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Old 08-08-2022, 08:52 AM   #1
Huinesoron
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Silmaril "Concerning... 'The Hoard'" revealed

Since the '80s, it has been known that Tolkien wrote a long letter in 1964 linking his poem 'The Hoard' (in Adventures of Tom Bombadil) to the legends of the First Age. Excerpts have been printed in a few places, and Hammond & Scull occasionally discuss it in various texts. One of the key things we knew about it is that it contains a late retelling of the death of Thingol, which is notorious as the piece of the Silmarillion that Christopher Tolkien basically had to invent.

Thanks to a brilliant find by Arvegil145 over in the New Silmarillion subforum, we finally get to see the full text of the letter! I've saved off a copy of the transcription (I don't want the version Arvegil linked to to suddenly vanish!), and the key passage runs as follows:

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The Dwarves sent emissaries, and they gazed on the treasure in amazement. After bargaining they agreed to send their best smiths to work at Thingol’s orders but at the price of one tithe of the unwrought metals. The smiths came and laboured long, and among other marvellous works they made the renowned “Necklace of the Dwarves”, of silver, upon which was set in the middle the peerless Silmaril that Beren and Lúthien had won from the Iron Crown of the Dark Lord. But as their work progressed Thingol began to regret the bargain, and in particular he saw that if the tithe was paid in full, not enough would remain for the making of a thing upon which he had now set his spell-distraught heart, and a double throne of silver and gems for himself and Melian the Queen. When the Dwarves had ended their work he [[† demurred?]], offering less than the tithe; or demanding at least that the throne should be made and other treasure given in stead of the silver required.

The Dwarves were angered, all the more because they had themselves come under the dragon-spell. They rejected Thingol’s terms, and refused anything less than the full tithe of treasure of Nargothrond. Unpaid they departed in wrath.
Back in their mountains’ strongholds they plotted revenge, and not long after they came down with a great force and invaded Doriath. This had before been impossible, because of the Girdle of Melian, an invisible fence maintained by the power and will through which no one with evil intent could pass. But either this fence had been robbed of its power by the evil within, or Melian had removed it in grief and horror at the deed that had been done. The dwarf-host entered Doriath and most of Thingol’s warriors perished. His halls were violated and he himself slain.
I find this evolution of the tale really fascinating. The question has always been how the dwarves could pass through the Girdle of Melian to kill Thingol. In the Book of Lost Tales version, the killers were led through by a traitor. In the published Silmarillion, they just up and kill Thingol while still inside. In the 1930 Quenta Noldorinwa, there's no explanation for their entrance: they just get in.

Here in 1964, Tolkien finds a completely new place to lay the blame: it's Thingol's fault! The "evil within... the deed that had been done" is Thingol's breach of his contract with the dwarves, and it is this betrayal that causes the withdrawal of divine protection from Doriath. This is far and away the most pro-dwarvish version of the Ruin of Doriath, with specific discussions of how they (mostly) remained honest even in their attack.

Even more fascinating is that Melian might have done it deliberately, allowing her husband to be killed. Given her recorded live for Thingol, I can't quite see this, and I wonder why Tolkien mentioned it. Could it be intended as in-universe uncertainty - ie, Melian never told anyone what exactly happened, and so the elves are as much in the dark as we are? It genuinely seems like the most likely option.

Also discussed, a couple of paragraphs earlier, is the fate of Hurin's outlaws. The Silmarillion makes no mention of these ruffians, instead having Hurin just bring one necklace from Nargothrond. The 1930 Quenta has a weird situation where the outlaws take the gold from Nargothrond, then kill each other, and so Hurin has to ask for aid from Thingol to carry it all, and then "[bids the bearers] cast it all at the feet of Thingol", which I can only imagine caused some bewilderment among the elves who had brought it. "Concerning... 'The Hoard'" takes the far more logical route of bringing the outlaws all the way to Menegroth, and then having them try to steal the treasure and be cut down by Thingol's guards.

To the best of my understanding, "Concerning... 'The Hoard'" postdates the Grey Annals and the Quenta Silmarillion (and the Wanderings of Hurin, which come close to meeting it in the middle) by over a decade; it postdates the previous version of the Nauglamir/Ruin of Doriath by over three. It is a uniquely isolated fragment of one of the Great Tales, and proof that even when he didn't write anything down, Tolkien was still thinking about the story, solving the problems, and preparing for that increasingly unlikely Final Silmarillion.

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Old 08-08-2022, 10:12 AM   #2
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This letter is interesting for a number of reasons. First, it demonstrates the breadth of the challenge confronted by CRRT when he rapidly assembled The Silmarillion for publication in 1977. The fall of Doriath has received some attention because it was the element least modified from its early conception of all of the Great Tales. When HoME was published over time, some were critical of CRRT for "rushing" the publication of The Silmarillion opining that it may have resulted in JRRT's "final" or "latest" conceptions being omitted. Clearly, CRRT did not have access to this letter (or overlooked it) when preparing The Silmarillion for publication. But if the letter was available, I question whether it would have changed his approach to the fall of Doriath.

CRRT was often faced with differing versions of his father's work. The difficulties he encountered included determining which versions were the latest in time, which were experimental, and which (if any) were final. CRRT admitted this difficulty after the fact. However, it is also clear that JRRT "thought about" revisions to his work with pencil in hand. Witness NoME and the multiple iterations of his musings on time and the aging of the Eldar. Consider his experimentation with a "round world" conception of Arda. I would speculate that CRRT was at least aware of the latter even in 1977, but chose not to attempt to modify his father's stories. To do so would have required both speculation, as well as wholesale drafting, not mere revision, of portions of JRRT's mythos.

A further comment. JRRT was what we Americans would call a "pack rat." He apparently retained a significant portion of his writings, notes and doodles over his lifetime. However, his papers were not well organized. When he was actively drafting, it seems that he sometimes had earlier drafts on hand. But when he was writing down his musings, thoughts and ideas, or writing a letter, he often did not have his drafts available and worked from memory. As a result, details changed. Here, perhaps the discussions of the timing of Thingol's death, when the Dwarves were passing through Doriath's borders, Hurin's attitude towards Thingol and what happened to his band of bandits (for lack of a better term) were not necessarily a "final conception" but rather his best recollection of what he had written before (maybe combined with some real time revision).
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:26 AM   #3
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Yes, I think that is correct on all fronts. Certainly I have run into some JRRT notes written out of his head, which differ wildly from everything else he wrote on the same topic!

CT was indeed aware of the "round-world" conversion which his father had conceived, but it was for him dispositive (and I think rightly) that none of it had attained narrative form. He regarded his role as editing (or "selecting and arranging") what his father had actually written, not what he may have intended to write but never got around to.

That of course left the fall of Doriath in an anomalous place, since the most recent account of it was wholly inconsistent with later material and something had to be done. I don't think that the solution CT and Guy Kay came up with was a bad one at all- although evidently CT felt guilty about it.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for pointing us toward the text: it's fascinating to me how Tolkien's late retelling of one of his most curiosity-provoking tales still reads to my own faulty memory as strikingly similar to the Lost Tales version while being completely set in the much later Silm. The character of Thingol, in particular, seems much meaner and "fallen" here than in CT's retelling (where Thingol still bears fault, but the emphasis is laid on his lordliness). This version, however, is a bit more "Tinwëlint" and goes to show, at the very least, the potency of dragon-curse on the treasure.
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Old 08-09-2022, 01:06 AM   #5
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I agree fully to Formemdacil, that the most fascinating aspect of the text is how Tolkien is able even in such a short summary to draw a clear picture of the potentcy of the dragon sikness and / or the curse of Mîm. First we Thingol dealing with Húrin more lordly then in anyother version, but when he is in possesion of the hoard, the dragon-curse imidiatly works drastically on him as shown when dealing with the outlaws and even more drastically when dealing with the dwarves.

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Old 08-09-2022, 08:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
Clearly, CRRT did not have access to this letter (or overlooked it) when preparing The Silmarillion for publication.
My understanding is that the only copy of the letter is the one that was sent - it looks like it wasn't even known to exist until 1984, when it was first put up for auction. Christopher may well never have read it!

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I don't think that the solution CT and Guy Kay came up with was a bad one at all- although evidently CT felt guilty about it.
Absolutely, especially since Christopher didn't have access to this letter. Something needed to be done about the breach in the Girdle, and JRRT had left no indication of what. I do think he would probably have adopted the letter's version if he had had access to it, though: the "we don't know" concept fits very nicely in my view.

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Here, perhaps the discussions of the timing of Thingol's death, when the Dwarves were passing through Doriath's borders, Hurin's attitude towards Thingol and what happened to his band of bandits (for lack of a better term) were not necessarily a "final conception" but rather his best recollection of what he had written before (maybe combined with some real time revision).
This is definitely a good point, and links to Form and Findegil's comments about the differences in Thingol. Comparing the three stories, I think JRRT was actually largely ignoring the 1930 Silmarillion in this 1960s note: there are a bunch of new ideas in the Quenta which go completely unmentioned:
  • The 'folk of Mim' appear to be occupying Nargothrond, and are killed in the battle.
  • The idea of Hurin's outlaws dying along the road, and Hurin sending to Thingol for help carrying the treasure.
  • The first battle with the dwarves in Menegroth, where many of them are slain. In the Quenta this was the origin of the Mound of Avarice, which in BoLT was raised over the slain outlaws.
  • Melian leaving Doriath to seek aid from Beren and Luthien. In BoLT this was actually Huan's role, while The Hoard attributes it to elves fleeing the battle.

There don't appear to be any specifically Quenta elements which carry across to The Hoard, though there are things from BoLT which are dropped in all later versions (notably the elvish traitor who brings the dwarves to Thingol). It's possible Tolkien didn't have the Quenya with him when writing it, but was going on his memory of it, coloured by BoLT. But there are also a lot of new elements that exist only in "Concerning The Hoard":
  • Thingol locks the treasure in a deep chamber.
  • The whole concept of dwarvish honesty. In BoLT, the dwarves demand massive rewards after the fact, and Thingol punishes them for it. In the Quenta, they try to take all the treasure and there is a battle. In The Hoard, they were promised a specific amount, never demanded more than that, and (other than the Silmaril) took only that much after their victory.
  • The Nauglamir being made of silver. In BoLT it was made of gold.
  • Thingol's specific desire for silver thrones. BoLT has the dwarves make him whatever they want; the Quenta doesn't specify.
  • The weakening/opening of the Girdle to allow the dwarves inside. Previously they were led in by traitor elves.
  • The apparent death of Thingol in Menegroth itself. Both previous versions have him out hunting, and the sack of Menegroth after his death; The Hoard says "his halls were violated and he himself slain".

I don't think we can write all that off as mis-remembering or off-the-cuff elaborations. The 'dwarvish honesty' was clearly constructed to reconcile the older stories with The Hobbit, and Tolkien goes into a lot of detail over it. The silver thrones, too, are a highly specific element which can't have just come out of nowhere. The whole focus on silver (rather than the gold which is the emphasis in BoLT) also sounds like a reaction to The Hobbit, where it is said of Thranduil that "If the elf-king had
a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems". I think either Tolkien had a copy of The Hobbit in front of him when he wrote the letter - or the mention of silver in The Hobbit indicates that he had already decided when he wrote it that Thingol had a thing for silver, and thus his spiritual successor had as well. In either case, it looks like a lot of thought went into "Concerning... 'The Hoard'".

Does Thingol, in the 1964 version of his last acts, come across as noble? Not particularly! But he's not worse than Turgon, who still spends the published Silm sulking in his tower while Morgoth's armies burn it down; and he's definitely doing better than Hurin, who seems to get more destructive each time Tolkien comes back to him.

Thingol's death was a confluence of every curse at play in Beleriand at the time: lust for the Silmaril, dragon-gold, a dwarvish curse, and Morgoth's power over Hurin and his children. I don't think it's out of line with the later Silmarillion for all of that to send him into the state shown in "Concerning... 'The Hoard'", even to the point that Melian herself might be moved to reject him and withdraw her protection.

(Not that Mr. 'I won't kill you, now go invade Angband while I lock my daughter in a tree' was the most noble elf around to start with...!)

hS
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:10 AM   #7
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This is extraordinary. Things are finally coming to light. And this was capital, in my opinion.
But there is something that makes me doubt about the date of the manuscript, and it is the mention it makes of The Sons of the Valar for the Last Battle, in 1964????
It is assumed that circa 1958-60 the idea of the Children of the Valar was abandoned, if I am not mistaken.
There is a first mention of The Hoard in 1961 in a letter to Pauline Baynes.

Could it be that this manuscript is assumed erroneously to be from 1964, as it is attached to the letter, although Tolkien expressly says in it that he attached the said "screed" that "I wrote in answer to your remarks about the poem called The Hoard"?

