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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Telepathy - Part 2

Siwan Sandalwood     
Lihan Taifun                
Shawn Daysleeper      
lawrence Blackbart     
Cinnamon Raymaker 
Hojo Warf                    
Fifi Wickentower        

We established last week that telepathic communication needed the consent of both the sender and the receiver. What, then, of Galadriel “testing” the Fellowship? The hobbits, at least, had no intention to communicate with her, and were uncomfortable. But was what Galadriel did so different from making a suggestion out loud, and reading the reaction on their faces?

What does that experience with Galadriel tell us about hobbits' aptitude for telepathy? Maybe only that they can communicate if a powerful telepath (like Galadriel) initiates the communication. Although Tolkien does mention that Humans in extreme stress can sometimes send a vague telepathic image to someone emotionally close to them.

Other than those stress situations, are there any Tolkien examples of mental communication at a distance? The only one we can recall is the “voice” telling Frodo on Amon Law to “take off the Ring”. (And that might not be a typical example, since the One Ring, and probably one of the Three Rings, was involved.)

How much could Sauron communicate mentally, at a distance, with the Nazgul? That would have been very convenient for him, if he could do it. How much was Sauron directly controlling the orcs? The moment at the final battle where all the armies of Mordor stop, because Sauron is distracted, seems inconsistent with what we have previously seen of orcs. Orcs' Elvish origins should make them more difficult to directly control.

Dragons in roleplaying games can often communicate telepathically with each other. We don't know of any Tolkien examples where more than one dragon is in a story. Humans (Turin) or hobbits (Bilbo) who look a dragon straight in the eye are susceptible to several “dragon spells”: being unable to move, willingness to tell information, willingness to believe what the dragon says, amnesia.

{Siwan's comments removed at her request 6/18/2011}
Lihan Taifun:                 so, we had established that Elves -- at least some of the Noldor elves -- and all the Ainur could use telepathy. Also that Tolkien didn't seem to know a lot about real-life telepathy, and was making up his own rules. What else did we have from last week -- The "telepathy" required consent from both sender and receiver, and only communicated the immediate thought in the sender's mind at that moment
lawrence Blackbart:      the differences between mind reading and telepathy
Lihan Taifun:                 right, no one could "read" all your thoughts and memories , only what you were thinking about at that moment
lawrence Blackbart:      yes
Shawn Daysleeper:       nods
Lihan Taifun:                 and it was forbidden for an Ainu to do even that by force, it had to be voluntary. So -- what about Galadriel "testing" the Fellowship? was that voluntary?

{Several arrivals. Greetings}

Lihan Taifun:                 Hojo, the question on the table is: if telepathic communication has to be voluntary on both sides, what about Galadriel "testing" the Fellowship? Was that voluntary?
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     She spoke into their minds without permission truly. I'm not sure her information about them was mindreading though... more likely her wisdom and keen perception.
lawrence Blackbart:      i agree
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     I don't ask permission to speak to you with my mouth. Why should I ask to speak to you with my mind?
lawrence Blackbart:      good point
Hojo Warf:                     Its only if she is retrieving information from their thoughts that there would be an invasion of privacy.
Lihan Taifun:                 but you do have the ability to shut your mouth when you don't want to communicate
Siwan Sandalwood:     •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      i would be rather freaked out lol
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 as I think the hobbits were freaked out
Hojo Warf:                     and if she senses their turmoil or moods its no different than if she read it in their faces.
lawrence Blackbart:      oh yes
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 the hobbits reacted as though they thought she was picking up more information than they wanted to reveal
Shawn Daysleeper:       so it seems that the hobbits are capable of telepathy?
Lihan Taifun:                 at least if the other person in the conversation is a powerful telepath?
lawrence Blackbart:      from what i gathered, it s possible to participate in telepathic communication that has already been established for them, and that they are unable to initiate a link
lawrence Blackbart:      like a telephone with no dial numbers
Lihan Taifun:                 that would be the way I read it. Although, as someone -- maybe Ael -- pointed out last week, Humans sometimes in extreme stress could send a telepathic message to someone emotionally close to them
lawrence Blackbart:      ah yes
Lihan Taifun:                 not really a clear verbal message, maybe, but something
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      yep
Lihan Taifun:                 outside of those stress-induced episodes, do we know of any Tolkien examples of telepathy at a distance?
lawrence Blackbart:      no examples, no
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 oh, hmmm, yes .... somewhat mysterious
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 (except the movies diverge more and more from the books) (hope seeing the movie first doesn't ruin the books for you)
lawrence Blackbart:      oh isn't that an understatement Lihan lol
Siwan Sandalwood:     •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 the Good Guys still win
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 and the Ring is destroyed in pretty much the same way as in the movie, and there is a REAL ending that ties up the theme of the books properly
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 because in the books, the story is about the hobbits
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 lol, I don't think much of the telepathy will involve spoilers
Siwan Sandalwood:     •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Lihan Taifun:                 where were we, anyway? with telepathy?
lawrence Blackbart:      ummm
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 [19:39] Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      hmm
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      interesting point. it could be that some human traits lingered
Siwan Sandalwood:     •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 I don't think so. A although, there is a moment at the very end, when Sauron is totally distracted, and it says all the armies of Mordor just stop, because he isn't directing them, which doesn't really fit with anything else that has happened
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      mind control?
Lihan Taifun:                 and yet nothing before that point indicates that he is doing that. The orcs we meet seem pretty sentient, carrying out orders in the ordinary way

