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Old 01-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #41
Aiwendil
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Hi, Findegil! Excellent to see you.

Quote:
True, but then what does the mention of Lúthien mean at all? It is the interest of Morgoth in Lúthien that we need to tease Beren.
I may be do not rightly understand what is the non sequitar that does trouble you.
As I see it, in the original, the logic of the passage is this:

1. Sauron mentions Boldog's mission to capture Luthien and bring her to Morgoth.
2. (It is implied that) Beren reacts visibly to this.
3. Sauron asks why he reacts thus to the thought of Luthien as Morgoth's captive.

But what we have is now:

1. Sauron mentions the skirmish on the border of Doriath, which leads him to mention Luthien.
2. (It is implied that) Beren reacts visibly.
3. Sauron asks why he should react thus to the thought of Luthien as Morgoth's captive.

But in the latter case, what Sauron says in 3 makes no sense. No one has mentioned the idea of Luthien being Morgoth's captive, so why would Sauron think that this is what Beren is reacting to?

With my last proposal, the idea I had in mind was that Beren is no longer reacting explicitly to the thought of Luthien as Morgoth's captive. Rather, he's simply visibly affected by the mention of the name Luthien, particularly coming from Sauron; and Sauron notices his reaction.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:24 AM   #42
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Maybe we removed then more then necessary. As I already argued above we have evidence from Sil77 that the interest of Morgoth in Lúthien still existed:
Quote:
But Lúthien heard his answering voice, and she sang then a song of greater power. The wolves howled, and the isle trembled. Sauron stood in the high tower, wrapped in his black thought; but he smiled hearing her voice, for he knew that it was the daughter of Melian. The fame of the beauty of Lúthien and the wonder of her song had long gone forth from Doriath; and he thought to make her captive and hand her over to the power of Morgoth, for his reward would be great.
With this in mind probably we should make it thus:

1. Sauron mentions the skirmish on the border of Doriath, which leads him to mention Luthien.
2. (It is implied that) Beren reacts visibly.
3. Sauron father elaborates which interests Morgoth would have in Lúthien to see Beren's reaction.
4. Beren reacts grim.
3. Sauron asks why he should react thus to the thought of Luthien as Morgoth's captive. And goes even on teasing them farther.

Leading to:
Quote:
'Boldog, I heard, was lately slain
warring on the borders of that domain
where Robber Thingol and outlaw folk
cringe and crawl beneath elm and oak {2130}
in drear Doriath. Heard ye not then
of that pretty fay, of Lúthien?
Her body is fair, very white and fair.
Morgoth would possess her in his lair.
BL-SL-05 {Boldog he sent, but Boldog was slain: {2135}
strange ye were not in Boldog's train.}
Fierce is your chief, his frown is grim.
Little Lúthien! What troubles him?
Why laughs he not to think of his lord
crushing a maiden in his hoard, {2140}
that foul should be what once was clean,
that dark should be where light has been?
For us who have learned all that story of Boldog and his mission to catch Lúthien by heart, the hint is great enough that we build the connection, but is that true for a reader that does not have our background knowledge from HoM-E?

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #43
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Okay, I like this last suggestion. It seems that you're right: the text of the '77 suggests that the motif of Morgoth's desire for Luthien was retained, even when the particular mission of Boldog was dropped. So I think at last we have agreement here.

I have quite lost track of whether there were other unresolved issues in this chapter - glancing back over the last few posts, I don't see any. If not, I think we're done with round 2 of Beren and Luthien. I know I have notes on further issues in other completed chapters; I will dig those out, review them, and post.

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:26 AM   #44
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I also looked into the points you commented on and found 2 small issues that are not finially discussed:

BL-RG-08.5:
Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle, as BL-RG-08.5 {the Gnomes}[Noldor] alone
were gathered to their fading {homes}home, [1835]
and thronged the long and winding stair {1600}
that led to the wide echoing square.
You suggested to skip all 4 lines because you did not find the ryhme of alone - home god enough. We both said we would look for a better solution. Did you find any thing? For me alone - home would work, but if you would better like to skip the lines we will do.

BL-SL-07:
Quote:
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Then came word {3665}
most passing strange of Lúthien [3945]
wild-wandering by wood and glen,
and Thingol's purpose long he weighed,
and wondered, thinking of that maid.
BL-SL-07 {so fair, so frail. A captain dire, {3670}
Boldog, he sent with sword and fire
to Doriath's march; but battle fell
sudden upon him: news to tell
never one returned of Boldog's host,
and Thingol humbled Morgoth's boast.} {3675}
Then his heart with doubt and wrath was burned:
new tidings of dismay he learned,
You suggested to skip Luthien in this passage. But I don't agree to this. Seeing what we have done in the case of BL-SL-05 were we even kept Morgoth diseiring Lúthien, I see no reason why we should delet his interrest here.

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #45
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Thanks for reminding me of those two unresolved points.

BL-RG-08.5: Well, I've stared at the lines again for a long while, and I still can't come up with anything. But when I suggested deleting the lines, I seem to have missed the fact that we would have to delete five lines and thus leave an unrhymed line. We might get by with:

Quote:
The mists were mantled round the towers {1595}
of the Elves' white city by the sea{.},
{There countless}now lit by torches fitfully.
{did start and twinkle, as the Gnomes
were gathered to their fading homes, [1835]
and thronged the long and winding stair {1600}
that led to the wide echoing square.}

There Fëanor mourned his jewels divine,
BL-SL-07: Yes, I think you've convinced me that this element was not rejected after all. So we can leave this the way we had it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:56 AM   #46
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Okay. I agree to both points. It seems we are done with this chapter for the second run.

