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To get you started here is a bit of an overveiw of some of the best most recent discussions tentatively catagorized:
FUN AND GAMES(the rules are pretty much the same for all the games: ¹If you submit a correct answer you must submit a new question/scramble/etc. and ²If noone answers or submits a new one for a rather length segment of time the floor becomes open and anyone can ask/submit a new question/scramble/etc.)
Trivia »» Can you answer the question? ¤ Q. Who did Bilbo give Sting to? » A. Frodo
Scramble »» Can you rearrange the seemingly randomly combined letters into the name of something from The Lord of the Rings? ¤ Q. GABINGS » A. BAGGINS
Who Said That? 6x »» Given what is said can you identify who said it? ¤ Q. "That's just as I feared" » A. Sam
Odd man out?(all Tolkien)»» Can you identify who/what in the given list doesn't fit with a unique characteristic of all the rest? ¤ Q. Treebeard Goldberry Beorn Rose cotton Old Man Willow » A. Beorn's name is the only one w/o a plant in it
With the success of The Hobbit Tolkien's publishers became eager for a sequel having forseen "a large public...clamouring next year to hear more about Hobbits!" Following a November 15th lunch during which he discussed several of his other writings with his publisher, Stanely Unwin, Tolkien handed to Allen & Unwin his works: The Geste of Beren and Luthien, The Quenta Silmarillion, Ainulindale, Ambarkanta, The Fall of the Numenoreans, Farmer Giles of Ham, Mr Bliss and The Lost Road. These were recorded in Allen & Unwin records as:
1. Long Poem (i.e. The Geste of Beren and Luthien) 2. Farmer Giles of Ham 3. Mr Bliss
4. The Gnomes Material (i.e. The Quenta Silmarillion, Ainulindale, Ambarkanta, The Fall of the Numenoreans) 5. The Lost Road
Of the real 'sequel' material, marked above, only The Geste appears to have been submitted to one of the firm's readers, Edward Crankshaw, (though some material from The Quenta Silmarillion had been attached to complete the as yet unfinished story) and his Report began thus:
quote:I am rather at a loss to know what to do with this - it doesn't even seem to have an author! - or any indication of sources, etc. Publishers' readers are rightly supposed to be of moderate intelligence and readin; but I must confess my reading has not extended to early Celtic Gestes, and I don't even know whether this is a famous Geste or not, or, for that matter, whether it is authentic. I presume it is, as the unspecified versifier has included some pages of a prose-version (which is far superior).
as a result Stanely Unwin wrote Tolkien saying it would be difficult to "do anything with the Geste...but our reader was much impressed with the pages of prose version which accompanied it" going on to say that The Silmarillion contained "plenty of wonderful material" but would not work as a book in itself. As a result Tolkien though dissapointed (believing The Silmarillion had actually been read!) went on to write the first chapter of what would become The Lord of the Rings(letter #20):
This was submitted to Rayner Unwin - as The Hobbit had been - who was 'delighted' with it(letter #24) and from there work progressed, if rather slowly and intermittently. Indeed this was especially true initially as Tolkien would report several times that in the beginning he had "only the vaguest notions of how to proceed". The primary periods of composition appear to have been as follows:
Dec 1937 - Mar 1938 × Broke off in chpt III "dead stuck"(letter #31)
August 1938 - late 1939 × Broke off in Moria
Summer 1940 - end 1942 × Broke off at the very beginning of Book IV
April 1944 - August 1944 × Broke off after Book IV "dry of inspiration"(letter #78)
Summer 1946 - late 1946 × 1947 "largely unproductive" after final chapters of Book V
1948 - October 1948
Tolkien later said regarding a newly realized purpose of composition (Click on link):
And so The Lord of the Rings was finished (following revision through 1949). Due to complications with publishing details and the continuing compilation of the appendices, however, the work was not published immediately but five years later and only then in three volumes to cut costs.
