Feanorean Storylines

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I don't think it's a stupid idea. It took me a while to think about it before I decided I didn't like it, but that's a far stretch from stupid. We've all posted ideas that were eventually rejected, it's part of collaboration.

In this specific case, I think it's one step too far toward mustache-twirling, and one step too far away from the Oath. Even for the assholiest of the brothers, the Oath is first and foremost. The killings are an acceptable side-effect (more acceptable or less acceptable, depending on the brother), but not a target.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I don't think it's a stupid idea. It took me a while to think about it before I decided I didn't like it, but that's a far stretch from stupid. We've all posted ideas that were eventually rejected, it's part of collaboration.

In this specific case, I think it's one step too far toward mustache-twirling, and one step too far away from the Oath. Even for the assholiest of the brothers, the Oath is first and foremost. The killings are an acceptable side-effect (more acceptable or less acceptable, depending on the brother), but not a target.
Still, Celegorm was the mastermind behind the Second Kinslaying and one of the few Elves that ever tried to commit rape. Seeking someone out specifically to kill them is well within his thought processes. I just thought there should be some more intent behind Celegorm specifically leading that Kinslaying.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
There's room for him to be... happy that it turns out to be someone he's upset with that they have to go after rather than someone he likes, without going that extra step and having him keen to do actual targeted murder.
 

Eliza

Member
I like this new range of possibilities for Celegorm! It might be possible to thread the needle by showing him to be noticeably aggressive in go ing after Dior after the fighting starts. For example, we could see him ignoring other targets while looking for Dior specifically, or plunging into a melee and and trying to fight his way to wherever Dior is. In other words, it could be pretty clear what's going through his head even if he doesn't say anything.

I'd be inclined to take that route rather than having him plot aloud for a couple reasons:

(1) The sons of Feanor have a lot riding--politically, inter-personally, and psychologically--on portraying themselves as all about the oath. I would imagine them to be pretty scrupulous about maintaining plausible deniability (even if plausible only to themselves) regarding other motives for evil acts. I imagine them being obnoxiously self-righteous even about their cruelty. Like, "If only Dior had given us what is rightfully ours, we wouldn't have been forced to take such drastic action. It's all very unfortunate..." Or, perhaps, for Celegorm: "Luthien should have been mine: she belonged with a high-born Elf, not that base-born mortal. This misbegotten half-breed is a stain on Elven honour..." (I have no textual basis for the latter...it's just something I can imagine him thinking.) That would be a lot harder to maintain if you're willing to outright claim the right to kill a particular enemy based on purely personal motives. So, while in his heart of hearts Celegorm might be motivated by jealousy and personal revenge, I'm not sure he'd be careless enough to reveal it.

(2) I think it works better for Maethros and Maglor's characters if they, at least, perceive all the wickedness going on to be all about the oath. It's pretty clear from the Silmarillion text that Celegorm and Curufin are perfectly willing to put oath-related business second to their empire-building ambitions when doing so suits them. I don't think we get that from the older brothers, and I think their sense of tragic inevitability about the oath is more powerful if they believe that it was solely the pursuit of the oath that led their brothers to the battles that killed them. If Celegorm were explicit about a revenge motive, that might make them wonder whether the oath was really the be-all-end-all after all. It might also sour them on their dead brother. To me, it would be really interesting if they end up holding a sanitized or even idealized view of their brothers after their deaths, because they don't really know what Celegorm and Curufin have been up to behind their backs. There's tragic irony in the thought of them being isolated even from each other's true selves, I think.
 

Eliza

Member
As a bitter culmination to the Oath, I see the two twins not only dying in this battle, but slaying each other as they believe each has betrayed the other.
Hi, Ziggy. I've enjoyed your posts--thanks! It's also nice to not be the only "New Member" on a thread...I find it oddly nerve-wracking.

So, this might be a bizarre idea, but I wonder if we could incorporate something like this idea as a dream sequence or something similar. I can picture a badly wounded or otherwise even-more-distressed-than-usual Amras seriously freaking himself out with a dream/hallucination/vision of killing his (actually already dead) twin, and maybe getting killed by him in return. Here's one possible scenario...

