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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Unfinished Tales Discussion: The Druedain
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Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 2:49pm

Post #26 of 43 (211 views)
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Myths and Magic can be scary... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that the combination of the antiquity and legends of Dunharrow and the Rohirric culture, similar to the Anlgo-Saxon, would have made the idea of magic more potent. See how afraid Eomer was of Galadriel!! Also, The fact of the insular and isolationist secretiveness of the Druedain culture of the Woses might have added to the fear of the unknown. A people who have small understanding of their own history, yet will protect what remains to the extreme, is scary in itself.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 3:38pm

Post #27 of 43 (191 views)
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Wild men, noble savages and civilization [In reply to] Can't Post


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Excellent points here. I think the 'noble savage' tradition is our modern and particularly expressed 'wild man' interpretation. I think the interpretation has a lot to say about the culture who is affixing the label. In the 'noble savage' tradition, it seems to speak of a culture which feels it has advanced yet acknowledges the innate value of the 'wild man'. Other cultures in other times have had 'green man' labels for the wild man myth - which seem to imply mystery and implacability of nature (noted I do think in Victorian eras of industrialization - so a reaction to present day.) Often the 'wild man' is seen as dangerous yet of he can be bound or bribed, wisdom can be gained: I've read about this in much older cultures where nature was still an unpredictable and often scary force, yet whose wisdom (defined as understanding of nature) could be so crucial.


I think that's right - civilization gives some of us more leisure to think about our civilization, and sometimes the conclusion people come to is that we are all heading to hell in a handcart. Hence the attraction of the 'noble savage' (who declined getting into the handcart in the first place) for social and political commentators/activists, I suppose. It's been happening at least since Tacitus (who liked to contrast the Germanic and Caledonian tribes against what he saw as the decadence of the Romans).

For the storyteller too, I suppose the 'noble savage' can be a contrasting group to represent the road not taken culturally. So a different kind of 'wild man' from the 'dangerous unknowns that might be lurking outside the safety of the hearth' type.

I suppose another attraction for the storyteller is that it supplies an reason why some characters might have magical or looks-like-magical powers: they can be imagined to have lived a lifestyle that trains their bodies and minds in ways nobody else can manage.

And of course there are some advantages Tolkien didn't choose to go for, but many others have:


Quote
Three figures stepped into his line of vision. They were obviously female. They were abundantly female. They were not wearing a great deal of clothing and seemed to be altogether too fresh-from-the-hairdressers for people who have just been paddling a large war canoe, but this is often the case with beautiful Amazonian warriors.
— Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times


~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 25 2014, 3:43pm

Post #28 of 43 (206 views)
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Do we know Gandalf did miss them? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to be contrary; could we just as easily suppose that it was some earlier scheme of Gandalf's which suggested to Ghan-Buri-Ghan that it would be worth helping the Rohirrim.

Or, he could have signalled them by pounding Pippin's head against a handy rock - which would shut that most irrepressible of hobbits up for a little while! Smile

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 25 2014, 11:32pm

Post #29 of 43 (192 views)
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Possibly... [In reply to] Can't Post


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I get a general idea that they are somewhere between Men and Halflings. IIRC Tolkien said that Hobbit were related in some way to Men, not a different kindred and not Elves, so perhaps in the shadows of Beleriand and the First Age, the Woses developed differently under the aegis and influences of Morgoth's corruption?

Oh so much was lost in the First and second Age history!!!





I agree that they belong somewhere in the Human Family Album, and between Men and Hobbits maybe...or maybe a bit to the side of Hobbits, an older branch which went its own way?


Hmm, as far as Morgoth's influence...not sure if I think they were corrupted - they seem to resistant and reactionary to Morgoth and any organized darkness that maybe they are one of the few untouched and maybe only lightly marred races? It gets back to that appearance discussion we have had before and its almost a complete divergence from the 'tall and beautiful is more worthy' that we get with Elves and Men. Wonder if that was intended, or if their reticence and hiding in wooded hollows, and the retreat into the faerie-realm, is something to do with their appearance and Men's reaction to them (which we see is very mixed.)?


Lost histories indeed!

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 25 2014, 11:40pm

Post #30 of 43 (178 views)
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Druedain and other races [In reply to] Can't Post


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Well, I get the impression that Men, as a whole, were tainted by Morgoth. Originally, I think they were to be more like the Elves-- closer to earth, more peaceful, and learn slowly from Eru--, but the actions of Morgoth might have grown them too quickly, makking them rash, hasty, cold, and suspicious. Like the Elves harrying the P-D's, it could have been a xenophobic instinct learned amongst the horrors of the FA. Anything different, or similar to Orcs (P-D were not too cute) had to be killed to survive. Another instrance of the taint of what was to be a trusting, friendly mind. Very true; I think the taint of Men began early and as we discussed in the Athrabeth Men were duped perhaps into fear once death appeared among them (which Morgoth seems to have exploited as soon as he could.) And I can see where a fearful people (afraid already of Orcs) might easily confuse with a cursory glance the Druedain. More than appearance would have to be considered and where do you find the common ground?

