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Unfinished Tales Discussion: The Druedain
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Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 12:14pm

Post #1 of 43 (679 views)
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Unfinished Tales Discussion: The Druedain Can't Post

Greetings Fellowship of the Room!
Squire has offered us much wonderful material to discuss, and here I am adding more! This week's chapter is The Druedain: a mysterious people who exist on the fringe of the societies of Men. Sometimes mysterious shadowy figures, sometimes an accepted part of a larger society: but never absorbed and always unique, from their biology to their culture and skills. So let's set off, and se if we can uncover some truths and insights on these people who we see just outside the action in LOTR.




The People of Haleth: a people apart. To start with, the people that seem to have bonded the most with the Druedain (and I do love discussing them in any case!)


I find the single (Note 2) reference to 'Amazonian' culture interesting - but I wonder if JRRT had another, geographically closer society in mind for modelling Haleth and her Atani? Especially since we know his original conceit was to create a mythos for England.


The woman warrior in Haleth's Atani is quite competant (especially in wood warfare) but again, not the classical, tightly organized medieval knight of the unit but instead more of a partisan, defending the homeland, more like the Iceni queen Boudicca (who though successful was ultimately defeated in battle by Roman formations). I wonder here if are there more parallels to the Iceni? Culturally the People of Haleth were similar in some ways to the Iceni of Eastern early AD Britain. A people that were rather half in and half out of modern society; negotating a treaty with the invading Romans but not cowed or resigned to the change in culture. Haleth's people seem to be half connected to Men yet cut off, standing aside - and the apparent first people to accept the Druedain into their society. And they eventually faded away (in the case of the Iceni, into the marshes), rather like Haleth's people seem to - similar to these (and the Iceni in particular) ancient tribes of Britain?

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Mar 24 2014, 12:24pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 12:15pm

Post #2 of 43 (333 views)
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The Druedain: Who are the Woses? [In reply to] Can't Post

Seriously - who are they? Shocked


Let's discuss the origins of the Woses, in the literary sense and the legendarium sense. Immediately we see their dissimilar physicality from the rest of Men. There exists a special hatred among them and the Orcs - their laughter 'without malice' seems to have meaning. Keen-eyed, scent like hounds, and using poison arrows. A knowledge of living things similar in scope to Elves but not learned from them. Skill with pigments (like the Picts?) and carving on flat surfaces (like the stone markers of the Brythonic tribes?) Shorter lived (thus further from Elvish blood?) than other Edain. "From the East came the tall men..." asserting that the Woses were in the Western portions of Middle-earth and Beleriand before Men came? So, with the clues given to us, who do you think these people are, in both what JRRT was inspired by and/or in the Middle-earth family tree?


JRRT often dismissed the need for biological constructs, but I am positive he was well abreast of developing news. Can the relationships between the Druedain and Men be very similar in what we often think of as the Neanderthal relationship to H. sapiens?


So perhaps two parallels: the Wild Man of many real-world cultural legends as well as the scientific field exploring the overlap of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.


I see too that JRRT may have been connecting his legendarium to the modern world with the Druedain - if we allow for the Faerie, and the many myths of 'forest men', 'wild men' and the often arcane knowledge they are said to hold: real-world traditions influencing the creation of the Woses. Culturally, the Druedain are a people who literally faded into the forest (faerie-like) within the world of the legendarium...Do you think we can, circuitously, connect the Middle-earth 'Woses' with the later early European traditions of the Wild Man - is JRRT forging another bridge between the legendarium and the faerie portion of the real world, as he perceived it?

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Mar 24 2014, 12:19pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 12:17pm

Post #3 of 43 (310 views)
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The Druedain: Connections to Turin, Sador and Numenor [In reply to] Can't Post

As small a part that they play in LOTR, JRRT seems to have the Druedain connected to many aspects of the stories and to key events.


The 'harrying' of the Druedain by Men that we read about - rather like the Elves and the Petty-dwarves?


We have information that some of the Druedain were present in Numenor and foresaw its end. They had foresight (their 'magic' ?) before the Fall of Numenor and many left it. Does it seem surprising that after the early poor reception, that Druedain were accepted and actually travelled to Numenor?

We read that after the battle at the Fords of Isen, the Druedain attacked Saruman's forces as they scattered south; yet even so Theoden does not seem to accept or welcome the Woses even at this relatively late date (though Numenor had done so long ago). Thoughts?



