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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Sauron's "original name" revealed in new Tolkien publication.

N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 8 2007, 6:55am

Post #1 of 18 (3890 views)
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Sauron's "original name" revealed in new Tolkien publication. Can't Post

Or: how Sauron is like John Wayne.

This morning I returned from the 38th annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society in Berkeley, CA, a great weekend about which I hope soon to report in full. Just now I'd like to note that, inspired by squire's suggestion that Tolkien's more "discursive" linguistic writings like "S Qente Feanor", "sanwe-kenta: Enquiry into the Communication of Thought", and "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" deserve more than linguistic attention, I bought the first of those works and a good deal more in four issues of the journal Parma Eldalamberon published by the "Elvish Linguistic Fellowship", the group sanctioned by Christopher Tolkien to edit his father's elvish texts. Among these is the journal's recently-released seventeenth issue, Words, Phrases & Passages in various tongues in The Lord of the Rings, edited by Christopher Gilson. This work has been edited from several unfinished annotated lists of words (and associated roots) from LotR, with the most detail given to material from the beginning of FotR through Book II, Chapter 6; there are also associated notes that Tolkien made in response to fan letters and while preparing comments for the song cycle The Road Goes Ever On. Tolkien apparently worked on these texts at various times from the publication of LotR in 1954-55 until at least the appearance of the second edition in 1965. Some of the notes run to several pages in length. I gather that a few excerpts have previously appeared in other publications of Tolkien's languages.

Words, Phrases & Passages in various tongues in The Lord of the Rings, which is 220 pages long including the index, is apparently not yet available for purchase online, but presumably soon will be at the E.L.F. website. I think even non-linguists will find much of interest in this work, which is full of fascinating tidbits, for instance this quip concerning the Black Speech:


Quote
I have tried to play fair linguistically, and it is meant to have a meaning and not to be a mere casual group of nasty noises, though an accurate translation would even nowadays only be printable in the higher and artistically more advanced forms of literature.



There is also material as disparate as a long explanation of the difficulty of translating the phrase "try harder", little drawings of Tol Brandir (the island near Rauros) and the Misty Mountain peaks of Celebdil and Caradhras, and a fascinating examination of the meaning of "umbar".

But what most caught my attention was the entry for the root "SAWA", whence the name "Sauron" derives. It has been previously noted on this board that "Sauron", which translates as "The Abhorred", is unlikely to have been that character's "original" name within the legendarium but should be imagined as having been given him by the elves based on his deeds. On another forum, dna compiled a list of the characters to whom Tolkien gave the most names; Sauron leads the pack:


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SAURON: the Abhorred, abominable, Annatar, Artano, (Ash Nazg), Aulendil, [Barad-dr], Base Master of Treachery, the Betrayer, Black Hand, Black Master, Black One, Black Th, Bridhon, (the Burden), Captain of Angband, chief servant of Morgoth, the Cruel, dark hands of the East, Dark Lord, Dark Lord of Mordor, Dark Master, Dark Power, Dark Power's deputy, [Dark Tower], the Deceiver, detestable, the Enemy, Enemy of the Free Peoples, Evil Eye, evil Lord, the Eye, Eye of Barad-dr, Eye of the Dark Tower, God-king, Gorsodh, Gorthaur, Gorth, (Gollum's Ring), the Great, greatest of the servants of Melkor, Great Eye, Great One, (Great Ring), [Great Tower], He, He whom we do not name, High-smith, Him, the hunter, (Isildurs Bane), the King, King of Men, Lidless Eye, Lieutenant of Morgoth, the Lord, Lord of Barad-dr, Lord of Gifts, Lord of Mordor, Lord of the Dark Tower, Lord of the Black Land, Lord of the Earth, Lord of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings of Power, Lord of Werewolves, Lord of Wolves, the Magician, Maia of Aul, se Malsca, the Master, Master of Treachery, (Master Ring), Meoita, Miaugian, Mighty One, Morth, the Nameless, Nameless Eye, Nameless One, Necromancer, (the One), (One Ring), Red Eye, (the Ring), Ring-lord, Ringmaker, (Ring of Doom), (Ring of Isildur), (Ring of Power), (Ring of Rings), Ruler of Middle-earth, (Ruling Ring), Saura, Sauro, Sauron, Saurond, Sauron Redivivus, Sauron the Magician, Saweron, the Seducer, Servant of Morgoth, Servant of Aul, the Shadow, Shadow of Despair, Sorcerer, Sorcerer of Dol Guldur, Sr, Suro, Tevildo, Tevildo Prince of Cats, Tevildo Vardo Meoita, Thauron, THAW-ron, Th, Tiberth, Tiberth Bridhon Miaugion, Tifil, Tifil Bridhon Miaugion, the Unnamed, Vardo, the Wizard, Wolf-Sauron, Zigr, θaurond



