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Old 09-22-2022, 12:53 PM   #1
Arvegil145
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Sting Beren in Dagor Dagorath

So, in his 1958 cursory revision of the Quenta, Tolkien somewhat changed its conclusion, that is, the Second Prophecy of Mandos. (p. 247 of The War of the Jewels)

Some of the changes are:

1) in the revised version, Turin doesn't return from the Halls of Mandos, but from the Doom of Men (from beyond the Circles of the World, from outside of Ea in other words)

2) in the previous version, it was Yavanna who broke the Silmarils and rekindled the Two Trees - in this one, it is Feanor himself who breaks them

3) Tolkien rejected the last two sentences, which go like this:

In that light the Gods will grow young again, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Il˙vatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy of Mandos doth not speak, and no Man it names, save T˙rin only, and to him a place is given among the sons of the Valar.

4) and the final change, or rather an addition, which inspired me to make this thread since I couldn't find any discussion about it online: Beren returns at the end of time!

I guess the purpose of this post is to find out what others might think of this, frankly quite weird addition.

Personally, after spending way too much time thinking about this, my headcanon is that, at that time in Tolkien's life, while Turin was there at the end of the world in order to kill Morgoth (with Gurthang, 'Iron of Death'), Beren might have been intended to vanquish Sauron (maybe with Dagmor, 'Slayer of Darkness', his sword?). (Well, never mind the fact that I don't know of any text that places Sauron at Dagor Dagorath, even though I think it is not completely unreasonable to assume this).

From what I gathered from the many different versions of the end times, it seems that in every one of them Morgoth is vanquished permanently (as in wiped from the face of...well...everything - that is, his very spirit and essence seem to be annihilated). This led me to believe that Sauron, the next in line to Morgoth, so to speak, might suffer the same fate, perhaps by none other than Beren Camlost (who is also thematically tied to Sauron in many, many ways).

So, what do you folks think?
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Last edited by Arvegil145; 09-22-2022 at 12:57 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:34 AM   #2
Huinesoron
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Oh wow!

So I've started out by taking the Second Prophecy from HoME V.333 and making the amends Christopher lists in XI.246-7. The latest Second Prophecy, including Tolkien's added sub-heading, looks like this:

Quote:
The Second Prophecy of Mandos

31 - Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor, and the rumour of his words was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and Moon. But Earendel shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Eonwe, and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, and Beren Camlost, returning from the Doom of Men at the ending of the world; and the black sword of Turin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the children of Hurin and all Men be avenged.

32 - Thereafter shall Earth be broken and re-made, and the Silmarils shall be recovered out of Air and Earth and Sea; for Earendel shall descend and surrender that flame which he hath had in keeping. Then Feanor shall take the Three Jewels and bear them to Yavanna Kementari; and he will break them and with their fire Yavanna will rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth. And the Mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the Light shall go out over all the world.
("And Beren Camlost" isn't precisely located; it could go after 'returning from the Doom of Men at the ending of the world'.)

What immediately jumps out is that the only hint of a full-scale battle is that it is "gathered on the fields of Valinor". The only enemy combatant named is Morgoth: he breaks through the Door of Night, destroys the Sun and Moon, is forced down into Valinor, and fights Tulkas, Eonwe, Turin, and Beren. Are there armies of orcs and elves involved, with captains and hosts and all that jazz? Tolkien doesn't say, and it's actually hard to imagine how the orcs could get to Valinor in the first place. In any case, Beren is specifically said to be facing Morgoth.

Perhaps the "battle" is simple a clash between the two great Powers: Tulkas, who has spent the life of Arda preparing for this battle, and Morgoth, who has spent it nurturing his rage. I can imagine Eonwe's only task is to try and contain the battle, so that all of Valinor isn't destroyed outright (though quite possibly devastated, given that immediately afterwards 'the Earth shall be broken and remade'). That makes Turin and Beren the Little People - small, unnoticed actors who can nevertheless change the course of the battle.

Because Tolkien's great victories don't usually come through standing on a battlefield in single combat. Beren retrieved the Silmaril while Morgoth slept; Turin hid and struck Glaurung from below; Merry stabbed the Witch-King in the back so Eowyn could take him out; and of course the whole War of the Ring was a vast diversion to keep Sauron from noticing Frodo and Sam pushing his self-destruct button. Would the Final Battle be any different? I mean, heck, Beren Camlost would never be seen on a battlefield if he could possibly be unseen instead.

I feel like the most canonical thing for Beren and Turin to do would be: a) argue, b) wait until Morgoth is entirely distracted by his imminent victory over Tulkas, and then c) have Beren stab him in his wounded foot so that he leans down and Turin can get in there with Gurthang.

(Or they could chase him up a tree, which is always my favourite version of the story.)

Actually, that thread is the one where I collected all the Dagor Dagorath sources I could find; I'll probably go back and add in this one, because I never spotted that Tolkien had edited it before! It includes what I suspect is the last Dagorath text from HoME XII "The Problem of Ros":

Quote:
...Turin in the Last Battle should return from the Dead, and before he left the Circles of the World for ever should challenge the Great Dragon of Morgoth, Ancalagon the Black, and deal him the death-stroke.
So late-stage Tolkien was thinking of a more general battle. If Turin is taking on Ancalagon (as well as Morgoth), perhaps Beren should face his own monster? A Wolf would be more of an iconic foe for him than Sauron, especially since the quote names him Camlost, after his missing hand. Perhaps he's there for a rematch with Carcharoth - or, yes, Wolf Sauron, bigger and badder and grumpier than before.

hS
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Old Yesterday, 07:00 AM   #3
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Shield

Whoa, what a thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Because Tolkien's great victories don't usually come through standing on a battlefield in single combat. Beren retrieved the Silmaril while Morgoth slept; Turin hid and struck Glaurung from below; Merry stabbed the Witch-King in the back so Eowyn could take him out; and of course the whole War of the Ring was a vast diversion to keep Sauron from noticing Frodo and Sam pushing his self-destruct button. Would the Final Battle be any different? I mean, heck, Beren Camlost would never be seen on a battlefield if he could possibly be unseen instead.
Literally even before I saw Hui's answer my thought was something along these lines. Beren (and T˙rin?) being the Merry to Tulkas's ╔owyn, so to speak.

But of course the concept of Dagor Dagorath itself is in this sense very un-Tolkien-y: it is hard to imagine anyone pulling some Frodo trick in the middle of a battle that is literally meant to be a battle and nothing else (note the word root "dagor" repeating twice). The equivalent being... hm hmm... well, "pulling a Frodo trick" would mean destroying the Ring while the Enemy is otherwise occupied, ergo... ergo while Tulkas distracts Melkor, Beren - who after all was apt at stealing Simarils from under others' noses - destroys Morgoth's 'Ring'! Oh wait... Morgoth's Ring... where have I heard that...

Okay, seems like I inadverently devised an unexpected twist version of Dagor Dagorath, where somehow, while the supernatural powers are concerned with their massive battle of cosmic proportions, the humble Men, the humble Children of Eru, represented specifically by Beren, steal and destroy Arda, thus bringing about the victory of the 'good guys'. You're welcome.

(Yeah, this is my self that relishes in absurd drama and dadaism speaking here: I have no idea how this would actually come to be, but I just accept the notion that it would. The rest are details.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
So late-stage Tolkien was thinking of a more general battle. If Turin is taking on Ancalagon (as well as Morgoth), perhaps Beren should face his own monster? A Wolf would be more of an iconic foe for him than Sauron, especially since the quote names him Camlost, after his missing hand. Perhaps he's there for a rematch with Carcharoth - or, yes, Wolf Sauron, bigger and badder and grumpier than before.
I vote for Tevildo. Dogs, cats, all the same.

But yes, if we go with the full-scale battle, then Wolf Sauron would make a lot of sense. Even though I somehow feel that if we take the analogy, then we should take into account that T˙rin is not fighting the same Glaurung, but he is fighting Ancalagon. So following the same logic, Beren should not be fighting Sauron either. What is Ancalagon? Some sort of Glaurung's offspring, a "follow-up", powerful, more mobile though not as old. I don't think we can find a perfect analogy, but one of the first obvious thoughts is the Witch-King. This would have several advantages:

1) We'd have a "named" representative of the evil Men on the side, so we get the "mortal" side of the battle. If Men are so instrumental to this climactic event, or to the fate of the universe as it is continuously hinted at in various places, it would be only "fair" to underline this by having some of them also on the other side. (I am not doubting that there would not be some horde of evil Men, if we are thinking the massive-scale battle, but it would add something to it if we had a "named" - yet-not-really-named, which I, sidenote, sorta personally like for the notion that evil does not get to be remembered - representative.)

2) It would in a lovely manner underline the ominous line in LotR where, after Witch-King gets chopped down by ╔owyn, it says "...a voice bodiless and thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again in that age of this world." (emphasis mine) Now we'd know that this refers to Dagor Dagorath, and we'd know exactly where!

3) Purely cosmetic addendum, since I mentioned the differences between T˙rin's original and later foes, Glaurung and Ancalagon, as Ancalagon being the "more mobile", now I can imagine WK riding on some Fell Beast into the final battle and also being "mobile". Not necessary, but why not.
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