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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Elrond was essentially finished/complete. He had nothing more to learn. Which makes me wonder what eternal life would really be like.

His last lesson was to accept Arwen's fate, and that was a struggle that was over before the tale began.

But Galadriel?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:00 pm 
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Tolkien certainly says, in one of the UT texts regarding the Istari, that Olórin is associated with Manwë and Varda. He also calls him a "counselor of Irmo" in another of those texts. I believe, if I am recalling correctly, that the only reference to Nienna in the Istari texts is that at one point Pallando was associated with her. In the Valaquenta it states that Olórin dwelt in Lórien, which would corroborate the statement that was he was a "counselor of Irmo." It does also state that he learned pity and patience from Nienna, but I don't think that implies that he was "associated" or "aligned" with her, in the way that Sauron and Curumo were associated or aligned with Aulë.

And, of course, Gandalf the White was not really associated or aligned with any of the Valar, but instead with Eru himself, having been sent back from Death with the original plan "enhanced" and with expanded powers not by the Valar but by the One.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:15 am 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
And, of course, Gandalf the White was not really associated or aligned with any of the Valar, but instead with Eru himself, having been sent back from Death with the original plan "enhanced" and with expanded powers not by the Valar but by the One.

Wow V., this seems so important and so obvious (now that you point it out! :) ), I wonder how I missed thinking about this point before (or perhaps I just don't remember it) Is this actually in LOTR, or is it just implied, based on the fact that Gandalf died??

vison wrote:
But Galadriel?

What about Galadriel?????? Please, go on!!
Was she finished the moment she turned down the ring by the "Mirror"?
Would love to hear what you're thinking vison!
(Must confess I'm a bit Gimli-ish when it comes to the Lady of Light)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:03 am 
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Dear me. I could go on and on forever about Galadriel. I love Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlórien. I don't think she is "complete", and I sometimes think she gave the Blessed Realm a good shaking up . . . .



Galadriel is Wakeful

Here is my lord and love asleep beside me, his face calm and beautiful as he dreams. He was uneasy before our long debate. He has yielded to me, and now I am uneasy. I rise from our bed and go to the stairs and climb to the shelf where I can stand and look out over the trees. The moon is high and full and the tops of the trees of Lórien are like the sea in the moon’s light, the wind moving over the golden leaves makes them shimmer like water. I hold up my hand and Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, glints coldly, glittering like one of the distant stars. Somewhere in the darkness below my chamber, in the city of the Galadrim, is the other Ring, the nameless ring of the nameless one. Hung on a chain around the frail neck of the Halfling Frodo. I see it before my mind’s eye, an orbit of Evil encircling Power, glowing like an un-Sun, spreading darkness not light.

Below us our guests are asleep. Their dreams are untroubled, they lie as sweetly as babes, safe here in our care, netted around by my enchantments. Yet I am wakeful.

Celeborn and I are now of one mind in this matter. I would do as I must, but still I am glad he now sees with my eyes. It is given to us to aid the Eight who have come to us, and aid them we will. But what of the Ninth? What of Mithrandir? He has fallen, they say. Yet surely such a fall would echo in my heart? I seek his thought, yet is hidden. There is much that I know, and there is much I do not know. I will bend my wish to the Eagles of the sky, that can soar above the Earth. Mithrandir! It is I, Galadriel, who calls to you!

In the corner of my sight, where I can see only if I do not look, is the Eye. It wearies even me, to keep my heart and mind shielded from it. Would that I could rest! Would that I could put care aside, as our guests have. Yet this is not to be. Not yet, not yet. The greatest labour is yet to come, and I must garner all my strength, I cannot be weary or doubtful. Celeborn knows me so well! Long he held my gaze with his, when I counseled that we open our land to these travelers. It is given to me to see with longer sight than he, but surely he sees more clearly, at times. No matter what course we take, no matter what plans we make, we cannot know all ends. Risk all, or lose all. Risk all and lose all. So nicely it weighs in the balance.

They sleep, the Halflings. What manner of folk are they? I search my long memory and I recall only tales of little beings who live like coneys, with voices like the piping of birds. Yet this Frodo the Ringbearer was not abashed by my questioning, he endured my gaze better than any, save Legolas Greenleaf and my dear Aragorn. But does he have the power to endure, the strength to bear this burden to the bitter end? Alas, for Lórien, for us all, if he does not. Alas for Lórien, if he does.

This is what we are come to, that our Doom is out of our hands. Yet, it always was. Even I, Galadriel, have no Power over Fate. Even were I to possess the Ring--there it is, the question I would fain dismiss unasked: if I had the Ring? Surely, surely I could bend it to my will? What knows this Frodo of our needs? He bears it blindly, his only thought to bear it, and bear it, until he can throw it away—why should not it come to me? Has it come to me, just in the nick of time?

