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The "WHAT IF...?" game-Archive

Lhunithiliel

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Here is my vision of what might follow "if..." .
(some parts are from the Silmarillion,slightly changed and some are mine):


***……But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Iluvatar, for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself. To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren.

Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound.

And Melkor’s music grew stronger and stronger… Now Illuvatar tried to bring back the first theme that he gave to the Ainur, but it was too late….. and he heard how the tune of Melkor’s music took control and Illuvatar now knew there could be no turning back. And he was sad but he listened to the music and heard how dark the melody was weaving and he knew then that Arda was going to become Melkor’s realm of Darkness.

Now, even in deep grief, rose Illuvatar and said to them: 'Behold your Music!' And he showed to them a vision, giving to them sight where before was only hearing; arid they saw a new World…….

And dark was that world, as dark as Melkor’s music had born it. Vast oceans were raging with dark tower-like waves and in the deep there were creatures beyond one’s even cruelest imagination. Bleak and dreary were the lands of this World and the tides of the ocean fiercely broke over those sad shores. No trees no colourful flowers grew in those dark lands. There were mountains of iron and fire streams were coming down their slopes. Smoke – black and thick covered the land. And in this dark fog there wandered the Firstborn - creatures of the darkness – horrible in shape and size, blood –thirsty and ferocious and the horror in their screams terrified even the Ainur who were sadly watching all that. Dark were the skies too. No stars, no moon no other light but the Void and its black vastness that ruled over Arda.

Now Melkor said to the other Valar: 'Lo!This shall be my own kingdom; and I name it unto myself!'***


Lhunithiliel "Tolkien"
 

Confusticated

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This is like our own personal "Bag End" thread.


It may be fair to liken Eru's creation of Melkor to the invention of artificial intelligence by humans. If Melkor won against the will of Illuvitar, Melkor would then be the most powerful of all known things. He would now be The One. Having weaved into the music his own designs we will have altered the Ainur to his cause. One might also argue that Melkor's triumph would have to have ultimately been the will of Eru. If this were so than all that follows after will be in the hands of Eru and not Melkor. Now lets go with the first notion that Melkor is now The One: He would have it be that himself or his own selected Valar among the Ainur would begin to shape things. With the cruelty of Melkor the newly made things would be named unpleasant by us. Of that I have little doubt. I do doubt though, the opinion of his lifeforms about their world. Two things could happen. One being that only cruel lifeforms are created in which case they would like his world just fine, or even to hate it would be okay for them because it will be in their nature to do so and will be all that they have known. To disturb Melkor's creation in the way that he disturbed Eru's would mean that someone good among the Ainur (a rebel as was Melkor) would have to then create what we would think of as pleasant, or good forms of life that attempt to overrun that created by Melkor. The second option is that Melkor and his Valar would put into their creating pleasant forms of life along with the evil creatues for the purpose of being cruel to them. This here would be the only way that Melkor could truely cause hell without having a Valar rebel.
 
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Nenya Evenstar

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In the case of Melkor's tune having prevailed over the tune of the others, I believe that much of what ME really was would have been almost exactly backwards. Instead of good (i.e. Gandalf and elves) being really truly "good", good would have been classified as "evil". Evil (i.e. orcs and Sauron) would have been classified as "good". Thus, a great society of evil would have been bred thinking that they were really the good, for they could not have known otherwise. The evilness of Melkor's creatures would be the norm, and society would have been a living hell but without knowing it. In the event of one of the Valar rebeling against "The One" (Melkor), I can see events occuring similar to those which really happened except backwards. This Valar would, in reality, be rebeling against a great evil, and he would, in reality, be good. But, in the society in which he was a part, he would have been considered the evil and would have been fought much like Melkor and Sauron were, and ultimately defeated. He could not have won because Melkor would be The One and all things would follow his will. Thus everything in ME would have been backwards. Evil would be "good", and good would be "evil".
 

