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Old 05-24-2019, 11:52 AM   #1
Urwen
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Thoughts on M[a]eglin

Read the title.
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Tuor: Yeah, it was me who broke [Morleg's] arm. With a wrench. Specifically, this wrench.

I am suffering from Maeglinomaniacal Maeglinophilia.

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Old 05-24-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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I have. Though I donít know what to make of it. Did you mean thoughts?
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Old 05-24-2019, 01:11 PM   #3
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Yes.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:34 AM   #4
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Transcluded from 'Turin and Maeglin?'

The Timeline of Maeglin

This table is a summary of M(a)eglin's story as told in the various accounts. It spans everything from the 1917 Fall to the 1970 Of Maeglin that went into the Silm (plus a footnote to The Wanderings of Hurin, which CT is cagey about dating).

What's really interesting is that Maeglin actually gets worse and worse from the Fall to the 1930 Quenta. In 1917 Melko already knew where Gondolin was; by 1930 Meglin was giving up its location as well as its secrets. He went from gaining a captaincy of Melko's army to lordship of the city as Morgoth's vassal. He also deliberately breaks the law in mining outside the mountains, where in 1917 he just strayed. And, oh yeah, the Quenta tells us that Meglin was plotting to usurp the throne of Gondolin even before his captivity.

(In both accounts, he also sends messages to Morgoth telling him to guard the Way of Escape. In the Quenta, the initial flight from Gondolin gets ambushed by a dragon because of him.)

Isfin (Aredhel)'s story stays roughly the same, though where exactly she gets lost varies - sometimes Taur-na-Fuin, sometimes Brethil, sometimes Nan Elmoth. Eol swings from a generic Dark Elf to a deserter from the Nirnaeth, back to our familiar grumpy kinsman of Thingol. The account of him being captured does exist (you were quite right!), but was rejected as too similar to Maeglin's capture.

Up until 1951, Meglin is a straight-up villain. It's only with the original 'Of Meglin' that any tragedy enters his story: that's when his parental murder-suicide story shows up, and it never changes after that. Unfortunately, the last account of the Fall of Gondolin was written 20 years earlier, and never revisited, so we don't have any idea whether Tolkien would have changed Maeglin's actions during the attack to reflect his more sympathetic backstory.

Except one. Buried in HoME XI is a footnote from The Wanderings of Hurin, which formed the lost end to the Grey Annals. I'm not sure whether it's from the '50s or later, but at any rate it postdates 'Of Meglin'. I've summarised it on the table, but CT records the full note like this:

Quote:
"Later when captured and Maeglin wished to buy his release with treachery, Morgoth must answer laughing, saying: Stale news will buy nothing. I know this already, I am not easily blinded! So Maeglin was obliged to offer more - to undermine resistance in Gondolin."

Almost exactly the same note is found on the slip giving in-formation about the new meaning of the name Haladin; but here, after the words "undermine resistance in Gondolin", my father continued: "and to compass the death of Tuor and Earendel
if he could. If he did he would be allowed to retain Idril (said Morgoth)."
Whether this is materially different to the original story is for you to judge, but is an interesting text in that it's the very last time Tolkien ever wrote anything about the Fall of Gondolin.

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:52 AM   #5
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You once said that if Morgoth were to ensnare a dead spirit to do his bidding, the only Elf to ever aid him willingly would be a prime candidate for that. Do you still think so?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:58 AM   #6
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You once said that if Morgoth were to ensnare a dead spirit to do his bidding, the only Elf to ever aid him willingly would be a prime candidate for that. Do you still think so?
At what stage of writing? I'd say Morgoth would easily be able to ensnare the elf who was planning to oust his uncle (without Morgoth's aid) and steal both his throne and his daughter.

