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Elainiwen
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Post Gil-galad, son of Fingon or son of Orodreth?
on: February 16, 2018 12:10
I thought I'd post this poll in a few sites, being very interested in the results in each.

As you may know, after the Silmarillion was published, Christopher Tolkien revised the story, saying that Gil-galad being Fingon's son was an "editorial mistake" and claimed that he was Orodreth's. However, there are few pros in Gil-galad being the son of Fingon that make quite a bit of sense:

  • His history is far more defined than it would be as the son of Orodreth. We would have more lore to grasp.
  • No source ever mentioned that Finduilas had a brother, and what his role was in Nargothrond.
  • His claim for the High King crown would be stronger. If he was the son of Orodreth, Galadriel 's claim as a High Queen would probably be stronger instead by the order of succession. She would be older generation within the same House.


So I asked about this from Corey Olsen "the Tolkien Professor". His answer was that both answers were true in one point, and Tolkien never truly settled the matter, with Gil-galad being relatively late arrival in the legendarium.

So, cast your votes please.

[Edited on 02/16/2018 by Elainiwen]
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Lord_Sauron
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on: February 18, 2018 08:59
I just want to know if Fingon was Gil-Galads father then why was Turgon named King when Fingon died? Shouldn't the crown have gone to Gil-Galad?
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Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: February 19, 2018 02:08
I found this explanation in the Gil-galad section of the Tolkien Gateway site:

Gil-galad was originally, and briefly, conceived as a descendant of Fëanor.

Later, and through the writing of The Lord of the Rings, he was considered a son of Finrod Felagund, until Tolkien decided that Felagund was unmarried and childless.

A marginal note by Tolkien from around this time (the late 1950s) suggested that Gil-galad might be the son of Fingon. This suggestion was taken up by Tolkien's son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien in the published version of The Silmarillion, which states that Gil-galad is the son of Fingon. He also edited a line in Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife which originally referred to Gil-galad as a member of the House of Finarfin to make it consistent with the published Silmarillion. Christopher stated many years later in The Peoples of Middle-earth that this decision to make Gil-galad a son of Fingon was an editorial mistake on his part and did not represent his father's conception of the character. Christopher suggested that it would have been better to have left Gil-galad's parentage obscure.[11]

Tolkien's final decision for Gil-galad's parentage appears to have been that he was a son of Orodreth, who was at the same time changed from being a son of Finarfin to a son of Angrod.[11] This conception, however, was never incorporated into the written stories of The Silmarillion, and aspects of it — notably the downgrading of Orodreth into a son of Angrod — would have required considerable reworking of the existing text.

I don't believe there is a definitive answer as Tolkien himself never specified one way, or another.
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Elainiwen
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on: February 19, 2018 11:24
The sites I posted this poll to (if you're curious):

TheOneRing.com
Council of Elrond
Lotr Plaza

[Edited on 02/20/2018 by Elainiwen]
Gandolorin
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on: February 20, 2018 04:16
Going by J.E.A. Tyler’s Companion, Ereinion Gil-galad was born before the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame, 455 First Age) in Mithrim, i.e. Middle-earth. After that battle (which led to the death of Fingolfin) Fingon “sent his young son to dwell with Cirdan the Shipwright at the Havens of The Falas.” Fingon himself was slain in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears, 473 FA), shortly after which Morgoth’s forces overran the Havens, and Gil-galad was among those led by Cirdan who escaped the sack to the Isle of Balar, where they remained until the end of the First Age.

So I would guess that Gil-galad’s youth, as well as him being very much on the fringes on the Isle of Balar, led to Turgon’s becoming High King. But apparently in his own right, I have found nothing stating that he was a regent for Gil-galad. If one assumes that a High King would also have to be a warrior king, then of course Turgon was the choice as ruler of Gondolin with its still formidable army, while Gil-galad was a far-off exile without useful fighting forces. When Turgon then fell in the sack of Gondolin in 510 FA, there were no useful fighting forces left anywhere, and with the Dagor Bragollach now being 55 years ago and Gil-galad some years older, these two possible earlier hindrances to his becoming High King were no longer valid.
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Elthir
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on: February 21, 2018 12:15
For myself, here I won't hold Tolkien to never published (by him) texts to (try to) work out how his last known idea might be implemented.

Gil-galad barely appears in QS, and 'but his young son Ereinion (who was after named Gil-galad) he sent to the Havens' could be noted of Orodreth rather han Fingon, for Orodreth is noted as the warden of Tol Sirion before being forced to flee to Nargothrond.

Other manipulations regarding Orodreth's place in the family tree seem slight enough: alter 'brother' to nephew where Finrod or other brothers are involved, and from Of The Flight Of The Noldor: 'and Orodreth, alone of his sons spoke in like manner' -- one could alter 'sons' to 'kin' or 'house' perhaps, or simply delete this reference (as he would now be Angrod's son).

And stripping Finduilas of her line to Turin (or altering it) does not seem that invasive in my opinion, which line does not occur in QS itself if I recall correctly [referring to: 'But you are kingly,' said she, 'even as the lords of the people of Fingolfin; I would I had a brother so valiant.' The Children of Hurin.

For examples.

That said, the Nargothrond tale's the thing, in my opinion. Starting with Gil-galad as Felagund's son, the external progression seems to be:

A) Felagund sends his wife and son to the Havens for safety, or A1) demands that Orodreth do so, or A2) Felagund's wife forsakes Nargothrond with Gil-galad

B) Then later the idea re-emerges that Gil-galad was sent to the havens, by his father Fingon.

C) Then later again Gil-galad is back as a Finarfinian, but now 'escapes', I assume escapes the fall of Nargothrond.

The later idea might raise the question of why Finduilas -- she becoming the sister of Gil-galad -- did not journey with him to the Havens; or why, if A2 were to be the case, why a wife and child forsaking Nargothrond would not include the female child Finduilas.

But again, if Gil-galad is present at the Fall of Nargothrond, Tolkien would arguably provide a way in which he escaped, but Finduilas did not.

Another matter might be: if Gil-galad is Arothir/Orodreth's son and not merely a child when Turin shows up, how does Turin grow so high in Orodreth's councils? Orodreth is weak and simply favors Turin? Possible, but on the other hand this is...

... Gil-galad!

Anyway, the simplest solution so far, it seems to me, is to have the Finarfinian Gil-galad be somewhere else during Turin's rise in Nargothrond, and its fall.

[Edited on 02/21/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: February 21, 2018 03:25
I’m guessing that Gil-galad was a case (other similar cases would be Celebrimbor, and Amroth) where JRRT himself had not come to a definite conclusion on the matter. Or at least, to make the newer concept (Gil-galad as Orodreth’s son) canon would entail some serious revision in older layers of the mythology which were in a (far) more finished state than the (tentatively) proposed revision. So while there are scraps in HoME volume 11 “The War of The Jewels” having Gil-galad as son of Orodreth (or even Inglor, an earlier name for Finrod Felagund), Christopher Tolkien might have had to do too massive an editing of the Fingon-as-father layers to fit these scraps in, to have intruded too much. So one (I) can imagine JRRT having gotten distracted by his favorite pastime of niggling elsewhere, instead of fleshing out (and revising backwards) Gil-galad’s descent from Finarfin instead of Fingolfin. As Gil-galad is in later times very much involved in warfare, especially the Last Alliance which led to his death, I personally find his descent from the two greatest Noldorin warriors, Fingolfin and Fingon (with Turgon not far behind; the Fëanorians were too rage-addled by their moronic oath to be really good warriors) more fitting than from the calmer Finarfinians.

