Round 7: Guild of the Periaur vs. Guild of Tolkienology

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Bethelarien, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Manveru

    Manveru (former)blue angel of GoT

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    I still think it was only a 'trial'. Do you really think Thingol desired the Silmaril for himself? In exchange for his daughter? His "only child" that he loved more than anything...
    Who wouldn't be angered? Let's look at Thingol's attitude towards Men (from the begining of their existance):
    As I said before Thingol disliked Men (all the race). It was not easy for him just to 'hand over' his beloved child to a "representative of the Usurpers, the Strangers, and the Inscrutable, the Self-cursed"... So I don't see anything 'inappropriate' in sending Beren on a 'trial', which he himself 'proposed' (though not being fully aware of this-that's his problem;)).
    Thingol stated that still believing Men to be as he thought of them from the begining... He said that also in anger, but let us look what really happened when Beren showed up again in Menegroth:
    Still thinking Thingol desired the Silmaril? No comment...
    I don't really think it's crucial point to a topic of this debate...
     
  2. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Once again, Tolkienologists taking things out of context....:rolleyes:
    I hope I don't have to put up with this for the rest of the debate. I would expect better from the Tolkienologists.

    I never once said that Thingol desired the Silmaril. I said that Thingol desired the death of Beren over even the possession of the Silmaril.

    He did not send Beren on a trial. He sent him to his doom.
    Read my above post for the reasoning.

    Just because Thingol disliked Men, doesn't make it a right decision to send Beren to his doom. In fact, his discrimination against Men makes it even more wrong.

    And a debate does not just consist of one crucial point. ;)

    Please read my posts before picking out the bits you like, and jumble their meaning next time.
    It becomes quite tiresome having to repeat myself.
     

  3. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    Of course Thingol's love for his daughter drove him to this end. But it is possible to do something wrong out of motivations that are not bad in and of themselves.

    I can't believe any neutral observer is going to conclude that sending someone on a seemingly impossible task that will in all likelihood lead to their death is the right way to deal with someone who wants to marry your daughter.

    Thingol’s words and thoughts drip with prejudice against Beren because he was a man. There is no need to furnish quotes, since Manveru has already provided them. This was the real reason for deciding this route... there's no way an elf would have been treated this way. What amazes me is that Manveru considers this to be some kind of justification. Go the Elf Supremacists!!;)

    Your claim that Thingol was setting a 'fair test' for Beren, is not borne out by the text. Thingol himself says
    In other words Thingol wanted Beren dead, and would have had Beren killed if Luthien had made him promise not to. The quest was the next best thing.

    Its actually gets worse, the more you think about it. Thingol again:
    He didnt want to be an oath-breaker directly, but he was actually prepared to in order to thwart the love of Beren and Luthien. This wasn’t a test of Beren's worthiness to wed Luthien, it was an attempt to send him to his death.

    Finally, Manuveru wants us to consider Thingol's attitude after the quest... as though the fact he softens his position after the seemingly impossible happens excuses the fact that he acted in this cruel and unjust manner. Of course it doesn't! It actually shows that Thingol himself repented of his prejudice. The fact that the quest did prove Beren loyal absolutely doesnt mean that the quest was ever devised as a test. What it shows is that Thingol himself realised he was wrong. It is only the Tolkienologists who disagree!
     
  4. Legolam

    Legolam Ad astra per aspera

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    Actually, I beg to differ:

    Seems like no elf could keep his hands off the Silmarils
     

  5. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    But of course not enough to let her make her own decision based on her own feelings though. . . :rolleyes:


    Let's get Melian's view on all this

    But did he? . . . Lets see. . .

    Melian even still is against him. . .


    Even though Thingol states he doenst put a price on Lúthien's head, he just did!

    Some father, he just promise that if he had the Silmaril he would give up his daughter, that is NOT love, but greed fed by greater greed!
     
  6. Finduilas

    Finduilas Hope brings Death...

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    Until now, despite being 'hot', this debate hasn't covered even half of the points and conceptions, concerning the topic. Let's start with an interpretation of the topic:

    Having in mind that an issue may be discussed from different points of view, it is logical to expand the debate. There are at least two angles from which the discussion may start:

    1.Morallity in Thingol's personal choice: The key word is "personal". Upto this moment the debate has been "rolling" round this idea, discussing whether it was a good deed of Thingol's or a shameless action caused by anger, love and jealousy. If we lead the debate only on this way, discussing the emotions and reactions of the characters, the discussion itself will turn into a passionate arguement. As it has become...

    2.HIstorical consequences of Thingol's decision: This way is less painful. It has been ignored but it should have been evolved paralelly with the first one, at least to cool of the atmosphere.
    Let's quote the opponent:
    Have they really?His intentions were:
    -to protect his daughter;
    -to 'test' her 'probable' future husband;
    -to probably send him to death;
    -to keep his oath.

    The only thing in which he didn't succeed is to send Beren to death. But otherwise he kept his oath and found the best 'match' for his daughter. What's more, he tool part in Morgoth's destroyment. His intentions were quite successful and exactly his intentions wrote the history.
    But the Periaur also add:
    I,personally, do not see the logic here. What did Thingol do?He sent Beren ona Quest which happened to be successful. Indeed it was risky but life is a challange. So, back to the point, Thingol had no part in the good consequences...Did he?He made the decision and he encouraged the Quest. He might have intended it to turn into a failure, but it is a fact that Beren succeeded...
    So, if we leave for a moment the moral side of the discussion, we may dig deeper in the history.
    To decide whether the decision had been right or wrong, it is logical to start with the question:
    "Was the Quest successful?" Well, its purpose was to 'defeat' Morgoth in a little battle for the Simaril. And, despite the unnumbered tears and death, the Silmaril was finally brought back. And during this process the following deeds had been done:

    1.Finrod fulfilled his duty towards Barahir;
    2.Carcharoth was killed;
    3.Beren proved hislove;
    4.Beren sacrificed in order to keep his promise and the order of king Thingol and thus won his mercy;
    5.Luthien and Beren's love became the purest and also most unfortunate one.It also turned into a beautiful legend which inspired many young lovers and poets later.

