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Discussing: If not Eru, what?

If not Eru, what?

I think we know that the name 'Eru' was reserved for special occasions and not something that was bandied around freely by those of Numenorean descent.

So if they wanted to talk about who created the universe, what would they call him?  Iluvatar? or since this is not actually 'calling on Eru', would they say "Eru" in conversation?

For example I have the following sentence, but I am getting the uncomfortable feeling that I need to use some other designation than Eru. Opinions?  It's Arwen talking to Celeborn about a much younger Eldarion.

 
He confronted his father, saying that it was not fair that Men should die and that he would not honor Eru, who found Men of so little worth that they lived and were discarded so quickly. 

 Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: If not Eru, what?

Hi Gwynnyd!

You always ask the most............ interesting questions.

And maddeningly difficult to answer!

Okay, you asked for speculation... here's mine: It seems that Arwen is reporting a conversation that she had with Eldarion, and perhaps he was trying very hard to be confrontational (if he's a teenager) or naughty (if a young child).... it seems reasonable to me that one parent would closely paraphrase the words used, even if they would normally be offensive, to another parent -- and in particular, *her* parent.... while doing the graceful Elven equivalent of rolling her eyes....

So, I don't think using "Eru" would be out of place here.

Though, I'm not entirely convinced that day-to-day references to him aren't normal, anyway. It seems to me that one would not invoke or swear (in the old-fashioned sense) to "Eru", but would use "Ilúvatar" instead.... but simple references to him wouldn't have the same power.

If that makes any sense at all......

- Barbara

 

 

Re: If not Eru, what?

You always ask the most............ interesting questions.

And maddeningly difficult to answer!

  I already feel I'm bending canon sixty-seven and nine/sixteenths degree out of whack. I like to get the details right when I can.

 Though, I'm not entirely convinced that day-to-day references to him aren't normal, anyway. It seems to me that one would not invoke or swear (in the old-fashioned sense) to "Eru", but would use "Ilúvatar" instead.... but simple references to him wouldn't have the same power.

Thanks! JRRT never mentions the Sindarin or Adunaic equivalent of Y*A*W*H, even though he's pretty adamant that "Eru" was only 'called upon' in very solemn ceremonies a few times a year and then ONLY by the king... Perhaps it is NOT a good thing to remember too many details from the HoMe volumes.

I will use Eru. Thank you!

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: If not Eru, what?

How about just using "the One" instead? I treat "called upon" as meaning a formal, ceremonial invocation (in the same way that the Sons of Feanor called upon Eru to bind their Oath upon them). I don't get the impression that this was a YHWH sort of situation where the speaking of a sacred name was prohibited, since neither "Eru" nor "Iluvatar" was strictly speaking a name.

 

 

Re: If not Eru, what?

From the AINULINDALË
The Music of the Ainur

There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar...


Wouldn't the name Ilúvatar be better than Eru? I suggest that to invoke the name of Ilúvatar would be of special significance as Anna has stated. It might be that Tolkien wanted to convey the importance of such a thing by not taking it lightly or supposing elves called upon Ilúvatar for mundane things. (I think the Valar got the brunt of this sort of thing. )

However, I believe referring to the creator as Ilúvatar in a discussion would be a normal thing to do and not forbidden, since it's not asking a blessing.

 

 

Re: If not Eru, what?

This is so interesting, both in terms of the story context (can't wait to read it!) and Tolkien in general.

The angle the I was wondering about was the "not honoring" part. How do you envision him honoring Eru to begin with, since Tolkien's world isn't one of overt religion? It's just kind of, what is. No wrangling about doctrine or sectarian sniping, just a simple belief/knowledge about the existance of Diety. (Wouldn't that be nice!) So...

What's Eldarion turning his back on? What is he refusing to do? Is he refusing to observe the Standing Silence? Is he claiming he WON'T observe whatever priestly-type duties are associated with the Kingship when he grows up?

If mentioning Eru by name seems too uncannonical, maybe you could mention the specifics, as in something like "that he would not observe the Standing Silence, since they in the West found Men of so little worth that they ..."

I love that you have Eldarion experiencing this VERY human emotion and are addressing it in the context of Tolkien's world. As a mother of a five-year-old, I'm dying to see what wisdom Celeborn has to offer!

 

 

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