Tolkien Discussion Group
now meeting weekly, in Second Life
Septemeber 16, 2009
Circle of Thrones, Valarindë
Announced Topic: Ainur
I see our one elf is outnumbered
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
AelKennyr Rhiano blushes...but I hope I can still remain in this circle of charming Ainur tonight?
Are dragon Ainur? I've heard a lot of ponderings about what we actually are?
That is a good question
the shape shifting part ?
I'm pretty sure that in the books, dragons were bred by Melkor
but YOU aren't evil dragons
BelenosStormchaser Magic: well, they say that we were 'made' by morgoth.. but he didn't create from nothing.. he 'made' us by twisting and corrupting what we already were, so I've been told; no, my dragons have rebelled and escaped..
BelenosStormchaser Magic grins
"rebelled" back to the good side!
Lihan Taifun: it looks like everyone is familiar with the Ainur?
a little.. :)
Can you brief us a little, Lihan?
"There was Eru, the One,That is the opening lines of the Silmarillion. So, the Ainur are spirit-beings, older than this world
who in Arda is called Ilúvatar;
and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones,
that were the offspring of his thought,
and they were with him before aught else was made."
"Then Ilúvatar said to them: 'Of the theme that I have declared to you,Lihan, are the Ainur gods?
I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music.
And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable,
ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme,
each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will.
But I will sit and hearken,
and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'
Ilúvatar said to them: 'Behold your Music!'
And he showed them a vision,
giving to them sight where before was only hearing;
and they saw a new World made visible before them.
And as they looked and wondered
this new World began to unfold its history."
that sounds good to me :)
more durable than this universe
so under natural circumstances they would never die.. but can they be killed?
their physical bodies can be killed
but, we wear physical bodies the same way the created races wear clothes, a convenience, but not "who we are"
so you can lose one physical body and take on another?
and change shapes
generally, we take on a shape that reflects our personality
easier to walk among arda in a shape compatible with the ppl, too
yes, easier to communicate
and to work in this world
and what work do you do?
but, sea-dwelling ainur would take a form adapted to living in the sea. And the guardians of the stars, the sun, the moon would take forms that were practical for those jobs. Arien, the guide of the sun, generally just takes a form of pure fire.
And evil ainur can take "nice" forms if it suits them, at least temporarily
evil ainur..could you elaborate?
Is there a limit to how many ainur there are?
There are lots and lots of ainur. 14 "big names",those are the Valar. And an uncountable number of lesser ainur, who are the Maiar
some of the Maiar are very powerful
hey, that's the fox.. he's a Maiar.. :)
yes, Fox is :-)
and some are more like fae
is that by choice, their powers? or just how they are 'born'
that is how they are "born", "created", however you describe it
some are more powerful beings than others, and some have more interest in interacting with the created races
but Lihan, are the Ainur gods, as some claim? or more like angelic beings?
Tolkien thought of them as "angelic", in the sense that they are lesser than Eru Iluvatar, the One; and are Eru's representatives on this plane. And Tolkien himself was a firm Christian, and wasn't comfortable with the idea of many gods
So do the 'evil' or 'fallen' go into the category of angels too ?
of fallen angels, which is to say, demons, followers of the fallen Vala, Melkor = Morgoth
he did the same with fallen elves - orcs
are all orcs evil?
about the orcs, as far as I know they are all evil
they are a mortal race
they were corrupted, yes?
what about the drow?
they chose the 'wrong' path, as elves
aren't drow elves who stayed in Middle Earth, instead of evacutating to the Blessed Lands? so the drow aren't as "civilized" as some other races of elves
i know little of drow
Tolkien doesn't say much about them, since they aren't in the stories he is telling
well, that's why, then
Some compare the Vala to the Roman gods and goddesses.
hehe.. the vala aren't nearly as licentious are they? as the roman gods
I had a handout listing some of the Ainur, and that will get back to the comparison with the Roman gods and godesses Before I hand that out,I wanted to ask, how many Ainur appear in Lord of the Rings? (trivia question of the evening)
I know of one
erm.. one I know for sure
two, I can count.