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Old 06-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #7
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I meant this:
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One idea I haven't been able to source tonight is that some Elven shades might never reach Mandos, but be captured by Morgoth. I know I've seen it bandied about; if it holds true in the later canon, then the only named defector to Morgoth would probably be a good candidate - and we can assume that the Dark Lord wouldn't be inclined to treat his new toy gently...

hS

Also, I've read that document, and what I find particularly interesting are the details in Sketch of Mythology, where Ylmir (Ulmo) knew he would cause Gondolin's destruction, which means that my theory that it was he Ulmo and Tuor were warning Turgon against is actually true according to at least one source.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:44 PM   #8
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I meant this:
I know what you meant. What I meant is that 'M[a]eglin' is one character in 1917, a different (and much eviller) character in 1930, and a potentially more sympathetic one in 1950. Would Morgoth be able to snare 'Maeglin who was traumatised by the loss of his parents' as easily as 'Meglin who plotted to overthrow Turgon and broke the laws protecting the city'?

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Also, I've read that document, and what I find particularly interesting are the details in Sketch of Mythology, where Ylmir (Ulmo) knew he would cause Gondolin's destruction, which means that my theory that it was he Ulmo and Tuor were warning Turgon against is actually true according to at least one source.
Yep; the idea that Gondolin would only fall by treachery is a pretty long-standing one, but it's only that one source that has Ulmo knowing specifically about Maeglin.

hS
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:08 PM   #9
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He would be able to ensnare both versions as easily, and maybe make him act as his invisible agent during Dagor Dagorath. Imagine that: Elves and Men alike dying, without even knowing what or who killed them. I imagine it would be an exquisite form of torture for both them and M[a]eglin.

(It's also a great opportunity for Anglachel vs Anguirel shenanigans)

I wonder what part would M[a]eglin play in Dagor Dagorath? Would it be akin to what I described above? I am inclined to think that yes, it would.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #10
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M[a]eglin
Why do you write "Maeglin" that way?
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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Because his old name was Meglin, why else?
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:50 AM   #12
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And what of Eol? Was he watching from Halls of Mandos? If so, was he secretly pleased that his curse killed his only child? That his own line was broken?
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:59 PM   #13
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I found some interesting info regarding this topic, but I will keep it undisclosed for now, because I plan to use it in my password-making.
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:50 PM   #14
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And now I can reveal it. Maeglin was called Morleg in early Tolkienian drafts. Also, have you seen the new forum? I wonder what it's for?
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:29 AM   #15
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And it just occurred to me than Morleg didn't necessarily have to be the one who betrayed Gondolin. So why did Tolkien choose him for it?
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:34 PM   #16
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Also, have you seen the new forum? I wonder what it's for?
As it says on the new forum, it is for rescuing Downer fan-fiction that was posted on the old site (http://www.barrowdowns.com/theme-frodo.php). There is a link for the fancfic section on the right, but the page doesn't work. So stories that were saved or accessed through a magic internet portal (which is what it sounds like to me when Mithadan describes it ) can be resurrected to the new forum. Once those stories are dealt with, chances are it will be opened for new stories from BDers.

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And it just occurred to me than Morleg didn't necessarily have to be the one who betrayed Gondolin. So why did Tolkien choose him for it?
No, it could have been the other highly jealous, self-loving, angry, putting-himself-above-the-law, irrational bloke.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:39 PM   #17
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No, it could have been the other highly jealous, self-loving, angry, putting-himself-above-the-law, irrational bloke.
And you're saying that Morleg is the only one with those qualities? Or in other words, you're saying that Morleg is the Silmarilion Martin?
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:00 PM   #18
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And you're saying that Morleg is the only one with those qualities? Or in other words, you're saying that Morleg is the Silmarilion Martin?
Are you saying that Tolkien described another character in Gondolin who combines both the personal qualities, the physical ability, and the motivation to do the job the way Maeglin did it?
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:05 PM   #19
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Are you saying that Tolkien described another character in Gondolin who combines both the personal qualities, the physical ability, and the motivation to do the job the way Maeglin did it?

No, but there could have been one. Ultimately, Tolkien decided who'd do it, so why did he make Morleg have all the qualities needed to do it in the first place, rather than someone else? That's what I am asking.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:00 PM   #20
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No, but there could have been one. Ultimately, Tolkien decided who'd do it, so why did he make Morleg have all the qualities needed to do it in the first place, rather than someone else? That's what I am asking.
The unfortunately-boring answer to this is 'Meglin was created for that purpose'. If he hadn't been the jealous traitor, he wouldn't have existed at all. That's the only reason he's in the original Fall of Gondolin text. You could argue that there needed to be a Lord of the House of the Mole as well, so he could have just had that role - but then he'd be no more a character than wossname, Duilin or something?