JRRT was constantly revising, even “re-inventing” aspects of the not-yet-published mythology. His preoccupation with Galadriel (a late addition to LoTR) would have led to the second-most massive upheaval in his mythology, as he was trying to get her distanced from the Fëanorian rebellion, and especially the kin-slaying, to a degree that bordered on the pathological. The most massive upheaval would have been the world being round, and the sun and moon existing, from the beginning, and the latter having nothing to do with the Two Trees. A break comparable to discarding the “Lost Tales” scenario, driven by the thought that the Elves would have known Copernican astronomy millennia before we superstition-challenged Aftercomers were able to grasp such a concept. Vaguely felt, a drifting away from High Fantasy in the direction of Science Fiction. And for my gut feeling anything but an improvement.
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Elthir
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on: February 21, 2018 04:06
Gandolorin said: (...) JRRT was constantly revising, even “re-inventing” aspects of the not-yet-published mythology. His preoccupation with Galadriel (a late addition to LoTR) would have led to the second-most massive upheaval in his mythology, as he was trying to get her distanced from the Fëanorian rebellion,...


For me "would have" is still the big question here. Tolkien arguably would have made ros "foam, spray" a Beorian word, for example: he did, and wrote a little lore to go with it... until he realized he had already published this ros as Sindarin.

Seems like a relatively minor detail compared to removing Galadriel from the Rebellion! If Tolkien ever realized, that is -- while writing the only unfinished text that actually removes her from the Rebellion -- that he had already published that she had been banned for her role in the Rebellion.

There's currently no evidence to illustrate that he remembered though, and to (admittedly) delve into the merely possible, perhaps that's why the text in question never went beyond being "adumbrated".

In other words... maybe he remembered!

... and especially the kin-slaying, to a degree that bordered on the pathological.



Other way 'round though

In late texts Tolkien added a role for Galadriel with respect to the Kinslaying, even if that role was fighting either "fiercely" or "heroically" in defense of the Teleri.


The most massive upheaval would have been the world being round, and the sun and moon existing, from the beginning, and the latter having nothing to do with the Two Trees.


I think Tolkien solved this dilemma in such a way that Quenta Silmarillion could still include the "older mythology", while variant perspectives (Mannish and Elvish), presented different views concerning both the original shape of the world, and the Sun existing before the Quendi awoke.

In other words, keep his (mostly Mannish text) Quenta Silmarillion tale of the Trees and Sun, but publish his (Elvish text) Awakening of the Quendi too.

[Edited on 02/21/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: February 21, 2018 04:52
Yes, I’ve read about his thinking about making all of the “non-Copernican” stuff a muddled mannish tradition. TH and LoTR are stories seen mainly through the eyes of Hobbits (a very special variant of humanity - NOT the Númenórean-derived Gondorians or northern Rangers, nor the Rohirrim or their northern relatives appearing in The Hobbit).

But.

The Sil is supposed to be derived from the three volumes of “Translations from Elvish” compiled by Bilbo in his long stay in Rivendell. While Elrond might have been interested in what went on in Númenór, originally ruled as first king by his brother Elros – and which ended up as the Akallabêth in the Sil – the Ainulindalë, Valaquenta and Quenta Silmarillion were Elvish tradition, no ifs, ands or buts – and non-Copernican. As I mentioned, the upheaval of the entire Elder Days tradition would have been at least on the scale as that when JRRT abandoned the Lost Tales "Eriol / Ælfwine / Tol Eressëa becomes England" concept in the ?early 1920s.
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Elthir
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on: February 21, 2018 12:21
Gandolorin wrote: The Sil is supposed to be derived from the three volumes of “Translations from Elvish” compiled by Bilbo in his long stay in Rivendell.


Yes, translations from the Elvish languages though, not necessarily translations from Elvish perspective texts, though some could be as well, helping round out a multi-perspective legendarium.


While Elrond might have been interested in what went on in Númenór, originally ruled as first king by his brother Elros – and which ended up as the Akallabêth in the Sil –


The Akallabeth being a mixed version, The Drowning of Anadune a Mannish version -- in which the Elves of the West teach the Numenoreans that the world is round before Numenor's fall.

... the Ainulindalë, Valaquenta and Quenta Silmarillion were Elvish tradition, no ifs, ands or buts – and non-Copernican.


They were, back when the transmission included the Anglo-Saxon mariner who learned these tales direct from the Elves of Eressea. But within the new Numenorean/Arnor/Gondor/Bilbo transmission, they passed through Mannish minds and hands.

Take The Annals of Aman for instance, which speaks of the coming of the Valar to Arda, names and describes the chieftains of the Valar (notes other spirits called Maiar), and begins with the years of the Valar in Arda before even the fall of the Lamps...

... years well before the coming of Men and even of Elves, but Tolkien's new preamble reads:

"Here begins the "Annals of Aman", Rumil made them in the Elder Days, and they were held in memory by the Exiles. Those parts which we learned and remembered were thus set down in Numenor before the Shadow fell on it."

JRRT, Morgoth's Ring


Which is in concert with...

"What we have in the Silmarillion etc. are traditions... handed on by Men in Numenor and later in Middle-earth (Arnor and Gondor), but already far back -- from the first association of the Dunedain and Elf-friends with the Eldar in Beleriand -- blended and confused with their own mannish myths and cosmic ideas."

JRRT, Morgoth's Ring


Even the long prose versions of Turin, Beren and Luthien, and Tuor in Gondolin are newly characterized: "The Three Great Tales must be Numenorean, and derived from matter preserved in Gondor."

And Tolkien even publishes the entering in of Numenor here, in his note to The Adventures of Tom Bombadil:

"These two pieces [poems 6 and 16], therefore, are only re-handlings of Southern matter, though this may have reached Bilbo by way of Rivendell. No. 14 also depends upon the lore of Rivendell, Elvish and Numenorean, concerning the heroic days of the end of the First Age; it seems to contain echoes of the Numenorean tale of Turin and Mim the Dwarf."



But yet note JRRT's characterization of an Elvish fairy tale mixed with counting lore, called the Cuivienyarna (or The Awakening of the Quendi), which is noted as being "preserved in almost identical form among both the Elves of Aman and the Sindar."

Very Elvish, as expected, and a tale in which the Sun exists before the Elves awaken. Again, represent the Elvish point of view along with The Silmarillion, instead of drastically revising the (now) Mannish influenced Silmarillion!

Problem solved!