Samwise_hero

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If Melkor's tune had prevailed, Middle Earth would not have been the wonderful place it was. Darkness would have covered all of the lands and no one would actually have know what was right. Evil things would come out of the depths and torture beings; men, elves, hobbits and all who were alike. No peace would ever be found in middle earth and no beautiful places like Lorien, the shire and Rivendell. All would be lost and none would be found. It''s horrible to imagine what it would be like. Don't you think.
 

Lhunithiliel

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Nenya, I liked your interpretation so MUCH! :p I always appreciate the "breaking" of the traditionally accepted things in life and yours was a truly "refreshing" view on Melkor's possible ruling.
Thank you for sharing it with us!

I THANK all that have so far participated in this thread.
To summon it up - until now we have expressed almost one and the same opinion on the topic - we all imagine a dark and a cruel world under Melkor's ruling.

I am sure, though, that there are people with quite a different point of view.
If you know such people, drag them here to share their opinions! :p

I have to admit that once I had this discussion and I would very much like to quote what someone said on the topic, for I found his idea (I still do!) very interesting.
Let's see what YOU have to say about it:

If Melko had risen in greatest Might?
He was the brightest star, the endless light, and nothing visible was possible in his brilliance.
He burns for many ages, and he is alone.
And he burns for Eru's eyes only.
And he is apart from Eru, and he is lonely.
And finally, when his fires have cooled and his lust collided with holy desire, his fire blinks out and the void enwombs him.
And Eru's only child is returned, likely never to leave his sight again. Melko's penance casts form into the void with conscious love at its center, his tears fill the void, and his single verse fills the void with the breath of song. And in his pain he creates the world, despite his original intentions.
And returning to Eru, he saves the world from the walled sin of departure he himself coursed in the depths of Time.
One cannot stare too long at the Sun, even when one is the Sun.
 

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I agree with Nenya's too. I included the same thing in mine only I did not state the obvious. I am not sure though that even if Melkor became The One, that any good (what WE think of as good that is) would be ultimately defeated by Melkor's way. To say that good could not overthrow Melkor had he been The One, one must also be able to say that there was no way that Melkor or anyone for that matter could take over the world with evil (what he think of as evil) while Eru is The One. Whether the almighty being is good or evil seems to matter little when the overthrowing of this almight being is in question, not the nature of the being. If good and evil are relative then the same principals apply be it Melkor the evil or Eru the good.

If one argues that good and evil are not relative I'd like to hear their reasoning.

PS: I just wanted to point out that the fact that you assume that Melkor could overpower Eru proves that you think that whoever is The One can in fact be overthrown....:D To state the obvious, it seems to me than that you should also agree than Melkor as the new almighty could be overpowered as well..;)


PS again: hehehe...About the possability of Melkor not being an evil ruler I did consider that. When Eru put Melkor is his place it filled Melkor with shame which probably incluenced him to go in an evil direction. had Eru failed in his attempt to put Melkor in his place shame may not have taken over Melkor and therefore he may not have been as cruel.

Then the Ainur were afraid, and they did not yet comprehend the words that were said to them; and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger. But IlĂşvatar arose in splendour, and he went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur; and the Ainur followed him.
I love these sort of what if topics...they are totally my thing...:D
 
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Dwimmerlaik

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I am very impressed by Lhunithiliel's alternative.
But only to a point,even if Melkor's theme had been dominant against the other Valar,he was still a lesser being and a subordinate to Illuvatar,and could not thus dictate term's to his own creator,especially at such an early stage.
I fully realise that this is a what if?discussion,but I see the power relationship between Illuvatar and the Valar as absolute.Some of the Valar(actually only Melkor)may rebel against this situation,but the dynamic's of the relationship's cannot change.
If(leaving my objection's aside),Melkor's theme had been dominant.I would dispute that creation would have been made evil and foul(as we would describe it).
Melkor initially sought control in the design concept of the earth,he would have been perfectly happy to allow all that was good to flourish,as long as he had the ultimate power of veto.
For it was in Illuvatar's rebuke of Melkor,that his shame first appeared.A blow to his pride that never recovered.Even after this,Melkor still attempted to work for the good of the earth and the children of Illuvatar.From his initial shame,Melkor's jealousy and malice grew as he vied with the other Valar for the mastery.Thus Melkor descended into destruction and befoulment of other's labour's,not simply for his own power but to destroy other's power,thereby leaving his own power intact.
Now if Melkor's theme had been dominant,there would have been no conflict(providing his theme was dominant enough),no shame,and possibly no malice.
The world would certainly not be as we know it,but there would potentially have been less conflict if there was no immediate breach in the community of the Valar.
 

