The Annotated LotR - A Conspiracy Unmasked

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The Annotated LotR - A Conspiracy Unmasked

Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:25 pm

I have taken the liberty of beginning a new thread, since it has been 3 weeks since the last chapter opened. Contributions from *everyone* are welcome. Constructive criticism of others' contributions is also very helpful. Please see -Romestamo-'s Sticky Thread for an Index of other threads related to the Annotation Project.

Note from the Editor: I will be unable to edit this post for a bit, but I would encourage people to continue adding annotations. When I return, I will edit in all of the new additions. I apologize for the delay.

A Conspiracy Unmasked p. 96-106

They turned down the Ferry lane, which was straight and well-kept and edged with large white-washed stones. In a hundred yards or so it brought them to the river-bank, where there was a broad wooden landing-stage.

Tolkien often drew sketches to assist him while he was writing. A surviving unfinished drawing of this vista has been reproduced in J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator as Drawing 146 Untitled (Brandywine Ferry). Clearly seen are the white-washed stones lining the path, and on each river-bank, six white bollards, two lamps on high posts and a wooden landing-stage. Also evident are Buck Hill, the winding path leading up to Brandy Hall and the yellow and red round windows. A large flat ferryboat poled by a single figure is also visible.

large flat ferry-boat

Here is a picture of a Flat ferry boat:
http://www.inheritage.org/almanack/imag ... ene/09.jpg

The white bollards near the water's edge glimmered in the light of two lamps on high posts.

bollard - from Middle English bole, a tree trunk. Bollards are large posts used to secure ropes on a wharf or prevent vehicles from entering a path.

Long ago Gorhendad Oldbuck, head of the Oldbuck family, one of the oldest in the Marish or indeed in the Shire, had crossed the river, which was the original boundary eastwards. He built (and excavated) Brandy Hall, changed his name to Brandybuck

According to the genealogy of the Brandybucks in Appendix C, this happened circa 740 S.R. (2340 TA, see the Tale of Years in Appendix B).
According to the "Guide to Names," Gorhendad is Welsh for "great-grandfather." An alternative to Tolkien's translation may be ancestor or patriarch.

The people in the Marish were friendly with the Bucklanders

Marish is an old form of "marsh."

Marish is a region in the East Farthing of the Shire. It was a stretch of land on the western side of the Brandywine across the river from Buckland. Parts of this region were rough and boggy, but much of the land was fertile and the Marish was home to many farms including Bamfurlong belonging to Farmer Maggot. (For details about Farmer Maggot see Annotated chapter: "A Short Cut to Mushrooms")

the farmers between Stock and Rushey

The guide to Names says of "Rushey":

'Rush isle'; in origin a 'hard' among the fens of the Marish. The element ey, y in the sense 'small island' (= Swedish ö, Danish ø, Old Norse ey) is very frequent in English place names. The German equivalent is Aue 'riverside land, water meadow', which would not be unsuitable in this case.


Though as a matter of fact, they were not very different from the other hobbits of the Four Farthings.

For more information about the Four Farthings and the Shire, please see the annotations of the Prologue.

Their land was originally unprotected from the East; but on that side they had built a hedge: the High Hay. It had been planted many generations ago, and was now thick and tail, for it was constantly tended.

Left to itself, a hedge will turn into a row of mature trees that have shaded out the growth underneath them. To prevent this, the larger stems have to be cut off at regular intervals to stimulate new growth, either completely ("coppicing"), or partway, so that the cut stems will form a barrier while the new growth arises ("laying").

http://www.hedgelayer.freeserve.co.uk/hedlan.htm

It ran all the way from Brandywine Bridge, in a big loop curving away from the river, to Haysend (where the Withywindle flowed out of the Forest into the Brandywine): well over twenty miles from end to end.

JRRT notes in his 'Guide to Names' that 'hay' in High Hay, Hay Gate, Hayward and Haysend means 'hedge'.
Haysend. The end of the hay or boundary-hedge (not hay 'dried grass'). Translate as 'hedge's end'.
Compare High Hay.
'A Guide to Names in The Lord of the Ring.'

"Hay" is from Old English haga. The same root is found in "hawthorn," lit. "hedge-thorn"; OE "g" became "y" or "w" in different phonetic environments. Modern "hedge" is from OE hecg. According to Clark Hall's Dictionary, haga can connote a hedge used to fortify an enclosure, which is appropriate to this context.
"Hay" meaning "dried grass" is from OE hieg.

Haysend was a settlement of hobbits within Buckland where the barrier hedge came to its Southern end.

