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East Wind, Rain?



Attalus
Lorien


Jan 8, 8:29pm


Views: 2800
East Wind, Rain?

I have been reading from TFotR and note two references to the East Wind, both derogatory, one from Merry with agreement from Aragorn, and another from Gimli, and Aragorn says that in Gondor they endure the East Wind but do not sing of it. Is this some Britishism, or am I missing something? Here in Texas, the East Wind is welcomed as a sign of rain, but apparently in Middle-earth, it is cold. In the Bible, the east wind is the one which is mentioned most often and it is generally described as a very strong, hot and dry wind. https://rrkelkar.wordpress.com/...-winds-of-the-bible/

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


squire
Half-elven


Jan 8, 9:08pm


Views: 2746
Enduring the East Wind in England

"Whew, it’s as cold as the North Pole. Which way is the wind blowing?”

And as he said that, Mr Banks popped his head out of the window and looked down the Lane to Admiral Boom’s house at the corner. ....

“Ha!” said Mr Banks, drawing in his head very quickly. “Admiral’s telescope says East Wind. I thought as much. There is frost in my bones. I shall wear two overcoats.” -
Travers, (1934). Mary Poppins, chapter 1.

I've never forgotten that bit in the book whereby the cold, harsh, violent East Wind brings the other-worldly Mary to the children. Well before I read The Lord of the Rings, I learned from P. L. Travers that the British find their East Wind cold and somewhat magical. And why not? It comes from Siberia - and it comes rarely, as the usual wind in Britain is from the West, carrying the warmth of the Gulf Stream into its northern latitude.

For Tolkien all that ties in perfectly with his proto-British mythical geography whereby the West points heavenward and the East points to the opposite, even though the northwest of Middle-earth actually would not have the same weather patterns as his native island.

Of course, in Texas, the Biblical lands, and Japan ('East Wind, Rain' was its coded war warning to its diplomats just before Pearl Harbor) there would be other associations. They are in different parts of the globe, with different arrangements of land and sea, warmth and cold, and prevailing winds.



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Attalus
Lorien


Jan 8, 9:30pm


Views: 2731
Don't Sing of the East Wind

Thanks for the illuminating quote. Heh, living in Texas, wearing two overcoats is simply unthinkable, though an ex-Swedish friend of mine was wearing two jackets when I saw her during out last freeze. She says that is one reason she left Sweden Smile

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 9, 6:08am


Views: 2686
That reminds me of "His Last Vow" from the "Sherlock" TV series. //

 

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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 9, 12:26pm


Views: 2668
My Grandfather, a Michigan farmer

from the 1920s through the 1940s would observe that the East wind would bring weather that lasted 3 days and he'd farm accordingly... especially during planting/harvest seasons. It wasn't clear if this was a good omen or bad, but it was relevent enough to grab his attention every time.

I know this isn't really relating to the topic, but that's what the East winds mean in the old tales here :)



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Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jan 10, 12:25am


Views: 2615
The "East Wind" does literally blow, but

 was Tolkien being somewhat metaphorical: Could he be hinting of the peoples and danger that come from the East? It's an ill wind? /

‘. . . the rule of no realm is mine . . .
But all worthy things that are in peril . . . those are my care.
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?'

Gandalf to Denethor




Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 10, 9:08am


Views: 2598
"When the wind is in the east, 'tis neither good for man nor beast"

(From a rhyme listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs)

I've always thought of their reluctance to speak (or sing) of the East Wind as being because that's the direction of Mordor, but it does have a history in British literature. My first thought was of Dickens' Bleak House, where Mr Jarndyce remarks that the wind is in the east (no matter its actual direction) whenever he's troubled by some foreboding:

"I'll take an oath it's either in the east, or going to be. I am always conscious of an uncomfortable sensation now and then when the wind is blowing in the east”.


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Greenwood Hobbit
Grey Havens


Jan 12, 9:51am


Views: 2528
I have a friend who lives

in the Midlands of England not too far from where Tolkien grew up. According to them, there's no high ground (to temper the easterly wind) between them and the Ural Mountains! When an easterly wind blows it tends to be bitterly cold in winter and might bring snow - or is blastingly dry and, having passed over so much land, not as fresh. I am on the west coast and we tend to have more westerlies off the sea, lovely clean air, not as cold thanks to the Gulf Stream, but much wetter. British weather is a tricksssy beast!


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 12, 2:37pm


Views: 2521
Yes

"Stand with me here upon the terrace, for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have."

The two friends chatted in intimate converse for a few minutes, recalling once again the days of the past, while their prisoner vainly wriggled to undo the bonds that held him. As they turned to the car Holmes pointed back to the moonlit sea and shook a thoughtful head.

"There's an east wind coming, Watson."

"I think not, Holmes. It is very warm."

"Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared."

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "His Last Bow"

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.





Attalus
Lorien


Jan 12, 10:24pm


Views: 2495
Interesting quotes!

Thanks to all that replied. I feel I have a better understanding of the "East Wind" trope, now. Wink

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


dormouse
Half-elven


Jan 13, 10:53am


Views: 2441
As another Brit.....

