How did Eol make Aredhel his wife?

Discussion in '"The Silmarillion"' started by Kinofnerdanel, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    Hi there!

    I'm curious that in the Silmarillion, it is stated that Eol used magic to draw Aredhel, White Lady of Gondolin closer and closer to his house as she wandered in "his" forest (since it actually belonged to Elu Thingol). Than it is stated somewhat like that he invited her in, and than he just made his wife. Just like that. Tolkien also writes that it wasn't entirely against her liking. So what does that thing mean? I even thought maybe he could have kind of sexually force her, if that is possible in the race of elves. Although Melian refers to him as being of dark heart.

    Sorry, but since I read Tolkien's works in my language and I don't wish to violate copyrights of such a great mind, I cannot add exact citations.
     
  2. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    Welcome to Tolkien Forums Kinofnerdanel!
    It has been awhile since I read the Silmarillion, and I need to remedy that. What I remember from my reading was when Aredhel became lost in Nan Elmoth, Eöl saw her and desired her, and confused her path with enchantments. I'm not entirely sure what these enchantments were, but it drew Aredhel to him. I thought Eöl likely charmed her while keeping her in captivity, and she looked for a way to eventually escape. Part of the price she paid was marrying and having sex with Eöl, and birthing Maeglin. Eventually she did leave Eöl. Tolkien was quite vague about how Eöl entrapped her, and whether Aredhel fell into a "Stockholm Syndrome" admiration of her captor either on her own or by enchantments from Eöl, or a bit of both. I don't think elves were above being misogynistic and controlling, and Eöl is a prime example.
     

  3. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    In "On Fairy Stories" and elsewhere, Tolkien expresses the view that what we call "enchantment" is, for the Elves, a form of art, a way of giving physical reality to a conception in the mind, to an extent that goes beyond the abilities of Man and his attempts at "subcreation". He says that this is a form of art so completely convincing and "real" that one can enter into it, which makes it "perilous for mortals".

    This kind of Elvish Art would be as susceptible to corruption as anything else in Middle Earth, so we could perhaps see Eol's "enchantments" as the use of art, not to "delight and instruct", as the old saying goes, but to delude and persuade, as in its real-world counterparts, propaganda and advertising.

    I'm not near my library at the moment, so can't provide quotes.

    BTW, I don't think brief quotations would violate copyright; if that were the case, most of us would be headed to court!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  4. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    Thank you for the answer and for greeting me, I'm happy to be here:)
    By the way, what do you mean that elves were (or weren't above being) misogynistic? I've always thought quite the opposite, imagining them as being somewhat more understanding - not liberal of course, given the setting - towards women. For example they married freely, out of love. Certainly, nobles and kings usally didn't really choose from the commonfolk, but I think it's related to the fact that elven nobles and kings were of higher blood, mostly touched by the light of the trees, so they were interested in their own kind, I suppose.

    An elf-woman is not an object to be traded from her father to her soon-to-be, out of political and economical interests. I don't recall that Tolkien would have stated the latter about Men, but we know that he was creating a mythology for the ancient times, so it must have been that way.

    Yes, yes, and yes! Thank you for your smart insight. I was aware that what Men saw as magic wasn't considered the same among the Eldar, but I wasn't witty enough somehow to fit that in the story of Eol. But you just did wonderfully. It all makes a lot of sense now. Then this is why, upon leaving Nan Elmoth and that charm, she suddenly realizes how badly she misses Gondolin.
     
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  5. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    I agree with you about the elves. I was pointing out Eöl as being an exception to the general way elves were.
    They tended to marry once for love, which again I think Eöl was an exception to this. I know that Finwë was an exception and had two wives. His 1st wife Míriel Serindë dies after giving birth to Fëanor, and he married Indis and sons Fingolfin and Finarfin were born to her.

    As far as men go, I believe that Firiel, daughter of King Ondoher of Gondor was wed to Arvedui King of Arthedain in a somewhat political way. Maybe they did meet and love each other, but King Arvedui definitely used the fact he was married to the only surviving child of King Ondoher to strengthen his claim to the crown of Gondor.

    I am digressing here from the subject.
     
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  6. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    Update:

    I found this fascinating little article all about sexuality in Tolkien's works from which I quote. I recommend the whole piece.

     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  7. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    Thanks for this. Could you gives us a link to the article, or point us to it?
     
  8. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    Wholeheartedly! I've already linked it to the world "this" in my former post but doing so has changed the font so subtly (slight difference in colour if I'm correct) that I'll highlight it!
     
  9. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    Oh, sorry -- I'm always missing these! :oops:

    Thanks again! :)

    Edit: "Little" you call it? It's 12 pages! :p

    No time to read it right now, but I'll get to it this afternoon. Fascinating subject, given the "Edwardian" sensibilities attributed to Tolkien.

    I remember being surprised at reading in one of his letters something to the effect of (from memory) "I have no objection to sex stories; I've written them myself". :eek:

    Of course, his idea of what a "sex story" was may differ from what we think now!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  10. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    [​IMG]

    No. Way.

    To evoke a wondrous Tarantino movie, the letters of Tolkien already had my curiosity, but now they have my attention, thanks to you, Squint-eyed! :D I would give an arm and a leg to be able to read those.

    And they must be immensely different, now thinking of his fancy expressions like "bodily union". Maybe it's for the better that we can't actually access them. Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter, like Tennyson wrote.
     
  11. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    I've tried finding the letter, but haven't, yet (there's an Index entry for "marriage", but none for "sex").

    Pure speculation on my part, but I have a suspicion that what Tolkien called "sex stories", we would likely call "romance stories" -- of the Harlequin type, maybe.

    But who knows? He may well have destroyed them. Or maybe not, given his reluctance to discard his manuscripts -- for which we are eternally grateful!
     
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  12. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    Can I just say, that just by the implication of a few words.... that this whole affair between these two is one sketchy @$$ story? Add to that what you all have digged up on this and I am left wondering as to what exactly kind of story I read! :eek::eek::eek:

    Whose bright idea was to let that elf-maiden out of the gates?!


    *ahem* I digress, still did not like reading that part of the Sil, I felt like it was a tad bit more G.R.R before G.R.R.

    I will say though....Eöl really fell for her.










    CL

    I thought elves could not be essentially, forced upon in the universe? Or, did this come later after the change. That would be interesting to know!



    CL
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2018
  13. Kinofnerdanel

    Kinofnerdanel Member

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    Someone summarized it once as the textbook definition of an abusive relationship. Initially charming behaviour to lure the victim, complete isolation from family and friends, restriction of physical movement, justification of control (you can't meet the slayers of my kin, son), threatening with harming the child (attempting to kill him) if she leaves the relationship... Geez, you name it, he's done it.

    Oh sweet summer child, she wasn't entirely unwilling, so... :confused::confused:


    And Squint-eyed, we agree on both of your statements! It's a pleasure to take a glance at the process of creation.
     
  14. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    True, but then again...

    Dark magicks. :eek:o_O:confused:


    Tolkien can imply so much by so little words!


    CL
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  15. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    In Morgoth's Ring (of History of Middle-Earth), there's a text you should definitely read if you're into Elves, called "Of Laws and Customs of the Eldar".

    In there's it's explained that a wedding ceremony is rather optional for the Eldar to get married. The primary meaning of it is a celebration of the two families united with the matrimony. More details can be read there, but what you need to know is that what actually creates the bond of marriage is the bodily union. It's an eloquent expression for the sexual act which Aredhel and Eöl most definitely did.

    "Let's skip the celebration. We had sex, so now it means we're married."

    But notice that doing this without a betrothal and ceremony was more common in the uncommon, darker times (when the Elven rate of birth was slower in any case). In the times of peace it would be even considered rude towards their own families to do it without a ceremony first.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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