Session 4-24: Episodes 12 and 13

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Morgoth is not wrong to fear for his life. He's locked into his form as 'tyrant of Utumno' now, and he's not able to shed his fana as a coat any longer.

In short 'incarnation' is a tricky subject, and you've got to be careful with it. If you are truly incarnate...then slain you can be. Morgoth, knowing how Arda works on a fundamental level, is not unaware of the implications of this change in his incarnate status.

So, to back up...Ainur are, indeed, immortal, being made of some spirit-stuff (eala) by Iluvatar at the beginning of time. That's it, that's their being - physical forms are optional to them. Now, they certainly can put on a physical form (fana) and appear as such, a body that can be touched, and even a body that goes through the various biological functions of a body. But...it's optional, not required. They can shed it at any time, try on a new one, etc. So, if Yavanna wants to be a tree today, she's a tree, and if she wants to walk among the elves tomorrow, she can take on a more bipedal form. If Ulmo wants to dwell in the ocean with no physical form, he can be perfectly content that way. Or if he wants to embody himself as some sort of sea creature, he can do that. Or, he can rise out of the waves as a giant like Tuor sees. We are told that Olorin walked among the elves in Valinor unseen, suggesting that he was simply going without a body at the time.

So....what happens if that changes? What can a Maia/Vala do to make incarnation no longer quite so optional?

One thing they can do is really inhabit the body and make full use of its functions. So, for instance, when Melian marries Thingol and has a child...she's locked into that form. Her body is no longer optional to her, and she could, presumably, be killed. So we know that procreation definitely has an impact. Theoretically, Maiar who spent a lot of time eating and enjoying food would also get 'locked in' by making use of the digestive track, but Tolkien doesn't actually mention any examples of that! He does mention that the Valar only eat 'ceremonially' at feasts on occasion, so the idea is that eating isn't something all that normal to them, but it does have an impact in tying them to the stuff of Arda.

[Drinking Mai Tais, on the other hand, totally is natural to Valar, at least in my experience of hanging out with them! :p ]

Another thing they can do is volunteer to be one of the Istari. We know that the Maiar who did that became incarnate - they were locked into their bodies, and it changed them in fundamental ways. Their knowledge of the world before Arda from the Timeless Halls wasn't really available to them any more - they 'forgot' some of that. So, Gandalf was slain by the balrog, and only returned to life because Iluvatar intervened. And Saruman was certainly slain by Wormtongue in the Shire. They weren't human, of course, nor were they elves - they were incarnate Ainur.

What Morgoth (and later Sauron) will do, is to undergo a fall, and also to invest so much of his native power into something else (Arda, the Ring) that they become 'stuck' in the forms they had. When Sauron is 'killed' in the Last Alliance, his body dies/goes away. He has to rebuild it from scratch, and it takes a while. But...he's locked into that form. He can't change it in any way. And so, when Gollum meets him much later, he confirms that Sauron's hand is still missing a finger. He wasn't able to repair that, or take on a form with a whole hand. And the only reason he still had enough personal strength to rebuild at all was because the Ring still existed....

Likewise, after Morgoth's duel with Fingolfin, he's going to limp, and the scratches Thorondor leaves on his face will leave scars. Morgoth can't heal/vanish these injuries to his body. Also, the silmarils he held in his hand when Ungoliant attacked him left permanent burns.
I'm not saying a 'simple' spear through the heart will necessarily take down Morgoth. I am saying, though, that being incarnate, he has a reason to fear death, and to know that it *can* happen. It's not going to; the Valar are going to shove him out into the Void and leave him there rather then slay him. But, you know...they could.

It keeps Morgoth up at night, knowing that.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Morgoth is not wrong to fear for his life. He's locked into his form as 'tyrant of Utumno' now, and he's not able to shed his fana as a coat any longer.

In short 'incarnation' is a tricky subject, and you've got to be careful with it. If you are truly incarnate...then slain you can be. Morgoth, knowing how Arda works on a fundamental level, is not unaware of the implications of this change in his incarnate status.

So, to back up...Ainur are, indeed, immortal, being made of some spirit-stuff (eala) by Iluvatar at the beginning of time. That's it, that's their being - physical forms are optional to them. Now, they certainly can put on a physical form (fana) and appear as such, a body that can be touched, and even a body that goes through the various biological functions of a body. But...it's optional, not required. They can shed it at any time, try on a new one, etc. So, if Yavanna wants to be a tree today, she's a tree, and if she wants to walk among the elves tomorrow, she can take on a more bipedal form. If Ulmo wants to dwell in the ocean with no physical form, he can be perfectly content that way. Or if he wants to embody himself as some sort of sea creature, he can do that. Or, he can rise out of the waves as a giant like Tuor sees. We are told that Olorin walked among the elves in Valinor unseen, suggesting that he was simply going without a body at the time.

So....what happens if that changes? What can a Maia/Vala do to make incarnation no longer quite so optional?

One thing they can do is really inhabit the body and make full use of its functions. So, for instance, when Melian marries Thingol and has a child...she's locked into that form. Her body is no longer optional to her, and she could, presumably, be killed. So we know that procreation definitely has an impact. Theoretically, Maiar who spent a lot of time eating and enjoying food would also get 'locked in' by making use of the digestive track, but Tolkien doesn't actually mention any examples of that! He does mention that the Valar only eat 'ceremonially' at feasts on occasion, so the idea is that eating isn't something all that normal to them, but it does have an impact in tying them to the stuff of Arda.

[Drinking Mai Tais, on the other hand, totally is natural to Valar, at least in my experience of hanging out with them! :p ]

Another thing they can do is volunteer to be one of the Istari. We know that the Maiar who did that became incarnate - they were locked into their bodies, and it changed them in fundamental ways. Their knowledge of the world before Arda from the Timeless Halls wasn't really available to them any more - they 'forgot' some of that. So, Gandalf was slain by the balrog, and only returned to life because Iluvatar intervened. And Saruman was certainly slain by Wormtongue in the Shire. They weren't human, of course, nor were they elves - they were incarnate Ainur.

What Morgoth (and later Sauron) will do, is to undergo a fall, and also to invest so much of his native power into something else (Arda, the Ring) that they become 'stuck' in the forms they had. When Sauron is 'killed' in the Last Alliance, his body dies/goes away. He has to rebuild it from scratch, and it takes a while. But...he's locked into that form. He can't change it in any way. And so, when Gollum meets him much later, he confirms that Sauron's hand is still missing a finger. He wasn't able to repair that, or take on a form with a whole hand. And the only reason he still had enough personal strength to rebuild at all was because the Ring still existed....

Likewise, after Morgoth's duel with Fingolfin, he's going to limp, and the scratches Thorondor leaves on his face will leave scars. Morgoth can't heal/vanish these injuries to his body. Also, the silmarils he held in his hand when Ungoliant attacked him left permanent burns.
I'm not saying a 'simple' spear through the heart will necessarily take down Morgoth. I am saying, though, that being incarnate, he has a reason to fear death, and to know that it *can* happen. It's not going to; the Valar are going to shove him out into the Void and leave him there rather then slay him. But, you know...they could.

It keeps Morgoth up at night, knowing that.
Also, in our adaptation, the balrogs are locked into their forms, and they know this.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Mai Tais can easily be concealed in Valar robes. Whether or not you ever see them drinking them is another matter.....
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I seemed to have missed something, but how come it was decided that Rhogrin and Annael ’s escape was moved to next season?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The mai tais are a reference to Dragon Con, if you're wondering.

There was no reason for them to escape yet, so we'll have them escape some time next season.
 
Top