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Old 08-18-2008, 10:09 AM   #1
Groin Redbeard
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Sting Turin, and the living sword

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Children of Hurin: The Death of Turin
And from the blade rang a cold voice in answer: 'Yes, I will drink drink your blood, that I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and the blood of Brandir slain unjustly. I will slay you swiftly.'
Yet again this is a question that brings us into the more "magical" aspect of Tolkien's world.

Gurthang, the sword of Turin, had had two master before Turin. Is it possible that the sword being of high quality, and having been through many things, developed a mind of it's own? This would also raise the question: do all high works of the Noldor (or the dwarves of Belegost for that matter) have this ability? Personally, I think that Turin was mad with rage and grief so that when he spoke to the sword the voice was all in his head. Yet Tolkien does not lead us to that assumption in the text above. So I thought that I'd bring the question to the Downs: Is the sword really talking?
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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While it is clear that the Noldorin technology gave their works properties that seem magical, and the fairytale styly hobbit has the troll's talking purse, I have always felt that the speech of the sword was a projection of Turin's guilt. May be by personifying the sword he is displacing responsibility for his death - thought I don't know that ME culture banned suicide in the way that Tolkien's own did.

I have alwasy found it very powerful and don't think the psychologicaly interpretation lessens it - thought I seem to remember being in the minority the last time it came up.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
While it is clear that the Noldorin technology gave their works properties that seem magical, and the fairytale styly hobbit has the troll's talking purse, I have always felt that the speech of the sword was a projection of Turin's guilt. May be by personifying the sword he is displacing responsibility for his death - thought I don't know that ME culture banned suicide in the way that Tolkien's own did.

I have alwasy found it very powerful and don't think the psychologicaly interpretation lessens it - thought I seem to remember being in the minority the last time it came up.
Not Noldorin technology, m'dear, but Telerin -- it was made by Eol the Dark Elf. I believe it did talk (if Sting can glow blue, then Gurthang can talk), having been imbued with Eol's malice. Interestingly, Kullervo's blade talked at the point of his death in the Kalevala
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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Not Noldorin technology, m'dear, but Telerin -- it was made by Eol the Dark Elf. I believe it did talk (if Sting can glow blue, then Gurthang can talk), having been imbued with Eol's malice. Interestingly, Kullervo's blade talked at the point of his death in the Kalevala
I (in my mind) was not referring to Turin's sword then but the Gondolin blades. And I would distiguish between a relatively simple sensor mechanism and speech.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Not Noldorin technology, m'dear, but Telerin -- it was made by Eol the Dark Elf.
It once belonged to Eol, but I'm not sure if he was the one who made it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
I believe it did talk (if Sting can glow blue, then Gurthang can talk), having been imbued with Eol's malice.
I'm not sure if the Sting/Gurthang method would work, but it's interesting that you brought up the topic of curses. In Middle Earth curses, if said by a person with enough malice or will, most probably will come true. We see this with Mim's curse on Androg and then again on the treasure of Nogothrond. After all, Eol's curse that Gondolin would fall eventually came true. This curse thing might be a topic for a later time in another thread.

Your assumption could be possible, Morthoron, thanks for brining that to my attention.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groin Redbeard View Post
It once belonged to Eol, but I'm not sure if he was the one who made it.
He did. Out of a meteorite. Anyway, I think it really did talk, on its deathbed (well, it was actually Turin's, but I assume the sword knew what would happpen). It seems to me like finally showed its tre colours, right at the end.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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Having a spark of divinity, as we can say, Anglachel and Anguirel made from meteorite which was a fallen star which in turn comes from Varda's well fed with the dews of Telperion; and Sauron's Ring "speaking" in Mount Doom:

[QOUTE] Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom! [/QUOTE]

we can then argue that certain items with that "spark of divinity" could develop, shall we say, a mind of their own. Didn't the Silmarils rejoice at light and gave it back in hues more splendid than before?

However the excellent point that says the "voice" may all be in Turin's head is also something to be noted. The blood of Beleg, and of Brandir, slain unjustly, these are at that particular point in his life very piercing thoughts, and together with Nienor's true name, enough to make a man go wild and commit suicide (kinda like seppuku, but if he were a Bushido-loving fellow the suicide would have been at the fall of Nargothrond).

About your points with swords like Sting glowing in the dark when foes are close, doesn't Orcrist at Thorin's grave also light up when enemies are at hand? I suppose this is a characteristic of Noldorin works, being able to light up. From the Silmarils to the Feanorian lamps to their swords to Galadriel's vial.
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