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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shapeshifting Maiar

Tolkien Discussion Group
November 25, 2009
Topic: Shapeshifting Maiar
Fifi Wickentower
Twylite Haggwood
Tuatha Shippe
AelKennyr Rhiano
Sideon Galanter

Wow, you are totally invisible today. Very appropriate for a wind Maia :D
who can see the wind . .neither you nor I :))
just so!
Did everyone get the notecard in yesterday's announcement? with some readingmaterial?
yes . . and thank you for putting that together
We have seen in the past that what Tolkien claimed was "typical" behavior wasn't always how his charaters acted
Ael says he will be here as soon as he gets a good logon connection

Tuatha Shippe: I am to be Ilmare, handmaiden to Varda...(this is outworld, btw) I am not finding much about her, which makes me believe that I could ...embellish
You have Ilmare's position?
I didn't know Rajani gave it up, although, she hasn't been around much lately ...
LightWizard is to be Osse, This is in AG
Who is assigning these positions?
hmmmm I see a split developing between the RP here and in AG, then
wait...not Osse; Olorin?
I didn't know Manwe had any interest in the RP there, either
Eonwe? I seem to be seriously behind the times
There isnt any RP in AG yet.We need more time to build

So, Maia shapeshifting ... I hear lots of silence in the circle
just listeneing :)
This is my first vist---I wait to see the customs
Ah, we are mostly out of character :D Although when Belanos the dragon queen is here, she is never entirely OOC
I thought I'd come more as myself for a change
Twylite, DID you get a copy of the notecard? I thought it might help us, having some examples of how the Professor actually wrote his shapeshifting characters, not just relying on what he said about how they *ought* to do it

I can't see you, Fifi
Is that on purpose?
I see you
:D She is being her natural "wind" self
That's who you are really?
Who can see the wind . . neither you nor I. You may see the effect but not the actual wind
I don't know where I read it, but the Maiar seem to have had two different kinds of "bodies". Or, at least two; maybe Fifi is in the third form. Apparently, the most common visible form was sort of a body-shaped illusion. And, as with the wizards, they could also take real, fully-functional physical bodies
There is this manifestation too
Yes, also manifestations appropriate to the ainu's nature, ust like Arien, the Guide of the Sun, went with a flame form
I'm sure when you are doing wind-things, you dont' bother with a body.Or when Ilmare is out doing mainenance on the stars
There can be a 'friendly/benign visage
Yes, the bodies seem to be mostly for when the ainur want to communicate with elves and humans
There's a body but not like what Eldar think of as a body; and sure - much easier if you blend in - non threatening
also a way to learn the ways of each race
What do you mean, "not like what Eldar think of as a body"? could you explain more?
size wise and 'flesh'; Ilmare would be in her star body or 'galactic gardrner' type body ^^

The one comment "their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World itself" led me to think that, at least in the beginning, the ainur knew more about what bodies look like than about their inner workings . So, at least at the beginnig, they were sort of approximating physical bodies
coming from the stars is appropriate to me
In the case of the wind or air or water - it takes in the shape of what ever contains or limits it
They probably got better at it, over the eons
Well...keeping the frequency static might have been hard to do...staying in form long enough to really experience the form...too difficult..or even painful
Well, sure, when you are being wind-shaped, you aren't even trying for a "shape"
Danger of crystalizing and becoming 'stuck'
aye..or even 'feeling' the density....
Yes, I'm sure some of the ainur prefered not to take "bodies" at all
Heaviness weighs upon the heart
And those wouldn't have interacted much with the elves, and so didn't get into the stories much
nod nod nod
Or, at least, their influence on the elves, who were writing the stories, would have been very subtle
The only examples we know of for sure of ainur getting "stuck" were the evil ones. From the examples, it sounds like evil interferes with shapeshifting ability, at least after a while
The evil consumes its own freedom (That was a simple statement, too simple)
Even with a close interaction with elves, ainur would still be beyond complete understanding or comprehention by the elves
Evil has no freedom of spirit..not long lasting
Evil is cut off from the source of its true energy
It sounded to me, in the quotes, like the evil ones were slowly draining their batteries, and not recharging
being in/of that Source ...its eternally giving
they are cut off from the source
yes...we know this is true

We were just on the part about evil ainur being disconnected from their source on energy, and getting stuck in their shapes, or, taking longer and longer to be able to take form ...
evil SL......sounds appropriate to our discussion...
one might say 'fallen angels'
the density/form....hold fast ,my friend
or longer to leave the form?
Do we know of any who tried to leave their form? It makes sense that that would be a similar problem. I don't remember any examples of the situation
hmm But would the elves know about that ?? so nothing mentioned
True, they might not. Almost all we know comes from what the elves recorded, which is very incomplete, when it comes to ainur
lucky for that :) I mean that they did record
your secret are safe?
I thought at first you were saying it was lucky they didn't know everything
I meant that although limited it is good to have what the elves did report

If Ilmare was Handmaiden to Varda.....wouldn't she be asked to take form for her going on missions for her... What is a handmaiden anyway?
"Handmaiden" is a general term for female servant
How would one serve a great one like Varda
Assistant star-keeper?
Maybe lady-in-waiting' companion, friend
And help her button her dresses?
travel dimensions
Help her materialize her buttons?
more like eons....buttons, indeed
Fifi Wickentower: *giggles
Maybe someone has to check on all those stars, make sure they aren't overheating

So...wouldn't any form Maiar be a shapeshift?
I suppose it would . I suppose humans and elves call it "shapeshifting" if you use more than one form?
Because they can't
When we see Varda..we see an impression of energy in form, but not really form, not in a solid sense
WE probably percieve her more as energy, and, if she is wearing a form, that is secondary. The elves and the humans, of course, see mostly the form
Might a maiar be needed for more committed do Varda's bidding for example
You mean, when you are on assignment working the the Children?
Sure, then it would make sense for you to spend time in a form, and it would probably be less confusing for the people you were talking to if you stuck to one form
Are you awake there, Ael? is it less confusing if the ainur pick a form and stick with it?
But Ainur is not Maiar, really? My understanding is the Maiar are more...dense?
Ainur is the general category that includes all Valar and Maiar sorry
Think of archangels and angels
I should have said Valar
So I was saying "ainur" to include all of us, since we have more in common with each other than any of us do with the Children
nods You are a result of th Great Song
aye...beautiful music, from the stars
If Ael is asleep, we could switch to speaking in Valarin .... the noise of that would probably wake him up
I'm not asleep. I'm just trying to listen to the conversation
oh, ok

{Lihan crashes and relogs}

Phoenix gave me some material from some books he had, and i read similar online. So brief is her description..its mysterious
Gives you a lot of freedom to interpret her. I like the part about her being a great warrior with lightning as her weapon
She must have been sent as watch over the Teleri
She was a favorite of the Teleri, wasn't she?
Tol Eressea was a temporary land for the Teleri
If you are referring to the Book of the Lost Tales, Ilmare was called Erinti there..
Most moved on to build Aqualonde later...after they leaned to build ships/boats
She was said to be the Lady of Tol Eressea before becoming the daughter of Manwe and Varda.
In whatever sense it means to say an ainu has "parents". Certainly can't mean the same thing it means for the created races
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Yes, that is the name, I believe, that she is known by in the Lost Tales.
Alright....I need the lost tales. then
In the Silmarillion, and please, Lihan, correct me, if I am wrong, Ilmare has the same standing as Eonwe and is one of the chiefs of the Maiar.
Yes indeed

Where were we? Deciding next week's topic?
Ilmare and Eronwe
Ilmare and Eonwe, yes, we were
Tuatha has Ilmare in the AG, and then we got off topic, I think

