The Grinding Ice
- May 20, 2003
- Reaction score
- North of the Sundering Seas
Yes, but if Eru had shared the Flame Imperishable with Melkor, I think things would turn out a little differently.jallan said:Helcaraxë posted:This stretches matters.
Eru is God. Eru has an exclusive right to anything he wishes. But if Eru were to share the Flame Imperishable by Eru's will, Eru's divine power would not be lessened.
You are right in that it is not a strong underlying theme in the LotR. But I am not so sure about the Silmarillion. Melkor plays a crucially important role, and if not for Eru's refusal to give him the Flame Imperishable, Melkor would never have rebelled.jallan said:The rebellion did happen (as the explanation for evil) according to Zoroastrian/Jewish/Christian/Moslem mythology/theology. It becomes therefore a fact in any tale using that mythology whether it is Tolkien's The Lord of the Ring or Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby.
But that the world is very much an unfriendly and evil place appears in numerous stories which indicate no necessary belief in monotheism or which even speak against it. The origin of evil is often unimportant in such tales. The origin of Evil is unimportant in The Lord of the Rings as written.
Even the theme of worshipping another than God is not made an important one in either The Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings. We do not clearly see anyone tempted to worship Sauron. Even Saruman who will join with Sauron will be a potentially trecherous servant rather than a sincere worshipper.
What Tolkien seems to be talking about is why within the legendarium Sauron is wrong and those who oppose him are right. Tolkien points out that it is not just a matter of freedom from oppression (otherwise the Dunlendings who freely chose to follow Sauron are just as right as the Rorhirrim who throw in their lot with Gondor).
Sauron demands divine honor. But giving divine honor to Sauron is just wrong, wrong in the normal unmoral sense that paying divine honor to any single created being is wrong, if by divine honor we mean confusing that being with the creator, upholder and sustainer and subordinating all to that being.
But however this might have been an underlying theme in his legendarium, Tolkien did not make it a strong theme in the Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings. He might have done so in his proposed sequel The New Shadow, the beginning of which contains a philosophical discussion of the meaning of Orkishness and implies that we are entering a tale in which decisions about what powers one should revere and worship will be central.