Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tolkien Study #6 - The Silmarillion

I'm going to begin delving into the First age of Arda (the physical world) with an examination of Feanor, who is arguably the most important character in the entire legendarium of Arda. He is the greatest craftsman that ever existed or ever will exist, and was the one who created the Silmarili, the jewels that housed the light of the Two Trees of Valinor in their unbreakable crystal spheres. His name literally means spirit of fire; upon his death his spirit is seen to be so fiery that it consumed his physical body and left nothing but ashes. It is said that no one ever changed his mind by force, and few even by talking ever dissuaded him from anything. His skill at creating with his hands was unrivaled even by the Gods, and it was Aule (who himself was unable to rival Feanor in works of craft) the patron Vala of all craftsmen from whom Feanor got all his skill.

However, he was probably one of the worst people to ever inhabit Arda. His love for his works was an obsession that reached violent and murderous levels (a partly understandable trait when the works he created are seen as the "works of his heart" which he could not ever make again). Such was his obsession with his creation that he was willing to forsake Valinor and journey to Middle-earth to make war on Morgoth until his death or the return of the Jewels and in the process begin a curse of strife and death that destroyed his entire family and most of his race. He had no love for his wife or brothers, and the only affection he had was given to his father, whose murder by Morgoth prompted his rallying of the Noldor in revenge. To be blunt, he was a selfish, self-centered, haughty, murdering,war/fear-mongering and vain Elf, who was responsible for sundering of the Elves from Valinor into Middle-earth, the death of the majority of his people and nearly all of the events recorded in the Silmarillion.

Ultimately I'd say the story of Feanor (of which this is a brief summary) illustrates the danger of the Sin of Pride, and what can happen if pride is allowed unchecked in ones life and that if there is no love for others in your heart, the most impressive, beautiful and monumental thing you ever achieve is nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment