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Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » Finarfin (Page 4)
Author Topic: Finarfin
Tuor
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Fingolfin's promise to Feanor didn't control Finarfin. The reason why Finarfin was able to act more wisely was that he did not make an unwise oath. I think that we can all agree on that point.

In other words, Fingolfin gave up his right to lead his people when he in bacame a vasal of Feanor.

This message has been edited by Tuor on 04-19-2001 at


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I disagree.
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Galdor of the Tree
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Well one of them had to stay and lead their people.
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Tuor
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Fingy, one of your arguments was not that Fingolfin had to honor his oath. That if Fingolfin had stayed in Valinor he would have broken his pledge. Maybe that was someone else then.

Did Fingolfin not pledge to follow Feanor?

If this is true, then didn't Fingolfin make Feanor his leader? In fact, did this promise of subservience not make Fingolfin Feanor's vasal?


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Galdor of the Tree
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I would not call him a vassal. He was not under Feanor's power. He lead his people but he was in an eternal alliance with Feanor. Saying Fingolfin was Feanor's vassal would like be calling Eorl Cirion's vassal.
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Lady of Lorien
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quote:

Thou shalt lead and I will follow.

Sounds like Fingolfin is swearing allegiance to me.


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Tuor
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I just thought I'd give this thread a bump. I was feeling naustalgic and it is relevent to a more recent thread.
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Roll of Honor Círdan
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My two cents-

Finarfin did make the more rational decision in going back to Aman (and was, by the way, more attractive ), but, as Fingolfin has been trying to get across, Fingolfin was more noble in his actions. Pledging to Fëanor was not an act of submission, it was a mature showing of good faith to at least make the people think that everything was fine. It was also a good political move, bonding himself to his more popular, charismatic, and OLDER brother (well, half brother). For Fingolfin to oppose him would have been dishonorable, and would have split the masses; though in the end a majority would probably have been swayed by Fëanor and been led by him and his manic children to grim deaths either on the Ice or in Arda. By going with them, Fingolfin rolled with the punch, bringing sanity and compassion along with Fëanor's madness. To have broken his oath would have served to nothing but save a discontented few and doom a vast majority. Finarfin was selfish in his actions, and his tears show that he knew this. He was simply weak.

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Tuor
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To have broken his oath would have served to nothing but save a discontented few and doom a vast majority.

How many Noldor survived the doom with Fingolfin choosing to go? I don't believe the final outcome would have been swayed one way or the other. Most all of the rebellious Noldor lost their lives.


Finarfin was selfish in his actions, and his tears show that he knew this. He was simply weak.

If you want to call someone who leads his people to peace and happiness a selfish leader, go ahead. As far as weak, it is much easier to follow the masses than it is to stand against it. It is easy to do what everyone else does.

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For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.


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Roll of Honor Círdan
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On the contrary- it is much easier to condemn a mob than to attempt to save it.

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Tuor
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Perhaps from a distance, but not in the middle of it. Finarfin did what was right in the middle of a mob riot.
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Roll of Honor Gandalf the White
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Very good discussion! Keep it going, I wanna see who wins!

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25 Hobbits


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Tuor
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There are never 'winners'. I am sure anyone who intially agrees with me will think that I won, while anyone who initially agrees with Cirdan will believe he won.

It is all just airing of opinion.

But of course for those of Menahem's nature, both side wins because more information is out there. It is all how you look at it.


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Roll of Honor Círdan
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I have little else to say, but I must agree with Tuor-it does have a great deal to do with preception. But when a leader leaves his people because he is unpleased with the turn events have taken, leaving them "to the rash councils of Fëanor", I see no escape from the conclusion I have already come to. Comments?

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Tuor
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He could not force his people to follow him, and it is not like he went back by himself.

You must also remember he did this after the kinslaying. It took alot of guts to turn back and face the Valar after butchering the Teleri. As is recorded, "feeling the constraint of their kinship and the will of Feanor, and fearing to face the doom of the Valar, since not all of them had been guitless of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde."