Next week?
We still have mers on the list
Is that of interest to anyone?
I don't know much about them, but if anyone does, we could talk about it
Would not the Teleri have some knowledge of the ppl of the waters?
Osse would have more....
Would he come?
We know Ulmo, Osse, Unien.....
I think it is not a matter of him not wanting to come but a matter of rl scheduling.
That would be my guess
I would like to offer something for us to consider...perhaps.
Well...for some of us who want to develop rp in the 4th Age of Tolkien, we would benefit greatly by reading and discussing that part of the Silmarillion....I don't know if the rest of you are interested.
the 4th age in the Silmarillion?
Sure :) not as familiar so good to learn
Are there not references to that time period, or am I off my medication again?
I may have forgotten mine lol ^^
Is there more than finishing up the lives of the major characters? or, that is the Appendices to LotR
idk... just an idea..
Where would I start?
Maybe we need to research that, see how much info there is; and we need to know when Ossy can come, to discuss the water folk
I live in a mer at times
Our resident shape changer indeed!
lol, It's all air and water, tho. I don't do fire and not earthy
We don't have's ok
So we have two ideas, and both need more information before we decide for sure week, the mer? unless Ossy can't make it next week. We really need him for that topic
Ok with me if we discuss thr Mer ppl
Shall i come that way ?? or is it unsettling?
not at all. I think it adds to the discussion, Fifi.
I'll talk to Ossy, but maybe Sid will join us next week and help the discussion?
I may be able to join, yes.
I might even; I never get to wear my mermaid av :D
Maybe we should all dress as Mer...Alqualonde has a harbor to swim in
We could have a swimsuit party afterwards. ...Discuss and Dip
We have a lake
Well, then we are set :))
Merfolk dont usually wear swimsuits ...
The fins would be our "swimsuit?"
Can always shift to biped and bikinis
Although . . i do have a mer dance that i think up to 8 can use

I've been talking with Ossy about having a book club sort of group where we discuss the Silmarillion and other Tolkien works...He has a nack for putting the Silmarillion into layman's terms...
boy howdy, he does lololol
*snerk* that is one way to put it
Well, perhaps a more PG version
*covers Angus' ears just thinking about it
I am needed elsewhere; you all can continue as long as you like
thank you for hosting, once again, Lihan
I am impressed with the turnout we get every week
This is a high point for me, thought provoking and fun
and so glad when a new person comes :)

Shapeshifting Maiar -- Reading Material

Now the Valar took to themselves shape and hue; and because they were drawn into the World by love of the Children of Ilúvatar, for whom they hoped, the took shape after that manner which they had beheld in the Vision of Ilúvatar, save only in majesty and splendour Moreover, their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World itself; and they need it not, save only as we use raiment, and yet we may be naked and suffer no loss of our being. Therefore the Valar may walk, if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot clearly perceive them, though they be present. But when they desire to clothe themselves, the Valar take uipon them forms some as of male and some as of female; for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by that choice, evenas with us male and female may be shown by the raiment but is not made thereby. But the shapes wherein the Great Ones array themselves are not at all times like the shapes of the kings and queens of the Children of Ilúvatar; for at times they may clothe themselves in their own thought, make visible in forms of majesty and dread.
Then Melkor saw ... that the Valar walked on earth as powers visible, clad in the raiment of the World, and were lovely and glorious to see, and blissful. ... His envy grew then the greater within him; and he also took visible form, but because of his mood and the malice tha burned in him that form was dark and terrible.
Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë"

[Ulmo] does not love to walk upon the land, and will seldom clothe himself in a body after the manner of his peers. If the Children of Eru beheld him they were filled with a great dread; for the arising of the King of the Sea was terrible, as a mounting wave that strides to the land, with dark helm foam-crested and raiment of mail shimmering from silver down into shadows of green. ... Ulmo's voice is deep as the deeps of the ocean, which only he has seen.
Silmarillion, "Valaquenta"

In the form of a woman, [Yavanna] is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth ...
Silmarillion, "Valaquenta"

In Angband Morgoth forged for himself a great crown of Iron, and he called himself King of the World. In token of this he set the Silmarils in this crown. His hands were burned black by the touch of those hallowed jewels, and black they remained ever after; nor was he ever free from the pain of the burning, and the anger of the pain.
Nonetheless his majesty as one of the Valar long remained, though turned to terror.
Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"

[Arien, Maia of the Sun] was chosen because she had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them, being from the beginning a spirit of fire, whom Melkor had not deceived nor drawn into his services. To bright were they eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendour.
Silmarillion, "Of the Sun and Moon"

Of old there was Sauron the Maia..... He became the most trusted of the servents of the Enemy, and the most perilous, for he could asssume many forms, and for long if he willed he could still appear noble and beautiful, so as to deceive all but the most wary.
Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"

[During the fall of Númenor] the world was broken, and the land was swallowed up, and the seas rose over it, and Sauron himself went down into the abyss. But his spirit arose and fled back on a dark wind to Middle-Earth, seeking a home.

[After the fall of Númenor, Sauron returned to his old haunts in Mordor, in Middle Earth.] There now he brooded in the dark, until he had wrought for himself a new shape; and it was terrible, for his fair semblance had departed for ever when he was cast into the abyss at the drowning of Númenor.
Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"

But at last the siege was so strait that Sauron himself came forth; and he wrestled with Gil-galad and Elendil, and they both were slain, and the sword of Elendil broke under him as he fell. But Sauron also was thrown down, and with the hilt-shard of Narsil Isildur cut the Ruling Ring from the hand of Sauron and took it for his own. Then Sauron was for that time vanquished, and he forsook his body, and his spirit fled far away and hid in waste places; and he took no visible shape again for many long years.
Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"

[Gandalf describes his battle with the Balrog:] " ... I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.
"Naked I was sent back -- for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. ... There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. ... And so at the last Gwaihir the Windlord [Chief of the Eagles] found me again, and he took me up and bore me away."
The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
According to the timeline in Appendix B, Gandalf was dead for 19 days.

"If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer.
"... He changes his skin: sometimes heis a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard. I cannot tell you much more, though that ought to be enough. Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came. Others say that he is a man descended from the first men ... I cannot say. ... He is not the sort of person to ask questions of.
"At any rate he is under no enchantment but his own. ... As a man he keeps cattle and horses that are nearly as marvelous as himself. ... As a bear he ranges far and wide."
The Hobbit, Chapter 7
We later see Beorn communicating with his animal companions/servants. He apparently changed into bear form after supper, and spent the night patrolling.

"The realm of Sauron is ended!" said Gandalf.
And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out toward them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and a hush fell.
Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen"

To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great hight like smoke from a fire as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill. For a moment it wavered, looking to the West; but out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing.
Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


{November 18, 2009}
And some statistics:
We have had 9 meetings so far, with an average attendance of 6 people per week.
Twenty people have visited at least once, and 7 have been to 4 or more meetings.

Comparing Tolkien's Elves to Other Traditions

Tolkien Discussion Group
November 18, 2009
Topic: Comparing Tolkien's Elves to Other Traditions
Tuatha Shippe
BelenosStormchaser Magic
Bryster Shan
Fifi Wickentower
Lihan Taifun

Funny story...i was on the phone with my mother talking about the Simarillion....well she kept correcting me on everything...and I know these works,too? I had no idea
What is a 'phone' ?
I knew she was into fairies...but the whole Tolkien series?...yes knows it
It's amazing what we do not know about our parents sometimes
What are parents??
A "phone" is a bit like a human palantir, isn't it?
You have never watched procreation Fifi?
We should get Ael and Lihan to give us a demonstration when he arrives
I've seen the result of our song and learn from that . . is that what you mean?
Lihan Taifun glares
Bryster Shan snickers
Anyway, Ael is busy tonight, and Ossy is offline.
Killiing trespassers no doubt.
Thank Illuvatar Belenos is here *grins
Maybe this is it for tonight

We were going to discuss how Tolkien's elves compare to other tradtions, not that I knowmuch about those "other" traditions
That is something I am curious about
Well, Tolkien elves are full sized ... don't have wings ... what else?
Well, from what I've heard, elves outside of tolkien can vary to the little ones who help santa at teh north pole, to elemental elves and all things magical in between
Do any aelves ever have wings?
haha -ael-ves
Bryster Shan: Eh-hum.
He has wings!
So that puts paid to that theory.
Usually though tis the fae or fairy who are depicted with wings in popular culture I believe
I guess so
Just shows generalties always have exceptions
The elves in tolkien have great magic, yes?
Depends on how you define "magic"
They do not call it magic, as Galadrial explained tothe Halflings
Or is it that 'men' see it as magic
What do you mean,Lihan?
BelenosStormchaser Magic racks my brains...yes, it's more that men see it as magic
Compared to second nature?
What Bry and Fifi said, that they elves don't think of it as "magic", although humans or halfllings might. I guess the elves think of it as "technology"
such as ?
In fact they do not recognise the word.
ohhhh....elfnocentric perspective lol
Lihan Taifun pokes Tuatha
In the example with Galadriel, I think they were talking about the cloaks
And the Mirror of Galadriel.
And the rope, and the lembas
Mithrail might appear to be magic
Perhaps she was just being modest
But then, how DO you define magic
I think even she would agree the mirror was "unusual"
The humans have an expression......."One man's technology is another man's magic."
Then perhaps magic is what cannot be explianed by those observing.
Galadriel presumably knows at least the principles of lore that make her things work
Then from what I understand tolkien elves and many from other stories are magical creatures... magical... not godlike
Magical in the sense of having abilities that other races don't
Possessed of skills that others do not understand
And isn't it only women that make lembas?
Do they?
Thought so. One of the few things that Tolkien women do that male elves do not
And especially unusual in that male elves do more of the cooking
Once in a while
There is no mention of that fact in the Great Books appendices.
I think it comes from one of the Professor's essays