The brackets and parentheses in this list indicate occasions on which dna equated Sauron with his Tower or Ring, respectively. As for Sauron's original name, dna tentatively put forth "Vardo". But the new list shows that Tolkien, at least c. 1960, had a different idea; this is from p. 183:


Quote
Sauron's original name was Mairon, but this was altered after he was suborned by Melkor. But he continued to call himself Mairon the Admirable, or Tar-mairon 'King Excellent' until after the downfall of Nmenor.



So, what do you think of "Mairon"?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Discuss The Children of Hrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.


Noneoftheabove
Lorien


Aug 8 2007, 9:44am

Post #2 of 18 (1591 views)
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Kids would beat you up at school with a name like... [In reply to] Can't Post

Myron! At least that is how I would pronounce it. Of course, My-RON sounds somewhat better.

Excellent post btw!


Modtheow
Lorien


Aug 8 2007, 3:24pm

Post #3 of 18 (1601 views)
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King Excellent! [In reply to] Can't Post

Somehow, I like that name. I think I shall name myself: Queen Not-So-Bad. Anyway, I have loads of questions:

Is the quote about Sauron's original name from one of Tolkien's unpublished papers?
You said that you were looking at the entry for the root "SAWA" (whence "Sauron"), but does Tolkien make "Mairon" derive from this root?
The little drawings that you mention (of Tol Brandir and other places): are these drawings that we haven't seen before?
Have you decided to study Elvish?
When will you tell us about the best papers and the most fun things that you did?
Did you have a mini-TORn moot?
Have they decided where next year's Mythopoeic Society meeting will be?
Did the Scull and Hammond Chronology-Guide win the prize for best scholarly publication?

Ok, that's all I have for now! Answer, and I shall name you: King Informative!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 8 2007, 3:51pm

Post #4 of 18 (1585 views)
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Queen Not-So-Bad! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is the quote about Sauron's original name from one of Tolkien's unpublished papers?


Yes, almost all of Words, Phrases & Passages in various tongues in The Lord of the Rings is previously unpublished; my limited understanding is that a few excerpts have previously appeared in other publications by E.L.F.; while some passages are very close to phrasing that Tolkien used in either Roads Go Ever On or in changes made to the second edition of LotR. Comments in the introduction by editor, Christopher Gilson, indicate that Scull and Hammond refer to the work in their Companion & Guide but I can't find the reference. Googling "Mairon" with "Sauron" suggests that this name has not previously been made public. "Mairon" appears in a list of roots that Gilson tentatively dates to 1959-60.


Quote
You said that you were looking at the entry for the root "SAWA" (whence "Sauron"), but does Tolkien make "Mairon" derive from this root?


No, "Mairon" derives from "MAY", "excellent, admirable" hence "Maia". Tolkien's note on "Mairon" that I quoted appears with his comments on the name "Sauron" under the listing for the root "SAWA"; he doesn't trace the etymology of "Mairon" as far as I can tell.


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The little drawings that you mention (of Tol Brandir and other places): are these drawings that we haven't seen before?


They are previously unpublished, I believe, but are very very simple line drawings.


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Have you decided to study Elvish?


No.


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When will you tell us about the best papers and the most fun things that you did?


In about a week.


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Did you have a mini-TORn moot?


I mooted with drogo. I know that Wonderbroad and sevilodorf were supposed to be in attendance, but we never met.


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Have they decided where next year's Mythopoeic Society meeting will be?


Yes -- Connecticut!


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Did the Scull and Hammond Chronology-Guide win the prize for best scholarly publication?


Scull and Hammond did win the prize for Inklings scholarship, their second win in two years. (This was also noted on TORN's home page.) They were not in Berkeley, but sent their regrets and an acceptance speech -- which was read to the banquet attendees by drogo.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Discuss The Children of Hrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 8 2007, 4:09pm

Post #5 of 18 (1549 views)
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Connecticut? [In reply to] Can't Post

*scours Mythopoeic Society website* They haven't put it up, yet - do you recall which college/university it would be at?

*makes note to clean up the guest room*


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago."
(Avatar pic: The Calanais stones, Isle of Lewis)

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Modtheow
Lorien


Aug 8 2007, 4:24pm

Post #6 of 18 (1518 views)
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And dernwyn has a guest room? [In reply to] Can't Post

Connecticut, eh? That's looking a little more do-able for next year.

I'm sure that Scull&Hammond were nominated with other good books, but it would have been crazy if an incredible piece of work like theirs didn't win the prize.

Thanks, NEB, for all the info! I'm looking forward to your report on the meetings!


weaver
Half-elven

Aug 8 2007, 4:38pm

Post #7 of 18 (1538 views)
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Sounds like the name of an evil Librarian... [In reply to] Can't Post

But if you are going for the look fair and feel foul kind of thing, that might actually work...

What a treasure trove of a post this is -- thanks!

Weaver



Saelind
Lorien


Aug 9 2007, 3:00am

Post #8 of 18 (1502 views)
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Interesting stuff [In reply to] Can't Post

I usually get lost with Tolkien lignuistic material so perhaps another angle would help me get a better grasp of it. I may have to get that issue of Parma as well. And thank you for your psot on Sauron's "true name". It is always nice when little gems like this show up.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 9 2007, 3:31am

Post #9 of 18 (1511 views)
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Central Conn. State U., Aug. 15-18, 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

In New Britain, as noted here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Discuss The Children of Hrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.


Wynnie
Rohan


Aug 9 2007, 12:11pm

Post #10 of 18 (1486 views)
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*looks at map* [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmmm, not too far. Maybe ...



I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been




a.s.
Valinor


Aug 9 2007, 12:25pm

Post #11 of 18 (1491 views)
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Connecticut in August [In reply to] Can't Post

has GOT to beat DC in August!

a.s. ((pencils in date on 2008 Outlook calendar))

"an seileachan"

"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done."

~~Mother Theresa


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Aug 9 2007, 5:35pm

Post #12 of 18 (1515 views)
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If I were a mischievous Elf [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be sorely tempted to call him Mor-on instead.

~~~~~~~~

Coming up with reasons for changing my nick from GaladrielTX to Galadriel wore me out.



dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 10 2007, 4:48am

Post #13 of 18 (1457 views)
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Not by much... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but we do get tempered by the ocean breezes, even a bit inland.

I think I sense a Moot in the works...!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago."
(Avatar pic: The Calanais stones, Isle of Lewis)

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 10 2007, 4:51am

Post #14 of 18 (1459 views)
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*snicker* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago."
(Avatar pic: The Calanais stones, Isle of Lewis)

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Aug 10 2007, 8:01pm

Post #15 of 18 (1507 views)
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θaurond? [In reply to] Can't Post

How do you pronounce that?

But, seriously, thanks for this intriguing bit of lore. That must have been a great conference!




Son of Elizabeth in Frodo's tree
March, 2007


Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 10 2007, 8:47pm

Post #16 of 18 (1458 views)
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"&#952" is a theta. [In reply to] Can't Post

It comes through fine where dna posted it on TORC; I can also get it in Word, but I can't get it here.

And you're welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Discuss The Children of Hrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.


visualweasel
Rohan


Aug 10 2007, 9:20pm

Post #17 of 18 (1557 views)
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Mairon? Th would have guessed? ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the great post, NEB! Wow, you really weren't kidding when you told me about PE17! It's annoying they don't have it up for sale yet. I do have to say that I don't particularly like the sound of Mairon (I admit it: I'm distracted by "Myron"), nor its obvious closeness to Maia. It makes sense; I just don't like it that much. Although it is better than Th. :)

Jason Fisher
Lingw - Musings of a Fish


drogo
Lorien


Aug 13 2007, 4:59pm

Post #18 of 18 (1494 views)
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That a Mary name if I ever heard one! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a wonderful resource! I snagged a copy, but had to mail it to myself, so I will have to wait for it.

As for the name, I still prefer Tevildo the Prince of Cats, but that's just me!

 
 

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