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Thread: How powerful was Melkor?

  1. #21

    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    You're dead right, I have no idea where I imagined the rest of that. Darned old age.

    It can be argued that, in the context of Tolkien's literature, wisdom is always the greatest asset a being can have. The Wisest do succeed, in the end, and even what harm is done by evil turns to the good, as was shown at the beggining by Eru Illuvatar.

    The Raising of the Shire at the end of ROTK was the last demonstration of that concept. Although great harm was done, the hobbits came together, became more aware of and integrated into middle Earth, and the Fellowship Hobbits grew in stature and respect as a result.
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  2. #22
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuada View Post
    Olórin was supposed to be greatest of the Istari, but he was a humble character. Saruman was the first to arrive on Middle-Earth.
    With regards to Saruman - not exactly. He was paired with Radagast in order to try and keep him humble. Obviously that didn't work out too well. iirc, the other two wizards were also paired together, although we don't know anything about them. Of the five, only Gandalf was sent without a partner.

  3. #23

    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    And Saruman was the first to arrive when it was decided to send a specific group of Maiar as counsel to the peoples of middle earth.

    Maiar had lived there and journeyed there beforehand.
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  4. #24
    Chapter Master Nuada's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eumerin View Post
    With regards to Saruman - not exactly. He was paired with Radagast in order to try and keep him humble. Obviously that didn't work out too well. iirc, the other two wizards were also paired together, although we don't know anything about them. Of the five, only Gandalf was sent without a partner.
    Curumo (Saruman) was the first to arrive on Middle-earth, Olórin (Gandalf) was the last.

    There was a council of the Valar, called by Manwë. At which it was resolved to send out three emissaries to Middle-earth. Only two came forward; Curumo, chosen by Aulë, and Alatar, chosen by Oromë.
    Manwë then asked if Olórin would go as the third. Olórin replied that he thought he was too weak for the task, and he feared Sauron. Manwë said that that was all the more reason why he should go.
    The reason Curumo takes Aiwendil (Radagast) is because Yavanna begged him. Yavanna is the wife of Aulë. Saruman didn't like Radagast
    Alatar took Pallando as a friend (also to Oromë)

    We know a little bit about the two blue wizards. We know they weren't known by name in the West of Middle-earth, but they are named by JRR Tolkien. They both passed into the East with Saruman, but they never returned, and whether they remained in the East, pursuing the purpose for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not known.
    Last edited by Nuada; 06-12-2009 at 21:21.

  5. #25
    Chapter Master Brandir's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    The two blue wizards did indeed go to the East with Saruman. When I first read this I formed the impression that Saruman disposed of them, showing his evil had started from an very early stage. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any evidence of this - I may have just made it up!

    In Letters I did find the following:

    'Question 3': What were the colours of the two wizards mentioned but not named in the book?
    I really do not know anything clearly about the other two – since they do not concern the history of the N.W. I think they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Númenórean range: missionaries to 'enemy-occupied' lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron.

    Quote taken from Letters of JRR Tolkien Letter 211 To Rhona Beare dated 14 Oct 58.

    But I also seem to remember reading that the two Blue Wizards succeeded in their task and that the reason the West was not overwhelmed form the East was that the Blue Wizards stopped Sauron's influence spreading too far there.

    Also, in Unfinished Tales there are snippets, one of which is:

    Whereas in the essay on the Istari it is said that the two who passed into the East had no names save Ithryn Luin "the Blue Wizards" (meaning of course that they had no names in the West of Middle-earth), here they are named, as Alatar and Pallando, and are associated with Oromë, though no hint is given of the reason for this relationship. It might be (though this is the merest guess) that Oromë of all Valar had the greatest knowledge of the further parts of Middle-earth, and that the Blue Wizards were destined to journey in those regions and to remain there. Quote taken from Unfinished Tales Chapter Ii The Istari.
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  6. #26
    Chapter Master Nuada's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Something i've always thought strange about Gandalf is.... "was he mistaken for an elf?"

    His name means "the Elf of the Wand", because the Northmen mistook him for an elf. Not many elves have a massive white beard (Cirdan the Telerin elf has a beard)

    Did Gandalf go through a clean-shaven phase?

  7. #27
    Chapter Master Brandir's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Interesting observation Nuada.

    One possible reason:

    Círdan was the public face of the Grey Havens and the one Elf that the Northmen would see. They didn't therefore know any better so thought that Gandalf was an Elf.

    Just a thought!
    'Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works' JRR Tolkien

  8. #28

    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Gandalf, or Olorin at least, also took the form of an elf before he was Gandalf. He would wander among the elves, clad as one of them, giving counsel.
    If I'm wrong Im sure someone will correct me. Hell, even if Im right someone will correct me.
    There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

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  9. #29
    Chapter Master Nuada's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by canucklhead View Post
    Gandalf, or Olorin at least, also took the form of an elf before he was Gandalf. He would wander among the elves, clad as one of them, giving counsel.
    I think that's when Olórin is walking amongst the Elves on Aman though (the Undying Lands) When Olórin is sent to Middle-earth that's the first time he's been there.

