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Ser Scot A Ellison

Tolkien 4.0 (A dark and hungry sea lion arises)

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16 minutes ago, Slurktan said:

I'm of the opinion that Gondor (post loss of the palantir in the North and so zero communication) had no idea that any heirs of Elendil survived. From a logical perspective why would any survivors not come to Gondor with Earnur after the destruction of Arthedain?

They did know that they were still around - Eärnur himself rode with Arvedui's son Aranarth against the Witch-king of Angmar. But it is not that Gondor is a world away from Arnor or that we can expect that no Gondorian ever travelled to Rivendell or the North in general for a thousand years.

As to why the Dúnedain didn't go to Gondor after the fall of Arthedain: Why should they? The North was their home and they viewed it as their duty to protect it, it seems.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

They did know that they were still around - Eärnur himself rode with Arvedui's son Aranarth against the Witch-king of Angmar. But it is not that Gondor is a world away from Arnor or that we can expect that no Gondorian ever travelled to Rivendell or the North in general for a thousand years.

As to why the Dúnedain didn't go to Gondor after the fall of Arthedain: Why should they? The North was their home and they viewed it as their duty to protect it, it seems.

The Rangers were hidden, Boromir certainly had no idea about Aragorn.  They knew of them when Earnur was there but who is to say if they knew about them subsequently. Why would they keep track of homeless vagabonds from a backwater?

Why would they not leave?  Their home was destroyed, so was their enemy.  Why not go serve in a kingdom far more powerful and glorious than theirs where at the very least they will be cousins to the throne?  The army Earnur brought was a trifling thing to Gondor but was the greatest thing the men of Arthedain had seen in over a thousand years. If Aranarth hung out with Earnur he might even find out the dude wasn't big on making kiddos thus making Aranarth essentially an heir to Gondor if he wanted. So why not?  There is no real answer except to guess like you. Maybe they seemingly felt they had a duty to the land, honestly that's pretty pathetic of a reason but hey whatever.  The real reason is because Tolkien needed them to stay away and hidden so Aragorn can become King 1044 years later.  I prefer to think of a guess where say Earnur was jealous and wouldn't take them. Then went home and said the royal family of Arthedain all died, so that they could never again present a claim to his family's throne.

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Aranarth didn't try to continue the North Kingdom, let alone press his claim to Gondor. But he and his descendants continued to protect Eriador and maintain it (in a curiously empty state outside of the Shire and Breeland) for centuries. I think they did feel unworthy of a royal title until they had earned it again. However, the emptiness of Eriador in the late Third Age (less populated than Wilderland!) is one of the oddest bits of Tolkien's world-building. It seems to be an artifact of the earliest drafts of The Fellowship of the Ring, in which Frodo (then Bingo) had to make it to Rivendell through an uninhabited wilderness after leaving Bree. This idea wasn't fully present in The Hobbit - note that the encounter with the trolls is said to be their first night camping, which implies that inns were present right up to the Edge of the Wild!

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Earnur left governing decisions to Mardil... and Mardil is the grandson of the very guy who told Arvedui to get stuffed. So they aren't inviting Aranarth down south.

The Stewards knew the line of Isildur were out there (Denethor put two and two together with Thorongil), but "hardened their hearts" on the subject.

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8 hours ago, Slurktan said:

The Rangers were hidden, Boromir certainly had no idea about Aragorn.  They knew of them when Earnur was there but who is to say if they knew about them subsequently. Why would they keep track of homeless vagabonds from a backwater?

Of course, they might not have kept track of all of Aranarth's descendants ... but they knew the line of Isildur survived.

And, again, nobody in charge seems to have interpreted any of them being a king who might return. That king was Eärnur and his fate was unknown.

8 hours ago, Slurktan said:

Why would they not leave?  Their home was destroyed, so was their enemy.  Why not go serve in a kingdom far more powerful and glorious than theirs where at the very least they will be cousins to the throne?  The army Earnur brought was a trifling thing to Gondor but was the greatest thing the men of Arthedain had seen in over a thousand years. If Aranarth hung out with Earnur he might even find out the dude wasn't big on making kiddos thus making Aranarth essentially an heir to Gondor if he wanted. So why not?  There is no real answer except to guess like you. Maybe they seemingly felt they had a duty to the land, honestly that's pretty pathetic of a reason but hey whatever.  The real reason is because Tolkien needed them to stay away and hidden so Aragorn can become King 1044 years later.  I prefer to think of a guess where say Earnur was jealous and wouldn't take them. Then went home and said the royal family of Arthedain all died, so that they could never again present a claim to his family's throne.