technology ... lembas ....Lihan Taifun tries to get the conversation back on track
Lembas or Waybread was only for times of dire need I recall.
So perhaps not often made.
You said you knew about their mating/courting ,Lihan? <grins>
That was a couple weeks ago. Fifi was quoting us all sorts of things
but I missed that one.. :(
So how are tolkien elves mating/courting different to folklore.. *grins*
Fifi Wickentower looks down and scuffs toe
I'm not saying.
Dont be self conscious...we'reamong friends
Not knowing ANYTHING about how folklore elves mate ...
It does involve a lot of dancing
My husband does that
Bryster Shan blushes
oh yes...dances...encircles me
Well, you know, with Tolkien writing it ... he describes who came to the wedding feast ... and then a year later a kid is born
so elves have baby goats?
Bryster Shan rolls his eyes skyward.
A feast could mean...everyone was...ummm
I like to dance - is that like mating?
It's a prelude
So tolkien used a lot of euphermisms then?
More like Tolkien skipped those scenes. Or, according to some sources, edited them out before the books went to print. Apparently his earlier versions were spicier than the later ones
Indeed he did. The Gardener wed and sometime later was known to have two or three hobbits.
Well a book has to be able to be published after all..
BelenosStormchaser Magic cannot imagine an x rated tolkien
Fifi Wickentower: *shudders
although Harverd Lampoon could ...
I'm glad he left it out...let us discover it for ourselves, dont you think?
Bryster Shan scrapes the grounds with the toe of his boot. That is a summery of his essay
That's one of the things I noticed about many of his cahracters... they have a certain childlike innocence about them
It might be helpful if we could create a list of Elfen references in books.
It seems that Tolkiens elves have more of a hierarchy - kings, queens etc
such as what? Bry
But where else do we find them? We all know that Elves exist here..... That's all backwards. I know of one book in particular that speaks of fairies or Fae who spent most of thier
Which book would that be?
Which makes me wonder what they had between their ear... because as alluring as brilliant sex can be, eventually other parts of oneself assert themselves.. such as the brain
If they are nature devas then that would seem appropriate
I'd have to look it up. My addled brain doesn't remeber the title. although it was a recent work involving Humans.
hmmm I agree with Fifi, though, it could be appropriate for nature spirits: "birds and the bees"
It was about a human male returning home after a car crash ...whatever that is.....and he was exploring a wood or forest when he found fairies. They were 'at it' all the time and included him....blah-blah..
Written by a teenage male?
We'rejust more hormonal : )
I doubt it. It was a serious novel of sorts.
Quite innocent, really
You are a hormonal Ainu, Tuatha?
What's a hormone?
Has to do with running physical bodies
oohh ty
I am fey...a rather large fey,I mother was Sidhi <i am a mutt>
(lol, tuatha)
Are fey/fairy folk in any way related to elves?
Like distant cousins or something?
I wouldn't think so. They would seem to exist in harmony though, more so than with Edain.
Are they similar creatures, from different traditions?
I think distinctly different
In what way?
Only innoncent humans can see fairies
I don't think fey family really didnt want me to marry an took much timeconvincing them of his value
Have not heard in any tradition of elves and fae the same, but they seem to coexist in their worlds
omg.. I just read on that page that elven childhood and adolescence lasts 50 years in elves.. can you imagine putting up with a teenager for that long? I'd slit my wrists..
That's funny, Belenos
Blame Lihan.. she gave us the link
Do you have wrists?? looks closely
BelenosStormchaser Magic wiggles my hands.. well yeah.. it's those thinsg that let my hands pivot
What creature lived with Tom Bombadil?
It never really said what kind of creatures Tom or Goldberry were. Some people speculate they were Maiar, but that is just a theory.
I'm sure Goldberry was a kind of Elf. But not of the same sort as myself.
She was describes as "the River Man's daughter"
Goldmere?...wasnt that her name? She seemedlike a Sidhi to me
What are Sidhi like?
And the Sidhi are different, how?
Part human and fey
I don't recall her talking at all.
So are you 1/4 human?
Really?....she was so close to her animal friends
es...I must be alittle makes me tall
But the Eldar are tall, also
Loook....let me explain...I could a real mix people were always taking babies that fancied them
So...sadly, I can't tell you forsure how much. Oh..dont get me wrong...they were always kind to these babies..even spoiled them
In the end it matters not . . for you are you and just right :)

Since Belenos wasn't here the last few times . . pehaps she would consider enlightening us about
mating habits of dragons :D Krathlolis touched briefly on the subject, but he has become a bit forgetful about certain things
When you're flying?
Ahhhh, now that is a matter of much debate and popular myth... some believe dragons are non-sexual creatures adn can indeed change sex at will, some believe it is when taking a deep dive while flying, others believe it is more as snakes or lizards would.. But in honesty, as my mate is a fox, I'd hardly know about dragon sex.. *grins*
I like the "deepdive" part
Fifi Wickentower blushes
I mean...that flying could feel that good, I grok that one
Do dragons 'decide' to have a family?
The bit that many seem to forget is that sex between beasts, and dragons are beasts is for mating/procration purposes only.. not for pleasure
oh dear
I think the desire to procreate is instinct driven
So most dragons then would have a hatchling
That depends on their age really and circumstance. Like elves we have much that occupies us.
I know the eggs are carefully guarded
Oh indeed.. they are not left just lying around
I just adore hatchlings. I have to restrain myself.
One has to remember.. while a hatchling may be cute they will one day be a full grown dragon
I want to take them....and I know thats not good
So make sure you are prepared for the committement that takes before taking one home... Oh wait.. we aren't sold in pet shops
Much too dangerous for the pet shop!
It's my instinct
Fifi Wickentower siddles a bit closer to Belenos
Your instinct will see you dead one day... if a dragon ever catches you near their eggs or young
What do you want to do with them ? ^^
Love them
Like snooky-ookums?
Pet them and sit them on your lap perhaps?
Feed them treatas? and give them lots of nice toys?
If they let me..they skirm alot
Perhaps that would be because they are dragons.. not lapdogs?
I know..just I'd be just as content with watching them a ll day
I've heard they grow slowly but gain strength on the inside
But..enough about that...I do restrain myself...I wouldn't want their mother to hunt me down
Might there be some hatchlings in Arador?
That is the thing about dragons.. they are so long lived that the would often outlive a mortal being.. and then be left homeless and ignorant of dragon lore and nature
Mayhap there could be increased inter race understanding
I don't believe we do have any hatchlings Fifi.. I think we get a lot of single dragons.. but no mating pairs
That is sad, Belenos
I've heard of eggs in places not Arador
as have I, Fifi
The thing to always bear in mind is that dragons are wild things.. not to be domesticated.. if they choose to live quietly among mortal beings they do so by choice but are always wild at heart
Because dragons are so long-lived it would only benefit generations after if a young dragon learned of other ppl's ways
While some lands have a hatchery, I find it hard to understand a dragon entrusting their egg/s to such a place... however it could have its uses in the case of eggs that have been orphaned
and still the dragon would be free
I never thought of that....mother's take their babies to hatcheries?
But who would teach it to hunt as a dragon hunts? Who would teach it how to recognise the flows of air and thermal that it needs to know to fly?
That's depressing
I'm not suggesting a dragon be raised apart from his kind, at al, only Tuatha expressed such interest in even watching
That is why dragons need to be raised by dragons.. if they come to seek human/elven or other company in later years well and good.. but only a dragon can teach a dragon how to be dragon..
Well..the next time I feelany impulse to steal one away....I will think/feel about this discussion. Maybe I should just stick to hatchie sitting
You see, if you love the dragons Tuatha, you will get more dragon from a wild dragon, than one raised by others... *smiles*.... but you are alawys welcome in our realm.. all true friends of dragons are
So,is the impulse to steal young ones a characteristic of non-Tolkien Sidhe?
Oh..that's the fey side of the family. I reallydo show restraint
I appreciate your openess

