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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Sharkey and the Dunedain

emre43
Rohan

Sep 10, 11:55am

Post #1 of 15 (1848 views)
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Sharkey and the Dunedain Can't Post

I do not have my book to hand, but is it explained anywhere how Sharkey and his rabble were able to get past the Dunedain that had been guarding the Shire?

I never killed a man who didn't need killing
- Clay Allison


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 10, 12:06pm

Post #2 of 15 (1814 views)
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Driven Off [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tale of Years tells us that the Black Riders drove off the Rangers guarding Sarn Ford on September 22, 3018. It might be that the guard was never re-established.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


squire
Half-elven


Sep 10, 12:52pm

Post #3 of 15 (1812 views)
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I think it's implied the Rangers all went south to help Aragorn win the war. [In reply to] Can't Post

"...the Rangers have all gone away, folk tell me." - Butterbur to the hobbits and Gandalf, LotR VI.7. That implies that the Dunedain aren't simply missing from the boundaries of the Shire, but from all the reaches of the northland that they used to 'patrol', if that is the word.

Contradicting this, of course, is Halbarad's statement, when he catches up with Aragorn near the Gap of Isen with just thirty men, ‘That is all of our kindred that could be gathered in haste.' The implication is that there are others still back at home, distributed across the wild.

Yet Butterbur says they are all gone, a few months later. Did the rest of them ride south to catch up with their leader, in some unmentioned epic chase tale?

Or were the remaining Dunedain, in fact, overcome or driven away from the Shire and Bree by Sharkey's ruffians? That just seems so unlikely, as the ruffians are low, base-born men of poor estate who curse a lot, and the Dunedain are noble and high-born men who can ride horses, use the right tableware at dinner, and recite epic poetry.



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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 10, 1:30pm

Post #4 of 15 (1804 views)
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The Defense of the North [In reply to] Can't Post

The implication here, from the words of Halbarad, seems to be that there was no time to reform the guard on the Shire as all of the Dúnedain who could not be gathered as part of the Grey Company were needed to defend all of Eriador. They were probably most concerned with watching the passes through the Misty Mountains and anyone coming through the Gap of Rohan and up the Greenway.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


squire
Half-elven


Sep 10, 1:51pm

Post #5 of 15 (1802 views)
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That's as plausible as not [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember, we never hear anything at all about what Halbarad's "other" Rangers did. We only know what they didn't do, which is defend the Shire and Bree as they long had done. During the war they disappear into the same Black Story Hole as Radagast, the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, and Glorfindel do.



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noWizardme
Valinor


Sep 10, 3:18pm

Post #6 of 15 (1794 views)
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It would be a nice irony if... [In reply to] Can't Post

It would be a nice irony if the best way of getting hold of some Rangers quickly was to pull back the units that had been guarding the Shire. Those privy to the reason why the Shire was being guarded at all would know that the Ring had gone, maybe leaving the Shire as a low priority.

