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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Warships, elves and other musings
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hanne
Lorien

Jan 7, 11:19pm

Post #51 of 63 (348 views)
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8. cattle...scary cattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Cirashala, apparently Boromir's famous horn came from Middle-earth's most famous herd, the Kine of Araw from Rhun (pictured on the map in the far east). I picture something far more like aurochs than domestic cattle!


hanne
Lorien

Jan 7, 11:20pm

Post #52 of 63 (354 views)
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Rabbit hole: How big a ship to transport the Stone of Erech? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's said to have a diameter of 12 feet. What size ship would Elendil have needed to bring something like that from Numenor?

Google tells me granite weights about 175 pounds per cubic foot, so suppose the Stone, at 900 cubic feet, weighs 157,500 lbs or 80 tons.

Wikipedia says a galleon could carry 900 tons of cargo. But I can't find cargo capacity of a carrack. Squire? does this help narrow down size of Numenorean ships?

P.S. There is no such thing as more info than we wanted :) Thanks so much!


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Jan 8, 2:34am

Post #53 of 63 (344 views)
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Ah- good catch :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I looked up the Aurochs and I can definitely see the shape of their horns in Boromir's Smile Though I do wonder how well it would have blown. I remember in the Narnia behind the scenes it showed Susan blowing her horn and it sounded like a kid doing "toot toot" in a toilet paper roll...

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

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You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Jan 8, 2:37am

Post #54 of 63 (347 views)
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I never would have thought that [In reply to] Can't Post

much weight would be able to be carried on any wooden ship! Wow....Shocked

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


squire
Half-elven


Jan 8, 4:32am

Post #55 of 63 (343 views)
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A Carrack was generally smaller than a Galleon, but not always [In reply to] Can't Post

The difference is primarily one of design, with the Galleon being longer but thinner and so more seaworthy, and also more adaptable to combat. One article I found suggested a 250-ton load (mostly black peppercorns, which are basically tiny stones of Erech) for a Carrack wreck that was discovered and documented by marine archaeologists.

For what it's worth, I suggest basalt rather than granite for the Stone, being that it's described as all black. That's a slightly denser mineral, so make the weight 85 tons.

But as to ship design, it's probably not worth trying to suss out the lines of Isildur's ship based on cargo capacity: any substantial Renaissance ocean-going ship, Carrack or Galleon or a variation thereof, would have been able to stow and carry the Stone. The question that has bothered thousands if not dozens of fans is the one of handling: how to load and unload such a large and heavy object from the hull of a ship in the water. It could be done, I suppose, with extremely sophisticated block and tackle, animal and man power, and plenty of strong rope and baulks of timber, in a specially designed dock.

Adding to the puzzle is the suggestion in the text that Isildur set the Stone on the hilltop "at his landing". That evokes the idea of Noah's Ark coming to ground on Mt. Ararat as the Flood's waters receded. In this equally semi-mythical case, we are asked to imagine, I think, that the vast waves of Numenor's doom and Elendil's escape washed his small fleet up onto the coastal highlands of Gondor. No 'specially designed dock' would have been available as the prince clambered down from his beached ship, left high and dry and many miles from the nearest shoreline once the sea had settled back to its usual level! It may well be that they simply dismantled the ship piece by piece from around the Stone, liberating it in place to roll gently into the shallow pit where it has been ever since.

And of course the question of 'why' is even further from an answer than 'how'. Why was the ship carrying the Stone? What did it signify back in Numenor, that they felt compelled to load it and carry it at such tremendous cost in labor and in stowage space in the cargo hold? Whatever its meaning or use back in the homeland, could Isildur have anticipated repurposing it as a dark, forboding, and even cursed marker of a shipwreck landing high on a barren hill in the land of exile?

Fun stuff to speculate on, as always.



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'.
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Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 8, 3:22pm

Post #56 of 63 (310 views)
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Mannish Ships of the Third Age. [In reply to] Can't Post

And looking thither they cried in dismay; for black against the glittering stream they beheld a fleet borne upon the wind: dromunds, and ships of great draught with many oars, and with black sails bellying in the breeze. -- RotK, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

A dromund (alternately dromon or dromond is a sea-worthy vessel, similar to a galley, powered mainly by wide sails. These were probably the largest and most powerful ships possessed by Gondor or the Corsairs in the Third Age. As warships they might have been equipped with rams. The remainder of Gondor's navy likely consisted of galleys, relying mainly on oars but using sails when the wind allowed. Various kinds of galleys and cogs might have been used for trade, fishing, etc.



"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 8, 3:23pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 8, 3:55pm

Post #57 of 63 (306 views)
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Númenórean Ships return to Middle-Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

"In Tar-Elendil's reign, the ships of the Númenóreans first came back to Middle-earth." ~Unfinished Tales

I just found this image while performing a search. Sorry, I don't know the identity of the artist:



"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 8, 5:17pm

Post #58 of 63 (309 views)
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Some cow and ram's horns being played... [In reply to] Can't Post

https://youtu.be/Uh1dYVloUqc

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


hanne
Lorien

Jan 8, 10:48pm

Post #59 of 63 (297 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it hard to picture the sizes of things so this has been fun to learn. Thank you.

