The Annotated LOTR - Three is Company

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The Annotated LOTR - Three is Company

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun May 16, 2004 7:20 am

Three is Company

Chapter title. Amended from a proverb: Two is company, three is a crowd. The title originally give to this chapter was Three's Company and Four's More.

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Two or three weeks had passed...

April 27-30th. This conversation takes place prior to May 1st. See Aragorn's account to the hobbits of his meeting Gandalf at Sarn Ford on 1st May in the chapter "Strider".

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He went off at dawn.

Gandalf left on horseback. See the "Council of Elrond" chapter for an account of Gandalf's activities between June and October.

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As a matter of fact with Merry’s help he had already chosen and bought a little house at Crickhollow in the country beyond Bucklebury.

Crickhollow is a place-name in Buckland, north-east of the main settlement of Bucklebury and Brandy Hall. The -hollow element in the name (a small depression in the ground) suggests that the area is in a small valley or depression.

Bucklebury is the chief village in the Buckland, on the east side of Buck Hill. The -bury element (Old English burg, a place occupying a defensive position, walled or enclosed; a town) indicates that it may have been walled or enclosed by hedgerows - although as none are evident on the map this probably refers to the High Hay that borders all of Buckland to the east.

Re Crickhollow, in his Guide to Names ... Tolkien writes that the first element of the name Crickhollow is intended to be an obsolete element, not to be translated. Interestingly, in the early drafts (HOME 6) the neighbouring villages of Bree were named as Staddle and Crick. Old Welsh creic, "rock", seems a reasonable inspiration (c.f. "The Carrock", the rock in the Anduin near Rhosgobel). However, Celtic cruc, "barrow", may also be a possibility:

That prehistoric mounds retained a role in the community is suggested by the survival of the Celtic-derived element cruc (Welsh crug), as in Crich (Derbs), Crick (Northants), Cricklade (Wilts), Crewkerne (Somerset; interestingly, ‘cruc house’, i.e. monastery?) and the Somerset and Surrey names Creechbarrow / Crooksbury (cruc beorg).

- http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/Religpns.htm


Furthermore, in Crickhollow, the first element might be Old Welsh creic, meaning 'crag' or 'rock'. I don't know how common this element is in english place-names so it might be a mere coincidence that there is a 'Crick Road' in Oxford, just north of the University Parks, and less than half a mile from Tolkien's home in Northmoor Road.

In my booklet on English Placenames (by John Field) Crick in Northamptonshire is said to be derived from 'creic'.

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Thursday, his birthday morning

Recall that Sept. 22nd is always on a Thursday in Shire Reckoning, and that Thursday is equivalent to our Saturday.

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the next morning

Sept. 23, 3018

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But Lobelia can perhaps be forgiven; she had had to wait about seventy-seven years longer for Bag End than she had once hoped, and she was now a hundred years old.

Lobelia does not appear in the family trees in Appendix C, so this is the only source for her year of birth (c. S.R. 1319). Otho was born in 1312. They were thus about 23 and 30, respectively, at the time of Bilbo's return from Erebor in 1342.

This seems rather young for hobbits to marry - Lobelia was not long out of childhood. Information about the age of hobbits at marriage is scanty, however. Sam was 40 and Rose 36 when they married; Pippin was 37, and Diamond of Long Cleeve 32; and Elanor Gamgee was 30 (the birthdate of her husband Fastred of Greenholm is not recorded). See "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring," in Appendix B, and the family trees in Appendix C. "Fortinbras II, one time head of the Tooks and Thain, married Lalia of the Clayhangers in 1314, when he was 36 and she was 31." Letter 214, Letters at 294 (1st U.S. ed.).

edit: According to the Boffin family tree in HoME 12, she was born in 1318.

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In the end she departed with Lotho and the spare key and the promise that the other key would be left at the Gamgees' in Bagshot Row. She snorted and showed plainly that she thought the Gamgees capable of plundering the hole during the night.

Lobelia's behavior is, of course, rude. While it is not unusual to want the key to one's house, it was not the custom in Hobbiton to lock up at night. See 'A Conspiracy Unmasked'

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One voice was certainly the old Gaffer’s; the other was strange, and somehow unpleasant.

This stranger – the first Black Rider – was Khamul the Easterling.

UT: The Hunt for the Ring

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They went in single file along hedgerows and the borders of coppices.

Hedgerows were (and still are, though there is concern at the rate at which they have been disappearing in the last hundred years) a prominent feature of the English landscape that Tolkien knew. A hedgerow is a closely planted row of trees and shrubs, designed to mark a boundary and prevent livestock from straying. While costly and labor-intensive, hedges are also very durable with proper maintenance. Some English hedgerows are estimated to be seven hundred years old.

The online American Heritage Dictionary gives this definition for "coppice":

A thicket or grove of small trees or shrubs, especially one maintained by periodic cutting or pruning to encourage suckering, as in the cultivation of cinnamon trees for their bark.

The word comes from an Old French root meaning "to cut." Many trees, if cut back to stumps, will produce a number of small stems ("suckers"). "Coppicing" was a common land management practice from the Middle Ages onward; a woodland would be divided into plots that were cut year by year in a systematic rotation. The cut stems were a major source of wood for heating and charcoal-making, and for various rural crafts. The practice is presently enjoying a small renaissance in Britain, mostly because of its benefits for wildlife.

http://www.craft-show.co.uk/demonstrations/Coppice_Woodsman/

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Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe

The four trees named in this line are commonly found in hedgerows.

The Crab Apple, Malus sylvestris, is one of the ancestors of the cultivated apple. Unlike the orchard tree, it has thorns.

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/crabapple.htm

Historically in England, the word "nut" by itself, without qualification, means the nut of the Hazel tree, Corylus avellana. Besides its use in hedges, and the value of its nuts to people and animals, the Hazel was also economically important, when "coppiced" (see above), as a source of firewood and fencing.

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/hazel.htm

"Thorn" by itself means the Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna. Traditionally, and still to this day, this is "the" hedgerow tree, because of its rapid growth and formidable thorns. The name means "hedge-thorn"; "haw," "hay" (as used by Tolkien - "hay" as in grass mown for fodder is a different word), and "hedge" all descend from Old English hege.

