Eärendil finally reaches Valinor!
and join him in this epic journey
Eärendil finally reaches Valinor!
and join him in this epic journey
Eärendillinwë Quenyanna has started. Stanza 1 is published!
Full analysis, line by line, word by word. Audio, Tengwar, Literal English,…everything is there, whole package! Check it now!
It started! A new Quenya101 Project in 12/10/16 is officially started thanks to the sponsorship of Jonathan Britton!
You’ll have the 9 stanzas of F version published and analyzed closely like Ainulindalë Quenyanna once was. Check more info at the link above and come to sail away with our elvish mariner, the Sea-lover.
NEW sentence translated into Quenya!
(Requested by Sarah Pamminger and answered in 101 hours through Fast Line)
Request anything you want in the appropriate pages and they’ll all be gladly answered to you. If you don’t wanna wait a long time in line, please consider quicker options like…
Thank you all and see you soon!
Family is the 577th sentence translated into Quenya…
How did life begin in Arda? Who were the Adam & Eve of the elves? How did the awakening happen in full detail? How many elves were there in the beginning of all?
Below, you’ll find a summary of a short text written by Tolkien called Cuivienyarna which constitutes part of Quendi & Eldar (an excellent text taken from War of the Jewels). Did curiosity take you by the hand? Don’t worry, let’s ride with it!
According to a legend of the Elves, the first Elves were awakened by Eru Ilúvatar long before the beginning of the First Age of the Sun, near the bay of Cuiviénen. The first Elf to awake was called Imin (“First”). Next to him lay Iminyë, who would become his wife. Near where Imin woke, awoke Tata (“Second”) and Tatië, and Enel (“Third”) and Enelyë.
Imin, Tata, and Enel and their wives joined up, and walked through the forests. They first came across six pairs of Elves, and Imin, as eldest, claimed them as his people, and woke them. After a short time Imin and his people, together with Tata and Enel, continued their journey. Next, they came across nine pairs of Elves, and Tata as second eldest, claimed them as his people. After a short time the now thirty-six Elves continued their journey. Then they found twelve pairs of Elves, and Enel, as third eldest, claimed them as his people.
For many days the now sixty Elves dwelt by the rivers, and they began to invent poetry and music.
Finally they set out again, but Imin thought to himself that since each time they had found more Elves and his folk was least in size, he would now choose last.
They came across eighteen pairs of Elves, who were watching the stars, and Tata and Enel waited for Imin to claim them for his people, but Imin told them he would wait, so Tata added them to his folk. They were tall and had dark hair, and they were the fathers of most of the Ñoldor of later times.
The ninety-six Elves now spoke with each other and invented many new words, but then they continued their journey. Next they found twenty-four pairs of Elves, who were singing without language, and again Imin was offered the choice, but refused. Therefore Enel chose them as his people, and from them came most of theLindar or singers of later times.
And the hundred and forty-four Elves now dwelt long together, until all had learned the same language, and they were glad. But then Imin said it was time to seek more companions for him, but most of the others were content and did not join him. So Imin and Iminyë and their twelve companions set out alone, and they searched long near Cuiviénen, but never found any more companions.
And because all Elves had been found in groups of twelve, twelve became the number they counted with ever after, and 144 was for long their highest number, and in none of their later tongues was there therefore any common name for a greater number.
After the tale of the Awakening of the Elves the Companions of Imin or the Eldest Company (the later Vanyar) numbered fourteen, and they remained the smallest company. The Companions of Tata (half of whom became the Ñoldor) numbered fifty-six, and they remained the second-largest company. The Companions of Enel (the later Lindar or Teleri) were the largest company, numbering seventy-four.
Melkor was the first to learn of the Awakening. He soon began sending evil spirits among the Elves, who planted seeds of doubt against the Valar. It is also rumoured that some of the Elves were being captured by a Rider if they strayed too far, and the Elves later believed these were brought to Utumno and twisted into Orcs.
Oromë one day came across the Elves, and realized who they were. At first the Elves were suspicious of him, fearing he was the Rider who captured the Elves, and because of the lies of Melkor. Nevertheless, three lords of the Elves agreed to come with Oromë to Valinor. These were Ingwë of the Minyar (later Vanyar), Finwë of the Tatyar (later Ñoldor), and Elwë of the Lindar. In due time, Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë returned to Cuivienen, and told the Elves of the glory of Valinor, and there befell the Sundering of the Elves. All the Minyar and half of the Tatyar were persuaded, along with most of the Lindar, and followed Oromë into the west on the Great Journey. These have been known ever since by the name Eldar, or “Star-folk”, which Oromë gave to them in their own language. The remainder of the Tatyar and Lindar remained suspicious, or simply refused to depart from their own lands, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. They were after known by the name Avari, meaning ‘the Unwilling’, because they refused the summons, in Quenya, the language of the Eldar that eventually reached Valinor.
This is an experiment so you may be aware of the impact Tolkien caused on everyone’s mind. This is an idea I got after watching Thor The Dark World. I want you to answer mentally the following question:
You possibly answered this question easily and instantly an image like Legolas popped up in your mind. Ok, but you see…that’s exactly where the experiment comes into action. Let’s get back in time and answer this question BEFORE there was any Tolkien involved. Here is what you may need to consider about elves:
“An elf (Old Norse álfr, Old Englishælf, Old High German alb, Proto-Germanic *albaz) is a certain kind of demigod-like being in the pre-Christian mythology and religion of the Norse and other Germanic peoples.
The elves are luminous beings, “more beautiful than the sun,” whose exalted status is demonstrated by their constantly being linked with the Aesir and Vanir gods in Old Norse and Old English poetry. The lines between elves and other spiritual beings such as the gods, giants, dwarves, and land spirits are blurry, and it seems unlikely that the heathen Germanic peoples themselves made any cold, systematic distinctions between these various groupings. It’s especially hard to discern the boundary that distinguishes the elves from the Vanir gods and goddesses. The Vanir god Freyr is the lord of the elves’ homeland, Alfheim, and at least one Old Norse poem repeatedly uses the word “elves” to designate the Vanir. Still, other sources do speak of the elves and the Vanir as being distinct categories of beings, such that a simple identification of the two would be misguided.
The elves also have ambivalent relations with humans. Elves commonly cause human illnesses, but they also have the power to heal them, and seem especially willing to do so if sacrifices are offered to them. Humans and elves can interbreed and produce half-human, half-elfin children, who often have the appearance of humans but possess extraordinary intuitive and magical powers. Humans can apparently become elves after death, and there was considerable overlap between the worship of human ancestors and the worship of the elves.
The worship of the elves persisted centuries after the Germanic people’s formal conversion to Christianity, as medieval law codes prohibiting such practices demonstrate. Ultimately, then, their veneration lasted longer than even that of the gods.”
Yeah…that’s what I meant! As you read the description above, you will notice the HUGE IMPACT Tolkien caused on everyone’s mind. He simply changed it. All the creatures we all hold a common idea these days, they were absolutely molded and changed through ONE single brain, his. That’s a astonishing thought if you stop and consider it a bit. Before him, only whole civilizations were able to do that (mold human mind and ideas) but he changed it all.
Currently, Elves are what we know they are. They’re human like, they live in flesh, in “Earth” and they’re less like a spiritual creature as the old Norse Mythology proposes them to be.
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)
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…
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!
If you wanna read more extensive analysis of both theories, check this article (under the heading ‘… And Whether Balrogs Have Wings’)
Here we are again! Previously, we talked about what kind of being is Tom. We found out Tom may be either a Vala or a Maia. Well, now we must search for a name: a possible candidate amongst the known members of these high races. This gets increasingly interesting.
Before we start, I want to clarify something about Tom: his appearance. One might object that Tom’s look does not match the expected look of a Vala or Maia; that he rather looks like a “big hobbit”. Against this, we should remember that Valar and Maiar have no particular way to look. They appear in whatever form they choose. So its pretty logical that if Tom was living near hobbits, he should adopt a certain “hobbitish” form. In a way, this makes a point in favour of this theory.
Good then, so now we have to choose: we should make our minds to see if he is either a Vala or a Maia, because (obviously) he can’t be both… Lets do this by looking at the individuals we know of each race, to see if anyone matches Tom’s character.
If we begin studying the known Maiar of Middle-earth, it turns out that none matches Tom’s profile (I’ll not stop now in this point). It may be that Tom is an unknown Maia, never wrote about by Tolkien. But it is also possible that he is not one of them, but a Vala. And, when we take a close look at the Valar, potential candidates indeed start to emerge!