If I'm remembering correctly, Amras is going to end up functioning the unheeded conscience of the sons of Feanor. So, maybe he doesn't want to fight at Doriath, but gets drawn in against his will (maybe to save one Maedhros from attack??), gets injured, and has this nightmare. It could convey a lot about his psychological state. I can imagine him feeling some or all of the following, all of which would kinda fit with the dream:
  • he feels guilty about fighting/killing (so imagines killing the last person he'd ever want to hurt)
  • he feels guilty about getting drawn into kind of oath-related activity Amrod died trying to renounce (so imagines killing/betraying Amrod)
  • he feels like he's betrayed himself or his own convictions (it's almost like one part of him is killing the other part of him)
  • he's reminded of the despair he felt at Amrod's death because three more of his brothers just died
  • on some level he might feel like his resentment at getting drawn into the fight is betraying the brothers who just died
  • he feels wounded/betrayed by his living brothers for pulling him back into the oath and its violence (this would be more accentuated if he dreamed that he and Amrod killed each other, but even if it's just him killing Amrod, it's fratricide against the person most like him)
Anyway, this might be crazy, but thought I'd put it out there. You know, in case we ever feel like Amras's life is getting too easy and peaceful. :-{
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I had always just assumed that Celegorm ordered his servants to find and kill Dior's children, but other interpretations are possible, certainly. My thought is still that it isn't really out of character for Celegorm to want particular people dead. Not that he would rejoice over genocide, but we see Celegorm and Curufin purposely getting Finrod killed to steal his crown. And when Thingol won't give them the Silmaril (before the Fifth Battle), they boast that they'll destroy Thingol and all his people, and will kill any of the Sindar they happen to meet. Now there is sometimes a difference between threats and willingness to carry them out, and there isn't any mention of them actually shooting random Sindar outside the Kinslaying. But Celegorm at least says he'll commit cold-blooded murder. He and Curufin don't engage in such murders when it isn't related somehow to the Oath (Curufin spares Eol) and they certainly don't kill people just for fun. But they don't seem shy of portraying themselves as willing killers, by that point in their falls. Where I agree with you, Eliza, is that they'll justify all their evil deeds with the Oath and other people "wronging" them. It doesn't count as murder because so-and-so started it, etc.

About Maedhros and Maglor, I think they did go into the Second Kinslaying, at the start of the battle, telling themselves it was justified and blaming Thingol and Dior for the whole situation -- at least, they considered their own actions entirely justified. However, this is the turning point where they stop thinking that fulfilling the Oath at any cost is justifiable, and very soon after the battle they resolve to actually break the Oath. It's a major turning point in their lives -- before then, they were a little reluctant to kill innocents, or somewhat uncomfortable with it, but didn't put more than a token effort to actually prevent another Kinslaying. But afterwards, they're willing to endure more than a decade of torment trying to break the Oath and prevent more killing. So I'm OK with them knowing their younger brothers were motivated partly for revenge, seeing what their brothers became and not wanting to become the same. It's very much an "Oh God, what have I done?" moment for them.

Also, I don't think Maedhros and Maglor will have illusions about Celegorm and Curufin being perfect by that time. Besides the boasting about wanting to commit murder, which they'll certainly either witness or hear about, they have learned the story of Beren and Luthien. They know what their younger brothers did in Nargothrond, and no doubt they've heard the non-Feanorian side of that story, circulated throughout Beleriand. I imagine Maedhros is going to be angry at his brothers over the way they went about things in Nargothrond -- yes, they were trying to fulfil the Oath, but they could have done so without condemning Finrod to die in torment, or trying to force someone into marriage. Getting a Silmaril away from Morgoth is more important than stealing Nargothrond's throne, and if they had helped the Quest and helped keep Luthien safe they could have asked Thingol for the Silmaril afterwards.

It does make sense for the killing of Dior's children to feel like it comes out of nowhere, and shock Maedhros -- regardless of who makes the decision to kill them. Also, I can see toning down Ange1's idea: Celegorm vowing that he himself will slay Dior, but not calling "dibs" in an obviously bloodthirsty way. I do imagine that he and some of his brothers will look at Dior as a misbegotten freak, and interspecies hybridization as miscegenation. Perhaps all 6 brothers start out at least kind of creeped out by the idea.