I was thinking Galdalf
one point for Belanos
one point for Fifi!
two points for Fifi!
those are the major characters who are Ainur
I did not remember Sauroman was an Ainu until Fifi mentioned it.
he also was a wizard, the same as Gandalf. Also Radagast, who had a bit part in the book
also, the balrog
the balrog are ainu?
oh yes! fallen, rather far
become to their form as the elves become orcs
balrogs are an excellent example of "fallen Ainur". And Sauron himself, who used to be a flunky of Morgoth's
Natasha Umbarundu shutters at teh mention of the Balrog
(and who, incidentally, is not mentioned at Morgoth's final battle) Makes you wonder why he wasn't around to go down with the Boss
rats fleeing the sinking ship
maybe a thought of later evil returning in new writings, that never came to be
So..in rp...the Ainu guides us mortial creatures.
did we answer if Dragons are aniu?
erm.. not quite.. we danced all around it, I think
would we be ainu or maiar?
well Maiar are Ainu
ainu is the race
like the Vala...yes
what about the shape-sifting aspct of Ainu
yes, that is true, so having a mating between teh dragon and the fox is not so odd, as we are both of the same race under it all.. :D
it's a love story :D
No, it would not be odd at all...remember an Ainu fell in love with an elf.
there is a famous example of an Ainu who married an elf, and -- who had a child with the elf
the world is full of immortals choosing love/mortality
we were just debating then if we had established that dragons are ainu
I had a long talk with an Ainu the other night, who instead that Ainu should be played as gods and goddesses
you deflated him. Elves break if you poke them too hard
such delicate creatures
and, unlike ainur, the elves won't grow back
they are long lived though, yes?
elves are "immortal" in the sense that they don't die of natural causes, but they can be *killed*
Tolkien elves, that is
I have seen an elf die............and be resurrected
and clearly so can dragons.. if we are ainur, yet for example Ancalagon was killed......or was that just his mortal body?
They can lose the will to live, too.
do they not lose longevity if they leave their realm, and choose to live with mortals?
ohhh, interesting question about Ancalagon, and Gandalf's balrog
the immortality of elves -- Ael, can we make that another night's discussion? that could be a long one
yes, please, let's do that.
I am curious to know about ancalagon seeing as my rp character claims him as her sire
how do the elves see the Ainu, ingeneral?
the elves who spent time in the Blessed Lands see the Ainur as wise teachers and leaders
the Ainu love the elves
but then the elves stomped off under rather unfortunate circumstances, so the relationship was a bit strained in later history
BelenosStormchaser Magic giggles at 'elves stomping off'
weellll . . .
I remember a lot of stomping, actually. Morgoth had been spreading rumors, of course
AelKennyr Rhiano mutters, "we don't 'stomp off.' We kinda walked loudly."
*you* didn't stomp anywhere. Feanor did
it is humans, who have never met the ainur in person who tend to see us as "gods and godesses"
That makes more sense to me.
stories of distant and powerful beings. But, the "distant" part of that -- we hardly ever interfere in human events. After the business with Feanor, we hardly even intervene in elven events
But Osse taught shipmaking to the Teleri.
true, and Ulmo gives some advice now and then
And we have a relationship with Ulmo and with Osse's wife, Unien.
as did the Numenorian sailors
but when you think of, say, the Trojan War, with all the gods and goddesses taking sides, and helping their favorite heroes, ainur aren't so hands-on in history
I think, though, that ....yes...blushes...I was going there, myself. You give aid and advice but we are allowed to exercise our free will
and I don't know how much "aid" we give, more advice
do they elves call on the Ainu for aid . . say wind for sailing?
