The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-07-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
Eönwë
Flame Imperishable
 
Eönwë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Right here
Posts: 3,995
Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
What was Shelob, and more importantly, what was Ungoliant?

Ungoliant allowed Melkor to ride her ( a whole Vala, I think they are around the size of a hill it says someewhere) and tshe s the darkness and weaves her threads. The fact that she can destroy the two trees shoes her power. BUt I know she is not an Ainu.

Maybe she is like Tom Bombadil, but the opposite?
__________________
Welcome to the Barrow Do-owns Forum / Such a lovely place
Eönwë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 04:12 PM   #2
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
Legate of Amon Lanc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,560
Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.
An interesting idea with Tom Bombadil, but I always considered Ungoliant a Maia and nothing I saw this far opposes it. The Silmarillion says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapter 8; Of the Darkening of Valinor
The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwë, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service.
"And that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service" to me creates associations with the Maiar who were swayed by Melkor to join him. To me, this is clear enough. It is true she could have been otherwise, but everything speaks for that she was an Ainu. On what evidence do you base your opinon that she was not an Ainu?

And by the way, are you sure he was riding her? Did she not just accompany him?
__________________
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
Legate of Amon Lanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
mormegil
Maundering Mage
 
mormegil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 4,632
mormegil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.mormegil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I don't believe anywhere do we see that Ungoliant was with the other Maiar. Plus if I remember correctly I don't think any of the valar actually knew where she came from and they would know if she were vala or maia.
__________________
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
-- P. J. O'Rourke

Last edited by mormegil; 01-07-2008 at 04:22 PM.
mormegil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 04:46 PM   #4
The Might
Guard of the Citadel
 
The Might's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxon
Posts: 2,287
The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Well, she does seem to resemble the Balrogs in a way. Joins Melkor, comes down on Arda and then assumes a certain shape which she can afterwards no longer change.

Actually the whole idea about Tom Bombadil isn't that bad.
Because, if we think she wasn't an Ainu, then she could just as well be a discord in the music, something in M-e, but not really of M-e like Tom Bombadil.

And, very interestingly, in early writings Ungoliant is reffered to as Múru, which in Quenya would mean Primeval Night.
This does lead to some speculation that she was in a way also a spirit of nature, however a dark and evil one, whereas Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are positive ones.
__________________
“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”
Delos B. McKown
The Might is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
Lord Gothmog
Animated Skeleton
 
Lord Gothmog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Wales
Posts: 49
Lord Gothmog has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
An interesting idea with Tom Bombadil, but I always considered Ungoliant a Maia and nothing I saw this far opposes it. The Silmarillion says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapter 8; Of the Darkening of Valinor
The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwë, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service.
"And that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service" to me creates associations with the Maiar who were swayed by Melkor to join him. To me, this is clear enough. It is true she could have been otherwise, but everything speaks for that she was an Ainu. On what evidence do you base your opinon that she was not an Ainu?

And by the way, are you sure he was riding her? Did she not just accompany him?
Actually, there is absolutely nothing that 'speaks for that she was an Ainu', there is only one point that gives a hint that it is possible that she might be. The most important part of your quote is "but some have said". This is not a definitive statement. Actually it is Tolkien's way of 'side-stepping' the question. Either he had not made up his own mind, or he chose to leave it open.

Personally, I prefer Ungoliant to remain a mystery, a second and darker enigma.

And as for Shelob. When Ungoliant fled south after being whipped by the Balrogs, she found and mated with Spider-like creatures. Shelob was the Last of her Children.
__________________
If life was just a rehearsal, Would the show be Cancled.

Greetings and Felicitations from the Lord of Balrogs!
Lord Gothmog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
Elmo
Pittodrie Poltergeist
 
Elmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: trying to find that warm and winding lane again
Posts: 659
Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
That's a good point millord, aren't the Ainur supposed to be sterile or at least they were in the later legendarium? Edit: But Melian and Thingol...
__________________
As Beren looked into her eyes within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies he saw there mirrored shimmering.

Last edited by Elmo; 01-08-2008 at 02:46 PM.
Elmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
Lord Gothmog
Animated Skeleton
 
Lord Gothmog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Wales
Posts: 49
Lord Gothmog has just left Hobbiton.
In the later legendarium the Valar and Maiar did not mate and reproduce with each other. In fact the only certain exception to this is Melian. She is the only Ainu to have a child and this was with an Elf.

Melian did not simply incarnate a form similar to that of the Elves, she accually incarnated a form that was capable of having a child with an Elf. It may be that this exception was allowed by Illuvatar specificaly to allow something of the Divine Spirit of the Ainur into Men.
__________________
If life was just a rehearsal, Would the show be Cancled.

Greetings and Felicitations from the Lord of Balrogs!
Lord Gothmog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #8
Eönwë
Flame Imperishable
 
Eönwë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Right here
Posts: 3,995
Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Narya

So does that mean that possibly Gandalf could incarnate? He is made like a man, with all susceptibility, and weakness of the flesh. He might be able to reproduce. He had to live as a man, so he had everything that goes with it.

Just thinking, what if Saruman had kids. Urgh!
__________________
Welcome to the Barrow Do-owns Forum / Such a lovely place
Eönwë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 07:52 AM   #9
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,071
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Interesting comparison with Tom and Goldberry. They are supposed to be a happily mated couple whereas S/U are rather rough with their partners.

