Send in the Clowns (Lore Challenge Topic)

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Bearamir 15/Nov/2006 at 12:44 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Following is a reposting of a very OLD Ad Lore challenge topic.  Since quite a bit of water has passed under this particular bridge in the intervening years, it seems a good time to resurrect this topic and give it another go.  For a review of what has been contributed before please see:

http://www.lotrplaza.com/archive3/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=108111&PagePosition=1

____________________________________________________________________

In the legends and lore of many cultures, the enigmatic figure of the Trickster looms large.  Both sage and buffoon, clown and teacher, this liminal literary figure acts to both help (and hinder), the hero in their quest or purpose.  In ages past, Kokopelli, Eros, Loki, Puck, King Pellenore, and Coyote have danced their antics before a rapt audience, teaching with laughter and tears those lessons that can only be conveyed by example.  As the Lakota medicine elder Lame Deer once said:  "All clowns are sacred.  They are a necessary part of us." (1)
 
In the Lord of the Rings, there are both lesser and greater "Sacred Clowns."  In the antics of the Sackville-Baggins, we can laugh at the panoply of greed that the author shows us; and in the indignant correction of one Otto Proudfoot ("that’s Proudfeet!"), we see the author’s gentle poke at those who would protect their "dignity and pride" against all assaults (intended or not).  Even Merry and Pippin wear (from time to time) the mantle of the "Sacred Clown."
 
But in Gollum we find the most compelling example of this literary character.  It is though his actions that our heros are both helped and hindered, aided and abetted in their quest.  It is he who helps them navigate the labyrinth of Mordor, and takes them by "hidden paths."  It is *this* Trickster’s final betrayal that culminates in the the destruction of the Ring, and the success of the Quest. 
 
 
TOPIC:  For those who wish to participate in this Ad Lore Challenge, your task is this:  Choose one of the characters above (or find one of your own), and in 600 words or MORE explore their actions in light of the concept of "sacred clown."  What lessons do *you* think their actions are intended to convey, and as the reader what did you learn from them.     
 
As always, please cite any evidence (or outside reference work) you have with the appropriate credit.      
 
The deadline for participation is:  December 31, 2006 at Plaza midnight.
 
Good Luck!
 
 
   
___________________________________________
(1)  Richard Erdos & Alfonso Ortiz American Indan Myths (New York, Pantheon Books, 1965).
Bearamir 15/Nov/2006 at 12:44 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Following is a reposting of a very OLD Ad Lore challenge topic.  Since quite a bit of water has passed under this particular bridge in the intervening years, it seems a good time to resurrect this topic and give it another go.  For a review of what has been contributed before please see:

http://www.lotrplaza.com/archive3/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=108111&PagePosition=1

____________________________________________________________________

In the legends and lore of many cultures, the enigmatic figure of the Trickster looms large.  Both sage and buffoon, clown and teacher, this liminal literary figure acts to both help (and hinder), the hero in their quest or purpose.  In ages past, Kokopelli, Eros, Loki, Puck, King Pellenore, and Coyote have danced their antics before a rapt audience, teaching with laughter and tears those lessons that can only be conveyed by example.  As the Lakota medicine elder Lame Deer once said:  "All clowns are sacred.  They are a necessary part of us." (1)
 
In the Lord of the Rings, there are both lesser and greater "Sacred Clowns."  In the antics of the Sackville-Baggins, we can laugh at the panoply of greed that the author shows us; and in the indignant correction of one Otto Proudfoot ("that’s Proudfeet!"), we see the author’s gentle poke at those who would protect their "dignity and pride" against all assaults (intended or not).  Even Merry and Pippin wear (from time to time) the mantle of the "Sacred Clown."
 
But in Gollum we find the most compelling example of this literary character.  It is though his actions that our heros are both helped and hindered, aided and abetted in their quest.  It is he who helps them navigate the labyrinth of Mordor, and takes them by "hidden paths."  It is *this* Trickster’s final betrayal that culminates in the the destruction of the Ring, and the success of the Quest. 
 
 
TOPIC:  For those who wish to participate in this Ad Lore Challenge, your task is this:  Choose one of the characters above (or find one of your own), and in 600 words or MORE explore their actions in light of the concept of "sacred clown."  What lessons do *you* think their actions are intended to convey, and as the reader what did you learn from them.     
 
As always, please cite any evidence (or outside reference work) you have with the appropriate credit.      
 