    And also the latest consequences:

    1.Earendil used the Silmaril for the safety of Middle Earth.

    It was a Quest and that means that a result is expected and also adventures.
    Having in mind the above, from a pure historical point of viewwe can conclude that the Quest was successful.

    From the Letters of Tolkien,131:
    Clear enough, Tolkien himself has said that this particular Quest was an useful and demanded one. Therefore, the person. Thingol, who has given the order of this Quest must have done the right choice(from historical point of view).
     
  7. Finduilas

    Finduilas Hope brings Death...

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    Nonetheless, we come across this quote a bit later in the letter:

    But not accidently the oath is mentioned. For it destroys everything on its way and the Quest has no guilt in this case.

    In addition to this, the Quest, Beren and Luthien and their destiny served as a lesson to the later generations;I'll quote the great "Tolkienologists" Michael Martinez for I wouldn't have said it better.

    From M. M. 's Unwritten Tales of Love and War in Middle Earth:
    A wonderful tactical move , Thingol order remains in the history of Middle Earth as one of the most dangerous and in fact impossible. However, history is mostly written by 'mad' Emperors with riskful decisions. Remember, The World War Two or the expansions of Alexander the Macedonian, or a vivid moment of the Bulgarian history: the sacrifice at peak Shipka...
     
  8. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Ack! Those red-coloured words are painful on the eyes. ;)


    Now, Finduilas seems to think that Thingol predicted all these events that come along with Beren's Quest. That he knew that Carcharoth would be killed, that he knew that Finrod would fulfil his duty, that Beren would retrieve the Silmaril.

    But we are talking about Thingol's decision here. Not the outcomes that resulted of this decision. When Thingol made the decision, he wanted to kill Beren, but thanks to the oath he couldn't. So he sends Beren away on a 'Quest' that he believes will not be accomplished. When Thingol made his decision, he thought that Beren would be killed by Morgoth's minions, or Morgoth himself. Thingol wanted the death of Beren over even the possession of the Silmaril! Something that he desired greatly.
    Indeed, Thingol had become aggitated by Beren's words and actions- but that does not excuse him from making wrong decisions. What Thingol did would be called 'attempted murder' in today's courts.

    Finduilas still seems to think that Beren was sent on a 'test' to see if he was worthy of marrying Luthien. But how can it be a test if he did not expect Beren to return? He said himself that if he had thought Beren could have stolen the Silmaril, he would have broken his oath to Luthien.
    Let us define the word 'test':
    But how would Thingol be able to evaluate whether Beren was worthy to marry Luthien if (as Thingol had thought) Beren was lying dead in the pits of Angband?
    "Hmmm, Beren died...he mustn't be worthy then..."
    It had not crossed Thingol's mind that Beren may accomplish the quest. Therefore he would not have thought Beren would be worthy of marrying Luthien. Since this was the case, Thingol was not testing Beren. He was just 'getting him out of the picture'.

    Now let us go into Thingol's motives behind his decision:

    1. Thingol did not like Men, he was prejudiced against them. Is this a good thing? No. Therefore he did not want Lúthien to marry one. In fact, he wished to kill Beren for it. But luckily for Beren, Lúthien coaxed Thingol into making an oath. But Thingol still wanted to get rid of him.

    2. He was looking after the best interests of his daughter. But Lúthien was no doormat: she could think for herself. She loved Beren, and she knew the consequences of her proposed actions. Thingol did not take his daughter's thoughts into account though. He became stubborn, and would not listen to his own daughter.

    Indeed, the Quest was useful (as Tolkien said), but the decision to send Beren to his death was wrong.


    I like that last quote of yours, Finduilas. :)
    If only Thingol had acted the same way as Celeborn...it would have been much more 'right'.
     
  9. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    I know this doesnt contribute to the debate very much but I have to just point this out:

    In my opening post I said:
    But Manuveru rebukes, in stinging fashion:
    But look... Finduilas now posts:
    Ahhhh!!!!! Vindication.... I love it!:D

    (I'll actually reply tomorrow!;) )
     
  10. Anamatar IV

    Anamatar IV Anabadger

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    Posted by Snaga

    Just because The Quest was one of the pieces of the ruin of Doriath, that is not to say it was the whole reason for it. Melian, Queen of Doriath cautioned Thingol that peace would not last in Doriath forever YEARS before the War of the Jewels began!

    Morgoth’s Ring

    I don’t imagine I need to waste your time with quoting just who Melian, Maia Queen, was.;)


    Honestly, now, how wrong was it if it was preordained? Is Death among Men wrong? It causes not just death, but death to an entire species’ population!!

    As for the Quest being preordained:

    Morgoth’s Ring

    Spoken by Finrod. We all know who Finrod is, but I think we could use a reminder to see exactly who he is.

    This guy was no hobbyist, he was a Mannish lore master.;)


    Lets look at the quote Finrod spoke involving the union between an Elf and Man.
    ~Keep that in the back of your mind
    Morgoth’s Ring

    Was the marriage between Beren and Luthien brief? Was it hard at the end? Did death soon end it?

    YES! Straight from the hand of the Professor himself:


    The marriage of Beren and Luthien, though not specifically mentioned, was prophesied by the wisest of the Noldor in Beleriand, by the Elf most learned of Men.

    That sounds like something preordained to me. Things in mythologies aren’t doomed lightly.;)


    But wait…there’s more!

    #1
    #2
    #3

    #1. First off, Thingol was moved to pity and love for Beren. And as Aule so plainly pointed out, Thingol was very prejudice towards the race of Men…but second and more importantly, “their doom could not be withstood by any power of this world.” Can there be any doubt in your mind after this quote that the Quest was not sporadic and foreordained?

    #2. The greatest of all deeds…ponder those words for a few minutes while thinking of all the deeds done against Melkor. Think of Fingolfin and Hurin and Finrod, of Barahir, Earendil, and Turin. This one deed by Beren and Luthien surpassed them ALL!