The most common folk name for the Hawthorn is the May Tree. Its blossom appears at the beginning of May in the south of England, and it is safe to assume that Tolkien imagined the hobbits on their Maytime journey travelling amongst hedgerows full of white 'mayflowers'.

The pink blossoms of Crab Apple trees would also probably have been out at this time, but both Blackthorn and Hazel flower earlier in the season (the Hazel produces catkins rather than conventional flowers).

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/hawthorn.htm

"Sloe" is another name for the Blackthorn,Prunus spinosa, a thorny wild plum tree. Technically "sloe" is the name of the fruit, which is inedible but used as a flavoring for liquors such as "sloe gin." Here are some pictures:

http://www.first-nature.com/trees/prunus_spinosa.htm

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there were many deep brakes of hazel on the rising slopes at either hand

The online American Heritage Dictionary defines "brake" in this sense as "An area overgrown with dense brushwood, briers, and undergrowth; a thicket."

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A mile or two further south they hastily crossed the great road from the Brandywine Bridge; they were now in the Tookland and bending south-eastwards they made for the Green Hill Country. As they began to climb its first slopes they looked back and saw the lamps in Hobbiton far off twinkling...

In the First Edition this passage read:

They were now in Tookland and going southwards; but a mile or two further on they crossed the main road from Michel Delving (in the Hornblower country) to Bywater and Brandywine Bridge. Then they struck south-east and began to climb...

The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVI, Note 9.


This is the only recorded reference to the Hornblower folkland. Other commentators (notably Robert Foster) have assumed this was in the Southfarthing based on Tobold Hornblower's activities there.

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'[...]Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. [...]'

CJRT notes that the First Edition read:

'[...] I did not know that any of that fairest folk were ever seen in the Shire. [...]'

The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVI, Note 12.


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The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


This is identical to Bilbo's version of the song given in Chapter 1, but with "weary feet" in place of "eager feet". This casts a more ominous mood over the words, especially if we follow the analogy of the journey along the Road being the journey through Life.

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"I can hear a pony or a horse coming along the road behind," said Sam.
They looked back, but the turn of the road prevented them from seeing far. "I wonder if that is Gandalf coming after us," said Frodo; but even as he said it, he had a feeling that it was not so, and a sudden desire to hide from the view of the rider came over him.


In the original draft of this passage, the Rider was Gandalf:

The sound of hoofs drew nearer. Round a turn came a white horse, and on it sat a bundle - or that is what it looked like: a small man wrapped entirely in a great cloak and hood so that only his eyes peered out, and his boots in the stirrups below.
The horse stopped when it came level with Bingo. The figure uncovered its nose and sniffed; and then sat silent as if listening. Suddenly a laugh came from inside the hood.
"Bingo my boy!" said Gandalf, throwing aside his wrappings.


HoME VI p 47

Christopher Tolkien notes

It is most curious how the description of Gandalf led into that of the Black Rider - and that the original sniff was Gandalf's!

[/quote]

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The sun had gone down red behind the hills at their backs . . . "That is the way for us," said Frodo.

This paragraph was revised for the Second Edition. The First Edition read:

The sun had gone down red behind the hills at thier backs, and evening was coming on beofre they came to the end of the long level over which the road ran straight. At that point it bent somewhat southward, and began to wind again, as it entered a wood of ancient oak-trees.


This change was made, according to Christopher Tolkien, to bring the text into accordance with the published Shire-Map, as the original reflected an earlier version of the geography. HoME v. VI at 66 n. 10. CT adds:

This is also the reason for change in the second edition of "road" to "lane" (also "path," way") at almost all the many subsequent occurrences in FR pp. 86-90: it was the "lane" to Woodhall they were on, not the "road" to Stock.


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At that point it bent left and went down into the lowlands of the Yale making for Stock

Curiously, despite its meaning of "fertile upland" Tolkien applies it to an area containing lowlands. CJRT details the development of the name in HOME XII:

Boffin of the Yale.

In The Lord of the Rings no 'homeland' of the Boffins is named, and in the First Edition there was no mention of the Yale; but on the original map of the Shire (frontispiece to Vol.VI The Return of the Shadow ) the name Boffins is written to the north of Hobbiton Hill,† and Boffins are clearly associated in early texts with the village of Northope in that region, 'only a mile or two behind the Hill' (VI.319, 385). Northope was subsequently renamed Overhill, and 'Mr. Boffin at Overhill' remained into FR (p. 53).

But on the first Shire-map the name Northope was corrected, not to Overhill but to The Yale, although that name does not appear in the texts; and this must be the reference in the genealogical trees, which retained 'Boffin of the Yale' into the printed form. Much later the name was added to the Shire map in the Second Edition in a different place, south of Whitfurrows and west of Stock, and a reference was inserted into the text (FR p. 86), 'the lowlands of the Yale' (see VI.387, note 10); but the Boffin genealogy had been abandoned before the publication of the First Edition (p. 88 ).

† This was in fact an alteration (VI.298 and note 1): originally my father marked the Boffins north-west of the Woody End, and the Bolgers north of Hobbiton, subsequently changing them about; cf. VI.298, 'as far west as Woodhall (which was reckoned to be in the Boffin-country)'.

'The Family Trees', The Peoples of Middle-earth


It appears from the changes in the Second Edition that Tolkien reverted to his original conception of the Boffin homeland being north-west of Woody-end.

[The abandoned Boffin Family trees (The Peoples of Middle-earth Pp 100-101) refer to 'Boffins of the Yale' - there are no drafts referring to the Boffins coming from anywhere else]

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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun May 16, 2004 7:20 am

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! etcetera...

A hymn in honour of Varda, who made the stars.

With Manwë dwells Varda, Lady of the Stars, who knows all the regions of Eä. Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or of Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy. Out of the deeps of Eä she came to the aid of Manwë; for Melkor she knew from before the making of the Music and rejected him, and he hated her, and feared her more than all others whom Eru made. .......................
Of all the Great Ones who dwell in this world the Elves hold Varda most in reverence and love. Elbereth they name her, and they call upon her name out of the shadows of Middle-earth, and uplift it in song at the rising of the stars.


