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 02-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
Nikkolas
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 55
Nikkolas has just left Hobbiton.
Your Take On Eöl & Maeglin

Apart from Feanor and his more despicable children, these are probably the two most infamous elves.

Eöl at the very least tends to be vilified quite a lot online from what I can see. There s apparently another telling of the story between him and Maeglin's mother where he outright rapes her or forces her or something. But that isn't in The Silmarillion so i don't care about it. Based just on The Sil, he was initially not such a bad guy as far as I'm concerned. He liked his solitude and disliked other elves and that was it. He used some manner of enchantment to lead Aredhel to him but there's nothing at all to even vaguely suggest he forced her to stay with him. She fell in love with him of her own free will and they were happy for a time.

Then he kinda went overboard with his possessiveness but my main point is that often he is painted as always having been some kind of a monster and I don't see it.

Maeglin meanwhile gets an unfair rap with the whole "the only Elf ever to turn to Morgoth" thing. But ya know, I'd still take him over Feanor. It took literal torture by the hands of the most evil being ever to exist to break him, even if he had seeds of lust already planted within. Moreover, it was desire for a woman that prompted his actions and I can understand that infinitely more than desire for jewels.

And of cours all of that came after being orphaned in a rather dramatic and obviously taumatizing way.

So that's my two cents. How about you? Do you view them as black-hearted villains or more greyish antagonists?
Nikkolas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
Ancalagon
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Ancalagon has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkolas View Post
Eöl at the very least tends to be vilified quite a lot online from what I can see. There s apparently another telling of the story between him and Maeglin's mother where he outright rapes her or forces her or something. But that isn't in The Silmarillion so i don't care about it. Based just on The Sil, he was initially not such a bad guy as far as I'm concerned. He liked his solitude and disliked other elves and that was it. He used some manner of enchantment to lead Aredhel to him but there's nothing at all to even vaguely suggest he forced her to stay with him. She fell in love with him of her own free will and they were happy for a time.
This is pretty much how I felt when I first read the silmarillion, he does come across as a bit manipulative but not altogether evil, I think some of the negative connotations come with his later actions in Gondolin, and I think by that time, his character had maybe become 'more evil' than before,
but not a main antagonist.
Ancalagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 01:08 PM   #3
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 8,057
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Eöl to me is a pretty unsympathetic character just because of his surliness. Based on the story as told in The Silmarillion, Aredhel was by no means forced into marriage with him though, even though he did manipulate her path in the woods to draw her to him.

Ultimately, I think the "judgement" on him was not unfavorable, at least from the point of view of the Valar. I base that on the fact that his uttered curse of Maeglin "Here may you yet die the same death as I", seems to have been fulfilled, as Maeglin was slain by falling himself. Maybe that says Maeglin was judged to have committed the greater evils of the two.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
Andsigil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Andsigil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Deepest Forges of Ered Luin
Posts: 745
Andsigil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I've always thought of Eol as a hermit who's more misanthropic than evil (his attempted crime of passion at Gondolin, notwithstanding).

Maeglin's rap was deserved. He was jealous and lusted after his first cousin (!). He also wilted under pressure when facing Morgoth, where others like Hurin didn't (probably because his heart was already so tainted).
__________________
Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depression in the world consciousness.

Last edited by Andsigil; 02-03-2014 at 02:01 PM.
Andsigil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,486
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Eol has always been one of my favorite Tolkien characters. Quite different than the insufferable Noldor, and a character that Tolkien actually imbued with a distinct persona, unlike most of the tediously perfect Elves in his works.

