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As raízes de Beren e Lúthien: Mabinogion e Ela de Rider Haggard

Ilmarinen

Usuário


Em outro tópico Elriowiel Aranel criticou Beren e Lúthien dizendo:

Túrin, sem dúvida. Mas isso já vem de uma preferência antiga, sempre me encantei como os personagens trágicos e azarados: Édipo, O Fantasma da Ópera e por aí vai...

Não senti uma ligação tão forte com Beren e Luthien. Sei lá... quando li, meio que 'passou batido'. Não vi nada demais, achei só mais um romance. Eu sei que vai ter quem pense 'como assim, nada demais?'. Eu sei que eles enfrentaram tudo, até Morgoth... mas mesmo assim, não senti nada de especial na história.
Embora Luthien seja muuuuito mais mulher [ou elfa] do que Arwen - afinal ela não fica em casa esperando -, o que eu implico em ambos os casos é a forma como a história começa: amor à primeira vista. Acho isso muito superficial.

Eu tendo a explicar a queda de amor "à primeira vista" de uma maneira meio mística: na magia, quem descobre o nome verdadeiro de alguém" tem poder sobre essa pessoa: Beren saiu gritando "Tinúviel", "rouxinol" quando correu atrás de Lúthien, e os rouxinóis eram as aves que acompanhavam sempre a mãe dela desde os tempos de Valinor. As mães élficas e provavelmente, os próprios ainur que tenham tido filhos, como Melian, a maia batizavam as filhas e filhos com nomes "prescientes" que continham a essência verdadeira de seu ser e eram, portanto, seus nomes "verdadeiros"


Tv-Tropes- I know your true name

Melian que, aliás, era, até onde se sabe, um caso único entre os maiar.Mas o fato é que as mães elfas, e Melian se tornou uma elfa em forma física, eram profetisas na hora de batizar como foi o caso de Fëanor quando Míriel o chamou de Espírito de Fogo e quando Nerdanel chamou um de seus filhos Amros-Amras/Umbarto, o desafortunado, sendo que Anra, em galês, significa má sorte. Trocando em miúdos: Beren, provavelmente adivinhou o nome verdadeiro de Lúthien e aí... danou-se tudo :P
Em uma das fontes mais importantes de Beren e Lúthien , Culhwch e Olwen a paixão desenfreada de Culhwch por Olwen foi o produto de um feitiço posto nele pela madrasta, de uma certa forma, Tolkien trocou o sexo da vítima de mandinga da história.
Então, Beren meio que "encantou" a elfa, ou melhor ainda, encantou ambos ou "ativou" uma ligação entre os seus espíritos que , como Tolkien também já disse, fazia parte do Plano de Eru Ilúvatar desde a Aurora do Tempo para que a raça humana pudesse se aprimorar.

Nesse sentido, eu recomendaria que as pessoas lessem outra fonte de inspiração de Tolkien para a história onde vocês vão ver qual é o análogo para esse tipo de amor transcendental "entretecido na história do Mundo":

Ela e a Volta de Ela de Rider Haggard de 1887 e 1905).



Também é a base da paixonite súbita da Diana ( Mulher Maravilha de 1941) com o Steve Trevor, sendo ela, também, uma princesa imortal de longos cabelos negros que abdica da imortalidade para ficar com um humano(isso entre outras coisas) que tinha atravessado uma barreira mágica para parar no reino oculto da "mocinha", participando de uma prova contra a vontade da genitora superprotetora para conseguir isso, assim como Lúthien também se insurgiu contra a vontade de Thingol.



Nem todos os primeiros encontros do "louro mortal" com a princesa imortal de Reino Escondido são tão idílicos



Xiii-Danou-se tudo... de novo!

Ecos que vão indo cada vez mais e mais para trás no tempo até chegar a Richard Wagner , no Anel do Nibelungo (1876), A Flauta Mágica (1791) e na Volsunga Saga onde a "Bela Adormecida", Brunhilde, valquíria imortal é despojada de sua imortalidade e se casa com um mortal que atravessou uma barreira de chamas.





Acho que um problema que eu e muita gente temos com Beren e Lúthien é que a história vai muito em cima do clichê da mídia chamado Avatar de Autor. Tolkien, basicamente, transformou Beren e Lúthien , ( o conto que , aliás, devia se chamar LÚTHIEN* e *Beren no pé de página,tamanha é a desproporção dos feitos dos personagens)) em representações idealizadas dele próprio e de Edith, sua esposa.



Eles acabaram com um jeitão de Gary Stu e Mary Sue por causa disso e, até para explicar coisas como o nível de magia cósmico mostrado por Lúthien em Angband, eu mesmo tive que fazer uma gambiarra mental e destrinchar pedaços do Book of Lost Tales que explicavam melhor o que a elfa realmente parece ter feito. Entretanto, quando Carcharoth atacou Doriath e, teoricamente, não havia motivo para que ela ou Melian( que antes havia barrado o caminho de Ungoliant(!)) estivessem "indefesas" ou impotentes contra a fera, foram os "machos" da história que foram enviados sozinhos para caçar o bicho.

E aí entramos no mini-pseudo-OVA de Desventuras de Mary, Sue: A Faux Action Girl. O que é uma Faux Action Girl, no estilo Sue? Bem, é aquela que é superpoderosa from hell mas é só chegar o Designated Love Interest (Que 99% das vezes é um Gary-Stu) e ela subitamente perde todos os poderes (Implicitamente) e vira uma dama indefesa para dito herói romântico salvá-la. Por exemplo, a Bella Swan, de Crepúsculo - A Meyer nos diz que ela é inteligente, moderna, sabe se cuidar, é madura, etc, mas além de nunca nos mostrar o departamento de neurônios e sinapses dela funcionando, ela simplesmente perde toda e qualquer característica de mulher inteligente moderna madura etc pelo Gary-Stu, o Edward, mas sem deixar de ser uma marysue. Chaos ensures. É assim também com muita heroína de shoujo, também, e não raramente de shounen (Sakura de Naruto, anyone?), mas geralmente nesses últimos ela não fica com um gary-stu.

E Tolkien, depois de fazê-la encantar Melkor, Carcharoth, os dragões, inclusive Glaurung, os balrogs, orcs, lobisomens e só os Valar sabem o quê mais, ainda me fez a besteira de dizer que ela era "uma mera donzela, embora fosse uma elfa de sangue real" em uma de suas cartas ( mais uma prova de que não se deve interpretar o que ele diz lá ao pé da letra).
 

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Neoghoster Akira

Brandebuque
:think: Interessante nota sobre a presciência das elfas. Posso concluir que Lúthien não viu apenas o "amor por Beren". Ela viu também o "futuro de seu amor com Beren".

Assim que para muitos basta dizer que o amor é um só, o correto seria dizer que apesar de o amor ser um só as formas de oferecer o amor variam de pessoa para pessoa e aquilo que elas aceitam na verdade é a oferta do amor pois não conseguem ver diante de si o amor.

Ao ver a oferta do amor de Beren, Lúthien também colocou em marcha a sua própria oferta de amor. Uma ação sub-criativa para colocar ordem a um mundo futuro, invisível ainda e um fardo para os dois.

O amor de Lúthien literalmente começou a moldar o mundo em volta. Tamanha foi a força usada que Mandos chorou ao ver com o poder de previsão que o Valar tinha, o sofrimento de alterar o mundo colocado nas costas de alguém frágil como ela. Mandos conheceu a supresa dentro do mundo por causa de Lúthien.

A oferta do amor de Lúthien estava acima da compreensão de Thingol. Ela o amava como um pai, mas o amava também como alguém da raça divina e para ele isso tinha uma interpretação de infantilidade e poderíamos afirmar que ela via no coração do pai com uma profundidade maior do que ele queria admitir já que possuia uma sabedoria natural de seu sangue maior que a de Thingol. E entre mãe e filha (Melian e Lúthien) a ligação era muito mais sutil e em outro nível (duas mulheres falam mais coisas entre si que homem e mulher).
 

Ilmarinen

Usuário

Lindo filme baseado no livro do Haggard que é, declaradamente, uma influência para Tolkien: inspirou por exemplo a cena da morte de Saruman , o livro de Mazarbul e o Espelho de Galadriel jnto com diversas cenas de Gandalf o Branco.



Até os raios caindo no fundo são iguais!!!



Ela é o principal protótipo de Lúthien, Galadriel ( mais até do que a Virgem Maria), Melian, (que inclusive governava um reino com o palácio contruído em cavernas) e aspectos de Elbereth.




 

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Ilmarinen,
agradeço imensamente o tópico, pois me tirou algumas dúvidas e acrescentou muitas informações. Os links já add aos favoritos para ler logo que possível.

Sobre a questão dos nomes eu já sabia. Uma história que gosto muito - embora eu nunca lembre o nome :roll: - é aquela em que uma garota precisa adivinhar o nome verdadeiro de uma criatura [acho que era um goblin] através de uma charada para se libertar. É uma lembrança muito vaga. Vi um desenho dessa história quando era bem pequena, mas a parte do 'nome verdadeiro' me marcou bastante.

O correto seria eu reler as passagens do Silma e dos Apêndices de SdA antes de comentar, mas estou sem tempo agora. Tentarei reler hoje mesmo mais tarde. Ainda assim vou dizer...
O que me incomoda não questão 'amor à primeira vista' não é o fato de Lúthien ter se apaixonado por Beren, mas o fato de Beren, antes mesmo de dizer Tinúviel, - pelo puro e simples fato de tê-la visto -, se apaixona por ela. Assim, sem mais nem menos.

É assim que Thingol se apaixona por Melian. É assim que Beren se apaixona por Lúthien. E é assim que Aragorn se apaixona por Arwen. Antes mesmo de conhecê-las.
Eles se apaixonam não pela pessoa, mas pela imagem. E, particularmente, acho isso extremamente fútil. São descartados os fatores caráter e personalidade.

Tá que elas tinham uma beleza muito acima da mortal, eram encantadoras, sublimes e etc... Tá que todas as personagens donzelas de Tolkien [e desse tipo de fábulas em geral] são excelentes pessoas, mas no mundo real não é assim, né! E não é raro ver gente caindo em armadilhas e se encrencando por isso...

Resumindo: eles dão mais valor à beleza externa do que à interna.
Um exemplo dentro da própria obra tolkieana é o caso de Berúthiel, que provavelmente era linda - como todos os gondorianos - mas era uma megera.

Eu nunca gosto e/ou me identifico com "Mary Sues". São exatamente o tipo de personagem que considero insuportaveis!

Quanto à história de Tolkien: eu já sabia que ele tinha se baseado em sua história pessoal com a esposa para escrever Beren e Lúthien, mas também nunca me incomodou porque eu não conheço a biografia dele.

E aqui vou dar uma de chata (:mrgreen:) e falar novamente de Éowyn e Faramir. É o completo oposto (embora nas estendidas eles tenham feito de um jeito que ficou bem parecido com os 3 casais que citei antes).
A princípio Faramir apenas sente pena de Éowyn [assim como quase todo mundo] e conforme os dias passam, eles conversam, se conhecem, Faramir se apaixona por quem Éowyn é: ele vê nela não apenas uma bela donzela, mas uma mulher forte, de fibra e de caráter.

Eu sempre preferi as personagens femininas com essa característica. Até na Disney encontramos personagens femininas que não ficam paradas esperando para serem salvas. 3 exemplos - na versão Disney - são Ariel, Jasmin e Mulan.
É claro que existem muitas outras além dos contos infantis, até mesmo na literatura. Mas a memória está me falhando agora.
Citando outras 2 histórias das quais sou tão fã quanto de SdA: em Star Wars temos a Leia e Padmé [Padmé afrouxa no final, mas enfim...] e em Harry Potter temos Lily e Hermione.
E a lista deve ser tão quilométrica quanto a de "Mary Sues". Mas enfim, só quis dizer que fiz aquele comentário porque sempre prefiro as personagens femininas fortes às fracas, cuja única qualidade é a beleza. Por mais que sejam poderosas e inteligentes - em teoria - não fazem muita coisa útil e, na maioria das vezes, são completamente dependentes do amado / marido / wtf.

