Morgoth

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OhtarMor 19/Dec/2006 at 02:49 PM
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I haven’t read all the Silmarillion, just bits and pieces, so keep that in mind.

Where is Morgoth during the War of the Ring? Did he die? Or is he in the west? Or hiding? I would think he would have helped Sauron out if he were alive, but there really is no mention of him in LOTR, besides small references to past events.

Thanks.

Alcarináro 19/Dec/2006 at 02:56 PM
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He’s dead.

And to those who will read this: Before you say ’no, he’s not dead, he’s just ____’, think very hard about what you know. What you know, not what you think you know. And if after that, if you still think he’s not dead, someone will very quickly prove you wrong.
Pellaćarien 19/Dec/2006 at 03:09 PM
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I am giving you full permission to prove me wrong - I wonder about this question a lot, too. Very good question, OhtarMor.

Then Morgoth stood at last at bay, and yet unvaliant. He fled into the deepest of his mines, and sued for peace and pardon; but his feet were hewn from under him, and he was hurled upon his face. Then he was bound with the chain Angainor which he had worn aforetime, and his iron crown they beat into a collar for his neck, and his head was bowed upon his knees. The Silmarillion "Of the Voyage of Earendil" pg. 303

But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void; and a guard is set forever on those walls, and Earendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky. The Silmarillion "Of the Voyage of Earendil" pg. 306

That is what I know. And I could be wrong, but all those would suggest to me that Morgoth is not dead, otherwise, why would they keep guard on the Door of Night? And isn’t Morgoth supposed to come back to the Dagor Dagorath and be killed by Turin?

Magradhaid 19/Dec/2006 at 03:30 PM
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Semantics, but what is your definition of ’dead’ when dealing with incarnate spirits, Elenhir? I thought even Eru couldn’t destroy a fëa; sure, it was separated from his hroa (which probably died) and sent outside the Doors of Night into the Void, but do you consider separation of hroa and fëa as ’dead’? I mean, that definition would work with Elves and Men.
Alcarináro 19/Dec/2006 at 03:33 PM
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The war was successful, and ruin was limited to the small (if beautiful) region of Beleriand. Morgoth was thus actually made captive in physical form, and in that form taken as a mere criminal to Aman and delivered to Namo Mandos as judge - and executioner. He was judged, and eventually taken out of the Blessed Realm and executed: that is killed like one of the Incarnates. It was then made plain (though it must have been understood beforehand by Manwe and Namo) that, though he had ’disseminated’ his power (his evil and possessive and rebellious will) far and wide into the matter of Arda, he had lost direct control of this, and all that ’he’, as a surviving remnant of integral being, retained as ’himself’ and under control was the terribly shrunken and reduced spirit that inhabited his self-imposed (but now beloved) body. When that body was destroyed he was weak and utterly ’houseless’, and for that time at a loss and ’unanchored’ as it were.
   -HoME X: Morgoth’s Ring, Myths Transformed, Text VII

The part of the Silmarillion you are quoting from is drawn from texts Tolkien wrote in the 1930s. The text I am quoting from is several decades later than that. What you are quoting from is a rejected concept. What you quote in fact contradicts another concept from the published Silmarillion (the idea that Ainur have no means to remove themselves or others from Ea).
Death isn’t permanent. Melkor’s will runs through all of Arda. As long as Arda exists, Melkor would, eventually, be able to reform a physical body, just as Sauron would continue to return as long as the Ring existed. Arda was Morgoth’s Ring.

Tyrhael, the separation of spirit and body is exactly what Tolkien himself uses as the definition of death. Check Customs of the Eldar.
Pellaćarien 19/Dec/2006 at 03:50 PM
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Ah, I see. Thank-you for clearing that up! (I’m only on HoME V, so it would have taken me a while to get to that quote!) I didn’t know that before. That’s very interesting!

OhtarMor, welcome to the Plaza! I hope you learn as much as I do!

Morgil 19/Dec/2006 at 03:50 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Elenhir on Tuesday, December 19, 2006
He’s dead.

And to those who will read this: Before you say ’no, he’s not dead, he’s just ____’, think very hard about what you know. What you know, not what you think you know. And if after that, if you still think he’s not dead, someone will very quickly prove you wrong.

 

Elenhir...Keep in mind that what I’m about to say is constructive criticism. I often enjoy your posts, due to the well written nature and your knowledge of Tolkien lore. However, this one is a perfect example of something discussed on a SWOT thread. The first thought I had when reading this post was that you sounded arrogant and condescending. Now if I who am familiar with your posts think this, what might be the reaction of a new member? Might they be put off by by an apparent sense of finality and challenge?

