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Could The Lord of the Rings have been inspired by Ethiopia???

Dáin II Ironfoot
The Shire

Dec 11 2013, 3:14pm

Post #1 of 7 (737 views)
Could The Lord of the Rings have been inspired by Ethiopia??? Can't Post



Dec 11 2013, 3:27pm

Post #2 of 7 (654 views)
See Letter #324 [In reply to] Can't Post

Re whether the name 'Gondor' had been suggested by Gondar in Ethiopia:

Outside the inner historical fiction, the name was a very early element in the invention of the whole story. Also in the linguistic construction of the tale, which is accurate and detailed, Gondor and Gondar would be two distinct words/names, and the latter would have no precise sense. Nonetheless one's mind is, of course, stored with a 'leaf-mould' of memories (submerged) of names, and these rise up to the surface at times, and may provide with modification the bases of 'invented' names. Owing to the prominence of Ethiopia in the Italian war Gondar may have been one such element. But no more than say Gondwana-land (that rare venture of geology into poetry). In this case I can actually recollect the reason why the element *gon(o), *gond(o) was selected for the stem of words meaning stone, when I began inventing the 'Elvish' languages. When about 8 years old I read in a small book (professedly for the young) that nothing of the language of primitive peoples (before the Celts or Germanic invaders) is now known, except perhaps ond = 'stone' (+ one other now forgotten). I have no idea how such a form could even be guessed, but the ond seemed to me fitting for the meaning. (The prefixing of g- was much later, after the invention of the history of the relation between Sindarin & Quenya in which primitive initial g- was lost in Q: the Q. form of the word remained ondo.).


May 1910: The Nine Kings assembled at Buckingham Palace for the funeral of Edward VII.
(From left to right, back row: Haakon VII of Norway, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Manuel II of Portugal, Wilhelm II of Germany, George I of Greece, and Albert I of Belgium. Front row: Alphonso XIII of Spain, George V of England, and Frederick VIII of Denmark.)

Dáin II Ironfoot
The Shire

Dec 11 2013, 3:52pm

Post #3 of 7 (621 views)
Letter #324 [In reply to] Can't Post

This letter to Tolkien asked whether Gondor could have been inspired by Ethiopia's Gondar. As per Collier's comments, some of the other Ethiopian connections were not pointed out to Tolkien - like Rohan/Roha, Barad-dûr/Bahir Dar, and Harad/Harar. If they were would he have replied differently?

Na Vedui

Dec 11 2013, 5:52pm

Post #4 of 7 (612 views)
A more likely real-world source for the name Rohan [In reply to] Can't Post

if there is one, would I think be Rohan in Brittany. There was a famous noble family there, the House of Rohan, who traced their ancestry back to the legendary founder of Brittany, whose name was - wait for it - Conan Meriadoc! So there's even a Rohan-Merry link there. Also there's a kind of analogy with Buckland as a later colony of the Shire in the legend of Brittany being founded as an offshoot from Britain. So it definitely looks as though Tolkien was familiar with that area of historic legend.

Mamukil Rider
Registered User

Dec 12 2013, 4:32am

Post #5 of 7 (574 views)
Incredible Connections [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard a talk about the Ethiopia theory. It actually makes heaps of sense due to the timing and importance of the Ethiopian-Italian war and what Tolkien wrote in his letters. It is best explained in the Tolkien Library link from the first post or wwwtrme.net
There are heaps of detailed connections, and some of them are simply incredible!

L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens

Dec 12 2013, 4:42pm

Post #6 of 7 (559 views)
Radagast and Saruman were originally a single character, named Rastaman.// [In reply to] Can't Post


What business does a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, and a hobbit have in the Rivenmark?

Dáin II Ironfoot
The Shire

Dec 13 2013, 1:25am

Post #7 of 7 (587 views)
Rastafarians [In reply to] Can't Post

I have not heard about Rastaman, but that's interesting because the Rastafarian movement started in Jamaica in 1930 when the Ethiopian Ras (Lord) Tafari was made Emperor. They saw it as a Biblical prophecy fulfilled - a king will come out of Africa. The coronation was represented by most of the world's major powers.

Five years later (1935) Ethiopia was invaded by Italy and this caused uproar around the world. The Emperor fled into exile in London. By 1936 Tolkien was working on the outline of his new book.

In 1940 during the Battle of Britain the British helped the Emperor to return from exile to reclaim his throne. The timing and relevance to The Return of the King is incredible.


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