The Annotated LOTR - Lothlórien

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The Annotated LOTR - Lothlórien

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Tue May 17, 2005 2:16 pm

Lothlórien

Woodland Elven realm on the west bank of the River Anduin. Peopled by Silvan Elves, although ruled in the TA by Galadriel, of the Noldor, and her husband Celeborn, probably a Sindarin Elf. Lothlórien, or Lórien, was probably named after the gardens of the Vala Irmo in Valinor, which Galadriel at least would have known.

The origins of Lorien are not wholly clear. Celeborn and Galadriel established the realm of Eregion at about 700 SA and formed strong ties with the Dwarves of Moria. At some point Galadriel came into contact with Elves from the Nandorin realm of Lorinand on the other side of the mountains. When the Gwaith-i-Mirdain fell under Sauron’s influence, Galadriel left Eregion (about 1350-1400 SA) and became ruler of the people of Lorinand.

Other names:

Laurenande - Quenya
Laurelindorinan (Valley of Singing Gold)
Lorinand[i] - Nandorin
[i]The Golden Wood
- Westron

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Dimrill Stair

The lower end of the Redhorn Pass, leading into Nanduhirion, a glen on east of the Misty Mountains known as the Dimrill Dale which contained Mirrormere.

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“The Sun sinks early.”

It is the evening of 15th January.

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Kheled-zâram

Mirrormere (Khuzdul). A mere, shaped like a spear-head, situated at the bottom of the Dimrill Stair.

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Nimrodel

A stream or small river which flowied down from the Misty Mountains to join the Celebrant. Also known as the Silverlode, it was named after an Elf-maiden, probably of the Galadhrim. They believed that the stream carried her voice. She was lost in the White Mountains and did not reach the sea, where her lover Amroth awaited her.

'Here is Nimrodel! ' said Legolas. 'Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago'

Footnote 1 to Appendix F states that the name Nimrodel was probably of Silvan origin, adapted to Sindarin. According to the entry groth in the Silmarillion index, that element probably appears in Nimrodel, 'lady of the white cave'.

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"Mellyrn, they are called…."

malinorne (Quenya).

Trees with silver bark and golden leaves found only in Lorien. Also called mallorns. The mellyrn did not shed their leaves until spring, when the new leaves began to appear. Then the Golden Wood was both roofed and carpeted with gold, with pillars of silver.

Brought to Númenor and thence to M-E. Although the fruit of the tree – a nut with a silver shale – was given as a gift to Gil-galad of Lindon, it did not take root in that land, only in Lothlorien under the power of Galadriel.

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'Daro!' it said in commanding tone, and Legolas dropped back to earth in surprise and fear.

Daro = 'stop', 'halt'. HoME 5, p 353.

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and among these they found that there had been built a wooden platform, or flet as such things were called in those days.

The Old English word flet or flett meant simply "floor"; it is related to "flat." The word remained current in Middle English, and occurs eight times in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; the first occurrence is in the Green Knight's challenge to Arthur's court: "And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet."

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"Haldir is my name."

Haldir is called Hathaldir throughout the first completed draft (HoME v. VII, pp. 227-34).Haldir appears in an earlier sketch; “when this last name replaced Hathildir it was thus a reversion.” Id. at p. 240 n. 28.

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“My brothers, Rúmil and Orophin, speak little of your tongue.”

Two of these names have previously appeared attached to other characters in Tolkien's writings (though there is no guarantee that these associated derivations should apply here):

According to the Etymologies, Haldir[I] as a son of Orodreth means 'hidden hero' arising from the root SKAL(1)- [I]screen, hide.

According to the appendix to HoME 1, "Rúmil" seems likely to be connected with words given in GL [Gnomish Lexicon]: and rûm 'secret, mystery', ruim 'secret, mysterious', rui 'whisper', ruitha 'to whisper'.

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"Yrch!"

Sindarin name for orcs (plural). Singular is orch

----------------------------------------------------------------------
“Not even my uncle Andy ever did a trick like that!”

Sam did not laugh. 'I may not be much good at climbing, Mr. Frodo,' he said in injured tones, `but I do know something about rope and about knots. It's in the family, as you might say. Why, my grand-dad, and my uncle Andy after him, him that was the Gaffer's eldest brother he had a rope-walk over by Tighfield many a year. And I put as fast a hitch over the stump as any one could have done, in the Shire or out of it.'

- LOTR, Bk IV, Ch 1


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'Now, friends,' said Haldir, 'you have entered the Naith of Lórien or the Gore, as you would say, for it is the land that lies like a spear-head between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great.'

