Annotation Project, a new chapter: Council of Elrond

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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:34 am

Editor's note/query: The online translation from the Elder Edda included in Romestamo's post renders "Gimli" into "Gimle." Old translations from Old Norse generally change final "i" into "e" (final "e" does not occur in ON). My hypothesis about this is that the 19th-century translators were not working from the Old Norse texts at all but from translations into Danish. (Iceland was a Danish possession at the time and the manuscripts were in Copenhagen, so Danish scholars had the first crack at them.) Can anybody tell me whether this makes sense? Do these names end with "e" in Danish?
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Wed Jul 28, 2004 6:52 pm

roaccarcsson Editor's note/query: The online translation from the Elder Edda included in Romestamo's post renders "Gimli" into "Gimle." Old translations from Old Norse generally change final "i" into "e" (final "e" does not occur in ON). My hypothesis about this is that the 19th-century translators were not working from the Old Norse texts at all but from translations into Danish. (Iceland was a Danish possession at the time and the manuscripts were in Copenhagen, so Danish scholars had the first crack at them.) Can anybody tell me whether this makes sense? Do these names end with "e" in Danish?

The linked translation is by Henry Adams Bellows and the first edition of this that I have identified online appeared in 1923 ( Oxford University Press http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/Boo ... =285795170 ). The *title page* of the online edition reads:
THE POETIC EDDA
TRANSLATED FROM THE ICELANDIC WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
BY
HENRY ADAMS BELLOWS
TWO VOLUMES IN ONE
1936
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS: PRINCETON
AMERICAN SCANDINAVIAN FOUNDATION
NEW YORK

However Bellows comments that he made use of previous editions:
As the basis for this translation I have used the text prepared by Karl Hildebrand (1876) and revised by Hugo Gering (1904). Textual emendation has, however, been so extensive in every edition of the Edda, and has depended so much on the theories of the editor, that I have also made extensive use of many other editions, notably those by Finnur Jonsson, Neckel, Sijmons, and Detter and Heinzel, together with numerous commentaries.

Introduction.

While the first critical edition of the Elder Edda was published in Denmark (the Sophus Bugge edition (Christiana, 1867)), the Hildebrand-Gering edition was published in Germany (Paderborn, 1904). During the heyday of Philology, it is uncertain whether critical editions would be translated into Danish.
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Postby MithLuin » Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:08 pm

they made the Last Alliance of Elves and Men

3430 SA. Presumably, the name 'Last Alliance' was given to this League when its place in history became clear. After the defeat of Sauron, there was no longer a High King of Elves or Men to form such a grand alliance.

the hosts of Gil-galad and Elendil were mustered in Arnor

Aragorn tells us that Elendil waited at Weathertop for Gil-galad and his army (See p. 181 of 'A Knife in the Dark'). This combined host halted for about three years in Rivendell (see 'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age' in The Silmarillion as well as Appendix B p. 1059). Isildur (Elendil's eldest son) and his wife and his sons were with Elendil, while Anarion (Isildur's younger brother) held Gondor in the South against Sauron's armies. Isildur's youngest son Valandil was born during this time as well.

the Elder Days

the First Age, which ended 6459 years ago with the breaking of Morgoth's fortress Thangorodrim.

the hosts of Beleriand

Beleriand was a land west of Eriador. It was destroyed during cataclysms and is underwater at this time. The elven kingdoms of the First Age in Beleriand were Doriath, Gondolin and Nargothrond. 'Of Beleriand and its Realms' in The Silmarillion describes the location and leaders of all the elvish realms in Beleriand.

when Thangorodrim was broken

The War of Wrath. The hosts of the Valar, and of the Vanyar and of the Noldor, as well as Men of the Three Houses of the Edain and Elves in Middle Earth all fought the entire host of Morgoth, which included countless orcs, Balrogs and dragons. Some 'princes' who were present included Eonwe, Herald of Manwe, Ingwe, High King of all Elves and Lord of the Vanyar, Finarfin lord of the Noldor, Maglor and Maedhros, sons of Feanor, and Earendil the Mariner. Thangorodrim broke when the dragon Ancalagon the Black was cast down from the sky onto it. The Host of the Valar were victorious, and Morgoth was taken captive.