(from Valaquenta)

Ages ago, on the Sea-longing thread, I pointed out the similarities between this song and the various hymns to the Virgin Mary and commented on the association between the sea and both the feminine, and the divine. One of the Virgin Mary's titles (in the Catholic Church), is "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea); we beseech Her to "pray for the Wanderer". I don't know the origins of this title: it is just one of those things a Catholic is brought up knowing... and which the young Ronald would surely have been familiar with.

wilko quoted a twelfth-century prayer from St Bernard of Clairvaux:

If the winds of temptation arise;
If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary;
If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary


I think the song also resembles this hymn, in tone and structure:

Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wanderer here below;
Thrown on life's surge, we claim thy care,
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.


Stella Maris was also a title given to Venus (the goddess, though the association with the planet is interesting), and to Ishtar, "the ancient Goddess of the Sea", apparently represented by the Pole Star Polaris. Mariners rely on the stars for navigation, but the "guiding star" of Earendil is for all sailors in the sea of life.

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These are High Elves! They spoke the name of Elbereth!’ said Frodo in amazement, ‘Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. Not many now remain in Middle-earth, east of the Great Sea. This is indeed a strange chance!’

In The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien explains where Gildor and his companions had been.

The High-Elves (such as did not dwell in or near the Havens) journeyed to the Tower Hills at intervals to look afar at Eressëa (the Elvish isle) and the Shores of Valinor, close to which it lay. [...].

No doubt Gildor and his companions (Vol. I., Chap. 3), since they appear to have been going eastward, were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantír of the Tower Hills. On such visits they were sometimes rewarded by a vision, clear but remote, of Elbereth, as a majestic figure, shining white, standing upon the mountain Oiolosse (S. Uilos). It was then that she was also addressed by the title Fanuilos.


The High Elves made pilgrimages to the stone of Elendil in order to look at the Undying Lands. Their song (which Frodo translates into the Common Speech) was a hymn to Elbereth. (See also Book II, Chapter One, Many Meetings ).

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"Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod."

In HoME 6 p 72 CT notes:

At this time Finrod was the name of the third son of Finwë (first Lord of the Noldor). This was later changed to Finarfin, when Inglor Felagund his son took over the name Finrod (see I.44), but my father did not change 'of the house of Finrod' here (FR p. 89) to 'of the house of Finarfin' in the second edition of The Lord of the Rings


Inglorion means "son of Inglor", but it appears that Inglorion must refer to a different Inglor than Felagund, who was childless.

The final paragraph of the First Edition of LotR (footnotes aside) said of the Elves that "their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finrod." In this instance, Tolkien changed "Finrod" to "Finarfin" in the Second Edition.

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"O Fair Folk! This is good fortune beyond my hope," said Pippin.

Tolkien says in the "Guide to Translation" that "Fair Folk" is "based on Welsh Tylwyth teg 'the beautiful kindred' = fairies)."

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Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo, a star shines on the hour of our meeting,’ he added in the high-elven speech.

Tolkien commented on this phrase:

Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true. An enquirer (among many) asked what the L.R. was all about, and whether it was an 'allegory'. And I said it was an effort to create a situation in which a common greeting would be elen síla lúmenn' omentielmo, † and that the phase long antedated the book. I never heard any more.

† 'A star shines on the hour of our meeting' (The Lord of the Rings, Book I, Chapter 3). The reading in the letter, omentielmo, is the same as in the first edition of the book, but Tolkien later changed it to omentielvo. The Elvish language Quenya makes a distinction in its dual inflexion, which turns on the number of persons involved; failure to understand this was, Tolkien remarked, 'a mistake generally made by mortals'. So in this case, Tolkien made a note that the Thain's Book of Minas Tirith', one of the supposed sources of The Lord of the Rings had the reading omentielvo, but that Frodo's original (lost) manuscript probably had omentielmo; and that omentielvo is the correct form in the context. (The Ballantine paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings has the erroneous reading 'omentilmo'.) [Ballantine editions published after 2000 now have the correct reading]



205 From a letter to Christopher Tolkien 21 February 1958.

The change from omentielmo to omentielvo was made in the Second Edition of 1966 and it is characteristic of Tolkien that he worked out a rationale justifying why the previous version had appeared in print - even though the justification was not intended for publication.
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A green ride lay almost unseen through the thickets...

A ride is a path made for riding on horseback, especially through woodlands.

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Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt. The Elves all burst into song. Suddenly under the trees a fire sprang up with a red light.

There is no doubt that Menelvagor (the Quenya form is Menelmacar - menel, heaven / makar, swordsman ) refers to the constellation Orion - the shining belt is immediately recognisable. ([url] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)/url]

Judging from the number of names that Tolkien devised for this constellation (some of which date back to the early Book of Lost Tales), it appears that he planned to write a mythic treatment explaining why a figure of a swordsman appeared in the stars. Unfortunately, none of these legends reached a definitive form.

The earliest forms of the legends record Telimektar ('Swordsman of Heaven' ) as the 'son of Tulkas' in The Book of Lost Tales (with the alternate and (? earlier) names Taimavar, Taimordo, 'Shepherd of the Sky' ) but give no account of his transformation into a constellation. Another name for Orion (related to these earlier forms) that appears in The Lord of the Rings (in Appendices A, B & F) is Telumehtar ( telume, 'dome, especially dome of heaven' / mahtar, 'warrior'; 'Warrior of the Sky' - see the Etymologies entry for TEL, TELU).

After the publication of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien recorded in the Annals of Aman (dated by CJRT to before 1958):


1000-1050.

§35 Now Varda took the light that issued from Telperion and was stored in Valinor and she made stars newer and brighter. And many other of the ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the heavens of Arda. The greatest of these was Menelmakar, the Swordsman of the Sky. This, it is said, was a sign of Túrin Turambar, who should come into the world, and a foreshowing of the Last Battle that shall be at the end of Days.


So the constellation appears as a premonition of the apocalyptic 'Last Battle'. This in turn was replaced in the late fifties by:


§19 And Varda said naught, but departing from the council she went to the mountain of Taniquetil and looked forth; and she beheld the darkness and was moved.

Then Varda took the silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the First-born. Wherefore she whose name out of the deeps of time and the labours of Eä was Tintallë, the Kindler, was called after by the Elves Elentári, the Queen of the Stars. Karnil and Luinil, Nénar and Lumbar, Alkarinquë and Elemmíre she wrought in that time, and other of her works of old she gathered together and set as signs in Heaven that the gods may read: Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronúmë, and Anarríma; and Menelmakar with his shining belt that forebodes the Last Battle that shall be.