In Great Britain(Allen and Unwin): • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was published on July 29, 1954 (3250 copies) • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was published on November 11, 1954 (3000 copies) • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was published on October 20, 1955 (7000 copies)
In the United States(Houghton Mifflin Company): • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was published on October 21, 1954 (1500 copies) • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was published on April 21, 1955 (1000 copies) • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was published on January 5, 1956 (5000 copies)
Before the "Second Edition" came out an unauthorized paper-back edition was released by Ace Books, in America, followed closely by an authorized paper-back by Ballantine books which incorporated several revisions constituting a new edition:
Ace Books: • The Fellowship of the Ring was published in May 1965 (150000 copies) • The Two Towers was published in July 1965 (150000 copies) • The Return of the King was published in July 1965 (150000 copies)
Ballantine Books: • The Fellowship of the Ring was published in October 1965 (135000 copies) • The Two Towers was published in October 1965 (135000 copies) • The Return of the King was published in October 1965 (135000 copies)
[ 03-19-2005, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]
From: Worcester, MA | Registered: Nov 2000
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Though the changes made to the Lord of the Rings between editions are rather insignificant compared to those made between Hobbit editions they and their kind are still valuable to point out in order to explain certain arising or corrected inconsistancies and Tolkien's approach. Here is a sampling of many of Tolkien's major revisions made to the First Edition for the second and subsequent edition prints(The sources I used were The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring, Sauron Defeated and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. You'll find most of the changes have to do with small details such as geography or specific wording:
Changes in the 2nd Edition Bolded:
CHANGES ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED 1. Northope changed to The Yale 2. Buckelberry Ferry shifted 3 miles to the South 3. The Main Road changed from Running infront of Brandy Hall to Behind it
• THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING •
1ST: And thenceforward for a thousand years they lived in almost unbroken peace.
2ND: There for a thousand years they were little troubled by wars, and they prospered and multiplied after the Dark Plague (S.R. 37) until the disaster of the Long Winter and the famine that followed it. Many thousands then perished, but the Days of Dearth (1158-60) were at the time of this tale long past and the Hobbits had again become accustomed to plenty.
1ST: Fifty leagues it stretched from the West-march under the Tower Hills to the Brandywine Bridge, and nearly fifty from the northern moors...
2ND: Forty leagues it stretched from the Far Downs to the Brandywine Bridge, and fifty from the northern moors...
1ST: Three Elf-towers of immemorial age were still to be seen beyond the western marches.
2ND: Three Elf-towers of immemorial age were still to be seen on the Tower Hills beyond the western marches.
1ST: The tallest was furthest away, standing alone upon a green hill.
2ND: The tallest was furthest away, standing alone upon a green mound.
1ST: Hobbits delight in such things, if they are accurate: they like to have books filled with things that they already know, set out fair and square with no contradictions.
2ND: Hobbits delighted in such things, if they were accurate: they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions.
2ND: + Outside the Farthings were the East and West Marches: the Buckland; and the Westmarch added to the Shire in S.R. 1462.
2ND: + Note on Shire Records ...
THREE IS COMPANY
1ST: They were now in Tookland and going southwards; but a mile or two further on they crossed the main road from Michel Delvin (in the Hornblower country) to Bywater and Brandywine Bridge. Then they struck south-east and began to climb...
2ND: A mile or two further south they hastily crossed the great road from the Brandywine Bridge; they were now in the Tookland and bending south-eastwards they made for the Green Hill Country. As they began to climb...
1ST: 'I did not know that any of the fairest folk were ever seen in the Shire.'
2ND: 'Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire.'
1ST: The sun had gone down red behind the hills at their backs, and evening was coming on before they came to the end of the long level over which the road ran straight.bAt that point it bent somewhat southward, and began to wind again, as it entered a wood of ancient oak-trees.
2ND: At that point it bent left and went down into the lowlands of the Yale making for Stock; but a lane branched right, winding through a wood of ancient oak-trees on its way to Woodhall.