Then again, spiders are a fear and nightmare from Tolkien's childhood. But when assimilated to the loathesome personification of unbridled female appetite . . . well, maybe that makes them a nightmare from Tolkien's adulthood (manhood not being quite the right word here.)
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 09:58 AM   #10
Meriadoc1961
Wight
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 101
Meriadoc1961 has just left Hobbiton.
I have always considered Ungoliant sort of the equivalent of Lilith in Jewish legend, a demon creature of darkness who took on her form as she allowed the evil to possess her.

Merry
__________________
"If I yawn again, I shall split at the ears!"
Meriadoc1961 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 01:28 PM   #11
Lord Gothmog
Animated Skeleton
 
Lord Gothmog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Wales
Posts: 49
Lord Gothmog has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eönwë View Post
So does that mean that possibly Gandalf could incarnate? He is made like a man, with all susceptibility, and weakness of the flesh. He might be able to reproduce. He had to live as a man, so he had everything that goes with it.
It is not impossible that the bodies of the Istari could well be capable of reproduction, though that seems to have been a very low priority to all of them.
__________________
If life was just a rehearsal, Would the show be Cancled.

Greetings and Felicitations from the Lord of Balrogs!
Lord Gothmog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 04:52 PM   #12
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
There's no reason to doubt the ability of Ainur to reproduce while they inhabited physical bodies. In fact, full incarnation doesn't even seem to be requisite: we're told that reproduction was one of the activities that strengthened the bond between fea and hroa. The Valar may be a special case, but it seems more likely that they were merely prohibited by some axan than peculiarly incapable.

Here's more regarding ealar, incarnation, and some about Ungoliante in particular: Ëalar and Incarnation.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 03:27 PM   #13
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
there in Avathar, secret and unknown, Un- goliant had made her abode. The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwe, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service. But she had disowned her Master, desiring to be mistress of her own lust, taking all things to herself to feed her emptiness; and she fled to the south, escaping the assaults of the Valar and the hunters of Orome, for their vigilance had ever been to the north, and the south was long unheeded. Thence she had crept towards the light of the Blessed Realm; for she hungered for light and hated it.
There's a crucial point - that she came to the world even before Melkor, and 'out of the darkness'. She certainly wasn't a creature created by him, and this also suggests she wasn't one of the Ainur either or what was she doing there before the others?

There is also a very strong argument that metaphorically she could be an equal and opposite or even a necessary complement to Eru. He is symbolised by Light and in Arda Light is symbolic of Life. Ungoliant on the other hand symbolises more than mere darkness, she is Un-light. Read the following:

Quote:
Yet no song or tale could contain all the grief and terror that then befell. The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own: for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will.
What Ungoliant does is not merely consume the Light but replace it with Unlight. She achieves something which Melkor simply could not do, even with his power. He has to enlist her to do this for him, and she does, but then she deserts him once again to be 'mistress of her own lusts'. Doesn't this suggest Ungoliant has a terrible power even Melkor did not possess?

Now, something for The Might...more on Moru:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoLT
for here dwelt the primeval spirit Moru who even the Valar know not whence or when she came, and the folk of Earth have given her many names. Mayhap she was bred of mists and darkness on the confines of the Shadowy Seas, in the utter dark that came between the overthrow of the Lamps and the kindling of the Trees, but more like she has always been;
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoLT Commentary
In the tale her origin is unknown, and though this element may be said to have remained in The Silmarillion..., by the device of 'Some have said...' a clear explanation is in fact given: she was a being from 'before the world', perverted by Melkor...The original idea of 'the primeval spirit Moru' is made explicit in an entry in the early word list of the Gnomish language, where the name Moru is defined as 'a name of the Primeval Night personified as Gwerlum or Gungliont'
I suppose the thorny question of whether Ungoliant came about before or after Eru created the Ainur could be answered by considering that which you decide depends upon whether you are content that Eru could create Ungoliant? Or does it 'suit' that maybe she comes from outside Eru's creation?
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 05:52 PM   #14
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,076
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
An interesting rather Gnostic-Manichaean idea, but:

1 "First of all" Iluvatar made the Ainur, "who were with him before aught else was made"

