Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
An interesting connection - would love more information

Dame Ioreth
Grey Havens

Dec 23 2013, 3:53am

Post #1 of 8 (347 views)
An interesting connection - would love more information Can't Post

This tumblr post raised an interesting connection. sketchspot said: "I realized that when Bard calls Thorin “the lord of silver fountains”…there is a strange justice in that he now has Ecthelion’s sword - Orcrist has now passed from one lord of the fountains to another!"

Here is the poem:

The King beneath the mountains,
The King of carven stone,
The lord of silver fountains
Shall come into his own!

His crown shall be upholden,
His harp shall be restrung,
His halls shall echo golden
To songs of yore re-sung.

The woods shall wave on mountains
And grass beneath the sun;
His wealth shall flow in fountains
And the rivers golden run.

The streams shall run in gladness,
The lakes shall shine and burn,
All sorrow fail and sadness
At the Mountain-king's return!

It had me wondering if there was any additional information about a connection between Thorin and Ecthelion of the Fountain.
In the book, the people of Laketown sing this song after hearing that Thorin has returned, inferring that he is the subject; in other words, that he is the "Lord of silver fountains" (In the movie, they have Bard speaking the poem and we see the people also remembering the same poem as a prophecy.)

Thorin came into the territory of Mirkwood carrying Orcrist. The original owner of Orcrist is supposedly Ecthelion of the Fountain, leader of the House of the Fountain, one of the 12 houses of Gondolindrim. He and his people were fond of precious things (Silver and Diamonds), as were Thorin's people (Gold).

Is there a more of a connection between the two? Orcrist was supposedly found by accident but he's walking into a "prophecy" holding the sword owned by an original lord of fountains of the First Age.

I'm not up on HoME or UT etc. but I do wonder about Tolkien's nod here to the First Age. What connection did he mean to make? Was it just the nod or did he mean to make more of it in a subsequent revision that he never attempted? What would Thorin's role be then? In it's final form in The Hobbit, Thorin's personal quest fails but the dwarves are returned to the mountain. Did Gandalf know about the song/prophecy?

This tumblr post brought up too many pippenish questions in my mind!

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 4:13am

Post #2 of 8 (200 views)
As far as I know [In reply to] Can't Post

The poem, as extant in DOS, was an expanded form from snippets of sentiment expressed by the Laketowners in the book. A nice Tolkien feel, but not originally written by the Professor.


I would have to say though, that the thought is nice, and bears reason to he discussed in movie canon terms!!

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?

Dame Ioreth
Grey Havens

Dec 23 2013, 4:19am

Post #3 of 8 (206 views)
The poem is in The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

In the Chapter titled A Warm Welcome. At least that is where I got the poem I quoted above. Sorry I didn't cite the chapter above.

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 4:33am

Post #4 of 8 (198 views)
I stand corrected.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow!! Can you believe that I never saw that poem?! At least I don't recall it, and I thought I had memorized all of the poems, even if only the first lines. I've read the Hobbit 50+ times, and it still went over my head. Thanks for pointng it out!!

Well, I think the Professor had a kenning as to whose sword it was, but I think it was more retroactive. He probably didn't have the links between them set up 'perfectly' yet, and had to fill more history and gaps created by the Hobbit/LoTR. He wrote a story based on his larger mythology, but contradictory in many points. He had quite a lot of housekeeping to do to match everything up. Look at all the changes in the Hobbit to make it consistent with LotR! Now look at the greater scale of the Sil!! A task of a lifetime indeed!

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Dec 23 2013, 8:03am

Post #5 of 8 (206 views)
Orcrist's former owner [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it's ever been stated who Orcrist's former owner was. Ecthelion is a popular fan theory and does make sense but this was never officially established. As such, I don't think Tolkien was trying to make connections between the two characters. He knew Orcrist was from Gondolin and had been used by an Elf to kill lots of orcs/goblins but beyond this, there was no firm history for the sword in place when Tolkien was writing The Hobbit. The "lord of silver fountains" bit was probably just a coincidence.


Dec 24 2013, 12:21am

Post #6 of 8 (152 views)
it may be coincidence, or something Tolkien liked [In reply to] Can't Post

Many the nice places in the world of Middle Earth and beyond have silver fountains- Armenelos, Annuminas, Rivendell, Gondolin, Minas Tirith ,Erebor and even Hennth Annun is a kind of silver waterfall.

The song is perhaps sung to emphasise how beautiful Erebor was in Thror's day. Gloin would later tell Frodo that since the time of the Hobbit the Dwarves have gotten more skilled in making structures, including fountains and waterfalls. More silver fountains, perhaps?

Tol Eressea

Dec 24 2013, 5:35am

Post #7 of 8 (124 views)
A water link? [In reply to] Can't Post

JRRT sure had a special connexion with water. It almost has a life of its own, and its patron, Ulmo seems to be the most well rounded of the Valar. Don't even start the talk on the Sea longing and Númenor. Water was special.

What come to my mind is Gandalf's description of what lies beyond death. After the Greg rain curtain peels back, all turns to silver glass, and then you see it..

I just love that quote, it gets me every time. Its up there with The Horse and the Rider, for my favourite parts.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Dec 27 2013, 7:51pm

Post #8 of 8 (137 views)
Such a lovely connect Ioreth! [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if it a merely a nod to the inner consistency of JRRT's world. The importance of the water (as Rem said above, I agree with it all!), and the song of a fountain...so rife with symbolism for him. Love that you found this little gem. CoolAngelic
Adding: and a fountain gives water noise, and 'voice' so that Ulmo can be heard. I think I need to make more fountains next summer. Cool

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!

(This post was edited by Brethil on Dec 27 2013, 7:52pm)


Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.