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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
It's Tolkien Reading Day! Post your ABCs of Tolkien here.
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NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2010, 3:47pm

Post #101 of 149 (683 views)
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How did drasils turn into wargs? [In reply to] Can't Post

Both in terms of the animals (which seems like not too large a jump) and in terms of the words/etymologies? I see from Wikipedia that warg also comes from Norse mythology, and that there is a tradition of Norse mythology creatures riding wolves. Wikipedia also indicates that wolf-riding orcs appeared in "an early version of the story of Beren and Lutthien written in the 1920s". So maybe wolves turned into drasils, who then turned back into wargs?

Is there a stronger link here than just two words from Norse mythology (actually, is drasil actually from Norse mythology? Wikipedia doesn't give a reference for that point...) that indicate things people ride? Does there need to be?

BTW - the reference to a gallows being a hanged man's horse seems reasonable to me - a horse supports its rider above the ground, as does the gallows. I see the flaws there, but somehow that analogy works for me.

Notta




GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 4:14pm

Post #102 of 149 (1058 views)
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Cool stuff! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, my Lady!
I quite agree that as the years wore on (by the new forward it was ten years) the professor very likely DID grow quite annoyed at the continual pontificating of critics assuming allegory in very specific manners and agree with you that what he said in the foreword was probably more pointed than I interpreted it and likely aimed directly at those critics, as that entire portion of the foreward was addressed to criticisms of LotR.

That is REALLY COOL about roman a cle. I know the medieval Church was very fond of such stories as religious parable (think the Nun's Tale in Chaucer) but I hadn't considered it as a secular genre.

Yep, agree with you in your conclusion. Metaphor and symbolism are wholly 'applicable' (well, MOST metaphor anyway) whereas allegory is much more directly and purposefully linked.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 4:33pm

Post #103 of 149 (750 views)
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Niggle and Tasks... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think this is another work of Tolkien's where he reached into his feelings for the universal that we all feel. It's not among my favourites because for me the allegory is just a bit heavy-handed here and I far prefer Smith of Wooton Major among works of this kind. But Niggle is still a wonderful story with some great "views through a window" as another poster quoted Frodo's view into Lorien. One of my favourite comments by Professor Tolkien regarding why it took so very long to write LotR was, "...and it had to be typed and re-typed - by me, the cost of professional typing by the ten-fingered was beyond my means." I think that illustrates your comment about 'skill' delaying something wonderful, something important - and perhaps adding to the boiling pot of Story that perhaps, somehow is necessary.

My Tree? I'm a wannabe writer and like Niggle (and Tolkien) I've re-done my works so many times that you could probably write a series similar to HoME based upon my drafts. For me Tolkien set the bar very high, and I tell myself that if I could only write 1/3 as well as he I should be a very happy writer. I will be 49 in two months and two days and 50 appears to be a significant age for Tolkien characters (though he himself was "only" 45 when The Hobbit was published!) so perhaps then I'll find the clarity of purpose to fix my stylistic flaws and write a 'middle' that matches my beginnings and ends of stories (at least in my mind). I will be able to as long as I keep tending "my tree" and pouring the water of my Love and the fertilizer of my Thought into it. With a measure of fortune to have a long enough Life, of course! (chuckle) Since you preface your next question I am disqualified from answering. The last question is an 'or' so I'm not certain whether your previous prohibition still applies or not?

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 4:50pm

Post #104 of 149 (803 views)
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Wish I had your impishness! [In reply to] Can't Post

There were several additionals I wanted to do, but there is plenty of time "We have ALL the day before us..." (chuckle)

"Tres anios para los reyes de los trascos
Bajo del cielo
Siete para los maridos de los enanos
En sus parinanfos del piedra
Nueve para hombres mortales
Sentenciar a muerte
Uno para el Marido Oscuro
En su trono oscuro
Un anio a regir todos los
Un anio a hallarlos
Un anio a traer todos los
Y en la obscuridad ligarlos
En la Tierra de Mordor
Adonde mentiran los Sombras"

