Zero to Hero 12


I spent my Zero to Hero time on Sunday reading and commenting on Tolkien blogs. I am glad I did that, since yesterday’s assignment was to take something from a thread that I commented on and turn it into a post.

So, here is a comment from a discussion of “What You Make, I Mar,” a short but very well-written post at All Things Tolkien.

Eric: Also, without Aule making the Dwarves, we wouldn’t have Ents. And to top that off, Yavanna claims that the Ents were part of the Music. “Yet it was in the Song.” So if Ents were created by Yavanna to counter the Dwarves AND Ents were also in the Music, I guess we could conclude that Dwarves were also in the Music?

Or at least that the Music changed to include Dwarves thus paving the way for Ents. We can see that the Song is still happening in the next couple of paragraphs.

I love gray areas.

This comment prompted me to pick up The Silmarillion and read “Of Aule and Yavanna” very carefully, and I do not believe the Song is still going on in this chapter. Here is the relevant passage:

‘Yet is was in the song,’ said Yavanna. ‘For while thou wert in the heavens and with Ulmo built the clouds and poured out the rains, I lifted up the branches of great trees to receive them, and some sang to Iluvatar amid the wind and the rain.’

Then Manwe sat silent, and the thought of Yavanna that she had put into his heart grew and unfolded; and it was beheld by Iluvatar. Then it seemed to Manwe that the Song rose once more about him, and he heeded now many things therein that though he had heard them he had not heeded before. And at last the Vision was renewed, but it was not now remote, for he was himself within it, and yet he saw that all was upheld by by the hand of Iluvatar; and the hand entered in, and from it came forth many wonders that had until then been hidden from him in the hearts of the Ainur (p. 45-46).

As I read this, Manwe is having a sort of vision or flashback to the music. He is remembering it, and things are being revealed to him that he did not take note of when the music was being played. The key word in this passage is “seemed.” And, in the very next paragraph, we see Manwe waking up. I think he’s clearly fallen into a reverie.

Also, after scouring this entire chapter multiple times, I don’t see any evidence that the Dwarves were in the music, but I do have to wonder how the Ents could have been in the music without the Dwarves being there, since it is clear that the Ents come about as a result of these conversations between Aule, Yavanna, and Manwe. Gray areas.

Here are a few other blogs that regularly publish interesting work about Tolkien:

The Leather Library

A Tolkienists’ Perspective

All Things Tolkien

The Real LOTR

Sweating to Mordor

Feel free to drop links to any other blogs that write about Tolkien on my comments threads. I am trying to meet as many Tolkien bloggers as possible.

There’s also a Facebook discussion group. It’s small, but conversation is good, and a few of the members just started reading The Silmarillion.

My Tolkien Bibliography.

6 thoughts on “Zero to Hero 12

  1. Cool stuff. I haven’t forgotten this Zero to Hero posting, but it’s fallen by the wayside for a few days. I’ll pick it back up tomorrow.


    • I’m doing it the day after now. It’s just not practical to get a prompt at 11 a.m. and have a good post the same day. Plus, it seems like only one out of ever three assignments require a post. Today’s challenge is to improve your blogroll.


  2. Very true about “seemed,” I’ll give you that.

    But there might not be any evidence that the Dwarves were in the Music – at least, not that we’re old, and not that the Ainur can remember.

    “Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together; for to none but himself has Iluvatar revealed all that he has in store….” (p18)

    This would explain why Yavanna knew the Ents were in the Music, but Aule did not. It would also explain why neither knew the Dwarves were in it.

    So, no, the Music didn’t change to include the Dwarves – they had always been there. Illuvatar immediately knew what Aule had done. If I’m reading this right, nowhere does it say that Illuvatar was surprised or angered. He asks Aule a bunch of questions about why he did what he did, but that is all. It’s Aule who believes Illuvatar to be angry.

    To me, this indicates that the Dwarves were always there. It’s just another example of Tolkien’s play with predestination and freewill.


  3. I’m absolutely in love with this post. I love all about Tolkien, I just wish I could talk about it more and make sense, instead of only saying how much I love his books and stories!! 😀


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