In regard to the idea of having Druedain on Numenor, I think of the 'Indians' brought to Spain by Columbus and other explorers. They were kept more in a menagerie and as oddities to be showcased than servants or guests. They were exotic specimens who knew many strange 'magicks' and were a curiosity for the 'enlightened' nobles. I'm sure their tales, customs, and culture from Africa and the Americas was totally alien to the Europeans, and they might be curious as to the strange powers they might have. A great historical point, and not one that tells very well in the favor of the Numenoreans is it, if that is the relationship?


Sador as a Druedain? Interesting... It would have required a bit of work to make it mesh with the narrative, but I could see it working and linking the 'Faithful Stone' and the people of Haleth. I wonder how the short-lived Drug Sador might have advised his impulsive young charge? And that's another difference in the continuum: Men who envy the Immortal Elves yet among them are the short-lived Druedain who don't seem to lose hope or turn to darkness. We don't see much of them but they don't seem to rail against their fate - they seem like they would simply, solidly accept it.


Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 25 2014, 11:45pm

Post #31 of 43 (178 views)
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Secrecy on many levels [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think that the combination of the antiquity and legends of Dunharrow and the Rohirric culture, similar to the Anlgo-Saxon, would have made the idea of magic more potent. See how afraid Eomer was of Galadriel!! Also, The fact of the insular and isolationist secretiveness of the Druedain culture of the Woses might have added to the fear of the unknown. A people who have small understanding of their own history, yet will protect what remains to the extreme, is scary in itself.





This continues with the ideas touched on in your other post, about Sador being of the Druedain. I wondered if it would have changed the story or his wisdom had he been shorter lived than the people he served and lived with. In that isolationism is hidden their feelings about their shorter lives - I wonder what it was? We have Men struggling with it, the Immortal Elves envious of the mysterious Gift of Men...yet these wood-folk seem to not have a complaint or an outlet, as far as we see, to either rail against their fate or attempt to extend it?

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 25 2014, 11:51pm

Post #32 of 43 (187 views)
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True my friend, we don't know either way... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just to be contrary; could we just as easily suppose that it was some earlier scheme of Gandalf's which suggested to Ghan-Buri-Ghan that it would be worth helping the Rohirrim.

Or, he could have signalled them by pounding Pippin's head against a handy rock - which would shut that most irrepressible of hobbits up for a little while! Smile





It may certainly have been possible...in the Istari chapter we will read that Gandalf is concerned more with humble Hobbits than power-center Gondor, sensing their ultimate worth. Would he have perhaps made a passing cultivation of the even-more-humble Woses do you think? Thus having them risk contacting the Rohirrim to negotiate the aid and the deal that follows?
It could be; of course the Druedain also took action after the Fords of Isen. Instinctual response versus darkness and Orc-ish-ness, or Gandalf in the works?

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 25 2014, 11:57pm

Post #33 of 43 (168 views)
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Explaining the Argonath [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what friends are for! CoolLaugh

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 26 2014, 12:05am

Post #34 of 43 (180 views)
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I suspect they were left out of the equation [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as I think Caradhras hassled the Fellowship out of its own malice, and Shelob attacked Frodo without any orders from or pact with Sauron, I think the good guys that weren't part of a grand alliance could still act on their own and do their part in the War of the Ring.

The Druedain seem rather passive near Minas Tirith, and they only act as guides to Theoden, not as allies in combat, nor are they sallying from their woods to attack the Orcs. But those who live closer to the Isen do go on the attack, I suspect because they hate Orcs, and that's enough for them. It doesn't seem to me that there's any predisposition to help Theoden, only a chance meeting (as they say in Bree), that brought things about, and a shared hatred of Orcs.


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 26 2014, 12:20am

Post #35 of 43 (171 views)
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All Devilish-advocating aside... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just as I think Caradhras hassled the Fellowship out of its own malice, and Shelob attacked Frodo without any orders from or pact with Sauron, I think the good guys that weren't part of a grand alliance could still act on their own and do their part in the War of the Ring.

The Druedain seem rather passive near Minas Tirith, and they only act as guides to Theoden, not as allies in combat, nor are they sallying from their woods to attack the Orcs. But those who live closer to the Isen do go on the attack, I suspect because they hate Orcs, and that's enough for them. It doesn't seem to me that there's any predisposition to help Theoden, only a chance meeting (as they say in Bree), that brought things about, and a shared hatred of Orcs.