Naith, appears in the Quneya-derived name for the Númenorean military formation dirnaith, 'man-spearhead' (UT, footnote 16 to pt III ch 1).

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.. our dwellings, down in Egladil, in the Angle between the waters

Robert Foster in his 'Complete Guide to Middle-earth' decides that Egladil is 'The heart of Lorien, the area between Anduin and Celebrant near their confluence. Called in Westron the Angle.'

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'It would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew. But if there are mallorn-trees beyond the Great Sea, none have reported it.'

See this recent thread http://forums.tolkienonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=86535

--------------------------------------------------------------------
'Here ever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor, and the pale niphredil.'

Elanor is a small golden star-shaped flower, which also grew in Númenor (UT Pt II, Ch 2, footnote 20). It would be like a pimpernel (perhaps a little enlarged) growing sun-golden flowers and star-silver ones on the same plant, and sometimes the two combined (Letter #312). The same Letter describes niphredil as simply a delicate kin of a snowdrop ('snowdrop' being the translation of the name). When Lúthien was born, the white flowers of niphredil came forth to greet her as stars from the earth (Sil Ch. 10).

----------------------------------------------------------------------
He was wrapped in some fair memory; and as Frodo looked at him he knew that he beheld things as they once had been in this same place. for the grim years were removed from the face of Aragorn, and he seemed clothed in white, a young lord tall and fair; and he spoke words in the Elvish tongue to one whom Frodo could not see.

It seems clear that Frodo is seeing Aragorn as he appeared at his betrothal to Arwen, which took place in T.A. 3018, 37 years before:

. . . Aragorn was grown to full stature of body and mind, and Galadriel bade him cast aside his wayworn raiment, and she clothed him in silver and white, with a cloak of elven-grey and a bright gem on his brow. Then more than any kind of Men he appeared, and seemed rather an Elf-lord from the Isles of the West. And thus it was that Arwen first beheld him again after their long parting . . . .

. . . And on the evening of Midsummer Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, and Arwen daughter of Elrond went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth, in the midst of the land, and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, and they plighted their troth and were glad.


Appendix A. It is an interesting question whether Frodo’s vision is due to his own heightened perceptions, to the qualities of the place, or to a combination of both: Would one of the other hobbits have seen the same thing?

--------------------------------------------------------------------
And taking Frodo’s hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man.

In 1967, Tolkien wrote of LotR:

If it is of interest, the passages that now move me the most - written so long ago that I read them now as if they had been written by someone else - are the end of the chapter Lothlórien (I 365-7), and the horns of the Rohirrim at cockcrow.


Letter 294, Letters at p. 376.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Tue May 17, 2005 2:16 pm

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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu May 19, 2005 3:50 pm

and among these they found that there had been built a wooden platform, or flet as such things were called in those days

The Old English word flet or flett meant simply "floor"; it is related to "flat." The word remained current in Middle English, and occurs eight times in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; the first occurrence is in the Green Knight's challenge to Arthur's court: "And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet."
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Postby wilko185 » Fri May 20, 2005 2:55 pm

    About it stood fir-trees, short and bent, and its sides were steep and clothed with harts-tongue and shrubs of whortle-berry

    Harts-tongue (phyllitis scolopendrium) is an evergreen fern with glossy leaves native to Britain and Europe. It is named from the latin lingua cervi, "deer's tongue", relating to the shape of its fronds. Image.

    Whortle-berry is a European form of the bilberry or blueberry bush.


    'Though Orcs will often pursue foes for many leagues into the plain, if they have a fallen captain to avenge'

    When Moria-orcs later appear in Rohan, one of them says: 'We have come all the way from the Mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and then go back north'.


    'Then lead on!' said Boromir. 'But it is perilous.'
    'Perilous indeed,' said Aragorn, 'fair and perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil with them. Follow me!'


    [This annotation is a bit woolly, it may need expanding, or omitting]

    Perilous is a favourite word of Tolkien's. As shown in this exchange, its connotations may be more ambivalent than the more straightforwardly-negative dangerous, for example. The latter arises from a root meaning 'power', while perilous is from an Indo-European meaning "try" or "risk" (cf. 'pirate', 'experiment'). The "perilous" land of Lórien brings to mind the "Perilous Realm", Tolkien's description of Faërie itself ['Faërie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary, and dungeons for the overbold..' - from Tolkien's famous lecture On Fairy-Stories].


    'Here is Nimrodel! ' said Legolas. 'Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago'

    Footnote 1 to Appendix F states that the name Nimrodel was probably of Silvan origin, adapted to Sindarin. According to the entry groth in the Silmarillion index, that element probably appears in Nimrodel, 'lady of the white cave'.