A SHORT CUT TO MUSHROOMS
1ST: The Ferry is south-east from Woodhall...
2ND: The Ferry is east from Woodhall...
1ST: We are on old Farmer Maggot's land...
2ND: This is Bamfurlong; Old Farmer Maggot's land...
FLIGHT TO THE FORD:
1ST: 'That is Loudwater, the Bruinen of Rivendell,' answered Strider. 'The Road runs along it for many leagues to the Ford.'
2ND: 'That is Loudwater, the Bruinen of Rivendell,' answered Strider. 'The Road runs along the edge of the hills for many miles from the Bridge to the Ford of Bruinen.'
1ST: The hills now began to shut them in. The Road bent back again southward towards the River, but both were now hidden from view.
2ND: The hills now began to shut them in. The Road behind held on its way to the River Bruinen, but both were now hidden from view.
1ST: After a few miles they came out on the top of a high bank above the Road. At this point the Road had turned away from the river down in its narrow valley, and now clung close to the feet of the hills, rolling and winding northward among woods...
2ND: After a few miles they came out on the top of a high bank above the Road. At this point the Road had left the Hoarwell far behind in its narrow valley, and now clung close to the feet of the hills, rolling and winding eastward among woods...
1ST: In the dusk its bit and briddle...
2ND: In the dusk its headstall...
1ST: They went back to the old path on the west side of the Silverlode...
2ND: They went back to the path that still went on along the west side of the Silverlode...
• THE TWO TOWERS •
1ST: ...wood of Laurelindórinan.
2ND: ...wood of Laurelindórenan.
A PASSAGE THROUGH THE MARSHES
1ST: Frodo looked round in horror. Dreadful as the Dead Marshes had been, and the arid moors of Nomen's land, more loathsome far was the country that the crawling day now slowly unveiled to his shrinking eyes.
2ND: Dreadful as the Dead Marshes had been, and the arid moors of the Noman-lands, more loathsome far was the country that the crawling day now slowly unveiled to his shrinking eyes.
1ST: It was not known to us that any of the palantirs had escaped the ruin of Gondor. Outside the Council it was not among elves and men even remembered that such things had ever been, save only in a Rhyme of Lore preserved among Aragorn's people.
2ND: We had not yet given thought to the fate of the palantíri of Gondor in its ruinous wars. By Men they were almost forgotten. Even in Gondor they were a secret known only to a few; in Arnor they were remembered only in a rhyme of lore among the Dúnedain.
THE BLACK GATE IS CLOSED
1ST: The hollow in which they had taken refuge was delved in the side of a low hill and lay at some little height above the level of the plain. A long trench-like valley ran between it and the outer buttresses of the mountain-wall. In the morning-light the roads that converged upon the Gate of Mordor could now be clearly seen, pale and dusty; one winding back northwards; another dwindling eastwards into the mists that clung about the feet of Ered Lithui; and another that, bending sharply, ran close under the western watch-tower, and then passed along the valley at the foot of the hillside where the hobbits lay and not many feet below them. Soon it turned, skirting the shoulders of the mountains...
2ND: The hollow in which they had taken refuge was delved in the side of a low hill, at some little height above a long trenchlike valley that lay between it and the outer buttresses of the mountains. In the midst of the valley stood the black foundations of the western watch-tower. By morning-light the roads that converged upon the Gate of Mordor could now be clearly seen, pale and dusty; one winding back northwards; another dwindling eastwards into the mists that clung about the feet of Ered Lithui; and a third that ran towards him. As it bent sharply round the tower, it entered a narrow defile and passed not far below the hollow where he stood. Westward, to his right, it turned, skirting the shoulders of the mountains...
• THE RETURN OF THE KING •
THE LAST DEBATE
1ST: But the main strength of the Rohirrim that remained horsed and able to fight, some three thousand, should waylay the West Road against the enemy that was in Anórien.