The deadline for participation is:  December 31, 2006 at Plaza midnight.
 
Good Luck!
 
 
   
___________________________________________
(1)  Richard Erdos & Alfonso Ortiz American Indan Myths (New York, Pantheon Books, 1965).
Boromir88 15/Nov/2006 at 06:59 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

Halfwit Hama:

Eventhough if Hama only really appears once in the story, he does some pretty foolish things.  Despite the good outcome and the good intentions of Hama, he is presented as a fool, and called as such.  Hama was given orders to take away Gandalf’s staff, yet he does not.  Hama is swayed by Gandalf and could not follow the simplest of orders.  The very order itself is trivial and foolish as Gandalf believes:

’This is idle talk,’ said Gandalf.  ’Needless is Theoden’s demand, but it is useless to refuse.  A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.’

And when Hama asks for Gandalf’s staff Gandalf replies: ’Foolishness!’ said Gandalf.  ’Prudence is one thing, but discourtesy is another.  I am old.  If I may not lean on my stick as I go, then I will sit out here, until it pleases Theoden to hobble out himself to speak with me.’

Hama gives in (due to his better judgement) and disobeys the orders.  Hama is unable to follow even the simplest orders and as Grima remarks: ’Did I not counsel you, lord, to forbid his staff?  That fool, Hama, has betrayed us!’
Despite the petty orders, Hama is unable to follow through and obey them.  Which makes him a fool and an inept doorwarden.  After this, Hama for a while is ’demoted’ to doing even simpler tasks as he proved inept as a doorwarden:
’That may be.  I will do as you ask.  Call Hama to me.  Since he proved untrusty as a doorward, let him become an errand-runner.  The guilty shall bring the guilty to judgement.’

Then when he is given the orders to bring Eomer and Theoden questions why is Eomer bowing before him, offering him his sword,  Hama replies:
’It is my doing, lord,’ said Hama, trembling.  ’I understood that Eomer was to be set free.  Such joy was in my heart that maybe I have erred.  Yet, since he was free again, and he as Marshal of the Mark, I brought him his sword as he bade me.’
Again, we see Hama not following along with his orders.  He messes up again.  Theoden told to bring Eomer to judgement and wanders what is Eomer doing here before him with his sword.  In which case, Hama, due to his overly hapiness percieved Eomer was free again.  He had messed up even simpler orders this time!

The thing about all this is we can’t be mad at Hama.  His inadequacy as a doorwarden and inability to follow orders actually bring about several positives.  Gandalf is able to help Theoden and then Eomer is set free.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that Hama was truly a halfwit who was cajoled by Gandalf and couldn’t follow the simplest orders.  In many ways its good Hama was a fool and couldnt’ follow orders.

What we can all learn from Hama is to follow your own mind.  The reason we are all drawn to Hama is that he is not your typical guard.  When we think of a guard, we think of some mindless robot that does whatever he’s told.  ’Yes, Theoden sir.’  ’Right away Theoden, sir.’  This actually isn’t the only time we see a guard act on their own instinct.  As we come to later see Beregond goes against his duties, to the extreme of killing people to save Faramir.  But, Hama is the first one, and personally Hama is the more ’clownish’ one.  We learn from Hama to use our own minds, to trust and form our own judgements.  We don’t have to be the ’Yes sirs’ and ’right away sirs.’ It is Hama’s foolishness of not following orders that we can learn a great lesson from.  I can’t put it any better than from the fool himself:

’The staff in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age,’ said Hama.  He looked hard at the ash-staff on which Gandalf leaned.  ’Yet in doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdomI believe you are friends and folk worthy of honour, who have no evil purpose.  You may go in.’

 

Boromir88 15/Nov/2006 at 06:59 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

Halfwit Hama:

Eventhough if Hama only really appears once in the story, he does some pretty foolish things.  Despite the good outcome and the good intentions of Hama, he is presented as a fool, and called as such.  Hama was given orders to take away Gandalf’s staff, yet he does not.  Hama is swayed by Gandalf and could not follow the simplest of orders.  The very order itself is trivial and foolish as Gandalf believes:

’This is idle talk,’ said Gandalf.  ’Needless is Theoden’s demand, but it is useless to refuse.  A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.’

And when Hama asks for Gandalf’s staff Gandalf replies: ’Foolishness!’ said Gandalf.  ’Prudence is one thing, but discourtesy is another.  I am old.  If I may not lean on my stick as I go, then I will sit out here, until it pleases Theoden to hobble out himself to speak with me.’