{minor distraction}

Lihan Taifun:                 the topic is now whether Sauron is using mind-control on his armies, and how much he can communicate with the Nazgul
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     I see the nazgul as aspects of himself. He doesn't so much order them around as uses them the way we use our own limbs. They are an extension of himself.
Cinnamon Raymaker:  is it true that the orcs were elves changed by Melkor, if this is so would they not be open to suggestion
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     Orcs are more just influenced by his will but not directly controlled. The goblins in Moria exist independantly of him it would seem.
Cinnamon Raymaker:  kind of like worker drones
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 I always thought goblins were a lesser breed of orcs
Hojo Warf:                     I agree with Lihan
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Cinnamon Raymaker:  "transformed into a Goblin race of slaves", from elves
lawrence Blackbart:      yep
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     Uruk in the dark speech I believe, or is that elvish?
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      oh?
Lihan Taifun:                 Tolkien would love being able to use an Old English word
Cinnamon Raymaker:  ehee a devouring monster ;P
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 heh heh
lawrence Blackbart:      interesting
Hojo Warf:                     yes and everything else is treants and halflings
Cinnamon Raymaker:  biggest worry about an orc army - they can't think on their feet - they can only follow orders,concentration folds so does the force
Lihan Taifun:                 so they often have a Human, or some other race for a boss
lawrence Blackbart:      indeed
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      more like robots
Cinnamon Raymaker nods
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 or, left to their own devices for very long, they get distracted by their own interests, and kinda forget what Sauron was interested in -- "let's just eat the prisoners"
Cinnamon Raymaker:  apparently they were able to reduce men to the same level of mind or habits in a few generations
Hojo Warf:                     They seem to revert to a barbarian tribal mentality
Cinnamon Raymaker:  then mate them with orcs to improve the breed
lawrence Blackbart:      eew
Lihan Taifun:                 oh, you mean revert the humans to a barbarian tribal mentality .... I was going to say, orcs never got above that
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