Note 8: Sador as a Druedain? I find this intriguing! Would it have changed the story materially? Do you think it would have read well, or is it too complicated to introduce the culture of the Druedian with so much else happening in the story of Turin? Or would it have layered in a wisdom to Sador (which he has much of anyway?) and maybe different elements to the relationship between Sador and Turin? What do you think of this idea - which as stated sems to be JRRT's ultimate plan for Sador? (*waves to our Sador*)

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Mar 24 2014, 12:22pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 12:21pm

Post #4 of 43 (295 views)
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The Druedain: Magic in the mix [In reply to] Can't Post

Magic is something JRRT references but never wanted to outright describe the mechanics of. Here we have an unlearned people that has a distinct skill.


We have an interesting bit in Note 11: transference of power to objects. Specifically in the The Faithful Stone story, and the power of the Stones (later the 'Pukel-men') over the Orcs. Is it one of the most clear examples of 'magic' that we see represented anywhere? The quiet use of meditation, and the almost stone-like quality of the Druedain themselves - are there clues to ther origins in their powers; or was all this this a stretch in world-building and stretching the tales into the world of Faerie?


If included in LOTR, would it have derailed and competed with the times Gandalf uses magic, do you think, or since the Woses are so different would it have simly been another facet of Magic? Do you like the 'Faithful Stone' - how does it read to you? Does it resonate that these very stones must help keep the Rohirrim safe at Dunharrow, though the Rohirrim do not seem to fully accept the Woses?

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 24 2014, 8:13pm

Post #5 of 43 (268 views)
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The people apart from the people apart [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for taking this chapter, Brethil! It's almost dictated by your name though, isn't it, since the Druedain had a Brethil/Haleth connection? I suppose in real life you have loin-clothed hunters in your back yard shooting poison darts at kids dressed as orcs for Halloween, so you can speak about these people with authority.

The Druedain are interesting to me because they do seem like the TV documentary-stereotype of a dweller in the Amazon rain forest. They don't quite fit into the feel of M-earth for me, but they're valuable allies who come along at the right time, so who am I to say they don't belong? It seems everyone feels they don't belong, except for the people of Haleth, but they don't fit in very well either. That there is affection between the two peoples seems to soften the rough edges off of both of them.

They do remind me of the Petty-Dwarves, marginalized and hunted by superior races. It's remarkable that they survived into the 3rd age. But there's something hobbity about them too, an overlooked race of honorable people who live close to the land and live by instinct. Their flight from Numenor says a lot about how their minds work, though I remain puzzled that they lived there at all. Everything about Numenor seems so refined and lofty, and the Druedain don't fit that mold, and it's hard to imagine dressing them up either. So Numenor was more diverse than the posters imply, I suppose.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 8:41pm

Post #6 of 43 (273 views)
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Woses = Picts? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Woses seem to have elements of two later peoples who were early inhabitants of Britain. One was the Picts, who were often used by Robert E. Howard as prehistorical-Europe equivalent of wild American Indians in his tales of Conan the Cimmerian.

Then there were the Tuatha Dé Danann of Celtic legend, who may have been an influence on the development of both the Druedain and Hobbits. Of course, one major difference is that the Rohirrim;s past treatment of the Woses was almost as vermin (more like the Picts), not as godlings (the Tuatha Dé Danann).

I've wondered if the Picts might have been the original inspiration for legends of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

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


CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 24 2014, 8:46pm

Post #7 of 43 (263 views)
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Sador the Wose [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if that was the ultimate plan, I'm glad it didn't come to pass. I think it would have made Turin's story a little too complicated to throw in another culture, especially one we don't know much about. The Sindar, the Noldor, the houses of Beor and Hador, the Easterlings: we know them from other contexts. The Petty-Dwarves appear only in Turin's story (with that little hint about them in the founding of Nargothrond), and to throw in Woses too--I can only keep track of so many races that Turin is dragging down with him in his doom!

The Druedain seem to me to not be magical, just extremely well-adapted to their environment. Living close to the earth and having no pretensions about conquering or remaking it to shape their own desires, I think they felt the vibe in Numenor that something was profoundly wrong with the relationship there between Edain and Arda and that it was only going to get worse. Maybe the same gut feeling you have before two people you know are enemies break out into a fight. "Well, I saw that coming."