What do you think?

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Old 08-09-2022, 01:05 PM   #8
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I would fear to put all my stock in "the Sons of the Valar" as a definitive piece of evidence by itself, since it's easy enough to imagine "the Sons of the Valar" as a poetic description of the Host of the Valar rather than a definitive statement of paternity--but, that said, if it turned out that this had, in fact, been sent at an earlier date, that would line up. But the fact that this accompanies a dated letter--it is not dated itself--does seem the heaviest bit of evidence to my mind. Perhaps a Tolkien handwriting expert could weigh in? I am sure there are a few of those by now.
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:43 AM   #9
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Could it be that this manuscript is assumed erroneously to be from 1964, as it is attached to the letter, although Tolkien expressly says in it that he attached the said "screed" that "I wrote in answer to your remarks about the poem called The Hoard"?
It is possible, but not by much. "Concerning" makes direct mention of the Preface to Adventures of Tom Bombadil, which was published in 1962. The very earliest theoretical point "Concerning" could have been written is to send to the publishers along with the Preface, to randomly explain one of the 16 poems in depth (and then not sent, of course). It seems more likely it was written in direct response to a query - as Tolkien says, that he wrote it in answer to Mrs. Elgar's questions.

Some of the discussion over in the New Silmarillion thread has got me thinking about the timeline of the Nauglamir texts. Does this look right?

- 1917-20: "The Tale of the Nauglafring", Book of Lost Tales
- 1926: "Sketch of the Mythology 14"
- ca. 1930: "Quenta Noldorinwa 14" (the 1930s Silmarillion)
- ca. 1951: "Grey Annals 501", given in preface to "Wanderings of Hurin". Cuts off with Hurin seeking Nargothrond and the hoard.
- 'somewhat later': "Narn i Chin Hurin synopsis", also in "Wanderings" preface. Ends with the killing of Mim, and Hurin and the outlaws taking the treasure to Doriath.
- late 1950s: "Kilby slip", mentioned in note 56 to "Wanderings". Slaying of Mim and mention of the ruin of Doriath.
- 1962-4: "Concerning The Hoard"
- 2017: footnote to "Beren and Luthien", in which Christopher Tolkien asserts that there is "a later version" (than the 1930s Quenta) of the story in which the Nauglamir was made for Finrod, and was brought alone to Doriath by Hurin, matching the published Silm.

I think the text referred to in the B&L note (the New Silm folks call it "Text X") most likely predates the Narn synopsis in the mid-1950s. "Text X" has to be a modification of the 1930 Quenta version, in which Hurin's outlaws die off on the road and Hurin has to get Thingol's help to carry the gold - in "Text X", this help is eliminated by having Hurin only bring one thing (or possibly only take one thing all the way, having to abandon the rest of the treasure).

But the Narn synopsis and "Concerning" both revert to the older story of the outlaws going all the way to Doriath. The Narn synopsis isn't 100% explicit on this - it says the outlaws take the treasure to Doriath, but only names Hurin as being admitted - but "Concerning" is. I don't find it plausible that Tolkien would have removed the outlaws, added them back, and then removed them again!

I think the "Kilby slip" stands as an explanation for this: in it, Tolkien notes at some length that the outlaws are significant characters: they are Asg(r)on and his men, who help Turin escape Dor-lomin in the UT version of the Narn, and accompany Hurin during "Wanderings". In BoLT, the 'outlaws' were "wild elves"; it was these characters that Tolkien tried to remove, with the Sketch (which doesn't mention outlaws at all), the Quenta (which kills them along the way), and Text X (which reduces the treasure to a single necklace). But when he expanded the end of the Narn, Tolkien realised that he could restore the outlaws by connecting them to another set who already existed; and there's no evidence he ever walked that decision back again.

hS
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:28 AM   #10
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Yes. I think you are correct in the chronology that you expose, I would add the little that The Tale of Years tells us.

And it's very possible that you are right in what you say about Text X.

I just want to give the benefit of the doubt and a little respect for CT's work. In the absence of evidence on the dating of the damned Text X. After all, it is possible to combine both concepts with little narrative change, using the phrasing of the SIl77 and BoLT/C..TH texts.

In any case, I prefer to see what several people think about it.

And sooner or later, I don't know how but, I suppose the text X will come to light.

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Old 08-10-2022, 05:03 AM   #11
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I just want to give the benefit of the doubt and a little respect for CT's work. In the absence of evidence on the dating of the damned Text X. After all, it is possible to combine both concepts with little narrative change, using the phrasing of the SIl77 and BoLT/C..TH texts.
True - but remember that CT had no idea that "Concerning" existed. In its absence, Tolkien's final word on the matter was a string of notes which either didn't mention the outlaws at all or didn't mention them entering Doriath. If Text X is, say, a 1950s note on one of the older documents (even something as simple as "only Nauglamir?" on the passage about Hurin bringing the treasure would meet the description), then without "Concerning" it would be a logical 'last idea'. With "Concerning" available, it seems likely that Tolkien rejected the concept, at least to me.

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And sooner or later, I don't know how but, I suppose the text X will come to light.
I actually wonder whether it was either part of the "Turins Saga" notes (mentioned in notes to Tale of Years D 503), or a note on Tale of Years D itself. We know Tolkien wrote "cannot" on the invasion of Doriath; an "only Nauglamir?" note against Hurin taking the treasure of Nargothrond would make as much sense. There could even be a correction to 502, from "wrought" to "remade". If these corrections were struck through by Tolkien, that would explain why CT originally used them, then felt guilty enough to write a massive apology in HoME XI, but then was able to refer to them as "a later version" in B&L.

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Yes. I think you are correct in the chronology that you expose, I would add the little that The Tale of Years tells us.
Oh, wow - the TY actually tells us a whole lot! Thanks for catching that. It's silent on the outlaws, but it's great for the other end of the tale. It's the only version in which the dwarves don't take the Nauglamir - because Melian takes it to Beren, so that Beren doesn't have to attack the dwarves (Cel'n'Cur do it instead).

TY also has the "cannot", and the associated note which says "Doriath cannot be entered by a hostile army!", and proposes that Thingol be lured out of Doriath entirely.

I'm not sure on the exact dating of the Tale of Years section. CT indicates it's post-LotR, but also that it predates Letter 247 from 1963 (which has Beren once again taking the Nauglamir from the dwarves). Comparing it to the early-1950s sources, it looks likely to be later than the Grey Annals, but earlier than the "Narn synopsis" - TY makes no mention of the ruin of Brethil, which seems to have first arisen in the synopsis before being expanded in "Wanderings". (The Grey Annals specifically say that Hurin does not go to Brethil.) Since the "Kilby slip" is on the back of some comments on "Wanderings", the TY story definitively predates that.

