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Old 11-24-2003, 10:04 AM   #1
Morgoth the Great
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Silmaril Thorondor as a Maia???

An intersting point was put to me by a good friend about 3 days ago, of the possibility of Thorondor being a Maia spirit. This seemed to me to not be true, and after a debate i still stick to it. But The main arguments for were that He was exceptionally close to Manwe, as must be expected and subsequently may of been a minor Maia, as some of them took on forms of animals. i have searched for this topic, and the search came up with nothing, and so i was wondering what people thought of the possibility. Also, i was told that there was a reference to it in "Morgoth's Ring"(my bookd [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]) but i didnt see it when i rented it my self. if any one can give me a page reference or squash the rumour, i would be very grateful [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:10 AM   #2
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The only thing I can say is that it says that Gwahiar was a descendent of Thorondor at some point. I don't have the reference but i think I remember reading it. Apart from Melian the Maia there is no record of Maiar spirits ever having offspring. This neither proves nor disproves the arguement but it leans more towards the fact that Thorondor was not a Maiar spirit. I would say the relationship between Thorondor and Manwe was more like to that of Huan and Orome.
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:32 AM   #3
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This question was asked on a thread that has migrated to the 2nd page of Haudh-en-Ndengin (it's called Ealar and Incarnation).

Here's the question (asked by Maehdros)-
Quote:
Oblo, would you say that those spirits [Eagles] are maiar too, or something else.
And here is Obloquy's reply-
Quote:
Tolkien himself seems unsure. From Myths Transformed:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Huan and Sorontar [Quenya for Thorondor] could be Maiar - emissaries of Manw. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What's the difficulty with Gwaihir and Landroval being descendants of Thorondor? As far as I can surmise, it must be something to do with the beast-form of the Eagles. Is it possible for two Maiar to conceive children together? Can Maiar beget offspring without one true Incarnate involved? The idea is unprecedented -- or at least unattested. If not, could -- or would -- a Maia in eagle form mate with a true eagle? Even if it was possible, wouldn't it likely violate some major axan? Then, if it was done, would the sentient spirit of the Maia be able to pass that sentience on to progeny that was produced by two beast hrar?

In any case, in the same essay, after some discussion of orc origins/nature, he changes his mind:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In summary: I think it must be assumed that [orcs] 'talking' is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a 'rational soul' or fa...talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots), in The Lord of the Rings Sauron is said to have devised a language for them.... The same sort of thing may be said of Han and the Eagles: they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher level - but they still had no far.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So it looks like the answer is, No, the Eagles were not Maiar (or originally any kind of alar), though Tolkien did consider it. What is disturbing, however, is the adjustment of Han's nature. I think this change might be taken less seriously than that of the Eagles, since The Professor provides no reason for it, whereas he had evidently run into a problem with the Eagles' nature.
I hope that helps.
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Old 11-24-2003, 01:07 PM   #4
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Apart from Melian the Maia there is no record of Maiar spirits ever having offspring.
This si not entirely true. If I am right, Ungoliant was a Maia spirit and she was an ancestpr of Shelob - if not the mother.
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Old 11-24-2003, 01:19 PM   #5
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Ungoliant was an Ainu, not a Maia (Ainu helper of the Valar).

[ November 24, 2003: Message edited by: the phantom ]
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Old 11-24-2003, 02:22 PM   #6
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As the phantom notes, 'Maia' is not a term used for all Ainur aside from the 14 Valar and Morgoth. It is a classification, a job title, for those Ainur that help the Valar.

For a more in-depth review of what a Maia is, try this thread.
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:28 PM   #7
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There are quite a lot of characters in Tolkien that don't quite fit the formal hierarchy of being, as it were: creatures with intelligence,personality and an in-dwelling spirit. Are they all Maiar? And if not, what are they? The eagles and the ents, of course; Ungoliant and her offspring; the vampire-like Thuringwethil (sp?); the dragons; Bombadil and Goldberry, and the River-Mother. Many of these clearly can propagate their 'species'. There are probably others. Tolkien was plainly struggling about orcs, and did not really come up with a satisfactory answer. He created a lot of beings that didn't fit his system, and there is no solving this one. Since Tolkien's conceit for his creations was that LOTR, the Silmarillion and the Hobbit were all surviving accounts of a vanished world, we can just accept that this surviving material didn't include all the answers and explanations of the mysteries of the Elder Days.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:00 PM   #8
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Many of them are Ainur, rather like distant cousins of the Valar and Maiar, so some of the "normal rules" may not apply to them. Some could be very weak (compared to the Valar and Maiar) Ainur, and thus, appear as highly sentient animals, rather than in specific Vala or Maia forms.
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Old 11-24-2003, 09:33 PM   #9
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In Morgoths ring, it is said that Thorondor is a maia spirit inside an animal. My guess is that is somewhat like what happened with dragons: worms inhabited by fell spirits.

I do not have the exact page, but I will look it up. Thorondor had a maia spirit inside of him, and of that Im sure.

And about Ungoliant the Great, and Shelob (last daughter of Ungoliant), Ungoliant was a maia spirit, the maia of darkness. And that is said in the Silmarillion. My guess (again) is that as Melian did, she mated with other fell creatures in form of spiders (but these creatures were not maia), ate them and spawned offspring (check "Of the flight of the Noldor")
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:29 AM   #10
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If Maia only refers to an Ainu who was a helper of the Valar, Ungoliant can't be a Maia (because she wasn't a helper or servant of the Valar). The same goes for Shelob.

(and the Sil certainly does not call her "the Maia of darkness")
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Old 11-25-2003, 09:46 AM   #11
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Ungoliant could have served Morgoth at some point in time, and then have "rebelled." I have a feeling that there were many Maiar in Morgoth's "train," and he sort of experimented on them. Ungoliant could have been one of those.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:10 PM   #12
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It's true that Ungoliant originally served Morgoth but later "disowned her Master". But remember this from Valaquenta-
Quote:
Melkor is counted no longer among the Valar
So the question is are his followers Maia since he's not one of the Valar, even though he once was? Once a Maia always a Maia? Sauron was a Maia of Aule, but when he stopped serving the Valar was he no longer a Maia (since Maia is merely a job description and doesn't define a different race or species)?

I'd say that former servants of the Valar and servants of former Valar would have to be called former Maia (since they no longer fit the job description).

Unless you do choose to believe that once a Maia always a Maia, in which case every single Ainu that came to Arda that followed one of the Valar (or Melkor) is indeed a Maia.

But on that note, it appears from the text that Ungoliant descended into Arda on her own, in other words she wasn't following anybody at the time (therefore was not originally a servant of the Valar or Melkor).

Or do unaffiliated Ainu become Maia the instant they serve a Vala or former Vala, even if it's only temporary?

(wow... this is fun [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )
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Old 11-25-2003, 02:23 PM   #13
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I agree with your last point. I think that Ainur become Maiar whenever they start serving a Vala, the length of that servitude doesn't matter. What is important is that they served, and thusly, Ungoliant is a Maia of Morgoth (when he was a Vala).

(You're right, this is fun.)
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Old 11-25-2003, 02:50 PM   #14
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I was wondering, where are we getting the definition of Maia as a servant of a Vala? Anyone know which book (and perhaps chapter or page number) this information comes from?
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Old 11-25-2003, 03:29 PM   #15
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Mae - "With the Valar came other spirits whos being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree. These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers" (Valaquenta "Of the Maiar"). I guess that will kind of do for evidence.

The Phantom - you actually left out what appears the last note concerning the nature of Huan and the Eagles found in Morgoth's Ring.

"At the bottom of the page bearing the brief text V (p. 389) my father jotted down the following, entirely unconnected with the matter of the text:
Living things in Aman. As the Valar would robe themselves like the Children, many of the Maiar robed themselves like other lesser living things, as trees, flowers, beasts. (Huan.)"

This statement of Huan being a Maia is in the notes to the "Myths Transformed" text you quote. It was found on the on the bottom of the paper of text V of "Myths Transformed." Text V was found in a newspaper dated from November 1958. The text which you quote indicating that Huan and the Eagles are not Maiar was written on Merton College papers of 1955. Thus, this last quote above is the most recent statement on the matter, and has Huan being a Maia (and we can perhaps extend this to the Eagles given the texts you quote which relate the two).
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
you actually left out what appears the last note concerning the nature of Huan and the Eagles found in Morgoth's Ring
I just posted what someone else had said in another thread. I'm not currently brushed up on my HoME enough to be giving quotes myself (no time either, lots of tests this week). When I get the time (probably over Christmas break) I'll comb over the whole thing myself.
Quote:
and we can perhaps extend this to the Eagles
Perhaps.

So, Tolkien appears to have flip-flopped a bit, which I can understand given the problem of procreation among the Ainur (whether or not it was possible).

I certainly cannot imagine one of the "good guys" procreating with a common, souless beast. But if two Ainu could indeed procreate (as long as they became incarnate), that leads to many possibilities. For example, if there was a female balrog (which is entirely possible, the Sun after all is guided by a female spirit of flame) then the balrogs could've had balrog children. Dragons could've had children.

But then there's this problem- how can two Ainu, who are by their nature discarnate, produce an incarnate?

Ainu are not incarnate in their beginnings. They are spiritual beings by nature. They only become incarnate through excessive contact with the incarnate world (through a physical form). So is it possible for a being who's nature is spirit to be incarnate at their conception? Would they still be considered Ainu if their base nature wasn't discarnate?

I think I'll try doing a search of similar topics when I get home tonight to see if any of this has been addressed (in depth) here on the Downs.

[ 06:18 PM November 25, 2003: Message edited by: the phantom ]
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:29 PM   #17
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From Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire, the Hobbit:

Quote:
Eagles are not kindly birds. Some are cowardly and cruel. But the ancient race of the northern mountains were the greatest of all birds; they were proud and strong and noble-hearted.
Now this suggests to me that the Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains were a race of eagles, albeit of greater size and more noble disposition than the standard variety. More significantly, it says that they were birds, the greatest of birds admittedly, but birds nonetheless.

The fact that they were sentient is of no relevance, unless we are going to say that Carc's race and the thrush at Erebor were Maiar too.

Ah, you may say, but they could have been Maiar who clothed themselves in bird-form, and thus appeared as birds to Bilbo, who knew no better than to describe them as such when recording these events. But that does not change the fact that we have Tolkien (the true author) referring to them as birds in a published work. Perhaps this explains the quote from Myths Transformed that the phantom gave:

Quote:
Huan and Sorontar [Quenya for Thorondor] could be Maiar - emissaries of Manw. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.
If the Eagles of the Third Age were no more than large birds, then surely their ancestors back to Thorondor would be birds too, rather than Maiar.

And, in any event, what is the problem, conceptually, with the Eagles simply being giant eagles? [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 11-25-2003, 06:56 PM   #18
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Silmaril

I am sorry, but I know that the Silmarillion never called Ungoliant the maia of darkness. I only placed that adjective on her because of her Unlight, described in the Silmarillion, that was more than just abscense of light, but something that pierced the eye and broke your spirit...

And I said that about her because Morgoth sought her help out because of 3 reasons: her poison (that would kill the Trees), the webs (that could ease his transportation to Aman) and BECAUSE OF HER DARKNESS (a darkness that was able to resist Varda's glare, a darkness that broke Tulkas and Orome's spirit)...

For all that power, that's the reason why I characterized her as the maia of darkness, or the darkest ainu... Just as Olorin is the wisest of the maia...

[ 07:59 PM November 25, 2003: Message edited by: Iarhen ]
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
The fact that they were sentient is of no relevance, unless we are going to say that Carc's race and the thrush at Erebor were Maiar too.
Excellent point.

In that incarnation thread I alluded to earlier, Oblo posted a Tolkien quote from Myths Transformed-
Quote:
In summary: I think it must be assumed that 'talking' is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a 'rational soul' or fa.
I believe that quote is in line with what you're saying.

And SPMan, you said this-
Quote:
referring to them as birds in a published work
That leads us to the age old question, are you the type that puts more weight on LOTR and The Hobbit since they were novels written by Tolkien rather than notes published by his son, or are you the type that puts more weight on whatever Tolkien wrote last (latest date).

Hmm... that might take us off topic. We'd better forget about it. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
Quote:
And, in any event, what is the problem, conceptually, with the Eagles simply being giant eagles?
Frankly, I don't care either way, I just like to run my mouth about Tolkien. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Darkness, Iarhen? Sorry for the misunderstanding, but my comment had nothing to do with the "darkness" part of your statement, it had to do with the fact that you called her "MAIA" since one of the things I was questioning in this thread was whether or not she was in fact a Maia. So when you said that the Sil calls her "Maia" (when it doesn't) it sort of messes the debate up (because if the Sil really did call her "Maia", the question would be answered).

It's "Maia" that I had a problem with. Do you get what I mean now?

(I suppose I could've let it slip, but I just don't like Galadriel-worshipers [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] )
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Old 11-26-2003, 09:51 PM   #20
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LOL... I got confused again... Well, lets just pretend I was talking about Ungoliant as an ainu, not as a maia...

And what do you have against us, Galadriel worshippers?!?!? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:53 AM   #21
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We also have to remember that Tolkien constantly changed things around in his stories, especially in the Silmarillion. Just look at Gil-galad's parentage if you want an example. We still can't decide if he was Fingon's son or Orodreth's son. Tolkien could have intended the Great Eagles to be Maiar at one point, and then changed his mind, and forgot to change some things around in the Silmarillion to reflect that new decision.
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:38 PM   #22
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Although Thorondor was close to Manwe, as was stated abov, there are no records of Maia having offspring, and i agree with the theory that Manwe and Thorondor were like Orome and Huan
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:23 PM   #23
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1420!

This may seem a little obvious, but Lthien's mother is a Maia.
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:11 PM   #24
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I think he meant two Maia having children together.
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:31 AM   #25
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Squatter, wouldn't Melian be an exception, because she fell in love with an Elf? That was probably the only case of a Maia falling in love with an Elf, and since their union was essential for Morgoth to eventually be defeated (Earendil wouldn't have made it to Valinor without the Silmaril, which Luthien and Beren recovered from Morgoth), the Valar probably let Melian "reproduce" with Thingol.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:53 AM   #26
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That's why it's important to speak clearly and precisely. The statement to which I was responding declared that there were no records of Maiar having offspring. This is a statement of fact, not a rule. As such it can have no exceptions, but is either right or wrong. Melian was a Maia, and there are records of her having offspring, so the statement is wrong. I note now that this was mentioned above, but the statement is no more correct for that.

As it happens, in the earlier conceptions of the mythology Fionw was the son of Manw, and the Valinorean host was led by 'the sons of the Valar'. Much later, Tolkien declared that the production of offspring was one of those activities that could bind an ala to its assumed hra. This statement (from the essay sanwe-kenta) may be found in Obloquy's first post in the alar and Incarnation thread.

The clear implication is that Ainur could, if both incarnate, produce offspring between them (although there are no examples in the writings as they have come down to us), but that this would serve to bind both spirits more closely to their assumed hra. The presence of this concept at widely spaced intervals in the development of the Legendarium is for me a clear indication that it was early conceived and never abandoned. It should be noted that something cannot be assumed to be impossible within Tolkien's mythological framework simply because it lacks precedent in his writings, although as late as the commencement of The Lord of the Rings he clearly had it in his mind that the Valar could conceive and bear children among themselves.

The actual quotation from Myths Transformed, which has been alluded to by various people on this thread is:

<SUB>What of talking beasts and birds? with reasoning and speech? These have been rather lightly adopted from 'serious' mythologies, but play a part which cannot be excised. They are certainly 'exceptions' and not much used, but sufficiently to show that they are a recognized feature of the world. All other creatures accept them as natural if not common. But true 'rational' creatures, 'speaking peoples', are all of human / 'humanoid' form. Only the Valar and Maiar are intelligences that can assume forms of Arda at will. Huan and Sorontar [Thorondor] could be Maiar - emissaries of Manw. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendents of Sorontar.</SUB>

(Morgoth's Ring pp 409-410)

This is about as unambiguous a statement as it can be, although on a cursory reading it might be misconstrued: the Eagles cannot be descended from a Maiarin Thorondor; therefore, since Tolkien has already said in a published work that they are descended from Thorondor, he cannot have been a Maia (or by implication any ala, as Obloquy's post states). Why Tolkien thought this is dealt with in the same section of Myths Transformed.

Returning very briefly to the subject of the canonicity of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I accept those simply because Tolkien himself tried always to avoid contradicting them, as the quotation from Morgoth's Ring indicates. If Tolkien accepted those publications as canon, then I think it only fair for us to do likewise.

[ 3:13 PM December 04, 2003: Message edited by: The Squatter of Amon Rdh ]
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:58 PM   #27
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The clear implication is that Ainur could, if both incarnate, produce offspring between them
I wouldn't mind at all if this were true, but I'm not sure how that idea connects to the following quote-
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Huan and Sorontar [Thorondor] could be Maiar - emissaries of Manw. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendents of Sorontar
Now, this appears to mean "Thorondor could've been a Maia, but since I wrote in the Hobbit (which is canon) that he had descendants then I'd say he wasn't a Maia."