lawrence Blackbart:      any way ive been thinking, and since we are discussing communications, now would be a good time to bring it up, but how did dragons communicate? spoken word or telepathicly?
Hojo Warf:                     Dragons speaking.. thats in ... oh what was it...
Cinnamon Raymaker:  i would say dragons communicate telepathically, with each other hehehe
lawrence Blackbart:      hmm -- and with humans or elves??
Cinnamon Raymaker:  not sure
Hojo Warf:                     its in the books. just trying to remember which one.
Lihan Taifun:                 dragon communication? Bilbo and Smaug?
Hojo Warf:                     no one of the lost tales... what was I reading lol
Lihan Taifun:                 Turin and Glaurung?
Hojo Warf:                     Yes, Turin, found the book, The Children of Turin
Lihan Taifun:                 Glaurung did seem to have some powers
lawrence Blackbart:      yep
Hojo Warf:                     bah can't data mine a paperback...
Cinnamon Raymaker chuckles. names in the index?
lawrence Blackbart:      lol
Hojo Warf:                     he speaks in the book and it is described. I just don't remember accurately enough and I don't want to misquote.
Lihan Taifun:                 I found the part where he freezes Turin, and it is described as a sort of spell, that Turin believes everyhtin Glaurung tells him
Hojo Warf:                     gasping he spoke; (speaking to Niniel)
Lihan Taifun:                 and then he puts a spell of forgetfulness on Nienor
lawrence Blackbart:      so it is spoken words when talking to humans or elves and telepathy with each other?
Lihan Taifun:                 I am seeing spoken words, with the humans, although he has several types of "dragon spells" for anyone who looks him straight in the eye
Hojo Warf:                     oops the book is the children of Hurin
lawrence Blackbart:      ah ok
Lihan Taifun:                 do we know dragons communicate telepathically with each other?
lawrence Blackbart:      havnt read it anywhere
Cinnamon Raymaker:  only in fantasy rp groups, haven't read anything from tolkien that I can remember
Lihan Taifun:                 I dont' remember Tolkien ever having more than one dragon in a scene
Cinnamon Raymaker nods
Shawn Daysleeper:       agree
Lihan Taifun:                 the dragons have important parts, but there aren't many of them
lawrence Blackbart:      yep
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 yes, and we never do hear much about the origins of dragons
Hojo Warf:                     Mighty reptilian creatures who ranked among the most feared of the servants of the Dark Lord. Of the origins of dragons, no tale tells; the first of them to be seen was Glaurung, Father of Dragons, who issued from Angband in the middle of the First Age. After Glaurung came many others to strike fear into Elves and Men for the next three ages.
Dragons have powers of intelligence and speech, and many are also able to cast the dragon-spell, a bewildering confusion that affects any who gaze into the eye of the creature.

the encyclopedia of arda
lawrence Blackbart:      ah yes the dragon spell

{ Shawn leaves. Farewells.}

lawrence Blackbart:      the spell that encourages the effected to expose more than what is required from a question, often applied by the dragon when the dragon is questioning, or when looking into the eyes of the dragon
Siwan Sandalwood •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
lawrence Blackbart:      :P
Lihan Taifun:                 although Glauring was also using "dragon spells" to keep his victim from moving, to induce amnesia, and to cause his victim to believe what he was told. yep, lawrence, no one is going to want to look you in the eye
lawrence Blackbart:      hehe lawrence Blackbart beams at Lihan
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Cinnamon Raymaker:  hehehe haven't met Canelle yet have you? Cinnamon Raymaker giggles
Lihan Taifun:                 Canelle looks dragons in the eye?
Cinnamon Raymaker:  she is a dragon LOL
lawrence Blackbart:      ah i see
Cinnamon Raymaker:  not in this rp of course ;P

Lihan Taifun:                 what do we want to discuss next week?
{Discussion of the Quenya Language lessons, which will be at 6 pm Tuesdays, starting next week.}
Lihan Taifun:                 ok, then, back to next week's topic. no favorite topics?
lawrence Blackbart:      hmm
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Hojo Warf:                     I can usually think of them but my brain is tired tonight :3
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 more about what about elves?
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Fifi Wickentower:         we haven't talked about that for a long time . . there is nothing too basic :)
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 we've discussed that, but not recently
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 yes, look on the sidebar on the right, there is a link to the page of Topics. BY TOPIC, it says. that has the list of all the old ones
Siwan Sandalwood:     •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 not elves, but ainur spirits
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Fifi Wickentower:         mhm
Lihan Taifun:                 and their assisting spirits
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:                 I once heard that he briefly mentioned some beings that sure sounded like merfolk, only in passing, and I never saw the original reference
Siwan Sandalwood:      •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••