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Old September 9, 2021, 18:09   #1
syvana1
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Brodha be Eeeevil?

Had a bit of luck in that my Necromancer found a staff of dispel Evil at level 10 however when I went to use it on Brodda the easterling a nasty piece of work who picks on defenseless women and children, it turned out he was too pure of heart to be effected. I guess they had it coming. (Playing 4.2.1)
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Old September 9, 2021, 22:02   #2
Ingwe Ingweron
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Brodda may be a mean spirited bully in Bree, but he's pretty far down the totem pole as far as "evil" is concerned. There are many examples of this in Angband, Mim's children for example, may be misguided, but not "evil" like their dad.
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Old September 9, 2021, 22:34   #3
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Lots of really, really nasty enemies are not considered evil, as you get deeper in the dungeon.
Necromancer needs an alternative ways to kill enemies. By the time you meet the early orc chiefs (Lagduf, Grishnakh, Golfimbul), your nether bolt is not going to do the job.

Necromancer is a challenge class. Without a question, the hardest one to get it going (save great early luck).
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Old September 9, 2021, 23:00   #4
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Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
There are many examples of this in Angband, Mim's children for example, may be misguided, but not "evil" like their dad.
I always felt sorry for Mim and dont understand how anyone can consider him "evil." He and his sons are all alone, the last of his people (a people incidentally who were genocided by elves). He is out looking for food when he gets captured by bandits, his son is murdered and he is forced to shelter the murderers of his son. Sure he betrays Turin and his band to the orcs, but *they murdered his son and stole his home.* Also, its not clear that he betrayed Turin willingly.

At worst the guy was angry and vengeful. He's certainly far less repugnant than Feanor.

Now credit to Tolkien, neither the Silmarillion nor Children of Hurin really try to excuse Turins behavior during the whole sorry episode.
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Old September 9, 2021, 23:16   #5
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I always felt sorry for Mim and dont understand how anyone can consider him "evil." He and his sons are all alone, the last of his people (a people incidentally who were genocided by elves). He is out looking for food when he gets captured by bandits, his son is murdered and he is forced to shelter the murderers of his son. Sure he betrays Turin and his band to the orcs, but *they murdered his son and stole his home.* Also, its not clear that he betrayed Turin willingly.

At worst the guy was angry and vengeful. He's certainly far less repugnant than Feanor.

Now credit to Tolkien, neither the Silmarillion nor Children of Hurin really try to excuse Turins behavior during the whole sorry episode.
Well put. I always have a really hard time trying to sympathise with Turin at all.
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Old September 16, 2021, 17:06   #6
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Well put. I always have a really hard time trying to sympathise with Turin at all.
It's interesting. While Children of Hurin is my least favorite of the Great Tales (so, so sad that's the only one that has a complete "modern" rendition, I would give anything for a full novelization of Beren and Luthien) I do find Turin to be an interesting character. He feels very *human*, stumbling from problem to problem of his own making, with brief moments where he understands they're of his own making, but he just can't seem to tame his worst impulses. The best he can do is temporarily redirect them to more constructive ends.

He feels like he's cut from the same cloth as Boromir, and Boromir is one of my favorite characters in LOTR.
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Old September 16, 2021, 23:27   #7
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It's interesting. While Children of Hurin is my least favorite of the Great Tales (so, so sad that's the only one that has a complete "modern" rendition, I would give anything for a full novelization of Beren and Luthien)
The one I really mourn is the Fall of Gondolin. Rubbing salt in the wound, there is a beginning of a full rewrite of it in "Unfinished Tales", which is possibly my favourite piece of Tolkien's writing.
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Old September 17, 2021, 18:05   #8
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The one I really mourn is the Fall of Gondolin. Rubbing salt in the wound, there is a beginning of a full rewrite of it in "Unfinished Tales", which is possibly my favourite piece of Tolkien's writing.
Yeah, I read both the paetial rewrite and the original version in the "Fall of Gondolin" book. Man, the old version may not quite line up with current canon, but it is *epic*.

Personally, though I have to go with the original version of Beren and Luthien for my favorite piece of writing. Theres a but when Luthien is first setting out to save Beren where she cries in terror, before pressing on. That really hammered home for me just how terrifying "Melko" was for the elves, and just how much she relied on her mother's girdle before then.
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Old September 19, 2021, 00:56   #9
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Would it be controversial to suggest that Tolkien might have had a very opposite-of-nuanced idea of evil? I don't think it's too much of stretch that his experiences during The War and religiosity may have affected the writing. I'm no literary critic or anything, but the themes in the books seem very Original Sin-esque and all that.

EDIT: Think of any random orc. Could that orc redeem himself through being a good person? Were they only capable of evil and therefore irredeemable? How could an orc in a society of orcs (who can only do evil) even function?

Dgmw, it works for a story, but it is very simplistic.

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Old September 19, 2021, 01:30   #10
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Would it be controversial to suggest that Tolkien might have had a very opposite-of-nuanced idea of evil? I don't think it's too much of stretch that his experiences and religiosity may have affected the writing. I'm no literary critic or anything, but the themes in the books seem very Original Sin-esque and all that.
He was a devout Catholic, and had a very strong belief in the concept of the Fall, and this definitely affected everything to do with his writing. So Morgoth is a pretty good equivalent to Lucifer. His ideas of evil when applied to humans in his works are pretty conventional for his background - everyone is capable of both evil and good, and so on. Boromir, for example, is tempted to do evil acts for what seem like good reasons to him, but then repents and is redeemed.

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EDIT: Think of any random orc. Could that orc redeem himself through being a good person?
This is where it gets tricky. Morgoth and Sauron are mostly regarded as an embodiment of evil (although both of them behave well at different times, and there is some hint that they had a chance of genuine repentance). Orcs were created by Morgoth (more or less - this was another thorny issue for Tolkien that he never really resolved), and so shared some of that embodied-evilness, which would imply the answer to your question is no. The description of the battle aftermath at the gate of Mordor after the ring was destroyed indicates the difference between how the humans behaved and how orcs and trolls did. But despite all that, you do get occasional flashes of "humanity" even from the orcs - in the conversation Sam overhears between Shagrat and Gorbag, for example.

My feeling is that Tolkien believed with his head that absolute evil exists, and translated that into his work, but faced with (real or written) sentient beings his feeling of faith in God and humanity softened the edges a bit.
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Last edited by Nick; September 19, 2021 at 02:54. Reason: Spelling
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