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: Off Topic: Off Topic:
The Earliest Britons resembled Dunlendings?

Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 7, 9:00pm

Post #1 of 14 (699 views)
Shortcut
The Earliest Britons resembled Dunlendings? Can't Post

From AOL: Ancient Briton had dark skin and blue eyes, scientists find

The article starts:

Quote
LONDON (Reuters) - "Cheddar Man", Britain's oldest, nearly complete human skeleton, had dark skin, blue eyes and dark curly hair when he lived in what is now southwest England 10,000 years ago, scientists who read his DNA have discovered.

The finding suggests that the lighter skin pigmentation now seen as typical of northern Europeans is far more recent than previously thought, according to researchers from University College London (UCL) who took part in the project.

Cheddar Man's skin color was described as "dark to black" by the scientific team which also included researchers from London's Natural History Museum, where the skeleton is on display in the Human Evolution gallery.




"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 7, 9:04pm)


squire
Half-elven


Feb 7, 9:50pm

Post #2 of 14 (653 views)
Shortcut
It seems unlikely [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember Tolkien ever really giving us a picture of the Dunlendings that mentioned their complexion.

But even if he had, it's most unlikely that he would have pictured them as "dark to black", like in this article. I suppose he might employ his more common term for 'bad Men', such as Bill Ferny of Bree: swarthy.

The word is broadly defined as "dark-skinned", but I've never heard of anyone imagining Ferny as dark as the reconstructed image in the article you linked to. I've always taken Tolkien's use of 'swarthy', in the context of Men of the western lands (as opposed to the Haradrim), as being in the same range of color as Sam Gamgee's "brown hands" [LR IV.8] - deeply tanned due to time in the sun, rather than an African- or Indian-level of pigmentation.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 7, 10:08pm

Post #3 of 14 (641 views)
Shortcut
Swarthy [In reply to] Can't Post

The Dunlendings and their forebears were perhaps not as dark-skinned as the model of the Cheddar Man, but Tolkien does indeed describe them as 'swarthy'--in Unfinished Tales if nowhere else. And I'm not sure that many would have had blue eyes.

I also assume that Bree-landers (including Bill Ferny) had over time become more fair-skinned than their ancestors from the south--through intermarriage if for no other reason. It was Ferny's visitor from the South who was described as swarthy, not Ferny himself.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


squire
Half-elven


Feb 7, 10:32pm

Post #4 of 14 (639 views)
Shortcut
I was thinking of this passage, regarding Ferny and the southerners at Bree [In reply to] Can't Post

"...there was one swarthy Bree-lander, who stood looking at them with a knowing and half-mocking expression that made them feel very uncomfortable. Presently he slipped out of the door, followed by the squint-eyed southerner:..." (LR I.9)
In the next chapter Strider tells the hobbits that the swarthy man was Bill Ferny, who is in cahoots with the southern strangers who had come up the Greenway that day. So at this point in the story, at least, it's the southerners who are orientalized and the man from Bree who is darker-skinned than usual.

Later in the book, the hobbits make the connection between Ferny's companion and the half-breed Orc-Dunlendings at Isengard. Merry tells Aragorn of their witnessing Saruman's army:
"...there were battalions of Men, too. Many of them carried torches, and in the flare I could see their faces. Most of them were ordinary men, rather tall and dark-haired, and grim but not particularly evil-looking. But there were some others that were horrible: man-high, but with goblin-faces, sallow, leering, squint-eyed. Do you know, they reminded me at once of that Southerner at Bree: only he was not so obviously orc-like as most of these were. (LR III.9)
Here we can note that Merry does not describe the Dunland hillmen as dark-skinned just dark-haired; but with the half-breeds he notes their 'sallow' complexions as well as their 'squint' eyes. Sallow is a yellowish or jaundiced tint, as well as being somewhat darker.

Clearly the orcs (not to mention the southerner at Bree, and Sharkey's ruffians who the hobbits encounter during the Scouring) are to be identified with what were known in Tolkien's time as "Orientals", a term he explicitly associates with orcs in his letters. The connection is meant to arouse images of fierce Huns or Mongols, the scourges of the West during the Middle Ages - not to mention the 'yellow peril' of the rising Japanese empire and populous China in the mid-20th century.