Hama gives in (due to his better judgement) and disobeys the orders.  Hama is unable to follow even the simplest orders and as Grima remarks: ’Did I not counsel you, lord, to forbid his staff?  That fool, Hama, has betrayed us!’
Despite the petty orders, Hama is unable to follow through and obey them.  Which makes him a fool and an inept doorwarden.  After this, Hama for a while is ’demoted’ to doing even simpler tasks as he proved inept as a doorwarden:
’That may be.  I will do as you ask.  Call Hama to me.  Since he proved untrusty as a doorward, let him become an errand-runner.  The guilty shall bring the guilty to judgement.’

Then when he is given the orders to bring Eomer and Theoden questions why is Eomer bowing before him, offering him his sword,  Hama replies:
’It is my doing, lord,’ said Hama, trembling.  ’I understood that Eomer was to be set free.  Such joy was in my heart that maybe I have erred.  Yet, since he was free again, and he as Marshal of the Mark, I brought him his sword as he bade me.’
Again, we see Hama not following along with his orders.  He messes up again.  Theoden told to bring Eomer to judgement and wanders what is Eomer doing here before him with his sword.  In which case, Hama, due to his overly hapiness percieved Eomer was free again.  He had messed up even simpler orders this time!

The thing about all this is we can’t be mad at Hama.  His inadequacy as a doorwarden and inability to follow orders actually bring about several positives.  Gandalf is able to help Theoden and then Eomer is set free.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that Hama was truly a halfwit who was cajoled by Gandalf and couldn’t follow the simplest orders.  In many ways its good Hama was a fool and couldnt’ follow orders.

What we can all learn from Hama is to follow your own mind.  The reason we are all drawn to Hama is that he is not your typical guard.  When we think of a guard, we think of some mindless robot that does whatever he’s told.  ’Yes, Theoden sir.’  ’Right away Theoden, sir.’  This actually isn’t the only time we see a guard act on their own instinct.  As we come to later see Beregond goes against his duties, to the extreme of killing people to save Faramir.  But, Hama is the first one, and personally Hama is the more ’clownish’ one.  We learn from Hama to use our own minds, to trust and form our own judgements.  We don’t have to be the ’Yes sirs’ and ’right away sirs.’ It is Hama’s foolishness of not following orders that we can learn a great lesson from.  I can’t put it any better than from the fool himself:

’The staff in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age,’ said Hama.  He looked hard at the ash-staff on which Gandalf leaned.  ’Yet in doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdomI believe you are friends and folk worthy of honour, who have no evil purpose.  You may go in.’

 

Boromir88 15/Nov/2006 at 07:00 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005
almost forgot, all quotes are from King of the Golden Hall.
Boromir88 15/Nov/2006 at 07:00 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005
almost forgot, all quotes are from King of the Golden Hall.
Bearamir 20/Nov/2006 at 11:56 AM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Boromir88:  Thank you for your excellent  (not to mention and very perceptive) contribution.  I enjoyed reading it very much.

  Please accept my compliments (and a small tribute) for your efforts...
Boromir88 21/Nov/2006 at 08:55 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005
Thank you Bael, I greatly appreciate it and am glad you enjoyed it.
Jinniver Thynne 21/Nov/2006 at 03:15 PM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 994 Posts: 424 Joined: 28/Jan/2006

Boro has inspired me..

Tricksy Gollum

The traditional folklore figure of the Trickster is quite literally an untethered being. It is neither good nor bad, it is amoral. It is unpredictable. It has no logic. It is both funny and terrifying. If any character in Tolkien’s work meets this description then it is Gollum.

Gollum is like us, he was once a Hobbit, but he is also not like us, he is twisted and is an abomination of a mortal. The Trickster too is like us and has our human speech and our human failings, but is also not like us, often in uncanny animal form. iIn the story Gollum is shown to us as a shadow of a mortal, recognisable but yet somehow different and disturbing. Tolkien often describes him in animal terms:

For a moment it appeared to Sam that his master had grown and Gollum had shrunk: a tall stern shadow, a mighty lord who hid his brightness in grey cloud, and at his feet a little whining dog. Yet the two were in some way akin and not alien: they could reach one another’s minds. Gollum raised himself and began pawing at Frodo, fawning at his knees.

even Gollum could not find a hold of any kind. He seemed to be trying to twist round, so as to go legs first, when suddenly with a shrill whistling shriek he fell. As he did so, he curled his legs and arms up round him, like a spider whose descending thread is snapped.

