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Elfin
2009-07-19, 10:30 PM
Which of these three awesome Noldor kings is your favorite?
I'd have to go with Fingolfin, since he, well, went toe-to-toe with Morgoth and all.

Helanna
2009-07-19, 10:56 PM
Yeah, definitely Fingolfin. Really, not only did he basically challenge a god face to face, but actually managed to wound him seven times before dying. Please see "Time Stands Still" by Blind Guardian for more examples of this epicness.

Although I do like Fingon quite a bit . . . I like his rescue of Maedhros, and it did take the King of the Balrogs to kill him. Fingon is one of those characters I just automatically like.

Finwe hardly did anything, as best I can remember. He barely even counts. :smalltongue:

Remmirath
2009-07-19, 11:01 PM
Yeah, I'm going to have to go with Fingolfin, too. Not that the others weren't awesome, but he was definitely the most awesome.

It is true that Finwe didn't do terribly much. I basically like Fingon, but he's certainly not my favourite.

Texas_Ben
2009-07-19, 11:05 PM
Feanor, noobs.

averagejoe
2009-07-19, 11:09 PM
Feanor, noobs.

Feanor "wah wah my shiny rocks got taken away so I have to go around crying" son of Finwe? That Feanor? Really?

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:11 PM
Think he meant more, "pursued the hosts of Angband across Ard-Galen and killed a bunch of balrogs" Feanor.

averagejoe
2009-07-19, 11:13 PM
Killing a buncha balrogs isn't very impressive if you're crying about how much life is unfair the whole time.

truemane
2009-07-19, 11:15 PM
Feanor, noobs.

Also, the question was which of the Kings of the Noldor do we like. Feanor was NEVER King of the Noldor. He was passed over in favour of his brother. And good thing too. If he'd given Yavanna one of his stupid rocks they could have saved the trees.

Idiot.

Although 'Get thee gone from my house thou jailcrow of Mandos...' is some pretty bada$$ fighting words.

Anway. I'm going with Fingolfin. For reasons already stated. He went toe to toe with the greatest of the Ainur and wounded him so much the guy was scared. Then, of course, he fell in a hole and died, true, but he was rocking it out until then.

valadil
2009-07-19, 11:15 PM
Yeah, definitely Fingolfin. Really, not only did he basically challenge a god face to face, but actually managed to wound him seven times before dying. Please see "Time Stands Still" by Blind Guardian for more examples of this epicness.


That's my most favorite song ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWDR_ncgqwg

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:20 PM
If he'd given Yavanna one of his stupid rocks they could have saved the trees.
Idiot.
Yea, I always want to bash his head in at that part.

truemane
2009-07-19, 11:25 PM
Preach it brother! Even Aule's little defense couldn't soften it. I mean, even aside from the fact that he got the light from the trees in the first place, HE HAD THREE OF THEM! THREE! He could have given Yavanna TWO of them, one for each tree and still had one left to parade around saying I'm-the-baddest-elf-of-them-all.

But no. Had to have all three. And look what it got him. Stupid Noldor. If Galadriel weren't a Noldor, I'd be tempted to write off the entire race and give it all up for the Sindar.

But Galdriel rocks.

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:28 PM
I'd never write off the Noldor, not as long as there's Turgon, Fingon, and Fingolfin.

Oh, and Earendil could kick O-chul's ass any day.

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:31 PM
And next up, favorite Vala.

truemane
2009-07-19, 11:33 PM
Well. I guess. You can keep Maedhros, quite frankly. Lesser son of greater sires, says I. And even Turgon, cool as he was, let himself be convinced (by Maeglin!) to ignore the direct adivce of Ulmo. Dummy.

Ulmo: Hey, Turgon! It's me, Ulmo. You know, the guy who told you to make this city in the first place? Well. Anyway. So, it's time to come out and see what's happening in the world. Nice work, we done, but it's done now.

Maeglin: Don't listen to him! What does he know? He's only the second or third most powerful being in all of creation!

Turgon: You've got a point...

But Fingolfin was pretty awesome. So I'll grant the premise.

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:42 PM
Heh, good point. :smallamused:
The stupid choices people make in the Sil are just painful.

Zevox
2009-07-19, 11:46 PM
Fingolfin, for reasons already mentioned by, well, everyone.


Finwe hardly did anything, as best I can remember. He barely even counts. :smalltongue:
Other than being the first person to die in Arda when Melkor murdered him, no, he didn't really do anything. Well, technically he lead the Noldor through their great migration to eventually reach Aman, but Middle-Earth can't have been that perilous back then, especially since they were being lead by Orome.


And next up, favorite Vala.
Ulmo. I've always been a fan of water elementals and gods, and he gets bonus points for being the only Vala to actually do anything for anyone outside Aman (unless you count Manwe sending the eagles there I guess...).

Zevox

Elfin
2009-07-19, 11:52 PM
I second Ulmo, for all Zevox's reasons.
Plus, he led to the creation of Gondolin, and anything Gondolin is a sure way to hook me.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-20, 12:04 AM
...I don't know why but I have never really liked the Elven kings. To be fair I have never cared all that much for any of the kings in Tolkien's world except when he writes about the kings of old in LOTR, you know the Barrows? It's the subject catches my imagination, in just a few rows he manages to write such a tragic and sad story, especially when Tom describes the lady who originally wore the jewelry they find.

Of course if I have to choose I'll go with Fingolfin.

As for Vala: Tulkas or Yavanna.

Shadowbane
2009-07-20, 12:39 AM
Fingolfin. Toe to toe with a god!

Groovy.

And Mandos, because I have a thing for doom.

cnsvnc
2009-07-20, 01:52 AM
Looking at the choices, it's no wonder Fingolfin got every single vote. Of all the elves, only Tinuviel Luthien could actually compete with him in a badassness contest. Feanor was such a dumb sack of crap that any badassity he has is effectively nullified.

And for Valar: Aule. I like smith gods and smithing dwarves is awesome.

Eldan
2009-07-20, 01:58 AM
One more vote for Fingolfin/Ulmo.

skywalker
2009-07-20, 02:30 AM
Feanor, noobs.

Yeah, because kinslaying, ship-burning, death-marching bastards are awesome.

/sarcasm

Anyway, I have another reason for liking Fingolfin: He has such a bad-ass name. That's an elf right there, and you can never mistake it for someone else. You might get away with naming your D&D character Finwe, maybe even Fingon. But Fingolfin? No way. The guy could've been the janitor, but with a name like that, he's gonna be remembered.

I also like Mandos. Fate is awesome.

bosssmiley
2009-07-20, 05:25 AM
Noldor: Fingolfin ("Here's something to remember me by...")
Ainur: Tulkas (he didn't believe Morgoth had repented for an instant. Also he is BRIAN BLESSED!)

Eddums
2009-07-20, 08:06 AM
Stupid Noldor. If Galadriel weren't a Noldor, I'd be tempted to write off the entire race and give it all up for the Sindar. But Galdriel rocks.

