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#1
Old 12-12-2002, 01:47 PM
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Who Is The Greatest Hero Of All-Time In Middle-Earth?

I've been debating this question with a friend of mine for quite a while now. I of course think it's me, Fingolfin. My friend thinks it's Hurin. What about you guys?

Here are some worthy candidates:

Fingolfin- Knocked on Morgoths door and challenged him to a duel, mano-on-mano. Crossing the Heleraxe.

Hurin- Valiant stand at the fens of Serech. Killed 70 + Trolls. Survived years of captivity in Angband.

Turin- Slew Glaurung. Probably killed more Orcs than any other man. Walked away from more battles than many long-lived Elven lords had.

Beren- Snuck into Angband and stole a Simiril from Morgoth. Countless other acts of bravery.

Luthien- Defeated Sauron and rescued Beren from Tol-in-Gaurhoth. Helped Beren steal the Simirl from Morgoth. Successfully laid a spell on Morgoth!

Huan- Slew Draugluin (Lord and sire of the werewolves). Defeated Thu(Wolf-Sauron, Sauron in werewolf form). Slew Carcharoth The Red Maw(Raised by Morgoth himself).

Earendil- Defeated Ancalagon (not to mention his years of voyaging to find Valinor).

Turgon- Founded the city of Gondolin. Led ten thousand warriors to the Nirnaeth. Bravery in the Fall of Gondolin.

Maedros- Endured years of suffering hanging from the peaks of Thangorodrim. [his actions later probably cancel him out there; namely leading to the destruction of Doriath].

Finrod- Founded Minas Tirith. Assisted Beren is stealing the Simiril.

Ecthelion- Single handedly slayed Gothmog, lord of the Balrogs. Kicked everyones ass in combat.

Isildur- Broke into the well-guarded royal palace of Numenor to steal a sapling of the White Tree. The little thing at The Battle of the Last Alliance.

Elendil- He alone withstood the madness of Ar-Pharazon.

Gil-Galad- The only Elven king ever to defeat a Dark Lord.

Aragorn- Actions in before, during, and after The War of the Ring.

Eomer- Greatest Rohirrim ever.

Elrond- Founded Rivendell. Last Alliance. White Council member. Presence in Middle-Earth for over 6500 years.

Gandalf- Too many to name.

Frodo- Destroyed The One Ring.

Sam- See above.

Legolas- Countless acts of bravery.

Gimli- See above.

There are obviously many more worthy candidates. I just don't have time to name them all.
#2
Old 12-12-2002, 01:55 PM
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Gollum.

He's the one who took the One Ring and destroyed it after Frodo failed in his quest.
#3
Old 12-12-2002, 02:09 PM
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You left two critical names off the list.


Tuor - Father of Earendil, chosen messenger of Ulmo, saved what could be saved from the ruin of Gondolin, only Man to become a Noldor (at least according to rumor). I would rank him first and Beren 1b.

and

Feanor - Created the Silmarils, led the revolt of the Noldor, one of only a few Noldo feared by Morgoth. Yeah, did quite a few bad things as well, but is acknowledged as the greatest of all the Noldor.

My list:
1. Tuor
1b. Beren
3. Fingolfin (yeah, got to give some credit - wounding Morgoth 7 times before falling is a big deal)
4. Feanor - could have been #1, but there is this little oath.
5. Frodo

Honrable mentions: Elendil, Fingon & Turin

Ladies of ME:
1. Luthien - nuff said
2. Galadriel - Feanor's match in female form
3. Eoywn - she did take out the Lord of the Nazgul

Oh - I would disqualify two candidates from your list:
Huan - yeah, some impressive victories, but he is a hound.
Gandalf - incarnations of Maiar (or possibly Manwe) are just not fair comparisions

Other candidates:
Eorl: Sorry Eomer, Eorl would be the greatest
Barahir: Beren's ring had this name for a reason
#4
Old 12-12-2002, 02:10 PM
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I think your question's answer depends in large part on a very careful definition of what it is to be heroic. Most of the Elves and Men on your list were born and bred to their grand achievements, and nothing less could reasonably have been expected of them. They were simply being who they were.

Frodo and Sam, on the other hand, were simple folk who had no interest in adventures or world-saving, yet the burden was laid on them regardless.