For the sake of courtesy, lets start with women first: identifying Goldberry will help us a lot in finding Tom.
Finding her means to search for the appropriate Valië amongst the married ones. We can narrow the search even more, if we consider the ones who would’ve enjoyed living in the Old Forest. Then, the results are reduced to three possibilities: Nessa, Vána or Yavanna.
Nessa, whose loves are deer and dancing, does not match too well, since none of these are Goldberry’s specialties. And her husband, Tulkas, the greatest fighter amongst the Valar, is too much a warrior to be Tom.
Vána is a bit more like Tom’s wife, since she cares for flowers and birds. But, once again, birds have no special role in Goldberry’s life; and she also cares about every plant, not just flowers. Furthermore, Vána’s husband Oromë is a hunter, especially of monsters. If Tom was Oromë, do you think there would be any Wights left in the Barrow Downs?
So only Yavanna is left. And indeed, Goldberry matches Yavanna in a lot of ways! That’s lucky for us, ‘cos I guess you were getting anxious for an answer. This Valië is said to be responsible for all living creatures, specially plants. During the Hobbits’ visit we see Goldberry taking special care of the forest, something that fits good with her being Yavanna. Even her physical appearance matches that of Yavanna. (See Hargrove’s essay for more details)
Excellent! So we’ve identified Goldberry. Lets see if her husband matches Tom’s character.
If you read The Silmarillion, you should already know who he is… If not, I’ll tell you anyway… Aulë the Smith is Yavanna’s husband. Here is the thing: Tom being Aulë is perfectly logical, and many questions are answered that otherwise would remain obscure. Moreover, this Vala shares many characteristics with Tom.
It is well known that Aulë was the maker of all substances in the earth, that he took active part in the shaping of Arda, and that he was a supreme craftsman. But the most striking similarities lies in Aulë’s moral part: unlike Melkor, he was interested in creating but not possessing. Aulë is the Master and Maker, but he is always willing to “submit his work to the will of Ilúvatar” (BTW that’s what saved the Dwarves…). He has the power to dominate and control, but he doesn’t wish to use it: he lets things be. But, hey… so does Tom.
In fact, this lack of desire to possess is what makes Tom able to handle the Ring the way he does. It is not for being an Ainu (Melkor was one, and he fell), not for being old and not for being the Master, but because of his attitude towards it. He never wants to own it, nor use it… nor nothing. The only interest seen in him towards it is to study its craftsmanship. I dare to say that this moral virtue of Aulë is not clearly shown in such a way in the other Valar. So it’s logical to assume that Tom is indeed Aulë.
We could say that being capable of dominating the Ring makes us think of a Vala, but the way it is dominated (with such ease), suggests “the ultimate maker of all things in Middle-earth”: Aulë. A curious fact: both Sauron and Saruman where mere servants of Aulë in the beginning.
Before getting into the next subject, lets state it one more time: all evidence points towards the fact that Tom Bombadil is Aulë the Smith. Cool, isn’t it? I bet it is! This will surely change the way you read about Tom next time.
If all this is true, what the heck is the couple doing in the forest near the Shire?
Aulë is the Vala that has shown more interest and love for the Children of Ilúvatar (he even made the Dwarves because he couldn’t wait). We can speculate that he found Hobbits fascinating and he was there to study them. And Yavanna? Well, maybe simply enjoying and taking care of the forest while vacationing with her husband.
If he is a Vala, why doesn’t he help Middle-earth in the fight against evil?
Here we have to get to the genesis of Arda itself, told in the Ainulindalë: the Song of the Ainur. In this Song, the roles of each “singer” were woven. Each one has a task to fulfill, inside the master plan of Ilúvatar, and is bound by the part that he sang back then. If Tom is Aulë, he can’t help the people of Middle-earth much, without going against his own fate and the will of Eru. This is consistent with Tolkien saying that Tom exemplifies “a natural pacifist view”, and that he has taken some kind of “vow of poverty” against the power he could use.
Finally, what is his role in The Lord of The Rings?
Tolkien said that Tom “represents some things otherwise left out”. Although Tom’s appearance seems like a simple “comment” in the story, if he really is Aulë, he stands for something really big. He is a clear contrast against the two evil Maiar: Sauron and Saruman. He shows that there are things out of domination and control: good things beyond the reach of greed and ambition.
I end this post with this really excellent quote from Hargrove’s essay, that can be a sum of everything that was said:
“Tom […] is located at the core of morality as it existed in Middle-earth, as the ultimate exemplification of the proper moral stance toward power, pride, and possession. In fact, in terms of the moral traits that most fascinated Tolkien both as an author and as a scholar, Tom Bombadil is Tolkien’s moral ideal.”
Let me make myself clear: I don’t believe in horoscopes nor support any astrology related material! This is just a post about, you know…elvish fun mixed with something else which most people didn’t see it coming.
Instead of following some ludicrous pseudo-science developed by the Babylonians thousands of years ago, when they observed that the seasons and some events related to them repeated each year at the same appointed time and coincidentally the stars always were at the same position when that happened and…..BANG, someone had the “brilliant” idea of connecting the dots (literally) and believing that stars guided everything that happened in Earth, included the birth, personality and future of people. In conclusion: bullshit!
I’m pretty glad Elves are not that stupid. They knew for a certainty that the stars were mere gifts of Varda and they praised them, but you know…the future is yours to take and to make and the personality is yours to mold or let it be molded by others.
To mock how a horoscope would be in an elvish style, check the chart below:
First of all, you need to know which day you were born according to the elvish calendar. Go here and get your Java Elvish Calendar so you can convert your birth date into the Imladris Reckoning.
Pay attention to one important detail: Were you born AFTER the sunset? If so, check the “after sunset” box at the Java Elvish Calendar, click to convert it and what you get is your day and also the day of the week you were born!
Voilà. The day of the week is what determines which elvish sign is yours!
Mine is Menelya. What about you? Know a little bit more about yourself and the day you were born below:
Valanya (“Valaday”) is the day of the Valar, the Powers. People born in Valanya are intense, powerful, impulsive, organized and determined. Sometimes, they tend to be jealous, self-centered and stubborn.
Beware of: angry dogs, falling objects and people who pretend to be your friends but are not. Eventually, you’re gonna die.
Elenya (“Starday”) is the day of the Stars, the jewels Varda put in the sky. People born in Elenya are efficient, sensitive, creative, compassionate and loyal. Unfortunately, they may be a little bit obsessive, elusive and too dreamy.
Beware of: drunk drivers, lava from volcanos and people who want to put you down by diminishing your creativity. Sadly, in the end, you’re gonna die.
Anarya (“Sunday”) is the day of the Sun, the great fruit of Laurelin who heralded the coming of the Men. People born in Anarya are bright, realistic, curious, knowledgeable and versatile. Also, they may be considered as rebellious, unsociable and moody.
Beware of: food that might make you choke, hitchhikers and people who gossip about you and what you do with life. Anyway, they’ll shut up when you die, and you will.
Isilya (“Moonday”) is the day of the Moon, Telperion’s last flower. People born in Isilya are romantic, harmonious, fair, enthusiastic and protective. Their bad traits include being envious, nervous and wrathful.
Beware of: UFOs, mosquitoes that transmit Malaria and people who play with other’s feelings without showing any regret. But don’t forget that….you’re gonna die!
Aldúya (TwoTreeday) is the day dedicated to the Two Trees, the wondrous Trees of Valinor. People born in Aldúya are brave, civilized, smart, sociable and reliable. Perhaps, they may also be temperamental, tactless and deeply complex.
Beware of: boiling water on your lap, serial killers with chainsaw and people who are not honest and lie all the time. Lies won’t last forever and neither will you….You’re gonna die.
Menelya (“Heavenday, Skyday”) is the day dedicated to the Skies and everything above. People born in Menelya are intellectual, devoted, magnetic, original and idealistic. Unfortunately, they are lazy, introvert and depressive also.
Beware of: politics, lightning bolts and people who want to abuse you and your efforts. Remember: don’t try too hard because…you’re gonna die!
Horoscopes, huh? Full of predictive material with lots of human traits that one way or the other you’ll identify yourself with it.
Now you can play and joke with it elvish style! 😀
I must say we are approaching one of the most debated matters in The Lord of the Rings, but also one of the most thrilling ones. We are here to discuss who is this mysterious character after all. What is he? Where does he come from? Is Tom his real name? What is he doing near the Shire? Questions… many questions… But patience, my friends: we’ll address them one at a time, with the guidance of Gene Hargove’s awesome essay.
