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concerning my username (BOLDOG)


May 24 2013, 8:11am

Post #1 of 3 (231 views)
concerning my username (BOLDOG) Can't Post

For only a brief appearance this character makes in all of tolkiens lore, he has become one of my most favourite. Boldog the orc who was sent down by Morgoth to capture luthien.
now I have many questions concerning this character which im sure many others have had aswell. the biggest first of all, is why did Tolkien not add him to the final story of the lay of leithian (silmarillion version) I believe it would have fitted in very well, and could have allowed for more danger, fear, and desperateness. perhaps Tolkien could have expanded his role from the early drafts, to being an orc who beren hates, after leading the attack on his father.
also another question is what was Boldog? Was he just a powerful orc leader like azog, or was he a maiar in the form of a powerful orc? the latter is what I believe and what seems most "first age accurate"
either way what are your thoughts on this character? and is there any further reading I can undergo, that can explain him more deeply.

"fingolfin looked up in grief to see what evil morgoth had done to maedhros"

Fredeghar Wayfarer

May 24 2013, 8:22pm

Post #2 of 3 (107 views)
Orc-shaped Maia [In reply to] Can't Post

The idea of Boldog being an Orc-shaped Maia seems to be the most probable. Though as with so much of Tolkien's unfinished work, nothing is certain. "Boldog" actually seems to have been a title for multiple characters, rather than a name. So it could be that a Boldog is a Maia that has taken Orc-form while in Arda.

Here's an article with a little more info: http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Boldog

(This post was edited by Fredeghar Wayfarer on May 24 2013, 8:23pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 4 2013, 12:48pm

Post #3 of 3 (69 views)
Boldog as the leader of a raid [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm, I'm not sure the character you are referring to actually existed within Middle-earth, or in other words, existed internally.

Boldog certain existed externally for some time, at least in a few early texts, but if I recall correctly he appears to have been abandoned by JRRT. I'm not positive that Tolkien is not simply making a mistake here, regarding his own work -- keeping in mind, in his defense, that decades had passed between the last mention of this character and the 'Boldog note' found in Myths Transformed.

Yes Tolkien wrote...

'Boldog, for instance, is a name that occurs many times in the tale of the War. But it is possible that Boldog was not a personal name, and either a title, or else the name of a type of creature: the orc-formed Maiar, only less formidable than the Balrogs.'

But Christopher Tolkien notes that this is 'curious'...

'The footnote at this point, stating that 'Boldog, for instance, is a name that occurs many times in the tale of the War' and was perhaps not a personal name, is curious. Boldog appears several times in the Lay of Leithian as the name of an Orc-captain who led a raid into Doriath (references in the index to The Lays of Beleriand); he appears in the Quenta (IV. 113), but is not mentioned thereafter. I do not know of any other reference to an orc named Boldog.'

So this character does not appear after 1930, and if Tolkien is here referring to his own existing work, it would rather seem there is only one orc with the name Boldog, not many. The scenario raises some questions to my mind:

Was Tolkien referring to his own, already written work? Again if so he seems incorrect, perhaps remembering that the name had appeared various times. And if this character was dropped -- at least as the character who led a raid on Doriath -- can we still generally say that there were characters 'named' Boldog in Middle-earth? Yet now this was possibly a title, or the name of a kind of Orc: the orc-formed Maiar.

In other words, if Tolkien is merely trying to explain a name that crops up often -- not realizing he doesn't really have such a scenario -- what about the explanation itself? Or possibly Tolkien is inventing on the spot? That is, no matter what really existed in some texts written decades ago, JRRT now wants it to be internally true that the 'name' Boldog occurs 'many' times in the tale of the War, and so he explains why.

For myself, I think it's more likely that Tolkien just forgot that Boldog the Orc was really one character, and who seems to have been dropped -- in the sense as 'the character who led the raid on Doriath' anyway [an old idea not brought forward for whatever reason] -- although now the concept of 'Boldogs' possibly being Orc-formed Maiar could still be internally true, as this was a new idea no matter why it had arisen.

In any case the Boldog of the Quenta and the Lays was an Orc captain. The notion of Orc-formed Maiar came decades later [at least on paper], and I have no idea whether or not this should 'confirm' that the former Boldog was back... now a Maiar-orc... doing...

... something?


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jun 4 2013, 12:56pm)


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