Together they achieved what they should never have been asked to do in the first place, and on those grounds I think undeniably they were the greatest heroes on your list.
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#5
Old 12-12-2002, 02:12 PM
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You know I did mean to include Hurin as an honorable mention. Switched Frodo into #5 & forgot to move him down.
#6
Old 12-12-2002, 02:16 PM
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What? Not one mention of Bill the Pony???
#7
Old 12-12-2002, 02:22 PM
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Frodo and Sam for courage and valor far above and beyond the call of their station in life.

Luthien for being f'ing fearless and having the chops to back it up, all in the pursuit of hopeless loser Beren. Love is a many splendid thing.

Turin. Will personally kick Morgoth's ass before killing him at the end of time. Many desperate acts in the meantime.
#8
Old 12-12-2002, 02:47 PM
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Feanor always struck me as the biggest git in the entire history of Middle-Earth.

I figure all that over the top heroing is fine but you want my kinda hero I'mall for the likes of Beleg. No attitude, no whining, just doing his job till the end.
#9
Old 12-12-2002, 02:54 PM
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I see Beren, Luthien, and Huan as inextricably combined; you can't really seperate the deeds of one from the deeds of the other two.

Likewise for Sam and Frodo.

So for me:

1. Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins

2. Luthien, Huan and Beren

3. Elrond. For sheer amount of stuff he does.

4. Fingolfin. Cuz he's just really cool.



P.S. Feanor was a bratty, conceited git. (Hey, near simulpost CaptEgo!
#10
Old 12-12-2002, 04:06 PM
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I vote for Hurin. I believe he was noted as the strongest of any man, the only (beside Turin) who was strong enough to wear the Dragon Helm.

Plus, he made a hell of a stand at the Battle of U.T. (what does he call out with each ax-stroke? "Dawn shall come again" or something? way cool.) and withstood Morgoth's torment for decades.
#11
Old 12-12-2002, 04:10 PM
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"Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!"
#12
Old 12-12-2002, 04:21 PM
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deathawk, it's "Aur entuluva". Ya gotta get the accents right! Without it, all you said was "(the) fork (traditionally used for making lembas) shall come again!"
#13
Old 12-12-2002, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
deathawk, it's "Aur entuluva". Ya gotta get the accents right! Without it, all you said was "(the) fork (traditionally used for making lembas) shall come again!"
Yeah, but you have to admit the mental image of Hurin slaughtering trolls with a fork is priceless...
#14
Old 12-12-2002, 04:46 PM
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My vote is with Fiver -- while there were many well-equipped heroes doing heroic deeds for the good side, Frodo had to accomplish the most with the least resources of any. That to me is the ultimate in bravery.
#15
Old 12-12-2002, 04:49 PM
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As far as the greatest hero goes, my vote's for Hurin any day. Luthien, Beren and Huan share too much of the glory in their tale to take top prize.

As far as the greatest potential, my vote's for Galadriel. Certainly, even in the Rings saga, greater deeds have been done by "mortals", but I attribute that to the fact that most of them have Maia blood in their veins. (Of course, she had the help of the Ring....) I always think of Galadriel as far and away the most powerful non-ainur related entity in the Rings Saga. But of course we were talking about middle-earth and not just the Rings era.
#16
Old 12-12-2002, 05:02 PM
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Qagdop

And what do you think the traditional ingredients of lembas were?
#17
Old 12-12-2002, 05:19 PM
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Isildur's disqualified for not destroying the Ring when he had the chance.:wally
Elrond's out too--shouldn't he have pushed or tripped Isildur at the edge of the Crack of Doom?
My vote's for Luthien, Beren & Huan.
#18
Old 12-12-2002, 05:47 PM
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Hmmm....
I'm stuck between Luthien, Beren, and Huan vs. Fingolfin. But then Feanor was supposed to be the greatest Noldor of all...
#19
Old 12-12-2002, 06:11 PM
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I vote for Frodo, Sam and Bilbo.

True, Frodo did fail at the end, but he carried the ring all the way to Mount Doom before he did so. Even though it was starting to affect his mind already he managed to get to the very brink. Of course, had Gollum not been there things would have gone horribly, but, remember that he didn't choose to destroy the ring, the ring destroyed him and was carried along to it's own doom.

Sam never failed to stand by his friend and had the strength to give the ring back to Frodo even after feeling it's power, AND he was the force behind revitalizing the Shire after the war.

Bilbo carried the ring for years, keeping it safely hidden, even if he didn't know he was doing so, and ultimately walked away from it, which was probably the hardest thing he ever had to do.
#20
Old 12-12-2002, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
originally posted by Qadgop
Ya gotta get the accents right!

Actually, the dots over the are not required, they're just a reminder to English speakers that there are no silent e's in Quenya. Doesn't change the pronunciation.
#21
Old 12-12-2002, 08:55 PM
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That's a really good question.

I'd have to agree with Frodo and Sam - they did the most with the least of anybody in all the tales.

After them, we get into the more traditional heroes. I can't decide on the order, but the ones I admire most are:
Beren, who undertook an impossible task (knowing it was impossible) and achieved it, even if it was achieved with help from friends, and I really liked the way he answered Thingol: "Death you may give me earned or unearned; but the names I will not take from you of baseborn, nor spy, nor thrall. By the ring of Felagund, given to Barahir my father on the battlefields of the North, my house has not earned such names from any Elf, be he king or no."
Hurin, who fought valiantly - alone - against unnumbered enemies, only to live the remainder of his life in misery.
Finrod, for standing up to the sons of Feanor and going knowingly to his death to fulfil a vow of gratitude, even at the risk of his kingdom;
Fingolfin, for a whole lot, not the least of which is challenging Morgoth, one of the Valar, to combat, making all Morgoth's servants afraid, and fighting so fiercely that even the victors didn't ever want to talk about it again;
Fingon, for bringing peace between the sons of Finwe by his rescue of his friend and cousin Maedhros from Thangorodrim, even at the height of anger between the sons of Feanor and the sons of Indis.

Fingolfin, that's a good list, and I think you could make a good argument for almost any of them. But I don't really buy Elrond as a hero. He followed Gil Galad, hid in Rivendell behind the power of his ring, didn't want to fight Isengard or Mordor, etc. Basically I see him as too complacent. He didn't concern him with the events of his time except to give advice. He didn't really even help Thorin & Co on Bilbo's first quest, except to give them a good meal. Refused to allow Aragorn to marry Arwen until Aragorn claimed his throne. Basically he didn't put himself at any risk, and didn't really do much of note - caring only for his little slice of the past ages and nothing else. Even Galadriel, who was guilty of many of the same things, at least was more helpful to the fellowship than Elrond was.**


Side note (a bit of a hijack, but probably not enough for another thread) -
The bearers of the Three seemed very self-centered and isolationist. Cirdan just worried about his havens, never playing much of a role in anything since bringing aid during the destruction of Beleriand. Galadriel cared for Lothlorien and did nothing else. And I covered Elrond above. The only one with a ring who accomplished anything at all, beyond tending his own personal concerns, was Gandalf, with Cirdan's ring. Is it possible that Sauron's will was actually accomplished through the Three, same as with the Seven Dwarf rings -- that even though he couldn't directly control the bearers, they were drawn into a complacent, care-free state, minding their own realms and ignoring the events unfolding in the outside world?
#22
Old 12-12-2002, 10:05 PM
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This may be a better topic for a different thread, but regarding the elven rings and their bearers:

I read a critical analysis that I found compelling regarding why the Elves in the third age were so inactive. The elves by the advent of Third age had seen over 5000 years pass on middle earth, closer to 10000 by its end. You could make the argument it was likely even more than this as many had been around before the Sun first rose. The power and energy of their youth had been spent overthrowing Morgoth and Sauron (first time around). Even for elves, it does not seem a reach to call them world weary at this point. Everything around them had changed from when they were young - lands and forests both had passed.

The argument by this critic is that part of the reason they were summoned to Aman is that because of their nature, they were more naturally suited to live in the undying lands, where not only they, but the plants and animals around them aged but slowly if not at all. Both Elrond & Galadriel speak many times of "when the world was young". The critic makes the point that both Elrond & Galadriel used the power of the rings to create places where time passed very slowly - places that elves would thus feel more comfortable in. The other, non-elven characters make several comments about how time seems to pass slowly, or not at all in Lorien & Rivendell.