[Edited on 02/22/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: February 23, 2018 02:32
Elthir said:Problem solved!

Not in the least!

The only Mannish archives which had survived to the times of Bilbo would have been those of Gondor. The archives of Imladris would have been Elvish to the core. Granted, Elrond may have collected what we would now call “fake news” emanating from Númenór long before Sauron went there. But that could to my mind only have been from an interest in recording the horrifying degradation of the heirs of his brother and their subjects (like we have much that is written about Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other mass murderers and their helpers). Do not forget that an Elf, and certainly someone like Elrond, was something akin to a walking, talking, breathing Encyclopedia Britannica.

JRRT himself may not have realized (or not wanted to) that he had painted himself into a corner with his reference to Bilbo’s three volumes of “Translations from Elvish”, which I pig-headedly consider to be unsullied (by Mannish “garbage”) Elvish traditions. And that was not the only painted corner he found himself in after the LoTR had been published. It eliminated wide swaths of his Mythology from the possibility of indulging in his favorite pastime, niggling.

I can imagine very well that it had something to do with his professional life. Languages continuously change (rare exceptions may have been ecclesiastical Latin, especially in the Catholic Church, and perhaps the Latin that was considered the proper mode of communicating scientific findings for quite a while in Europe), they almost never become fixed. His lecture “A Secret Vice” (the date of when he first gave it being entirely speculative, perhaps early 1930s) is revealing: the creation of imaginary, private, whatever languages is what gives joy, so creation (change) is continuous. At least when the inventor has the (extremely rare) skills and perseverance that JRRT had. He often referred to Quneya as “Elven-Latin”, which thus was very much fixed compared to Sindarin. LoTR then became the “Quenya” of his imagination – deadly for his favorite pastime, niggling.

And let us not forget that the years 1937 to 1949, when JRRT had in essence written LoTR, were the years when he was between 45 and 57, possibly the years of the peak of his creativity (his most likely greatest professional success was the lecture “The Monsters and The Critics” from 1936, a year before “The Hobbit” was published). When RoTK was finally published in 1955, he was 63 (a year older than I now am). When he finally retired from Oxford in 1959 he was 67. Besides the fact that he seemed to be contemplating an upheaval of his mythology comparable to abandoning the “Lost Tales” format, he still had some “debts” for contributing to “professional” publications, not a few incurred while being preoccupied with the “New Hobbit”. And he had spent himself on what I personally consider to be a “Beowulf for our times”, in so many ways a singular book. C.S. Lewis probably put it in a way that cannot be bettered: “Lightning from a clear sky.”


[Edited on 02/23/2018 by Gandolorin]
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Elthir
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on: February 24, 2018 03:26
Gandolorin said:
The only Mannish archives which had survived to the times of Bilbo would have been those of Gondor. The archives of Imladris would have been Elvish to the core.


But how does that square with author-published description (ATB): "... the lore of Rivendell, Elvish and Numenorean..."

Granted, Elrond may have collected what we would now call “fake news” emanating from Númenór long before Sauron went there. But that could to my mind only have been from an interest in recording the horrifying degradation of the heirs of his brother and their subjects (like we have much that is written about Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other mass murderers and their helpers). Do not forget that an Elf, and certainly someone like Elrond, was something akin to a walking, talking, breathing Encyclopedia Britannica.


Waitamminit, here you at least seem to allow that Elrond did have Numenorean related traditions! And for myself, I wouldn't call them "fake news"... to me it's something more along the lines of The Odyssey for instance, in the sense that, however true or not in its details, when translated centuries later, even if the translator is an encyclopedia-minded founder of the library which houses the original...

... you translate. You don't "correct". You certainly don't need to correct in any case, or need to correct Bilbo's translations beyond language details (if even that) -- especially if your library also contains Elvish perspective legends that also speak to such things as the origin of the Sun, or the original shape of the world.

And you might have Noldorin perspective texts, and Elvish perspective texts from Elves who had never been Oversea.

JRRT himself may not have realized (or not wanted to) that he had painted himself into a corner with his reference to Bilbo’s three volumes of “Translations from Elvish”, which I pig-headedly consider to be unsullied (by Mannish “garbage”) Elvish traditions.


But it's only if you characterize this material in Imladris as Elvish perspective legends (instead of legends written in Elvish), that you can then say Tolkien has painted himself into a corner here.

In the first edition, Tolkien notes that after the War of the Ring, the hobbits became interested in the history of the Westlands beyond their own traditions: "Thus the Red Book contained many annals, genealogies, and traditions of the South and the North, derived through Bilbo from the books of lore in Rivendell; or through Frodo and Peregrin from the King himself..."

I don't see how that, for example, corners JRRT, keeping in mind that his Note on the Shire Records only came in with the Second Edition, and after ATB.

And that was not the only painted corner he found himself in after the LoTR had been published. It eliminated wide swaths of his Mythology from the possibility of indulging in his favorite pastime, niggling.


I agree with that much, although I'm not sure how "wide" wide is, generally speaking. So after ATB, Tolkien can't get around the fact that Rivendell contains Numenorean lore!



And by re-charectrizing the authorship/perspective/transmission of his legends, he found a way to save the old ideas alongside other tales. This collection could then echo some real world collections, with multiple authors and variant types of texts: including prose, poetry (including Hobbitic poetry), genealogies, a tale of years, a "brief" account of the Elder Days (Quenta Silmarillion), linguist documents and notes, and long prose versions of the Great Tales...

... and so on. And considering the Great Tales, in ATB we have the Numenorean tale of Turin and Mim, and I note a revision to Quenta Silmarillion (the LQ2 text) with respect to the tale of Beren and Luthien:

"Of their lives was made the Lay of Leithian, Release from Bondage, which is the longest save one of the songs of [the Noldor >] Númenor concerning the world of old;..."


And again, whether or not I believe that Oyssseus' men escaped the Cyclops on the underbellies of sheep (for instance)... that's very arguably irrelevant if I'm a translator of this now ancient text.

I wish I could translate The Odyssey actually... but that's another story

[Edited on 02/24/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: February 24, 2018 04:28
Have I ever mentioned that I can be pig-headed? …

Númenórean-based traditions! Ye-hes, but there was not simply one such tradition. Not simply that of the rebelling, Kings-party majority. The Faithful kept contact with Gil-galad, and so I would assume that Elrond had a corrective to the Kings-party “fake news”. Not that he would necessarily have needed it to detect the falseness of the Kings-party propaganda, he was very well able to see through those falsehoods simply through the length of his life (born in the First Age) and the experience gathered in that time. And I would speculate that he would keep the two parts of his written library separated, the one known to be truthful as per Elvish tradition, and the part culminating in which I can only describe as the (Sauron-addled) “Nazi period” of Númenór under Ar-Pharazôn. I get the indistinct feeling that you assume that Elrond selected what Bilbo was shown for his “Translations from the Elvish”, and slanted towards the mannish muddled stuff. Hobbits were from their own experience not necessarily overly fond of the “Big Folk”, so Bilbo should be assumed to have been delighted with “pure Elvish” traditions to a much greater degree.

