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  1. #1

    About the spiders in the new Hobbit movie

    Haven't seen it yet, but going to with a friend this Saturday. And I've been wondering, do the spiders actually talk? Just that is pretty freaky, but oh well. Or are they silent and let their actions do the talking? Like Shelob?

  2. #2
    Well, you could wait and find out ;-) but yes, they do speak.
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    SPOILER:


















    Yes , they talk, but Bilbo only understands it when he has the Ring on. When he doesn't have the Ring on, it just sounds like insect chitterring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    On the Tolkien's books, all the breed of giant spiders descend from a evil valar
    What exactly Ungoliant might have been was left unclear because she was from outside the world, but she was definitely not a Vala.

    She could talk, she just didn't like Sauron a bit so wouldn't talk to him.
    That's not true either - we don't know if she could talk, and she and Sauron were on friendly enough terms, after a fashion. Sauron used to send her prisoners he had no more use for, and turned a blind eye when she ate his Orcs. She was useful to him as a means of guarding Cirith Ungol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    This is funny but what is written on the books is always unclear to you, yet you claim you have read them. You post the same on every thread. You really have to read the books by 1st time.
    I only say that when Tolkien's been vague about something. The Sil doesn't say quite what Ungoliant was. It's not wise to pretend to know the answer when there isn't one and in any case, you were absolutely wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    What exactly Ungoliant might have been was left unclear because she was from outside the world, but she was definitely not a Vala.
    Stop asserting something as FACT when it's your own INTERPRETATION.

    To quote from Wiki, which seems to sum it up perfectly:

    Her origins are unclear, as Tolkien's writings don't explicitly reveal her nature, other than that she is from "before the world". She is one of a few instances, along with Tom Bombadil and the Cats of Queen Berúthiel, where Tolkien does not provide a clear background for an element of his fiction
    I underlined the bit which shows your 'fact' for what it is. Yes, you made the same point then chose to be entirely illogical and ignore it so you could push your pet theory anyway.

    If one reads the 'creation' myth JRRT devised the only beings 'before the world' he acknowledges ARE Maiar and Valar so it's plausible at least Ungoliant WAS one of those .. in the absence of an affirmative comment by JRRT to the contrary it is perfectly reasonable to raise it as a theory.

    So, in the absence of any 'proof' it's equally possible to assert she IS or ISN'T anything you care to come up with, saying definitely simply shows and absence of logical argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    On the Tolkien's books, all the breed of giant spiders descend from a evil valar that took the form of a spider.
    There were only fourteen Valar, after Melkor was banished, and whatever Ungoliant was... was not one of them.

    "The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda --- that in the beginning she was one of those that (Melkor) corrupted to his service."

    And that's pretty much all we're told of her in the Silmarillion. Blessedly, Shelob's considered to be "the last of her children". Whether that's meant as direct descendant, or as part of the race, though...

    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    They are not beasts, they are people so yah, they all can talk & they do quite a lot of chatting between them. Also they talked with Bilbo though certainly not the tea time kind of chat.
    Dogs communicate, too; are they people? So do ants, wasps... everything living in a community. Where do you draw the line between beast and people?
    The book-Hobbit the spiders are at the same level as wargs, in that regard; they splutter and hiss, but are apparently quite understandable.
    I think I like the way Jackson dealt with them; they're creatures of Darkness, so their chatter being clearer in the 'shadow world' of the Ring... makes sort of sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerin_Eldar View Post
    Stop asserting something as FACT when it's your own INTERPRETATION.
    It *is* a fact. The Valar are all named and described, and she isn't one of them. So while we don't know what she was supposed to be, in that one particular case we can say definitively what she was not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    What exactly Ungoliant might have been was left unclear because she was from outside the world, but she was definitely not a Vala.
    Vala no, but Ainur most likely.

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    It would do weel to note that the Valar and Maia are the same biengs who are known by another name "Ainur" the Valar are just those among the Ainur that have been given the task of governing the rest(Or the you can say the most powerful among the Ainur). That said if you remember the fact that none of the Valar could make intelligent beings as is evident from Aule's attempt to create Dwarves. The only possibility remains is that either Ungoliant is one of the Ainur or she is the result of one of the variations in the original song. Either case that is irrelevant to the present debate. What matters is that she was an intelligent being and her descendents most therefore also be intelligent biengs able to develop the most basic level of intelligence i.e to develop a language of their own.

  11. #11
    Whaddya know. The smokes clears and Rad was right again. Let's see how many of the bruised egos will admit that they were dead wrong on the Ungoliant/Vala issue and apologize to Rad for their sanctimonious attacks. Kind of a fun thread for such an inconsequential topic. All we were missing was something incomprehensible from the random word generator attached to Al's keyboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    On the Tolkien's books, all the breed of giant spiders descend from a evil valar that took the form of a spider. They are not beasts, they are people so yah, they all can talk & they do quite a lot of chatting between them. Also they talked with Bilbo though certainly not the tea time kind of chat.

