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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:31 pm 
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No, Galadriel never took the Oath. That was Fëanor and his sons, alone.l
None of the other Houses in Middle-earth were obsessed with getting the things. Galadriel came under the Doom because she like most of the Noldor refused to turn back at Mandos' command- but that wasn't swearing an oath.

Rateliff's argument is interesting- I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced. As with so much else in the Hobbit as it was written, I get the strong feeling that T's children's book was not really part of the Legendarium (at the time), but borrowed heavily from it, or took place in a world which resembled it as convenient. Still, the matching descriptions of the stones, and the fact that in his Old English translations Tolkien had actually used eorclanstanas for the Silmarils, make it plain that Thrain's Arkenstone was at the very least a calque upon the Great Jewels.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:57 pm 
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I'm enjoying this discussion, but driven to post to mention that "calque" is a great word I'd never seen before. :)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:32 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
No, Galadriel never took the Oath. That was Fëanor and his sons, alone.l
None of the other Houses in Middle-earth were obsessed with getting the things. Galadriel came under the Doom because she like most of the Noldor refused to turn back at Mandos' command- but that wasn't swearing an oath.


Quite correct, even without taking into account Tolkien's (IMO misguided) attempts to remove the shadow of the Doom from Galadriel in later writings.

Rateliff's argument is interesting- I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced. As with so much else in the Hobbit as it was written, I get the strong feeling that T's children's book was not really part of the Legendarium (at the time), but borrowed heavily from it, or took place in a world which resembled it as convenient. [/quote]

I'm not entirely convinced by Rateliff's interesting argument either (I'll need to go and reread it to refresh my memory of it), but I do think that he makes some valid points. I don't think that TH was intended to be part of the Legendarium, but I think it got sucked into it. In his introduction to the new Tales from the Perilous Realm, Shippey reminds us that Tolkien's description of Niggle in "Leaf by Niggle" as having "lost interest in his other pictures; or else he took them and tacked them on to the edges of his great picture" really is a description of what Tolkien himself was doing. That's what happened to The Hobbit.

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Still, the matching descriptions of the stones, and the fact that in his Old English translations Tolkien had actually used eorclanstanas for the Silmarils, make it plain that Thrain's Arkenstone was at the very least a calque upon the Great Jewels.


This is one of the great all-time HoF paragraphs.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:22 pm 
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Aww, shucks...

Prim, I can't claim "calque"- it's from the great Shippey (in another context)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:27 pm 
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Well, I love encountering new words, whatever the source—especially short words that mean something interesting. :)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Wasn't Arkenstone faceted, unlike the Silmarils?
Calque is a good description, IMO.

Thorin's attachment to the Arkenstone is not unlike Gollum's attachment to the Ring in some way.

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I intend to spend a good part of my eternity pestering the poor soul.


LOL, you, me, and some few thousand others. Do they have restraining orders in Heaven? :D It reminds me of Mark Twain's story dealing with the afterlife, where every newcomer to Heaven expects to embrace the Patriarchs, but the Patriarchs have better things to do than being embraced by all and sundry.

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And some RPing is really just for fun. Tygarya and I are writing a romance between her persona and Maedhros, and it involves a Silmaril in Minas Morgul at the end of the Third Age (she fished Maglor's out of the Sea), and peace treaties between Gondor and the East, oh...and Legolas moving to Ithilien.


Oh, absolutely! (We RPers have strange ideas of fun sometimes. ;) ) The two I'm in now have a very tenuous connection to anything Tolkien wrote, although some of the writers have amazing knowledge and bring it into the story with a flair.

On the other end of the spectrum was a now-defunct RP called A Soldier's Tale, which dealt with the siege of Minas Tirith from the perspective of common soldiers from all over Gondor. That one stayed quite faithful to the book while letting the writers "experience" the Middle-earth through some obscure characters. Not that different from writing a story set during WWII, for instance.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:28 pm 
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I know this is going to seem like the wrong thread for this, but bear with me. I once heard a priest say that heaven was the ability to transcend time and space. If that is true, then I wouldn't worry about pestering Tolkien or anyone else. I also wouldn't worry about speculation much.
All you are going to get is cold hard facts and they don't taste very nice at times do they precious? :P

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:38 am 
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That is one facet of it, yes - what does 'time' mean within the context of 'eternity', after all?

But there is more to heaven than just a mode of existence. It is... (looks around)...ah, right, you weren't after theological speculation. But I think that heaven is about relationships. Primarily between the soul and God, but also between all the saints (ie, people in heaven). Part of what Voronwë brought up on the other thread he bumped recently was the limitation we have at expressing ourselves or truths with language, where words do not always mean what we think they mean to other people, and we don't always have words for what we really mean. That limitation falls away in heaven, and however we communicate, it would be a lot more....direct (and therefore, intimate, but I'm not going there at the moment).

I don't want Tolkien to tell me about his world or answer my questions - I want him to show me a walk through Ithilien (or at the very least, introduce me to Frodo or Finrod ;)). Because part of what we all love about these stories is that they are so true...on some level. In heaven, I imagine that truth and reality are more of a singular identity then they are in this present existence. Not that any of what I've just written means what I think it does, but it is enough to convey an idea. I won't mind being totally off-base here, because it is just speculation.


