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Whats the deal with Glorfindel?

Beorn

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There is a Glorfindel battling a Balrog over Gondolin, and a Glorfindel in Rivendell.

Now, I've heard that they're the same Glorfindel, that Tolkien made an error, that the first one died, and was reincarnated...

What is the real answer?
 

Grond

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From The Peoples of Middle-earth, Chapter Last Writings, sub-chapter Glorfindel. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote,

"We can therefore reasonably suppose that Glorfindel, after the purging or forgiveness of his part in the rebellion of the Noldor, was released from Mandos and became himself again, but remained in the Blessed Realm - for Gondolin was destroyed and all or most of his kin had perished. We can thus understand why he seems so powerful a figure and almost 'angelic'. For he had returned to the primitive innocence of the First-born, and had then lived among those Elves who had never rebelled, and in the companionship of the Maiar (2) for ages: from the last years of the First Age, through the Second Age, to the end of the first millennium of the Third Age: before he returned to Middle-earth.(3) It is indeed probable that he had in Valinor already become a friend and follower of Olorin. Even in the brief glimpses of him given in The Lord of the Rings he appears as
specially concerned for Gandalf, and was one (the most powerful, it would seem) of those sent out from Rivendell when the disquieting news reached Elrond that Gandalf had never reappeared to guide or protect the Ring-bearer."


They were one in the same.
 
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Cian

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Originally posted by Beorn
... that they're the same Glorfindel, that Tolkien made an error ...
'Error' (not that you are saying such) might imply Tolkien needed to make the two the same because of some screwup. Not so if so. Tolkien simply, and on purpose, borrowed the name for his character. He did admit that the name "escaped reconsideration" before publication - some may class that an 'error' maybe, but to my mind the circumstance still represented a matter of choice on Tolkien's part, that is, there was nothing (from a storial perspective at least) to say that a Glorfindel of Imladris could not appear in LoTR.


Much later JRRT sat down to consider the question himself (since he now, by circumstance, had "two legends" in which the same name occured (the name Legolas is also found in the earliest Fall Of Gondolin for another example of a borrowing) ... keeping in mind The Silmarillion was not published by Tolkien nor published in his lifetime, the Prof. chose (in the essays from which Grond quoteth at least) to make the two be the same.
 

Tarien

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He died defeating a balrog. Think, people!
A balrog, or valaraukar, is a maiar (angel).
Glorfindel was an Elf.
Glorfindel sacrificed himself to save others, defeating the angelic, demonic valaraukar. Amazing feat. Here's a play to explain my thoughts:
Glorfindel-(in halls of Mandos) I failed. I died.
Mandos- You killed a angelic spirit! And what Elves could escape did! Cheer up!
Glorfindel- (looks up)
Mandos- And by the way, get out of here. You're taking up valuable bench space.
Glorfindel- Errr.
Mandos- You are supposed to think on your life here. Well, enough brooding for you.

-----The End-------

He came back in the War of Wrath, by the way. All glowey.
 

Tarien

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I agree with you, Ulari, but for different reasons. Morgoth used Grond to kill Fingolfin, High King of Elves. Stupid hammer. Stupid Morgoth.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Tarien
I agree with you, Ulari, but for different reasons. Morgoth used Grond to kill Fingolfin, High King of Elves. Stupid hammer. Stupid Morgoth.
Err...Ummm. Actually, all Melkor did with me was 'swing and miss... swing and miss'. He finally wore Fingolfin down and "footed" him to death. :)
 

Tarien

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Not really. Jumping back made Fingolfin tired, and yes, you did hit him a couple of times. How else did his quote "he bore up his broken helm and shield" get broken? BAD HAMMER! BAD?!?!
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Tarien
Not really. Jumping back made Fingolfin tired, and yes, you did hit him a couple of times. How else did his quote "he bore up his broken helm and shield" get broken? BAD HAMMER! BAD?!?!
Tarien, I was there!! I never struck Fingolfin. If you will read the entire passage you will see it.

Then Morgoth hurled aloft Grond, the Hammer of the Underworld, and swung if down like a bolt of thunder. But Fingolfin sprang aside, and Grond rent a mighty pit in the earth, whence smoke and fire darted. Many times Morgoth essayed to smite him, and each time Fingolfin leaped away, as a lightning shoots from under a dark cloud; and he wounded Morgoth with seven wounds, and seven times Morgoth gave a cry of anquish, whereat the hosts of Angband fell upon their faces in dismay, and the cries echoed in the Northlands.

But at the last the King grew weary, and Morgoth bore down his shield upon him. Thrice he was crushed to his kness, and thrice arose again and bore up his broken shield and stricken helm. But the earth was all rent and pitted about him, and he stumbled and fell backward before the feet of Morgoth; and Morgoth set his left foot upon his neck, and the weight of it was like a fallen hill. Yet with his last and desperate stroke Fingolfin hewed the foot with Ringil, and the blood gushed forth black and smoking and filled the pits of Grond.


It was my master's own shield which was borne down upon Fingolfin that cause his shield to break and his helm be stricken. I was simply 'swung and missed', 'swung and missed', 'swung and missed'. :)

Drat, I really wish I could have hit something besides the ground. ;)
 

Beleg Strongbow

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It was my master's own shield which was borne down upon Fingolfin that cause his shield to break and his helm be stricken. I was simply 'swung and missed', 'swung and missed', 'swung and missed'. :)

Drat, I really wish I could have hit something besides the ground. ;) [/B][/QUOTE]





Yes that is right melkor couldn't harm him, it was Fingolfin's stamina that let him down.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Tarien
(Fuming that she was wrong)
Well you didn't help!!!!
Dearest Tarien, my intent was not to prove you were wrong. I certainly was hoping that the hand of Melkor would ultimately allow me to smite down the upstart Noldor King Fingolfin but alas, it was not to be. I never was wielded very well (but boy did I look good). :);)
 

Úlairi

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Yes Grond you did. I admired your work in the 'Siege of Gondor' and the 'Battle of the Pelennor Fields' especially!;)
 

Tarien

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Stupid Melkor. Oh well, Thorondor still pushed him back in line...and at least Fingolfin lamed him! Can't blame the weapon, I guess.
 

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