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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Did Morgoth create his creatures or corrupt existing ones? (Page 1)
Author Topic: Did Morgoth create his creatures or corrupt existing ones?
Mellon
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I've read many differing views. Did Melkor create his minions or merely corrupt life forms already available?

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


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Annatar
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As far as I know he could only corrupt, not create.

Someone look in Morgoth's Ring and tell me if I am right. I can't; I don't have it with me.

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"And there was Silence in the House of Judgement" - Oscar Wilde
From the play, "Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde"


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Mellon
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This Morgoth's Ring, is it a book unto its own???

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


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Annatar
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Morgoth's Ring is the 12th book (I think) in the HOME series.

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"And there was Silence in the House of Judgement" - Oscar Wilde
From the play, "Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde"


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Tolkien's final thougths on the issue were addressed in HoME 10 and they wre pro-corruption.

Ct himself states these were his final point was that they wer e corruptions of men though he had yet to work out the kinks.


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Annatar
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Definitely Men or is there a possibility that the Elves were involved? And is it true that the Trolls are corrupted Ents?

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"And there was Silence in the House of Judgement" - Oscar Wilde
From the play, "Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde"


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Dingalen
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No, as can be esily deduced from the fact, that ents are treeish and trolls were created from stone (check the Hobbit for that). They were only made in mockery of Ents according to Fangorn (see The Two Towers, LotR for that).
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Mellon
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Annatar - what was you 'definitely men' statement referring to? Orcs were Melkor's answer to men? Check your chronology if so, Orcs were around before men were.

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


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Tuor
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It was originally believed among the wise that orcs were corrupted elves. In his later writings, Tolkien said he wanted orc to come from men, but as Mellon pointed out there are certain contradictions in this scenrio.
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Annatar
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Sorry, I didn't state that quite right. My question was were Orcs corrupted Men as Fingolfin has stated, or were they, in fact, corrupted Elves as I have always believed.

As for the base idea of corruption versus creation, here is a quote from Paul H. Kocher's Master of Middle-earth:


quote:
"'Nothing is Evil in the begining. Even Sauron was not so,' afirms Gandalf at Elrond's council. The opposite view would be Manichaean, accepting the existance of a creative force in evil equal in power to that of good. Tolkien firmly rejects it. When Sauron turns to evil he does so by choice, and is dimminished in consequence. Evil is a diminution. the Ruling Ring cannot give it's wearer 'more life,' merely a longer continuation of the life he already has, but without it's vital zest. Orcs are not original creations be Morgoth. He bred them in the First Age 'in mockery . . . of elves' by genetic experiments with existing creatures, says Treebeard. The creatures used are not specified. Frodo is sure that no act of genuine creation took place: 'The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. I don't think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them . . .'"

This book is pre-Silmarilion, so the materials studdied come directly from the Lord of the Rings. Although the book is not Tolkien's, one can trust Frodo's quote which one would assume falls in line with Tolkien's own beliefs.

------------------
"And there was Silence in the House of Judgement" - Oscar Wilde
From the play, "Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde"


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Tuor
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The problem is that we don't know how much the person actually knows. How would Treebeard know for sure how orcs came into being? The Silmarillion gives the elven explanation with the 'it is said' disclaimer.

As to Tolkien's beliefs on the matter, I believe that over time, his belief on the matter changed. As I said before, the conclusion that he came to was that orcs should be corrupted men.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Tolkien addressesd those specific things Treebeard said and said that the idea of Melkr "creating" conterfiets was not his view and he afirmed tha orcs where curruptiong of somthing pre-existing but he wasn't sure about trolls yet. I will try to get the quote on Saturday but I have very little time tody ]\.
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White Gold Wielder
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A duplicate thread has been created about this.

That thread is being removed and its comments moved here.

Tuor
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posted 10-14-2001 09:48 PM
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How did Morgoth's evil servants come into being?
If Morgoth could not create, then where do trolls, dragons and orcs come from?