I can cheerfully confirm everything the others have said. Smile For us the east wind is literally threatening. It's cold. Good weather never comes on an east wind. Gardeners are advised to plant anything tender with shelter from the east (and north).
And beyond that, metaphorically, mythologically, historically, things that threaten these islands - invasions, wars, or rumours of other people's wars that might become a threat - come from the east. North or south, sometimes, but never west. West of the British Isles was no threat, just open sea, with perhaps some fabled paradise beyond. In the 6th century St Brendan is said to have set out from Ireland, sailing 'into the West' across the Atlantic in search of the Island of the Blessed. The earliest written accounts of his voyage date from the 10th century.
That's what east and west mean to us in Britain. It's what underlies the geography of Middle-earth.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 13, 5:00pm


Views: 2416
Yes, but it matters where you are on the planet -

In these parts, similar to your grandfather’s land, an east wind usually brings changeable weather, often rain.

But in the region where the Bible was written, as Attalus points out, east winds are hot and dry. That makes sense, for in that area, east winds would be coming off the vast deserts of Jordan and Syria.



(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jan 13, 5:03pm)


CMackintosh
Registered User

Jan 15, 8:36am


Views: 2313
Peter Jackson and the Irony of Geography

In New Zealand, it's the south wind that brings the winter chill to summertime. The east wind, like the west wind, comes across a vast stretch of ocean, and often brings rain with it. Wind from the north, north-west or north-east, tends to bring the highs, while the west-northwest wind on the East Coast of the South Island tends to bring hot dry weather - the North-Western Arch, as they term it in Christchurch.

Geography and irony go together in the making of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films.


Ent Wife
The Shire


Jan 15, 7:44pm


Views: 2283
Great reply! :)


In Reply To
"Whew, it’s as cold as the North Pole. Which way is the wind blowing?”
And as he said that, Mr Banks popped his head out of the window and looked down the Lane to Admiral Boom’s house at the corner. ....
“Ha!” said Mr Banks, drawing in his head very quickly. “Admiral’s telescope says East Wind. I thought as much. There is frost in my bones. I shall wear two overcoats.” -
Travers, (1934). Mary Poppins, chapter 1.

I've never forgotten that bit in the book whereby the cold, harsh, violent East Wind brings the other-worldly Mary to the children. Well before I read The Lord of the Rings, I learned from P. L. Travers that the British find their East Wind cold and somewhat magical. And why not? It comes from Siberia - and it comes rarely, as the usual wind in Britain is from the West, carrying the warmth of the Gulf Stream into its northern latitude.
For Tolkien all that ties in perfectly with his proto-British mythical geography whereby the West points heavenward and the East points to the opposite, even though the northwest of Middle-earth actually would not have the same weather patterns as his native island.
Of course, in Texas, the Biblical lands, and Japan ('East Wind, Rain' was its coded war warning to its diplomats just before Pearl Harbor) there would be other associations. They are in different parts of the globe, with different arrangements of land and sea, warmth and cold, and prevailing winds.

As a British expat now living in the NW US, I concur. Smile


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 15, 9:06pm


Views: 2259
Although it depends on which side of the islands you're on. :)


In Reply To
The east wind, like the west wind, comes across a vast stretch of ocean, and often brings rain with it.


East wind = wet, cooler in the east and hot and dry in the west (except Auckland).

West wind = wet, cooler in the west and hot and dry in east (except Auckland).

Auckland = all possible weather in one day. Tongue

Of course, Christchurch's foehn wind is another beast altogether (which I realised only a few years ago wasn't a 'fern' wind, as I had thought). Blush

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Attalus
Lorien


Jan 15, 9:06pm


Views: 2258
Wow!

Some really illuminating information here, folks! Thanks to all!

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 16, 5:07am


Views: 2209
Don't even get me started on that Nor'wester...

...it's Australia's fault anyway. Laugh




Attalus
Lorien


Jan 16, 10:16pm


Views: 2171
The Northeaster?


Quote
WELCOME, wild North-easter!
Shame it is to see
Odes to every zephyr;
Ne’er a verse to thee.

Charles Kingley

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 23, 7:53pm


Views: 2035
Mary Poppins - Nazgul?

And after supper Jane and Michael sat at the window watching for Mr. Banks to come home, and listening to the sound of the East Wind blowing through the naked branches of the cherry­-­trees in the Lane. The trees themselves, turning and bending in the half light, looked as though they had gone mad and were dancing their roots out of the ground.

“There he is!” said Michael, pointing suddenly to a shape that banged heavily against the gate. Jane peered through the gathering ­darkness.

“That’s not Daddy,” she said. “It’s somebody ­else.”

Then the shape, tossed and bent under the wind, lifted the latch of the gate, and they could see that it belonged to a woman, who was holding her hat on with one hand and carrying a bag in the other.

-"East Wind", Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.





N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 23, 8:03pm


Views: 2033
I never read that!

Though having heard the title before, I ought to have guessed that the TV producers took the "east wind" line from the story.

(As a child, I was given a Sherlock Holmes collection, but it only includes the first three series of stories plus three novels, and I've never read any of the others.)

There are four lights.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.