the elves deemed that evil was ended for ever, and it was not so

Morgoth was made captive, and Sauron surrendered, though he later repented of this decision, and was not brought to judgement. Some dragons and at least one Balrog also escaped the ruin and hid.

the fall of Gil-galad was a long age ago

Gil-galad fell in the last year of the Second Age (3441), so 3019 years ago.

my memory reaches back even to the Elder Days

Elrond was born at the mouths of Sirion, before Earendil's Voyage. His brother Elros was born 59 years before the end of the First Age. They were children when the Elves of Sirion were attacked. After that time, they were raised by Maglor, son of Feanor. If they were twins, Elrond would be 6,518 years old. Elves do not grow old the way Men do, so there is little to Elrond's appearance to suggest his age. When Frodo first sees him, he notes 'the face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young' ('Many Meetings' p. 220). It is likely that some of the elves of Elrond's household are even older than he is. See note on p. 205 of 'Flight to the Ford'

Well, these annotations are far from complete. I have picked and chosen what to comment on, but I am sure others can add to these. I just wanted to get them started.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:13 pm

Thanks Mith!

Here are some items of mine for scrutiny:

In former days the members of my order had been well received there, but Saruman most of all.

In the "essay on the Istari," written by Tolkien for the abortive Index to the First Edition but first published in Unfinished Tales, this is said about Gandalf and Gondor:
Gondor attracted his attention less [than the North], for the same reason that made it more interesting to Saruman: it was a centre of knowledge and power. Its rulers by ancestry and all their traditions were irrevocably opposed to Sauron, certainly politically: their realm arose as a threat to him, and continued to exist only in so far and so long as his threat to them could be resisted by armed force. Gandalf could do little to guide their proud rulers or to instruct them, and it was only in the decay of their power, when they were ennobled by courage and steadfastness in what seemed a losing cause, that he began to be deeply concerned with them.

Unfinished Tales, p. 416 (1st US paperback).

All know in Gondor that he went first to Minas Anor and dwelt for a while with his nephew Meneldil, instructing him, before he committed to him the rule of the South Kingdom.

Isildur stayed in Gondor for a year after the defeat of Sauron. In a note to the expanded account of Isildur's fall which he wrote late in life, Tolkien said of Meneldil:
Meneldil was the nephew of Isildur, son of Isildur's younger brother Anárion, slain in the siege of Barad-Dûr. Isildur had established Meneldil as King of Gondor. He was a man of courtesy, but farseeing, and he did not reveal his thoughts. He was in fact well pleased by the departure of Isildur and his sons, and hoped that affairs in the North would keep them long occupied.

Unfinished Tales, p. 292 n.10 (1st US paperback).

Christopher Tolkien adds that his father wrote elsewhere that Meneldil was the fourth child of Anárion, born S.A. 3318 (and thus 123 years old when Sauron fell); "and that he was the last man to be born in Númenor." Id. (But how could anyone have known that the last statement was literally true? Perhaps it should be taken to mean that he was the last-born of the Faithful who escaped the Downfall.) "Meneldil" evidently means "Heaven-friend."
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:42 pm

I am tweaking some of the annotations that already exist. The existing stuff is all in italics. Some of it I am just pointing out for review…. I read back over the annotations, because I couldn’t remember what had already been done, and I found that I am likely to repeat others’ work!

Legolas's year of birth is apparently not recorded anywhere. See notes in ‘Lothlorien’ and ‘The King of the Golden Hall’ for a discussion of his probable age.

Gloin sighed. "Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world! Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear"

The name Moria is Sindarin meaning ‘black pit’. This less-than-flattering name was given to Khazad-dum (a dwarvish name translated ‘the Dwarrowdelf’) after its desertion. Its older Sindarin name was Hadhodrond. Khazad-dum was founded long before the Balrog hid beneath Caradhras at the end of the First Age. It is the home of the people of Durin, one of the Fathers of the dwarves who awoke about the same time as the first elves. For more information on Durin, see the note …. (well, I am sure we will have a note somewhere on Durin!)

Earendil was a Man, and Elwing was a High-elf

This is misleading. Both Earendil and Elwing have mixed parentage. Earendil’s parents (Tuor and Idril) do fit that description, and can be discussed in Many Meetings. See the March 16th posts by myself and Eluchil for an alternative annotation of this line.