[Antes que me taquem pedras, eu sei que Melian pelo menos não era tão inútil assim e que Lúthien foi corajosa... mas acho que deu pra entender o que eu quis dizer]
 

Ilmarinen

Usuário
Ilmarinen,
agradeço imensamente o tópico, pois me tirou algumas dúvidas e acrescentou muitas informações. Os links já add aos favoritos para ler logo que possível.

Sobre a questão dos nomes eu já sabia. Uma história que gosto muito - embora eu nunca lembre o nome :roll: - é aquela em que uma garota precisa adivinhar o nome verdadeiro de uma criatura [acho que era um goblin] através de uma charada para se libertar. É uma lembrança muito vaga. Vi um desenho dessa história quando era bem pequena, mas a parte do 'nome verdadeiro' me marcou bastante.

Bom que vc tenha apreciado o thread. :). O nome que você queria lembrar é esse daí:

Wikipedia-Rumpelstiltskin

Irmãos Grimm na cabeça.

E, sim entendo sua crítica à paixonite do Beren, mas, veja só: perdeu a família toda, viu sua terra ser destruída e incendiada, atravessou montanhas do horror infestadas de aranhas peludas devoradoras de luz(arrrghhh!!) ( quão mais freudianos podemos ser do que isso hein?) e, mulambento e esfarrapado, atravessou o "cinturão de castidade" que cercava Doriath e Lúthien e, quando ouviu Lúthien cantar, foi que nem a cena do pobre príncipe Felipe no desenho da Disney, vítima da sonsa da princesa Aurora ( o demônio da floresta!!! :P).


Santa do Pau Oco- Cartaz de procura-se,oferece-se recompensa pela indivídua aí em cima.Sedutora!!
Comparem a forma como adaptaram o episódio abaixo com a cena pseudopornô do desenho da Disney ( é, eu acho pornô!!!)



A sedução de Beren





Do ponto de vista lógico, é muito mais estranho a Lúthien gamar nele do que o contrário. E, falando nisso, calculemos: Beren conquista Lúthien, magro, maltrapilho, esfomeado depois de provações sem fim, mas era o primo em terceiro grau dele que era o "rosto de homem mais formoso dos Tempos Antigos". Daí dá pra tentar calcular qual era o nível de sex appeal do Túrin Turambar. Ele e Louis , o vampiro gostoso que todo mundo quer nas Crônicas Vampirescas da Anne Rice, olhariam um pro outro dizendo: "só pode haver um".





O Beren era mais ou menos dessa tribo aí em cima

46. Beren the Renowned had hair of a golden brown and grey eyes;
he was taller than most of his kin, but he was broad-shouldered and very strong in his limbs

E o Túrin era dessa estirpe profana aí:








Ou dessa: 1594426011417.png
A Lúthien ali já era como um símbolo vivo da própria Primavera, e sua aparência e feitos , de certa forma, "são" a sua personalidade, é por isso que intuitivamente, Beren adivinha o nome dela. Ou seja , pode até não parecer, mas Beren se apaixonou mais pelo que Lúthien fazia, pelo que ela representava, o rejuvenescimento da natureza enlutada e a volta da esperança, do que por sua aparência.

E o canto de Lúthien quebrou as cadeias do inverno e as águas geladas falaram e as flores irromperam pela terra fria onde seus pés tinham passado.

Em narrativas mitológicas o que fica na crônica tende a ser o simbólico, aquilo que é potentemente retórico e iconográfico. O que está dito na Balada de Leithian como, aliás, tudo que faz parte das crônicas históricas da Primeira Era ( ou a historinha resumida de Arwen e Aragorn que é só uma parte condensada do "todo" integral transformado em sinopse histórica ), deve ser sempre visto com "um pezinho atrás" por causa disso. Pela caracterizaçaõ de Faramir e Eowynn e Aldarion e Erendis, também, vc pode ver que Tolkien era , sim, capaz de fazer algo menos idealizado e que , portanto, a verdade literal do que houve no encontro de Beren com Lúthien deve ser alguma coisa mais "pé no chão" um pouquinho.

E, sim, homens tendem a ser, a princípio, atraídos pelo fator aparência mas o que faz a pessoa ficar e, principalmente, continuar apaixonada tende a ser muito mais do que só ele, o fator formosura, verdade válida para ambos os sexos
 

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Ilmarinen

Usuário
Esse daí matou a pau: uma comparaçaõ detalhadíssima mostrando os débitos da caracterização de Galadriel com a personalidade de Ayesha, a Ela, a feiticeira do Rider Haggard








Galadriel in a Parallel Universe?
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By watcher by night



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Enjoy a very nice preview of Marjorie Burns' "Perilous Realms", which provides very original and thought-provoking insights into Tolkien's 'mythology'
  • Read Marjorie Burns' "Spiders and Evil Red Eyes"
    Preview almost all of Marjorie Burns' chapter, which explores fascinating and highly detailed connections between Tolkien's work and Norse and Celtic mythology. And yes, Ayesha makes an appearance as well. For more, see Amazon page's preview.

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First, a look at Galadriel in the familiar Universe of LOTR and the Silmarillion
Galadriel is an important figure not only in The Lord of the Rings, but also in Tolkien's Silmarillion. The Silmarillion lays out a vast expanse of Middle Earth's history and mythology, of which the War of the Ring, as told in The Lord of the Rings, is only a very small part. If you have only read and/or seen The Lord of the Rings, then this article will include some small plot spoilage from the Silmarillion, but such spoilers will, I think, be more on the order of teasers to whet your appetite. Besides, with the Silmarillion being on the order of a broad historical work, it perhaps cannot properly be said to have a plot in the conventional sense.
Galadriel is an Elven Queen. We meet her in The Lord of the Rings, when the company of the fellowship of the Ring enters Lothlorien. It is interesting to compare and contrast the way in which Galadriel is presented in the book, with the way in which she is presented in Peter Jackson's movie. However, I will not dwell here on such similarities and differences at any great length, wishing merely to note a few points that may be relevant to the topic at hand.
Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Galadriel in the movie trilogy was very interesting. I may as well say, however, that I was disappointed in the omission from the movie of something Galadriel said to Gimli at their first meeting in the book. In the book, seeing that the Dwarf was sorrowful and bowed with grief, not only at the loss of Gandalf at the Bridge of Khazad-dum, but also at the loss of his friends and relatives in Moria, and in a sense, Moria itself, she says kind words to Gimli that not only comfort him, but also completely changes the way in which he sees Galadriel. Here, since it was omitted from the movie, I will take the liberty of quoting at length what Galadriel said.
"Do not repent of your welcome to the Dwarf," she begins, speaking at first to her husband, Celeborn. "If our folk had been exiled long and far from Lothlorien, who of the Galadhrim, even Celeborn the wise, would pass nigh and would not wish to look upon their ancient home, though it had become an abode of dragons?"
Then, continuing, Galadriel addressed the following directly to Gimli. "Dark is the water of Kheled-zaram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nala, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dum in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone." Saying this, Galadriel smiled.
And then we are told of Gimli's change of heart and opening of eyes: "And the Dwarf, hearing the names given in his own ancient tongue, looked up and met her eyes; and it seemed to him that he looked suddenly into the heart of an enemy and saw there love and understanding. Wonder came into his face, and then he smiled in answer.
"He rose clumsily and bowed in dwarf-fashion, saying: 'Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!'"
This, for me, is an especially poignant and beautiful moment in the book, and one that also underscores Tolkien's gift, at least as a writer, for putting himself into someone else's shoes and seeing surprisingly deeply into both sides of an argument or conflict. In this case, the interchange between Galadriel and Gimli must be understood in terms of the history between the elves and the dwarves, who at certain times in the past had actually been at war with each other. Thus Gimli's surprise and wonder when someone he had expected to receive him with hostility instead not only welcomes him, but also expresses the keenest insight into his feelings and his culture, and apparently even thinks his ancestral home is as beautiful as Gimli himself does. It might also be in order to here recall that many elves thought of Moria with dread and distaste, because of the rumor of some ancient terror that haunted the place. This moment with Galadriel also marks a turning point in the way Legolas and Gimli view one another, and in a sense marks the genesis of what would become a close and lasting friendship between the prince from Mirkwood and the son of Gloin.
What else does the exchange with Gimli tells us about Galadriel? She is wise and insightful, and capable of great kindness. She looks for ways to heal wounds. She strives to give each member of the fellowship hope, even after the loss of their leader and the horrors of the ordeals through which they have already passed, and despite the dread of the unknown challenges that may await them if they continue their quest. She seems an immortal creature of light, angelic almost.
Yet, the strange, unsettling, ominous undertone present in the movie version, during Galadriel's first meeting with the company of the ring, can, I believe, be justified in some degree from the written texts. Her attempts to give each member of the Company hope seem strangely to have a double meaning: it would be possible, it seemed, to interpret her words as tests, almost as temptations. Now, Galadriel was a being whose life has actually spanned thousands of years of time in Middle Earth, and not just Middle Earth, but also in lands beyond the sea unknown to mortal man. I suppose it may seem a bit cliched to say that Galadriel is complex, and that she has a "dark side". But I for one find it anything but cliched to read The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion and contemplate the context in which Galadriel lives and ultimately makes her choice to return into the west, diminishing and fading-- at least as far as Middle Earth is concerned, and the kingdom over which she and Celeborn have ruled for many years.
Long ago in the past, many of the elves had been embroiled in an event which they referred to as the 'Kinslaying', which had been somewhat on the order of a civil war, with elf fighting against elf. The surviving elves looked upon the Kinslaying with grief and shame. Even Galadriel herself had apparently been compromised in some ways by this bitter event, although there were conflicting accounts of her degree of involvement, many of which seemed to indicate she had wished to avoid any bloodshed. Nevertheless, the time and the way in which Galadriel first came to Middle Earth were in some way intertwined with the events of and surrounding the Kinslaying. Thus there was a dark thread running through the course of Galadriel's coming to Middle Earth and the building of a place of security in Lothlorien, which seemed to indicate a dark thread running through her own nature.
The choice in the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring to have Galadriel narrate the opening voiceover gains deeper resonance when Galadriel's past is kept in mind. "Men," she tells us, "...above all else desire power." This may sound as if elves merely look down on humans. But Galadriel also tells us in the voiceover that besides the nine rings "gifted to the race of men," "three [rings] were given to the Elves," and that furthermore, "within these rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race."
Now one of the things that is revealed to Frodo during his stay in Lorien is that Galadriel is actually, although secretly, the bearer of one of the three rings of power that had been given to the Elves. Without her ring of power, she would have been unable to make and maintain Lothlorien as a place of refuge and safety against Sauron's forces.
And what, in her voiceover, does Galadriel herself tell us about the ring of power that she holds and wields? Within it is "bound the strength and will to govern... [her] ...race." The plot thickens, if we consider that Galadriel's choice to come to Middle Earth in the manner she did after the Kinslaying was done against the wish of the Valar, who within the mythology/history of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands across the sea, could be understood as being (although only roughly) analagous to the Gods of Olympus in Greek mythology. So Galadriel's background of apparent wilfullness, or rebelliousness, may have perhaps been reinforced by the possession of a ring of power that had bound within it "the strength and will to govern." It would have appeared to her a tool which she could use to do much good in preserving and protecting that which was fair and good in Middle Earth. Yet, at the same time, it would be a tool strangely well matched to what I will term her darker or more ambivalent ambitions, ambitions which she apparently restrains, yet which we are able to glimpse or find hints of within LOTR and the Silmarillion.
Now, if we return again to that opening voiceover, the time is ripe to note that Galadriel also tells us that "they were all of them [meaning the elves, men and dwarves who had received rings of power] deceived. For another ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a Master Ring to control all others." Thus, even the ring held by Galadriel, though it might not be turned directly to any evil, at least while Galadriel held it, was still bound in some way to the Master Ring of Sauron.
Then, with the arrival of Frodo at Lothlorien, bearing the Master Ring itself, Galadriel finds herself at another one of those critical junctures that, I suppose, we all face along the paths we travel in life. Here is another tool, like and yet unlike the tool she accepted long ago and used to the benefit of many. The Master Ring is even more powerful than the ring of power which she already holds. She knows, however, that the Master Ring is so intimately intertwined with Sauron's "cruelty... malice, and... will to dominate all life," that any attempt to wield it will be twisted towards evil ends, no matter what the original intentions of the user.
Yet it is strangely tempting to think that perhaps the Master Ring can be "rehabilitated" and turned to serve good ends. We might ourselves reflect that when Bilbo himself first came into possession of the Ring, he was able to accomplish some good with it, such as saving thirteen dwarves from some very large and hungry spiders. And Galadriel was someone very different from the rather humble Bilbo; she was a being immortal, of great understanding and innate abilities, even without a ring of power. Surely, if anyone could wrest the One Ring not only from Sauron himself, but even from the very nature which Sauron had instilled within the Ring, it would be Galadriel herself? Against such plausible-sounding rationalizations, would an inner voice of warning be powerless? More especially so, because Galadriel was further burdened by a knowledge that if Sauron's One Ring was unmade, all of the other Rings of Power, since they were subtly but irrevocably bound to the One Ring, would also in a sense be unmade, and with the fading away of their power would pass away her ability to preserve and protect those things of Middle Earth so dear to the Elves.
This quandary adds many layers of depth, resonating back through ages of time, to Galadriel's eventual "temptation" by Frodo and her response to it. The temptation occurs after Frodo has looked into Galadriel's Mirror, and is an act apparently unpremeditated on Frodo's part and without guile. Yet the temptation is nonetheless very real, a 'sore temptation', as the saying goes. The temptation consists of Frodo offering freely to give to Galadriel the very thing which she both secretly desires and secretly dreads, the One Ring itself.
Hear what Galadriel then says. "And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!"
As she says those things, we are told that she seems to Frodo "tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful." Yet, facing the moment of decision again, this time Galadriel makes a different choice than she had in the past long before. She turns from her ambivalent ambitions, from the temptation of power-- even with the good which that power might for a time bring with it-- and makes a choice that will in a sense undo the choice she had made so long ago, when she had chosen to go against the decree of the Valar in first coming to Middle Earth. Now, her decision to let Frodo keep the One Ring, if Frodo is successful in destroying the Ring, will mean that Galadriel will soon leave Middle Earth forever and return to face the Valar and, we would suppose, be reconciled with them. Frodo, although very learned for a Hobbit in Elf lore, does not know of Galadriel's own history, and to him she simply says, "I pass the test... I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel." At that moment she is speaking as much to herself, I believe, as to Frodo.
And again, she seems to be speaking half to herself, when replying to Sam, who had said, "I wish you'd take his Ring. You'd put things to rights... You'd make some folk pay for their dirty work."
"I would," Galadriel tells Sam. "That is how it would begin. But it would not stop with that, alas!"
And now we are in a better position, I believe, to more fully appreciate the significance of what Galadriel says in that opening voiceover to the movie trilogy. When she talks about men's desire for power, she remembers her own desire for power. When she says that "all of them were deceived" she includes herself. She acknowledges to herself, and to any who still remember that long past history, or wish to learn of it, her own role in allowing the world to be twisted by Sauron from what should have been. And yet, as Galadriel introduces us to the tale in her voiceover, she does so with the knowledge that ultimately she passed the test and redeemed herself and her role in that history. Indeed, she can know of herself now that she held true to something she said to Frodo just before Frodo made his tempting offer to give her the Ring. What she said was that she wished "That what should be shall be... The love of the Elves for their land and their works is deeper than the deeps of the Sea, and their regret is undying and cannot ever wholly be assuaged. Yet they will cast all away rather than submit to Sauron: for they know him now."
Despite her perhaps undying, unassuageable regret for the loss of Lothlorien and her work in Middle Earth, I believe that Galadriel is comforted, consoled, and happy, having passed the test, stood true to her stated wish "that what should be shall be", and having returned at last to the undying lands, and to the presence of the Valar. I find an empathetic sense of consolation, and it is a picture upon which I like to gaze.
Of course there may be some inconsistency in having Galadriel narrate all of this, if she is already in the Undying Lands. Some of the other things she says in the voiceover may not make complete sense in that context. But I for one find the underlying meaning satisfying enough that I don't feel any wish to spoil it with textual criticism/analysis. In any event, this concludes for the most part a look at Galadriel in the familiar setting in which we are used to seeing her, the backdrop of LOTR and the Silmarillion. Now on to the Parallel Universe.

Beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night... all shall love me and despair


"Beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night... all shall love me and despair"



A Short Cut for those who tend to say to new books, "You had me at hello":

A distinct advantage available to anyone who sets out to read She and other books by H. Rider Haggard, is that it can be done for FREE. Dozens of Haggard's works are available for download from Project Gutenberg. Another free venue for reading Haggard is Google Book Search, where, if the search feature is set to "full view" mode, stories can be read in actual book formatting, which tends to be a little easier on the eyes than Gutenberg's plain text, minimally formatted files. Not quite free, but still very cheap, are etext versions available through Amazon for Kindle, a portable electronic book reading device.


Kindle Etexts of She and other Haggard books


Ursula Andress portrays Ayesha in a Hammer film.


Ursula Andress portrays Ayesha in a Hammer film.
Did you know the origin of the phrase "She Who Must Be Obeyed", often used humorously these days, originated with Haggard's books?




  • She Who Must Be Obeyed
    Humorous t-shirts and other apparel, mugs, mousepads and other gift items, all with "She Who Must Be Obeyed" caption.
Galadriel in the Parallel Universe

I hope the above, especially if you've never read the Silmarillion before, opened the possibility of examining Galadriel in a somewhat different light. Even though we talked about things that might be considered flaws or frailties, yet they seemed, at least to me, to make Galadriel's virtues stand out more clearly. Something else that might make us appreciate and understand Galadriel even more, is to consider "What might have been." What might have been, that is, if she had accepted Frodo's offer to give her the One Ring, and if she had become "a Queen... beautiful and terrible."
Now, if you were hoping for me to unveil a lost work of J.R.R. Tolkien in which he developed the idea of a parallel Middle Earth with a beautiful but ultimately evil Galadriel, I'm afraid I must disappoint you (meantime, Tolkien purists will probably be heaving a grateful sigh of relief right about now). However, I have something which I think will be almost as good (translate "nowhere near as bad" if you are an extreme Tolkien purist). It is not a work of what is called "fan fiction" either, in which a Tolkien 'fan' uses established characters to write 'new chapters'.
No, for our parallel universe we are turning to a work that has already been widely recognized as a literary influence on Tolkien; namely the book She, by H. Rider Haggard. In fact, besides numerous parallels that may be noted by the observant reader, between details that appear in Haggard's She and various works of Tolkien, Tolkien himself in a 1966 interview said that She had been an important book for him. Tolkien was not alone: many other writers of Tolkien's generation had grown up reading Haggard's tale and been left with a deep impression by it. This influence was not limited to writers of fiction. Carl Jung, whose theories of archetypes explored, among other things, the psychological resonance of literature through the collective unconscious, was deeply impressed by the literary character Ayesha, who is the 'She' to whom the title of Haggard's book refers. Jung used Ayesha as an example of what in his theories he called the Anima. I will make no attempt here to explain the Anima, but will simply suggest that it could be viewed as bridging-- and providing an interesting twist upon-- two ideas, which nowadays we often hear jokingly reduced to cliches. The first idea/current cliche is that of "a man getting in touch with his feminine side;" the second idea/current cliche is that of the stereotype of men fantasizing about women who -- to be conveniently circular-- are the kind of women who inspire stereotypical male fantasies. However, if you explore Jung's ideas of archetypes, and the anima/animus, as well as Haggard's character Ayesha, I think you'll find there plenty of food for thought which, far from reinforcing stereotypes, allows us to undercut and understand stereotypes, and certain other things, at a level far deeper than the merely superficial.
To return to my theme of Galadriel in a parallel universe, it is the character Ayesha that seems to me a candidate for consideration as a sort of alter-Galadriel, able to suggest very vividly what Galadriel might have become if the Elven Queen had chosen to accept Frodo's offer of the One Ring. I will try to strike a reasonable balance in providing some details to support this view, without committing undue amounts of plot spoilage for those who (I hope they are many) find themselves wanting to read She after reading this article-- if that is, they are not already personally acquainted with Haggard's book.
However, be warned that if even small plot spoilers have a tendency to ruin a story for you, turn now and retrace your steps to the portal by which you entered; go! Get thee hence, and return here, if ever, only when thou hast finished reading She.
She is recounted to us by a first person narrator, Horace Holly, usually referred to by others simply as Holly. Holly and his much younger ward and protege, Leo, pass through many eventful adventures before Ayesha ever makes her appearance in the book. Holly ends up becoming fairly close to Ayesha, and he sees firsthand many aspects of her personality and character. She--Ayesha-- excites in Holly feelings both of admiration and repulsion, but he finds that even the repulsion has a strangely irresistible attraction mixed in with it.
Remember for a moment how to Frodo Galadriel seemed "tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful," as she speaks of what would happen if she accepted the One Ring. Then let us look at how Horace Holly describes his first view of Ayesha's face:
"I gazed... at her face, and--I do not exaggerate--shrank back blinded and amazed. I have heard of the beauty of celestial beings, now I saw it; only this beauty, with all its awful loveliness and purity, was evil--at least, at the time, it struck me as evil. How am I to describe it? I cannot--simply I cannot! The man does not live whose pen could convey a sense of what I saw. I might talk of the great changing eyes of deepest, softest black... and [the] delicate, straight features. But, beautiful, surpassingly beautiful as they... were, her loveliness did not lie in them. It lay rather... in a visible majesty, in an imperial grace, in a godlike stamp of softened power, which shone upon that radiant countenance like a living halo. Never before had I guessed what beauty made sublime could be--and yet, the sublimity was a dark one--the glory was not all of heaven--though none the less was it glorious."
Even from that description of Ayesha's face, the reader will already begin to get a sense that Ayesha is, like Galadriel, an immortal creature of loveliness, wisdom, and power-- potentially very frightening power. "Like and unlike they are." In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien could be said to have beat me to the punch, anticipated my little "Parallel Universe" conceit, and to have roundly trounced me at my own game, by masterfully presenting Gandalf and Saruman as 'parallel universe' counterparts of each other-- although, technically speaking, the two wizards were in the same universe. But I think you get my drift. Well, Ayesha and Galadriel present an observant and thoughtful reader with the opportunity to blaze a trail parallel to the one that Tolkien blazed in comparing and contrasting two individuals that are so much alike and yet so different.
Before we wade into deeper waters, we could make note of a more superficial, but still significant-- and to me sort of fascinating-- similarity between the accounts of Galadriel and the accounts of Ayesha. Galadriel allows both Frodo and Sam to gaze into the Mirror of Galadriel. Galadriel's Mirror is not made of polished metal or glass, but rather contains water as a reflective surface. When Galadriel pours water into the Mirror's basin, she can make more than just normal reflections appear. The Mirror can show to a viewer "things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be." Galadriel tells Frodo and Sam that she can command the Mirror to show many things, and that it also will sometimes show things of its own initiative. Now, if we shift our gaze back to Horace Holly's account of Ayesha, we come to a really striking parallel to Galadriel, that emerges in the course of the following discussion between Holly and Ayesha:
'"Dost thou wonder how I knew that ye were coming to this land, and so saved your heads from the hot-pot?"
"Ay, oh Queen," I answered feebly.
"Then gaze upon that water," and she pointed to the font-like vessel, and then, bending forward, held her hand over it. I rose and gazed, and instantly the water darkened. Then it cleared, and I saw as distinctly as I ever saw anything in my life--I saw, I say, our boat upon that horrible canal. There was Leo lying at the bottom asleep in it, with a coat thrown over him to keep off the mosquitoes, in such a fashion as to hide his face, and myself, Job, and Mahomed towing on the bank.
I started back, aghast, and cried out that it was magic, for I recognised the whole scene--it was one which had actually occurred.
"Nay, nay; oh Holly," she answered, "it is no magic, that is a fiction of ignorance. There is no such thing as magic, though there is such a thing as a knowledge of the secrets of Nature. That water is my glass; in it I see what passes if I will to summon up the pictures, which is not often. Therein I can show thee what thou wilt of the past, if it be anything that hath to do with this country and with what I have known, or anything that thou, the gazer, hast known. Think of a face if thou wilt, and it shall be reflected from thy mind upon the water. I know not all the secret yet--I can read nothing in the future."
Although we may not nowadays accord Haggard with critical recogition on a level with that which is sometimes extended to Tolkien's work, this may be principally because of stylistic differences, as well as perhaps, the changes in public perception that usually occur over the passage of time. Both authors certainly present us with vivid ideas that can arrest our attention and galvanize our imagination. Notice in the passage quoted above how Haggard makes explicit something which is only implicit in Tolkien's description of Galadriel's mirror-- how interestingly the idea of a mirror is developed as Ayesha explains to Holly that personal knowledge or experiences of the viewer are reflected from the viewer's mind upon the surface of the water; a psychical or metaphysical mirror. Of course, this somewhat lengthy explanation does not sound out of character coming from Ayesha, who after all is rather condescending at times, to put it mildly. However, such an explanation by Galadriel to the hobbits would have been incongrous--jarring--out of synch in the milieu which Tolkien had constructed. However, we can enjoy as a bonus of this visit to the parallel universe this opportunity to have additional light shed-- possibly-- on why Galadriel used a mirror, of all things, to view 'otherwhen' and 'otherwhere'. It even seems that the significance of the mirror used by the Queen in Snow White gains additional depth after thinking along these lines. However, on further reflection (ha ha) we also see aspects of Galadriel's mirror that would not be explained by, or would even be contradicted by, the explanation given by Ayesha. No matter, for we will still have enjoyed thinking more deeply into the matter.
