Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War

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Bal
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Bal » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:45 pm

Right, but "outside" doesn't really mean shit. Outside middle earth? That's space. Outside space? That's Illuvitar's realm, and I'm sure he could sing up some bug spray. As you say though, it's just not explained. Ungoliant is in all of ten pages of the Silmarillion, but people have been obsessing over her for decades because she makes such an impression before waddling off in to the darkened east and apparently spawning a hideous brood a demon spiders.


RE: Hanging out with Shelob. I mean, I don't buy for a second that Shelob would do anything but eat Talion after drinking his terror for awhile, but supposing she didn't I don't have any idea what sort of aide she could provide. She lives in Cirith Ungol since the before time, and she eats people. I don't know what kind of wisdom a creature practically MADE of malevolent intent could possibly offer.

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Brentai
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Brentai » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:48 pm

Nobody's even mentioning that her apparent role is to give Tirion psychic visions or someshit.

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Grath
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Grath » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:05 pm

I thought Tyrion was a Game of Thrones character, not LotR?

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Friday
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Friday » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:08 pm

It's not without precedent that Shelob would work together with someone for her own gain. (Gollum.)

But she doesn't care about Rings of Power, or politics, or wraiths, or anything other than eating people. Her deal with Gollum was literally "bring me something to eat that's not an orc because I've been eating orcs for so long that I am sick of them and also they taste terrible regardless, and then you can have whatever fucking weird trinket that allows you to turn invisible, I don't care."

So in addition to turning into a sexy lady being dumb, if her deal with Talion doesn't turn out to be "bring me a lot of your friends so I can eat them", that's also going to be dumb and contrary to her established character.

I'm a gigantic Tolkien nerd so I will continue to talk about this forever no matter how trivial it gets
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beatbandito
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby beatbandito » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:50 pm

The first game was all about befriending and betraying orcs, so maybe this is the rogue one equivalent backstory for gollum's deal with her.

"I'm hungry, bring me orcs, tirion"
*time passes*
"I'm fuckin sick of these orcs, bring me halflings, little weird white dude."
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Mongrel » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 pm

Bal wrote:Right, but "outside" doesn't really mean shit. Outside middle earth? That's space. Outside space? That's Illuvitar's realm, and I'm sure he could sing up some bug spray. As you say though, it's just not explained. Ungoliant is in all of ten pages of the Silmarillion, but people have been obsessing over her for decades because she makes such an impression before waddling off in to the darkened east and apparently spawning a hideous brood a demon spiders.


RE: Hanging out with Shelob. I mean, I don't buy for a second that Shelob would do anything but eat Talion after drinking his terror for awhile, but supposing she didn't I don't have any idea what sort of aide she could provide. She lives in Cirith Ungol since the before time, and she eats people. I don't know what kind of wisdom a creature practically MADE of malevolent intent could possibly offer.

It's implied in several texts, though not made explicit, that the void is not completely empty, that... things can come from there.

In all likelihood Tolkien himself hadn't decided if his weird exceptions like Ungoliant or Bombadil came from outside the world, or were somehow a side effect of its creation, like knots in a piece of wood or something. Which doesn't stop this fan or that fan from stating that whatever they think is authoritative is correct.
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Mongrel » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:58 pm

Friday wrote:I'm a gigantic Tolkien nerd so I will continue to talk about this forever no matter how trivial it gets


Have I got something for you then. Since we're Tolkien-nerding it up, here's Jack's theory that Feanor = Sauron.

I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's a pretty cool idea and and points out some interesting connections. (Sorry, we have no collapse text function).

Jack wrote:Wall of Text:

There are a bunch of indicators and stuff that support this so I might not remember all of it off the top of my head.

Basic premises people might not be familiar with (I am assuming you guys are but just in general):

1) The Middle-Earth mythos is written, nominally, entirely as in-universe history. Like the Forward to Fellowship that everyone skips actually goes into great detail about the textual history of the book, which is basically something like: Frodo worked on it, then Pippin finished it after Frodo went away, copies got made and passed around the Shire, different Hobbit authors added to and annotated versions of it; eventually, like a hundred years after Pippin died (he eventually became the Took of course and lived a pretty long time afterwards, so this is like getting in the realm of ~200 years after the events in LotR) scholars in Gondor asked for a copy to study, copy, and make annotations and revisions to, which they then sent back, of which the remnant copy from which Tolkien translated the actual text of the Lord of the Rings is based. So basically the text has gone through a bunch of different authors with various biases and propagandistic goals, so y'know, read it as such. The Silmarillion was printed after J.R.R. Tolkien's death and was the closest to a complete book that he had lying around, but he had intended to make extensive and partially unknown revisions to it so we don't really know what's reliable in it. Christopher Tolkien didn't put much framing into it, although J.R.R. had actually had earlier drafts where it was based on the idea that an Irish monk accidentally sailed into one of the far islands of the Undying Lands in the 12th century, wrote down what he learned on his return, and that Tolkien translated that copy etc.. Anyway the point is everything is actually diagetic, these are not actually third person omniscient narrator works.