Grond

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I agree that had Melkor prevailed, there would not have necessarily been a rift between the Valar. Instead of Manwe, we would have had Melkor. Melkor sowed discord throughout Iluvator's Music, not darkness.

But this is your what if, Lhunithiliel, so I'll play by your rules.

And the darkness was both glorious and beautiful, filled with a regal beauty and starkness. And Melkor coveted Varda and she cleaved to him, full willing to share in his magnificence and in his vision. She wove stars in the heavens to accentuate the darkness and to add to it's beauty. And Manwe bowed before his brother and being closest to both the mind of Iluvator and his brother Melkor, he aided his brother in all that he did. He sent his Eagles to the hills of slag and they became spirits as filled with fire and became the lordly Balrogs, the overseers of the beauty of Melkor's Middle-earth. And Orome went among the First-born and gave them meat to sate their blood lust. And with him came his sister Nessa, and they taught the Firstborn many things and the Firstborn were tamed. And Mandos was as he always was, the Doomsayer of the Firstborn and the Followers.

Aule was much pleased with Melkor's handicraft and had much work to do in the forge's of Melkor's world. He aided Melkor in shaping the darkness and in enhancing it's beauty with gems and gold and metal works. And he forged for Melkor a mighty crown, encrusted with the jewels of the Earth and wrought of Mithril. And Melkor was fair and beautiful to behold.

Yavanna mourned there was no light for her to bring about the living things of sustenance to Arda, but, Melkor spoke to her and said, "My creatures must have food, is there nothing you can sow that will provide them with what they need?" And Yavanna said, "No, my Lord... but I will retreat into Middle-earth so that I may seek to answer your prayer."

And Yavanna left for Arda with Melkor's blessing but an evil mood was upon her and she was fey with anger over the darkness and was terrible to behold. And she put forth all her Power and hallowed the Earth in the North of Middle-earth and she built for herself a fortress deep within the Earth and on the top of the Fortress, she raised a mound and silence was over all save the chanting of Yavanna. Under her song two saplings sprang to life and the saplings grew and became fair and tall, and came to flower; and thus there awoke in the world the Two Trees of Arda. Of all things which Yavanna made they have most renown, and about their fate all the tales of the Elder Days are woven.And as she poured of herself into the Hallowed Ground, the Two Trees, Telperion and Laurelin came into bloom lighting the world.

The Valar were stricken and confused when the first light poured into Valinor and Melkor took counsel with the other Valar and they assailed Yavanna in her fortress.... but from her abode came many wondrous creatures. At the forefront were the Ents who she had fortified and feared nothing in Middle-earth...


Well, you get the picture. Somehow, Iluvator would not have been undone.
 
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Dwimmerlaik

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Aha!A fellow rebel,
As an extension or divergence of Lhunithiliel's what if? theme,Grond has provided the germ of an idea that there could be an alternative to Melkor's theme-Yavanna's faith in the original theme.
Sadly,I would see this as a probable necessary step in Illuvatar's grand scheme,Melkor may have held sway in Arda,but ultimately and through much bloodletting and rebellion.Illuvatar's design's would have prevailed.
 

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As I said before and will say again incase everyone didn't read it: If Melkor's music dominated yet Eru still had the ultimate power over things; I think that would mean that Melkor's prevailing was in the design of Iluvatar all along.
 

