What ever happened in Hildorien?

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I originally wanted to post this in the threat about overlapping storylines, but then i realized it could make sense to make this a topic on its own.

Even if the events at cuivienen might never qctually happen on screen, or if they do maybe only in the next season, we seem to need to have an idea what exactly is happening over there now at this point as it is parallel to the events in Beleriand so:

I think there are basically two different variants in the pubsil


1st:
Men awake and relatively quickly make contact with the dark elves and become their pupils and Morgoth is occupied and has little impact on the east.


2nd:
Morgoth at once goes to the east under a shadow and does something the fathers of men never talk about, something similar to the kin-strife occurs, it is unknown when the men met the elves, if it happens after they start to turn west or if it was at the same time as morgoths intervention.


To this we have the very early lost tales and the very late andreth tale:


Lost Tales:

A dark elf finds the children of men sleeping in a deep valley even before the rise of the sun, despite the prohibition from his kind he one day wakes up two of the children and teaches them language.

Morgoth sends his servant Fankil, orcs and evil dwarves to the east and corrupts some of the men who start war on the elves and their brothers who stay faithful to the elves. After a big battle all sides flee and groups of men and a host of elves begins a wandering into the west, other elves and men hide in wilderness or remove into deep dark places.


Andreths Tale:

Men awake and are guided by a voice, presumably eru.then a great man appears and starts to teach men and alienates them from her until they cannot hear her anymore.the great man now demands reverence and makes some men chiefs and priests, they built a great temple and some men are sacrificed until an uprising happens and at last some men escape to the west. Orcs, elves or dwarves do not play any part at all in this version.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think in general, a combination of the ideas under your headings "2nd" and "Andreths Tale:" are the ones that feel the most appropriate for us at SilmFilm. Even if it is a never or looooong term reveal (I'm imagining Sauron doing a flashback to the events at the great temple while he's ruining Numenor in 15 seasons), we creators at least need to have it worked out in broad strokes now.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
It is a fantasy trope at this point that a certain sort of person/people will be attracted to strength. Lean into the Strength part. Maybe Morgoth pours some of his power into a minor sub-chieftain, who then gains a following and usurps his way into prominence and casts out the unbelievers and so on.

It's not that hard to conceive of a scenario where the bulk of the populace never lays eyes on the hideous benefactor of their priest or leader caste. All they see is the power of their oppressors.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
It is a fantasy trope at this point that a certain sort of person/people will be attracted to strength. Lean into the Strength part. Maybe Morgoth pours some of his power into a minor sub-chieftain, who then gains a following and usurps his way into prominence and casts out the unbelievers and so on.

It's not that hard to conceive of a scenario where the bulk of the populace never lays eyes on the hideous benefactor of their priest or leader caste. All they see is the power of their oppressors.
So how do the Edain come about? Are they the unbelievers of this following?
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
So how do the Edain come about? Are they the unbelievers of this following?
It's like a preview of the Faithful of Numenor. Only not quite as direct - the Edain could be external enemies to the followers of Morgoth rather than resistance from within.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
It is a fantasy trope at this point that a certain sort of person/people will be attracted to strength. Lean into the Strength part. Maybe Morgoth pours some of his power into a minor sub-chieftain, who then gains a following and usurps his way into prominence and casts out the unbelievers and so on.
Remember that the Men started out unfallen. They did not have human nature as it is now. They would be far, far less attracted to violent, openly evil dictator types. Like, not attracted at all. Feanor succeeded through charisma, and Morgoth succeeded by charisma + rumormongering. Post-Darkening, Morgoth has majesty remaining, but not any form of persuasive charisma.

We can't think of this like the corruption of humans. Don't think of the unfallen Second Children as humans at all. Think of them as Elves and then come up with a scenario in which Eldar (who can talk directly to God and have never heard of death) would be persuaded to worship Morgoth, after he lost all of his charisma and deception ability.


Regarding the Edain, they have to be descendants of Men who participated in the original sin (worshipping Morgoth) who then rebelled. If their ancestors weren't participants, they themselves would be a species apart from fallen Mankind (longer lived and more amazing than Numenoreans, immune to disease, and vanishing into smoke when they die).
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Remember that the Men started out unfallen. They did not have human nature as it is now. They would be far, far less attracted to violent, openly evil dictator types. Like, not attracted at all. Feanor succeeded through charisma, and Morgoth succeeded by charisma + rumormongering.