The Withywindle River was a small winding river flowing through the Dingle, a wooded valley within the Old Forest. Tolkien commented on the name:
Withywindle. River-name in the Old Forest, intended to be in the language of the Shire. It was a winding river bordered by willows (withies). Withy- is not uncommon in English place-names, but -windle does not actually occur (Withywindle was modelled on withywind, a name of the convolvulus or bindweed).
ibid.

"Withy" is from Old English wíþig. The name came to be applied not to the tree itself, but to cut willow branches, used in a variety of traditional trades and crafts, especially basketry. Willows are still cultivated commercially for withies in Somerset, England, although the industry has fallen on hard times according to this website:

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/levels/Withy.htm

"Willow" is from another Old English word, welig.

Sam was the only member of the party who had not been over the river before.

Merry Brandybuck grew up in Buckland. Merry's mother and Pippin's father are sister and brother. So, it is natural that Pippin has visited his relatives in Buckland. Frodo lived in Buckland (in Brandy Hall, in fact) when he was orphaned (from the age of 12 to 21). He moved to Hobbiton when Bilbo adopted him.

On the far stage, under the distant lamps, they could just make out a figure: it looked like a dark black bundle left behind. But as they looked it seemed to move and sway this way and that, as if searching the ground. It then crawled, or went crouching, back into the gloom beyond the lamps.

This Rider seen on the far side of the Buckleberry Ferry was Khamûl the Easterling, of Dol Guldur. The Ringwraith's fear of water is given as an explanation to why the Riders did not cross the Ferry to come after the Ring.
My father nowhere explained the Ringwraiths' fear of water.
<snip> and it reappears in detailed notes on the movement of the Black Riders in the Shire: thus of the Rider (who was in fact Khamûl of Dol Guldur, see note 1) seen on the far side of Bucklebury Ferry just after the Hobbits had crossed (The Fellowship of the Ring I 5) it is said that "he was well aware that the Ring had crossed the river; but the river was a barrier to his sense of its movement and that the Nazgûl would not touch the "Elvish" waters of Baranduin. But it is not made clear how they crossed other rivers that lay in their path, such as the Greyflood, where there was only "a dangerous ford formed by the ruins of the bridge" (p. 277). My father did indeed note that the idea was difficult to sustain.


Unfinished Tales, The Hunt for The Ring

It would be easier to argue that the river was too deep or strong for the horse than to maintain that the Nazgul could not cross water.

They can go twenty miles north to Brandywine Bridge

On the final map, Brandywine Bridge is only 10 miles north of Buckleberry Ferry, because the High Hay is only 'well over 20 miles from end to end' Buckleberry Ferry is about halfway between the Bridge and Haysend. Merry might mean that the Riders would have to go north, cross the Bridge, and travel another 10 mi. south, though that is an awkward interpretation of what he says.

Christopher Tolkien discusses this inconsistency in 'The Return of the Shadow':
The great hedge is still ‘something over forty miles from end to end.’ In answer to Bingo’s question ‘Can horses cross the river?’ Merry answers: ‘They can go fifteen miles to Brandywine Bridge’, with ‘20?’ pencilled over ‘fifteen’. In FR the High Hay is ‘well over twenty miles from end to end’, yet Merry still says: ‘They can go twenty miles north to Brandywine Bridge.’ Barbara Strachey (Journeys of Frodo, Map 6) points out this difficulty, and assumes that Merry ‘meant 20 miles in all - 10 miles north to the Bridge and 10 miles south on the other side’; but this is to strain the language: Merry did not mean that. It is in fact an error which my father never observed: when the length of Buckland from north to south was reduced, Merry’s estimate of the distance from the Bridge to the Ferry should have been changed commensurately. -- VI (p. 298)


Bilbo slowed down, and then hey presto! he vanished.

"Presto" is Italian for "fast," and is best known as a tempo marking in music, faster than allegro and slower than prestissimo. It thus looks at first glance like an anachronism, there being no equivalent of Italian in Tolkien's linguistic scheme. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, however, the word has been used by conjurors as the conventional "magic word" to make an object disappear since the middle of the 16th century. It thus qualifies as a thoroughly naturalized English word.

Interestingly, the word presto could be considered Sindarin (within the story): in Sindarin, presto is the verb imperative of the word presta-. Presta- is the verb stem meaning affect or change. (Ety/380)

And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught. After which, I may say, he seemed to regard himself as on parole, and dried up.

Another puzzling statement. Sam was caught at the end of the very lengthy conversation Gandalf and Frodo had on April 13th. Since this was the first time Frodo learned about the Ring, Sam was clearly not able to report this information to Merry and Pippin prior to being caught. It seems that he reported everything he had heard that day (even though he was on parole) and then refrained from further spying (although this did not prevent him from eavesdropping on Frodo's conversation with Gildor). He may have considered it unfair to report information that was openly given to him in confidence.

It was made on the model of the dwarf-song that started Bilbo on his adventure long ago, and went to the same tune:

The dwarves' song can be found in Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party in the Hobbit. The song recounts the events surrounding Smaug's sacking of the Lonely Mountain. The original is much longer, and begins:

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold


The song had quite an effect on Bilbo, though the music was perhaps more responsible than the words:
As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.

There are six ponies in a stable across the fields

In earlier drafts, the conspirators had not planned to leave one person behind. In that draft, the six ponies are one for each hobbit, plus one for the baggage. In the final version, Merry still procures six ponies, but now four are for the hobbits going on the Quest, one is for the baggage, and one is for Fatty, who will be left behind, but will see them off. As all six ponies are used the next morning, Merry's statement is not so much an error (there are six ponies) as mildly perplexing.

The gate-guards would not let them through by night, though they might break through

There was a gate at the northern end of the High Hay where it met the Great East Road. This gate - called the North-gate, the Hay Gate, or the Buckland Gate - was guarded to prevent strangers from entering Buckland from the Road. Hob Hayward was one of the gate-guards.

http://www.tuckborough.net/otherbuildings.html

His family came from the East Farthing, from Budgeford in Bridgefields in fact

This town is marked on the map of the Shire. The 'ford' referred to is a ford over The Water, the same stream that goes through Hobbiton. The 'bridge' is likely the Brandywine Bridge. Budgeford is the home town of the Bolgers, as Brandy Hall is the home of the Brandybucks.

In the "Guide to Names," Tolkien said this concerning "Budgeford":
Budge was an obscured element, having at the time no clear meaning. Since it was the main residence of the Bolger family (a hobbit name not to be translated) it may be regarded as a corruption of the element bolge, bulge. Both Bolger and Bulger occur as surnames in England. Whatever their real origin, they are used in the story to suggest that they were in origin nicknames referring to fatness, tubbiness.

"Bridgefields" is not included in the "Guide to Names," no doubt because Tolkien felt that the meaning was obvious.

but he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge.

Fatty came to Buckland with Merry and the last cart (see p. 67 of 'Three is Company'). The other two carts definately took the Brandywine Bridge to reach Crickhollow (see p. 66), so there is no reason to suspect that Fatty did not. Fatty Bolger grew up only 10 mi. from the Brandywine Bridge, so this statement is odd. Most likely, this is an oversight by JRR Tolkien, and was merely meant to explain that Fatty had not been outside the Shire.

Last Updated: Sept. 7, 2004
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:26 pm

Mine, my own...
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:27 pm

My precious :)
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:25 pm

He fell into a vague dream

Frodo occasionally has extrordinary dreams. In this one, he seems to see one of the towers on the Tower Hills, and hears the sea, even though he has never seen these things in his life. For the meaning of this dream, see the Annotation on p. 6-7 of the Prologue. He has had dreams about mountains, which he has not seen either, as well (see p. 42 of 'The Shadow of the Past') Other significant dreams occur on both nights in the House of Tom Bombadil (p. 125 & 132), while more ordinary ones occur in Bree (p. 173), and in the wild (p.197, p.641). The poem 'The Sea Bell' that can be found in 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil' is also subtitled 'Frodo's Dreme' even though it was not written by him.

My thought is that something about Frodo's dreams can be written in this chapter, and then the other dreams can refer back to this annotation. If so, what else should be added to it?
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Postby Ravens_Tor » Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:49 am

Methinks that Mithluin has lost the plot, and has started talking to themselves. Thought I might come and keep you company.

On the subject of the bridge, Barbara Strachey commented on this in her Journeys of Frodo, and I believe I'm right in saying Christopher Tolkien puts us right in Return of the Shadow. The final map is correct, and the miscalculation given by Merry is indeed an oversight from the earliest writings. Later, at the end of 'A Conspiracy Unmasked', he also states that there are "six ponies in the stables across the fields", which CT similarly highlights in RS. I doubt very much that Frodo would have trusted Merry with something like finding him a new home if the hobbit was unreliable and prone to great errors.
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Postby wilko185 » Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:39 pm