One interesting thing to me about the Druedain is that even Gandalf--Gandalf!--didn't cultivate a relationship with them. He stayed true to his mission as the great uniter of peoples and was friends with forgotten Ents and insignificant hobbits. Why, with the Woses occupying strategic areas along the borders of Rohan and Gondor, didn't he find a way to draw them into his grand alliance?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 24 2014, 8:53pm

Post #8 of 43 (262 views)
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A wose by any other name... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to a recommendation by Vronwe the Faithful, I recently started reading Green Suns and faerie by Verlyn Fliger (a book of critical essays about Tolkien, which is remarkably good). One chapter, 'Tolkien's Wild Menfrom medieval to Modern' is helpful here!

'Wose' comes out of Gawain, Dr Fliger says, and is an example of one kind of 'Wild man' popular in Medieval stories. These Wild men could vary from tribal types through to what in Middle-earth might be called a different 'race' through to what is perhaps a separate species altogether. Tolkien's translation of the 'wodwos' which harry Sir Gawain, for example is 'wood-troll'.

That idea has, I think, collided with the 'noble savage' kind of character. Certainly Ghan-Buri-Ghan tensd to speak-um Tonto (or Tarzan perhaps). And there is some of the idea that Ghan-Buri-Ghan and his folk are a remnant of how all good people used to be, with powers which come from a more intimate relationship with nature than 'civilized' folk such as hobbits or Rohirrim. I think that ties nicely with Merry being reminded of the pukel men, with that hint that Ghan-Buri-Ghan's folk are the remnant of a people populous and powerful enough to be great builders.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 24 2014, 9:03pm

Post #9 of 43 (255 views)
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Easter Island [In reply to] Can't Post

Those Pukel Men always make me think of the statues on Easter Island, impressively made by a vanished people (or by people who can't make them anymore). Tolkien might have been thinking closer to home about remnants from the past like Stonehenge and various monoliths scattered across England and Brittany.

And yes, as part of the persistent theme of "the past was a better time" in M-earth, I get that sense also with the Pukel Men, that when the Druedain were at their zenith, they were still close to nature and good stewards of the earth, etc, almost like Ents. G-B-G is a typical noble savage to me.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 24 2014, 9:20pm

Post #10 of 43 (256 views)
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It would be a 'shaman', to wonder too much about those wily wosey woodsmen and their weird weputation [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree - when Tolkien describes direct action, he is often very careful to keep things in the balance so that readers can believe magic has happened,; or that there is some physical rather than metaphyscal explanation (DanielLB's essay about Fog on the Barrow Downs last Symposium http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=670204#670204 is a great example).

Here we are more overt. Is it because Tolkien has distanced himself from the storytelling? He is pretending to be a scholar at third hand, relating a tradition about the woses which he's got from a second-hand source, as opposed to relating an apparent eye-witness account. So he's telling us what he has discovered one group of people believe about the abilities of another group, and so things can be allowed to get pretty fantastic.

Certainly Tolkien is able to have a whole pile of fun with the trope of Ethnic magician ( http://tvtropes.org/.../Main/EthnicMagician, explaining the things the wily wosey woodsmen are supposed to be able to do. There seem to be elements f from Indian fakir to Native American shaman through Badass Asian martial-monks. The only thing missing is a hidden temple at which you can learn the lethal Druadain martial art (perhaps they throw sharpened woseries?).

The Faithful Stone' is a lovely little standalone short story, don't you think?

All this and 'Amazons' too! Blush - a fun chapter.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 24 2014, 9:23pm

Post #11 of 43 (251 views)
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The Road to Dunharrow - a great literary effect [In reply to] Can't Post

I have always loved the effect of Merry winding up that ancient road to Dunharrow and wondering at the pukel men. It's the kind of touch which gives Middle-earth some of it's feeling of been-there-for-eons wonder.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 10:53pm

Post #12 of 43 (242 views)
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Druedain, men and Halloween costumes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thanks for taking this chapter, Brethil! It's almost dictated by your name though, isn't it, since the Druedain had a Brethil/Haleth connection? I suppose in real life you have loin-clothed hunters in your back yard shooting poison darts at kids dressed as orcs for Halloween, so you can speak about these people with authority... Your welcome, but there, you've gone and guessed my Halloween costume. (The hunter, not the Orc. Just saying.)