Eliza, your suggestion for Amros is an interesting one. Amros feels like the trickiest brother to write -- we have the least guidance from Tolkien about him, we don't want to give the Hosts an excuse to make him commit suicide, and he seems to changes his mind a lot. First he's willing to go along with the Second Kinslaying, then he goes along with trying to break the Oath and even endures torment to break it (although unlike his older brothers, he's likely to believe and say that the Oath is unbreakable and they can only delay it). Then he decides to start and lead the Third Kinslaying. I think showing him gradually become unhinged and psychologically tormented is a very good direction. One possibility is that he expects and maybe even wants to be slain at the Third Kinslaying.
 

cellardur

Active Member
I had always just assumed that Celegorm ordered his servants to find and kill Dior's children, but other interpretations are possible, certainly. My thought is still that it isn't really out of character for Celegorm to want particular people dead. Not that he would rejoice over genocide, but we see Celegorm and Curufin purposely getting Finrod killed to steal his crown. And when Thingol won't give them the Silmaril (before the Fifth Battle), they boast that they'll destroy Thingol and all his people, and will kill any of the Sindar they happen to meet. Now there is sometimes a difference between threats and willingness to carry them out, and there isn't any mention of them actually shooting random Sindar outside the Kinslaying. But Celegorm at least says he'll commit cold-blooded murder. He and Curufin don't engage in such murders when it isn't related somehow to the Oath (Curufin spares Eol) and they certainly don't kill people just for fun. But they don't seem shy of portraying themselves as willing killers, by that point in their falls. Where I agree with you, Eliza, is that they'll justify all their evil deeds with the Oath and other people "wronging" them. It doesn't count as murder because so-and-so started it, etc.

About Maedhros and Maglor, I think they did go into the Second Kinslaying, at the start of the battle, telling themselves it was justified and blaming Thingol and Dior for the whole situation -- at least, they considered their own actions entirely justified. However, this is the turning point where they stop thinking that fulfilling the Oath at any cost is justifiable, and very soon after the battle they resolve to actually break the Oath. It's a major turning point in their lives -- before then, they were a little reluctant to kill innocents, or somewhat uncomfortable with it, but didn't put more than a token effort to actually prevent another Kinslaying. But afterwards, they're willing to endure more than a decade of torment trying to break the Oath and prevent more killing. So I'm OK with them knowing their younger brothers were motivated partly for revenge, seeing what their brothers became and not wanting to become the same. It's very much an "Oh God, what have I done?" moment for them.

Also, I don't think Maedhros and Maglor will have illusions about Celegorm and Curufin being perfect by that time. Besides the boasting about wanting to commit murder, which they'll certainly either witness or hear about, they have learned the story of Beren and Luthien. They know what their younger brothers did in Nargothrond, and no doubt they've heard the non-Feanorian side of that story, circulated throughout Beleriand. I imagine Maedhros is going to be angry at his brothers over the way they went about things in Nargothrond -- yes, they were trying to fulfil the Oath, but they could have done so without condemning Finrod to die in torment, or trying to force someone into marriage. Getting a Silmaril away from Morgoth is more important than stealing Nargothrond's throne, and if they had helped the Quest and helped keep Luthien safe they could have asked Thingol for the Silmaril afterwards.

It does make sense for the killing of Dior's children to feel like it comes out of nowhere, and shock Maedhros -- regardless of who makes the decision to kill them. Also, I can see toning down Ange1's idea: Celegorm vowing that he himself will slay Dior, but not calling "dibs" in an obviously bloodthirsty way. I do imagine that he and some of his brothers will look at Dior as a misbegotten freak, and interspecies hybridization as miscegenation. Perhaps all 6 brothers start out at least kind of creeped out by the idea.

Eliza, your suggestion for Amros is an interesting one. Amros feels like the trickiest brother to write -- we have the least guidance from Tolkien about him, we don't want to give the Hosts an excuse to make him commit suicide, and he seems to changes his mind a lot. First he's willing to go along with the Second Kinslaying, then he goes along with trying to break the Oath and even endures torment to break it (although unlike his older brothers, he's likely to believe and say that the Oath is unbreakable and they can only delay it). Then he decides to start and lead the Third Kinslaying. I think showing him gradually become unhinged and psychologically tormented is a very good direction. One possibility is that he expects and maybe even wants to be slain at the Third Kinslaying.
For me Celegorm was in love or more accurately in LUST with Luthien and would have a strong hatred for her descendants with Beren. Throw in Beren humiliating him, stealing Huan away from him and you have a bitter vengeful elf.

I don't think the Noldor have ever been particularly racist towards Men. This is a Sindar thing and Luthien is so beloved, that they ignore this with her descendants. The Noldor and even Caranthir always have a high opinion of Men.

