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Old 09-14-2015, 03:34 PM   #1
Arvegil145
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Pipe Curse of Túrin

Hello, all my fellow corpses!

To begin, Narn i-Chîn Húrin is my favorite story that Tolkien wrote.

To begin again, I think that Morgoth had no power over Húrin, Túrin, Morwen or Niënor. I think that all their woe stems from their pride - only Ilúvatar had any power over his Children - Elves and Men - their origin comes from Eru Himself - and none other than Eru can change or alter their fate.

I am an atheist myself, but Tolkien's conception of the differences between Elves and Men - their differences in their fates - have fascinated me from the time I can remember myself springing to this world.

HOWEVER - I think that Glaurung WAS MORGOTH HIMSELF - in other words, Morgoth dispersed himself, as in the matter of Arda, to Glaurung himself - and in his irrational malice he used his "avatar" Glaurung, so to speak, to get revenge on Húrin and his offspring.


Now, I know that Tolkien had some qualms about Túrin killing Morgoth FOR REAL, but I think it would have been none other than Túrin Turambar, Conqueror of Fate himself, to strike Morgoth with a final blow, with his BLACK sword Gurthang, Iron of DEATH, into the BLACK heart of Morgoth, thus vanquishing Morgoth, the black foe of Arda, forever - avenging both his kin and ALL the children of Men - thus also bringing to naught Morgoth's curse over his kin.



Now, what are your thoughts on Túrin? Not on the character of Túrin himself, but on his place in the great history of Eä?

To my mind, Túrin represents the best and the worst of the humanity - and I think it would be fitting to have Túrin destroy the Evil of humanity once and for all - it would bring a new era of humanity in which Túrin (representation of ALL humanity in one person) would become Tuor or Eärendil (representation of humanity as it SHOULD have been).

So...having nothing other to say I would fain like my fellow Downers to put their thoughts on this matter - if I were not overbearing in my post.


With all respect - Arvegil145 (although I want to change my PURPOSELESS name)!
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:51 PM   #2
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I also quite like Túrin's tale in all its forms. There are things in his story I don't find elsewhere in Tolkien's works.

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Originally Posted by Arvegil145 View Post
To begin again, I think that Morgoth had no power over Húrin, Túrin, Morwen or Niënor. I think that all their woe stems from their pride - only Ilúvatar had any power over his Children - Elves and Men - their origin comes from Eru Himself - and none other than Eru can change or alter their fate.
I've advanced the "pride" aspect here myself. I see a great deal in Túrin's woes that are mainly attributable to his own thickheadedness, and refusal to take advice of others.

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HOWEVER - I think that Glaurung WAS MORGOTH HIMSELF - in other words, Morgoth dispersed himself, as in the matter of Arda, to Glaurung himself - and in his irrational malice he used his "avatar" Glaurung, so to speak, to get revenge on Húrin and his offspring.
Touching on that, I've wondered why Glaurung, a "creation" of Morgoth, was able to affect Túrin and Nienor the way he did, with respect to their mesmerized-like state in his presence (after meeting his eyes), while Morgoth in person was not capable of forcing Húrin to divulge what he knew about Gondolin. Did Morgoth spend that part of himself in the spirit of Glaurung? Old Bond-villain Morgoth might have missed an opportunity there by not giving the dragon a crack at Húrin.

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Now, I know that Tolkien had some qualms about Túrin killing Morgoth FOR REAL, but I think it would have been none other than Túrin Turambar, Conqueror of Fate himself, to strike Morgoth with a final blow, with his BLACK sword Gurthang, Iron of DEATH, into the BLACK heart of Morgoth, thus vanquishing Morgoth, the black foe of Arda, forever - avenging both his kin and ALL the children of Men - thus also bringing to naught Morgoth's curse over his kin.
Wasn't that part of the cryptic Second Prophesy of Mandos mentioned by CT somewhere? Doubtless one of our resident Tolkien Scholars® will know more about that.

Overall, I like to read about Túrin and I do pity him, but he really did bring a lot of his troubles on himself. Whether Morgoth's curse had any real teeth or not, Túrin had chances to turn aside from the path Morgoth laid for him, and spurned them because of his pride. He's not a guy I would have wanted to buddy up with, that's for sure.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:18 PM   #3
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Túrin is a MAN (in the sense of the entirety of HUMAN KIND) - none other than Túrin - representing the humanity itself would have been able to beat Morgoth (the Satan) himself - it is a battle between all the qualms of humanity begotten by Morgoth and between the bliss and innocence of Ilúvatar's plan for his Children - in which, in the end, Eru Ilúvatar, must win - Gurthang, Iron of Death - blessed by Ilúvatar Himself - would in the end bring to naught Morgoth, and all the discord of the Arda Marred - IRON OF DEATH - mind you - death of whom? of Morgoth himself? I think that Tolkien assigned a greater importance to the new name of Anglachel - Gurthang - I think that his idea was that the curse of Morgoth backfired in the end to Morgoth himself - and that through Túrin the humanity itself was redeemed and brought to a new beginning - the Second Music of the Ainur - in which all would know their part in its making - and its making indeed would bring a new world to being as it is being sung.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:05 PM   #4
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To begin, Narn i-Chîn Húrin is my favorite story that Tolkien wrote.
Mine too. Well, kind of. I can't pick one absolute favourite, but if I really had to COH/Narn would be the one.

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To begin again, I think that Morgoth had no power over Húrin, Túrin, Morwen or Niënor. I think that all their woe stems from their pride - only Ilúvatar had any power over his Children - Elves and Men - their origin comes from Eru Himself - and none other than Eru can change or alter their fate.
In this I beg to differ. There are other instances of curses "coming true". You might say some are coincidental (e.g. Mim's arrow curse), but some just can't be denied (e.g. Isildur's curse). Some are half-prophetic half-curses (e.g. Frodo's exclamation to Gollum on the slopes of Orodruin). You could say, I suppose, that Eru "sanctions" the righteous curses and discards Morgoth's, but I don't think that's the case. For one thing, Eru is not a bureaucratic Human Resources office. For another, there are words that have power beyond the ordinary; Tolkien showed it better than many in the legendarium. Curses have power - real curses, that it. I am not referring to an old Lobelia Sackville-Baggins thinking in her rocking chair, "When will that Bilbo die, curse him!". I mean real curses, curses that require a great deal of willpower and almost feel like the speaker leaves part of himself behind with that curse. If curses really originate from Eru, well, it just cheapens them and their casters. It turns them into empty words.

Specifically in this story, however, I cannot say that Morgoth's curse had no effect whatsoever. He wanted Hurin to suffer by watching his family suffer. Let's suppose he has ultimate power over their fates/lives/actions and over Arda - just let's suppose that for argument's sake. He could cause them anguish by making it rain lava on them one drop at a time. He could put on a Tantalus play and starve them into wraith-hood. He could apply a whole range of exquisite tortures. But what torture could equal the family's downfall at its own hands? Anything that Morgoth would force on this family just makes them more heroic and him more horrifying, but also weaker and less keen at the same time. So, taking my original assumption aside, it's true we can't see Morgoth's direct involvement in the Narn, but that does not necessarily disprove its existence, as Morgoth is too clever and sadistic to use more direct means (even if he had the ability to do so). It's much better to have Hurin take the audience's perspective, see all the dramatic irony, and be unable to even warn his loved ones - especially if they are the ones who choose to make these choices that Hurin knows won't bode them well.

I don't deny, and never have denied, that there is a fair bit of pride and stubbornness involved. However, if you look at each instance from the point of view of Morwen/Turin/Nienor, without the extra background you know as the audience - most of their choices are not meant wrongly, and are definitely made with good intentions. Put yourself in their place and their limited knowledge. Would you be able to choose any better? Some things just genuinely seem to be right. Heck, the last Kings of Arnor chose wrong in the end, and yet they missed their chance that seemed like the worse option at that time, but people can understand that and relate to it. They were even told a prophecy that they should choose the option that seemed less sound! It happens to people, and it's not their fault, because players are not readers and have limited knowledge. It happens to Hin Hurin a bit too often, though. Almost like there is a guiding hand behind each success-that-turns-into-failure. Somehow, we tend to believe that if only Turin stayed in Doriath, or if only Nienor didn't follow Morwen, or if only half the choices in the book were made differently, then their fate would be better. But here's the thing: we don't know that. These if onlies exist to torment the reader just as they are tormenting Hurin. They don't mean that it would necessarily turn out otherwise.