From *this collection of errata*:
    The great hedge is still ‘something over forty miles from end to end.’ In answer to Bingo’s question ‘Can horses cross the river?’ Merry answers: ‘They can go fifteen miles to Brandywine Bridge’, with ‘20?’ pencilled over ‘fifteen’. In FR the High Hay is ‘well over twenty miles from end to end’, yet Merry still says: ‘They can go twenty miles north to Brandywine Bridge.’ Barbara Strachey (Journeys of Frodo, Map 6) points out this difficulty, and assumes that Merry ‘meant 20 miles in all - 10 miles north to the Bridge and 10 miles south on the other side’; but this is to strain the language: Merry did not mean that. It is in fact an error which my father never observed: when the length of Buckland from north to south was reduced, Merry’s estimate of the distance from the Bridge to the Ferry should have been changed commensurately. -- VI (p. 298)

  • It ran all the way from Brandywine Bridge, in a big loop curving away from the river, to Haysend (where the Withywindle flowed out of the Forest into the Brandywine): well over twenty miles from end to end. -- FR1 (p. 142) - FR2 (p. 131)
  • ‘Can horses cross the river?’
    ‘They can go twenty miles north to Brandywine Bridge—or they might swim,’
    answered Merry. -- FR1 (p. 143) - FR2 (p. 132)


That page also brings up the "mistake" of Merry having six ponies for the hobbits. However, I do not think this is an error, as Fatty rode a pony as far as the gate in the High Hay along with the other four hobbits (plus the baggage pony).
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Postby pippinsqueak » Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:57 pm

I think there might be another error in this chapter (and forgive me if this has been pointed out before) where it says very near the end of Fatty Bolger His family came from the Eastfarthing, from Budgeford in Bridgefields in fact, but he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge.

This is an odd statement to characterize the fact that Fatty doesn't travel, because three days earlier he had been in Hobbiton helping Frodo to pack and travelling back in the cart with Merry. Perhaps they used the Bucklebury Ferry rather than the Brandywine Bridge on their return trip, but that route seems less convenient than the direct route along the East Road to the Bridge. To take the ferry they would have to bear right just before the Bridge, go all the way through Stock, take the ferry and then double back on the other side of the river to Crickhollow.

Or am I missing something?
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Postby Ravens_Tor » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:07 pm

As for that comment, Pippinsqueak, I think the point Tolkien was making was that Fatty had never been over the Brandywine Bridge hitherto the departure of Frodo from Bag-End. And I don't buy the claim that the sixth pony was ridden by Fatty to the Hedge. Merry's point at that time was that they were ready to travel at that very moment. So do you think that they would have waited a day or so to get a pony for Fatty to travel on just to see them off?! Hmm, let me think now, Black Riders on my trail... Besides, CJRT clearly states in RS,

A curious trace of this stage survives in the published text. Since Odo's
(the precursor to Fatty in this sense)
staying behind had not formed part of the 'conspiracy', Merry had prepared six ponies, five for the hobbits and one for the baggage. When the story changed, and Fredegar Bolger's task 'according to the original plans of the conspirators' (FR p. 118) was expressly to stay behind, this detail was overlooked, and the six ponies remained at this point (FR p. 117).
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Postby pippinsqueak » Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:47 pm

As for that comment, Pippinsqueak, I think the point Tolkien was making was that Fatty had never been over the Brandywine Bridge hitherto the departure of Frodo from Bag-End.


Certainly that's the only interpretation that will fit the facts, but I think it's an error, because Professor Tolkien was very careful with words, and if he had meant hitherto he would have said hitherto. (just as he had Gandalf say 'hitherto' so pointedly in The Shadow of the Past: 'To tell you the truth,' replied Gandalf, 'I believe that hitherto - hitherto, mark you - he has entirely overlooked the existence of hobbits. )

Also, doesn't it strike you as strange that Fatty Bolger's mother, Rosamunda, who is second cousin to Merry's mother Esmerelda Brandybuck (nee Took), had never taken her son to Bucklebury for a visit? And then we have Fatty as a great friend of Frodo's but this must be a friendship that wasn't forged until after Frodo went to live with Bilbo at the age of 21, as Frodo before then was inocommunicado across the Brandywine, (though the distance from Budgeford to Hobbiton is far greater than the distance from Budgeford to Bucklebury.) Fatty must also be a friend of Merry's because Merry chose to bring him into the conspiracy (I doubt that decision could have been Pippin's, as he would very likely have deferred to his elder cousin in such matters), yet Fatty has never visited Merry at Brandy Hall. It just seems odd.

And I don't buy the claim that the sixth pony was ridden by Fatty to the Hedge.


