The Zoologist Guild, studying the fauna of Middle earth

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

Postby Ulugz » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:46 am

I get the feeling that the Rohrimm let their herds run free across the grasslands most of the time. Perhaps rounding them up once or twice a year for foaling or overwintering in protected stables. Shadowfax (I envision him as a white arabian /andalusian mix myself) may have come in with the redt of the herd, but never submitted to saddle-breaking. In the descriptions of the mearas you get the feeling that they are almost magical in their superior speed, endurance, intellegence, and beauty. Mearas seem more <i>good</i> then horses, like wargs have a greater capacity for <i>evil</i> than wolves. (I dislike the terms good and evil, especially when talking about animals, but the distinctions exist in Tolkien's world so...)<BR>Perhaps Tolkien envisioned that Illuvitar created all creatures in their most perfect forms, and the interference of Melko caused the lessening of them over time. Sort of reverse evolution???<BR>Watcha all think?
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Aiwe » Sun Jul 06, 2003 9:27 pm

I think perhaps Melkor corrupted things at the start, with his discordant theme within the Great Song. So, though Iluvatar might have theoretically "made it be" that all creatures of the world would be perfect, Melkor's theme tarnished some of that absolute perfection. But not all of it. So thus you have the great creatures, like the eagles and Mearas, and on the other end of the spectrum you have Ungoliant. And somewhere in that spectrum are hedgehogs, anchovies, and kumquat trees, which for all we know are just as perfect as they were intended to be.<BR><BR>And then of course we have Melkor's influence whe he lived amongst Elves, Men, and spirits. No doubt more corruption leaked into the world then, but I think it was directed primarily at "folk" rather than things like Mearas. <BR><BR>And about Shadowfax, maybe since he is a Mearas he has some sort of connection with Maiar and lesser spirits, and so he hung out in Rohan because he was told there would be a day when a Maia would need him?<BR><BR>What are your thoughts?<BR><BR>--Aiwe
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Aiwe » Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:08 pm

Hey, just a thought here. Where in the LOTR or the Hobbit does it say that elves have pointy ears?<BR><BR>--Aiwe
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Ulugz » Sat Jul 12, 2003 3:57 pm

I just read in the Book of Lost Tales II, that in Middle Earth, wolves were descended from evil dogs, in the time before Tinuviel. (Talk about reversals) The largest and most evil one was the size of a horse and gaurded the gates of Melko's palace. (He also bit off Beren's hand with a Silmaril in it, which did the poor beast in) So Wargs were apparently around from almost the begining. Mearas then were probably around then too. Possibly they were the horses of the Valar that Orome rode in pursuit of Melko after the destruction of the two trees, and the theft of the silmarils.<BR>P.S. Nowhere, we just assume the ear points, cause that's the traditional depiction of elves. Some artists leave the points off for just that reason, but I think pointed ears look cool.
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Aiwe » Sun Jul 13, 2003 5:44 pm

That dogs-to-wloves idea is intersting, and it makes sense that Middle-earth wolves would be corruptions of something, since they are always portrayed as evil.<BR><BR>Thanks for the answer to my ear question. I'd always assumed pointy ears, but I never saw mention of them anywhere.<BR><BR>OK, today's question: If wargs are corruptions of dogs, then were the mearas once horses, having been the opposite of corrupted since they had contact with the "good" valar instead of the "bad" vala?<BR><BR>--Aiwe
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Ulugz » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:36 am

I think the Mearas were probally the ancient form, that has mostly diminished over time into common horses. But once in a great while one of the pure Mearas is still born. A super recessive gene if you will.<BR>On a totally different note.....<BR>Do you get the feeling Tolkien didn't like cats? I'm reading the Book of Lost Tales II now, and as a total cat lover, I find his descriptions of Tevildo, Prince of Cats, and his thanes to be a bit heavy handed on the cruel and evil side. I love dogs too, and Huan the great hound was wonderful, but the poor cats really get blasted!
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Ranarwen » Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:32 am

Well, didn't Tolkien mention the pointy ear thing in the Hobbit?<BR>The dog to olf thing really is strange...I guess it's a good idea but for a canine lover it sounds unaccepteble. What I mean is all those books about the woves evolving to dogs, and the human selection of creating different breeds. Yet in LOTR it sounds right. I mean they call the wolves hounds of Melkor/Sauron. Then after the first wolves appeared they must have divided to many different kinds. The white wolves or what ever, that attached the Shire when the river froze for example.<BR>My question is so how are they all related (or not)-- wolves, warewolves, and wargs? Are wards and warewolves the same thing? Or so was that wolf of Melkor (Cara-something, I forgot his name)really a wolf or is it a warg or maybe a warewof? How would you draw the line between these different spicies?
User avatar
Ranarwen
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:41 am
Top

