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Old 03-26-2022, 11:02 AM   #5
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,170
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I enjoy wandering through old threads. I tend to reread threads that I posted on, but this means that I am overlooking threads that I did not participate in. Because I have been absent for periods of time over the years, this means that I have missed discussions that were interesting or that were promising but did not develop. This thread is an example of the latter. The first post shows that the thread was created as a result of Elu's reading of the Children of Hurin, and questions the nature of Morgoth's curse upon the family of Hurin. Specifically, Elu wonders whether the tragedies that befell Turin, Morwen and Nienor resulted from their own pride and willfulness.

Until the publication last year of The Nature of Middle Earth (NoME), a significant essay by JRRT, Osanwe-Kenta, was only available in a limited fashion. Originally published in Vinyar Tengwar in 1998, this essay was available only to those who had a copy or could find it, or excerpts of it, on the internet. Osanwe-Kenta was known to many here, and I was fortunate enough to get a copy of that edition of the pamphlet shortly after it came out.

The essay, on its face and from a quick review, addresses mind to mind communication, primarily what we see at the end of LoTR during the post-war journey back north, when the bearers of the three Elven Rings converse in this manner after the Hobbits have fallen asleep. However, the essay goes much deeper than being a simple discussion of Elvish "telepathy." The essay touches upon the relationship of the "soul" (Fea) to the body (hroa), the "clothing" of Valar and Maiar in "bodies," and, applicable here, gives insight into the fundamental nature of Morgoth.

Osanwe-Kenta states that for minds to communicate without words, among other things, both the sender and the receiver must be willing participants. Osanwe can not be used when a participant is unwilling. This type of communication cannot be forced. Nor can information be "stolen" from another's mind without permission. For this reason, when Hurin was captured and brought to Angband, Morgoth could not simply look into his mind and take from him the location of Gondolin. Morgoth could physically torture Hurin or use Osanwe to pressure Hurin's mind or cause pain or distress. Morgoth could also use Osanwe to show things to Hurin (just as Gorlim, a member of Barahir's band, was "shown" an image of his wife to cause him to betray Barahir). But Morgoth could not simply take from an unwilling Hurin's mind the information he wanted.

So what does this have to do with Hurin's curse? The essay also discusses "axani" and "unati." Axani are rules or laws imposed by Eru. It would be an axan that one should not murder another. Unati are things that are impossible or cannot be done due to the nature of Arda. Among the unati is using osanwe against one's will. It cannot be done. Morgoth's nature, at least as he evolved, was to repudiate all axani and rage against all unati. Imagine Morgoth's fury when he could not take from Hurin the location of Gondolin. But he could use osanwe to pressure Hurin and his family and to deceive them or lead them astray.

Turin, Morwen and Nienor were willful and prideful. But these traits were subject to the influence of Morgoth, at least when his attention was focused upon them. Elsewhere on these boards, it has been speculated that while they were in Doriath, behind Melian's girdle, Morgoth could neither perceive them or directly affect them. But their temperaments had already been affected by Morgoth, and in their pride and willfulness, they left Doriath and became available to Morgoth's influence. This is how I believe Morgoth's curse worked it's way to fulfillment.
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
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