Round 9: Guild of Outcasts vs. Guild of the Periaur

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Elfarmari, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    I agree with Thol for the most part, and I want to expand on a number of his points. But first, I think it is worth giving some consideration to the question of 'scope'. What are we considering to be part of the 'gift' that is under discussion? I think this is important, because of the question of the longevity of the Numenoreans which has been referred to by both sides already.

    Lets look at the quote given by Elfamari, as our jumping off point.


    This comes from Akallabeth, as I'm sure everyone has readily identifed. I want to give it in full (or at least closer to the full quote), and I'll highlight the parts that Elfamari did not give.
    What is important here is that Elfamari has LEFT OUT the question of the gift of longevity. This means that this can neither be claimed as a benefit by the Periaur, nor can it be used a negative by the Outcasts. This is a bit of a shame really, because it would make life so much easier for the Periaur. Longer lifespans were clearly of benefit to the Edain. But the Valar could have gifted that to the Edain but not given them Numenor to live on. Similarly the great wisdom and knowledge of the Edain, that came from Eonwe, will also have to be ignored. Even perhaps the flowers and fountains of Numenor? Dammit... it looks like this is a straightforward debate on geo-politics.

    With this in mind lets chalk up a few positives for Numenor: they should make good targets for the Outcasts to take pot-shots at.:)

    (1) Over 3000 years of security from attack and invasion. Thats by far the best period of 'homeland security' ever achieved by any of the Two Kindreds east of Elvenhome.

    (2) It gave them the base from which they became the greatest sea-power in three ages. So much so, that Sauron could never threaten their coastal strongholds in Middle Earth.

    (3) Numenor's power was sufficient to defeat Sauron's attack on Lindon in 1700, and drive him out of Eriador in 1701.

    (4) Numenor forced Sauron's unconditional surrender in 3262.

    Lets also look again Nom's list to see what is alive when the issues of knowledge, wisdom and longevity are removed. Certainly we can strike down 3) and 4) because the Edain would still have been 'lofty' given these gifts but no Numenor.

    Whats left? When you distill it down, the argument of Nom amounts to this: that in Middle Earth (presumably somewhere in Eriador) the Edain would have done more to defeat Sauron than they did from Numenor. She wants to stretch the argument way out into the Third Age. I guess the question says 'ultimately' so maybe this is fair enough although I must say the lack of population of Arnor seems a more complex question than purely being the fault of Numenor. Remember, Eriador was a vast forest at the start of the Second Age. It seems unlikely that the Edain would have settled there if they didnt have Numenor. The coast of Gondor is much more likely to have been the place they would have settled in eventually. But who knows?

    But the question has to be asked: what more could the Edain have done against Sauron than they did achieve? They defeated him twice in the second age... three times if you include the Last Alliance, which since we have extended the scope to include subsequent events seems fair enough.

    Numenoreans 3 Sauron 0. Not bad eh?

    Now sad to say, they never pressed home their advantage. In the first defeat, they were content with Saurons retreat back to Mordor. In the second, Ar-Pharazon's pride got the better of him. And in the third, Isildur got an attack of ring-lust. Are any of these the fault of Numenor, or are they in fact symptoms of the corruptable nature of Men?

    And so lets come down to a key point here. For three thousand years the Edain were beyond the reach of Sauron. He could not corrupt them. Century of bliss followed century of bliss. Yet if the Edain have remained in Middle Earth what then? If Sauron, in the guise of Annatar, had come amongst them how quickly would they have fallen under his spell? If Celebrimbor and the elven-smiths of Eregion were fooled, we cannot imagine that the Edain would have fared any better. Instead of the fleet of Numenor assailing Valinor, we might have had the armies of the Edain assailing Gil-Galad.
     
  2. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    For some odd reason, I feel like elaborating on this a bit more. I don't know why...maybe it's because of the large amount of solar radiation in the air lately...:p

    I have a simple equation to propose to you all:
    Good Men + Evil Influence = Evil Men

    'Why?' You ask?, well let me explain:
    So it seems that the Men of Middle Earth were quite friendly to the Men of Númenor for some time, and it seems that the Men of Númenor, in return, replanted many of the trees that they cut down. But when the Shadow spread across Middle Earth, the natives became hostile, and threatened the Men of Númenor.

    The Númenoreans, however, remained free from the influence of Sauron on their island, and therefore thrived. But when they captured Sauron, and took him back to Númenor, he was able to spin his web of lies and corrupt the Edain. They then tried to kill off all the Valar, but ended up getting drowned in turn. What good came of this? Sauron was also drowned, but although he survived, he was never able to take on a deceptive form anymore.

    If the Edain had NOT been given Númenor by the Valar, what would have happened? Sauron would have fooled the Edain with his 'Annatar' guise, like he did with Celebrimbor and the Elves of Hollin. Sure, Galadriel and Gil-galad were all suspiscious of Annatar, but if Elves such as Celebrimbor would fall for the Annatar-trap, the Edain most certainly would.

    What would Sauron have suggested to the Edain? They wouldn't have had the ship-building skills of the Númenoreans, so they wouldn't have used their forces against the Valar, so Sauron would have sent them off to destroy the next best thing: the Elves of Middle Earth. Whether or not they succeeded in destroying the Elves would have been irrelevant. If they had won, Sauron would have had control of all of Middle Earth. If they had lost, Sauron would have attacked the remaining Elves with his forces, and he would have control of Middle Earth since there would be no Men of Númenor to save the Elves this time.

    You may think 'The Men of Gondor were not corrupted by Sauron'; but Sauron's main way of corruption people was by using fair disguises to lull the victim into a false sense of security. Once he had lost this ability, his only way to corrupt was to capture the victim by force and torment them. The Edain were very strong in warfare, and therefore were able to hold off Sauron's attacks for many centuries until the War of the Ring.