The Druedain are interesting to me because they do seem like the TV documentary-stereotype of a dweller in the Amazon rain forest. They don't quite fit into the feel of M-earth for me, but they're valuable allies who come along at the right time, so who am I to say they don't belong? It seems everyone feels they don't belong, except for the people of Haleth, but they don't fit in very well either. That there is affection between the two peoples seems to soften the rough edges off of both of them. Yes and since neither of them seems to be fully a part of the larger society of Men, it seem fitting that they can live together. Do you think it assigns a certain innate wisdom to the People of Haleth?

They do remind me of the Petty-Dwarves, marginalized and hunted by superior races. It's remarkable that they survived into the 3rd age. But there's something hobbity about them too, an overlooked race of honorable people who live close to the land and live by instinct. Their flight from Numenor says a lot about how their minds work, though I remain puzzled that they lived there at all. Everything about Numenor seems so refined and lofty, and the Druedain don't fit that mold, and it's hard to imagine dressing them up either. So Numenor was more diverse than the posters imply, I suppose. I can roll with many things, but this fit always feels awkward to me. What purpose and attraction would there be between the Men of Numenor and the Druedain - and a story I would love to read, how the connection came about. Reading that the Druedain attacked Saruman's forces and seemed to reject him and Sauron out of hand, was it some act of valor on their part that got the attention of an influential soon-to-be-Numenorean (since it would have had to be before the War of Wrath)? Could that be the connect...something to do with the House of Hurin? In any case it seems that they served almost a vaguely supernatural, 'salt-of-the-earth' type of wisdom, almost like shamanic gypsies to the people of Numenor?
(We know the Elves needed no 'interface' or proof of divinity: were the Druedain some sort of connection to lore and divinity for Numenor? Or as I have wondered, would they have been along for the ride to bear literary witness to Numenor's end?)



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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:01pm

Post #13 of 43 (244 views)
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Picts and Woses [In reply to] Can't Post

I did wonder that too O-S, especially since the Druedain are supposed to have skills with pigment (presumably painting themselves) as well as using flat stones as markers and signs. Both of these seem to be in common with Pict tradition. Also both seem to be uncommonly good at wood warfare, and 'disappearing' in ways that to the uninitiated might seem magical.


Though Picts are from the Scotland, so part of the English/Scottish land mass, I wonder if JRRT would have felt the cultural attachment to them?


The Tuatha inspiration...a tangled question. I'm not sure, based on the antiquity of the Danaan legends, if the Picts and the Irish at large would have met up at all. Who ever (if there was a human inspiration) inspired the Tuatha legends would have had to land on Irish shores and I am not sure of the Picts went over the water at all (though its a narrow enough crossing).

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:06pm

Post #14 of 43 (241 views)
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How did Gandalf miss them? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Even if that was the ultimate plan, I'm glad it didn't come to pass. I think it would have made Turin's story a little too complicated to throw in another culture, especially one we don't know much about. The Sindar, the Noldor, the houses of Beor and Hador, the Easterlings: we know them from other contexts. The Petty-Dwarves appear only in Turin's story (with that little hint about them in the founding of Nargothrond), and to throw in Woses too--I can only keep track of so many races that Turin is dragging down with him in his doom! One wonders too if there would have been some grim but kindly meant foreshadowing as a Drug from Sador about Turin's rather earth-shattering fate.

The Druedain seem to me to not be magical, just extremely well-adapted to their environment. Living close to the earth and having no pretensions about conquering or remaking it to shape their own desires, I think they felt the vibe in Numenor that something was profoundly wrong with the relationship there between Edain and Arda and that it was only going to get worse. Maybe the same gut feeling you have before two people you know are enemies break out into a fight. "Well, I saw that coming." So the 'magical' parts of the tale emerging from tales and legends and becoming myth? Certainly a process JRRT understood. The Druedain still sort of serving as a transitional people, between the real and the Faerie...

One interesting thing to me about the Druedain is that even Gandalf--Gandalf!--didn't cultivate a relationship with them. He stayed true to his mission as the great uniter of peoples and was friends with forgotten Ents and insignificant hobbits. Why, with the Woses occupying strategic areas along the borders of Rohan and Gondor, didn't he find a way to draw them into his grand alliance? Wow, now there's a big name we don't see at all in this chapter or ever linked with the Druedain! He wandered the earth long enough, I wonder if they hid from him??? Perhaps as we was from Valinor and not 'of Arda' they didn't have a basis for trust? Fascinating CG, I missed that idea.