'The Later Quenta Silmarillion, 'Of the Coming of the Elves', Morgoth's Ring

This version gave rise to the mention of Menelmacar that occurs in the published The Silmarillion, but any suggestion that the 'Swordsman of the Sky' is a pre-figuring of Túrin Turambar has now been removed. So while the 'Last Battle' is foretold, the identity of the 'Swordsman of the Heavens' is finally unknown. Consequently the significance of Orion to the Elves remains highly enigmatic.

Given the certain identification of Menelvagor, there is no doubt that Remmirath, 'the netted stars' (rem, net / mir, jewel / -ath, collective plural ) are the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades).

Red Borgil (born 'hot, red' & gil 'star' ) is most probably Aldebaran (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldebaran ), as this bright red star 'follows' the Pleiades (although some consider that it may be another red star, Betelguese ([url] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse[/url). This is much less likely: Betelguese is part of Orion whereas Borgil is above the mists before Orion is revealed when the mist is drawn away.

It has been calculated [probably by the Encyclopedia of Arda, but I can't find the link] that on September 15, Menelgavor (Orion) would appear over the horizon at 1:10am GMT, which should be a good approximation of the time the Elves start singing, in Shire time.

Many others of the named stars above have been discussed in:
[ur]http://forums.tolkienonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=78369[/url]

See also Astronomical objects in Middle-earth: http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_astro.html

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At the south end of the greensward there was an opening.

Greensward, ground that is green with grass or turf

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"And it is also said," answered Frodo: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."
"Is it indeed?" laughed Gildor. "Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill"


The reluctance of the Elves to give counsel is seen later, when Galadriel shows Frodo the Mirror.

[quote}"Do you advise me to look?" asked Frodo.
"No," she said. "I do not counsel you one way or the other. I am not a counsellor."[/quote]

Contrast also Boromir's attempt to persuade Frodo:

"You need counsel in your hard choice. Will you not take mine?"


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In this meeting there may be more than chance

Gildor recognizes the fate or divine providence that occasionally enters the story, though he does not know about the Ring and therefore does not know the reason for it.

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we will send our messages through the lands. The Wandering Companies shall know of your journey, and those that have power for good shall be on the watch.

Gildor is true to his word. Most of the help that Frodo receives on his way to Rivendell is a direct result of Gildor's messages. Tom Bombadil, Aragorn and Glorfindel all received word that "the Nine were abroad, and that [Frodo was] astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned." (see The Flight to the Ford)

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I name you Elf-friend

This is an official title already born by Bilbo, but also by many of the famous human warriors of old. For more information, see Goldberry's comment and Elrond's at the Council.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun May 16, 2004 7:43 am

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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon May 17, 2004 2:09 pm

Three is Company

Chapter title. Amended from a proverb: Two is company, three is a crowd.

Two or three weeks had passed...

Early/mid May then?
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon May 17, 2004 4:20 pm

This is one where I won't have a lot to say. (Though I got started on the Net researching "coppice" and "hedgerow," and at the rate the information is piling up I may eventually be posting 2000 words on medieval land management practices.)

What this chapter does need is:

1. A succinct but thorough account, where Frodo says "Those are High-Elves," of who these folks are, why they are in M-E, and where they are going.

2. Where Frodo says Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo, a general description of Quenya including explication of the meaning, etymology, and grammatical form each word in the phrase.

3. Elvish star and constellation names. The information is out there somewhere, I've seen it.

Who are going to step up to the plate? (Or the wicket, for you Brits.)

(I was looking at the next two chapters, and there doesn't seem to be much there at all, unless somebody is an expert on the cultivation of mushrooms. I would be prepared to start them both simultaneously, once this one is ticking over.)
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue May 18, 2004 5:43 am

[OT. While I am not qualified to contribute all that Roac has asked for concerning this phrase, this selection from Letters belongs here].

Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo, a star shines on the hour of our meeting,’ he added in the high-elven speech.

Tolkien commented on this phrase:
Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true. An enquirer (among many) asked what the L.R. was all about, and whether it was an 'allegory'. And I said it was an effort to create a situation in which a common greeting would be elen síla lúmenn' omentielmo, and that the phase long antedated the book. I never heard any more.
    'A star shines on the hour of our meeting' (The Lord of the Rings, Book I, Chapter 3). The reading in the letter, omentielmo, is the same as in the first edition of the book, but Tolkien later changed it to omentielvo. The Elvish language Quenya makes a distinction in its dual inflexion, which turns on the number of persons involved; failure to understand this was, Tolkien remarked, 'a mistake generally made by mortals'. So in this case, Tolkien made a note that the Thain's Book of Minas Tirith', one of the supposed sources of The Lord of the Rings, had the reading omentielvo, but that Frodo's original (lost) manuscript probably had omentielmo; and that omentielvo is the correct form in the context. (The Ballantine paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings has the erroneous reading 'omentilmo'.) [Ballantine editions published after 2000 now have the correct reading]
205 From a letter to Christopher Tolkien 21 February 1958.
The change from omentielmo to omentielvo was made in the Second Edition of 1966 and it is characteristic of Tolkien that he worked out a rationale justifying why the previous version had appeared in print - even though the justification was not intended for publication.

[Edits for layout and grammar].
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue May 18, 2004 5:52 am

Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt. The Elves all burst into song. Suddenly under the trees a fire sprang up with a red light.

There is no doubt that Menelvagor (the Quenya form is Menelmacar - menel, heaven / makar, swordsman ) refers to the constellation Orion - the shining belt is immediately recognisable. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation) ).

Judging from the number of names that Tolkien devised for this constellation (some of which date back to the early Book of Lost Tales), it appears that he planned to write a mythic treatment explaining why a figure of a swordsman appeared in the stars. Unfortunately, none of these legends reached a definitive form.

The earliest forms of the legends record Telimektar ('Swordsman of Heaven' ) as the 'son of Tulkas' in The Book of Lost Tales (with the alternate and (? earlier) names Taimavar, Taimordo, 'Shepherd of the Sky' ) but give no account of his transformation into a constellation. Another name for Orion (related to these earlier forms) that appears in The Lord of the Rings (in Appendices A, B & F) is Telumehtar ( telume, 'dome, especially dome of heaven' / mahtar, 'warrior'; 'Warrior of the Sky' - see the Etymologies entry for TEL, TELU).

