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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mistakes of the Valar

Shawn Daysleeper  
Cristine Wildrose   
Lihan Taifun            
AelKennyr Rhiano 

Since Aulë made a point of creating the Dwarves in secret, he must have been aware that they were not part of the Song.

Ossë went over to Melkor's side, for a while.

The Valar bringing the Elves to Aman was well-intentioned, but overprotective, and not part of the Song. Elves and Humans were originally intended to learn from each other, rather than being isolated.

If the original plan was for for Elves and Humans to live together, why did the coming of Humans mean the decline of the Elves?

If Manwë, or all the Valar, or all the Ainur, had direct contact with Eru, how did the Valar mistake the right course of action?
We are confused by Manwë's role in mediating between Eru and the Valar.
Did the Valar actually consult Eru, about bringing the Elves to Aman? Did Eru give an answer, or let the Valar make their own decision?

How much free will did the Ainur actually have in the Song? How does Eru's control fit with Ainur free will?

Lihan Taifun:             I suppose we can get started. "Mistakes of the Valar"
Lihan Taifun:             I guess the Valar occasionally got something right, but it doesn't look like a very good record
AelKennyr Rhiano: lol
Cristine Wildrose:    nope lol
Shawn Daysleeper:   I agree
Lihan Taifun:             what about Aule and the Dwarves? was that outside the Song? and if so, was it a mistake, or an allowed improvisation on the Song?
AelKennyr Rhiano: well, he intentionally made them, so how was it a "mistake?"
Lihan Taifun:             I meant, should he have done so? was it wrong?
Shawn Daysleeper:   it may have been a mistake when it comes down to the song, whether he was following it or not
AelKennyr Rhiano: I guess you would have to define "mistake." and i guess it would depend upon Aule's intention?
Shawn Daysleeper:   mistake, meaning were dwarves part of the song, i suppose. If they were not part of the Song, then their creation was a mistake
Shawn Daysleeper:   their
Cristine Wildrose:    I guess they weren't part of the song since Aule made them in secret kind of.
AelKennyr Rhiano: Secret does imply he knew he was doing something he should not.
Lihan Taifun:             it does
Shawn Daysleeper:   right
Lihan Taifun:             though in the end, having the Dwarves around enriched the world
Cristine Wildrose:    yes
AelKennyr Rhiano: oh yes, I agree. But was Aule's action a mistake or was it deliberate disobedience....perhaps that is not important.
Shawn Daysleeper:   it sounds to me like deliberate disobedience, as he kept the dwarves a secret
Lihan Taifun:             do we know of any other cases of Ainur deliberately disobeying? besides Melkor and his crew
AelKennyr Rhiano: Osse. For a time, he was lured by Melkor into disobedience.
Lihan Taifun:             and even the rest of the time, I don't think he took orders well from Ulmo. rather independent-minded
Shawn Daysleeper:   nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: Not really. he is a bit cantankerous.