2) He only gets a few mentions in Lord of the Rings, and a couple more in the Appendices, but Feanor is actually one of the most important figures in the Lord of the Rings mythos. He's basically officially the greatest mortal to ever live. Feanor was the first son of Finwe, the kind of the Noldor, the Deep Elves. The Noldor are based on the dark elves of Scandinavian mythology. There's been a lot of study and debate about this, both in relation to Tolkien but also in studying said Scandinavian myths themselves. It's not really clear what the difference in said mythology is between dark elves and dwarves, and some people think they were basically the same thing. Tolkien had them be different things though, but they certainly have a lot of similarities. The Noldor are tall, the tallest race of elves actually (although on average humans are still taller- humans are actually the big dumb giant race in the Lord of the Rings, and of course are much bulkier than the Noldor,) and they're elves so they're described as fair and pretty, which the dwarves are not, but otherwise they're very similar, they both preferred to live underground and in dark places, loved crafting, metalwork, stone masonry. Basically anything that's very important or magical and built out of physical substance in Middle Earth was either made by the Noldor or the Dwarves. The dwarves were generally better at stonework and forging armor, while the Noldor made the best weapons and jewelry. But this is a generalization. Also, contrary to the later stereotype, the Noldor and Dwarves got along great, it was the Sindar that had problems with the Dwarves. Anyway! This is to explain the next bit which is that Feanor was, besides being basically good at everything apparently except not being a short-tempered dick, was also the greatest craftsman and smith who ever lived. He created the Palantirs and the Simarils, and while he didn't invent rune-letters, he did perfect the script that was still widely used afterwards, Tengwar (basically what you think of as "Elvish script" that shows up in the movies etc, if someone has an "Elvish" tattoo it's written in Tengwar.)

Feanor was instrumental to the events of the First Age. The Simarils he created from the light of the two Trees, encased in imperishable crystal whose making he kept secret and that none have ever been able to replicate. They were the greatest jewels ever made, and like most Tolkien things magical it's not clear what they actually did (probably fight off Entropy or the diminishing of the First/Second Music, which is most of what the most powerful items in the mythos actually do.) But everyone wanted them. Kind of even the Valar, and definitely 100% the Valar after Melkor and Ungoliant, as aforementioned, raided Valinor and Ungoliant devoured the light of the two Trees, killing them.

The Valar debated and some asked- and some demanded- that Feanor turn over the Simarils and crack them open so that their contained light could revive the Trees. There were a lot of tense and then hostile words and Feanor ultimately told them to fuck off and stormed outties. It turns out that this was all pointless though since while they were debating, Melkor snuck out of the Feasting Grounds to go kill Finwe and steal the Simarils that Feanor had left behind with his dad. Feanor then says okay fuck this guy and, now king of the Noldor himself, rallies his people to march on Melkor and get the Simarils back. A bunch of bad shit goes down and they end up killing their cousins for boats and Feanor thinks his oldest brother is trying to steal his crown so he betrays him and there's lots of fighting etc., and then the Noldor-in-exile spend the next five hundred years fighting Melkor, ultimately unsuccessfully, until eventually the rest of the Valar finally get off their lazy asses and go fight Melkor/Morgoth and throw him down and that's the main events of the Simarillion.

So Feanor dies, according to the main narrative in the Simarillion, really early in this cycle though. In the first Battle actually, the Battle Under the Stars, when his forces arrive and are doing really well actually, so well that he leads a force way ahead and gets surrounded and taken down by a pile of balrogs. That's like. You know that incredibly powerful dangerous monster in Fellowship? Yeah he gets dogpiled by like a bunch of them, that's actually the text.