I made a few errors in it, such as originally I had "sortijas" for "anios" when sortija is a very different sort of 'ring'. Also 'mentiran' is the sort of lying as in an untruth and not the usual interpretation of being where something lies, but for a high school kid in his second year of the language, not TOO bad.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 4:55pm

Post #105 of 149 (760 views)
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I remembered... [In reply to] Can't Post

Tuor's guide, but nowhere near to the depth brought by "our" Voronwe's post. It explains a great deal why this elf's name came to be the embodiment of faithfulness to a hard task.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



Tweezers of Thu
Rivendell


Mar 26 2010, 4:58pm

Post #106 of 149 (692 views)
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Oh, yes! Even after 44 years (gasp!)... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I still find nuances in JRRT's legendarium, even in very familiar stuff! Tolkien's elaborations of the Drúedain in both Unfinished Tales and The Peoples of Middle-earth are worth a read. Just more that adds to the richness of his sub-creation and gives it that heady mix of reality and Faerie.

Ha! Yes, indeed, my son (now in his early 20s) and I have some interesting discussions! He read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at age 12 (and multiple times since then) so when we ambled to the Harvard Square theatre in 2001 to see PJ's The FotR, he was already indoctrinated with the books.Wink But we, along with the rest of the family enjoyed the movies, although he did crack me up when, upon Elrond's first appearance on-screen, he said, "Look, Mom! There's Mitzi!" in reference to Hugo Weaving's role as "Mitzi del Bra" in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Anyway, I gave him a lovely Nasmith-illustrated edition ot The Silmarillion a couple of years ago, too, and he periodically looks at bits and pieces of The HoMe. Not long ago, while driving back home from a movie, we got into a heated argument concerning volcanism and Númenor (he and I are both "round earthers" per "Myths Transformed"); his younger teenaged sister was mortified at our "nerdiness", as she put it. Sly

Your entry on Kirith Ungol is wonderful! That particular bit in The Two Towers gave me the creeps as a kid (a wolf spider bit me when I was a toddler so I have some degree of arachnophobia) so this has always resonated with me. Tolkien's illustrations highlight his characteristic noodling with his conceptions, and the illustrations you posted demonstrate this beautifully. Another neat bit is the idea of Mordor being fortified, but that it's not Mordor trying to keep intruders out.

Magpies_alphabet

Gothmog and Draugluin on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Newsletter



Tweezers of Thu
Rivendell


Mar 26 2010, 5:36pm

Post #107 of 149 (695 views)
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Another example! Flame-eyed Elves! [In reply to] Can't Post

The Sindarin word for an Elf who had lived in Aman was lachenn (plural lachinn), which translates as "flame-eyed". The moniker was given thanks to the light of the Two Trees that was captured in the Noldorin exiles' eyes. So these are not quite glowing like Gollum's peepers or an angry Wose, but there clearly is something more intense going on. Perhaps some funky Rayleigh scattering in Noldorin irises? Wink

Re: the Woses. You're quite welcome, and likewise, thanks for the post on X-ray vision! I got a kick out of your offering in a big way, especially the "science-y" part. With a nod to FarFromHome's remarks, yes, this is an imaginary history, and as Michael Ramer (I think it was Ramer) said (paraphrasing) in "The Notion Club Papers", sometimes only the mysterious wave of the wizard's wand will do in lieu of a "scientifictitious" explanation. However, it's difficult, if not impossible, for us scientists who are also Tolkien fans to refrain from speculation on such matters. And, after all, Tolkien practically invited us to do so (cf. his letter to Peter Hastings).

Anyway, I'll hop in with some responses:

3) Do the dwarves eyes really glow, or is that poetic license?

Mythic hyperbole. Wink

4) Does Tolkien's ray-vision bother you?

Not really. I mean, I suspend belief with regard to humans with indefinite longevity and jewelry that confers invisibility, but I confess that I do speculate in a "scientifictitious" manner which no doubt would appall the old Oxford don.