I will see that I can come up with a corrected version in private forum soon.

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P.S.: Not too soon as it seems. I have to renumber the lines, which is a diligent but routine piece of work.

Last edited by Findegil; 02-04-2013 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:36 AM   #47
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How about this:

Quote:
The Quest of the Silmaril 2

...
Thus Thingol learned that Lúthien was again fled, and that Celegorm and Curufin were driven from Nargothrond. <In that time Celebrimbor the son of Curufin repudiated the deeds of his father, and remained with Orodreth.> Then his counsel was in doubt, for he had not the strength to assail the sons of Fëanor; but he sent messengers to Himring to summon their aid in seeking for Lúthien, since Celegorm had not sent her to the house of her father, nor had he kept her safely.
I think it desirable to retain in some way the mention of Celebrimbor repenting of Curufin's deeds, since it is hard to incorporate it into the Lay itself (unless you already did that).
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:31 PM   #48
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I agree that it would be nice to mention Celebrimbor, but this position is not good. It will feel like an after thought. And it breaks the flow of the passage badly.

I would rather try to work it into the poem, when Orodreth has proclaimed the ban for the brethern:
Quote:
'We will remember it,' they said,
and turned upon their heels, and sped, {80}
saddled their horses, trussed their gear, [3175]
and went with hound and bow and spear,
alone; for none of all the folk
would follow them. BL-EX-10.5 <SIL77 based on a late Note In that time revoke
Celebrimbor {the son of Curufin repudiated} the deeds of{ his father} Curufin,
his father,
and no longer followed him, [3180]
but remained in Nargothrond when the brethern broke.>
Ere sunset thy rode, no{No} word they spoke,
but sounded horns, and rode away {85}
like wind at end of stormy day.
My be a bit clumsy, but probably we will find help in bettering my verses.

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Old 09-14-2015, 02:22 PM   #49
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Silmaril

Sorry, but I am a total idiot when it comes to poetry, so I want to remove myself from the poetry.

Another thing - it would be nice to introduce Angrist somehow into the tale.

And another thing, lol - wasn't it Curufin who was in lust with Lúthien in the Lay of Leithian? In the later writings it was Celegorm - in my version I simply changed Celegorm to Curufin and vice-versa.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:43 AM   #50
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Angrist looks like an easy task:
Quote:
Then Beren did Curufin release; [3340]
but took his horse and coat of mail,
and took his knifeBL-EX-10.6<QS36 , Agrist,>{there }gleaming pale,
hanging sheathless, wrought of steel.
No flesh could leeches ever heal {3055}
that point had pierced; for long ago [3345]
BL-EX-10.7<QS36 Telchar>{the dwarves} had made it, singing slow
enchantments, where {their}his hammer{s} fell
in Nogrod ringing like a bell.
About Curufin and Celegrom and who of the brethern proposed to marriage Lúthien: Curufin had already a son, so he could not propse the marriage, but I never have read the Lay in that seens. Could you give us a quotation were that is stated?

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Old 09-15-2015, 11:58 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
About Curufin and Celegrom and who of the brethern proposed to marriage Lúthien: Curufin had already a son, so he could not propse the marriage, but I never have read the Lay in that seens. Could you give us a quotation were that is stated?
From the The War of the Jewels - The Grey Annals:

Quote:
§181 Lúthien desired to follow Beren, but was held captive by her father, until she escaped and passed into the wild. There she was found by Celegorn and Curufin, and taken to Nargothrond. And evil entered into the hearts of the brethren, and they designed to seize the kingship of Nargothrond, and wed Lúthien to Celegorn and compel Thingol to alliance, and so make the sons of Fëanor the greatest House of the Noldor again.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:25 PM   #52
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It is clear that Celegorm is the one in the end. But your comment looked like it is Curufin in the Lay, which I can not find their.

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Old 09-08-2017, 05:16 PM   #53
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Hey, just finished reading through everything, and I had only 1 question. Why were the two references to the mission of Boldog removed?
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:17 PM   #54
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Boldog's special mission was removed because it was never mentioned later. Aiwendils post 37 and me post 39 in this thread have some argument about that.

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Old 09-28-2023, 01:57 PM   #55
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Hey Findegil,

I was reading the working doc, and came across this bit:

Quote:
A vault of topless trees it seemed, {995}
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood [1240]
in {magic }fast[ craft] for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
in endless tracery of green {1000}
lit by some leaf-emprisoned sheen
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems, [1245]
and each leaf hung on golden stems.
I couldn't find here, or in the private forum, any discussion about the change to line 1241 – unless I missed it, of course!

I don't think the new line "in fast craft for ever bound," works. For one, the Lay is in iambic tetrameter (not uniformly, but close), but this line is now short one syllable. For another, it throws off the stresses. And lastly, here "fast" doesn’t mean “rapid; quick”, but "firm; secure" – as in “fastened.” So, it’s not fast craft, it’s trunks fastened by craft.

Long story short, I think this would work better, both in preserving the stresses and the meaning:

Quote:
A vault of topless trees it seemed,
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood [1240]
{in magic} [in craft were] fast for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
in endless tracery of green {1000}
lit by some leaf-emprisoned sheen
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems, [1245]
and each leaf hung on golden stems.
If you're against adding "were," then I think that at the very least, the line should be "in craft fast forever bound" to preserve the meaning of fast.

