As we have already exposed all the known details about his great work the Silly Marillion, today we’re gonna read more about this peculiar author so renowned. Maybe you think you know one thing or two about him (or three or eleven or thirty-six hundred things) but get ready for the unbeknownst knowledge taken from Internet!
Who is Tolkien?
Famous director, author, dictator, actor, politician, biologist and hockey player(as well as frequent mentor to Batman’s younger cousin Manbat), J.R.R.R.A.B.C.D.E.F.X.Y.Z. (John Ronald Rootytoot Reagan Ass-Bitch Chix Don’t Even Frickin’ Xylophone Yurie Zauron) Tolkien is the historian who discovered that the true history of the earth was being covered up by the world’s governments, who did not want the general population to know of the existence of dragons, elves, hobbits, magic, etc, in order to maintain control over their people.
Tolkien’s greatest invention was the fantasy industry. Without his influence online collaborative games would all be about spies or snowboarding or something and goths would have to dress in pastel casuals. But thanks to Tolkien, gamers, goths, hippies, occultists and heavy metal bands have a rich reference-iconography of dark overlords, wizards, orcs, funny lettering, dungeons, bad fashion and awesome films to smoke dope to, allowing contact with the real world to be minimized.
Tolkien was born in 1066 to a hobbit awkwardly named Tolkien’s mom. He was given birth to in a chopshop amid the sprawling grasslands of central New Jersey. A prophecy told of his birth as the fruits of an Inuit and yet another hobbit. His legitimate mother found this odd as she was never married to an Inuit. The prophecy also said that within 5 hours of his birth he would successfully fight for hobbit rights among the population of New Jersey, and he did. A precocious child, he also learned to speak Welsh, Japanese, French, and Klingon within twenty minutes of his birth. He would go on to master the Inuit language, and is personally responsible for forty-seven of their eighty-two words describing snow.
Craving for more? Really? You got a strange taste, mate! It’s ok anyway. Sometimes, we all need to laugh a bit and not take things too seriously. So, the good, the bad and the ugly (jokes) you can find not here, nor here and neither here. It’s right…..there!
SOooo, this is not a stupid April Fool’s prank. I hate those kind of things!
That might be the first thing you’re gonna think if you’re not seeing the text below correctly. If all you get is a weird code like: “5~CÁ 5#£ 1~V7E `C6 ” then you just need to get the font called Tengwar Annatar and you’ll do just fine! You’ll be able to enjoy this historical post! For the very first time, to change all the future for everyone who loves Quenya.
I present to you…….QUENYA, as it should be written! Just READ:
What is relevant about his text? This is NOT an image! This is TEXT! That’s Quenya as it should be written, with its own alphabet. With this new Quenya101 feature, we give Quenya the status it deserves! Alongside other languages with different alphabets (Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese and so on), now Quenya can be written using Tengwar. WRITTEN! Not just images pasted here and there!
Or should I say….
Well, for polite reasons, let’s share here the translation of the text as well as its Quenya equivalent written in that very ugly ugly alphabet we call Roman! Here it is:
Ná! Nas téra ar nas anwa. Sina i minyë quettar cendëal sinomë ya técinë ner tiessë mauya Quenyan ná técina: yo vanima tengwandarya Tengwar.
Nas quentalëa. Nas i nat ilyë Tolciendilli (ar Quenyandilli) merner, i tië tecien Tengwar natsessë. Lá emma, lá fintalë, er Quenya ampoica tieryassë…Tengwaressë!
And now English (at last!):
Yes! It’s right and it’s real. This is the first words you are reading here that were written the way Quenya should be written: with its beautiful alphabet Tengwar.
It’s historical. It’s the thing all lovers of Tolkien (and lovers of Quenya) desired, the way to write Tengwar in the Internet. No picture, no trick, only Quenya in its purest way…in Tengwar!
Here comes another chapter of the series of several mysteries that Professor Tolkien, all throughout his work, left unexplained. Now we are to discuss whether Balrogs have wings, as lots have done before us.
As always, there’s no definite answer to the question, and that the reason we can discuss about it, isn’t it? One thing is certain: Balrogs look much more scary if the do have wings! Peter Jackson put wings on them, and it looked pretty awesome. But, as we can’t base a conclusion in the scariness of them, further discussion is needed. Let us begin.
First of all, lets take a look at the relevant quotes from The Lord of the Rings that originated all this:
His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. (LOTR, Book II, Chapter 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm)
Here we clearly see, by the use of the word ‘like’, that the mention of wings is merely figurative. But the problem arises with the following phrase, very close to the previous one in the same chapter:
…suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall… (LOTR, Book II, Chapter 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm)
Similarly, though it is in a non-published draft of the Silmarillion, there is this phrase regarding Morgoth’s Balrogs in Beleriand:
Swiftly they arose, and they passed with winged speed over Hithlum, and they came to Lammoth as a tempest of fire. (The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth’s Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Rape of the Silmarils)
In favor of wings
There’s not much to tell about why so many support the pro-wings theory. ‘Its wings were spread from wall’ and ‘with winged speed’ arguments are the core of it. Simply take the above phrases literally, specially the 2nd and 3rd, and you have your case built.
