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Thread: Questions:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Questions:

    Hello,
    im about to start reading the Silmarillion. But I have some questions about LOTR I'm not sure if they will be answered.

    1. Since Saruman betrayed the Istari/Mission, why didn't he ignore the rules and stayed human. He didn't fight, he didn't change his appearance. He still followed part of the rules. He didn't even use his magic in the battles of LOTR. Why? Is there any reason?

    2. If the Istari where almost too weak to fight Saruman, why didn't the gods just send one Valar in`? Sauron was just a Maiar, one single Valar would probably have ended the whole thing in a few days, one would think.

    3. If the Istari knew about the Balrog, wich was an evil Maiar, why didn't they do anything about it until it was almost too late? Wouldn't it be the Istaris mission to kill anything that came from Morgoth?

    It seems like they intentionaly let things happen so it would be a little death involved. I don't get that. The God and the Half-Gods semm to be pretty cruel.

    Btw, do the people of Middleearth know about the Creation, Iluvatar and the Maiar f.e.? Do they even know whats in the undying lands? I mean, everybody there seems to be god-like, so it would be like heaven to us, just reachable with a ship.

    some questions, hope to find answers!
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    310
    1: Sarumans power did not lie in calling lightning from the sky, or anything like that, and he was still bound by restrictions that the Valar placed upon the use of his powers.

    2: When the Valar directly take part in war, it's the sort of war that tends to sink continents. It's also not their place to intervene. Sauron became so powerful as a result of the working of the Free Peoples, and it is the Free Peoples task to make things right. Morgoth, on the other hand; when he began to harass the newly awakened elves, was the responsibility of the Valar, who marched forth, and brought him in chains to Valinor.

    3: The Istari's mission is not to kill the sevants of Morgoth. It is to aid the Free Peoples against Sauron, though they are not permitted to rule, or use their full powers. They are advisors, not warriors. Really, the fact that Gandalf defeated the Balrog is a clear example of the Valar making an exception to the rule, as he could not possibly have done so otherwise.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Schaine11 View Post

    Btw, do the people of Middleearth know about the Creation, Iluvatar and the Maiar f.e.? Do they even know whats in the undying lands? I mean, everybody there seems to be god-like, so it would be like heaven to us, just reachable with a ship.
    Well, the Elves would be fully aware of the Valar and Eru, given a lot of them lived in Valinor, and those that didn't go (the Sindar) also knew about the Valar.

    Dwarves would know of their creator Aulë, what else they knew, well, we can conjecture, given that they had trade with Thingol and his people at one time, it is entirely possible that knowledge would have been passed around before that relationship went **** up.

    Men...well, as you're reading the Silmarillion, you'll get to the Akallabeth, which deals with their opinions of the Valar/Ilúvatar (and the consequences thereof!)
    Given that the 'faithful' men landed in Middle Earth and founded Gondor, I would imagine the nobility at least in Third Age Gondor would still be aware of Valinor and those that dwell there.

    Hobbits... hmm. I'd be tempted to just say a blanket 'no', but I'll have a wee think.

    In LoTR it says "But the Hobbits may have learned it direct from the Elves, the teachers of Men in their youth. For the Elves of the
    High Kindred had not yet forsaken Middle-earth, and they dwelt still at that time at the Grey Havens away to the west, and in other places within reach of the Shire." and clearly Hobbits have dealings with Men (some dwell in Bree alongside them after all). I rather wonder whether Hobbits' misgivings regarding water are a racial relic of old warnings from the Elves to never try and cross the seas to Valinor.
    Last edited by Xandarien_PoTI; Jan 05 2013 at 05:46 PM.
    Xandarien Elanessa, Híril of Pupils of the Istari on Evernight

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    344
    Quote Originally Posted by Schaine11 View Post
    Hello,
    im about to start reading the Silmarillion. But I have some questions about LOTR I'm not sure if they will be answered.

    1. Since Saruman betrayed the Istari/Mission, why didn't he ignore the rules and stayed human. He didn't fight, he didn't change his appearance. He still followed part of the rules. He didn't even use his magic in the battles of LOTR. Why? Is there any reason?

    2. If the Istari where almost too weak to fight Saruman, why didn't the gods just send one Valar in`? Sauron was just a Maiar, one single Valar would probably have ended the whole thing in a few days, one would think.

    3. If the Istari knew about the Balrog, wich was an evil Maiar, why didn't they do anything about it until it was almost too late? Wouldn't it be the Istaris mission to kill anything that came from Morgoth?

    It seems like they intentionaly let things happen so it would be a little death involved. I don't get that. The God and the Half-Gods semm to be pretty cruel.

    Btw, do the people of Middleearth know about the Creation, Iluvatar and the Maiar f.e.? Do they even know whats in the undying lands? I mean, everybody there seems to be god-like, so it would be like heaven to us, just reachable with a ship.

    some questions, hope to find answers!
    Thank you

    1. I don't believe maiar necessarily have extremely strong ability in physical combat. That being said I don't believe any of them would really have poor skill...I just believe they could be bested by some elves/men/dwarves. As far as power goes they may not necessarily have the ability to unleash anything physical. I believe if Saruman did go into physical combat it would be more risk then reward. Like Gandalf if his physical body was severely damaged his spirit would leave him.

    2. If a valar came to middle earth to solve the issue of Sauron then things could end up being even worse. A valar shouldn't have an issue ending it (then again lets not forget how morgoth was hurt by non Valar/Maia so anything could happen. Also I'm not sure about this but would Eru want a valar to go to middle earth? In the Valar's mind would that even be an option?

    3. I don't believe the Istari knew a balrog was in moria. They just knew it was something powerful and evil (I believe they could have assumed or guessed but would not be sure). If they had gone after it they would be risking unnecessary battle directly with the enemy. They would also have to hunt through moria and risk fighting goblins to find the balrog.

    Aren't gods and angels considered cruel in a way in all lores/beliefs?

    I imagine some people of middle earth (and all elves) know of the undying lands. I imagine it is like religions are in our world...mostly passed down beliefs from family and such. Overtime the belief may fade or disappear.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    13
    Hey,
    that all sounds awesome. I really have to read the books in order to fully understand what the Valar etc. are.

    So, what do you think is the first book I should read? The Sil, History of Middleearth? any other things.

    I'm thinking of "chronologically" reading through the Tolkien-works.

    So Gandal probably told Frodo he was a God when they were on the ship. That must have been an amazing scene, seeing the undying lands, and watch Gandalf be a god again.

    Anyways, thank you, and if you could recommend me the first/best book for pre-lotr-books, I would really apreciate it!

  6. #6
    I would not suggest the History Series for anyone who hasn't already read the main works several times. It's full of original version, first drafts, things that were abandoned, changed and so on. Go with the Sil. but be aware some people struggle through the initial parts until some serious stories begin to unfold.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]"You can't fight the Enemy with his own Ring without turning into an Enemy" - J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 81


    [/FONT]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    344
    I know when I read the Sil it was difficult to get through the first part of the book. I didn't start to understand a lot of things at the beginning. I hate to say it but I found wikipedia as a great source to help me understand/expand what I was reading. I would see something that I found interesting then look it up. After that I would re read and understand it.

    Right now I'm working on the book of lost tales I. I'm finding that to be somewhat difficult as well.
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  8. #8
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    Given the history, I would say read 'The Hobbit or There and Back Again' first. It is the easiest (written by JRR Tolkien for his children, basically) then the main Lord of the Rings. Pay attention to the appendices. Then more of 'The Silmarillion' will make more sense. After that, go into the 'History of Middle Earth' set, which will make things clearer (at least it did for me) when you reconsider 'The Silmarillion' and its editing. This is the way things went for me: first 'The Hobbit' where I learned of it at the University back in the 70s, then 'The Lord of the Rings' itself, then 'The Silmarillion' (of course, some of this was the result of the publishing chronology). Follow this with the 'Unfinished Tales' and subsequent 'History of Middle Earth' series. If you find that you like it, then the separately published Turinssaga, aka 'The Children of Hurin' Thalion might not feel so dark, but more tragic (in the Greek literature sense for me).
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
    "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
    On planet Earth, there is a try.
    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
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