I don't think it was Sauron's will at all - simply that the elves were increasingly withdrawn from the aging world with the passage of time. Elrond & Galadrial performed very positive functions in that they gave the west centers of resistance to coalesce around. But the power of the elves to resist had waned with the passage of time. I look at them more like staff officers, rather than field generals. Both do a lot behind the scenes to further the cause, but they no longer have the means to actively fight Sauron in the field. Although I would point out that Galadrial threw down the walls of Dol Guldor at the end of the War of the Ring.

Cirdan is a special case. He had dwelt by the sea even in the First Age, and other than some minor involvement in the end of that era, had never really been interested in anything other than his ships. Which is why, I suspect, he passed the ring on to Mithrandir - he knew what the Istari were, and that they, better than he, could put the ring to use.
#23
Old 12-12-2002, 10:53 PM
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I vote with photopat - Frodo and Sam, with Bilbo as runner-up.

Quote:
Originally posted by Super Gnat
But then Fanor was supposed to be the greatest Noldor of all...
So what? Morgoth was "the mightiest of the Ainur" (Silmarillion, p. 340), but that didn't make him a hero

Remember, "Noldor" meant "wise" but "wise in the sense of possessing knowledge, not in the sense of possessing sagacity, sound judgment" (Silmarillion, p. 344). Fanor may have had the greatest knowledge, but he completely lacked good judgment - not a heroic combination.

Fanor was evil, in my opinion.
#24
Old 12-12-2002, 11:03 PM
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I'd argue Feanor was a hero in the Tragic Greek sense - Pride was his fatal flaw. That's why I include him on my list.
#25
Old 12-13-2002, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by c_carol

Actually, the dots over the are not required, they're just a reminder to English speakers that there are no silent e's in Quenya. Doesn't change the pronunciation.
Yes, so if the English speaker pronounces it with the e silent, as they could do if the is not shown, They would say "Awr" instead of the correct "Ow Ray", saying "lembas-making fork" instead of "day".
#26
Old 12-13-2002, 11:11 AM
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C'mon, guys, what is the point of ranking them? Each hero lived in a particular time and place, and his/her chances to do daring deeds and save the world are limited just by that. You don't want heroes starting wars during peaceful times just so they can show us their fighting chops and make a heroes' list, do you? You don't want someone who has screwed up to give up doing the honorable thing for the rest of his life because the screw-up boots him off the list?

One of the great things about Middle-Earth is that it was deep enough to give us heroes in every age, in every circumstance, and from every race (except of course for orcs which are universally and forever beyond the pale, slaughterable without thought, the perfect black and white enemy) and with human flaws in almost every case. To even want to award an "all-time greatest" designation seems to me to undercut JRRT's whole point: everyone in every circumstance should try their damnedest to do the right thing no matter how hard it is, and that while this may sometimes take the form of fighting, it doesn't always. Doing the right thing is important, and even ordinary people who are not "heroes" can do so.

Sorry to be a wet blanket. I know you guys are just speculating for fun. Please continue.
#27
Old 12-13-2002, 11:17 AM
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I'm going to have to nominate Maeglin as Middle Earth's foremost anti-hero.
#28
Old 12-13-2002, 12:43 PM
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I don't know...Feanor will definitely give Maeglin a run for his money in that contest.
#29
Old 12-13-2002, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by deathawk
QagdopAnd what do you think the traditional ingredients of lembas were?
this actually was addressed somewhere in HOMES. I'll have to find it. It may take a while.
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
this actually was addressed somewhere in HOMES. I'll have to find it. It may take a while.
The recipe for Lembas is in Unfinished Tales somewhere. God is in the details.
#31
Old 12-13-2002, 02:25 PM
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Whoever it was, I'm glad to see one character has been omitted from the list for being undeserving: The Editor. He could have stepped up and been a hero, but nooooooooooo...
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#32
Old 12-13-2002, 03:38 PM
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One thing you can be thankful for -- it was Fingolfin who made the OP here....
