As Gollum is described as being like a spider, one of the most well-known trickster figures in mythology is the Anansi, the Spider god of Africa. The mind of an animal is unknowable to us, and their behaviour is unpredictable. Gollum too has become like this. He is all raw instinct and barely hidden cunning, the outer ‘shell’ of his ego worn thin by the actions of the Ring upon him so that his inner self is on display just as a cat cannot hide its emotions, cannot prevent its tell-tale body language.

Golum is also amoral; that is, without morals. He is not bad and nor is he good. Of course when presented with tales of what he was like, Frodo’s reactions are those of repulsion, but Gandalf asks Frodo if he really could kill Gollum, if he could take the decision that Gollum was truly ‘evil’. This creature was ensnared by the power of the Ring, and then driven by his need to get it back again; he might have led the Hobbits into Shelob’s lair, but he did this only so that he could get back the chains which had enslaved him. Can we really say that it was Gollum himself that was evil or was it the influence of the Ring which drove him to act that way? He has no concept of right or wrong, of morals, only of pain and of lust for his precious.

And finally Gollum is at once both amusing and terrifying. He makes us laugh with his sibilant speech and his riddles and his calling for his precious. Sometimes he is almost tender with Frodo, and he can display great concern that the two Hobbits get to their destination safely. Even the animal side to him is described at times by Tolkien in a humorous, endearing way:

Very lucky you came this way. Very lucky you found Smeagol, yes. Follow Smeagol!"

He took a few steps away and looked back inquiringly, like a dog inviting them for a walk.

What could seem more harmless than a dog waiting for his walk? But this is Gollum. He is the one who leads Frodo and Sam into Shelob’s Lair. He is also the one who bites off Frodo’s fingers in order to get at the Ring, he is so driven by lust for his Precious. There are also the dark tales of his sneaking around in Mirkwood. His murder of his own brother. He is dangerous.

Nobody can really ‘tame’ Gollum. Frodo only manages to maintain control over him by his possession of the Ring. He is wild and unpredictable, both the unwitting saviour of the tale and the one who maims our hero. Gollum is a victim of the Ring, but if he gets the Ring, then terrible things will happen. Nobody could predict what would happen at Mount Doom, and that perhaps sums up Gollum’s entire tricksy nature.

Jinniver Thynne 21/Nov/2006 at 03:15 PM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 994 Posts: 424 Joined: 28/Jan/2006

Boro has inspired me..

Tricksy Gollum

The traditional folklore figure of the Trickster is quite literally an untethered being. It is neither good nor bad, it is amoral. It is unpredictable. It has no logic. It is both funny and terrifying. If any character in Tolkien’s work meets this description then it is Gollum.

Gollum is like us, he was once a Hobbit, but he is also not like us, he is twisted and is an abomination of a mortal. The Trickster too is like us and has our human speech and our human failings, but is also not like us, often in uncanny animal form. iIn the story Gollum is shown to us as a shadow of a mortal, recognisable but yet somehow different and disturbing. Tolkien often describes him in animal terms:

For a moment it appeared to Sam that his master had grown and Gollum had shrunk: a tall stern shadow, a mighty lord who hid his brightness in grey cloud, and at his feet a little whining dog. Yet the two were in some way akin and not alien: they could reach one another’s minds. Gollum raised himself and began pawing at Frodo, fawning at his knees.

even Gollum could not find a hold of any kind. He seemed to be trying to twist round, so as to go legs first, when suddenly with a shrill whistling shriek he fell. As he did so, he curled his legs and arms up round him, like a spider whose descending thread is snapped.

As Gollum is described as being like a spider, one of the most well-known trickster figures in mythology is the Anansi, the Spider god of Africa. The mind of an animal is unknowable to us, and their behaviour is unpredictable. Gollum too has become like this. He is all raw instinct and barely hidden cunning, the outer ‘shell’ of his ego worn thin by the actions of the Ring upon him so that his inner self is on display just as a cat cannot hide its emotions, cannot prevent its tell-tale body language.

Golum is also amoral; that is, without morals. He is not bad and nor is he good. Of course when presented with tales of what he was like, Frodo’s reactions are those of repulsion, but Gandalf asks Frodo if he really could kill Gollum, if he could take the decision that Gollum was truly ‘evil’. This creature was ensnared by the power of the Ring, and then driven by his need to get it back again; he might have led the Hobbits into Shelob’s lair, but he did this only so that he could get back the chains which had enslaved him. Can we really say that it was Gollum himself that was evil or was it the influence of the Ring which drove him to act that way? He has no concept of right or wrong, of morals, only of pain and of lust for his precious.

And finally Gollum is at once both amusing and terrifying. He makes us laugh with his sibilant speech and his riddles and his calling for his precious. Sometimes he is almost tender with Frodo, and he can display great concern that the two Hobbits get to their destination safely. Even the animal side to him is described at times by Tolkien in a humorous, endearing way:

Very lucky you came this way. Very lucky you found Smeagol, yes. Follow Smeagol!"

He took a few steps away and looked back inquiringly, like a dog inviting them for a walk.

What could seem more harmless than a dog waiting for his walk? But this is Gollum. He is the one who leads Frodo and Sam into Shelob’s Lair. He is also the one who bites off Frodo’s fingers in order to get at the Ring, he is so driven by lust for his Precious. There are also the dark tales of his sneaking around in Mirkwood. His murder of his own brother. He is dangerous.

Nobody can really ‘tame’ Gollum. Frodo only manages to maintain control over him by his possession of the Ring. He is wild and unpredictable, both the unwitting saviour of the tale and the one who maims our hero. Gollum is a victim of the Ring, but if he gets the Ring, then terrible things will happen. Nobody could predict what would happen at Mount Doom, and that perhaps sums up Gollum’s entire tricksy nature.

Aranaur 24/Nov/2006 at 09:27 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 4804 Posts: 5757 Joined: 24/Mar/2002
Out of curiousity: is this challenge only for the characters from the Lord of the Rings, or may we use other publications (and thus characters) from Tolkien? Either way, I think I shall try to submit something.
Bearamir 26/Nov/2006 at 08:49 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Jinniver Thyme:  Well, done indeed.  My compliments (and a small tribute) to you as well...

Maeluinaur:  Please feel free to use any Middle-earth character (there are some excellent candidates in The Silmarillion, afterall)

elvenpath 27/Dec/2006 at 06:16 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2310 Posts: 2270 Joined: 28/Apr/2004

Here is another one on Gollum…

 

The poor precious Gollum leads the way to Mordor, he is the guide…To be forced to follow the Trickster…to be “wholly in the hands of Gollum”

 

Gollum is a complex character, too many pages I should write to be able to reveal all the shades, as for sure he doesn’t have a linear behavior. I shall take a closer look only on how Gollum managed to ‘manipulate’ his relation with the Hobbits from the moment they caught him and turned him into their guide in LOTR, TTT, THE PASSAGE OF THE MARSHES till the moment they got to know each other and the hierarchy in their group was set.

 

Gollum may not follow morale, but he knows its rules and how to play with it, he takes advantage of Frodo’s common sense and tries to prove his good intentions guided by Hobbits’ scale of values. He uses every single event to corrupt reality into an image meant to serve his purpose.

 

At the beginning of their relation, when Hobbits gave him their only kind of food – lembas- to eat, Gollum accused them of trying to kill him, complaining so much,

 

’Ach! No!’ he spluttered. ’You try to choke poor Sméagol. Dust and ashes, he can’t eat that. He must starve. But Sméagol doesn’t mind. Nice hobbits! Sméagol has promised. He will starve. He can’t eat hobbits’ food. He will starve. Poor thin Sméagol!’

 

that in the end Frodo felt uneasy:

 

’I’m sorry,’ said Frodo; ’but I can’t help you, I’m afraid.

 

He left the Hobbits alone to look for some food and when he’s back, he made sure the Hobbits are going to appreciate his behavior and start trusting him.

 

’Better now,’ he said. ’Are we rested? Ready to go on? Nice hobbits, they sleep beautifully. Trust Sméagol now? Very, very good.’

 

Through out the journey, Gollum has the same speech: how important he is for the overall success of the journey, how the Hobbits are going to be safe if they follow him

 

Follow Sméagol very carefully, and you may go a long way, quite a long way, before He catches you, yes perhaps.’

 

Even more, from time to time he had to teach them a lesson

 

’No, no birds,’ said Gollum. ’Nice birds!’ He licked his teeth. ’No birds here. There are snakeses, wormses, things in the pools. Lots of things, lots of nasty things. No birds,’ he ended sadly

 

The strategy proved to be a good one, as even Sam, who doubted Gollum, asked for information from him

 

At last Sam could bear it no longer. ’What’s all this, Gollum?’ he said in a whisper. ’These lights? They’re all round us now. Are we trapped? Who are they?’