    #3. Compare the two deeds of Earendil and Beren. One saved Beleriand and brought an end to Morgoth’s malice. Another Commited Petty Theft against him. Yet the person that saved Beleriand wasn’t allowed to return to Middle-earth whereas the little crook returned to life…




    CLEARLY this quest for preordained, can there be any doubt about that? Something preordained cannot be considered as wrong. Eru’s actions weren’t arbitrary. And, as stated in the Osanwe Kenta, since Manwe was Eru’s right arm in Arda, The Vala’s decree was also that of Eru’s. Now how can something decided upon centuries earlier by THE ONE be wrong?

    All unlabeled quotes are from Morgoth's Ring
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2003
  11. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Once again, the GoT have decided to talk about the outcomes of the quest, not about the motives behind Thingol's decision. What we are debating is the decision-making process that Thingol went through in his decision to propose a task to Beren.

    Now, from Anamatar's posts, I got the feeling that he was trying to say that Thingol was right because marriage between Elf and Man can only be brief. But as I have already said, Lúthien already knew of the consequences of a marriage with Beren, and was prepared to make that sacrifice. She was prepared to have a few years of bliss with Beren, rather than an eternity without him.

    No, it was not prophesised.
    If you look at the quote, you'll see that he is saying if there is a marriage. He did not say there will be a marriage between Elf and Men, and he certainly did not say that there would be a marriage between Beren and Lúthien.

    OK, on to Matar's little quotes:
    Yes. Thingol knew that a marriage between Elf and Man would be brief; but so did Lúthien, and she still was prepared to marry Beren. Was it right for Thingol to deprive his own daughter of her greatest desire? No way.

    There you go again about the outcome rather than the decision. :rolleyes:.

    Your point being?:confused:
     
  12. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    EEP!

    The Venerable guild GOP posted in their opening post; a summary of their main claims.
    Their first claim was,

    Firstly Thingol could never have ‘thwarted’ the love between B&L, since it was based on a foundation so strong that nothing could come between it; so to claim that Elu Thingol ‘selfishly’ attempted to thwart their result is absurd. Thingol was never selfish when it came to the love between them. Why would he be selfish? He had no reason to be selfish; he only cared for Lúthien, for Lúthien was not some common elvish beauty. She was of a great and royal lineage, even possessing the blood of one of the great Ainur’s; the angelic spirits of power. She was beautiful; the most beautiful of all maidens ever on the earth.

    Shibelloth of Feanor: People of Middle-earth

    She was a precious treasure, and not everyone was worthy of taking her hand in marriage. One had to prove his worth to seek her. Lúthien herself knew it, if she hadn’t known it she was have eloped or would have married Beren secretly, but she wanted the blessing of her beloved father, according to the Laws and Customs of the Eldar. Our opponent argue that Lúthien was greatly in love with Beren and it was unfair and selfish of Thingol to send Beren on the Quest. I, kinds Sirs, would like to point out, that since Lúthien was emotionally involves with Beren, we can’t possibly ask her to think objectively about Beren. Thingol couldn’t just have given Lúthien’s hand to Beren, since Beren was a Man, and he was a complete and total stranger for Thingol. How would Thingol have known about his worth? Whether he was good enough and worthy to marry his beautiful daughter. A most logical procedure would be send Beren on an errand, on a trial, on a quest, where he could prove his worth and prove that he was good enough to marry Lúthien. We should also consider that Beren was a man, not an elf, and before this aforementioned case, their had never been any mention of a marriage between an Elf and Man. For a Man to marry an Elf-princess it needed something extraordinary, something not done before and the Quest of the Silmaril was an ideal event. This was an unsual occurance and some High purpose was working there as this quote from Athrabeth Andreth Ah Finrod points out,

    And certainly a high purpose was achieved through this Quest. A Silmaril was recovered, which eventhough brought forth many woes for the Elves and their allies, men, in the end became the essential element in Earendil’s quest and from saving the Edain, Noldor and Sindar from anihiliation.
    A smiliar case is the union between Arwen and Aragon which took place latter in the third age.
    My dear friend says that this ‘scheme’ [A highly unapt word since {In a way} Beren brought this Quest upon himself.] brought forth the ruin of Doriath.

    This marriage was constituted for a higher purpose of doom, to regain something that would ultimately be the savior of Elven-kind. If not for this Quest, the Silmaril would never have been recovered, Earendil would never have been able to reach Aman and Elves and Men would have been completely annihilated. It didn’t prevent the union of Beren and Lúthien because Beren proved himself worthy, of the hand of Lúthien, if it had not been so, this union had never come into being.
    This point of GOP, thus remains void. ;)

    GOP go criticizing Thingol for his so called deviousness. It is not deviousness. It is simply the wish to see his lass with someone who is worthy of her and less insolent; [As Beren was to Thingol, such insolence!] Beren has not proved himself to be worthy of Lúthien.
    But the fact is that It all started by Thingol’s actions; he constituted the plan, pushed by some higher purpose, some higher order. The high purpose coupled with his love for Lúthien, and his determination [Rightly so] to find someone worthy of Lúthien gave Thingol every right to impose the Quest on Beren.

    This point of a higher purpose and set doom needs some pondering and an explaination is needed. Myths Transformed: Morgoth’s Ring tell us,

    One gets the notion that Valar [Especially Manwe] had some foreknowledge of how the events would unfold and he infact might be the driving force behind the unfolding of events. The Quest of recovering the Silmaril [Since it would be a great blow to Morgoth] could also be partially instituted by Manwe, for a much higher purpose; to bring forth the destruction of Morgoth.
    The wise and calculating mind of Manwe would have reasoned out that such a Quest would be of manifold advantages all revealing themselves in the long run. It would be a perfect morale boaster for the Elven Kind and would help to raise their spirit and they would possibly be able to hold out Morgoth longer and further weaken him.
    Elves and Men were made two separate races and they were encouraged to remain that way. To bring forth a union between them, some really high purpose need to be present and this blessing should only be granted to one who proves himself worthy.

    One could ask when Gondolin was wrought, did Turgon knew what part he would play in the final battle? Did he consciously try to influence his part? And yet he is praised for being the father of Idril Celebrindal of whose seed was Earendil the blessed. Were all the others who are praised for their actions and deeds, blessed with the foreknowledge of future? None were! The tale unfolds according to the actions of the participants even if they are not completely aware of their roles. Your supposition even though cunningly wrought fails to hold in the light of facts and solid conjecture. ‘Your’ long after the time of Thingol spans only a brief period of thirty to thirty five years.

