Forum: Writing Mary Sue: the Mother of Challenges

Discussing: Maedhros

Maedhros

I always feel so sorry for poor Maedhros. He doesn't have any of his father's craftmanship or talent, he gets his hand cut off, and he pretty much leads a miserable life. Perhaps giving him his own personal Mary Sue would help him? Maybe the last thing he thought of before casting himself into a firey chasm of doom was of his true love. Well, any thoughts on this? What kind of woman might Maedhros fall for? Or is it even a girl; Fingon maybe (we've all seen those, but we still love 'em).

 

 

Re: Maedhros

Ya know, I actually gave him and Fingon a Mary Sue to fight over (you can read about it here) for this Challenge... but it seems that Fingon is winning. I don't want to give anything away, but I did consider a sort of sequel to this story, involving Maedhros, because I just feel so sorry for him, the poor dear... then again, I've wanted to do that to other characters, such as Turin and Beleg (I'll just give him Nellas, hehe)...

 

 

Re: Maedhros

The idea that Maedhros doesn't have any skill at craftsmanship or artistic talents is strictly fanon; although the Silmarillion specifically mentions Curufin as being the son who's most like his father, it doesn't say anywhere that the other boys lack talent at smithcraft. Maedhros might not have been a craftsman of his father's stature (who would be?), but that doesn't automatically mean he was talentless.

And we really don't know anything about Maedhros's life during the years of the Long Peace before the Dagor Bragollach. He might have been quite happy then. If he did fall in love, though, it was either not reciprocated, or circumstances (war, most likely) must have kept him from following though with things, because Tolkien mentions in HoME that Maedhros never married.

So feel free to write a talented, happy Maedhros if you like! It's perfectly in canon. Just don't show him getting married or having kids.

Ithilwen

 

 

Re: Maedhros

Hey- this might be me blurring the lines between possible-canon and fanon, but isn't Maedhros supposed to be good at forging swords or something?

 

 

Re: Maedhros

As far as I can recall, the only thing Tolkien specifically tells that Maedhros is good at is the art of warfare. His other talents (or lack of them, as the case may be) are not mentioned. (Unless someone saw something in HoMEthat I've forgotten!)

Ithilwen

 

 

Re: Maedhros

Sorry about that mistake about Maedhros not being talented at the forge. I've just read so much fiction that it tends to blend in with canon. *sobs* I feel so inadaquate!

 

 

Re: Maedhros

Hey, don't worry about it. It's not any fault of yours... people do it all the time. Including me.

 

 

Re: Maedhros

Sorry about that mistake about Maedhros not being talented at the forge. I've just read so much fiction that it tends to blend in with canon. *sobs* I feel so inadaquate!

Don't apologise, addicted - you haven't committed some monstrous crime! I just made the comments I did because it's so easy to blur canon and fanon. And when that happens, authors wind up restricting their interpretation of a character unnecessarily, becuase they believe that the alternate image they have of the character "would violate canon" (when, in fact, it may only violate fanon, which is a good thing to do!).

It's always a good idea to skim the source material before starting a story, just to help make the canon/fanon distinction a bit sharper in your mind before you begin work. Although I'll admit that with Tolkien, that's a bit dificult to do, given the sheer volume of material he wrote!

Ithilwen

 

 

Re: Maedhros

In Book of Lost Tales I, I think, Tolkien mentions that Morgoth was tormenting Maedhros because he wanted to get the secret of jewel-making from him. If that's the case, one must assume that Maedhros actually knew the secret. Even if he's not renown for his skill, he knows the craft. He might also know some secret of the Silmarils since he breaks them open in the earliest version of the Silmarillion. He must also be a fair hunter and rider because all of the Feanorian sons were said to be. He sings with/back to Fingon, so he can sing. He's just not famous for it in the way Maglor is. I think his lack of skills is a matter of omission. We wouldn't know that Turgon worked in metal if he hadn't made the trees for Gondolin. And Orodreth as a loremaster is only mentioned once in a letter somewhere. In truth, because he's a prince and because of the way Tolkien sets up his learned class, I think that Maedhros is probably our typical Renaissance man, knowing a little of everything and being good at several things. But to become renown among the Elves? That requires more talent. Even Elrond, with his silver harp at the end of LotR, isn't stated as being a super great singer, just a very knowledgable loremaster.

 

 

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