The Heirlooms of Númenor

Discussion in '"The Silmarillion"' started by Ancalagon, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Quality, not Quantity!

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    'Many treasures and great heirlooms of virtue and wonder the Exiles had brought from Númenor; and of these the most renowned were the Seven Stones and the White Tree. ' The Silmarillion.

    Which of these heirlooms that survived the destruction of Númenor would you consider the greater; The Palantíri or The White Tree, fruit of Nimloth the Fair?
     
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  2. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    Ooh, hard decision.

    I would consider The White Tree, the greater heirloom. It has stood as the beacon and symbol of hope for the Dunedain throughout their kingdoms. It is so utterly recognizable by the people of Gondor, that I dare say it's almost taken for granted, not until after The War of the Ring is a new sapling found and a new Kingdom Reborn. The White Tree, in it's growing and withering, is the symbol of renewal for the Dunedain.

    CL
     
  3. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Quality, not Quantity!

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    Hello CirdanLinweilin, lovely to meet you! Wonderful response but unfortunately I will have to disagree! For me The Palantíri were the greater in the sense that they steered the course of events within Middle Earth rather than played into them. The very fact that the Tree would signify the fruition of an event does not make it integral to the unfolding of events, only that the perceived outcome happened. Of course, the question will (as always) return to whether all events within Middle Earth were pre-ordained, in which case nothing is special, nothing is important, it just happens because it was supposed too! I disagree with this also, as I don't believe in the whole argument of pre-ordainment! So, it would seem I have to support my theory in order to counter yours, and that I intend to do. In time, like everything in Middle Earth, one has to wait for the actual evidence of the theory:)
     
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  4. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    I agree that the Palantiri had a greater impact. Their use had a wide-ranging effect on how the war developed through snaring Saruman and Denethor.
     
  5. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Quality, not Quantity!

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    But the very fact The White Tree was destined to bloom at the dawn of a new era for Men, makes the very existence of The Palantíri pointless. Was the whole Race of Men pre-destined to survive the age of Sauron?
     
  6. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    The only evidence in that case I have for you is that the Ainur declared that Men would all take part in the Second Music, but the role the Elves will have in it, if any, is unknown. The race of Men can't really take part of such great an anthem if there are no men to speak of, no?
    Wonderful to meet you too, Ancalagon!
    CL
     
  7. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Quality, not Quantity!

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    We had a debate many moons ago here about Free Will and whether it was important to the outcome of events in Middle Earth (and beyond) however there was no actual consensus as to whether it was true. This would appear to be the same, if The Palantíri and The White Tree only signify a pre-ordained outcome, how can either be great? Both were simply tools of a pre-ordained outcome! Is this the case?
     
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  8. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    Very interesting! To add to your question is this:

    (1.2.116) J.R.R Tolkien, The Shadow of the Past, The Fellowship of the Ring

    This isn't The White Tree nor the Palantiri, but bear with me.

    Now, going by this chapter, it seems like both Bilbo and Frodo were meant to find the Ring in the first place, and The Professor did go on record to say that Eru himself caused Gollum to have his little trip.

    Truly, if all is pre-ordained, what value do the items and the actions of the story and characters even represent?

    CL
     
  9. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    Cool Fact:

    There were actually four White Trees of Gondor. The original seedling, saved from the Downfall by Isildur, was planted in Minas Ithil at the end of the 2nd Age. After Sauron soon thereafter re-gathered his strength, he returned to Middle-Earth and burned this tree, the 1st White Tree. At the start of the 3rd Age, after the defense of the Last Alliance, Isildur planted a sapling from the first tree in Minas Arnor in memory of his brother Anárion. This 2nd White Tree survived until mid-way through the 3rd Age, when the Great Plague swept through Gondor, under King Telemnar. A sapling was saved by King Tarondor and grew in Minas Tirith until the end of the 3rd Age, when it died under the Stewardship of Belecthor II. No seedling was found, and it was said that the 3rd White Tree would stand wilted until the coming of the King. For 147 years, there would be no White Tree of Gondor.

    Fifty-nine years after the death of the 3rd White Tree, Aragorn the Dúnadan would be born in Gondor. After his unification of the Two Realms and subsequent coronation, King Elessar, under council from Olórin, found a small sapling in the mountains surrounding Minas Tirith. He planted this, 4th White Tree in the place of the withered 3rd White Tree, which was in turn placed in the Tombs of the Kings. This 4th White Tree, Sixth in the line of Galathilion of Tuna, would flourish in Gondor for some years, but ultimately fade with the coming darkness.

    My opinion:

    The Palantíri, on one hand, are the actual jewels crafted by Fëanor in the Undying Lands. Of the unknown number that were originally created, we know there were 7 of them brought into Middle-Earth by Elendil, in addition to the Master-Stone on Tol Eressëa.

    The White Tree, on the other hand, was descended from Galathilion, the tree created by Yavanna in Tirion in the image of Telperion.

    Due to the fact that this tree was made personally by the Vala responsible for creating all green things within Arda, Yavanna, I must place its value over the seeing-gems of Fëanor, however great of a craftsman he be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  10. The Elvish Minstrel

    The Elvish Minstrel Obssessed with Elves <3

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    This is a great argument. Plus, as we have seen with Saruman, the Palantíri could be used for evil, and I don't see how the Tree could be. That makes it more valuable in a sense; the Palantíri can cause harm, but not so the Tree. Plus, Fëanor himself was not exactly the purest being alive, so that kind of adds to your comparison, Azrubêl.