...not Sauron!!
#33
Old 12-13-2002, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
The recipe for Lembas is in Unfinished Tales somewhere. God is in the details.
God? No wonder mortals can't make it. Where the heck am I going to get two tablespoons of God?
#34
Old 12-13-2002, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by toadspittle
God? No wonder mortals can't make it. Where the heck am I going to get two tablespoons of God?
A recipe for God stock:

cut a swatch off the Shroud of Turin and boil it 'til it dissolves. Then let it continue to boil down to a thick paste. Strain it through a gold plated fine sieve (but don't throw away any chunks, they can be placed in small glass vials and sold as reliquaries) and store in a lead container with suitable Hebrew inscriptions from the Kaballah. Freeze. It'll keep for approximately 2000 years at 30 degrees F.
#35
Old 12-13-2002, 04:21 PM
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It seems to me that "heroism" should refer to one's personal deeds, rather than acting as a general/king/marshall/etc. of others. So of the original list, I'll strike off Turgon, Finrod, Eomer, and Elrond. Admittedly, they all saw battle, but they didn't really do anything remarkable in battles. Maedros and Feanor, I'd say, ended up working more woe than weal, so eliminate them, too. And in the War of the Ring, I would argue that Meriadoc, whom you didn't mention, played a larger role than Legolas or Gimli, but even so, his deeds were eclipsed by the team of Frodo and Samwise (or even each individually). You might make a case for Aragorn, considering all his decades of adventuring before the War, but I'd still favor Frodo and Sam.

For all-time greatest, though, I'm going to have to go with the team of Beren, Luthien, and Huan (so what if he's a dog? Dogs can be heroic). Their quest was similar to Frodo and Sam's (covert mission into the heart of the Dark Lord's realm), but they were up against a more powerful and fearsome enemy by far. And while it certainly took some major cojones for Fingolfin to challange Morgoth, he did lose. Bravery is great, but succesful bravery is better. Besides, the fact that Beren, Luthien, and Huan were motivated soley by love seems (to me, at least) to thereby render their actions somehow more heroic.
#36
Old 12-13-2002, 04:28 PM
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Beren and Luthien were quite brave.

Frodo and friends were courageouss (no, I can't spell, shut up)

But, Fingolfin, that was the absolute most heroic single act of all. Even the Valar didn't show up alone. Fingolfin, he had balls.
#37
Old 12-14-2002, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp
[B]One thing you can be thankful for -- it was Fingolfin who made the OP here....
I dunno, I wouldnt trust any less an authority than Iluvatar
#38
Old 12-14-2002, 10:04 AM
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One could argue that Finarfin was the most heroic. Yes, I know he didn't return to middle-earth. But he recognized the whole Oath of Fanor was a bad idea, as was the whole flight of the Noldor, and he had the courage to swallow his pride and do the right thing, and return to Valmar to beg pardon.
#39
Old 12-14-2002, 10:57 AM
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Wait, wait, wait- Glorfindel single-handedly slew Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, at the fall of Gondolin. It was his 'holding the pass', so to speak, that bought time for Idril, Tuor, and a bunch of other people to escape. He sacrificed his life to save a bunch of people. Pretty brave, IMHO. (Of course, Glorfindel turns up again to save Frodo at the Fords of Bruinen; whether or not this is the same Glorfindel is quite a heated debate among Tolkien scholars.)

Turgon didn't really do much, quite frankly. Sure, he built a big ol' city, and sure, it was pretty and all, but he just hid behind his big rocks and refused to come out. For anything. Not too mch of a hero. He ofught bravely, sure, but everybody in Middle-Earth seems to fight bravely, so this doesn't mean much.

Feanor- not even a contender in my mind. He was arrogant, proud, and stupid. He made the Silmarils, but in the end, they caused nothing but trouble. Better they should never have been made at all, for what anyone actually got out of them. His sons jumped on his bandwagon and spent the next several thousand years making endles trouble for everyone. Feh to Feanor.

Frodo, Sam, and Bilbo- each carried the ring. Bilbo for a long time, and was remarkably resistant to it. He willingly gave it up to another person, something no one in the history of ME ever did, ever. Pretty cool. Frodo and Sam volunteered to take the Ring to the fires of Mordor- also very brave. Frodo's little slip at the end shouldn't count too much against him. These guys may qualify as the bravest heroes of ME.

Luthien, Beren, and Huan Definitely very brave. Luthien could kick ass and take names- she had the power to put Morgoth under a spell! But, she was half-Maia, so maybe this shouldn't mean too much. Beren is kind of dumb- all he does is fall in love and go to a ridiculous length to get the girl. Brave, I suppose, but not exactly selfless. I tend to define heroism as being largely a selfless act of bravery or courage, so IMHO, Beren doesn't really qualify. Now, Huan was super-cool. He was elfless and brave, and he died trying to save everyone from Carcharoth. A good dog.

Fingon, Finrod, and Fingolfin- brave dudes. Very selfless. I applaud them. They're definitely contenders for most heroic.

Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, various LotR characters- all fought bravely and helped Frodo and/or the rest of Middle-Earth. Cool, praise-worthy, but not the most heroic ever.

Elrond- helped Gil-galad. Spent the rest of his time hiding in Rivendell and feeling self-important. Not a hero.

Galadriel- helped the quest. Another one hiding and feeling self-important. More helpful than Elrond, but still not a hero.

Finarfin- Smart, but not a hero. Stayed home and watched the game.

About lembas...I remember from HoME (forget which volume) that lembas was made of special magic corn (which could be any grain, not neceessarily maize) given to the Elves by Yavanna. The responsibility for making lembas was left to the matriarch of the house or tribe- usually no one else made it. The corn was big and golden, and no insects, pests, or pathogens went near it. The Elves almost never gave it to other races, so it was a big deal when they did. Selfish bastards.
#40
Old 12-14-2002, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by deathawk
I'd argue Feanor was a hero in the Tragic Greek sense - Pride was his fatal flaw. That's why I include him on my list.
By that standard, why is Melkor not on the list? Same fatal flaw; same original position of pre-eminence in his group; same evil flowing from his pride and rebellion.

Fanor was a mini-Melkor: rebelled against the Valar; lusted for the Silmarills, placing his ownership of them over the good of the community and the chance to restore the light of the Trees; killed his own kin at the battle of the boats, since they stood in his way while trying to get the Silmarills back; brought war and bloodshed to Middle Earth.

Melkor and Fanor were united in their pride, their rebellion, and their lust for the Silmarills.
#41
Old 12-14-2002, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ratty
Frodo, Sam, and Bilbo- each carried the ring. Bilbo for a long time, and was remarkably resistant to it. He willingly gave it up to another person, something no one in the history of ME ever did, ever. Pretty cool.
Not quite. Tom Bombadil had the Ring and gave it back to Frodo, and Sam returned it to Frodo as well.
#42
Old 12-14-2002, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Northern Piper
Not quite. Tom Bombadil had the Ring and gave it back to Frodo, and Sam returned it to Frodo as well.
Minor quibble: Bombadil was less a 'person' and more a divine being, either a Maiar or an incarnation of Arda or somesuch.
#43
Old 12-14-2002, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Frodo, Sam, and Bilbo- each carried the ring. Bilbo for a long time, and was remarkably resistant to it. He willingly gave it up to another person, something no one in the history of ME ever did, ever. Pretty cool. Frodo and Sam volunteered to take the Ring to the fires of Mordor- also very brave. Frodo's little slip at the end shouldn't count too much against him. These guys may qualify as the bravest heroes of ME.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but before Bilbo had the Ring, only three other people had ever possessed it, right? Sauron, Isildur, then Gollum. Sauron, of course, was using the Ring for exactly the pruposes he created it: evil. So he had no reason to want to give it up. Isildur didn't give up the ring voluntarily, but he also didn't have the Ring long enough for it to start making him evil. Maybe he could have resisted it once it started working it's way on him (doubtful, but you never know) And having more willpower than Gollum is not exactly a heroic feat.

And, after Bilbo gave up the Ring, both Tom Bombadil and Samwise gave up the ring willingly, and Frodo tried on at least two or three occasions to give the Ring to someone else, but they wouldn't take it from him. Kinda makes me wonder if the Ring was as addictive as everyone says it was, or if Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel were the Middle Earth equivalent of the Partnership for a Drug Free America. "People who use the One Ring are supporting terrorists! And, um, they might accidentally shoot their best friend with their dad's gun! Look, it's your future self! He's a loser, because he used the One Ring! You don't want to end up like him, do you?"
#44
Old 12-14-2002, 04:53 PM
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Miller, Deagol had the ring after Isildur. Then Smeagol killed him and took it.

