Monday, April 18, 2011

Fate vs. Freewill

In Tolkien's world, I feel that you cannot make a distinction between fate and freewill. Rather, it seems that these two opposing themes actually form a unique relationship that leads an individual or character, like Turim, down a certain path. They're much like partners in a continual dance, playing off of each other. While Turin made distinct decisions, like to ignore the Elven King of Doriath's pardon, the results of those decisions are completely out of his control. Evidence of this shows up in our world as well; on a daily basis we make decisions, but once a decision is made we must submit to the consequences and reactions. Tolkien intertwines choices and destiny seamlessly, and remains true to the real-world characteristics and complexities of fate and freewill as well. Yet another reason why Tolkien's Middle-earth is so believable.


Miriel said...

I agree, as do I think everyone, that fate and freewill are very interconnected in Tolkien's writings. I just realized how much more interesting a story becomes when it is guided both by fate (or some kind of outside force) and freewill because this makes the character's conflict both internal and external. And of course when the conflict is stronger, there is a more interesting story.

Elwing said...

I totally agree with Idril. The line between fate and free will is very ambiguous in Tolkien's work. Throughout "The Lord of the Rings" the events and "choices" of the characters have a duality that can play with your mind. It does make things interesting. Tolkien's world is filled with shades of grey instead of black and white, just like the real world.

Diamond Took said...

I agree. I would also add that the text made it rather indistinguishable whether it was fate or free will. Couldn't a curse have influenced Turin's brain activity or something and help him make bad decisions? Who knows? Although I suspect Tolkien probably doesn't see it this way.