2 In Tolkien's very monotheist worldview, there was nothing before Eru, and nothing which Eru did not create

3 Eru has no equal. By definition. Besides, would Eru have been driven off by a few Balrogs?



Tolkien's treatment of Melkor is characterized by a *heavy* emphasis that this is *not* a dualist universe: Melkor is constantly being reminded that he is a created being (which he hates, and which drives him mad). Ungoliant does seem to be some sort of darkness-elemental, and a deliberate enigma. Tolkien doesn't want us to know exactly what she was, and perhaps never worked it out for himself_ but then (as with Bombadil) he was aware that in the 'real' world there are always bits that don't seem to fit: total systematic consistency is a hallmark of the artificial.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 06:12 PM   #15
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
Legate of Amon Lanc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,560
Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
There's a crucial point - that she came to the world even before Melkor, and 'out of the darkness'. She certainly wasn't a creature created by him, and this also suggests she wasn't one of the Ainur either or what was she doing there before the others?
The problem is, what was she if Melkor "in the beginning (...) corrupted [her] to his service"; obviously whatever powers she had, he was able to get her to serve him (possibly in a similar way he did later when killing the Trees, which is somewhat strange service, nevertheless, she did what he wanted her to, though we know Melkor was a master of persuasion). But mainly, the point that she came before Melkor does not necessarily mean anything: the other Valar came before Melkor did, as far as I know, and there was no particular order in which Valar descended into Arda. So that's a thing I would not put much value to, and for this, she could still remain a perfectly plausible Ainu for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I suppose the thorny question of whether Ungoliant came about before or after Eru created the Ainur could be answered by considering that which you decide depends upon whether you are content that Eru could create Ungoliant? Or does it 'suit' that maybe she comes from outside Eru's creation?
I think it's definitely overstretching to try to find any "besides Eru" thing in Ungoliant: the main problem would be in the words the One at the very beginning of Ainulindalë. Even Genesis is not that explicite in information, where Tolkien is strict (even in Eru's "name"). If we are not agreeing with the fact that she was an Ainu, I would say the best and balanced explanation would be by taking her "from where Tom Bombadil came", as it was suggested in the opening post. We have several things like that here: Tom Bombadil and also from the darker side these "Nameless things" underground - with the latter it is somewhat easier, because we don't know about their beginnings and with a little imagination they can be spawn of Morgoth or some other nonsense, nevertheless, they also do not fit the normal scheme and Gandalf refuses to speak about them (though, it is true he acts like that even in more "conventional" cases like Balrogs and Black Riders and other quite common everyday things). Whatever the case, I wanted to say that the "laws of the universe" do not seem to apply in the case of these characters or things (which, in fact, could even allow the "outside the One" possibility, but in the meaning that they don't have anything to do with the created universe itself and are "aliens" in the whole story, which could be applied very well in TB's case), but if we want to take Middle-Earth, resp. Arda, resp. the Void and everything around it as a consistent world (with inner consistence, and not a world from a story from the outside point of view), and we do not want to accept these characters as belonging to any of the known classes, we have to say, together with the Prof, that even in this world there are some mysteries and these are some of them. Which is not much of a help, definitely, but what can we do.
__________________
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
Legate of Amon Lanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 07:05 PM   #16
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Mysterious as she is, there's no reason to assume that Ungoliante is anything other than an eala with unusually vast latent power.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 02:59 AM   #17
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli View Post
An interesting rather Gnostic-Manichaean idea, but:

1 "First of all" Iluvatar made the Ainur, "who were with him before aught else was made"

2 In Tolkien's very monotheist worldview, there was nothing before Eru, and nothing which Eru did not create

3 Eru has no equal. By definition. Besides, would Eru have been driven off by a few Balrogs?

Tolkien's treatment of Melkor is characterized by a *heavy* emphasis that this is *not* a dualist universe: Melkor is constantly being reminded that he is a created being (which he hates, and which drives him mad). Ungoliant does seem to be some sort of darkness-elemental, and a deliberate enigma. Tolkien doesn't want us to know exactly what she was, and perhaps never worked it out for himself_ but then (as with Bombadil) he was aware that in the 'real' world there are always bits that don't seem to fit: total systematic consistency is a hallmark of the artificial.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate
Whatever the case, I wanted to say that the "laws of the universe" do not seem to apply in the case of these characters or things (which, in fact, could even allow the "outside the One" possibility, but in the meaning that they don't have anything to do with the created universe itself and are "aliens" in the whole story, which could be applied very well in TB's case), but if we want to take Middle-Earth, resp. Arda, resp. the Void and everything around it as a consistent world (with inner consistence, and not a world from a story from the outside point of view), and we do not want to accept these characters as belonging to any of the known classes, we have to say, together with the Prof, that even in this world there are some mysteries and these are some of them. Which is not much of a help, definitely, but what can we do.
And there's the rub.

Tolkien deliberately leaves her origins a mystery. If she comes from Eru then he made her what she is. If she does not, then where does she come from? Your guess is as good as mine Whatever, it only deepens the mystery of the whole creation to have enigmas like Ungoliant and Tom wandering about. Tom is less difficult in that he is generally a good guy, Ungoliant is very difficult indeed as she's so shadowy, both literally and metaphorically.

Still, you cannot deny that there is something extremely powerful in the metaphorical contrast Tolkien sets up between Illuvatar/Light/Life and Ungoliant/Unlight/Death.

I don't have quite such a problem with accepting that there is the possibility that there is another existence besides the one Eru creates. We are told Eru is The One and is Omnipotent, and that is correct, but it might mean that he is Omnipotent within this creation. It does not mean there cannot be other creations, maybe created by Eru. Maybe not.

One thing you can say about characters such as Tom and Ungoliant is that there is someone above Eru. And that's Tolkien. He had the power to drop in these enigmatic characters, to create and destroy far more than Eru did. In answering the question "Well, who made Eru?" your answer is "Tolkien did". These enigmas are Authorial interventions made tangible. They certainly bring a large helping of irony into the work as their very existence calls into question the very cosmological structure Tolkien set up; he is the one who has the power to include or exclude them, they bring questions to his creation, but he still includes them. They also smell strongly of metafiction as they are stories within stories, characters which seem to exist outside this creation but which in reality can only be found within it...Tolkien the Postmodernist...