2ND: But the main strength of the Rohirrim that remained horsed and able to fight, some three thousand under the command of Elfhelm, should waylay the West Road against the enemy that was in Anórien.
THE HOUSE OF HEALING
1ST: 'Verily, for in the high tongue of old I am Elessar, the Elfstone, and the Renewer'
2ND: 'Verily, for in the high tongue of old I am Elessar, the Elfstone, and Envinyatar, the Renewer'
THE BLACK GATE OPENS
1ST: The three vast doors of the Black Gate under their frowning arches were fast closed.
2ND: The two vast iron doors of the Black Gate under its frowning arch were fast closed.
THE FIELD OF CORMALLEN
1ST: 'The clothes that you journeyed in,' said Gandalf. 'No silks and linen, nor any armour or heraldry, could be more honourable. But afterwards we shall see.'
2ND: 'The clothes that you wore on your way to Mordor. Even the orc-rags that you bore in the black land, Frodo, shall be preserved. No silks and linens, nor any armour or heraldry could be more honourable. But later I will find some other clothes, perhaps.'
1ST: ... For Sam he brought a coat of gilded mail, and his elven-cloak all healed of the soils and hurts that it had suffered; and when the Hobbits were made ready, and circlets of silver were set upon their heads, they went to the King's feast...
2ND: For Sam he brought a coat of gilded mail, and his elven-cloak all healed of the soils and hurts that it had suffered; and then he laid before them two swords. 'I do not wish for any sword,’ said Frodo. 'Tonight at least you should wear one,’ said Gandalf. Then Frodo took the small sword that had belonged to Sam, and had been laid at his side in Cirith Ungol. ‘Sting I gave to you Sam,’ he said. 'No, master! Mr. Bilbo gave it to you, and it goes with his silver coat; he would not wish anyone else to wear it now.' Frodo gave way; and Gandalf, as if he were their esquire, knelt and girt the sword-belts about them, and then rising he set circlets of silver upon their heads. And when they were arrayed they went to the great feast...
THE STEWARD AND THE KING
1ST: Those are Periannath, out of the far country of the Halflings, where they are princes of great fame, it is said.
2ND: Those are Periain, out of the far country of the Halflings, where they are princes of great fame, it is said.
1ST: A hush fell upon all as out from the host stepped the Dúnedain in silver and grey; and before them came walking slow the Lord Aragorn. He was clad in black mail girt with silver, and he wore a long mantle of pure white clasped at the throat with a great jewel of green that shone from afar. ... Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North
2ND: A hush fell upon all as out from the host stepped the Dúnedain in silver and grey; and before them came walking slow the Lord Aragorn. He was clad in black mail girt with silver, and he wore a long mantle of pure white clasped at the throat with a great jewel of green that shone from afar; but his head was bare save for a star upon his forehead bound by a slender fillet of silver. ... Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor
1ST: 'I may have life far longer than other men...'
2ND: 'I shall have life far longer than other men...'
1ST: 'Yes, he is gone'
2ND: 'Yes, he is gone seven days.'
1ST: After they had passed by Dunland and were come to places where few folk dwelt, and even birds and beasts were seldom to be seen, they journeyed through a wood climbing down from the hills at the feet of the Misty Mountains that now marched on their right hand. As they came out again into open country they overtook an old man leaning on a staff...
2ND: On the sixth day since their parting from the King they journeyed through a wood climbing down from the hills at the feet of the Misty Mountains that now marched on their right hand. As they came out again into the open country at sundown they overtook an old man leaning on a staff...
1ST: 'I fancy he could do some mischief still in a small mean way.'
2ND: 'I fancy he could do some mischief still in a small mean way.' Next day they went on into northern Dunland, where no men now dwelt, though it was a green and pleasant country.
1ST: September came in with golden days and silver nights. At last a fair morning dawned, shimmering above gleaming mists; and looking from their camp on a low hill the travellers saw away in the east the Sun..
2ND: September came in with golden days and silver nights, and they rode at ease until they reached the Swanfleet river, and found the old ford, east of the falls where it went down suddenly into the lowlands. Far to the west in a haze lay the meres and eyots through which it wound its way to the Greyflood: there countless swans housed in a land of reeds. So they passed into Eregion, and at last a fair morning dawned, shimmering above gleaming mists; and looking from their camp on a low hill the travellers saw away in the east the Sun...
1ST: Then he gave Frodo his mithril-coat and Sting, forgetting that he had already done so; and he gave him also some books of lore that he had made at various times, written in his spidery hand, and labelled on their red backs: Translations from the Elvish, by B.B.
2ND: Then he gave Frodo his mithril-coat and Sting, forgetting that he had already done so; and he gave him also three books of lore that he had made at various times, written in his spidery hand, and labelled on their red backs: Translations from the Elvish, by B.B.
THE SCOURING OF THE SHIRE
1ST: One came in from Bamfurlong last night...
2ND: One came in from Whitfurrows last night..
• THE APPENDICES •
1ST: Until the War of the Ring the people of the Shire had little knowledge of the history of the Westlands beyond the traditions of their own wanderings; but afterwards all that concerned the King Elessar became of deep interest to them, while in the Buckland the tales of Rohan were no less esteemed. Thus the Red Book from its beginning contained many annals, genealogies, and traditions of the realms of the South, drawn through Bilbo from the books of lore in Rivendell, or through Frodo and Peregrin from the King himself, and from the records of Gondor that he opened to them: such as 'The Book of the Kings and Stewards' (now lost), and the Akallabeth, that is 'The Downfall of Numenor'. From Gimli no doubt is derived the information concerning the Dwarves of Moria, for he remained much attached to both Peregrin and Meriadoc. But through Meriadoc alone, it seems, were derived the tales of the House of Eorl; for he went back to Rohan many times, and learned the language of the Mark, it is said. For this matter the authority of Holdwine is often cited, but that appears to have been the name which Meriadoc himself was given in Rohan. Some of the notes and tales, however, were plainly added by other hands at later dates, after the passing of King Elessar. Much of this lore appears as notes to the main narrative, in which case it has usually been included in it; but the additional material is very extensive, even though it is often set out in brief and annalistic form. Only a selection from it is here presented, again greatly reduced, but with the same object as the original compilers appear to have had: to illustrate the story of the War of the Ring and its origins and fill up some of the gaps in the main account.
2ND: Concerning the sources for most of the matter contained in the following Appendices, especially A to D, see the note at the end of the Prologue....The sign † indicates a premature death, in battle or otherwise, though an annal of the event is not always included.
1ST: There were only three unions of the Eldar and the Edain...
2ND: Fëanor was the greatest of the Eldar in arts and lore, but also the proudest and most selfwilled....The Edain (Atani) were three peoples of Men who, coming first to the West of Middle-earth and the shores of the Great Sea, became allies of the Eldar against the Enemy. There were three unions of the Eldar and the Edain...
1ST: Nonetheless it was not until the days of Romendacil II that the first great evil came upon Gondor: the civil war of the Kin-strife, in which great loss and ruin was caused and never fully repaired. The Northmen increased greatly in the peace brought by the power of Gondor. The kings showed them favour, since they were the nearest in kin of lesser Men to the Dunedain (being for the most part descendants of those peoples from whom the Edain of old had come); and they gave them wide lands beyond Anduin south of Greenwood the Great, to be a defence against men of the East. For in the past the attacks of the Easterlings had come mostly over the plain between the Inland Sea and the Ash Mountains. In the days of Romendacil II their attacks began again, though at first with little force; but it was learned by the King that the Northmen did not always remain true to Gondor, and some would join forces with the Easterlings, either out of greed for spoil, or in the furtherance of feuds among their princes. Romendacil therefore fortified the west shore of Anduin as far as the inflow of the Limlight, and forbade any stranger to pass down the River beyond the Emyn Muil. He it was that built the pillars of the Argonath at the entrance to Nen Hithoel. But since he needed men, and desired to strengthen the bond between Gondor and the Northmen, he took many of them into his service and gave to some high rank in his armies. In return he sent his son Valacar to dwell for a while with Vidugavia, who called himself the King of Rhovanion, and was indeed the most powerful of their princes, though his own realm lay between Greenwood and the River Running. There Valacar was wedded to Vidugavia's daughter, and so caused later the evil war of the Kin-strife.