5) In a world where Smaug is both large enough that he can ruin entire mountain sides, his fall splinters an entire town and causes the lake to come "roaring in", but yet small enough to traverse through Dwarven tunnels killing the dwarves and collecting all their treasure, and a world where Smaug is capable of living in a vast wasteland with no food, coming out so infrequently that entire generations doubt he exists and yet he's capable of generating large amounts of energy and flame at a moments notice, is it wrong that what bothers me is his glowing eyes?

Not at all. We all have our quirks. Mine happen to be astronomical bodies created from fruit. Wink

7) Do I now need to forgive P. Jackson his laser-beam Sauron, since not only did he not really invent the idea, but it's practically canon for Tolkien's major evil creatures to have ray-vision?

Well, my Big Boss (that would be Thû) has not forgiven P. Jackson for portraying him as a giant lighthouse, so he doesn't see why you should either.

Magpies_alphabet

Gothmog and Draugluin in the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Newsletter



(This post was edited by Tweezers of Thu on Mar 26 2010, 5:37pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 26 2010, 5:51pm

Post #108 of 149 (715 views)
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Would that be a stoat? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
...our own VirtualWeasel...



Polecat? Ferret? Sable?



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


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 26 2010, 6:59pm

Post #109 of 149 (730 views)
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Muchos gracias [In reply to] Can't Post

if that is correct Spanish, I don't get that far. I went to Spain to see the LOTR-exhibition and luckily everything was also in English. For all I could say in Spanish was that I couldn't speak Spanish (at least, I think I said it, because most people stopped talking in Spanish after that Wink ).

I really like to read it, can pick up some words, getting it from French and the little I know of Spanish.

I could give you the Dutch version, but I don't really like that version, they tried to get it into rhyme too much, and with that missed some rather significant words.



Evernight
Rivendell


Mar 26 2010, 7:03pm

Post #110 of 149 (696 views)
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Marido Oscuro, lol... [In reply to] Can't Post

Al leer eso me imaginé a Doña Sauron y su marido Sauron en su torre de Mordor discutiendo por la obsesión del señor de la casa con las joyas, aun mayor que la de su señora. Laugh

I don't have any examples at hand, but I know that some english authors would want to kill me if they read my early school translations of their works, lol.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit...



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 7:14pm

Post #111 of 149 (784 views)
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It's not too far off... [In reply to] Can't Post

But no, it's not correct Spanish. I was a 2nd year HS student and not good enough to get it right.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 7:16pm

Post #112 of 149 (756 views)
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<Takes his lumps> [In reply to] Can't Post

But you have to admit, that's pretty incredible that I remembered the entire thing after more than thirty years as I had translated it and not the correct version.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 26 2010, 7:21pm

Post #113 of 149 (801 views)
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Close enough... [In reply to] Can't Post

Technically the thanks and it's modifier have to agree in gender (mucho is masculine but gracias is feminine so it would be 'muchas'). Yes, it's a very difficult thing to translate poetry and still get it close to what the author is actually talking about. John Ciardi does a great explanation of this in his foreword to his translation of Dante's Inferno and John M. Ford has a wonderful bit he passes on in his novel The Final Reflection by relaying the Italian proverb transducciore tradditore (the translator is a traitor).

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



batik
Tol Eressea


Mar 26 2010, 9:16pm

Post #114 of 149 (769 views)
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Middle-earth in HD... [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile...the descriptive passage of Lothlorien reminds me of ads for HD!


Quote

Which artist has captured the essence of Lothórien? How do they succeed or fail in depicting its most salient qualities


Can I pick and choose? (and expose my lack of art-related terminology?)
I like Tolkien's tree in the foreground--the shape and color of it all--trunk, leaves, blooms. Nice.
The use of light in the Bros. Hildebrant catches my eye--the way the sunlight seems to be coming down through the leaves onto the trunks of those trees that are mainly in shadow. The sky light is also nice--kind of seems alive and to reflect, to some degree, on the entire picture.
Hmmm--this one from Lee doesn't interest me much-- which is a surprise since I usually like his work alot. Well, the "frame" is interesting.
Nasmith seemed to best *catch* the overall look of the grounds.