We have discussed Sidhe, fey ... any other beings we should mention?
A little about elves
Like Santa's elves?
no no.. I meant we had discussed a little about elves
Do we feel any clearer on the differences?
Somewhat, yes :)
Between Tolkien elves and non-tolkien elves?
yes. Do we?
Yeah.. you don't weary pointy caps and live at the north pole.. :D erm.. 'they', not you
Tolkien Elves seem more humnalike than folklore
I learned more about Tolkien than non-Tolkien and that is fine :)
Was it your topic?
Yes - idealized, as the article Lihan pointed out mentioned
Any ideas for next week's topic?
mer ppl?
hehe.. yeah. what about mer?
How they do it? I wanna know lol
LOL.. we can tell where your mind is..
No... all about them
Is always about that lol?^^ know, I havent asked any mer folk about that...but I've always wanted to
How much do they figure in his work?
I have heard they are actually mentioned, though not in the Silmarillion. I don't know where it is they show up
hhmmmmm research :))
Go Fifi!
I think Phoenix found the reference. Good luck getting him to concentrate long enough to find it again

Did we have a topic for next week?
*awaiting other suggestions
Wasn't it going to be merfolks?
oh, right, ok
Sounds good to me
Lots of other topics if we don't want to talk about ppl
such as? Any other topics to put on the list for later?
What do you have a desire to explore?
ok....Maiar Shapeshifters

So our topic is shapeshifting Maiars?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dragons, part 2

Tolkien Discussion Group
November 11, 2009
Topic: Dragons, continued
Derecho Chrome
Renlu Roeth
Lihan Taifun
AelKennyr Rhiano
Fifi Wickentower
Ossy Portocarrero
Fi Piaggio
Kratholis Vanistok

Have you met Belanos?
Belenos the Black? Yes, I have.
Of course! She should be here soon
Excellent. I have to admit that I know little of this group, but when I received a notice for a discussion regarding dragons, I thought I ought to attend.
Wonderful. We do have the old discussions saved online,if you are interested

Last week we started discussing dragons, a very lively discussion. I thought we would continue with "origins of dragons", which, I notice, is not EXACTLY what the announcement said.Not that people stay on topic, no matter what the announced topic is
Bryster,meet the visiting dragons. We will have a lot of dragon experts tonight.
My Lady, I see no dragons, merely beings neither here nor there. And your good self has vanished in part I fear.
I believe they are not entirely in their full dragon forms
This particular form, is just a humanoid version of my true self. At times, it is more easier to move around in.
Bryster Shan sees the dragons through clearer eyes at last.
They are Maiar, that is why they can change form
Where is Belanos? She is usually early
I don't see her online
I suppose we should start

Last week we had decided dragons could "go good". They didn't have to retain their old evil ways
Yep, by using their free will. *nods*
We weren't decided whether dragons were originally Maiar spirits, or whether they were creations of Morgoth. I think that was where we were last week
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Morgoth cannot create... morgot can only modify. Right?
That is what people say. Qlthough, he participated in the Great Song
And created his own tune, yes?
Mmhmm but he never created anything else. That Im aware of...
So, that should count as creating
Even the Orcs he made were just tainted versions of elves. Which would imply he was more of a modifier than anything else. He just wanted to take things that existed to make them in his image. For his glory.
I've never heard of him creating anything from scratch after that
So the Maiar he took under his wing would have undergone a similar transformation to suit his image of perfection. Namely, in the image of himself after he was corrupted by spending too much time in the void. Before Ea was truly 'finished'. Thats what I had assumed anyway?
That makes sense. Derecho and Renlu, are you familiar with the Maiar?
Derecho Chrome shakes his head. "I am not."
Renlu Roeth pauses for a moment "I do not believe so.. I know very little outside where I was born"
Someone want to give our guests a quick summary?
Ossy Portocarrero looks at Lihan, and then laughs. Ossy Portocarrero claps his hands together "OK!"
Short, Ossy!
Sooo!!! At the beginning, before the Universe...... Short... ok ... According to the Christian/Catholic belief of creation and stuff... There are these creatures called Angels. The Ainur are very similar to these creatures, NAMELY the two primarily subdivisions called Arch-Angels and just 'regular angels'. They were part of the force responsible for the creation of the world and after it was created were allowed, if they wanted, to come to Arda to stay here and finish terraforming before the children (elves and men, and later dwarves) were born. They are spirits in origin who can shape shift, though they prefer to look like Elves because they are the most beautiful of God's creation.They are divided into two ranks. Valar (or Vala in singular) and Maiar (or Maia in singular). The Valar are the primary of them who have control over the wider aspects of the world. The Maiar are their aides and control smaller sections of the domain of their superiors.That's the basic info. Ossy Portocarrero coughs "Go on"
Well put, Ossy
Ossy Portocarrero grins.
And some of the Maiar followed the evil Vala, Morgoth, and became various sorts of demons. Including, in some versions of the story, the dragons
Renlu Roeth would nod "I see, and these beings were attempted to be controlled? How foolish"
No, they went willingly when they fell sway to the song of Melkor.
Well, the Arador dragons eventually revolted from Morgoth. Or their ancestors did; I am not sure how many generations have passed for the dragons of Arador
Mmmm well Ainu cannot die. They can only be sent to the Undying lands, right? They are destined to be on Arda until the end of time.
Or "The End Times". So, the old Maia/Dragons would still be around, though they could also reproduce.
Their bodies can be killed, though. And then they have to make a new body, which takes time and energy
Are dragons not allowed in the Undying lands because of their taint?
I see three dragons in the Undying Lands right now
I meant.... >.> ...after their bodies die. Or the halls where 'dead ainu' go, more specifically.
There are dragons in Tirion
I took it to understand once an Ainu was 'out of comisssion' he couldn't come back until the End Times
I don't think that is necessarily true
:) I'm learning, teach us oh great one!
Out of commission?
Once their body dies.
I don't remember many cases in the stories where that happened
Not to "good" ainur
Like a clipped wing??
Yes, but what about the 'bad' ainur? Like dragons.
The evil ones do seem to slowly lose their abilities, first to change shape, then to reform their bodies
The form follows consciousness
Is that over time, or with subsequent deaths?
I had assumed that, being out of touch with Eru, they didn't recharge their batteries, and so gradually ran out of power. But that isn't stated anywhere.
a fair assumption
Sauron was "killed" several times
a 'fallen'angel
But he was also trapped and a Vala not a Maiar like the dragons are assumed to be. But when he died, he didn't go to the hall of 'dead Ainu' from what I understand, either.
Sauron was a Maia
Oh sauron xD sorry I read Melkor... I'm obsessed with that 'bad ass' I take it back ^^ Wasn't he 'killed for good' though? at one point?
After the Ring was destroyed?
We were left with the impression that he didn't have enough power left to reform a body,and he was now just a disembodied, powerless, spirit
But is that a forever thing?
Well he is still around as a spirit.
After all this time, though, couldn't he reform?
and can't return to Illuvatar or go outside of Ea until the End Times
and then . . redemption?
I'm sure he could return to Illuvatar if he WANTED to
Oh...I meant form his body again
Well in the SIlmarillion it says those who came to Ea had to stay in Ea.
He can't leave Ea, the created world, until the end, no, none of us can
Which is why only Manwe talked to Illuvatar and passed his words on to the others.
right. Derecho and Renlu, are you following this at all?
Yeah... sorry Im talking so much >.<
This is very heavy stuff for people who aren't used to the universe, as we discuss the finer points of spirit-beings
I am following it as well as my mind can follow
Only vaguely, not being familiar with the beings spoken of.
If you have any questions as we talk, ask! :)
I shall.