    So we see, Men are extremely corruptable, so it is their best interests to be kept away from evil influences such as Sauron. The gift of Númenor was the perfect way for the Valar to seperate Men from these influences, and therefore beneficial for the Edain.
     

  3. Elfarmari

    Elfarmari Tingilindë

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    I am sorry for the confusion caused by my quote, I was only intending to give an overview and was not thinking about limiting the scope of the debate. If this is acceptable, I would like to allow both sides to include any arguements they would like which support their side. In giving the quote, I was only trying to catch the facts of what happened (the Valar gave Andor to the Dunedain). Sorry!
     
  4. Confusticated

    Confusticated Registered User

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    Not a problem Elfarmari...

    Okay... sorry for not replying soon.. have been ill and unable to concentrate much... I do have a nice reply to your posts but it is yet to be put into a more efficiant form.. and I must hunt down a quote to add to it... but before I submit i'd like to ask one thing:

    One could argue that long life went hand in hand with Numenore... was gifted in preparation for Numenore... that sort of thing. However, I am not aware of any proof of this.

    Personally I rather not waste effort debating on whether or not longlife belongs in the same package as the gift of the island... too much of a side-track given the strict time limit.

    So... do we count long life as part of the gift asked about in this debate, or do we take it seperate... a thing which would have still been given in the no Numenor scenerio?

    If I don't hear back from you guys in... about 12-15 hours, I'll probably just reply without taking longlife as a part of the gift we are asked about.
     

  5. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    It is not part of the gift, post away. :)
     
  6. Confusticated

    Confusticated Registered User

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    Some Tween points:

    1) Numenoreans became the most mighty and Numerous of men. (They were Numenorous ;)).

    2) Numenoreans had centuries of bliss.

    3) Caused Sauron to saurrender ;)

    4) Numenore was the perfect thing to keep men away from evil infuence.



    To 1, 2 3 & 4 - While they had bliss for a long time before the shadow sunk back into their hearts, and they did more mighty and skilled, I agrue these things were not 'ultimately' beneficial, but rather the result of Numenor, and major causes of the ruin of Numenor and most of the Edain. For this reason Numenor was detrimental. The only good thing to ultimately come from Numenor was that some few among men had longer lives and more wisdom.. though these dwindled away.

    What happend to the Edain? They got great gifts, one of which was an island from where some could actually see Tol Eressea. It was, as the Periaur say, a place safe from evil influence. While I agree this was a safe place from any external influence, it was the perfect catalyst in the return of the shadow of Morgoth on their minds and in their hearts, an spouting of the evil seeds planted in their first Fall. It was the cause of the awakening of the dread of mortality and the cause of jealous envy and eventual resentment of the Undying Lands and their people.This was the fall of the Edain.

    Ask Ar-pharazon and all the numenoreans who were sucked into the sea how well this worked? Or ask the faithful or the people of Middle-earth that they took and tormented and offered in sacrifice to Morgoth.

    If the Valar cared about keeping Men from evil influence they'd have dealt with the Men out East, many of which were originall neither allied with the powers of good or of evil... but were taken over by Evil men who had worked for Morgoth. And these are the Men that Sauron won to himself.

    Plain and simply: Numenor was a mistake. What makes this even worse is that it is not the first time the Valar made such a mitake. That is to establish safe places to hide from evil and let a select few in... but to hell with everyone else... in this case it was even to hell with the exiles who were too proud to return. Who paid for this mistake? The Edain more than any other people... as this was ultimately the extiction of the race. And the second fall of Men.

    We don't even have to look at how things probably would have gone for the Edain if they were not given Numenor... all we really have to do is look at what came of the Edain because of Numenor... and ask if this was ultimately detrimental or beneficial. Clealry it was detrimental as it lead to an attack on the Gods and death of most of them... leaving the select few faithful to dwindle away in Middle-earth.
    For a time sure...several generations of men lived in bliss and felt that bliss for what it was.. but before long the shadow crept back into their hearts making them greedy and eventually evil before they fell. So Ultimately it was the ruin of the Edain.

    Lets look at what things could not have hapened if the Edain remained in Middle-earth:

    They would not have fallen to Morgoth worship and attacked the gods and been sucked into the ocean, since most the reasons the Numenoreans did that would not exist for the Edain in Middle-earth.


    This bliss soon become a place where there was discontent so was not blissful for the Numenoreans. This good was temperary and not 'ultimate'. While it long remained (up until the time of Ar-Pharazon and 'hostage' Sauron) a place free from external evil influence... this too was only temperary. Men are not free from evil, regardless of where they dwell, so Numenor could never have saved them from evil. In fact, being in a land without having to face evil, would do a better job than Sauron influence alone, in bringing out the evil in Men.

    The Edain grew more mighty in Numenor, but lost it all. Not a benefit ultimately.

    Bits I quote from Letters 256 and 338 can also be found in CT's intro to 'The new Shadow' in HoME XII. A large portion of Letter 131 can be found in the Preface to the second edition of The Silmarillion.
     
  7. Confusticated

    Confusticated Registered User

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    Now on to the claim that Sauron could have suckered the Edain had they remained in Middle-earth.

    I am hearing a couple reasons that Periaur think this would be so.

    One is the fact that men are easy to fall into evil. The other being that Sauron fooling some of the elves, shows that he could have done so with men too.

    Quotes by Periaur...
    Not all of them are. The Edain were not... not until they had been living on Numenorean bliss long enough to become so discontent and fall under the old shadow.
    Why think Sauron alone could pull the Edain against the Eldar? Even Morgoth could not do this. Now you may think that this is because Morgoth was obviously evil, and in an ugly form... but then do you think Morgoth went among the Edain himself? Not a chance of that coward doing so! He would have sent emessaries... just as he had sent them into the East later to currupt some of the easterlings after his attemts to put the Edain against the Eldar had failed. Furthermore do you think Morgoth sent ugly creatures to win men over? Not likely. He knew the benefit of having a fair and mighty form, and he would not end orcs dragons and balrogs to sway the Edain in Beleriand... he's have used phantoms perhaps and guys like Sauron.. in fair form. It is very likely Sauron was used in Morgoth's attempts to turn the Edain against the Noldor in the First Age. But anyhow, the paint is that nice looking people would have done this in the first age, and it failed with the Edain. Why then should it work later? Simple: it shouldn't.

