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Appendix B, VI - Men, left to their own devices..


Dec 8 2011, 5:01pm

Post #1 of 1 (496 views)
Appendix B, VI - Men, left to their own devices.. Can't Post

Well, I'm sure everyone missed this discussion so much they were on tenterhooks! But I have been working on it a bit, and now I can present the next two threads.

'…For Isildur did not march away straight from the war in Mordor, as some have told the tale.'
'Some in the North, maybe,' Boromir broke in. 'All know in Gondor that he went first to Minas Anor and dwelt a while with his nephew Meneldil, instructing him, before he committed to him the rule of the South Kingdom. In that time he planted there the last sapling of the White Tree in memory of his brother.'

- The Council of Elrond.

After calendars and geneology, we return to history at last (at least, I do). We are now looking at The Tale of Years for the Third Age. I will not summarise events, but go straight to the questions:
1. In the entry for year 2, Isildur is said to deliver the South-kingdom to Meneldil his nephew. Is this a Gondorian bias?
2. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields was late in year 2; yet only at 10 did Valandil become King of Arnor. Why?
3. The next entries refer to Elrond's marriage and the birth of his children. Why is that so important? We dod not know, for instance, when Legolas was born.

The next entries are Gondor-centered, which is very suggestive regarding question no. 1.
4. In 420, King Ostoher rebuilds Minas Anor. What does that mean? Was the city ever conquered? Was there a natural disaster? Or is this a mistake for "Minas Ithil"?
5. We read of the struugle of king Rómendacil I with the Easterlings, although nothing of the successful resolve of the conflict. Why?
6. Skipping one entry regarding Arnor, we get to the line of Ship-kings. Did the Haradrim become a threat while the Easterlings were crushed, or did Gondor turn South of its own accord, with view to recapturing the glory of Númenor? If you have read Unfinished Tales, consider the story of Queen Berúthiel. How does it fit in?

In 861, Arnor was split into three minor kingdoms, none of which even retained a court at Annúminas.
7. Why did Amlaith relocate to Fornost? Or was it his favourite town before? Did the people of Annúminas resent him – after all, how else could his brothers set up rival kingdoms?
8. This splitting happened at a time when the might of Gondor was at its highest. Is this a kind of global power-bablance, that success in one theatre leads to a weakening in the other? Or perhaps, conversely, this was caused by the relaxing and decadence of the Dúnedain of the North, who were under no direct threat.
9. In general, did the kings of Arnor have a claim to suzerainty over Gondor? After all, Isildur was Elendil's older son. (in the earlier drafts he wasn't, which makes the politics quite different) Does the information given in questions 1, 2 and 8 affect the answer?
10. In 1100, the Wise discovered that an evil power has made its stronghold in Dol Guldur, but at first they thought it is one of the Nazgûl. Why should they even entertain this notion? Did they know the Nine had escaped? After all, they were said to reappear far later.
11. Why isn't the approximate date of the wizards' arrival given?

* * *

About their origins, at any rate, I know more than hobbits do themselves.

- Gandalf, The Shadow of the Past.

Around 1100 "The Perrianath are first mentioned in records, with the coming of Harfoots into Eriador". In the Prologue we learn that they had come North when the Shadow fell on Mirkwood.
12. Why were the numerous, slow Harfoots the first to flee? Wouldn't it be more logical for the more enterprising Fallohides?
13. Wouldn't the Fallohides want to come North anyway, as the Prologue states they were closest to the Elves and all such people turn (in Tolkien) to the same direction?
14. Was the migration of the hobbits the indication to the Wise that something bad was happening at Dol Guldur?
15. Why didn't Galadriel notice that before? Isn't Dol Guldur at her back door?
16. Who renamed Greenwood the Great 'Mirkwood'?
17. Speaking of nomenclature – isn't it odd that a hobbit-written document (as The Tale of Years purports to be) refers to them by the Sindarin word for 'Halflings'?
While the Harfoots and Fallohides were steadily moving towards their ultimate destination in the Shire, the Stoors were roaming around: at 1150 the came over Redhorn Pass and moved to the Angle, or to Dunland. Some two hundred years later the left the Angle, and some returned to Wilderland.
18. Where is the Angle, by the way? And Wilderland?
19. Does this Stoor history repeat itself in the story of Sméagol? Of what we know of the Brandybucks?

* * *

Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords. There was victory and defeat; and towers fell, fortresses were burned, and flames went up into the sky.

- The House of Tom Bomadil.

The last migration mentioned, was no doubt connected to the events of the 14th century. Around 1300, Orcs multiplied in the Misty Mountains, and attacked the Dwarves. The Nazgûl reappeared; the chief of them came North and built the kingdom of Angmar. The Periannath migrated Westward, and many settled at Bree.
20. Do we hear anything of the War between Dwarves and Orcs at the time? Why mention them – or once the Orcs began multiplying, they would naturally harry the Dwarves?
21. The order of events Tolkien describes, implies that the increasing in the number of Orcs caused, or at least heralded, the coming North of the Witch-king. Shouldn't it be the other way round?
22. Does the appearance of the Black Death in the 14th century echo the calamities which decimated 14th century Europe?
23. Rhudaur fell to the influence of Angmar very soon. What made it ripe to fall? Shouldn't the proximity to Rivendell help it withstand the pressure?
24. The entry for 1409 reads: "The Witch-king of Angmar invades Arnor. King Arveleg I slain. Fornost and Tyrn Gorthad are defended. The Tower of Amon Sûl destroyed."
25. Did the Witch-king come in person?
26. I suppose the missing cross next to Arveleg I's name in the list of Kings of Arnor is a mistake, although I would love to know what happened to King Valandur. But what does it mean that Tyrn Gorthad was defended? How can we reconcile it with the note in appendix A, which identified the Barrow-mound in which Frodo was imprisoned with that of Cardolan's last prince?
I will break here, and continue with question no. 27 in a few minutes' time.

"The Appendices (and Prologue) gave Tolkien an outlet for explanations he couldn't fit into the text, and therefore made the text that much simpler and free of burdensome explanations. It's very hard for someone who creates a world from the ground up to refrain from overexplaining what he or she has created; the Appendices, and what is more the promise that someday The Silmarillion might be published, may have helped Tolkien exercise ruthless restraint."
- Curious

The weekly discussion of The Lord of the Rings is back. Join us in the Reading Room for the discussion of the appendices!


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