__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 05:15 AM   #18
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
Legate of Amon Lanc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,560
Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Still, you cannot deny that there is something extremely powerful in the metaphorical contrast Tolkien sets up between Illuvatar/Light/Life and Ungoliant/Unlight/Death.
Well, I must say this Unlight never made as large impact on me as it did on you, not sure whether it was because I already thought Ungoliant as Ainu or it was the other way around that it did not make large impact on me and therefore I had no problems with thinking about Ungoliant as about Ainu. Maybe it has also something to do with the fact that Ilúvatar is not that much of Light/Life for me, but Valar are Light for me (thinking of Varda now especially) and Morgoth is Darkness, in which case Ungoliant is Unlight, simply Un-Varda (vaguely speaking), and Ilúvatar is Death (more than anyone else) and also Life. So we have Ilúvatar Life/Death, Varda Light, Morgoth Darkness, Ungoliant Unlight. The last three seem as if they should have an "odd one out" among them, but seemingly they don't. Hm, so this is it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lal
One thing you can say about characters such as Tom and Ungoliant is that there is someone above Eru. And that's Tolkien.
Yes, but as you see, I touched this matter in my post above. We have two possible points of view: one, all these books are a story written by Tolkien, the world is created by him. Second, all these books are simply a recounting of a story, Tolkien is not the creator, but he recounts something that happened elsewhere. In that case, there is no Tolkien above Eru, but Eru is the One, the One that was before everything else was in that "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" about which Tolkien is giving us his report. You understand me? If we look from the "inside" point of view, we cannot say there was any Tolkien. The answer to what Ungoliant was from the first point of view is easy and creates no problems. The second one seems not as easy (though I still believe she was simply an Ainu ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lal
I don't have quite such a problem with accepting that there is the possibility that there is another existence besides the one Eru creates. We are told Eru is The One and is Omnipotent, and that is correct, but it might mean that he is Omnipotent within this creation. It does not mean there cannot be other creations, maybe created by Eru. Maybe not.
Well yes, but in case all we read about is Eru's creation, then there can be nothing outside it. The first thing that ever "happened" in this universe is that there was Eru (I must say the more I think about this first sentence the more the contrast with the first verse of Genesis appears in front of me - such short sentences and both about something totally different). Okay, let's look at it word after word. Just the first sentence provides quite enough material:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ainulindalë
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.
There was Eru - no problem. There was someone called Eru. It is in no way different from the tales where we are told "there was Bilbo Baggins" or "there was a king and he had three daughters". Nevertheless,
the One - this is a thing that we cannot avoid. He was the One. There were no others, two, three, or seven, or whatever. Now Lal said that he might be One just in the terms of his creation and that there may be something outside his creation. I would call that quite a constrained move, but even then, we never hear anything about other creations or things that would interfere. That much is clear,
who in Arda is called Ilúvatar - he is called Ilúvatar, "all-father", in Arda - now this is an argumant that could go with what Lal said (that he is seen as all-father only in Arda, but maybe not elsewhere), but actually, this destroys the possibility to interpretate the words before "the One" as not having an universal legitimacy. Because if we take the words "who in Arda is called Ilúvatar" the way that he is all-father just from the view of the inhabitants of Arda, the words "the One" create a contrast, and we have: yes, there is someone who is called all-father in Arda, that is, he created all that is in Arda and from the point of view of its inhabitants he created everything. And what about outside Arda? Well outside Arda, he is THE ONE - that is, outside Arda, there is nothing besides him, and not just from the view of the Arda-inhabitants. The words "the One" do not have any "who in Arda is called the One" or "who in the Halls of Ilúvatar is called the One" with them. No, it is plain: he is the One, point.
and he made first the Ainur - now we hear what he made first, one can now start to think whether "first" is to be interpretated here as marking the object (he first made Ainur and then he made something else), or as emphasising the time (that there was nothing before he made Ainur). Whatever the case, this part (and then the holy ones part and what follows) does not concern our current topic that much, I believe, so let's move on;
and they were with him before aught else was made - definitely nothing else was made before. That actually means several things for us, like the fact that Ungoliant (or Tom), if they are not Ainur and if they are not outside Eru's creation, could not have been there earlier than the Ainur. Second, it is interesting whether (in case we allowed the possibility that there are other creations than Eru's) this could be interpretated the way that really nothing else, even things from other creations, were made before Eru made the Ainur. However, even this discovery would not have any relevance regarding the question whether there were such things outside Eru's creation. Nevertheless, mainly from the words "the One" and what follows and taking the context into account, I believe it is not relevant to assume that there were other things outside Eru's creation in the world from the inner point of view.
__________________
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
Legate of Amon Lanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:23 AM   #19
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
Thinlómien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 8,362
Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.
I've read through your argument and neither of you manages to convince me. If you ask me, Lal is imposing too much importance on Ungoliant (considering how small a part she played in the actual legends) while Legate is seeking to label her as an Ainu and neither seems right to me.

So, there has to be some other explanation. Unfortunately, I don't have it. However, I got this intriguing idea that has totally no support from the books. Could Ungoliant have been born of the Music of Ainur? Of Melkor's discord, or of something more planned? Or of the Dark that followed the Music?

~*~

Actually, now that I was eyeing my Finnish copy of the Sil, the translation suggests a new answer. The English passage goes:
Quote:
The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda
and the Finnish translator has translated the word "to descend" in the sense "to be born, be a descendant of somebody" (like "a descendant of Kings") not as "to come down". What if the translator got it correct here? What if Ungoliant was (for some unknown reason) born of the darkness that surrounded Arda?

If Ilúvatar was there first and created everything, he created that darkness as well? So Ungoliant would be a creation of his (in a way) but not his child in the same sense as Ainur or the actual Children of Ilúvatar. Actually, my theory sounds too good at this point. Please show me the loophole(s).