    'Daro!' it said in commanding tone, and Legolas dropped back to earth in surprise and fear.

    Daro = 'stop', 'halt'. HoME 5, p 353.


    Haldir is my name. My brothers, Rúmil and Orophin, speak little of your tongue.

    Two of these names have previously appeared attached to other characters in Tolkien's writings (though there is no guarantee that these associated derivations should apply here):

    According to the Etymologies, Haldir as a son of Orodreth means 'hidden hero' arising from the root SKAL(1)- screen, hide.

    According to the appendix to HoME 1, "Rúmil" seems likely to be connected with words given in GL [Gnomish Lexicon]: and rûm 'secret, mystery', ruim 'secret, mysterious', rui 'whisper', ruitha 'to whisper'.


    Not even my uncle Andy ever did a trick like that!

    Sam did not laugh. 'I may not be much good at climbing, Mr. Frodo,' he said in injured tones, `but I do know something about rope and about knots. It's in the family, as you might say. Why, my grand-dad, and my uncle Andy after him, him that was the Gaffer's eldest brother he had a rope-walk over by Tighfield many a year. And I put as fast a hitch over the stump as any one could have done, in the Shire or out of it.'

    - LOTR, Bk IV, Ch 1



    'Now, friends,' said Haldir, 'you have entered the Naith of Lórien or the Gore, as you would say, for it is the land that lies like a spear-head between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great.'

    Naith, appears in the Quneya-derived name for the Númenorean military formation dirnaith, 'man-spearhead' (UT, footnote 16 to pt III ch 1).


    .. our dwellings, down in Egladil, in the Angle between the waters

    Robert Foster in his 'Complete Guide to Middle-earth' decides that Egladil is 'The heart of Lorien, the area between Anduin and Celebrant near their confluence. Called in Westron the Angle.'


    'It would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew. But if there are mallorn-trees beyond the Great Sea, none have reported it.'

    [See this recent thread http://forums.tolkienonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=86535 ]


    'Here ever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor, and the pale niphredil.'

    Elanor is a small golden star-shaped flower, which also grew in Númenor (UT Pt II, Ch 2, footnote 20). It would be like a pimpernel (perhaps a little enlarged) growing sun-golden flowers and star-silver ones on the same plant, and sometimes the two combined (Letter #312). The same Letter describes niphredil as simply a delicate kin of a snowdrop ('snowdrop' being the translation of the name). When Lúthien was born, the white flowers of niphredil came forth to greet her as stars from the earth (Sil Ch. 10).


    Arwen vanimelda, namarië! [sic, in my copy] he said, and then he drew a breath, and returning out of his thought he looked at Frodo and smiled.

    Ardalambion glosses this:
      Arwen vanimelda, namárië! "Fair Arwen [lit. Arwen your beauty], farewell!" - Aragorn's farewell to Arwen on Cerin Amroth, repeated by him as he recollected the scene on the same spot many years later. The first edition had vanimalda instead of vanimelda. (LotR1/II, end of Ch. 6, translated in WJ:369. The version in LotR has namarië instead of namárië, but both WJ:369 and other sources [one of them in LotR itself] confirm that the second vowel should be á, not a.)
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Sat May 21, 2005 5:55 pm

    It was rough and broken, fading to a winding track between heather and whin that thrust amid the cracking stones.

    Whin is Ulex europaeus, the same shrub that is also called gorse or furze.

    http://www.swuklink.com/BAAAGBYG.php

    The latter two names are Old English: gors and fyrs. “Whin” is a Scottish word; the OED thinks its origin is probably Scandinavian. The plant reappears as gorse in Bk. IV, ch. 7. [Does “furze” appear anywhere?]
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Sat May 21, 2005 6:10 pm

    On "Gore":

    The word "gore" is apparently derived from Old English gár, meaning the head of a spear. According to OED its original sense was the one meant here - a triangular piece of land. It is still used by tailors and dressmakers, to mean a triangular piece of cloth used to change the width of a garment, as from the waist to the hem of a skirt. "Gore" meaning "blood" is from a different OE word gor, which originally meant "dung" or filth." The verb "gore" meaning to pierce or impale, most commonly by the horn of an animal, seems logically to follow from the meaning "spear" or "spearhead," though OED has philological qualms based on the historical record.
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Sat May 21, 2005 6:14 pm

    Following on from Wilko's quote from the letter about elanor and niphredil:

    The snowdrop (genus Galanthus) is a small bell-shaped white flower that grows from a bulb and is one of the earliest flowers to appear in the spring.

