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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Did Morgoth create his creatures or corrupt existing ones? (Page 2)
Author Topic: Did Morgoth create his creatures or corrupt existing ones?
Dark Lord Andúril
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quote:
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),
Sauron existed as the 'necromancer' in the Hobbit, and the reason Gandalf wanted to destroy the evil of the lonely mountain was to weaken Sauron in Dol Guldur. It seems that Gandalf thought that Sauron could have 'used' Smaug as a weapon against the West.

[ 07-11-2004, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Dark Lord Andúril ]

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Arnkell
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I said that "Sauron", as that character, didn't exist yet to the reader, nor his motives and motivations, and we the readers could never have guessed that the Dragon could threaten to team up with this shady "Necromancer"-guy. Not until LOTR. All we had to go on was that the quest was started to help the dwarves get their town back.

Feel free to comment on my statements on the dragon details too. []

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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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Pelranius,

quote:
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.
I'd agree for the most part.

quote:
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.
Yes, Morgoth could not create sentient beings, as the letter quoted earlier explicitly said. As far as trolls showing "self-awareness", *opens can-o-worms* I refer to Bert, Bill, and Tom... ( [] )

quote:
Imagination is vital to creating something of originality.
Imagination is vital to creating something original but the ability does not define the aspect. One can be imaginative in corrupting and perverting. I see where you're coming from, but our definitions differ obviously. []

Arnkell,

quote:
Feel free to comment on my statements on the dragon details too.
Did you really need to offer? []

quote:
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.
Did I say he invented?

quote:
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.
Wereworms weren't verified, Bilbo referred to them but I doubt he'd actually seen them. They aren't mentioned anywhere else in any form, so I consider them a fanciful tale or misrepresentation. Dragons in the Second Age were descended from the last of the First Age dragons.

From the War of the Jewels - The Tale of Years:

quote:
The dates of 'the last war of the Elder Days' were changed to 545-587, and after the last words of the original entry the following was added: 'Ancalagon is cast down by Earendil and all save two of the Dragons are destroyed.'
and from the Silmarillion regarding the War of Wrath:

quote:
Then the sun rose, and the host of the Valar prevailed, and well-nigh all the dragons were destroyed; and all the pits of Morgoth were broken and unroofed, and the might of the Valar descended into the deeps of the earth.
But whether or not Sauron had control over these creatures is not certain, but possible considering the Smaug aspect Dark Lord Anduril brought up, which has relevance despite the date of publication. But I don't believe Tolkien ever gives a definite answer, so we are left to speculate on that matter.

quote:
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.
Actually, as mentioned above, we can't truly know Smaug's purposes and to say he did not claim fealty to Sauron would be supposition. However regarding Glaurung's actions, we need not look further than the Unfinished Tales in the Narn i Hîn Húrin:

quote:
And before this year ended, the third of Turambar's dwelling among the woodmen, he began to assail their land, which for a while had had peace; for indeed it was well known to Glaurung and to his Master that in Brethil there abode still a remnant of free men, the last of the Three Houses to defy the power of the North.
And also once again from the Silmarillion:

quote:
But Túrin passed away on the northward road, and Glaurung laughed once more, for he had accomplished the errand of his Master.
The dragon's actions in Nargothrond were part of Morgoth's plans, and carried out by his servant, Glaurung.

But you are correct in that Glaurung had a certain freedom, seen when he came to battle too early in the First Age.

The Silmarillion - The Return of the Noldor:

quote:
But Morgoth was ill-pleased that Glaurung had disclosed himself over-soon;
This doesn't exactly prove the point he had some free-will though, he could have very well gone against the will of Morgoth which would then result in the said ill-pleasure. One could also assume Morgoth entrusted Glaurung to act autonomously to some degree, it would make sense considering Morgoth would not leave Angband and a self-direction would be vital in the success of his head servants like Glaurung, Sauron, or Gothmog. But regardless, they all answer to the Great Dark Lord and their plans are his plans.

quote:
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.
The dragon's personalities were no doubt the result of Morgoth's breeding and conditioning, they seem to exude the exact traits of the Dark One himself. I don't think I need to point out that Sauron was not a mindless "parrot" under Morgoth, and neither were the Balrogs since they could command armies. They came to their masters aid because he was their master. []

quote:
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.