Tolkien may not have liked his creation morally (and nearly every character Tolkien dislikes morally finds a nasty end), but like Milton's Lucifer being far more real and living than the Archangel Michael in Paradise Lost (the great William Blake slyly noted that Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it."), Tolkien obviously found creating Eol more interesting than most of the generic elves he portrayed, even editing out the rape of Aredhel to more of a seductiion so that Eol would not appear utterly evil.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #6
skip spence
shadow of a doubt
 
skip spence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Back on the streets
Posts: 1,143
skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Tolkien may not have liked his creation morally (and nearly every character Tolkien dislikes morally finds a nasty end), but like Milton's Lucifer being far more real and living than the Archangel Michael in Paradise Lost (the great William Blake slyly noted that Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it."), Tolkien obviously found creating Eol more interesting than most of the generic elves he portrayed, even editing out the rape of Aredhel to more of a seductiion so that Eol would not appear utterly evil.
Good one, I like the Milton's Lucifer reference! And I think you are quite right. The other day I thought of Gollum, and how he is a fantastic character. Utterly corrupted, but still with a core of humanity left deep inside, and his fascinating persona comes out vividly in the books. The members of the fellowship (with the exception of Sam) are actually quite dull as characters I think. But Gollum, he's an amazing fictional character, Tolkien must have loved writing those parts.

And yeah I like Eöl too, as a character he also comes out vividly. Feels like I understand how he thinks, and it makes sense from his point of view, though he really isn't a pleasant fellow, is he? Maeglin is a cool character too. Morally he really is detestable. Ungrateful son, ungrateful foster-son, traitor to all. But still, you can feel for him, he had some rough times.
__________________
"You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way" ~ Bob Dylan
skip spence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 8,057
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
Maeglin is a cool character too. Morally he really is detestable. Ungrateful son, ungrateful foster-son, traitor to all. But still, you can feel for him, he had some rough times.
I think Maeglin is more cold than cool. He's calculating and self-centered. If he'd been raised by his father in isolated Nan Elmoth that might be explicable, but he's instead welcomed into the top tier of Gondolin society and treated like a prince, which he basically is. He then, out of all the women in the city, decides on his first cousin as a love interest. That alone doesn't speak well for him, as such unions were obviously considered to be of evil in Arda. The later Ar-Pharazön took that even further, of course, forcibly taking his cousin to wife. Maeglin was promised "possession" of Idril by Morgoth as a reward for his treachery, and that also speaks of less a true love than a desire for power and control.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 07:08 PM   #8
skip spence
shadow of a doubt
 
skip spence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Back on the streets
Posts: 1,143
skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I'm with you bro. Maeglin is horrible. I can certainly see why the Elves single him out as the worst traitor of their kind. No excuse for that sort of stuff. The sins of, say, Feanor isn't even close. He's a nice fictional character though. That Aredhel/Eöl/Maeglin sub-story is one of my favorites in the Silmarillion, and I love how it weaves into the Tuor story-line and the Fall of Gondolin and well, just about every story.
__________________
"You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way" ~ Bob Dylan
skip spence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
Nikkolas
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 55
Nikkolas has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
I'm with you bro. Maeglin is horrible. I can certainly see why the Elves single him out as the worst traitor of their kind. No excuse for that sort of stuff. The sins of, say, Feanor isn't even close. He's a nice fictional character though. That Aredhel/Eöl/Maeglin sub-story is one of my favorites in the Silmarillion, and I love how it weaves into the Tuor story-line and the Fall of Gondolin and well, just about every story.
...Feanor is responsible for countless deaths. All the Noldor who died are on his head. That includes the ones Maeglin sold out to Morgoth. Also Feanor was never tortured - he just decided one day to slaughter all his kin and steal their boats. All while leading his followers to their deaths. (he certainly didn't care if Fingolfin's team lived or died) And don't even start with "but his mommy and daddy died!!!" Maeglin's father tried to murder him and as a result murdered his mother all right in front of his young eyes. I would think this would have a kind of negative impact on a person's psychological development. And trauma isn't cured just because you are royalty.

Feanor was an awful, awful person and has no excuse for anything he did. He did more harm to the world than anyone save the Dark Lords.

Last edited by Nikkolas; 02-03-2014 at 08:04 PM.
Nikkolas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 04:31 AM   #10
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annűn, Ithilien
Posts: 462
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkolas View Post
...Feanor is responsible for countless deaths.

<snip>

Feanor was an awful, awful person and has no excuse for anything he did. He did more harm to the world than anyone save the Dark Lords.
It is said of the disposition of the Noldor, not just Fëanor, that Galadriel who, "had a marvelous gift of insight into the minds of others" in Fëanor "she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared". However, "she DID NOT perceive that the shadow of the SAME EVIL had fallen upon the minds of ALL the NOLDOR., and upon her OWN." [U.T., p. 241] It is a stain that has touched the Noldor.

Certainly Feanor was a leader in the uprising of the Noldor, but he was not the lone leader as it is mentioned there were other princes of the Noldor who were leaders, Galadriel for instance who was banned from Valinor. When Melkor spoke of weapons to them it was not just Fëanor who built weapons, nor he alone who had desires of ruling his own kingdom without the overreach of the Valar.

Fëanor's father whom, ""was dearer to him than the Light of Valinor or the peerless works of his hands; and who among sons, of Elves or of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth?" [Sil., ch. 9, p. 88] was murdered. He loved his father most of all. If the murder of Maeglin's mother could have a negative impact on him so could Fëanor's father with himself, "he was distraught with grief for the slaying of his father" [p. 92]. It seems to some degree his father's death snapped Fëanor who thought, "in the madness of his rage and grief that had he been at Formenos his strength would have availed more than to be slain also, as Melkor had purposed." [p. 88]

I think Fëanor used his power to manipulate his people and to urge them on from Aman, "the Noldor were stirred to madness" [p. 92]. However, it was not as if Fëanor was the lone person who had the shadow of darkness on him. As you see others may have seen it in him, but failed to notice it in themselves and everyone else around them. I think the responsibility for the deaths of the Noldor does not fall on Fëanor's shoulders alone because these people chose to go with him and some like Finarfin did not.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 04:41 AM   #11
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annűn, Ithilien
Posts: 462
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
And Fëanor did not join forces with Melkor to set up his people's destruction. His purpose was one of revenge for his greatest love [father] against his greatest hate [Melkor], "none of the Eldalië ever hated Melkor more than Fëanor".
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 06:29 AM   #12
Nikkolas
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 55
Nikkolas has just left Hobbiton.
Revenge, or the desire to reclaim his pretty gems? Was the Oath of Feanor that doomed all his sons and so many others to misery "I shall kill Morgoth" or "i shall reclaim the Silmarils at all costs"? Exactly. And if Feanor loved his father, he wouldn't have betrayed and hated his father's sons. His father's blood ran iN Fingolfin's veins too and yet Feanor was perfectly content to leave them all to die. After he committed unprovoked murder."

So, no, just because he hated Melkor doesn't make him better than Maeglin. Maeglin never killed his fellow elves for no reason.
Nikkolas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 12:58 PM   #13
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,486
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkolas View Post
Revenge, or the desire to reclaim his pretty gems? Was the Oath of Feanor that doomed all his sons and so many others to misery "I shall kill Morgoth" or "i shall reclaim the Silmarils at all costs"? Exactly. And if Feanor loved his father, he wouldn't have betrayed and hated his father's sons. His father's blood ran iN Fingolfin's veins too and yet Feanor was perfectly content to leave them all to die. After he committed unprovoked murder."

So, no, just because he hated Melkor doesn't make him better than Maeglin. Maeglin never killed his fellow elves for no reason.
Your reading of the story is somewhat skewed. Revenge for the murder of his father and desire for retrieving The Silmarils, his greatest achievement (great even in the eyes of the Valar as Mandos inferred), were both at play here, and clouded Feanor's mind -- driving him to madness. He could never get back his slain father, but he could gain back the Silmarils, exact revenge on Morgoth and escape the imprisonment of Valinor (benevolent, but a prison nonetheless).

The Kinslaying and the irrevocable oath forced on his sons were Feanor's great sins and there is no forgiving those, but that is a tragedy of overriding ambition mingled with hate; however, Maeglin's betrayal of his own kin to Morgoth himself was a Cardinal Sin amongst the Elves.