    

Alcarináro 19/Dec/2006 at 04:19 PM
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We live in an imperfect world, Morgil. If I was to just say ’He’s dead’, then my post would have no weight. More people would say that he wasn’t dead, just thrust into the Void. Democracy would reign, and lore does not function well under Democracy. Or I could scare people away from answering questions by quoting long passages from texts that most people have likely not heard of yet, explaining exactly why, from the get-go, that text and what is found therein is inherently of more worth than what is in the texts that the many have read. Neither of these choices are particularly easy or satisfactory for the parties involved. So I take the path of least resistance. I’d rather be thought of a bit arrogant (I am a bit arrogant) then allow a good chance for the asker to be misinformed, and I’d rather say what needs to be said as it needs to be said than give a deluge of seemingly irrelevant information.
Wilibald Bumble 19/Dec/2006 at 06:16 PM
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He’s not dead. He is placed outside the Door of Night. Eru himself did that. He cannot get out of there and is in the Void trapped forever well until Dagor Dagorath...but that is another matter !
Qtpie 19/Dec/2006 at 06:21 PM
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Wilibald: You post looks great but you have a slight error in your post. It was Manwe who put Melko into the Void .

’But Manwe out forth Morgoth and shut him beyond the World in the Void that is without; and he cannot himself return again into the World, present and visible, while the Lords of the West are still enthroned.’ The Silmarillion: Akallabeth
Magradhaid 20/Dec/2006 at 08:38 AM
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Wilibald, perhaps you should re-read what I posted, and Elenhir’s response. Yesterday I thought the same thing, that him being ’dead’ would mean his loss of existence, this clearly not being the case; but the definition of ’death’ for one of the Incarnate (as seen above) was the separation of spirit and body, which is exactly what happened with Morgoth; his body was destroyed and his spirit sent into the Void.
KingODuckingham 20/Dec/2006 at 09:11 AM
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So I take the path of least resistance. I’d rather be thought of a bit arrogant (I am a bit arrogant) then allow a good chance for the asker to be misinformed, and I’d rather say what needs to be said as it needs to be said than give a deluge of seemingly irrelevant information. Except that you end up having to give the deluge of information anyway, because people are not going to be convinced by:

Before you say ’no, he’s not dead, he’s just ____’, think very hard about what you know. What you know, not what you think you know.

If what they know is bits and pieces of the Silmarillion, how does this help them at all? If they know the whole Silmarillion, they will come to the opposite conclusion you came to. If you’re going to give an answer, give an explanation.
Lord of the Rings 20/Dec/2006 at 10:36 PM
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Also, any attempts to inform the general populace seemed doomed to fail no matter what. Check what Wilibald and Taragolloion wrote. However, you have informed at least two members (myself and Pell- who seem to be at similar stages in our readings of HoME) of the truth (although I appreciated the ’deluge’ more than the assertion), and for that I thank you, Elenhir.
Morvalath 21/Dec/2006 at 03:06 AM
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Elenhir - Why did the Valar execute Morgoth? Your quote says that Morgoth will eventually be able to reform a body and return to the world, like Sauron did, because his power is tied up in the stuff of Arda. Presumably the Valar knew this. Executing him, therefore, makes little sense. In killing him his spirit is free to escape the Valar and Morgoth will one day be able to return, free of their control. Surely keeping him incarnate and trapped in Mandos would have been a far better solution, preventing him from ever wreaking havoc in Arda again.

Maiarian Man 21/Dec/2006 at 07:38 AM
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Elenhir - the quote from the Silmarillion was indeed from a text written in the 1930s, but the text was revised in the 1950s--just not rewritten entirely. It’s not clear whether we should think of the text as belonging only to the 1930s, or also having been a product of the 1950s, as Tolkien seemed largely content with the form it was in at the later date (though he never got back to it, unfortunately).
SigilMor 24/Dec/2006 at 02:15 PM
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I don’t think he is dead, just imprisoned. Thus the need for a guard. And i don’t thing Maia can die, really.
Darth Angelus 27/Dec/2006 at 02:53 AM
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"Dead" is a term that is hard to define for Ainur. Is Morgoth dead? I guess he is in every way that matters for his ability to affect Middle-Earth any further than he already has. But truly dead? That is a matter of definition.
Sil 27/Dec/2006 at 02:28 PM
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Actually, upon reading Elenhir’s first post, I did stop and think about what I really knew, and my definitions of death. (And I have read Morgoth’s Ring, although I must also admit that particular quote did not occur to me.) Of course, the situation was also clarified by the insightful quotes, but although that first post may have been off-putting for some people, it gave me pause for thought. I also agree with Lord Of The Rings. *is looking at SigilMor’s post.*

And although it does depend on your definition of death, I’d assume we would follow Tolkien’s definition as Tyrhael and Elenhir have said above. Moreover, death is a different thing from destruction.