Don't think of this like the corruption of humans. Don't think of the unfallen Second Children as humans at all. Think of them as Elves and then come up with a scenario in which the Eldar who can talk directly to God would be persuaded to worship Morgoth, after he lost all of his charisma and deception ability.


Regarding the Edain, they have to be descendants of Men who participated in the original sin (worshipping Morgoth) who then rebelled. If their ancestors weren't participants, they themselves would be a species apart from fallen Mankind (longer lived and more amazing than Numenoreans, immune to disease, and vanishing into smoke when they die).
I thought Men are humans.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Fallen Men are humans. Unfallen Second Children were something drastically different from our species, almost as different as Elves are from Orcs. Not Elves, but more like Elves than they were like us.

Thinking of Unfallen Second Children as humans is a trap because we all know about humans and human nature, and we apply that unconsciously. But before their Fall, the Second Children were radically different from us, psychologically and physically. We cannot apply our own experience and feelings about human nature to such beings. Anthropomorphizing them is a mistake.

Anything that wouldn't work on Elves is almost 100% certain to fail against other unfallen Children of Illuvatar. The Second Children were somewhat more influenceable through bodily desires (food, clothing, comfort, sex) but also could talk to God and had not experienced death, disease, or old age in any form.


It's like thinking of real-world Australopithecus as humans. Sure, they were our ancestors, but they didn't look or act or think much like we do.
 
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NotACat

Active Member
Fallen Men are humans. Unfallen Second Children were something drastically different from our species, almost as different as Elves are from Orcs. Not Elves, but more like Elves than they were like us.
Thinking of Unfallen Second Children as humans is a trap because we all know about humans and human nature, and we apply that unconsciously. But before their Fall, the Second Children were radically different from us, psychologically and physically. We cannot apply our own experience and feelings about human nature to such beings. Anthropomorphizing them is a mistake.
Anything that wouldn't work on Elves is almost 100% certain to fail against other unfallen Children of Illuvatar. The Second Children were somewhat more influenceable through bodily desires (food, clothing, comfort, sex) but also could talk to God and had not experienced death, disease, or old age in any form.
It's like thinking of real-world Australopithecus as humans. Sure, they were our ancestors, but they didn't look or act or think much like we do.
Where are you getting all this from? Is it in a later volume of HoME that I haven't reached yet?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Tolkien talked about the fall of Men multiple times. He specified that Men were/are fallen, like in the Bible, and that Elves are a demonstration (philosophically) of what Men would be if they had not fallen. He talked about it extensively especially in the Letters*, and in Morgoth's Ring. Some is also discussed in Sauron Defeated, and in an essay "Notes on Óre" which was published in Vinyar Tengwar.

As Haerangil pointed out, the Fall of Men also occurs in the Lost Tales, although not in the same way and with less philosophical musings about the nature of evil.

*letter numbers 131 & 156, primarily
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Fallen Men are humans. Unfallen Second Children were something drastically different from our species, almost as different as Elves are from Orcs. Not Elves, but more like Elves than they were like us.

Thinking of Unfallen Second Children as humans is a trap because we all know about humans and human nature, and we apply that unconsciously. But before their Fall, the Second Children were radically different from us, psychologically and physically. We cannot apply our own experience and feelings about human nature to such beings. Anthropomorphizing them is a mistake.

Anything that wouldn't work on Elves is almost 100% certain to fail against other unfallen Children of Illuvatar. The Second Children were somewhat more influenceable through bodily desires (food, clothing, comfort, sex) but also could talk to God and had not experienced death, disease, or old age in any form.


It's like thinking of real-world Australopithecus as humans. Sure, they were our ancestors, but they didn't look or act or think much like we do.
So there is a physiological change that happens to Men when they fall in Tolkien?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Yes. Before they were like Numenoreans, but more so, more like Elves. Completely immune to disease and probably mental illness, very strong and healthy. Their lifespans were unknown but would have been at least a few centuries, with no aging or even weariness, and they would have voluntarily gone somewhere after a while, taking their bodies with them. They did have bodies that influenced their minds more than Elves' bodies influence their minds, but much less than now, meaning they were less suceptible than us to bodily fear (pain, death, torture, hunger, thirst, and other threats) and desires (food, sex, comfort, lust, gluttony, greed). The commentary on the Tale of Adanel describes a disastrous and almost instantaneous physical transformation when the Second Children bowed down and called Morgoth their Lord -- they became weak and sickly and started getting diseases and dying.