I have mentioned occasionally that had JRRT been blessed with the longevity of Elros Tar-minyatur, he would still not have finished the Silmarillion before his death (and that would still be 374 years in the future, in 2392!!!). Or from the year of his death he would have continued to niggle for 45 years up to today, and had a total of 419 years to do so until dying at 500 (and thus had 9 years more to do so than Elros reigned Númenór!). He might have decided to radically revise bot the LoTR and TH once every century, just to adjust them to his inevitable changes in linguistic aesthetics.

Stanley (not yet Sir) Unwin hit the bulls-eye when he, after some form of the Silmarillion had been presented to Allen & Unwin in the late 1930s, and rejected, called the material a source to be mined for other stories (then certainly thinking of TH analogues). JRRT mined his “Silmarillion” to his and all of our profit. The “mineral” vein that was left was not enough for another book to compare with LoTR. It did yield the published Silmarillion in the version edited by Christopher Tolkien, which I also enjoyed reading (and UT, HoME, and the expanded versions of some tales that have been published since). But JRRT produced an almost perfect “alloy” in LoTR, which he would not have achieved with the “pure metals” of the Silmarillion.

[Edited on 04/24/2018 by Gandolorin]
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Elthir
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on: February 24, 2018 09:21
Gandolorin said: Númenórean-based traditions! Ye-hes, but there was not simply one such tradition.


Agreed.

In general, Mannish influence and confusion starts in Beleriand, in the First Age, well before any arguable king's party influence in Numenor. In a similar discussion elsewhere on line, someone named Zigur posted:

Zigur said: But why would that stop him [Bilbo] from wanting to translate the Númenórean legends? I always thought that one of the reasons Bilbo did the "Translations from the Elvish" was because he was interested in the language and the stories; I never got the impression that "learning the truth about history" was ever a particular goal.

(...) I feel like the untrue nature of the Númenórean legends being a problem for Bilbo would be like a modern person who was interested in Ancient Greek not wanting to work on Hesiod's Theogony because it's not a true account of the formation of the world, or perhaps to bring it closer to home an Old Norse enthusiast being uninterested in Völuspá for the same reason.


Gandolorin said: And I would speculate that he would keep the two parts of his written library separated, the one known to be truthful as per Elvish tradition, and the part culminating in which I can only describe as the (Sauron-addled) “Nazi period” of Númenór under Ar-Pharazôn.


Here's a look at a round world mythology detail concerning Ar-Pharazon: the Mannish text The Drowning of Anadune contains description in which the "immortals" of the West teach that the world is round, and so Ar-Pharazon muses about this, wondering if he could sail East, come to the Undying Lands that way, without "breaking" the ban!

A nice way, in my opinion, for JRRT to get his round world mythology somewhere into the legendarium, along with flat world notions.

And I don't assume Elrond selected any texts, but I like your choice of "indistinct"

Gandolorin said: Hobbits were from their own experience not necessarily overly fond of the “Big Folk”, so Bilbo should be assumed to have been delighted with “pure Elvish” traditions to a much greater degree.


What Bilbo might or might not prefer aside for now, do we even know if a purely Elvish Silmarillion ever existed in the later scenario? The Shibboleth of Feanor, (1968 or later) note 17 (author's note):

As is seen in The Silmarillion. This is not an Eldarin title or work. It is a compilation, probably made in Numenor, which includes (in prose) the four great tales or lays of the heroes of the Atani, of which "The Children of Hurin" was probably composed already in Beleriand, but necessarily preceded by an account of Feanor and his making of the Silmarils. All however are "Mannish " works.

JRRT


I have mentioned occasionally that had JRRT been blessed with the longevity of Elros Tar-minyatur, he would still not have finished the Silmarillion before his death.


I have a different opinion about this. While I agree Tolkien was a natural niggler, for me, that in no way means he could not finish a long work... like say, The Lord of the Rings!



Anyway, the main issue here concerns what kind of text the Silmarillion is, and I'm basing my argument on multiple, late characterizations by the author himself -- characterizations which just "happen" to solve a problem for Tolkien that arose before The Lord of the Rings was even finished.

With respect to Tolkien's: "It is clear to me that in any case the Mythology must actually be a "Mannish" affair (...)" and so on, Myths Transformed, text 1, Christopher Tolkien comments:

"It is remarkable that he never at this time seems to have felt that what he said in this present note [text I, Myths Transformed] provided a resolution of the problem he believed to exist."


It is remarkable, yes... "at this time", as Tolkien tried to create a more Elvish Silmarillion in various notes, which notes don't get very numerous or finished.

It's not remarkable to me that JRRT would ultimately realize this however, and so, at a later time, he consistently characterizes the Silmarillion in this light.

[Edited on 02/26/2018 by Elthir]
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on: February 26, 2018 07:25
I’ll leave aside the highly tempting speculation-land of how this undoubtedly “hobbitish” tradition managed to traverse the 6000 years JRRT once gave in a letter as separating us (or more precisely him) from the Fairbairns of the Towers, whose foremother was Sam’s daughter Elanor (who has some Christopher Tolkien touches to her, come to think of it).

The Sil as mannish tradition to rescue his Elves from mannish pre-Copernican ignorance. Yes, JRRT wrote (fragments of?) alternative, round-world-from-the-beginning variants of stories he had spent 20, maybe 30 years before that as unquestionably original Elvish lore. Or perhaps at times simply declared a story to be (muddled) mannish that he had previously considered Elvish. Unfortunately, to my imagination, he hardly spent any thought on how such a transmission could have taken place to end up with the declared principal authors of The Red Book of Westmarch, Bilbo, Frodo and Sam, or the “Translations from the Elvish” by Bilbo.

“…Mannish influence and confusion starts in Beleriand, in the First Age, …”
Taking “Morgoth’s Ring”, HoME vol. 10, “Arthrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth”, the confusion started among men quite a bit earlier.

Anyway, men first appeared in Beleriand about 85 years before the Battle of Sudden Flame in FA 455, if the dates given in “The War of The Jewels” HoME vol. 11 are even semi-canonical. “Unnumbered Tears” was just barely over a century after Beor’s first appearance. These people had plenty of other problems to deal with until Morgoth was finally defeated perhaps 230 years of the sun after their entry to Beleriand. From the descriptions, they were way below the level of “civilization” of the Éothéod, never mind the later Eorlingas / Rohirrim. What kind of “mannish tradition” could these depleted remnants have taken to Númenór? Close to nothing. The three Great Tales involving human Heroes, Beren, Turin and Tuor, were all remembered and written by Elves. Only Turin’s last exploits in Brethil had human witnesses, but that tradition, I would guess, was rather transmitted by Hurin’s coming to Doriath after having been released by Morgoth; I doubt that there were many survivors of Brethil who made it to Númenór. These are the three greatest (one tragic) human heroes, but what made them heroic was remembered by the Elves, who were the ones to witness their (tragic) heroism who then returned to Tol Eressëa, not the humans who were granted Númenór.