Finarfin was a leader, not a tyrant. His people were free to follow whichever banner they would follow. If nothing else Finarfin gave each Noldo a choice. Not one Noldo could blame the leadership for his/her decision. It was either follow Feanor or follow Finarfin. If it wasn't for Finarfin, there wouldn't have been a choice.

Truely, each Noldo was responsible for his/her own rebellion. Finarfin gave them the option of repentence.


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Roll of Honor Círdan
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Finarfin went because he was loath to be sundered from his people. This, I believe, is the key fact that forces an argument. You, Tuor, repeatedly accuse Fingolfin of joining the host because he was too frail to stop it or oppose it. You say he was going with the crowd and, like a twelve year old girl, was reluctant to be sundered-rejected- from-by- his people. Finarfin and Fingolfin loved their people as leaders love those they lead. Going with them was not an act of aquiescence (sp?); it was to help guide their people through Fëanor's madness. The Noldor were not eager to take Fëanor as king, it is said that they did not want to part with Fingolfin and his sons: The most part of the dwellers in Tirion refused to renounce him- if he would go with them. And neither Fingolfin or Finarfin wanted to go. Fingolfin went at the urgency of his sons and people, and Finarfin, "For like reasons." The Noldor were going with Fëanor. Finarfin and Fingolfin may had have been able to quench the movement while still in Valinor. But as they did not, it was their responsibility to do what they could for the Noldor- not to save the indescisive. Example: Your kid is a boy scout. You go on a camping trip with his troop. The scoutmaster (who you are obligated to support to maintain order) pops his top and suggests that it might be fun to try and wrestle a bear. Little kids recieve this very well and rally behind insanity. Do you take your kid and leave the rest to die or go with them and do what you can. Wha do you do? I know what Finarfin did.

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Tuor
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Your analogy is flawed. Finarfin was not an adult surrounded by children. They were all adults, responsible for their own actions.

As for your analogy, would I take my children and follow and support the others in their folly? Let's see...

I would have to have my kids get killed by the bear while witnessing all the others do the same. I would then get killed by the bear too. I think I would be a responsible adult and stop the stupidity. I would call the kids' parents and have everyone go home. If the troop leader resisted, I'd have him arrested for child abuse. How's that?


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Roll of Honor Círdan
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A somewhat average analogy need not be carried forward to such a ludicrous (and unclear) conclusion. All I mean is that an out of control situation is the wrong time to get up on a soap box.

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Tuor
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I couldn't disagree more. An out of control situation is exactly when one must stand up for what is right. If not, you are just adding to the havoc.
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Ecthelion of the Fountain
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Fingolfin never actually took an oath to Feanor, so he was not bound to anything. I believe it is stated that he went so the Noldor who wanted to go would not all be subject to the rash, and not very well thought out judgement of Feanor. He, however opposed the leaving of Valinor, as did his son Turgon. Finarfin left for similar reasons to Fingolfin.
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Tuor
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Pg. 75 Silm. 2nd ed.
quote:

Fingolfin said: 'Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us.'



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Ecthelion of the Fountain
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I don't see oath anywhere, saying something is one thing, taking an oath is entirely different.
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Tuor
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This was said aloud before the throne of Manwe at a very public meeting. Tolkien thought it meant something, as the lines following the quote I posted attest.
quote:

'I hear thee,' said Feanor, 'So be it.' But they did not know the meaning that their words would bear.


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Roll of Honor Círdan
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I don't really understand what difference it makes whether Fingolfin technically made an oath or not. It was unnecessary in any case. Feanor was the elder brother, and this entitled him to a command. To cooperatewith him was the honorable thing to do. Now, opposition could have been an option only in the very beginning, really before this particular scene. The time for another to lead would have been right after the Destruction of the Trees. Leadership is a duty, not a whim.

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In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?


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Dingalen
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But some take the responsibility of leadership with less eagerness and more seriousness than others.

Feanor took it, because he liked to get his will. Fingolfin, because he loved his people and respected their sense of honor. Finarfin, because he loved the Valar and their harmony.

What is greater: The love of god(s) or the care for people? Especially when you have to decide.


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