    These spiders lived in colonies so they must comunicate; Shelob wasn't very gregarious. She could talk, she just didn't like Sauron a bit so wouldn't talk to him.
    If Ungoliant can talk and if Shelobs offspring can talk, it is reasonable to conclude that Shelob herself has the innate physiological capacity to talk. Whether she had some psychological or physical defect that prevented her from doing so is open to speculation. If such a condition existed, it is likely Tolkien would have mentioned it. It seems clear enough that she could understand language.

  13. #13
    Love these heated arguments about who knows what.

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    "Hobbits!" he thought. "And sleeping out of doors under a tree at that. There's something mighty queer behind this. I'd better head off to tell my friends Bombadil, Gandalf, and El Rond all about it in short order. Good thing I can speak Westron!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    If Ungoliant can talk and if Shelobs offspring can talk, it is reasonable to conclude that Shelob herself has the innate physiological capacity to talk. Whether she had some psychological or physical defect that prevented her from doing so is open to speculation. If such a condition existed, it is likely Tolkien would have mentioned it. It seems clear enough that she could understand language.
    I'd say the likely reason she doesn't talk in LOTR is the same reason the Balrog doesn't (a reasoned decision by the author) - that she, like it, comes across as more terrible that way, more monstrous (and alien as well, in her case). It's one of the ways LOTR differs from The Hobbit. I reckon that dragons, on the other hand, are more friightening if they do talk, because then it's clear that they aren't just beasts but possessed of an utterly malign intelligence. (Smaug and Glaurung wouldn't be half as interesting if all they did was roar, set stuff on fire and eat people). LOTR makes up for Shelob's lack of speech by telling us something about her in narrative, so that we know there are horrible spidery thoughts going on behind those many eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    I'd say the likely reason she doesn't talk in LOTR is the same reason the Balrog doesn't (a reasoned decision by the author) - that she, like it, comes across as more terrible that way, more monstrous (and alien as well, in her case). It's one of the ways LOTR differs from The Hobbit. I reckon that dragons, on the other hand, are more friightening if they do talk, because then it's clear that they aren't just beasts but possessed of an utterly malign intelligence. (Smaug and Glaurung wouldn't be half as interesting if all they did was roar, set stuff on fire and eat people). LOTR makes up for Shelob's lack of speech by telling us something about her in narrative, so that we know there are horrible spidery thoughts going on behind those many eyes.
    We don’t know whether she talks or not in LOTR. This is pure speculation on your part. The author leaves it up to the reader to speculate (or not) as they so choose

    As to the reason/s why she has no dialog in the scene/s that is/are described in detail; your speculation is as good as any other considering we don’t have much to go on. You may be right and you may be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    We don’t know whether she talks or not in LOTR. This is pure speculation on your part. The author leaves it up to the reader to speculate (or not) as they so choose

    As to the reason/s why she has no dialog in the scene/s that is/are described in detail; your speculation is as good as any other considering we don’t have much to go on. You may be right and you may be wrong.
    No, that's an English comprehension fail on your part. It's not speculation to say that she doesn't talk in LOTR, because she doesn't say anything! Much like the Balrog can presumably talk if it feels like it but stays silent (for effect). I did say "doesn't" rather than "can't".

    Also, I really don't need to be told that what is clearly flagged as speculation (hedged as it is with "I'd say" and "I reckon") might be right or wrong. I knew that already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    No, that's an English comprehension fail on your part. It's not speculation to say that she doesn't talk in LOTR, because she doesn't say anything! Much like the Balrog can presumably talk if it feels like it but stays silent (for effect). I did say "doesn't" rather than "can't".

    Also, I really don't need to be told that what is clearly flagged as speculation (hedged as it is with "I'd say" and "I reckon") might be right or wrong. I knew that already.
    No, it appears to be a case of you not knowing the material. Her interactions with Gollum were not written in detail, so we don’t know whether she talked to him or not. The author leaves it up to the reader to speculate (or not) as s/he sees fit. Logically, it would seem likely that talking was involved. Of course they could have communicated on a telepathic level or have drawn pictures in the dust with sticks, but I find these last two ideas unlikely. Still, no one knows for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    No, it appears to be a case of you not knowing the material. Her interactions with Gollum were not written in detail, so we don’t know whether she talked to him or not. The author leaves it up to the reader to speculate (or not) as s/he sees fit. Logically, it would seem likely that talking was involved. Of course they could have communicated on a telepathic level or have drawn pictures in the dust with sticks, but I find these last two ideas unlikely. Still, no one knows for sure.
    Stiill failing basic English comprehension... "does not" is not the same as "cannot". So far as the reader is made aware, Shelob does not speak in LOTR, just as the Balrog does not speak. That is a simple statement of fact. Whether she can speak is another matter entirely.