First of all, I deem important to ask ourselves the following: to which race in Arda’s creational order does Tom belong? If we can answer this, we would’ve gone half the way. That’s why I’ll divide this in two parts: a first post about “What is Tom Bombadil?”, and another one about “Who is Tom Bombadil, and what role does he play in the story?”.
Through the years, since Tolkien’s death (and even before), scholar’s and fans of his mythos have devised many different theories: some good and some bad. To help us find what he is, we can find first what he is not.
He is not a hobbit, neither a dwarf, obviously because of his physical appearance, especially his height. He is, evidently, not an Ent, nor an Orc. So what is left? Elf or Man? Maybe… But do you remember when he grabs the Ring in his hand and starts playing with it? He does not seem affected in any way by its power. He even puts it on, and doesn’t disappear! I know no Elf or Man, even the most powerful & noble, who are able to achieve that. So, definitely, he is no Elf or Man.
So what the heck is he? During the Council of Elrond, its said about him: “Power to defy our Enemy is not in him, unless such power is in the earth itself”. Misleaded by this phrase, his power over nature and no other way to explain it, a lot of researchers have concluded that Tom is a “personification of nature itself”, a “nature god/deity” or a “non-rational nature spirit”. This theory prevailed a long time, but lets make it clear: this phrase is pretty ambiguous. It does not state that Tom is the earth or has the power of the earth. I quote Hargrove’s article: saying that “[John] does not have the ability to drive that far, unless that ability is in the car”, does not mean that John is a car or has the power of the car. They are very different things. So no, there’s no evidence of him being a “nature spirit”.
When Goldberry answers the question “Who is Tom Bombadil?”, she simply says: “He is”. Does this mean that existence is a predicate of Tom, and then he is God (Eru)? Well, Tolkien himself denied this in a letter of 1954, and wrote in another that “there is no embodiment of the One, of God, who remains remote, outside of the world” (Letter #181). Another possibility is discarded: Tom is not Eru.
But what’s wrong about existence being a (limited) predicate of an “offspring of Ilúvatar’s thought”, a.k.a. Vala or Maia? AHA! See where I was going? Here comes the juicy part… Attested material that denies this possibility is nowhere to be found!!! And that’s good for us, because we are finally seeing the light in this matter!
In fact, there is evidence that encourages this theory. Tom himself remarks that “he knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside”, referring to the time before the coming of Morgoth (the original Dark Lord). So he would be “the oldest”. On the other hand, Treebeard is supposed to be “the oldest living thing that still walks beneath the Sun”. How come that be? Well, this makes perfect sense if you think about what means to be “alive”. Living creatures are those inhabitants of Eä, belonging to its “biology”. It happens that Valar and Maiar aren’t from Eä, but from the Void: they just are embodied in this world. So, more information that encourages our theory.
Stay tuned for part II, for this gets increasingly interesting! we’ll see which Vala or Maia may he be.
NOTE: most of the things said here are arguable, and I do not intend to have the final word in this somehow obscure matter. I’d like to hear from you in the comments to discuss all of this.
You may be used to read a lot of jokes here and there. But take a look at the title of this post again. Did you read it? Well, this is NOT a joke!
I was talking with a girl on Twitter and she commented about Eldar Ambaressë stats and how she was surprised Iceland wasn’t there. I asked why was that and she showed me this:
A toy house on the grass? NO…a elf house! Built by Icelandic people to elves! And this is serious!
Apparently, Iceland folklore is really taken seriously there and people believe elves are living everywhere. They build houses like that, they don’t build roads nor buildings on certain sites where huldufólk (lit. hidden people) is believed to live and…get ready for that….here it comes…..they (in 1982) went to a NATO base in Keflavík to look for “elves who might be endangered by American Phantom jets and AWACS reconnaissance planes.” Man…that is serious deep shh****….stuff!
And that’s not all, boys and girls! There is even a Icelandic Elf School where you can learn everything you need to know about huldufólk and the 13 different species of elves. The Headmaster Magnús Skarphéðinsson offers a full curriculum and certificate programs for visitors.
See? I told you this post WAS NOT a joke!
Do you wanna read more? Check where I got the inspiration!