    Now, you say Edain would have fallen to Sauron, not only because men are more curruptable than elves and because Sauron was in a fair form, but also because some of the elves were fooled by Sauron which proves men could be fooled too. But now, what did Sauron convince them elves of Eregion to do? To try to make Middle-earth as fair as Valinor. He did not set them wittingly to evil. This is important because you claim he could have eent the Edain wittingly to evil... attacking the Eldar is obviously evil whereas making Rings of power was not.


    And there is also another factor to be considered. Lindon and King Gil-galad in specific, were not fooled. Had the Edain been in Middle-earth... would they not have the same relationshp with Gil-galad as they had had with his anscestors... the previous Kings Fingolfin and Fingon, or if you take Gil-galad as the son of Orodreth son of Angrod... then would not the people of Beor who had dwelt in Dorthonion be very close with Gil-galad?

    What is important here is to note the difference between the Edain and the Easterlings. These were elf-friends... not just allies of the elves. They had grown in wisdon and skill beyond any other men in Middle-earth, and as we see in Morgoth's failure to currupt Edain but success in currupting Easterlings, Edain were NOT so easily currupted as most men. Most imortantly, they had shaken off the old shadow of Morgoth. This shadow returned after years of bliss in Numenore... but why should it have returned had they stayed in Middle-earth?

    Sauron was only able to turn the Numenoreans against Aman because they were already against the place in heart,the shadow was returning, and Sauron did so by convincing Ar-pharazon who was growing old, that he could have immortality if he'd go and take it from the gods who withheld it.

    So we see who Sauron pulled under him. Easterlings, and Men wh had no contact with he Eldar.

    The men in the west of Middle-earth, such as those who descended from the Edain of the First Age but who did not go to Numenor, as well as those men who were akin to the Edain but had no reached Beleriand, were not suckered by Sauron. All evidence points to the conclusion that the Edain, if they had not gone to Numenor, would not have been talked into attacking the Eldar.



    So, Numenor caused the ruin of the Edain, and had they stayed in Middle-earth they'd have been untied with others against Sauron, and surely not have attacked the Eldar.
     
  8. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    And WHO says that this was a fault of Numenore?
    All that you have shown here is that they resented Valinor, who's to say that they wouldnt hate it if they lives in Middle Earth aswell?
    If they never got Numenore, whats to stop the hate being there again? And most likely it would have effected them A LOT quicker.
    Do you forget that ALL the peoples of Arda were mared as soon as they were born because of what Morgoth had done? It was NOT the fault of an island that there was hate present in Numenoreans; but a success for Morgoth who had implanted hate and badness into the very earth itself from before the time of any of the childrens awoke.
    Im sorry, but there is NO way that this island being near Valinor (or far from it, it would have made no difference) caused the hate and resentment that you speek of. It was bred within them from the very stuff of the earth.

    It was not the Valars doing or fault that the Men of Numenore captured Sauron and listened to him and then assailed Valinor.
    It was not the islands either. ;)

    And deny then one of their gifts? The gift to shape their lives about the fortunes of the world?
    That isnt right at all, thats little more than Hitler enforcing Nazism onto the German people. It can be argued of course that maybe Sauron was doing this already, but the Men didnt have to follow Sauron, they chose to for whatever reasons. The Valar cannot be there to clean up the mess after ever blunder of Men, they would have to find their own way, in their own time, and im pretty sure, that they did. :)

    Just so i can get better clarification etc, WHY exactly DID Numenore cause the hate etc in the hearts of Men, what did this island do too them?
     
  9. Confusticated

    Confusticated Registered User

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    Why would it effect them quicker if they stayed in Middle-earth?

    It is the fault of Numenor because from there they could actually see Tol Eressea, were bound to become mighty and mariners, and had no trouble to keep them busy so they cooked up trouble of their own. In Numenor they became so great and so wealthy in such a good life that they wanted immortality all the more.


    Yes... I forget that ;).
    The potential for hate is within Men, but also the potential for much good. Edain had been good for several hundred years, and continued to be for hundreds more after going to Numenor. What changed then, to bring the shadow back upon them? Years and years of paradise. Had they stayed in Middle-earth and had to stuggle a little sometimes, and actually faced evil...

    Sauron submitted to Numenor because doing so fitted with his plot to destroy it. If there had been no Numenor, Sauron would not have been taken there.

    But as an aside it was partly the Valar's fault. The Valar foresaw, in part, that Numenoreans would seek immortality.

    So you see there, the Valar suspected what might happen.
    But back on the point:
    Long life causes more of a possessive attitude, and it aids in the achievements in art and wisdom which causes the Edain to want even more time to enjoy these things. But (and this is imortant to note) the paradise of Numenor also aided their achievements... therefore it too contributed to the hunger for longer life.

    So dwelling in Numenor, and with a long life, was the deadly combination. Men were left in paradise to have great achievements and possessions, they could actually sea Eressea, and were bound to become great Mariners. In Middle-earth they'd have been busy dealing with orc attacks and whatnot, and Eressea would just remain a distant name. Some may become great Mariners, but as good as the Numenoreans? They'd be able to explore the lands without need of ships.

