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View Poll Results: Who is your favourite Noldorian King?
Finwe 3 6.82%
Feanor 8 18.18%
Fingolfin 18 40.91%
Fingon 6 13.64%
Turgon 1 2.27%
Gil-Galad 8 18.18%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-25-2006, 06:35 PM   #81
Lalwendë
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Hmmm...apparently you subscribe to the school of warfare that holds one should fight one's wars with an eye toward making happy and accommodating one's enemies. I'm afraid I don't agree with that.
I don't get how you infer this. I am simply asking whether it is right to keep a large population of people in such a situation.

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The way you talk about her implies too much nobility to her motives. To hear you speak, it almost sounds like you think she was some brave political activist engaged in a life-and-death struggle attempting to overthrow the cruel regime of Comrade Stalgon. This was not the case at all. She was a silly, empty-headed little nitwit who had no higher aspiration than to go a-Maying at the most inopportune moments.
If only it was so interesting. Alas, Aredhel is simply doing what someone would have wanted to do anyway. 100% loyalty can never be expected, and there will always be someone who wants out. It is one of the first principles of management that you should never expect everyone to always follow the agenda, because people just aren't like that. You have to plan for that eventuality and Turgon did not. Or perhaps it was a cath-22 situation from the beginning, as let someone leave and you risk them revealing the location of the place but keep them in and they could foster revolt.

Maybe Turgon did not know his sister all that well, as she had been accustomed to hunting and riding with Feanor's sons while in Valinor. If he had considered this he may have discouraged her from joining them. Even so, its likely someone else would have wanted to leave. That's just life.

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The security of Gondolin meant that there was nothing to assess. Some things are non-negotiable. Turgon politely informed Eol of this at the beginning. Try to think of it as Turgon extending a courtesy rather than giving an order.
Simply by not assessing the situation he increased the risk factor for Gondolin. It's not always clever to be inflexible.
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:12 PM   #82
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I don't get how you infer this.
I infer this from…

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The very existence of a place which he cannot find must have made Morgoth even more determined to find and destroy the place, and when he does find it, he brings all his might to bear on it.
Eru forbid that Turgon actually go so far as to annoy Morgoth. It might make Morgoth angry and we wouldn’t want that.

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I am simply asking whether it is right to keep a large population of people in such a situation.
Under the circumstances, why not?

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Alas, Aredhel is simply doing what someone would have wanted to do anyway.
Odd, we don’t hear about anybody except for her…

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100% loyalty can never be expected, and there will always be someone who wants out. It is one of the first principles of management that you should never expect everyone to always follow the agenda, because people just aren't like that.
This doesn’t mean you have to kow-tow to the 1% of malcontents who are causing trouble for no particular benefit to anybody but themselves.

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You have to plan for that eventuality and Turgon did not.
The plan was probably to say, “No.”

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If he had considered this he may have discouraged her from joining them.
Maybe he tried to but she pouted and whined and wanted to go. It probably seemed like a great adventure at the time.

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That's just life.
Odd, I would say the exact same thing to Aredhel.

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Simply by not assessing the situation he increased the risk factor for Gondolin. It's not always clever to be inflexible.
What was there to assess? As I have said a number of times before Eol=Security Risk. Security=Prime Consideration, especially because of the trouble the first breach caused.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:21 PM   #83
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One misguided ruler, and a lot of people who suffer because of his misguided attempts to 'protect' them, and all the more tragic because it was all necessary for other later events to take place, which would be events to turn the tide.
When writing the last SbS entry, I watched Grima, using Theoden as a prop, banish Eomer from the realm. That got me to thinking, as it wasn't Grima alone who did this. He had help; those who willingly followed his orders as though they were from the King.

In regards to Turgon, he could not have held the people against their will unless he had some support from others. He could have spouted off as much as he wanted about maintaining the secrecy of Gondolin, but everyone else could have laughed and walked out of the gate. But this did not happen. Most, and seemingly in this case it's a very high percentage, stayed either for fear of the outside, in respect for the King's wishes/law, or were happy within the walls.

Where's Turgon in all of that? Did they all wear chains?

I think that we at times point to the leader and blame him/her for all that goes wrong, not seeing that many times the problem lies with all of us in allowing/following/not correcting such a leader. Sometimes the person out in front doesn't step forward, everyone else just stepped back.

The other thought sprung fom reading this thread was, at times, my friends and I have played the mental exercise of 'lifeboat.' Not that that's the name, as it could be 'bunker,' 'spacecraft,' etc. The game is that you have too many people and not enough room/supplies. You are given hypothetical people and from that list, you have to choose who stays inside and who goes in the ocean/out the door/out the airlock.

The exercise gives you a glimpse into people's decision-making process, and you can get into some fun arguments, but it's just hypothetical. I think that if it came down to it, many people would not be able to make the hard decisions necessary for some to survive, and so as a result, all would die. Luckily, there are those that can make the hard decisions. Our ancestors all were these type of people, and some of the things that they may have done we now may find repugnant, but we're here now because of what they did.

Turgon made the hard calls. His heart may have said otherwise, but, as it was a cold but nuclear war with Morgoth, he had to slay Eol.

It's easy to say that we'd not have done the same.
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Old 02-26-2006, 06:15 AM   #84
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OK, stepping back & trying to see both sides of the argument....

I think we all accept that Turgon was not perfect, & in the end he fell into error. He started out a bit like someone concerned with their health, taking excercise, avoiding smoking, etc, in order to live a longer, healthier life. In the end, though, he seems to have crossed the line & convinced himself that if he took enough precautions he could ensure his survival indefinitely.

The fall of Gondolin is fated & at the last Turgon refuses to leave because of pride & love of the place. In the end he 'outlived his usefulness' & proved a hindrance to all concerned. 'Love not too well the works of thy hands' is the theme being played out.

The best we can say for Aredhel is that she perhaps suffered from the Elvish flaw of restlessness within Middle-earth. This is something we cannot underestimate. Gondolin maybe reminded her too much of the West, yet it wasn't the West.

I don't think there are any real 'monsters' on the Elvish side. Aredhel is no more, or less, 'immature' than many Elves. Incarceration, even in a palace, is still incarceration, & sometimes the line between the escape of the prisoner & the flight of the deserter is very difficult to define. Aredhel was in a sense both an escaping prisoner & a fleeing deserter. Turgon was both her protector & her jailer.

And in the end, the fall of Gondolin was inevitable for so many reasons that scapegoating any individual is missing the point.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:45 AM   #85
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Or maybe Aredhel was no nitwit or hero, it was just her fate to leave the city and meet Eol etc.?

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Originally Posted by littlemanpoet
Turgon made the hard calls. His heart may have said otherwise, but, as it was a cold but nuclear war with Morgoth, he had to slay Eol.
And use his attack against Maeglin which killed Aredhel as a reason also? This leads to an interesting question; did Elves use capital punishment?
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #86
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The situation suggests they did. However, I wouldn't think they used it a lot.
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:46 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
The situation suggests they did. However, I wouldn't think they used it a lot.
Or maybe some elves did and some didn't? Can you think of any other death sentence cases among elves?

And I just started to ponder, if capital punishment was a heavier or a lighter punishment for elves than for men?
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:44 AM   #88
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And in the end, the fall of Gondolin was inevitable for so many reasons that scapegoating any individual is missing the point.
You just know that in all of these tales that chaos has to enter the picture sometime, as what's the point? We could read endless pages where nothing of import happens in Gondolin, then after the War of Wrath Turgon and company could poke their heads out of their shells and go back to the West.

There's an exciting read.

Paradise, like the rest of the universe, succumbs sooner or later to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It's like holding your breath; you can give in sooner and breathe normally, or hold it as long as you can, then finally be forced to breathe and so have to suck wind to catch back up.

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Old 02-27-2006, 09:47 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Formendacil
Good heavens!! Finrod? Maedhros?

The poll is about High Kings of the Noldor, not just plain old kings. Why do you go advocating Thingol or Dior? After all, if one can disregard the High part of the poll why not disregard the Noldor part? Or, for that matter, why limit it to Kings at all? Why not just go with favourite Middle-Earthian character? Or favourite fictional character? Or favourite person real or feigned?

Seriously, the way people around here are unable to vote within the confines of any poll presented irks me... If Fordim had wanted his silly poll to be about Noldorin kings in general, he would have made it about that, but he didn't.
You, Formendacil, must be amused when you hear that I voted for Fingon, because he was Maedhros's friend and saved him...
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Old 02-27-2006, 12:08 PM   #90
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And I just started to ponder, if capital punishment was a heavier or a lighter punishment for elves than for men?
Almost definitely worse, considering only three Kin-Slayings amongst the Eldar against countless by men.
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Old 02-27-2006, 12:41 PM   #91
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An Icon to set upon high....

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Originally Posted by alatar
Paradise, like the rest of the universe, succumbs sooner or later to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
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Originally Posted by Davem
And in the end, the fall of Gondolin was inevitable for so many reasons that scapegoating any individual is missing the point.
Well put. I would conjecture that the existence of Gondolin (unmolested) is as important as its demise. In a Turgon led Gondolin, we have a vision of what the Noldorian/Sindarian kingdoms would look like, if Morgoth was not in their world. An ideal of purety and strength that IMO was vital, necessary, and important to the psyche of the Exiles. The question of whether or not all those Noldor would have come to ME if it weren't for Morgoth can be debated, but the importance of the idea of Gondolin (IMO) can not be.