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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:12pm

Post #15 of 43 (223 views)
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Antiquity in ME [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have always loved the effect of Merry winding up that ancient road to Dunharrow and wondering at the pukel men. It's the kind of touch which gives Middle-earth some of it's feeling of been-there-for-eons wonder.





So true Furincurunir. It really does give that feeling of antiquity and it makes sense that in LOTR they remain shadowy just for that reason. More of that construct I think that like in ancient societies there were the fringe 'wild men' of questionable intent and wisdom; as well as give a sense of time to the region and the idea that whole societies and cultures have lived and disappeared. And like the Pukel-men, their artifacts aren't always understood.


I remember reading a spoof article years ago, where a motel is buried in a landslide and future archeologists excavate it. They find a body laid out, in a specially prepared and crafted barrow with novel grave goods...of course, when you are finally shown the picture of the dig its clearly a person who was soaking in a bathtub with a cup of tea and a book when the mudslide encased the scene. Like the statues, whose purpose and meaning to the it makers was SO clear and present but in a relatively short amount of time is lost.

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 24 2014, 11:17pm

Post #16 of 43 (238 views)
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The Druedain in year-round costumes. Ready for any party! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Yes and since neither of them seems to be fully a part of the larger society of Men, it seem fitting that they can live together. Do you think it assigns a certain innate wisdom to the People of Haleth?

I think there's an innate wisdom apparent in anyone from Brethil. Smile

I'm not sure if they're the outcast kids on the playground sticking together because they're both outcasts, or because of some commonality, or both. I suppose more of the latter, since the People of Haleth stick to the woods, unlike other Men (except Woodmen of Mirkwood), and the Woses do too, so it's a shared preference for the same environment. It's commendable that they don't fight each other over the same woods, and cooperate as two different races, similar to hobbits and Men in Bree, respecting their differences.


Quote
I can roll with many things, but this fit always feels awkward to me. What purpose and attraction would there be between the Men of Numenor and the Druedain

Agreed, and when I think more about this, isn't just about everyone afraid of the Sea? Even the Elves are when they see it on the great migration west. The Edain never seek it out while in Beleriand (Tuor, bizarrely, is the first to see it), and the Dwarves don't like it. Further, primitive people like the Lossoth who harbor King Arvedui are afraid of Cirdan's ships. So wouldn't the Druedain fear both the sea AND ships and refuse a trip to Numenor, preferring to slink back into Middle-earth somewhere? I think your conclusion that they were the honest, uncorrupted witnesses to Numenor's decline is the probable one. They went to Numenor for reasons of literary necessity. I'm glad they got out before the big wave hit!

Silly moment: why hasn't someone ever come up with some fan art of Sauron and Isildur on surf boards, riding the great wave back to Middle-earth? I mean, the destruction of Numenor didn't have to be a disaster for everyone, did it? Surf's up!


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:23pm

Post #17 of 43 (227 views)
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Appelates and Wild Men [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thanks to a recommendation by Vronwe the Faithful, I recently started reading Green Suns and faerie by Verlyn Fliger (a book of critical essays about Tolkien, which is remarkably good). One chapter, 'Tolkien's Wild Menfrom medieval to Modern' is helpful here!

'Wose' comes out of Gawain, Dr Fliger says, and is an example of one kind of 'Wild man' popular in Medieval stories. These Wild men could vary from tribal types through to what in Middle-earth might be called a different 'race' through to what is perhaps a separate species altogether. Tolkien's translation of the 'wodwos' which harry Sir Gawain, for example is 'wood-troll'.

That idea has, I think, collided with the 'noble savage' kind of character. Certainly Ghan-Buri-Ghan tensd to speak-um Tonto (or Tarzan perhaps). And there is some of the idea that Ghan-Buri-Ghan and his folk are a remnant of how all good people used to be, with powers which come from a more intimate relationship with nature than 'civilized' folk such as hobbits or Rohirrim. I think that ties nicely with Merry being reminded of the pukel men, with that hint that Ghan-Buri-Ghan's folk are the remnant of a people populous and powerful enough to be great builders.