Gil-Galad was just as badass as Galadriel, in fairness, if not more so.

Fingolfin wins the Noldor kings contest, for all the obvious reasons.

In terms of Valar, it's got to be Mandos for me. He's just that cool. :smalltongue:

kamikasei
2009-07-20, 08:12 AM
Of the three kings: Fingolfin, for all the obvious reasons. Of the Valar: Aule. Though Mandos and Lorien are up there.


Gil-Galad was just as badass as Galadriel, in fairness, if not more so.

Pfft. Call me back when Gil-galad has walked from Heaven across the North Pole and then done telepathic battle with Beelzebub for three thousand years.

(Poking at Beelzebub with a shiny stick doesn't rate. A Man did as much.)

Eddums
2009-07-20, 08:25 AM
Yeah, but Gil-Galad was living, from a metastory point of view, in a seriously depowered world. He never had the opportunity to do half the things that Galadriel did. I'm not debating how awesome Galadriel is, as I think it's pretty obvious that she is seriously badass, I just think Gil-Galad is always slightly underrated.

Essentially rebuilding the Elven nation is no mean feat, after all.

WhiteHarness
2009-07-20, 09:16 AM
The Elves can kiss it.

No Elf made the Valar tremble with fear to the point that they appealed to Eru Il˙vatar for aid.

But a Man, leading an army of Men, did just that when he invaded Arda itself.

Ar-Pharaz˘n kathuphazganun.

I mean, sure, one sees an Elf take on one of the Ainur every now and then, but only a Man could make them all quake in their boots enough to lay aside their guardianship of the world and run crying for help to the setting's Overgod, begging him to bail them out. ;)

Now, that's badassery done properly, right there. No Elf was ever so awesome in Tolkien's setting. Mighty beyond the reckoning of Elves were the Kings of Men in that Age.

I suppose, though, if I had to pick a favorite Elf-king, it'd be Thingol. He had cooler toys.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-07-20, 09:26 AM
I'd have to agree with the Fingolfin supporters. Not only did he have the guts to stand up to the Master of Fate himself, but he gave him a permanent limp.

Though in terms of sheer awesomeness, I don't think Eńrendil the Mariner can be beat. I mean, he managed to kill the most terrifying dragon of all time and smote his ruin upon Thangorodrim, and his power was such that it could be felt even in the Third Age (through the Phial of Galadriel.)

truemane
2009-07-20, 10:54 AM
Ulmo. ... he gets bonus points for being the only Vala to actually do anything for anyone outside Aman (unless you count Manwe sending the eagles there I guess...).

Except for that part where the Valar all march to war in the north and shut Morgoth out into the Eternal Darkness beyond the Walls of Night, you mean? And that thing where Manwe appealed to Eru Iluvatar and sank the island of Numenor? Eru did it, true, but Manwe made it happen.


I just think Gil-Galad is always slightly underrated. Essentially rebuilding the Elven nation is no mean feat, after all.

Granted. But Galadriel is older than the sun and the moon. Her grandfather woke up at Cuivienen. She saw the light of the trees. The only reason she left Aman didn't have anything to do with Feanor, it was only because she desired to see and rule the lands without anyone messing with her stuff. Gil-Galad was cool. Galadriel ate bigger than him for breakfast.


I suppose, though, if I had to pick a favorite Elf-king, it'd be Thingol. He had cooler toys.

If we weren't limited in the original question to Noldorian Kings, it'd be Elu Thingol all the way. Married a Maia. Had the hottest daughter of all time. Had the most secure kingdom for the longest time. Was SO awesome that his people were compared to the High Elves even though they never saw the light of the trees. Thingol is ALL that.

And, as far as Valar go, I'm all about Manwe. I love Aule and the Dwarves. Ulmo is truly bada$$. But Manwe was Melkor if you sucked out all the stupid. He was the roughest and toughest and the wisest and the most far seeing and the most obedient to Iluvatar's will. And if there's ONE THING that's stupid, it's not doing the Will of the Most Powerful Being in or out of Creation.

Raz_Fox
2009-07-20, 11:05 AM
As per the original question? Fingolfin, but tied with Feanor. Say what you will about the consequences of his actions, he was one of the greatest elves in the Silmarillion hands down, and his corruption was truly one of the worst deeds of Melkor. His entire life was broken by Melkor's lies, and he didn't wallow in misery - he stood up to Mandos himself, laughing in the face of a divine curse!
Fingolfin's made of the same stuff as his brother though, and his battle with Melkor is my favorite duel ever. Feanor was greater in potential than his brother, but Fingolfin ended up being greater by far in the end.
...So. Yeah. I love those two half-brothers.

As for favorite Vala? I'd have to say Manwe, master of the Eagles. Just because he's got perfect timing on his divine interventions.

Lupy
2009-07-20, 11:08 AM
Well of the given choices, obviously Fingolfin. I thought he was just a good king at first, you know the sort, but then he jumped on a horse, rode uncounted miles, jumped off, made Morgoth look like a ***** in front of all his Balrogs, then gave Morgoth, most powerful of the Valar, a permanent leg injury before being killed. Pure badass.

As for favorite Vala? Well, Tulklas saw right through Morgoth, Yavanna made the two trees, Ulmo gave Turgon the idea for friggin Gondolin (best city ever), and Aule made the Dwarves and built the world...

I'm torn between Ulmo and Aule, but the fact Ulmo actually wasn't an idiot during the events of the Quenta Silmarillion earns him #1.

---

Now not to dis Ar-Pharzon, because the guy did assemble the largest army ever and make the Gods flee in terror to the Creator for help, but Turin would've beaten the **** out of him for being such a jerk. I mean, this guy had the worst life ever and is still the greatest hero of all Middle Earth. In fact, he's cooler than Earendil even, and that guy *is* the Evening Star and has the last silmaril.

Zevox
2009-07-20, 11:52 AM
Except for that part where the Valar all march to war in the north and shut Morgoth out into the Eternal Darkness beyond the Walls of Night, you mean?
You mean the part where the Valar sat on their asses and sent the Vanyar and those of the Noldor who had stayed in Aman plus a few Maiar and Earendil to do all that? No, I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify.


And that thing where Manwe appealed to Eru Iluvatar and sank the island of Numenor? Eru did it, true, but Manwe made it happen
...you're trying to give Manwe credit for "helping" people outside Aman because he got Eru to unleash a cataclysm that destroyed the greatest human realm ever to exist and permanently altered the planet? That's more than a bit of a stretch.

Zevox

Telonius
2009-07-20, 11:59 AM
Best elf, in general: Cirdan. The only non-Vanyar elf-lord who showed a decent amount of common sense throughout the whole mess.

Of the choices: Fingolfin.

Of the Valar: Very tough choice for me between Varda and Orome. Varda narrowly wins out, since Morgoth fears her most.

JonestheSpy
2009-07-20, 12:48 PM
Well, Elven kings: Fingolfin...I mean, really.

as for the Valr, I always really liked Orome. Loved the vision of him riding the the darkest parts of Middle earth before the elves were even wakened, exploring and hunting unnamed abominations created by Melkor.

