YvtW Musings - Doom of the Noldor I was reading a LOTR fic and this issue sort of popped up in my mind. In the Silmarillion, Mandos pronounces this Doom - both Curse and Prophecy, on the Noldor exiles:
'Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
'Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken.'
Of course, later on at the end of the First Age we have the following passage:
And when they came into the West the Elves of Beleriand dwelt upon Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, that looks both west and east; whence they might come even to Valinor. They were admitted again to the love of Manwë and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest.
Here's what we do know, fact-wise:
* Most of the stuff in the First Age - Fall of Gondolin, Battle of Unnumbered Tears, fall of Nargothrond, etc... up to the Sinking of Beleriand could be assigned to the Doom/Curse.
* The fall of Doriath was also tied to the Doom of the Noldor through the Silmarils... (or was that a separate Curse on the Silmarils?)
* The disaster of Celebrimbor creating the rings are generally held (in fanon) to be a result of the Doom/Curse. The whole "what was begun for good will turn to evil". This takes place of course after the end of the First Age, when supposedly "the curse was laid to rest".
* Galadriel was apparently not included among those who were "pardoned" (to whatever extent) and allowed to return to Valinor until the end of the Third Age.
* The downfall of Numenor has been held in fanon to be also connected to the Doom of the Noldor.
...Which ultimately, of course, means trouble with my plans for the Middle-earth of the YvtW-version.
For one thing, we've already decided on the whole "the elven-realms did not entirely fade" thing, which would tend to contradict the Curse. Plus I really don't want certain members of the Half-elven line to be affected by it, which I'm sure some of you would understand and many others can easily guess at. At the least, I doubt that Urd and her sisters would want it to affect Elladan or any potential progeny that he and Urd have... ^_-
So here's my first impressions on how to "reinterpret" things for our Middle-earth:
1. The part of the Doom involving exile from Valinor was completely lifted at the end of the Second Age. Galadriel was an exception in this case as one of the "leaders" of the exiles who led the Noldor from Valinor, and she was still defiant and unremorseful at the time. Of course, the fact that she didn't go through the Temptation of the One Ring in our version creates the possibility that she *isn't* granted entrance to Valinor at the end of the Third Age in our version... Which actually sort of solves the question of where/who Nenya goes to, actually. Though, who knows? Maybe facing down a Balrog (with help) might've been enough to make the Valar relent...
2. Since the passage "To evil end shall all things turn..." follows immediately the sentence condemning the House of Feanor and their followers in specific, I suppose it's not implausible to assign it so that the particular passage also applies only to the Feanorians only... All of the tragedies of the First Age still apply since the Noldorin leaders of the First Age (except Gil-galad) were orignally followers of the Feanorians when the left Valinor.
In the Second/Third Age, I'm seeing it as only the stuff applying to Celebrimbor and Galadriel as falling under the Doom. So I suppose the Three elven rings would have to apply since they were created by Celebrimbor. Lorien fared badly because of that since Galadriel is also under the Doom - a double whammy. Imladris was created as a have in the Second Age by soldiers and refugees, it's location chosen mainly for defensibility and security at the time. So I'm not seeing that its defense even into the Third Age would require *that* much intervention by Vilya. And Narya was hardly ever used at all. So the corresponding damage done connected to the Three at the end of the Third Age is correspondingly the same - Lothlorien is lost, Imladris remains with only the ambience/mystique spoiled, and nothing from Narya's touch.
Of course, since the fading of the Three wouldn't count under "turn to evil" exactly (unless Sauron regained the One Ring, of course), I don't see why they have to fade, or why fading has to be part of their "Doom" in the first place. I'm thinking... maybe it's a power/temptation thing. The more you use it, the more you're tempted to use it (for good), and the whole "absolute power corrupts etc." issue. Galadriel used Nenya the most - and she was visibly tempted by the One Ring the most, after all. I suppose that counts pretty well for "turn to evil" without having to go into the fading issue. So the trick, of course, is to use as little of them as you need to, since (that particular) power for good is still a corruptive power.
3. All the stuff in the second paragraph of the first quote block I'd be more inclined to assign only to actual kinslayers. That is, only to those who have spilled the blood of other elves. (Fanon has it that Galadriel fought on behalf of the Teleri, so she probably slew fellow Noldor.) Elrond's departure West could be easily explained away in this case as sea-longing from his Teleri/Sindarin bloodline, coupled with the fact his wife is over there, without resorting to the weariness clause.
4. As for the Numenoreans... well, let's someone take responsibility for their *own* messes for once instead of resorting to the whole Curse thing, eh? I doubt the Valar would be so forthcoming in creating the new continent for them to settle if they knew it would end as it did. We can blame it all on Sauron, if need be. Besides, Elros not only has only a fraction of Noldor blood, he *choose* to be mortal, not elf, for goodness sakes! His descendants are racially human, and have no business getting hit with a Curse for a specific Elven race-subgroup. It would be highly unfair of the Valar and Eru to let the Curse be *that* broad. Besides, don't they also count for "the younger race that cometh after" bit?
Conclusion: Well, those are my thoughts so far. I'll appreciate any advice or thoughts on the issue. Was there anything I left unaddressed? Is my "interpretation" at least consistent, if not plausible? Would they work for YvtW?