan Man
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In regards to Morgoth's 'might' and when the Valar would choose to attack. It is I think specious to say that they had to wait. Why? they did not have to wait in the war of the powers?
My earlier post was based on the idea that Melkor was less powerful after 500 years of fighting the Noldor and breeding orcs, dragons and the like than he was when he first departed Valinor with the Simarils. I seem to recall having seen some justification for this idea in the Silmarillion, although I cannot now recall where.

And, based on that assumption, the point that I was making was that the defeat of Melkor was achieved with far more certainty and considerably less loss (in terms of lives and damage to Arda) in consequence of the Noldor's rebellion and flight to Beleriand. And if that is correct, then the Noldor achieved far more than zero.

And, if my assumption concerning Melkor being weakened is not correct then, as lord of dor-lomin asks, why did they not take action against Melkor immediately? Or seeing the suffering that he was bringing to those who had not "sinned" by participating in the kin-slaying at Alqualonde (the Sindar and Laiquendi and, of course, Men) and those who had participated because they believed that they were under attack (the host of Fingolfin), why did they not then intervene?

So, to my mind, either the Noldor achieved much in weakening Melkor for the final assault by the host of Valinor, or the Valar seem a pretty uncaring bunch. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:38 AM   #42
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"And, if my assumption concerning Melkor being weakened is not correct then, as lord of dor-lomin asks, why did they not take action against Melkor immediately?"

The Doom of Mandos may well have been straight from Eru. If so, the Valar were under higher orders to wait until the Noldor's rebellion had gone full circle [and they finally end up not just killing teleri or Sindar but their own kind in the Assault on the Havens].

I will grant you that in the 'weakening of Morgoth' scenario, less damage may need to have been done to Arda. Although most of Beleriand was lost anyway.

I can however in no way justify the Noldor's rebellion, by saying 'at least they faught Morgoth for a long time.'

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So, to my mind, either the Noldor achieved much in weakening Melkor for the final assault by the host of Valinor, or the Valar seem a pretty uncaring bunch.
The first postulate has been addressed, and seen to my mind would be seen as a possiblity were it not for the quote below.

The second, is within the context of the Legendarium patently seen as unplausible.

We are privy to various councils of the Valar in the QS and more particularly in the 'Laws and Customs among the Eldar'/ 'Statute of Finwe and Miriel'. So we know that they are not uncaring, though one wonders at times about Mandos... What we do know is that they were in the case of when to deal with Morgoth, they were dealing with a large variety of factors, of which we do not know the full arguement, so therefore we can not seriously judge them as being wrong, there is no way to ascertain their motives.

As an addition to postulate in the Doom of Mandos comment above, I think, [and the following quote proves it] a point after the final offer of pardon is given upon the shores of Araman, that the valar were constrained by Eru to wait.

We read in the Silm [and in it's source text HoM-E V QS concl.~4 [p. 325 HB] the following:
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...hail thou .. the looked for that comest anawares, the longed for that comest beyond hope!
There we see that the valr had forknowledge of Earendil and were indeed waiting for him, as it was the key to the timing of the War of Wrath.

I think that once the Noldor [90%]refused the pardon, and went to M-E the die was cast, and due to Eru's will, known in more detail by the Valar themselves than the Prophecy of the North, the Doom of Mandos and greeting by Eonwe show, but still observable to us only as far as I know in those points, there could be no succour of the Noldor and the rest of M-E till the events, partially forseen in valinor, had played themselves out fully.

So the Noldor are hardly to be conratulated on the grand efforts they made. They did what any noble but fallen people would have done in similar circumstances [as witnessed by the Atani].

They were not 'instrumental' so much as filling an inevitable role, once the refused the pardon of the Valar.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:11 AM   #43
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the Valar were under higher orders to wait until the Noldor's rebellion had gone full circle
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a point after the final offer of pardon is given upon the shores of Araman, that the valar were constrained by Eru to wait.
I agree with this lindil. The Valar were constrained to wait once the Noldor had reached a certain point.