So the situation seems to be that in the early 1950s, Tolkien considered the Nauglamir story for the first time in a while. He decided to remove the outlaws entirely, remove any breach of the Girdle, remove Beren from the fight with the dwarves, and possibly make the Nauglamir Finrod's.

But then, in writing "Wanderings", he reversed the first decision, making the outlaws a central part of Hurin's tale (as he said in the Kilby slip). By 1963, he had put Beren back in his usual place as well. And by 1964, he had walked back the other decisions too, keeping Thingol inside the Girdle (in Menegroth itself!), and once again having the necklace made for Thingol.

If it weren't for "Wanderings", I would wonder if he simply forgot about the TY changes. But given how closely they must have been written in time, I think it most likely that the various notes attached to "Wanderings" are a deliberate rejection of the no-outlaws version of the story.

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Old 08-10-2022, 06:45 AM   #12
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I think you are right with your analisis.

We don't have any problems with the story after the death of the outlaws.

It seems to me now that the question of the Nauglamir alone or not is related to the existence of outlaws.

But the only evidence we have is that the outlaws always existed (as far as I can remember, and the silence of the TY could be only due to the schematic text).

The only reason to consider is if the outlaws were to Doriath or not.
But taking only the Necklace must be only due to the loneliness of Húrin in Nargothrond.

So the text or notes X must contain a story without outlaws, and in that or those text/notes must be the only ones that consider the Finrod's Nauglamír.

Are you agree with this line of thought?

Greetings

Edited and added. Now I came to my home and was thinking.
When CT published Beren and Luthien, did know that C..TH existed, because C. Scull had show it him in early 80's (if I'm not mistaken). So, I wonder, why did he not mention it in B&L?

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Old 08-10-2022, 09:29 AM   #13
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And another thing. Did you noticed thatTolkien wrote that both Maedros and Maglor perished with a jewel?
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:49 PM   #14
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There are a number of "inconsistencies" between Concerning... The Hoard and The Silmarillion. I have not gone back and compared these to the various HoME versions of tales, but note a few, certainly not all, here in addition to those mentioned above. Again, I question whether these are a matter of JRRT working from memory without his drafts in front of him, whether he was engaging in "stream of consciousness" rewriting or revising his prior work as experimentation, or if this is simply a hurried summary not necessarily comporting to his final conceptions (assuming that there were any on details of his work). Regardless of the date of this note, it is pure speculation to assume that anything in The Hoard represents his "final" decisions.

In The Silmarillion, Hurin does not laugh in contempt at Thingol and leave Doriath, but rather Melian speaks to him, breaking the spell of deceit put upon him by Morgoth, and Hurin apologizes.

The cause of the failure of the Girdle of Melian seems glib and conclusory or confused. Her power failed due to the evil "within" Doriath (which evil, the treatment of the Dwarves or the presence of the treasure?) or Melian lifted it, dismayed at the deed that had been "done" (which deed?). If the latter, I wonder if this is a timing issue. If Thingol had been slain (per The Silmarillion), I can see Melian departing into the West leaving Doriath unprotected. If Thingol was still alive, I doubt that she would simply let the Girdle fail.

The Hoard implies that Galadriel went into the east after the War of Wrath. This was something that was undecided per JRRT's late writings in Unfinished Tales. She may have left Beleriand earlier.

The narrative mentions that after the Darkening of Valinor, the Valar first asked that Feanor turn over the Silmarils, then demanded it after he declined, resulting in his rebellion. This is very inconsistent with prior versions and even implies that some blame for the rebellion of the Noldor rests with the Valar.

The Hoard also seems to imply that Earendil's star rose after the War of Wrath. This may be an interpretation or it may reflect that the summary nature of the document resulted in it being unorganized and ambiguous.

It does make for interesting discussion...
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:51 PM   #15
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It is a long time since I have posted in this forum, even if I have consulted it from time to time. This is because I had lost my password and didn't manage to restore it in any way...

But this conversation is so interesting that I have decided to create a new account.

The dating you are proposing seems to me correct...

To further support it 'Concerning... "The Hoard"' contains the term Dunedain, which is clearly post Lord of the Rings. Right ?

Also, the newly rediscovered manuscript shows clearly the importance of the "hoard theme" for Tolkien and would have created another resonance with the Hobbit.

The stress on silver and not only gold is also interesting as it reflect the differences between the old Tinwelint (with his leaf crown) easily fascinated with gold, and the new Thingol (a rich king), who initially fells for the silver in particular of which evidently he shouldn't have had much...

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Old 08-10-2022, 08:50 PM   #16
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Old 08-11-2022, 02:32 AM   #17
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There are a number of "inconsistencies" between Concerning... The Hoard and The Silmarillion.
It's definitely worth doing a full comparison of "Concerning" with the other texts, but I will point out that:

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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
In The Silmarillion, Hurin does not laugh in contempt at Thingol and leave Doriath, but rather Melian speaks to him, breaking the spell of deceit put upon him by Morgoth, and Hurin apologizes.
Is attested nowhere except the published Silmarillion, and is not mentioned in CT's note on "Text X". Given that literally every other character in the Turin tale ends badly, the fact that Hurin gets a redemption moment feels like exactly the sort of "overstepping the bounds of the editorial function" that CT regretted in his commentary in HoME XI.

Similarly,

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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
The cause of the failure of the Girdle of Melian seems glib and conclusory or confused. Her power failed due to the evil "within" Doriath (which evil, the treatment of the Dwarves or the presence of the treasure?) or Melian lifted it, dismayed at the deed that had been "done" (which deed?). If the latter, I wonder if this is a timing issue. If Thingol had been slain (per The Silmarillion), I can see Melian departing into the West leaving Doriath unprotected. If Thingol was still alive, I doubt that she would simply let the Girdle fail.
There is no narrative by Tolkien which puts Thingol outside the Girdle at his death. This idea was suggested by Tolkien in a single note on the "Turins Saga" sheet, which seems to date from the early 1950s (ie, before the Narn synopsis in my timeline earlier). "Concerning" is ten years later, and should at least be considered as an alternate solution to the question.

Okay: working from memory, here are the differences between "Concerning" and the other latest texts.

