A Tolkien Virgin: Of the Flight of the Noldor - The Journey Continues
Of the Flight of the Noldor
Here we go. Tolkien really does a brilliant job in this chapter. Evil knows not its own face. It's incredible the turns the story takes at this point. That Feanor would be so utterly blind to his own folly and evil deeds because of his hate for Melkor is immensely affecting. In my heart I'm pleading, "don't do it Feanor, don't do it! Can't you see you're becoming the thing you hate most!" At first, Feanor broke my heart, but as his deeds became progressively more evil, I began to despise Faenor and my heart broke for his people, and all the lives lost as a result of his madness. In Feanor, Tolkien has truly created one of the most tragic characters I've ever read.
Fingolfin, on the other hand--and all those left behind by Faenor when he burned the ships--seem the more like tragic heroes than just tragic characters or straightforward heroes. I was astonished and thoroughly impressed that they crossed the Helcaraxe. But then again, even though they hadn't known the cause of the battle, they still have that whole kin-slaying thing going against them.
One more thing that I totally thought was great was how Tolkien starts refering to Melkor as Morgoth after Faenor curses him by that name. It shows a little bit how much he was into his own stories. Somehow it makes the legend seem that much more genuine.
Early on in the chapter, Ungoliant (confirming my suspicion that she was only introduced out of thin air to make the darkening of Valanor more dramatic and sinister) leaves some nastiness behind and disappears from the story completely. The one "good" thing her addition to the story does is explain partially how Melkor/Morgoth's power has truly been diminished. To help accomplish their naughty deed, Melkor somehow caused some of his power to permanently go out from himself and into Ungoliant. But, I still think that the idea that he needed Ungoliant to perform his revenge at all is totally bogus according to what we had previously come to know about Melkor. But, you know that from last time.
till next time, keep thinking,