Excellent points here. I think the 'noble savage' tradition is our modern and particularly expressed 'wild man' interpretation. I think the interpretation has a lot to say about the culture who is affixing the label. In the 'noble savage' tradition, it seems to speak of a culture which feels it has advanced yet acknowledges the innate value of the 'wild man'. Other cultures in other times have had 'green man' labels for the wild man myth - which seem to imply mystery and implacability of nature (noted I do think in Victorian eras of industrialization - so a reaction to present day.) Often the 'wild man' is seen as dangerous yet of he can be bound or bribed, wisdom can be gained: I've read about this in much older cultures where nature was still an unpredictable and often scary force, yet whose wisdom (defined as understanding of nature) could be so crucial.


Thus I like the idea that Merry and Théoden, coming from different perspectives, could see the mysterious figures in contrasting lights. I think to Shire-bound Merry they would have a sort of ominous, magical air (a reaction to his rather staid and solid Hobbit society) where Théoden might see them more with the menace and the archaic 'wild man' of unpredictability (since feudal Rohan never seems to have accepted the earthy Druedain, even after the battles at the Isen.)

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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:33pm

Post #18 of 43 (221 views)
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Making myths [In reply to] Can't Post


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I agree - when Tolkien describes direct action, he is often very careful to keep things in the balance so that readers can believe magic has happened,; or that there is some physical rather than metaphyscal explanation (DanielLB's essay about Fog on the Barrow Downs last Symposium http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=670204#670204 is a great example).

Here we are more overt. Is it because Tolkien has distanced himself from the storytelling? He is pretending to be a scholar at third hand, relating a tradition about the woses which he's got from a second-hand source, as opposed to relating an apparent eye-witness account. So he's telling us what he has discovered one group of people believe about the abilities of another group, and so things can be allowed to get pretty fantastic.

Certainly Tolkien is able to have a whole pile of fun with the trope of Ethnic magician (
http://tvtropes.org/.../Main/EthnicMagician, explaining the things the wily wosey woodsmen are supposed to be able to do. There seem to be elements f from Indian fakir to Native American shaman through Badass Asian martial-monks. The only thing missing is a hidden temple at which you can learn the lethal Druadain martial art (perhaps they throw sharpened woseries?).


A man who loved the faerie, myth building within the myth. Cool (sand they might like all of our signs in rail-stations and Public service announcements asking that people not abuse Drugs. "Hah, See? They finally appreciate us.")


The Faithful Stone' is a lovely little standalone short story, don't you think?
All this and 'Amazons' too! Blush - a fun chapter.

SmileIt is a fun story - that almost proverbial tone...yet mostly it reminds me of reading Northern mythology. And yes, with one order of Faithful Stone you get a side of Amazons.


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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:40pm

Post #19 of 43 (211 views)
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Hador:Drug::Bree:Hobbits. Very true [In reply to] Can't Post


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Yes and since neither of them seems to be fully a part of the larger society of Men, it seem fitting that they can live together. Do you think it assigns a certain innate wisdom to the People of Haleth?

I think there's an innate wisdom apparent in anyone from Brethil. Smile Saying nice things like that put you right on the non-sedated list for the Zombie Apocalypse. Angelic

I'm not sure if they're the outcast kids on the playground sticking together because they're both outcasts, or because of some commonality, or both. I suppose more of the latter, since the People of Haleth stick to the woods, unlike other Men (except Woodmen of Mirkwood), and the Woses do too, so it's a shared preference for the same environment. It's commendable that they don't fight each other over the same woods, and cooperate as two different races, similar to hobbits and Men in Bree, respecting their differences. Oh that's a great point to bring yup, especially since JRRT was at great pains it seems to not have the Druedain and the Hobbits appear to be related. Yet the relationships are parallel, as you say. A lot of anthropological verisimilitude there - patterns in the big wide human family repeating themselves.


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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 11:59pm

Post #20 of 43 (249 views)
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Numenor and surfing. You did say 'silly'. [In reply to] Can't Post


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I can roll with many things, but this fit always feels awkward to me. What purpose and attraction would there be between the Men of Numenor and the Druedain

Agreed, and when I think more about this, isn't just about everyone afraid of the Sea? Even the Elves are when they see it on the great migration west. The Edain never seek it out while in Beleriand (Tuor, bizarrely, is the first to see it), and the Dwarves don't like it. Further, primitive people like the Lossoth who harbor King Arvedui are afraid of Cirdan's ships. So wouldn't the Druedain fear both the sea AND ships and refuse a trip to Numenor, preferring to slink back into Middle-earth somewhere? I think your conclusion that they were the honest, uncorrupted witnesses to Numenor's decline is the probable one. They went to Numenor for reasons of literary necessity. I'm glad they got out before the big wave hit! You phrased that perfectly thank you - I can see them as both uncorrupted witnesses and litmus tests of how well Numenor is doing on a deeper level. I guess they were good sailors? Or at least they tolerated it? I have feeling the Druedain were happy to get their feet back on land though.