    GOP accuse us of going off topic yet I fail to see what ‘staying out of the Wars’ has to do with Thingol’s decision? Which wars are you talking about? Doriath was located in the Middle of Beleriand with the Noldor on the North who did the bulk of the fighting along with the first two house of Edain and Liaquendi who sometimes got into an occasional squabble or two. Till Nirnaeth, Doriath never got the chance or felt the need to go to war against Morgoth’s forces. And these events took place before Nirnaeth. The consequences of the arrival of Silmaril in a long run are also known: Earendil’s voyage to Aman and saving of Elves and Edain.
     
  13. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    erm!

    Ahha!!
    Before condemning Thingol lets glance at Beren’s attitude and words in the court of Menegroth,

    Hehe! So dear Beren is virtually asking Thingol to send him to any errand, make him undego any test, to give him the hand of Lúthien. Proud words, aren’t they? And proud words said to proud King Thingol [Who had, unlike Beren, a right to be proud, he was the High King of Beleriand and also a hundred other reasons which Beren was an unknown stranger on the mercy of Thingol]. Note Beren himself says that Lúthien is the fairest and places her above all the object of the world. This shows her worth. Not even the most precious ornaments could vie with Lúthien’s hand. Beren is asking the hand of Doriath’s most precious possession and is willing to undergo all the difficulties in the world to get her. Some insolence and huge pride, but in this case, who can blame Thingol for sending Beren on the Quest of acquiring a Silmaril since in Beren’s own words ‘this is nothing!” ;)

    Firstly, Thingol’s imposement of the Quest of Simaril on Beren was not all unjust or unwise. Secondly, he didn’t want to send him to his ‘death’ because the crime of loving her daughter, but because he was asking the hand of his precious daughter and willing to undergo any difficult to get her. An Elf-friend would never speak with Thingol in the words he spoke to.

    He never thwarted the love. He never asked Lúthien to stop loving him and he provided valid justification for all his actions.

    Get your conjecture straightened out. Since Beren had unlawfully entered Doriath, without the prior permission of the King and ruler he was to be regarded as a criminal and should have been punished. Apparantly Beren himself didn’t think that he was being sent to death, or he wouldn’t have offered to undergo any trial and difficulty. GOP should think more before posting such monotonous and wrong arguments.

    Yup, also led to the saving of Beleriand and all the Elven and Edanic races contained within. Also led to the marriage of Earendil and Elwing, also led to the foundation of Númenor, also led to the beginning of the domain of Men and on and on and on…

    Thingol got the Silmaril and was satisfied with Beren. Hehe!

    Lol! Perhaps you have forgotten that it was Thingol who allowed Beren Lúthien’s hand even though he hadn’t been able to bring the Silmaril to him directly. He did that because Beren showed his bravery and proved himself worthy and showed that he really loved Lúthien and vice versa.

    Originally Posted by Aule.

    [/QUOTE]
    Selective Quoting! What the heck! So trying to prove one’s point through suitable Quotes is now regarded as Selective Quoting! Wow! GOP seems to be playing cheap. GOP claims to fill in the gaps but only provide two ‘snipped’ quotes that incidently work against themselves.

    Remember, Beren had entered Doriath without the permission of Thingol and that was a crime.

    Originally posted by Aule,

    Can you prove, Respected Sir, that he was not prepared to allow Lúthien to marry Beren ‘under any circumstances’. How then, may I ask was Lúthien married to Beren? Hmmm… Beren’s pride was overwhelming and insolence great. Beren probably didn’t knew court manners. He was talking to Thingol as he was his equal. Thingol was just [for the most part and where it matters] in addressing Beren the way he did.
    And GOP seems ignore the simple fact that Beren called for it. He was ready to undergo any trial/test, to do anything to get Lúthien, who was above all things. Thingol just obliged him.

    You think wrong. It was a trial since Beren thought he could overcome even the pits of Angband. Besides Beren cannot be judged on the same scale as that of armies of Noldor.

    Not Melian. Re-read Melian’s words carefully before saying this. She is just presenting two different situations, each of which is equally probable and possible.

    Again a simple question arises here after viewing this lengthy curses, Why did Thingol then allow Beren to marry Lúthien?

    True, but also contributed in saving of Elven kindered.

    And here comes fatherly consent,

    From Of Laws and Customs among the Eldar

    According to this if Beren had been an elf, Thingol would not have a great right to stop his marriage with Lúthien. But unfortunately Beren was a man, and this made the case singular and I believe in this case, the consent of the father became of foremost importance. [Bear in the mind the similar case of Aragon and Arwen, with Arwen being an Elf and Aragon being a Man and Elrond laying a price; the Kingship of the Kingdoms in Exile for the hand of Arwen].

    ********
     
  14. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    erm!

    Thingol also had to keep in mind that in this singular case, was the supposed groom good enough for the hand of Lúthien? This would have shown true love and sincerity for his girl.
    You are correct, he sent Beren to his doom. And his doom was to regain the Silmaril. Right on the trot man! Lúthien didn’t know of the price of marrying Beren; a marriage between Elf and Man was unheard off; the consent of father needed to be gained; since there was no precedence of a likewise occurance before, Lúthien would have no awareness of the effects and results of this marriage. Lúthien did love him, but she would not have married him without her father’s consent.

    Periaur’s have a knack of assuming…assuming too much for their own sake.

    Who cares what you expect! For it matters you are only trying to show off.

    Thingol dislike for men was rational. He had prophetic dreams and he perhaps worked out that Men would work out much mischief in the forthcoming days. [Which they did; sadly]. Thingol’s decision to impose the quest on Beren was correct.

    Someone sure likes following on the insolent footsteps of Beren. ;)

    Perhaps it would be better if you refrain from snipping and put up some thoughtful and valid arguments.
    All your arguments thus far are based upon the point that Thingol disliked Beren which is not related to whether Thingol was right or wrong in sending Beren on the Quest.

    Some posts are so full of themselves.

    Bravo! This case was a singular one, and was Beren worthy enough for the hand of Lúthien?