So to my mind, any “mannish” traditions surviving can only come from Númenór. And that can only mean from those Elves who had suffered through the First Age with the Edain. Which would be Noldor who had returned to Tol Eressëa. But of the about 3300 years that the island (mini-continent – very mini) existed, the inhabitants (or those involved with recording any traditions) were “only” sympathetic to Elvish views up to about 1800 SA: “The Shadow falls on Númenór.” Things Elvish fall more and more into disrepute. Then in 3262 TA Ar-Pharazôn “captures” Sauron, who then has 57 years to destroy any remaining Elvish written tradition. That’s an awful long time to light an awful lot of bonfires. Modern counterparts (I’ll avoid the N-word, though being German I find it all too applicable) did massive damage where they held sway in much less time (and come to think of it, “modern” applies to many occasions in the last 6000 (actually a much lesser part) years!).

So what can survive of “mannish” tradition from Númenór? Practically nothing, again assuming the Faithful did not record the abominable doings of the King’s party just for the sake of recording as a warning to later generations.

And for all “mannish” muddle-mindedness, for whatever reason, the Faithful must have access to unpolluted Elvish sources. And as I mentioned, living “Encyclopedia Britannicas”, like Elrond. And never mind a living “Library of Congress” like Cirdan. Beings who could correct our wild guesses about ancient times by sheer (and very much superhuman) personal memory.

And as for say specialists like JRRT working on difficult texts like say Beowulf (there was an interesting program about it on one of our quality TV channels last night). As JRRT states about the “source available to him” for TH and LoTR, it is not the original, but rather a later copy. What leads to variant translations of such old scripts is often (most of the time?) that what is available to the translators of our time is precisely a copy, into which corruptions have crept in. I’m only guessing here: a word appears which describes something which was only invented (and could be described) say 200 years later. Some might be ecstatic that this occurrence of the word “proves” that the thing in question was actually in existence 200 years earlier. But the word does not make sense in its context. And it resembles an older word (this would be a lucky break for later translators that the older word had been recorded elsewhere), which does make sense. JRRT had quite a bit to do professionally with such inconsistencies, corruptions by later copyists who were puzzled by archaic words that no longer meant anything useful to them. That is what leads to commentary (summas), even done massively about religious texts. Like the Rabbinic Talmud to the Hebrew Tanakh; the Muslim Ḥadīth to the Koran (Qur'an); the enormous production first in what is now called Eastern Orthodox Christianity by the “older fathers”, influenced by Greek philosophy, of “commentaries” (or summas) of various parts of the Christian Bible, and the even more massive production of such writings in Catholicism starting about with Augustinus of Hippo, and in Protestantism with Martin Luther and Calvin. That some “heathen” Greek stuff did not get this treatment has to do with its downgrading and heading for “fairy (not Faery!) story” territory.

And last (the Advocatus Diaboli finally breaks through!): JRRT wanted to preserve his Elves from being “pre-Copernican” ignorant. Erm … why stop there (and why the intrusion of the primary world into the secondary at all?). Shouldn’t the Elves (and never mind Maiar and Valar) know their Newton? Gauss? Faraday? Darwin? Planck? Einstein? Heisenberg? Oppenheimer??? Hawking? Or before I forget, that horrible man Wegener with his continental drift, corrected and expanded to plate tectonics?

Mh, OK, I’ll go to work on LoTR with such a mindset. Out go:
Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs, Wargs, Ents, Dragons, Palantiri, all “magic” rings, Barrow-wights, Nazgûl,, the Balrog, Sauron, all Istari, Tom Bombadil & Goldberry, Gollum, Beorn, huge talking Eagles, Mithril, the Mearas …

What is then left of LoTR? Tattered shreds. JRRT, as my vague memory tells me, once sent flat-earth and round-earth variants of what might become the Sil to someone whose judgement he respected. She (?) firmly voted for the flat-earth variant. I herewith firmly register my vote of approval!
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Elthir
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on: February 26, 2018 04:39
Gandolorin said: The Sil as mannish tradition to rescue his Elves from mannish pre-Copernican ignorance. (...) Unfortunately, to my imagination, he hardly spent any thought on how such a transmission could have taken place to end up with the declared principal authors of The Red Book of Westmarch, Bilbo, Frodo and Sam, or the “Translations from the Elvish” by Bilbo.


I'm not sure how detailed the general scenario needs to be; although we do get (what I consider) some nice detail with respect to individual accounts that fall into the general scenario (see below).

Elthir “… Mannish influence and confusion starts in Beleriand, in the First Age, …”

Gandolorin Taking “Morgoth’s Ring”, HoME vol. 10, “Arthrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth”, the confusion started among men quite a bit earlier.


I was referring there to the confusion in the First Age due to association with the Dunedain and the Eldar in Beleriand, essentially referring back to what Tolkien himself said in MT text I, quoted earlier. Mannish "influence" on Eldarin matter, starting well before Sauron entered Numenor (considering my fuller sentence). If that wasn't clear, that's what I meant anyway...

... but yes, even our world today has variant legends and mythologies of course, hailing from various Men.

Anyway, men first appeared in Beleriand about 85 years before the Battle of Sudden Flame in FA 455 (edt for brevity) From the descriptions, they were way below the level of “civilization” of the Éothéod, never mind the later Eorlingas / Rohirrim. What kind of “mannish tradition” could these depleted remnants have taken to Númenór?


Men blending Elven tales with their own cosmic ideas can include oral traditions, but anyway we know, as more fully posted above, that: "... The Children of Hurin was probably composed already in Beleriand in the First Age." JRRT, note 17 Shibboleth of Feanor


Close to nothing. The three Great Tales involving human Heroes, Beren, Turin and Tuor, were all remembered and written by Elves.


Well, who wrote these texts is the matter under discussion

Only Turin’s last exploits in Brethil had human witnesses, but that tradition, I would guess, was rather transmitted by Hurin’s coming to Doriath after having been released by Morgoth; I doubt that there were many survivors of Brethil who made it to Númenór. These are the three greatest (one tragic) human heroes, but what made them heroic was remembered by the Elves, who were the ones to witness their (tragic) heroism who then returned to Tol Eressëa, not the humans who were granted Númenór.


Here's a little detail fer ya:

JRRT wrote: "For such was Dirhaval. He came of the House of Hador, it is said, and the glory and the sorrow of that House was nearest to his heart. Dwelling at the Havens of Sirion, he gathered there all the tidings and lore that he could, for in the last days of Beleriand there came thither remnants out of all the countries, both Men and Elves: from Hithlum and Dor-Lomin, from Nargothrond and Doriath, from Gondolin and the realms of the Sons of Feanor in the east."


Although this comes from the later 1950s and the seeming last vestiges of Elfwine, I'll point again to Tolkien's later note about this tale being composed in Beleriand. Dirhaval, using the Grey-elven tongue, crafting his tale from a variety of sources...

... keeping in mind, in any case: how much of the Turin saga deals with a sunless Arda? Or the original shape of the world?