    I'm not sure what you think I mean, but I tink you mistake me. I just ment that if the Valar wanted to keep men from evil influence, they should have thought about the Men out east.
    Sauron was winning their allegience. But "for whatever reasons"? Those reasons would be that after the defeat of Morgoth, his Evil Men came among them and dominated them, becoming kings. The men of the west are no less selfish than are the Valar and the Eldar... those Easterlings could have easily been convinced that they were left out, while other men had more opportunities which gave them more wealth, skill, and a better (even longer) life all around. Why didn't the Valar coax there little Vanyar babies into spreading wisdom and hope among the Easterlings?

    oops back to topic ;).
     
  10. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    The Outcasts present a number of distinct arguments against Numenor, as well as some counter-arguments to the Periaur position that the Edain in Middle-Earth would have fared worse. They also makes some more general, and therefore somewhat off-topic points about the allegedly mistaken policies of the Valar. These last I will address first, because the ‘I know better than the Valar’ rhetoric cries out for deflation.

    These points are, briefly, that the Valar gifting the Edain Numenor was uncaring of the plight of the men ‘out East’; and that the Valar’s attitude was one of ‘to hell with everyone else’ while a select few dwelt in a safe haven. It appears more to be an error of judgement in believing that Morgoth vanquished had left Middle-Earth free for Men to dwell free of evil of a super-natural kind. Numenor was a ‘reward’ not a tactical move. Its aim was to provide a land of bounty to the faithful allies of the Eldar. The Valar did not ignore the plight of Middle Earth, but rather sent the Istar to move the free peoples of Middle Earth against Sauron, once they saw that this was needed. Of course I too could cast stones at the Valar for this, but it seems peculiar to question their motives. I think this is really because the Outcasts wish to establish that the Edain were ‘set up’ by the Valar. But we know that Manwe was completely free of evil: he would not set up the Edain for a fall (or A Second Fall). So we return to the topic, which seems to be turning on a debate about ‘what went wrong?’

    The Outcasts have made a number of points on this theme, contesting that it was Numenor itself that was the cause of their Fall, whilst the Periaur lay the blame at the feet of Sauron.

    What is not in doubt is that Numenor was, a very long period, a great place to live. Free from war and peril, mighty in knowledge and the arts. Not paradise, but the zenith of human civilisation (at least in the legendarium). Now the Periaur contest that that is in itself worthwhile, the Outcasts say it was not ‘ultimately beneficial’ because it was destroyed or dwindled away. But is a life not ‘ultimately beneficial’ because it comes to an end? I believe it is. That Numenor provided a wonderful home for many many people who lived wonderful lives is worthy and laudable even for its own sake. But even in the utilitarian world of the Outcasts, it remains as an example, an ideal, a template for human society that endured for centuries afterwards. Faramir instructs Frodo that before a meal in Gondor they look west to Numenor and Elvenhome: it is an inspiration to them. It shows them the greatness that Men can achieve, and they revere it: they do not curse its name or bow their heads in shame.

    But let us list the Outcast reasons for believing Faramir should be ashamed.

    (1) They believe ‘It was the cause of the awakening of the dread of mortality’ and as a result they were filled with ‘resentment of the Undying Lands and their people.’

    (2) ‘Men are not free from evil, regardless of where they dwell, so Numenor could never have saved them from evil. In fact, being in a land without having to face evil, would do a better job than Sauron influence alone, in bringing out the evil in Men.’

    (3) ‘Long life causes more of a possessive attitude, and it aids in the achievements in art and wisdom which causes the Edain to want even more time to enjoy these things. But (and this is imortant [sic] to note) the paradise of Numenor also aided their achievements... therefore it too contributed to the hunger for longer life.’

    (4) Numenor itself ‘lead to an attack on the Gods and death of most of them... leaving the select few faithful to dwindle away in Middle-earth.’

    Lets deal with these in turn. Firstly is it the case that Numenor awoke the dread of mortality? This is clearly not the case, as we learn in Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth
    So she tells us that the Edain are already afflicted with a fear and dread of death, that they already long for longer lives. She speaks of ‘a loss irremediable’ and ‘a wrong that is done to us’. Her words are full of envy for the Eldar. It did not take Numenor for these thoughts to arise in her, and she counted amongst the wisest of the Edain.

    How do we weigh this against Tolkien’s statement in Letter 131, that Nom provides:
    Firstly, I don’t see the two as entirely incompatible, because the Numenorean’s did nothing about this temptation for 3300 years. It took Sauron’s intervention to get them to break the Ban. But Letter 131 is reckoned to date from late 1951, whereas Athrabeth was written some 8 years later. When Tolkien turned again to the matter of the Fall, he seems to have decided that mere geography was not enough!

    But when we move to the second claim, we are just in the realm of the nonsensical. We are asked to believe that the Numenoreans became more evil by having no evil to face. That somehow, having to face Sauron would have made them better in some way? This is bizarre. He really aint much of a dark lord if his influence brings out the good in people! Besides, look what he achieved in his short period of influence over the Numenoreans!! We’ll come to that later of course. But in any case it is rather a mistake to characterise the Numenoreans as entirely absent from Middle Earth. They were the greatest explorers and navigators, and they had ports on many shores. They DID fight against Sauron on the side of Gil-Galad. They didn’t fight Sauron more often because he stayed clear of the coasts because of his fear of them! Or perhaps that means that Sauron had a cunning plan to make them evil by leaving them alone? If so it seems Sauron himself did not that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder of evil’: he decided to go to Numenor himself because after 3300 years waiting for this strategy to work he was beginning to grow impatient! (I am minded to worry if Frodo after all would have been better off not destroying the Ring, after all the goodness Sauron was spreading in Gondor!;) )

    (3) The third argument too seems farcical. Numenor aided in the growth of wisdom and knowledge, and therefore made people want to enjoy longer lives, and hence they fell into evil?? So by this reasoning, it would have done the Edain a big favour to land them on some miserable dunghill to eke out a brief and unedifying existence at the end of which they could thank their lucky stars for mortality? This doesn’t seem right. In fact when you read that quote from Letter 131 again we find:
    So Tolkien lays the blame, not on Numenor per se, but on the extension of their life-span. But even so, we are still talking only about their ‘temptation’, not on their fall.

