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Hamfast Gamgee
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Just a quick question. With hopefully a quick answer [] Did Tolkien make up the riddles which where in Riddles in the Dark himself or where they taken from older sources?
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Both. From Rateliff:

The ”Thirty White Horses” riddle is an old nursery rhyme.

“No Legs” is Tolkien’s variant of an old class of riddles (often found today in Mother Goose).

The “Egg” riddle is also from a traditional nursery-rhyme, although it seems to have been reworked by Tolkien.

“Fish” comes almost directly from The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise.

“Daisy” is Tolkien playing philologist. (daeges eage (day’s eye’) through day’s e’e to daisy. He made this one up himself.

“Dark” and “Time” may have been influenced by old Icelandic riddles.

Now be aware that Tolkien himself claimed authorship for all of them except “Thirty White Horses” and “No Legs” in a letter to Allen & Unwin. The Professor may have been unconsciously influenced for some of them.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Thank you for that reply, Thorin. I did think that the Time riddle was the hardest one and seemed to have a twentieth-century input! Although, I have heard phrases like, 'Time conquers all,' before, but I'm not sure if it is post or pre the Hobbit! I have to say that when I first read the Hobbit, or had it first read to me at Primary school to be more accurate, I would have been eaten by Gollum, as I didn't get a single riddle correct. []
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Sam Gamgee
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Tolkien seems to have had a liking to take old nursery rhymes and make then his own. Don't forget what he did to "The Man In the Moon" in FotR.

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"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"

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Mithrennaith
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I think Tom Shippey has more to say on this. Perhaps in the Proceedings of Tolkien 2005?
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Roll of Honor pi
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quote:
No one would see him, no one would notice him, till he had his fingers on their throat. Only a few hours ago he had worn it, and caught a small goblin-imp. How it squeaked! He still had a bone or two left to gnaw, but he wanted something softer.
I just want to say that Gollum is one proto-hobbit that can eat with the best of them!
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Hamfast Gamgee
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Does good riddles as well. And Bilbo didn't win with a riddle!
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