You make the odd statement "Maeglin never killed his fellow elves for no reason", and I am utterly flummoxed at such a misguided comment. Maeglin's lust for his first cousin (another sin tantamount to incest to the Elves) was the main factor in his betrayal. It's a rather sick notion, and no other Elf would betray his own relatives to The Great Enemy of the World.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 03:03 PM   #14
Nikkolas
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 55
Nikkolas has just left Hobbiton.
Did Maeglin get up one day and say "I'm going to betray everyone so I can get my cousin?" No. He was captured, tortured, and broken by the greatest evil ever to exist. Pardon if i can sympathize with horrific pain Maeglin experienced more than Feanor merely losing his dad. It was tragic yes but how many people, Elves, Men, Dwarves, lost their fathers in all the Ages? And yet probably not even 1% of them went on to commit the atrocities Feanor did.
Nikkolas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 03:12 PM   #15
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 8,057
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkolas View Post
Did Maeglin get up one day and say "I'm going to betray everyone so I can get my cousin?" No. He was captured, tortured, and broken by the greatest evil ever to exist. Pardon if i can sympathize with horrific pain Maeglin experienced more than Feanor merely losing his dad.
The story in The Silmarillion is that Meaglin was threatened with torment: he did not actually suffer physically. It also states that Meaglin's hate for Tuor and desire for Idril made his treachery that much easier. So I don't find anything pitiable in Meaglin's treason.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 03:40 PM   #16
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,486
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
The story in The Silmarillion is that Meaglin was threatened with torment: he did not actually suffer physically. It also states that Meaglin's hate for Tuor and desire for Idril made his treachery that much easier. So I don't find anything pitiable in Meaglin's treason.
Agreed. Maegliln was weak-willed and jealous, betraying his kin-folk without the sort of torment experienced by Hurin, Maedhros and the brothers Gelmir and Gwindor. Morgoth, ever guileful, promised him both Idril and Gondolin and Maeglin greedily agreed. That Tolkien considered him evil is evident, as the curse of Eol came true and he was flung from the parapets of Gondolin, just as his father had been.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 04:23 PM   #17
Andsigil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Andsigil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Deepest Forges of Ered Luin
Posts: 745
Andsigil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkolas View Post
Did Maeglin get up one day and say "I'm going to betray everyone so I can get my cousin?" No. He was captured, tortured, and broken by the greatest evil ever to exist. Pardon if i can sympathize with horrific pain Maeglin experienced more than Feanor merely losing his dad. It was tragic yes but how many people, Elves, Men, Dwarves, lost their fathers in all the Ages? And yet probably not even 1% of them went on to commit the atrocities Feanor did.
Maeglin was never tortured; just intimidated.

He would have done well to follow the example of Hurin, who suffered far more at Morgoth's hands.
__________________
Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depression in the world consciousness.
Andsigil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 04:42 PM   #18
cellurdur
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 276
cellurdur has just left Hobbiton.
I am not very keen on either of them.

Melian commenting on the dark nature of Eol still residing in his sword should tell us a lot about what sort of man he was. The whole situation with Aredhel does not sit well with me either. It seems like she was 'not completely unwilling,' but it was a case of I would only marry you if you were the last man alive. Trapped in the woods and the only elf being Eol kind of forced her hand.

I personally don't blame him for deciding to go after his son. It seems Maeglin was still under the age of majority and he had the right to decide his best interest. I don't even blame him for choosing to fight rather than remain in Gondlin. The issue is that he decided to kill his son. A parent, whose pride is more important than his or her child is something I frown upon.

Then in the end he curses his son to die as he did. Again he would be a nobler man if he could forgive his son at this point.

Maeglin had a tough childhood, but it's hard to look past his betrayal. As it says it was his lust for Idril and hatred for Tuor that led to it. Even the strongest of men can be broken by torture let alone when an evil Valar like Morgoth is administrating the punishment. However, Maeglin was far too keen to kill Earendil and take Idril for himself. It seemed to me like it was almost an excuse for him to get what he wanted.

The comparison with Feanor is an interesting one, but Feanor had more redeeming qualities like the great love for his father. Maeglin really does not have many admirable qualities at all except for his physical/mental talents.
cellurdur 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 07:52 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.