My arguement is, it never had to reach that point. Like I said before, Feanor didn't rebel against the command of the Valar and show up in Tirion two minutes after Melkor killed the trees. There was a time gap in which the Valar could've shown some sign of that they were going to go get Melkor, but they didn't.
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I honestly believe that if the Valar would've immediately stood up and said something like "Feanor, don't go running off by yourself. We're going to go take care of Morgoth right away, you can go with us and fight him", I think Feanor's misguided anger towards them would've been appeased.
That's what I said in my last post, and i stand by that statement.

My point is, you can't blame the Noldor's rebellion for the inaction of the Valar, because they had a chance to begin acting before Feanor came to Tirion and caused the uprising.
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:25 PM   #44
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The Doom of the Noldor came though, not because they had some ill-considered thoughts about the Valar and wanted to leave Aman, or even because they followed the already exiled Feanor, no the curse and Doom were prounounced because of the Kinslaying [of which only some were fully culpable] and then of failing to repent of it [this would apply to those participated in the attack on the Teleri and the theft of the Ships, regardless of their degree of culpability.

You can not seriously say that The Noldor had no choice but to commit murder and grand-larceny in order to leave Aman. They could have dared the Ice as many did anyway. OR they could have asked the Teleri help them build ships. Manwe had given them leave to go in the 'flight of the Noldor' chapter.Saying however the 'Go not forth! The hour is evil, and your road leads to sorrow you do not forsee.

As for the Valar not running full speed of to war, we do not have enough information to know what their reasons were.

Constraint by Eru is certainly possible, the setting of the Sun and Moon, was also an enormous task requiring several of the Key Valar and yaking even longer than the Noldor's bloody and vicious departure.

I see no positive exscuses their either. One must assume the Valar were acting willfully or negligently, and we have no text to point us to either conclusion. We do have a long history of the Valar carefully weighing all options and meeting in Council [ we know they were doing this, from the 'Of the making of the Sun and moon 'a careful reading of which shows they were searching for the correct path from the moment Melkor had fled!

Who is more likely to come to a right of understanding of the needed action?

The hasty, maurderous and raving Feanor and those 'besotted with his words' or the Valar searching for the path of light amidst the darkness. Now we read also this amazing line [probably transmitted to the Noldor via the Vanyar [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]] that the valar were more grieved over the Marring of Feanor than the death of the Trees!

This shows the clear path that the Noldor should have held to in relation to their stolen jewels anjd desire to 'avange' Finwe's death.

Also we read, and I think conclusively,
Quote:
It is told that the Valar sat long unmoved upon their
thrones in the Ring of Doom, but they were not idle as Feanor
said in the folly of his heart. For the gods may work many things
with thought rather than with hands, and without voices in
silence they may hold council one with another. Thus they held
vigil in the night of Valinor, and their thought passed back
beyond Ea and forth to the End; yet neither power nor wisdom
assuaged their grief, and the knowing of evil in the hour of its
being. Neither did they mourn more for the death of the Trees
than for the marring of Feanor: of all Melkor's works the most
wicked.
$165 For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of
body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in under-
standing, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the
Children of Eru, and a bright flame was in him. The works of
wonder for the glory of Arda that he might otherwise have
wrought only Manwe might in some measure conceive. And the
Vanyar who held vigil with the Valar have recorded that when
the messengers reported to Manwe the answers of Feanor to his
heralds Manwe wept and bowed his head. But at that last word
of Feanor: that at the least the Noldor should do deeds to live in
song for ever: he raised his head, as one that hears a voice afar
off, and he said: 'So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be
accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could
be no other. Thus, even as Eru spoke to us, shall beauty not
before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to
have been.'
'And yet remain evil,' quoth Mandos. 'To me shall Feanor
come soon.'
$166 But when at last the Valar learned that the Noldor
had indeed passed out of Aman and were come back into
Middle-earth, they arose and began to set forth in deeds those
counsels they had taken in thought for the redress of the evils of Melkor.
from the Annals of Aman. It is similar if not identical to the chapter of the Silm.

We see three things, and I think definitively.
[LIST][*]The valar were not idle - they were doing EXACTLY what they should have done, and in the order needed.[*]Feanor was wrong and his actions Evil[*]Good shall come of the Evil.

So for the 'good' to have come - the enrichment of Men, the recovery and setting of the Silmarill in the skies. THe Valar were now constrained by the Noldor themselves, and as the text seems to inidcate, by Eru.

[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 03-05-2003, 02:55 PM   #45
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they could have asked the Teleri help them build ships
What are the chances of that? They had already refused to ferry them across (which would've barely required the lifting of a finger). No way would they have worked to help them build ships.

Also remember, he thought the Valar were deedless. Though this was an incorrect assumption, I don't recall the Valar telling him differently, which would've helped immensely.
Quote:
For the gods may work many things
with thought rather than with hands, and without voices in
silence they may hold council one with another.
This quote certainly illustrates that the Valar were not idle, but don't you think they should've said something? I will repeat for the third time now, if they would've went to Feanor and told him what they were planning and that they were going to take out Melkor, I think chances are good that he would've cooled off a bit. He would've realized that by going with the Valar to make war against Melkor would not only lead to greater chance of victory against his hated foe, but also provide the Noldor with the perfect opportunity to just stay in ME after the battle and be free like they wanted to.

Also, I'd like to refer back to an earlier post by the phantom.
Quote:
They were created in such a way that the precise thing they loved would be the exact thing that Melkor could offer
Quote:
Why would this situation be allowed to happen? Because the rebellion of the Noldor was supposed to happen. It had to happen.
Quote:
Not only were they "playing their part", but the nature in which they were created would have hardly allowed for anything else.
And now I'll quote myself from earlier.
Quote:
If we think along the lines of what phantom said about fulfilling ones destiny and playing ones part, then the Valar knew they were supposed to wait, just as the Noldor knew they were supposed to go. Ideally, neither should have hindered each other.
That's the whole point here. The Teleri and the Valar shouldn't have hindered the Noldor. They weren't seeing clearly the will of Eru. They're not completely to blame, because it's very hard to see the big picture on such short notice, but the fact remains that the Noldor HAD to get to middle earth to contest Melkor's domination.
Quote:
They could have dared the Ice
Why should the Noldor and their children have to risk death and suffering when their friends have boats that could ferry them to ME in no time at all?
Quote:
Feanor was wrong and his actions Evil
We're not discussing Feanor as an individual, we're discussing the Noldor as a whole.

[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: lord of dor-lomin ]
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:08 PM   #46
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if they would've went to Feanor and told him what they were planning and that they were going to take out Melkor, I think chances are good that he would've cooled off a bit.
Feanor was fey, even by the time he spoke out in Tirion before his exile was over he clearly was no longer a reasonable individual.

I do not think the Valar saying, 'Hey cool down we will get him as soon as possible.'would have cut any ice with Feanor. He would have demanded action NOW!
Whether it was appropriate or not.

Feanor was already deep in the throes of a self-destructive streak that had co-opted his great and powerful gifts.

as for the Noldor 'having to go'. I think the abvoe posts show there were viable options to the evil way they left, right up to the moment of the 90/10 split.

It was from that point, or from the crossing into M-E that the die was cast and the whole War of the Jewels was fated.

Prior to that they could have returned and been part of a 'coalition of the willing'.

Feanor would have no part I think of anything he could not control. Thus the abandonment of the very people he sought to claim kingship over. Thus the killing of his own son whom he knew wished to return [ though the death was accidental, his intention of brooking no opposition was clear. He had become a tyrant.

Quote:
Why should the Noldor and their children have to risk death and suffering when their friends have boats that could ferry them to ME in no time at all?
Why should their friends risk a foolish voyage across the seas [which they had never done before btw] when Manwe himself said 'Go not forth the hour is Evil.'

Instead Olwe wisely tried to bring Feanor and the Noldor with him then, to their senses.


So I respectfully disagree with all points.