Thus, my conclusion on that point is that we can't prove Morgoth's curse, but neither can we disprove it. No one knows the exact extent of it. I think even Morgoth doesn't know, since he doubts himself several times along the way and fears Turin. I definitely don't think Morgoth's curse was empty words, intended to scare Hurin, but neither does it wholly dominate the story. I think I prefer not to know just how much influence it actually had. I think some things can't be known, and shouldn't be know, and this is one of them.

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Originally Posted by Arvegil
HOWEVER - I think that Glaurung WAS MORGOTH HIMSELF - in other words, Morgoth dispersed himself, as in the matter of Arda, to Glaurung himself - and in his irrational malice he used his "avatar" Glaurung, so to speak, to get revenge on Húrin and his offspring.
I'll be honest with you. When I first read that, I thought this belongs more in a sci-fi movie than a Tolkien book. But after thinking it over for a bit, it doesn't seem that out of place. It's not like Morgoth possessed Glaurung or something, but people leave traces of themselves in their work - like in their curses. Perhaps, consciously or by chance, Morgoth put a little more personalized malice into this particular creation (or distortion?). Glaurung does seem more sadistic and horrifying than most other evildoers - but maybe it's just because he's the only one with more than a couple lines of dialogue. I don't know, but I also don't think it's implausible. And Glaurung definitely represents Morgoth's malice, even if he isn't actually physically carrying it in him. So in the end the curse gets Turin - but he gets Morgoth too.

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To my mind, Túrin represents the best and the worst of the humanity - and I think it would be fitting to have Túrin destroy the Evil of humanity once and for all - it would bring a new era of humanity in which Túrin (representation of ALL humanity in one person) would become Tuor or Eärendil (representation of humanity as it SHOULD have been).
Perhaps he stands for all humanity, especially in the final struggle with Glaurung. During his life, though, I think he does not. He seems to want to get away from humanity, to distance himself from it, to run away from people and from himself. He's certainly a contrasting character. I believe Melian even told him once to "beware both the heat and the coldness of your heart" (paraphrased from the Narn). One thing that can be said for him, though, is that he knows what the true evil is. He has a conscience, which is more than can be said about certain others, but he is also driven by his fight against Morgoth. It's possible that this passion, being so great to match such a great foe, in part blinded him to the importance of smaller acts. He was so caught up in the grandiose that he missed many a chance of goodness. But that doesn't make his cause less noble just his sight too focused on his goal to see wider.



I had another thought, in response to Inzil's last sentence, but I wrote way more than I intended to and it's getting late. Basically, I was gonna say that Turin is a person, or maybe character, of a certain mold of tragic heroes. They are people who are hard to love personally, but hard not to follow. They are charismatic but impersonal, or cold, or like Turin with whatever social/ethical flaws you choose to name. I just finished reading Les Mis, so I had the urge to write another several paragraphs comparing Turin to Enjolras, but looking at the clock I will refrain from doing so and limit myself to noting that these two are of the same mold or prototype, just Enjolras's "mischoices" are shown in a much less negative light than Turin's while his charisma is more emphasized. If there is enough interest in this, I might start a thread of character comparisons.

Good night, and aure entuluva!
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:38 PM   #5
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I think that Morgoth purposed through Glaurung to bring to naught the children of Húrin - but that was not his only intent - remember: through the workings of Húrin and his children and wife - he brought the destruction of Doriath, Nargothrond, Brethil and Gondolin - indirectly.

And I still stand firm to my point - ONLY Ilúvatar can "curse" or change the course of the destiny of a certain individual - remember that the Eruhíni were conceived by Eru ALONE - therefore, anyone, even Morgoth, could curse someone, but it would be in vain (at least in my opinion).
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:14 AM   #6
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But Turin and Hurin were Men, and Men have no "destiny:' they aren't bound by the Music.

Morgoth's curse was effective, but it worked by destroying his victims from within, turning them into agents who would work his will even while consciously opposing him. The Hurin who was released was a twisted, bitter, merciless old man whose brooding lust for vengeance destroyed one realm (Brethil) and contributed to the fall of another (Doriath). (Note in this context that Melian "healed" him, in other words ameliorated the Melkorian poisons at work in his heart).
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:42 AM   #7
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(Note in this context that Melian "healed" him, in other words ameliorated the Melkorian poisons at work in his heart).
This, as far as I know, was an addition by CT (not J.R.R.) in his revision Of the Ruin of Doriath in the published "Silmarillion".

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But Turin and Hurin were Men, and Men have no "destiny:' they aren't bound by the Music.
I know that - and that is precisely why I am of opinion that Morgoth had no inherent power to alter the will of Ilúvatar - Morgoth, of course, could, and did, make the lives of Elves and Men miserable - but the fact is: Morgoth could NOT affect the free will of neither Elves nor Men (or at least their fëar) - he could only achieve his "curse" by indirect means - through Túrin's and Morwen's pride - and through Glaurung.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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No, he couldn't destroy their free will- but he could induce them to choose evil (compare Sauron's cozening of Gorlim). Morgoth of course could work at a far more elemental level than mere deceit.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:50 PM   #9
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What happened to all the debating? Did I kill it?
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
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What happened to all the debating? Did I kill it?
Hahahahahaha...no...BUT I'M SURE I'M GOING TO KILL SOMETHING! (don't worry, I won't). I was working on the Translations from the Elvish, revising some chapters for hours and hours - and wouldn't you know it!? I DELETED ALL THE STUFF I WAS WORKING ON!

But now...going back to your question about debate - I'll get to it when I catch a break from all the stuff I'm currently working on...

Sorry for the rant, but I lost literally hours of my time on nothing. But again, glad to see someone still interested in the topic .
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:58 PM   #11
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Turning to the debate again - if Morgoth could actually curse Húrin and his kin - to the extent of completely devastating them AND 4 realms along the side, it begs the question of why he couldn't just curse everybody and destroy everyone while he's at it (though, admittedly, he did, but not with a curse...I think...)?

It COULD be that he exerted what power he still had INTO the curse itself, basically making a little "avatar" of himself inside Túrin himself - or maybe inside Glaurung for that matter - sort of like a puppet master.

But that would be "cursing" only by indirect means - and he had the mastery at that field of endeavor for certain. Note how I sometimes put curse inside the quotation marks? The same I did when I mentioned how Ilúvatar "cursed" him - I did not mean that he actually, literally, cursed him in the sense of maliciously manipulating his fate and/or free will - in that context I was simply trying to show how far can you go, step by step, towards putting the blame on someone/something - in that case, towards the ultimate end - God Himself. But that is another matter and I won't go into it (at least for now).
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:39 AM   #12
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I suppose Morgoth was petty enough to have 'pet hates'? He never forgave what he perceived as wrongs done to him. Seems like a tyrant's decision to make an example of a ringleader, and maybe try to cow the rest into submission - which he would see as a victory. Also, I think he saw it as a challenge to break the spirit of Hurin and his kin - he would see that as an enormous victory, too - although it was probably a challenge he began in arrogance, confident he would win but determined to enjoy it. Spite and revenge wreaked on his major opponents, and sadistic pleasure taken in making them suffer.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:20 AM   #13
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Turning to the debate again - if Morgoth could actually curse Húrin and his kin - to the extent of completely devastating them AND 4 realms along the side, it begs the question of why he couldn't just curse everybody and destroy everyone while he's at it (though, admittedly, he did, but not with a curse...I think...)?
One thing I want to point out again is that Morgoth couldn't have forseen the fall of the kingdoms. His curse was directed to Hurin & co on a personal level - to make their lives miserable. But because they tried to fight it, and because they rose so high and associated themselves with the highest in Middle Earth - well, the higher you climb the harder you fall, as they say.

Another thing is that I do not think Morgoth himself knew how the curse would work, and if it would work at all. The curse was an act of ill-will, a trace of his malice left on the family through his willpower - still terrible, however diluted. But maybe, just maybe, the power of these men was so great that it could throw off the curse, that these people would be unaffected? At first, Morgoth thought it inconceivable. However, he certainly begins to doubt himself by Amon Rudh, and possibly to a lesser extent during Turin's other rises. But, fortunately for Morgoth, Turin was just powerful enough to rise and associate with the high kingdoms, but not powerful enough to escape him.

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It COULD be that he exerted what power he still had INTO the curse itself, basically making a little "avatar" of himself inside Túrin himself - or maybe inside Glaurung for that matter - sort of like a puppet master.
I wouldn't have put it that way, but that is one way I tend to think of it.