Silly moment: why hasn't someone ever come up with some fan art of Sauron and Isildur on surf boards, riding the great wave back to Middle-earth? I mean, the destruction of Numenor didn't have to be a disaster for everyone, did it? Surf's up!
I'm sure we could photoshop something...but consider the statue of the brothers.


Has to be based on some familiar pose: some guesses are
- Surfing
- Directing traffic
- Calling home run shots
So surfing makes perfect sense, contextually.



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 April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Mar 25 2014, 12:00am)


CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 25 2014, 12:59am

Post #21 of 43 (250 views)
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Argonath explained [In reply to] Can't Post

I was sure they were directing traffic, but then I thought it might be a yoga or tai chi pose, but we should probably open this up to the community and ask people to figure it out, like a Middle-earth Conspiracy Theory.

What I think is cool is that New Zealand has naturally occurring rock formations that coincidentally look like ancient kings pointing toward the north. No wonder Peter Jackson decided to film his movies there, when the geography is so cooperative! And isn't it amazing that New Zealanders live in fancy underground homes, just like the hobbits do in the Shire? I tell you, it was Destiny that plopped those movies into the Kiwi's laps, Destiny!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 2:18pm

Post #22 of 43 (192 views)
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Yes... I had the same visceral reaction [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially when Merry rides fast them and we are treated to an eerie description of the half-forgotten statues.

It also serves to add depth and history (if only forgotten history) to the story. I agree that Ghan-buri-Ghan seems to have a connexion to the pukel-men and Druedain.


Ah... the things that were lost in Beleriand and the Second Age....

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


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 2:27pm

Post #23 of 43 (190 views)
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So THAT'S why they choose NZ!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

It make so much more sense. Good location near the director (No need to fly him around the world) AND saving on SFX statues!!! No wonder New Line couldn't say no!!!Wink

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


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 2:30pm

Post #24 of 43 (211 views)
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Woses, Hobbits, and Halflings [In reply to] Can't Post

I get a general idea that they are somewhere between Men and Halflings. IIRC Tolkien said that Hobbit were related in some way to Men, not a different kindred and not Elves, so perhaps in the shadows of Beleriand and the First Age, the Woses developed differently under the aegis and influences of Morgoth's corruption?

Oh so much was lost in the First and second Age history!!!

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


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 2:44pm

Post #25 of 43 (206 views)
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Shoot first, ask questions later... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I get the impression that Men, as a whole, were tainted by Morgoth. Originally, I think they were to be more like the Elves-- closer to earth, more peaceful, and learn slowly from Eru--, but the actions of Morgoth might have grown them too quickly, makking them rash, hasty, cold, and suspicious. Like the Elves harrying the P-D's, it could have been a xenophobic instinct learned amongst the horrors of the FA. Anything different, or similar to Orcs (P-D were not too cute) had to be killed to survive. Another instrance of the taint of what was to be a trusting, friendly mind.


In regard to the idea of having Druedain on Numenor, I think of the 'Indians' brought to Spain by Columbus and other explorers. They were kept more in a menagerie and as oddities to be showcased than servants or guests. They were exotic specimens who knew many strange 'magicks' and were a curiosity for the 'enlightened' nobles. I'm sure their tales, customs, and culture from Africa and the Americas was totally alien to the Europeans, and they might be curious as to the strange powers they might have.

In Numenor and its smugly conceited position of dominance, I can see the bored high ones being curious and wanting new thrills and pleasures like the French nobility of the 18th century. Even those who were seeking life-extending means might have been interested in what other powers besides prophecy (Which the Elves had a modicum of BTW) they possessed.

Sador as a Druedain? Interesting... It would have required a bit of work to make it mesh with the narrative, but I could see it working and linking the 'Faithful Stone' and the people of Haleth.

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

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