Elfin
2009-07-20, 01:05 PM
The Elves can kiss it.

No Elf made the Valar tremble with fear to the point that they appealed to Eru Il˙vatar for aid.

But a Man, leading an army of Men, did just that when he invaded Arda itself.

Ar-Pharaz˘n kathuphazganun.

I mean, sure, one sees an Elf take on one of the Ainur every now and then, but only a Man could make them all quake in their boots enough to lay aside their guardianship of the world and run crying for help to the setting's Overgod, begging him to bail them out. ;)

Now, that's badassery done properly, right there. No Elf was ever so awesome in Tolkien's setting. Mighty beyond the reckoning of Elves were the Kings of Men in that Age.

I suppose, though, if I had to pick a favorite Elf-king, it'd be Thingol. He had cooler toys.

Ar-Pharazon was an idiot; I mean, he worshipped Morgoth and took all his advice from Sauron.
And while Thingol's cool, he's not a Noldo.

And now: favorite Edain.
For me, Hurin is the obvious choice, although Beren is close second.

kamikasei
2009-07-20, 01:16 PM
And now: favorite Edain.

Hurin all the way.

hamishspence
2009-07-20, 01:19 PM
Also, the question was which of the Kings of the Noldor do we like. Feanor was NEVER King of the Noldor. He was passed over in favour of his brother. And good thing too. If he'd given Yavanna one of his stupid rocks they could have saved the trees.

Idiot.


Except- said rocks were already in the hands of Morgoth at the time. Though he wasn't to know that. It does hint that if he'd said yea rather than nay, even if it would have made no difference to the trees, might have lead to different results (maybe no Oath?)

truemane
2009-07-20, 01:22 PM
You mean the part where the Valar sat on their asses and sent the Vanyar and those of the Noldor who had stayed in Aman plus a few Maiar and Earendil to do all that? No, I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify.

Oh it qualifies. You just KNOW that Manwe gave that order and organized that bad boy. And you know he did it after spending time ruminating on whether or not it was the thing Eru wanted him to do. So what of he waited until everything was already wrecked? So what if he didn't come himself across the sea? He'd already been there, done that. He was giving the ELVES a chance to kick some. The poor Vanyar, been in Aman all this time while the Noldor ran around having fun. Manwe was being nice to them.

:smallbiggrin:


...you're trying to give Manwe credit for "helping" people outside Aman because he got Eru to unleash a cataclysm that destroyed the greatest human realm ever to exist and permanently altered the planet? That's more than a bit of a stretch.

Stretch? Madness! Numenor was stealing all the good junk from everyone in the rest of the world! They were parasitic pirates! No better than Captain Jack Sparrow! They were under the Thrall of Sauron! They were ripe for a butt-whupping and Manwe was just smart enough to know it! Sure he could have chosen something a little more subtle, I suppose, but you gotta admit that his solution had some style. More than you can say for Aule, who DEFENDED Feanor's decision not to give Yavanna Silmaril.

:smalltongue:

Zevox
2009-07-20, 01:23 PM
I've always been partial to Tuor, for some reason. Maybe because of his connections to Ulmo and Gondolin.

Zevox

Elfin
2009-07-20, 01:35 PM
Hurin is just badass in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. I mean, he killed tons of orcs, was the last good guy alive, stood up to Morgoth, and said the cool quote that's in my sig.

averagejoe
2009-07-20, 02:16 PM
I just have to say that this is possibly the nerdiest discussion I have ever been privy to.

Also, Tulkas all the way. He was, like, the Minsc of the Valar.

Edit: I must admit, upon further consideration, I've always had a soft spot for Varda. Maybe it was because she wrote nasty things about Morgoth in the stars just to taunt him. Now that's style.

truemane
2009-07-20, 02:37 PM
Actually, I've got to vote with Zevox on this one, despite his poor judgement in other matters. :smalltongue:

Tuor all the way. He killed Maeglin. That alone makes him made of pure awesome.

I hate Maeglin. Almost as much as I hate Saeros.

Elfin
2009-07-20, 02:39 PM
Yea, Maeglin was worse than his dad. Tuor gets bonus points for killing him.

MissK
2009-07-20, 03:43 PM
You know the great thing about LOTR? That, even though the world is filled with powerful forces, the ultimate heroes are two little hobbits. (One if you think, as I do, that Sam is the hero.)

/tangent

averagejoe
2009-07-20, 04:47 PM
You know the great thing about LOTR? That, even though the world is filled with powerful forces, the ultimate heroes are two little hobbits. (One if you think, as I do, that Sam is the hero.)

/tangent

Of course Sam is the hero. Friggin Gandalf finds out that Sam had gone off with Frodo and basically says, "Well, my fears are pretty much put to rest. Sam kicks ass." :smallbiggrin:

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-07-20, 09:49 PM
Of course Sam is the hero. Friggin Gandalf finds out that Sam had gone off with Frodo and basically says, "Well, my fears are pretty much put to rest. Sam kicks ass." :smallbiggrin:

Indeed. Not many people are aware of this, but in terms of power, Shelob was the equivalent of the Balrog itself. Gandalf battled the Balrog to death, bringing to bear both the might of Glamdring, the sword of Gondolin's king, and his magical powers, and then temporarilly died himself following the battle. Sam blinded and wounded Shelob, with just a small elf dagger and a bottle of magical water. Might have even killed her. And he barely took a scratch from her. :smallbiggrin:

Dienekes
2009-07-20, 10:38 PM
Another for Fingolfin


Feanor, noobs.

Gothmog, noob. Ahh the random villain whose sole purpose seemed to be to kill off heroes. Every series should have someone as badass.

Zevox
2009-07-20, 11:03 PM
Indeed. Not many people are aware of this, but in terms of power, Shelob was the equivalent of the Balrog itself.
Eh, arguable. Balrogs were corrupted Maiar empowered by Morgoth. Shelob was the daughter of Ungoliant and a spider, making her half-Maia. She was no small foe, certainly, but I'd hesitate to put her on equal footing with a Balrog.


Sam blinded and wounded Shelob, with just a small elf dagger and a bottle of magical water. Might have even killed her. And he barely took a scratch from her. :smallbiggrin:
Yeah, all through dumb luck. That great wound he gave her was only because she slammed herself down on his sword, thinking to smother him when he was below her, and he happened to have his sword pointed up at the time. He wasn't strong enough to force a blade through her flesh - the book says even Beren or Turin couldn't have done it - but she was.

Zevox

Texas_Ben
2009-07-20, 11:26 PM
Gothmog, noob. Ahh the random villain whose sole purpose seemed to be to kill off heroes. Every series should have someone as badass.
We are in complete agreement.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-21, 12:57 AM
Eh, arguable. Balrogs were corrupted Maiar empowered by Morgoth. Shelob was the daughter of Ungoliant and a spider, making her half-Maia. She was no small foe, certainly, but I'd hesitate to put her on equal footing with a Balrog.
Zevox


Her mother was Ungoliant, a being so powerful she almost killed Morgoth on her own. In fact, Morgoth had to call all Balrogs to his aid to survive the encounter, and they merely drove her off, not killing her.
Ungoliant was... tough. She was also the mother of all giant spiders in middle earth.

Now if you water down her powers a few magnitudes Shelob was definitely a match for a single Balrog.

Dienekes
2009-07-21, 10:33 AM
Not necessarily true. Ungoliant was amazingly powerful, no doubt about it. But you're making some leaps of judgment. Yes she attacked and would have beaten Morgoth (cause the idiot allowed her to gain super powers essentially) unless the balrogs intervened. Now we know that all the (5-7-ish) balrogs attacked and defeated her. Unfortunately this says nothing of what her power was other than 7 balrogs > her. This says nothing of if she was stronger than 1 (not that I assume she wasn't just that we can't accurately get her strength from this event)

Also her strength does not necessarily pass to her children. Ungoliant was the mother of the giant spiders, as you say. This includes the spider pets from the Hobbit that were depressingly weak. And no where near as strong as a balrog. Now for the sake of the argument we will admit that Shelob was stronger than her other brethren as she was the last of the first born, I believe it was stated.

Now we look at what made Ungoliant so strong. Her strength was partially physical (she was incredibly huge after devouring the trees) but a large part of it seemed to be her ability to control darkness, which is what she used to defeat Morgoth. None of her children seem to have this ability, nor where they anywhere close to as large (and presumably as strong) as the mother. So what is left is a very large spider, compared to a full demon with partial control of shadows, flame, and tangible weapons that don't require throwing his girth at sharp and potentially dangerous objects.

Sorry, Sam was great but I can't say that the monster he fought was anywhere near on par with the beast that killed Gandalf.

GoC
2009-07-21, 10:44 AM
*points at avatar*

Texas_Ben
2009-07-21, 11:30 AM
Now we look at what made Ungoliant so strong. Her strength was partially physical (she was incredibly huge after devouring the trees) but a large part of it seemed to be her ability to control darkness, which is what she used to defeat Morgoth.
I wouldn't say her descendants lacked this ability. It's been a great while since I've read the Lord of the Rings (and even longer since I've read the Silmarillion) but I *do* remember that the spiders' nest in the hobbit was even blacker than the rest of mirkwood, which was itself pretty black at the time due to Sauron living there. That doesn't just happen, so I'm going to go ahead and attribute it to magicalness.

Now granted it's a far cry from belching out enough blackness to shadow out the land of the gods, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Zevox
2009-07-21, 11:35 AM
Her mother was Ungoliant, a being so powerful she almost killed Morgoth on her own. In fact, Morgoth had to call all Balrogs to his aid to survive the encounter, and they merely drove her off, not killing her.
Ungoliant was... tough. She was also the mother of all giant spiders in middle earth.

Now if you water down her powers a few magnitudes Shelob was definitely a match for a single Balrog.
As Dienekes said, you're misrepresenting things here. Ungoliant attacked, captured, and wounded Morgoth, true. But she did not "almost kill" him - nothing Tolkien ever wrote would suggest that. And it was because she had grown strong from feasting on the Trees and the gemstones Morgoth fed her, and it is implied Morgoth had put some of his own power into her (thus why it was after approaching her that he lost his shape-shifting power). Certainly by that point his personal power had been diminished significantly, as shown by the loss of his shape-shifting abilities, which were so basic to all the Ainur, even the least of the Maiar.

And yes, he was rescued by the arrival of all the Balrogs of Angband - but nothing says that they were all necessary to save him. Ungoliant ran away from them rather than fight, so we do not know how her power stacks up against theirs, other than that she must have expected to die when facing them all.

And Dienekes is right about the relative power and abilities of her children as well. Shelob was certainly one of the most powerful of them, and the greatest to survive to the days of the War of the Ring, but we know that Ungoliant's children often display almost none of her power from the other, much lesser monstrous spiders she mothered. And while Dienekes is wrong about some of what he said about Shelob - the book does say she had her mother's ability to spin webs of darkness ("[...] weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness." That's what the chapter Shelob's Lair says of her in The Return of the King) - it seems very unlikely that she was actually the equal of a true Maia. Sauron himself referred to her as "my cat" (again, from that same chapter as the last quote I gave), and did not seem to fear her in the least, but simply find her useful. And that was even without the Ring, when his power was much diminished, and it is unknown how he'd have stacked up compared to a Balrog at that time.

Zevox

truemane
2009-07-21, 12:23 PM
I was going to go on a Shelob rant, but Zevox said most of what I was going to say. I will mention, because it seems to bear mentioning, that it never states Ungoliant to be a Maia. I'm fairly sure the Silmarillion claims her origins are/were unknown, even to Melkor.

Also, while Sam may not have beaten a Balrog, he was the ONLY person in the history of all the world to give up the ring with no real prompting. Bilbo did it, but Gandalf almost had to pry it out of his hands.

But Sam, with the ring all woken up and ready to party, and that close to Sauron's centre of power, just gave it back when Frodo asked.

That's why Sam rocks.

Dienekes
2009-07-21, 12:32 PM
Thank ya Texas_Ben and Zevox for correcting me. I hate getting my lotr wrong.

Elfin
2009-07-21, 01:05 PM
Nice avatar GoC.
I'd agree that, while certainly the most powerful of the spawn of Ungoliant to survive to the War of the Ring, Shelob was no match for a true Maiar unveiled in his wrath.

Zevox
2009-07-21, 01:17 PM
I will mention, because it seems to bear mentioning, that it never states Ungoliant to be a Maia. I'm fairly sure the Silmarillion claims her origins are/were unknown, even to Melkor.
True, but that's kind of the only real feasible option, isn't it? I mean, before the world was created, there were only Eru and the Ainur. Once it was, the Ainur entered it, and became known as the Valar and Maiar. Since the Valar category is extremely limited and all those who fit it are named and known, she isn't that. Meanwhile, all other creatures save only Elves and Humans were creations of the Valar or Morgoth; and surely the Valar would not have created something like Ungoliant. If Morgoth didn't create her - and I actually seem to recall he couldn't actually create anything, just twist other creatures into new forms - then that really only leaves one option. Maia.


Also, while Sam may not have beaten a Balrog, he was the ONLY person in the history of all the world to give up the ring with no real prompting. Bilbo did it, but Gandalf almost had to pry it out of his hands.

But Sam, with the ring all woken up and ready to party, and that close to Sauron's centre of power, just gave it back when Frodo asked.

That's why Sam rocks.
True, but he did also have the Ring for the shortest amount of time of anyone. Bilbo had it for years before Gandalf got him to give it to Frodo. Gollum had it for decades, perhaps centuries (I forget his exact age range). Isildur was never asked to simply give it up, but to actually destroy it where it's influence was strongest, something that, as it turns out, nobody could have done intentionally. Sam had the easiest choice of those who bore the Ring - having had the Ring for less than a day, maybe less than an hour, he gave it back to the person he viewed as it's rightful bearer to begin with.