Nenya Evenstar

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Glad you like my idea. ;) Hmmm... That is a point which I had not thought of - that if Eru (The One at the beginning) were overthrown then Melkor (the new One) could easily have been overthrown as well. However, I do not believe that it would have been that simple. For with years of being The One, Melkor would have built up an immense amount of power, and I do not believe that a single Valar (or perhaps a few) could have come together and overthrown him. Perhaps if all of the Valar rebelled I could see this happening. However, I still argue my point that since the beginning the Valar would not have known what "good" really truely was. They would have been fed, taught, and given wisdom in greed, power, malice, deceit, and other evil intentions, and I can only see that a new regime, in the case of an overthrow of The One, would be equally as evil and harsh. I also cannot forsee many of the Valar forsaking Ea as they know it to overthrow the main driving force in the world in order to set up a good driving force. Yes, I can imagine one or so of the Valar rebelling and wishing for a "good" Ea and hence attempting to overthrow the might of Melkor, but I do not think that those few would have prevailed because of their lack of numbers. So, what I am saying is that even though Melkor could have been overthrown, I do not think that the Valar would have wanted it because they would have been satisfied with their leadership, just like the Valar of Eru would not have ever dreamed of trying to overthrow Eru. Therefore, any rebel would have been crushed.

There is however another thought which just came to my mind. If the Valar had been trained by Melkor in the works of evil, then they too, for the most part except for those few "odd" ones, would have had evil thoughts and minds. With this evil would have come greed. I can imagine a universe in which the Gods themselves contested for power amongst themselves making the heavens a constant battlefield. I can see that forces of the evil Valar would join together to overthrow Melkor, but they would set up another evil regime, not a good one. Thus the Valar would forever be fighting amongst themselves for power over one another, and the creatures of ME would have been created for distruction and hate, and the well being of ME neglected in the light of the greater "heavenly battles".

I would also like to point out (for those of you who said that Melkor's music would not necessarily have been evil) that I cannot see a world which started by an overthrow of power (Melkor taking it from Eru) being a "good" world in which good prevails over evil. A world which starts by one being seizing power from another, IMO, can not be pure and whole. Overthrowing of powers would be prevailent in that world, and that power-hungriness would breed greed. I do not see it as a "good" world anymore, but as a world which started with evil and hence evil would prevail.
 

Dwimmerlaik

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Dear Confusticated,
Yes I believe that this would be the only way that Melkor's theme could have gained precedence.
Though I do not agree with your method of reaching this conclusion.
 

Confusticated

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Originally posted by Nenya Evenstar

There is however another thought which just came to my mind. If the Valar had been trained by Melkor in the works of evil, then they too, for the most part except for those few "odd" ones, would have had evil thoughts and minds. With this evil would have come greed. I can imagine a universe in which the Gods themselves contested for power amongst themselves making the heavens a constant battlefield. I can see that forces of the evil Valar would join together to overthrow Melkor, but they would set up another evil regime, not a good one. Thus the Valar would forever be fighting amongst themselves for power over one another, and the creatures of ME would have been created for distruction and hate, and the well being of ME neglected in the light of the greater "heavenly battles".
That could be, but another option would be that Melkor could put into his music things which cause the Ainur to be slaves to him. Somewhat like the Balrogs and dragons that he made, only greater in power.

I would also like to point out (for those of you who said that Melkor's music would not necessarily have been evil) that I cannot see a world which started by an overthrow of power (Melkor taking it from Eru) being a "good" world in which good prevails over evil. A world which starts by one being seizing power from another, IMO, can not be pure and whole. Overthrowing of powers would be prevailent in that world, and that power-hungriness would breed greed. I do not see it as a "good" world anymore, but as a world which started with evil and hence evil would prevail.
The funny thing about these 'what if' questions...there are no limits to what could happen. One might even go as far as saying that had Melkor's music won over Eru's will, and that Melkor turned out to be "good";..that there would be a chance that Eru had not been good. I know it's whacky but it comes to mind. Also with it comes this: Perhaps Melkor would have created beings who where "good" and influenced the Ainur in such away that no Morgoth type arose among them. So, no dagons, orcs, balrogs and general distruction of the work of the other Valar would have happend. From all this may have come a world like Valinor.
But as you say, it seems unlike that ay overthrow of Eru would result in good. However, I can;t help thinking that there is a chance that such good might result of it that Eru's designs as we know them would look evil in comparison. So then it would not be the overthrowing of good by evil but evil by good.
 

