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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The History of the Hobbit Discussion: Special Edition


Jul 18 2013, 2:31pm

Post #1 of 6 (364 views)
The History of the Hobbit Discussion: Special Edition Can't Post

Busy week coming up for Ringers with ComicCon San Diego and the launch of the TORn Amateur Symposim. So rather than post the next chapter of The History of the Hobbit for discussion, I thought I’d offer some source material for everyone’s consideration, since it came up briefly in the discussion thread of the last chapter.

Topic: The Hervarar Saga and it’s influence on Tolkien’s stories. It includes references to the Norse dwarf figures Dvalin and Dulinn (Dwalin and Durin) and a Norse myth involving dwarven magic/curses. (Really, don't mess with these dudes.)

Check this quote from the wikipedia article:

“There is much in this saga that readers of Tolkien's work will recognize. There are for instance Rohirrim, brave shieldmaidens, Mirkwood, haunted barrows yielding enchanted swords, a mithril mailcoat, an epic battle, a flaming sword and two Dwarves named Dwalin and Durin. J. R. R. Tolkien's youngest son, Christopher, translated the work in 1960, entitling his version The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise.”

Links: (paste into your browser if the links are balky)

Wikipedia link for an entry on the Hervarar Saga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hervarar_saga

Viking Society for Northern Research’s link to PDF of King Heidrek the Wise, translated by Christopher Tolkien:

Link to Meadhall.homestead’s fansite-like translation (complete with barely clad Red Sonja art) of the The Waking of Angantyr: http://meadhall.homestead.com/Angantyr.html

Enjoy! Looking forward to comments/questions/observations!

There are TONS of “Aha!” moments in this material, so tell me what raised your eyebrows!

As always, anyone is invited to participate--from beginner to expert.

Hope you have fun with this!

My Avatar: the desk Tolkien used when he wrote The Hobbit...now on display at Wheaton College.

(This post was edited by bruinen on Jul 18 2013, 2:35pm)


Jul 18 2013, 5:17pm

Post #2 of 6 (201 views)
This is AWESOME Bruinen! [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't wait to give it a closer look!!!!!! CoolCoolCool

Thank you!!!!

Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work.


Jul 18 2013, 7:38pm

Post #3 of 6 (194 views)
Very nice! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll peruse it when I can.
Thank you!

ETA: Heh, it actually worked!

(This post was edited by sador on Jul 18 2013, 7:39pm)


Jul 19 2013, 4:01pm

Post #4 of 6 (175 views)
Dangerous mists! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is very cool; I had not heard of this saga before. Thanks!!!

Will start off with the first aha moment for me, a misty barrow wight.

From page 13 of the CTolkien pdf as Hervör lands on the barrow island and sees a fire hovering over the graves.

“She made her way into these fires as if they were no more than mist, until she came to the barrow of the berserks”.

In LOTR it was actual mist, but definitely the hobbits got burned!

Tolkien connects mist and old, earthy magic not just in the Old Forest and on the Barrowdowns also when the Druadains take the Rohirrim through Druadan Forest.

And of course in the Dead Marshes where there are actual marshlights, there are also evil dead warriors and their swords.


Jul 19 2013, 5:33pm

Post #5 of 6 (162 views)
Oh cool, a riddle game! [In reply to] Can't Post

So sorry, I couldn’t wait, this is even more interesting. Page 32 of the CTolkien pdf begins a riddle game...

And one of the riddles is about spiders!

... and the final riddle that ends the game in confusion is not a proper riddle, but a question that only the asker could know :)

Interestingly, neither Gollum nor Bilbo copies any of these exact riddles.


Jul 25 2013, 3:00am

Post #6 of 6 (152 views)
Some "aha" moments Bruinen [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed, with the Turin chapter and the seeking of clarity in regards to Anglachel this is quite timely material!

The parallel between Anglachel and Tyrfing is very interesting. Cursed Tyrfing cannot be sheathed unless blood is drawn...is that why Anglachel is so pleased to war - then it can sleep? And the utterly puzzling question: the cutting of Turin's foot leading to the death of Beleg. Is it a similar curse, and the taste of blood was needed for Anglachel to rest - and that little taste having unintended consequences, for which the sword itself grieves? Here not so much a 'curse' perhaps in the literal sense, unlike Tyrfing, but the shade of Eol in Anglachel.

(The riddles of course - and the wandering Gestumblindi/Odin as the master riddler.) I shall read ahead more, and will mention this sword parallel too in the chapter discussion.

Thanks Bruinen!

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!


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