So what can survive of “mannish” tradition from Númenór? Practically nothing, again assuming the Faithful did not record the abominable doings of the King’s party just for the sake of recording as a warning to later generations.


Why can't a compilation made in Numenor called The Silmarillion survive? Here's an interesting description, I think.

Tolkien wrote: "The following account is an abbreviation of a curious document, preserved in the archives of Gondor by strange chance (or by many such chances) from the Elder Days, but in a copy apparently made in Númenor not long before its downfall: probably by or at the orders of Elendil himself, when selecting such records as he could hope to store for the journey to Middle-earth. This one no doubt owed its selection and its copying, first to Elendil's own love of the Eldarin tongues and of the works of the loremasters who wrote about their history; but also to the unusual contents of this disquisition in Quenya: Eldarinwe Leperi are Notessi: The Elvish Fingers and Numerals. It is attributed, by the copyist, to Pengoloð (or Quendingoldo) of Gondolin, and he describes the Elvish play-names of the fingers as used by and taught to children."

Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals, and Related Writings
(part two), Vinyar Tengwar 48


In short, if Tolkien desires this account to be included in the legendarium, at least here he (and not that surprisingly in my opinion) invents an explanation for it surviving.

And for all “mannish” muddle-mindedness, for whatever reason, the Faithful must have access to unpolluted Elvish sources.


You say that, but what makes it necessarily so that the Faithful must have an Elvish Silmarillion? Or what makes the Silmarillion, as a Numenorean compilation, necessarily a work of the King's party? Again, Tolkien's preamble to The Annals of Aman includes: "... those parts which we learned and remembered were thus set down in Numenor before the Shadow fell on it."

Say the same or similar about the Grey Annals, and you encompass the First Age. In the external scenario, Christopher Tolkien argues that the Annals themselves were becoming more like Quenta Silmarillion -- and so he used them in his construction of the 1977 Silmarillion (the tradition of the Annals possibly being replaced by a Tale of Years).

And as I mentioned, living “Encyclopedia Britannicas”, like Elrond. And never mind a living “Library of Congress” like Cirdan. Beings who could correct our wild guesses about ancient times by sheer (and very much superhuman) personal memory.


Yes you mentioned this, as I have mentioned that I think it hardly matters, while giving some modern day analogies. Here's another: if I ever learn Old English, and then ever get hired to translate The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, I wouldn't care a whit if it's arguably "biased" in certain entries, or incorrect about something, compared to some other account.

And as a Christian who enjoys Northern myths, I'd enjoy translating a reference to the god Woden too (going by memory, I think the name occurs in certain genealogies in the ASC, but can't recall if he is specifically called a god, or suggested to be one, or whatever).

And I quoted Zigur about this as well, as I think he had said much the same thing already.

And last (the Advocatus Diaboli finally breaks through!): JRRT wanted to preserve his Elves from being “pre-Copernican” ignorant.


Not all Elves, but for example, those who had had contact with the Valar, yes. Although even the start of the more Elvish Silmarillion in Myths Transformed was not wholly "scientific", and contains, for instance, Varda's Dome and her wonderful "star imagines".

Erm … why stop there (and why the intrusion of the primary world into the secondary at all?). Shouldn’t the Elves (and never mind Maiar and Valar) know their Newton? Gauss? Faraday? Darwin? Planck? Einstein? Heisenberg? Oppenheimer??? Hawking? Or before I forget, that horrible man Wegener with his continental drift, corrected and expanded to plate tectonics?

Mh, OK, I’ll go to work on LoTR with such a mindset. Out go: Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs, Wargs, Ents, Dragons, Palantiri, all “magic” rings, Barrow-wights, Nazgûl,, the Balrog, Sauron, all Istari, Tom Bombadil & Goldberry, Gollum, Beorn, huge talking Eagles, Mithril, the Mearas … What is then left of LoTR? Tattered shreds.





I personally don't believe that the Mirdain gave Durin III one of the Seven, despite that the Dwarves of Durin's folk held this to be so (Appendix A, Durin's Folk).

I still believe in Elven-smiths (and Elves of course) and Dwarves though; and if a given reader does believe this Dwarvish version, then maybe Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age simply skips this detail due to arguable brevity -- a brevity that even seems to relate that Frodo himself destroyed the One! Brilliant!

JRRT had a few major concerns that he felt some people would not accept, which, if so, would arguably pull them out of the "spell" he could put them under. What reason do folks have to think that Elves and Ents didn't really exist in Middle-earth? Because there are seemingly brief, in world, conflicting statements concerning the original shape of the world?

JRRT, as my vague memory tells me, once sent flat-earth and round-earth variants of what might become the Sil to someone whose judgement he respected. She (?) firmly voted for the flat-earth variant. I herewith firmly register my vote of approval!


Tolkien sent flat and round variants of Ainulindale to someone, yes. And years later, on an envelope containing the text of The Drowning of Anadune, he noted:

JRRT wrote: Contains very old version (in Adunaic) which is good -- in so far as it is just as much different (in inclusion and omission and emphasis) as would be probable in the supposed case:
(a) Mannish tradition
(b) Elvish tradition
(c) Mixed Dunedanic tradition



Christopher Tolkien reflects upon the versions of DA:

"Where could such ignorance of the Elves be found but in the minds of Men at a later time? This, I believe, is what my father was concerned to portray: a tradition of Men, through long ages become dim and confused. At this time, perhaps, in the context of The Notion Club Papers and of the vast enlargement of his great story that was coming into being in The Lord of the Rings, he began to be concerned with questions of traditions and the vagaries of tradition, the losses, confusions, simplifications and amplifications in the evolution of legend, as they might apply to his own -- within the always enlarging compass of Middl-earth"


And then he refers to the later "envelope note" by his father (that I just quoted above).

By the way, another late move by JRRT with respect to an author-published change: for The Hobbit Third Edition (1960s), Tolkien revised a rather explicit mention of Elves living in Middle-earth before the Sun existed.

I can gather up the citations for comparison, if you like

[Edited on 02/27/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: February 27, 2018 01:22
Elthir said: I can gather up the citations for comparison, if you like

Awk! Image No, better not! We’re heading into “1951 letter-monster to Milton Waldman of Collins publishers” territory too much anyway. (I just finished my nth re-reading of “Letters” by Humphrey Carpenter – not a source to foster brevity in communications!)

And I actually forgot one thing I had wanted to comment on in my above (latest) flood! (Excessive blabbing has this characteristic in common with floods, and their relatives, landslides and avalanches: stuff gets swept away and buried under debris! Image ).

