Then Finduilas rose, and queenly indeed she looked. ‘Your eyes are dimmed, Gwindor,’ she said. ‘You do not see or understand what has here come to pass. Must I now be put to double shame to reveal the truth to you? For I love you, Gwindor, and I am ashamed that I love you not more, but have taken a love even greater, from which I cannot escape. I did not seek it, and long I put it aside. But if I have pity for your hurts, have pity on mine. Túrin loves me not, nor will.’

‘You say this,’ said Gwindor, ‘to take the blame from him whom you love. Why does he seek you out, and sit long with you, and come ever more glad away?’ ‘Because he also needs solace,’ said Finduilas, ‘and is bereaved of his kin. You both have your needs. But what of Finduilas? Now is it not enough that I must confess myself to you unloved, but that you should say that I speak so to deceive?’

‘Nay, a woman is not easily deceived in such a case,’ said Gwindor. ‘Nor will you find many who will deny that they are loved, if that is true.’

‘If any of us three be faithless, it is I: but not in will. But what of your doom and rumours of Angband? What of death and destruction? The Adanedhel is mighty in the tale of the World, and his stature shall reach yet to Morgoth in some far day to come.’

‘He is proud,’ said Gwindor.

‘But also he is merciful,’ said Finduilas. ‘He is not yet awake, but still pity can ever pierce his heart, and he will never deny it. Pity maybe shall be ever the only entry. But he does not pity me. He holds me in awe, as were I both his mother and a queen.’

from Narn i Chîn Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien

It's hard to understand what the bolded lines mean. For the Finduilas' line, I cannot understand the structure but I guess the meaning like this: I confessed Túrin does not love me and in that I am already ashamed but you say that I'm lying.

The following line by Gwindor seems to admit that she did not lie.

I must have taken wrong these lines for they seem not to get along with.

If you could explain them to me I would really appreciate.

and plus, the paragragh following the bolded lines seems unfit. Why does she talk about other things and come back to whether Túrin loves her or not? I hope to hear your opinions.

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, ColleenV Sep 20 '17 at 21:28

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I think you're quite right that Gwindor's highlighted reply doesn't really fit the context very well. He admits that Finduilas is unlikely to be mistaken as regards whether Túrin loves her or not - and that it's (statistically) unlikely that she would claim no-one loved her if in fact Túrin did love her. So it's unclear why he prefaces his reply with Nay, since he seems to be agreeing with what Finduilas said, not refuting it. But it is from Unfinished Tales, so Perhaps Tolkien would have tidied it up a bit if he'd gone over it more carefully. – FumbleFingers Sep 20 '17 at 15:09

I'm with FumbleFingers on this one. Tolkien's prose is frequently dense and difficult to parse, but this does not flow as expected. Eventually it works, but you have to read very carefully. Also without more context, I have to guess at each character's motivations.

But let me try to paraphrase:

Finduilas: You are mistaken, Gwindor. I am ashamed to say that while I do love you, I love Turin more. I didn't want to love him, but I can't help it. I'm sorry this hurts you, but I'm suffering too, since Turin does not love me and will never love me.

Gwindor: You're wrong. Why do you think he comes and sits for you for long periods of time, and then seems happy afterward?

F: Because, like you, he's lonely, and sad, and he misses his family. But what of me? Here I confess that Turin doesn't love me, and then you tell me that I'm lying to you to make you feel better?

G: No, you know what's going on. There aren't many women who will deny real love when they find it.

F: Well, if any of us is in the wrong, it is I, but not because I want to lie to anyone.

Then Finduilas changes the subject.

  • Thanks a lot for your answer. It is Finduilas who changes the subject because the paragraph starting with ‘If any of us three...' is uttered by Finduilas. – Young Sep 21 '17 at 8:10
  • @Young Yes, you are right. – Andrew Sep 21 '17 at 13:40

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