Fun fact: It's called the Battle Under the Stars because the Sun and Moon hadn't been created yet, the elven creation myth is that the Sun and Moon were created from the little bit of life that Yavanna, the Valar of Life, was able to pull out and that Varda, Valar of Light, turned into the Sun and Moon. But; Tolkien is very explicit in the LotR Appendices that Middle-Earth is Earth, on a natural Solar/Lunar calendar, with geological ages, and that the events do not take place very long ago in geological terms, so again, see: This stuff is not omniscient third person narration, but largely ancient history and myth blending together, as peoples' myths and histories do.

So that's the basic outline of textual-Feanor anyway for anyone who is unfamiliar and can't be arsed to read the Simarillion, which, understandable. Now, the text can be interpreted lots of different ways, and what Tolkien intended is not definitive per se, nor meant to be, by the structure of the story, as I mentioned re: Tom Bombadil. I do not think that Tolkien imagined Tom Bombadil as hostile, although it's reasonable to interpret him that way.

I think that there is a pretty good chance that he actually intended Sauron to be Feanor though because there's a lot of points in the story that indicate that something more is going on here.

Okay quick aside here on the major gods of the mythos, as described in the Simarillion:

Manwe- King of the Valar, God of the Wind and Sky
Ulmo- God of Water
Aule- God of the Earth and Forge
Mandos- God of Death and Fate
Varda- Queen of the Valar and Goddess of Light and Stars
Yavanna- Goddess of Life, creator of all things that grow, also wife of Aule
Nienna- Goddess of Sorrow and Mercy
Melkor- Greatest of the Valar, Associated with Fire, Ice, and Forging, the Big Bad

There are some others but they don't matter very much. Well there's Orome who's basically the Hunter-god and very much based on Herne the Hunter and goes around hunting monsters. The earliest versions of the mythos only had Manwe, Ulmo, Aule, Varda, Yavanna, Nienna and Melkor iirc., I think Nienna also fulfilled the role of Mandos in those versions which honestly is probably better. Like I swear the other four female Valar are completely useless and basically just, "The wife of some actual god." I mean I guess Vana is the goddess of spring? But that role is already basically filled by Yavanna anyway, so she should just be one of Yavanna's servants.

Anyway. So basically Aule and Melkor are both gods of fire and the forge and being underground. Aule takes his chosen servants (the Noldor) underground to train and teach them and mold them after his image. Melkor is described as taking the Avari to Angband and turning them into goblins. Melkor defies Eru-Iluvator (according to this clearly pro-Manwe text anyway) and wants to create life of his own according to his own design. Aule defies Eru-Iluvator to create the Dwarves (according to this clearly anti-Dwarf text anyway) as life of his own design.

What I am saying is that it is easier to assume that Aule and Melkor/Morgoth are just the same figure since they are extremely redundant otherwise. It also explains why the overwhelming majority of Melkor's forces are servants of Aule, including all of the balrogs and Sauron, and then the ensuing conflict is best understood as some kind of Civil War.

There's also the problem of what exactly are the goblins, to which I think the easiest answer is "idk probably just elves." Man I could go into an entire long-ass aside on that topic alone so will skip forward to get back to Feanor.

Anyway, so Feanor. What the fuck happened to Feanor? I mean he was killed by some Balrogs. Supposedly. But it's really fucking suspicious how it's described:

"Then he died, but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was born away like smoke; and his likeness has never again appeared in Arda, nor has his spirit left the halls of Mandos." It even says somewhere I'm forgetting right now that he's set aside from his kin there.

It's worth noting here that Elves don't die like humans, whose spirit departs the Earth entirely, the "Gift of Death." Elves, like most other beings, dwell in spirit form and can even reincarnate in some circumstances. The details are left a little vague, but the Halls of Mandos in Valinor are visitable and basically elves can generally communicate with their dead kin, except that Feanor apparently can't or hasn't.

So basically we have no body and no ghost, which are super suspicious. It's worth noting that Feanor was not actually even his birth name, but a nickname from his mother, which means "Spirit of Fire."

What of Sauron? Sauron in turn is suspiciously absent from all of the early ages of the world for Morgoth's right-hand-man. He makes no appearance in any of the conflicts or text prior to the War of the Jewels; he is mentioned briefly as one of Morgoth's lieutenants but achieves nothing of note and performs no function until the fifth century of the First Age, when he takes command of Tol-in-Gaurhoth after the Battle of Sudden flame. Here, in the Lay of Luthien, is his first actual appearance.