Quite possibly independent action could be the most simple and straightforward solution, Curious Watson. The Druedain seem to stand alone in many ways and that could be one of them...not part of the grand coalition and outsiders to the actions of Men. In a literary sense, I feel like the stand-alone factor is one of the reason they exist in such singularity as that connection to the mythical wild-men of European tradition.

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 26 2014, 1:37am

Post #36 of 43 (156 views)
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A chance-meeting, as we say in Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

I think so too. Everything doesn't have to tied up neatly, and there aren't two polarised alliances. Ungoiliant, Shelob, Stone-giants, Woses, Ents, and others did just as much good or bad on their own initiative. The Woses had their own agenda that happened to coincide with Rohan's. They accepted no reward but the death of the gorgun (orcs). Any over-arching plan can be called 'Eru' or 'fate', and I am cool with that.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 26 2014, 1:46am

Post #37 of 43 (166 views)
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Influence vs. Corruption [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant to say more that the small, dark, and secretive nature of body and culture might have been due to the corruptions of Morgoth. They might have simply adapted biologically to become more fit to their secret mode of life and survive the terrors of Beleriand.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Mar 26 2014, 7:18am

Post #38 of 43 (147 views)
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The Argonath: isn't it "I'm admiring my nice new Ring" // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 26 2014, 7:45pm

Post #39 of 43 (164 views)
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So, did Tolkien envision the Woses as ancestors of the Picts? [In reply to] Can't Post

Granted, connecting the Druidain to the Tuatha Dé Danann seems to be too much of a stretch. However, the Picts as their descendents seem much more likely.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 26 2014, 11:55pm

Post #40 of 43 (126 views)
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Agreed O-S [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So, did Tolkien envision the Woses as ancestors of the Picts? Granted, connecting the Druidain to the Tuatha Dé Danann seems to be too much of a stretch. However, the Picts as their descendents seem much more likely.


I do think so O-S. I think he may have been connecting the Druedain with the European versions of the wild-men, of which the Picts were a significant part of, especially from the English side of the wall and thus from their myths.

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 26 2014, 11:58pm

Post #41 of 43 (134 views)
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Adapting against corruption [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I meant to say more that the small, dark, and secretive nature of body and culture might have been due to the corruptions of Morgoth. They might have simply adapted biologically to become more fit to their secret mode of life and survive the terrors of Beleriand.




Ahh, secrecy as an adaptation versus a corruption...I take the point now (and a very good one it is.) So similar to Hobbits the Druedian, in their own earthy way, also quietly resisted Morgoth and evil.


I see with the smallness and general hairiness and 'rustic' nature why JRRT seems to have made a point to disconnect the two - it seems a very easy link to make.

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





sador
Half-elven


Apr 1 2014, 6:32pm

Post #42 of 43 (116 views)
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I'm already late to the next discussion, so I might as well begin answering this one. [In reply to] Can't Post

I find the single (Note 2) reference to 'Amazonian' culture interesting - but I wonder if JRRT had another, geographically closer society in mind for modelling Haleth and her Atani? Especially since we know his original conceit was to create a mythos for England.
Oh, that was discarded four decades before writing this tale! Originally, Haleth was supposed to be male, and the name has "survived" as a male name in Rohan (book! not just movie).

I wonder here if are there more parallels to the Iceni?
Tolkien never thought of his mythology as Celtic. I suppose Ethelfleda is a better parallel - and closer to the roots of Tolkien's work.


And they eventually faded away (in the case of the Iceni, into the marshes), rather like Haleth's people seem to - similar to these (and the Iceni in particular) ancient tribes of Britain?
Who are the Romans? Thingol? Morgoth? I'm sorry, but I don't quite see the parallel.



sador
Half-elven


Apr 3 2014, 9:46am

Post #43 of 43 (153 views)
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The faithful stone [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it one of the most clear examples of 'magic' that we see represented anywhere?
This is actually one of the best examples of animism in the Legendarium, which the long-missing Dreamdeer used to champion.


The quiet use of meditation, and the almost stone-like quality of the Druedain themselves - are there clues to ther origins in their powers; or was all this this a stretch in world-building and stretching the tales into the world of Faerie?
I'm not sure; but it does vaguely remind me of the traits attributed to Native Americans by Caucasian writers in children's books. Tolkien once commented he had liked them as a child (then they were called by the name "Indians", which is wrong but did not really confuse - but why should the mistake of one European explorer be considered more derogatory than the Christian name of another?).

If included in LOTR, would it have derailed and competed with the times Gandalf uses magic, do you think, or since the Woses are so different would it have simly been another facet of Magic?

No; but it would never be included in LotR.
In LotR, the function of Ghan-buri-Ghan is to show that even the most simple, primitive people, are not evil; hate evil intuitively, presumably for the harm it does to Middle-earth itself; and also that their culture, while backward and unsophisticated, remembers much that the more advanced cultures have forgotten.
Making the Druedain a race of powerful magicians ruins the whole effect.



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