After the publication of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien recorded in the Annals of Aman (dated by CJRT to before 1958):
1000-1050.

§35 Now Varda took the light that issued from Telperion and was stored in Valinor and she made stars newer and brighter. And many other of the ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the heavens of Arda. The greatest of these was Menelmakar, the Swordsman of the Sky. This, it is said, was a sign of Túrin Turambar, who should come into the world, and a foreshowing of the Last Battle that shall be at the end of Days.
So the constellation appears as a premonition of the apocalyptic 'Last Battle'. This in turn was replaced in the late fifties by:
§19 And Varda said naught, but departing from the council she went to the mountain of Taniquetil and looked forth; and she beheld the darkness and was moved.

Then Varda took the silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the First-born. Wherefore she whose name out of the deeps of time and the labours of Eä was Tintallë, the Kindler, was called after by the Elves Elentári, the Queen of the Stars. Karnil and Luinil, Nénar and Lumbar, Alkarinquë and Elemmíre she wrought in that time, and other of her works of old she gathered together and set as signs in Heaven that the gods may read: Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronúmë, and Anarríma; and Menelmakar with his shining belt that forebodes the Last Battle that shall be.

'The Later Quenta Silmarillion, 'Of the Coming of the Elves', Morgoth's Ring
This version gave rise to the mention of Menelmacar that occurs in the published The Silmarillion, but any suggestion that the 'Swordsman of the Sky' is a pre-figuring of Túrin Turambar has now been removed. So while the 'Last Battle' is foretold, the identity of the 'Swordsman of the Heavens' is finally unknown. Consequently the significance of Orion to the Elves remains highly enigmatic.

Given the certain identification of Menelvagor, there is no doubt that Remmirath, 'the netted stars' (rem, net / mir, jewel / -ath, collective plural ) are the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades ).

Red Borgil ('?-star' ) is most probably Aldebaran ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldebaran ), as this bright red star 'follows' the Pleiades (although some consider that it may be another red star, Betelguese ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse ). This is much less likely: Betelguese is part of Orion whereas Borgil is above the mists before Orion is revealed when the mist is drawn away.

[Many others of the named stars above have been discussed in Meaning of the Stars ( http://forums.tolkienonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=78369 )

See also Astronomical objects in Middle-earth ( http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_astro.html ). ].
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue May 18, 2004 4:04 pm

That's the stuff to give the troops!

Here's my excursion into English land management. Which is wild theorizing and possibly total codswallop as I have never been there.

They went in single file along hedgerows and the borders of coppices.

Hedgerows were (and still are, though there is concern at the rate at which they have been disappearing in the last hundred years) a prominent feature of the English landscape that Tolkien knew. A hedgerow is a closely planted row of trees and shrubs, designed to mark a boundary and prevent livestock from straying. While costly and labor-intensive, hedges are also very durable with proper maintenance. Some English hedgerows are estimated to be seven hundred years old.

The online American Heritage Dictionary gives this definition for "coppice":

A thicket or grove of small trees or shrubs, especially one maintained by periodic cutting or pruning to encourage suckering, as in the cultivation of cinnamon trees for their bark.


The word comes from an Old French root meaning "to cut." Many trees, if cut back to stumps, will produce a number of small stems ("suckers"). "Coppicing" was a common land management practice from the Middle Ages onward; a woodland would be divided into plots that were cut year by year in a systematic rotation. The cut stems were a major source of wood for heating and charcoal-making, and for various rural crafts. The practice is presently enjoying a small renaissance in Britain, mostly because of its benefits for wildlife.

http://www.craft-show.co.uk/demonstrations/Coppice_Woodsman/

Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe

The four trees named in this line are commonly found in hedgerows.

The Crab Apple, Malus sylvestris, is one of the ancestors of the cultivated apple. Unlike the orchard tree, it has thorns.

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/crabapple.htm

Historically in England, the word "nut" by itself, without qualification, means the nut of the Hazel tree, Corylus avellana. Besides its use in hedges, and the value of its nuts to people and animals, the Hazel was also economically important, when "coppiced" (see above), as a source of firewood and fencing.

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/hazel.htm

"Thorn" by itself means the Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna. Traditionally, and still to this day, this is "the" hedgerow tree, because of its rapid growth and formidable thorns. The name means "hedge-thorn"; "haw," "hay" (as used by Tolkien - "hay" as in grass mown for fodder is a different word), and "hedge" all descend from Old English hege.

http://www.british-trees.com/guide/hawthorn.htm

"Sloe" is another name for the Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, a thorny wild plum tree. Technically "sloe" is the name of the fruit, which is inedible but used as a flavoring for liquors such as "sloe gin." Here are some pictures:

http://www.first-nature.com/trees/prunus_spinosa.htm

there were many deep brakes of hazel on the rising slopes at either hand

The online American Heritage Dictionary defines "brake" in this sense as "An area overgrown with dense brushwood, briers, and undergrowth; a thicket."
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Postby Alberich » Wed May 19, 2004 1:32 am

roaccarcsson wrote:"Thorn" by itself means the Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna


The most common folk name for the Hawthorn is the May Tree. Its blossom appears at the beginning of May in the south of England, and it is safe to assume that Tolkien imagined the hobbits on their Maytime journey travelling amongst hedgerows full of white 'mayflowers'.

The pink blossoms of Crab Apple trees would also probably have been out at this time, but both Blackthorn and Hazel flower earlier in the season (the Hazel produces catkins rather than conventional flowers).
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed May 19, 2004 12:28 pm

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! etcetera...

Ages ago, on the Sea-longing thread, I pointed out the similarities between this song and the various hymns to the Virgin Mary and added:

..the association between the sea and both the feminine, and the divine. One of the Virgin Mary's titles (in the Catholic Church), is "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea); we beseech Her to "pray for the Wanderer". I don't know the origins of this title: it is just one of those things a Catholic is brought up knowing... and which the young Ronald would surely have been familiar with.


wilko quoted a twelfth-century prayer from St Bernard of Clairvaux:

If the winds of temptation arise;
If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary;
If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary


I think the song has a stronger resemblance, in structure and tone to this hymn:

Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wanderer here below;
Thrown on life's surge, we claim thy care,
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.