Well, Ulmo aided the Teleri in their sea journey, for example.
so then, at the risk of pursuing a point, but as one myself I'd kinda like to know.. are dragons ainur? and if so are we supposed to be more distant to events between elves and humans etc?
well, you could be ainur,or descended from ainur. Melian had a child, the ordinary way, so why couldn't dragon-form ainur?
BelenosStormchaser Magic nods.. that makes sense
if ainu take on a form according to the 'element' their gift is in, perhaps that is the evolution
dragons are water, fire, ice . . many kinds
and there is circumstantial evidence of ainur "going native" in Middle Earth
so for authenticity in our role play it is acceptable for us to be 'invovled' in the world more than ainu usually are.
Radagast, the wizard, seemed to be doing that. And, Tolkien never really explained where Tom Bombadil came from
many races were created, not all elf or man
there is a common idea that he and perhaps Goldberry, were ainur, ainur who had settled into Middle Earth, and were perhaps forgetting their ainur backgrounds
so dragons . . . . please continue
*I* don't have a problem with having a line of dragons, descended from ainur in dragon form, who spend their time doing dragon things, and interact with elves and humans if it suits them
I really like the idea
I like the idea as well
and I think it fits with the Tolkien universe
That is the thing. I am trying to keep the dragons tolkien and avoid slipping into the dungeons and dragons type of dragon
are ainu welcome in dragon lands? Arador
well, of course.. all in arda are welcome.. smiles
we are just this week reestablishing our role play group since the move and it is our wish to establish some formal alliances with the people of the lands of arda
and what would Tolkien dragons do distinctive?
For instance our behaviour is not dictated by our colour
there are dragons who escaped from the dark mtn
if i were a D&D dragon I would be evil in the extreme, simply because I am black
D&D kinda limits dragons...as far as behavior and character, doesn't it?
you know, Belanos, your dragons would be in a unique situation, as ainur
since you don't belong the the household of any of the Valar. Your ancestors would have been in Morgoth's household
BelenosStormchaser Magic grins.. that is true.. we realy are loose cannons, yes?
but then you left
yes, we did.
quite an unusual situation
nothing quite like throwing a spanner in the smooth workings of things.. :D
so Belenos' dragons are descended from the Ainu?
not that we want you to go back to Morgoth !!!!
the evolved dragons you are
no, no no noooo
oh goodness me no.. we are dead set against him
dragons are doing much to save eggs, the future
well, the dragons of Uhre are working on that.. we have yet to decide if we wish to fall in with their storyline.. we are still establishing our own lands and our own history as yet
different stories for different dragon lineages then ?
as far as I know Artemis, Uhre are not tolkien in their role play.. but yes, when i established our dragon lands, and established us as rebels against Morgoth, i wrote it so that there are 'many' who feld Morgoth, and then over time separated and went our own ways, so that any who come to arda can still fit in with the tolkien story, yet still have their own history which they would have developed since the great escape from morgoth
it makes sense
BelenosStormchaser Magic gave you History of the Lands of Arador.
I have even used a tolkien based 'story' to explain our move from Oiolaire to Arador.. so we still fit in well with the role play of arda and yet explain our great migration
AelKennyr Rhiano: My friends, may I ask practical questions of you? I wanted to ask if we want the discussion group to meet every week? or how often?
I would like once a week
weekly is fine with me
that will work for me I think
also me as well
sure, if we can think of enough topics
Well, I think we could talk about ainu again next week, it sounds like.
as your time permits :)
in all Ael's spare time O.O
and yours :D
I appreciate this
It is so nice to meet together and actually discuss Tolkien in a casual way.
yes.. it helps me learn and clarify
Lihan, would you moderate this group for us each week?
I suppose I could
so here again next week?
I would like that, if you guys do.
so, next week more ainur? or the immortality of elves?
first one, then the other?
also Ael for holding these
Lihan did all the work.
I enjoyed tonight greatly.
yes it was very informative and delightful