Possibly the biggest "guns" depending on who you ask, there's a great thread regarding who's better, dragons or balrogs, somewhere around here. *Digs through scrolls* I also wish Tolkien expounded upon "the Black", he did indeed seem like a mean mutha didn't he? But personally I think Glaurung retains the title of most intimidating.

*On a completely different side note, I believe this is quite possibly one of my longest posts to date. Many thanks to those involved for making me ramble so very much! [] *

[ 07-12-2004, 02:31 AM: Message edited by: Orofacion of the Vanyar ]

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Pelranius
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Orofacion: I just guess we'll have to disagree.

Incidentally, couldn't Tom, Bert and William Huggins have been half trolls or something? (possibly part giant of a type)

The Withered Hearth, were most Dragons came from in the Second and Third Ages, is quite an enigma. It almost seemed to begging for a story or two to be told.

Well, the winged dragons did drive back the Hosts of the West, a feat which even the Balrogs were apparently incapable of (incidentally, were there only seven Balrogs?)

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Alexius
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Destruction is one of the hallmarks of evil - Evil can only mock Good, and is diametrically opposed to everything that is Good.


Good creates light and life. Evil mocks it with darkness and abominations.


Evil cannot create because it is ontologically weaker than Good. Good created the world. Morgoth was first good before his fall from Grace.


Evil always relies on the might of force, because it is inherrently weak in spirit. Much like a bully.

[]

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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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Pelranius,

Agreeing to disagree? You mean we can't argue anymore? [] Ultimately this is what it comes down to, no?

quote:
Incidentally, couldn't Tom, Bert and William Huggins have been half trolls or something? (possibly part giant of a type)
As I said this is a big can of worms, and would make a great seperate topic. *hint-hint*

And yes, Tolkien said in his later writings that there were probably only a few Balrogs, perhaps seven or so.

Alexius,

Interesting ideology.

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Alexius
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quote:
Tolkien said in his later writings that there were probably only a few Balrogs
Really? I always had the impression he had legions of them!


So that must mean only a few Maiar were corrupted by Morgoth. Does that imply there were only a few Maiar to begin with, or that only a few were corrupted.


The way Tolkien describes some of the Elven Champions slaying balrogs led me to believe there were at least several hundred. Because Feanor/Glorfindel alone would have decimated them through their heroics alone.

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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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quote:
'[Melkor] sent forth on a sudden a host of Balrogs' - at which point my father noted on the typescript of the Annals of Aman: 'There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed'.
~ War of the Jewels - The Grey Annals

quote:
So that must mean only a few Maiar were corrupted by Morgoth. Does that imply there were only a few Maiar to begin with, or that only a few were corrupted.
Or perhaps there were corrupt Maia in different forms then Balrogs. Several possibilities to say the least.

quote:
The way Tolkien describes some of the Elven Champions slaying balrogs led me to believe there were at least several hundred. Because Feanor/Glorfindel alone would have decimated them through their heroics alone.
Well there were at first, he mentions legions and hosts of Balrogs frequently in the earlier writings, but this is one of several conceptions that Tolkien changed later.

Getting back to the topic, I also came across this passage:

quote:
Also Morgoth not Sauron is the source of Orc-wills. Sauron is just another (if greater) agent. Orcs can rebel against him without losing their own irremediable allegiance to evil (Morgoth). Aule wanted love. But of course had no thought of dispersing his power. Only Eru can give love and independence. If a finite sub-creator tries to do this he really wants absolute loving obedience, but it turns into robotic servitude and becomes evil.
~ Morgoth's Ring - Myths Transformed

So Morgoth could create creatures, but they could only be evil ultimately. But interestingly enough, it seems part of Tolkien's concept of evil in his mythology is something created that lacked love and independence.

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Alexius
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quote:
it seems part of Tolkien's concept of evil in his mythology is something created that lacked love and independence.
correct, to have True Love, one must have free will.


One cannot force love, because that would not be love then.


Free will is one of the most beautiful, and dangerous gifts we have. For with it, we can choose Good, and the light. And we can do much evil as well.

It is one of the essences of spirit - free will, and consciousness. Without free will, we are sub-human. Degradation of our spirit.

[ 07-20-2004, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Alexius ]

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Imbëar
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I disagree with the comments on Free Will.

For all the lip service given to "free will," I wonder how deeply we really consider it?

Within a Bound Universe - which is Morgoth's Ring - there is but One Will operating, the Will of Eru.

In the Christian tradition, there are some that believe "God Himself" pre-destines a percentage of Humans to the Flame; similarly, before aught else was determined, "God Himself" pre-destined a percentage of Humans to Heaven.

The End is Set and the Choice is Made -

We do not act outside of G-d's desire.

For all actions, even the Evil Act, manifests according to G-d's desire. That which IS, is Willed to Be: Eä!


Just because we do not see the End does not mean that the End is not seen.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Imbëar

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Pelranius
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Could Tolkein, by saying seven Balrogs, meant seven types of Balrogs?
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Alexius
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Imbear

To be able to Love Truly, we ust have the ability to choose to Love, or to not Love.

That is why the Divine cannot force us to Love, for that would not be true Love.

The Divine can only entice.


Free will is as real today as it was since the beggining of time. Modern man merely has a weak will, because he has enslaved himself to his passions.

Thus, the false illusion of the lack of free will.

[ 07-23-2004, 09:27 AM: Message edited by: Alexius ]

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Imbëar
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Alexius,
G-d doesn't force humans to love G-d because there is no need:
we all love G-d, and our hateful actions do but belie this Original Passion. Our anger comes from the Illusion of Separation from G-d. Our fear is that when we die, we might not Return to G-d. This, too, is Maia, the veil; for even Melko is brought back to Eru.

But I believe that modern humans are responsible for our actions. The human body is a set-limitation, a ring that we cannot throw away willfully, and therefore a fate. But Fate and Patterns can be learned, and thus we might appear to bend or extend or abolish the limits. One man, at least, was able to abolish the Bond of Creation.

"Free Will" does not make humans any more culpable than we naturally are. If a dog bites, a dog dies. So with a man. For my part, I don't necessarily believe that humans do things "of their own free will;" but I don't excuse their actions because of it, either.

Ultimately, I mistrust the ideas of Fate and Free Will.
I am limited by a binary perception due a bilateral brain - thus, I work in opposites. The Truth, as they say, is a Mystery. The Universe is a Paradox. Even if I understood how Fate and Free Will operated, I would still be in no better position to make choices in my own life.

Imbëar

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Roll of Honor Athene
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"Conditioning is an explanation, not an excuse"
Wonderful quote.
And I bet Supernanny agrees too.
[]

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Estiel
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I have always seen Melkor/Morgoth/Sauron as the Penultimate Control Freak. They desired only power, nothing more and nothing less. They are power freaks, par excellence.
Therefore, I see them operating as the PCF would: They attempt to make others, all others, extensions of their Will. (This is what makes control freaks so insufferable--they attempt to destroy your freedom by "consuming" your essential self.) Ergo, since evil cannot create but only corrupt, the "evil creatures" are pre-existing creatures that have been corrupted into extensions of Morgoth's will. That is why Tolkien refers to them as "slaves". And that is why they lose focus, get lost, go crazy, etc., when he withdraws his control of them. Their operational existence is dependent on his control.