Quote:
The story concerns the great hoard of Nargothrond, which contained much of the treasure and works of Elvish art that has been preserved from the wreckage of the Elven-Kingdoms under the assault of the Dark Lord
I don't remember any statements that Nargothrond took refugees and treasures from the other kingdoms; that must mean Mithrim, right?

Quote:
Húrin’s Kingdom was destroyed
Implies Hurin was a king; but could mean "the elvish kingdom Hurin was a lord in".

Quote:
[Turin] fled from Doriath after a deed of violence in the King’s hall, and became a wandering warrior (or knight-errant).
Turin's key act of violence was normally outside Menegroth. The knight-errant phrasing is an interesting one, and puts a different conception on Turin, at least for me.

All the Hurin/Thingol differences previously noted: the outlaws reach Doriath and are slain there, the Nauglamir is silver, Thingol wants silver thrones, no first battle with the dwarves, the Girdle falls due to the evil done inside (which must be Thingol's breach of his oath, contrasted with the "dwarven honesty"), and Thingol seemingly dies in Menegroth.

Quote:
Fugitives from Doriath brought news to Beren in Ossiriand, especially of the rape of the Silmaril. He gathered a force and waylaid the Dwarves on their return march, at a ford across one of “Seven Rivers of Ossir”.
In the Tale of Years, this battle is by the sons of Feanor, with Melian taking the Nauglamir to B&L. Similarly, no two versions agree on who told Beren about the attack.

Quote:
the ship-havens at the mouths of the great River Sirion, where was the last refuge of the remnants of the Kingdoms of Elves and Men
Balar appears to be ignored here, though this looks like just brevity.

Quote:
the Sons of the Valar aided by the remnants of the Elves and the Dúnedain (or Men of Elf-alliance) overcame the Dark Lord
I don't believe the elves are usually said to have joined the Last Battle. "Sons of the Valar" is a phrase which doesn't occur much in later texts, but could easily be metaphorical.

Quote:
the Elf Kingdoms were at an end
Seems to ignore the existence of Lindon.

Quote:
Some passed over the Mountains (e.g. in particular Galadriel) into the lands which are the scene of the Lord of the Rings.
As Mithadan says, Tolkien was very undecided on Galadriel's timeline. This aligns with the text called "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn" in UT; it doesn't match the "very late and partly illegible note... set down in the last month of his life" given just above it.

Quote:
Eärendil, who had first set foot upon the “immortal” land of the Valar, was not permitted to return to mortal lands, but his ship was set to sail in the heavens as a star, lit by the brilliance of the Silmaril.
Again per Mithadan, this kind of implies the Star only rose after the Battle. Given that Earendil was out there shooting down dragons, it's fair to say that this was when he was finally sent upstairs, and it's not a clear enough statement to be a revision.

Quote:
But the last surviving sons of Feänor (Maedros and Maglor), in a despairing attempt to carry out the Oath, stole [the Silmarils] again. But they were tormented by them, and at last they perished each with a jewel: one in a fiery cleft in the earth, and one in the sea.
Per gondowe, this seems to be the only source for the death of Maglor. It also uses the name "Maglor", at a time when Tolkien seems to have switched over to "Maelor"; I'm not sure what the situation is with "Maedros".

Quote:
The “War of the Rings” is, as it were, a breaking out again of the “Wars of the Jewels”, though in a different mode.
This is an interesting concept! I don't remember him saying it elsewhere, and it certainly puts a different spin on the Third Age: not a great conflict in its own right, but the last ragtag end of the battles of the First Age.

Quote:
The Silmarils were made by Feänor, greatest of the Elves, and chief of all craftsmen, originally with no motive but the making of beauty.
HA! Does anyone believe that?

Quote:
when the Valar commanded him to relinquish them (since the light which gave them their beauty and sanctity was theirs, and had only been lent to him) he became obdurate, and rebelled
This is certainly based on Tulkas' words, and Feanor's, but the explicit command isn't one I remember being in other sources. Tolkien was drifting towards a less pro-Manwe view, so it's possible this was an actual shift; but I think this story was told again after "Concerning", so probably just a compression. (What they actually did was imply they would command him, which led to his rant comparing them to Melkor.)

Quote:
Feanor then with his Seven Sons, swore the abominable Oath, to hold anyone Elf or Vala, even the One, his enemy if they held or retained a Silmaril and did not surrender it.
I don't think there's another version of the Oath which holds Iluvatar as an enemy if he takes a Silmaril; most of them just call him as witness. And, y-i-i-i-kes.

Quote:
Morgoth’s triumph became almost complete. All the Kingdoms of Elves and their allies were destroyed. Beleriand was ruined and ravaged. Only the capture of one Silmaril by Beren and Luthien marred his success. It came at last to the remnant of the Elves of the “Mouths of Sirion”, and so to Eärendil — and so brought the vengeance of the Valar upon him at last — when it was surrendered to the Valar, and set out of reach of Elves and Men.
A really interesting footnote; because of the Silm's focus on the refugees, I don't usually register the completeness of Morgoth's victory. I also note that the Silmaril was "surrendered to the Valar"; I don't recall that phrasing before, usually Earendil just sort of uses it to get to them and then keeps it.

Quote:
The Silmarils had become to Feanor symbols and instruments of power: he called himself “the lord of the lights”.
Feanor getting in on the too-many-names game. This is presented totally out of order (unless Feanor lived to the end of the First Age! There's no mention of his death in LotR, you know. ), and I can only imagine he used it in Formenos. Probably wrote it above the door: "Welcome to Formenos, House of the Lord of the Lights; abandon humility, all ye who enter here".

Hmm... apart from the death of Maglor, and the whole Nauglamir section, all of these strike me as reasonable compression of the "text" at the time. They're not always the latest comments Tolkien had - see Galadriel - but they don't seem wildly at odds with 1964 Tolkien. Though like I said, I'm working from memory, so I wouldn't be surprised if I'd got an error or two in there.

hS
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Old 08-11-2022, 02:47 AM   #18
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I agree to the idea that the Nauglamir being made for Finrod and being the only treasure transproted by Húrin alone to Doriath, is a nice 'end point' for the line of development in in which the fight of the Outlaws in Menegroth was eliminated. And with the story as told in Concerning ... 'The Hoard', where JRR Tolkien removed the fight of the Dwarvish smiths in Menegroth the elimination of the Outlaws became 'unnecessary', since one fight in Thingols Halls before his fall is okay but two are too much.

