I know what you’re thinking. "Skaldimus, you’re posting a lot this morning. Obviously you are supposed to working on some article about the impact of the real estate crisis on the American lumber industry and are goofing off. Get back to work, worm, or I will beat you about the head with this wet trout!
To that I respond: “Shows what you know! The article’s about the effect fo the ENTIRE recession on the lumber industry, not just the real estate crisis! Also, I 'm wearing a helmet!”
Anywhistle … fans of Middle-earth, what would you say is the most evil act committed by any of the Children of Iluvatur? I phrase it thusly because i figure Sauron and Morgorth are going to be on a scale by themselves. Also, for this discussion, Dwarves count as adopted children of Eru, and we’ll assume that Orcs are in origin Elves or Men twisted by Melkorian devilry, so they count too.
I’ll start the bidding with Feanor’s burning of the stolen Teleri ships at Losgar. This strikes me as worse than most because of how far Feanor had fallen, and how utterly hateful and petty it was.
Boromir was a saint! He sacrificed his life to save the other Autobots! He turned the tide of battle! He was a saint, I tell you, a SAINT! He–
Wait. That was Optimus Prime. Never mind.
I still think the son of Denethor should get at least 20 atonement points for immediately repenting, 15 for sacrificing his life in an attempt to rescue Pip and Merry, 5 for immediately fessing up to Aragorn,and 2 for being played by Sean Bean. So that leaves him with the side of the Valar.
Meh. Fëanor expected the rest of the Noldor to slink back to Tirion with their tails between their legs, after the burning. Not as malice-laden as sending your friends to Mandos to see if new bodies really can be issued.
[sub]Better start using those umlauts if you want to be taken seriously as a JRRT fanatic…[/sub]
I’m too busy performing heroic deeds to bother with diacritical marks. Why, I’ve saved your life seven separate times during this sentence alone–twice between “bother” and “with.” This despite your overusage of the accursed word “meh.”
I’ll have you know that ‘meh’ has its roots in the Quenya “Metta”, or ‘ending’! As in ‘enough of that nonsense’!
So if you impugn ‘meh’, you impugn Quenya, and by extension Sindarin, Telerin, Doriathrin, Nandorin, Ilkorin, and Avari, and probably Adûnaic and the (mostly hypothetical) tongue of Valinorean itself! :eek:
Beware, lest such flippancy get you a seat on the next ship to Hanstovánen!
[sub]notice I didn’t mention Khuzdul?[/sub]
I still say the Kinslaying was worse. But the burning was a nasty gesture.
Returning to the thread topic, as the Kin-slaying was the first thing I thought of when beginning the thread, I’ll concede–then cheat by saying that the burning was simply the culmination of the same evil act.
But I am so not saving your ass from any more super-speed assassins. We’ll just have to rely on What Exit for our knowledge of the legendarium.
Dang. My books are in storage. I’m having to go by memory on this one. Let’s see…
Dante would have rated the betrayal of Gondolin (by some Elf whose name escapes me at the moment) as worse than the Kinslaying. In Dante’s scheme, betrayal of one’s master was worse than betrayal of one’s kin.
I know Elu Thingol was an ###hole, but killing him over a piece of jewelry was not nice.
I want to agree with the Kinslaying, but I really think that Tolkien would have considered Fëanor’s original sin (capturing the Light of the Trees in the Silmarilli and then keeping them in his treasurehouse at Formenos instead of sharing them with the Ainur and Eldar…and also his refusal to allow them to be broken to restore the trees completely) to be the more evil.
I don’t think the professor considered capturing the light of the Two Trees evil in itself, nor would did he intend the reader to think of it as such. As for whether refusing to break the Silmarils was wicked…
Well, I have to think about that one.
Fëanor’s still a dick, though. Probably still in Mandos, wrathful as Coriolanus, unable to re-incarnate cause he refuses to say sorry. Every so often Nerdanel stops by and says, “Honey, it’s been TWELVE THOUSAND YEARS! Get OVER IT!”
Arguably, the capture of the Light itself wasn’t evil (though there are a couple of schools of thought on that), but the refusal to share the Jewels was. It seems sometimes that in Tolkien’s view, one Great Sin was selfishness (as can be seen in the way the Ring tends to warp its bearer so that he or she can’t stand to be parted from it, and will jealously guard it against anyone else even having the chance to take it). Fëanor’s selfishness and distrust of the Valar is evil in itself, and the Great Jewels share in that sin by virtue of being the object of Fëanor’s jealousy.
I’m not sure his distrust of the Valar should qualify him as evil. We know the Valar are the good guys, story external, but I don’t think Fëanor’s distrust is utterly unreasonable. If nothing else he might reasonably call their competence into question, and yes, I’m talking about ole Mr. Sulimo (Yeah, let’s go ahead and let Morgoth walk around unfettered! It’s not like he’s the Devil or anything!).
As for whether his selfishness is evil–I still have to think about that.