Quote

--What are the essential qualities of Lothórien that make it stand apart from the rest of the natural world in Tolkien’s Middle-earth?


Something that jumps to my mind...the idea of not being able to be certain of how much time passed. Not simply a matter of losing track of a few hours or a couple of days but as in---how many days/weeks have we been here?




entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator

Mar 27 2010, 12:09am

Post #115 of 149 (654 views)
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Thirded! [In reply to] Can't Post

I couldn't figure out NEBs nick for YEARS, and when I met him that was one of the first questions I asked. Of course I felt silly after he explained.

Massive kudos to the Reading Room and the Tolkien Reading Day organizers and contributors. That was most excellent fun!




FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 27 2010, 1:13am

Post #116 of 149 (678 views)
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Whoops! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, NEB! Was that a Freudian slip on my part? - I only know him through this "virtual" medium, after all...

Tongue

And apologies to visualweasel for mangling his nick!

Blush

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



(This post was edited by FarFromHome on Mar 27 2010, 1:16am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Mar 27 2010, 1:42am

Post #117 of 149 (648 views)
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A question [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't Cerin Amroth where Arwen died?


Kangi Ska

The Hobbit Deserves More Respect!

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Mar 27 2010, 2:05am

Post #118 of 149 (684 views)
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The answer to Smaug's powers... [In reply to] Can't Post

Cold Fusion!

Kangi Ska

The Hobbit Deserves More Respect!

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 27 2010, 3:01am

Post #119 of 149 (604 views)
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Yep.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 






Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 27 2010, 3:18am

Post #120 of 149 (726 views)
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As Lady Elizabeth says... [In reply to] Can't Post

It is indeed where Arwen lay herself down to pass in the Fourth Age. It would appear the mound meant as much to her as it did to Aragorn. But that begs the question, does Arwen's choice mean that she chose where she was betrothed, or was it because it was indeed "the heart of Elvendom on earth." as Aragorn had told Frodo, or possibly was it both?

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 27 2010, 3:38am

Post #121 of 149 (803 views)
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Regardless of the typo [In reply to] Can't Post

I thank you for arguing so close to the point I made in my essay... your voice was greatly appreciated!


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 27 2010, 4:09am

Post #122 of 149 (720 views)
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It *raises* the question... [In reply to] Can't Post

A statement that "begs the question" is a circular argument: "Chocolate is healthful because it's good for you" begs the question, "Why is chocolate healthful?". We see "begs the question" used synonymously with "raises the question" often, but that doesn't make it correct.

But you raise a good question, and one for which there is no canonical answer. I personally feel quite certain that it was because that was the scene of her betrothal.






Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


GAndyalf
Valinor

Mar 27 2010, 5:57am

Post #123 of 149 (668 views)
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<chuckle> [In reply to] Can't Post

Which then BEGS the question of WHY was it the place of her betrothal?
Your point is well-taken though I'd never heard anyone object before to a more liberal use of the phrase. I suspect that the blurring is due to the idea that to the writer that uses them interchangeably the question is 'begged' by their own curiousity and not by, as you rightly point out, an actual logical hole that needs filled.

"Even the very wise cannot see all ends."



Modtheow
Lorien


Mar 27 2010, 1:49pm

Post #124 of 149 (814 views)
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I really like this story [In reply to] Can't Post

As you say, it's an unexpectedly realistic story about a relationship. I know we have the Ents and the Entwives with a similar gap between male and female priorities, but the Aldarion and Erendis story -- characters with an entire story focusing on their relationship -- does read more like a tale about people that we're likely to know.

Maybe stories of Númenor all carry its doom about them, but then again, maybe all stories from Middle-earth are shot through with some kind of sadness no matter how well they end up.



Modtheow
Lorien


Mar 27 2010, 1:57pm

Post #125 of 149 (703 views)
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All in favour [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you to N.E. Brigand and everyone else who contributed to the idea for this thread. I've been away from the Reading Room for a long time, so I feel lucky to have dropped back in just in time for this discussion. There is so much to read and think about here, I plan to savour the various posts over a number of days.

A great Tolkien Reading Day experience at TORn!


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