(Tolkien when back and forth about death, though. Sometimes he said that unfallen Men would not have been subject to death in any form, although he doesn't say how they would have been different from Elves in that case.)

They also shared the unfallen psychology and spiritual grace that Elves still have: the instinct to goodness and faith, and lack of temptation to sin. Elves don't normally experience any temptation unless somebody evil is speaking to them directly*. Fallen Men literally have Morgoth whispering in their minds, telepathically, maybe constantly, while Elves have Eru whispering in their minds instead (although they don't know it's Eru). Mortals, technically, still have Eru whispering to them, but they notice very rarely. This is why humans are inclined to do and think evil, and very frequently behave little better than Orcs, while Elves with very few exceptions don't become evil. It's why, for example, we see humans waging war and raping each other all the time, while the three Kinslayings were flukes among Elves and Eol the only rapist.

*But in all cases Elves have been tempted by someone who they were willing to listen to, not by someone who they were running away from in terror.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Interesting! So Beor may even have been the child of one of these early "unfallen men" without more generations in between..
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Unfallen Man in the book of Genesis is given this description:
Genesis 2:8-9, 15-25
'Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ...
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat , for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky , and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said,"This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.'​

Obviously, a good deal of ink has been spilled over the years discussing what this means, but to give a very, very brief synopsis....

Unfallen Man was in communion with God and with each other. This means that there was a trust and openness inherent in their interactions, and that they willed the good of each other. Adam recognizes that he is different from all the animals, but that Eve is 'bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh'. Not only that, but their home is a garden where good things grow, and they are the caretakers, suggesting a harmony with nature and their environment that is destroyed in the Fall. Also, there is no shame, because they are guiltless...they have nothing to hide from one another, and nothing to fear in being fully known by each other. They walk and talk with God in the garden, and again have no reason to fear Him.

That all changes after the arrival of the serpent.... The consequences of the Fall of Man in the book of Genesis are as follows:

Genesis 3:16
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

Genesis 3:17-19
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”​

The consequences here are stark and concrete, but also very much symbolic. The temptation of reaching for forbidden knowledge resulted in a loss of innocence, and a loss of that communion with God, each other, and their environment. No longer do they live in a garden with happy little trees - now they have to fight the earth to get their food, and it's hard work with little reward.

Sex...well, there are multiple opinions about sex related to the Fall. Some theologians hold that Adam and Eve were innocent like children before the Fall, and thus there was no sex. Others hold that they were spouses who enjoyed sex prior to the Fall, but it was part of that perfect communion they enjoyed with one another - lacking any of the confusion or power dynamics or 'battle of the sexes' or lust that you would find as a matter of course in a fallen world. Certainly, the consequences of the Fall introduce lust and a tendency of people to use one another. No longer can one just trust that another has your best interest at heart, and no longer do you 'will the good of another' as a matter of course, but (naturally) seek your own benefit or pleasure in relationships. There is shame in actions that are not based on love and trust and fidelity. All terribly depressing (and in serious need of redemption, but that's *another* story).

And of course there is the consequence of mortality - death. If only Adam and Eve hadn't fallen, we would not be subject to death! That's...kinda a big deal, and changes everything.

The common denominator in all of these consequences is that there is suffering, and that each human is now cut off, no longer part of a perfect communion where they are in harmony with each other and God and their environment, but at odds with all of these things. After the Fall, each human is isolated and alone in a way that Unfallen Man never experienced. They try to hide from God; they cover themselves. And that does not deal with their shame.


How much of that did Tolkien want to mimic in his Fall of Man in Middle Earth? Probably some core parts of this are meant to be the same; he was writing as someone who believed these truths. And yet...not all of it would be the same. It's like saying that someone who believes in the Trinity and angels can accept that Iluvatar and the Valar are similar representations of these things. There's a certain parallel that's clear, but it's not exactly the same.

