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The history of Middle-Earth (chibi version): Part 9: War! What is it good for?

18th February 2013 (12:12)

I'm actually managing to keep to a regular posting schedule for these, and I did a couple more yesterday so I've some in the bank for the foreseeable future. Wonders never cease.

On the 'Buffy' reviews front, I didn't get into town for a long time recently (still convalescing) but I have finally got to the comics shop and acquired about a month's supply of Season 9 comics, so hopefully there'll be reviews of them at some point.

In this episode - how do you fight a war when everybody's immortal?

Word List: Eru = God (literally, "The One")

Part 9: War! What is it good for?

Next time: Part 10: Victory in Arda

Chibis by tektek.org
Original story by and copyright to J R R Tolkien, ed. C Tolkien: Primarily based on the Silmarillion, but incorporating ideas from the 12-volume History of Middle Earth series. Apologies to any Australians reading this! The "Elf" and "Human" chibis are ones I designed for Beren and Lúthien, so you'll see them again later.
Questions and comments welcome!


Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 18th February 2013 12:25 (UTC)

I love how Melkor is throwing shade as he just stands by all these retellings of destruction. He's like "yeah what of it?" And meanwhile everyone else is whining about him creating bugs and vermin to pollinate the earth and devour waste and feed the birds tuppence a bag and be part of the life cycle because they're SO GROSS.

Edited at 2013-02-18 12:26 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 18th February 2013 12:58 (UTC)

I like to think that Melkor is actually touching his magic mace against the mountain to make it go 'Fwoom!', and so forth. (And this of course has nothing to do with the fact that due to my lack of artistic skill for stylistic reasons I'm just using the same chibis in every scene.)

But yes, the Valar do kind of subscribe to the theory that "It's evil because it's icky!". :) (Though I should point out that Melkor is still maliciously damaging their stuff without asking, even if sometimes his "improvements" are actually justified.)

Edited at 2013-02-18 12:58 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 18th February 2013 13:02 (UTC)
Avengers - Thor

I'm just enjoying the dynamic and how it undercuts the good in the Good side, whereas Tolkien seemed pretty straightforward in reaffirming those attitudes. ;-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 18th February 2013 14:04 (UTC)

To be fair to Tolkien, I think his work does usually present quite a nuanced view of good and evil - but because he's writing in the high fantasy genre of Dark Lords of Evil versus Heroic Champion of Good, it's easy to miss, or to over-simplify.

Even so, Tolkien makes quite clear in his work that Melkor started out with good intentions, and only gradually became corrupted. He was proud of his own skill and creativity; but that made him arrogant, and he started to feel contemptuous of the work of other people, and then angry at them. He started out making "improvements" to other people's work (without asking them), and only gradually slid into just malicious destructiveness for its own sake. Compare Willow in S6, if you like. :)

Even so, it was part of Tolkien's world-view that everybody - even the Devil himself (which is basically who Melkor is) - is capable of forgiveness and redemption... but only if he wants it, and is willing to ask for forgiveness. At the risk of spoilers, you'll see that Satan-Melkor is probably going to be too proud to ask God for redemption...

By the same token, Tolkien was quite happy to acknowledge that the "Good" guys make mistakes and fall into evil, or at least neglectfulness, as well. As he would probably phrase it, none of us is without sin.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 8th May 2018 01:02 (UTC)

I guess the Valar made lemonade out of lemons and made them be beneficial as well as icky? All part of Iluvatar's grand plan probably maybe.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th May 2018 16:00 (UTC)

It was definitely part of Eru's grand plan.

"Nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined".

The Valar, on the other hand, were neither omnipotent nor omniscient, so they didn't necessarily know how to change something evil into something good. They just had to trust that Eru would make it all turn out right in the end. (Which is pretty much what Tolkien, as a Catholic, had to do with his God in this world.)

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