Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Best Dialogue In Tolkien's Works (Well, I think so at least...)

The fact that I am a true and thorough Tolkien fan might not have been made clear yet by any of my previous posts...but it's time to confess...

I found a wonderful passage of his and I decided that it was too good not to share. This dialogue is only published in one of Tolkien's books -- Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion (Go here to read up on the history of Middle-Earth) and discusses Redemption. Tolkien has been criticized by some that his stories do not contain the redemption story. Read on...

‘Have ye then no hope?’ said Finrod.

‘What is hope?’ she said. ‘An expectation of good, which though uncertain has some foundation in what is known? Then we have none.’

‘That is one thing that Men call “hope”,’ said Finrod. ‘Amdir we call it, “looking up”. But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is “trust”. It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and first being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of Estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End: of all His designs the issue must be for His Children’s joy. Amdir you have not, you say. Does no Estel at all abide?’

‘Maybe,’ she said . . . ‘It is believed that healing may yet be found, or that there is some way of escape. But is this indeed Estel? Is it not Amdir rather; but without reason: mere flight in a dream from what waking they know: that there is no escape from darkness and death?’

‘Mere flight in a dream you say,’ answered Finrod. ‘In dream many desires are revealed; and desire may be the last flicker of Estel. But you do not mean dream, Andreth. You confound dream and waking with hope and belief, to make the one more doubtful and the other more sure . . .

‘What then was this hope, if you know?’ Finrod asked.

‘They say,’ answered Andreth: ‘they say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end. . . . How could Eru enter into the thing that He has made, and than which He is beyond measure greater? Can the singer enter into his tale or the designer into his picture?’

‘He is already in it, as well as outside,’ said Finrod . . . ‘For, as it seems to me, even if He in Himself were to enter in, He must still remain also as He is: the Author without. And yet, Andreth, to speak with humility, I cannot conceive how else this healing could be achieved. Since Eru will surely not suffer Melkor to turn the world to his own will and to triumph in the end. Yet there is no power conceivable greater than Melkor save Eru only. Therefore Eru, if He will not relinquish his work to Melkor, who must else proceed to mastery, then Eru must come in to conquer him. More: even if Melkor (or the Morgoth that he has become) could in any way be thrown down or thrust from Arda, still his Shadow would remain, and the evil that he has wrote and sown as a seed would wax and multiply. And if any remedy for this is to be found, ere all is ended, any new light to oppose the shadow, or any medicine for the wounds: then it must, I deem, come from without.’
-John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, "Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion"


Seize The Day!


anya said...


And I love that old twist on the new proverb! We've come up with some new "proverbs"... such as, "Do not insult someone when you are sitting with your head beneath their foot."

Anonymous said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing.