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Old 09-25-2021, 05:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gondowe View Post
I don't think Tolkien's final position was that there were six ambassadors. Rather I think he put it as an option. Because, as you say, he logically thought that the Three Fathers should be ambassadors (as I think he had always thought since the Lost Tales).
Of course this also brings up some problems such as that then "the light of Aman" was also "in the eyes" of the Three Fathers and perhaps that would have to be developed narratively.
You're quite right - I meant 'final' as in it's the last thing he wrote down. Whether he then rejected the "Alternative" is unknowable - he was just thinking on paper, and never wrote a "final decision" piece.

Originally Posted by gondowe View Post
In my case and in my reconstruction of the story, before knowing the information contained in NoME and the reasons why the Professor decided to write it, I had taken Cuivienyarna as a non-real Fairy Tale (related to numerals), at least that it was what I understood. From what I thought (I wanted, as I think Tolkien wanted) that Ingw, etc were First Born and preserve the beautiful story of the Awakening that they told Manw in the Lost Tales. I can only keep that if there are all six of the Ambassadors. But it is a difficult decision, you have said it.
I think everyone is slightly taken aback by how literally Tolkien treats the fairy-tale of the Awakening. Like, he literally calls it a "legend"! But then he goes and treats every single aspect of it as essential to the later course of Quendian history. He's an odd one, is Tolkien.

I don't know how he would have come down on the 3/6 ambassadors question. The fact that none of the Seniors joined the March shows that having the Three Fathers being stubborn and refusing to even visit Aman (or perhaps, too connected to their land, if we take the view that the March was a bad idea) was a very plausible idea. I'd forgotten the lovely account the Ambassadors gave to Manwe, but that could be kept by having it given to Orome at the Finding. (Later Manwe probably wouldn't even have asked!)

(From a fan-writer perspective, I'd probably be cheeky and give it to the Three Elderwomen at the Finding, while their husbands refused to come near Orome. But that's me.)

Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I think that in general Tolkien's late writings became much too concrete and literal for his own good. The "Dome of Varda" is a gimcrack replacement for the original flat-earth cosmology.
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
I dunno, for myself, I find the Dome of Varda quite magical with its Star-imagines. I wonder how it would have been received if it had been presented to readers first, or in a published tale without being accompanied by draft texts?
And I agree it was seen as part of a replacement in around 1959, or the MT "phase" in general, but not later --
at least in my current, pre-NOME opinion (!) . . .

. . . and not that anyone said otherwise.
NoME doesn't really add anything on the Domes of Varda, except to consistently refer to them in the plural and to say that their presence lengthened elven growth cycles (though this may have been rejected). My view is that they are a bit too much of a replacement, because... why would the Valar set up a fake "starry sky without sun and moon" if the sun and moon predated the world? It isn't something they should be calling back to, because it never existed; and as Varda created the actual stars (which I believe NoME somewhere says are... y'know, actual stars), why would she be satisfied with cheap replicas.

If it was the first story I'd heard, I think it would still have felt like a justification for some old legend of the Trees being the only lights in the world. And since that's not something from Primary World mythology, that would have felt a little strange.

Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
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