    You are giving supposition preference over direct statement. He named her bride price, not head price.

    Because Beren would prove himself to be capable and worthy enough for the hand of Lúthien. The main purpose in Thingol’s mind was that whether Beren was good enough for his daughter or not. He was and should have been angry after hearing Beren’s proud words [it would also be quite to shock to see that a mortal [their was no love lost between him and men] vying for the hand of his daughter. He would naturally have become angry and said some harsh things butcooled down as the time passed.

    The fact is that Thingol became aware that the doom of Lúthien and Beren was a separate one and unique and their love was great; he had no way of knowing it back when he met Beren for the first time but Beren’s heroics and Lúthien’s sacrifices proved to him that Beren was good enough for her.

    As for Snaga's vindiction, It was your prestigious partner Aule who suggested that a debate might have more then one 'central' themes.
     
  15. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    But is appears that Thingol is the only one who thinks his daughter is the most precious thing, but many if not all Fathers think this about their daughters. You dont see them demanding the "prospective groom" to go for a romp off to hells door to proove himself, they sit down have a talk, get to know each other and get on (or not) after that!

    So tell me, what age is it that they can get married without asking for concent?

    Of course he can stop all the mischief by getting this one man who is there for a reason beyond his control to die. :rolleyes:

    He loved her, that qualifies in itself. Have you ever been inlove Beleg? You would understand if you had been. . .

    I don't know about you, but i would rather get to know my perspective son-in-law, over giving him up for an item. :rolleyes:

    Or just maybe, Thingols shear hatred for Men, led him to want Beren to die, and that he NEVER planned on giving up Lúthien to him (a lowly Man) or anyone else, be it Fingolfin or even a Maia.

    But he never said "Thingol, send me on this stupid quest" or anything of the like, he did NOT ask to go on the quest, mearly he stated that those things would not stop him from Lúthien!

    Get your conjecture straightened out now!

    He did NOT intentionally enter Doriath, he didn't even know he had, it was destiny that allowed him to enter it!

    Lets not view "what it caused" as Thingol didn't know what the repercussions were.

    Only because of the promise he made, i bet that Thingol and Beren never drank beer on the couch together infront of the superbowl, as most fathers and sons inlaws would do. :rolleyes: They probibly never even spoke afterwards ever again.

    Again he never actually asked for it, but he was no way going to turn it down was he!

    [/quote]Again a simple question arises here after viewing this lengthy curses, Why did Thingol then allow Beren to marry Lúthien?[/quote]

    Exactly! He would NEVER have let Beren marry Lúthien, but he was an honest man (elve) and would stand by his word, (which he did).

    You may believe what you want, doesn't mean it's true!

    Yup, but she was her own Elve, no one elses, not Thingol's or even the Man Beren's.

    I'd say one that loved her as much as Beren was worthy of her, and it's her call, NOT Thingol's!

    Still you go on like Thingol or anyone else could forsee what was to become of the quest. But no, not one being (aside from maybe Melian) on ME could forsee it.

    Good point. . . oh wait, no it isnt, he was visited by a Valar who told him to build it, Thingol was never told by anyone to send Beren on that quest!
     
  16. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    Important!

    Get your facts straightened out. Not only Thingol but lover, Beren himself thinks that,

    In which case the prospective groom is very happy to undergo any exercise, any quest to attain the fairest being. You have to realize that Beren and Thingol possessed two very different statuses. One was an escaped man, helpless and possibly hapless while the other was the glorious king of a great Kingdom. Thingol’s fame was widely spread among all the dwellers of Beleriand while Thingol in the guarded realm of Doriath probably knew nothing of Beren and his deeds. [Which no doubt were valiant] Consider Beren’s position: He had entered Doriath without the consent of King Thingol and could thus be regarded as a criminal. He had fallen in love with Lúthien; which is not a sin. But he had asked for Lúthien’s hand, even though he was a human and no one before had heard of such a union. This had taken the things out of the usual sphere for the event in itself was a singular one and Beren himself recognised that; as is shown by his words aforequoted. Bearing in mind their positions and their ranks, it was not possible for them to ‘sit down to talk and know each other!” [We are talking about Planet Earth but Arda where customs were different from the world we are living in]. The relative difference in their statuses made it impossible for them to treat eachother as equal. In Middle-earth, it is apparent that Hands of the Daughters in special cases were given according to the worth of the suitor.
    Indeed they had a talk, but Beren’s proud words spoken arrogantly to a Mighty king in his own halls would have rilled anyone, so it was natural for Thingol to feel any anger over them. Periaur base ‘Thingol’s dislike of Beren’ as the central argument of their motif. Thingol did dislike Beren, certainly at that time, but this does not mean that he was wrong in sending Beren on the Quest.
    The point is that Beren had to prove himself worthy of winning Lúthien’s hand and that he could only do by achieving some real amazing feat. His haughty words, spoken in a proud manner showed that he was ready to do anything to gain Lúthien, meaning he was ready to embark on any quest; how much difficult it may be. Thingol had wanted the Silmaril and this was an ideal chance of trying to gain it; for this fellow [Beren] claimed that he would do anything to attain his daughter [he specially mentions daring even the cold dungeons of Angband] so what better then to send him on the quest, to find one great jewel to attain one even greater, that would not only prove Beren’s valour but Lúthien would also get a husband who was totally fitting for her, even if he was a man. Sure, a dislike of Beren was also at work here, but this dislike was not inherent, but was created by Beren’s acts and words.
    For one thing Thingol didn’t knew the extent of their love, such a union could only have been allowed if the love and doom of the couple was unique and the Quest proved that it was. Once Thingol found out the worth of Beren, the extent of his valour and Beren’s love for his daughter, he precieved that Beren was the right man for his daughter…and this happened due to the Quest. No Ulterior motif on Thingol’s part worked here, he might have been a tad harsh with Beren, but it was fitting to send Beren on the Quest of Silmaril even if his initial dislike of Beren was working in it.