Zevox

truemane
2009-07-21, 02:08 PM
[Intelligent points snipped]..then that really only leaves one option. Maia.


Well, I could mention the things in the theme of Iluvatar that were unforeseen by anyone, but fair enough. I get your point. And there's really no way to decide what's right in this case anyway, since the Silmarillion doesn't say and I don't think any other primary source is any more informative. If anyone can cite a source that says one way or the other, I'd love to hear it.


True, but he did also have the Ring for the shortest amount of time of anyone. Bilbo had it for years before Gandalf got him to give it to Frodo. Gollum had it for decades, perhaps centuries (I forget his exact age range). Isildur was never asked to simply give it up, but to actually destroy it where it's influence was strongest, something that, as it turns out, nobody could have done intentionally. Sam had the easiest choice of those who bore the Ring - having had the Ring for less than a day, maybe less than an hour, he gave it back to the person he viewed as it's rightful bearer to begin with.

Gollum had it for almost exactly 500 years, if memory serves.

But the length of time owning the ring isn't the only factor at work, neither Gandalf nor Aragorn nor Galadriel even wanted to touch it, even for a moment, for fear that they'd be lost to it. Sam was also the only one that the Ring actually, viscerally tempted with specific visions of nation-wide gardens and Sam the Gardener lording it over all.

Sam was also much closer to Mount Doom than anyone save Isildur and he had the ring AFTER Sauron revealed himself, which the book states (although I can't recall the reference) makes the ring stronger and more dangerous.

I'm not citing him giving it back as what makes him great, because I agree that having it so short a time (and taking it with the sole intention of destroying it and not using it probably helped, merely the fact that he did so with no apparent reluctance or hesitation. That's something special no matter what else is happening.

And as far as easiest choice, I don't know about that. He could either give his master back the thing that was twisting him and killing him or hang onto it for just a little longer to lighten his poor master's load. That's just the sort of thing the ring would and could tempt him to do. And it's the kind of temptation Galadriel and Gandalf were worried about ('I"ll only use it once. Just once. I promise.') and it was that kind of temptation that overthrew Boromir.

It might just be that the ring made the mistake of tempting him with power and not pity.

In any case, I still think Sam giving it back to Frodo like he did shows heroic strength of character.

Eddums
2009-07-21, 02:17 PM
Nice avatar GoC.
I'd agree that, while certainly the most powerful of the spawn of Ungoliant to survive to the War of the Ring, Shelob was no match for a true Maiar unveiled in his wrath.

I think it's safe to say that had Gandalf's plan not gone awry, and the entire Fellowship (bar Boromir, and possibly Aragorn, who would have presumably gone to Minas Tirith) had been able to make the journey to Mordor, Shelob would not have been a terribly significant threat.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-21, 02:33 PM
I was going to go on a Shelob rant, but Zevox said most of what I was going to say. I will mention, because it seems to bear mentioning, that it never states Ungoliant to be a Maia. I'm fairly sure the Silmarillion claims her origins are/were unknown, even to Melkor.

I don't agree that Morgoth, in that situation, would have survived the encounter without the Balrogs. He was basically blinded and bound. It might be that he in a "fair" fight would have bested her on his own but such were not the circumstances.
The other argument, that she is "only" was that strong because of the trees, etc... So? (her biggest boost, I think, was from eating the silmaril, although it also brought her pain beyone belief).

As for Ungoliant not being a Maia? I don't find that relevant. What matters is power. It is interesting though, because she is probably the most powerful, or second most powerful, of the unknown ones.
She is basically equal in power to a Maia, without being one. And she apparently traveled to Middle Earth of her own will, after the creation was done.

The other "unknown" ones are, among others, Tom and the Watcher.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-21, 02:37 PM
True, but that's kind of the only real feasible option, isn't it? I mean, before the world was created, there were only Eru and the Ainur. Once it was, the Ainur entered it, and became known as the Valar and Maiar. Since the Valar category is extremely limited and all those who fit it are named and known, she isn't that.

There is some speculation (I think it's semi-official, Tolkien or Christopher) that wonders if she is a manifestation of the "Beyond" itself, like a Negative Space Vedgie taking sentient form. Other ideas is that Eru was not alone, But other beings of his power level had their own "court". It's just that the stories are not about them, since they did not create Middle Earth.

Zevox
2009-07-21, 03:07 PM
And as far as easiest choice, I don't know about that.
Can you think of any Ringbearer who had an easier one with regards to giving up the Ring, then? I can't, and I notice you didn't mention any in your post.


In any case, I still think Sam giving it back to Frodo like he did shows heroic strength of character.
Oh, sure. I was just pointing out it may not be as incredible of a feat as your initial post made it out to be.


I think it's safe to say that had Gandalf's plan not gone awry, and the entire Fellowship (bar Boromir, and possibly Aragorn, who would have presumably gone to Minas Tirith) had been able to make the journey to Mordor, Shelob would not have been a terribly significant threat.
I don't think that's safe to say at all. During the fight with her, it is said:


But Shelob was not as dragons are, no softer spot had she save only her eyes. Knobbed and pitted with corruption was her age-old hide, but ever thickened from within with layer on layer of evil growth. The blade scored with a dreadful gash, but those hideous folds could not be pierced by any strength of men, not though Elf or Dwarf should forge the steel or the hand of Beren or of Turin wield it.
Yeah, the group together could have done no more than Sam did on his own. Without Shelob impaling herself, the only spot they could strike and do any real harm was her eyes.


I don't agree that Morgoth, in that situation, would have survived the encounter without the Balrogs. He was basically blinded and bound. It might be that he in a "fair" fight would have bested her on his own but such were not the circumstances.
Considering it doesn't appear as though it is possible to truly kill one of the Ainur - even Sauron survived the destruction of the Ring, albeit as a meager spirit unable to regain his strength - I don't see how it is possible for him not to survive that encounter.


The other argument, that she is "only" was that strong because of the trees, etc... So?
The point was that recent events had strengthened her and weakened him, quite possibly in direct correlation to one another if Melkor did indeed give her some of his power directly. Circumstances were against him in that encounter.


(her biggest boost, I think, was from eating the silmaril, although it also brought her pain beyone belief).
What? She never ate a Silmaril. You must be confusing her with Carcharoth, the wolf that Beren and Luthien faced.

The three Silmarils each eventually wound up in a different elemental-themed resting place. The one Beren and Luthien acquired passed to Earendil, and through him into the sky. Maehdros and Maglor each acquired the other two after the War of Wrath. Maehdros took his with him when he leaped into a volcanic chasm, and Maglor threw his into the sea, because they were burned by them, and unlike Morgoth they could not live with that pain. One in the sky, another in the earth, and the last in the sea. None in Ungoliant's belly.


The other "unknown" ones are, among others, Tom and the Watcher.
The Watcher seemed to me to be implied to be one of the creatures twisted by Morgoth that survived the War of Wrath and took refuge in the most remote places of the world it could find. Like the other creatures mentioned vaguely by Gandalf to be lurking beneath Moria and the mountains it was a part of. And like the Balrog of Moria itself.

