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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day Two - Fauna of Middle Earth
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DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 22 2013, 5:37pm

Post #26 of 60 (189 views)
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Oh, I don't feel sorry for Sauron at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have said that in "theory" it works like that. Sauron had plenty of chance to redeem himself, and start again. He chose not to.

Did Smaug know what he was doing was wrong? If we go for the Maia theory, then yes he did. But even after the initial destruction of Erebor and Dale, he wasn't doing anything to deserve death.

So in "theory", a baddie with redeeming characteristics/actions can be likeable, but not always Wink

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




Darkstone
Immortal


Jul 22 2013, 5:54pm

Post #27 of 60 (187 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Dogs will perform "social referencing" with their guardians when confronted by unfamiliar situations. That is, they will observe the guardians' body language, including posture and facial expressions, in order to determine appropriate choices for their behavior. That's communication.

******************************************
"The tragedy of territorial geeks is that they found the wonderful world of fantasy, then missed its point."
-Luke McKinney


rangerfromthenorth
Rivendell

Jul 22 2013, 6:59pm

Post #28 of 60 (179 views)
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Good thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

I too am interested in hearing your thoughts on Smaug's lineage and how he would measure up to the dragons of old. Do you think that as your get farther away from Maiar and beast relations that the dragons have less and less "power' or even maiarness?

Not all who wander are lost


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 22 2013, 7:16pm

Post #29 of 60 (169 views)
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Ohhhhhhhhh! Now I understand. [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't pick up on the theoretical tonal change. I agree then.

It really is interesting how we can feel bad for some villains who do terrible things, but not others.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 22 2013, 8:04pm

Post #30 of 60 (172 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

Are not all stated in one place, but I would hesitate to place them in a dedicated thread.( It would be a bit of an ego-centric topic, and I don't want anybody to think that I am browbeating them with my opinion)

If you compare my essay and my posts in the RR topic on dragons and vala in the tale of the CoH, you will get 99% of my theories. PM me if you have any questions.


Nordwarf
Registered User

Jul 22 2013, 9:01pm

Post #31 of 60 (176 views)
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On Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate the positive feedback. I believe Smaug is a distant descendant of Glaurung (perhaps three to ten generations down the line). Indeed, he could be a descendant of Ancalogon because of his wings. I could only hypothesize about how many Maiar contributed to the gene/spirit pool. Perhaps only one, and so Glaurung would be the only 50/50 creature. But it is just as possible that several Maiar contributed throughout the course of history, or right away at the beginning. I think that the theory can stand without knowing the exact lineage of every Dragon or how many (or how often) Maiar contributed, though Glaurung is certainly the father (or patriarch) of all dragons.


elaen32
Gondor


Jul 22 2013, 9:48pm

Post #32 of 60 (163 views)
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I really like.. [In reply to] Can't Post

the way in which you have discussed all the possible origins of dragons with the pros and cons for each case. I found all these theories fascinating, but at the end of it, I agree with you, that the dragons were probably a result of Maiar reproducing with monsters. But where did these monsters come from- do you see them as, say, corrupted reptiles? Perhaps, as Sauron fed the Fell beasts on fell meats and they grew to massive size (I always see the Fell beasts as pterodons rather than birds per se, but I feel this is ambiguous in the book), Melkor fed fell meats to reptiles such as snakes and crocodiles.
Thanks for such and interesting theoretical discussionSmile


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jul 22 2013, 9:50pm

Post #33 of 60 (159 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

The scene with Bard and the thrush has a very fairy-tale or mythological feel to it, and reminds me very much of Siegfried being able to understand the language of birds.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jul 22 2013, 9:57pm

Post #34 of 60 (156 views)
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I enjoyed this so much [In reply to] Can't Post

and don't have much intelligent to say about it. I do believe that even though most animals don't think in words (I'm not sure about animals like Washoe the chimp who was taught sign language, or like dogs who have learned to recognize some human words), they certainly think. I was never bothered by that fox, because even if he didn't actually think with those words, it was always entirely believable that he would think thoughts like that, as you addressed in your essay.

Animal thought may not look quite like our thought, but it certainly exists.

When I was a kid we had a book called "The Human Side of Animals". It was written in 1961, so it's pretty outdated, but it addressed several of the issues you brought up. I think the story of Clever Hans is in there. You might enjoy it, if you haven't seen it before.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 22 2013, 9:57pm

Post #35 of 60 (175 views)
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Which brings up yet another question. [In reply to] Can't Post

What exactly are "fell meats"? Is something added to them to produce such effects? If they are even partially responsible for the great size and other characteristics, they almost sound like an evil version of Royal Jelly which turns bee larvae into queens instead of mere workers. Tongue

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 22 2013, 10:02pm

Post #36 of 60 (151 views)
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Although.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was interested to read what you related about your German Shepherd. I do believe that certain animals which live closely with humans can learn to recognise the sound of a word and relate it to a specific outcome. Mostly, this is around food! However, they do seem to learn the sound of their name, for example. And all dogs and cats seem to know that the word "vet" means trouble! I remember that on the ROTK appendices disc, in the documentary about the horses and their riders, they mentioned that they ended up having to avoid the word "action" altogether, because the horses soon came to realise that they had to charge when they heard it and some were a little over-eager.