But as long as we have no farther info about what we call Text X, it is still speculation. Tolkiens motive for the Nauglamir made for Finrod could be completly diffrent. Over all we see a constant expansion of the role the Dwarves play in the stories of Beleriand. And a development from more doubios race to the noble children of Aulë. In that 'line of development' the earlier history of the Nauglamir could be a way to enhance the dwarfish claim for the necklace.

But that is as well specutlation, and according to the sound principle that in complex matter the theroy should be as simple as possible, I agree that Text X most likely was later then the other sources but predated Concerning ... 'The Hoard'.

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Old 08-11-2022, 04:33 AM   #19
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Per gondowe, this seems to be the only source for the death of Maglor.
Letter 131 is another source:
"The remaining two Silmarils are regained from the Iron Crown — only to be lost. The last two sons of Fëanor, compelled by their oath, steal them, and are destroyed by them, casting themselves into the sea, and the pits of the earth. The ship of Earendil adorned with the last Silmaril is set in heaven as the brightest star. So ends The Silmarillion and the tales of the First Age."

and compared with Concerning the Hoard:
"The other two Silmarils were also taken by the Valar from the crown of Morgoth. But the last surviving sons of Feänor (Maedros and Maglor), in a despairing attempt to carry out the Oath, stole them again. But they were tormented by them, and at last they perished each with a jewel: one in a fiery cleft in the earth, and one in the sea.
So the three Silmarils were lost for ever “until the remaking of the world”: in air, earth, and sea. Thus ended the First Age."

Edit:
Going through Letter 131 similar comparisons in verbiage can be drawn, e.g.:
"The chief of the stories of the Silmarillion, and the one most fully treated is the Story of Beren and Lúthien the Elfmaiden."
Letter 131

"The most important “tale” in this [[† network?]] of legend is that of Beren and Lúthien, but as that is sketched in the Lord of the Rings it is not told here."
Concerning...
et.al.
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Old 08-11-2022, 07:04 AM   #20
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I agree with Findegal that having Hurin transport to Doriath only the Nauglamir (with the corresponding following events that the Dwarven smiths slew Thingol in his treasury, and, later, the Dwarves assault Doriath presumably after the Girdle falls) is the smoothest narrative presenting the fewest problems. What, in our view, works best does not equate to what JRRT would have written and therein lies the dilemma.

Whether The Hoard or any other note or fragment was Tolkien's final conception is and will likely always be a matter for debate. The quirks and different versions of the tales presented in The Hoard are worthy of discussion, analysis and debate. But I am now of the school holding that unless the mythical "final draft" or "final outline" by Tolkien emerges, there is no certain resolution. Latest in time is, to me, not enough. This does not mean that we should not ponder what that missing or nonexistent final draft might or might not include and discuss why.
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Old 08-11-2022, 08:12 AM   #21
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I agree with Findegal that having Hurin transport to Doriath only the Nauglamir (with the corresponding following events that the Dwarven smiths slew Thingol in his treasury, and, later, the Dwarves assault Doriath presumably after the Girdle falls) is the smoothest narrative presenting the fewest problems. What, in our view, works best does not equate to what JRRT would have written and therein lies the dilemma.

Whether The Hoard or any other note or fragment was Tolkien's final conception is and will likely always be a matter for debate. The quirks and different versions of the tales presented in The Hoard are worthy of discussion, analysis and debate. But I am now of the school holding that unless the mythical "final draft" or "final outline" by Tolkien emerges, there is no certain resolution. Latest in time is, to me, not enough. This does not mean that we should not ponder what that missing or nonexistent final draft might or might not include and discuss why.
Since we are, thankfully, not Christopher Tolkien trying to publish a version of the Silmarillion faithful to his father's "true" vision, there's a lot less pressure on us to figure out exactly what is going on in these various texts...

... but it is still confusing to me that so many Downers are trying to work "Text X" and Finrod's Nauglamir into the 'final' conception.

Christopher Tolkien literally wrote a multi-page essay apologising for using that version of the story. It wasn't until 2017 that he ever mentioned that there was any JRRT source for it. Yes, it's possible to construct a scenario whereby it has priority over "Concerning", or the two stories should be merged, or whatnot, but every single relevant JRRT text we have access to, across more than 40 years, confirms that the Nauglamir was made for Thingol. There is no source even hinting at an earlier origin until 2017. (The published Silmarillion introduction of the necklace is derived from the BoLT description, for instance - the 'flax' sentence is very distinctive.)

Honestly, given the apology note, the most likely scenario is that 2017 CT mis-remembered, and Finrod's Nauglamir was invented for the published Silm. Failing that, I think my theory of it being a brief note in the pre-"Wanderings" material holds up. I've not seen any evidence of a substantial, definitive "Text X" which should displace "Concerning".

There are certainly parts of "Concerning" that need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Thingol dying on a hunt is common to every full version of the tale, so it's plausible that Tolkien simply forgot to mention that Thingol was killed prior to the Girdle falling, and had to tack it onto the end of the sentence. The loss of the "Tale of Years" story whereby the battle with the dwarves is shifted to Celegorm & Curufin (in this and another letter) seems likely to be him forgetting the proposed change entirely, or simply wanting his letters to align with his manuscripts rather than his jottings. But in the absence of any other evidence, and with CT's note in HoME XI to go by, I can't believe that Finrod's Nauglamir was ever more than a passing notion.

(As to the outlaws attacking Thingol and being killed... it kind of fits with the whole Narn, to my view. Asg(r)on is a sympathetic character who helps Turin and joins the lawful Lord of his house; he's only an 'outlaw' from the occupiers. But every single sympathetic character who attaches themselves to Hurin or his children winds up destroyed by the end of the story, so why would Asg(r)on be any different?)

hS
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Old 08-11-2022, 09:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
Letter 131 is another source:
"The remaining two Silmarils are regained from the Iron Crown — only to be lost. The last two sons of Fëanor, compelled by their oath, steal them, and are destroyed by them, casting themselves into the sea, and the pits of the earth. The ship of Earendil adorned with the last Silmaril is set in heaven as the brightest star. So ends The Silmarillion and the tales of the First Age."
Good catch, the ever-present letter helping us again. I, accustomed to the translation into Spanish, had not noticed it.