That's my contribution to the Total Speculation Vortex, anyway. Smile

~~~~~~
Now you dwarves must be careful with that machine with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes - it's not a drill, y'know!"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 10, 4:43pm

Post #7 of 15 (1782 views)
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Black Story Holels [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If I remember, we never hear anything at all about what Halbarad's "other" Rangers did. We only know what they didn't do, which is defend the Shire and Bree as they long had done. During the war they disappear into the same Black Story Hole as Radagast, the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, and Glorfindel do.


Yes, Tolkien leaves behind many mysteries. It is a little surprising that we know so little about the Dwarves who remained in the Blue Mountains--especially south of the Gulf of Lune--or even the Elves of the Grey Havens and Lindon; they were all fairly near neighbors to the Hobbits of the Shire. But then the Shire-hobbits were barely familiar with their own relatives in Bree. Did a messenger of Sauron offer Rings to those Dwarves? Maybe such a servant attempted to land at the mouth of the Baranduin only to run afoul of the arrows of the Wild Men of Eryn Vorn (who did not seem fond of intruders of any kind). It seems likely that we will never know.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 10, 9:35pm

Post #8 of 15 (1755 views)
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It's because of his "mountainish inhumanity". // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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elentari3018
Rohan


Sep 11, 1:13am

Post #9 of 15 (1728 views)
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Did it say anywhere in the books how many Dunadain were there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Makes sense in previous comments that most are either elsewhere or went with Halbarad ...

"By Elbereth and Luthien the fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!" ~Frodo

"And then Gandalf arose and bid all men rise, and they rose, and he said: 'Here is a last hail ere the feast endeth. Last but not least. For I name now those who shall not be forgotten and without whose valour nought else that was done would have availed; and I name before you all Frodo of the Shire and Samwise his servant. And the bards and the minstrels should give them new names: Bronwe athan Harthad and Harthad Uluithiad , Endurance beyond Hope and Hope Unquenchable.." ~Gandalf, The End of the Third Age , from The History of Middle Earth series


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 11, 5:53am

Post #10 of 15 (1730 views)
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--"Sir Thomas More" (Wm. Shakespeare and others) [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually much more others (preeminently Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle) than Shakespeare.

But watch Ian McKellen in this clip delivering a passage from the play that is believed to be by Shakespeare--and is in fact the only surviving manuscript thought to be in Shakespeare's hand (and was apparently never performed before McKellen himself played More)--and see if at least two Tolkienian words don't jump out at you as they did at me.

(I have linked to start the video at 2 min. 10 sec. when McKellen begins his Shakespeare reading, but his introduction is interesting if you want to know more about the context.)


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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noWizardme
Valinor


Sep 11, 8:21am

Post #11 of 15 (1654 views)
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No [In reply to] Can't Post

That was the part of the subject of this recent discussion http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=948578#948578


You might also enjoy our last discussion of the Appendices on this subject http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=919272#919272

We concluded, I think that there are few enough Dunadain for them to be the romantic little band of hidden wanderers Tolkien wanted, occasionally being found in an otherwise empty landscape. So it is what is needed for the story. How that ended up being the case and remained the case becomes a bit problematic if you sit staring at the fridge and apply the parallels of real history. Those would lead one to expect a much bigger rebound of the population after the wars with the Witch KIng, and more ruins of Arnor that was.

~~~~~~
Now you dwarves must be careful with that machine with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes - it's not a drill, y'know!"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 11, 12:14pm

Post #12 of 15 (1630 views)
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The Dúnedain of the North [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did it say anywhere in the books how many Dunadain were there?


I don't think we get any concrete numbers, though we should be including not just the Rangers but their families as well. So, my best guess would be several thousand in all (men, women, children and elderly) with no more than a few hundred active Dúnedain Rangers scattered throughout Eriador. Some would normally be assigned to patrol and guard their own hidden enclaves.

noWiz wrote:

In Reply To
We concluded, I think that there are few enough Dunadain for them to be the romantic little band of hidden wanderers Tolkien wanted, occasionally being found in an otherwise empty landscape. So it is what is needed for the story. How that ended up being the case and remained the case becomes a bit problematic if you sit staring at the fridge and apply the parallels of real history. Those would lead one to expect a much bigger rebound of the population after the wars with the Witch KIng, and more ruins of Arnor that was.


I think we have to at least consider that the Dúnedain of Arnor deliberately kept their numbers small during the last third of the Third Age as they were a hidden people.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 11, 12:19pm)


squire
Half-elven


Sep 11, 1:20pm

Post #13 of 15 (1639 views)
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Fishing for Shakespeare [In reply to] Can't Post

"...and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another…."

Very clever connection; and as I look it up, this passage was judged to be Shakespeare's by the early 20th century. So Tolkien may well have read the academic papers discussing the attribution, as Shakespeare more or less dominated the early "English" departments of the British universities in which he spent his professional life.

But surely the pun in Saruman's nickname, by which Sharku ("old man" in orc-language) becomes Sharkey for the human ruffians, is a little odd. Dunland and Eriador, the presumed lands of origin of Saruman's henchmen, are more or less landlocked, and the book makes little or no mention of maritime trade or intercourse in these regions; the Sea is a far-off, almost legendary, place. Very unlike England, of course, the island nation whose language practically overflows with salty vocabulary and imagery. So like Shakespeare we English-speakers might associate a fierce tribe of invaders (or a school of lawyers) with carnivorous "sharks", but why would Tolkien's ruffians do so?



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.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 12, 3:02am

Post #14 of 15 (1512 views)
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Don't 'ee like it, squire? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


noWizardme
Valinor


Sep 12, 12:18pm

Post #15 of 15 (1481 views)
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"Sharkey and the Dunedain" - name of my band when I was in college... [In reply to] Can't Post

Not really: it's a game we play in my family if someone says something which sounds like the name of a band Wink

~~~~~~
Now you dwarves must be careful with that machine with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes - it's not a drill, y'know!"

 
 

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