But why would Tolkien think this if two Ainu can indeed have offspring? If they could then there'd be no problem with the relationship between Thorondor and Gwaehir. The fact that there were descendants involved seemed to make Tolkien inclined to say that the ancestor was not a Maia spirit. Why is this if Ainu can indeed reproduce together?

(or am I misinterpreting the quote?)
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Old 12-04-2003, 03:48 PM   #28
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Actually, it is doubtful whether two Ainur spirits could conceive children. We know that it is possible with an Elf from the one example we have, but that is about it. If we suppose such a union could beget offspring, it is still questionable whether these would be raised to about the same level as their parents, or whether they would fall under the category of beasts raised to a higher level, in which case one would have to suppose that the union would have violated an axan anyway.
While it was very likely the case that Ainur spirits conceived children with non-rational beings (without a fea), that would have to be attributed to the bad side only. It also seems to be a practical explanation of the origin of orcs in agreement with the later Morgoth's Ring essays of Umaiarin orcs and orcs evolved from beasts.

In any case, Tolkien's statement that "the same sort of thing may be said of Han and the Eagles: they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher level - but they still had no far" (Myths Transformed) poses the least difficulty in alignment with published texts.
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Old 12-04-2003, 07:32 PM   #29
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Ok, this may be going back on what I posted previously, but if it is possible for a Maia in incarnate form to mate with a non-Maiar being to produce incarnate non-Maiar offspring, why should it be impossible for a non-Maia Gwaihir to be descended from a Maiar but incarnate Thorondir? Just as Aragorn was descended from a Maiar but incarnate Melian.
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:15 PM   #30
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If we suppose such a union could beget offspring, it is still questionable whether these would be raised to about the same level as their parents, or whether they would fall under the category of beasts raised to a higher level, in which case one would have to suppose that the union would have violated an axan anyway.
Well said. You've explained part of the problem I have with an Ainu-Ainu offspring.
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but if it is possible for a Maia in incarnate form to mate with a non-Maiar being to produce incarnate non-Maiar offspring, why should it be impossible for a non-Maia Gwaihir to be descended from a Maiar but incarnate Thorondir?
Sharku answered that pretty well with this-
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While it was very likely the case that Ainur spirits conceived children with non-rational beings (without a fea), that would have to be attributed to the bad side only.
In other words, can you imagine Thorondor (a good guy) having an offspring with a common animal?

Tolkien would certainly not allow such behavior on the good guy side.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:36 AM   #31
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In other words, can you imagine Thorondor (a good guy) having an offspring with a common animal?
No, you misunderstand me. I was contemplating Thorondor having offspring with a non-Maiar but sentient being, not an animal. That surely would not be much different from Melian having offspring with Thingol.
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:18 AM   #32
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However, all sentient beings are either Children or Ainur-class/ealar, so that leaves little choice. Union of a maiarin spirit with the first would beget children like Luthien, not eagles; union with the latter is a difficult matter because we have no example for such a case (if possible).
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:41 AM   #33
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However, all sentient beings are either Children or Ainur-class/ealar ...
But what about the sentient animals such as the Eagles themselves, the Fox in LotR and the Ravens in the Hobbit? Assuming that there were sentient non-Maiar Eagles around in the First Age, could Thorondir (on the theory that he was a Maiar spirit incarnated in Eagle form) have mated with one of them? Or would they fall into the category of beings without a fea, making a union between any such creature and a good Maia spirit implausible?
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:56 AM   #34
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Well, Tolkien pondered this difficulty in one place in Myths Transformed, and seemed to have come to the satisfying conclusion later:

<sub>These have been rather lightly adopted from 'serious' mythologies, but play a part which cannot be excised. They are certainly 'exceptions' and not much used, but sufficiently to show that they are a recognized feature of the world. All other creatures accept them as natural if not common. But true 'rational' creatures, 'speaking peoples', are all of human / 'humanoid' form. Only the Valar and Maiar are intelligences that can assume forms of Arda at will. Huan and Sorontar [Thorondor] could be Maiar - emissaries of Manw. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendents of Sorontar.