Why would Fatty walk while the others rode (and he did accompany them to the hedge)? Tolkien simply says when they set out from the stable "They mounted, and soon they were riding off into the mist." Doesn't the inconsistency lie in the fact that when Merry says "There are six ponies in a stable across the fields; stores and tackle are all packed, except for a few extra clothes, and the perishable food." the implication is that all six ponies are intended for the journey?
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Postby wilko185 » Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:48 am

I know that CT thinks that the 6th pony was an overlooked detail (the HoME quote is given in the page I linked earlier). However, I really don't see the inconsistency it creates.
Merry's point at that time was that they were ready to travel at that very moment. So do you think that they would have waited a day or so to get a pony for Fatty to travel on just to see them off?! Hmm, let me think now, Black Riders on my trail...
But they weren't on his trail when Merry was getting ready. Why assume that six ponies would take any longer (much less a day or so) to acquire than five? Merry was ready to depart the next day, but he wasn't aware that it would be necessary because Frodo was being pursued. Being the resourceful member of the group, he would be prepared for every eventuality. We don't even know when Fatty decided he wouldn't be going, maybe Merry got a sixth pony just in case Fatty would be travelling with them further than the borders of the Shire. Whatever, Fatty did need a pony to go with them as far as he did.

the implication is that all six ponies are intended for the journey?

Perhaps. Though given that there *is* a sixth pony there, for reasonable reasons IMO, the alternative would have been for Merry to say something clumsy like "There are five ponies plus a spare in a stable across the fields; stores and tackle are all packed, except for a few extra clothes, and the perishable food."
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Postby rowanberry » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:05 am

I hope my little addition is not completely out of place...

Long ago Gorhendad Oldbuck, head of the Oldbuck family, one of the oldest in the Marish or indeed in the Shire, had crossed the river, which was the original boundary eastwards. He built (and excavated) Brandy Hall, changed his name to Brandybuck

According to the genealogy of the Brandybucks in Appendix C, this happened circa 740 S.R.
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:46 am

Thank you, rowanberry, that isn't out of place at all :).

As far as this (he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge) goes, I think that pippinsqueak has a point - it is an odd statement. Fatty grew up 10 mi. from the Brandywine Bridge, and seems to be friends with people in Buckland. Hobbiton is more like 30-40 mi. from Budgeford, and we know that he helped Frodo move and came to Bilbo's party. It is implied that he visited often enough.

So, what can be meant here? The Brandywine Bridge leads to Buckland, of course, but it is also clearly a border of the Shire - the High Hay goes to that point, and the East Road to Bree is definately going off into the Unknown. Fatty is afraid of the Old Forest, and has no desire to see things outside of the Shire. So, it would be possible to interpret that statement as "Fatty had never been past the Brandywine Bridge" - that's cheating, I know, but it makes a lot more sense. That way, Fatty could have been in Buckland, but never outside the Shire.

The only other possibility is to assume Merry and Fatty took the Ferry, and that Merry and Frodo frequently visited Fatty at Budgeford, since he was in-between Buckland and Hobbiton. A possible reading, I guess. What do other people think?

Edit:
Sam was the only member of the party who had not been over the river before.
Merry Brandybuck grew up in Buckland. Merry's mother and Pippin's father are sister and brother. So, it is natural that Pippin has visited his relatives in Buckland. Frodo lived in Buckland (in Brandy Hall, in fact) when he was orphaned (from the age of 12 to 21). He moved to Hobbiton when Bilbo adopted him.
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Postby pippinsqueak » Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:06 pm

Sam was the only member of the party who had not been over the river before.


Excellent catch, Mithluin!

So if Sam is the only one who had never been over the River before then Fatty has been over it, and if he has never been over the Brandywine Bridge then he must always go by way of the Bucklebury Ferry, which makes no sense at all, because it is a much more out-of-the-way route. I'm not familiar enough with HoME, but I'm guessing this mistake is another artefact of all the changes the good Professor kept making to the first chapters, substituting and deleting characters with some abandon.

Can anyone else cast more light on this?
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:15 pm

Gorhendad

Add that according to the "Guide to Names," "Gorhendad" is Welsh for "great-grandfather." (Taking the Prof's word for it. No online Welsh dictionary that I can find recognizes the word. Any Welsh-speakers here? Where's ddraigwen?)

In the "Guide to Names," Tolkien said this concerning "Budgeford":
Budge was an obscured element, having at the time no clear meaning. Since it was the main residence of the Bolger family (a hobbit name not to be translated) it may be regarded as a corruption of the element bolge, bulge. Both Bolger and Bulger occur as surnames in England. Whatever their real origin, they are used in the story to suggest that they were in origin nicknames referring to fatness, tubbiness.

