Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Manipulation


The Valar in Tolkien's mythos become pretty detached from the rest of the world, in most people's opinion. They're not around, though we never know what they're seeing and taking interest in. This is food for thought. Might they be particularly interested in certain cases, watching the events? Could they possibly even influence the events around a particular person or place, or even change the behaviour of a person they're 'rooting for'? I'd assume this change wouldn't be much; just a little nudge this way or that. After all, I doubt they'd be able to completely wrench a person's mind, and it might be more difficult for more powerful beings. Or if you take an opposite stance: why not? What makes the Valar decide not to get involved? Are they unable to? Has Iluvatar forbidden it? Whatever you think, write a story that involves your viewpoint. It could be about a certain character and the Valarin interference in his life. Perhaps the character could wish the Valar helped him out a bit. And you know they tell you to be careful what you wish for... So, any takers (apart from me)? Any ankles bitten?



Re: Manipulation

Oh my! Ankle already bitten, long ago! Yes, yes, I've always pondered this idea - how Tolkien created such characteristically Greco-Roman Valar (i.e., Manwe as Zeus, Varda as Hera, Ulmo as Poseidon, etc) - when he has always sustained that LOTR was an intentionally Christian tale. (Of course, LOTR isn't all Tolkien ever wrote.) Adraefan is almost entirely based on that assumption - that the Valar have decided, on a whim, to save Boromir from his death on Amon Hen, and they've sent him hurtling down this "new fate." They don't manipulate his every situation, but they do give just the right nudge to keep him from dying/going insane/getting it too easy/or too hard/etc. And, like Athena's inexplicable fondness for Odysseus, Varda in inexplicably smitten with Boromir. I suppose she's the Mary Sue, in that sense. Down the line, also, Ulmo will begin to greatly dislike Boromir, in parallel to Poseidon's grudge against Odysseus. The role, also, of Eru is an interesting one. In my fic, he's not present - but that's because the change in events (meaning, Boromir's survival of Amon Hen) will not change the general course of events enough to warrant his intervention. However, he will come into the play in the future (see: Inevitable Sequel), since I imagine he has the ultimate say in what goes on, and by that time, the Valar have just gotten out of hand, really. It's interesting that Tolkien seemed to blend the Greco-Roman polytheism with more modern Judeo-Christian monotheism, in that the Valar are the "gods" - in all their whimsy and interference down on Arda - while Eru is more like God - in the supreme being, creator sense. I'd love to see someone explore this relationship more! So, the long and short of it, Noldo, is yes. If this challenge gets started, you can mos def count on Adraefan being there. Aeneid



Re: Manipulation

Ah, one bite-ee. I'm afraid I'm hardly up-to-date on my Greek mythology. I always skipped over the bits with gods in when I was little, 'cause I wanted to get to the sword part. I keep mixing up my Greeks and Romans, which would no-doubt horrify you. Well, I have an unpublished fic from way back in 2001 (ah, the dear old eighth grade) which I've decided is very promising and am shaping up and completing. Beren, Luthien, Valar (specifically Nienna, Namo, Orome and Tulkas), and poetry. To be honest, I didn't think of Eru, but I'm sure he, too, has a place in this challenge. Eru meddles with that sounds interesting. Two bite-ees. Any more?



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