PS. Sorry for the messy structure and flip-floppiness of this post, but I often write and think the same time, not think first and write then. (Ask anyone who's played ww with me. ) I figured editing it all into a consistent post would be too much trouble, so I left it as it stands.
__________________
Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
Double Fenris
Thinlómien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:42 AM   #20
Elmo
Pittodrie Poltergeist
 
Elmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: trying to find that warm and winding lane again
Posts: 659
Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
I thought Tolkien mentioned something like, the tree's fate was woven into all the tales of the Elder Days so she was quite important.
__________________
As Beren looked into her eyes within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies he saw there mirrored shimmering.
Elmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 12:09 PM   #21
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
Legate of Amon Lanc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,560
Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.
Well it does not sound that bad, Lommy, and if I had to accept that Ungoliant is not an Ainu but had to find a definite answer to what she is in Eru's creation, I could go along similar lines as you do. So what if she is not outside Eru's creation, but outside the Music? That would fit very well with the idea of un-Light, as opposite to what goes through the Music. We know Eru placed his own devices inside the Music, yet no one said he could not have done? made? anything else. That could go somehow even with your idea of "being born from the Darkness", however we have to consider one thing that outside the Music (and Arda, subsequently) there was only the Void, which is not even Darkness, not even Un-Light, but it is nothing.

Taking into account that the Ainur were definitely the first thing to be created by Eru, Ungoliant, whatever she was, if she was not one of them, had to be created later. As for Melkor creating her in the Music, it is possible (maybe she in the Music she would have been some attempt to destroy the Light that went wrong and turned away even from him, however in that case again I would see it more logical that she was an Ainu), but the idea of her being something else outside the Music seems more plausible to me, if I had to choose.
__________________
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
Legate of Amon Lanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 01:44 PM   #22
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,622
Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Lommy, that is an intriguing idea! Perhaps those of us who are native English speakers missed the double possibilities of the word "to descend from"! It is even possible that Tolkien, with his wonderful sense of language, intended a double meaning there - both to be born from and to come down. At any rate the thought adds a fascinating facet to the discussion!
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 01:55 PM   #23
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
I don't get what's so difficult and intriguing about Ungoliante and Tom Bombadil. How is there any necessity for an explanation outside of what we know for sure?

If it is this
Quote:
The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda
that is causing problems, just remember that 1) the Atani had beliefs about their own origins that conflicted with other accounts, and possibly with actuality, so the fact that "some have said" something means very little, really; and 2) "the darkness that lies about Arda" is not outside of creation. This origin myth implies only that she entered Arda without receiving an official assignment from Iluvatar; therefore she was neither Vala nor Maia, and thus also not an Ainu. This does not mean that she was entirely unique in nature or even in circumstance, however.

As for Tom Bombadil, I see no reason for him to be anything more than a mysterious character within Tolkien's cosmos. Apart from Tolkien revealing his real-world origins (which necessitates no special conditions for his presence in M-e--after all, Bilbo could have been based on Tolkien's uncle), why is he such an anomaly? What makes his nature so irreconcilable with the rest of Middle-earth?

Now, Beorn I really have a problem with.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 04:40 PM   #24
zxcvbn
Wight
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In front of my PC
Posts: 164
zxcvbn has just left Hobbiton.
What's the problem? Beorn was a Man. Tolkien said so and that's it. Yes, he was a shapeshifter, so you can put him in the same category as the Druedain and the Dale-men(who could talk to birds); Men who had an exceptionally close connection to nature.

As for Ungoliant, I too had once thought that she was a Maia but after re-reading those lines I now think that she was one of the 'nature spirits' that already existed in Arda before the Valar entered it.
zxcvbn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 04:17 PM   #25
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Now, building on what Legate and Lommy have said, you have to pose the question, if Eru was The One and was Omnipotent, then he must also have created the darkness from which Ungoliant may or may not have stemmed? So in whatever conclusion, Ungoliant was created by Eru.

That of course makes you think of Ye Olde Chicken And Egg Question. Eru must have made himself. Aaargh, I feel about 14 again and wondering what all this stuff about God was and how he could possibly have made himself! Taoism...?

*shakes head*

Now, Illuvatar as Light and Ungoliant as Unlight - you only have to look at their names to see the poetic correspondence, Illuvatar is very similar to illuminate, no? But even laying that aside, we have the powerful idea of Eru as the Secret Fire which lies at the very heart of Arda. That to me is enough to forever link the character with Light and Life.

We still cannot rule out the chance that there are other existences than Arda, which may have been created by Eru. After all, not all the Ainur came down to Arda, and we have no concept of how many remained with him, nor do we know if he even needed any Ainur to build worlds. Eru could have created other existences outside the Ainur and the Music (that's a good idea, Legate!).