Postby Aiwe » Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:05 am

I think they're all separate. The wolves and wargs are probably very closely related, but I think the werewolves were most likely similar to traditional werewolves (human/wolf).<BR><BR>--Aiwe
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Ulugz » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:15 pm

Yea, I agree, the werewolves were definitly supernatural creatures. In the Fellowship, the bodies of the "wolves" killed in the attack in Hollin had vanished at sunrise. That was when Gandalf identified them as were-creatures and not true wolves. I don't know if they were humans that turned into wolves and were carried off (or eaten) by the surviving werewolves, or if they were some sort of demons in the shape of wolves that just vanished in the sunlight. (Gee another excuse to re-read the FoTR, perhaps I missed something....)<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Astrophel » Tue Aug 05, 2003 7:22 am

*bump*
User avatar
Astrophel
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 11:05 am
Top

Postby Ulugz » Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:32 pm

Dragons; The most ancient and awesome of the evil creatures of Middle earth. Tolkien's dragons were always totally evil, sneaky lying, hoarding nastys. Some breathed fire, some didn't. All were large and heavily armoured, with long coiling tails, and many could fly.<BR>We know of at least two fire-breathers were known to exist during the third age, Smaug the Golden and Scatha of the Grey Mountians. How many cold-drakes wormed their ways through the mountians, we have no record.<BR>Farmer Giles of Ham, is sort've a "Once upon a time..." type story so I don't know when Chrysoplax-Dives was supposed to have lived. <BR>So how many giant carniverous reptiles could Middle earth sustain? How would they live when they wern't killing and eating dwarves for their treasure hoards?<BR>Could there be a non-evil dragon in the context of Middle Earth? or were they all creatures of Morgoth/Melkor through and through??<BR>Any thoughts?
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Astrophel » Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:33 pm

I like to believe that in one point in time there were good dragons. Just like most things there should have been good as well as evil, like men, there were the races of men that fought for good and then there were the races that fought on the side of evil. but that is just my opinion
User avatar
Astrophel
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 11:05 am
Top

Postby Aiwe » Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:42 pm

Kind of like the dog-to-wolf thing. Perhaps Melkor corrupted the good dragons and all that were left were the evil ones. And besides, dragons are obviously thinking beings if they have the capacity for speech and cunning, so it's possible that like humans there will be nice ones and nasty ones and every personality in between.<BR><BR>--Aiwe
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Aiwe » Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:42 pm

Oops. Double post!
User avatar
Aiwe
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:15 pm
Location: la-la-land
Top

Postby Ranarwen » Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:15 am

I used to love dragons so I always hoped there were "good" dragons. I think their being good or bad depends on wether they were created by Melkor or not. If Melkor was their maker then I think chances for them being good are rather weak.
User avatar
Ranarwen
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:41 am
Top

Postby One_ElfEar » Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:46 am

Hi everybody <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>. This is a nice learning guild, since I even had to ask one time what wargs really are <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0>. <BR><BR>I would like to think that there are good dragons too...but I was curious: has the evil power of making? I that that Melkor could only destroy, converting good to evil... (?)
User avatar
One_ElfEar
Rider of the Mark
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:32 am
Top

Postby Ranarwen » Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:36 am

No, Morgroth couldn"t create life. Remeber the orcs were elves once and Morgroth "changed" them. But if you think about it, if Melko coldn't create living things where did all the evil creatures come from? (eg. trolls, goblins, warewoves etc.)
User avatar
Ranarwen
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:41 am
Top

Postby Ulugz » Sat Aug 16, 2003 2:54 pm

I need to reread my Silmarillion, But I seem to recall that elemental spirits came to middle earth with the Valar. The sun-ship was piloted by a fire spirit that had not been seduced by Melko/Morgoth. Presumably the fallen fire spirits became Balrogs. Perhaps dragons had similiar origins? Corrupted elemental spirits of earth and fire? Or perhaps Dragons were part of Illuvatar's original song and their avaricious nature, that led to their ultimate corruption, was caused my Melko's dissonances? Gandalf mentions trying to find a half-way decent giant at one point, so if there could be a decent giant, perhaps dragons are not irredemable after all...<BR>There probably can't be very many dragons around at one time. Their appetite would be devastating to an enviornment. Witness the desolation of Samug. Maybe one or two born every thousand years or so?<BR><BR>P.S. Welcome One Elf Ear!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby One_ElfEar » Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:41 pm