    (4) And so we return inevitably to the matter of Ar-Pharazon and his assault on Valinor. To me it seems wrong to blame Numenor itself for the attack. It rather exonerates Sauron. It is the direct influence of Sauron upon the aging king that leads to the Great Armament, not Numenor itself. Never before had any attempted to break the Ban. We have 3300 years of Numenor without Sauron, in which the Ban stood, and 57 years of Numenor with Sauron, at the end of which the Ban is broken. The conclusion is obvious: the nature, geography and cultural heights of Numenor did not overcome the fear of Mortality that was already there, nor did they create them. And certainly they did not cause the attack on Valinor: that was Sauron’s doing. Far from Sauron’s absence being beneficial, it lead to the swift demise of Numenor.
     
  11. Snaga

    Snaga The Usual Suspect

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    So we turn at last to the Outcasts attempt to dismiss the idea that Sauron could have corrupted the Edain in Middle-Earth. We are asked to accept that Sauron could only achieve this on Numenor, and not in Middle-Earth. Lets examine their reasoning, and then see what the evidence and some logic can tell us. The Outcast argument run thus:


    (1) The Edain were not corruptible ‘until they had been living on Numenorean bliss long enough to become so discontent and fall under the old shadow’.

    (2) Sauron alone could not pull the Edain against the Eldar, since even Morgoth could not do this.

    (3) Attacking the Eldar is obviously evil whereas making Rings of power was not.

    (4) Gil-Galad wasn’t fooled by ‘Annatar’ and his friendship would have kept the Edain from listening to him.

    (5) The Edain were ‘elf-friends... not just allies of the elves. They had grown in wisdom and skill beyond any other men in Middle-earth’ , and ‘they had shaken off the old shadow of Morgoth’.

    On the question of whether Morgoth could turn the Edain against the Eldar, I think there is an element of chicken and egg here. The Edain are those men who didn’t hearken to Morgoth. Some men he could turn against the Eldar, but not all. Those that he didn’t turn against them are known to the Eldar. Is there something inherently better about the Edain? No. They are just Men, who come to be elf-friends. But this doesn’t make them immune to the Shadow.

    We also know that ‘Morgoth had no plan: unless destruction and reduction to nil of a world in which he had only a share can be called a ‘plan’. ‘(Morgoth’s Ring). This is by contrast to Sauron’s desire to rule the world. Morgoth only want to destroy: his motivation for trying to turn the Edain was less: he could churn out more orcs, dragons etc for that purpose. His military superiority in Middle Earth was assured: this we know because his victory was only averted by the Voyage of Earendel. Sauron had no such luxury, and achieved his victory with more cunning.

    At this stage I am slightly frustrated in that there is a brilliant example of some among the Edain being corrupted, and spreading dissent and discord in a debate about the direction that they should take in their migrations. If I get the time I will dig further. But it is certainly the case that although the Edain were largely uncorrupted in the First Age, this is not evidence of their incorruptibility.

    And whilst it is true that attacking the Eldar would have been obviously evil, and Celebrimbor did not do ‘obvious evil’ in the same way, that is besides the point. Firstly we learn that many of the Eldar did listen to Sauron in his guise as Annatar, so we can guess that many of the Edain would too. Gil-Galad didn’t know it was Sauron: he just felt unsure of him. Certainly not enough to give a clear warning: or Ost-in-Edhil would have listened. If Ost-in-Edhil didn’t listen, would the Edain? Are they wiser? Are they less likely to hearken to one who claims to be from Valinor, who will teach them, who will impart wisdom and gifts? Or are they MORE likely to listen?

    Even if you wish to believe that at first they would resist, because of their friendship with the High King, let us not forget that the Eldar used to sail to Numenor regularly and these visits dwindled because the Numenoreans were becoming less friendly and more envious. So contact with the elves provides no immunity, and the elves would tend to allow themselves to be pushed aside. There is no reason to suppose the same would not happen in Middle-Earth. The Edain would in all likelihood grow apart from the Eldar, because the same desire for immortality was always there, and Sauron could play on that as readily in Middle Earth as he did in Numenor. Nay: more readily, because he could do so while pretending to be an emissary of the Valar!

    Now, the moment you believe they would have listened consider this. Could there have been anything more 'obviously evil' than attacking Valinor? Of course not! We know Sauron could turn them to evil: because that's exactly what happened, as soon as he got his chance.

    Ultimately, the Edain would have fallen. If not through the subtle lies alone, then it would have been when their king had accepted one of the Nine Rings. No king of Numenor was ever a Wraith! But in Middle-Earth, he would have accepted a ring, forged by Celebrimbor, from the hand of the ‘emissary of the Valar’, and by that means Sauron would have ensnared him. So when the forces of Sauron had invaded Eriador, the lords of the Edain would have been on his side. There would have been no Tar-Minastir to save Gil-Galad!
     
  12. Confusticated

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    On the off-topic stuff about the intention of the Valar:
    I didn't want to establish that, just pointing out that the Valar forsaw, in part, what might happen to the Numenoreans. I think this was probably an error of the Valar, but we aren't really asked that question. All the stuff about them not helping men out east was off topic.

    Numenor was a reward, and we can leave it at that.

