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Monday, April 4, 2011

"The Debate of Finrod and Andreth" - part 2 (Reading Material)

< Part 1    

'Alas, lord!' [Andreth] said. 'What then is to be done now? For we speak as if these things are, or as if they will assuredly be. But Men have been diminished and their power is taken away. We look for now Arda Remade: darkness lies before us, into which we stare in vain. If by our aid your everlasting mansions were to be prepared, they will not be builded now.'

'Have ye then no hope?' said Finrod.

{They discuss the difference between two concepts which could be called 'hope':
amdir ('looking up'): 'an expectation of good, which though uncertain has some foundation in what is known'
and estel ('trust') 'It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and first being. If we are indeed ... the Children of the One, then he will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves.'

Andreth says that a few Humans cling to a tradition of “the Old Hope”:} 'They say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end. This they say also, or they feign, is a rumour that has come down through years uncounted, even from the days of our undoing.'

{But they cannot understand in what sense Eru could “enter into Arda”.}

{Finrod:} 'And yet, Andreth, to speak with humility, I cannot conceive how else this healing could be achieved. Since Eru will surely not suffer Melkor to turn the world to his own will and to triumph in the end. Yet there is no power conceivably greater than Melkor save Eru only. Therefore Eru, if He will not relinquish His work to Melkor, who must else proceed to mastery, then Eru must come in to conquer him.

'More: even if Melkor (or the Morgoth that he has become) could in any way be thrown down or thrust from Arda, still his Shadow would remain. ... And if any remedy for this is to be found, ere all is ended, any new light to oppose the shadow, or any medicine for the wounds: then it must, I deem, come from without.'

{They go on to talk about Andreth's personal tragedy. It turns out she, in her younger days, loved Finrod's brother Aegnor, who gave no sign of returning her interest. She assumes Aegnor, as an Elf, looked down on her as a Human. Finrod assures her that this was not the case.}

'Adaneth ['Human woman'], I tell thee, [Aegnor] loved thee. For thy sake now he will never take the hand of any bride of his own kindred, but live alone to the end, remembering the morning in the hills of Dorthonion. ...

'This is a time of war, Andreth, and in such days the Elves do not wed or bear child; but prepare for death – or for flight. ... If his heart ruled, he would have wished to take thee and flee far away, east or south, forsaking his kin and thine. Love and loyalty hold him to these.'


  1. I am opening the Comments for some of the consistently popular posts.

    1. This is probably the most important dialog from Tolkien's work and wasn't even officially publish by the times of his canonical work.

      The catholic influence on Tolkien is quite obvious but yet one must wonder, is death imposed to us?

      Thank you for sharing!