The hint that the ships probably washed up far inland is intriguing as well. If that is the case, I can imagine that the existing cultures of coastal middle earth were completely devastated by the tsunami, and so Elendil with his superior technology was well placed to become the new leader.

And yeah, what the heck was that thing for! A giant palantir, the Numenorean equivalent of a wide-screen TV? A childhood artwork that Isildur couldn't bear to leave behind? A reverse magnet with anti-Sauron properties (Hey, he never conquered south Gondor, did he)? Of course, it could just be a myth that the thing came from Numenor anyway...


hanne
Lorien

Jan 8, 10:51pm

Post #60 of 63 (298 views)
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Cool. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's quite a robust sound. And loud!


noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 9, 3:03pm

Post #61 of 63 (290 views)
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“Horns, horns, horns." [In reply to] Can't Post

Hearing these horns, I thought that they sound like the word horns- which gives an extra spin the the passage in ROTK where Gandalf hears that “Rohan has come at last”.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jan 12, 12:11am

Post #62 of 63 (205 views)
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Seen as we are musing [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's one of mine! What exactly where the dreams the Hobbits, some anyway, had at Tom Bombadil's house all about? Apart from been a psychadelic trip before psychadelia was invented! Though I expect people enjoyed reading that part in the sixties. As regards Frodo's dream, I have always thought it a vision of Gandalf escaping from Isengard, but is that the case, possibly too obvious and literal? And why did the people have dreams in that place anyway? Though the Old Forest in general seems a dreamy place! Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts on the dreams?


hanne
Lorien

Jan 14, 3:13pm

Post #63 of 63 (145 views)
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I think it's Tolkien taking advantage of the dreaminess of the place [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Though the Old Forest in general seems a dreamy place!


Exactly! Didn't all that walking and climbing and being steered, with the trees listening, feel like one of those half nightmares whre you have to do something and never get closer to it?

My feeling is Tolkien just continued that theme/feeling and used it to make some character points, principally about Frodo.

First, here are the dreams they dreamed on the first night spent at Bombadil's house, September 26.


Quote
In the dead night, Frodo lay in a dream without light. Then he saw the young moon rising; under its thin light there loomed before him a black wall of rock, pierced by a dark arch like a great gate. It seemed to Frodo that he was lifted up, and passing over he saw that the rock-wall was a circle of hills, and that within it was a plain, and in the midst of the plain stood a pinnacle of stone, like a vast tower but not made by hands. On its top stood the figure of a man. The moon as it rose seemed to hang for a moment above his head and glistened in his white hair as the wind stirred it. Up from the dark plain below came the crying of fell voices, and the howling of many wolves. Suddenly a shadow, like the shape of great wings, passed across the moon. The figure lifted his arms and a light flashed from the staff that he wielded. A mighty eagle swept down and bore him away. The voices wailed and the wolves yammered. There was a noise like a strong wind blowing, and on it was borne the sound of hoofs, galloping, galloping, galloping from the East. ‘Black Riders!’ thought Frodo as he wakened, with the sound of the hoofs still echoing in his mind.

At his side Pippin lay dreaming pleasantly; but a change came over his dreams and he turned and groaned. Suddenly he woke, or thought he had waked, and yet still heard in the darkness the sound that had disturbed his dream: tip-tap, squeak: the noise was like branches fretting in the wind, twig-fingers scraping wall and window: creak, creak, creak. He wondered if there were willow-trees close to the house; and then suddenly he had a dreadful feeling that he was not in an ordinary house at all, but inside the willow and listening to that horrible dry creaking voice laughing at him again. He sat up, and felt the soft pillows yield to his hands, and he lay down again relieved.

It was the sound of water that Merry heard falling into his quiet sleep: water streaming down gently, and then spreading, spreading irresistibly all round the house into a dark shoreless pool. It gurgled under the walls, and was rising slowly but surely. ‘I shall be drowned!’ he thought. It will find its way in, and then I shall drown.’ He felt that he was lying in a soft slimy bog, and springing up he set his fool on the corner of a cold hard flagstone. Then he remembered where he was and lay down again.

As far as he could remember, Sam slept through the night in deep content, if logs are contented.


So...Frodo had a genuine vision of events at Isengard one week earlier, and woke in distress.

Pippin and Merry had your typical nightmares sparked by real memories and experiences, but on waking realized they were dreams and let them go.

Sam didn't dream at all.

I read it as hobbit dreams according to his nature, and the other three are meant to contrast with Frodo.

The dream shows that Frodo is not operating on the normal mental plane; he gets extraordinary, supernatural insight - it's left ambiguous whether that is through the Ring, through deep sympathy and kinship with Gandalf, or through purity that means the magic of Bombadil and Goldberry works through him clearly, untainted by nightmare imaginings.

Tolkien then goes on to give dreams to the other hobbits to reinforce this character moment for Frodo - Merry and Pippin's nightmares show their ordinary reactions to a traumatic experience that day and that ordinary people can't understand or benefit from magical sight the way pure-hearted Frodo can. Sam's lack of dream also reinforces Sam's grounded personality, and by contrast shows how much Frodo is living on an alternate plane.

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