Questions And Answers

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Questions and Answers

New Questions on top, please?

Why was Melkor's change of heart not tested while he was still in Valinor & prior to his attack on the Trees? Given that Manwe was a bit naive, seemingly, for a god, "For Manwe was free from evil and could not comprehend it..." (Sil., Of Feanor...), still, others yet doubted Melkor's rehabilitation, "But Ulmo was not deceived, and Tulkas clenched his hands whenever he saw Melkor his foe go by...." (Sil., Of Feanor..). The perfect means of testing Melkor was plainly provided after Feanor's creation of the Silmarils, "And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so that thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them, but it was scorched and withered...." (Sil., Of the Silmarils...). So, why didn't Tulkas grab Melkor & hold him down, while Feanor slapped one of those things unto Melkor's forehead? Just saying, you know!
Can Gandalf die after he becomes the white, but befor the ring is destroid?

in Moria fighting the Balrog: when Gandalf said "I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun." What is the secret fire, the flame of Anor,dark fire, and the flame of Udun? please answer soon.

I'd like to know where it is said or alluded to that Saruman might have been cross-breeding Orcs and Men? Thanks. -- TomVanDrunen?

It can be deducted from the chapter Helm's Deep:

'But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that the foul craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun,' said Gamling. 'And neither will the wild men of the hills. Do you not hear their voices?'
The Two Towers - Helm's Deep

A more detailed explanation is given in Morgoths Ring:

Finally, there is a cogent point, though horrible to relate. It became clear in time that undoubted Men could under the domination of Morgoth or his agents in a few generations be reduced almost to the Orc-level of mind and habits; and then they would or could be made to mate with Orcs, producing new breeds, often larger and more cunning. There is no doubt that long afterwards, in the ThirdAge, Saruman rediscovered this, or learned of it in lore, and in his lust for mastery committed this, his wickedest deed: the interbreeding of Orcs and Men, producing both Men-orcs large and cunning, and Orc-men treacherous and vile.
HoMeX - Myths Transformed

-- ChW

Was Frodo born before or after Bilbo returned from the Quest of Erebor? -- ???(PhlIp)

Bilbo returned to the Shire ThA 2942, Frodo is born ThA 2968 -- Walter

Is it known how J.R.R.Tolkien came up with the idea of the Palantiri? These devices seem out of even his time!


I already did some research concerning that, when you posted your Palantíri questions at TTF (which was about the same time I finished my essay about The Palantíri), without any real success I have to say. "Without any real success" means, that I have found nothing in the written works from or about Tolkien. But anyway, the Palantíri were a relatively late design, it appears Tolkien invented them while he was writing the chapter The Voice of Saruman:

Since there is no evidence at all that the conception of the palantir had arisen at any earlier stage or in any earlier writing, this must be presumed to be its first appearance, but the draft does not make it clear whether my father perceived its nature at the moment of its introduction as Wormtongue's missile - Gandalf does not say what he thought of it, nor hint that it might be a device of importance to Saruman. In his letter to W. H. Auden of 7 June 1955 my father said (immediately following the passage from that letter cited at the beginning of The Return of the Shadow: "I knew nothing of the Palantíri, though the moment the Orthanc-stone was cast from the window, I recognized it, and knew the meaning of the 'rhyme of lore' that had been running in my mind: seven stars and seven stones and one white tree." On the other hand, in this initial version of the scene he saw the ball of crystal as shattered by the impact, and still in the finished manuscript immediately following this draft he wrote that the ball "splintered on the rock beside the stair. It seemed from the fragments", before breaking off at this point and writing that it smote the stair, and that it was the stair that cracked and splintered while the globe was unharmed. What further significance for the story could it have had if it were immediately destroyed?
HoMeVIII - The Voice of Saruman

So it appears, that the Palantíri have been assigned to Fëanor at a later point, but the fact that Tolkien did that let's me guess that some resemblance of their design to the Silmarils is not casual. On the other hand they remind me strongly of the cystal-balls of fortune-tellers and clairvoyants (which are known to have been in use for that purpose in Europe since the 5th century, but where also known in the cultures of Inkas, Mayas in Borneo or New-Guinea?). And I'm pretty sure Tolkien knew that as well... -- Walter

From HoMeI: The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor:

Amidmost of those pleasances was set within a ring of shadowy cypress towering high that deep vat Silindrin. There it lay in a bed of pearls, and its surface unbroken was shot with silver flickerings, and the shadows of the trees lay on it, and the Mountains of Valinor could see their faces mirrored there. Lorien gazing upon it saw many visions of mystery pass across its face, and that he suffered never to be stirred from its sleep save when Silmo came noiselessly with a silver urn to draw a draught of its shimmering cools,and fared softly thence to water the roots of Silpion ere the tree of gold grew hot.
HoMeI - The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor

Could it be the early idea of the Palantíri ......or perhaps of the Mirror of Galadriel ? -- LhunRoss

Indeed, though it reminds me rather of the Mirror of Galadriel than the Palantíri... -- Walter

What is the definite source (book) to relate to? Is it the The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-earth or some other book? -- HelmutLeitner

Alas, IMO there is no such thing as a "definite source (book)", even within the LotR and the Sil there are some discrepancies and/or contradictions. However the more (Tolkien-)books you consult about a certain question or topic the more background information you will get... -- Walter

Is it clear, what the Istari are? -- HelmutLeitner

Yes, they are Maiar which had assumed (or been given) bodies of old men and who have been sent to Middle-earth to support the free people in their fight against Sauron. -- Walter

Is there a consensus about how the Orcs where created? -- HelmutLeitner

Unfortunately no, this is a ver controversial topic. It seems Tolkien first wanted an Elvish origin of Orcs (as stated in the Silmarillion) but lateron changed his mind and would have preferred a "Mannish" origin of Orcs (as stated in Morgoths Ring). I hope someone will come up with an essay about this topic in the near future. -- Walter

Meanwhile it actually happened, here it is: The Origin of Orcs


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