Finally (wilko again): Stella Maris was also a title given to Venus (the goddess, though the association with the planet is interesting), and to Ishtar, "the ancient Goddess of the Sea", apparently represented by the Pole Star Polaris. Mariners rely on the stars for navigation, but the "guiding star" of Earendil is for all sailors in the sea of life.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri May 21, 2004 3:27 pm

The sun had gone down red behind the hills at their backs . . . "That is the way for us," said Frodo.

This paragraph was revised for the Second Edition. The First Edition read:

The sun had gone down red behind the hills at thier backs, and evening was coming on beofre they came to the end of the long level over which the road ran straight. At that point it bent somewhat southward, and began to wind again, as it entered a wood of ancient oak-trees.


This change was made, according to Christopher Tolkien, to bring the text into accordance with the published Shire-Map, as the original reflected an earlier version of the geography. HoME v. VI at 66 n. 10. CT adds:

This is also the reason for change in the second edition of "road" to "lane" (also "path," way") at almost all the many subsequent occurrences in FR pp. 86-90: it was the "lane" to Woodhall they were on, not the "road" to Stock.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Fri May 21, 2004 9:06 pm

At that point it bent left and went down into the lowlands of the Yale making for Stock

The Yale was intended to be the homeland of the Boffin family. The meaning of Yale is uncertain - in the real world it is a mythical creature ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_(mythical_creature) ) found in medieval bestiaries or a male personal name and English placename which is originally derived from the Welsh ial :
YALE m[ale name]
Usage: Welsh
From a Welsh surname which was itself derived from a place name meaning "fertile upland" (from Welsh ial ).

Behind the Name
http://www.behindthename.com/nm/y.html#yale

Curiously, despite its meaning of "fertile upland" Tolkien applies it to an area containing lowlands. CJRT details the development of the name in HOME XII:
Boffin of the Yale.

In The Lord of the Rings no 'homeland' of the Boffins is named, and in the First Edition there was no mention of the Yale; but on the original map of the Shire (frontispiece to Vol.VI [The Return of the Shadow ]) the name Boffins is written to the north of Hobbiton Hill, and Boffins are clearly associated in early texts with the village of Northope in that region, 'only a mile or two behind the Hill' (VI.319, 385). Northope was subsequently renamed Overhill, and 'Mr. Boffin at Overhill' remained into FR (p. 53).

But on the first Shire-map the name Northope was corrected, not to Overhill but to The Yale, although that name does not appear in the texts; and this must be the reference in the genealogical trees, which retained 'Boffin of the Yale' into the printed form. Much later the name was added to the Shire map in the Second Edition in a different place, south of Whitfurrows and west of Stock, and a reference was inserted into the text (FR p. 86), 'the lowlands of the Yale' (see VI.387, note 10); but the Boffin genealogy had been abandoned before the publication of the First Edition (p. 88 ).
    This was in fact an alteration (VI.298 and note 1): originally my father marked the Boffins north-west of the Woody End, and the Bolgers north of Hobbiton, subsequently changing them about; cf. VI.298, 'as far west as Woodhall (which was reckoned to be in the Boffin-country)'.
'The Family Trees', The Peoples of Middle-earth

It appears from the changes in the Second Edition that Tolkien reverted to his original conception of the Boffin homeland being north-west of Woody-end.

[The abandoned Boffin Family trees (The Peoples of Middle-earth Pp 100-101) refer to 'Boffins of the Yale' - there are no drafts referring to the Boffins coming from anywhere else]

[Edits for layout and to add clarification].
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Postby roaccarcsson » Sat May 22, 2004 8:16 am

Don't ate abandoned family trees say "Boffin of Overhill"? that was certainly where Hal's Mr. Boffin lived.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Sat May 22, 2004 9:58 am

roaccarcsson :Don't ate abandoned family trees say "Boffin of Overhill"? that was certainly where Hal's Mr. Boffin lived.

No - see the clarification appended to my previous post.
    ----------

As a matter of fact with Merry’s help he had already chosen and bought a little house at Crickhollow in the country beyond Bucklebury.

Crickhollow is a place-name in Buckland, north-east of the main settlement of Bucklebury and Brandy Hall. The -hollow element in the name (a small depression in the ground) suggests that the area is in a small valley or depression.

Bucklebury is the chief village in the Buckland, on the east side of Buck Hill. The -bury element (Old English burg, a place occupying a defensive position, walled or enclosed; a town) indicates that it may have been walled or enclosed by hedgerows - although as none are evident on the map this probably refers to the High Hay that borders all of Buckland to the east.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue May 25, 2004 3:09 pm

"O Fair Folk! This is good fortune beyond my hope," said Pippin.

Tolkien says in the "Guide to Translation" that "Fair Folk" is "based on Welsh Tylwyth teg 'the beautiful kindred' = fairies)."
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Postby MithLuin » Wed May 26, 2004 4:51 pm

Does Bilbo call the elves of Rivendell 'Fair Folk' in the Hobbit? I know he says 'Good people and goodnight', but I can't remember if he says Fair Folk.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed May 26, 2004 6:08 pm

I don't find it on the arrival at Rivendell.
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Postby MithLuin » Wed May 26, 2004 7:03 pm

Oh, the 'Good People and Good Night' is on the return home, I think.
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Postby wilko185 » Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:32 pm

The title originally give to this chapter was Three's Company and Four's More.



The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


This is identical to Bilbo's version of the song given in Chapter 1, but with "weary feet" in place of "eager feet". This casts a more ominous mood over the words, especially if we follow the analogy of the journey along the Road being the journey through Life.



"I can hear a pony or a horse coming along the road behind," said Sam.
They looked back, but the turn of the road prevented them from seeing far. "I wonder if that is Gandalf coming after us," said Frodo; but even as he said it, he had a feeling that it was not so, and a sudden desire to hide from the view of the rider came over him.


In the original draft of this passage, the Rider was Gandalf:
The sound of hoofs drew nearer. Round a turn came a white horse, and on it sat a bundle - or that is what it looked like: a small man wrapped entirely in a great cloak and hood so that only his eyes peered out, and his boots in the stirrups below.
The horse stopped when it came level with Bingo. The figure uncovered its nose and sniffed; and then sat silent as if listening. Suddenly a laugh came from inside the hood.
"Bingo my boy!" said Gandalf, throwing aside his wrappings.