As for the 2nd Kingslaying, I think this is probably the most justified out of the three. Certainly a lot more justified than the 1st for me. Dior is still holding stolen property. When Luthien had it, the Sons of Feanor were too scared to attack and I understand why Dior did not want to give the jewels to Celegorm/Curufin. However, Maglor and Maedhros see Dior as holding stolen property and refusing to return it.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Does that give him reason to hate their grown up son and his two little kids? I don't buy it..
Celegorm, in this mental narrative, would have a special hatred for Dior for being the son of Beren, who “stole” Luthien and Huan from him. Bear in mind that Celegorm is the one who initiates the Second Kinslaying and the Noldor typically haven’t shown racism towards Men, so for Celegorm it would be personal, on top of getting the Silmaril. Why else would he have Dior’s sons taken into the woods to starve? He wants to destroy everything related to Beren.
 

cellardur

Active Member
Does that give him reason to hate their grown up son and his two little kids? I don't buy it..
Yes, it does. That's pretty much the story for Harry Potter concerning Snape and that was a school boy rivalry.

Being the child of my hated rival, who stole my second closest friend, the woman I intended to marry and was now wearing my 'father's special jewel (which rightly belonged to me), is enough ton make even the nicest of people slightly bitter, which Celegorm is not.
Celegorm, in this mental narrative, would have a special hatred for Dior for being the son of Beren, who “stole” Luthien and Huan from him. Bear in mind that Celegorm is the one who initiates the Second Kinslaying and the Noldor typically haven’t shown racism towards Men, so for Celegorm it would be personal, on top of getting the Silmaril. Why else would he have Dior’s sons taken into the woods to starve? He wants to destroy everything related to Beren.
I have to agree and this is more than enough to create a special enmity between Celegorm and Beren's descendants.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
There's something of the way this works that reinforces that Celegorm still thinks he's the good guy in this story. He's not going to kill some stupid kids, he's not even going to order that they be killed. Send them off in the woods, nice and indirect.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
There is a timing issue.

The kids are left out in the woods alone after the battle is over. Celegorm was killed in the battle.

So, yes, it is certainly possible that the kids were found and taken prisoner early on, and Celegorm gave orders for their deaths before he himself was killed. It is...just as possible...that Celegorm's servants are upset by their master's death and decide to dispose of the kids at that point. If that is the case, it's not Celegorm who is ordering the kids killed.

Obviously, this is the lightly sketched part of the story. Who took the kids out into the woods to die changed from draft to draft. We will likely be telling the story of the Second Kinslaying in great detail, and will be working plenty of nuance into it. So, it's quite possible that Celegorm does hate all of Lúthien's descendants (because he wanted Lúthien himself), and he talks disparagingly of them often enough that his servants all know he hates them and wants them dead (even if there's some reading between the lines since publicly he's more talking about the Oath). He orchestrates the kinslaying, he dies...and they think it's a fitting tribute to their fallen lord to kill Dior's sons. But...they know that's not really a decision they should be making, and so off to the woods with them...... When Maedhros finds out, he's furious and searches for them.
 

cellardur

Active Member
There is a timing issue.

The kids are left out in the woods alone after the battle is over. Celegorm was killed in the battle.

So, yes, it is certainly possible that the kids were found and taken prisoner early on, and Celegorm gave orders for their deaths before he himself was killed. It is...just as possible...that Celegorm's servants are upset by their master's death and decide to dispose of the kids at that point. If that is the case, it's not Celegorm who is ordering the kids killed.

Obviously, this is the lightly sketched part of the story. Who took the kids out into the woods to die changed from draft to draft. We will likely be telling the story of the Second Kinslaying in great detail, and will be working plenty of nuance into it. So, it's quite possible that Celegorm does hate all of Lúthien's descendants (because he wanted Lúthien himself), and he talks disparagingly of them often enough that his servants all know he hates them and wants them dead (even if there's some reading between the lines since publicly he's more talking about the Oath). He orchestrates the kinslaying, he dies...and they think it's a fitting tribute to their fallen lord to kill Dior's sons. But...they know that's not really a decision they should be making, and so off to the woods with them...... When Maedhros finds out, he's furious and searches for them.
To add fuel to the fire of Celegorm's servants, they are going to witness Dior killing Celegorm. Dior is going to be the one to personally kill their lord. Even if Celegorm does not order the deaths, this could tip them towards the edge or we could have a Henry II/Thomas Becket moment where Celegorm's knights mistake their masters intent.
 
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