Zevox

hamishspence
2009-07-21, 03:23 PM
Yeah, the group together could have done no more than Sam did on his own. Without Shelob impaling herself, the only spot they could strike and do any real harm was her eyes.


Sam shears away one of her claws as well. If the fellowship had gone for the legs, Shelob could have been badly crippled.



The Watcher seemed to me to be implied to be one of the creatures twisted by Morgoth that survived the War of Wrath and took refuge in the most remote places of the world it could find. Like the other creatures mentioned vaguely by Gandalf to be lurking beneath Moria and the mountains it was a part of. And like the Balrog of Moria itself.


"Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Not very clear whether this simply means "they have been in Middle Earth longer" since Sauron is a Maia, and so, eternal.

averagejoe
2009-07-21, 03:28 PM
I believe (though I cannot actually cite a source, I think it was in one of the letters) it was partially Tolkien's intention to create some things with unexplained origins, because fantasy should have a bit of mystery about it. I wouldn't quote me on that, though.

J.Gellert
2009-07-21, 04:17 PM
What Fingolfin did will easily get him a Darwin Award... but then again, it sounds really awesome sung by Blind Guardian, so I'll throw my vote for him.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-21, 10:23 PM
What? She never ate a Silmaril. You must be confusing her with Carcharoth, the wolf that Beren and Luthien faced.

You're right, my bad. She did look right at them without flinching and tried to eat them.

Kaihaku
2009-07-21, 10:27 PM
Fingolfin all the way.

Eldan
2009-07-22, 01:37 AM
Just wondering, but when you were discussing mysterious origins, I just asked myself: where do hobbits actually come from? I mean, it's said that they come from other little people, but who created them in the first place? Has anything ever been said about that?

kamikasei
2009-07-22, 02:06 AM
What Fingolfin did will easily get him a Darwin Award...

Having already produced offspring, he was ineligible for a Darwin Award. Besides, at that point he thought the whole world was doomed anyway and didn't really expect to survive.

Eddums
2009-07-22, 05:37 AM
I don't think that's safe to say at all. During the fight with her, it is said:



On the whole, you may have a point, in that the method of defeating Shelob would still remain the same. However, I think the most important factor here is Gandalf, whose ability to create light of a magical and 'pure' nature would most likely have been just as effective against Shelob as the light of Earendil, thus making her defeat significantly easier. Given that it must be her eyes that are hit, Legolas's ranged prowess shouldn't be discounted, either.

Purely conjecture of course, but it seems logical enough.

truemane
2009-07-22, 05:51 AM
You're right, my bad. She did look right at them without flinching and tried to eat them.

The text doesn't say that. It says that she ate all the gems from Formenos and then demanded what was in Melkor's other hand. Which happened to be the Silmarils. And then she belched some shadows and Melkor freaked out and the Balrogs came and chased her off.

Also, as it turns out, my earlier point about Ungoliant not be a Maia is wrong. The text says that the ELDAR (not Melkor) didn't know where she came from, but that they say she descended from the darkness around Arda, and that long ago she was one that Melkor corrupted to his service.

So that's failry conclusive. Maia it is.

WalkingTarget
2009-07-22, 08:12 AM
I believe (though I cannot actually cite a source, I think it was in one of the letters) it was partially Tolkien's intention to create some things with unexplained origins, because fantasy should have a bit of mystery about it. I wouldn't quote me on that, though.

Here ya go.


"And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)."

I think it can apply to several "enigmas" in the story, though, not just Bombadil.


Just wondering, but when you were discussing mysterious origins, I just asked myself: where do hobbits actually come from? I mean, it's said that they come from other little people, but who created them in the first place? Has anything ever been said about that?

I don't have my book of Tolkien's Letters handy right at the moment (I just know where I can find the text of the preceding quote), but he considers them to be of the same kind as Men. The records of where they branched off have been "lost" but they're not entirely separate as the Elves and Dwarves are.

Zevox
2009-07-22, 10:51 AM
Just wondering, but when you were discussing mysterious origins, I just asked myself: where do hobbits actually come from? I mean, it's said that they come from other little people, but who created them in the first place? Has anything ever been said about that?
I seem to recall them being said to be descendants of some branch of humanity. Essentially, you could think of them as the one instance in Tolkien's world where a species came about due to evolution rather than divine creation/twisting.

There doesn't seem to be any mention of it in the appendixes of The Lord of the Rings, so I'd have to assume I read that somewhere in the History of Middle Earth series, which is far too big for me to peruse to find the information again with any speed.

Zevox

snoopy13a
2009-07-22, 01:40 PM
Which of these three awesome Noldor kings is your favorite?
I'd have to go with Fingolfin, since he, well, went toe-to-toe with Morgoth and all.

Finarfin is my favorite with Finrod as my second.

Helanna
2009-07-22, 03:48 PM
I just have to say that I am enjoying this discussion immensely. I've never actually met anyone who's even read part of the Silmarillion, let alone enjoyed it and is willing to discuss it. So this is pretty awesome for me. (Not that I'm really taking part, but I am lurking!)


What Fingolfin did will easily get him a Darwin Award... but then again, it sounds really awesome sung by Blind Guardian, so I'll throw my vote for him.

That is the only condition that anyone really needs to vote. :smallwink:

WalkingTarget
2009-07-22, 03:56 PM
I just have to say that I am enjoying this discussion immensely. I've never actually met anyone who's even read part of the Silmarillion, let alone enjoyed it and is willing to discuss it. So this is pretty awesome for me. (Not that I'm really taking part, but I am lurking!)

Heh, seems you missed out on the period about, oh, a year and a half ago when there were a lot of Middle-earth vs threads around. Lot's of Tolkien-inspired nerdiness going on for several months. Good times.

Edit - unfortunately, it seems that most if not all of that stuff has suffered from the Great Thread Purge. Too bad. :smallfrown:

Edit again - or maybe the search feature is just limited. Anybody know if it's possible to find threads from that long ago?

kamikasei
2009-07-22, 04:23 PM
Edit again - or maybe the search feature is just limited. Anybody know if it's possible to find threads from that long ago?

Use Google - "site:giantitp.com/forums". Example (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64983).

Lupy
2009-07-22, 08:11 PM
I always thought Tom Bombadil was Eru Illuvatar in disguise. Just my 2 cents though.

Now, let me just say: before eating the TWO TREES of which the Silmarils are but tiny reflections, she could never have defeated Morgoth. Nor do we know how many Balrogs there were, but the Fall of Gondolin indicates that they were many in number. Even without Gothmog doing what he did best (kill heroes) they killed hundreds of the best Noldor soldiers in Middle Earth. Orcs did not do this, and the Dragons were few in number.

