"The Rings of Power" and what might have been

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Shiningted, Sep 19, 2022.

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  1. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Administrator

    Oct 23, 2004
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    I am guessing most of you are watching this show, based on your choice of computer games.

    I can't help myself and keep watching. And it is not all bad - it was nice to see Finrod, and Numenor (the isle, anyway) is portrayed in appropriate magnificence, and who doesn't like Lenny Henry?

    Its flaws? Well, I don't need to spell them out. Nor do I have the long ages it would take.

    This is written after I watched the 4th episode, where-in Galadriel convinces Tar-Miriel to join her in the fight against Sauron. Like so much of the show (other than the made up stuff which mostly makes me cringe), the distortions of actual Tolkien - or, in this case, something that vaguely resembles something that might in bad light have been mistaken for something that once briefly met actual Tolkien, without recognising him, and threw up on his boots - well, those moments just make me sad for what might have been.

    Here I present Gil-Galad's letter to the King of Numenor, as Tolkien wrote it, which in time led to the Numenoreans coming to the Elves' aid when Sauron tried to wipe them out after the forging of the Rings of Power. Some background - the year is 882 of the 2nd Age, the Numenoreans have only lately begn voyaging back to Middle-Earth, in small numbers, as explorers, and the 4th King of Numenor, Tar Meneldur, great grandson of Elros, rules. His son and heir Aldarion, captivated by the sea-longing, has recently returned three years late from his latest jaunt in Middle-Earth and his absence has led to him being estranged from his wife, Erendis and daughter, Ancalime. Meneldur has never left Numenor and does not get Aldarion's obsession. Aldarion, on one journey, would indeed come into contact with Galadriel and Celeborn in Eregion - she is open-minded and doesn't mind the dwarves in Moria - but mostly hangs out with Gil-galad in Lindon when he is not off exploring. The forging of the Rings of Power would take place about a thousand years after this.

    In my opinion this is glorious writing. Indeed, the Akalabeth, which they look like they are going to ruin, is, imho, Tolkien's best story. At least they haven't touched Feanor, thank God.

    I didn't type this out but used the voice feature of Google Docs (Tools / Voice Typing) which is truly good. It even recognised the names Gil-galad and Morgoth, make what you will of that. It also recognised when I mis-spelled something in koine Greek the other day.

    When Aldarion left the chamber, Meneldur looked at the letter that his son had given him, wondering; for he saw that it came from King Gil-galad in Lindon. It was sealed and bore his device of white stars upon a blue rondure. Upon the outer fold was written:

    Given at Mithlond to the hand of the Lord Aldarion, King's Heir of Numenorë, to be delivered to the High King at Armenelos in person.

    Then Meneldur broke the seal and read:

    Ereinion Gil-galad son of Fingon to Tar-Meneldur of the line of Eärendil, greeting: the Valar keep you and may no shadow fall upon the Isle of Kings.

    Long I have owed you thanks, for you have so many times sent to me your son Anardil Aldarion: the greatest elf friend that now is among men, as I deem. At this time I ask your pardon if I have detained him over long in my service; for I had great need for the knowledge of men and their tongues which he alone possesses. He has dared many perils to bring me counsel. Of my need he will speak to you; yet he does not guess how great it is, being young and full of hope. Therefore I write this for the eyes of the king of Numenorë only.

    A new shadow arises in the east. It is no tyranny of evil men, as your son believes; but a servant of Morgoth is stirring, and evil things wake again. Each year it gains in strength, for most men are ripe to its purpose. Not far off is the day, I judge, when it will become too great for the Eldar unaided to withstand. Therefore, whenever I behold a tall ship of the Kings of Men, my heart is eased. And now I make bold to seek your help: if you have any strength of men to spare, lend it to me, I beg.

    Your son will report to you, if you will, all our reasons. But in fine it is his counsel (and that is ever wise) that when assault comes, as it surely will, we should seek to hold the Westlands where still the Eldar dwell, and men of your race, whose hearts are not yet darkened.

    [A couple of paragraphs outlining strategy.]

    The king will know his own needs; but if he will listen with favour to the Lord Aldarion, and support him as he may, then hope will be greater in the world. The memories of the First Age grow dim, and all things in Middle-Earth grow colder. Let not the ancient friendship of Eldar and Dunedain wain also.

    Behold! The Darkness that is to come is filled with hatred for us, but it hates you no less. The Great Sea will not be too wide for its wings, if it is suffered to come to full growth.

    Manwë keep you under the One, and send fair wind to your sails.

    On the third day after his return from Emerië, Aldarion sought the king. Tar-Meneldur sat still in his chair and waited. Looking at his son he was afraid; for Aldarion was changed: his face had become grey, cold and hostile as the sea when the sun is suddenly veiled in dull cloud. Standing before his father he spoke slowly with a tone of contempt rather than of wrath.

