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StephenT [userpic]

The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 231 - A refusal often offends

27th July 2015 (17:42)

Not that it justifies Fëanor's reaction, but I do think that the Teleri are being unreasonable here. The fact that Tolkien's text compares their possessiveness about their ships to Fëanor's possessiveness about the Silmarils ('the gems of the Noldor') can't be a good thing.

If you remember, it was Ossë and Uinen who taught the Teleri how to make ships (and to make them look like swans).

Part 231: A refusal often offends

Next time: Part 232: Climb Mount Niitaka

Chibis by the now-dead website formerly known as 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: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th July 2015 14:11 (UTC)
Re: "Whose like we shall not make again"

Good points.

I wouldn't be surprised if the ships would last forever, to be honest: Elven craftsmanship, and in the Undying Lands where things don't decay or rot. (Even Míriel's body was preserved 'uncorrupted' after her death - though I note that Tolkien says that this changed after the death of the Two Trees, and the bodies of elves who died in Valinor after that did decay.)

THe idea that some things can only be made once runs all through the Silmarillion. You could make a copy, but you'd alway know that it was only a copy, not the original. (A more practical person would shrug and say, 'What's the difference?' but remember, Tolkien hated the whole idea of mass production and industrialisation.)

I kind of assume that Fëanor was expecting the Teleri to provide crews along with the ships themselves, since I don't think many of the Noldor would know how to sail.

Regarding 'a good price', that's assuming the elves of Aman use money!

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 28th July 2015 15:01 (UTC)
Re: "Whose like we shall not make again"
K Baby pic

Regarding 'a good price', that's assuming the elves of Aman use money!

He could have made them a copy of a Silmaril.... :P

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 28th July 2015 23:24 (UTC)
Re: "Whose like we shall not make again"

I always wondered how far that "no decay" thing went, if Indis cut some flowers and put them in a vase, did they just continue to bloom forever?

The Silmarillion says all kinds of birds and beasts, except those in service of Morgoth were found in Aman. What about things like flies, lichen and other decomposers?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th July 2015 00:26 (UTC)
Re: "Whose like we shall not make again"

I have to say, I found myself wondering about the sewers of Tirion after 3000 (solar) years of settlement, if nothing ever decays... (Eww.)

However, we know that crops go through a cycle of growing and being harvested, since the Valar celebrate a harvest festival every year. Oromë goes hunting, and I can't really see him doing catch-and-release. We know that natural, non-immortal creatures do die there eventually, even if their lifespans are greatly extended.

As such, I think there must be some natural processes of growth and composting and rebirth happening even in Aman. Yavanna would insist. :) But it's probably carefully tailored and managed. Those cut flowers would eventually turn from fresh blooms into lovely scented pot pourri, and stay that way virtually indefinitely, though the Yavannildi would eventually come around and take them for composting.

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