On the subject of the spiders, we never hear Ungoliant nor Shelob speak, in fact I would go as far as to say that Shelob does not speak. However, her supposed lesser brood speak to Bilbo in Mirkwood- which seems a little strange

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking essay Elizabeth


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 22 2013, 10:07pm

Post #37 of 60 (154 views)
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I really wouldn't like to say Silverlode! [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I suppose it could be rotten orcs or the likeFrown It's one of those convenient, all encompassing phrases like "by great craft and knowledge of old, which is now lost" to describe something essentially impossible to create without technology eg Orthanc


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 22 2013, 10:08pm

Post #38 of 60 (148 views)
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Having read your essay, I went a re-read the chapter with the thinking fox. [In reply to] Can't Post

And something popped out to me that I had never realised before. While the fox ponders the unusual Hobbit behaviour, further along in the chapter Gildor pretty much says the same thing:


Quote
"Three hobbits in a wood at night! We have not seen such a thing since Bilbo went away. What is the meaning of this?"


Why did Tolkien feel the need to include a similar thought for a fox, and a similar sentence for an Elf? Was the fox necessary? Did Tolkien feel that the reader would need it re-affirmed? Or was the fox a spy of Gildor's? I quite like the latter idea!

(More random musings of mine, it has very little to do with sentient animals, I feel).

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



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 22 2013, 10:20pm

Post #39 of 60 (146 views)
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Wow, this is a really comprehensive account, Rembrethil! [In reply to] Can't Post

Just replying to a couple of your points- re Huan- yes, I think you may be right about his speech being restricted as punishment for following his master back to Beleriand. Why he would then be granted the power of speech three times is not explained

the birds in the Hobbit are an interesting case- especially Roac and the ravens and their relationship with the dwarves. I am not sure that they would have spoken Dwarvish since the dwarves did not reveal their language to those outside their race. I think the communication was probably in the common speech, in all likelihood- unless the dwarves can speak ravenish. The thrushes and the heirs of Girion are also interesting- when and why did this communication come about?


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 22 2013, 10:23pm

Post #40 of 60 (138 views)
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I like that idea too Daniel!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 22 2013, 10:31pm

Post #41 of 60 (141 views)
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The fox and lore - nice point [In reply to] Can't Post

I like Daniel's point as well. in addition it almost gives a sense of "lore" in the fox cuture - that this fox is aware of an event that long ago and that it had been passed along through time and quite a fes fox generations

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









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 12:52am

Post #42 of 60 (129 views)
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Absolutely Daniel - (would the Fourth Speech of Huan rip space-time fabric!?) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
By Huan being restricted to speak only 3 times because of the "prophecy". It's interesting to think how the two might be linked, and whether he was physically restricted, or it was a cognitive decision. After all prophecies in Tolkien's books are often fulfilled naturally, and almost coincidentally. What would happen if Huan had spoken a fourth time? Crazy




"...but it was only permitted to him thrice only ere his death to speak with words."

Permitted is an interesting word here: it implies that someone is allowing this as an indulgence. I wonder who gets to choose the circumstances though: Huan or the grantor of the gift?

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









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 12:56am

Post #43 of 60 (129 views)
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Excellent point about the wings Nordwarf! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I appreciate the positive feedback. I believe Smaug is a distant descendant of Glaurung (perhaps three to ten generations down the line). Indeed, he could be a descendant of Ancalogon because of his wings. I could only hypothesize about how many Maiar contributed to the gene/spirit pool. Perhaps only one, and so Glaurung would be the only 50/50 creature. But it is just as possible that several Maiar contributed throughout the course of history, or right away at the beginning. I think that the theory can stand without knowing the exact lineage of every Dragon or how many (or how often) Maiar contributed, though Glaurung is certainly the father (or patriarch) of all dragons.


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









DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 23 2013, 7:09am

Post #44 of 60 (127 views)
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A new article that might be of interest: Dolphins 'call each other by name' [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought this would be of interest to those reading Elizabeth's and Rembrethil's essays. This morning the BBC have a news story about a new research study that has found that dolphins use a unique whistle to identify each other. The published article can be found here. And a snippet from the abstract:


Quote
Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature.


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



(This post was edited by DanielLB on Jul 23 2013, 7:11am)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 23 2013, 4:19pm

Post #45 of 60 (117 views)
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An UUT [In reply to] Can't Post

You are probably right.

My difficulty was the thought of Dwarves chasing down the raven to learn their tongue. I can see it now:

Dwarves are at work in Erebor

Raven lands in window, Caw caw

Dwarves look up. "I think he's trying to say something! What is that, Ibun has fallen down the well shaft?"