But, ummm....I'm not counting chickens before they're hatched. I have to pass through a few nasty things like death and judgement :help: before I have to worry about how I'm going to be spending my eternity. So, first things first...be counted among the saints.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:31 am 
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While I don't want to turn this into a discussion of an afterlife... I do think any reasonably managed heaven shall have a corner for us to experience a "real" Middle-earth and possibly meet a few of its denizens. Certainly both Frodo and Finrod seem to possess more of a soul than some flesh-and-blood people I know. ;)

That said, I do want Tolkien to tell me. I am sure the charge of the Rohirrim was an awe-inspiring sight, even more so than in the movie, but I would hate to have missed those ringing lines!

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And the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed, for morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.


There's less than a hundred words that are worth a thousand pictures.

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“Aargragaah. It mean lit’rally der time when you see dem little pebbles and you jus’ know dere’s gonna be a great big landslide on toppa you and it already too late to run. Dat moment, dat’s aagragaah.”

Terry Pratchett, Jingo


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:00 am 
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I actually think a discussion about an afterlife is strangely appropriate for this thread, as long as continues to have a thread connecting it to Tolkien's work. After all, it is closely related to his self-stated "real theme".

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:01 am 
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I don'r think Tolkien ever told us if the Silmarils were faceted or not.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:25 am 
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One of the things I've always loved about "Leaf by Niggle" is the hope it raised in me, even as a child, that a creation as lovingly (if incompletely) created as Niggle's painting or Tolkien's Middle-Earth would somehow connect into the greater Creation and could be experienced as Real once we let go of our physical attachment to this reality.

That story never fails to bring me to tears because of that hope.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:00 am 
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I read a year or two ago in Scientific American (bear with me) a discussion of the fact that if the universe is infinite in physical extent, and if it is eternal in time, then, necessarily, everything that can possibly happen must have happened somewhere, at some time. Meaning, all physically possible fiction and all alternative realities for every conceivable form of life—somewhere they are or were or will be real. The article included a calculation of how far you might have to travel to find, say, The Great Gatsby actually happening. (It was pretty far. :shock: )

It's a fascinating idea: a universe that is truly infinite must contain everything . . . even a real Frodo. A whole sheaf of Frodos, some who failed and some who triumphed more easily. . . .

This, by the way, is one reason I'm intuitively sure the universe is not in fact infinite in either space or time. But it's still an amazing idea.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:15 am 
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Now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight, pondering that.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:17 am 
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My work here is done.

:hug:

Edit: It was longer ago than I thought—April 2003. I have it somewhere <looks around helplessly at heaps of papers>, but here is the link to the teaser where you can buy the article:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=parallel-universes

And here is the teaser itself—it being a sales tool, I assume they don't mind.

Quote:
Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on.

The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin in a galaxy about 10 to the 1028 meters from here. This distance is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make your doppelg�nger any less real. The estimate is derived from elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as observations indicate. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere. There are infinitely many other inhabited planets, including not just one but infinitely many that have people with the same appearance, name and memories as you, who play out every possible permutation of your life choices.�


Edit edit: 10 to the 1028 meters is a lot. A lightyear is 10 to the 13 meters, give or take, so this is 10 to the 1015 lightyears, or (rounding savagely) 10 to the 1005 times the diameter of the known (visible) universe—that's 10 followed by 1005 zeroes.

Big.

But if it exists, it has some version (thousands of versions, millions of versions) of Frodo in it. Oh, the story would be different, limited to the physically possible; but hobbits are certainly physically possible.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Last edited by Primula Baggins on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:37 am 
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Ah, the Trousers of Time. :)

Poor Frodo, to think of him REALLY trekking through Mordor. :(

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“Aargragaah. It mean lit’rally der time when you see dem little pebbles and you jus’ know dere’s gonna be a great big landslide on toppa you and it already too late to run. Dat moment, dat’s aagragaah.”

Terry Pratchett, Jingo


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:14 pm 
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Think of him as sitting on the beach in Hawaii, sipping a cold drink, instead. That's just as possible.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:03 pm 
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Given how unfathomably complex the universe is, are we really in a position to say what's logically and physically possible and what isn't? Maybe the world we inhabit is in fact the only one that can be.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Maybe that's the real purpose of fiction: to constrain reality to a satisfying shape, a tidy and understandable place with rules (as Ax said in the Shibboleth thread)—a warm chair by the fire while irrational reality howls outside the drawn curtains of our minds.

I'll go away now.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:02 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
Think of him as sitting on the beach in Hawaii, sipping a cold drink, instead. That's just as possible.


You've no idea what that statement did to my brain. "Addled" doesn't even begin to describe it. :spin:

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“Aargragaah. It mean lit’rally der time when you see dem little pebbles and you jus’ know dere’s gonna be a great big landslide on toppa you and it already too late to run. Dat moment, dat’s aagragaah.”

Terry Pratchett, Jingo


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