############################

In summary: I think it must be assumed that [orcs] 'talking' is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a 'rational soul' or fa...talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots), in The Lord of the Rings Sauron is said to have devised a language for them.... The same sort of thing may be said of Han and the Eagles: they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher level - but they still had no far.</sub>

The criterion for what is a truly rational creature is therefore possession of a fea. Mating with beings without a fea, and as stated, only humanoids have fear in addition to the higher beings, would be off the table for a Maia. We cannot assume that there were non-maiarin eagles, possessing a fea.
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:46 AM   #35
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Yes, I see now. Thanks Shark. Sorry for being so slow on the uptake. I find these concepts of fea and hroar quite difficult to come to terms with. I think that it's because of my resistance (Tolkien's words notwithstanding) to this idea that Orcs, Eagles etc were basically animals taught to talk parrot-fashion. With Orcs, this concept doesn't square with my conception fellows such as Ugluk, Shagrat and Gorbag, built up through the conversations that they have with their fellow Orcs (although I can appreciate that it gets over issues such as what happens to Orcish feas and whether they are capable of redemption).

The same goes for the Eagles and the Ravens. It just doesn't work for me to view their "sentience" as being akin to that of a parrot when they appear (like the Orcs) to express their own independent thoughts and opinions.

But those, I suppose, are issues for another topic.

As I said earlier, I have no problem, conceptually, with Thorondor not being a Maia. I simply have a problem with him being a parrot. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:00 AM   #36
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What, at least he's a lot closer to a parrot than the orcs! [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Seriously though, the character of orcs such as Shagrat/Gorbag or Grishnakh might be explained by Tolkien's idea that there were orcs who are umaiarin in origin (or mannish, Elven, etc) and that some do possess fear. HerenIstarion wrote an excellent essay on that, linked through our FAQ section, proposing a theory of multiple origins, and speculating about the nature of the assumed orcish far.
Looking at an orc like Ugluk, on the other hand, I find the 'parrot' idea not too unfitting -- he does not have very much of a mind of his own, does he.

The status of eagles, elevated from that of wild beasts by contact with the Valar also seems credible to me. Certainly Manwe would at least be able to raise 'his' creation slightly.

Eurytus' beloved fox, the ravens of Erebor and other seemingly speaking animals propose greater difficulty, I think. Tolkien admits that they were lightly and perhaps even carelessly adopted, so it might not be too far from the books to suppose that they were in fact exaggerations and colourful inventions by Bilbo writing down There and Back Again and the Fellowship of the Ring into the Red Book.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 7:12 PM December 05, 2003: Message edited by: Shark ]
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Old 12-24-2003, 02:57 PM   #37
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Here's a semi-related question: Are/were there any eagle civilizations besides that of Thorondors kin? Because people have been saying that there are no records of Maia/Maia offspring, and Melian is an exception because she fell in love with an elf, so what if there were non-Maia eagles and a Maia-Thorondor?

I think it is more likely, however, that Thorondor and his descendants were just skillful and intelligent eagles, who became, as Shark said,

Quote:
elevated from that of wild beasts by contact with the Valar...Certainly Manwe would at least be able to raise 'his' creation slightly.
Just because someone (be it eagle, or any other species/race) accomplishes great feats of intelligence, bravery, or whatever else, doesnt mean they need to be supernaturally gifted. Just look at most of the heroes of Middle-Earth! Most of them are just normal Elves, men, or hobbits, and we dont debate whether they are Maiar or just gifted normal beings.

Of course, theres nothing wrong with debating!
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Old 01-01-2004, 06:51 PM   #38
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Dwarves and ents are rational peoples, but not Children or Ainur: why should there not be a race of sentient eagles on the same basis?
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:08 AM   #39
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Dwarves and ents are rational peoples, but not Children or Ainur: why should there not be a race of sentient eagles on the same basis?
Actually, Eru called the dwarves his adopted children so you can classify dwarves as Children of Eru.

As far as Ents go-
Quote:
and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein
This is in the Sil when it talks about the birth of the Ents. It says that Ents are "spirits from afar" but what does that mean? For all we know, they are Ainu spirits. Or maybe not.

Well, no matter, it's not important to my point which is- Dwarves and Ents appear to be rational creatures (they have a fea) but note that both were specifically addressed by Tolkien. He made sure and said that Ents had spirits and that Dwarves were adopted by Eru.

If there were another race of beings with a fea I seriously doubt that Tolkien would've skipped mentioning it.
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:03 AM   #40
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Thorondor could have just been an extremely "evolved" Eagle, just as Huan was an extremely "evolved" dog.
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