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Maglor
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posted 10-15-2001 02:17 AM
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Well as Fingolfin will say, Tolkien's last thought on orcs were that they came from men.
Trolls were said to be made in mockery of Ents by Morgoth. Treebeard said this so it might not be true, seeing he proberly learnt this through rumour and not through his own eyes. Anyway Trolls were proberly made from stone, seeing that they turn to stone when the sun hits them. The sun seems to break a spell on the trolls which turns them to stone. This spell was proberly made by Morgoth when there was no sun and so did not have the sun as a factor in the spell.

Dragons were maybe from snakes seeing that they are referred to as worms and snakes could be referred to as worms. Snakes are also said to be under Morgoth's power and so it could be possible that Morgoth took the snakes and turned them into dragons without changing their allegence to him. Dragon's also seem to have a power in their eyes and snakes have mystical eyes to look at.

I'm only going by what i've read and what i've learnt here at MT so correct me if i'm wrong.


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Fingolfin of the Noldor
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posted 10-15-2001 05:10 AM
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Trolls: http://www.minastirith.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=000111


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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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I found this little gem in Letter 153 concerning Melkor:

quote:
But if they [Valar] 'fell', as the Diabolus Morgoth did, and started making things 'for himself, to be their Lord', these would then 'be', even if Morgoth broke the supreme ban against making other 'rational' creatures like Elves or Men. They would at least 'be' real physical realities in the physical world, however evil they might prove, even 'mocking' the Children of God. They would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad. (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their making – necessary to their actual existence – even Orcs would become part of the World, which is God's and ultimately good.) But whether they could have 'souls' or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do not conceive of the making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them. That God would 'tolerate' that, seems no worse theology than the toleration of the calculated dehumanizing of Men by tyrants that goes on today. There might be other 'makings' all the same which were more like puppets filled (only at a distance) with their maker's mind and will, or ant-like operating under direction of a queen-centre.
It appears, at least in 1954, that Melkor could in fact create life (using the term loosely), but in a more primitive form much like a drone or automaton. What are the implications, if any, of this?

[ 06-28-2004, 03:46 AM: Message edited by: Orofacion of the Vanyar ]

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Dark Lord Andúril
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I find this interesting. It seems Melkor chose the 'Lordship' that Aule rejected in his making of the dwarves. It seems possible that Sauon immitated such lordship, for why did the commanders of his armies lose their focus when his gaze was drawn to Sammath Naur.
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Arindale
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Dina Antolle ulua sulrim Lle rangwa amin? Amin uuma weera Mani ume lle quena?

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Prince Arindale

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Dark Lord Andúril
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Arindale: I am having trouble understanding your elvish, what site did you use for your translation?
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LordElrond
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Morgoth could not create life in the sort of sense that we view it. What could he have corrupted to make dragons? Lizards maybe? But doubtful. They were probably just something spawned out of a pit in Angband. But the Orcs most definately are corrupted Elves. The blood of Man and Orc was never mingled until the creation of the Uruk-hai. Yes, he made trolls out of stone, as was said before. However, all the creatures he made seemed to have some sort of connection to him, as they all went crazy when he died. Perhaps his magic sustained part of their life, and without it they lost sanity?
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Dark Lord Andúril
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Lord Elrond, here are a few origins threads, which may interest you:

Dragons
Trolls
Orks

Andúril

[ 07-01-2004, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: Dark Lord Andúril ]

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Pelranius
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Perhaps Tolkein meant creating as making something wholly new, yet though Morgoth could 'create' life to some degree, he could only copy what was already in existence. Plagarize and corrupt.

Imagination is an aspect of good, so Morgoth was not imaginative to create something wholly different, but merely took a pre existing concept and changed it to suit his flawed preception.

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Arnkell
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"What could he have corrupted to make dragons?"

In the LOTR appendices or if it is HoME, the Nazgûl steeds (winged beasts) are explained as being natural inhabitants of Arda, having lived in mountain passes, building nests and nurturing their young, in the days of old, IIRC.

I think it's the same with the dragons, they were unique and very rare but still indigenous predators, tamed and conditioned by Morgoth.

