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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Of the Sun and Moon

Tolkien Discussion Group
September 29, 2010
Topic: Silmarillion Chapter 11: Of the Sun and Moon

EtierreFea Serenity
AelKennyr Rhiano
Shawn Daysleeper
Lihan Taifun

The Elves associated the Sun with Humans, and themselves preferred the Moon.
The Sun and Moon were created to restrain Melkor and his minions, who preferred darkness. Perhaps Melkor didn't make his creatures resistant to light because he didn't yet have experience what sunlight would do to them. Possibly Melkor hated/feared the Sun because it came from a fruit of Laurelin. Or because Arien, the Maia of the Sun had rejected his advances.
Ungoliant seems to be the closest Melkor came to finding a partner. Who were the fathers of Ungoliant's spider-children? It isn't clear whether they were other Ainur, or natural spiders.

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . We were waiting for you
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we should have Tilion for our expert on the Moon
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Shawn Daysleeper laughs
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think he may be at a conference
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oh dear
EtierreFea Serenity: . I am not sure what this is about so I didn't do anything or think, had a blonde week, as Teleri are apt to do. ya ha
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . The sun...the moon...the Melkor :)
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we were going to discuss Silmarillion Chapter .... whatever is "The Sun and the Moon"
EtierreFea Serenity: . ah,no, not prepared. maybe I'll learn something
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . heeee, so did anyone read the chapter?: I read it ... about 3 weeks ago
AelKennyr Rhiano shyly raises his hand
Shawn Daysleeper: . I read it a while back
EtierreFea Serenity: . I had not joined Haven't read in a long while, my biz keeps me busy

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so, the Trees have been destroyed, the Noldor have stomped off, and the Ainur are getting tired of sitting around in the dark
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . In the Silmarillion, the Sun was created by Aule....a vessel to hold the radiance of the last fruit of Laurelin, right?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and the last fruit was called Anar...? The Noldor called it Vasa, the Heart of Fire
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . well, "Anar" means "Sun", which is related to "Nar", meaning "Fire"
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . And in the Silmarillion, the sun heralded the awakening of the Atani, humans... I think the Vanyar named the sun Anar?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I think so
AelKennyr Rhiano smiles
Shawn Daysleeper smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . "Anar" might be something like "Firiest"
I know the elves regarded the sun as made in memory of humans, and they had a greater affinity for the moon. But how was the sun regarded by the Valar?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . hmmm. It seems like the Valar regarded Sun and Moon alike, as security lights to keep Melkor from getting out of control
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . So Arien and Tilion were actually like security guards?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . hmmm
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . watchdogs...err....watchMaiar?
EtierreFea Serenity: . smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Valar seemed to think light would interfere with Melkor
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . It certainly did with his creatures
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . although he spent so much time underground it may not have really made much difference
Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe he thought the sun and moon were like spying on his actions perhaps
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and his Orcs and Trolls feared the sun
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . orc sunburn?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahahaha The trolls would turn to stone if they were out in the sun.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that seems like a serious oversight.Although the trolls are older than the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . oversight?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . to make the susceptible to the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, since they came before the sun... oh you mean on Tolkien's part?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . no, I meant Melkor. Yeah, I suppose he just wasn't expecting the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . that time, how could he had known the effects of the sun?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . true
Shawn Daysleeper: . the sun light came from Laurelin, perhaps that is why Melkor feared it, or hated it
AelKennyr Rhiano nods in agreement
EtierreFea Serenity: . nods also
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oh, good point
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and there is that story outside of the Silmarillion that He desired Arien and wanted her as his wife. She was forced to abandoned her body and "died," the Sun after this for a while left its course, burning a large part of Arda the world (apparently creating the deserts of Far Harad). So when things were set right again, you know she was one unhappy camper with Melkor.
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I remember that part
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Melkor has such bad luck romantically!
EtierreFea Serenity: . gee, I wonder why?
Shawn Daysleeper: . ✦✧HaHaHa✦✧
EtierreFea Serenity: . good for all that he did sometimes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, he was socially inept.... :)
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . wow, what if he had a partner who could work with him? !
AelKennyr Rhiano shudders. oh, that would be bad
Shawn Daysleeper: . ouch
EtierreFea Serenity: . uck
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Ungoliant was bad enough
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . did she think she would rise to power equal to his? I cannot remember
EtierreFea Serenity: . seems like implicitly, not sure if explicitly... have to read again
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I wonder if she even thought of "power" in the sense Melkor thought of it
EtierreFea Serenity: . my memory shortens after so many thousand years...
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . now she was always a mystery...she was "from before the world."
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, and I think you make a good point Lihan

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Melkor had promised Ungoliant that he would yield anything she wished in return for her aid, but betrayed this promise by attempting to withhold the Silmarils from her. This angered Ungoliant, who, having grown immensely powerful from ingesting the life force of the Two Trees, trapped Melkor in her webs. At this point he gave out a cry of such fear and intensity that it was heard in the depths of Angband, and the Balrogs rushed to the aid of their master, scourging Ungoliant with their whips of flame.

She fled to Beleriand and gave birth to the giant spiders...but who was the daddy?
Shawn Daysleeper: . good point
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and euuuuu
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, very good, yes, euuuuuuuuu, hate spiders
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . especially if Melkor was the daddy
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes euuuuu
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought she found some ordinary-creature spiders to be the daddy, making a canon example of ainur/creature breeding
EtierreFea Serenity: . that is even more gross
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I don't remember. I cannot find evidence of the daddy. Man, I would hate the DNA testing on that.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I found it "Other foul creatures of spider form had dwelt there since the days of the delving of Angband, and she mated with them, and devoured them." So they might have been other Ainur after all
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . talk about a bad first date. But where did they come from?
EtierreFea Serenity: . the depths?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I mean, who created them?
Shawn Daysleeper: . she met them in Nan Dungortheb I believe, but not sure where they originally came from
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I doesn't say much about where they came from
EtierreFea Serenity: . maybe he left them to be just 'be', and, after all, the book was not finished by JRR
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . but we love overanalyzing the tiny details!
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . heh heh
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, we do! haha
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that's why we are geeks. Or, some of us are, at least
EtierreFea Serenity: . sorry I'm not much help, I only rejoined a couple days ago and did not know subject
Shawn Daysleeper: . I'm a geek lol
EtierreFea Serenity: . I"m a geek. Nerd. Girlie nerd. Elf
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I'm an elf geek

{a good deal more about geekiness}

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought it was interesting that Tolkien made the Sun female and the Moon male

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Should we call it a night while we are behind
EtierreFea Serenity: . it is a disease if you have too many Tolkien books?
Shawn Daysleeper: . nope
EtierreFea Serenity: . is there a 12 step pgm for that?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . no no
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought that just meant you had to buy bigger bookshelves

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Lihan, what shall we discuss next week? suggestions?
Shawn Daysleeper: . next is chapter 12 after sun and moon
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we had telepathy on the waiting list, and something else I can't remember
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . ooooooouuuu, yes, please, can we do that?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . do which?
EtierreFea Serenity: . I had telepathy on the brain.... OMG sorry, no sleep, am punchy
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . telepathy
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya telepathy is fine