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Old 01-25-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
Galin
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Lost in some mountains

Anyone want to try his or her hand at the meaning of (Galadriel speaking)...

'... and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.' (The Lord of the Rings) -- considering that Celeborn is ultimately Sindarin (not Nandorin), and that according to another Tolkien-published account:

'After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return, and she had replied proudly that she had no wish to do so. She passed over the Mountains of Eredluin with her husband Celeborn (one of the Sindar) and went to Eregion.' JRRT, RGEO

Or do people think these two statements are not problematic in the first place. I do

I'm aware that Tolkien changed his mind about the history of these two characters, but since he published both descriptions, and since he never revised the passage from The Lord of the Rings, I'm wondering how people attempt to merge the two into one internal tale. If people do... that is.

I've an attempt of my own, but before I offer it here for possible rending and tearing, I wonder what others might come up with.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
Aiwendil
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Quote:
... and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.
Well, she only says that she passed over the mountains - she does not say that she did so alone. Obviously, when the words were written, the idea was that she crossed the Ered Luin by herself and met Celeborn, a Nando, on the far side. But it could just as easily, in light of the slightly later story, mean that she met Celeborn, now a Sinda, in Beleriand, and then crossed into Eriador with him. Leastways, I have no problem reconciling the statements in this way.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:06 PM   #3
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Fair enough Aiwendil. The issue I think is problematic is not so much Galadriel's I, but that RGEO appears (to me) to say that after the overthrow of Morgoth Galadriel crossed the Blue Mountains...

... if so, what does Galadriel mean with 'ere' the fall of Gondolin she passed over the mountains?
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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Perhaps they both popped back to Beleriand during or after the War of Wrath for a bit of a chat with Eonwe et al before returning to Eriador?
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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Ah, I missed the gist of your question, which is indeed a bit more difficult. Rumil's answer is of course possible but it requires some slightly fancy construal and certainly Occam would prefer just one trip across the mountains.

A possibility, at least logically, is that different mountains are being referred to in the two quotes. But the RGEO quote specifically refers to the Ered Luin, so that option isn't promising. (Forgetting that the mountain range was specified in the RGEO quote, I speculated that she crossed the Blue Mountains before the fall of Gondolin and later crossed the Misty Mountains after the fall of Thangorodrim, but alas, that doesn't work.)

I suppose one could always fall back upon the explanation that Galadriel simply mis-spoke in LotR, or mis-remembered the details of her movements - her statement was, after all, made thousands of years after the events she's recalling. On the other hand, I'd expect that if one had been in Beleriand between the fall of Gondolin and the Great Battle, one would darn well remember it.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:46 AM   #6
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My feeling is that the story in RGEO is to condensded, to extract the times and movements accuratley. Further on it is written from an external perspective. (I do not remember the details, is it JRR Tolkien writing about Middle-Earth? Or did he employ some 'Translator-devise' in RGEO?) What it makes clear is that Galadriel comunicated with Eonwe or someone else in his train. But since the Eldar were able of communication by thought, she must not have been in Beleriand for this.

Thus I would say that Galadriel cross Ered Luin earlier and stayed in Eriador. The author of RGEO made a understandable mistake by assuming that for the conversation reported she would have to be in Beleriand (which is not true) and therefore assumed that she must have crossed the mountians later.

Respectfuly
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
Galin
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Thanks for the responses. Here's my attempt:

'He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin [a very long time ago] I passed over the mountains [into Beleriand, over Ered Wethrin], and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.'

Not perfect obviously, one problem being that if this was the (imagined) meaning, Galadriel had passed into Beleriand before the founding of Nargothrond and Gondolin. However, the fall of these cities may be more notable to Galadriel as a general historical marker, so to speak, and this is very compressed history. I note also the song of Durin:

'The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin's Day.'


I like the idea because it seems (to me) to include that Galadriel met Celeborn after Galadriel crossed the mountains, and then they basically stayed together to fight the long defeat -- the first crossing has Galadriel passing into Beleriand, the second, with Celeborn (over Eredluin), takes them into Eriador and on to Eregion.

Of course I am biased (and this is what led me to my Hithlum thread)

So I invite any and all opinions: acceptable enough? too far of a stretch? don't be shy if you think it needs rending -- or, if you have more alternate suggestions too.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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I couldn't come up with a better explanation for this.
Sounds good to me
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:57 PM   #9
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Works for me, too. I was thinking that Galadriel would have had to cross mountains more than once, since, if she came across the Helcaraxe, she would have needed to cross mountains to enter Doriath. Unless she decided to sink with the part of Middle-earth that went under during the War of Wrath, she would have eventually needed to cross mountains again, the Blue Mountains that are mentioned, and eventually the Misty Mountains, unless she decided to go around them to get to Lothlorien. When Galadriel says that she (or they) "passed over the mountains," it doesn't necessarily mean a single crossing or a single range. It may just mean she kept moving east until she settled in Lothlorien. And even then, she crossed back over the mountains to go to meetings of the White Council in Rivendell, then crossed them again to go home.
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