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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » The Decline and Fall of Arnor (Page 4)
Author Topic: The Decline and Fall of Arnor
Belthronding
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Interesting.

Are you naming both examples suicide then: heathen kings under Sauron's dominion and The Line of Elros alike?

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Snöwdog
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To lay down and let your spirit pass from your body without inflicting self-damage I wouldn't consider suicide.
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faithfull
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quote:
"Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death... And only the heathen kings, under the dominion of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death" (The Lord of the Rings, Book V, Chapter 7, paragraph 31).
Denethor was steward, not king, and, I think Gandalf's reference was more about the inappropriateness of Denethor's plan to murder Faramir. He barely managed to get Faramir out in time.
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Anorgil
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I don't see much difference between "laying down and letting your spirit pass from your body" and "ordering the hour of your death," myself.

The way Denethor planned to do it was particularly violent and murderous, but "ordering the hour of your death" doesn't seem violent or murderous by default. And it seems like an accurate description of what Aragorn did too, albeit nonviolently.

[ 07-07-2015, 08:19 AM: Message edited by: Anorgil ]

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faithfull
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Anorgil, now we come to semantics. There is "ordering" as in bringing things into order from disorder; also "ordering" as in a commanding way, which can be done even when one does not have a legal or moral right.
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Anorgil
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"Order" in this case is clearly synonymous with "command."

Did Aragorn not command his own death?

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faithfull
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Anorgil, yes - I think we really are all in agreement.

Aragorn had a special dispensation:

quote:
Take counsel with yourself, beloved, and ask whether you would indeed have me wait until I wither and fall from my high seat unmanned, and witless. Nay, lady, I am the last of the Numenoreans and the latest King of the Elder Days; and to me has been given not only a span thrice that of Men of Middle-earth, but also the grace to go at my will. . . (LOTR, Appendix A, Tale of Aragorn and Arwen)

Denethor did not.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Well, from Denethor's point of view, he could argue that he was going to die anyway, so why shouldn't he take his own life!
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faithfull
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quote:
Well, from Denethor's point of view, he could argue that he was going to die anyway, so why shouldn't he take his own life!
Denethor had a duty, as steward of the realm, to see things through to their actual conclusion, not the one he feared. His suicide was akin to the captain of a ship abandoning it before all the passengers had been safely seen to shore or to another vessel. We have recent examples of that: a notable one being from South Korea. []
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