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Old 09-17-2000, 07:12 PM   #1
The Barrow-Wight
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Isildur condemned the traitorous people of the King of the Mountains to remain as spirits in the area of the White Mountains that they came from. This curse lasted until they fullfilled their oath.

How did Isildur effect this curse?

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Old 09-17-2000, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

They made Eru mad. A promise is a promise. That's the best I can come up with based on Middle-earth history, in the real world I would say that it's just a plot device.

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Old 09-17-2000, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

I agree with burrahobbit. Eru seems to be the only authority with the power to perform such a deed. I think that Illuvitar gave Isildur the ability to curse the king's people so.

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Old 09-17-2000, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

As far as I know dude, magic of of Middle-earth is of two kinds. The type like used for Domination used the disseminated Morgothian essence that is like present in certain concentrated elements of the world as it's sorta catalyst. The second type of magic like either like stems from the elves, or was taught to them and by like extention taught to men later. That magic deals with like preservation or delaying of change. Isildur's magic where he like condems those dudes to waitin for certain conditions before release is of the preservation kind. He like preserves or delays the change of their spirits from the seperation of Hroa and Fea. Sauron seems to use like both types of magic dude.

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Old 09-18-2000, 08:03 AM   #5
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

I don't think that this was a case of 'magic'. It was a denial into the proper channel of death. Only Eru would be able to refuse the spirits of fallen Men entry into their mysterious afterlife, but why would he do it at the insistence of Isildur on this occasion?

Though his thoughts or methods are not recorded, Isildur seems to have performed this 'curse' with no notable difficulties. He was certainly a leader of The Faithful, but was he so 'in-touch' with the Creator that he could request such a thing?

Which leads to another though.

What sets the Men of the White Mountains apart from the other traitorous Men of Middle-Earth, especially those unfaithful ones of the First Age. Elves, seemingly closer to Eru than Men (or are they just closer to the Valar?), are never reported as having asked for such a curse against Man or Elf. And they were betrayed more often than not.

All facts point to Isildur having the power of God. This is the same Isildur later slain after falling into the temptation of evil (the Ring).

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Old 09-18-2000, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

What of the Barrow-wights (favorites here from locale)?

You claim only Eru could do this thing. What about Sauron?

Exception? Dude, I could go into magic in more detail (but not at like this time dude).

Near as I can tell without like travellin down the road of speculation, magic is available to everyone. Hobbits are resistant to it. Dwarves use it, Elves use it, Men use it, Ainur use it, Maiar use it, Valar use it.

Tolkien explains that magic (in the Elves case at least) is an Art.

Isuldur havin the power of GOD? Nope, I don't think so. Isuldur usin the power of MELKOR? Yup, sounds better.

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Old 09-18-2000, 08:58 AM   #7
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

Because Elessar later uses this power, I don't think that it came from Melkor. I don't think that he would have exposed the precarious situation to Melkor's influence, nor do I think that Elrond would have advised him to. If this had been enacted by Melkor's power, it seems unlikely that it would have aided the forces arrayed against Sauron.

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Old 09-18-2000, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

Dude, I don't recall sayin that the power of Melkor was like totally evil.

In fact Tolkien states that even things done in malice shall be like turned to good by will of Eru's design.

You're thinkin black and white magic. Far as I know those are false assumptions based upon labelization.

As much as I can determine, Elves, Men and even Gandalf use Dominance magic too. Again; near as I can tell from what Tolkien has written on the subject, Magic is an ART, not a means of expressin alignment. 'Magic' of the two types known to be given by Tolkien has the taint of Melkor, but that don't make it truly evil. One can do like unnatural things with it. Yup.

Ok; I can see this'll prolly need further examination.

Anyplace you'd like it or will stayin in this thread be acceptable?

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Old 09-18-2000, 09:32 AM   #9
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: The curse of Isildur...

What about the Stone of Erech? Perhaps it contained some &quot;magical&quot; power to hold Isildur's Curse over the mountain people?

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Old 09-18-2000, 09:49 AM   #10
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Let's open another topic for the magic discussion, Saulotus. We can go back and forth as neccesary between that one and this one.

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Old 09-18-2000, 09:58 AM   #11
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

The spirits that inhabited the Downs were not neccesarily created by the Witch King but they were sent there by him. The reason for their lingering in Middle-Earth is not explicited explained. The wight living (?) in the barrow where Frodo and friends were entombd was thought to have been the last prince of Cardolan, who would have been one of the last Dundedain of that land (though how faithful still to Eru, I don't know). Because his spirit still lingered in Middle-Earth, I can start to see that perhaps 'magic' could have been used to deny his spirit its normal passing. But if the Witch King and Isildur both could do this deed, where did the power come from and how was it channeled?

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Old 09-18-2000, 11:23 AM   #12
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Middle-Earth Magic

Ok; topic is Magic in Middle-earth. That work?

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Old 09-18-2000, 11:26 AM   #13
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Re: The curse of Isildur...

How is it channeled? Covered in Magic topic.

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Old 08-15-2002, 01:32 AM   #14
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Hi all.
My own thoughs on this are that apon there betrayal, Mandos would not have let them into the Hall of the Dead, thus leaving them in a state of limbo. I can't see Eru getting involved; after all, The whole point was to let the races of Middle-earth sort it out for them selves. Even Manwe wouldn't get involved so Eru??? Mandos seems to have had this strange prophetic insight in all time!!! Maybe he did it, knowing what was to come. Just how it was done, I have know clue. If JRRT didn't say then there's never going to be a definative answer.
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:42 AM   #15
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Yes, there seems to be some power that prevents people from breaking their oaths Tolkien's work. Feanor and his sons are forced to follow their oath as well, even when they don't want to. Maybe this power (Eru?) is what keeps the dead in this world, until they have fulfilled their oath.
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Old 08-15-2002, 10:39 AM   #16
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Stone of Erech having a certain power is a def. possibility, whileelse bring the darn thing from Numenor?!?!?!