 

and treasured his advice – he told Frodo to do as Gollum recommended:

 

’Come, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam. ’Don’t look at them! Gollum says we mustn’t. Let’s keep up with him and get out of this cursed place as quick as we can – if we can!’

 

Gollum may not be too intelligent, but he knows how to adapt and how to use Hobbits’ values to build a relation with them. He understands Hobbits’ condition and his own and in his way, he takes care and encourages the Hobbits, acting like a leader who takes care of his men:

 

’Now on we go!’ he said. ’Nice hobbits! Brave hobbits! Very very weary, of course; so we are, my precious, all of us. But we must take master away from the wicked lights, yes, yes, we must.’

 

If you hear Gollum’s words and disregard his previous actions, you have the image of the good Samaritan

 

Poor Sméagol smells it, but good Sméagol bears it. Helps nice master. But that’s no matter

 

He does everything for his master! No advantage for him, still he endures for his master in the name of the promise he has made.

 

Gollum makes us laugh, he makes us consider him a fool because of his funny way of speaking, but in his funny way, he has a coherent speech, one meant to gain Frodo’s trust. In his funny way he pleads for his needs, he teaches and advices the two Hobbits and makes them accept he is the knowledgeable one.

Aranaur 30/Dec/2006 at 04:47 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 4804 Posts: 5757 Joined: 24/Mar/2002

Aule

 

Although the Ainur are the wisest of all beings, they are not by any means perfect, and make mistakes also. Some could even say that the Ainur have foolish moments, and perhaps one of the most known of these is something that Aule did. Aule acts most like the sacred clown in his creation of the dwarves, for it was a mistake and he was reprimanded, but in the end good came of it as well.

 

Aule was the Vala of all substances in Ea. He was a craftsman, and enjoyed, first and foremost, creating. He “desired to make things of [his] own that should be new and unthought of by others…” Despite this want, he remained faithful to Eru, doing anything that he said to do, taking counsel from those he asked, and taught everything he knew to those who wanted to learn.

 

Yet, Aule had no patience and could not wait for the Elves to wake so as to teach them, so in hiding he created the race of the dwarves. Aule did not think of the consequences of his work, nor what kind of trouble it would get him in. Eru immediately knew, saying to Aule “Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority?” He tells Aule that his beings will only do as Aule does, because only Eru has the power to create beings with the Light. Aule realizes he has acted foolishly, admitting: “In my impatience I have fallen into folly.” He knows he has done wrong, and is willing to kill his creation. Eru takes pity, however, and wisely puts the dwarves to sleep to wait for the Eldar to awake.

 

One must realize that Aule did not create the dwarves with any malicious intent. He wished to teach things to creatures, and did not want lordship over them, but instead wanted to teach and create, as Aule was made to do by Eru. As Aule puts it, ‘the child of little understanding that makes a play of the deeds of his father may do so without thought of mockery, but because he is the son of his father.’ The only reason he makes the foolish choice of sneaking about and hiding the making of the dwarves is so that none of the other Valar would blame him in his handy work. It is thus that Aule had pure intentions, but it was his actions that make him the fool.

 

Another consequence of Aule’s making the dwarves in secret was the strife it caused between him and Yavanna. Yavanna was disappointed in Aule, for she said his creatures would not like trees and cut them down because Aule did not tell Yavanna of his creations. Yavanna tells Aule,They will delve in the earth, and the things that grow and live upon the earth they will not heed.’ She goes on to say that the dwarves will be like Aule, only appreciating what they have created with their own hands above anything else. Because of Aule’s folly, he makes Yavanna worried. So in her defense she seeks Manwe, looking for some protection for the plants of Arda. Out of their conversation voicing her concerns came the decision to create the ‘Shepherds of the Trees,’ or the Ents. They would protect the trees and the rest of the olvar from the dwarves, and though both races would not be friendly, they would be both essentially good creatures in Middle Earth within their own domain.

 

So despite the fact that Aule made a foolish, impatient mistake, it turned out for the better: for two new races of Arda, the dwarves and the Ents, were created, and would not have probably been made other wise. Both are for the most part good races, so even though Aule played the role of the secret clown, it was in the end a good thing, as such as what sacred clowns do.

All quotes from the Sil.