My Lord Celeborn, my best and most loving counselor—in his wisdom, is this what he feared? That at the end of days, I would fall? Nay, not that. He feared I would consider it, that is all. He feared I would torment myself with this question and to my shame I see that I have. Yet in my heart I must stay true, must not deny my innermost thought. Celeborn, Celeborn, you always see your Galadriel so clearly! How many long ages have you been trying to protect me from myself?

The Man Boromir, even now he sleeps with his sword unsheathed and near to his hand. Even here, in Caras Galadon. He is danger going about on two legs, this Boromir. Proud and honourable, but with the weakness of Men. (The weakness of Men? When I have allowed the magnet of Power to pull my thought aside into the path of doubt? Take shame, Galadriel, and admit that not only Men are weak.) My heart forbodes me that grief will befall because of him, yet I know I do not see all ends and I must not mar what I would make: renewed purpose and will in the Fellowship. Aragorn is come into his own, it will fall to him to deal with Boromir, and he has the strength to do it. But what of Aragorn, and his desire to return to the city of the Numenoreans? How can that come about, now, with Gandalf gone? How I wish I could pierce the veils that swirl about Mithradir!

The Dwarf Gimli has a noble spirit. Our old allies, our old adversaries, the Dwarves. He is the equal of any of Durin’s folk that I have met in my time in Middle Earth, proud and contentious and eager to defend his honour and the honour of his folk. Yet, unlike so many of his people, he has some skill with words, relying not on deeds of endurance and valour alone to speak for him. Such a fire in his eye! An axe-bearer, here in a kingdom of trees. This is what our days are come to.

Our Kinsman, Legolas Greenleaf: we say kinsman, but many branches on our family trees must be searched before we connect with the folk of Mirkwood. I recall his father Thranduil to my mind though it is long since we met. Like Thranduil, Legolas is stern of bearing for an Elf, not given to mirth, and he has taken these Halflings to his heart. What his keen eyes and skill at arms may do, he will do. Elrond chose well here, as with Gimli, if choosing it be. So often it has been seen that events fall out as needs be, and was it chance alone that brought the Nine together in Imladris?

Since I cannot rest, I will stand here in the moonlight and plan: that is, I will weave webs, I will knit nets of thought, I will stir the waters. The Enemy does not sleep, he is ever wakeful and alive with malice. His thought darts about here and there, touching on this place, then on that. Searching, searching. So great and yet so fearful, so unsure. I could pity Saruman, did I not despise him so thoroughly, because his treachery has exposed him to the Eye. Him I never trusted. Here was one occasion when Galadriel failed in her scheming, when Saruman not Mithrandir was made head of the White Council. And now both are lost to us, in the uttermost hour of our need. We must cut our cloaks to suit our cloth, now; since the rope of our hope is broken, we must tie a knot, and go on.

The guests must be refreshed, their hurts healed, their heartaches eased, before they leave our land, such is the use of hospitality in Lórien. That which I have to give them, I shall give. That which I can tell them, I will tell. Here is the test for Galadriel, to not give too much, to not tell too much. The weak have this dreadful power over the strong: they need us. It feeds my vanity, that Celeborn is too kind to call vanity—my love of being gracious and great and queenly—these things come easily to me. It is humility I stand in need of, I know that. That Halfling Frodo, whose clear eyes met mine, whose simplicity and ordinary goodness shine like beacons even here in this city of Light, he has given me a lesson all unknowing. This is indeed the hour when the small challenge the great, the weak unseat the strong. I bow to him, and to the inevitable, whatever it may be.

So I will return to my rest, and I will lie beside Celeborn and take his hand in mine as always. He will know; he has always lived in the changeable weather of my mood. I am his sun and wind, he is my rock.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:30 am 
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Lindréd wrote:
Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
And, of course, Gandalf the White was not really associated or aligned with any of the Valar, but instead with Eru himself, having been sent back from Death with the original plan "enhanced" and with expanded powers not by the Valar but by the One.

Wow V., this seems so important and so obvious (now that you point it out! :) ), I wonder how I missed thinking about this point before (or perhaps I just don't remember it) Is this actually in LOTR, or is it just implied, based on the fact that Gandalf died??


It is only implied in LOTR, but explicitly stated in Tolkien's letters, the best source of information about what Tolkien thought about his own work that exists. Of course, not everything that he says after-the-fact is necessarily true, and even an author's comments about his own work is only one possible explanation. But there are certainly some things that really are important and obvious, once they are pointed out, and this is definitely one of them.

Tolkien, in Letter 156, wrote:
In the end before he departs for ever he sums himself up: 'I was the enemy of Sauron'. He might have added: 'for that purpose I was sent to Middle-earth'. But by that he would at the end have meant more than at the beginning. He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of its failure. 'Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done'. Sent back by whom, and whence? Not by the 'gods' whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he passed 'out of thought and time'.