This is especially despicable when he corrupts the Children of Iluvatar because they have free will. (Neither Elves nor Men are subject to the will of the Ainu, and that includes Melkor. The topic of fate vs free will of Elves and Men has been covered at length in at least two other forums at MT, beloved Imbear.) I have always been comforted by the notion that the souls of the Elves left immediately for the Halls of Mandos upon capture and torture by Morgoth.

But whenever we discuss Eru and God, we have to remember that Tolkien himself said, in his famous "long letter", that he did not create Middle-earth on the basis of the Judao-Christian model of Genesis, but he only created it so as to be compatible with it, so that the reader would be able to respond with credulity.

Imbear, I do not believe that you are imprisoned by a binary brain-frame and I can't help but wonder how your self-perception will change when Holy Science "discovers" some other model--as It inevitably will. (Now why won't my smiley show up? No doubt Science's retribution for my irreverence.)

Estiel

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Tuor
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I think we need to be careful here and not bring our own views of reality into Tolkien's Myth. As I understand it, 'Love' is not directly dealt with by Tolkien as a motivational force. Instead, the problem arises when one desires to step beyond the authority one is given by Eru, the rebellion which originated by Melko but not limited to him.

Some may argue that the rebellion is just that or that the rebellion is actually Eru's plan. I do not believe Tolkien ever directly answered this question and therefore it is a debatable topic, but this question is not the topic of this thread. []

Seeing as this is a Library Thread, this discussion is off limit to this thead. But the enforcement of this will be left to WGW of course. []

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Imbëar
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Thank you, Estíel!
I appreciate your patience with my youth, as ever. []
When the new model arises, it will be shown to be the old model.
For there is nothing seen by the microscope that is not already evident to the naked human eye. May the scales fall away!

And Tuor, I certainly hope WGW will forgive this hijacking and digression []

Imbëar

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Arnkell
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Pelranius wrote:
quote:
Could Tolkein, by saying seven Balrogs, meant seven types of Balrogs?
That's Tolkien, and that is a very appealing thought, I'd be really interested in classifying the characteristics of seven types of Balrogs. Durin's Bane should be one of the lesser ones, "of manshape yet greater" has always struck me as non-giant.
Gothmog should be like the Movie-Moria Balrog.

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TheLoom
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[ 01-28-2012, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Arelonwë ]

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Eorhild, Aesc's daughter.
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No, you're right. Only Eru could actually create thinking, moving beings. When Aule made the dwarves, they were little more than a collection of vapidly staring, breathing corpses. Eru gave them souls, and made them into actual people. Until he did that, they wouldn't even have flinched when Aule raised his hammer to destroy them.

I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned this, (I just sort of skimmed over the first two pages) but I was always under the impression that orcs, goblins, etc., were a form of corrupted elves, and that Morgoth didn't create them himself. Supposedly, elves walking around alone near Cuiviénen would sometimes go missing. There's an elvish legend that Melkor sent "a dark Rider upon his wild horse" to pursue "those that wandered to take them and devour them.'" This person (alternately referred to as 'The Hunter' or 'The Rider') took the elves back to Morgoth who supposedly then somehow turned them into orcs. I'm not sure exactly how this could have happened, given the impossibility of elven rape, but if even Maiar like Sauron and Curunír could twist races to point where they were almost new species (e.g. Uruk-hai and half-goblin men), I'm sure that given a few ages he could pull it off.

On the topic of trolls, I've always though that the comment "in mockery of" or "made to resemble" Ents seemed a little... odd given the circumstances. We know that trolls first appeared sometime in the first age. Does anyone happen to know roughly when the Entwives went missing?

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Aragon the First
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At the end of the Second Age, I believe. But it is possible that Morgoth found an enclave of Ents that the rest of Ent-dom knew nothing about and used them to make trolls.
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Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Did Morgoth create his creatures or corrupt existing ones? (Page 2)
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