And now to this thorny matter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate
Yes, but as you see, I touched this matter in my post above. We have two possible points of view: one, all these books are a story written by Tolkien, the world is created by him. Second, all these books are simply a recounting of a story, Tolkien is not the creator, but he recounts something that happened elsewhere. In that case, there is no Tolkien above Eru, but Eru is the One, the One that was before everything else was in that "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" about which Tolkien is giving us his report. You understand me? If we look from the "inside" point of view, we cannot say there was any Tolkien. The answer to what Ungoliant was from the first point of view is easy and creates no problems. The second one seems not as easy (though I still believe she was simply an Ainu ).
Now of course Tolkien was the creator of Eru as he wouldn't have existed if Tolkien had not dreamed him up and committed him to paper. But is that too simple? If you completely give yourself up to the story then Tolkien was not the creator, he was merely telling it. Yet can we do that? Can we as modern readers with critical minds ever truly think that this has a separate existence to Tolkien? I feel the Four Horsemen of Critical Theory coming over the horizon there so I'm not going to think on that one any more tonight...
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 06:11 PM   #26
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
I'm convinced by the suggestion that Ungoliant was a sort of anti-Bombadil incarnate-darkness evil-nature-spirit-in-spider-form. She's clearly not a Maia.
__________________
Stories and songs.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:37 PM   #27
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwathagor View Post
I'm convinced by the suggestion that Ungoliant was a sort of anti-Bombadil incarnate-darkness evil-nature-spirit-in-spider-form. She's clearly not a Maia.
"Spirits" are termed ealar by Tolkien. There's no need for all the mumbo-jumbo, as 1) Bombadil has nothing to do with Ungoliante, 2) there's no reason to assume that Ungoliante was incarnate. You're right that she's "clearly not a Maia," but for the sole reason that she was not in the official service of any Vala; otherwise, her nature as a "spirit"--an eala--was identical to that of the Valar and Maiar.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:55 PM   #28
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
I see Ungoliant as an anti-Bombadil because like Bombadil, Ungoliant appears to not be a specifically created being, but rather an embodiment of forces of nature. Only she's evil.
__________________
Stories and songs.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:11 PM   #29
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Now, building on what Legate and Lommy have said, you have to pose the question, if Eru was The One and was Omnipotent, then he must also have created the darkness from which Ungoliant may or may not have stemmed?
Stemmed? You folks make her sound like a blossom from the Evil tree. "The darkness" was the empty space that "lies about Arda," like the darkness around our own Earth. There's absolutely no reason to make her into some peculiar manifestation of evil.

Quote:
So in whatever conclusion, Ungoliant was created by Eru.
Yep. How is this even an observation worth making?

Quote:
That of course makes you think of Ye Olde Chicken And Egg Question.
No it doesn't. How is this at all corollary?

Quote:
Eru must have made himself.

Aaargh, I feel about 14 again and wondering what all this stuff about God was and how he could possibly have made himself! Taoism...?
Why must he have done so? Any discussion of the origin of things requires the acceptance of something prime, whether it's a singularity, empty space (which, as a multi-dimensional canvas, is manifestly more complex than nothing) or a creative consciousness. Why the illogical meanderings of a 14-year-old mind have any bearing on this discussion, I do not know.

Quote:
We still cannot rule out the chance that there are other existences than Arda, which may have been created by Eru. After all, not all the Ainur came down to Arda, and we have no concept of how many remained with him, nor do we know if he even needed any Ainur to build worlds. Eru could have created other existences outside the Ainur and the Music (that's a good idea, Legate!).
Of course we can. We can rule out the chance because Tolkien never even implied it. We don't have to, though. You're welcome (naturally--you don't need my permission) to imagine all kinds of fan fiction, but it really has nothing to do with Ungoliante.

Quote:
Now of course Tolkien was the creator of Eru as he wouldn't have existed if Tolkien had not dreamed him up and committed him to paper. But is that too simple? If you completely give yourself up to the story then Tolkien was not the creator, he was merely telling it. Yet can we do that? Can we as modern readers with critical minds ever truly think that this has a separate existence to Tolkien? I BLAH BLAH PRETENSION BLAH BLAH so I'm not going to think on that one any more tonight...
Obviously you can. You just proposed (above) that we seriously consider the possibility that Iluvatar had other creative projects from which Ungoliante might have emigrated, despite the fact that Tolkien never indicated that he did, nor even entertained the possibility. In doing this you have removed Tolkien from the creative role, leaving only Iluvatar. You attribute to Iluvatar the power to create without Tolkien's guidance.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:15 PM   #30
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwathagor View Post
I see Ungoliant as an anti-Bombadil because like Bombadil, Ungoliant appears to not be a specifically created being, but rather an embodiment of forces of nature. Only she's evil.
Why do Bombadil and Ungoliante appear not to be created? Iluvatar existed before all else and thus brought all else into being.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:20 PM   #31
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
As I see it, Ungoliant and Bombadil were created incidentally, as manifestations of natural forces.
__________________
Stories and songs.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:32 PM   #32
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwathagor View Post
As I see it, Ungoliant and Bombadil were created incidentally, as manifestations of natural forces.
And why do you see it that way? If it's just because you like the idea, fine. If not, could you please elaborate? Is there any evidence for the theory? Anything that might preclude the possibility that these two are creatures of a more substantiated nature?
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:50 PM   #33
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
I may choose to elaborate later, but I'm not going to waste my time arguing the point with you. Chances are your disagreement with my theory is just a difference in terms.
__________________
Stories and songs.

Last edited by Gwathagor; 01-13-2008 at 11:09 PM.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 04:02 AM   #34
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by obloquy
Stemmed? You folks make her sound like a blossom from the Evil tree. "The darkness" was the empty space that "lies about Arda," like the darkness around our own Earth. There's absolutely no reason to make her into some peculiar manifestation of evil.
I'll say it how I like thanks, but do read what has been posted instead of rushing ahead to 'make your point'. Where did I say the Void or the darkness was 'evil'? Where do I say Ungoliant is 'evil'? In fact I'm saying quite the opposite, that Eru created all these things if we take him as Omnipotent, and if Eru is the creator god of this place then he can't be 'evil' as we mere mortals understand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obloquy
Obviously you can. You just proposed (above) that we seriously consider the possibility that Iluvatar had other creative projects from which Ungoliante might have emigrated, despite the fact that Tolkien never indicated that he did, nor even entertained the possibility. In doing this you have removed Tolkien from the creative role, leaving only Iluvatar. You attribute to Iluvatar the power to create without Tolkien's guidance.
Ha! In being so reductive you miss the essential irony inherent in Tolkien's conceit of this all being translated from existing texts. Of course we know in our superior position as the reader that Tolkien made this all up - but at the same time, an essential element to what he made up is that it isn't made up. Therefore in one sense, as Legate suggests, Eru does have the power to create without Tolkien's influence. These are the fuzzy edges which make Tolkien's work so attractive.