    c.f. Tolkien's comment in a letter that "The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all" (referring to the scene in which it appears). This does not imply that Balrogs can't talk at all, just that the Balrog of Moria doesn't at any point in the narrative. And in that case, it was entirely for effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Stiill failing basic English comprehension... "does not" is not the same as "cannot". So far as the reader is made aware, Shelob does not speak in LOTR, just as the Balrog does not speak. That is a simple statement of fact. Whether she can speak is another matter entirely.

    c.f. Tolkien's comment in a letter that "The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all" (referring to the scene in which it appears). This does not imply that Balrogs can't talk at all, just that the Balrog of Moria doesn't at any point in the narrative. And in that case, it was entirely for effect.
    Since nowhere in the thread have I mentioned whether Shelob or the Balrog can or cannot talk, beyond the obvious statement I made that physiologically Shelob would be expected to be able to do so, we can safely put these strawman of yours aside. I am not arguing one way or the other about that issue. Obviously, neither one of us can be 100% sure about that.

    The question at the moment is not whether Shelob can or cannot speak. The question is: Can we truthfully say that Shelob does not speak in LOTR.

    So: it is a simple statement of fact (actually opinion – as we are both speaking opinion here) to say that: Shelobs' interactions with Gollum were not written in detail, so we don’t know whether she talked to him or not. The author leaves it up to the reader to speculate (or not) as s/he sees fit. Logically, it would seem likely that talking was involved. Of course they could have communicated on a telepathic level or have drawn pictures in the dust with sticks, but I find these last two ideas unlikely. Still, no one knows for sure.

    It looks like I will have to keep to my speculation and you will have to keep to your speculation and we will bask in our respective opinions since proof has not been shown by either side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    Can we truthfully say that Shelob does not speak in LOTR.
    Can you please supply a dialogue quote from Shelob taken from LotR?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBS View Post
    Can you please supply a dialogue quote from Shelob taken from LotR?
    No, I cannot. There is no dialogue quote by Shelob in LOTR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    Since nowhere in the thread have I mentioned whether Shelob or the Balrog can or cannot talk, beyond the obvious statement I made that physiologically Shelob would be expected to be able to do so, we can safely put these strawman of yours aside. I am not arguing one way or the other about that issue. Obviously, neither one of us can be 100% sure about that.

    The question at the moment is not whether Shelob can or cannot speak. The question is: Can we truthfully say that Shelob does not speak in LOTR.
    And the answer is "yes" because as far as the text goes, she doesn't. That's not speculation on my part, it's an observable fact. The question you're addressing is not whether she does speak in LOTR, but whether she could speak but it only happens unobserved, as it were, outside the written narrative. Now that's a matter for speculation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKL View Post
    No, I cannot. There is no dialogue quote by Shelob in LOTR.
    So, will you now acknowledge that she does not actually speak in the LotR as has been stated?

    You need to understand that the LotR is a set of books and whether or not Shelob spoke at any other point in time outside of those set of books is irrelevant to the point you and Radhruin_EU are arguing.

    Radhruin_EU is not claiming at all that she couldn't speak, just that in any published work she doesn't talk - these are very different things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    And the answer is "yes" because as far as the text goes, she doesn't. That's not speculation on my part, it's an observable fact. The question you're addressing is not whether she does speak in LOTR, but whether she could speak but it only happens unobserved, as it were, outside the written narrative. Now that's a matter for speculation.
    This is true; there is no text of her talking. The implication in the texts description of Gollums’ interactions with Shelob suggests the opposite. So looking at it from one viewpoint, you could be right; looking at it from the other viewpoint I could be right. We can speculate all we want. It is all a matter of viewpoint and speculation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBS View Post
    So, will you now acknowledge that she does not actually speak in the LotR as has been stated?

    You need to understand that the LotR is a set of books and whether or not Shelob spoke at any other point in time outside of those set of books is irrelevant to the point you and Radhruin_EU are arguing.

    Radhruin_EU is not claiming at all that she couldn't speak, just that in any published work she doesn't talk - these are very different things.
    I never said he was suggesting that Shelob could not talk. I made that point clear several posts ago. I will say that Rads’ statement is true from his limited point of view. I will still say that it is speculation that Shelob did not talk in LOTR. I will not make the leap from your question that there was no presented dialogue; to she did not speak.

 

 
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