Cawww caaaw. Raven flies off

"Wait!!!!!!!"

I couldn't see them taking the time to learn their tongue. Then this theory popped into my head:

(What probably happened)

The Ravens roamed far and wide picking up a few common phrases, and croaked a few out to the Dwarves, possibly an important, life-saving message. Taking a cue from the Men of Dale they might have developed their relationship further.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:27pm

Post #46 of 60 (106 views)
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Just saw this story on the news too Daniel! [In reply to] Can't Post

about how they seem to have 'name' sound identifiers.

Thanks for posting the story link! Smile

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









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 23 2013, 5:35pm

Post #47 of 60 (107 views)
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The bird speak scenario [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

the birds in the Hobbit are an interesting case- especially Roac and the ravens and their relationship with the dwarves. I am not sure that they would have spoken Dwarvish since the dwarves did not reveal their language to those outside their race. I think the communication was probably in the common speech, in all likelihood- unless the dwarves can speak ravenish. The thrushes and the heirs of Girion are also interesting- when and why did this communication come about?




I wonder if it doesn't imply 'culture' and teaching among the bird species plus indicate the existence of early, incarnate lesser-spirits The Ravens and the Dwarves maybe, beginning with a lower level spirit housed as a Raven (an Aule spirit?) who was drawn to the Dwarves. They perhaps taught the Thrushes, who imitated the Raven habit of speaking with the Men of Dale. (And *maybe* began with a spirit in Thrush form as well?) Maybe the Thrush more a spirit associated with Manwe, who had more knowledge of the coming of Men and might look forward to it, as well as spirits who served him.

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









Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jul 24 2013, 1:33pm

Post #48 of 60 (95 views)
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The Knack of Understanding Bird-speech [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I wonder if it doesn't imply 'culture' and teaching among the bird species plus indicate the existence of early, incarnate lesser-spirits The Ravens and the Dwarves maybe, beginning with a lower level spirit housed as a Raven (an Aule spirit?) who was drawn to the Dwarves. They perhaps taught the Thrushes, who imitated the Raven habit of speaking with the Men of Dale. (And *maybe* began with a spirit in Thrush form as well?) Maybe the Thrush more a spirit associated with Manwe, who had more knowledge of the coming of Men and might look forward to it, as well as spirits who served him.



The thrushes do not speak in Westron, it is the Dale-men who could understand their bird-language, much as Balin could understand the insults of the crows near Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves actually seem to have a knack for comprehending the speech of many birds--just not the smalller, more frenetic ones who speak too quickly for them to follow. Balin seems to think that this ability is not at all uncommon and simply assumes that Bilbo is capable of such understanding as well. It seems likely that many, if not all, Elves are also capable of understanding bird-speech. I would suggest that Beorn also possesses this knack (going further in his case to the understanding of all animal language).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 24 2013, 3:12pm

Post #49 of 60 (87 views)
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Understanding in the ear of the beholder [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I wonder if it doesn't imply 'culture' and teaching among the bird species plus indicate the existence of early, incarnate lesser-spirits The Ravens and the Dwarves maybe, beginning with a lower level spirit housed as a Raven (an Aule spirit?) who was drawn to the Dwarves. They perhaps taught the Thrushes, who imitated the Raven habit of speaking with the Men of Dale. (And *maybe* began with a spirit in Thrush form as well?) Maybe the Thrush more a spirit associated with Manwe, who had more knowledge of the coming of Men and might look forward to it, as well as spirits who served him.



The thrushes do not speak in Westron, it is the Dale-men who could understand their bird-language, much as Balin could understand the insults of the crows near Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves actually seem to have a knack for comprehending the speech of many birds--just not the smalller, more frenetic ones who speak too quickly for them to follow. Balin seems to think that this ability is not at all uncommon and simply assumes that Bilbo is capable of such understanding as well. It seems likely that many, if not all, Elves are also capable of understanding bird-speech. I would suggest that Beorn also possesses this knack (going further in his case to the understanding of all animal language).




These are all excellent points O-S. Interesting that the Hobbit, a very earthy race, does not seem to posses (or remember) this skill, whereas the Dwarves - so often separated from other aspects of commonality with the Elves - seem to share the skill.

Is it that the skill predates the rise of Hobbits, or I wonder, if it is a matter of geography, and the relative isolation of Hobbits kept them out of the loop?

Definitely Beorn I think has outstanding skill - but as a skin changer I suppose he is sort of multilingual, because he (naturally) speaks the tongue of Bears but also of all his animal companions.

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









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 24 2013, 3:13pm

Post #50 of 60 (86 views)
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ROFL. Thanks Rembrethil ! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You are probably right.

Raven lands in window, Caw caw

Dwarves look up. "I think he's trying to say something! What is that, Ibun has fallen down the well shaft?"
.


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








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