So as not to risk being called pretentious for bringing a little critical theory into this (there's a new one, it's usually me thinking others are pretentious...), it is highly relevant as Tolkien does not tell us outright where Ungoliant stemmed from, and he was also the one who gave us the other parts of our investigation, the omnipotent Eru, the metaphors of Light and Unlight, the existence of the Void, the creator conceit. All of those can be brought to bear on the fun of working out where Ungoliant might come from and what she is.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 07:16 AM   #35
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,076
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Well, perhaps this can be viewed "structurally"? Some propositions:

1) "All Ainur who entered Ea" does not equal "The Valar + Maiar." This is nowhere stated, though often assumed; Maiar I feel confident refers to those lesser Ainur who entered the service of the Valar. This does not include, e.g., the Balrogs, who apparently had already fallen beforehand. Contrast Sauron, who was expressly a Maia of Aule's retinue, and who only (openly) joined Melkor later on.

2) "Ealar" does not necessarily equal "Ainur." Eru it would seem to me was capable of creating sentient spirits within Ea, as opposed to the Ainur who were created before it. E.g. the 'spirits' sent to dwell in the forests and become Ents; or the very anomalous status of Dragons and Eagles.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 09:49 AM   #36
The Might
Guard of the Citadel
 
The Might's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxon
Posts: 2,287
The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
As far as this "result of natural forces" theory is concerned I can see why you would reffer to Bombadil as such and as I stated above I can also well think of Ungoliant as another such result as well.
Indeed there is no clear proof for this, however, in absence of any other better thery for her origin I personally also share Gwathagor's opinion.
__________________
“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”
Delos B. McKown
The Might is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 01:03 PM   #37
Eönwë
Flame Imperishable
 
Eönwë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Right here
Posts: 3,995
Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Eru cannot be light or dark, he is the creator. He created light and dark (and unlight), so how could he be one. I see the Secret fire as life, and a soul/spirit/etc. And anyway, Eru isn't pure good. Remember what he says about Melkor's deeds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoLT
Yet is through him [Melko] and not by him; and he shall see, and all ye likewise, and even shall those beings, who must now dwell among his evil and endure through Melko misery and sorrw, terror and wickedness, declare in the end that it redoundeth only to my great glory, and doth but make the theme more worth the hearing, Life worth living, and the World so much the more wonderful and marvellous, that of all the deeds of Illúvatar it shall be called his mightiest and his loveliest
He cares about his design (the music, its intricacies and beauty), not just good and evil. He made them both (maybe the evil was unintentional, but it spawned of him).

The way I see it, Tom Bombadil and Ungoliant (or Ungwe Liante) are equals. Remember what he says to the barrow wight? When he banishes him to the darkness
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOTR
Get out, you old Wight! Vanish in the sunlight!
Shrivel llike the cold mist, like the winds go wailing,
Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains!
Come never here again! Leave your barrow empty!
Lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness,
Where gates stand for ever shut, till the world is mended
Can you see this? He is banishing him out of Arda, to a place darker than the darkness. And he is opposed to this force, the barrow wight. Who is sort of drinking the hobbits's life (maybe connected to light, like in the Two Trees) (if I remember correctly. And is it hroa or ea I'm talking about here?) and Tom Bombadil sends him away. I think that Tom is the opposite of Ungoliant, who has a similar effect (she drinks the Two Trees' light and life), and Tom brings back light (he saves the hobbits in this case. And the fact that Tom is not affected by the ring, and has no power over it shows he is not a Maia, but also Shelob had a chance to take the ring but she didn't (but how would she have worn it). Tom is banishing the barrow away from him, into the Dark, so he must be in the Light. So he probably is the opposite counterpart.

So basically I think that. Ungoliant is Tom's opposite, and Eru is equal (neither good or bad, but giver and taker of life, more, creator of life).

But also, some questions. "All the deeds of Illúvatar"? are there more. And who is there to call this work "his mightiest and his loveliest". Surely not te Ainhu, because they ae his creations too, so they cannot judge themselves against another creation.
__________________
Welcome to the Barrow Do-owns Forum / Such a lovely place
Eönwë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 01:10 PM   #38
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli View Post
Well, perhaps this can be viewed "structurally"? Some propositions:

1) "All Ainur who entered Ea" does not equal "The Valar + Maiar." This is nowhere stated, though often assumed; Maiar I feel confident refers to those lesser Ainur who entered the service of the Valar. This does not include, e.g., the Balrogs, who apparently had already fallen beforehand. Contrast Sauron, who was expressly a Maia of Aule's retinue, and who only (openly) joined Melkor later on.
If there are other Ainur who were not designated either Maia or Vala (and even CT makes the assumption that the term represents one group with two parts in the Sil index), they were beings that are not referenced in the text--in other words, we have no explicit examples. You may not have meant to imply the contrary, but the Maiar are all those Ainur who served the Valar, not just the lesser ones. Balrogs are also expressly Maiar (See HoMe X, p. 411; also Umaiar: see HoMe X, p. 79), though the names of their prior masters are not given. And, in fact, the whole of the corpus appears to take for granted that "primeval spirit" and variants thereof refer either to a Vala or Maia. Melkor is said to have had many Maiar in his service, and the Balrogs are said to be the greatest of his servants, though they are lesser spirits than Sauron.