Despite many similarities, there are vivid contrast in the ways in which Galadriel and Ayesha are presented. Galadriel, almost as if she were an image in her own mirror, allows Frodo to glimpse for a moment herself as a dreadful, worshipful Queen "that yet may be," but which she does not become. And Galadriel does make each member of the Company face a sort of test or temptation as she looks into their eyes and seems to read their hearts. Yet we get a far different feeling from the way in which Ayesha interacts with Holly and others around her. Ayesha can switch in a heartbeat from a charm that enraptures the recipient of her attentions, to a terrifying display of passionate, yet icy, superhuman power. Holly tells of his own personal experience of one of these terrifying transitions:
"Suddenly she paused, and through my fingers I saw an awful change come over her countenance. Her great eyes suddenly fixed themselves into an expression in which horror seemed to struggle with some tremendous hope arising through the depths of her dark soul. The lovely face grew rigid, and the gracious willowy form seemed to erect itself.
'"Man," she half whispered, half hissed, throwing back her head like a snake about to strike--"Man, whence hadst thou that scarab on thy hand? Speak, or by the Spirit of Life I will blast thee where thou standest!" and she took one light step towards me, and from her eyes there shone such an awful light--to me it seemed almost like a flame--that I fell, then and there, on the ground before her, babbling confusedly in my terror."
I think we can get an inkling, a pale and insubstantial inkling, of what Holly is describing, if we picture the over-the--top behaviour occasionally adopted by our modern day pop culture Divas. This is not to make light of the Haggard's excellent and nuanced portrayal of Ayesha, and especially should not be confused as a sort of short-cut explanation of what Jung's aforementioned Anima concept meant. 'Diva' is not quite an archetype, at least not in my book, but I think it points in the right direction.
Another idea that is currently popular, which could help to give us an inkling of what is at the core of Ayesha's being, is that of the vampire. Of course, Bram Stoker's Dracula was to enter the collective conscious, and maybe even the collective unconscious, in 1897, fairly soon after the publication of She in 1886-1887. I don't know if Ayesha influenced Stoker's description of Count Dracula, but if you examine Stoker's story, and read between the lines a bit, you will find that Stoker characterizes the vampire as being ultimately miserable despite his provisional immortality-- even though unwilling to relinquish his undead existence, he nevertheless feels unsatisfied, perhaps trapped by it. I think we can see strong echoes of this in Haggard's portrayal of Ayesha, and perhaps even faint hints of it in Tolkien's delineation of certain aspects of the lives of Galadriel and other Elves. When Ayesha is, unawares, being watched by Holly at one point, this is how she appears to him:
"...her face was what caught my eye, and held me as in a vice, not this time by the force of its beauty, but by the power of fascinated terror. The beauty was still there, indeed, but the agony, the blind passion, and the awful vindictiveness displayed upon those quivering features, and in the tortured look of the upturned eyes, were such as surpass my powers of description."
Ayesha, we find, despite her power, beauty, knowledge, and apparent immortality, is not entirely happy-- in fact she often seems anything but happy. Well, for that matter, Galadriel herself told us that the Elves' "regret is undying and cannot ever wholly be assuaged." So, after all, what is the difference? Both are unhappy, aren't they? But I think, although it would be difficult to succinctly encapsulate in words all of my reasons for so thinking, that most people, after reading both LOTR and She, will feel that Galadriel's version of (limited?) immortality would be much preferable to the immortality of Ayesha, and in fact, that the comparison would be of the proverbial "apples and oranges" variety. Tolkien makes a comment somewhere to the effect that the beauty and wisdom of the Elves is actually enriched and deepened by their sorrow. Why does the same benefit not apply to Ayesha?
Actually, perhaps it does eventually. If you read Haggard's sequel to She, entitled Ayesha, the Return of She, you will find that Ayesha begins to seem more sympathetic and even seems to expend more effort to try to restrain her darker impulses. Whether she is able to escape from the tragedy of her lonely, quasi-vampirical immortality is something which the curious reader will have to wait until the final pages of that book to find out. Even if you only read She, I think Ayesha can be seen in a more sympathetic light if you consider that Ayesha provides us with a picture not just of what Galadriel might have become, put perhaps also indicating some of the interior processes that led Galadriel to originally defy the Valar and to undertake whatever part she played in the Kinslaying-- for it should be remembered that no matter how hard it might be for mortals to see beyond the fair exterior of Tolkien's Elves, the Elves' sensations, memories, and regrets associated with the Kinslaying, and with many another event of loss or suffering in their long history, may very well have been no less miserable than the tragic unhappiness which we more easily discern in Ayesha, who lacks the peculiar trans-mortal opacity characteristic of the Elves. Perhaps the parallel universes almost intersect at certain points, even though they are far apart at others. Perhaps the Ayesha that we encounter in Haggard's story is closer than we might realize to a snapshot of Galadriel, or certain aspects of Galadriel, in times long before the War of the Ring.
However, in some ways, even when viewed in the most sympathetic light, Ayesha and Galadriel would still seem very different, and incompatibly different. As an example, recall the statement which Galadriel made to Frodo, and to which she stayed true despite temptation, that she wished "that what should be shall be." Recall that simple, compact, but eloquent summation of Galadriel's better nature, her 'credo' if you will, and contrast it with the following rather dizzying explication/mini-lecture that Ayesha delivers to Holly, summing up her rather utilitarian, amoral views on life and power. It is really a rather interesting specimen of its kind, for it appears simultaneously to be tortuous-- full of devious twistings and turnings-- yet also straightforward and seductively logical. I have also included Holly's editorial thoughts in response to Ayesha's speech, with his nicely apt use of 'casuistry' likely to appeal (one way or the other) to those who enjoy ethical debates.
'"Is it, then, a crime, oh foolish man, to put away that which stands between us and our ends? Then is our life one long crime, my Holly, since day by day we destroy that we may live, since in this world none save the strongest can endure. Those who are weak must perish; the earth is to the strong, and the fruits thereof. For every tree that grows a score shall wither, that the strong one may take their share. We run to place and power over the dead bodies of those who fail and fall; ay, we win the food we eat from out of the mouths of starving babes. It is the scheme of things. Thou sayest, too, that a crime breeds evil, but therein thou dost lack experience; for out of crimes come many good things, and out of good grows much evil. The cruel rage of the tyrant may prove a blessing to the thousands who come after him, and the sweetheartedness of a holy man may make a nation slaves. Man doeth this, and doeth that from the good or evil of his heart; but he knoweth not to what end his moral sense doth prompt him; for when he striketh he is blind to where the blow shall fall, nor can he count the airy threads that weave the web of circumstance. Good and evil, love and hate, night and day, sweet and bitter, man and woman, heaven above and the earth beneath--all these things are necessary, one to the other, and who knows the end of each? I tell thee that there is a hand of fate that twines them up to bear the burden of its purpose, and all things are gathered in that great rope to which all things are needful. Therefore doth it not become us to say this thing is evil and this good, or the dark is hateful and the light lovely; for to other eyes than ours the evil may be the good and the darkness more beautiful than the day, or all alike be fair. Hearest thou, my Holly?"
'I felt it was hopeless to argue against casuistry of this nature, which, if it were carried to its logical conclusion, would absolutely destroy all morality, as we understand it. But her talk gave me a fresh thrill of fear; for what may not be possible to a being who, unconstrained by human law, is also absolutely unshackled by a moral sense of right and wrong, which, however partial and conventional it may be, is yet based, as our conscience tells us, upon the great wall of individual responsibility that marks off mankind from the beasts?'
We might also get a sense of a sharp contrast if we turn for a moment from Galadriel and instead compare Ayesha to Faramir. Faramir, you will remember, is stern in his own way, and makes decisions in matters of life and death, pronouncing 'dooms' upon travelers through the areas of Ithilien patrolled by him and his forces. He holds himself and others rather strictly to the laws that apply. Yet re-read all of what passes between Frodo, Sam, Smeagol, and Faramir; and then compare all of that to the very different impressions you will get from Ayesha's own pronouncements of doom and her own attitudes towards laws. Here is one sample, taken from Ayesha's words during one terrifying encounter with some of her subjects who have disobeyed her:
"Hath it not been taught to you from childhood that the law of She is an ever fixed law, and that he who breaketh it by so much as one jot or tittle shall perish? And is not my lightest word a law? Have not your fathers taught you this, I say, whilst as yet ye were but children? Do ye not know that as well might ye bid these great caves to fall upon you, or the sun to cease its journeying, as to hope to turn me from my courses, or make my word light or heavy, according to your minds?"
And here is another representative sample, when Ayesha is discoursing to Holly on her plans for the future with her husband-to-be, Kallikrates, and Holly voices an objection to the consequences of those plans, and how they would violate the law:
"The law," she laughed with scorn--"the law! Canst thou not understand, oh Holly, that I am above the law, and so shall my Kallikrates be also? All human law will be to us as the north wind to a mountain. Does the wind bend the mountain, or the mountain the wind?"
It would be possible to continue with more comparison and contrast of Galadriel and Ayesha, but I think that enough has already been set forth to indicate the potential rewards in store for the reader to whom a personally conducted execution of such comparison and contrast would hold marked appeal.
Another incidental bonus I'd like to mention is that for any of those who enjoy looking into a story for signs of the presence of the famed "unreliable narrator," She definitely offers plenty of raw material susceptible to such interpretations. An example would be editorial footnotes added to the text by Horace Holly himself. In at least one place, although he records his initial impressions of deep dismay at Ayesha's amoral and selfish philosophy of life, Holly tempers or emends his initial judgement in a footnote to the original text. Such a revised opinion could be interpreted as simply being the result of having additional time to think through and come to a more accurate estimation of Ayesha. On the other hand, it could be interpreted as Holly's original moral sense gradually caving in under the seductive weight of Ayesha's 'casuistry'. I suppose a third possible interpretation, although to me it would seem a bit overstrained, could be something along the lines of Holly gradually falling under Ayesha's 'spell' in a manner somewhat akin to the way Renfield fell under the remote influence of Count Dracula.



