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The Nature of Middle-Earth

Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Feb 2, 11:39pm

Post #1 of 8 (1962 views)
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The Nature of Middle-Earth Can't Post

Now, this christmas as one of my better christmas presents that I have had, I received the Nature of Middle-Earth as a present. So, now that I have had time to read it and as things are a little quiet I thought that I would say my thoughts, critic and insights as I do.
You could say that this is a Nature of Middle-Earth read-through for those that have it as it is a bit different and I suppose it is. I honestly don't know how much response I will get, how often I will post or how I will organise this, I will just see how it goes.
My mother who bought it for me said she thought it was the most boring looking thing ever, well thank you ma and whilst I take your advice on many things on this I will defer judgement as it does look interesting.
I should say before I start that I have never really read all of the history of middle-earth as I did find the style and the way it was written a bit of-putting which I suppose is a bit of a shame as I have found some interesting material there.
Anyway there are of course no set rules here, anyone can comment on this book if they are reading it as they please or even if they are not it might be good to comment on a tail which is fresh in the mind even if anyone has only just read the book.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Feb 2, 11:45pm

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I have actually already started [In reply to] Can't Post

Surprisingly. And what have I read so far. I suppose that the introduction needs to be mentioned. It does look complex and a lot of work for the author to have done. I do like some of the abbreviations he had come up with for us. I also like the way he says that he assumes knowledge of middle-earth and the Silmarillion. Yes, mate that one was easy, we all have prior knowledge of that! Anyway, I suppose that I will continue to the next stage. Information on Elven ageing it looks like to me.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Feb 9, 8:39pm

Post #3 of 8 (1562 views)
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Now I have read a little more [In reply to] Can't Post

And onto more informative material. I suppose that I should add a spoiler's alert here should anyone who wants to read this and is also reading this thread gets spoiled! I don't suppose that this is as serious as it used to be in days yonder when sites like these where really busy, but still. One point that I do find interesting is that the Elves do age. All right, I suppose it is clear that they did, but it is nice to have this officially confirmed. Even if they do not get old as the mortals do there might well be a difference at least in the eyes to someone been say 30 or 16. I think in terms of age, Cirdan was the oldest elf we here of and didn't he have a grey beard? There is some material about Elves been of certain ages, and I can't help but putting these ages into Elves that we know of,The sons of Elrond for example where around 3000 at the time of the Lotr which is a bit young for an all round elven life-span. And even Elrond would have been around 7000 not too old for an Elf. Although it is possible that been born and bred in middle earth might have quickened the ageing process,


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Feb 18, 11:19am

Post #4 of 8 (1366 views)
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Finished the first half [In reply to] Can't Post

I think. I'm roughly half way anyway. So I will use this to jot down my thoughts so far.
Usual spoiler alert. You probably don't want to read this if you have not read the book yet. Anyway, what have I found so far. A lot of material about Elves and growing. Well, yes, it seems that they do age and at different rates depending upon their location. faster in Middle Earth and slower in Valinor. Also there are many generations of Elves. Which must seem a bit odd in the society. After all the most in our world we have are 3 generations maybe 4 at a stretch. I wonder what it feels like to have someone in the family who could possibly 10 generations your senior? And that assumes this birth rate is relatively slow. I mut confess though that i have skipped some of the many tables that are on show here. Nice to have some examples of Elving age putting Elrond and his family into some context. Its a bit of a guess but I suspect that Elrond was at his peek at the war of the last alliance.
The other main part of this section is the march of the Quendi to Valinor. Not to be confused with the march from Valinor across the ice to Middle Earth later as I can get the two confused. One thing that spring to my mind is the time this march takes. Thousands of years in anyones timeline. I suppose that it is no wonder that many of the Elves preferred to stay in the world than come to the home the Valar had prepared for them. It was also a dangerous march at times, Sauron was at large and active. One point of interest to me was that the 5 wizards of Lotr, Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and the two others came to the aid of the Quendi at this time as well. Another point was that some refused to take the whole march. Some had the quite natural idea in my mind to look after themselves rather than rely on the Valar while some thought of staying in there nice lands where they where and not taking the whole journey and having the Valar look after them . Can't help but wondering what Feanor would have made of that idea.
Anyway, onto part two. Not sure how many posts I will make on tbis one, as many as help me understand, I suppose.


Aelfwine
Rivendell

Feb 18, 5:30pm

Post #5 of 8 (1359 views)
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Reading order [In reply to] Can't Post

I have advised elsewhere a number of times that NoMe is not a book that needs to be read from start to finish in sequential order. I've also advised that the reader first read my foreword (and the "Editorial Practices", then the introductions to each of the three parts of the book, and then decide in which part to first dip in.

To those that do read part one, I advise that unless they are interested in the numerical details, those can safely be skipped (since I describe the general trend of Tolkien figurings in the introduction). However, I do advise those such readers not to skip Tolkien's text accompanying the figures, since there are some very interesting things to be gleaned from them.

At any rate, thanks for your interest!

--
Carl F. Hostetter


Aelfwine
Rivendell

Feb 20, 2:24pm

Post #6 of 8 (1268 views)
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NoMe errata [In reply to] Can't Post

I have updated my "Addenda and Corrigenda" for The Nature of Middle-earth here:

https://elvish.org/errata/NoMe-Errata.pdf

Please let me know if you spot any other corrections!

Carl

--
Carl F. Hostetter


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Mar 4, 9:32am

Post #7 of 8 (822 views)
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Ah, thank you for that [In reply to] Can't Post

I have finished part one now, but I did skim some of it. I'll have to go back to check the footnotes!


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 12, 9:06am

Post #8 of 8 (168 views)
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Part two [In reply to] Can't Post

Now what can I say about part two? Information about Elven characteristics I suppose that the clue is in the title. Interesting about the main characters having a lack of facial beard which does contradict the movies somewhat. And Elves could use both hands as well as each other which explains how Fingolfin managed to fight with his left hand just as effectively as his right after losing his right in jail. Notable material about the relationship between the Valar and Eru. It does look like the Valar where a bit unsure about what to do at times And the advice of Eru a little vague to say the least. Elven reincarnation been an example where the Valar where reluctant to meddle in Erus works but the reality was that they had to. Eru seemed to intervene less but this could just have been a pause I suppose.

 
 

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