Quote:
2) "Ealar" does not necessarily equal "Ainur." Eru it would seem to me was capable of creating sentient spirits within Ea, as opposed to the Ainur who were created before it. E.g. the 'spirits' sent to dwell in the forests and become Ents; or the very anomalous status of Dragons and Eagles.
Ealar does not equal Ainur in the sense that all ealar are not Ainur; yet all Ainur are ealar, so the distinction is not so great as to render two separate groups. The term is defined merely as a naturally discarnate being. I agree with the possibility that some ealar existed in Arda that were somewhat rogue, not adhering to the official roles given to the Valar and Maiar, simply because it seems plausible. However, HoMe X, p. 410 explicates that "only the Valar and Maiar are intelligences that can assume the forms of Arda at will."

The dragons are easily explained either as Maiar incarnated (fully) in shapes of Melkor's design, or shapes animated by Melkor but lacking a true fea. The eagles also provide little difficulty either as somewhat aloof Maiar (and there were plenty of other Maiar even less involved in the affairs of Middle-earth) or as trained beasts. The Ents are admittedly more anomalous, but, in any case, they are not ealar since they are naturally incarnate.

Last edited by obloquy; 01-16-2008 at 11:10 AM.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #39
The Might
Guard of the Citadel
 
The Might's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxon
Posts: 2,287
The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.The Might is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I see quite a lot that speaks for Bombadil and Ungoliant being, if not truly opposed beings, at least of similar origin, but I do not see Eru in any way on the same level.
He has powers way beyond those of the other two. While Bombadil is Master in hiw own land, within the boundaries that he had set, Iluvatar is Master over all the creation.

A few quotes to support this thought:

Quote:
"But Rúmil said: 'Ilúvatar was the first beginning, and beyond that no wisdom of the Valar or of Eldar or of Men can go.' 'Who was Ilúvatar?' asked Eriol. 'Was he of the Gods?' 'Nay,' said Rúmil, 'that he was not, for he made them. Ilúvatar is the Lord for Always who dwells beyond the world; who made it and is not of it nor in it, but loves it.' " ~ BoLT, Music of the Ainu
And also commenting on the "He is." part from FotR he says in a letter:

Quote:
As for Tom Bombadil, I really do think you are being too serious, besides missing the point. [...] You rather remind me of a Protestant relation who to me objected to the (modern) Catholic habit of calling priests Father, because the name father belonged only to the First Person.
Pretty clear that Bombadil is not God and so in a way subordinated to Eru.
__________________
“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”
Delos B. McKown
The Might is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 02:05 PM   #40
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 935
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
I'll say it how I like thanks, but do read what has been posted instead of rushing ahead to 'make your point'. Where did I say the Void or the darkness was 'evil'? Where do I say Ungoliant is 'evil'? In fact I'm saying quite the opposite, that Eru created all these things if we take him as Omnipotent, and if Eru is the creator god of this place then he can't be 'evil' as we mere mortals understand it.
By positioning Ungoliante in opposition to Iluvatar you appeared to be implying that she was the Bad to his Good. If you intend merely to define her without judgment as Unlight (stripping away also the judgment of Iluvatar as Good) then my disagreement is lessened, but I agree with Thinlo and Legate and believe that you accord her more importance than she is due.

It's not a bad point for discussion, however, since it creates an interesting trinity in Iluvatar, Melkor, and Ungoliante: Iluvatar and Ungoliante at opposite ends as Light and Unlight, and Melkor all over the middle, not as Darkness (sorry Legate), but rather as Nihil: creative power inverted. Still, I think that defining Melkor in this way creates an overlap with Ungoliante's status as Unlight and the exaggeration of her importance begins to show more clearly. Melkor is the Enemy, not Ungoliante, and I think that describing Ungoliante as "unlight" without judging her evil is glib: Light and Life go hand-in-hand, as you point out; so, then, do Unlight and Death. If Melkor was evil, it is because of his extinguishing of light and life, and therefore Ungoliante too must be evil as this is her sole purpose.

As for the point of Iluvatar, as creator, being the source of Melkor's theme and its "evil" manifestations, I have posted my thoughts elsewhere: 1, 2, 3

Quote:
Ha! In being so reductive you miss the essential irony inherent in Tolkien's conceit of this all being translated from existing texts. Of course we know in our superior position as the reader that Tolkien made this all up - but at the same time, an essential element to what he made up is that it isn't made up. Therefore in one sense, as Legate suggests, Eru does have the power to create without Tolkien's influence. These are the fuzzy edges which make Tolkien's work so attractive.
No, I do not miss that at all. It has nothing to do with the question I was answering. You asked:
Quote:
Can we as modern readers with critical minds ever truly think that this has a separate existence to Tolkien?
And I pointed out that you had just said:
Quote:
We still cannot rule out the chance that there are other existences than Arda, which may have been created by Eru.
Either we view Tolkien's world as a living thing, the histories of which Tolkien merely transmitted to us, leaving open all kinds of possibilities that he neglected to mention, such as the possibility that "there are other existences than Arda...created by Eru." Or we view it as a finite story, complete despite gaps in our knowledge because what we have is all that Tolkien wrote, in which case there is no possibility of "other existences than Arda..." because Tolkien never directly created them or even implied them.

Last edited by obloquy; 01-14-2008 at 02:10 PM.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:36 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.