Tag Archives: Fëanor

We Are Fanor?

dawnfelagund:

Or Thoughts on Reading Moral Ambiguity into the Characterizations of the Fëanorians

[Crossposted to the Heretic Loremaster]

Several weeks ago, I got irritated at a piece about The Silmarillion in a well-known blog that cast Fëanor in the role of the unmitigated villain. It was a rare show of negativity for me, and I almost didn’t post it because of that. But I did, and I’ve been thinking about why this particular interpretation of Fëanor as some evil entity irritates me to the point of uncharacteristic venom (especially since I’ve been known to roll my eyes at people who can’t be arsed to go out to vote because it’s raining but will tip over cars because of a football game or encourage teenagers to self-harm because they don’t like their fan fiction).

… … …

I feel like to reduce Fëanor (or his sons) to villains flattens one of the most interesting questions posed in The Silmarillion to where it isn’t even worth asking: What causes a person to “fall”? ….

… … …

But to acknowledge that a character like Fëanor is capable of villainous actions without existing purely as a villain is a scary proposition for a lot of people, I think. We like to imagine people like Fëanor as somehow different from us in their capacity for evil deeds. We—those of us who are good by nature—would never rob, murder, and betray our fellow humans like that. There is something extraordinary and wrong in the nature of Fëanor that he can and does.

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Beautiful and insightful. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but it seems like our capacity for selective retention, and thus the rather interesting (but thoroughly exasperating) side effect of the spawning of fanon, is related to this phenomenon Dawn Felagund mentioned.

I believe, unless one’s comprehension ability is genuinely that low, that inside us there is a need to rationalise and compartmentalise, label things so our brains can process and accept or make sense of things. Often it seems this involves “othering” behaviour we have negative ideas of, or do not want to be associated with. It can even be behaviour, states or traits we feel, for some reason, unable (or perhaps the more appropriate word is reluctant) to try for, or attain personally (”Wow, he/she must have super willpower to lose that weight at all. I can never do what he/she did.”).

On the other hand, the romantising, elevation, and “pedestalling” of characters we like (or want to like, or wish to cast into perfection), that need to whitewash bad behaviour, is just as prevalent.

But is the world ever really so black and white? Honestly, the moral ambiguity of the Silmarillion characters is what makes it so interesting for me. The vagueness of Thranduil’s character arc and background amidst the opulent foundation of the Silm is what makes him so appealing to me.

Before anyone start making a swiss cheese imitation out of this post, I’ll just say this: I am well aware of the irony of being both a book!canon fan and a fan fiction writer. It may seem like semantics to some, but to me there is a very clear distinction between knowing and using canon to create a fan fiction, and spawning fanon and corrupting canon. I just hope I never develop blindspots and fall into the fanon trap, or if I did, to recognise I got in a hole and find ways to get out of it.

We Are Fanor?

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The Valar are not gods, Fëanor is not a hero and the Doom was not a curse

The Valar are not gods, Fëanor is not a hero and the Doom was not a curse:

beguilingblackness:

Let me start this by saying that my opinion is the final say on the matter and that any who disagree will be drawn and quartered… Of course not, you’re all allowed to disagree with the Lord of Darkness, Master of the World and King of Men. Nothing bad will come of it 🙂

Very interesting read, both the source and esbonline‘s addendum. I just like to say: History is written by the victor. =)

The Valar are not gods, Fëanor is not a hero and the Doom was not a curse

On Valarin and the creation of the Silmarils

On Valarin and the creation of the Silmarils:

onehandedly:

curufinwefeanaro:

|| Yesterday lintamande answered a question of mine concerning Feanor learning Valarin (over here). Which prompted a conversation with misbehavingmaiar that ended up with me freaking out about what learning Valarin might mean in terms of creation of the…

Interesting read.

On Valarin and the creation of the Silmarils

Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 15 “Of the Noldor in Beleriand”

Reader deep thought: Of all the construction the Noldor had going on in Beleriand after they got back to stomping around Middle-earth, nothing trumped the deconstruction of perception Galadriel was forced to engage with Melian. The bigger question: were half-truths better than outright lies? Or avoidance for that matter?  Surely Galadriel, with her lifetime of experience in Valinor, knew what Melian was and the futility of being less than truthful. And yet, she was selectively sharing information, affecting an almost nose-thumb. Was it because Melian was cut-off from Valinor and therefore not as omnipotent as the run-of-mill Maiar? Or was Galadriel just experienced with managing the Powers?
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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 13 “Of The Return of the Noldor”

ted nasmith_the silmarillion_2_quenta silmarillion_13_of the return of the noldor_medReader deep thought: What an eventful time! The Noldor sure started their careers as Exiles with a bang, or three. And the Sun and the Moon sprung up in time to bear witness to the stuff of legends. Gothmog debuted, Fëanor passed, the Noldor-lords reunited willy-nilly, Noldor meets Sindar, and Thingol unhappy. But still, the Noldor prospered and there was diaspora, much thanks in part to Maedhros’ mellowing out, Finrod’s loyalty to their friendship, and the even-tempered EQ of Fingolfin. Everything happened. Even LOVE, blooming in Galadriel and Celeborn’s companionship in Menegroth (interestingly, both were Thingol’s kin). And yet, already two Wars of Beleriand before the end of the chapter, in the brief span of time right before the Sun first rose to her 60th anniversary, and the Silmarils were still in Morgoth’s ever scheming hands. Bummer. And what did the Noldor do? Siege Angband of course! Four hundred fifty years. Longevity hath its privileges.

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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 12 “Of Men”

Reader deep thought: So essentially the Valar adopted a change of chaperone style with the Atani. Can the Quendi be blamed for suspecting favourtism, and lacking fair interest disclosure? The Powers seemed to have swung too much the other way from interactive upbringing though, because what use are messages if the receiver can’t understand them? Still, no wonder the Atani felt such camaraderie with the Moriquendi.

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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 11 “Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor”

ted nasmith_the silmarillion_2_quenta silmarillion_11_of the sun and moon and the hiding of valinor_medReader deep thought: Well, “You’ve got mail!” was probably the alert most in the Blessed Realm could only dream of hearing forevermore. If there was any notion of the Valar going native with their penchant of looking like the locals, the opening preamble proved the Valar were superior beings not born of Arda. The more surprising revelation must be the potential of Fëanor. Got to wonder, why a Noldor? Why not a Vanyar? Also, the Sun and the Moon!
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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 10 “Of the Sindar”

ThingolReader deep thought: So the only Calaquendi who saw the Two Trees but never lived in Valinor, ruled over his people, the Sindar (essentially the high-born of the Moriquendi), who also did not cross to the West. The intriguing question remains: was it really happenstance that kept Thingol in Middle-earth? With all that happened further down the road, and the connections that tie back ultimately to the Sindar or even Thingol himself, perhaps the Highest Power of them all agreed more strongly with Ulmo’s opinion than anyone realised, and had a plan that CANNOT.BE.DENIED, regardless of the Valar’s suppositions.

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