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  1. #1
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    Of the Ainur and Melkor

    Hello!

    I am currently reading The Silmarillion and am about 225 pages in right now, reading about the Silmarils and the lies of Melkor.

    One thing that perplexs me; When Melkor was set free and brought before Manwe for pardon, he could not sense the evil and lies within him. Melkor then goes on to poison the minds of the Noldor and the House of Finwe against each other. It is said that only Tulkas and Ulmo saw through his lies.

    Why is this? Manwe who is supposedly the 'King' of the Ainur, cannot see Evil in Melkor's heart? Are the Ainur not the most powerful beings in on Ea, second only to Iluvatar himself?

  2. #2
    It has been a while since i read them and i dont have the book here, but i think it was because manwe doesnt know evil and thus doesnt recognise it

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rietstengel View Post
    It has been a while since i read them and i dont have the book here, but i think it was because manwe doesnt know evil and thus doesnt recognise it
    I had problems logging in and you beat me to it.

    I don't have the book here either, but I do have the same recollection of it as Rietstengel; Manwe can't comprehend evil and therefore he doesn't see it in Melkor either. And you have to remember that Melkor was the most powerful of Valar, even more powerful than Manwe and that could be a second reason as to why he could hide his true intentions (even tho they were twin spirits or brothers, can't remember which wording was used).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailborn View Post
    Are the Ainur not the most powerful beings in on Ea, second only to Iluvatar himself?
    Yes they are, as a group, but within the group some are more powerful than others: though 'powerful' is a vague term really, since they each have their own specialisation in which they were the undisputed 'master' but JRRT vaguely mentions the power relationships between them.

    Wiki has this entry for Melkor, which goes some way to explain this,. which is a direct quote from Tolkien I seem to think:

    Melkor

    The First Dark Lord. His name means "he who arises in might". He was the first of the Ainur to be created by Eru Ilúvatar and the one who created discord in the Music of the Ainur. The spiritual brother of Manwë, he was the most powerful of the Valar, as he possessed all aspects of Eru's thought, whereas the others each possessed only some. He turned to evil, and was taken back to Valinor in the chain Angainor after the Awakening of the Elves in Cuiviénen.
    Finally, Manwe is King of the Valar and Melkor is no longer considered one of the Valar, so while Manwe may be 'king' and thus be considered the most powerful Valar, that isn't synonymous with being the most powerful Ainu.
    Last edited by Kerin_Eldar; May 10 2013 at 08:37 AM.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailborn View Post
    Hello!

    I am currently reading The Silmarillion and am about 225 pages in right now, reading about the Silmarils and the lies of Melkor.

    One thing that perplexs me; When Melkor was set free and brought before Manwe for pardon, he could not sense the evil and lies within him. Melkor then goes on to poison the minds of the Noldor and the House of Finwe against each other. It is said that only Tulkas and Ulmo saw through his lies.

    Why is this? Manwe who is supposedly the 'King' of the Ainur, cannot see Evil in Melkor's heart? Are the Ainur not the most powerful beings in on Ea, second only to Iluvatar himself?
    The simple way that I understand it is that Tulkas and Ulmo seem to both have a particular dislike for Melkor. In my mind I consider it more of a hunch that was correct.

  6. #6
    In more general terms, that's pretty much the problem of every author that creates "superhuman" characters. If they're omniscient, have awesome powers etc. then they can either prevent or fix anything and... well you don't have a story.

    Gotta have some conflict or problem to drive that narrative, so you have to shoehorn a blind spot or a weird flaw in there so that something can happen.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailborn View Post
    Hello!

    I am currently reading The Silmarillion and am about 225 pages in right now, reading about the Silmarils and the lies of Melkor.

    One thing that perplexs me; When Melkor was set free and brought before Manwe for pardon, he could not sense the evil and lies within him. Melkor then goes on to poison the minds of the Noldor and the House of Finwe against each other. It is said that only Tulkas and Ulmo saw through his lies.

    Why is this? Manwe who is supposedly the 'King' of the Ainur, cannot see Evil in Melkor's heart? Are the Ainur not the most powerful beings in on Ea, second only to Iluvatar himself?
    Its actually written in the book as to why this is so. Manwe doest understand evil and is unable to detect it. Ulmo is much closer ties to middle earth and understands there is no turning back for Melkor. Tulkas reasoning is also described in the book.

 

 

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