Thanks Ulugz <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>Hope to be a good apprentice.<BR><BR>It could be true with dragons, but on the other hand the number of dragons is mentioned continuosly shrinking...and I have the recall of reading somewhere a name which was told to be the name of the last dragon...but I can`t remember exactly. Maybe i`ve dreamt it. It often happens to me <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The Valars...they were made in a long time by Eru, or they existed from the begining? That would clarifie a bit the problem with the spirits, because I can`t believe he would have made bad ones. Melkor was an exeption for all the qualities that he had, which lead him to vanity i guess...but the others...?<BR><BR>~Dea~
User avatar
One_ElfEar
Rider of the Mark
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:32 am
Top

Postby Ranarwen » Sun Aug 17, 2003 5:02 am

Yeah, they must have been rare, dragons I mean. But then their number is shirinking because of teh environment loss. Dragons couldn"t have destroyed the land that much unless there was realy many of them. (like in S.C Lewis's book, in the last one when the dragons kill all thats left on earh, know what I mean?) Only with the help of humans (or dwarves I guess) could they have been instabilizing nature. <BR>Do you think they were in danger from anything but humans elves and dwarves though? Any animal that could have been dangerous to them?
User avatar
Ranarwen
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:41 am
Top

Postby Ulugz » Mon Aug 18, 2003 3:03 pm

Each other, in Tolkien's world dragons are cannibalistic. Dwarves were also bitter enemys of dragon kind, frequently fighting over the same hoards. I wonder how often a dragon would need to eat. The royal ones, that breathed fire and could fly, would have to kill more often than the cold drakes I would think. But how often is that? My Boa constrictor could go for a over month without eating after having a large rabbit, but she would not be very active. Dragons are described as sleeping on their hoards a lot. Perhaps they have the same sort of real slow metabolism, when not roused to fight by anything they just curl up and dream on their hoards. Several dragons could survive in the wilderness and no one would know about it until one of them woke up hungry...<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-devil.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby anya_Skywalker » Mon Aug 18, 2003 5:01 pm

It was said in the sill that Melkor couldn't create anything, but when the <i>first</i> Dragon came out of Angband, not yet fully grown as it was, all who were sieging the dark fortress were surprised for they had never seen anything like him. I supose he could have currupted some beeings, although I cannot exactly see what kind would create a gigantic flying worm of sorts...<BR><BR>Now for an interesting question... According to modern biological beliefs a species is considered thus when its members are able to reproduce among themselfs and are unable to reproduce with members of another species, isn't it? <BR><BR>So, according to that, Elves and Humans are one and the same species... As are Elves and Maiar, which in turn makes Humans the same species as Maiar... Although we know they are meant to be separate races.<BR><BR>However it would seem that the difference between Elves and Humans is more about their <i>fea</i> than their <i>hroa</i> (someone kick me really hard and correct me if I'm making a confusion between the two terms). Elfs can die and their spirit, fea, is taken to the Houses of Mandos, where it must stay until a phisical body is available to them. Usually that will take a good many years, and in some cases they are not allowed or don't want to return (Feanor and his mother, respectively, for instance) while Humans pass onto the House of Mandos and do not linge there for long, beeing instead sent to only Eru knows where, and thus unable to return to life (one famous exception not with-standing). Maias who have taken on physical bodies, such as the Istari sent to ME suffer the same process as Elves, although the re-introduction process is much quicker (aparently).<BR><BR>What does it all mean?<BR><BR>Apart from the same-specie/different-treatment-upon-death, I really don't know. Just food for thought, I supose.<BR><BR>On MEit would seem that the basic laws of evolution are appliable after the moment of creation, at least in general terms. Creatures like Wargs can be descendent of wolves, specially bred by Orc, in a simple way, or following the other theories presented on the thread; quick brown foxes that think how odd it is for two hobbits to be sleeping under trees might be a rare sight, but I'm sure soemone could find a reasonable explanation... Shelob is explained by her Ungoliant antecestor, which also explains her Mirkwood relatives...<BR><BR>Ah, orcs. They've lost the immortality of the Elves throughout the centuries, but did they become a separate species from them? There are no acounts of surviving ofspring of an orc with anything else (save of with Goblins, creating the Uruk-Hai [me thinks Saruman had his hands onto some serious genetic engeneering <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>]) so it's impossible to tell, isn't it?<BR><BR>My brain is a bit too tired right now to make a whole lot of sense, and I apoligise for asking so many questions and throwing off ideas just like this when you were already discussing other matters. I'll be back in the morning and attempt to make more sense (hopefully). This was a great idea for a guild, by the way! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
User avatar
anya_Skywalker
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 4561
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2001 9:08 am
Top