Grond

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Only two of you chose to comment on my "what if" continuation and no one sees my real point. That point is that the discord of Melkor was so drastically different from the "Direction" of Eru and the minds of the other of the Greats of the Valar, that there is no way that all of them would have remained faithful to his leadership. I chose to have Yavanna rebel because she is the "Spirit of Growth" and it was her efforts by which the world was first brought to "light". First through the "Lamps" and then the "Trees" and finally through the "fruit and flower" of the Two Trees.

As long as Melkor was a "creation" from the mind of Iluvator, he was doomed to be at odds with the other Valar. It was his part of Eru's Mind to feel the baser emotions which were essential to the world being in balance. It mattered none at all whether he won out over the will of Eru. The reason it didn't matter is that Melkor alone was able to feel the baser emotions.... Shame, Humiliation, Hate, Fear. The other Valar showed none of these. He was destined/doomed to act on these feelings in a way that eventually would bring him at odds with all the other Valar. It may have started as a Rose Garden but would have invariably ended in a Bar Fight. ;)
 
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Lhunithiliel

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Thanks MOST sincerely to ALL of you for the marvellous posts!
I was simply "swept" away by your thoughts and opinions...and ART (Grond:) )

I won't comment however, for this is a "What if..? " game - everyone, EVERY ONE ! can be just right in his/her opinion! ;)

Yet, as I see it, it all depends on what "good" and "evil" are, in WHOSE eyes and mind, from WHOSE point of view... Right?
As our Confusticated has said:
If one argues that good and evil are not relative I'd like to hear their reasoning.
So, I think that it is not a matter of oposing "good" against "evil", but it is about who has the power. We, being humans and having this genetically developed understanding of interrelations between life forms, tend to presume that whenever there is a force then an "anti -force" must arise to opose the initial one. How can someone define the initial force as "good" and the "anti" as evil? IMO, it can only be from the point of view of the ONE holding the power at a particular moment. (I here remembered about Ar-Pharazon!)
Therefore, if Melkor was this "One" then it might have happened as most of you (and I ) supposed.
What about the "anti"? Read Grond's story! (the part about Yavnna - the "rebel") ;)
However, do you think Melkor could have been really so mighty as to do the things we imagined he would have?
Why am I asking?
Because of a "small" element in Melkor's character - FEAR.
Melkor feared Illuvatar, Manwe, Tulkas even at times he feared beings inferior to his race but superior in strength, spirit and courage. This is the fact.
Now, let's speculate.
Would'n fear change his inital intentions (whatever they might have been!)?
I imagine ........
Melkor, in his full power, aided and worshiped by all the Valar, approved by Illuvatar himself, pleased and guarded by the beings he himself created, living in a land that suited his tastes and likings..... And yet, he felt troubled. There in his dark fortress Melkor sat on his mighty throne and felt ....... fear
What would Melkor fear if he had already become the ONE AND ONLY RULER?
------
PS: Grond , it seems we both were writing our posts at almost one and the same time! ;) Only, it took ME a bit more time to express my thoughts! It's so interesting that we both speak about fear !
 
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Confusticated

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If Melkor as The One had irrational fears that could not be good..(what we think of as good:D)....However: I mentioned earlier that his shame was a cause of his evil ways, I believe also it may have been a cause for his fears. So I beleive that he would have to have been without the shame to have a chance at being "good" therefore I think that if he were good he may not have had irrational fears because the shame will not have caused them. I could be mistaken about the shame causing fear though. Just an idea.