There is of course no suggestion that Sauron practiced necromancy in this technical sense;

Perhaps not ‘communing with the dead’, but as far as calling on evil spirits or the ‘hungry houseless’ (I’m a bit vague on that whole idea), there is some real meaning to the title ‘Necromancer’ other than it sounded scary (though, that, of course, was the original intent). Anyone who does understand this is welcome to write an annotation on the subject. . . and this is a case where dates matter.

EDIT: I have nabbed this quote from one of Romestamo's posts:
The fëa ['spirit'] is single, and in the last impregnable. It cannot be brought to Mandos. It is summoned; and the summons proceeds from just authority, and is imperative; yet it may be refused. Among those who refused the summons (or rather invitation) of the Valar to Aman in the first years of the Elves, refusal of the summons to Mandos and the Halls of Waiting is, the Eldar say, frequent. It was less frequent, however, in ancient days, while Morgoth was in Arda, or his servant Sauron after him; for then the fëa unbodied would flee in terror of the Shadow to any refuge - unless it were already committed to the Darkness and passed then into its dominion. In like manner even of the Eldar some who had become corrupted refused the summons, and then had little power to resist the counter-summons of Morgoth.
[...]
For the Unbodied ['Houseless fëar] , wandering in the world, are those who at the least have refused the door of life and remain in regret and self-pity. Some are filled with bitterness, grievance, and envy. Some were enslaved by the Dark Lord and do his work still, though he himself is gone.They will not speak truth or wisdom. To call on them is folly. To attempt to master them and to make them servants of one own's will is wickedness. Such practices are of Morgoth; and the necromancers are of the host of Sauron his servant.

'Laws and Customs of the Eldar', Text B, Morgoth's Ring,


This passage means that, after death, the spirit of an elf or man may refuse to go to its appointed place, and instead wander the earth. If it does this, Sauron (or another necromancer) may attempt to summon it. This sounds very much like a description of Necromancy as popularly understood.

I suggest that the original annotation not be changed, but a sentence be added to say that this describes Tolkien's thoughts at the time it was written. This passage could then be included as a later concept to further explore the nature of the Necromancer, with the date it was written (I don't have HoME 12, and have never read it, so I do not know the date this was written - I am assuming it was late, and definately post-LoTR).
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Postby MithLuin » Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:32 pm

More on Galdor - for such a minor character, he sure is getting quite a bit of annotation!

The name 'Galdor' first appears in Tolkien's writing in the Tale The Fall of Gondolin which is published in The Book of Lost Tales 2. According to Christopher Tolkien, the name was in the original pencilled version of the narrative (see note 28 ), so can be dated to 1916-17. At this time, the name was associated with the word galdon, which meant 'tree'.

In the Tale, Galdor is the valiant lord of the House of the Tree. He survives both the fall of Gondolin and the attack on the mouth of Sirion, so in the later version of the story it would be plausible for him to join the people of Cirdan. There is, however, no reason to suspect that he is the same elf that we meet here (is there????) Galdor is not mentioned by name in any of the later narratives concerning Gondolin. Other names of lords from that Tale, such as Rog, would surely have been rejected or changed at a later date.

The name 'Galdor' also appears in 'The Lost Road' ca. 1937 as the name of a man, possibly a Numenorean, or a Lesser Man that is sympathetic to the Numenoreans. (see HoME V: The Lost Road)

In the later Legendarium, 'Galdor' became the name of the Man who is the father of Hurin and Huor. (first reference, date?)

In the Etymologies, dated 1937-38, the name 'Galdor' appears under the bases GALA-, meaning 'thrive, prosper' and GALAD- meaning 'tree'. A rejected note equates the stem GAL- with KAL-, which means 'shine'

From the original annotation:
It is presumably a concidence that galdor in Old English means "sorcery" or "enchantment." The dative singular form of the word appears in line 3052 of Beowulf: iumonna gold galdre bewunden, literally "of-ancient-men gold with-enchantment wound-about." This phrase, referring to a dragon's hoard, was used by Tolkien as the title of a poem first published in a magazine 1923, and later collected in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.
To this should be added the OE name of Gondolin: Stangaldorburg, I think it is (stone-enchantment-city). It appears in Aelfwine's wordlist, perhaps in HoME IV? I do not know the date, but it ought to be pre-LotR.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Aug 04, 2004 7:37 pm

Wolves and orcs were housed in Isengard

In connection with the revisions for the Second Edition, Tolkien wrote:
The Council seems to have been unaware, since for many years Isengard had been closely guarded, of what went on within its Ring. The use, and possibly special breeding, of Orcs was kept secret and cannot have begun much before 2990 at earliest.