You said "correct me if I'm wrong", after all!
#45
Old 12-14-2002, 06:03 PM
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Isuldur was killed by a company of orcs at the gladden fields. The ring then lay hidden until it was found by Deagol. Deagol was muredered by Smeagol.

Maybe the disctiction Miller is after is that Bilbo was the only one of the three mortals who possessed the ring for any real length of time to begin his tenure with an act of kindness. If we count Sam and Deagol, we only get two out of three - Deagol didn't have much chance, but he did wish to possess rather than give. Sam of course acted out of altruism to the quest & was certainly the only mortal to knowingly turn down the rings true powers.
#46
Old 12-14-2002, 06:17 PM
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Regarding Feanor:

Since I think some of the rhetoric is getting a little overblown, let me clarify my point. Feanor & Morgoth exhibit two entirely seperate characteristcs. Feanor was possessive. Morgoth wished to dominate. This is an important distinction in the morality of middle earth. One is Bad, the other is the true face of Evil. The sin of possessiveness is exhibited by many of the 'good' characters in the mythos to various degrees, Valar not excluded. The Valar themselves claimed the light within the Silmarils. Perhaps Aule was the only of them to truly understand that while the light was Yavanna's, the work in capturing it within the gems was Feanor's.

This sin, along with his pride certainly led to a fall - most notably exhibited in the kinslaying at Aqalonde (sp?) and the burning of the ships. It certainly underlies his swearing of the oath. As the oath was based on a sin, there is little reason to wonder that it rebounds on those who swore it. However, that this sin is forgivable is seen at the end of the first age - though it was a sin none the less. This is why I class him a hero in the greek tragic sense. We can see with Feanor many ways it could have been otherwise.

Morgoth however, can achive no such redemption and recieves no such empathy. His will from the time of the music of the ainur forward is directed at dominating others, subjecting their will to his own. This leads to all manner of corruptions, but all are centered on perverting the will of Illuvatar. Once the Valar truly understand this, his fate is different than that of Feanor. Where Feanor must bide his time in penance in the Halls of Mandos, from whence he may someday return, Morgoth is thrust from this world beyond the walls of night.
#47
Old 12-14-2002, 06:31 PM
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There has been only one mention so far of Barahir; I would nominate he and Emeldir (the parents of Beren); Barahir firstly saved the life of Finrod Felagund, for which Finrod rewarded him by bestowing his (Finrod's) ring to him. Then Barahir also kept the lands of Dorthonion to the very end, he and his band. Emeldir, who most likely would rather have stayed by her husband's side, was tasked with leading the women and children out of Dorthonion to safety.

Everyone else mentioned are all wonderful candidates, but in my book, Barahir and Emeldir are the ones.
#48
Old 12-14-2002, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tarragon918
Everyone else mentioned are all wonderful candidates, but in my book, Barahir and Emeldir are the ones.
:nods: and propers to that tarragon918. My favourite is Haleth - who leads her people after her father and brother and many more are brutally slain by marauding Orcs. Finrod Felagund arranges a grant of the Forest of Brethil from the folk of Doriath - with one caveat: King Thingol requires Lady Haleth to swear an oath that she and her folk will not aid Morgoth.

"Where are Haldad my father, and Haldar my brother? If the King of Doriath fears a friendship between Haleth and those who have devoured her kin, then the thoughts of the Eldar are strange to Men." - Lady Haleth

JRR at his best...
#49
Old 12-14-2002, 08:48 PM
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How about Br? The token 'swarthy' guy stays true?
#50
Old 12-15-2002, 04:15 AM
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---3. Eoywn - she did take out the Lord of the Nazgul---

I've spent more wasted years of my life debating this very issue, but my take is that while both played a part, Merry struck the decisive blow. I'm sure the movie will give it all to Eowyn, since they've already cut out the part of the story relevant to Merry's deed (namely, his barrow-wight sword, "no other" mortal sword could have done the job), but in the book, it was Merry's blow that "severed the unseen sinews" and so forth that bound the Witch King to his garments and made him invincible to any mortal weapon. Whether that alone was enough to kill him, or whether Eowyn's blow was necessary, is debatable, but you can't forget Merry.
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