PS: To explain my reasoning about the shame causing fear. Shame causes deep insecurity which is more often than not the cause of irrational fears.
 
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Nenya Evenstar

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Very interesting additions since my last post! Good points on my last post Confusticated. Isn't it interesting how far we can twist these things and still come up with perfectly logical ideas?

I can completely see how shame causes fear. If a person is not shamed by anything then he/she will be more likely to open up and try new things simply because he will not believe that anyone is looking down on him.

Here is my newest and latest idea:

Then Iluvatar said to them: "Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall sho forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song."

Then the voices of the Ainur began to fashion the theme of Iluvatar to a great music and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing with it, and the echo of the music went out into the void, and it was not void.

Iluvatar sat and hearkened, and for a great while it seemed good to him, for in the music there were no flaws. But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to weave some of his own thoughts quite unlike those of his brethren. Straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered. The discord of Melkor spread ever wider until the melodies foundered in a sea of turbulent sound; and then, Iluvatar arose and lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm which gathered power and had new beauty. But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery. Then Iluvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion. The confusion of Melkor grew in volume and vain majesty, while the new melody was sweet and sad as of mourning, but the turmoil engulfed the new melody until nothing was left but the loud braying of Melkor's confusion and strife. Then did Iluvatar lift up both his hands, and his face was terrible to behold; and the music, now only Melkor's strife, ceased in one last chilling chord.

Then did Iluvatar lift up his eyes and perceive the thoughts of Melkor and his music. "Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor; but that he, and all the Ainur, may know that I am Iluvatar I will show you what ye have made." He then took the Ainur to the void and they beheld a vision of their music of which Melkor's tune had prevailed and outvoiced all other tunes. They saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it. And as they looked they saw that it was dark and full of things which they had not yet thought of. Sadness pierced their hearts at the sight of it and they knew that this place must not come into being, for it was of Melkor's making and not of Iluvatar's and terrible to behold.

Then it was that Iluvatar turned to Melkor and perceived his thoughts and new that power was what Melkor desired, and his heart was grieved within him. He then cast Melkor from his presence, shapless and into the void for ever so that all the Ainur would know that Iluvatar was The One. With Melkor left the vision and all the sorrow it had harbored, and all the Ainur sat in deep thought thinking about the World which had not been because of Melkors discord, and they waited until Iluvatar should again desire to hear music. Then, they would harken to his wish and sing unto to his theme and not unto themes of their own making for they did not wish to make another such World as Melkor had.


Hope you like! :)
 

Lhunithiliel

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SHAME , you say....
I see your point and I agree.
Shame can become a "driving force" for the actions of somebody. True!

With Melkor, however, was it really a shame or ENVY ?
He was Manwe's brother, HE was endowed with great abilities and skills and knowledge... but he was never allowed to use them according to HIS understanding concerning the order of the newly created world. I think that most of all he would have envied Illuvatar for being able to use that Imperishable Flame to create life and he (Melkor), although searched in the Void for this flame, could not do the same.

And as for FEAR - Grond, where are you? Let's speak about FEAR - we both mentioned it and I am so interested to learn your opinion! :D
I think that even IF Melkor had the power over ME, over Arda as a whole, he might have still feared because Illuvatar was greater than him and Illuvatar was the ONLY one who could use the Flame and Illuvatar could create somebody to stand against Melkor.... and finally overthrow him.
Well, there goes my human-mind limitations - a force vs. an anti-force...:mad:
 

Confusticated

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There other things I could quote aside form what i quoted earlier about Melkor's shame. I beleive that shame was a bigger influence than envy in making Melkor 'evil'. if you're honestly interested the views of someone with my little knowledge then I will gather more quotes or even type a paper about.
 

Lhunithiliel

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"Interested" in your opinion, Confusticated?
BUT OF COURSE!!! :p
This is a "WHAT IF.....? - "game" for our brains and everyone can speculate as MUCH as he/she wishes on the current topic, providing as many arguments and in ANY form he/she wishes!
I enjoy reading everibody's opinions! :p
 

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