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Old 08-11-2022, 09:59 AM   #23
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What does the Spanish translation make it say?
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Old 08-11-2022, 11:13 AM   #24
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The same. But in the understanding is ambiguous. Could mean only the jewels were cast. and is a passage that can be easyly overread.
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Old 08-12-2022, 05:39 PM   #25
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I don't remember any statements that Nargothrond took refugees and treasures from the other kingdoms; that must mean Mithrim, right?
Tiny side-point: Mithrim could certainly be part of the source for the treasure and refugees here, particularly after the Nirnaeth, but it's hardly alone: Nargothrond is the last bastion of the wider Finarfinian realm, and was the last-built part of it--there was Dorthonion and Minas Tirith, each with a Finwëan or two resident, and it's quite probable that there were Elves once settled across West Beleriand who retreated to Nargothrond after the Bragollach, and we're told in the published Silm that the Finarfinians brought the greatest number of treasures with the out of Valinor.

And there's also the Fëanorians: Celegorm and Curufin, obviously, with plenty of indications that some of their people (see: Celebrimbor) and maybe things stayed behind when they were driven out by Orodreth after the death of Finrod.
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:05 PM   #26
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( . . .) There is no narrative by Tolkien which puts Thingol outside the Girdle at his death. This idea was suggested by Tolkien in a single note on the "Turins Saga" sheet, which seems to date from the early 1950s (ie, before the Narn synopsis in my timeline earlier). "Concerning" is ten years later, and should at least be considered as an alternate solution to the question.
I note that you write "seems" to date from the 1950s, and I've no problem with that. I'm just wondering if these notes could be later, perhaps even very much later . . . so, anything preventing this?

I couldn't find Hammond and Scull attempting to date 'em. Christopher Tolkien explains that the word "cannot" [invasion of Doriath] "may well have been written against the entry for 503 in The Tale of Years at the same time as this." And "this" refers to the note about Thingol being lured outside his borders (and slain), which is said to be written at the same time as the other "Turin's Saga" page of notes.

So (unless I've missed something obvious), I can't yet find a certain connection to these ideas and the dating of the Tale of Years. That's not to say I think your chronology is not well thought out, I'm just wondering how certain we can be.

For example, there's a marginal note to section 149 of The Annals of Aman (the typescript, itself dating about 1958) that seems very late indeed -- judging by the content, I would say the note itself is post 1967.

Anyway, again just wondering'
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:17 PM   #27
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Honestly, given the apology note, the most likely scenario is that 2017 CT mis-remembered, and Finrod's Nauglamir was invented for the published Silm. Failing that, I think my theory of it being a brief note in the pre-"Wanderings" material holds up. I've not seen any evidence of a substantial, definitive "Text X" which should displace "Concerning".
I wouldn't dismiss Text X's existence out of hand, however; there are mountains of JRRT manuscripts which have never been published, neither in HoME nor anywhere else. Although sometimes I suspect Christopher would have published every scrap had he been able to, in reality he was constrained both by deadlines and length limitations (IIRC, one of the volumes of HME had to be substantially rewritten to fit it within the set page cap)
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Old 08-13-2023, 09:00 AM   #28
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Hurin is the cause of the fall of Doriath!

From the Translations from the Elvish forum:

In all my time reading about the numerous arguments over the CtH, I've yet to see this one (which to me, at least, seems obvious as day):

Could the evil within mentioned as a possible cause for the downfall of the Girdle of Melian in Concerning... 'The Hoard' be as simple as Hurin's sheer admittance to Doriath?

That man, after he was released from Angband, has been a walking, talking doomsday device for anyone and anything close to him.


While I originally despised Turgon for not admitting Hurin into Gondolin immediately - given all the things he has done to save Gondolin's hide - I now honestly think that it might have been for the best.

Hurin, just by his sheer presence in the vicinity of Gondolin managed to tip off Morgoth to Gondolin's general location - after which, it was only a matter of time until Gondolin itself was found.

But given the fact that every realm (and people!) who had given him any acceptance after his release ended up absolutely demolished, it makes me think that Gondolin would've somehow manage to fall to ruin even earlier than had Turgon not hesitated about letting him in: which would've essentially killed all hope (i.e. Earendil) that the people of Beleriand had.

After all, Hurin's epithet Thalion ("Steadfast") goes both ways - steadfast in friendship and loyalty (almost to an insane degree), and steadfast in utter hatred and destruction of all that he deems responsible for his family's demise (real or imagined).


One other thing - the dragon-spell(s) is very much a real thing in Tolkien's universe (evidenced by this text and The Hobbit, as well as The Children of Hurin): which makes Hurin even scarier and his raw hatred for everything and everyone even more formidable, given the fact that he single-handedly managed to control this group of hardened warriors/outlaws no doubt possessed by the dragon-spell with his sheer presence alone - with the outlaws only giving in to temptation of the (Dragon)-hoard of Nargothrond (and the resultant battle with Thingol's guards) after Hurin leaves.

Anyway - just a cool little detail.
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Old 08-14-2023, 02:31 AM   #29
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Could the evil within mentioned as a possible cause for the downfall of the Girdle of Melian in Concerning... 'The Hoard' be as simple as Hurin's sheer admittance to Doriath?

That man, after he was released from Angband, has been a walking, talking doomsday device for anyone and anything close to him.
The combined effect you're talking about - Morgoth's curse + Glaurung's spell + Mim's spell + Hurin's curse (on Thingol) - certainly seems metaphysically potent. Is there precendent for a powerful force like this negating an opposing force?
  • Finrod's grave is said to be protected, apparently by his redemptive sacrifice. On the other hand, Finduilas' and Morwen's graves are also protected, and they mostly just moped.
  • Numenor's ships lost their protection after they began their slide into the Dark, but I always thought that was a decision of the Powers, not a spell breaking in their despite.
  • Beren and Carcharoth both breached the Girdle itself - Beren because his Doom was stronger than Melian's power, and Carcharoth because of the Silmaril.

I don't feel like a simple "evil spell" explanation quite fits the setting of Middle-earth, but what does fit is the idea that the Girdle was opened specifically to Thingol's Doom. If Morgoth had launched an attack at the same time as the Dwarves, he would still have been kept out; but under the pressure of all those evil spells, Thingol had chosen his Doom. He didn't know that was what he was doing, but he chose to follow greed rather than honour. When the consequences of that choice came for him, even a Maia couldn't stop them.

Which makes me think the most direct parallel might be the death of the Witch-King. He too was under a spell of protection, and from the text of RotK it was broken by a combination of a special weapon ("No other blade... would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter"), and a Doom which the victim was aware of and knowingly chanced himself against ("not by the hand of man will he fall", indicating that he will fall somehow).