"Bridgefields" is not included in the "guide to Names," no doubt because Tolkien felt that the meaning was obvious.
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:36 pm

pippinsqueak wrote:
Excellent catch, Mithluin!


Well, not really ;). I decided to annotate that, since we were on the subject, but 'the party' refers only to Frodo, Pippin and Sam (who have walked across the Shire) and Merry (who has met them at the Ferry). Fatty has stayed behind in Crickhollow (setting things in order, I guess). So, this merely states that Sam is a stay-at-home as well. Of course, for him, that is natural. It is so much more problematic for Fatty!

Actually, let's discuss how 'out of the way' the Ferry is. They passed Buck Hill and Brandy Hall on their left, and on the outskirts of Bucklebury struck the main road of Buckland that ran south from the Bridge. Half a mile northward along this they came to a lane opening on their right. This they followed for a couple of miles as it climbed up and down into the country. Assuming I understand the map, the Ferry is about 10 miles from the Bridge. There is a north-south road running from the Bridge to Standelf (which is south of the Ferry by a good bit). The lane leading to Crickhollow is only half a mile north of Bucklebury. So, you really don't come too far out of your way south if you take the Ferry, rather than the Bridge. So, why would someone want to travel south on the west side of the River, rather than the east side? I have an answer, and I think it is the best I can do: The Golden Perch in Stock, the best beer in the East Farthing. :D

While I think it odd to say that Fatty had not been in Buckland before this trip, I find it quite reasonable to assume that he did not cross the Bridge on this particular trip. Perhaps, if his destination is Brandy Hall, he would always take the Ferry...but they don't keep boats on the West side, so that would be a bit awkward, wouldn't it? Oh, that won't do at all! You can't move several cartloads if you don't have a boat on your side. And sure enough.... On September 20th two covered carts went off laden to Buckland, conveying the furniture and goods that Frodo had not sold to his new home, by way of the Brandywine Bridge.... (a birthday party, at which Pippin, Merry, Folco and Fatty are present, happens) ... The next morning they were busy packing another cart with the remainder of the luggage. Merry took charge of this, and drove off with Fatty (that is Fredegar Bolger). 'Someone must get there and warm the house before you arrive,' said Merry. 'Well, see you later - the day after tomorrow, if you don't go to sleep on the way!'

Just great, I had such a lovely theory, and it had to get thorny. Now, the only explanation that fits all the written facts is getting quite cumbersome! Fatty always wrote ahead when he was planning to visit Brandy Hall, so Merry (or the other Brandybucks) would meet him at the Ferry. This arrangement was chosen over the equi-distant path down the East side of the river for two reasons: Fatty mistrusts Buckland as being outside the Shire proper, and feels more at home travelling within the East Farthing, and reason two: The Golden Perch at Stock, the best beer in the East Farthing :D.
On the particular trip with Merry to Crickhollow, carts have been sent ahead, so the drivers of these carts could be given instructions: have someone meet Merry and Fatty at the Ferry (either a driver, or just have the message delivered to Buck Hall). Workable enough, but would *you* try to put a cart loaded with someone else's belongings onto a Ferry? Especially when you know about a very conveniently located Bridge... A large flat ferry-boat was moored beside it.... Merry led the pony over a gangway on to the ferry. Clearly, it is big enough, but still, would you really go to all that trouble? Is *the best beer in the East Farthing* really worth it?

What do other people think?
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:41 pm

Oldbuck anglicized form of H family name - Zaragamba [see Hob]
Gorhendad anglicized form of H; in Welsh the name implies 'patriarch' [gor = over, hen = old, dad = father (hen-dad = grandfather)]; the name originated in the tongues of the Anduin vales, probably related to Dunlendish; the actual H name was Ogmandab; changed the family name to Brandybuck


Source: http://www.quicksilver899.com/Tolkien/LOTR/LOTR_MQ.html

ancestor n. hynafiad (hynafiaid) m&f, cyndad(-au) m, cyndaid (cyndeidiau) m, hendad(-au) m


Source: http://www.swan.ac.uk/uwp/wa59.htm

It is not supposable that the Aryan nations were without a term for grandfather in the original speech, ... yet there is no common term for this relationship in the Aryan dialects. In Sanskrit we have pitameha, in Greek poppos, in Latin ovus, in Russian djed, in Welsh hendad, which last is a compound like the German grosswader and the English grandfather. These terms are radically different.