So yes it is implied in the text, but who would pick up on that, without being explicitly told by the author (or someone who had learned it from the author)? Certainly not I.

I know that you have recently started on a new journey of exploration of secondary sources beyond the texts themselves (I am truly honored and flattered to have helped to inspire this new journey). I would most definitely place Tolkien's letters very high on the list of books to read as you pursue that journey.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:14 am 
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Voronwë, I've read only a handful of Tolkien's letters and never the one about Gandalf the White vs. Gandalf the Grey. I have, however, always thought of Gandalf the White as a Gandalf 2.0; now more powerful and less buggy. The interface is similar enough that the differences are starling but on the whole Gandalf 2.0 works great! :D

Lindréd wrote:
vison wrote:
But Galadriel?

What about Galadriel?????? Please, go on!!
Was she finished the moment she turned down the ring by the "Mirror"?

No, but she'd taken the step that won her her redemption, first by refusing the Ring of Power and then by aiding the hobbit who would diminish the Ring she herself carried. She ended up in Middle Earth because she was, in a very gentle and benign sort of way, hungry for power. She wanted a land to rule. She was not a conquerer; she was content to carve her lands from the wilderness, to attract Elves that followed her because they wanted to, not because they were afraid of bad things happening if they didn't. And until she was ready to give that up, Valinor was closed to her. When she meets Frodo, she's about ready, and when Frodo presents the Ring, she makes her final choice. She'll diminish and go into the West.

But not, of course, before she does battle with her ancient enemy. They go way back, Sauron and Galadriel. Back to the War of the Jewels.

Now that I think about it, perhaps the one named Elf that comes closest to be "soul-less" is Círdan the Shipwright. We never really meet him. He's there, always there, a sort of guardian angel on the western shore of Middle Earth, but he doesn't have much personality. We know he's wise and he's got to be pretty powerful and intense - he was basically the last Elf-lord standing before the Valar finally came to the rescue at the end of the Sil - but who is he? Was he even born or was he one of those that woke in Cuivenien and never went to Aman?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:42 am 
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vison wrote:
Dear me. I could go on and on forever about Galadriel. I love Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlórien. I don't think she is "complete", and I sometimes think she gave the Blessed Realm a good shaking up . . . .

Thank you vison! As far as I am concerned you may "go on and on" any time you want. Beautiful words!

Voronwë wrote:
I would most definitely place Tolkien's letters very high on the list of books to read as you pursue that journey.

I'll put it next on my list!

River wrote:
Gandalf 2.0 works great!

:D Love this!

River wrote:
Now that I think about it, perhaps the one named Elf that comes closest to be "soul-less" is Círdan the Shipwright...... Was he even born or was he one of those that woke in Cuivenien and never went to Aman?

He's definitely someone we'd all like to know more about!
I think he was one of the originals.
Where was I just reading about this very thing??
:help:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Quote:
even an author's comments about his own work is only one possible explanation


Indeed. One can learn more about what is, or was, going through an author's mind, but don't forget authors make their living by convincing people of the value of things that never happened. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:02 pm 
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River wrote:
Quote:
Now that I think about it, perhaps the one named Elf that comes closest to be "soul-less" is Círdan the Shipwright...... Was he even born or was he one of those that woke in Cuivenien and never went to Aman?



Quote:
Círdan may have come from Cuiviénen, where the Elves first awoke in Middle-earth. It is unlikely that Círdan was one of the original Unbegotten Elves. He was akin to Elwë and Olwë - who were brothers and thus apparently shared parents and were not Unbegotten themselves. If Círdan were related to the brothers by blood, then it seems likely that he too had parents. Círdan may have been born at Cuiviénen sometime before the Great Journey to the Undying Lands began.

Círdan was of the kindred of Elves called the Teleri, who were led by Elwë and Olwë. On the Great Journey, Elwë became separated from the Teleri and fell in love with Melian and remained in Middle-earth. After searching unsuccessfully for Elwë, Olwë led many of the Teleri to the Undying Lands, but others including Círdan remained behind.

According to one story, Círdan intended to follow Olwë in a ship he had built, but he received a message from the Valar:

And the voice warned him not to attempt this peril; for his strength and skill would not be able to build any ship able to dare the winds and waves of the Great Sea for many long years yet. "Abide now that time, for when it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it will be remembered in song for many ages after." "I obey," Círdan answered, and then it seemed to him that he saw (in a vision maybe) a shape like a white boat, shining above him, that sailed west through the air, and as it dwindled in the distance it looked like a star of so great a brilliance that it cast a shadow of Círdan upon the strand where he stood.
The History of Middle-earth, vol. XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth: "Last Writings - Círdan," p. 386


http://www.tuckborough.net/Círdan.html

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