    Please read my posts completely. Elven women could marry their sweethearts [Even if the parents were unwilling] provided that the lover was an elf, after the age of fifty, but in the case of a union between elf and men, it is conjectured, for the lack of an explaination that it was upto Bride’s father to decide the affair [As was done by Thingol in Lúthien’s case and Elrond in Arwen’s case.]
    She would also haven’t married him for she would have intended to get the blessing of her father and the rest of the Kingdom.

    The point being…?

    We are talking about Arda not planet Earth, Celebthol. There were certain requisites of the wedding [As are even there in this world, if you would care to look around a bit] and not everyone could claim Lúthien’s hand. And how was Thingol to know whether Beren loved her or not? Sure, everyone can speak up and claim their love but one had to do a certain act to prove their love. We are not talking about every Mary, Jane and Anne but someone who in Earthen terms would be an equal of the daughter of the King of Britian in the 19th Century.

    We are talking about the royal customs of Middle-earth, Beleriand which I believe are different from the 21st century trends of England.

    Hatred! Sheer! Prove to me where it is said that Thingol possessed a ‘sheer hatred’ of Men. Why then did he gave her eventually to Beren, a lowly man when he was able to prove his worth and love.
     
  17. Beleg

    Beleg Fading

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    Important II

    Yes, these things won’t stop him and these were such a low prices for the hand of the Elven King’s daughter, so might as well going going and attain them…;)

    Now whose the dork! My conjecture is right on the spot but I would like to ask was Beren, son of Barahir, vassal of the King so weak in the geography of Beleriand that he didn’t even know where Doriath was situated and that by crossing Nan-Dungothreb he was entering Doriath? Seems mighty strange and highly unlikely! Destiny is not a solid entity, it may be said that some higher power then the magic of Melian allowed him to enter, but the fact remains: he entered without the prior permission of Thingol and he would really have been a nerd if he didn’t knew he was in Doriath.

    Then how can his actions regarding the Silmaril be blamed for the fall of Doriath?????

    So did they talk in brail language when they set the details for the wolf hunt or conversed during the hunt?
    Exactly, since he did that he showed he bore no real Malice to Beren or he would never have done that..;)
    Only for you. For the people it matters, it may turn out to be correct.

    Point being?

    Well, If it was her call then why bother taking the whole affair to Thingol and then sticking by his decision? They could easily have eloped and married, why bother going through all this mess????

    Strange are the thoughts of Periaur’s to Men!

    Did you honestly read what I was talking about? My points are clear cut and based upon quotes I presented in my earlier posts. I never say that Thingol could forsee or foresaw anything [Perhaps except the shadowy Prophectic dreams]. So don’t try to put words into my mouth which I never even uttered. :eek

    I posted,

    One could ask when Gondolin was wrought, did Turgon knew what part he would play in the final battle? Did he consciously try to influence his part?

    So I never doubted or negated that Turgon wasn’t visited by a Vala. My point is did he knew what high purpose will Gondolin eventually serve in the events of Beleriand? No! So nice try of waylaying but wont work. ;)
     
  18. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    Not too small, would you go to the bowels of hell to steal the a jewel off the devils crown and call it a "low price"? It was 50/50 that he would never even get to marry his love or even see her again! Not that small a thing really.

    Well seeing as he had never even seen Doriath before, neither did he have a map or anything of the area ( :rolleyes: ), so how was he supposed to know about it? All he knew was that no one could get into Doriath, because of the Girdle or Melian.

    Because Melian told him before he sent Beren on the quest! As i posted earlier, he brought himself and Doriath into the fate of the Silmarils, from which once you enter it, there is no getting out of it!

    Im talking about after on good terms, just because they wanted to get along.

    Maybe, but that still doesnt mean it will, i would put anything on a "maybe".

    Basically the point to win us the debate. Thingol had no right to send anyone on the quest to make sure they were suitable for his daughters hand in marriage, it was her call! No one elses!

    Because that stupid minstral Daeron told Thingol about Beren and Lúthiens meetings, they didnt go to him out of there own free will, for a good reason!

    Yes you did, and i replied to that :rolleyes:, but Turgon was visited by Ulmo who told him to raught (sp) Gondolin, naturally he agreed to, regardless of the outcome. Thingol thought up this "quest" (more like a punishment), in a very short time, on his own, without any Valar!

    I dont understand this statement. . .

    Not really especial at all, but just the most dangerous and terrifying thing he could think of.

    Thank you, point proven and admitted by the GoT.

    Thingol was harsh on Beren, therefore he was not just in sending Beren on this task.

    Need more be said to prove this?

    In the truest of love cases this would not apply, if Thingol had utterly forbade them to marry, then they would have run away and done it anyway.

    Did you not see the roll eyes? I was being sarcastic, there was no way Thingol could stop the mischief of Men by stopping this marriage!

    Im pretty sure love is exactly the same in both worlds, as is hate, anger, pride etc. . .
    I see your point, but it is wafer thin, just because it is fround upon, doesnt mean it will not go ahead!

    Again its the same as above.

    Because he is an honest man (elve), he will stick to his word, or else hes no better that the vile scum or Morgoth.
    It states that he was not fond at all of Men in the Sil. We all know he is. It would have been no skin of Thingol's nose if Beren had died in the pits of Angband!
     
  19. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    In a debate of this type I find myself torn between competing objectives: to rip into the opponents position with as much venom and rhetorical gusto as can be mustered, and secondly to shed some real light on the topic in hand. There is a third, and often forgotten point as well: to keep the reader interested. So I'll try to avoid self-indulgence, but there is sufficient to be said that I can't hope to be brief so instead I'll try to keep my points pertinent and guide you through them as best I can.

    I want to try to deal with my opponents points clearly and fairly. My team mates hoped I would deal with them 'orc-fashion' but whilst fun to blatantly assail the opposition its usually not the best way. So despite the sarcasm of Beleg, I'll try not to retaliate. The best way I can think of to do this is to first summarise those points as best I can, and then I will incorporate my responses into a wider discussion which I hope will be of more interest than a tit-for-tat point scoring session.

    Lets get those points listed out, before I then lay out how I propose to discuss the wider topic. Obviously many of these points are repeated, but I'll only lay out them once.