One major difference is that in Tolkien's world, death is the Gift of Ilúvatar to Men. Death is *not* a consequence of the Fall, but was always meant to be available to Men - they can leave the Circles of the World and are not bound by fate the way everything else is. Now, the fear of death is certainly a consequence of the Fall, and it's possible that this 'gift of Men' is all an elvish perspective and not how Men would see it at all. Certainly, in the Athrabeth, it comes out that Men do not think they were always mortal, and Finrod is both impressed and terrified by the idea that whatever happened to them could have changed their nature so drastically. He also...doesn't really believe that. Again...elvish perspective. Who is right? And does it matter for our purposes? It probably won't really matter until we get to the fates of the Half-elven. The idea that Mandos can't deny the Gift of Ilúvatar to the children of elf-mortal unions only works as described if you understand that it was meant as a gift, not a curse. And then of course it will be very important in understanding the Fall of Numenor (but we can probably get away with explaining that in a myriad of different ways, not necessarily relying on this).

So...if the consequence of the Fall isn't about death and mortality, what is it about? I think that it's natural to focus on mortality (and in a world populated with immortal elves, the mortals stand out starkly). So we have to focus on the other consequences of the Fall - of being cut off from Ilúvatar, cut off from each other, cut off from nature. Fallen Man (in Tolkien's world) has to have lost something and been fundamentally changed by his encounter with Morgoth. That loss of communion/understanding/connection to the world is clear in how much more difficult it is for Men to engage in elvish magic or art. For the elves, it's quite natural, a talent or practice. But for Men...it is not.

How would we show that? We aren't going to show Unfallen Man, beyond brief glimpses. And so we are left with the contrast between Fallen Men (who are like us)...and Elves.


'The Naked and the Nude,' a poem by Robert Graves (contemporary of Tolkien and fellow WWI soldier) gets at the difference between Fallen and Unfallen views of nakedness, shame, and communion.
https://allpoetry.com/The-Naked-And-The-Nude
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
@Faelivrin

I have reread the letters you did mention and i can't follow your point here. Jrrt seems indeed to support the point of Finrod that Andreths ideas that men once were immortal and Melkor was abke to corrupt l7fe itself are indeed WRONG and men have always been subject to death and have never been like elves. I cannot follow your ideas of the "unfallen man" here.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Think of the death of Aragorn as being a representation of how Unfallen Man would experience death. He has a long life, and he chooses the moment of his death by letting go of life willingly. There is little fear, but mostly peace and acceptance and hope.

That...is not how things typically go.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
That i could understand if "unfallen" men were more like Numenoreans at their peak, but that is not what Faelivrin described!
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I have... problems with this whole thing. I can't make it compute in a way that I can formulate even a rough narrative of what could happen in a remotely convincing way. Not saying it can't be done, just that I can't manage it myself. Immortal (until they joyfully decide the time is right to move on to the godly realm) super-men in constant direct communion with God, corrupted somehow by even a Morgoth NOT locked into Tyrant form, is just too much for me. You wanna quibble about Elves finding about the Helcaraxe? How about the first super-man meeting Morgoth *while in direct communion with God*! ?

Morgoth: "Hey, I'm so handsome. Why don't you listen to my words!"
Super-man: "Maybe I..."
God (interrupting): "Hey Morgoth, how's it going?"
Morgoth (sheepish): "Ummm fine. Hey, what's that over there?" [Smoke cloud in cartoon outline of where Morgoth was standing]


I can make it work in my mind if everything is there *except* the constant direct communion with God, or even if the communion is a VERY dialed back thing that is all just feelings and nothing concrete. If they are on their own, then there is all sorts of room for Morgoth to get in.

Morgoth (at the moving-on ceremony for a super-man who has just passed on to the godly realm): "So what's the deal with that? He's gone forever now, hey?"
Super-man: "No, he's with God now."
Morgoth: "How do you know that?"
Super-man: "Our tradition says that God himself told us so."
Morgoth: "Anyone ever see it and come back? No? So it could all just be made up hooey then, no?"
Super-man 1 (a faithful one): "No, I know it in my heart to be so!"
Super-man 2 (a less faithful one): "Hey, you know, maybe you're right. All we have is a story to tell us that's what happens. Maybe we are gone forever once we die. How do we really know any different?"
God: "[nothing at any point, other than that nudge in the heart of Super-man 1]"
 
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