Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Marriage Bonds in HotK

Marriage Bonds in HotK

This thread is promted by Raihon's comment:

How much of your discourse on joining/bonding is your own extrapolation and what is text-based? I ask because I am elaborating my own concept of how this might work in Men in a story right now and want to give you credit if I am drawing on your ideas. Thanks!

I used Laws and Customs as my starting point and stuck with it fairly strictly with regards to Elves. Marriage is permanent and a once-in-a-lifetime occurance. Rape and adultery do not occur between Elves. What I posited was how they could simply know who was their proper mate and that became the foundation for the idea of seeing "light" in another being who was true of heart. In Elves, it would not be limited just to those who had wed, but is a condition of Elves generally. The Elven command over their fea means that they can do such a thing as will themselves into permanent monogamy. A will that is not well ordered would not be able to do such a thing.

I moved to the Athrabeth and borrowed from it the conundrum over whether Men truly belong in Arda. This became the foundation for the supposition that while Men *could* bond to another soul, their fleeting time in Arda coupled with the grief and pain of being separated from their beloved at the time of death would make it more difficult for them to bond. Because it is a matter of willing, and not of sex per se, it made sense that a soul that once made such a profound commitment would become open to other kinds of bonds, thus capable of Seeing and being Seen. However, it takes the intensity of sexual union to make souls open to each other. Marriage is a necessary but not sufficient precondition for transforming the soul.

Given Tolkien's racialist construction of orders of Men, it also made sense that the pre-Downfall Dunedain would have the most Elf-like bonding patterns, while Men living under Shadow probably cannot bond at all.  Silmarien as the person who recorded and philosophized on the subject is entirely mine. Any quote of hers is mine. All of the phrasing in chapter 37, Mated, whether or not it is a quote is my own rephrasing of the arguments Tolkien offers.

The soul-bonding is going to be extremely important to the plot of HotK as it moves along. I use it to explain why there are vampires in Middle-earth  - which you have to admit is kind of a weird creature for Tolkien to have introduced, considering the theology - and why Arwen could not have continued to live in Arda once Aragorn had died.  Implicitly, the reason why people unconsciously recognize Aragorn as king has to do with the openess of his soul and the way it demands recognition of who and what he is. Like the "light" in Denethor & Finduilas, he cannot keep hidden from those who can See, though they may not recognize what it is they are looking at.

Hope this helps!

Toodles - Ang 



Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

Excuse me???? Stop the presses!!!  Hold the writing!

What did I miss - where were the vampires?  What chapter.... or is this something coming in the near future?

I have very much enjoyed the 'seeing' and the 'light' - I have found it plausible - especially when I think of the Elves... I just accepted it for Denethor due to his Numenorean heritage.

But where are the vampires?  And did Tolkien have one in M-e that I didn't see?




Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

But where are the vampires?  And did Tolkien have one in M-e that I didn't see?

Silmarillion -

 Then Sauron yielded himself, and Lúthien took the mastery of the isle and all that was there; and Huan released him. And immediately he took the form of a vampire, great as a dark cloud across the moon, and he fled, dripping blood from his throat upon the trees, and came to Tar-nu-Fuin, and dwelt there, filling it with horror.


But Lúthien heard his song, and she sang in answer, as she came through the woods unlooked for. For Huan, consenting once more to be her steed, had borne her swiftly hard upon Beren's trail. Long he had pondered in his heart what counsel he could devise for the lightning of the peril of these two whom he loved. He turned aside therefore at Sauron's isle, as they ran northward again, and he took thence the ghastly wolf-hame of Draugluin, and the bat-fell of Thuringwëthil. She was the messenger of Sauron, and was wont to fly in vampire's form to Angband; and her greatfingered wings were barbed at each joint's end with and iron claw. Clad in these dreadful garments Huan and Lúthien ran through Taur-nu-Fuin, and all things fled before them. 




Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

What did I miss - where were the vampires?  What chapter.... or is this something coming in the near future?... But where are the vampires?  And did Tolkien have one in M-e that I didn't see?

Gwynnyd's quotes are great for how Tolkien introduces vampires. I'm still trying to puzzle out how vampires fit into the larger Arda cosmology. I won't be presenting any directly, only speculating on what it is a vampire does that earns them the designation. I'm not sure it's going to work, but most of the background information is already present in the story. It will make sense in hindsight. (I hope...)

Toodles - Ang



Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

I always assumed that when Tolkien was talking about vampires in "Silmarillion" he meant real, blood-drinking vampire bats, or at any rate, Morgoth's mutant versions (gigantic and with claws made of iron - which would make the blood-drinking biologically necessary to maintain them) made by him to be inhabited by evil spirits serving him. The "Lay of Leithian" does refer to Thuringwethil's skin as being vermin-infested, which does indicate that it was a real (or real-ish) bat body.

What sort of vampire did you have in mind?



Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

What sort of vampire did you have in mind?

Maiaberiel is the vampire. Heh.



Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

Ah ha, roh-wyn - now that sounds totally possible.  She is a blood-sucking vicious little thing, isn't she!!!



Re: Marriage Bonds in HotK

I like the theory about why Men are limited in their ability to bond in this way (mortality makes it too painful) and I will draw on this idea at some point. But I think that the phenomenon itself that I am elaborating is inherently different from "Silmarien's"in that in my universe a) Men's feas very rarely bond (in part, because of the "dilution" of Numenorian blood), and b) it is even rarer, but possible, to bond with more than one other, but c) even when Men do bond with another, it is not something that is discernable or particularly important to them (though Elves can see it as they would in other Elves).

Thanks for being thought-provoking!




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