The good thing of these arguments is their simplicity. Short, concise and clear, with not much complication, and that’s it.
The bad thing, this only works if you previously assume that Balrogs have wings, and are seeking for evidence that supports your assumption. In that case, the two arguments work perfectly. But should we have to assume that? Not necessarily…
In favor of no wings
This side argues that these phrases shouldn’t be taken literally, and that the wings in the 2nd phrase refer to the figurative ones mentioned in the 1st one. They stand over the fact that many other phrases in LOTR can’t be seen literally. For instance, in that very same chapter we read that ‘Gandalf came flying down the steps and fell to the ground in the midst of the Company’, and it is certain that Gandalf does not fly.
Indeed, in the Prophecy of Malbeth, in the Return of the King, we see that the very same word ‘wings’ is used as metaphor:
Over the land there lies a long shadow, westward reaching wings of darkness.
More strong argument is the fact that, if ‘its wings were spread from wall to wall’ is literal, the body of the Balrog would be too big to be true. The room where the bridge of Khazad-dûm is located was between 23 and 30 meters wide, then the wingspan of the Balrog must be near that size, almost as much as a big plane!
To carry such wings, a HUGE body would be needed, near the size of a house! And what’s the issue with that? Well, the fact that the Balrog was able to enter the Chamber of Mazarbul through the same door in which the orcs clustered during the battle there. So this door must be a fairly narrow opening, through which such gigantic Balrog would never be able to pass.
Another objection claimed is that its not likely that Balrogs have wings if they don’t fly. Their inability to fly is clear enough. If they did, it wouldn’t have fallen with Gandalf into the abyss nor from the top of Celebdil to its death; nor the one that fell in a fight with Glorfindel from a high pinnacle, as told in the Silmarillion. They don’t even fly in battles when it would be a huge advantage for them. So, if they fly they have wings; but as they probably don’t fly, we cannot say the have.
Remember that the anti-wing theory does not assume the presence of wings, but the contrary: by default, the races of Middle-earth don’t have wings unless specified explicitly. If not, Elves may have had wings, because Tolkien never said ‘they don’t have’.
Much more is talked than what I told you here. But to sum up, nothing is certain. It would seem that anti-wings have a larger number of arguments, but recall that sometimes the smaller army may win the battle. I leave it for you to judge which ones are stronger, and express your opinion in the poll and comments. I’m really interested in what you think of this matter!
‘Pro-wings’ vs. ‘Anti-wings’… let the game begin!
If you wanna read more extensive analysis of both theories, check this article (under the heading ‘… And Whether Balrogs Have Wings’)
So…. I’m enjoying medieval poetry translation. This time, let’s go with……Latin! This song, Ad Mortem Festinamus, is part of the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (“Red Book of Montserrat”), a 14th century book containing medieval songs, located in the Monastery of Montserrat, located in Spain. This song belongs to a special genre of art named Memento mori (“Remember your mortality”…..totally not Elvish, huh?), that has exactly this purpose: to make you remember you’re a mortal being.
This song’s name means “We rush into death”….. no explanations needed, I guess.
It also has been recorded several times recently. For instance, I know Qntal’s version, which doesn’t please me so much, and Gothart’s, that is fantastic. So, I present you, Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna!
Merin tecë i ulco Ambaressë
rucin i lúmello autuva ve vanwa
I lúmë utúlië cuivien
I cendelessë qualmeva,
I cendelessë qualmeva.
I sinta coivië tuluva mettan,
Qualmë tulë arrato nó polil savë,
ar umis órava,
ar umis órava.
Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë
Ámë hauta úcarë.
Ámë hauta úcarë.
Qui umil nanquerë ar nal ve hína,
ar umil vista coivielya,
úval tenta, ve alassëa,
i Aranië Eruva,
i Aranië Eruva.
Talumë i hyóla lamya, Aurë Namiéva
utúlië. I Námo tana immo
ar canas hínalyar Aranieryan,
mal i húna Angamandonna,
mal i húna Angamandonna.
Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë…
Original Latin Version
Scribere probosui de contemptu mundano
ut degentes seculi non mulcentur in vano
iam est hor surgere
a sompno mortis pravo
a sompno mortis pravo
Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur
mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur
omnia mors perimit
et nulli miseretur
et nulli miseretur
Ad mortem festinamus
Ni conversus fueris et sicut puer factus
et vitam mutaveris in meliores actus
regnum Dei beatus
regnum Dei beatus
Tuba cum sonuerit dies erit extrema
et iudex advenerit vocabit sempiterna
electos in patria
prescitos ad inferna
prescitos ad inferna
Ad mortem festinamus…
And, for those like me that can’t read Latin:
I want to write of the evil in the world
lest the time should pass unused.
