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The history of Middle-Earth (chibi version): Part 67: Crime and punishment

23rd September 2013 (19:29)

Apparently, I'm not the only person amazed I've created 67 of these so far with only two breaks... :)  And yes, Melkor's blindfold is mentioned in canon.


Part 67: Crime and punishment

Next time: Part 67: RSVP

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.
Questions and comments welcome!


Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 24th September 2013 13:44 (UTC)

Regarding Melkor's immortality, I hope you're not taking as canon that silly faux-Ragnarok Dagor Dagorath. Tolkien fiddled with his legendarium a little too much at times.

I'm picturing Melkor's cell in Mandos with 1,095,750 hash marks scratched into the wall.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 24th September 2013 14:36 (UTC)

To get to Dagor Dagorath in chronological order I'd have to first work my way through every single thing Tolkien wrote, including the Hobbit and LotR as well as the Silmarillion. Frankly I think you're pretty safe from that.

I've got no problem with the general idea of a Last Battle at the end of the world. Túrin returning from the dead to kill Melkor is a bit too silly though.

Edited at 2013-09-24 14:37 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 24th September 2013 15:05 (UTC)

As I understand it (maybe incorrectly), the concept of a "Last Battle" in Germanic/Scandinavian mythology was ginned up in the Middle Ages to provide a narrative segue from the old world of pagan mythology to the new Christian world. Which may have suited Tolkien's religious sensibilities, but seems like an obvious tack-on.

I much prefer the premise that all Ainur are immortal and can't be killed at all, except for their physical forms.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 24th September 2013 16:55 (UTC)

I think the problem there is that the pagan Norse didn't write down any of their myths, so the only sources we have for them are Christian ones.

Tolkien definitely had the fixed concept that someday the world would end: nothing material is eternal. The Day of Judgement is right there in the Bible, after all; it's not only a Norse concept.

Of course, he'd also argue that every Ainu and Child of Eru has an immortal soul, which likewise cannot be destroyed. When the world ends, presumably God will take back all the souls into Heaven. Some of his more abstract essays were about what the Elves think will happen to their souls then, since they're tied to the world and never leave it.

Notice how in LotR the deaths of two Maiar (Mairon and Curumo) are described in very similar terms: a giant ghostly form of darkness or mist soars up into the sky above their body, like a great figure looming over the world. But then a great wind comes and blows the figure apart, and it dissolves and vanishes. I always took that wind to be Manwë sending the message, "Nope, unlike Gandalf you two do not get new bodies".

Before he lost the Ring Sauron was probably powerful enough to defy Manwë - at least at a distance, maybe not one-to-one - and form himself a new body anyway. After losing the Ring he was too weak, and so his dissolution is permanent.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 24th September 2013 18:06 (UTC)

I think I remember Lúthien threatening to let Huan kill Sauron's physical form, thus subjecting him to the humiliation of having to go beg Melkor for a new body and admit to having been defeated by a girl and her dog.

That suggests that Sauron was dependent on Melkor for a new body at that time. Seems similar to the way the Nazgûl had to flee back to Sauron for new bodies after they were destroyed at the Fords of Bruinen.

Seems like the creation of new physical bodies is a very difficult task that only the most powerful Valar and Maiar are capable of. Even Gandalf had to return to Aman to get a new one from headquarters. (I picture the Valar equivalent of "Q" grumpily scolding him for losing the one he was given.)

Edited at 2013-09-24 18:06 (UTC)

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