Zevox
2009-07-22, 09:03 PM
I always thought Tom Bombadil was Eru Illuvatar in disguise. Just my 2 cents though.
This is actually the one and only theory of Tom's identity that Tolkien himself explicitly debunked. See here (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/t/tombombadil.html). The most definite quote on the matter, according to that site, is:


'There is no embodiment of the One, of God, who indeed remains remote, outside the World, and only directly accessible to the Valar or Rulers.'

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien No 181, dated 1956
Zevox

Lupy
2009-07-22, 09:30 PM
This is actually the one and only theory of Tom's identity that Tolkien himself explicitly debunked. See here (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/t/tombombadil.html). The most definite quote on the matter, according to that site, is:


Zevox

So much for that then. Oh well.

Thanks Zevox.

WalkingTarget
2009-07-22, 10:26 PM
Use Google - "site:giantitp.com/forums". Example (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64983).

You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. You have my thanks. :smallsmile:

Winterwind
2009-07-23, 04:21 AM
I'm going to vote for Fingolfin, too - even if his actions in the book did not warrant it, When Time Stands Still would still do that all on its own. :smallwink:

Shifty
2009-07-24, 06:01 PM
Okay, so he's not an Elven king, per se, but since this has devolved from specific favourites amongst the kings of the Noldor into just general Second Age elf-love (not a bad thing!) why has nobody mentioned Ecthelion of the Fountain? Bolded for emphasis:

He killed Gothmog.

As exposition, Gothmog was effectively the High Master Killer of Middle Earth. His entire reason for living was to kill the lords of Men, Elf and Dwarf, and his list of victims reads like a list of Eldarin devotionals. Hurin couldn't kill him. Feanor got whomped. Fingon met his end to the Dread Oppressor. Tuor would have died as well, but Ecthelion alone defended him from Gothmog, and in the end both died. According to one version, Ecthelion was disarmed and killed Gothmog by goring him with the spike on his helmet and drowning him in a fountain.

Bad Ass.

Elfin
2009-07-24, 06:11 PM
That is a large bit of badassery that seems frequently overlooked.

Scylfing
2009-07-24, 07:30 PM
I always thought that Ungoliant was Tolkien's equivalent to Echidna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echidna_(mythology)), the "Mother of All Monsters," only spider-themed instead of serpentine. As I recall, Ungoliant was at least partly responsible for the monsters that populated the Mountains of Terror north of Doriath and of course Shelob and the spiders of Mirkwood, and she seems to have been born out of the darkness under Arda, which fits with Echidna's birth from Earth (Gaia) and the Underworld (Tartaros). Not sure that matters for settling whether she's a Maiar or something else, but in terms of power level Echidna's pretty close to the Olympian gods.

Anyway, to answer the question, Fingolfin is indeed super-badass and all that, but the correct answer is...Finarfin. Yes, he counts, he's the High King of the Noldor in the Undying Lands, and he didn't participate in FŰanor's folly--he doesn't appear to have had any hand in the Kinslaying (Fingolfin's forces did, but no mention of Finarfin's) and he and his people didn't suffer treachery, misery and death for it the way the others did. Now that's a wise king.

The best Vala is a matter of personal preference; I happen to like OromŰ, the "Horn-Blower," the greatest hunter on Middle-earth. Not only is he the one who found and shepherded the Eldar, he's like the Teddy Roosevelt of the Valar, which makes him awesome in my book.

As for best Edain, Hurin and Turin have the best stories, beating out Beren even, but legends hold Tuor to be the only one allowed on Aman (the Numenorians who came later don't count) so that makes him the greatest.

Elfin
2009-07-24, 07:42 PM
You're confusing Tuor with Earendil.
But yes, Earendil is easily one of the most awesome characters in the Sil.

Scylfing
2009-07-24, 08:43 PM
You're confusing Tuor with Earendil.

No, no I am not.


In those days Tuor felt old age creep upon him, and ever a longing for the deeps of the Sea grew stronger in his heart. Therefore he built a great ship, and he named it EńrramŰ, which is Sea-Wing; and with Idril Celebrindal he set sail into the sunset and the West, and came no more into any tale or song. But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men.

Word of God (that is, the Letters of Tolkien) states that he was the unique exception allowed by Iluvatar, much like Luthien becoming mortal.

Elfin
2009-07-24, 08:46 PM
My bad.
Truly, I am ashamed. :smallfrown:

Has anyone read J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century?

YesImSardonic
2009-07-24, 09:00 PM
Just wondering, but when you were discussing mysterious origins, I just asked myself: where do hobbits actually come from? I mean, it's said that they come from other little people, but who created them in the first place? Has anything ever been said about that?

Hobbits came from Men, or at least are related.


EDIT: Also, Fingolfin/Elbereth Gilthoniel. Gotta love the stars.

Concerning the Edain: Turin, without a doubt.

Badgercloak
2009-07-25, 12:16 AM
Fingolfin.


Ohh and Epic Ninja Stormed.

hamishspence
2009-07-25, 04:03 AM
Anyway, to answer the question, Fingolfin is indeed super-badass and all that, but the correct answer is...Finarfin. Yes, he counts, he's the High King of the Noldor in the Undying Lands, and he didn't participate in FŰanor's folly--he doesn't appear to have had any hand in the Kinslaying (Fingolfin's forces did, but no mention of Finarfin's) and he and his people didn't suffer treachery, misery and death for it the way the others did. Now that's a wise king.


in Unfinished Tales, Galadriel is given a modified backstory where she actively helps defend the elves attacked in the Kinslaying. I'm not sure where Finarfin was at this point.

Dienekes
2009-07-26, 12:16 AM
Okay, so he's not an Elven king, per se, but since this has devolved from specific favourites amongst the kings of the Noldor into just general Second Age elf-love (not a bad thing!) why has nobody mentioned Ecthelion of the Fountain? Bolded for emphasis:

He killed Gothmog.

As exposition, Gothmog was effectively the High Master Killer of Middle Earth. His entire reason for living was to kill the lords of Men, Elf and Dwarf, and his list of victims reads like a list of Eldarin devotionals. Hurin couldn't kill him. Feanor got whomped. Fingon met his end to the Dread Oppressor. Tuor would have died as well, but Ecthelion alone defended him from Gothmog, and in the end both died. According to one version, Ecthelion was disarmed and killed Gothmog by goring him with the spike on his helmet and drowning him in a fountain.

Bad Ass.

Yes, he pushed a flame demon into a fountain, good job. The flame demon (or ehhh, wet demon?) still killed him. Gothmog is still the true badass

WalkingTarget
2009-07-26, 11:05 AM
Yes, he pushed a flame demon into a fountain, good job. The flame demon (or ehhh, wet demon?) still killed him. Gothmog is still the true badass

Heroic sacrifice in the process of bringing down great evil is a recurring theme.

Glorfindel, Ecthelion, Gandalf, Turin, Gil-galad, and Elendil all die as/after they defeat their foes. Much like Beowulf with his dragon.

Gothmog was the chieftain of the spirits of flame, shadow, and fear - Morgoth's champion at arms - and after all others failed, he was finally ended by Ecthelion. Don't take that away from him.

