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Thingol desires a Silmaril?!?!?!

BluestEye

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I don't understand something... While I read the Sil again it suddenly occured to me that Thingol have actualy sent Beren into the quest to get him a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. Here is a quote:

"See now! I too desire a treasure that is withheld. For rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the Elf-kingdom... Go your way therefore! Bring me in your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown."
Of Beren and Luthien, 'The Silmarillion'

It appears that Thingol actualy desired a Silmaril for his own though he was not a Noldo at all and so had no part in the curse of Mandos. And he have actualy never seen a Silmaril in his life, because he was never in Valinor when the Silmarils were made by Feanor. So... someone has an idea why Thingol had this possession for the Silmaril?

BluestEye
 

Elanor2

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Thingol had been in Valinor and seen the light of the trees. They were gone and he had missed the oportunity to see them again, so perhaps it was a desire to see the light of the trees once more that brought the desire for a Silmaril to his heart.

A less kind explanation is that he was proud. He was the highest king in ME and these ragged Noldor exiles had made jewels that could not compare with his riches. So he wanted one to wave it in front of their noses.

I am not sure how he got an accurate description of the Silmarils. Was it Galadriel who told him?
 

BluestEye

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Galadriel was Melian's friend and apprentice. Once Melian saw in her eyes that something troubled her and she asked her what was it and if it was the reason why the Noldor are acting strangely. She also asked her what is the true reason that the Noldor came back to Beleriand, and then Galadriel answeared her that they were after Morgoth because he took the Silmarils from them. And this was the first time a Noldor told about the Silmarils to someone from Beleriand. And Melian, being the King's wife, the queen of Doriath and all Beleriand, told her husband about the Silmarils.
But why would Thingol act so foolishly and bring a great shame and a great loss and the curse of Mandos upon himslef and his kingdom for something that he have never seen? Are the Silmarils so powerful that even to hear about them makes an Elven King desire them crazily as almost as Gollum desired his precious, just because he remembered and missed the light of Valinor?
"For rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the Elf-kingdom..." is a very obsessed sentance... Not a sentance a Sindarin King would say about a Silmaril.

BluestEye
 
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Merry

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Did Thingol order the re-capture of the Silmaril or did Beren offer it as payment for freedom to love his daughter Luthien?
Beren was very keen to gain Thingols approval!!

I think that Thingol was attracted to this idea although he had never seen one. It was obviously the most treasured possession
of any Elf, not just the Noldor.
 

Elanor2

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Originally posted by Merry
Did Thingol order the re-capture of the Silmaril or did Beren offer it as payment for freedom to love his daughter Luthien?
I think Thingol made the request. Beren did not know what a Silmaril was. If I remember correctly, Beren laughed when he hear Thingol's request and said something like "The kings of the Elves sell their daughters cheap, for mere jewels", or similar. I do not have the exact quote with me.
 

Tar-Palantir

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My take on Thingol's motivation was always that it was The First Age equivalent of "you can marry my daughter when Hades freezes over". Hades froze. I'm sure desire for the jewel played some (small) part in his speech, but I think it was more to get rid of Beren.
 

Maedhros

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Thingol made his own doom. I Maedhros gave him the option of surrendering the silmaril, but he refused. What happened, happened.:(
Remember, i gave him a chance.
 

Gamil Zirak

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I think Thingol made the request of Beren just to get rid of him. He figured that a mere mortal man would never pry the Silmarils from Morgoth's crown.
 

Grond

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Both Tar-Palantir and shiloh53 have the correct answer. If you don't want a young man to marry your daughter, you simply give them a quest that is impossible to accomplish. Remember that Beren was only able to accomplish said quest because of Luthien. So, Thingol ended up gaining the Silmaril at the cost of gaining a mortal son-in-law.
 

Camille

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My take on Thingol's motivation was always that it was The First Age equivalent of "you can marry my daughter when Hades freezes over". Hades froze. I'm sure desire for the jewel played some (small) part in his speech, but I think it was more to get rid of Beren.
I think that what you said makes the point. But a little words about Thingol: in the silmarillion it is clearly stated that once beren and Luthien came back from the lands of Melkor, Thingol forgot his pride and felt pity and admiration for Beren but Beren did not forgot his promise, and you know the conclusion.
In the HOME stories the Thingol's personality is a little diferent , Beren said to Thingol that he admire Luthien an that she was the only his heart desires. Then thingol asked him to bring a silmarill if he wants to marry his daugther, but in that story he did it as a joke! but beren took it very seriouslly and you know the rest.
I have also said that in the Turambar and the Foálokë Story you can see or read a more ambitious thingol that sent his soldiers to attack the Dragon Glaurung (the Foálokë) not for helping turin's mother but for the treasure that the dragon had. so maybe he desired some treasures...
 

BluestEye

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But isn't it strange that a great King like Elu Thingol is acting like that? He had Melian beside him who wispered to him not to bring the doom upon himself and all of his kingdom but he didn't listen to her. He was so ambitious. Why? Just because he hated Men?

BluestEye
 

Elanor2

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Well, Thingol had been the king of kings for a very long time. Then, a bunch of cursed exiles comes back and start making kingdoms and deeds greater than whatever he had done in life, helped by a bunch of mere humans. That must have hurt his pride more than we can imagine. Perhaps he desperately needed to show off a little.
 

Tar-Palantir

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Pride certainly played a part in Thingol's actions. And while I can see why he'd be ticked off with all these Exiles, Men, and monsters invading "his" realm, I was never all that sympathetic to him. I mean, he is married to one of the wisest beings in ME, but doesn't seem to go to her for advice or listen to her words of warning. Beren (and Luthien) called his bluff and though it his heart does seem to have softened, his pride and lust for the Silmaril are what got him killed.
 

Varda

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I completely agree. I never really much liked Thingol because of his pride and arrogance. Sure, he is powerful and noble, as all elves are, and he has his moments. But he is just too greedy. A quote stands out in my mind concerning this:

For as the years passed Thingol's thought turned unceasingly to the jewel of Feanor, and became bound to it, and he liked not to let it rest even behind the doors of his inmost treasury; and he was minded now to bear it with him always, waking and sleeping.
When I first read that I thought that maybe the Silmaril has some kind of power over its owner, almost like the One Ring (that's just a ramdom thought)

It is more likely that Thingol just had an awful lust for jewels. He insisted on keeping the Nauglamir from the dwarves, which directly caused his death.

He is simply too stubborn and arrogant.
 
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