Subverting Galadriel - the Norn Queen in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”
image

I’ve been reading Tad Williams’ epic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn recently. It is this series of books that directly inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Song of Ice and Fire and I’ve been listing the similarities between the two elsewhere (x).
One thing that struck me whilst reading Williams’ series was how he engages with the legacy of Tolkien. This becomes especially clear in the way Williams portrays the Sithi and the Norns, two clans of an immortal race that bears many similarities to the Elves of Tolkien as well as the fairy folk of myth - especially the Daoine Sidhe (or Aos Sí) of Irish folklore. The naming of William’s “elvish” race as the Sithi may very well be a nod to this particular piece of folklore.
image

(The Riders of the Sidhe (1911). Art by John Duncan, McManus Galleries, Dundee)
image

The Sithi and the Norns, who call themselves the Zid’aya (the Dawn Children) and the Hikeda’ya (the Cloud Children) respectively, are extremely long-lived and their looks are foreign enough to be considered both beautiful and terrifying by the mortals in the story. While they belong to the same race, their looks are very different. The Sithi are described as golden-eyed and golden-skinned, with hair that varies from white to black and red. Several dye their white hair blue or lavender as well.
image

(Jiriki and Aditu of the Zida’ya. Art by Michael Whelan)
The Norns, on the other hand, are white-skinned as well as white-haired and their eyes are described as black or a very dark violet bordering on black. They are generally considered much more terrifying in appearance than beautiful, unlike the Sithi, though that could be because they are hostile to humankind.
There’s a third “elvish” race called the Tinukeda’ya (the Ocean’s Children) who are referred to as Dwarrows and Niskies because the former live underground and the latter by the sea. They are not considered beautiful but rather bordering on the grotesque in appearance. They were once the servants of the two other clans but broke away.
Tolkien and Williams - Similarities in Lore
When it comes to the history of the Sithi, Norns and Tinukeda’ya, it becomes clear that Williams draws a lot of inspiration from Tolkien, specifically the Silmarillion and the history of the Elves.
The story of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn takes place on a continent called Osten Ard.
image

The three “elvish” tribes of Osten Ard didn’t originiate in this land. They came across the sea from Venyha Do’sae, a place they call the Lost Garden and they refer to their race as the Gardenborn. They fled their home because it was threatened by Unbeing though it is unclear what exactly this threat really was. This idea of the Lost Garden brings to mind the realm of Valinor where the elves of Tolkien resided before their exile to Middle-Earth.
The Gardenborn were the first thinking creatures to live in Osten Ard and they built 9 great and beautiful cities that were eventually lost due to environmental circumstances or invasion by mortals. The Sithi Nine Cities cities are described as places of incredibly beauty in a way that brings to mind the elven city of Gondolin in the Silmarillion.
When humankind first came to Osten Ard, they lived in relative harmony with the Sithi. However, disagreements about whether to live peacefully with humankind or make war on them led to a parting of the ways between the two largest tribes: the Sithi and the Norns. The Norns, led by Utuk’ku were hostile to humankind but they made a pact with their Sithi cousins to retire to the icy north and live in isolation in the mountain called Stormspike.
Much later on the Rimmersmen, a Viking-like people with iron weapons, arrived and made war on the Sithi and eventually drove them into the wilderness of Osten Ard. After the fall of Asu’a, the Sithi retreated to the heart of the Aldheorte Forest where they founded the city of Jao e-Tinukai’i. Henceforth, the Sithi rarely left their forest home or interacted with humans.
As said, there are many similarities between the elves of Tolkien and the Sithi/Norns (the Gardenborn) of Williams. However, unlike Tolkien Williams delves into the fact that such a long-lived race will inevitably be vastly different from and incredibly foreign to humankind. The Sithi simply experience Time differently and that has an effect on how the two races approach things as well as a deeper effect on how they think and relate to the world. This also means that humans and Sithi have difficulties understanding each other, even when the relationship is a benevolent one.
The Noble Faerie Queen - and her Dark Mirror
GALADRIEL
One of the more interesting yet enigmatic elvish characters in The Lord of the Rings is Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien. At that point in the history of Middle-Earth, Galadriel is one of the oldest thinking creatures in the world. She was born in the First Age and is one of the few living elves that once dwelt in Valinor. According to fan lore she is more than 8.000 years old! That kind of age is almost unimaginable to comprehend in terms of the life-span of a single creature but to put her age into perspective, Galadriel is almost 4.000 years older than the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt!
However, Tolkien doesn’t really explore what it would mean for a thinking being to have a life that spans eons. Instead, Galadriel seems to embody the trope of the regal, wise and powerful High Queen:
A woman of wealth, power and near-impossible beauty. She always has a calm demeanor and regal bearing. Her very voice, even if it doesn’t ring with power (and it often does), still lets you know that, in some way, she’s probably better than you, even if the lady herself doesn’t look down on you at all. (TVTropes)
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Galadriel was not always as wise as she is in The Lord of the Rings. In the First Age she is described as prideful and refuses an opportunity to return to Valinor because she wants a realm of her own to rule. However, with age comes wisdom to which pride gives way. Galadriel is incredibly powerful - not just because of her age but also because she wields one of the three Rings of Power given to the elves. She is the keeper of Nenya, the Ring of Adamant.
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Yet despite her great age and wisdom, Galadriel is tempted by power when Frodo freely offers her the One Ring.
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I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask what you offer. For many long years I had pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come within my grasp. The evil that was devised long ago works on in many ways, whether Sauron himself stands or falls. Would not that have been a noble deed to set to the credit of the Ring, if I had taken it by force or fear from my guest?
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‘And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of a Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!
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She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illumined her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.
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I pass the test.’ she said. ‘I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.’ (The Fellowship of the Ring)
Galadriel IS tempted by power but she resists the temptation, knowing that you cannot fight Evil with Evil. The One Ring is powerful beyond compare but it would eventually corrupt her and change her into something terrible.
THE NORN QUEEN
As said earlier, Tad Williams’ has taken quite a bit of inspiration from Tolkien’s elves but he engages with Tolkien’s legacy in a very interesting manner. Not only does he illustrate how vast the differences are between the Sithi and humankind but he also addresses the issue of how the Sithi deal with age when they live for thousands of years.
“What happens to you fairy-folk when they get old?” Isgrimnur asked suddenly. “Do they just get wiser? or do they turn silly and mawkish, as some of ours do?
‘Old’ means something different to us, as you know,” Aditu replied. “But the answer is: there are as many different answers as there are Zida’ya, as is no doubt true with mortals. Some grow increasingly remote; they do not speak to anyone, but live entirely in their own thoughts. Others develop fondness for things others find unimportant. And some begin to brood on the past, on wrongs and hurts and missed chances.
“The oldest one of all, the one you call the Norn Queen, has grown old in that way.
She was known once for her wisdom and beauty, for grace beyond measurement. But something in her balked and grew bent, and so she curled inward into malice. And as the years almost beyond counting rolled past, all that was once admirable became twisted.” Aditu had suddenly become serious in a way that Isgrimnur had not seen before.
(To Green Angel Tower: Storm)
Utuk’ku Seyt-Hamakha - the Norn Queen is the oldest of the Gardenborn - 10.000 years old according to Tad Williams (x). Like Galadriel, she was born in the lost homeland. Like Galadriel, she was known for her beauty and her wisdom - but unlike Galadriel, age did not conquer her pride, her vanity or her bigotry towards humankind. She didn’t grow wiser with age.
Instead, she grew bitter and hateful, which lead to her plan a war of annihilation on humankind in concert with the disembodied Ineluki, the Storm King, who was an Sithi prince that died during the fall of Asu’a but whose spirit refused to die. She sits like a spider at the centre of a vast web that she has been spinning for centuries, planning the unmaking of humankind:
Utuk’ku considered. Odd and unsettling shifts had begun to take place in the intricate pattern of events that she had undertaken so long ago, events she had studied and delicately modified over the course of more than a thousand thousand sunless days. One of the first of those shifts had caused a small tear in her design. it was not irreparable, of course - Utuk’ku’s weavings were strong, and more than a few strands would have to snap completely before her long-planned triumph would be threatened - but patching it would require care, and the diamond-sharp concentration that only the Eldest could bring to bear. (To Green Angel tower: Siege)
The Norn Queen is, in a sense, the dark mirror to Galadriel, Tolkien’s benevolent elven queen.
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Like Galadriel, Utuk’ku is incredibly powerful as she is the keeper of an object of immense power: The Breathing Harp, which is a Master Witness that resides in Nakkiga, the underground city of the Norns located under the mountain Stormspike.
Unlike Galadriel who was tempted by great power, Utuk’ku’s corruption has sprung from her own flaws, more specifically her vanity. While the Sithi and Norns are described as seemingly ageless to the human eye, they do age (very slowly) - and Utuk’ku is unimaginably old, even by the standards of her own people. However she could not accept the fading of her beauty and thus hid her face behind a silver mask.
“Horror of her own antiquity made her hide her features long ago - but to you, Seaoman Snowlock, she would seem nothing but an old woman. Her features are lined and sagging, her skin mottled. Utuk’ku Seyt-Hamaka is the Eldest, but her wisdom was corrupted by selfishness and vanity ages ago. She was ashamed that the years had caught up with her.” (To Green Angel Tower: Storm)
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Utuk’ku’s darkness is rooted in her immense antiquity. She is, as said, unimaginably old. She is more than twice as old as the second-oldest of the Sithi - so old that she has become a creature that is foreign even to her own people.
It had perhaps been a thousand years since the Norn Queen had smiled, but if she had remembered how, she might have smiled at that moment. Even the oldest of the Hikeda’ya had known no other mistress but Utuk’ku. Some of them could be pardoned, perhaps, for thinking that she was no longer a living thing, but like the Storm King a creature made entirely of ice and sorcery and endless, vigilant malignity. Utuk’ku knew better. Although even the millenial lives of some of her descendants spanned but a small portion of her own, beneath the corpse-pale robes and shimmering mask was still a living woman. Inside her ancient flesh a heart still beat - slow and strong, like a blind thing crawling at the bottom of a deep, silent sea.
She was weary, but she was still fierce, still powerful. She had planned so long these coming days that the very face of the land above had shifted and altered beneath Time’s hand as she waited. She would live to see her revenge.
The lights of the Well flickered on the empty metal face she showed the world. Perhaps in that triumphant hour, Utuk’ku thought, she would once more remember what it was to smile.
(To Green Angel Tower: Siege)
While the Sithi and the Norns are so very different from humankind because of their long life-spans, they do feel things in a way that is comparable to humankind. They love, they laugh and they sorrow just like mortals. However, Utuk’ku has divorced herself from her emotions in a way that makes her “inhuman” even to her own kind.
Utuk’ku was the last of the Gardenborn: she had not survived all of her peers by many centuries through wasting time on useless emotions. (To Green Angel Tower: Siege)
Because of her antiquity and her emotional remoteness, she is more of a god to her people than a member of their race - and her problem is perhaps that she has lived too long.
“What does Utuk’ku want, you asked?”
Simon, confused by what had happened, did not respond.
“That I could not tell you - not with certainty. She is the oldest thinking creature in all of Osten Ard, Seoman, and she is far more than twice as old as the next most ancient. Be assured, her ways are strange and subtle beyond even the understanding of anyone except perhaps First Grandmother. But if I had to guess, I would say this: she longs for Unbeing.
“What does that mean?” Simon was beginning to wonder if he was truly sober after all, for the world was slowly spinning and he wanted to lie down and sleep.
If she wished for death,” Aditu said, “then that would be oblivion just for herself. She is tired of living, Seoman, but she is eldest. Never forget that. As long as songs have been sung in Osten Ard, and longer, Utuk’ku has lived. She alone of any living thing saw the lost home that birthed out kind. I do not think she can bear to think of others living when she is gone. She cannot destroy everything, much as she might desire to, but perhaps she hopes to create the greatest cataclysm possible - that is, to assure that as many living folk accompany her into oblivion as she can drag with her.
Simon stopped, horrified. “That is terrible!” he said with feeling.
Aditu shrugged, a sinuous gesture. She had a lovely neck. “Utuk’ku is terrible. She is mad, Seoman, although it is a madness as tightly woven and intricate as the finest juya’ha ever spun. She was perhaps the cleverest of the Gardenborn.”
(To Green Angel Tower: Siege)
She is so old, so remote from any kind of living being that she herself must feel like a kind of god. Yet she is, on some level, weary of life - but a god cannot just die alone, she must take the world with her into death. Thus, Aditu’s statement has the ring of a terrible truth:
I do not think she can bear to think of others living when she is gone.
That is terrible indeed.
Tolkien wrote Galadriel as an ancient being with an immense wisdom, grace and compassion - but he never really addressed what it would mean for a thinking being to live for eons. This is the question that Tad Williams explores with the character of the Norn Queen - and his answer is much more terrifying.
tad williams memory sorrow and thorn the norn queen tolkien galadriel
49 notes May 4th, 2018





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trinuviel
Subverting Galadriel - the Norn Queen in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”

trinuviel


image

I’ve been reading Tad Williams’ epic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn recently. It is this series of books that directly inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Song of Ice and Fire and I’ve been listing the similarities between the two elsewhere (x).
One thing that struck me whilst reading Williams’ series was how he engages with the legacy of Tolkien. This becomes especially clear in the way Williams portrays the Sithi and the Norns, two clans of an immortal race that bears many similarities to the Elves of Tolkien as well as the fairy folk of myth - especially the Daoine Sidhe (or Aos Sí) of Irish folklore. The naming of William’s “elvish” race as the Sithi may very well be a nod to this particular piece of folklore.
image

(The Riders of the Sidhe (1911). Art by John Duncan, McManus Galleries, Dundee)
image

The Sithi and the Norns, who call themselves the Zid’aya (the Dawn Children) and the Hikeda’ya (the Cloud Children) respectively, are extremely long-lived and their looks are foreign enough to be considered both beautiful and terrifying by the mortals in the story. While they belong to the same race, their looks are very different. The Sithi are described as golden-eyed and golden-skinned, with hair that varies from white to black and red. Several dye their white hair blue or lavender as well.
image

(Jiriki and Aditu of the Zida’ya. Art by Michael Whelan)
The Norns, on the other hand, are white-skinned as well as white-haired and their eyes are described as black or a very dark violet bordering on black. They are generally considered much more terrifying in appearance than beautiful, unlike the Sithi, though that could be because they are hostile to humankind.
There’s a third “elvish” race called the Tinukeda’ya (the Ocean’s Children) who are referred to as Dwarrows and Niskies because the former live underground and the latter by the sea. They are not considered beautiful but rather bordering on the grotesque in appearance. They were once the servants of the two other clans but broke away.
Tolkien and Williams - Similarities in Lore
When it comes to the history of the Sithi, Norns and Tinukeda’ya, it becomes clear that Williams draws a lot of inspiration from Tolkien, specifically the Silmarillion and the history of the Elves.

Keep reading
tad williams memory sorrow and thorn tolkien silmarillion galadriel the norn queen
49 notes





trinuviel
Subverting Galadriel - the Norn Queen in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”

trinuviel


image

I’ve been reading Tad Williams’ epic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn recently. It is this series of books that directly inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Song of Ice and Fire and I’ve been listing the similarities between the two elsewhere (x).
One thing that struck me whilst reading Williams’ series was how he engages with the legacy of Tolkien. This becomes especially clear in the way Williams portrays the Sithi and the Norns, two clans of an immortal race that bears many similarities to the Elves of Tolkien as well as the fairy folk of myth - especially the Daoine Sidhe (or Aos Sí) of Irish folklore. The naming of William’s “elvish” race as the Sithi may very well be a nod to this particular piece of folklore.
image

(The Riders of the Sidhe (1911). Art by John Duncan, McManus Galleries, Dundee)
image

The Sithi and the Norns, who call themselves the Zid’aya (the Dawn Children) and the Hikeda’ya (the Cloud Children) respectively, are extremely long-lived and their looks are foreign enough to be considered both beautiful and terrifying by the mortals in the story. While they belong to the same race, their looks are very different. The Sithi are described as golden-eyed and golden-skinned, with hair that varies from white to black and red. Several dye their white hair blue or lavender as well.
image

(Jiriki and Aditu of the Zida’ya. Art by Michael Whelan)
The Norns, on the other hand, are white-skinned as well as white-haired and their eyes are described as black or a very dark violet bordering on black. They are generally considered much more terrifying in appearance than beautiful, unlike the Sithi, though that could be because they are hostile to humankind.
There’s a third “elvish” race called the Tinukeda’ya (the Ocean’s Children) who are referred to as Dwarrows and Niskies because the former live underground and the latter by the sea. They are not considered beautiful but rather bordering on the grotesque in appearance. They were once the servants of the two other clans but broke away.
Tolkien and Williams - Similarities in Lore
When it comes to the history of the Sithi, Norns and Tinukeda’ya, it becomes clear that Williams draws a lot of inspiration from Tolkien, specifically the Silmarillion and the history of the Elves.

Keep reading
tad williams memory sorrow thorn the norn queen tolkien galadriel
49 notes





esther-dot



kellyvela

I was a huge fan of Tad’s MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN – in fact, I doubt I would ever have written my own series without the inspiration his provided.
GRRM - FEBRUARY 08, 1999
I am a huge fan of Tad Williams. Although I loved Tolkien for many years, I had pretty much stopped reading modern fantasy, since so much of it was awful derivative stuff. Then I tried Tad’s DRAGONBONE CHAIR, and sat up and said to myself, “Yes! This genre can be terrific, in the hands of a good writer.”
I would likely never have written A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE without that inspiration.

GRRM - DECEMBER 04, 1999
Tad’s fantasy series, The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous four-book trilogy was one of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy. I read Tad and was impressed by him, but the imitators that followed – well, fantasy got a bad rep for being very formulaic and ritual. And I read >The Dragonbone Chair and said, “My god, they can do something with this form,” and it’s Tad doing it. It’s one of my favorite fantasy series.
GRRM - JULY 27, 2011
When the American fantasy writer Tad Williams first met Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, Martin growled at him: “Get the hell out of here.”
This was not yet another egoistic literary beef; Martin merely wanted his fellow author to get home and finish the next instalment of his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, which Martin had been patiently waiting to read. Perhaps this was a bit hypocritical coming from the famously slow-writing author of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, who is loved and moaned at by fans furiously awaiting his next book. But while Williams, who turns 60 in March, might not be quite the household name Martin is, he deserves wider cultural recognition: without Tad Williams, there would be no Game of Thrones.

The Guardian - JANUARY 17, 2017


trinuviel

Tad Williams pulls a massive prophecy twist in the 11th hour - and it concerns a prophecy written down by a priest called Nisses!
Source: kellyvela asoiaf GRRM tad williams memory sorrow thorn
35 notes





butterflies-dragons

butterflies-dragons

Ahhh to think that in one of my unfinished metas I wrote about some similarities between ASOIAF and Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams…


trinuviel

People are really out there embarrassing themselves in this discourse. The use of common tropes is not plagiarism, neither is GRRM using a few phrases that are also in Williams’ series - both apparently use the phrase “Seven hells”. OMG! Plagiarism! *sarcasm*
The two men are friends and this discourse is disrespectful to both of them. I’ve even seen a usually level-headed blogger spouting this nonsense.
asoaif GRRM tad williams fandumb this discourse is just so embarrassing some people clearly need to educate themselves
27 notes





stormcloudrising

trinuviel


I’ve started re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, which starts with The Dragonbone Chair. This series is one of GRRM’s favorite fantasy series and one of Martin’s sources of inspiration for ASoIaF.
“The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous ‘I four-book trilogy [were some] of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy,” said Martin in 2011. “Fantasy got a bad rep for being formulaic and ritual. And I read The Dragonbone Chair and said, ‘My God, they can do something with this form, and it’s Tad doing it.’ It’s one of my favourite fantasy series.” (x)
I’m only about a third through book 1 but here’s a couple of similarities:
  • The first inhabitants of Osten Ard were the elf-like Sithi. They came to live in a sort of tenuous peace when the first men settled there.
  • The throne is made of Dragonbone
  • There’s mention of a thin sword called Naidel (in German needle is nadel)
  • A red comet appears in the sky after the old king dies - and things start to go wrong. It is known as the Conqueror’s Star.
  • There are special trees called witchwood


trinuviel


The main character is the kitchenboy Simon (later called Snowlock). His real name is Seoman, which means “waiting”. His mother names his thus with her dying breath (his father is already dead when he is born).
At one point another character (a larned man/sorceror) says this about Simon:
“Simon, there are more things that you don’t know than I do know. I despair of the imbalance.”


trinuviel

Funnily enough, there are references to a character called Nisses, a priest who once wrote book that’ll be important for the plot. I wonder if GRRM took Nisses as inspiration for the name Nissa Nissa?


trinuviel

There’s also a village named Moon Door - in the mountains.


trinuviel

It also features a princess in disguise who has her golden hair dyed black.
The main enemy seems to be an undying Sithi lord known as the Storm King and he is described like this:
“He has waited five centuries to take back what he feels is his, and his hand is colder and stronger than any of you can understand.”
The winter that is upon on now, the winter that has dethroned summer from its rightful place, is his. It is the symbol of his power…”



trinuviel

The priest Nisses wrote a book about the forging of three great magic swords Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - and in his book he wrote down a prophecy about these swords. I’m getting a distinct idea that GRRM’s Nissa Nissa in the Lightbringer myth is a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to Tad Williams’ Nisses and his prophecy of the swords.


trinuviel

There’s also a warrior who wears a helmet shaped like a snarling Hound.


trinuviel

I’ve now started reading the sequel The Stone of Farewell. In it we get some more info on the Sithi. Long long ago there was a parting of the ways between the different tribes and one tribe settled in a mountain in the far north. They are called the Norns and unlike their golden-skinned relatives they are pale-skinned and white haired. The are referred to as “white foxes” and the approach is described like this: “Their very shadows are cold - like a wind from Huelheim, the land of death.”
This book also introduces the concept of Ice and Fire as destructive, even apocalyptic forces.
“The fires are coming fore everyone - the fires and the ice that will bring the Great Change.
“The Storm King comes! He brings with him ice to freeze the heart, deafening thunder - and cleansing fire!”

It def seems like GRRM got the ice and fire insp from Williams as well as Robert Frost. He just divided the forces onto different entities. The issue of Storm/Thunder is also interesting because Storm is used as a metaphor for war in ASoIaF - and both Dany (as the Stormborn) and Euron (I am the Storm) are associated with wit this force (and Dany heavily with fire as well)


trinuviel

There’s also a nomadic people who refers to themselves as the Free Folk of the Thrithings.


trinuviel

There’s an evil scarlet clad priest that is referrred to the red priest.
The apocalyptic signs are Ice, Fire and Storm.


stormcloudrising

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is one of my favorite fantasy series and you are can clearly see the homage Martin pays to Tad’s masterwork in ASOIAF. Both Martin and Williams were clearly influenced by Tolkein and Michael Moorcock in the telling of their stories.
I am also rereading the books because I haven’t read them in more than 10 years and I want to refresh my memory before I start the new series.
In addition to the similarities you mentioned, Grorge also named Lord Willum’s sons Josua and Elyas after two of the main characters from MST. One of the main characters also loses a hand ala Jaime; the Storm King brings the long winter with him out of the north like the Others; the Norns are very like the Others with their white hair and pale skin except their eyes are violet while the Sithi with gold hair and golden eyes and how they live in forests are like the COF…they in fact call themselves the Children of the Dawn; there is a castle with a mysterious labyrinth similar to Winterfell; humanity invaded Osten Ard and were able to conquer the Norns and Sithi because of their numbers as was the case with the First Men with Westeros and the COF; there are magical swords that were fashioned using blood magic and many more similarities too numerous to name. And yet, the two series are totally different as well…a sign of Martin’s amazing talent.
In regards to your mention of Simon who has a patch of his hair turn to white, I think the same will happen to Jon upon his return in thebooks except in Jon’s case it will be all of his hair. I’m not the first to mention this theory but I think MST were one of Martin’s influences when it comes to the idea.


trinuviel

You’re right that there are so many similarities between this series and ASoIaF. However, I also really like how Williams engages with the legacy of Tolkien, especially in regard to the Sithi and their history of leaving an island home, which is similar to elements of the elven history in The Silmarillion.
The Silmarillion really has to be next on my to-read-list.
Source: trinuviel tad williams GRRM tolkien epic fantasy influences
113 notes





trinuviel

trinuviel


I’ve started re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, which starts with The Dragonbone Chair. This series is one of GRRM’s favorite fantasy series and one of Martin’s sources of inspiration for ASoIaF.
“The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous ‘I four-book trilogy [were some] of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy,” said Martin in 2011. “Fantasy got a bad rep for being formulaic and ritual. And I read The Dragonbone Chair and said, ‘My God, they can do something with this form, and it’s Tad doing it.’ It’s one of my favourite fantasy series.” (x)
I’m only about a third through book 1 but here’s a couple of similarities:
  • The first inhabitants of Osten Ard were the elf-like Sithi. They came to live in a sort of tenuous peace when the first men settled there.
  • The throne is made of Dragonbone
  • There’s mention of a thin sword called Naidel (in German needle is nadel)
  • A red comet appears in the sky after the old king dies - and things start to go wrong. It is known as the Conqueror’s Star.
  • There are special trees called witchwood


trinuviel


The main character is the kitchenboy Simon (later called Snowlock). His real name is Seoman, which means “waiting”. His mother names his thus with her dying breath (his father is already dead when he is born).
At one point another character (a larned man/sorceror) says this about Simon:
“Simon, there are more things that you don’t know than I do know. I despair of the imbalance.”


trinuviel

Funnily enough, there are references to a character called Nisses, a priest who once wrote book that’ll be important for the plot. I wonder if GRRM took Nisses as inspiration for the name Nissa Nissa?


trinuviel

There’s also a village named Moon Door - in the mountains.


trinuviel

It also features a princess in disguise who has her golden hair dyed black.
The main enemy seems to be an undying Sithi lord known as the Storm King and he is described like this:
“He has waited five centuries to take back what he feels is his, and his hand is colder and stronger than any of you can understand.”
The winter that is upon on now, the winter that has dethroned summer from its rightful place, is his. It is the symbol of his power…”



trinuviel

The priest Nisses wrote a book about the forging of three great magic swords Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - and in his book he wrote down a prophecy about these swords. I’m getting a distinct idea that GRRM’s Nissa Nissa in the Lightbringer myth is a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to Tad Williams’ Nisses and his prophecy of the swords.


trinuviel

There’s also a warrior who wears a helmet shaped like a snarling Hound.


trinuviel

I’ve now started reading the sequel The Stone of Farewell. In it we get some more info on the Sithi. Long long ago there was a parting of the ways between the different tribes and one tribe settled in a mountain in the far north. They are called the Norns and unlike their golden-skinned relatives they are pale-skinned and white haired. The are referred to as “white foxes” and the approach is described like this: “Their very shadows are cold - like a wind from Huelheim, the land of death.”
This book also introduces the concept of Ice and Fire as destructive, even apocalyptic forces.
“The fires are coming fore everyone - the fires and the ice that will bring the Great Change.
“The Storm King comes! He brings with him ice to freeze the heart, deafening thunder - and cleansing fire!”

It def seems like GRRM got the ice and fire insp from Williams as well as Robert Frost. He just divided the forces onto different entities. The issue of Storm/Thunder is also interesting because Storm is used as a metaphor for war in ASoIaF - and both Dany (as the Stormborn) and Euron (I am the Storm) are associated with wit this force (and Dany heavily with fire as well)


trinuviel

There’s also a nomadic people who refers to themselves as the Free Folk of the Thrithings.


trinuviel

There’s an evil scarlet clad priest that is referrred to the red priest.
The apocalyptic signs are Ice, Fire and Storm.


stormcloudrising

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is one of my favorite fantasy series and you are can clearly see the homage Martin pays to Tad’s masterwork in ASOIAF. Both Martin and Williams were clearly influenced by Tolkein and Michael Moorcock in the telling of their stories.
I am also rereading the books because I haven’t read them in more than 10 years and I want to refresh my memory before I start the new series.
In addition to the similarities you mentioned, Grorge also named Lord Willum’s sons Josua and Elyas after two of the main characters from MST. One of the main characters also loses a hand ala Jaime; the Storm King brings the long winter with him out of the north like the Others; the Norns are very like the Others with their white hair and pale skin except their eyes are violet while the Sithi with gold hair and golden eyes and how they live in forests are like the COF…they in fact call themselves the Children of the Dawn; there is a castle with a mysterious labyrinth similar to Winterfell; humanity invaded Osten Ard and were able to conquer the Norns and Sithi because of their numbers as was the case with the First Men with Westeros and the COF; there are magical swords that were fashioned using blood magic and many more similarities too numerous to name. And yet, the two series are totally different as well…a sign of Martin’s amazing talent.
In regards to your mention of Simon who has a patch of his hair turn to white, I think the same will happen to Jon upon his return in thebooks except in Jon’s case it will be all of his hair. I’m not the first to mention this theory but I think MST were one of Martin’s influences when it comes to the idea.


trinuviel

You’re right that there are so many similarities between this series and ASoIaF. However, I also really like how Williams engages with the legacy of Tolkien, especially in regard to the Sithi and their history of leaving an island home, which is similar to elements of the elven history in The Silmarillion.
The Silmarillion really has to be next on my to-read-list.


trinuviel

@stormcloudrising The Norns do have white hair but their eyes are black, not violet. The Sithi seem to have different hair colours - black, red and white. Some of the ones with white hair dye it blue or lavender. However, they all seem to have golden cat-like eyes.
A final thing: There’s a secret royal heritage reveal at the end of the series. I’ll put it under a cut because it is a spoiler.

Keep reading
tad williams memory sorrow thorn GRRM is inspired by Tad Williams' series
113 notes





trinuviel

trinuviel


I’ve started re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, which starts with The Dragonbone Chair. This series is one of GRRM’s favorite fantasy series and one of Martin’s sources of inspiration for ASoIaF.
“The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous ‘I four-book trilogy [were some] of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy,” said Martin in 2011. “Fantasy got a bad rep for being formulaic and ritual. And I read The Dragonbone Chair and said, ‘My God, they can do something with this form, and it’s Tad doing it.’ It’s one of my favourite fantasy series.” (x)
I’m only about a third through book 1 but here’s a couple of similarities:
  • The first inhabitants of Osten Ard were the elf-like Sithi. They came to live in a sort of tenuous peace when the first men settled there.
  • The throne is made of Dragonbone
  • There’s mention of a thin sword called Naidel (in German needle is nadel)
  • A red comet appears in the sky after the old king dies - and things start to go wrong. It is known as the Conqueror’s Star.
  • There are special trees called witchwood


trinuviel


The main character is the kitchenboy Simon (later called Snowlock). His real name is Seoman, which means “waiting”. His mother names his thus with her dying breath (his father is already dead when he is born).
At one point another character (a larned man/sorceror) says this about Simon:
“Simon, there are more things that you don’t know than I do know. I despair of the imbalance.”


trinuviel

Funnily enough, there are references to a character called Nisses, a priest who once wrote book that’ll be important for the plot. I wonder if GRRM took Nisses as inspiration for the name Nissa Nissa?


trinuviel

There’s also a village named Moon Door - in the mountains.


trinuviel

It also features a princess in disguise who has her golden hair dyed black.
The main enemy seems to be an undying Sithi lord known as the Storm King and he is described like this:
“He has waited five centuries to take back what he feels is his, and his hand is colder and stronger than any of you can understand.”
The winter that is upon on now, the winter that has dethroned summer from its rightful place, is his. It is the symbol of his power…”



trinuviel

The priest Nisses wrote a book about the forging of three great magic swords Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - and in his book he wrote down a prophecy about these swords. I’m getting a distinct idea that GRRM’s Nissa Nissa in the Lightbringer myth is a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to Tad Williams’ Nisses and his prophecy of the swords.


trinuviel

There’s also a warrior who wears a helmet shaped like a snarling Hound.


trinuviel

I’ve now started reading the sequel The Stone of Farewell. In it we get some more info on the Sithi. Long long ago there was a parting of the ways between the different tribes and one tribe settled in a mountain in the far north. They are called the Norns and unlike their golden-skinned relatives they are pale-skinned and white haired. The are referred to as “white foxes” and the approach is described like this: “Their very shadows are cold - like a wind from Huelheim, the land of death.”
This book also introduces the concept of Ice and Fire as destructive, even apocalyptic forces.
“The fires are coming fore everyone - the fires and the ice that will bring the Great Change.
“The Storm King comes! He brings with him ice to freeze the heart, deafening thunder - and cleansing fire!”

It def seems like GRRM got the ice and fire insp from Williams as well as Robert Frost. He just divided the forces onto different entities. The issue of Storm/Thunder is also interesting because Storm is used as a metaphor for war in ASoIaF - and both Dany (as the Stormborn) and Euron (I am the Storm) are associated with wit this force (and Dany heavily with fire as well)
tad williams memory sorrow thorn GRRM asoaif
113 notes





trinuviel

trinuviel


I’ve started re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, which starts with The Dragonbone Chair. This series is one of GRRM’s favorite fantasy series and one of Martin’s sources of inspiration for ASoIaF.
“The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous ‘I four-book trilogy [were some] of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy,” said Martin in 2011. “Fantasy got a bad rep for being formulaic and ritual. And I read The Dragonbone Chair and said, ‘My God, they can do something with this form, and it’s Tad doing it.’ It’s one of my favourite fantasy series.” (x)
I’m only about a third through book 1 but here’s a couple of similarities:
  • The first inhabitants of Osten Ard were the elf-like Sithi. They came to live in a sort of tenuous peace when the first men settled there.
  • The throne is made of Dragonbone

  • There’s mention of a thin sword called Naidel (in German needle is nadel)

  • A red comet appears in the sky after the old king dies - and things start to go wrong. It is known as the Conqueror’s Star.

