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Old 05-23-2019, 03:19 AM   #4
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
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Originally Posted by Urwen View Post
You just named five characters who died without being redeemed, which is what this topic is all about. In a manner of speaking, death is their 'redemption', in a loose sense of the word.
I mean... arguably in the case of Gollum, since he actually achieved something good by his death. But I don't see any of the other four as being redeemed by their deaths. They die bad - Maeglin is killed for attempted infanticide, Feanor spends his last words condemning his children to a hopeless war, Saruman dies a petty tyrant, and Denethor burns himself in despair. There's no redemption there - no 'death as atonement', as we might expect from Biblical stories like Judas.

I think that speaks to Tolkien's worldview. He was quite happy to have characters with a grey edge to them - Turin or Eowyn, for instance. They could be redeemed, or find happiness, and that wasn't a problem. But once someone made a deliberate, informed choice to do evil, he really didn't go in much for redemption arcs.

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