2ND: Nonetheless it was not until the days of Valacar...From this marriage came later the war of the Kin-strife.
2ND: 2752-2842 11. Brytta. He was called by his people Léofa, for he was loved by all...When he died it was thought that they had all been hunted out; but it was not so. 2780-2851 12. Walda. He was king only nine years. He was slain with all his companions when they were trapped by Orcs, as they rode by mountain-paths from Dunharrow. 2804-2864 13. Folca. He was a great hunter....He slew the boar but died of the tusk-wounds that it gave him.
1ST: Rómendacil II 1366
2ND: Minalcar (regent 1240-1304), crowned as Rómendacil II 1304, died 1366
1ST: Gimli, Elf friend 2879-3121 (F.A. 100)
2ND: Gimli, Elf friend 2879-3141 (F.A. 120)
1ST: 100 Elrond weds daughter of Celeborn
2ND: 109 Elrond weds daughter of Celeborn
1ST: 139 Birth of Elladan and Elrohir, sons of Elrond
2ND: 130 Birth of Elladan and Elrohir, sons of Elrond
1ST: Took Family Tree
2ND: Took Family Tree + Estella Bolger (1385)
1ST: Brandybuck Family Tree
2ND: Brandybuck Family Tree + Meriadoc = Estella Bolger (1385)
[ 03-19-2005, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]
From: Worcester, MA | Registered: Nov 2000
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Another important element of The Lord of the Rings who's final form was never published with the volumes was a certain set of images of certain 'facsimilies' Tolkien went to great pains to produce of those leaves read by Gandalf from the Book of Mazarbul. According to Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien's Biographer, these were in fact so important to Tolkien that:
quote:[Tolkien] was more interested in the three 'pages' from the fragmentary record-book of the Moria Dwarves found by the Fellowship in book 2, chapter 5. Of all the art he attempted for The Lord of the Rings, nothing occupied his attention more than these three 'facsimiles', and his efforts to include them in his book rivalled his earlier battle with Allen & Unwin over Thror's Map. (~p. 163 J.R.R. Tolkien: The Artist and Illustrator)
and Tolkien himself once said:
quote:Reluctantly also I had to abandon, under pressure from the 'production department', the 'facsimiles' of the three pages of the Book of Mazarbul, burned tattered and blood-stained, which I had spent much time on producing or forging. Without them the opening of Book Two, ch. 5 (which was meant to have the facsimiles and a transcript alongside) is defective, and the Runes of the Appendices unnecessary. (~Letter 187)
Given this then I present these pages as reproduced in the now out-of-print Pictures of J.R.R. Tolkien with their accompanied transcriptsions from cirth runes and elvish letters to English:
We drove out orns from the great gate and guard
(r)oom and took the first hall: we slew many in the br
(i)ght sun in the dale: Flo'i was killed by an arr
ow. He slew the great chiefta(in) ............. .Flo'i
under grass near Mirrormer(e). .............. came
(w?)e repaire(d) ................................
We have taken the twentyfirst hall of northen
nd to dwell in There is g(ood) air. .................
............................. that can easily be
watched.......... the shaft is clear ..............
n. .coat m(ade7) all of purest mithril. .............
Iin to seek for the upper armouries of the third deep
.... go westwards to s.............. to Hollin gate
r ............ arz (probably for ars, the end of years?)
since .......................... ready
sorrow ....................... (y)ester
day being the tenth of november
Balin lord of Moria fell
in Dimrill Dale: he went alone
to look in Mirrormere. an orc
shot him from behind a stone. we
slew the orc but many more ca..........
p from east up the Silverlode ...........
we rescued Balin's b(ody) ..............
... .re a sharp battle ...................
we have barred the gates but doubt if
...... can hold them long. if there is ....
no escape it will be a horrible fate (to)
suffer - but I shall hold
We cannot get out: we cannot get out
they have taken the bridge and second h
(a)ll. Fra'r &. Lo'ni & Na'li fell the
re bravely wh(ile the) rest retr....... .....
Ma(zarb)ul. We still ho.................
g: but hope u.......... n...... (O'?)ins p
arty went 5 days ago but (today) only
4 returned: the pool is up to the wall
at Westgate: the watcher in the water too
k O'in - we cannot get out: the end com
es soon we hear drums drums in the deep
They are coming
For more information on the actual history of these documents be sure to check out The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien: The Artist and Illustrator and Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien. Here is some basic information on their composition, however, from a work entitled "Of Dwarved and Men" which can be found in The Peoples of Middle-earth(HoME XII) which was inspired by consideration of exactly this book:
quote:In preparing an example of the Book of Mazarbul, and making three torn and partly illegible pages, I followed the general principle followed throughout: the Common Speech was to be represented as English of today, literary or colloquial as the case demanded...Also, this treatment was imposed by the fact that, though the actual Common Speech was sketched in structure and phonetic elements, and a number of words invented, it was quite impossible to translate even such short extracts into its real contemporary form, if they were visibly represented. (~'Of Dwarves and Men' PoME)
[ 07-29-2004, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]
From: Worcester, MA | Registered: Nov 2000
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Bilbo's poem from the chapter of The Lord of the Rings: 'Many Meetings' which eventually came to be known as the Earendillinwe and regarded the travelings of the First Age hero Earendil actually has a very interesting and significant history. It was actually, according to Tolkien, a development of another poem of Bilbo's published in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil entitled 'Errantry' as is recorded by him in a preface to the work:
quote:[Errantry] was evidently made by Bilbo. This is indicated by its obvious relationship to the long poem recited by Bilbo, as his own composition, in the house of Elrond. In origin a 'nonsense rhyme', it is in the Rivendell version found transformed and applied, somewhat incongruously, to the High-elvish and Numenorean legends of Earendil. Probably because Bilbo invented its metrical devices and was proud of them. They do not appear in other pieces in the Red Book. The older form, here given, must belong to the early days after Bilbo's return from his journey. Though the influence of Elvish traditions is seen, they are not seriously treated, and the names used (Derrilyn, Thellamie, Belmarie, Aerie) are mere inventions in the Elvish style, and are not in fact Elvish at all. (~The Adventures of Tom Bombadil)
As such the Earendillinwe like Errantry held the same difficult metrical scheme characterized by "trisyllabic assonances or near-assonances"(Letter 133). Here is a sample of Tolkien Reading this poem to give you an idea of how these might sound: Errantry
What's primarily interesting about this work, however, is not how it came into existance but in what form it came to be represented. You see after a certain point that the work became characterized by the first line: "Earendil eas a mariner" the work evolved through 6 distinct forms which Christopher Tolkien represents (The Treason of Isengard(HoME VII)) by the progression between "drafts": A -› B -› C -› D -› E -› F Unfortunately it seems that at some point versions D through F were misplaced such that when the time came for the final product to be sent into the publishers Tolkien was forced to send in Version C and the "final" form was never published as a result. That is, until the publication of The Treason of Isengard of the seventh volume of the History of Middle-earth series in which Christopher Tolkien published this almost certainly prefered version. From this I reproduce "the form in which it should have been published" with differences from the version in The Lord of the Rings boldened:
Earendil was a mariner that tarried in Arvernien: he built a boat of timber felled in Nimbrethil to journey in. Her sails he wove of silver fair, with silver were her banners sewn; her prow he fashioned like the swans that white upon the Falas roam.
His coat that came from ancient kings of chained rings was forged of old; his shining shield all wounds defied, with runes entwined of dwarven gold. His bow was made of dragon-horn, his arrows shorn of ebony, of triple steel his habergeon, his scabbard of chalcedony; his sword was like a flame in sheath, with gems was wreathed his helmet tall, an eagle-plume upon his crest, upon his breast an emerald.
Beneath the Moon and under star he wandered far from northern strands, bewildered on enchanted ways beyond the days of mortal lands. From gnashing of the Narrow Ice where shadow lies on frozen hills, from nether heats and burning waste he turned in haste, and roving still on starless waters far astray at last he came to Night of Naught, and passed, and never sight he saw of shining shore nor light he sought. The winds of fear came driving him, and blindly in the foam he fled from west to east and errandless, unheralded he homeward sped.
In might the Feanorians that swore the unforgotten oath brought war into Arvernien with burning and with broken troth; and Elwing from her fastness dim then cast her in the waters wide, but like a mew was swiftly borne, uplifted o’er the roaring tide. Through hopeless night she came to him, and flame was in the darkness lit, more bright than light of diamond the fire upon her carcanet. The Silmaril she bound on him, and crowned him with the living light, and dauntless then with burning brow he turned his prow at middle-night. Beyond the world, beyond the Sea, then strong and free a storm arose, a wind of power in Tarmenel; by paths that seldom mortal goes from Middle-earth on mighty breath as flying wraith across the grey and long forsaken seas distressed from East to West he passed away.
Through Evernight he back was borne on black and roaring waves that ran o’er leagues unlit and foundered shores that drowned before the Days began, until he hears on strands of pearl where ends the world the music long, where ever-foaming billows roll the yellow gold and jewels wan. He saw the Mountain silent rise where twilight lies upon the knees of Valinor, and Eldamar beheld afar beyond the seas. A wanderer escaped from night to haven white he came at last, to Elvenhome the green and fair where keen the air, where pale as glass beneath the Hill of Ilmarin a-glimmer in a valley sheer the lamplit towers of Tirion are mirrored on the Shadowmere.
He tarried there from errantry, and melodies they taught to him, and sages old him marvels told, and harps of gold they brought to him. They clothed him then in elven-white, and seven lights before him sent, as through the Calacirian to hidden land forlorn he went. He came unto the timeless halls where shining fall the countless years, and endless reigns the Elder King for ever on Mountain sheer; and words unheard were spoken then of folk of Men and Elven-kin, beyond the world were visions showed forbid to those that dwell therein.
A ship then new they built for him of mithril and of elvenglass with crystal keel; no shaven oar nor sail she bore, on silver mast the Silmaril as lantern light and banner bright with living flame of fire unstained by Elbereth herself was set, who thither came and wings immortal made for him, and laid on him undying doom, to sail the shoreless skies and come behind the Sun and light of Moon.
From Evereven’s lofty hills where softly silver fountains fall his wings him bore, a wandering light, beyond the mighty Mountain Wall. From World’s End then he turned away, and yearned again to find afar his home through shadows journeying, and burning as an island star on high above the mists he came, a distant flame before the Sun, a wonder ere the waking dawn where grey the Norland waters run.
And over Middle-earth he passed and heard at last the weeping sore of women and of elven-maids in Elder Days, in years of yore. But on him mighty doom was laid, till Moon should fade, an orbed star to pass, and tarry never more on Hither Shores where mortals are; till end of Days on errand high, a herald bright that never rests, to bear his burning lamp afar, the Flammifer of Westernesse.
[ 03-19-2005, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]
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