"The Palantiri," Unfinished Tales at pp. 430-31 n.7 (1st US paperback).

I know the Men of Rohan, true and valiant, our allies, dwelling still in the lands that we gave them long ago.

The Steward Cirion gave the Men of Rohan the former province of Calenardhon in T.A. 2510, as a reward for their intervention in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, which saved the northern army of Gondor from defeat at the hands of Orcs and Easterlings. See Appendix A.II, and the expanded account written late in Tolkien's life and published in Unfinished Tales as "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:22 pm

I have pasted in the following:

"Rhosgobel" means "Brown Enclosure." Christopher Tolkien writes:
For the etymology of Rhosgobel see [HoME vol.] V.385, Noldorin rhosc "brown" (stem RUSKÁ), and V.380, Noldorin gobel "fenced homestead," as in Tavrobel (stem PEL(ES)).

HoME vol. VII, p 173-74 n.10. In the margin of the manuscript, Tolkien translated the name "Brownhay," where "hay" is an old form of "hedge," as in the High Hay between Buckland and the Old Forest. Id.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:22 pm

Add to the comments about Boromir's dream.

He himself admits:

"Therefore my brother, seeing how desperate was our need, was eager to heed the dream and seek for Imladris; but since the way was full of doubt and danger, I took the journey upon myself."


After Boromir's death, Gandalf's comments to Denethor underline the idea that Faramir was "meant" to go to Rivendell, but that Boromir pretty much usurped his position:

Denethor: "Faramir should have gone in his stead."

"He would have gone," said Gandalf. "Be not unjust in your grief! Boromir claimed the errand and would not suffer any other to have it. He was a masterful man, and one to take what he desired."


They are speaking of the errand but their words could also apply to the Ring.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:35 pm

"...but even as I went northwards, messages came to me out of Lorien that Aragorn had passed that way, and that he had found the creature called Gollum."

Aragorn captured Gollum at nightfall on 1st February and delivered him to Thranduil's Elves fifty days later on 21st March. Gandalf arrived to question Gollum two days later.

Details of the route Aragorn took Gollum by is given in UT: The Hunt for the Ring.
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:32 am

when Thangorodrim was broken

Etymology of 'Thangorodrim': The meaning 'Mountains of Tyranny' is given in the Silmarillion. orod is Sindarin for mountain. rim means 'host', or can be used as a suffix to form a collective plural. The usual plural of orod would be eryd. In the Etymologies, thang is defined as 'compulsion, duress, oppression' (see HoME V: The Lost Road). So, 'mountains of duress' would be another possible interpretation.

It may be useful to point out that Thangorodrim is the mountain fortress and the gate, while Angband is the underground stronghold.

PS: Congrats on 2000 posts, Queen B!
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Postby MithLuin » Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:32 pm

It seems that [Tom Bombadil] has a power even over the Ring, [said Erestor]. 'No, I should not put it so,' said Gandalf. 'Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others.' p. 259

This is a statement in need of annotation! But perhaps I should wait to see what we write in the chapter about Tom Bombadil? I am trying very hard to avoid contentious controversy. Please correct me if I didn't!

Very significantly, Tom Bombadil is the one person who is not affected by desire for the Ring. He has no use for it. He is already the Master of his small realm, and is not tempted by a Ring of Power that can dominate others.
Tolkien wrote:In historical fact I put him in, because I had already invented him….and wanted an ‘adventure’ on the way. But I kept him in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out. Letter ?153?

His lack of desire for the Ring may very well be one of these things that were "otherwise left out." No one else seems to be immune to the Ring in the way that Tom is.

And if he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind.

Tolkien wrote:If you have, as it were taken 'a vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless." Letter 144


And even if we could, soon or late the Lord of the Rings would learn of its hiding place and would bend all his power towards it. p. 259

Glorfindel confirms Gandalf's connection of the title "Lord of the Rings" with Sauron. See Annotation on p. 220 in "Many Meetings."


Edit: Gwaihir

Here is an illustration of one of the Great Eagles drawn by JRR Tolkien.

http://www.jrrt-obrazky.wz.cz/Birdlord.jpg
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Postby Gil-Estel » Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:32 pm

Just comment on I was the herald of Gil-galad: I read with appreciation the discussion on the meaning of herald in this context and certainly agree with the linguistic analysis. I am currently reading a book on the Royal Navy during the Great War. It details the poor judgement of Admiral Beatty's flag lieutenant who by hoisting signals that did not accurately reflect the admiral's commands, caused loses(of ships) in three battles including Jutland. It made me think that a herald might function somewhat similarly in communicating the king's orders to the troops. I am better in Naval history that land battles so I don't know what is the army equivalent of flag lieutenant but surely Tolkien knew people who functioned in that capacity when he was in the War. It is only an opinion but, for me, it helps the word herald make sense in a concrete fashion that I can visualise. It could be argued ( but I won't) that PJ had a similar vision in the scene where Elrond is giving orders to the troops in the Battle of the Last Alliance in the prologue of FotR.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun Nov 14, 2004 3:05 pm

‘”This I will have as weregild for my father, and my brother,”he said; and therefore whether we would or no, he took it to treasure it.’

Just re-reading the Volsunga Saga, and can’t believe I missed this one before.

A cursed gold ring as weregild for a relative slain comes from the VS: Andvari’s ring which Loki seizes to pay Hreidmarr for the death of Otter. Loki passes the curse on.

'Gold enow, gold enow,
A great weregild, thou hast,
That my head in good hap I may hold;
But thou and thy son
Are naught fated to thrive,
The bane shall it be of you both.'


http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/vlsng/vlsng16.htm

Volsunga Saga, William Morris translation
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Postby Gil-Estel » Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:03 pm

Most interesting that in this translation the weregild is referred as a bane. I would love to know the original word that is here trans. as bane.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:20 am

Ask and ye shall receive. It's a straight cognate - bani. The last line of the poem is : það er ykkar beggja bani Word for word, "That is your both bane."

I can't construe the rest of the verse as easily - poetry is tough because the demands of the metrical forms drove the authors to tortured syntax and abstruse vocabulary. I will try and figure out what Morris translated as "wergild" and get back to you with the answer.

* * *

OK, here's the whole verse:

"Gull er þér nú reitt
en þú gjöld hefir
mikil míns höfuðs.
Syni þínum
verðrat sæla sköpuð,
það er ykkar beggja bani."

Not too hard. I can't parse every word, but the key word is gjöld, cognate with the second element in "wergild." Gjöld has the same basic meaning - the "wer" in "wergild" just means "man" and is superfluous.

Note that gull is the word for "gold." I don't know if gjöld and gull are related (I woudl guess that they are), but obviously the relationship is not as close as "gild" and "gold" might look in English.

Incidentally, höfuðs is the genitive form of the word for "head." These are close cognates, as is apparent when you look at the Middle English which was "heved." The "f" in the Norse word was pronounced "v" as well.
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Postby Idhren » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:54 am

MithLuin wrote:The name Moria is Sindarin meaning ‘black pit’. This less-than-flattering name was given to Khazad-dum (a dwarvish name translated ‘the Dwarrowdelf’) after its desertion. Its older Sindarin name was Hadhodrond.


A more literal meaning of Moria would be "dark abyss".

It is very possible that in Hadhodrond, the Hadhod is the Sindarin phonological representation of Khazad. Rond means cave or arched roof.

As for the meaning of Galdor: If you try to find the meaning in a Sindarin word list without understanding mutation, you will get the wrong result. The correct Sindarin meaning is "Brother of light" Gal- is a prefix meaning light and -dor is the lenited word tôr meaning brother. The t is lenited to d because of the nature of this type of compound. The long ô is also shortened. In my opinion, ô would have become ó instead of just o,but I am not sure about that. I will look into it further and let you know what I find out.

To the best of my knowledge, Erestor means "One who names". Er- is a prefix meaning one, and estor is a form of the verb esta- meaning to name.

I didn't notice this on the thread, but perhaps I just missed it. Gil-galad means starlight in Sindarin. Gil is from gîl meaning star with the î shortened to just i. Galad is the lenited form of calad meaning light. A lot of people incorrectly translate galad as radiance because the don't realize that galad is a mutated form of calad.
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Postby EntSpinster » Thu Nov 18, 2004 7:35 pm

Gil-Estel wrote:

"Just comment on I was the herald of Gil-galad: I read with appreciation the discussion on the meaning of herald in this context and certainly agree with the linguistic analysis. I am currently reading a book on the Royal Navy during the Great War. It details the poor judgement of Admiral Beatty's flag lieutenant who by hoisting signals that did not accurately reflect the admiral's commands, caused loses(of ships) in three battles including Jutland. It made me think that a herald might function somewhat similarly in communicating the king's orders to the troops. I am better in Naval history that land battles so I don't know what is the army equivalent of flag lieutenant but surely Tolkien knew people who functioned in that capacity when he was in the War. "

Tolkien was "one of those people", a "signal officer" at the combat unit level, so more or less the last link in the downward chain of communication and the first in the upward link. Flags were not used on land-- trees, hills, and the like got in the way. Some methods used were short-wave radio (which could be intercepted by the other side), telephone or telegraphy over hastily strung wire (wires could be cut or tapped into), homing pigeons (could be killed, and needed a fixed home base to return to) and human messengers, either afoot or using various sorts of transportation (also could be killed or put out of action). Encryption or the use of secret code was less likely to tip off the opposition, but might not be clear to the intended recipients, especially if the trained signal officer was killed or otherwise unavailable. [Summarized from Tolkien and the Great War.] Like as not Tolkien felt a certain kinship with the Elven heralds. [Edited for grammar.]
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Postby Gil-Estel » Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:36 pm

Many thanks, EntSpinster! I have not yet read Tolkien and the Great War. The book is on my want list. It is rather nice to work something out by gut feeling and then find that you are right. (And makes me feel a little less chastened by my recent errors in the French-Learning thread.)
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:46 am

OK, there is agreement that the second element of "Gildor" is a lenited form of a stem beginning with "t" - but is it "taur or "tor" (sorry about the lack of circumflex but I don't have time to hunt up the code)? If there is no agreement on this, I will revise the annotation ot list both possibilities.

As for Gil-Galad, he is being saved for treatment in the Knife in the Dark chapter where the name first appears.
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Postby Idhren » Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:37 am

roaccarcsson wrote:OK, there is agreement that the second element of "Gildor" is a lenited form of a stem beginning with "t" - but is it "taur or "tor" (sorry about the lack of circumflex but I don't have time to hunt up the code)? If there is no agreement on this, I will revise the annotation ot list both possibilities.


In my studies of Sindarin compounds, dor would be the lenited form of tôr, not taur. Even without the phonological details, I still think that tôr is more likely that taur. Taur has three different meanings and none of them seem to fit as a name for Galdor. One definition is: great wood or forest. That doesn't seem to fit, as Galdor was from Mithlond, not from any great forests. The next definiton is: mighty, vast, awful, huge. That would not seem to fit his character either. The last definition and the one that is given most of the time is taur:lord. This definition of taur actually means king and is only applied to legitimate kings, i.e. of a whole region or country. Galdor was just a messenger from Cirdan. I don't see any way that he could be considered even lord or minor ruler, let alone a legitimate king, as the word would infer. I asked David Salo about it and as soon as he answers I will post an update.
Last edited by Idhren on Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:55 pm

Thank you. That will be great.
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Postby Idhren » Sat Nov 20, 2004 12:06 pm

OK, David said that either definition could be correct, there is really way to know which one is "correct". You could revise the annotation to include both versions. Gal*taur* is more popular that Gal*tôr* but either could be right.
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Postby Breogan » Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:29 am

Idhren,

In my studies of Sindarin compounds, dor would be the lenited form of tôr, not taur. Even without the phonological details, I still think that tôr is more likely that taur. Taur has three different meanings and none of them seem to fit as a name for Galdor. One definition is: great wood or forest. That doesn't seem to fit, as Galdor was from Mithlond, not from any great forests. The next definiton is: mighty, vast, awful, huge. That would not seem to fit his character either. The last definition and the one that is given most of the time is taur:lord. This definition of taur actually means king and is only applied to legitimate kings, i.e. of a whole region or country. Galdor was just a messenger from Cirdan. I don't see any way that he could be considered even lord or minor ruler, let alone a legitimate king, as the word would infer. I asked David Salo about it and as soon as he answers I will post an update.