Finishing LoTR. Yes, certainly, but for a book of fiction the gestation period may be without parallel.
And, this is very much evident from “Letters” (the Hammond / Scull companion / guide books add details), JRRT was very much again engaged in invention (externally viewed; he himself described a lot of what looks to us like conscious invention as belonging to the category of the appearance of the to him until then utterly unfamiliar word “Hobbit” that he scrawled on that legendary empty page of an examination paper). It recalls what he said in “A Secret Vice” about the invention of private languages, that the enjoyment is in the “invention”, not in getting “it” canonized, “fossilized” into something resembling the OED. He was having quite a lot of fun, especially (as with “investigating” what “Hobbit” “meant”) building up background stories to people, other beings, genealogies, geography and whatnot for the newcomers to LoTR which had never appeared in the “Older Mythology” before LoTR. And there is an awful lot of stuff that ended up in the published Silmarillion that had not been in pre-LoTR layers, and HoME provides ample documentation of his efforts to “write back” the “canon” established in LoTR into the “Older Mythology”. Never mind that he had to write back within LoTR, modifying earlier parts which were still too much in a “The Hobbit” mode, and the modification of the latter itself.
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Elthir
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on: February 27, 2018 02:40
Okay.

But I could be busy later when someone might want to see those Hobbit quotes... I offered!




[Edited on 02/28/2018 by Elthir]
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on: April 23, 2018 08:53
A little confused by this thread...

Whilst I accept that almost everywhere in Middle Earth, stories and accounts of the FA would have been highly muddled and perhaps not even recorded - surely this wouldn't be the case in Imladris? Regardless of what Tolkien says about Bilbo's "translation from the Elvish", I cannot understand how you can rationalise the concept that the House of Elrond doesn't have an accurate account of the Silmarillion story (or as accurate as it was ever known by any one person). Elrond was there, and when he wasn't there are other sources like Galadriel (there for all of it).

Surely the only stuff that could be muddled is that which the Elves do not fully know (an example may be the full story and purposes of the Istari)? Historical events must have been recorded accurately.
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains." ~ The Doom of Mandos
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on: April 23, 2018 08:55
By the way the above is only about what Gandolorin and Elthir were debating, not the actual question!
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains." ~ The Doom of Mandos
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on: April 24, 2018 12:09
Point taken, PSK, but the debate (naturally?) progressed from a specific point of muddled “history” in later writings to the point that these later writings are in very general terms quite muddled.
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Elthir
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on: April 24, 2018 12:52
PSK said: "... surely this wouldn't be the case in Imladris? Regardless of what Tolkien says about Bilbo's "translation from the Elvish", I cannot understand how you can rationalise the concept that the House of Elrond doesn't have an accurate account of the Silmarillion story (or as accurate as it was ever known by any one person)."


I've a few approaches to this. First, my favorite:

Accuracy? Who Cares?

Bilbo was a poet and story-teller, not a historian. A "short" Mannish version may have appealed to him.

Quenta Silmarillion was conceived of as: "This is a history in brief drawn from many older tales (...) recounted more fully in other histories and songs" JRRT, The Lost Tales And Other Writings (written in the Elfwine scenario here, but still).

I'd love to translate The Odyssey for instance.

Did a written Elvish Silmarillion ever exist?

"All peace and all strongholds were at last destroyed by Morgoth; but if any wonder how any lore and treasure was preserved from ruin, it may be answered: of the treasure little was preserved, and the loss of things of beauty great and small is incalculable; but the lore of the Eldar did not depend on perishable records, being stored in the vast houses of their minds. When the Eldar made records in written form, even those that to us would seem voluminous, they did only summarise, as it were, for the use of others whose lore was maybe in other fields of knowledge, matters which were kept for ever undimmed in intricate detail in their minds." JRRT, The Shibboleth of Feanor

If one did, did it survive ... specifically in Imladris?

I think "not necessarily" is possible.

If one did survive in Imladris, would it be too voluminous for Bilbo?

He's an Elf-friend... but not an Elf

Possibly something else I haven't thought of yet, or forgotten

This space for rent.



[Edited on 04/24/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: April 24, 2018 02:17
Elthir said:I've a few approaches to this. First, my favorite:

Accuracy? Who Cares?

Egads! Elthir, I cannot believe you posted this! It sounds so PJ-ish (like his comment in the TH EEs “continuity is for sissies”)! Besides possibly the Dwarves (for whom we lack any “documentation”), the Hobbits were the most pig-headedly orthodox or even dogmatic race as far as “accuracy” goes – especially regarding genealogies. While Gandalf chose Bilbo for his partial “Tookishness”, he was also quite certainly looking for a partial stolidity as represented by the Baggins (he pointedly did NOT go directly to Tookland!). But then what we supposedly have with TH and LoTR and TS etc. derives from in origin exactly five very exceptional Hobbits: Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin. Some scraps of original Shire “lore” are also given us (and where did THEY come from) about Bilbo degenerating into “Mad Baggins”, and Frodo into – erm, well – “never heard of him”. So to attribute a carelessness about “accuracy” to Hobbits – I’m totally shocked!
Bilbo was a poet and story-teller, not a historian.

Poetry, story-telling and “history” were in (our) earlier ages not separated in anything near the sharp distinction we of the 21st (or even 20th … or even earlier?) centuries separate them. Think Beowulf. Iliad & Odyssey. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Even the highly corrupted stuff about Arthur, or even more so Robin Hood. Now this is purely mannish stuff. Bilbo was unusual, but still a part Baggins. Frodo too, but his admixture was Brandybuck. Merry and Pippin were considered by conventions of the times in the Shire (conceded, I’m on very thin ice here) “purebred” Brandybucks and Tooks. Sam was originally “country proletariat”. All five of them would probably bombard me with details of their genealogies that would make me lose count of their relatives in maybe five seconds. The “truth” probably is, everyone was everyone else’s cousin in the Shire to a degree that the Hobbits could probably give a specific term for.

But all of these five would in my opinion have insisted on “accuracy”, even in things described by poetry, to a degree to put your snobbish comment about “accuracy to shame!

P.S. I'm assuming you're not suggesting that the greay lays, Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and the lost one about the Fall of Gondolin were composed by Bilbo, along the lines of his "Earendil was a Mariner" that he presented in Rivendell before the Council of Elrond???
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Elthir
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on: April 24, 2018 06:11
Gandolorin said: Egads! Elthir, I cannot believe you posted this! It sounds so PJ-ish (like his comment in the TH EEs “continuity is for sissies”)!


I think Bilbo would want to be accurate in his translation of a chosen, ancient text, but not necessarily care if what he was translating represented wholly "accurate" history, especially with respect to the shape of the world, or the sun's origin...

... which probably isn't going to affect "events" much, like in the tale of the Fall of Gondolin for instance.

Jackson chose his source, and then... well, I'm not going to that subjective well in general, not here/now at least... but anyway it's not the same thing.

(...) So to attribute a carelessness about “accuracy” to Hobbits – I’m totally shocked!


I haven't attributed carelessness to Hobbits in such general terms though -- and a genealogy, for example, is rather different from poetic history in any case. And about Bilbo and his Hobbit tale...

"That was drawn from the early chapters, composed originally by Bilbo himself. If 'composed' is a just word. Bilbo was not assiduous, nor an orderly narrator, and his account is involved and discursive, and sometimes confused:..." JRRT, Foreword, The Lord of the Rings, first edition


And again, when translating someone else's work, already written, we are in different waters. Interestingly, Bilbo's poem in Imladris also had an earlier form.