The fact that Fingolfin took on Gothmog's boss directly (and frightened him) means he gets my vote.

Zevox
2009-07-26, 08:08 PM
Glorfindel, Ecthelion, Gandalf, Turin, Gil-galad, and Elendil all die as/after they defeat their foes. Much like Beowulf with his dragon.
Technically, Gil-galad and Elendil died without defeating their foe. Isildur did that after they had fallen. And Beowulf's "heroic" death was hardly a good thing, considering that it pretty much doomed his people.

Zevox

Elfin
2009-07-26, 08:20 PM
Beowulf is still awesome.

WalkingTarget
2009-07-27, 08:22 AM
Technically, Gil-galad and Elendil died without defeating their foe. Isildur did that after they had fallen.

No, Sauron was defeated by Gil-galad and Elendil. Isildur just came along afterward and cut the ring from Sauron's "corpse". The movies have really muddled this point in popular consciousness.


And Beowulf's "heroic" death was hardly a good thing, considering that it pretty much doomed his people.

How did it doom his people? The dragon was laying waste to the countryside and he and Wiglaf were the only ones to stand up to it.

Zevox
2009-07-27, 09:50 AM
No, Sauron was defeated by Gil-galad and Elendil. Isildur just came along afterward and cut the ring from Sauron's "corpse". The movies have really muddled this point in popular consciousness.
Hm, The Silmarillion says Sauron "wrestled" with Gil-galad and Elendil, "and they were both slain," but "Sauron also was thrown down, and with the hilt-shard of Narsil Isildur cut the Ruling Ring from the hand of Sauron and took it for his own." So I guess you're right.


How did it doom his people? The dragon was laying waste to the countryside and he and Wiglaf were the only ones to stand up to it.
Because one big reason Beowulf wanted to kill the Dragon was for its treasure, so he could use that to pay off the other nearby tribes or whatever they were referred to as that were angry at his and would be at war with them were it not for the fact that they feared his leadership and skill at arms. He was getting old and knew he wouldn't be around to keep those conflicts at bay for that much longer, so the treasure was how he hoped to save them. But the Dragon's treasure was mostly old and rusted out, so it turned out to be useless for that purpose. Which means that with Beowulf dead, his people were now doomed, because they had no chance to win the coming conflicts without him and no way to pay off their enemies. The poem actually ends on quite the sad note for them because of this, not just because Beowulf himself is dead.

Zevox

WalkingTarget
2009-07-27, 10:29 AM
Because one big reason Beowulf wanted to kill the Dragon was for its treasure, so he could use that to pay off the other nearby tribes or whatever they were referred to as that were angry at his and would be at war with them were it not for the fact that they feared his leadership and skill at arms. He was getting old and knew he wouldn't be around to keep those conflicts at bay for that much longer, so the treasure was how he hoped to save them. But the Dragon's treasure was mostly old and rusted out, so it turned out to be useless for that purpose. Which means that with Beowulf dead, his people were now doomed, because they had no chance to win the coming conflicts without him and no way to pay off their enemies. The poem actually ends on quite the sad note for them because of this, not just because Beowulf himself is dead.

Hmm, I'm unaware of any desire to use the gold to pay off other tribes. They were not on good terms with the Swedes due to an outstanding feud involving some untimely deaths, and Beowulf's death would have probably ended in war anyway. The treasure is still treasure, some of the iron was rusty but gold and jewels are just as good as they ever were and he just ends up being buried with it. The point is that the dragon is dead and Beowulf died fighting instead of in bed. Peace with the Swedes is useless if you're burned to a crisp. Then again, I've only read it once so I may have missed something.

Elfin
2009-07-27, 11:44 AM
While the fact remains that Beowulf's people were all but doomed by his death, I wouldn't be so hasty to write the dragonslaying off as a waste;as WalkingTarget said, while the hoard was mostly worthless, the dragon was still terrorizing the countryside.

hamishspence
2009-07-27, 12:19 PM
Hm, The Silmarillion says Sauron "wrestled" with Gil-galad and Elendil, "and they were both slain," but "Sauron also was thrown down, and with the hilt-shard of Narsil Isildur cut the Ruling Ring from the hand of Sauron and took it for his own." So I guess you're right.


Depends on if you interpret "thrown down" as "temporarily killed" or simply, well, "thrown down" as in, on the ground but not dead, with Isildur's blow coming just in the nick of time before he gets up again.

Zevox
2009-07-27, 12:24 PM
Depends on if you interpret "thrown down" as "temporarily killed" or simply, well, "thrown down" as in, on the ground but not dead, with Isildur's blow coming just in the nick of time before he gets up again.
From what I can recall, Tolkien always used that phrase to mean slain/defeated.

Zevox

Elfin
2009-07-27, 04:48 PM
Yes; I believe that the balrog slain by Glorfindel was also "thrown down", though it might have been "cast down"; don't have the Sil on hand. I'm pretty sure Gandalf also says "I threw down my enemy" when he recounts his battle with the balrog in the Hithaeglir.

hamishspence
2009-07-28, 01:25 AM
Only in this case, its a bit more literal throwing down, as in long drop:

"And he smote the mountainside in his ruin"

snoopy13a
2009-07-31, 04:47 PM
in Unfinished Tales, Galadriel is given a modified backstory where she actively helps defend the elves attacked in the Kinslaying. I'm not sure where Finarfin was at this point.

When the Noldor move towards the harbor at Alqualonde they are divided into three sections. Feanor's group is lead with Fingolfin second and Finarfin in the rear.

Feanor's followers are the ones who initially attack the Teleri at Alqualonde to steal their ships. During the fight, the first of Fingolfin's group sees the battle and join Feanor's side. Finarfin's elves are rearmost and do not participate in the kinslaying. Likely they wouldn't have participated anyway as Finarfin's wife is a Teleri. Later, Angrod (one of Finarfin's sons) makes it clear to Thingol that they (the house of Finarfin) had nothing to do with the Kinslaying and puts the blame on Feanor.

So, Feanor's elves and some of Fingolfin's elves are active in the Kinslaying while Finarfin's are not. After the Kinslaying, Finarfin gives up the journey, recieves pardon from the Valar, and becomes the king of the Noldor still in Valinor. Some of his followers (and presumably his Teleri wife) return with him. However, his sons and the rest of his followers continue on to Middle Earth.

In the Simlarillion, Galadriel is implied to be traveling with her father and brothers and thus would be at the rear of the Noldor and not a participant of the Kinslaying. After her father goes back, she continues on with her brothers and ends up spending most of her time in Middle Earth in Doriath with Thingol and Melian. She meets Celeborn, a kinsman of Thingol, in Doriath. I believe in the Unfinished Tales that Celeborn is a Teleri elf living in Alqualonde and the two of them travel together to Middle Earth separate from the rest of the Noldor (going on secondhand reports regarding Unfinished Tales).

hamishspence
2009-07-31, 04:48 PM
In UT, she is residing with the Teleri at Alqualonde at the time, which is why, when Feanor attacks, she is in the forefront of the defense.