Source: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archi ... y/ch25.htm

tad-cu (S.Wales) = grandfather
taid (N. Wales) = grandfather


Source: http://www.red4.co.uk/welsh/dictionary/w2e/t.htm

I know nothing about Welsh, but I thought this might be helpful.
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Postby pippinsqueak » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:12 am

What do other people think?


A valiant effort, MithLuin, but I think Tolkien made a mistake. :shock:

That's the most reasonable explanation, and it certainly isn't the only he's made.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:09 pm

the farmers between Stock and Rushey

The guide to Names says of "Rushey":
'Rush isle'; in origin a 'hard' among the fens of the Marish. The element ey, y in the sense 'small island' (= Swedish ö, Danish ø, Old Norse ey) is very frequent in English place names. The German equivalent is Aue 'riverside land, water meadow', which would not be unsuitable in this case.
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:35 pm

Another possible error I'm afraid. This has been discussed somewhere in this forum, but I don't recall a very satisfactory explanation..

"I kept my knowledge to myself, till this Spring when things got serious. Then we formed our conspiracy; and as we were serious, too, and meant business, we have not been too scrupulous. You are not a very easy nut to crack, and Gandalf is worse. But if you want to be introduced to our chief investigator, I can produce him."

"Where is he?" said Frodo, looking round, as if he expected a masked and sinister figure to come out of a cupboard.

"Step forward, Sam!" said Merry, and Sam stood up with a face scarlet up to the ears. "Here’s our collector of information! And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught. After which, I may say, he seemed to regard himself as on parole, and dried up."


Sam was caught during the episode related in 'The Shadow of the Past', in early April. But it was only after Frodo learned the truth about the Ring at the same time that "things got serious" in the Spring. So how did Sam collect a lot of information before he was finally caught, when the conspiracy was apparently only formed after he was caught?
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:31 pm

Their land was originally unprotected from the East; but on that side they had built a hedge: the High Hay. It had been planted many generations ago, and was now thick and tail, for it was constantly tended. It ran all the way from Brandywine Bridge, in a big loop curving away from the river, to Haysend (where the Withywindle flowed out of the Forest into the Brandywine): well over twenty miles from end to end.

JRRT notes in his 'Guide to Names' that 'hay' in High Hay, Hay Gate, Hayward and Haysend means 'hedge'.
Haysend. The end of the hay or boundary-hedge (not hay 'dried grass'). Translate as 'hedge's end'.
Compare High Hay.

'A Guide to Names in The Lord of the Ring.'

Haysend was a settlement of hobbits within Buckland where the barrier hedge came to its Southern end.

The Withywindle River was a small winding river flowing through the Dingle, a wooded valley within the Old Forest. Tolkien commented on the name:
Withywindle. River-name in the Old Forest, intended to be in the language of the Shire. It was a winding river bordered by willows (withies). Withy- is not uncommon in English place-names, but -windle does not actually occur (Withywindle was modelled on withywind, a name of the convolvulus or bindweed).

ibid.

Shippey suggests that -windle is from the O.E *windol, 'winding brook' and adds that there is a Withybrook north of Oxford, in Warwickshire.
    ----------
wilko185: Sam was caught during the episode related in 'The Shadow of the Past', in early April. But it was only after Frodo learned the truth about the Ring at the same time that "things got serious" in the Spring. So how did Sam collect a lot of information before he was finally caught, when the conspiracy was apparently only formed after he was caught?

This could be rationalised that Sam related everything that he heard of Frodo and Gandalf's conversation up until the point when he was caught but then no longer engaged in information gathering after this as he was then on parole. It seems likely that Sam's information led to the formation of the 'conspiracy'. This fits Merry's account but does stretch the spirit of being on parole. However Merry does say that they were none too scrupulous... :wink:
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:49 am

Will this do?

And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught. After which, I may say, he seemed to regard himself as on parole, and dried up.

Another puzzling statement. Sam was caught at the end of the very lengthy conversation Gandalf and Frodo had on April 13th. Since this was the first time Frodo learned about the Ring, Sam was clearly not able to report this information to Merry and Pippin prior to being caught. It seems that he reported everything he had heard that day (even though he was on parole) and then refrained from further spying.

Edit: Oops, forgot about this one:
but he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge.

Fatty came to Buckland with Merry and the last cart (see p. 67 of 'Three is Company'). The other two carts definately took the Brandywine Bridge to reach Crickhollow (see p. 66), so there is no reason to suspect that Fatty did not. Fatty Bolger grew up only 10 mi. from the Brandywine Bridge, so this statement is odd. Most likely, this is an oversight by JRR Tolkien, and was merely meant to explain that Fatty had not been outside the Shire.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:11 pm

Here is an addition to Romestamo's note on the High Hay:

"Hay" is from Old English haga. The same root is found in "hawthorn," lit. "hedge-thorn"; OE "g" became "y" or "w" in different phonetic environments. Modern "hedge" is from OE hecg. According to Clark Hall's Dictionary, haga can connote a hedge used to fortify an enclosure, which is appropriate to this context.