No. 3 is much the longest and most elaborate. It 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 Númenorean legends of Eärendil. 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." JRRT, Adventures of Tom Bombadil


His own work, yes. It's not all about Bilbo needing strict accuracy, generally speaking.

Poetry, story-telling and “history” were in (our) earlier ages not separated in anything near the sharp distinction we of the 21st (or even 20th … or even earlier?) centuries separate them.


Agreed in general. I was thinking modern historian above, to say that that level of accuracy would not necessarily make Bilbo feel compelled to translate the most accurate version he could find... if there was a more accurate "Quenta Silmarillion" written down, in Imladris, that Bilbo thought he could handle.

And there's plenty in QS, as a Mannish text, that can be thought of as accurate anyway, regardless of the original shape of the world, for example.


(...) But all of these five would in my opinion have insisted on “accuracy”, even in things described by poetry, to a degree to put your snobbish comment about “accuracy to shame!



I assume that the poet of Perry-The-Winkle insisted on first gathering a lot of accurate information about trolls and baking.



P.S. I'm assuming you're not suggesting that the greay lays, Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and the lost one about the Fall of Gondolin were composed by Bilbo, along the lines of his "Earendil was a Mariner" that he presented in Rivendell before the Council of Elrond???


As I say, once Bilbo chose to translate any "Numenorean" tales and lays -- or any Elvish material passing through Men's minds and hands -- I'm guessing he would try to be accurate with respect to these arguable "historical/poetical" treasures.



By the way, it might be interesting to gather all the references to the original shape of the world, and/or to the origin of the sun, in the 1950s or post 1950s fragments of the Great Tales!

I don't have the time right now though. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

[Edited on 04/25/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: April 24, 2018 11:29
Or, to return to the original question posed by this thread, the ancestry of Gil-galad!
Or, at a minimum, the shifting concept of Galdriel. But certainly nothing voluminous enough to produce a book, which is what Christopher Tolkien’s self-professed last book, last year’s “Beren and Lúthien” was.

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Elthir
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on: April 25, 2018 12:26
Ferris Bueller.

I'll have to change my "Accuracy title" the next time I list the ideas above. Admittedly it's way too general and can open up notions I don't mean. Maybe: "Round World or flat? Turin still went to Doriath and so on..."

Though that's a bit long!

Gil-galad's father was Arothir!

Gandolorin
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on: April 26, 2018 02:44
Oooookay – that’s about as helpful as answering my question, back in 1983, “who is Aragorn?” with “son of Arathorn”.

And scouring my three lexicons for “Arothir” also leaves me with an “eh wot?” response.
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Elthir
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on: April 26, 2018 07:28
The only further change was the rejection of the name Artaresto and its replacement by Artaher, Sindarin Arothir; and thus in the excursus (note 23) Arothir [Orodreth] is named as Finrod’s ‘kinsman and steward’, and (note 47) Gil-galad is ‘the son of Arothir, nephew of Finrod’. (...)

Since Finduilas remained without correction in the last of the genealogies as the daughter of Arothir, she became the sister of Gilgalad. There can be no doubt that this was my father’s last word on the subject;…

Christopher Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle-Earth



Maybe you need a fourth lexicon?

Gandolorin
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on: April 26, 2018 10:56
I'm guessing an English - Westron - Sindarin - Quenya one. Most of the Elven names in LoTR seem to be Sindarin. It is pure chance that I know Altariel to be the Quenya form of Galadriel (Elu Thingol being Sindarin for Elwë Singollo in Quenya is given in The Sil). Image

Or perhaps a specialist RSTT lexicon (REALLY Serious Tolkien Trivia).
Foster, Tyler and Schneidewind (the German guy) all wrote in their updated editions that they had drawn some sorts of trivia limits. This specialist lexicon might have a rather limited potential buyer base (there being at least two users here naturally derives from the fact that this site is totally unrepresentative of the general public Image )

[Edited on 04/27/2018 by Gandolorin]
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Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: May 12, 2018 03:48
Just curious. Does anybody remember what the actual topic of this thread is? IMHO, I think the posters have drifted somewhere out near Saturn, and entered a discussion that should be in another thread dealing with the Silmarillion itself. LOL
“Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." - Hans Christian Anderson.
Elthir
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on: May 16, 2018 10:45
Gandolorin said: I'm guessing an English - Westron - Sindarin - Quenya one. Most of the Elven names in LoTR seem to be Sindarin. It is pure chance that I know Altariel to be the Quenya form of Galadriel...


Incidentally, in a late text, Tolkien imagined that the pure Quenya form was Ñaltariel.

"The Quenyarized form appears as Altariel, though its true form would have been Ñaltariel."

JRRT, The Shibboleth of Feanor, 1968 or later


In this text, Altariel was said to be Quenyarized from the Telerin form Alatáriel(le), a name given by Teleporno of the Teleri in Aman...

... but since I don't believe in Celeborn as a Teler of Aman -- since Tolkien published that he was one of the Sindar in RGEO -- this scenario doesn't work for me.

Christopher Tolkien did not take up the revised base for the constructed Silmarillion Appendix, where he gives the base as "Kal- (gal-)" perhaps because Tolkien had also published Altariello ("of Galadriel, Galadriel's" written in tengwar) in RGEO in any case.

This leaves us with (as I view "canon" anyway): Tolkien having to deal with Altariel -- suggested to be Quenya, but, in my opinion, not a name given in Aman by "Tel(e)porno" (again, as Celeborn the Sindarin Elf, also canon, would arguably simply give her the name in Sindarin).

Now, in The Shibboleth Tolkien also notes that two of Galadriel's brothers were given names in Telerin form, so we could still keep the scenario of Altariel being "Quenyarized" from Telerin, with the true form being Ñaltariel, and just sail Celeborn back to Middle-earth where he belongs -- also giving him a basis on which to come up with Galadriel, based on a Telerin name from Aman, which could even still be a nickname given by someone.

It's all very simple, you see

[Edited on 05/17/2018 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: May 17, 2018 12:49
Evil~Shieldmaiden said:Just curious. Does anybody remember what the actual topic of this thread is? IMHO, I think the posters have drifted somewhere out near Saturn, and entered a discussion that should be in another thread dealing with the Silmarillion itself. LOL

My spontaneous gut feeling places us somewhere at least in the Kuiper Belt, perhaps heading for the (still quite speculative) Oort cloud – but maybe I’ve just had too much coffee …

There have been several extensive posts about Gil-galad, including one by yourself. But I confess to an apparently irrepressible urge to go off on tangents (just ask my relatives and friends!). And by all appearances, Elthir is not averse to such (excessive) meanderings. Gi-galad, being very much a fringe character with some unsettled aspects, is a natural jumping-off point into the wide swath of speculation about the distantly seen vistas that JRRT himself never got around to, a lot to be found in legions of annals about the various ages that he started, and not so seldom never got around to finishing. When his being, self-confessed, a natural niggler, suddenly burst forth at any give annal and he wrote half a book about it – often then also abandoning this “explosion” before bringing it to a conclusion.
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