    http://www.gardenguides.com/flowers/bulbs/snowdrop.htm

    There are two English wildflowers called pimpernels: The Scarlet Pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis, and the Yellow Pimpernel, Lysimachia nemorum. Both have small star-shaped flowers. The Scarlet Pimpernel is the better known, as the title of a romantic historical play by Baroness Emmuska Orczy that has been adapted many times as a movie; the most famous version, starring Leslie Howard, came out in 1934.

    http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/anagallisarve.html
    http://www.first-nature.com/flowers/lysimachia_nemorum.htm

    In the US, the name “Yellow Pimpernel” is given to a different species, Taenidia integerrima, a member of the parsley family (Umbelliferae). This flower looks nothing like Tolkien’s description.

    http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/taenidiainte.html
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Tue May 24, 2005 5:23 pm

    "Here is Nimrodel!” said Legolas.

    In the manuscripts, the river was called the Taiglin, which was changed to Linglor; the maiden after whom it was named started out as Inglorel, and became Linglorel, Nimladel, Nimlorel, and Nimlothel before assuming her final identity. HoME v. VII, pp. 222-23, 238-39.

    Haldir is my name.

    Haldir is called Hathaldir throughout the first completed draft (HoME v. VII, pp. 227-34). Haldir appears in an earlier sketch; “when this last name replaced Hathildir it was thus a reversion.” Id. at p. 240 n. 28.

    He was wrapped in some fair memory; and as Frodo looked at him he knew that he beheld things as they once had been in this same place. for the grim years were removed from the face of Aragorn, and he seemed clothed in white, a young lord tall and fair; and he spoke words in the Elvish tongue to one whom Frodo could not see.

    It seems clear that Frodo is seeing Aragorn as he appeared at his betrothal to Arwen, which took place in T.A. 3018, 37 years before:
    . . . Aragorn was grown to full stature of body and mind, and Galadriel bade him cast aside his wayworn raiment, and she clothed him in silver and white, with a cloak of elven-grey and a bright gem on his brow. Then more than any kind of Men he appeared, and seemed rather an Elf-lord from the Isles of the West. And thus it was that Arwen first beheld him again after their long parting . . . .

    . . . And on the evening of Midsummer Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, and Arwen daughter of Elrond went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth, in the midst of the land, and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, and they plighted their troth and were glad.

    Appendix A. It is an interesting question whether Frodo’s vision is due to his own heightened perceptions, to the qualities of the place, or to a combination of both: Would one of the other hobbits have seen the same thing?

    And taking Frodo’s hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man.

    In 1967, Tolkien wrote of LotR:
    If it is of interest, the passages that now move me the most - written so long ago that I read them now as if they had been written by someone else - are the end of the chapter Lothlórien (I 365-7), and the horns of the Rohirrim at cockcrow.

    Letter 294, Letters at p. 376.
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    The properties of Lothlórien/Cerin Amroth

    Postby Herendil » Wed May 25, 2005 2:41 am

    I have written an essay (still under work) that deals with some of your quotes, roaccarcsson. Anyone who is interested may read it here: http://tolkien-essays.blogspot.com/2005/05/fates-of-amroth-and-nimrodel-and.html. I would be glad if people post comments on it at the bottom of the page.
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Fri May 27, 2005 5:21 pm

    Mellyrn they are called, and are those that bear the yellow blossom

    Mallorn takes the plural mellyrn by the rules of plural formation in Sindarin. Exact parallels found in LotR include amon > emyn (hill/hills), and annon > ennyn (gate/gates).

    Add to note on daro:
    For a discussion of the imperative form of Sindarin verbs, see "Ardalambion":
    http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/sindarin.htm#Heading18
    Other imperatives found in LotR include noro "run" in Glorfindel's exhortation to Asfaloth (Bk. I, ch. 12); and pedo "speak, say" and minno "enter" in the Moria-gate inscription (Bk. I, ch. 3).

    Add to note on niphredil:

    Evidently niphredil means "teardrop." From the "Etymologies":
    NEI- tear. Q níre, nie tear; cf, nieninqe snowdrop [NIK-W], Nienna. Nîr[/i] tear, weeping; nírnaeth lamentation [NAY]; nîn (*neine tear, nínim snowdrop (nifredil). . . .

    HoME v. V, p 419 (U.S. mass paperback). "N" means "Noldorin," which is what Tolkien called Sindarin until not long before the publication of LotR.

    Frodo saw all the valley of the Silverlode lying like a sea of fallow gold tossing gently in the breeze.