AelKennyr Rhiano: I guess when we are talking about "mistakes" and the Valar....I wonder deeply about how connected they were to Eru through Manwe.
Shawn Daysleeper:   what about when the elves were brought to live with them in Valinor?
Lihan Taifun:             good question
AelKennyr Rhiano: that is a good question....
Shawn Daysleeper:   sorry I have connection lag...
Lihan Taifun:             bringing the elves to Valinor does seem to be a case of good intentions that didn't work well
AelKennyr Rhiano: What do you mean?
Lihan Taifun:             and I suppose also raises the question of whether they consulted Eru on the issue
Shawn Daysleeper:   the final foot note at the end of Lihan's NC strikes me that the Elves were intended to stay in middle earth and get help from men in the 1st age, not from the valar. This may have lead to things being quite different in the 2nd age with the numenoreans -- faithful versus the rulers
AelKennyr Rhiano nods, thoughtfully
Lihan Taifun:             I was thinking the Humans were supposed to have gotten more help from the elves. similar issue, though
Shawn Daysleeper:   oh, well, there would have been more collaboration for sure. more interaction and team work
Lihan Taifun:             yes, more interaction and teamwork
AelKennyr Rhiano: "But [the Valar and Maiar] remained in direct contact with Eru, though they, as far as the legends go, usually 'addressed' Him through Manwë the Elder King." So Manwe functions almost as a cleric or priest and intermediate?
Lihan Taifun:             rereading that footnote, it sounds like both Elves and Human lost out, from being separated
Shawn Daysleeper:   ya that is how I understand it
Lihan Taifun:             while the elves were overprotected, and the Noldor eventually became resentful
AelKennyr Rhiano: on that point, I think for the Valinorean elves...there would always be a distinction between themselves and middle earth elves and themselves and humans.
Lihan Taifun:             according to the passage in the notecard, Eru never intended the elves (nor the Ainur) to be living in a gated community
Shawn Daysleeper:   so, could bringing the elves to Aman had been a mistake? and the Valar going to Aman in the first place a defiance? They are supposed to be healing Arda.
AelKennyr Rhiano: So...if the Valar had a direct contact with Eru, how did the mistake happen?
Shawn Daysleeper:   good question
Lihan Taifun:             right, even with all the free will, if the Valar knew what Eru had planned, it is hard to imagine them doing something different
AelKennyr Rhiano: If bringing the Elves to Aman was a mistake, and Osse's following Melkor a mistake, and Aule creating the children a mistake, then how direct a contact did the Valar have with the will of Eru? Did Manwe fall down on the job?
Shawn Daysleeper:   perhaps they were not aware of the Song
Lihan Taifun:             I thought they were aware, at least in that it gave them a general outline of future history
Cristine Wildrose:    hmm
AelKennyr Rhiano: But they sang the song, right?
Lihan Taifun:             but it does sound like they weren't very clear on the details of Eru's plans
Shawn Daysleeper:   right, I guess that is what i am playing towards
Lihan Taifun:             so, like Ael keeps trying to say, where was Manwe in all this?
AelKennyr Rhiano: well, it does seem to lead back to him.
Cristine Wildrose:    if he was really melkors brother maybe he was corrupted by him
Shawn Daysleeper:   I have trouble understanding manwe's role
Lihan Taifun:             Manwe corrupted? wouldn't the world be in a lot worse shape if that had happened?
AelKennyr Rhiano: no kidding!
Shawn Daysleeper:   nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: I never realized, consciously, that the Valar went though Manwe to reach Eru.
Shawn Daysleeper:   me either
Lihan Taifun:             I never pictured it like that, either
AelKennyr Rhiano: I guess it sounds stupid, but that point just never truly dawned on me. How did you picture it, Lihan?
Lihan Taifun:             I always imagined all of the Ainur having some constant contact with Eru
AelKennyr Rhiano: Me, too.
Lihan Taifun:             although I suppose Manwe had the clearest. the quote is unclear
AelKennyr Rhiano: It was said of them all, he understood more of the song and saw the furthest
Lihan Taifun:             it seems to say BOTH that all the Ainur were in contact with Eru, and that they went through Manwe, so, I don't understand that
AelKennyr Rhiano re-reads it...Very confusing.
Shawn Daysleeper:   maybe Tolkein was confused with it as well
AelKennyr Rhiano: I also never got, before this..that the Eldar felt they could not contact Eru directly.
Lihan Taifun:             yes, neither did I
AelKennyr Rhiano: I thought it were more natural for them to contact the Ainur, since the Ainur were visible and present. Perhaps even a thought of following a "hierarchy" or a "chain of command."
Lihan Taifun:             true, and for many problems, an Ainu could take care of it. how many problems really need to go all the way to the top? maybe that is what you just said
AelKennyr Rhiano: Well, that is true as well.
Lihan Taifun:             but, whether they all had contact with Eru, or only Manwe did, still, how did they make so many mistakes? it makes sense if they were on their own, but not so much if they could keep consulting Eru
Cristine Wildrose:    good question
AelKennyr Rhiano: "could" is not the same thing as "did," too.
Lihan Taifun:             hmmm
AelKennyr Rhiano: Perhaps they could...but did they?

AelKennyr Rhiano: and another thing...if the elves were meant to dwell in middle earth with mankind...why did the elves "fade?"
Lihan Taifun:             hmmm, another good question
AelKennyr Rhiano: that never really made sense to me.
Lihan Taifun:             yes, it does seem inconsistant
AelKennyr Rhiano: Perhaps the elves were meant to come to Aman, but later ...not when the Ainur brought them...perhaps they were meant to go West after man had arrived in middle earth and survived its "infancy," was able to thrive on its own, with help from the elves.
Lihan Taifun:             hmmm, perhaps
AelKennyr Rhiano: The ainur help the elves who help humanity...a chain...

Lihan Taifun:             if the Ainur could keep asking Eru for advice ... would that defeat the point of having the Ainur as co-creators? maybe Eru wasn't giving them all the answers they asked for
AelKennyr Rhiano: Were they co-creators...or instruments?
Lihan Taifun:             they were encouraged to improvise and elaborate on the Music
AelKennyr Rhiano: The voice can be a musical instruments...perhaps that was all their voices were...wait...were they really encourage to improvise? Because Melkor got in trouble for doing just that?
Lihan Taifun looks for her book
AelKennyr Rhiano: "Of the theme that I have declared to you, 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 the 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."

On the surface that may sound like free will, but I am not so sure, when you look further in reference to Melkor.
Lihan Taifun:             "But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to inverweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Iluvatar."
AelKennyr Rhiano nods. So...was Melkor punished for free will? for going outside the Flame?
Lihan Taifun:             and Iluvatar says "And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
Cristine Wildrose:    I don't think he was ever part of the flame.
Lihan Taifun:             he was looking for the Flame
AelKennyr Rhiano: But that right there, Lihan...that does not sound like the Ainur were co-creators. But more like programmed instruments.
Shawn Daysleeper:   and it sounds like that all Ainur can contact Eru, rather than just Manwe
AelKennyr Rhiano: yes
Shawn Daysleeper:   it did not read as "Manwe led the song", did it?
Lihan Taifun:             "Behold your Music!" This is your minstrelsy; and each of you shall find contained herein, amid the design that I set before you, all those things which it may seem that he himself devised or added." That doesn't clear things up much
Lihan Taifun:             no, Shawn, it doesn't say anything about Manwe specially in this chapter
AelKennyr Rhiano: No, I am afraid it is still a mystery.
Lihan Taifun:             "And many other things Iluvatar spoke to the Ainur at that time, and because of their memory of his words, and the knowledge that each has of the music that he himself made, the Ainur know much of what was, and is, and is to come, and few things are unseen by them."
Shawn Daysleeper:   k, it seems like all Ainur communicate with Eru equally, eh?
Lihan Taifun:             seems like at least in those days they did
AelKennyr Rhiano: From that line, it certainly sounds like it.
Lihan Taifun:             actually, Shawn,it says Ulmo was "the most deeply instructed in music"
Lihan Taifun:             and that is why the sounds of water are so musical
Shawn Daysleeper:   makes sense, given he taught the teleri to sing
AelKennyr Rhiano: nod nod nod, But that was Ulmo and not Manwe.
Lihan Taifun:             so how did Manwe get the job of communicating with Eru? this is making less and less sense
Shawn Daysleeper:   it sounds like Manwe's role is common to all Ainur, or maybe the others lost the ability to communicate to Eru at some point?
AelKennyr Rhiano: perhaps.... We could make that a topic for a good Tolkien discussion.
Lihan Taifun:             if we knew anything about it
Shawn Daysleeper:   nods, it would make for a good discussion if we can find any info on it
Cristine Wildrose:    nods

Lihan Taifun:             are we ready to pick a topic for next week? are we done with this?
Shawn Daysleeper:   not sure. I think we covered the notecard
Lihan Taifun:             what do we want for next week? Cristine, do you have any favorite topics?
Cristine Wildrose:    not really Im not sure what you have already covered.
Shawn Daysleeper:   maybe we can discuss the powers that the valar have, and their limits
Cristine Wildrose:    that works for me
Shawn Daysleeper:   which could be important for the rp
Lihan Taifun:             ok, we can do that