HoME VI p 47
Christopher Tolkien notes
It is most curious how the description of Gandalf led into that of the Black Rider - and that the original sniff was Gandalf's!




"All right, cousin Frodo! You can keep your secret for the present, if you want to be mysterious."

Frodo is related to Pippin on both sides of his family, via Pippin's great-grandgrandparents Hildigrim Took and Rosa Baggins. Hildgrim was the brother of Frodo's mother's mother. And Frodo's father's father was first cousin to Rosa.



Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!


This annotation may better belong to the verse Frodo hears in the Hall of Fire (o galadhremmin ennorath, "from tree-tangled Middle-earth"), or to Frodo's song in the Old Forest (O! Wanderers in the shadowed land / despair not! For though dark they stand, / all woods there be must end at last).

In Author of the Century Tom Shippey points out that the invocation to something beyond "the world of woven trees", is a recurring theme, and is similar to this from Milton's Comus:
"'Twould be some solace yet, some little cheering
In this close dungeon of innumerous boughs."




"Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod."

In HoME 6 p 72 CT notes:
At this time Finrod was the name of the third son of Finwë (first Lord of the Noldor). This was later changed to Finarfin, when Inglor Felagund his son took over the name Finrod (see I.44), but my father did not change 'of the house of Finrod' here (FR p. 89) to 'of the house of Finarfin' in the second edition of The Lord of the Rings.
Inglorion means "son of Inglor", but it appears that Inglorion must refer to a different Inglor than Felagund, who was childless.



Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt. The Elves all burst into song.

It has been calculated [probably by the Encyclopedia of Arda, but I can't find the link] that on September 15, Menelgavor (Orion) would appear over the horizon at 1:10am GMT, which should be a good approximation of the time the Elves start singing, in Shire time.



"And it is also said," answered Frodo: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."
"Is it indeed?" laughed Gildor. "Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill"


The reluctance of the Elves to give counsel is seen later [where this annotation should (also) go?], when Galadriel shows Frodo the Mirror.
"Do you advise me to look?" asked Frodo.
"No," she said. "I do not counsel you one way or the other. I am not a counsellor."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:19 pm

Wilko, good on ya, mate!

Some suggested additions:

To the Finrod/Finarfin discussion: The final paragraph of the First Edition of LotR (footnotes aside) said of the Elves that "their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finrod." In this instance, Tolkien changed "Finrod" to "Finarfin" in the Second Edition.

To the discussion of "counsel": The reluctance of the elves to provide "counsel" may be related to a central theme of LotR: The importance of respecting the free will of others. In Bk. II, ch. 10, Boromir begins his attempt to take the Ring from Frodo by saying, "You need counsel in your hard choice. Will you not take mine?"

Regarding the note on Pippin's calling Frodo "cousin": I have done annotations to the previous chapter detailing the kinship ties between Frodo and Merry/Pippin/Fatty Bolger. There is absolutely no harm in repeating the information, but a cross-reference might be in order. (In the final form of the project I assume that we may want to have multiple links to the same note.)
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:07 am

‘These are High Elves! They spoke the name of Elbereth!’ said Frodo in amazement, ‘Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. Not many now remain in Middle-earth, east of the Great Sea. This is indeed a strange chance!’

In The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien explains where Gildor and his companions had been.
The High-Elves (such as did not dwell in or near the Havens) journeyed to the Tower Hills at intervals to look afar at Eressëa (the Elvish isle) and the Shores of Valinor, close to which it lay. [...].

No doubt Gildor and his companions (Vol. I., Chap. 3), since they appear to have been going eastward, were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantír of the Tower Hills. On such visits they were sometimes rewarded by a vision, clear but remote, of Elbereth, as a majestic figure, shining white, standing upon the mountain Oiolosse (S. Uilos). It was then that she was also addressed by the title Fanuilos.

The High Elves made pilgrimages to the stone of Elendil in order to look at the Undying Lands. Their song (which Frodo translates into the Common Speech) was a hymn to Elbereth. (See also Book II, Chapter One, Many Meetings ).
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Postby MithLuin » Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:31 pm

In this meeting there may be more than chance

Gildor recognizes the fate or divine providence that occasionally enters the story, though he does not know about the Ring and therefore does not know the reason for it.

we will send our messages through the lands. The Wandering Companies shall know of your journey, and those that have power for good shall be on the watch.

Gildor is true to his word. Most of the help that Frodo receives on his way to Rivendell is a direct result of Gildor's messages. Tom Bombadil, Aragorn and Glorfindel all received word that "the Nine were abroad, and that [Frodo was] astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned." (see The Flight to the Ford)

I name you Elf-friend

This is an official title already born by Bilbo, but also by many of the famous human warriors of old. For more information, see Goldberry's comment and Elrond's at the Council.

Edit: I misremembered, I guess. The 'Fair Folk' are mentioned before Pippin's comment, but it is merely earlier in 'Three is Company': his heart was moved suddenly with a desire to see the house of Elrond Halfelven, and breathe the air of that deep valley where many of the Fair Folk still dwelt in peace.

If you want my advice, make for Rivendell.

Gandalf decides that the Ring will go to Rivendell, and he does so early enough so that 'chance' can bring everyone who needs to be there to the Council of Elrond. Faramir's dreams began in June, which would be after this conversation between Gandalf and Frodo.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:01 pm

A mile or two further south they hastily crossed the great road from the Brandywine Bridge; they were now in the Tookland and bending south-eastwards they made for the Green Hill Country. As they began to climb its first slopes they looked back and saw the lamps in Hobbiton far off twinkling...

In the First Edition this passage read:
They were now in Tookland and going southwards; but a mile or two further on they crossed the main road from Michel Delving (in the Hornblower country) to Bywater and Brandywine Bridge. Then they struck south-east and began to climb...

The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVI, Note 9.

This is the only recorded reference to the Hornblower folkland. Other commentators (notably Robert Foster) have assumed this was in the Southfarthing based on Tobold Hornblower's activities there.
    ----------
'[...]Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. [...]'

CJRT notes that the First Edition read :
'[...] I did not know that any of that fairest folk were ever seen in the Shire. [...]'