Edit:

BL-RG-08.5: I agree with Aiwendil that it would be nice to keep these lines. What about...

Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle{,} BL-RG-08.5 {as the Gnomes}[with a spark]
{were}[as Noldor] gathered {to their fading homes}[in the dark],
and thronged the long and winding stair
that led to the wide echoing square.

Last edited by Elvellon; 09-28-2023 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:51 AM   #56
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You're quite right about line 1241, and I'm not sure how I missed that before. However, I don't think your proposal works grammatically. "In magic fast forever bound" is an adjective phrase modifying "towers of an enchanted wood"; inserting a verb into it doesn't make sense.

Honestly, I've never been of the mind that every use of the word "magic" must be struck from the text, and my preference here would be to simply retain the original reading.

BL-RG-08.5: I don't know. These lines could work, but they feel a little off to me. I guess we have to weigh re-writing Tolkien's rhymes against cutting out of a few lines of the poem.

I've just stared at the lines for a while again, and still can't come up with a better suggestion.
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Old 09-29-2023, 04:02 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
You're quite right about line 1241, and I'm not sure how I missed that before. However, I don't think your proposal works grammatically. "In magic fast forever bound" is an adjective phrase modifying "towers of an enchanted wood"; inserting a verb into it doesn't make sense.
I was thinking of it modifying "trunks of carven stone," but looking at it closer, I see what you mean, and why "were" doesn't work in that case. I think I'm in agreement with you that every use of magic does not need to be removed. I'm also of the opinion that every use of "gods" doesn't need to go either, especially here, where it may involve changing too much. Which brings me to another suggestion to preserve some currently omitted lines:

BL-SL-03:

Quote:
So would they not that angry day
King Felagund their lord obey,
but sullen murmured that Finrod
nor yet his{ son}[ sire] were as a god.
Since the equivalent line in QS I is "And now they murmured that Finarfin’s son was not as a Vala to command them," it seems to me the easiest fix (short of excision) is to change the mention in the Lay from Finrod nor his son, to Finrod nor his father ("sire" being a word that Tolkien uses more than once in place of "father").


Quote:
BL-RG-08.5: I don't know. These lines could work, but they feel a little off to me. I guess we have to weigh re-writing Tolkien's rhymes against cutting out of a few lines of the poem.
I share your concern for re-writing, and you're right, it's a little off. But I also worry about cutting out too many groups of lines, which risks messing with the pace of how quickly or slowly Tolkien moves the reader from one moment to the next. So, it seems worth attempting to keep lines if possible.

Here's another possibility, making use of a rhyme that Tolkien is quite fond of:

Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle{, as the Gnomes}[ in the gloom]
{were}[as Noldor] gathered to their {fading homes}[doom],
and thronged the long and winding stair
that led to the wide echoing square.
Here's a clean version:

Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle in the gloom
as Noldor gathered to their doom,
and thronged the long and winding stair
that led to the wide echoing square.
This image is supported by §129 of Aam, where Tolkien uses "gloom" to describe the atmosphere at this very moment: "The lamp of the Mindon burned pale in the gloom."

One might be able to write a couplet that rhymes "in hand they bore" (meaning the torches) with "Noldor," but at the moment I'm not seeing it.
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Old 09-29-2023, 08:14 PM   #58
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BL-SL-03: While I don't necessarily think that every instance of "god" used of the Valar must be excised, I think its use here from the mouth of an Elf is sufficient reason to delete this couplet.

BL-RG-08.5: I've been racking my brain trying to work out a rhyme for either "... did start and twinkle, as that folk" or "... did start and twinkle, as that kin". If we were OK with an archaic placement of "in" following its noun, we could do:

Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle, as {the Gnomes}[that kin]
were gathered {to their fading homes}[their white city in],
and thronged the long and winding stair
that led to the wide echoing square.
But that may be too archaic; I can't think of anywhere Tolkien uses that construction.

With "folk", we could try:

Quote:
There countless torches fitfully
did start and twinkle, as {the Gnomes}[that folk]
were gathered {to their fading homes}[under twilight's cloak],
and thronged the long and winding stair
that led to the wide echoing square.
I kind of like this one, except that I'm hesitant to add in a metaphor like that that's not in the original.

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Old 09-30-2023, 09:05 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
BL-SL-03: While I don't necessarily think that every instance of "god" used of the Valar must be excised, I think its use here from the mouth of an Elf is sufficient reason to delete this couplet.
Being one of the "songs of Númenor," I haven't been inclined to think of anything written here as strictly "from the mouth of an Elf." We're reading a Mannish text, and we know Men thought of the Valar as gods, right? (Apologies if I'm retreading settled ground. I'm doing my best to digest 20+ years of debate on these ideas split over dozens of threads.)

BL-EX-06: "lay white beneath on the dark stones" looks like a transcription error. My copy has "lay white beneath on the dank stones"

BL-EX-10: A fantastic bit of work here, but a few things don't sit quite right for me. Don't get me wrong, the effort that was put into the Lay by everyone involved is nothing short of brilliant. I'm not here to step on any toes, just to share some grist for the mill. In that spirit, here is my suggestion:

Quote:
But lastly, ere he bade farewell,
spoke Finrod: 'Celegorm the fell,
I say, by sight this hour received,
no Silmaril shall be retrieved
by thou nor any kin or friend,
for ever unto world’s end.
And this indeed that we now seek
will be delivered from the reek,
but never to your hands will fall.
Nay, shall your oath devour all
of Fëanor’s sons, and deliver then
to another the bride-price of Lúthien.
My main goals were as follows: to put "Celegorm the fell' and the "sight that is given" back into Finrod's mouth; to replace "Jewel" with "Silmaril"; to remove "in vain you swore", since the oath is not mentioned twice in GA; to find a more natural line than "shall come from 'neath the triple peak"; to get rid of the two nearby shall's; to end on "Lúthien."