    On Aman there's Noldor, Teleri and Vanyar elves

  10. #30
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Sez View Post
    I would have called Eonwe the greatest of the Maiar, after all he led the hosts of Aman against Morgoth's armies in the War of Wrath, and even Sauron acted humbly when he came before him.
    In terms of 'greatness' what is it?

    With maia, Eonwe was the herald and leader of the hosts and no doubt the greatest in terms of generalship and military power.

    In terms of physical greatness it has to be Tulkas, Osse is the singer, in terms of wisdom it is Olorin and so on. But which has the 'greatest' combination of all these attributes (and more) then it is Sauron and for the same reason,with Valar, Melkor.

    One of Tolkiens major themes is that 'greatness' brings low the mighty. Melkor and Sauron both sought a freedom, from the creation as seen by Eru, a freedom to create as they wanted. It is the belief that they were right to assume their path was correct and justified that led them to fall and, ironically, diminish their power as they invested it in their attempt to reshape Arda.

    Melkor was only brought down by the combined might of the Host of the Valar and changed the plan of Eru as soon as he turned away from it. Powerful indeed.

    Or did he turn away? Was it all part of the plan? Did Eru know how it would all turn out and it was some grand experiment of his? That is an entirely different debate found in theological circles. Surely something that Tolkien himself mused upon?

    Bottom line. Melkor was the first of the Valar, the most gifted in craft, the most wide reaching in thought, the strongest of arm but also the most conceited and the most arrogant but without doubt the most powerful.

    Gandalf as elf? Hmmm? Never thought about it? Would make some sense that man would assume he was 'elf-ish' after all you couldn't see his ears under that hat and all that hair.
    Last edited by brightblade; 07-12-2009 at 13:02.
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Problem with asking if Melkor's rebellion was part of the design goes back to the question if the Creator being all-powerful, wouldn't or couldn't control or predict this creation.

    Melkor had great gifts and was given the freedom to utilize them as he pleased - from our perspective, he didn't seem to make wise choices.

  12. #32
    Chapter Master brightblade's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    I completely agree.
    And the 'all powerful question' is probably out of bounds for Warseer!
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  13. #33
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    At least outside the Wastes.

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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
    Problem with asking if Melkor's rebellion was part of the design goes back to the question if the Creator being all-powerful, wouldn't or couldn't control or predict this creation.
    When Melkor first introduced discord into the original music, Iluvatar said that there was nothing Melkor could introduce that did not have its uttermost source within Iluvatar, and that it would only lead to greater wonders and greater glories for Iluvatar than Melkor could imagine. These words shamed Melkor and first began his anger.

    Basically Iluvatar's words stated that even in attempting evil, Melkor's works and ideas would ultimately inspire or cause greater beauty and good to spring forth. An example would be Melkor's ideas of extreme heat and cold, which in turn modified the idea of Water to create things like snow, iceflakes, and rain and weather, not originally encompassed with the creation of Water.

  15. #35

    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Exactly, and in a larger sense, bringing conflict led men and elves to develop concepts of loyalty and steadfastness. They became more, appreciated more, in the face of Melkor's deceits and hatred.
    If I'm wrong Im sure someone will correct me. Hell, even if Im right someone will correct me.
    There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

    Jon 'Brimstone' Wilson... We will remember.

  16. #36
    Chapter Master brightblade's Avatar
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Acts of good have no meaning without something to compare them to. Despair gives hope meaning. And so on.

    So, was Melkor's 'rebellion' outside of Eru's plan? Had Eru's plan run its' course once the Ainur entered Arda and from then Eru was just seeing what happened? What impact does all this have on free will?

    Tune in next week for more of 'White Council's Question Time.'
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Quote Originally Posted by brightblade View Post
    So, was Melkor's 'rebellion' outside of Eru's plan? Had Eru's plan run its' course once the Ainur entered Arda and from then Eru was just seeing what happened? What impact does all this have on free will?
    The first question comes down then to the longstanding question of where Evil comes from if God is supposed to be benevolent yet also the source of everything. Tolkien seems to have subscribed to the Augustinian view that Evil is not a tangible force but rather the lack of good, just as "cold" is the lack of heat.

    Eru's plan doesn't seem to have run anywhere near its course since it supposedly runs til the end of Time, though it seems to have been modified. The Ainur entering the world were enacting what they had already done in the Music. They had already exercised their free will in embellishing the Music with their own creativity, and were bringing their embellishments into separate existence by their actions in the world.

    The Children of Iluvatar were special however in that they were not in the Music and so the Ainur did not know of them beforehand. They also had the gift of free will and could therefore act outside the confines of the Music.

  18. #38
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Melkor was a Valar... Almost on par with Manwe in terms of his power... Melkor was rediculously powerful... That is all for now :P

  19. #39

    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    Melkor was, in his origin, the most powerful being Eru ever created.

  20. #40
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    Re: How powerful was Melkor?

    He also trotted around the world as a giant glazier-covered volcano with hurricanes and lightning surrounding him, smashing the works of the Valar through eternal ages before the sun.

    You gotta have geological processes even in mythology.

    Of course, Melkor is still vastly inferior to Dwarves. Like everyone else.

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