By contrast, it is Ferny who is swarthy in the main story of LR, as per the first quote above. Only in the Unfinished Tales story, as you say, does Tolkien specify that the hillmen of Dunland were swarthy as well.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 7, 11:25pm

Post #5 of 14 (629 views)
Shortcut
Apologies and a Correction [In reply to] Can't Post

You are correct. That's what happens sometimes when I rely solely on memory. Even so, Ferny's complexion might very well be due to the half-forgotten Dunlending roots of the Bree-landers (who claimed to be descended from the Men of the North).

Speaking of relying too much on memory, I had also forgotten that it was in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, not Untold Tales where Tolkien referred to the swarthiness of the Dunlendings and their ancestors. From LotR Appendix F (The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age):


Quote
Of their language nothing appears in this book, save the name Forgoil which they gave to the Rohirrim (meaning Strawheads, it is said). Dunland and Dunlending are the names that the Rohirrim gave to them, because they were swarthy and dark-haired; there is thus no connexion between the word dunn in these names and the Grey-elven word Dn 'west'.


"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 7, 11:27pm)


Attalus
Lorien


Feb 8, 4:50am

Post #6 of 14 (597 views)
Shortcut
Of course early Man was dark... [In reply to] Can't Post

...they came out of Africa, and in that fierce sun melanin was protection not only against sunstroke, but skin cancers as well. It has been hypothesized that the fair complexions of northern Europeans was an adaptation to the scarcity of sunlight and its vital Vitamin D conversion, without which they might have been prone to rickets.

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mmak. But we got him!


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Feb 8, 3:21pm

Post #7 of 14 (562 views)
Shortcut
I have always thought that [In reply to] Can't Post

the first humans (what are we exactly? Cro-Magnon? Homo-saphien?) were brown-skinned, since the majority of people on earth are some type of brown-skin. White skin does come primarily from northern Europe, and black skin is primarily African - specific global regions, and surely climate would have something to do with their skin color. Still, I'm surprised that the earliest Briton would be so dark-skinned; and then to turn so pale, interesting.... Genetics is a fascinating subject for me, but I confess I know next to nothing about it, and I doubt I'm smart enough to really figure it out, eitherBlush

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman




(This post was edited by Kilidoescartwheels on Feb 8, 3:22pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 8, 4:01pm

Post #8 of 14 (558 views)
Shortcut
Earliest Humans [In reply to] Can't Post

The earliest modern humans were represented by Cro-Magnon man, who is considered the first Homo sapiens. It isn't fair to our earlier ancestors or extinct cousins such as Neanderthal Man to call Cro-Magnon man the first humans. There does seem be be some argument for classifying Neanderthals as a subspecies of Homo sapiens.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 8, 4:04pm)


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Feb 8, 5:04pm

Post #9 of 14 (547 views)
Shortcut
Funny you should mention that [In reply to] Can't Post

The anthropologist have gone back and forth as to whether or not Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon could interbreed. It seems these days they are leaning towards able to, and it seems that I recently read they've decided blue eyes are a holdover Neanderthal trait. Like I said, it's fascinating and I read up on such discoveries, though I don't think I'm smart enough to really study genetics. As for Neanderthals being extinct, one could argue that there are still a few around <insert political joke here>Wink

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman




Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 9, 3:00am

Post #10 of 14 (532 views)
Shortcut
In regard to blue eyes, the current thinking is that [In reply to] Can't Post

"All blue-eyed people have one ancestor in common, born around 6,000-10,000 years ago."

"How did this mutation get its start? Possibly when humans migrated from Africa to Europe. This would explain why only people of European descent have blue eyes. It would also suggest that all blue-eyed people share a single European ancestor."

http://www.independent.co.uk/...escent-a7961251.html

We even saw Legolas transform from brown to blue! ;)


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Feb 9, 3:01am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 9, 3:29am

Post #11 of 14 (517 views)
Shortcut
Maybe more like Southrons / Haradrim [In reply to] Can't Post

Swarthy - nothing to say some did not have blue eyes.


Annael
Half-elven


Feb 9, 3:41am

Post #12 of 14 (515 views)
Shortcut
single ancestors [In reply to] Can't Post

my dad, a genealogist, likes to point out that the Black Plague in Europe severely reduced the gene pool by killing off perhaps as much as 60% of the population, increasing the chances of those of European descent having ancestors in common.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 9, 3:48am

Post #13 of 14 (511 views)
Shortcut
Yes, that is a good observation. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 9, 5:39am

Post #14 of 14 (496 views)
Shortcut
Haradwaith [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Maybe more like Southrons / Haradrim Swarthy - nothing to say some did not have blue eyes.


That might work too--and maybe better!

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

 
 

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.