Yes and no. Your studies in compunds can and cannot avail every single case. Yes the presence of "d" as initial consonant of the second part of the compound indicates a lenition (and not in every case, since it sometimes depends on whether the term is an archaism or has been borrowed from another language, i.e. Angband) what would mean an original "t", but you seem to have forgoten than words mutate and develop, and there are attested cases of diphthong reduction in Sindarin, meaning "au" would be "o" in words with more than 1 syllable.

_tôr_ (TOR) “brother” was already considered an archaism by Tolkien in his Etym. and we have examples of this in terms such ON wator and later on N tôr, where the term is subtituted by more recent ones to convey the smae meaning. Also, the entry is preceded by the“archaism” symbol.
So, following you line of reasoning, it you think the meaning "lord, king" makes little sense given Galdor status (something that can also be discussed), it makes even less sense, at least in my opinion, for Tolkien to use a word he considered an archaism in Etymologies, a term which, as I understand it, did not pass the stage of Noldorin (see Etymologies). There is no attested use of this word pass the Noldorin stage.

TA, TAS, “high, lofty, noble” would pass into the Noldorin stage as taur but we do not have attested examples of this term on its own, but that doesn’t mean he did not use it for names. Actually, in Etym. Tolkien mentions the poetic connotations (as well as its use in titles of ancient origin) of N taur “high, noble” and explains his presence in names under the form Tor- or -dor --> So, IMO, this is a strong possibility

But in the case of tãro meaning “king” (used with the legitimate kings of the tribes & the Exile Kings of the Noldor – Note: we are talking the early stages of the myth creation, when the Noldor we still referred to as the Gnomes), and probably, also "ruler, lord", Tolkien considers the Noldorin term derived from this root, taur to be archaic.
The only case of taur we have attested in later stages is “forest, great wood”

TUR- "mighty, vast", and also "high, sublime" when blended with TAR would also give us N. taur, attested in the Noldorin stage. Probably the reason behind the taur meaning "mighty, vast forest"

GAL, as the Noldorin variant of the root KAL “shine” is also another option.

Furthermore, Tolkien quotes the names Galadhor, Galdor , Gallor in reference to the root GALA- “to thrive, be prosperous, be blessed…”, and once again when referring to the root GALAD “tree”.

NO need to say he could have changed his mind later on about the etymology of these names, but since we have attested examples, I would go for the meaning, IMHO, which were more likely to be right based on attested examples at later stages.
list of possible meanings:
*“noble/lofty tree”
*“noble/lofty light”
*“mighty light”
*“mighty tree”

“prosperous/blessed forest”
“light lord”
“light brother”
“prosperous/blessed lord”
“tree-lord”
these are technically possible, but they involved words marked by Tolkien as archaism at an early stage, so IMHO, they seem to be a bit far-fetched.


That doesn't seem to fit, as Galdor was from Mithlond, not from any great forests.

We do know Galdor comes from Mithlond, but we are never told where he comes from originally…

OK, David said that either definition could be correct, there is really way to know which one is "correct". You could revise the annotation to include both versions. Gal*taur* is more popular that Gal*tôr* but either could be right


Of course, but IMO, some could be better than others.


~I Elleth e-Noss Faenor~
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:01 pm

Little do I resemble the figures of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in their majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself.

But Tolkien wrote in a late note published in Unfinished Tales:
It is said that in later days those (such as Elrond) whose memories recalled [Elendur, Isildur's son and heir, who died at the Gladden Fields], were struck by the great likeness to him, in body and mind, of King Elessar . . .

UT at p. 296 n. 26 (1st US paperback).

In the days of fair weather we led Gollum through the woods; and there was a high tree standing alone far from the others which he liked to climb. Often we let him mount up to the highest branches, until he felt the free wind

It seems odd that Gollum would want to climb to the top of a tree "in the days of fair weather," given Gandalf's earlier statement that he feared and hated "light, light of Sun and Moon" (Bk. I ,ch 2), which is confirmed by his aversion to the "Yellow Face" after his capture by Frodo and Sam.
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Postby vison » Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:48 pm

Gil-Estel wrote:Most interesting that in this translation the weregild is referred as a bane. I would love to know the original word that is here trans. as bane.


I am confused. Forgive me if I'm mixing things up here.