I don't have much issue with that because it seems quite clear that the Dúnedain of the North wanted to stay where they were. In their home. Gondor wasn't their home, not the place they felt a duty to protect.

That the political situation was kind of complex and it should have been pretty easy to resolve certain things - say, by putting forth a brother or younger son of Aranarth as a claimant for the throne of Gondor - is quite clear, but I don't think we need an explanation why the Dúnedain remained in the North.

1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Earnur left governing decisions to Mardil... and Mardil is the grandson of the very guy who told Arvedui to get stuffed. So they aren't inviting Aranarth down south.

Eärnur not inviting his comrade in arms, Aranarth, down south after they destroyed Angmar is kind of weird, though. Eärnur was unmarried and childless, in need of an heir. He could have brought Aranarth and his family down south to make them his heirs in case he was to die without issue. Not to mention that he could have married a sister or daughter of Aranarth himself.

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On 9/18/2021 at 9:26 PM, Lord Varys said:

Eärnur not inviting his comrade in arms, Aranarth, down south after they destroyed Angmar is kind of weird, though. Eärnur was unmarried and childless, in need of an heir. He could have brought Aranarth and his family down south to make them his heirs in case he was to die without issue. Not to mention that he could have married a sister or daughter of Aranarth himself.

That would have required Earnur to have a brain. He honestly strikes me as a sort of Middle-earth Robert Baratheon (Mardil being the brains of the operation).

Anyway, I've continued my streak of Tolkien re-reads with The Children of Húrin. Reading it back to back with The Silmarillion really does throw into sharp relief the different portrayals of the main character. Túrin is far more sympathetic in the book than the relevant chapter.  

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3 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

That would have required Earnur to have a brain. He honestly strikes me as a sort of Middle-earth Robert Baratheon (Mardil being the brains of the operation).

Not sure that makes much sense since the Steward wouldn't have been with Eärnur and the army in Arnor. If Aranarth and Eärnur hooked up - and that they did, to a point - then Mardil's opinion on the matter wouldn't have mattered.

Nor do I think we can assume that Mardil wanted the royal line of Gondor to die out.

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23 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

That would have required Earnur to have a brain. He honestly strikes me as a sort of Middle-earth Robert Baratheon (Mardil being the brains of the operation).

Anyway, I've continued my streak of Tolkien re-reads with The Children of Húrin. Reading it back to back with The Silmarillion really does throw into sharp relief the different portrayals of the main character. Túrin is far more sympathetic in the book than the relevant chapter.  

Yeh, I mean who would trust the good faith of the Witch King?   

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure that makes much sense since the Steward wouldn't have been with Eärnur and the army in Arnor. If Aranarth and Eärnur hooked up - and that they did, to a point - then Mardil's opinion on the matter wouldn't have mattered.

Nor do I think we can assume that Mardil wanted the royal line of Gondor to die out.

Possibly Mardil wanted Earnur to marry one of his own family (Tywin Lannister style), and sent some "advisers" along with Earnur to make sure he didn't get ideas about the Northerners? It's just a hypothesis though. 

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10 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Possibly Mardil wanted Earnur to marry one of his own family (Tywin Lannister style), and sent some "advisers" along with Earnur to make sure he didn't get ideas about the Northerners? It's just a hypothesis though. 

If that were so he apparently failed since Eärnur seems to have died unmarried and childless. The idea that Eärnur was a naive guy who was led around by smarter men doesn't seem to be the case. The guy was stubborn and knew what he wanted - that's why he went to Minas Morgul. And considering his prowess at arms he would have definitely been the one in charge during the Northern campaign.

The fact that this took place also indicates that Gondor didn't want to abandon the Northern Kingdom nor its people even if they didn't want Arvedui as their king back in the day.