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Arnkell
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As for dragon psychology/mentality, it is clear from the collected information on Glaurung and Smaug (UT specifically) that dragons are highly intelligent, sublte and single-minded, not as much slaves or minions as allies to the dark side, choosing to side with the Dark Lord mostly because it agrees with their personal agenda (sadism/egotism), something they prioritize highly.
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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quote:
Imagination is an aspect of good, so Morgoth was not imaginative to create something wholly different,
I am curious where you derived this notion Pelranius, that imagination was confined to "good" beings as well as Morgoth not being imaginative.

quote:
Perhaps Tolkein meant creating as making something wholly new, yet though Morgoth could 'create' life to some degree, he could only copy what was already in existence. Plagarize and corrupt.
Depends on what your interpretation of life is. Ants are alive aren't they?

quote:
but merely took a pre existing concept and changed it to suit his flawed preception.
I'd agree with you when it came to a "working" servant such as orcs. He indeed perverted conscious beings but he had the power to create things himself, be they puppets or automatons. This would indicate "imagination."

quote:
As for dragon psychology/mentality, it is clear from the collected information on Glaurung and Smaug (UT specifically) that dragons are highly intelligent, sublte and single-minded, not as much slaves or minions as allies to the dark side, choosing to side with the Dark Lord mostly because it agrees with their personal agenda (sadism/egotism), something they prioritize highly.
Of which "Dark Lord" are you referring to Arnkell? Your statement might hold merit perhaps with Sauron but the dragons were bred by Morgoth and so would serve him willingly as in the case of the Balrogs and orcs, and their choice in the matter I don't think existed.

[ 07-09-2004, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Orofacion of the Vanyar ]

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Pelranius
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Orofacion:

By imagination, I mean to be able to create something wholly new and different, completely unique from all preexisting precepts. Morgoth was not exactly the height of creative genius, his was merely a low cunning that was able to twist what others had created.

As for creating life, I don't think Morgoth would have been able to pull out an entirely sentient creature of his own devising, in other words he couldn't input sentience per se into mere beasts (hence why I think the dragons were corrupted Maiar of some form) I haven't seen any evidence of the trolls showing any selfawareness, and the orcs are obviously parodies of Men or Elves.

Imagination is vital to creating something of originality.

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Arnkell
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Orofacion:
quote:
"but the dragons were bred by Morgoth and so would serve him willingly as in the case of the Balrogs and orcs, and their choice in the matter I don't think existed."
Bred doesn't mean invent, so it stands to reason that he hunted them down in the years of the lamps or so, started working on them and increasing their powers but also wickedness, and could later control a relatively large part of the total poulation of dragons in ME.

But remember that there were colddrakes and wereworms that caused problems in the history of ME that weren't necessarily sent out from either Morgoth or Sauron, predominantly in the Second Age.

What I meant about the individuality and mental strength of dragons is for example that Smaug had clearly egotistical thoughts and wishes about the Lonely Mountain, and didn't show any clear signs of submission or fealty towards Sauron (who of course didn't exist yet in the story, but still), and then there was Glaurung's rash and independent battle-initiative in the war of the First Age 265, coupled with his deeds and actions at Nargothrond and towards Túrin and Nienor, who although certainly endorsed by Morgoth wasn't planned or led by him.

So I stand behind the sentiment that the dragons, although many certainly were among the "thrall" of Morgoth, had very pronounced character and resolve, coupled with a partiality to anarchy, ambition and egotistic wickedness. They weren't, however, mindless drones parrotting words and chants from their masters, like orcs, or mind-controlled and kept in check to the same extent as the balrogs, for instance those who came to their master's aid against Ungoliant as if it was programmed into their spine.

In short, the dragons are the coolest of the big guns on the evil side. I wish Tolkien could've written at least half as much about Ancalagon as he did about Glaurung.
Black, giant flying drakes are more menacing than fat, belly-dragging yellow ones.
For all the cheesiness and hamfistedness of the movie "Reign of Fire", the scene with the gigantic black Daddy-Drake in the end of the movie, stretching out its wings and swinging around for another pass, boring down towards Matthew McConaughey like a bloody 747, that was respect. []

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