    “What part you have played in this you yourself know best”, he said, “But a King should consider how much a man will endure, though he be a subject, even his son. If you would shackle me to this island, then you choose your chain ill. I have neither wife, nor love of this island, left. I will go from this misenchanted isle of daydreams where women in their insolence would have men cringe. I will use my days to some purpose, elsewhere, where I am not scorned, more welcome in honour. Another heir you may find more fit for a house-servant. Of my inheritance I demand only this: the ship Hirilondë and as many men as it will hold. My daughter I would take also, were she older; but I will commend her to my mother. Unless you dote upon sheep, you will not hinder this, and will not suffer the child to be stunted, reared among mute women in cold insolence and contempt of her kin. She is of the line of Elros and no other descendant will you have through your son. I have done. I will go now about business more profitable.”

    Thus far Meneldur had sat in patience with downcast eyes and made no sign. But now he sighed and looked up. “Aldarion my son”, he said sadly, “the king would say that you also showed cold insolence and contempt of your kin and yourself condemn others unheard. But your father who loves you and grieves for you will remit that. The fault is not mine only that I have not ere now understood your purposes. But as for what you have suffered (which alas! too many now speak); I am guiltless. Erendis I have loved, and since our hearts lean the same way I have thought that she had much to endure that was hard. Your purposes are now become clear to me, so if you are in a mood to hear aught but praise I would say that at first your own pleasure also led you. And it may be that things would have been otherwise if you had spoken more openly long ago.”

    “The king may have some grievance in this,” cried Aldarion, now more hotly, “but not the one you speak of! To her at least I spoke long and often: to cold ears uncomprehending. As well might a truant boy talk of tree-climbing to a nurse anxious only about the tearing of clothes and the due time of meals! I love her, or I should care less. The past I will keep in my heart; the future is dead. She does not love me, or aught else. She loves herself with Numenor as a setting, and myself as a tame hound, to drowse by the hearth until she has a mind to walk in her own fields. But since hounds now seem too gross, she will have Ancalimë to pipe in a cage! But enough of this. Have I the king's leave to depart? Or has he some command?”

    “The king”, answered Tar-Meneldur, “has thought much about these matters in what seemed the long days since last you were in Armenelos. He has read the letter of Gil-galad which is earnest and grave in tone. Alas! To his prayer and your wish, the king of Numenor must say nay. He cannot do otherwise according to his understanding of the perils of either course: to prepare for war, or not to prepare.”

    Aldarion shrugged his shoulders and took a step as if to go. But Meneldur held up his hand commanding attention and continued: “nevertheless, the king, though he has now ruled the land of Numenor for 142 years, has no certainty that his understanding of the matter is sufficient for a just decision in matters of such high import and peril.“ He paused, and taking up a parchment written in his own hand he read from it in a clear voice:

    Therefore: first for the honour of his well-beloved son; and second for the better direction of the realm in courses that his son more clearly understands, the king has resolved: that he will forthwith resign the sceptre to his son who shall now become Tar-Aldarion, the king.

    “This”, said Meneldur, “when it is proclaimed, will make known to all my thought concerning this present pass. It will raise you above scorn; and it will set free your powers so that other losses may seem more easy to endure. The letter of Gil-galad when you are King you shall answer as seems fit to the holder of the sceptre.”

    Aldarion stood for a moment in amaze. He had braced himself to face the king's anger, which wilfully he had endeavoured to kindle. Now he stood confounded. Then, as one swept from his feet by a sudden wind from a quarter unexpected, he fell to his knees before his father; but after a moment he raised his bowed head and laughed - so he always did, when he heard of any deed of great generosity, for it gladdened his heart.

    “Father,” he said, “ask the king to forget my insolence to him. For he is a great king, and his humility sets him far above my pride. I am conquered: I submit myself wholly. That such a king should resign the sceptre while in vigour and wisdom is not to be thought.”

    “Yet so it is resolved,'' said Meneldur. “The council shall be summoned forthwith.”

    Hope you enjoyed this.
    Gaear likes this.

    FDR4PREZ Established Member

    Apr 10, 2007
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    Yeah, I just watch it with a grain of salt... a rather large grain of salt. Maybe a pillar of salt. A salt cave? A salt mine?

    You know how normally in crime shows they put the disclaimer of "names and places have been changed to protect the innocent"?

    Here they should put the disclaimer of "names are places are kept the same, but we made everything else up"
  3. hammyh

    hammyh Established Member

    Apr 24, 2013
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    This reminded me of Douglas Adams' writing style.

    Local dialect of the village, perhaps? heh.


    It might be another useful example of what not to do - for writing classes. The current media tends to promote name dropping/trolling and it seems to be more and more common.

    At least it's not a Steven Seagal Movie...so it could be worse. ;>
  4. Pygmy

    Pygmy Established Member Supporter

    Oct 8, 2010
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    I have to confess I never managed to persist with The Silmarillion so greatly prefer the Rings of Power to the LOTR and the Hobbit films for the very reason you loath The Rings of Power @Shiningted as I disliked the fact that LOTR was not an accurate portrayal.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
    fangotango likes this.
  5. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Administrator

    Oct 23, 2004
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    I respect that, but I'll still take 'inaccurate' over 'unrelated'.

    And I don't loathe it, it's too dull for such a strong reaction. I just feel sad.
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