Most notably he does not get involved in the battle against Ungoliant, where Melkor is captured in her webs and the balrogs under Gothmog save him. This also brings up another weird question: Why the hell isn't Sauron just a balrog? I mean a balrog is just a corrupted maiar that used to serve Aule and now serves Morgoth, in the text. So. That literally describes Sauron. But he's not one. Gothmog is named as the leader of the balrogs, but has no command over Sauron and seems to be beneath him in the hierarchy. So what gives? It's almost like Sauron is some entirely different kind of being.

Sauron also acts a lot like a Noldorin elf. When Finrod Felagund is captured and reveals himself before Sauron's throne, they battle using the same kind of magic; song-magic. This is not a thing anyone else in Morgoth's forces ever does, song is usually associated as a good guy thing. Moreover, it seems an empathic kind of magic... and that makes it very noteworthy how Finrod is ultimately broken:

He chanted a song of wizardry,
Of piercing, opening, of treachery,
Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
Then sudden Felagund there swaying
sang in answer a song of staying,
Resisting, battling against power,
Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
Of changing and of shifting shape,
Of snares eluded, broken traps,
The prison opening, the chain that snaps,
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
And all the magic and might he brought,
Of Elvenesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
Singing afar in Nargothrond,
The sighing of the sea beyond,
Beyond the western world, on sand,
On sand of pearls in Elvenland.
Then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
In Valinor, the red blood flowing
Beside the sea, where the Noldor slew
The Foamriders, and stealing drew
Their white ships with their white sails
From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn,
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
And Finrod fell before the throne.


This is not the first time that the legacy of the Kinslaying foils the Noldor, but it's important that Sauron sings of it since he ought to have no personal knowledge of it at all, only rumor. But instead he is apparently able to envision and paint a scene of it, as if he were there (which Feanor was.)

Sauron is, as mentioned, the only one of Morgoth's servants who seems able to actually mimic that "changing and of shifting shape" that Finrod talks about, which otherwise is only demonstrated by elves like Luthien and Finrod.

Contrary to whatever this stupid game says, the Rings of Power were not forged by Celebrimbor alone, or even with Sauron, but were created by the Gwaith-i-Mirdain. This was a scholarly order that arose in Eregion, a Noldorin kingdom that arose in the second age. The actual rulership of Eregion is not clear in extant text, which is to say, Tolkien changed his mind a lot. Celebrimbor was probably King at some point, although in some versions Galadriel ruled it but was driven out or willingly left as she became upset and disagreed with the direction they went. Eregion was basically right outside of Moria, and there was close kinship and shared knowledge and study between the two kingdoms, so that personally I would imagine that some of the Dwarves of Moria were involved with the Gwaith-i-Mirdain, if not members. At any rate this was a time of unprecedented magical development and cooperation between the races, and this was where Sauron stepped in, and even in Tolkien's texts he actually had good intentions here. The goal of Sauron and the Gwaith-i-Mirdain was to create a paradise or imitation of Valinor in Middle-Earth, a realm where the decaying of the Music was stopped. This was the main function of the Rings of Power; preservation. But this is not portrayed as Sauron needing to mind-control elves to make the rings for him or anything like that. He displays a kinship and similarity to the great elven smiths, and while Celebrimbor is the main creator of the Three (although Sauron probably helped,) he was the sole creator of the One. So this is another instance where an elven craft comes naturally to him. Sauron simply acts more like an elf than anything else.

There's also a curious thing here, which is the inscription on the One Ring. That whole "One Ring to rule them all" bit. It's written in the Black Speech, which contrary to a common assumption is not what goblins actually spoke. Almost no one actually spoke the Black Speech. It's basically a Mordorin version of Esperanto. Suckups and ambitious climbers spoke the Black Speech because they wanted to impress/please Sauron, because it's a language he made up, but it never actually caught on. So basically, Sauron is a language nerd, as was of course Tolkien, as was Feanor, who was obsessed with it. However, the line is written in Tengwar. Feanorean script. Why? I mean, it was invented well after Morgoth had corrupted his followers and they had left Valinor, so he wouldn't have learned it there. It was used by most elves, but wasn't adopted by Orcs generally. And why use an enemy's script? If he's such a language nerd, why didn't he invent his own writing system too? I think the answer is that he already did, and that's what he was using. Sauron the language nerd was writing in his own invented language using his own invented script.