The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVI, Note 12.
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Postby MithLuin » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:50 pm

Queen B wrote:
Two or three weeks had passed...

Early/mid May then?


Actually, no. In 'Strider,' Aragorn informs us that he met Gandalf at Sarn Ford on May 1st. At this meeting, Gandalf informed Aragorn of Frodo's plan to leave for Rivendell in Sept.

So, that means that this conversation had to take place before May 1st. The last chapter closed on April 13th. Therefore, this chapter opens in late April, April 27-30th. Three weeks had not passed, but perhaps more than two had ;).

As far as I know, Gandalf's absense from Bag End that day is not commented on anywhere else (not by the hobbits, not at the Council of Elrond, and not in the Appendices). Sarn Ford is perhaps 100 miles (33 leagues) from Hobbiton, so Gandalf's journey there and back would take some time. This is not really an omission, since we are not told about anything that happens after the conversation until Frodo sells Bag End in June.

For an annotation, I would merely write:

April 27-30th. This conversation takes place prior to May 1st. See p. 169 in 'Strider'
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Postby MithLuin » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:07 pm

Though he kept himself very quiet and did not go about by day, it was well known that he was 'hiding up in the Bag End'.

Gandalf did not always stay in Bag End. He made a trip south to Sarn Ford around May 1st. See p. 169 of 'Strider'. He may have gone out at night for news. Most likely, this news would be from elves or Rangers(right?).

He went off at dawn.

He left on horse. See p. 250 of the Council of Elrond for an account of Gandalf's activities between June and October.

the corn was tall and full

While in America 'corn' refers exclusively to maize [http://www.doa.sarawak.gov.my/maize.jpg ], it is used by British speakers to refer to the typical grain of an area. In England, it would refer to wheat [http://www.vdacs.state.va.us/grain/images/wheat.gif]. Maize is a New World plant, so it would be anachronistic in the Shire. Tolkien is here refering to wheat.

(Okay, this is an attempt by an American to decipher this. Please feel free to laugh at me! [But only if you correct me ;)])

Edit: Okay, is this better?

Thursday, his birthday morning

Recall that Sept. 22nd is always on a Thursday in Shire Reckoning, and that Thursday is equivalent to our Saturday.

the next morning

Sept. 23, 3018

In the end she departed with Lotho and the spare key and the promise that the other key would be left at the Gamgees' in Bagshot Row. She snorted and showed plainly that she thought the Gamgees capable of plundering the hole during the night.

Lobelia's behavior is, of course, rude. While it is not unusual to want the key to one's house, it was not the custom in Hobbiton to lock up at night. See p. 97 of 'A Conspiracy Unmasked'
Last edited by MithLuin on Fri Aug 06, 2004 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Aravar » Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:00 am

Mithluin, 'corn', on its own, in England is used to refer almost exclusively to wheat. I very much doubt that Tolkien had maize in mind at all.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:30 pm

Then one evening at the end of June, soon after Frodo's plan had been finally arranged, he suddenly announced that he was going off again next morning.

The date of Gandalf's departure is not given in Appendix B. According to Tolkien's account of events from Sauron's point of view, written after the publication of FotR but before the compilation of the Appendices, Sauron sent the Nazgûl in search of the Ring at about this time; the attack on Osgiliath, dated June 20 in Appendix B, was undertaken as a cover for their crossing of Anduin. Because Sauron had been misled by Gollum, however, their initial search was conducted east of the Misty Mountains:
Now Sauron had never paid heed to the "Halflings," even if he had heard of them, and he did not yet know where their land lay. From Gollum, even under pain, he could not get any clear account, both because Gollum indeed had no certain knowledge himself, and because what he knew he falsified. Ultimately indomitable he was, except by death, as Sauron did not fully comprehend, being himself consumed by lust for the Ring. Then he became filled with a hatred for Sauron even greater than his terror, seeing in him truly his greatest enemy and rival. Thus it was that he dared to pretend that he believed that the land of the Halflings was near to the places where he had once dwelt beside the banks of the Gladden.

"The Hunt for the Ring," Unfinished Tales at 352 (1st US paperback).

Thin-clad birches, swaying in a light wind above their heads, made a black net against the pale sky.

The common species of birch throughout Britain is the Silver Birch, Betula pendula, though other species are also found.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5nldxl
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:57 am

An amendment (given in red) for my previous post regarding the stars and constellations named in this chapter as I recently noted something in Letters (#347, (1972)):

Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. [...]

Red Borgil (born 'hot, red' & gil 'star' ) is most probably Aldebaran ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldebaran ), as this bright red star 'follows' the Pleiades (although some consider that it may be another red star, Betelguese ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse ). This is much less likely: Betelguese is part of Orion whereas Borgil is above the mists before Orion is revealed when the mist is drawn away.
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:41 am

Excellent annotations everyone :) It's a delight to reread LotR with these notes beside you. I can only add a few minor details.


It was the last drop of Old Winyards.

The Old Winyards were acquired by Bilbo’s father Bungo, who died in 1326, so these bottles had lain in Bag End for at least 92 years.


But Lobelia can perhaps be forgiven: she had been obliged to wait about seventy-seven years longer for Bag End than she once hoped, and she was now a hundred years old.

According to the Boffin family tree in HoME 12, she was born in 1318.


Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
etc.


The comparison with the hymns to the Virgin Mary is fascinating, I didn't know that she was called "star of the sea".

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that this song is about Varda? It's obvious to us of course, but this song could be rather obscure to a Tolkien novice.

A hymn in honour of Varda, who made the stars.

With Manwë dwells Varda, Lady of the Stars, who knows all the regions of Eä. Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or of Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy. Out of the deeps of Eä she came to the aid of Manwë; for Melkor she knew from before the making of the Music and rejected him, and he hated her, and feared her more than all others whom Eru made. .......................
Of all the Great Ones who dwell in this world the Elves hold Varda most in reverence and love. Elbereth they name her, and they call upon her name out of the shadows of Middle-earth, and uplift it in song at the rising of the stars.
(from Valaquenta)
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:57 pm

As for Crickhollow, the first element might be Old Welsh creic, meaning 'crag' or 'rock'. I don't know how common this element is in english place-names so it might be a mere coincidence that there is a 'Crick Road' in Oxford, just north of the University Parks, and less than half a mile from Tolkiens home in Northmoor Road.
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