Maybe if we moved back to dragons . . ?
If dragons became mortal, does that mean there was a pariring between ainu and mortal?
They became mortal?
We don't really know what the children would be like, if two ainur mated. No examples of such children, in the books
I know when Ainu and mortals mate, the children become more and more mortal.... but I dont know of any Ainu couples having kids without messing with mortals.
And, where would they get new Ainur souls for the kids?
There are shades of mortality? I would have thought that one could be only one or the other.
but how can dragons and mortals mate?
so this is unexplored territory
Well, when an Ainur and a Mortal mate, they have mortal children with ainur qualities.... mild powers, etc. and those are weakened in further generations.
When the children of ainu and mortals are born...what kind of souls do they have?
Fifi Wickentower: shudders*
What kind of souls do mortals have, for that matter?
Mortal souls xD Badum CHING
Mortal what, though?
Well... maybe when they were being modified (the 'bad' maiar)... their souls changed too?
A mortal soul is evolutionary and over endless lifetimes can earn their immortality
Is that how it is in Tolkien?
That doesn't sound like Tolkien's view
Mortals are mortals.Their lives are finite and frought with free will.
and elves?
Elves were also endless unless killed. Their life spans were forever, if uninterrupted. Elves and Mortals are not the same in that department
until the end of an age
I wish Belanos were here, she might know something about dragon souls
I'm sure she would . . or Kratholis
Who? A dragon philosopher?
The Ancient of Ancients - the Chronicleer of dragon history. He lives in Arador and is a close friend
He might know, then
He meant to be here last week too. He and belenos are the true experts
So, we don't really know.
Kratholis escaped from Mordor. And has much to say about mating habits and hatchlings and eggs
Ohhh, he sounds like just the expert we need. Maybe we can get him here some week to explain to us
Yes. He very rarely leaves his cave (blind) but was willing to come here :)
Or perhaps we could meet there, if that was easier for him
Maybe we could do a field trip to Arador
How do dragons feel about having company?
Maybe he doesn't want a crowd stomping into his cave
Indeed, depends on mood
Mostly a solitary lot but these dragons are kind and don't eat their freiends
that's ... nice ...
not eating friends is good
well . . . . i don't see that happening . . . an appointed time would be good
Selfish creatures though we are, considerations can be made!
Would you like to speak to him about it, FIfi?
Ynd there are others who live in the Royal Lands. Yes . . be happy too . . last week he was disappointed. And then you could see the beauty of the land and see the beauty which Ihilia and Morchant have created.

Derecho, that question came up last week ... would you describe dragons as "selfish"?
Yes, unequivically.
Would a dragon ever do something "unselfish"?
Belenos, as she rps Ithilia is not exactly unselfish.
Well all have things that make us unique, selfish though we may be we find other things to care about
Not impossible, but when you get down to it, a truly unselfish act is a rare occurance in any race. Just most rare of all in dragons.
That does not mean she is bad, however.
You can be selfish and not bad. Knowing your 'limitations' is half the battle :P remember, free will and all.
She could have gone off by herself instead of leading other dragons to safety
Most acts of "good" are still selfish, upon consideration. You do them for a reward, or do avoid the costs of regret.
There is safety in numbers...could have been self preservation.
If what you want and what others want is not in conflict, there is no problem
Or out of guilt or for glory. etc. But not ALL acts of kindness are selfish
Not all, no. But less so than most would think, in my opinion.
The good for good's sake and non selfish reasons is an ideal. anyway
Some can aspire to that, though.

Entering chat range: Kratholis Vanistok (11m)
Kratholis Vanistok: Where?
Greetings, Ancient.
Renlu Roeth chuckles One of ours arrives in their true form
Kratholis Vanistok: hello
This is my Grandfather (adopted)
It is an honor to meet you
And hello dear Fifi, thanks for telling me about comming here

Kratholis, if you could enlighten us ...
What would you wish to hear?
We were trying to figure out about the origins of dragons
Dragons are personal creations of Eru. At least I am told
As Maiar, or as a different breed? Are you, or your ancestors, Maiar?
If I can remember I would probably say so, but it's a little foggy. But, probably not. None the less, it is possiable, dragons are creatures of unimaginagle age, so there is a chance
In the Silmarillion.... Dragons are not mentioned at creation. At all. Ainu, Elves and Men are, and also Dwarves. But not dragons.
Isn't there mention in the ancient scrolls?
We don't have a complete catalog, Ossy
True, I'm just saying.
Perhaps beings such as dragons were not mentioned in the mix because so many more were in creation
Or because the Silmarillion was recorded by elves, who were a bit biased
Is there a book of Dragon Lore?
I'm working on comprimising one
oooh nice
As it is, such a book is being written page by page, day by day. And seeing as the days are never ending, I am constantly in a state of writing.

Would you care to comment on the relationship between dragons and Morgoth?
That I can answer on a personal note. I waited on the slopes of Mount Doom for his orders long before the creation of Shelob, As for other dragons, it was merely prespective of what they saw of him
Would it be prying to ask how you came into his service?
Kratholis Vanistok chuckles and shakes his head. "Not at all, I enjoy telling stories"
Fifi Wickentower: nods nods nods
It was short after my hatching that I sought him out, personally I saw him differently from other dragons. I thought he was looking for a different way to shape the world, and not physically I mean. For a majority of my younger years, I helped organize what you could say was an army at that time, and when he started experimenting with his abominations, I waited idly by for his orders
Well, as it was, I was more short on thoughts in my youth, my loyalty wasnt questioned and no order went without completeion. It was however when Morgoth created Shelob that things started going wrong for me. Back then I did my best to keep away from shelob and actually stayed away, It was till Morgoth became entrapped by Shelob that forced me to leave"
Where did you go after this?
Strange as it may sound I went to the void, from there I met a void dragon that tought me how to jump from one realm to another, from there, those are different stories, unless you wish to hear more
We try to stick to Tolkien :)
As you wish, but from there, you might get better information from the history books
Do you know of dragons from before Morgoth?
Kratholis Vanistok nods. "Very few, such vague memories, but I did recognize my parents, it was very long ago mind you'
Did you know of any dragons who did not follow Morgoth?
Of course, my parents were two of them, but many more fled, others tried to avoid the mess.
Another question that arose tonght was, if your parents were also ancients . . did they ever allude to times before?
I doubt they were ancients, probably a younger pairing than most, there were a much fewer number of those when I was younger, word of them was far and inbetween
Ahh. Did your parents have wings? The earliest mention in Tolkien of a dragon was one without wings
Kratholis Vanistok chuckles and nods. "Yes they did, fifi"
Have you any knowledge of dragon souls?
I think I know of the dragon you speak of, the wingless one. As of Dragon Souls, there are many philosophies of them, one in particular I favor.
Lihan Taifun whispers "a dragon philospher, I told you!"
Kratholis Vanistok chuckles a little. So you mean the wingless dragon Glaurung? The father of Dragons, Fifi?
Yes, Grandfather that one
Ahh yes, he was the first to be captured by Morgoth
Aha!!!! . . . . .where and how nvmd - not canon ^^
I cant exactally call where and how, even the Silmirilian is vague on that matter. As for Dragon's Spirits, What I was told by and elder dragon is something I hold dear. 'When a dragon dies, it's spirit doesnt truely leave this world. It's spirit continously binds with nature, to provide hope for the future"
An amazing thought
What causes a dragon to die? besides being killed as happened to Tolkien's dragons
Dragons do not wear out with age, do they?
A dragon can die just as an elf can, but some dragons are not immune to age
Weakened by Morgoth?
Perhaps, but that is an interesting theory
Life forced eroded after eons of negative energy?
As I said, an interesting theory

Did we have more questions for the Ancient?
So... we're down to three plus me...
We started a couple hours ago lol
Perhaps we should adjourn for the night
Should we pick something for next time?
If we have any ideas for next time,sure
I would like to know more about the difference betwen Tolkien elves and 'regular' elves
One definition verses hundreds of others?
hmmm, yes, you would have to know what "regular" elves were like
That's my question lol
Well Tolken's elves are merely an awakened race of imortals, everything else is just a race or subrace
His elves are tall
I'm afraid I am about to fall asleep in my chair here
Am I that boring?
Not at all, you have been keeping me awake, against all odds! This curved earth is hard to get used to. So much easier in the old days when the world was flat.
It was an honor having you visit, Kratholis
I am glad to have come, just wish I had been around earlier
We are here every Wednesday

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dragons, part 1

Is it really Wednesday already?
Fifi has collected links so we can all read up on dragons before the discussion:

Tolkien Discussion Group
November 4, 2009
Topic: Dragons

BelenosStormchaser Magic
Fifi Wickentower
Lihan Taifun
AelKennyr Rhiano
Malakyte Thorne
Ondine Ninetails
Ossy Portocarrero
Tuatha Shippe

Hello, Belanos! I'm so glad you could be here to be our dragon expert! ooooh! Fifi is a dragon tonight!
You are going to be overwhelmed by us
I was just admiring your dragon

My tail got caught in a tree
You need to grow bigger, so you can pull it out more easily
Someday I'll be big
Of course, dear Lihan Taifun pats the dragon reassuringly. I do hope the big dragons don't eat the little ones
Fifi Wickentower smiles at the kind gesture
Just keep eating your red meat and you will be fine
me too!
hehe... noooo... although some myths would have you believe we do
The tavern keeps me well nourished :D
hehe... yes, I believe fox tends to leave steak out for the dragons, does he not?
yes - so thoughtful . . always lots!!
I think it's a self preservation thing actually.. *chuckles*
Foxes are red meat, too?
Who would nibble on the Fox lol That would be suicide

What are we discussing tonight?
Can't you tell by looking at Fifi? :-)
AelKennyr Rhiano looks at Fifi..." Ummm...Barney?"
I'm sure Belanos can tell us all about Dragons, just from memory!
We are big and scaley and enjoy eating swans.. *nods nods nods*
and sitting on treasure
Actually, there is some debate it seems about the origins of them.
I noticed that. There is some precedent for thinking you are maiar
Although I've often heard it mentioned here that dragons would be Maia that Morgoth corrupted, some of what I read in those links give rise to some questions.. for instance, when Glaurung first emerged from Angbrand he was said to be too young, which would make one wonder that if he were the first, how was he 'young'? Was it meaning young as in juvenile.. or young as in young and inexperienced as a dragon..
or if not Maia, another 'noble' form

{Several people arrive.}

So...contrary to what some believe, there were dragons in Tolkien's world, right?
Malakyte Thorne grins, oh yes of course. Smaug, at least. If there was one there must have been others.
How could anyone say there were not?
Yes... there some not beleive that?
Yes, Belenos, some do
That's most interesting.. how do they justify that?
Dragons are even mentioned in passing in Lord of the Rings
hmm its been a while since i read it.. i dont remember that but can well believe it
Just as some automatically assume that Ainu must be rped as deities.
I believe there are only 4 dragons named in Tolkiens work
I am curious about who they were.. aside from Smaug of course
Gandalf mentions that several of the Rings of Power given to the dwarves ended up melted by dragons
ahh .. it is said that dragons fire is much hotter than normal fire
There was Glaurung.. and of course Ancalagon..
There are "purists" who take those four to be representative of how all dragons my be rped in Tolkien and so won't accept rp if dragons act in a contrary manner.
Smaug of couse, but also Glaurung,
Ancalagon and
Ahhh yes.. I know of some who believe all tolkien dragons should be evil.. but had not realised there were some who did not believe there were dragons at all
Scatha.. that was the one I could not recall..
Ancalagon was black and the first dragon to fly
yes... and the biggest I believe
In most stories dragons are evil
I went blank on Scatha, as well.
I only remembered because I read Fifi's notes this afternoon
but was the second dragon mentioned
Malakyte, most stories, being....?
Are these dragons ever mentioned in the book from the earlier time?
The same question Belenos had occured to me about the dragon, Glaurung, being too young at first
Well most stories.. there are those where dragons are the monsters and those where dragons are intellegent and good
Malakyte, you are talking about folk tales in general?
ahh i am talking about modern stories and folk tales.. modern movies.. etc. excepting of course the Pern stories, and those like Dragon Heart and Eragon
The archetype of the snake the catacombs , where the first Roman Christians met, there are carvings of dragons and grifphons which serve to inform the early christians that those areas were meeting places for the early christians and were safe.
How odd they use dragosn and gryphons as a symbol of safety
To us it is odd
I never heard that, yes, surprising
Well in some christian writings the dragon is another word for satan..
But we are looking at it with a modern perspective, knowing all the folklore and stories that came later.
Yes strange in that the dragon was a pagan symbol
hard to find a symbol that hadn't be used before
of course Christianity used pagan symbols.. as i have heard.. watching shows about the origins of some of our holidays..
Here is the you know what the word "pagan" originally meant to the Romans?
meant "rural"
Yes, a pagan was a country bumpkin.
ahh.. interesting
Whereas Christianity was more an urban thing
So it is Not really surprsing when you know that for them to use dragons and griphons. If I wanted to make sure my country Christians friends are directed to the right place, I would use symbols known to them
And Christianity was a new religion, it did not have a wealth of symbology all its own.
ppl didn't read
I suppose what I meant when I said it was odd, was that it's always struck me as interesting how many cultures world wide have dragon myths in them... in one form or another... and this was one I did not know about...
Dragons go way back in China
and Chinese dragons are always good dragons
although they must be placated at times ti continue the good will
But it was good you said that..because we sometimes forget that we have a different viewpoint than others at different historical times.
And in western mythologies, dragons were not always bad
Yes.. I believe that the trilogy was written from a western perspective..
Although Tolkien was familiar with a wide range of mythologies
He had a love and fascination with dragons
I have heard that the celts believed dragons were good.. is this true?
The celts belived that dragons were "ancient" being and very wise...and that when they were sighted, they were a foreshadow of great changes and events.
I see.. so not such a negative view
Not at all
Well great changes can be good or bad...
just as "wisdom" can be
but the dragons didnt cause them.. they just forshadowed them
an omen
so as messengers they were neither good nor bad in that sense
Would anyone like a quote from the Professor on dragons?
yes, please
"But the land of Merlin and Arthur was better than these, and best of all the nameless North of Sigurd of the Volsungs, and the prince of all dragons. Such lands were pre-eminently desirable. I never imagined that the dragon was of the same order as the horse. And that was not solely because I saw horses daily, but never even the footprint of a worm. The dragon had the trade-mark Of Fairie written upon him. In whatever world he had his being it was an Other-world. Fantasy, the making or glimpsing of Other-worlds, was a profound desire.I desired dragons with a profound desire."
But he desired dragons in what sense.
He, as a kid, thought dragons were cool
Perhaps because dragons are so long-lived - their natural cycles of coming and going
You know it's funny... I sort of intuitively 'get' what he means when he said that.. that he desired dragons... but just don't ask me to explain it..
coincided with 'our'great changes
It's like you are drawn to them
It leaves it wide open to the individual's subjective feelings, doesn't it?
He wanted the world to be the kind of place where dragons could exist
Interesting . they had the trade- mark of faerie about them
But, Fifi, elves are long-live with cycles of coming and going...yet the dragon captures our imagination in a completely different way.
This was the preface to his statement :In "On Fairy Stories" (delivered as an Andrew Lange Lecture in 1938) Tolkien confides that as a child he was little moved by Alice in Wonderland or Treasure Island, and goes on to say he desired dragons
hmm well dragons are symbols of power..
It's more than just power though I think..
And elves are . .playful and not scary?
BelenosStormchaser Magic snickers at Fifi
power and wisdom.. perhaps a being more alien than a biped form.. with reptilian wisdom.. something that is a bit detached from the human point of view
Well, he is describing his reaction to the stories he heard as a child
Something that beathes fire and is huge with big teeth would be archetypal
Something much older than humanity or the elves
Some might suggest an ancient ancestor reptilian race
He also remarked at another time :
"A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men's imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold. Even to-day (despite the critics) you may find men not ignorant of tragic legend and history, who have heard of heroes and indeed seen them, who yet have been caught by the fascination of the worm."
a symbol of the power of nature perhaps.. ?
more of power of spirit i would think
depends on the story.. some stories have dragons as simply cunning beasts
another archetypal attribute of the snake
some as guardians of earth
The first dragon in Tolkiens writings did not fly, and so was confined to the land . . I don't recall whether legs were mentioned
That is interesting that he has different kinds of dragons
Perhaps it was based more on the eastern dragons?
I think is was evolving because of Morgoth
I dont think I can associate them with 'retilian beings'
Do you mean that as he saw that flying would be a good attribute, he bred them so?
flying is always good <grins>
The first was a fire-drake . .Glaurung and is called the Father of Dragons. It was Ancalagon the Black who was the first to fly
So what are dragons.. most consider dragons as reptiles
Dragons are dragons.. *grins*
Because....they feel more divine...retilians are not divine at all
hmm with scales and they lay eggs.. hmm perhaps like the warm blooded dinosaurs.
In some cultures reptiles are divine. The snake is worshiped.
I think that like humans share a common ancestry with certain other mammals, Dragons may share one with reptiles, like snakes

Was there a "mother of dragons"?
not that I've seen mentioned
probably.. but like most females in history, not written about.. :)
Glaurung couldn't have started the next generation all by himself
Perhaps it wasn't so much physically a father
Perhaps the first to be 'succesfully' perverted by the Dark Lord

well..the snake has more complex meanings....and symbolism too
We do not look on them as beings really...we see them more like Seraphin
Perhaps they are evolved past reptiles but retain some characteristics
You lost me, Tuatha? Who is 'we'?
Do elves have a reptilean brain ?hrhr
World myths...snake is more symbol of life forces
We who have been exposed to the story of the fall of man can have a deep cultural bias agaisnt snakes...
Reptilians are beings
A lot of people assure that the snake is evil because it is encouraging Eve to partake of the fruit of knowledge, but some see that the snake being benevolent.
Obviously the snake was a potent symbol, to have gotten into that story
There are those who say there is a highly evolved reptilean race on earth and/or coming and going regularily
You mean politicians?
Yes, I have heard that urban myth
yes...we might learn more about those creatures in the not so distant future
a future discussion "The lifespan of a politician in Tolkien."

So.....four dragons do not a representation of a whole race make, wouldn't you agree?
Those four might be "typical" dragons have directions...thenyou have elementals
Is anything 'typical' in Tolkien?
sorry...wasnt sticking to Tolkien
Sure, Tolkien defines "typical", and then goes on to write about people quite unlike what he says is typical
But there was a fifth dragon mentioned, but in a separate story. And it was not typical of the others at all. It was in the story about farmer giles..and was cowardly and a bully
Yes, but is that connected to the Tolkien universe?
I thought someone else could tie their fingers in knots typing that name.. :D
I always liked that story!
Tell us ...what was his fate?
Not in the same universe, and he ended up an ally of the human hero
Still Tolkien does provide yet another encounter with a dragon, presumably outside of the framework of Middle-earth in a delightful story called Farmer Giles of Ham. In this story, a common farmer, Giles, first encounters a lost giant, whom he accidentally routes.
Perhaps those 4 were pointed out because they were not normal.. they distinguished themselves in some way..
Perhaps they were pointed out because they were the most evil of the evil
I think Malakyte may be onto something
In any story there are always the key players
t is not the person who is average and everyday that draws our attention...
or because, as minions of Morgoth, they were relevant to the story, whereas the dragons who were minding their own business didn't enter the story
good point
like women often did not.
It is the person who stands out...either with their inate goodness or their misdeeds.
Just as the elves who never answered the call to come to Aman never enetered the story
"ding, dong...Aman calling...".....grins
They were not specified as the only dragons
I think dragons were considered a race like most races.. they had the usual way of coming into being..
The stork brought them?
There seems to be different versions about the origins of dragons
hehe must have been a dragon stork ehh?
or a bloody big one
VERY BIG stork
Well maybe .. dragon eggs dont have to be really huge
or a patch of very big cabbages
Fifi would fit in about a 1 meter egg, and she may have grown some since she hatched
I've grown a lot!!! I'm Much bigger now lol

Honestly...I feel Dragons have souls....reptilians do not,though retilians may be immortal
Why don't reptiles?
Dragons certainly act like they have souls
yes.. there are some that say everything has a soul..
because....they thought they could wield life like Melkor
Reptiles did?
immortal...but not eternal
BelenosStormchaser Magic is getting confused at how we keep jumping in and out of Tolkien
me too
Just tell us what mythology or folklore you are referring to, please.
Just as long as we know when we are talking about Tolkien and when we aren't
no offence meant.. I was just getting a little lost..'s description
I want to hear about other mythologies and literature...I just need clues
Though in myth, they were likened to gods....yet, I dont think they were gods at all
In which myth?
a geez...many cultures speak of these beingsthat live underground
Living underground doesn't make you a dragon
8 foot tall, intelligent and perhaps we are tasty with a nice aioli
but.....Dragons are different, very different
Its just my opinion
fava beans
It may be that there is a basis in fact for the dragon myths, but when you don't have the language or skills to explain what seems to way beyond understanding
Someone was doing peyote and stumbled across a gila monster?
BelenosStormchaser Magic is going to BITE the elf very soon
Well.... I can assure you the people in the east did not have fava beans, and they still came up with dragons
Can we move back to the topic at hand? Dragons in Tolkien? This is getting way beyond 'a tangent' people.
Then exageration, deification etc is what happens
Tolkien is better
If we wanted to talk other myths... wouldn't we be the Myth discussion group?
Well, I don't mind if there is a coorrelation....
Its ok if its to help say "well maybe this is where he got the idea"

Malakyte Thorne does not know much about the dragons in Tolkien
So, what do we know?
I've been quickly skimming those links Fifi so kindly supplied us with, refreshing the memory
some fly, some breathe fire; some are partial to treasure; several have hypnotice powers
I think, Malakyte, that we are left with supposition with Tolkien
If they were merely mentioned is there much to know about them?
I think so
It's interesting how few propose we originated from maia.. but say that we were created or bred
Well, according to the Silmarillion, orcs and such were created from elfs which Melkor corrupted.
Also, aren't there elves, who due to long exposure, changed because of it? Like.. the gray skina nd such? Can't the same be said for Maia = Dragons?
Remember, Belenos when Elu and Melian married, they produced children, who in turn reproduced.
mmm, that's true too..
So dragons could have descended from Maiar
I believe so, something divine indeed
One of those quotes said something about dragons being "great spirits"?
Is the evil effect of Melkor on the womb, then... like birth defects on babies when mothers drink and do drugs while pregnant?
AelKennyr Rhiano nods Wow, Ossy...that is an interesting take....
hmm who was Maiar?
They are celestial beings...akin to angels
Maiar are lesser Ainu.. as Ael said, akin to angels
I'm just asking... I mean, I don't know.
Soul-less melkor originals
I dont think they had this kind of studies at the time that this was being written
It is good question
I would not say soulless..
If you know anything about the hiearchy of Angels as put out by the bible, there are two kinds:Archangels (The Valar) and regular run of the mill angels (Maiar)
Dragons are divine
I'm commenting,Ossy, not asking
Dragons, as far as I understood it, where Ainu that were in some way corrupted by the dark powers of Melkor.
In some ways I've thought of what he did to create dragons as a form of torture and brainwashing to change a maia to a dragon
or rather.. Maiar that went with him when he went into the darkness.
yes !! fallen angels
Actually, there were sevel classes of angels in Judeo Christian mythology.
well yes, but the ones comparable to Ainu are the two I mentioned
and if you think about the change in an elf to an orc
so some Dragons are fallen and someare this correct?
no no no Tuatha.. some maia were fallen and some were not. Some of the fallen maia became dragons
Of course, after the first generation, dragons raised by Melkor, or by nasty dragons, would likely be nasty themselves
My character, Osse, fell to the guile of Melkor for a time, but was at a later time redeemed
Imagine what form the dragon had prior
I think dragons can have similar changes of heart, and therefore not all dragons are bad
I cannot see why that cannot be so, Ossy.
Absolutely - i know dragons who manged to escape from the dark and are now living free
yes... I think that is possible too Ossy.. there is a thing called free will.. and even though that can be perverted for a time, it has always the potential to assert itself
ahh so dragons are evil
yes, it all matters according to the inate goodness of an individual
If dragons are sentient...and are descended from Maiar.....that is very possible
Anyone can be corrupted, but anyone can be uncorrupted, in the same light.
hmmm...big topic there
[2009/11/04 20:27] Tuatha Shippe: lol
I meant all dragons are evil? statement
er.. that is then all dragons were evil..
No, the origins of all dragons is rooted in evil.
yes.. malakyte.. we all were..
But not all dragons are evil.
Because they fell to Malkor's influence...does that make them evil?
still a blanket statement :D
some remained so
like orcs
Thats why you say the origin.
or misguided...subverted...brainwashed.
all have the potential to reform
The four examples that we have ... would we say Scatha and Smaug were "evil"? or just "self-centered"?
They had lost their divine connection
I would say that Smaug is selfish, petty, and self centered.
perhaps wicked? .. taht's slightly different.. :D
Isn't the root of evil self-centered?
Those two don't seem to have been acting on anyone's orders
hmm well Smaug if you look at it was afraid of being robbed as he robbed the dwarves..
But there are also gradations of evil
Yes Ossy.. jsut because morgoth was evil doesn't mean everyone had to be THAT evil to be considered evil
another big topic lol
"the nature of evil"
Maybe we should start a philosophers group :)
It is in the nature of dragons to covet gold.. riches..
It's in the natures of most being actually Malakyte.humans, dwarves..elves? .. *grins*
Indeed Belenos
The whole thing about Smaug was his treasure
Well that is the part we saw in the book Malakyte
What is to say there was not more to him than that? After you're a live for a long time, things begin to lose focus as other things become more important
well yes.. but dragons are well known to go after treasure.. perhaps in that they represent greed
hehe.. he could have just been trying to be a good provider for a prostpective mate.. :D
Maybe that is just where he was at the time, due to his long age.
and again, men and dwarves do not?
Why would dragons wantto hoard gold and such?...oh good answer, Belenos
But I think we are getting into too many gray areas about this
mates.. because eating it makes their scales strong too maybe.
In honesty Tuatha, why would men, or dwarves want to hoard it?
It builds character
Men don't live so long
We're suppose to elaborate, Ossy
They tend to focus procreation as a continuation of their species. Therefore, hording may be present in a few, but mostly I surmise their need for wealth is to provide for their family units. Smaug was a solitary dragon.
So hording would be a survival necessity
He provided for no one and lived for ever (since he is Maia), and therefore it was purely greed... his corruption into evil.
He was the last of Tolkiens great dragons
Now that's an interesting word you used Ossy.. 'need' Was it a need? Or was it something they wanted.. or even something they earnt?
I mean, if I'd earnt gold by defending some village against an evil tyrant I'd not want to then surrender that gold to just anyone who wants to take it. Perahps they are just saving their hard earned wages
Well... there was the king in the Trilogy who was being hypnotized? or maligned?
After all, what are they to spend it on? Cookies?
... that person was greedy for selfish reasons.
Smaug stole the gold from the dwarves..
I like to roll in my hoard . . it keeps my scales supple. And it's my future security
Yes but Smaugh was not a dragon who would do something like that, so he probably dind't EARN his gold. He killed or stole for it
This is why the dwarves were coming back to the mountain
But then does one thief who happens to make it into the news, make all their race theives?
Is gold a symbol of power? not just for providing
to men it is
for dragons we dont really know because that is not specified
ok, let me make an argument: Let us assume I am a dragon. How do I eat? I hunt and kill or people send maidens out to me :P How do I roost? I find a cave big enough and I sit inside it....
And if a dragon has something others want - doeasn't that give him power?
BelenosStormchaser Magic giggles madly
The dragon in the story was the bad guy in the eyes of the dwarves and men
What makes you think we eat the maidens.. *grins*
Dragons are OUTSIDE the capitalist system. They don't NEED money for anything.
Its pretty and they like it. but it doesnt provide for anything.
but it looks pretty, gold and jewels
Therefore it's a whim, a superficial desire.
And you hunt deer and bunnies and icky rats
Its very pretty
Men want gold because it helps pay for things, its a sign of wealth and power.
Elves don't NEED gold, either
I like shiny things
So men want to steal our pretties..
But in a society where money is necessary to survive... you NEED gold.Yes but the elves give it away, they're not greedy
depends on the elf
When they discovered pearls in the sea, they gave them away like one might give candy on halloween. This is true, not at elves are uncorrupted either.
Its all speculation what dragons use their riches for .. though it was stated in the story that the treasure made a shield ont he belly of Smaug
So I think you are leading to the conclusion that draogns do not have hoards of gold because of greed? or for wealth purposes... but because they are pretty, yes?
That seems too..juvenile
.... that is greed. Wanting something simply because you want it is greed.
no it's not.. it's... collecting.. :D
They didnt want it for power.
why? ppl like flowers
no.. greed is excessive want
It is excessive for dragons to want gold
Collecting COULD be greed
They dont NEED it for anything. therefore it IS excessive
Who says so? Excessive to want something you like?
In large quantities? when other people need it?
See, there you go.. you assume a need has to be a physical need
Oh no... not at all Belenos. By all means keep on 'collecting' </sarcasm>
Isn't that a judgement - who knows the hidden truths of dragons and the energy that is food to them
Like humans and their art? is that all greed?
Maybe they did want it forpower...because when humans and dwarves lost their gold to the dragon....the humans and dwarves felt ...less power?
Peope who collect art are people with money, who want to exemplify their wealth and therefore power. So it is a type of greed yes
ppl collect everything from salt and pepper shakers to cars to books
ahhh.. such a hardened and cynical young person... what about those who buy a picture simply because it pleases the eye
Does that make them evil, greedy hoarders?
Maybe the dragon knew how to really piss off the humans and dwarves...
That is not collecting. That is buying a picture
Taking their pretty gold from them
There are so many examples of how people do things because it looks nice..... no physical need... just looks nice.. it is not greed
Of course
Fifi Wickentower: mutters to self put new lock on cave door
So, might we say we don't really know the dragons' motives about their treasure?
Well I dont think Tolkien was explicit
yes Lihan
So..there's room for the creative here
But he did, to the dragons who were 'bad', imply a corruption (such as greed, or selfishnes) at the root of their behaviour
This is pure speculation based on limited knowledge
It didnt matter to the story why the dragon took the mountain, only thathe did
Of course.. *grins*.. after having played devil's advocate about it being anything other than greed.. it's good to realise we should not assume we know why they did it
But he did kill to get it.. whether that was a disregard for biped life or what is also unknown
And the stories are all being told from the human or dwarvish point of view
We musn't be elfnocentric
Lihan Taifun chokes on her tea
Well sure, dragons don't have much need for history as they know it all themselves xD
The reason why the dwarves and humans HAVE histories is because they ARENT ARUOND for long enough and have to pass it off to their decendants
Do dragons hold storytelling events?
[BelenosStormchaser Magic snorts.. and no humans, dwarves or elves ahve ever killed for gold?
Sure they have Belenos, but then they usually wear it or spend it. And you can't wear anywhere NEAR as much gold as is in any appropriate dragon's hoard. Being a human/dwarf is expensive. So all that gold they killed for... woosh spent on something
This dragon was wearing it
Well if we had opposing thumbs we'd make things we could wear too..:P
So instead we have to just sit and look at it.. or sit ON it
I don't know if I can agree with that logic, Ossy.
You don't have to agree. I'm just throwing points out there for people to discard or latch on to xD I'm not emotionally invested in this conversation ^^
It was imbedded in Smaugs underbelly.. it was only a small spot that didnt have the treasure covering it that the man was able to shoot the dragon and bring him down
Most dragons didn't do that though Malakyte, that we know of
Why was there such a description of it then?
Come on Belenos! Show us your tummy! Roll over for scritchings!
ok... there you go.. now scritch
Ossy Portocarrero rubs hard with both hands
WHO IS A GOOD DRAGON!!! WHO IS A GOOOOOOD DRAGOn! thats right... Yoouuuuu are!!
BelenosStormchaser Magic: who's a good little slave.. *grins*
Ossy Portocarrero kicks her. ungrateful beast
who's your draggy?
hehe... and don't forget the back too
No I'm done. My arms are tired. You glutton
ahhh.. that was good

Do we want to continue discussing dragons next week? This was such a lively discussion
It would suit me fine
I want to make one last point before we break off
Dragons, because of how they were created, have a core of evil inside of them. This does NOT mean all dragons are bad? Why? Because....We are born with baser instincts. Things that are inate to us created by our Id at birth or childhood... or in the case of dragons, creation. With time and determination, WILL POWER and INTELLIGENCE or COGNITIVE REASON can over-power these baser desires.
Oh alas.. ossy has stumbled across my own thoughts on the matter... we have free will and reason... so no matter what is within us, we can always choose how we wish to be
Which is why Alcoholics can go Sober and Kleptos can not 'steal' and so forth. SO Belenos, while being a good dragon
hehe.. outwardly
may STLL have these urges and desires but she can CHOOSE not to act upon them
just ask the swans of alqualonde
My, swans....sniff, sniff
Which is how we diferenciate between good and bad, not by how we think, which is internal, but by what we do which is external.
She did eat my dog
I did not.. I just threatened to...thought about it
Does that make her evil?
Angus? Poor Angus?
BelenosStormchaser Magic was tempted
A dragon needs to eat, after all.
So...we will continue the discussion next week?
Yes, I think so.. :)
Is some finer point we want to pursue?
DO we know that dragons were 'created evil"?
Yes we do know
Would morgoth create anything good?
Am not sure
No we don't - it is suggested they were corrupted, from a noble pure race, just as elves were turned to orcs
It is only suggested?Is there no CERTAINTY in TOLKIEN?!
But that is not implied. The elf to orc thing is said explicitly
Wouldn't that depend on whether dragons were created by Morgoth, or whether they are corrupted maiar?
Yes there is ossy.. the one certainty in tolkien is that osse was a procratinating henpecked maia.. :D
Dragons are redeemable
Anyone with will is redeemable. Dragons were not created. Dragons were transformed Orcs were re-made, or re-created.There is the difference
very valid point
a mortal creator cannot instill a soul
When I think of Orcs..I dont believe the Elven soul remains
Ok, next week we can continue with the origins of dragons. Great discussion tonight