    "Fallow" is Old English fealu, meaning "light-colored" or "yellow," as in "Fallohide," the name of one of the three races of hobbits, which means "paleskin." The word is derived from the same Indo-European root as "pale," which is from Latin pallidus. (In accordance with Grimm's Law - named for the brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, who also compiled the famous collection of folk tales - the I-E sound "p," unchanged in Latin, regularly becomes "f" in the Germanic languages: e.g., piscus > "fish," pater > "father.")

    "Fallow" in the more current modern sense of land left unplanted is from a different OE word, fealh.

    From helm to sea they saw him leap
    As arrow from the string,
    And dive into the water deep
    As mew upon the wing.


    "Mew" means "gull," from Old English mæw. "Gull," which has largely displaced it in English, is of uncertain origin. (One online dictionary speculates that it may be Brythonic, i.e., Welsh.) Its cognates in other Germanic languages are still in ordinary use, e.g., Dutch meeuw, German Möwe.

    Dozens of different species of gulls (subfamily Larinae) are found around the world. "Mew Gull" is the name used in North America (where it is found mainly on the Pacific Coast) for Larus canus, which is known in Britain as the Common Gull.
    http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Larus_canus.htm

    (Ornithologists, by the way, deny the existence of such a thing as a "seagull.")

    Tolkien's use of a gull in this simile can be criticised, as gulls, unlike their relatives the terns, do not habitually plunge into the water.

    Finally, it must be mentioned that the Quenya word for "gull" is maiwe, and the Sindarin is maew. Despite Tolkien's denial (Letter 297) that "real-world" languages influenced Elvish vocabulary, except in rare instances, this is hard to dismiss as coincidence.
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    Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:47 pm

    Amroth beheld the fading shore

    Tolkien left behind two contradictory accounts of Amroth. Christopher Tolkien believes that both were written after the publication of LotR. According to the first, he was the son of Galadriel and Celeborn, born to them between S.A. 350-400, while they were living near Lake Nenuial in northern Eriador. "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn," Unfinished Tales at pp. 245-52 (U.S. mass paperback).

    This account was (CT thinks) superseded by one which made Amroth the son of Amdír, the Sindarin King of Lorien, killed in the Battle of Dagorlad. Nimrodel was a Silvan Elf who blamed the Exiles for destroying the peace her people had enjoyed. She finally agreed to marry Amroth "when you bring me to a land of peace." Amroth therefore determined to leave his people, seek the Elvish haven on the shores of Belfalas, and sail with Nimrodel to Eressëa - with the outcome narrated by Legolas. "Amroth and Nimrodel," UT at pp. 252-60.

    Another manuscript summarized in UT suggests that "Amroth" was in origin a nickname meaning "high climber," given because he invented the talan as a defensive measure against the threat of Dol Guldur. UT at pp. 257-58. Christopher Tolkien parses this as follows:
    The explanation supposes that the first element in the name Amroth is the same Elvish word as Quenya amba "up," found also in Sindarin amon, a hill or mountain with steep sides; while the second element is a derivative from a stem rath- meaning "climb" (whence also the noun rath, which in the Numenórean Sindarin used in Gondor in the naming of places and persons was applied to all the longer roadways and streets of Minas Tirith, nearly all of which were on an incline; so Rath Dinen, the Silent Street, leading down from the Citadel to the tombs of the Kings.

    Id. at p. 267 n. 16 (and see also Rath Celerdain the Street of the Lampwrights, in Bk. V ch. 1). The stem AM- "up" is found in the Etymologies, HoME v. V, p. 386 (U.S. mass paperback). As for the second element, none of the entries under "R" mentions rath as a derivative; as far as the meaning goes, RAT- "walk" would seem to be a plausible origin for a word meaning "street." However, the meaning "climb" is attested in the name Andrath "Long Climb," which occurs twice in UT: in the Sindarin name of the pass crossed by Bilbo and the Dwarves in The Hobbit, Cirith Forn en Andrath, the Northern Pass of the Long Climb (p. 283); and as the name of a defile on the Greenway between the Barrow-downs and the South Downs, which appears in "The Hunt for the Ring" at p. 364.

    Add to note on talan:
    The plural of talan is telain, parallel to, e.g., barad > beraid "hill/hills", and aran/erain "king/kings." UT at p. 257 (U.S. mass paperback).

    To the left stood a great mound, covered with a sward of grass as green as Spring-time in the Elder Days.

    Cerin Amroth was artificial, "piled by the labour of many hands" as a lookout post to watch Dol Guldur. UT at p. 258 (U.S. mass paperback).
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