The points have been somewhat subtle, and I certainly know more now about the Vanyar and details of the flight of the Noldor than when this topic began, but ultimately I think the above series of quotes justifies both the Vanyar and Valar and also exposes the depth of the delusion of the Noldor and the ultimate folly of making such momentous decisions when surrounded by a cloud of Darkness. The time was ripe for careful consideration, the Noldor completely missed it.


To bring the discussion full circle, the Noldor's place, after the destruction of the Trees was with the Valar, holding vigil and waiting for guidance from those so entrusted by Iluvatar as to how best to help redress the evil of Morgoth.

The Vanyar knew and did this.

This is perhaps our clearest example of why the Vanyar are 'higher' than the Noldor.

Patience, prayer, obedience and humility, and a willingness to take up arms when the time is right.

[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 03-05-2003, 07:58 PM   #47
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Thus, even as Eru spoke to us, shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been ...
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So for the 'good' to have come - the enrichment of Men, the recovery and setting of the Silmarill in the skies. THe Valar were now constrained by the Noldor themselves, and as the text seems to inidcate, by Eru.
Well, that suggests to me that the Noldor's acheivements were considerably greater than zero.

Ultimately, I agree that the Vanyar deserve their place as the higher of the Eldar, in terms of the world in which they all lived. But as readers, surely the Noldor are the higher in our affections. After all, we hear about the valour, tragedy, suffering and acheivements of the Noldor. We hear very little about the Vanyar. The Noldor, therefore, are surely the greater of the kindreds as far as the reader is concerned.

[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: The Saucepan Man ]
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:52 PM   #48
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Ultimately, I agree that the Vanyar deserve their place as the higher of the Eldar, in terms of the world in which they all lived.

[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Quote:
But as readers, surely the Noldor are the higher in our affections. After all, we hear about the valour, tragedy, suffering and acheivements of the Noldor. We hear very little about the Vanyar. The Noldor, therefore, are surely the greater of the kindreds as far as the reader is concerned.
Agreed!

Of course it has been hard to single out all of the Noldor's faults as has been done in this thread. As was stated earlier, I am sure few if anyone reads thwe Silmarillion and Co. with the thought, "The Noldor sure are evil", it is similar to Turin, an incredibly tragic and complex situation.
Almost like an entire race of Denthor's, Boromir's, Thorin's and Saruman's.

All of that excruciating examination was needed though I think to get to this point where we can see something more than we had before of the bigger picture of the Valar, the revolt, the Vanyar and the Noldor.

I look forward to using all of this material in the up and coming 'essays' on the Vanyar and the Noldor.

[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:12 PM   #49
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I, like lindil, have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion. I think we've all come to a better realization of certain events, but our opinions on some things are still not the same. That is one of the things that makes the barrowdowns interesting.

Where I (and possibly lord of dor-lomin) am coming from is what I like to call "the fate school". That essentially means that every person and/or group has a certain deed to do or goal to attain, and that things that are usually "wrong" are justifiable if they appear necessary to complete the task that Eru has put into their heart.

I never expected many to view it the same way, but I can't help what I think. When I read the story of the Noldor the first couple times, that's the idea I took away from it. But you all are certainly entitled to your own interpretations.

But one thing that I believe can be safely said is this: I've noticed that the Noldor, and in particular Feanor, are often insulted, and sometimes it seems that they're down right hated, and I think this is, for the most part, a result of reading with a pitiless and black/white perspective. It's sad, because if the story is read as such, the tragedy of Feanor's fall (and the Noldor's) is lost on the reader.

Well, I've said enough. I hope you have been enjoying this thread as I have.
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Old 03-06-2003, 01:10 PM   #50
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But one thing that I believe can be safely said is this: I've noticed that the Noldor, and in particular Feanor, are often insulted, and sometimes it seems that they're down right hated, and I think this is, for the most part, a result of reading with a pitiless and black/white perspective. It's sad, because if the story is read as such, the tragedy of Feanor's fall (and the Noldor's) is lost on the reader.
That is exaclty how i feel. I was always amazed when people hated Fëanor, the guy is the coolest character in the sil, he dared to do the impossible.
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