But that does run me directly into the question of Doom ("Thingol's fate was sealed") vs narrative imperative ("after Thingol fell so badly from grace he had to get his comeuppance") vs the demands of plot ("the Girdle had to break so the Silmaril could end up with Earendil"). They're very difficult to tell apart.

hS
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Old 08-14-2023, 04:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
The combined effect you're talking about - Morgoth's curse + Glaurung's spell + Mim's spell + Hurin's curse (on Thingol) - certainly seems metaphysically potent. Is there precendent for a powerful force like this negating an opposing force?
  • Finrod's grave is said to be protected, apparently by his redemptive sacrifice. On the other hand, Finduilas' and Morwen's graves are also protected, and they mostly just moped.
  • Numenor's ships lost their protection after they began their slide into the Dark, but I always thought that was a decision of the Powers, not a spell breaking in their despite.
  • Beren and Carcharoth both breached the Girdle itself - Beren because his Doom was stronger than Melian's power, and Carcharoth because of the Silmaril.

I don't feel like a simple "evil spell" explanation quite fits the setting of Middle-earth, but what does fit is the idea that the Girdle was opened specifically to Thingol's Doom. If Morgoth had launched an attack at the same time as the Dwarves, he would still have been kept out; but under the pressure of all those evil spells, Thingol had chosen his Doom. He didn't know that was what he was doing, but he chose to follow greed rather than honour. When the consequences of that choice came for him, even a Maia couldn't stop them.

Which makes me think the most direct parallel might be the death of the Witch-King. He too was under a spell of protection, and from the text of RotK it was broken by a combination of a special weapon ("No other blade... would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter"), and a Doom which the victim was aware of and knowingly chanced himself against ("not by the hand of man will he fall", indicating that he will fall somehow).

But that does run me directly into the question of Doom ("Thingol's fate was sealed") vs narrative imperative ("after Thingol fell so badly from grace he had to get his comeuppance") vs the demands of plot ("the Girdle had to break so the Silmaril could end up with Earendil"). They're very difficult to tell apart.

hS
Is Mim's spell still a thing at this late point?


But in general, I wasn't really talking about curses, whether Mim's, Glaurung's or even Morgoth's.


Hurin strikes me as a kind of harbinger of Doom at this point: as, if he knocks at your door and you let him in freely and give him food and shelter, your fate is sealed.

I don't really know why or how the mechanics of something like that would work in Tolkien's legendarium, but it has been my impression of his character (after his release from Angband) for years.
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Old 08-14-2023, 08:31 AM   #31
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Is Mim's spell still a thing at this late point?
Probably. Val Balmer has plausibly dated "The Complaint of Mim the Dwarf" to the same era as "Concerning... The Hoard", and apparently the very title of that work is a reference to The Ring of the Nibelung. There's a solid theme linking Mim to cursed treasure; it seems unlikely Tolkien would have abandoned it.

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But in general, I wasn't really talking about curses, whether Mim's, Glaurung's or even Morgoth's.
And the Oath of Feanor, which curses anyone who claims a Silmaril. And the Doom of Mandos, which Thingol is explicitly said to be entangled in by taking the Silmaril. Probably not the curse Celegorm lays on Beren, though it may be the only curse Thingol isn't under at this point.

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Hurin strikes me as a kind of harbinger of Doom at this point: as, if he knocks at your door and you let him in freely and give him food and shelter, your fate is sealed.
Definitely Hurin showing up is a harbinger in an external sense - Tolkien wanted everything to fall before him. But I'm not sure I agree that it is internally. I can't think of any Tolkien examples of someone doomed to ignoble death purely by doing good. Good people can surely die - Finrod is a prime example - but to meet a wretched end like Thingol does they have to invite it on themselves by acting badly. Welcoming Hurin doesn't fit that model:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerning... The Hoard
Húrin cast it before the feet of King Thingol in a proud gesture of scorn, saying that as “the Lord of the House of Hador” (Húrin) vowed not be beholden to an elf-King for the fostering of his son, nor the harbouring of his wife and daughter. “Here is your fee! More than enough, maybe, for services so meanly performed; but hold me now out of your debt and friendship!”

Thingol was amazed at the insult, but answered with patience and courtesy, saying he wished for no ending of friendship with Húrin, whose name was honoured among Elves and Men for his great valour in the last Great Battle, and near all Elves and Men had been rather in his debt ever since. But Húrin laughed in contempt and went out, unmolested, into the night.
Promptly massacring the Outlaws might qualify though. Being under the influence (not control) of a malevolent force is not typically an excuse in Middle-earth - see Gollum.

hS
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Old 08-14-2023, 08:33 AM   #32
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Cross-posting this from the TftE forum.

It still seems to me that admitting Hurin to Doriath was not an evil deed but only a foolish one. Moreover, if we are considering Morgoth's curse, it had already been admitted to Doriath years earlier when Turin was accepted as a fosterling.

If I'm analyzing the story in a writerly mode, the danger I see with the "evil deeds" explanation is that it may feel too ad hoc - that it feels as if the Girdle fails for no reason other than that this is the moment in the story when the author needs Doriath to be invaded by a hostile force. For me, the notion of the cursed treasure itself being the thing that gnaws away at the strength of the Girdle from within offers a satisfying narrative solution.
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Old 08-14-2023, 08:57 AM   #33
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The crucial point for me here is that "the cursed treasure theme" is very important for Tolkien: it is present in Beowulf and in the Volsunga Saga and Tolkien wants it to have a place in his legendarium...

The Hoard poem itself is a statement of importance for this theme.

It already had a place, of course, in the Hobbit (with the effect of the Dragon sickness on Thorin) and it is there lingering in the Lord of the Rings (with Tom Bombadil exposing the gold of the Barrow-downs), but it was lost in the Silmarillion by having Hùrin only bringing a single necklace.

Having the whole treasure as the trigger of the Ruin of Doriath, maybe because bathed in the blood of the outlaws, creates a new resonance between the Hobbit and the Silmarillion.

There we have the same characters (in a way their descendants: Thraduil and Thorin vs Thingol and Naugladur) affected by the same dragon cursed treasure...

By the way, there is also a resonance with The Lord of the Rings as the hate between Sindar and Dwarves is only cured by the friendship of Legolas and Gimli in the Lord of the Rings...

I find these echoes fuller by considering the treasure of Nargothrond in his right place at the feet of Thingol...
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Old 08-14-2023, 04:50 PM   #34
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I'm not convinced that the mysterious "Text X" has to date from the 1950s.
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