    Periaur go on to show that the dread of immortality was a result of the first Fall of Men. I have not and will not deny that, but it remains that the Edain shook of the old shadow and came to a point of wisdom where the fear of death was not so great and dominating as to cause jealous envy. After some time in Numenor this shadow returned, awakening the fear of death which was now so strong that it lead them down the evil road again. Why Andreth is counted wise among the Edain, I do not know, but it must be for her lore. Andreth was more bitter than your average Adan(eth), probably due to her love of Aegnor and belief that he did not love her. I seriously doubt you would hear Beor or Hador speak so bitterly against Eru, Valar and Eldar, and I seruously doubt that the Edain, at the time of Numenor (remember - Andreth during that conversation had no hope that Morgoth woud be defeated and she counted him lord of the world - this was a woman more under shadow than many of her people - and remember that the tale of the fall which Adanel and Andreth knew... was known among the 'wise' of the Edain... not all of them) would have haboured jealousy and such envy of the immortals. The very fact that some that some few of the Edain (most of which where of the house of Beor, just like the bitter and despairing Andreth - which goes to show she was exceptional) remained faithful, and that for long the Numenoreans on the whole maintained friendship with the Eldar just goes to show that if there were any hard feelings they were hidden very very deep within the Edain. Later in Numenor this stuff came to the surface and got the best of them.

    Sure, Aathrabeth was written after that letter but this does not mean Tolkien decided geography was not enough.As far as I am aware he never said geography was enough. Even though Tolkien hadn't written an acount of the fall of men at the time of that Letter.... the Fall was indeed a thing that had already existed in his world (he had probably not yet writen an account of it since these were to be elvish histories - Eldarin in origin and concerned with the Eldar... mentioning only men as they tie in to the elves' history)... even in that letter 131 which you point out was written before the Athrabeth, he speaks of the fall.

    Now I do not deny that this first fall is what caused Men to be such that they would fall into evil. Tolkien even says that the second Fall of Men, that of Numenor/Edain, was consequence of the first Fall. What is more, he says so in letter 131. I believe I quoted him on it in my last post.

    While Numenor was a cause of the eventual dread of mortality in the Numenoreans, I do not mean it was the only cause or the first cause ever. Living in Numenor awakened this dread... brought back the old shadow. Note that Tolkien says in a few places... Akallabeth, Tale of Years, Letters?... that the Numenoreans had fallen under Shadow, or of the shadow falling on the Numenoreans.

    That stuff is not at all to say that Edain (their ancestors really) were wholey free from evil always up until the time of Numenor or that the shadow which fell on Numenor was a first for them... but rather that because of the first Fall, Numenor and long life was a bad thing, Men were a fallen race, Numenor was the second fall. And when Tolkien speaks of men becoming bored with good, the reason for that boredom must surely be their first fall.

    I believe Periaur have mistakenly thought we claimed something we do not, as far as that went?

    Faramir was descended from the Faithful Numenoreans.. now if he should be ashamed or not is up to him... but I think he doesn't need to be at all. His ancestors did nothing wrong.

    Admittedly I should have said "were not easily currupted" Though it remains that when Sauron was currupting during the second age... he did not win over those kin of the Edain who were in Middle-earth.

    So I don't claim that men were ever immune to the shadow.. not even the Edain... but they had come a long way in escaping the shadow... and so where not easily currupted.

    Numenoreans fell under the old shadow again which is why Sauron was able to talk them into worshipping Morgoth... attacking the gods. Sauron fed the belief that they would have immortality if they could take the undying lands for their own... and he fed their pride... causing them to believe they had a chance of success should they try.

    So it goes like this:

    The Fall of Men, who are thereaftter inclined to evil. Entire race of Men is fallen... which does, as Periaur said, carry with it the dread of death.

    Some men repent and head west.

    Some of these reach Beleriand in the First Age and become Edain, While some of their kin who also repented did not reach Beleriand to become Edain/Elf-friends . As part of being Edain... these repenters grew in wisdom and their life span grew longer in Beleriand in contact with the Eldar.

    Morgoth defeated.

    Edain have their life further lengthened and go to Numenor.

    In the west of Middle-earth those repenters who did not reach Beleriand dwell.I think some of the Edain (people of Haleth?) dwell there too having never gone to Numenor? Anyhow, these men were not in with Sauron or contact with the elves. Sauron won allegience of men out east... those who were ruled by evil kings who had been in the service of Morgoth and where heavily under the shadow. Had many of these ever repented of Morgoth worship?... it matters little now, as they are either still evil OR evil again... either way these men are 'evil'. The point is that Sauron won over men were were under shadow.

    Meanwhile in Numenor the Edain/Numenoreans grew greater still in wisdom and become more mighty with each generation. Their long life, Tolkien said, was a cause of them growing so great, which in turn caused them to desire more time in the world to enjoy those things. GoO claim that Numenor, like long life, and also hand in hand with long life, was also a cause of them becoming so mighty which in turn caused them to hunger for more time. <--Where is the fault in that?

    Tolkien says long life was their undoing. Why was it? Because it aided in their achievements which became so great as to cause them to need more time.

    How did long life aid them into becoming so mighty? Having a long life one becomes more wise and each man can accomplish more as he grows in skill too.

    GoO says Numenore was also a cause of their undoing. Why was it? Because it aided in their achievments which became so great as to cause them to need more time.

    How did Numenor aid them in becoming so mighty? It was safe, and living there the Edain were in frequent contact with the Eldar of Eressea.... they even learned Quenya *gasp* ;)... and much other wisdom besides.... though it was later lost. Living in this bliss, having nothing to do with their time but learn and improve their arts, caused them to become greater people.

    So, I hope you guys see how life in Numenor was so good it was bad. Is long life good? Sure it is, but it can cause very bad things. Likewise living in Numenor was good, but it too was a cause of a bad thing for the same reason.