The back story that makes Morleg-Maeglin a semi-sympathetic character came later, and was written in service of his role. If Aredhel and Eol's tragic son hadn't grown up to be Maeglin of the Mole, he would never have existed at all - because that was why he was created.

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Old 03-07-2020, 05:03 PM   #21
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The unfortunately-boring answer to this is 'Meglin was created for that purpose'. If he hadn't been the jealous traitor, he wouldn't have existed at all. That's the only reason he's in the original Fall of Gondolin text. You could argue that there needed to be a Lord of the House of the Mole as well, so he could have just had that role - but then he'd be no more a character than wossname, Duilin or something?

The back story that makes Morleg-Maeglin a semi-sympathetic character came later, and was written in service of his role. If Aredhel and Eol's tragic son hadn't grown up to be Maeglin of the Mole, he would never have existed at all - because that was why he was created.

hS

Interesting line of thinking. I suppose that's one of the reasons why I adore him/defend him when no one else does.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:16 AM   #22
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I wonder what would happen if Meglin and Glorfindel's roles were swapped? Wouldn't it have been funny to read about reborn!Meglin helping Hobbits?

Maybe he'd even fall in love with 'little woman'.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:57 AM   #23
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I wonder what would happen if Meglin and Glorfindel's roles were swapped? Wouldn't it have been funny to read about reborn!Meglin helping Hobbits?

Maybe he'd even fall in love with 'little woman'.
So I'm seeing Maeglin, slightly crazy as ever, transferring his obsession with Idril into obsession with her son. He sees the boy as practically his own child, and will protect him no matter what. Tuor, naturally, hates this, and is quite public about his dislike of the king's nephew. (To be honest this is fairly true to the book.)

Which is what turns Glorfindel against him. He really doesn't like this mortal acting like he's better than a noble Elf, especially since Tuor has taken to calling Maeglin 'half-breed', which pushes buttons for half-Vanyarin Glorfindel. He probably gets captured while scouting outside the dry river (in his paranoia, he's half-expecting other mortals to show up - after all, Tuor shows that Huor and Hurin clearly betrayed the city's location), and is seduced by Morgoth promising to make Gondolin 'as a golden flower amid the plains'.

Spoilers: the gold is flames while it burns.

Meanwhile, to build their Way of Escape, Idril does an end-run around Tuor and just straight-up enlists Maeglin's help. The House of the Mole manages to dig a lot further than Idril did, so when the time comes they actually get a fair few more people out.

Glorfindel doesn't go after Tuor - he's not nearly as obsessed as Maeglin was. Maybe he goes out duelling Turgon? Yes, a duel beneath the Tower, as the replicas of the Two Trees burn around them - that's nice and appropriate.

As for Maeglin - he jumps in front of the Balrog specifically to protect Earendil, and they have a nice Burning Sword Duel. Maeglin probably still gets to fall from a high place, because some fates are too strong to defeat.

The main problem I see is that when he comes back, he's going to end up around Elrond (who looks like Earendil) and Arwen (who probably looks enough like Idril). Things are going to get creepy again, and I wouldn't be surprised if he got kicked out of Rivendell at some point. Dunno, I'd have to think about it.

hS
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Old 04-21-2020, 04:09 AM   #24
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So...you believe that he'll still be crazy even with the role-swap?
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Old 04-21-2020, 04:13 AM   #25
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So...you believe that he'll still be crazy even with the role-swap?
Well, unless you meant 'what if the golden-haired Lord of the Golden Flower was named Maeglin, and the twisted son of Aredhel was named Glorfindel', yes, I think he'd still be the same person. Maeglin has an obsessive personality and fixated on Idril to the point that he tried to murder her son. I've just tried to find a way to turn that into 'save her son' instead.

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Old 04-21-2020, 04:16 AM   #26
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You're telling someone who is obsessed with him that he is crazy...

Also, off-topic, it's your turn to make a new riddle.
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