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But that would be "cursing" only by indirect means - and he had the mastery at that field of endeavor for certain. Note how I sometimes put curse inside the quotation marks? The same I did when I mentioned how Ilúvatar "cursed" him - I did not mean that he actually, literally, cursed him in the sense of maliciously manipulating his fate and/or free will - in that context I was simply trying to show how far can you go, step by step, towards putting the blame on someone/something - in that case, towards the ultimate end - God Himself. But that is another matter and I won't go into it (at least for now).
I don't blame Morgoth for all the woes of Turin. And I agree with whoever says his pride, stubbornness, and rashness are to blame for the physical actions and physical consequences. But I do believe that to some level there is a lot of just plain rotten luck involved - way more than average, way more than other similar characters get. I don't think Turin's fate is purely Morgoth's doing, but I do think he had some influence. Perhaps not all the time, and only in the luck element, but it's just a wonder to see someone so great become so misfortunate (yes, that is now a word. Says me. Live with it. ).
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:07 AM   #14
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Morgoth couldn't have forseen the fall of the kingdoms.
I'm not so sure about that. Morgoth after all was present in the Music, the greatest of the participants therein, even if much of the time his attention was on his own invention/corruption rather than what the rest were singing. Nonetheless, he was certainly aware of the major points, and the Music might not bind the Younger Children but certainly is as Fate to the Elder and their kingdoms.

In some ways I think his work on Hurin, in particular, was the creation of a spiritual Typhoid Mary, a walking moral bioweapon "infected" with evil, in that Hurin's spirit, originally great and noble, was now twisted, bitter and hate-filled, a contagion he spread everywhere he went after his release. And to what end, if not planting the seeds of destruction in those realms which still resisted?
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:28 PM   #15
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Hello, all my fellow corpses!

To begin, Narn i-Chîn Húrin is my favorite story that Tolkien wrote.

To begin again, I think that Morgoth had no power over Húrin, Túrin, Morwen or Niënor. I think that all their woe stems from their pride - only Ilúvatar had any power over his Children - Elves and Men - their origin comes from Eru Himself - and none other than Eru can change or alter their fate.

I am an atheist myself, but Tolkien's conception of the differences between Elves and Men - their differences in their fates - have fascinated me from the time I can remember myself springing to this world.

HOWEVER - I think that Glaurung WAS MORGOTH HIMSELF - in other words, Morgoth dispersed himself, as in the matter of Arda, to Glaurung himself - and in his irrational malice he used his "avatar" Glaurung, so to speak, to get revenge on Húrin and his offspring.


Now, I know that Tolkien had some qualms about Túrin killing Morgoth FOR REAL, but I think it would have been none other than Túrin Turambar, Conqueror of Fate himself, to strike Morgoth with a final blow, with his BLACK sword Gurthang, Iron of DEATH, into the BLACK heart of Morgoth, thus vanquishing Morgoth, the black foe of Arda, forever - avenging both his kin and ALL the children of Men - thus also bringing to naught Morgoth's curse over his kin.



Now, what are your thoughts on Túrin? Not on the character of Túrin himself, but on his place in the great history of Eä?

To my mind, Túrin represents the best and the worst of the humanity - and I think it would be fitting to have Túrin destroy the Evil of humanity once and for all - it would bring a new era of humanity in which Túrin (representation of ALL humanity in one person) would become Tuor or Eärendil (representation of humanity as it SHOULD have been).

So...having nothing other to say I would fain like my fellow Downers to put their thoughts on this matter - if I were not overbearing in my post.


With all respect - Arvegil145 (although I want to change my PURPOSELESS name)!
That was a fun read. Thank you for the post. My father was an atheist, although he loved nature so very clearly and saw such wonder in living things, it was his variation on spirituality and is comforting to recall.

I do like what you wrote about pride and how that attracted so much trouble for the lotta them.

I have always very much avoided the Tale of the House of Hurin, and struggled with it each time I read it. It's so preternaturally dark and it strides from perversion to perversion--with the sibling incest finish line. Then a hurling off of a cliff of woman. A haunting of the house by Morgoth, in a particularly virulent form of stalking of a whole house!

There were some highlights as well.

Were it but for the Second Prophesy of Mandos, I'd have felt 'Frodo-ised' by 'bearing the Burden of the Story' such that "please somebody - is there one boat left going to Valinor. This hitch hiker would rather poke pins in his eyes than read one more blackening of House Hurin! HELP!!!".

Yes - help came. Have you crossed paths with the redemption script in the Second Prophesy of Mandos, and would you like me to rant/babble about it a little?

Kind Regards
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