    But did Morgoth really have no plan? He did come to a point where he only wanted to destroy everthing, as Tolkien says... but this does not mean he did not impliment much cunning and many plans. I think this means that his ultimate plan was nothing really.. jst a plan for distruction If Morgoth had been some mindless monster who just wanted to destroy destroy destroy right now! Why not have smashed the elves when they woke up defenseless at Cuivienen... the same with Men?.... he could have killed of the Children of God who he hated. Why didn't he? Simply... he must have had great plans with them. We are also told that a nihilistic fit of rage on the part of Morgoth could be enough to ruin Middle-earth, so why didn't he just go on a rampage crushing and stomping in a mad frenzy rearing up and down like a horse, juggling barlogs and dragons? (Umm dragon juggling is going too far but you get the idea) He did have plans, more sophisticated than immediate ruin. Men used against God, elves probably used against the Valar. Was Sauron more cunning than Morgoth? Looking at their actions... it does not really appear so. Imagine the cunning of Morgoth to turn some of the elves of Valinor against the Gods? To get into the minds of the Noldor which such subtlety that they had thoughts springing from his words, without knowing Morgoth was the origin of it.
     
  13. Confusticated

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    His Motives for turning the Edain were less than Sauron's? I can not believe it. He had to have been using them as his greatest weapon against God.Or at the very least against the Quendi. And as I claimed earlier... Morgoth would have used servants in his attempts to currupt the Edain in Beleriand (1. he was too much of a coward to leave Angband & 2. We are told that he only left his stronghold once... and that was when he went out to greet the new race of men) probably even Sauron was involved in Morgoth attempts to turn the Edain on the Eldar... but it failed! So the arguement that Sauron could have later turned the Edain while Morgoth was unable to, because Sauron was more cunning... doesn't really stand up. The fact is: Edain were not so easily currupted as the men away out East. The reason for this is that the Edain had shaken of the shadow. Though it would later return in Numenor. Which, by the way, is why Sauron was able to sway them.
    &
    Facing Sauron would not have made them better but rather it would have kept them busy and would not have been a long age of bliss which made life and achievments so great that a deep and dominating desire for imortality would have come upon them pulling them back under shadow. Tolkien says (in different words) that the accomplishements of the Numenoreans which were so great because of the level of skill they had reached, was the cause of the shadow.

    Again,, from 131: "Their reward is their undoing - or the means of their temptation. Their long life aids their achievements in art and wisdom, but breeds a possessive attitude to these things, and desire awakes for more time for their enjoyment." Now this, coupled with what we read in Akallabeth can leave no doubt that it was this possessive attitude which caused the return of the shadow. At least, I honestly can not see any room to doubt this.

    Would you say Tolkien's explaination is also nonsense? That long and healthy life which leads to great achievements can lead to evil? If not, why then say the claim that peaceful life in Numenor which also allows for those same achievements (and in hand with long life was all the better for being bad) was a cause in bringing evil, is nonsense?
    He does blame the long lifespan, but not directly. It is blamed indirectly... like this: long span = greater achievements = possessive attitude & desire for more time.

    GoO adds that: Age of peace in Numenor + long life = EVEN MORE achivements than would be without a long time of peace = all the better to cause hunger for more time.

    GoO even says that:long life + fancing stuggles = less in achievements = less hunger for more time.
    Achievements to posessiveness and desire for more life lead to the return of the shadow which Sauron used,Numenoreans being under shadow, to talk Arphy into attacking. Numenor is not blamed directly for the attack, but indirectly. Numenor was therefore a cause.
    Living in Numenor helped cause the fear to come back into their life's and dominate their motives such as it hadn't done before, and didn't do with those elf-friends who remained faithul.

    He did convince people who were fallen under the shadow again to attack the gods. Note that he did not convince all the Numenoreans to do this. And why not? Because those few faithful remained in friendship with the elves Because they had not fallen under shadow. Sauron did not cause people to fall under the old shadow, but only toyed with men who already had.

    Why did Numenor fall? They fell under shadow from long life, and living in bliss, through those things causing them to be so great in accomplishments that they desired immortality and dreaded death to such an extent that they grew against the immortals, and Sauron then stepped in and took advantage of this. Just as Sauron had been doing it all all along (ask them in Alalminore at the song of the gong. ;)), using Morgoth's seeds... his 'Ring' his groundwork, to win people over to evil.

    GoO blames Sauron too. Blame long lifespans, Numenor, Sauron, Morgoth and the first Fall of Men, and blame of course, Men themselves.

    In no way was Numenor the only cause of the fall of the Edain, but it was one of the major causes. It contributed a great deal allowing the Numenoreans to become so mighty as to dread death to a degree they came under shadow as they had not since their earliest days of Morgoth worship. It was therefore detrimental ultimately to the Edain as it lead to their ruin.

    And in addition to Numenor providing that perfect setting where men did nothing but grow too great for their own good,it was closer to Aman than to Middle-earth, a place from where they could see Eressea, and its location assurred the Edain to become mighty Mariners who otherwise would probably not have... not anytime during the Ages of evil incarnate in the world.

    And Maybe the Edain would have been ruined if they remained in Middle-earth. It is a 'what if' scenerio and anything is posssable really... but what is actual history... what did indeed happen... is Numenor proved detrimental for the Edain in the end. You guys go far in attempt to show that Sauron would have currupted the Edain had they stayed in Middle-earth, turn them against the Eldar... but i think that considering everything is it unlikely to have happened. Yea, considering everything the chances are the Edain, and all the other 'good' people, would have been better off had there been no Numenor.

    In final attempt to that prove Sauron would have turned the Edain against the Eldar...you present:

    Now your scenerio here is all well in good.. IF WE WANT TO CHANGE THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE EVENTS! Sauron did not have the Rings at the time he attacked Eregion.

    Sauron took all those lesser rings after his attack of Eriador... After the battles you say a ring weilding king of Edain would be fighting against the Eldar in...Even after the Elves of Ost-in-edhel whom he had fooled, were aware of him and his puproses. So Edain can not have, would not have, had a Ring of Power from Sauron before or during the attacks on the Eldar. The Edain would have been well aware of Sauron before he took the Rings... if not from learning this directly from the Eldar, then in witnessing Sauron lead up an attack on the Eldar (and surely upon themselves?) before his victory, the defeat of Eregion which allow him to plunder the Rings. Would they take a Ring from a Dark Lord who had just attacked them and their friends? Mostly likely is that with the aid of the Edain Eregion would not have been ruined and the Rings not have been left for Sauron to take.

    So... when the forces of Sauron had invaded Eriador, the lords of the Edain would have been on the Eldar's side. The whole people of the Edain would have fought with the Eldar against him. No Tar-Minastir would be needed to save Gil-galad.

    And if Sauron had tried to turn Edain against Eldar BEFORE the Eldar had fallen to making Rings.. he would have reveiled his ill intentions... elves would have been aware of him and so not have listened to his teachings and made the Rings. No Numenor... no One Ring... hehe! We have reached a great conclusion together ;)

    But this scenerio of a Ring weilding King of the Edain leading his people in attack upon the elves is so faulted as to be entirely invalid.
     
  14. Confusticated

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    Just heard from Aule... :rolleyes:

    When I mention the long life I do not aim to be including it as part of the gift of Numenor.
     
  15. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Well going by that approach, we could ignore all claims by you that the Edain would be better off without Numenor. All of them are 'what if' scenarios.
    The only 'actual history' that we have is that the Edain were given Numenor, and because of it, Sauron was defeated whilst the Edain continued to prosper.
     
  16. Confusticated

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    You could but it is probably better to argue against it as you guys have been doing.

    And this is not really an approah, so much as pointing out something. Is it not a fact that anything was possible though some more probable?

    Which defeat are you speaking of? The one where he was driven from Eriador for some time, the One of the last alliance, or the final defeat with the destruction of the One Ring?

    But also actual history is that Numenor and most of the people were destroyed. I would say it is also fact that Sauron is not the only thing to blame for that.
     
  17. Confusticated

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    If we take Numenor to be a cause of the ruin of the Edain (which GoO does), then the question of whether or not the long years of bliss were worthy for their own sake, even if the answer is "yes", does not rule out that the causes (in this case Numenor was one of them) were ultimately detrimental.

    I could, for example, agree with a statement such as "Numenor allowed for many generations of happiness and bliss". I may even say, that because of this, it was good to have existed and worthy for its own sake. But I think such an arguement would be better if the topic where this instead: Was Numenor worth the price the Numenoreans paid?

    While it may have been good to have existed it was still detrimental for the Edain. I would say, that it was seemingly ("seemingly" because it was actually leading to a bad destination) beneficial for a time, or maybe even beneficial for a time in that it gave thousands of people good lifes before the shadow returned. But still not beneficial to the Edain ultimately, as in in the end.
     
  18. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Well I'm saying that Numenor was given to the Edain, and Sauron was defeated (as in Frodo destroying the One Ring) because of it.
    Numenor contributed to this by having its people gather such strength so that Sauron surrendered, and was brought back to Numenor and eventually drowned in its downfall. Because of this, Sauron lost the ability to take on a fair form and was kept quiet for some time as he recovered. During this absense, the Elves of Middle Earth were able to build up enough strength to assist the remnants of the Edain in attacking Mordor. This victory took the One Ring away from Sauron, which allowed those Hobbits to destroy the One Ring (and Sauron) a few thousand years later.

    Numenor was an integral part of Sauron's destruction. And going by your approach of ignoring any 'what if' scenarios, we have to say that it was a good thing for the Edain (and the rest of the people of Middle Earth) that Numenor was given as a gift to the Edain since the largest evil factor remaining in the world was destroyed because of it.

    One could also say that the Downfall acted as a 'cleanser' of sorts, that killed off the more 'corruptable' Edain, and kept the faithful ones alive... allowing the descendants of the faithful Edain (the Men of Gondor and Arnor) to set up their own realms in Middle Earth. A rather nasty thought, but true still the same.
     
  19. Confusticated

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    I am not ignoring what if scenerios... anything is possible.

    Now the reason I asked which defeat you were speaking of is that you claim it was a defeat after which the Edain continued to prosper.

    So, how many Numenoreans where left going in the Fourth Age and how long did they last? Just how did they prosper? Did the race not become extinct, and very largely because of the fall of Numenor?


    It did kill off the ones who where quicker to fall under the shadow, but they were Edain all the same, the majority of the race in fact... their well being is taken into consideration with this topic.

    So we could say it cleased the race of Edain by keeping only the very top, the minority who were most faithful... but what came of these faithful? Was their small number not the end of the race? And would the race have lasted if they hadn't gone down into the sea? Again... who can say for sure... but seems most likely to me.

    As I said in earlier posts... if the Edain stayed in Middle-earth they'd have been large numbers in alliance with the elves and probably even their non-Edain kin, and fought even stronger against Sauron in the second age. So I am thinking the Edain would have lasted if not for Numenor. But even aside from that, they ended because of it. Most of them in a very ugly end... not just the island going under but their later days of Morgoth worship.
     
  20. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    Where were the Numenoreans in the Fourth Age? You ask.
    Well all of Gondor, and the Rangers of the North were Numenorean or part-Numenorean in the Fourth Age, as well as some of the Rohirrm (after Faramir's marriage to Eowyn, and the highly likely probabilty of Gondor/Rohan marriages before and afterwards). You may say that the blood of Numenoreans had been weakened by non-Numenorean blood through relations such as Valacar and Vidumavi's. But the same thing would have happened had the Edain been forced to settle in Middle after the War of Wrath, but far earlier on. The Edain did not intermingle too much with other nations of Men in the First Age, since they had their own lands in Beleriand. But if they hadn't been given Numenor, they would have had to settle in Middle Earth, where other types of lesser-Men already dwelt, and it would have been a formality that they inter-bred.

    Numenor kept the blood of the Edain pure, be it only for 3287 years. But it stayed purer than it would have had they been forced to dwell with lesser-Men earlier on.