The usage of "reek" here is the Old-English noun form, as in "delivered from the noxious fumes."

BL-RG-22: How about:

Quote:
Yet not all unavailing were {2215}
{the}[Finrod's] spells{ of Felagund}; for {Thû}[Sauron knew] [2455]
{neither}[not] their names nor purpose {knew}[true].
BL-EX-10.5: I took a stab at including Celebrimbor's renunciation:

Quote:
‘We will remember it,’ they said,
and turned upon their heels, and sped,
saddled their horses, trussed their gear,
and went with hound and bow and spear,
BL-EX-10.5 but alone; for none would go,
perceiving evil would follow
the curse that heavy lay therein.
At that time, the son of Curufin,
Celebrimbor, rose and disclaimed
his father’s deeds; and he remained
in Nargothrond. At last they spurred
their horses north,
and spoke no word
but sounded horns, and rode away
like wind at end of stormy day.
There is a missing bit here (bolded), which needs to be added back in:

Quote:
There Curufin and Celegorm {2985}
in sudden tumult like the wind [3275]
rode up. The hooves of horses dinned
loud on the earth. In rage and haste
thus madly eastward they now raced,

Last edited by Elvellon; 09-30-2023 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Added new suggestions, instead of double/triple/quadruple-posting
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Old 10-05-2023, 05:55 AM   #60
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First of all: Elvellon, I am glad to have your input here as everywhere. But here it is very welcome indeed, since my talent for rhyming is very limited.

Nonetheless, I have to argue against some of your suggestions.
A general remark first: The argument that what we have here is one of the “songs of Númenor”, has come up in some discussions. For me, it does not hold water for several reasons:
- That a poem or text has be traditioned by the Numenorians does not mean that the in-story author was of mankind. I would argue here to the contrary, since the mannish origin of the Narn was mentioned as an exception. (Nonetheless, later mannish redactions is of course possible.)
- Even so the main line of tradition might be Númenorean, it is by no means impossible that additional sources are involved. Such as eyewitnesses talked to in Imladris.
But these in-story arguments are in a way pointless, because the main counter arguments for me are external:
- Some time ago the project discussed if we should assume that our texts have existing counterparts in Middle-earth. And the final result of that discussion was that we could not entertain that idea at all. Tolkien could and did use that idea and thus produce the large corpus of sources we have. But since we decided that we can only hope to produce one single string of very diverse texts telling the Legend of Middle-earth, we have to skip that idea.
Therefore if the result of our editing does not have an existing counterpart in Middle-earth, it does as well not have a history of in-story tradition.
- If we follow the argument that due to its tradition a texts is allowed some failures to its ultimate end, we render our project void and useless. It is no question that a character in the story must not speak the truth, but that is not the point here. If we accept that the texts, we produce have a tradition behind them that allows for them make false statements about what we found as the ‘true’ story, we would have to give our readers some means to find out were these false statements begin and end. That mean would be the full corpus of sources we used. What than is the worth of the text we produced?
- This does not mean, that we can not leave some uncertainty in our version or that we can not use parts that Tolkien did mention with a disclaimer (like the second prophecy of Mandos). But it clearly means we have to take up all such disclaimers, and were we don’t have them we should try to report what we find as the ‘true’-story as well as possible.

Now to the more specific issue:

Line [1241]: First, since line numbers may change, let’s take up an editing mark for this case: BL-RG-00.7. On the case itself, I agree that it was maybe a bit over the top to change each and every occurrence of ‘magic’. Nonetheless for me it has a kind of negative connotation, following the discussion of it between Galadriel and Sam in Lothlorien. Thus it seem inappropriate for a description of a work of craft that seems to appeal to the author. What about getting rid of the means ({magic}[craft]) and instead mention who (masons) used these means:
Quote:
A vault of topless trees it seemed, {995}
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood [1240]
BL-RG-00.7 {in magic }[by masons] fast for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
in endless tracery of green {1000}
lit by some leaf-emprisoned sheen
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems, [1245]
and each leaf hung on golden stems.
BL-RG-08.5: Elvellon’s first suggestion with the ‘spark‘-‘dark‘ couple is still my favorite. The ‘gloom’-‘doom’ couple is nice in itself, but is it the doom of the Noldor that they approach going to central square in Tirion? I don’t think so. Aiwendil’s ‘kin’-‘city in’ is to archaic to me. The ‘that folk’-‘twilights cloak’ couple is as well to my liking. I don’t think the metaphor ‘twilight’s cloak’ is to much artistical license. We are dealing with a poem, some freeness must be granted.