    Manveru says:

    (1) Thingol loved his daughter very much and sought to protect her, from a suitor who he didnt believe to be worthy of her.
    (2) It was Beren who gave Thingol the idea of the quest.
    (3) The quest was a test of Beren's worth, and a fair one in view of the 'prize' (ie Luthien).

    Manuveru later adds:

    (4) That Thingol had no personal desire for the Silmaril
    (5) That Beren had earned Thingol's anger with his attitude.

    Finduilas then adds a new line of argument:

    (6) That the quest was 'useful' or historically important. In that:
    - It successfully lead to the retrieval of a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown
    - Other goods things came out of it (their love, death of Carcaroth, Finrod fulfilled his oath, Beren earned Thingols mercy etc)
    - Ultimately, Earendil took the Silmaril to Valinor and attained their intervention in the war against Morgoth.

    Anamatar makes the following points:

    (7) That Melians prediction of the downfall of Doriath proves that the attainment of the Silmaril was not to blame for its destruction.
    (8) That the quest was pre-ordained, and therefore it cannot have been wrong for Thingol to impose it.
    (9) That ultimately Thingol was moved to pity for Beren, and changed his mind
    (10) That the quest was the greatest ever achievement in the War of the Jewels (and beyond?)

    Beleg finally tells us:

    (11) Because Thingol didnt succeed in thwarting the love of Beren and Luthien, this means he didnt try.
    (12) That Luthien was too emotionally involved to think objectively about Beren
    (13) That because unions of Men and Elves are only supposed to fulfil a higher purpose of doom, that Thingol's actions caused that higher purpose to come about.
    (14) That the Quest was foreseen, and in part instituted by Manwe and viewed as a tactical morale-boost for the elves
    (15) That Thingol should be praised for consequences of his actions even if he didnt intend them
    (16) Beren was unlawfully in Doriath, and deserved to be punished.
    (17) Parental consent was required amongst the Eldar to marry
    (18) Luthien didnt know the 'price' of marrying a Mortal (ie her own death)
    (19) Thingols dislike of Men was rational, based on prophetic dreams
    (20) Thingol's dislike of Men was not 'inherent' but due to Beren's pride

    As you can see there are many points here, and it will take some time to tackle them all. Some I will just strike down as plain silly, but not too many. Others I will accept, but since they are not at all at odds with the Periaur account of this matter they don't prove anything.

    Firstly the trivial points:
    (7) The fact that Melian foresaw that Doriath would fall doesnt mean that the Silmaril WASN'T to blame for it. The presence of the Silmaril clearly played a central role in the ruin of Doriath: it is this that first the dwarves and then the sons of Feanor come to Doriath to fight for.

    (11) This is bizarre. Thingol clearly made an attempt to thwart their love... he was obviously against their union!

    (12) It seems silly to me to dismiss Luthien's own desires in a question of marriage. The Eldar have never had arranged marriages.

    (14) There is NO evidence to suggest that Manwe had any influence over the quest for the Silmaril. This suggests a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of the Valar. They did not have the power to manipulate the actions of the Children of Iluvatar. They could seek to persuade them, often without much success. To think that Manwe had a hand in this is plain absurd. The misleading analogy, that Tolkien says that the Valar may have allowed Earendil to succeed doesnt work at all. The Valar had the power to allow or bar people from entering Valinor, and in this way could allow Earendil to succeed. There is no similar mode of intervention in the Quest of the Silmaril.

    And the point that we will accept is:
    (4) That Thingol had no personal desire for the Silmaril. I don't think any of us are arguing that lust for treasure was Thingol's main motive. There is one version of the tale that Tolkien wrote that suggests it as a factor, but its not present in the published Silmarillion, so the Periaur are happy to leave this one alone. There are plenty of other reasons why Thingol's actions are wrong...

    So now let us organise the remaining and more salient points and make sure we cover all the bases.

    There is the matter of customs concerning marriage. (3, 17, 18)
    There is the matter of Beren's actions in Doriath (2, 5, 16)
    There is the matter of Thingol's motives (1,9,19,20)
    There is the matter of consequences and fate (6, 8, 10, 13, 15)

    So these are the areas I will cover, and I hope I can do each of them justice.

    Customs Concerning Marriage

    As Beleg correctly posted, it was customary to seek the consent of the parents of both parties to a marriage. We should be clear of course that this was the custom amongst the Noldor in Valinor, since the account given is based on a discussion of the marriage of Finwe and Miriel. We cannot say with certainty that the same held in Doriath, but neither is any other account available. Now Beren* perhaps doesnt put his desire to marry in the best possible language, but at least he does put it to Thingol before going ahead with the union. Even so, there is the caveat that amongst adult elves, if they wish to wed in haste they can forgo parental consent. It is striking that nothing is said of consequences of a match not being approved... it is by implication a very rare event. Indeed, the Valar debate amongst themselves why it is that some love is not requited amongst the elves, seeing it as an unforeseen grief. Surely love blocked by the parents of those in love would have been worse? This is not even mentioned as a possibility, suggesting that parental consent may well have been more a courtesy than a major hurdle amongst the Eldar.

    Of course, nowhere is it suggested that putting some kind of quest, or proof of worth was EVER a custom amongst the Eldar. So if Thingol imposed the quest as a proof of worth, as the Tolkienologists claim, this is against custom. But we will later show it was worse than this: that it was a death sentence by another name. Either way, Luthien's desire is not considered, and this is clearly something that would have been deemed grievous by the Valar.

    Is this some deviation, justified because Beren was a man? Perhaps it will be of interest to note that in the very first version of the Tale of Beren and Luthien, told in the Book of Lost Tales, Beren was not a man but a Gnome (Noldor). In this account it is told that Thingol 'glancing at the wild and rugged aspect' of Beren, bursts into laughter and imposes the quest.
    So the very earliest conception shows Thingol judging by appearences, and treating Beren with contempt. Luthien's desire in the matter isnt given serious consideration in any of the accounts: the quest is imposed in spite of tradition, not because of it.

    Lets now look at Beren... [continues in next post]

    *Edited Typo: "Beleg" changed to "Beren", Paragraph "Customs Concerning Marriage"
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2003
  20. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    Beren's Actions in Doriath

    Firstly we know that Beren's presence is not legal. He has come within the Girdle of Melian, and Doriath is meant to be closed to his kind. Does this warrant a death sentence? Now certainly it is not the case that Beren came there without knowledge of what he was doing. That can be read from the text. We know he has committed no further ill than entering Doriath, but there doesnt seem to be any particular 'standard' punishment for this crime. Of course not, because the Girdle of Melian has kept out every other intruder. So Beren must trust to Thingol's wisdom in imparting justice. But Thingol doesnt impart the quest because Beren entered illegally. Lets move on...

    When he arrives before the throne of Thingol he was* awestruck by the splendour of Thingol at first, until Luthien speaks up on his behalf. When at last he speaks he has already been called a thief, and accused of insolence and folly. He has been shown little respect. His words in reply are proud. It also
    as though fate is playing a hand here. But does he 'put the idea in Thingol's head', or indeed almost suggest it himself? He says
    What is he talking about? He has just passed through the Mountains of Terror (rock) escaping from orcs and the like (steel), after serving in the Battle of Sudden Flame (the fire's of Morgoth), and made it through the Girdle of Melian (powers of the Elf-Kingdoms). This is not an invitation to be sent on a quest! It is an account of his recent past.

    If they are proud, they are also inspired by Fate... by the will of Eru. The Periaur will show that we are quite comfortable with this point later on. But lets not condemn Beren for his words. He was not first to anger or pride here! And even if he was, does that make Thingol right to respond in kind? Is that the action of a wise king? Making judgements in anger is not right, so let us not make any excuses based on this. Next we will consider in more detail what was really going on in Thingol's head.

    Thingol's motives

    We have already seen that in the very earliest version of the tale Thingol acts on Beren's dishevelled appearance, and treats him with scorn.

    In the Lay of Leithian, this reference to appearance goes. Now Beren is no longer a Gnome, but a man and Thingol's reply is:
    So the motivation now becomes his race. He believes all humans to be untrustworthy. He accuses Beren of spying and lurking like an orc despite his daughter's previous explanation that he is a man of honour. This not just or wise.

    In the 'Earliest Silmarillion', the sketch of the Mythology published in HoME 4, it describes Thingol response to Beren thus:
    In mockery... still no wisdom or justice. It is clear that Tolkiens intention was never to show Thingol in a good light in his treatment of Beren.

    Can it nonetheless be justified?

    Now Thingol was indeed troubled by dreams about the Coming of Men that lead to him having what may be considered a prudent policy of keeping Men out of Doriath. But a policy that deals with Men in general, is not the same as justice in the case of the individual. Faced with one who has strayed into his realm despite the Girdle of Melian he still has to deal justly. He has the testimony of his own daughter, and the ring of Felagund (his close friend) to tell him that Beren was worthy of respect. But he shows him little respect at all. The closest he comes is to promise reluctantly to avoid summary execution or imprisonment.

    But when Beren declares his love for Luthien he regrets this. He imposes the quest.
    Everyone who knows Thingol best knew this was about sending Beren to his death. It is not a test of Beren's worth (which as I have shown would have been unique amongst the Eldar). Thingol himself is quite explicit:
    He was absolutely certain that Beren would go to his death, and would have killed him, despite his oath, if he thought that the Quest was achievable.

    He calls Beren a 'baseborn mortal' and insults him despite his worth amongst the race of Men. This shows he was prejudiced against Men. Whatever his misgivings about them in general, there is not any justification for a death sentence. Arbitary death sentences are the province of Morgoth, not his foes. He may have deep concerns about the Race of Men but he goes against the customs of the Eldar, and any conception of natural justice, and even against the recommendations of his daughter and his good friend Finrod in so doing.

    Finally we see that Thingol eventually repents of his actions. This doesnt, as the Tolkienologists claim, make his previous actions OK. Rather it is the final piece of damning evidence that he was wrong: his own realisation of the fact.

    So all of this is goes to show that taken as a question of the incident in Menegroth itself, Thingol was wrong. As I foresaw at the outset, our opponents go on to say that great good came out of it, and thus the end proves him to be right. So lets look at that.

    Consequences and Fate

    Firstly I want to explain again my original point. Thingol can be asked to account for his decision in terms of those things that were his province. He is the King of Doriath, and so if his decisions prove bad for Doriath and its people, then we can say it was a bad decision (or conversely if it proves good). This is the case even if those consequences are inadvertent. But inadvertent consequences on matters outside his general sphere of influence, particularly if they were unforseeable... those he can take neither blame nor credit for.

    Thingol had no claim to the Silmarils and knew that they were a matter of great peril. By involving himself in their fate he imperilled his realm. And so it turned out. Melian herself saw this immediately.

    Now, as both sides have said, the hand of fate was at work. The Quest was 'meant to happen'.

    Does this prove that Thingol was right?

    Iluvatar says:
    So Eru's own word on the subject is that those who do evil will see that in the end a greater good will come from it. It is simply not the case that because some good comes of an action, that makes it right. Time and again this is a feature of Tolkiens writing.

    Does not Gandalf say the very same thing of Saruman, when he kidnaps the two young hobbits and brings them to Fangorn, only for this to trigger the march of the Ents?

    A great deal of good comes of the quest. But it is not because Thingol's intentions came true. Thingol intended the death of Beren. Despite this, Beren succeeded, and he wed Luthien. Thingol's intentions were wrong, but they failed. Beren survived, he and Luthien won the Silmaril, and so Thingol's evil redounded to Eru. But it was still wrong.

    Conclusion

    I hope I have shown that in every account Tolkien wrote Thingol's actions are clearly portrayed as wrong, and to try to say otherwise is to miss a greater truth in Tolkiens work. He disregards his daughters wishes, the customs of the Eldar and natural justice, and wishes only to send Beren to his death. Ultimately the quest succeeds, despite Thingols wishes and he comes to repent his former attitude. And this shows a recurring theme of Tolkien's creation: that out of evil, great good can come. The good result doesnt justify the evil, it shows that none can alter the Music in Eru's despite. To try to say that Thingol is right is to undermine the very foundation of the mythology that Tolkien created.



    *Edited Typo: "was" added in second paragraph
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2003