Another timeline issue is the Palantirs. Feanor is given as the inventor of the Palantirs... but when? This is something mentioned even by Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, but he never uses them in Valinor when they would have been really fucking useful to like, spy approaching enemies, make sure no one was busting into his house to kill his dad and steal his loot, or to communicate between the Noldorin princes who were on opposite sides of the Ocean to make sure no one was betraying anyone else, make sure there's not a swarm of balrogs waiting to ambush you up ahead etc.. And the Noldor never make use of these incredibly useful devices during the entire War of the Jewels. Also, at the annual feast where the Trees were destroyed and which Feanor attended, he went unadorned. So all of his magical gems and jewels, of which there were certainly others, were left behind in the House of Finwe. Melkor took all of them we are told, and fed all but the Simarils to Ungoliant in an attempt to placate her endless hunger. So unless she pooped them out at some point they can't have been made before the Oath of Feanor and the Kinslaying, and for reasons of time (since they were on the march) they can't have been made during the War. So the only thing that really makes sense in the timeline is that the Palantirs were made afterwards. At which point Feanor was supposedly dead.

This is extra-non-canonical, but J.R.R. Tolkien had also written a lot of different drafts and edits to Galadriel's backstory and origin very late in development, near the time he died. He seemed to be establishing some kind of intense hatred and rivalry between Galadriel and Feanor. In one version Galadriel swears and oath to stay in exile until she's defeated Feanor's plans. This is a really odd thing for Tolkien to put in there super late in development when by the already-finished script, Feanor was supposedly dead about five minutes into Galadriel's exile. When does Galadriel actually return to Valinor? After she's helped defeat Sauron for good.

The Feanor-as-Sauron explanation also gives us a neat answer to the question of who's the greatest and most clever smith and crafter in the history of Middle-Earth, since we don't have to debate between Sauron and Feanor. It simplifies matters to just have one legendarily clever smith figure.

There are also some other points I'm forgetting right now I think but that's sufficient for the moment.
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Brentai
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Brentai » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:26 am

I vaguely recall Sauron being named as one of the (many) Maiar who just thought Melkor was a cool guy to hang with but I'm sure I don't read as much Tolkien as this dude.

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Friday
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Friday » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:50 am

It's an interesting take but it reminds me of those youtube vids that go on and on about hidden shit in Mario or whatever in that most of the evidence he's presenting is stuff that's missing.

Generally speaking if you base a theory on a lack of things, I'm going to not believe you. Also, Tolkien obsessively wrote and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote AND REWROTE AND REWROTE all his shit (especially the Silmarillion) so there's also the fact that the person behind everything never really 100% made up his mind about every detail.

For example, the "Orcs came from captured/tortured elves in the very early time right after they woke up" that ended up in the movie as the "canon" explanation for Orcigin was something he -did- write, but later he decided to recant. It fits the whole "the enemy cannot truly create, only corrupt life" and if Morgoth didn't make orcs from elves then where did they come from? (humans and dwarves were not around yet.)

So it's just sort of accepted as where Orcs came from, even though Tolkien wasn't happy with that explanation himself.

Feanor always struck me as just special because he was. He burned away when he died because he was just made of -almost- literal fire, both in it's creation/forging and HOT FIRE TEMPER aspects. It's also important to note that he actually did come close to lending Yavanna the Silmarils so she could use them to revive the trees after Ungoliant ate them (since they contained a glimmer of their light), but just barely chose not to. The fact that it didn't matter anyway since Melkor was stealing them as they talked is mentioned, but it's also mentioned that if Feanor actually had chosen to help, that it would have been an important turning point for him personally. Sadly, he picked the selfish path and went on to be a gigantic fucking piece of shit.

Seriously, Feanor is one of the worst villains in all of the Lore. And it's tragic because he could have not been, had he just made that choice to help Yavanna, which would have colored all his further choices, and also probably have led to the Valar just going to Middle-Earth directly and taking the Silmarils back from Melkor and reviving the trees. But he's such a dickhead that they instead exile him and his people, leading to suffering forever until finally a guy sails to them and is all "please help, we've suffered enough".

All that being said, I'm not like, personally opposed to Feanor = Sauron. It does sort of make sense, but I just question why two separate characters ARE ACTUALLY THE SAME CHARACTER because it serves no real narrative purpose.
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:36 am

There's lots of holes to poke into the theory, and - as you say - I never buy a theory sold on what's missing rather than what's present.

What interested me was the bits of information, like when he talks about Galadriel swearing vengeance against Feanor but not leaving Middle Earth until long after Feanor is supposedly gone. Or that Sauron is the only evil Maiar shown to change shape or sing in an Elvish way (his knowledge of Finrod can be explained by spying or whatever). Or the Palantirs. Or his segregation in the halls of Mandos (but that sort of fits the mythological presentation of Feanor and that early age).

