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Boldog as the leader of a raid


Jun 4 2013, 12:48pm

Views: 54
Boldog as the leader of a raid [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm, I'm not sure the character you are referring to actually existed within Middle-earth, or in other words, existed internally.

Boldog certain existed externally for some time, at least in a few early texts, but if I recall correctly he appears to have been abandoned by JRRT. I'm not positive that Tolkien is not simply making a mistake here, regarding his own work -- keeping in mind, in his defense, that decades had passed between the last mention of this character and the 'Boldog note' found in Myths Transformed.

Yes Tolkien wrote...

'Boldog, for instance, is a name that occurs many times in the tale of the War. But it is possible that Boldog was not a personal name, and either a title, or else the name of a type of creature: the orc-formed Maiar, only less formidable than the Balrogs.'

But Christopher Tolkien notes that this is 'curious'...

'The footnote at this point, stating that 'Boldog, for instance, is a name that occurs many times in the tale of the War' and was perhaps not a personal name, is curious. Boldog appears several times in the Lay of Leithian as the name of an Orc-captain who led a raid into Doriath (references in the index to The Lays of Beleriand); he appears in the Quenta (IV. 113), but is not mentioned thereafter. I do not know of any other reference to an orc named Boldog.'

So this character does not appear after 1930, and if Tolkien is here referring to his own existing work, it would rather seem there is only one orc with the name Boldog, not many. The scenario raises some questions to my mind:

Was Tolkien referring to his own, already written work? Again if so he seems incorrect, perhaps remembering that the name had appeared various times. And if this character was dropped -- at least as the character who led a raid on Doriath -- can we still generally say that there were characters 'named' Boldog in Middle-earth? Yet now this was possibly a title, or the name of a kind of Orc: the orc-formed Maiar.

In other words, if Tolkien is merely trying to explain a name that crops up often -- not realizing he doesn't really have such a scenario -- what about the explanation itself? Or possibly Tolkien is inventing on the spot? That is, no matter what really existed in some texts written decades ago, JRRT now wants it to be internally true that the 'name' Boldog occurs 'many' times in the tale of the War, and so he explains why.

For myself, I think it's more likely that Tolkien just forgot that Boldog the Orc was really one character, and who seems to have been dropped -- in the sense as 'the character who led the raid on Doriath' anyway [an old idea not brought forward for whatever reason] -- although now the concept of 'Boldogs' possibly being Orc-formed Maiar could still be internally true, as this was a new idea no matter why it had arisen.

In any case the Boldog of the Quenta and the Lays was an Orc captain. The notion of Orc-formed Maiar came decades later [at least on paper], and I have no idea whether or not this should 'confirm' that the former Boldog was back... now a Maiar-orc... doing...

... something?


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jun 4 2013, 12:56pm)

Subject User Time
concerning my username (BOLDOG) boldog Send a private message to boldog May 24 2013, 8:11am
    Orc-shaped Maia Fredeghar Wayfarer Send a private message to Fredeghar Wayfarer May 24 2013, 8:22pm
    Boldog as the leader of a raid Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Jun 4 2013, 12:48pm


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