Dunedain def had 'magic' although in some letter or another JRRT regrets it abit. Nonertheless, the swords of M&P of the 'North Kingdom' were forged using seemingly an Dunedain version of Elvish and/or Dwarvish metalurgical magic.

Aragorn seems capable of Osanwe, The use of the Palantir to confront and defy saron was not hjust being a good guy but having acertain power and also in theis case authority.

W/ Isildur, as the men of the W. mntns had made an oath to Isildur [ or Gondor] and he was lawful ruler of the land he most likely methinks was prophetically given a certain insight that the curse would be the result.
So he imo revealed it more than engineered it.

so I guess I have just defeated my argument and given ultimate power in this situation to Iluvatar. not w/out it's problems but feels more true than elaborate Dunedain magic arguments.

That Eru would be willing to do a couple of specific things to eliminate the threat of sauron is not w/out reason.

I recall Eru being invioved w/ gandalfs return in some way [UT?]so why not forseeing that Aragorn would need that army and that route? It is a 'legendarium' after all!

[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:10 PM   #17
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Most of that last post made sence, BUT I do have a few problems. If Eru is going to help out a bit, why not just banish Sauron compleatly??? I mean, COME ON!!!! "Oh I'll let a few billion people die over thousands of years without doing a thing but then help some that are special later on!"
Forgive the sarcasm but you get my point. I can understand the Powers helping Gandalf, after all, he's one of there own. So I agree that the men of Numenor must have had there own power bound up within Aragorn.
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:30 PM   #18
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The point is, Middle-earth (or all of Arda) is Tolkien's view of a noble world. Isildur probably didn't have any extra special powers, but the Men of the White Mountains broke an oath of (relatively) enormous proportions. This was enough for the "curse" to take effect. The term "oathbreaker" isn't just used in passing reference; it's used as a specific title (I think) for the Men (and the Sons of Fëanor, should they ever give up their quest for the Silmarils...but that's another story).

I believe that the oath, being given to the Faithful Númenóreans who still worshipped and Eru, was probably in the name of Eru. This means that "by the power of Eru, if you break this oath" yadda yadda yadda. Since the Oath of Fëanor was strong enough to essentially damn anyone who broke it (in the name of Eru), then this, being of lesser significance, but still in the name of Eru, was enough to incur the wrath of Eru upon the Men.

There's my 2 cents (or maybe more).
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Old 08-16-2002, 04:54 AM   #19
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Perhaps the power of the curse came not from Eru but from the Mountain King and his people themselves.

A curse is as strong as a person's belief in it. If the people of the White Mountains felt the guilt of betrayal and the wrath of Isildur in life, perhaps they chose not to continue their journey after death. They believed it was their fate that their feas would remain in Middle-Earth, until they had fulfilled their promise.
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Old 08-16-2002, 05:41 AM   #20
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You got in before I could birdland.
Moving away from Eru etc for a moment, if we look at possible reasons for 'ghosts' to exist in our own world, it is frequently said that they have 'unfinished business' to take care of before they can 'pass over to the other side'.
It just occurred to me that while Isildur vebalised the curse, the actions of the oathbreakers themselves caused them to have 'unfinished business' and therefore prevented them from passing beyond fully in death.
Perhaps Isildur had a measure of foresight, to see what would become of the oathbreakers, rather than actually precipitating it.
Not that I have anything to back up this theory, but it seems to me to have a certain amount of logic to it. (always supposing that we believe in ghosts that is).
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Old 08-19-2002, 08:28 AM   #21
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Ravenna, i think you have hit it closest.

Roquena, the reason I think Eru does not step in a 'fix' things is bound up w/ His purpose in creating Ea. During the Ainulindale, when Melkor injected discord, Eru's method/solution of 'fixing' it was to let the entire history unfold. HE appapently wants his Children to Grow and learn to think and love by experience not His control. So we see very little direct intervention by Eru. It is one of the moments that makes the Akallabeth so powerful.
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Old 09-08-2002, 12:14 AM   #22
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Tell me something.
Was the curse inflicted before or after Isildur took The One Ring?
No one seems to have noticed that the power of the Ring might be involved...

If it was not, then I suggest it has to do with a guise (sic?) This is an ancient legend passed down thru the Celts. If one was honorable, and saw the need to order another to do his bidding for a blood payment, the guise was invoked. This held the person to his word. It was belief and magic, intertwined.
Women oft used it to hold a man to his word, especially when she had born his children or was inflicted with some torture at the hands of that man.
One might look at the prophesy of Glorfindel as a guise. When he "predicted" that the Captain of The Nazgul would be destroyed by "no man", how did he know? Was this an invocation of a guise? Did Isildur understand the implications of his guise?

[ September 08, 2002: Message edited by: Tirned Tinnu ]
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Old 09-12-2002, 01:27 PM   #23
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I think it's safe to assume it was before, considering Isildur needed them to help in the fight against Sauron.

If not, it had to help in the two years Isildur spent in Minas Tirith training what's-his-name to be a good King.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:48 AM   #24
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Here's an old thread!

Birdland's suggestion is an interesting one. Perhaps Isildur had no power, rather it was the Oathbreakers themselves whose guilty consciences forced them to stay in Middle-earth as ghosts. However, I never get the feeling that the Oathbreakers felt guilt. I have the impression that they wanted to rest in peace, and that they agree to fight in Aragorn's campaign for purely personal reasons.

This would mean that some power other than their own was holding them back from their long rest. And what I've been wondering about is Isildur's power in this situation.
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