Differences between Arnor and Gondor

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by Eriol, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    Re: Eriol's post, second to last of mine.

    Population Diminishment is Visible.




    A very, very strong reason is population diminishment; not enough people to maintain a strong Kingdom, which I think is the only reason we can give, if we are present in T.A 10.
    But any wise eye would know that to maintain a country, a country needs activity, which would keep the warriors and people busy, or else Civil war/strifes might occur, since ambitious people would have nothing to do to calm their adventurous spirits other then interfering in the matter's of Kingdoms. This would result in civil war and eventual distruction of the Kingdom.
    A natural item for the adventurous and ambitious people to satisfy their heart is expansion, occupation of other lands, wars, where Champions can show their bravery and prove their worth.
    But such was not the case in Arnor, since Gondor and Misty Mountains jarred it's way from further occupation of Lands.
    Naturally the champions and ambitions Kings would have nothing else to do then indulge themselves in the internal matters of the Kingdom, and they would want to prove their worth by fighting with other's of their order---the eventual result being destruction, as was the case in Arnor.
    Even at T.A 10, when the signs of petty quarells hadn't appeared, one could foresee them arising, due to the particular geogrophical and political reasons.


    Not to sound Ostentatious, but did Eru send these people on the spur of the moment at those places?
    It all depended on the personal choices and their was a very logical reason behind these events. Eru didn't interfere, It was all because of the personal choices and the turn of the events based on these choices.

    How can you prove this? It was not by chance and luck did Bilbo found the ring, the events happened in such a way that he was compelled to find the ring; the logic back it. Luck is never backed by Logic, but Bilbo's and Gollum's sojourns are backed by logic
    If you don't agree, then In the next post I'll explain how so.

    Why would he do that? If that's the case then why let the "screwing" happen? Eru does and will not interfere in the matters of Arda, except for special occasions.

    Well I don't buy it. According to logic, a weak Arnor would be no good, if we were to fight Sauron. Logic does not taken unto consideration luck. I would say again, Eru had no part in all this afair.
    Can you trade fertile grass away? Will you send all your animals to Gondor to be reared up and call them back to Arnor when they are well-fed and healthy?
    Trade here means that they could exchange food---but' that's no substitute for topographical elements. Food can be exchanged, but geography cannot.
    So what do you suppose should have happened? The fact is the King's had nothing to do, except to maintain their Kingdom, which was not threatened by any external element--Life was slow, dead and monotonous--contrary to Gondor's exciting atmosphere.
    And one could see this coming in T.A 10.
    Which would make the life comfortable, no excitement, no problems, nothing to do except to start petty quarell's and nitpick upon Government policies.
    The western bounds of Arnor, for the most part is, The Great Sea.
     
  2. Eriol

    Eriol Estel

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    So, Beleg, do you mean that peace and prosperity leads to decay?

    :confused:

    I've never heard of a more... hindsighted theory as this one.

    The population diminishment took place over the eight centuries, and not as a result of the War of the Last Alliance. This is the reason Gondor is so important in this argument. In Gondor we have a twin kingdom in which NO population diminishment was taking place at this time.

    What, in T.A. 10, could predict that?

    Note, Population Diminishment is not an event, it is a process. It implies this equation:

    birth rate + immigration rate < death rate + emigration rate

    I doubt that this was the case in the first 2 or 3 centuries of Arnor, but it seems it was already beginning to reach an equilibrium or a real diminishment before T.A. 800. Is there a reason for it?

    As for trade, well, I don't get your point. Inderjit has already established that Eriador is fertile. Before the carrying capacity (the ability to provide food, for both men and animals) of the land is exhausted, it can certainly sustain a MUCH LARGER population than was ever present in the area in the Third Age.

    The carrying capacity of the land is not a "limiting factor", in technical parlance. Even if it is smaller than Gondor, it is more than enough for Arnor -- especially an Arnor which had suffered a population diminishment in the War of the Last Alliance.

    Trade can supply them with whatever they can't produce. And of course they has significant trading advantages, especially due to their proximity to Khazâd-dûm and the Ered Luin's mines.

    The more I think about it, the more I reject the hypothesis of bad terrain and bad climate. It is simply untenable that this could lead to a population diminishment of an already diminished population, over 8 centuries.

    It is still a mystery to me.

    About Eru. Eru's role is one of that hypothesis which is confirmed by Tolkien himself, in his Letters. He mentions those two examples. You can argue with him (and I mean it, you can argue with him -- I don't think Tolkien's word regarding the philosophical and theological implications of his work is the last word, especially because it is a strongly Catholic view, and people have the right to disagree with it).

    About "logic" and Gollum, everyone would agree that Frodo's mercy was not an act of "logic". Sam was the one being logical at that time.

    Eru lets the "screwing" happen because he gave free will to his children. If he prevented it before it happened, he would be taking away that free will.

    And the purpose of Arnor's decay, hiding the line of Isildur, is evidently confirmed by your hindsighted hypothesis :D. If a stable kingdom leads to strife, the only way to keep the line of Kings is to end the realm.

    ;)

    When we go into teleology (purposes) it gets very complicated. My guess was simply that -- a guess. It fits the observation, but I don't claim anything more than that for it. I don't mean that Eru was the one behind Arnor's decay, that he planned it from the beginning. The responsibility is clearly with the people. But Eru let it happen -- he could have prevented it while keeping free will operative in a thousand ways. It helps to be All-Mighty ;)
     

  3. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

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    This goes into ontological arguments: why aren't humans happy when everthing is techincally all right? Why does there have to be excitement/strife in order to maintain life?
    It is said in Appendix A that Arnor's sphere of influence ended with the still free realms of the Eryd Lindon.
    I think what was implied that due to the infavourable terrain and conditions, Arnor was set up on an unstable ground. But as there is no proof that the conditions were unsuitable in the first place, it is futile to discuss.
    As far as I can see, Ilúvatar had little if any actual active jurisdiction in Arda at all. His intervention is implied in several cases, but it is never stated outright IIRC. A quote which states that Eru was still actively a part of the happenings and events of Arda in the Third Age would help.. ;)
     
  4. Eriol

    Eriol Estel

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    It's in the Letters -- in fact, in many Letters. But I don't have them here...

    Also, Gandalf states quite clearly that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and Frodo was meant to get it... These words imply a purpose (natural processes, or chance, do not mean, aim at, anything), and a person behind it.

    I wouldn't know how to interpret Gandalf's statement without the Eru hypothesis. And Tolkien himself addressed Eru's governance in Arda, when speaking of Gollum in Orodruin.

    Governance does not mean constant interference, it means watchfulness and power to intervene. He only does it when He thinks it is needed. The laws of nature (which He made, hehe) work quite well most of the time.
     

  5. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

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    Hehe.
    Ah, ok. I haven't read the Letters, so I didn't know. Thanks. :)
    But it is still a rather important aspect of Tolkien's whole cosmology, the constant presence of the Creator in the World.. It seems uncharacteristic of Tolkien not to mention it in the Silmarillion..
    Sorry, back to topic.
     
  6. Eriol

    Eriol Estel

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    Since I eat lunch at home, I was able to find one quote (among many), from Letter 181:

    Tolkien was discussing the relationship between the Valar and Ilúvatar.
     
  7. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Hmmm... I've read through this, and offer a couple thoughts for consideration:

    1. Although it fell, Arnor (including its successor kingdom Arthedain) lasted for over 2000 years! That's a pretty long time for you and me.

    2. While Tolkien frequently writes of Arnor's continual decline, I see that as sort of 'historical summary'. It makes sense to me that there were perpetual 'ups and downs' with an overall downward trend... particularly punctuated by the division of Arnor, protracted civil wars, strife with Angmar, The Great Plague and Angmar's final assault. It's hard to imagine that every single year was worse than the year before... for almost 2000 years!