I would further conjecture that this archetype (if you will) was as imperative for the Exiles as the strategic importance was, in the battle against Morgoth. IMO, it was at the very least, as great an influence on the Exile's psyche as it was on Morgoth's sense of doom that was going to recieve as a result from Turgon. This is why I think (at least in my mind) the legacy of Gondolin exceeds the other Noldorian kingdoms of the 1st age.

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Old 02-27-2006, 12:47 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Thinlómien
You, Formendacil, must be amused when you hear that I voted for Fingon, because he was Maedhros's friend and saved him...
Amused?

Perhaps...

But at least you actually voted for one of the real High Kings, rather than petulantly going on about a non-High King. If your reasons were silly... then, well, this is a silly poll.

Oh, and regarding a long-since-made point regarding Maedhros as High King of the Noldor before his abdication in favour of Fingolfin- he wasn't.

Or, rather, when he waived his right to throne in favour of Fingolfin, he was saying that he had never been High King, that it should have descended to him next anyway. Otherwise, his abdication would simply have meant the succession of Maglor to the Noldorin High Kingship. But by waiving the claim of the entire Fëanorian House on the pretext that Fingolfin was the Eldest of the Finwëans, he was saying that Fingolfin had been High King from Fëanor's death- thus saying that he had never been High King.

Whether or not Maedhros was legalistically RIGHT in that matter is a different question, but the point is that Maedhros himself basically said he was never High King.
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Old 02-27-2006, 02:07 PM   #93
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Nothing silly about Thinolomien's reason. Same as mine....
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:59 PM   #94
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You just know that in all of these tales that chaos has to enter the picture sometime, as what's the point? We could read endless pages where nothing of import happens in Gondolin, then after the War of Wrath Turgon and company could poke their heads out of their shells and go back to the West.

There's an exciting read.

Paradise, like the rest of the universe, succumbs sooner or later to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It's like holding your breath; you can give in sooner and breathe normally, or hold it as long as you can, then finally be forced to breathe and so have to suck wind to catch back up.

R1
Well, I suppose that we could say that we wouldn't even be discussing the motivation of Turgon if Gondolin hadn't been destroyed. It might just be another footnote in HoME. And I wonder if this would have been the case if Aredhel had been stopped from leaving? I have to say I'm still suspicious that someone else would have tried it. But putting that aside for now as it's going around in circles and I guess that Kuruharan and I shall have to agree to disagree, there's another question. Was it Aredhel's mishaps that were the catalyst for Turgon's fame?

What I'm getting at is that we all like to weigh up our heroes, but without the people who do foolish or evil things, what heroes would there be?

That's why even though I think Gil-Galad was the best King in moral terms, I find Feanor the most exciting; he was the one who added most value to the story for me, because he did the wrong things in spectacular style.
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:59 PM   #95
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Was it Aredhel's mishaps that were the catalyst for Turgon's fame?
I don't think so. When a prominent person mysteriously vanishes without a trace, that is usually enough to garner a large amount of fame. Mysteries are eternally intriguing. I think the scale and audacity of what he did also play a role.
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:39 AM   #96
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Pipe More concerning Aredhel

Lalwendë, Kuruharan and anyone else interested in Aredhel, Turgon and the Fall of Gondolin might be interested in Lush's thread Aredhel the bad girl? over in Books. My own opinion on the issue is discussed there at some length, and perhaps it can be revived for fresh controversy.
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:48 PM   #97
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Alas, I myself cannot participate in this poll because I don't fully (and some not at all) know these figures. Which brings me to the reason why I posted in the first place-curious, why is this in "Novices and Newcomers"? By sheer definition most won't be familiar with them.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:14 PM   #98
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I think I'll continue disscussion as soon as it moves to Gil-Galad.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:52 PM   #99
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You may consider it moved. I think Lalwende and myself are done.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:50 PM   #100
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Sting

Alas for poor Elu Ancalime, but the Downers were apparently not all that divided on the subject of Gil-galad, Last High King of the Noldor...

While I hope any readers brought to this thread via my necroposting enjoy the topic (probably easier if they just ignore the existence of the 19-year-old Formendacil contained herein), I actually resurrected it as much because it brought up a query as because I feel the need to reiterate that Gil-galad is the best High King the Noldor ever had: is there yet any active Downer with the power to create Poll Threads? Not that I have a specific poll thread to pitch, but it occurs to me that this could have its place as a stimulator of conversation here and there and that it is a forum function no longer to be exercised.

And on the subject of Gil-galad, I wonder whether those of us who form the pro-Gil-galad voting bloc all agree on his parentage? It seems to me that he might well have suffered in the polls for his indeterminate status.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:22 PM   #101
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Without looking at the thread, I made a vote for Fingolfin. I was debating if I should vote for Feanor or Fingon, and ended up compromising by picking one with both fairness/kindness and spirit/might.

I like Gil-Galad well enough, but I prefer the passions of the First Age.



However, I second the question: are there still members with poll thread abilities?
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