  • There are special trees called witchwood


trinuviel


The main character is the kitchenboy Simon (later called Snowlock). His real name is Seoman, which means “waiting”. His mother names his thus with her dying breath (his father is already dead when he is born).
At one point another character (a larned man/sorceror) says this about Simon:
“Simon, there are more things that you don’t know than I do know. I despair of the imbalance.”
tad williams memmory sorrow thorn GRRM
113 notes





trinuviel

trinuviel


I’ve started re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, which starts with The Dragonbone Chair. This series is one of GRRM’s favorite fantasy series and one of Martin’s sources of inspiration for ASoIaF.
“The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of his famous ‘I four-book trilogy [were some] of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy,” said Martin in 2011. “Fantasy got a bad rep for being formulaic and ritual. And I read The Dragonbone Chair and said, ‘My God, they can do something with this form, and it’s Tad doing it.’ It’s one of my favourite fantasy series.” (x)
I’m only about a third through book 1 but here’s a couple of similarities:
  • The first inhabitants of Osten Ard were the elf-like Sithi. They came to live in a sort of tenuous peace when the first men settled there.
  • The throne is made of Dragonbone
  • There’s mention of a thin sword called Naidel (in German needle is nadel)
  • A red comet appears in the sky after the old king dies - and things start to go wrong. It is known as the Conqueror’s Star.
  • There are special trees called witchwood


trinuviel


The main character is the kitchenboy Simon (later called Snowlock). His real name is Seoman, which means “waiting”. His mother names his thus with her dying breath (his father is already dead when he is born).
At one point another character (a larned man/sorceror) says this about Simon:
“Simon, there are more things that you don’t know than I do know. I despair of the imbalance.”


trinuviel

Funnily enough, there are references to a character called Nisses, a priest who once wrote book that’ll be important for the plot. I wonder if GRRM took Nisses as inspiration for the name Nissa Nissa?


trinuviel

There’s also a village named Moon Door - in the mountains.


trinuviel

It also features a princess in disguise who has her golden hair dyed black.
The main enemy seems to be an undying Sithi lord known as the Storm King and he is described like this:
“He has waited five centuries to take back what he feels is his, and his hand is colder and stronger than any of you can understand.”
The winter that is upon on now, the winter that has dethroned summer from its rightful place, is his. It is the symbol of his power…”



trinuviel

The priest Nisses wrote a book about the forging of three great magic swords Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - and in his book he wrote down a prophecy about these swords. I’m getting a distinct idea that GRRM’s Nissa Nissa in the Lightbringer myth is a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to Tad Williams’ Nisses and his prophecy of the swords.


trinuviel

There’s also a warrior who wears a helmet shaped like a snarling Hound.


trinuviel

I’ve now started reading the sequel The Stone of Farewell. In it we get some more info on the Sithi. Long long ago there was a parting of the ways between the different tribes and one tribe settled in a mountain in the far north. They are called the Norns and unlike their golden-skinned relatives they are pale-skinned and white haired. The are referred to as “white foxes” and the approach is described like this: “Their very shadows are cold - like a wind from Huelheim, the land of death.”
This book also introduces the concept of Ice and Fire as destructive, even apocalyptic forces.
“The fires are coming fore everyone - the fires and the ice that will bring the Great Change.
“The Storm King comes! He brings with him ice to freeze the heart, deafening thunder - and cleansing fire!”

It def seems like GRRM got the ice and fire insp from Williams as well as Robert Frost. He just divided the forces onto different entities. The issue of Storm/Thunder is also interesting because Storm is used as a metaphor for war in ASoIaF - and both Dany (as the Stormborn) and Euron (I am the Storm) are associated with wit this force (and Dany heavily with fire as well)


trinuviel

There’s also a nomadic people who refers to themselves as the Free Folk of the Thrithings.


trinuviel

There’s an evil scarlet clad priest that is referrred to the red priest.
The apocalyptic signs are Ice, Fire and Storm.
tad williams memory sorrow thorn GRRM
113 notes





themoonwheniamlost
[IMG alt="sonnetscrewdriver:
“ becausegoodheroesdeservekidneys:
“As funny as this is, as someone who has met a European badger, all I can say is at least the American one has the decency not to hide the fact that it will tear your kidneys out via your toes if..."]https://64.media.tumblr.com/e67c6b614d527170810698a0166a116d/tumblr_oz7ybmsrw61s2najqo1_640.png[/IMG]



becausegoodheroesdeservekidneys

As funny as this is, as someone who has met a European badger, all I can say is at least the American one has the decency not to hide the fact that it will tear your kidneys out via your toes if you so much as look at it funny.


sonnetscrewdriver


This was my response to THIS VERY TWEET
image

[/quote
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Neoghoster Akira

Brandebuque
É bem por aí que eu vejo a coisa, Ilmarinen. Também havia magia e amor principalmente.

Não há garantias em se dizer que Beren e Lúthien e Aragorn e Arwen se apaixonaram um pelo outro por causa da aparência. O Silma conta que Thingol e Melian ficaram presos em um encantamento de destino maior que os poderes daqueles que governavam o mundo. Se existe algo que possa estar além do governo desse mundo, o amor é um sério candidato a isso. Ele já foi considerado louco e estúpido por Morgoth, mas foi o amor que moveu o coração de Huan que amava "aqueles dois" como nunca havia antes feito. E Mandos havia visto algo novo nunca antes presenciado nesse mundo perante Lúthien. Essas surpresas maravilhosas só aconteciam quando havia o dedo de Eru envolvido, que fazia o melhor para os filhos. Certamente os inimigos chamariam de amor de aparências, mas não os Valar. Eles foram surpreendidos por um novo amor.

Classificar Arwen e Lúthien apenas como super-fêmeas irresistíveis é empobrecer a verdadeira história.
 

Ilmarinen

Usuário
E, a propósito, essa leitura da Lúthien como sendo uma representação simbólica da Primavera e de aspectos do Deus-Gigante do Inverno estarem associados tanto a Thingol quanto a Morgoth não é coisa da minha cabeça não.

Carl Hostetter e seu amigo Patrick Wynne da Vinyar Tengwar fizeram essa análise há quase vinte anos atrás, destacando a intertextualidde entre Beren e Lúthien e Culhwch e Olwen onde eles viram, em ambas as histórias ( que têm um cara mortal apaixonado numa donzela "élfica", a imposição de tarefas impossíveis pelo pai da noiva, a prova de identidade através de um anel e a caçada a um tipo de fera licantrópica de proporções titânicas), um simbolismo de mito da passagem das estações: o mortal, Beren e Culhwch, simboliza o Verão, e as heroínas são símbolo da primavera mantida cativa pelo Deus Gigante do Inverno , que não quer liberar a jovem para poder casar, papel compartilhado por Melkor e por Thingol na história de Tolkien e atribuído ao pai monstruoso de Olwen no mito galês, o gigante Yspadadden Penkawrr.

Essa análise brilhante que identifica Morgoth no Book of Lost Tales com o nome do gigante de gelo citado no encantamento feito por Lúthien, Gillin ( nome do dono do pescoço gigantesco que, pelo contexto, devia ser subjugado dentro da circunferência da também gigantesca Angainor) que, dado a Melkor, vira Gielluin ( ligado a "frio" e "inverno" mas lembrando "gelo" e "hielo" em castelhano(que Tolkien conhecia) e português) na língua élfica pode ser encontrada aí

Beren e Lúthien e o Mabinogion 1

Beren e Lúthien e o Mabinogion 2

Além do mais, Beren e Lúthien passaram meses, acho que a Primavera toda, em encontros clandestinos na Floresta, onde se supõe que o amor deles foi nutrido pelo mútuo conhecimento, até que foram descobertos pelo bardo Daeron.

Na versão original da história, a Lúthien, sem chegar a falar com Beren, veio atraindo o pobre coitado para o Salão de Doriath sem, praticamente, trocar uma palavrinha com ele e, de sola, disse algo que pode ser resumido assim: "Mamãe,olhe só o bichinho da floresta que me seguiu até aqui....Que é que eu faço com ele?"
 

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Neoghoster Akira

Brandebuque
Faz sentido. Os homens da primeira era iniciavam as relações élficas com um padrão gradual de aproximação. Túrin primeiro conquistou a estima do rei elfo, a seguir sua filha começou a estimá-lo também. Tuor foi visto a princípio com desconfiança mas foi cultivando o afeto dos elfos até alcançar um ponto máximo depois de cumprir sua missão.

Beren e Lúthien vão aprofundando relações a cada novo desafio. Primeiro se unem contra Sauron, depois Morgoth... finalmente eles precisam encarar os poderes do mundo para permanecer juntos. São exemplos de laços afetivos que passaram por um processo de amadurecimento e fortalecimento.
 

Ilmarinen

Usuário
Qualquer semelhança, não é mera coincidência

Angus Macbride , que ao contrário de John Howe, Alan Lee e Ted Nasmith é igualmente hábil com paisagens e figuras humanas ) nos presenteia com sua versão de Galadriel (minha favorita, confesso)



Comparem com a deslumbrante Ursula Andress (or "undress" muitos prefeririam) no papel de Ayesha ( fala-se Aisha).Tudo bem que a original era uma morenona mas a gente perdoa!! Tirando a vozinha de menina, a pouca altura e péssima interpretação... Ainda não foi possível combinar o oposto dessas características todas mais a beleza estarrecedora em alguma das Ayeshas ou Galadriels, que me perdoe a Cate Blanchett, que é ótima atriz, mas não é extremamente formosa, but hope springs eternal...



Cliquem por sua conta e risco( eu avisei, hein!!!??)

Arte de Tom Chantrell mostrando essa dupla de beldades da Hammer. A Raquel Welsh( a da esquerda) foi a inspiração pro visual de outra mulher que nasce ( ou renasce!) toda-poderosa das chamas: Fênix dos X-Men nas artes de John Byrne e Dave Cockrum. Por isso a filha dela em uma dimensão paralela recebeu o nome Rachel.

E, sim, ela também é uma das "filhas de Ayesha" como a Akasha de A Rainha dos Condenados)











 

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Neoghoster Akira

Brandebuque
Terminei de ler a fic, achei muito divertida. Demorei um pouco porque estava doente (pra lá de Bagdá).

A proposta de criar um diálogo para fazer as "coisas" falarem entre si em torno do mundo de Lúthien foi muito boa. Essa é uma pergunta que sempre me fiz... Até que ponto o mundo que cercava Lúthien demonstrava que a reconhecia e de que forma isso acontecia?

Fica claro para mim que a natureza dupla dela criava um conflito de forças, uma rede de cordas que se repuxavam quando ela se movia. E eu concordo plenamente com a visão do autor de que o reino de Orodreth estava sob o peso da mácula lançada nos exilados de Aman. Quando se negaram a resgatar o rei, os compatriotas de Finrod deixaram até mesmo de escolher a forma como iriam ser destruídos se seria de uma forma honrada ou não. Nesse ponto Finrod aparece como um gigante em seu povo.

A surpresa ficou por conta de Finduilas (a qual ainda não havia dado muita atenção como personagem). Tudo que eu sabia é que ela havia caído vítima do mesmo problema de Orodreth ao se envolver com o destino de Túrin e a queda do reino em meio a maldição dos exilados.

Destaque também pelos comentários sobre a palavra mestre que matinha a unidade da fortaleza de Sauron. Como é mesmo que disseram no texto, que o nome era a forma mais forte de poder depois da canção.

Edit: Um outro detalhe curioso que achei nesse poder da palavra pode remeter a religião e cultura antiga como é o caso do nome celeste recebido por aqueles que ressucitarem na bíblia. O conhecimento de como pronunciar e conhecer o verdadeiro nome das coisas era uma atributo élfico quase divino por assim dizer. A descrição da fonte de água que gera sons a depender da forma como foi construída também é muito interessante. Elfos eram mesmo detalhistas a ponto de querer água caindo com diferentes ruídos.
 
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