And if you face the end of the royal line - which was the case with a childless Eärnur - then an inclusion of/connection with the line of Isildur would make sense. But it didn't happen, for whatever reason.

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From “The Nature of Middle Earth: Beards, second footnote pg 188”

I say “ritual” [refering to ruling in the name of the king], because it was impossible that any King should return, unless he were a descendant of Elendil from Isildur not Anárion.  But from Pelendur onwards the Ruling Stewards were determined not to receive any such claimant, but to remain supreme rulers of Gondor.

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13 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Another possibility, if Sauron and the One Ring had survived, is that the Witch-King soul would have lingered bound to the rings until Sauron gifted it to another Man.  We know the Elven and Dwarven Rings have been passed on to other bearers, so  Sauron could raised up a new Ringwraith to replace the Witch King and once someone else was bound to the ring, the Witch King would be released to true death.

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13 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

I don't think this is actually a mystery. Tolkien says that the Witch-king wasn't completely gone after the Pelennor, and the LotR does not contradict this interpretation. In fact, the book actually leaves the door open for the return of the Witch-king in light of the fact that it specifically states that the cry of the Witch-king was never heard again in that age of the world - meaning the Third Age, which was nearly over. In the Fourth of the Fifth Age the cry of the Witch-king could or might have been heard again.

This was certainly not exactly an elegant way to deal with Sauron's most powerful servant. Tolkien's original plan seems to have been to have the Witch-king confront Frodo at the Sammath Naur - which would have been much more powerful.

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8 hours ago, Leofric said:

Another possibility, if Sauron and the One Ring had survived, is that the Witch-King soul would have lingered bound to the rings until Sauron gifted it to another Man.  We know the Elven and Dwarven Rings have been passed on to other bearers, so  Sauron could raised up a new Ringwraith to replace the Witch King and once someone else was bound to the ring, the Witch King would be released to true death.

Definitely interesting. The only point I'd make there is that the Nine seemed to bind Men in a way that the other Rings never did to the Elves and Dwarves (Dwarves didn't even become immortal), so undoing the link between the WK and his Ring might have been tough. Might have been easier to foist the remaining Seven on Men, if Sauron wanted more Ringwraiths.

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think this is actually a mystery. Tolkien says that the Witch-king wasn't completely gone after the Pelennor, and the LotR does not contradict this interpretation. In fact, the book actually leaves the door open for the return of the Witch-king in light of the fact that it specifically states that the cry of the Witch-king was never heard again in that age of the world - meaning the Third Age, which was nearly over. In the Fourth of the Fifth Age the cry of the Witch-king could or might have been heard again.

This was certainly not exactly an elegant way to deal with Sauron's most powerful servant. Tolkien's original plan seems to have been to have the Witch-king confront Frodo at the Sammath Naur - which would have been much more powerful.

Tolkien's words are ambiguous here - and the book certainly treats the WK as gone.

"The Age of the World" thing is just poetic phrasing, I think. Not meant to be taken literally. Especially since the WK was obviously gone after the Ring's destruction.

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10 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Tolkien's words are ambiguous here - and the book certainly treats the WK as gone.

"The Age of the World" thing is just poetic phrasing, I think. Not meant to be taken literally. Especially since the WK was obviously gone after the Ring's destruction.

Of course, one imagines it was intended as poetic phrasing when written. But if you care about the footnote from the letter - and it makes sense to assume that the Nazgûl are only truly gone either when the Nine Rings or the One Ring is destroyed - then you can reinterpret the sentence to imply that the Witch-king could have returned in the next age if the One Ring hadn't been destroyed.

The Nazgûl as such are no longer men as such, but are, in effect, bound up with Sauron's substance. When he wanes, they wane (like they did at the end of the SA without actually being defeated) and when he returns to power they return to power. The Nazgûl are only out and about in the TA after Sauron has started to shape himself a new body at Dol Guldur.

And obviously there are quite a few black magical means around the gift of men stuff. Isildur cursed an entire people into becoming wraiths, possibly with the help/power of the One Ring (as we would assume this only happened after he returned to Gondor after Sauron was defeated), we have the Rings of Power, Morgoth prologing the life of Húrin, etc.

In the end, no man can gain a pleasant or working form of immortality. But twisted and ugly unnatural forms clearly are possible.

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