    3. If accepting division was the 'weaker' way to go for Earendur's sons, might it also have been the more compassionate way? If a life-and-death struggle had ensued, as in Gondor's Kin-strife, what later King of Arnor could have rested peacefully at night? What younger prince... second or third son... could imagine himself safe from his elder brother? And might be tempted into attempting to assassinate that older brother himself? This would lead to the same paranoia found in Gondor when they ran out of claimants for the succession of the throne. If the course of events in Gondor preserved the kingdom, it was at the cost of the line of kings. If the course of events in Arnor cost them the kingdom... it at least preserved the line of kings. All this sets the stage for Aragorn (the King without a kingdom) and Gondor (the kingdom without a King) to come together in 3019.
     
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  8. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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  9. Arvedui's Legacy

    Arvedui's Legacy New Member

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    From my knowledge, Gondor was near many enemies like the wain riders (Easterlings) and Harad while Arnor was far from any enemies at the time. With this in mind, Gondor had enemies at their doorstep so other matters in the kingdom weren't of absolute matter at the times. Arnor on the other hand had no enemies to face and so kin-strife came upon Arnor when Earendur had three sons which each believed had the right to rule Arnor. The quarrel led to the division of three lesser kingdoms Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur. By the time of the Arnor-Angmar wars, Arthedain and Cardolan joined forces with Cardolan having no opposition or Arthedain's rule (Theory that the line of kings in Cardolan have died out), but there was no time for a reunion of the countries and pointless if Angmar's campaign is successful. Rhudaur's line of kings died out very quickly if I remember correctly and the dunedain living there either left, died, or was unstated. With the remnants of Arnor's kingdom weaken from the centuries of war with Angmar, it led to the downfall. Gondor could not send aid for they were also fighting enemies in the east and south, and when they did the kingdoms of Arnor had fallen and the people became wanders in the wild (Rangers). Gondor had to face mortal men while the Arnor they had the face Sauron's second in command which he is immortal and black sorcery to aid him. Arnor was weaker than Gondor at this point and in my opinion had a stronger enemy so this is why I believe Arnor failed.
     
  10. Arvedui's Legacy

    Arvedui's Legacy New Member

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    Arnor DID try to recover with every chance they got. The elves even took part in the war to help Arnor and elves helping men is a big deal. If you want a similar idea to Arnor-Angmar war, look up the Three kingdoms of Korea. They lasted almost the same time as the kingdoms of Arnor and Angmar as China (Not implying China is evil or any way, just an example). Two of the kingdoms allied to fight against China while one allied with China and from there it led to the fall of the two kingdoms. Strategy and battles are almost similar, this is just my opinion.
     
  11. Ingolmin

    Ingolmin Member

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    I do not agree with those who think that peace brings strifes and conflicts because men get bored.
    No, though the conflicts and civil wars were there in both the sister kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor which led to their destruction, one survived (Gondor) not properly and the other collapsed(Arnor), both of them were not aftereffects of peace. Firstly, there was no peace, it was Watchful Peace by which I mean that peace was there but not absolute peace which could lead to flourishment of the men(here Dunedain), the Ringwraiths and many other evils consistently troubled the kings and their kingdoms.
    Secondly civil wars that took place in both the kingdoms were not because the ambitious ones wanted adventure (as mentioned by Beleg before), the fights in the kingdom was mainly between those who claimed their descent from Elendil and wanted the kingdoms for themselves and the wise wanted to preserve the line of Elendil. Remember the wars that took place in Gondor between Castamir and Eldacar, it was because of the throne. The conflict between the sons of Earendur(last king of Arnor) was also because of this. The division of Arnor made the kingdom even more weak rather than strong.
    Also the Dunedain of the Third Age were not so wise and skilled as their fathers before them because the mingling of their blood with that of lesser men and due to their estrangement from Eldar.
    Whatever passed in Middle Earth was neither luck but was through the power of Eru Illuvitar himself. The fate of Middle earth was bound with the Music sung by the Ainur, only in some cases Illuvitar interfered.

    I am Ingolmin, a young loremaster and I claim my descent from Elrond Halfelven. Feel free to comment and ask your queries.
    Thank you.
     

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