BL-SL-03: ‘Apologies if I'm retreading settled ground.’ I don’t think you do, and even if, we have done so before and we will most probably do so in future. The discussion is what brings the project forward. (And often it is the fun of it, not the (temporary) final result.)
‘We're reading a Mannish text, and we know Men thought of the Valar as gods, right?’ Wrong, in two ways: We do not read a mannish text (see my remark above). At best we rad a text edited by man. And the man that thought of the Valar as gods where not the Númenoreans. At first they did know better, being in alliance with the Elves, and later when they rebelled against the Valar, I doubt that they would name them gods, since who would rebel against gods? Anyhow I have to say that using ‘god’ in this context is a no go for me. We can tell our readers that man did name the Valar gods, but to have a group of elvish Exiles address them as such does not work for me. That the Nargothrondrim are Exiles makes these lines anyhow doubt full: They did rebel against the rule of the Valar in the first place, so what would it help, if Finrod would be a Vala?
But I understand the urge to keep the lines. So I searched form some replacement with the one characteristic that could transport the meaning of god like ruler ship: infalliblity. Even so I did not find a solution for the couple, this might by a line of thought worth mentioning.

BL-EX-10: I like your suggestion. In the first part you did edit it more but less so in the last. But as it is ‘grist for the mill’ I would try to leave out the ‘reek’ and use instead the couple ‘seek’-‘indeed’. For that of course we need some additions. I would not use ‘Silmaril’ again here, therefore ‘one stone’ was the best I could come up with. In the next line ‘solemn quest’ is as well the best I found. I had first considered ‘hopeless quest’ but Finrod just declared that he sees that Beren will get it, so that this should give him some hope. Farther on I would like to now why you moved the ‘shall’ in the third last line? I think the line works without that movement.
Quote:
BL-EX-10 <GA{'}But {this I will say to you,}lastly, ere he bade farewell, [2155]
spoke Finrod: ‘
{Celegorn}[Celegorm] the fell,
I say,
by the sight {that is given me in }this hour received,
no Silmaril shall be retrieved
by
{, that neither} thou nor any {son of Fëanor shall regain the Silmarils}kin or friend,
for
ever unto world's end. [u] [2160]
[/b]And this one stone, that we now seek
in solemn quest,
shall come indeed{ },
but never to your hands will fall.
Nay, your oath shall devour {you}all
of Fëanor’s sons
, and deliver then [2165]
to {other keeping}another the bride-price of Lúthien.'>
Clean text:
Quote:
But lastly, ere he bade farewell, 2155
spoke Finrod: ‘Celegorm the fell,
I say, by the sight this hour received,
no Silmaril shall be retrieved
by thou nor any kin or friend,
for ever unto world's end. 2160
And this one stone, that we now seek
in solemn quest, shall come indeed,
but never to your hands will fall.
Nay, your oath shall devour all
of Fëanor’s sons, and deliver then 2165
to another the bride-price of Lúthien.'
BL-RG-22: I like your suggestion. But why do you change {neither}[not]?

BL-EX-10.5: I like your suggestion, but aren’t your first three lines each one syllable short? What about {none}no one in the first line and ‘perceiving that evil would follow’ for the second? I have no good solution for the third, but ‘heavily’ would be a last resource.
Maybe my counting is wrong, but isn’t Curufin 3 syllables (Cu-ru-fin)? If so that line is too long. But however the line can stand since we count iambic feet and not syllables propper.

Line [3277]: Thanks for pointing that out!

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Old 10-05-2023, 12:32 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
First of all: Elvellon, I am glad to have your input here as everywhere.
Thanks, and I appreciate the thoughtful and informative replies. Coming here has sure humbled me in regards to my familiarity with Tolkien, but I'm loving the process of diving deep into this project!!

To your points about the "songs of Númenor" and "Mannish texts," thank you for taking the time to summarize it so clearly. I can see the reasons for adopting this stance, and I'm happy to leave it there as settled.

How about this, then:

Quote:
So would they not that angry day
King Felagund their lord obey,
but {sullen }murmured that Finrod[ was not grand]
{nor yet his son were as a god}[as any Vala to command].

BL-RG-00.7:
Is there a thread here where the use of the term “magic” was discussed? I'm curious if it is primarily Patrick Curry’s opinion that drove this idea I've seen that Tolkien saw magic as an evil. Is there a clear statement from JRRT on the matter? My understanding has been that Tolkien saw the word “magic” not as inherently negative but as inaccurate, because “all human stories have suffered the same confusion” between “the devices and operations of the Enemy, and those of the Elves” (from Letter 131). Galadriel echoes this sentiment in Fellowship, where she does not say that the word “magic” is only used for “the deceits of the Enemy,” but rather that it is one word being used for two different things. It must not have had too negative an association in her mind, because she then referred to the mirror as “the magic of Galadriel” and “Elf-magic” – and ironic adoption of a word familiar to the Hobbits.

I don’t disagree that the word should be minimized because of its inaccuracy. And this is easy enough to do in prose, but it seems to me that in the Lays, one should do so primarily when it doesn’t disturb Tolkien’s verse too much. Personally, the more I think about it, the more I feel “in magic fast for ever bound” is too lovely a turn of phrase to mess with. But in fairness, here's another suggestion:

Quote:
A vault of topless trees it seemed, {995}
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood [1240]
BL-RG-00.7 {in magic}[so crafted] fast for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
BL-RG-08.5:
Quote:
but is it the doom of the Noldor that they approach going to central square in Tirion?
I was using it in the sense of the Noldor gathering to begin the long, metaphorical march from their “fading homes” to their inevitable doom across the sea.

BL-EX-10:
“Seek” and “indeed” are too imperfect of a rhyme. I think the word “reek” here is altogether appropriate: Tolkien refers to “the reeking towers of Thangorodrim,” as well as “the reeking tops of the Iron Mountains”; and he used the word in the sense I’ve used it more than once in composing the Lay of Leithian: “above the reek and trampled dead”, “A second morning in cloud and reek”, “amid the reek, and far and wide”. It’s only because he used it so frequently that I felt comfortable using it. In general, I’ve tried to restrict my changes to rhymes that Tolkien used elsewhere; that seemed the safest, least destructive, course.

Quote:
Farther on I would like to now why you moved the ‘shall’ in the third last line?
I’m not sure, but you’re right, it shouldn't have been moved!

Quote:
BL-RG-22: I like your suggestion. But why do you change {neither}[not]?
Again, I’m not sure, it must have been late! It should be “neither.”

BL-EX-10.5:
Quote:
I like your suggestion, but aren’t your first three lines each one syllable short?
You’re right about the first line: "but alone; for none would go" is 7 syllables. "No one" misplaces the stresses, so to preserve natural stresses, I'd suggest a rhetorical repetition of the word "went" (I've bolded the stresses):

Quote:
and went with hound and bow and spear,
but went a-lone; for none would go,
However, the other two lines do have the proper four feet of eight syllables (stresses in bold):

Quote:
per-ceiv-ing e-vil would foll-ow
the curse that heav-y lay there-in
The stresses on "follow" and "therein" are slightly unnatural, but Tolkien broke the rules plenty (Shakespeare too), so I'm not too bothered by it, personally.

Quote:
Maybe my counting is wrong, but isn’t Curufin 3 syllables (Cu-ru-fin)? If so that line is too long. But however the line can stand since we count iambic feet and not syllables propper.
Tolkien himself didn’t always stick to only eight syllables, as long as the extra syllables were unstressed. For example: “the quest of the shining Silmaril” is nine syllables, as is “of the breaking of the towers of stone” (ten syllables if you pronounce towers as “tow-ers”).

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Old 10-06-2023, 04:05 AM   #62
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BL-SL-03:
Quote:
So would they not that angry day
King Felagund their lord obey,
but murmured that Finrod was not grand
as any Vala to command.
Looks good for me.

BL-RG-00.7: I searched for the discussion about 'magic', but could not find it. I think now that the discussion was done in a phase of the project with not many participants, but I am not sure of that. But I can asure you that Patrick Curry's opinion played no part in that discussion at all. The Letter you quoted and the refelctions of Galadriel where considered.
Anyhow, after that discussion, I as the keeper of the texts, did go through all texts and introduced the changes (when the reference was to elvish craft) without farther discussion of each occurence. Therefore I appreciate when you (or anybody else) finds such places where these regular changes are problematic for any reason.

In this special case I, after farther refelction could even agree to keep magic, since we most probably speak about a work crafted by dwarfish masons and we did allow magic to stand in other cases of dwarfish craft. But nonetheless as they had elvish help and the help of Melian in crafting the halls of Menegroth, I would rather replace it.
I like your new suggestion of {in magic}[so crafted]. Aiwendil, is that okay for you as well?

BL-RG-08.5: I did understood your use of doom well enough. I just find it a bit broad. But if you and Aiwendil are okay with it, we can take it.

BL-EX-10: Okay, as I said, I am far from beeing in expert in ryhming. If 'seek'-'indded' id not good your lines wih 'seek'-'reek' are totally okay for me.

BL-EX-10.5: Well, as a none native speaker syllables and stress counting doesn't seemed to be that easy for me. For the first line your repetition of 'went' works fine for me.

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Old 10-06-2023, 08:16 AM   #63
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On the subject of the provenance of the texts, I agree with Findegil.

BL-RG-00.7: I don’t really agree that “magic” must be purely negative in its connotations. I’m not sure about “by masons”, though. The imagery in the poem is one of a forest of real trees being petrified, turned to stone. Yes, in reality they were carved by masons, but what the poem is saying is that they are like towers of an enchanted wood, made fast by magic.

“So crafted fast forever bound” doesn’t work for me, either; I’m not quite sure how it fits grammatically, and again it loses the point of the imagery, which is of a forest having been turned to stone.

BL-RG-08.5: I guess I can live with the spark/dark solution, though again, I also think that omitting the lines as we had earlier decided is fine.

BL-SL-03: I agree with Findegil here. I’d prefer to omit the couplet, unless a different solution can be found. The “grand/command” solution doesn’t work for me, I’m afraid. “Grand” is not the appropriate word here.

BL-EX-10: I’m not wholly convinced by either of these proposals.

First of all, I’m not sure what you mean, Elvellon, by “putting ‘Celegorm the fell’ and ‘sight that is given’ back in Finrod’s mouth. In the version previously adopted, both of these phrases are direct quotes from Finrod. However, your first couplet is an improvement over mine in terms of meter. I’m not sure about the “But lastly”, though. I think a slight improvement over your lines would be:

Quote:
But Finrod, ere he bade farewell,
spoke thus: ‘To Celegorm the fell
“By thou” is wrong; it should be “by thee”.

I’m not sure about “from the reek”. I mean, yes, maybe it’s true that Angband is filled with noxious fumes, but since this hasn’t been brought up, it seems an odd way to refer to it. I recognize that “’neath the triple peak” is also clunky, but at least “triple peak” is a clear reference to Thangorodrim. Findegil’s version tries to avoid this, but “seek” and “indeed” fail to rhyme.

I don’t understand why you change “shall” to “will” in these lines:

Quote:
will be delivered from the reek,
but never to your hands will fall.
“Shall”, with its implication of necessity, seems more appropriate for a foretelling of the future, a “doom” as it were.

Finally, I think the last line, “to another the bride-price of Luthien” is also too long.

I will try to take another crack at these lines tonight, but at least my earlier proposal could be slightly revised:
Quote:
But Finrod, ere he bade farewell,
spoke thus: ‘To Celegorm the fell
I say, by sight received this hour,
by neither thine nor any power
shall thy kin the Jewels regain
before the end. All in vain
you swore. And this that we now seek
shall come from ‘neath the triple peak
but never to your hands shall fall.
Nay, your oath shall devour all
Fëanor’s sons, and to other care
Lúthien’s great bride-price bear.
BL-RG-22: I’m slightly hesitant about “purpose true”, but I suppose it’s fine. However, I do think we should retain “neither” instead of changing to “not”.

BL-RG-10.5: I’m afraid these lines don’t work for me. The “would go/follow” rhyme is very awkward, and the curse doesn’t lay “therein” but rather “thereon”. Also, the line “Celebrimbor rose and disclaimed” is a little metrically awkward. Let me think about these lines; I agree it would be nice to be able to include Celebrimbor’s renunciation here.

Apologies if I'm being a bit difficult about some of these lines, but I really do feel that we should be very careful about messing with Tolkien's verse, and I would generally rather omit some lines than have our amateurish poesy stick out line a sore thumb.

Edited to add: Sorry, I started writing this post before the last two posts from Findegil and Elvellon, but I've edited to add my thoughts on additional proposals from them.

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Old 10-06-2023, 01:47 PM   #64
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Quote:
Apologies if I'm being a bit difficult about some of these lines, but I really do feel that we should be very careful about messing with Tolkien's verse, and I would generally rather omit some lines than have our amateurish poesy stick out line a sore thumb.
No apologies necessary. Since I’m new here, I just want to make sure to say, I’m not wedded to any of my suggestions, nor am I offended by their rejection. I realize I’m very late to the party, and suggesting changes to things that were decided years ago, so I’m just offering up ideas. And though I might disagree, it’s never with hard feelings.

BL-RG-00.7: I agree, which is why I think "by magic fast for ever bound" is really best here.

BL-RG-08.5: Omitting is best, since a solution hasn't been found that everyone is happy with.

BL-EX-10:

Quote:
First of all, I’m not sure what you mean, Elvellon, by “putting ‘Celegorm the fell’ and ‘sight that is given’ back in Finrod’s mouth. In the version previously adopted, both of these phrases are direct quotes from Finrod.
In the latest working draft Findegil sent me, these lines are outside the quotes. Here is the clean text of that section taking from the Word doc:

Quote:
But Finrod, ere he bade farewell,
spoke thus to Celegorm the fell,
by sight allowed him in that hour:
‘By neither thine nor any power
shall thy kin their Jewels regain
before the End; yea, all in vain
you swore. And this that we now seek
shall come from ‘neath the triple peak,
but never to your hands shall fall.
Nay, your oath shall devour you all,
Fëanor’s sons, and to other care
shall Lúthien’s great bride-price bear.’
Maybe the working draft was not updated?

For comparison, in §194 of the Grey Annals, Finrod says:

Quote:
[…] ‘But this I will say to you, [son of Fëanor >] Celegorn the fell, by the sight that is given me in this hour, that neither thou nor any son of Fëanor shall regain the Silmarils ever unto world’s end. And this that we now seek shall come indeed, but never to your hands. Nay, your oath shall devour you, and deliver to other keeping the bride-price of Lúthien.’
My goal was to find a way to more closely follow this speech.

Quote:
I’m not sure about the “But lastly”, though. I think a slight improvement over your lines would be:
That’s a fine improvement.

Quote:
“By thou” is wrong; it should be “by thee”.
You're right, but that's what Tolkien used, so I left it.

Quote:
I’m not sure about “from the reek”. I mean, yes, maybe it’s true that Angband is filled with noxious fumes, but since this hasn’t been brought up, it seems an odd way to refer to it. I recognize that “’neath the triple peak” is also clunky, but at least “triple peak” is a clear reference to Thangorodrim. Findegil’s version tries to avoid this, but “seek” and “indeed” fail to rhyme.
It's a poetic allusion to the reek of Thangorodrim and the Iron Mountains, and it’s a noun Tolkien used several other places in the text, although not for Thangorodrim, but it still seemed a rather safe option for a rhyme, in order to more closely follow the Grey Annals.

Quote:
“Shall”, with its implication of necessity, seems more appropriate for a foretelling of the future, a “doom” as it were.
You’re right, it should be “shall be delivered from the reek,” but “but never to your hands will fall” seems fine to me, and keeps the number of “shalls” the same as in the original quote.

Quote:
Finally, I think the last line, “to another the bride-price of Luthien” is also too long.
It’s 11 syllables, true. But it still works as 4 feet:

Quote:
to an-oth-er the bride-price of Lu-thi-en
which doesn't sound so out of place, and has the benefit of being Tolkien's own words.
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Old 10-07-2023, 04:02 PM   #65
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BL-EX-10:

Quote:
In the latest working draft Findegil sent me, these lines are outside the quotes.
I have to apologize; it seems the version of our chapter that I have on my laptop may not be up to date. It had a slightly different version with those lines part of the direct quotation.

Quote:
You're right, but that's what Tolkien used, so I left it.
I don't see where Tolkien used "by thou", which would be quite a surprising error from him.

Quote:
It's a poetic allusion to the reek of Thangorodrim and the Iron Mountains, and it’s a noun Tolkien used several other places in the text, although not for Thangorodrim, but it still seemed a rather safe option for a rhyme, in order to more closely follow the Grey Annals.
I understand this, but I still don't think it works here. Tolkien uses the word plenty of times in descriptive passages, but here it's being asked to stand as a metonym for Thangorodrim or Angband, without any other context.