"weregild" or "weregeld" is the price set on a man's life in some Anglo-Saxon or Germanic law codes. It is to be paid by the man's slayer.

(wer: OE man, related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir; plus gield=tribute, related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt=payment)

Isuldur "claimed" the Ring by "right", as weregild for his father and brother , since Sauron slew them, Isuldur took the ring. He was within his rights to do so, although given the nature of the Ring he was a fool to ignore the advice to throw it into the fire.

The "bane" aspect of the thing, whether it is Sauron's ring or any other such as in the Volsung Saga, is aside from the "weregild" aspect of it. Had the Ring Isuldur took not been the Great Ring, the Ruling Ring, it would not have been his "bane". It was only because of what it was.

This may have been mentioned above, if so I missed it. It may also be obvious to everyone, in which case I beg your pardons.
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:11 pm

vison - yep, you've got it right. 'bane' and 'weregild' aren't supposed to have anything to do with each other. Isildur taking the Ring was a special case. That's why Gil-Estel was interested in this other source - if it happened to refer to something as a 'weregild' and as a 'bane' (or even use those two words in close proximity), we may be looking at the inspiration for Isildur's Bane (and 'this I will take as weregild'). If that is the case, it would be worth noting (as a possibility) in Annotations.

Okay, poor Galdor, who has just a bit part, is now hopelessly mired down in Annotations! I suggest that someone (who understands the nuances) compose a new annotation, bringing together what we do know, and qualifying all guesses.

And then, it would be useful to take what we have here, and apply it to Gildor in 'Three is Company.'

Any takers?
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:55 pm

"... Gwaihir the Windlord, swiftest of the Great Eagles, came unlooked-for to Orthanc; and he found me standing on a pinnacle. Then I spoke to him, and he bore me away..."

Found an eagle rescue in the Kalevala:

Thus the bird of Ether answered
"Be not in the least disheartened,
Place thyself between my shoulders,
On my back be firmly seated,
I will lift thee from the waters,
Bear thee with my pinions upward,
Bear thee wheresoe'er thou willest.
Well do I the day remember
Where thou didst the eagle service,
When thou didst the birds a favor.
Thou didst leave the birch-tree standing,
When were cleared the Osmo-forests,
From the lands of Kalevala,
As a home for weary song-birds,
As a resting-place for eagles."


Translation by John Martin Crawford. On-line here:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune07.htm[/b]
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Postby roaccarcsson » Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:52 pm

Totally cool!

(I don't know why this translator spells Vainamoinen with a w.)

OK, the older Finnish alphabet had W where V is used now. From Wikipedia:
For purposes of alphabetization, "W" is the obsolete equivalent to "V" ("W" is retained in some old Finnish names from the time when it was used instead of "V"). In a Finnish phone book, the following names would be arranged in this alphabetical order: Vaaja, Wellamo, Virtanen.
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Postby MithLuin » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:16 am

DrummerGirl and RoseMorninStar provided the following information in the thread: Tolkien ripped off other literature?! on January 17-18, 2005.

Time was when a squirrel could go from tree to tree from what is now the Shire to Dunland west of Isengard.

Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/m/ ... chap1.html by William Morris (pub'd in 1895), begins with this sentence:
Of old there was a land which was so much a woodland, that a minstrel thereof said [of] it that a squirrel might go from end to end, and all about, from tree to tree, and never touch the earth: therefore was that land called Oakenrealm.


J. R. R. Tolkien was definately familiar with the work of William Morris, and apparently admired it. While he does not mention this particular tale, he does mention that other Morris stories served as inspiration for the landscape near Mordor in The Lord of the Rings.

In the very first Letter in 'Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien' he writes to Edith, to whom he was engaged at the time:
Then I went and had an interesting talk with that quaint man Earp I have told you of and introduced him (to his great delight) to the 'Kãlevalã' the Finnish ballads.
Amongst other work I am trying to turn one of the stories-which is really a very great story and most tragic-into a short story somewhat on the lines of Morris' romances with chunks of poetry in between.


AND from letter 226:
The Lord of the Rings was actually begun, as a separate thing, about 1937, and had reached the inn at Bree, before the shadow of the second war. Personally I do not think that either war (and of course not the atomic bomb) had any influence upon either the plot or the manner of its unfolding. Perhaps in the landscape. The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolfings or The Roots of the Mountains.
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