Postby Dad-human » Mon Aug 18, 2003 5:20 pm

Hi everyone. I liked the movie wargs too. Right away I thought of hyenas. They looked liked they could be real animals, not just something made up for the movies.<BR><BR>What about the birds? Lots of times they could talk with people.
User avatar
Dad-human
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:41 am
Top

Postby Ulugz » Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:23 pm

Welcomme to the Zoologist's Guild anya_Skywalker, and Dad-human!<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>Never apologise for asking so many great questions! That is what this guild is all about!! Just have time to say <b>HI</b> for now, but I'll be back sometime tomorrow (my day off from work dont'cha know)
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Dad-human » Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:40 pm

I've been wondering about the ponies. In our world ponies are just small horses. Some are just a little smaller than regular horses, like Bill in the movie, and some are much smaller but they are all the same species.<BR><BR>I get the feeling that in the books horses and ponies were two different species, with the ponies being more like donkeys than horses.<BR><BR>For one thing Hobbits and Dwarves were comfortable riding ponies but not horses (except for Bullroarer Took). This makes me think they were different kinds of animals, not just different sizes.<BR><BR>Also when Merry was in Rohan Theoden gave him a pony to ride. In the fairly primative society of Rohan is it likely that they would keep two breeds of horses, the smaller one for children or visiting Hobbits?<BR><BR>I'd like to hear other people's opinions on this and I have to say that I'm not any kind of expert on equine animals.
User avatar
Dad-human
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:41 am
Top

Postby One_ElfEar » Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:01 pm

Ah, and not only horses...hobbits couldn`t have grown animals with small sizes than regular like in Liliput...because after all, they arrived in the region and the first hobbits weren`t born there (does it say anywhere how they appeared? elves, humans, dwarves, orcs..we know those, but what about hobbits?) so it only remain two solutions:<BR>1. grow smaller animals like pigs, but which for them would be big enough (that in case there are pigs in The Shire...)<BR>2. like I was begining to say, it could have been other types of animals...<BR><BR>It`s such a shame I can`t find more of Tolkien`s writings...next year when I go to the University I`ll sure get myself on the British Council`s list of book borrowing <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~<BR><i>Dea</i>, fanatic protector of the <i>environment</i> and follower of the <i>Flame</i><BR><strike>Please dont argue- I'm running out of places to hide the bodies</strike><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-devil.gif"border=0><BR> <BR><i>...E vissero felici tutti assieme, e cosi e finita la novella...</i>
User avatar
One_ElfEar
Rider of the Mark
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:32 am
Top

Postby Dad-human » Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:22 pm

The Hobbits did have pigs because they eat bacon and sausage. They also had dogs (Farmer Maggot) and there's some evidence that they had cats. I would imagine that their animals would be a bit smaller than Big People's. But it wouldn't take too many generations to breed smaller animals.<BR><BR>Most experts think Hobbits are an offshoot of Men. They seem to have learned most of their culture from Men and perhaps from Dwarves.
User avatar
Dad-human
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:41 am
Top

Postby Dad-human » Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:14 am

Maybe cats would be more interesting after all. I think they are mentioned five times in LOTR.
User avatar
Dad-human
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:41 am
Top

Postby Ulugz » Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:33 pm

Sorry I took so long to get back, working two jobs is a killer. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR>I don't think Middle earth is too different from our world as far as the varity of 'non-fantasy' animals go. The main difference being the ability of many to speak. Perhaps it is more the ability of men to understand them that has changed. In many of the folk tales that influnced Tolkien talking animals were the norm, it just took special people (aka the hero) to understand them. Ponies everywhere are devilishly smart little critters. I had a shetland pony once that I'm sure could've talked if it wanted to. On Middle Earth just as here the decendants of the first horses that lived in the rugged mountian areas probably developed into the smaller breeds (ponies). The hobbits would have discovered them in their travels to the Shire, and captured some to tame. Breeding the ones that are the size you like would take it from there. Same goes for pigs, dogs etc. Breed variations within a species can be extreeme (Great Dane- Shi-tsu).<BR>Cats are cats everywhere.
User avatar
Ulugz
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Neck deep and can't swim
Top

Postby Dad-human » Sat Aug 23, 2003 8:47 pm

Do you understand my reasons for thinking hobbit ponies were more like donkeys than horses? Do you think this might be true?
User avatar
Dad-human
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:41 am
Top

PreviousNext

Return to Alliances and Guilds: The Peoples of Middle-earth

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest