Session 5-10: Elves

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I think that the death of Fingolfin has to be seen as a sacrifice, which perhaps seems cruel but remember that the Eldar don't die the way Men do. So maybe the Ainur actually want the Noldor to attack and die (or accept the risk of it happening). The idea of leaving your destiny into the hands of the Valar (or at least Eru) is essential to Tolkien's idea of heroism, so I don't think it's to stretch things too far. And when Fingolfin dies, he does so in a way that impacts the sequence of events in such a way that eventually leads to Morgoth's downfall, so it's not a pointless deed at all.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think that the death of Fingolfin has to be seen as a sacrifice, which perhaps seems cruel but remember that the Eldar don't die the way Men do. So maybe the Ainur actually want the Noldor to attack and die (or accept the risk of it happening). The idea of leaving your destiny into the hands of the Valar (or at least Eru) is essential to Tolkien's idea of heroism, so I don't think it's to stretch things too far. And when Fingolfin dies, he does so in a way that impacts the sequence of events in such a way that eventually leads to Morgoth's downfall, so it's not a pointless deed at all.
I can get behind that.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Also, it looks like that Fingolfin is the one who makes overtures to the Edain, primarily the House of Hador. I think Hador volunteered.
 
Since the Professor said he sees this season as being about worldviews more than about politics (which I think are inextricably linked, but that's another thread....)
I think we need to take a higher-level view of the Elves' stories for a moment, and consider their worldview vis-a-vis men. We have postulated that the three houses of the Edain take different views of their relationship with the Eldar; have we considered the reverse? What is the proper role of Elves regarding Men? It seems to me that there are three main points on the continuum from an Elven point of view:
1. The Men are unworthy of attention (see: Celegorm, etc)
2. The Men are our juniors, but worthy of our instruction and support, just as we received instruction from the Valar (see: Felagund??)
3. The Men are our equals as children of Illuvatar (see: Aegnor??)

These worldviews that different Elves bring to this relationship will necessarily manifest in many ways. Politically, you see the range of how men do/don't live among or cooperate with the Eldar in government and war. Economically, might we see a range from casual trading partners, to apprentice/master, to equal partnerships? Personally, might we see a variety of friendships (and unfriendships) based on these different views?

This is where my comment about the political opposition to Andreth & Aegnor's relationship would come in. It's not so much about mundane politics as it is about worldview. Those who took the first approach above would obviously oppose - why would you keep a human pet as a wife? However, those who take the second or third approaches have some thinking to do! It's not enough for me that they say to Aegnor, "Dude, she's mortal and you're not, so it could never work." Because the response could be, "Isn't it our place to provide as much joy to our younger brethren as we can, while we can?" One could argue, "You'll get a short time of joy and a lifetime of painful widowhood." The reply might be, "They're our equals on this Middle-Earth and I'm willing to take that chance with them."
But the argument that would be hardest to refute would be to turn to Andreth's own ideas. SHE is the one who argued that Edain and Eldar shouldn't live closely together, because it strains the nature of each, and led her people on a long march to greater independence. The audience will surely see the irony of her rejecting her own arguments when it comes to her own life. If NONE of the Eldar express this, I think they'll look shallow and foolish for not even noticing the obvious contradiction. It could be Aegnor himself who brings it up in an attempt to refute it, or it could be someone else (preferable someone close, I think), but that extra layer needs to be in there for the story to be truly believable.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
These worldviews that different Elves bring to this relationship will necessarily manifest in many ways. Politically, you see the range of how men do/don't live among or cooperate with the Eldar in government and war. Economically, might we see a range from casual trading partners, to apprentice/master, to equal partnerships? Personally, might we see a variety of friendships (and unfriendships) based on these different views?
I think it's a good reminder to also consider the Elvish perspective on this - as the creators and audience of the series are all Aftercomers, we certainly have a certain POV bias that we need to be aware of :D Elves have been the main characters of the show for multiple seasons now, and their viewpoints should retreat into the backgroung slowly, not suddenly.

This is where my comment about the political opposition to Andreth & Aegnor's relationship would come in. It's not so much about mundane politics as it is about worldview. Those who took the first approach above would obviously oppose - why would you keep a human pet as a wife? However, those who take the second or third approaches have some thinking to do! It's not enough for me that they say to Aegnor, "Dude, she's mortal and you're not, so it could never work." Because the response could be, "Isn't it our place to provide as much joy to our younger brethren as we can, while we can?" One could argue, "You'll get a short time of joy and a lifetime of painful widowhood." The reply might be, "They're our equals on this Middle-Earth and I'm willing to take that chance with them."
This is an interesting topic for our own thoughts about the characters, but I'm not sure how widespread the knowledge of Aegnor and Andreth getting close will be, to be honest - so far, we only have Angrod and Finrod reacting to it, although some Men might notice and have dialogue about it as well when we actually flesh out any of the Beorians beyond Beor and Andreth. Barahir and of course Beren himself are the prime candidates for dealing with the topic of Elf/Men relationships.

On the arguments you presented, I'm sure Aegnor could have a response to most of them, but they'll always look somewhat unconvincing (as he is going to see that the relationship can't work later on) and focused too much on his feelings in the short term.


But the argument that would be hardest to refute would be to turn to Andreth's own ideas. SHE is the one who argued that Edain and Eldar shouldn't live closely together, because it strains the nature of each, and led her people on a long march to greater independence. The audience will surely see the irony of her rejecting her own arguments when it comes to her own life. If NONE of the Eldar express this, I think they'll look shallow and foolish for not even noticing the obvious contradiction. It could be Aegnor himself who brings it up in an attempt to refute it, or it could be someone else (preferable someone close, I think), but that extra layer needs to be in there for the story to be truly believable.
I agree it should come up, but the validity of this really depends on what Andreth's idea of a life with Aegnor looks like - Andreth has argued against groups of Men and Elves living together in a community, but if she just wants one of them to move in with the other or even live a life apart from both Elves and Men (or just keep the long-distance relationship with the occasional meeting going?), she doesn't look like she's going against her own beliefs that made her leave Nargothrond.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Since the Professor said he sees this season as being about worldviews more than about politics (which I think are inextricably linked, but that's another thread....)
I think we need to take a higher-level view of the Elves' stories for a moment, and consider their worldview vis-a-vis men. We have postulated that the three houses of the Edain take different views of their relationship with the Eldar; have we considered the reverse? What is the proper role of Elves regarding Men? It seems to me that there are three main points on the continuum from an Elven point of view:
1. The Men are unworthy of attention (see: Celegorm, etc)
2. The Men are our juniors, but worthy of our instruction and support, just as we received instruction from the Valar (see: Felagund??)
3. The Men are our equals as children of Illuvatar (see: Aegnor??)

These worldviews that different Elves bring to this relationship will necessarily manifest in many ways. Politically, you see the range of how men do/don't live among or cooperate with the Eldar in government and war. Economically, might we see a range from casual trading partners, to apprentice/master, to equal partnerships? Personally, might we see a variety of friendships (and unfriendships) based on these different views?

This is where my comment about the political opposition to Andreth & Aegnor's relationship would come in. It's not so much about mundane politics as it is about worldview. Those who took the first approach above would obviously oppose - why would you keep a human pet as a wife? However, those who take the second or third approaches have some thinking to do! It's not enough for me that they say to Aegnor, "Dude, she's mortal and you're not, so it could never work." Because the response could be, "Isn't it our place to provide as much joy to our younger brethren as we can, while we can?" One could argue, "You'll get a short time of joy and a lifetime of painful widowhood." The reply might be, "They're our equals on this Middle-Earth and I'm willing to take that chance with them."
But the argument that would be hardest to refute would be to turn to Andreth's own ideas. SHE is the one who argued that Edain and Eldar shouldn't live closely together, because it strains the nature of each, and led her people on a long march to greater independence. The audience will surely see the irony of her rejecting her own arguments when it comes to her own life. If NONE of the Eldar express this, I think they'll look shallow and foolish for not even noticing the obvious contradiction. It could be Aegnor himself who brings it up in an attempt to refute it, or it could be someone else (preferable someone close, I think), but that extra layer needs to be in there for the story to be truly believable.
So how does the Aredhel storyline fit into the opposing philosophies theme?
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
So how does the Aredhel storyline fit into the opposing philosophies theme?
To be honest, the only direct plot connection between Aredhel and the rest I can see is between the Beorians leaving Nargothrond and Aredhel leaving Gondolin because they were tired of living there. Aredhel's story is just not involved with Men at all, but to be honest I don't see that as a problem. Her story fits with the overall theme of different views (Turgon's, Aredhel's, Eol's, Maeglin's) and gives us a different approach than the whole "Worldviews: Man vs Elf" thing which we will be dealing with, more or less, for the rest of SilmFilm.
 

David_M_R

New Member
We could even just play off the idea of Men wanting to move, because of their short lives, and wanting to make the most of them, and the idea of Aredhel wanting to move because of her immortality and running out of things to do in Gondolin.
 
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