"Hay" meaning "dried grass" is from OE hieg.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:04 pm

Bilbo slowed down, and then hey presto! he vanished.

"Presto" is Italian for "fast," and is best known as a tempo marking in music, faster than allegro and slower than prestissimo. It thus looks at first glance like an anachronism, there being no equivalent of Italian in Tolkien's linguistic scheme. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, however, the word has been used by conjurors as the conventional "magic word" to make an object disappear since the middle of the 16th century. It thus qualifies as a thoroughly naturalized English word.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:19 pm

It had been planted many generations ago, and was now thick and tall, for it had been carefully tended.

Left to itself, a hedge will turn into a row of mature trees that have shaded out the growth underneath them. To prevent this, the larger stems have to be cut off at regular intervals to stimulate new growth, either completely ("coppicing"), or partway, so that the cut stems will form a barrier while the new growth arises ("laying").

http://www.hedgelayer.freeserve.co.uk/hedlan.htm
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:06 pm

An addition to the entry on "Withywindle," wherever it eventually resides:

"Withy" is from Old English wíþig. The name came to be applied not to the tree itself, but to cut willow branches, used in a variety of traditional trades and crafts, especially basketry. Willows are still cultivated commercially for withies in Somerset, England, although the industry has fallen on hard times according to this website:

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/levels/Withy.htm

"Willow" is from another Old English word, welig.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:41 pm

They turned down the Ferry lane, which was straight and well-kept and edged with large white-washed stones. In a hundred yards or so it brought them to the river-bank, where there was a broad wooden landing-stage. A large flat ferry-boat was moored beside it. The white bollards near the water’s edge glimmered in the light of two lamps on high posts. [...] The Brandywine flowed slow and broad before them. On the other side the bank was steep, and up it a winding path climbed from the further landing. Lamps were twinkling there. Behind loomed up the Buck Hill; and out of it, through stray shrouds of mist, shone many round windows, yellow and red. They were the windows of Brandy Hall, the ancient home of the Brandybucks.

Tolkien often drew sketches to assist him while he was writing. A surviving unfinished drawing of this vista has been reproduced in J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator as Drawing 146 Untitled (Brandywine Ferry). Clearly seen are the white-washed stones lining the path, and on each river-bank, six white bollards, two lamps on high posts and a wooden landing-stage. Also evident are Buck Hill, the winding path leading up to Brandy Hall and the yellow and red round windows. A large flat ferryboat poled by a single figure is also visible.
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Postby Mahima » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:48 am

Flat ferry boat

Here is a picture of a Flat ferry boat:
http://www.inheritage.org/almanack/images_c/c_greene/09.jpg

The people in the Marish were friendly with the Bucklanders

Marish:

Marish is an old form of "marsh."

Marish is a region in the EastFarthing of the Shire. It was a stretch of land on the western side of the Brandywine across the river from Buckland. Parts of this region were rough and boggy, but much of the land was fertile and the Marish was home to many farms including Bamfurlong belonging to Farmer Maggot. (For details about Farmer Maggot see Annotated chapter: "A Short Cut to Mushrooms)

Edited to remove "Four Farthings" annotation.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:35 pm

Romestamo, I am trying to hunt down that picture online. So far, I have only been able to procure this highly unsatisfactory one by Roger Garland:

http://www.torania.de/luthien/fellow/ga ... dywine.htm

Mahima, I think the structure of the Four Farthings has been annotated in the Prologue thread. I will include a reference to that annotation here. If you would like to add yours to what is already written, please post this info to that thread. Thank you so much!
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Postby Mahima » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:03 pm

I have the book Rom has mentioned - I could try and scan that image and then we could put it up online... questions are where can we put it up online - Wilko's site?
And putting up the picture could probably attract the wrath of the Tolkien Estate.

Thanks for the information, Mithluin.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Fri Sep 03, 2004 8:03 am

MithLuin wrote:Romestamo, I am trying to hunt down that picture online. So far, I have only been able to procure this highly unsatisfactory one by Roger Garland.

Hi MithLuin :) .

Sorry, I already searched for this illustration online - unfortunately, not even the Russian websites (who seem to exist outside western copyright law) seem to have a copy :( .
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