If the rhyme using "reek" is strongly preferred to "triple peak", we might make it a little clearer:

Quote:
But Finrod, ere he bade farewell,
spoke thus: ‘To Celegorm the fell
I say, by sight received this hour,
by neither thine nor any power
shall thy kin the Jewels regain
before the end. All in vain
you swore. And this that we now seek
shall come from Angband's smoke and reek
but never to your hands shall fall.
Nay, your oath shall devour all
Fëanor’s sons, and to other care
Lúthien’s great bride-price bear.
Quote:
It’s 11 syllables, true. But it still works as 4 feet:
It's four feet, yes, but three of those feet are dactyls instead of iambs or trochees. Scanning through Tolkien's verse in this lay, I can't find any lines that do that - in fact, it's rare to find a line with other than 8 or 9 syllables.

So, overall, I think I prefer my version above.
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Old 10-08-2023, 03:22 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
I don't see where Tolkien used "by thou", which would be quite a surprising error from him.
Not "by thou." I'm referring to "neither thou nor any son of Fëanor" in §194 of the Grey Annals.

Quote:
If the rhyme using "reek" is strongly preferred to "triple peak", we might make it a little clearer
I like that.

Quote:
It's four feet, yes, but three of those feet are dactyls instead of iambs or trochees. Scanning through Tolkien's verse in this lay, I can't find any lines that do that
I can think of one, line 189 of the Lay Recommenced:
  • no shadow of Morgoth, and no evil thing

And he did use 10 syllables every so often (not an exhaustive list):
  • and secretly, alone, would peril dare,
  • of many a bird, the pattering fall
  • great powers, and towers, and strong walls shake;
  • in the land of the Valar long ago;
  • in dream and wandering.’ Whispering low
  • The wolves whimpering and yammering fled
  • thou shalt learn the power of Elfinesse!’
  • in the dark corridors. ‘A guileful oath
  • Then clear in the silence the cold words rang
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Old 10-10-2023, 04:21 AM   #67
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BL-RG-00.7: Okay, since the ‘like’ in the line before makes this a figurative description and a petrified wood (living trees being stopped from fulfilling their natural grows) has exactly that subtle touch of evil Tolkien saw and laid into Galadriels mouth, I agree that ‘magic’ can stand here.

BL-RG-08.5: Okay, ‘dark’-spark’ solution it will be than. (Since the restoration of lines will call for renumbering, which is quite an amount of work, I will only take up that task, when all active members agree that we are done with ‘Beren and Lúthien’.

BL-SL-03: What about this:
Quote:
So would they not that angry day
King Felagund their lord obey BL-SL-03
but sullen murmured that {Finrod}offhand
{nor yet his son were as a god}was not his right to command.
BL-EX-10: Do I see rightly that only the last couple is still not settled?

BL-RG-22: Seems we are all in agreement here.

BL-RG-10.5: I tried my hand at avoiding ‘would go’-‘follow’, and what if we avoid the curse here:
Quote:
‘We will remember it,’ they said,
and turned upon their heels, and sped,
saddled their horses, trussed their gear,
and went with hound and bow and spear,
BL-EX-10.5 alone; for none would follow their track.
Celebrimbor, son of Curufin, stepped back
at that time, and he disclaimed
his father’s deeds; and he remained
in Nargothrond. At last they spurred
their horses north,
and spoke no word
but sounded horns, and rode away
like wind at end of stormy day.
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Old 05-28-2024, 08:08 AM   #68
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BL-RG-05: Why not just make it past tense?

Quote:
for Morgoth {shall}[was] BL-RG-05{by Gods}[by Valar] BL-SL-02{be} wrought
of steel and torment. Names she sought,
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Old 07-15-2024, 08:23 AM   #69
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Sorry for the late later answer. For the couple it selfit would work but in the line before we have: "the chain Angaionr that ere Doom" This Doom must be the War of Wrath not the War of the Powers I would think. That makes some statement for the future necessary in the next line (if we do not alter the couple above the fires in Angband's gloom;/the chain Angainor that ere Doom).

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Old 07-15-2024, 01:40 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
Sorry for the late later answer. For the couple it selfit would work but in the line before we have: "the chain Angaionr that ere Doom" This Doom must be the War of Wrath not the War of the Powers I would think. That makes some statement for the future necessary in the next line (if we do not alter the couple above the fires in Angband's gloom;/the chain Angainor that ere Doom).

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Findegil
For reference, here's my proposed rewording:

Quote:
above the fires in Angband’s gloom;
the chain Angainor that ere Doom
for Morgoth was by Valar wrought
of steel and torment. Names she sought,
Maybe I'm missing something, but that doesn't strike my ear/eye as a problem.

Angainor was wrought before the War of the Powers, which was before the War of Wrath. The Lay doesn't specify that it shall be wrought immediately prior to Morgoth's Doom, so I don't see it as necessary to put the line in future tense.

This rewording does less harm to Tolkien's text, and what's more, allows it to be read in multiple ways: Angainor was wrought before "Doom for Morgoth", the judgment delivered by Manwe in the Ring of Doom after the War of Powers, and it was thus also wrought before Morgoth's ultimate Doom, where it was used again after the War of Wrath. Indeed, Angainor proved to be the Oppressor that followed Melkor from doom to Doom.
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