Ask About Middle Earth

Ask any question about Middle Earth - LotR, The Hobbit, Silmarillion, or any random question about the peoples and history of Middle Earth (movie or book 'verse). Seriously, all questions are welcome!

Also, don't forget to check the helpful links in the sidebar!

(And no, I am not Stephen Colbert.)
I remember hearing that Aegnor decided never to be reembodied, because he did not want to live in a world without Andreth. However, I can't seem to find a quote supporting that. I really want to know if it's true. Do you know?

I can’t remember if it’s said more plainly somewhere else, but in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, Finrod says:

For thy sake now he will never take the hand of any bride of his own kindred, but live alone to the end, remembering the morning in the hills of Dorthonion. But too soon in the North- wind his flame will go out! Foresight is given to the Eldar in many things not far off, though seldom of joy, and I say to thee thou shalt live long in the order of your kind, and he will go forth before thee and he will not wish to return.

SOURCES: The Histories of Middle Earth vol. 10 (“Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth”)

  #aegnor    #andreth    #finrod    #belovedblabber  

Pippin: Prince of the Halflings


(A response to this post, if interested.)

So, when Pippin arrives in Minas Tirith with Gandalf, both Denethor and Beregond make some sort of comment about the strangeness of hobbit-speech. They don’t really specify what about Pippin’s speech is so strange, just vaguely referring to accent. And that could just have been a regular comment on whatever regional accent the hobbits probably had compared to the men of Gondor. But in Appendix F Tolkien comments on the issue, saying:

The Westron tongue made in the pronouns of the second person (and often also in those of the third) a distinction, independent of number, between ‘familiar’ and ‘deferential’ forms. It was, however, one of the peculiarities of Shire-usage that the deferential forms had gone out of colloquial use. They lingered only among the villagers, especially of the West-farthing, who used them as endearments. This was one of the things referred to when people of Gondor spoke of the strangeness of Hobbit-speech. Peregrin Took, for instance, in his first few days in Minas Tirith used the familiar forms to people of all ranks, including the Lord Denethor himself. This may have amused the aged Steward, but it must have astonished his servants.

Since this pronoun use doesn’t really translate into English (does anyone who’s read the books in another language know if they reflected this?), the whole issue would go unnoticed by readers unless they read Appendix F. Which is a pity, since it has a sort of humorous result. After being in Minas Tirith for a while, Pippin notices that he’s getting a lot of attention from the people of the city. In fact, Tolkien tell us:

People stared much as he passed. To his face men were gravely courteous, saluting him after the manner of Gondor with bowed head and hands upon the breast; but behind him he heard many calls, as those out of doors cried to others within to come and see the Prince of the Halflings, the companion of Mithrandir. Many used some other tongue than the Common Speech, but it was not long before he learned at least what was meant by Ernil i Pheriannath and knew that his title had gone down before him into the City.

Now, if you didn’t know about the grammar issue, you’d think that people were just making this assumption because Pippin arrived with Gandalf. But Tolkien fully explains the joke in the appendix, saying “No doubt this free use of the familiar forms helped to spread the popular rumor that Peregrin was a person of very high rank in his own country.”


SOURCES: LotR, LotR Appendix F

  #Peregrin Took    #pippin took    #pippin    #hobbits    #lord of the rings    #gondor    #men of middle earth    #tolkien's languages    #third age    #denethor  

Now presenting, in its full, complete, and downloadable glory, the Racism and Middle Earth series! This six part guide to Tolkien and Racism collects relevant tidbits from Tolkien’s own writings (from the most familiar to the most obscure) in order to highlight what the most problematic and the most potential-ridden parts of Middle Earth are, and outlines how we, as fans, can make Middle Earth a better place for characters of all ethnicities.

Each chapter is summarized in the photos above. The series can be downloaded as a .pdf, .ibook, or text-only .pdf (warning: the text version is not pretty, and is missing some important maps, so use only as a last resort.) I’ve also got a list of articles, essays, and blog posts on the subject of Middle Earth and racism here, for anyone wanting to learn more, or just looking for a different perspective/take on the issue. 

(For those who read the original blog posts, there have been a few changes to this final version - mainly additions made to Part I.)

  #tolkien    #lord of the rings    #the hobbit    #jrr tolkien    #the silmarillion    #middle earth racism  
Hello! I just discovered this blog recently and I am amazed by all that you've written about Arda! I was just wondering (and I'm sorry that this is a really personal question) what religion you are, if anything? I only ask because I've seen you talk about Catholicism in some older posts, and sometimes your information isn't really accurate (i'm Catholic myself), and I wondered where you got your information, or experience, with Tolkien's religious beliefs? Thanks!


I am Catholic, actually. My whole family’s Catholic, and I spent 16 years in Catholic school, so the majority of my information about Catholicism comes from a combination of my own experience, talking to my much-more-actively-religious relatives, and years and years of religion/theology classes.

The reason you’re probably feeling disconnected to some of what I’ve written about Catholicism is that, while it professes to be the “universal church”, Catholicism actually varies widely among its believers, both geographically and historically. Tolkien’s religion was hugely different from our’s (least of all because of Vatican II). And my experience with Catholics from other regions has shown me how different Catholicism is, on a day-to-day level, for people in different countries and cultures.

Finally, there is quite often a huge divide between “what the Catholic Church teaches” and “what Catholics actually believe.” There are, of course, many devout Catholics (like Tolkien) who basically follow the Church’s doctrine perfectly. But then there are others (like, honestly, myself, a self-professed Cafeteria Catholic), who don’t necessarily adhere to a lot of the Church’s teachings (especially when it comes to social/moral issues.) I try, when talking about Tolkien’s religious beliefs, to specify that what I’m writing about is this first category, the “official” Catholic stance on various issues - to try and write anything about what Catholics believe, as a whole, would be an impossible task, just as trying to generalize the beliefs of any large cultural group.

  #who am i not?    #(basically my personal tag at this point)    #philosophy    #(?)    #sort of    #Anonymous  
What happens when a dwarf and an elf come together..I mean just like Tauriel and Kili


Nobody knows, because according to Tolkien’s writings it’s never happened before. Though I’d imagine it would basically be the same as an elf/man couple, but with more cultural baggage.

Is there a word for "Marks" in the Hobbit language? If so, can it be directly translated into hobbit runes?


Sorry, but Hobbitish (the hobbit language) is probably one of the least-developed of all Tolkien’s languages. I think we might even know more Khuzdul words than Hobbitish ones…

What few words we do know are mostly names, a couple hobbit-specific nouns (like smials or mathom), and just enough grammar to explain a joke from Return of the King. If you’re interested, Tolkien Gateway does a great job of compiling what we know.

  #tolkien's languages    #hobbits    #Anonymous  

Week 91 Roundup

Happy Week 91 to all 9,200+ of you wonderful, wonderful people. As you read this I am working through revisions while keeping track of just how many juice boxes my little cousin has drinken since his parents left him in my care… So, I guess I just hope that you’re all having wonderful relaxing weekends.

In other news, we’re finishing up the Quenta Silmarillion at the Silmarillion Read-Along this week. I highly recommend you come check it out! And, as always, a huge huge thank you to everyone who’s been patient in waiting to see their question answered, and especially to those of you who’ve found some way to send me a kind message - they always, without fail, make me smile!



Will you ever just turn off the possibility for us to send messages to you and work through the hundreds you currently have or keep on going and answering the most interesting ones?

Definitely option #2. Which isn’t to say that the older questions will never be answered. But the best way to keep me working on this blog regularly is for me to write about what’s most interesting to me at the time, so it’s important to keep the questions coming in. :)

Any idea on when you'll have the Racism series up in PDF? Also, your blog is amazing, I check it every day! :)

Okay, so here’s the sitch. I will be spending the whole weekend babysitting my little cousin. It will be long, and boring, and in all likelihood headache-inducing. But, it will mean that I won’t really have the option to procrastinate/distract myself with Netflix, LOTRO (which, let’s be honest, is your guys’s fault anyway for introducing me to it, lol), and Tumblr in general. So, I’ll just keep myself busy by finally finishing up the racism series!

Basically: Monday!

Dunno if u remember me but I said I was going to organize Tolkien's books into chronological order and such a while ago and I'm just letting you know I finished


I do remember you! That’s awesome - is it posted somewhere where we can see it?

(For those of you who don’t remember Anon’s project, here’s the previous post, containing a description.)