The time has come to awake
in the face of death,
in the face of death.
The short life soon will end,
death comes faster than you would believe.
It destroys everything
and has no mercy,
and has no mercy.
We rush into death,
let us refrain from sinning,
let us refrain from sinning,
If you don’t turn back and become like a child
and you don’t change your life,
you won’t go into, as a happy one,
the Kingdom of God,
the Kingdom of God.
When the trump resounds, Judgement Day
has come. The judge appears
and calls the chosen ones to his Kingdom
but the damned to hell,
but the damned to hell.
Once upon a time, there was a director called Peter Jackson who wanted to make a movie adaptation of the book The Hobbit from J.R.R.Tolkien. But as we all know, money got involved and where there’s money, there’s greed and the studio and the director couldn’t reach a settlement about their differences related to the profits of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Also, to make things worst, there was a group called Tolkien Estate who should have gained more from the profits made with the story of Father Tolkien, but they didn’t. Once again, we come to money talk.
After the big boys stopped being jerks to each other about the money they wanted, Jackson was hired as executive producer of the project The Hobbit. That was December,2007, twelve years after the very first Peter Jackson’s wish to make a hobbit movie. Yes, I’m talking about 1995!
Anyway, no matter how old this “once upon the time” may be, we are now in April,2008 when Guillermo del Toro is announced as the director chosen! Cool! He worked super hard in the pre-production time, more than we can imagine, but after 2 years in 2010, he quit! Why? Money again! MGM, the studio had some unsolved financial problems and that would delay the making of The Hobbit.
May,30th,2010 – “Guillermo Del Toro announced today that he is no longer directing the two movies based on J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, but will continue to co-write the screenplays. Out of respect to the legions of loyal Tolkien fans, both Guillermo and Peter Jackson wanted to break the news to The One Ring first. They are both committed to protecting The Hobbit and will do everything in their power to ensure the films are everything that the fans want them to be.”
In October,2010, Peter Jackson was chosen to be the director instead of just executive producer and the movie would be in 3D (A profitable market newly explored by Avatar in 2009). After a problem with an Actors Union and all the buzz involving filming or not in New Zealand, HERE WE ARE….2 days to go and The Hobbit has become true!
I’m melting inside, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for some months, years now. Who knew that would become reality after all the problems along the way?
Following the line of medieval poetry and also as a request/challenge from Davi de Souza, today we bring you today a 13th century poem, written in Galician-Portuguese, called Rosa das Rosas. The post will be conducted in Portuguese, but some English information will be given for our non-Portuguese speakers.
Esse poema foi escrito no século XIII e encontra-se nos códices das Cantigas de Santa Maria, supostamente escritas por Afonso X, o sábio, rei de Castela e Leão, localizados na península Ibérica onde, hoje, ficam Espanha e Portugal. No total, as Cantigas englobam 427 composições, sendo a Rosa das Rosas a décima.
Rosa das rosas e Fror das frores, Dona das donas, Sennor das sennores.
Rosa de beldad’ e de parecer e Fror d’alegria e de prazer, Dona en mui piadosa ser Sennor en toller coitas e doores.
Atal Sennor dev’ ome muit’ amar, que de todo mal o pode guardar; e pode-ll’ os peccados perdõar, que faz no mundo per maos sabores.
Devemo-la muit’ amar e servir, ca punna de nos guardar de falir; des i dos erros nos faz repentir, que nos fazemos come pecadores.
Esta dona que tenno por Sennore de que quero seer trobador, se eu per ren poss’ aver seu amor, dou ao demo os outros amores.
For our non-Portuguese readers, on this link you can find a pretty good English translation.
A maior dificuldade dessa tradução foi, assim como no Lamento de Deor, encontrar a melhor tradução da linguagem medieval pro inglês. Mas isso foi possível e aqui está o resultado final!
Carnilótë carnilótion ar lótë lótion
Heri herion, tári tárion.
Carnilótë vanessë ar amanyo,
ar lótë alassë ar almarëo,
Tári envinyatarë nwalma ar angayassëo
Heri ya orë ilquen melë,
An polis cimë ilyë ulca;
Ar polis avatyarë ilyë úcarindor,
Ontien ammára Ambar cuilen.
Orë men melë se ar núro ná vórimavë,
An polis varya me lantallo;
Caris me naityainë nar loimar
Carnelmë ve úcarindor.
Heri sina haryan ve Tári
Ar lindorya merin ná.
Qui haryan melmerya
Hortuvan exi Moringotton
Além disso, o Davi também nos mandou uma adaptação musical desse poema, feita pelo grupo Annwn. Espero que gostem!