The Line of Elros

A discussion of Tolkien's Unfinshed Tales
Merry
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Postby Merry » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:45 pm

Yes, quite a good summary of their fall from grace, Iolanthe. The line about Ar-G, that he 'revered nothing', I find chilling. It's kind of a wonder that the decendents of Elendil in Middle-earth still revered Numenor and bowed to the west, as did Faramir, when things ended so badly with such a cast of characters.
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Postby Iolanthe » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:05 pm

I suppose it's a lesson learned as all the descendents of Elendil lived with the consequences of the downfall of Numenor and could see Sauron for what he truly was.
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Merry
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Postby Merry » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:39 pm

You know, Iolanthe, your list of transgressions reminded me of the Seven Deadly Sins. Now, I should know what the Seven are but, of course, I can't remember them, but I'm sure JRRT knew them. I wonder if he had them in mind when he was thinking through this part of Numenorean history. And, of course, they were literally deadly.

I could look up the Seven, I guess, but I wonder if anyone else knows them. :?:
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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Postby Chrissiejane » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:15 pm

In all of these unfinished tales (as in many other of the Professor's stories) there seems to be a strong thread concerning the manner in which the beings of middle earth can slip from humility, through self-esteem and pride in their own achievements, to arrogance, to complete hubris - in the old-fashioned sense used by the Greeks in their literature. Not that all of the characters Professor Tolkein is writing about take that path; but there are such strong contrasts between those that do, and what occurs as a result, and their peers and fellows that remain self-aware and resist the temptation. The Professor must have considered overweening pride and hubris to be amongst the worst possible faults a man could have.
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Postby Iolanthe » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:04 am

I think he did - and the Numenorean kings were the prime example.

The Seven Deadly Sins are:

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

And I had the same thought about them when I was compiling the post about the kingly transgressions as you did reading it, Merry. You can even lay 'sloth' on Queen Tar-Vanimelde (who I didn't list) who 'gave little heed to ruling' and left everything to her husband.

And I think refusing to yield the sceptre, but holding on to it into dotage counts as a sort of gluttony. But I think Pride is the final nail in the Numenorean coffin.
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Merry
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Postby Merry » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:47 pm

Good for you, Iolanthe! Did you know them from memory? I have to admit that I have never learned the 7 in a formal setting, but have just learned about them sort of tangentially. That's a shame!

But one of my colleagues taught a course on them, and I seem to remember him saying that the 7 can be ranked in order of seriousness (although since they are all 'Deadly', this is not to say that any one of them can be laughed off!). I remember in particular that he said that lust is the most forgivable. So I'm thinking that your list, Iolanthe, might be understood as some kind of ranking, with pride the most deadly of the Deadly? This would fit in with Chrissiejane's insights into hubris although, I think, hubris is a special kind of pride reserved for affronts against the gods, which the Numenoreans certainly had.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Chrissiejane
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Postby Chrissiejane » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:21 pm

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....her song released the sudden spring, like rising lark and falling rain, and melting water bubbling

Merry
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Postby Merry » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:31 pm

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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:32 pm

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Merry
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Postby Merry » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:09 pm

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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:01 pm

No - exactly! But encouraging some Elven ships to make the journey again and re-establish that old trust might have helped. Not exactly interference, but an acknowledgement that he was trying to reverse the trend.

That lack means Tolkien can introduce a small element of tragedy - a missed opportunity - which gives it all an edge.
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Postby Merry » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:17 pm

Are we ready to move on to the next chapter?
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:01 pm

:lol: I'm still ploughing through 'A Hero with a Thousand Faces'!

Can we take a rain check for a couple of weeks? This is one of the most interesting chapters of all and I want time to read it again properly.
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Postby serinde » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:18 am

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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:43 pm

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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
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