Obviously the real answers to those is that Tolkien simply overlooked them or wasn't thinking about that aspect. Most importantly, having Feanor turn out to be Sauron just feels wrong - it just doesn't quite fit with his thinking.

But the accounts of Tolkien developing a vendetta between Galadriel and Feanor late in his life make me curious if there was going to be a connection of *some* kind between Feanor and Sauron and if so, what would it have been? Perhaps Sauron would have been given a part earlier in the Silmarillion after all. Perhaps he worked with Feanor or something - a partnership, or a bond of brotherhood of shared smithnerdiness before things went to shit, a platonic (no homo) version of the Melian/Thingol pairing. Maybe Sauron would have been torn in his early loyalty - a distant echo of Gollum, even? Who knows? That's all just speculation.
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:02 pm

Brentai wrote:I vaguely recall Sauron being named as one of the (many) Maiar who just thought Melkor was a cool guy to hang with but I'm sure I don't read as much Tolkien as this dude.

Christopher notes that both Sauron and Saruman are Maia of Aule, and that this is certainly intentional.

And whatever Mongrel's friend believes about Silmarillion being an in-universe account, Christopher Tolkien's annotations are certainly not written that way.

Friday wrote:For example, the "Orcs came from captured/tortured elves in the very early time right after they woke up" that ended up in the movie as the "canon" explanation for Orcigin was something he -did- write, but later he decided to recant.


It's in The Silmarillion and it also gets a blink-and-you'll-miss-it one-sentence reference in (I believe) The Two Towers, to the effect that Orcs are corrupted Elves and Trolls are corrupted Ents.

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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:10 pm

Thad wrote:And whatever Mongrel's friend believes about Silmarillion being an in-universe account, Christopher Tolkien's annotations are certainly not written that way.


Well, Tolkien himself presents his published work as such. It's not much of a leap to say that were the Silmarillion to have been properly completed and published during Tolkien's lifetime, it would have received the same treatment, if for no other reason than consistency.

I mean, there are big problems with the "Fearon" thesis, but that's a bit I'm willing to give a pass on.
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Brentai » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:45 pm

The idea that Tolkien doesn't like the "orcs are corrupted elves" angle is from interviews decades afterward where he admits that yeah that's what the Red Book etc. say but he tried to get away from it later on.

Keeping in mind that Tolkien intended from day zero for these kind of myths to function just like any other kind of fairy/goblin myth where the story you're reading is just one telling of a shared oral tradition, not a bible. And then there are the parts where a book's narrator will admit that he's just making up stuff to fill in for parts where nobody really knows what happened, like when Bilbo "somehow" got the ring from Gollum.

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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:58 pm

He trapped himself on that one, really. It's a crucial defining aspect of Melkor that he can't make new life, only corrupt that which already exists. But there's no other source material in Middle Earth for him to use except for already-extant races, which are known.

Elves -> Orcs, and Ents -> Trolls is the only thing that even comes close to working without a substantial and complex revision of the Silmarillion. And as it is, it does work, very neatly, explaining many things and fitting Melkor's character very well; it's a good explanation, it makes sense. So Tolkien snared himself both coming and going.
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Brentai
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Brentai » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:06 pm

Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil came from Wherever, Dwarves just sort of happened when Ea was convinced to make some rock people after the fact, and there are all sorts of crazy intelligent beasts like the eagles that don't fit neatly into the Firstborn/Lastborn scheme of things. The orcs can have all sorts of origins or, you know, none at all.

Too lazy to threadsplit properly right now, sorry.

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Bal
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Re: Game musings and news

Postby Bal » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:07 pm

Trolls are actually described by Treebeard as an imitation. I think they're more like golems than a real race though.

It's heavily implied that Manwe uplifted normal eagles to make the giant intelligent kind.

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TA
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Re: Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War

Postby TA » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:36 am

From what I can tell, we know that Sauron is a Maia of Aule. His name was Mairon. The Feanor theory is neat but it's ... definitely not ever true.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Büge
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Re: Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War

Postby Büge » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:42 pm

While they're at it, they should make Sauron look like this in the next game.

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Mongrel
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Re: Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War

Postby Mongrel » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:43 pm

YES.

Oh man I miss that comic - wish he'd made some more.
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Friday
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Re: Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War

Postby Friday » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:18 pm

I've always sort of been interested in what exactly the "pretty" Melkor and Sauron looked like, before they became unable to shapeshift and were just permanently locked in as what they really were on the inside.

This guy's take it pretty good.
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