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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!

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(And no, I am not Stephen Colbert.)
So, hopefully tomorrow we will be able to see the first official trailer for "The battle of the five armies". Can't wait! Really, I'm thrilled. Comic Con 2014, am comiiiing :)

Anonymous

I can’t waittttt. I wish I was at SDCC, but instead I’ll just be stalking it, loitering around outside.

  #(no seriously I'll be wandering around downtown SD tomorrow    #enjoying all the off-site fun)    #Anonymous  

theseevildays replied to your post “Didn’t Tolkein realize that names like Túna and Teleporno might just be sniggered at? I mean, I get that it’s his own language. But he also spoke English. Teleporno.”

But also the abbreviations ‘porn’ and ‘porno’ were only first being used in the 1950s so maybe he wouldn’t have really have made that connection?

An excellent point. I doubt his social group was too up-to-date on this type of slang, lol.

(Of course, now all I’m picturing is the Inklings sitting down for one of their classy little club meetings, and opening discussion with “You wouldn’t believe this, but a student informed me that they’ve now abbreviated ‘pornography’ - in case one requires a way to address nude film in a hurry, I suppose.”)

  #theseevildays  
Didn't Tolkein realize that names like Túna and Teleporno might just be sniggered at? I mean, I get that it's his own language. But he also spoke English. Teleporno.

Anonymous

It probably never occurred to him (or, at least, it never occurred to him that it would be something readers of his Very Serious and Mature stories would think of.) 

I don’t want to say that Tolkien was a bit of a snooty prude, but… well, yeah.

  #Anonymous  

SDCC Shadow of Mordor News

Okay, since so many of you have asked me about this game in the past, I figured I’d pass this along: a brand new trailer was released at SDCC (and the trailer reveals who the wraith is!)

Thanks so much for everyone who sent me messages letting me know about this! :)

  #shadow of mordor    #fannish things  
Are the 12 books of "the history of middle earth" series just alternative or complementary stories ? Or even supplementary? Because the book of lost tales looks more just like alternatives stories, or is it a mix of everything?

Anonymous

All three, honestly. And which adjective is applied to which parts honestly depends on each reader’s idea of what constitutes canon. For example, the Book of Lost Tales (which makes up the first two volumes of the series) is the oldest version of The Silmarillion - in fact, it’s such an early draft that many parts of the story are unrecognizable or completely different from the final “published” version. Many readers would consider it an alternative story, then. But parts of the Book of Lost Tales provide more detailed versions of stories from The Silmarillion (I’m thinking specifically of The Fall of Gondolin), and so might be considered complementary or supplementary by readers who consider these additional details canonical.

And the rest of the series basically follows this same trend, being made up of a mix of older drafts, “deleted scene” type stories, and various essays by Tolkien about parts of Middle Earth or its languages.

If interested, check out these other posts on the subject:

  #book of lost tales    #outside resources    #the book of lost tales    #histories of middle earth    #Anonymous  

Silver in Valinor: “Telpe” vs “Tyelpe”

image

Okay, don’t hate me, but it could really go either way. The problem is that both “telpe" and "tyelpe" were used by Quenya-speakers to refer to silver (Celebrimbor’s name means "silver-fisted").

So, here’s the story (because when it comes to linguistic tid-bits in Middle Earth, there’s always a story): Tolkien says that the original word for silver (unsure whether it was Quendian or Proto-Eldarin) was “kyelep.” Over time, when the different elvish languages developed, “kyelep" changed as well. The Teleri of Valinor called it "telpe”, while their Sindarin cousins in Middle Earth called it “celeb.” And the Noldorin and Vanyarin Quenya speakers called it “tyelpe.” But the story doesn’t end there!

While living in Valinor, the Teleri apparently discovered a “great wealth of silver and became the chief silversmiths among the Eldar.” In fact, the Telerin silversmiths were “esteemed even by the Noldor." So, since the Teleri came to dominate silver in Valinor, their language came to dominate silver as well. Tolkien says that "though tyelpe remained in Quenya, telpe became the most usual form among the Elves of Valinor.”

Which brings us back to Celebrimbor. His Quenya name could really have either spelling. The way I understand it, while the “pure” Quenya (and probably more correct) form of his name should be Tyelperinquar, it’s likely that many Quenya speakers (including possibly even his parents, though probably not Feanor) would have called him Telperinquar, just because they were more used to using “telpe" instead of "tyelpe.”

SOURCES: The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”), Tolkien’s Letter #347, English-Quenya dictionary on ambar-eldaron.com

  #celebrimbor    #noldor    #tolkien's languages    #quenya    #teleri    #valinor  
one wonders why Tolkien made so many of the names so very similar. For one as careful about detail as he was, it seems strange

(a response to this post)

I think it’s because he was so careful about details. A lot of the similar sounding names belong to characters that are related, and either have similar names for that specific purpose (like Fingolfin and Finarfin who both added the “fin” prefix to their names to match their father Finwe), or come from cultures where having similar names among relatives was traditional (which explains most dwarvish names, tbh.)

Beyond that, since Tolkien created names from languages that he’d already developed, you run into similar names because the names have similar meanings, and therefore use the same root words. (For example, “celeb” is Sindarin for silver, so Celeborn and Celebrimbor sound the same because their names mean “tall silver”and “silver fist” - Celegorm actually comes from the root “celeg” which means “swift/agile”, but you get the idea.)

  #tolkien's languages    #beguilingblackness  
I think at the same time, you have to be sympathetic for Fëanor's case because his culture is different. Across all the history of Elves, his is the only case we hear of in which someone remarried - it was never heard of before and probably never after. Not only is his mother to first to die and refuse re-embodiment, his father is then the only one who then goes off, happily remarries and has four children. So from Fëanor's point of view, this isn't a common thing and he probably felt left out.

Anonymous

(a response to this post)

So, like I said, this is my interpretation of Feanor. If you disagree that’s really fine.

But, just responding to your message: I sympathize with Feanor to an extent - he’s obviously got a complicated family life, and I can’t imagine it was easy accepting his mother’s death, especially when it was so unusual among the elves at that time. And I totally agree with you that, if anything, it’s Finwe and Miriel that deserve his anger, not Indis or her children.

But more than that you have to remember that Feanor was hardly a child, or teenager, or even young adult when these problems started having serious - and violent - consequences. He was over 3,000 years old when his feud with Fingolfin reached it’s head. After 3,000 years, Feanor still can’t handle or control these emotions? And of course Morgoth’s manipulations didn’t help, but  at that point, I really don’t think that his behavior can be excused by his mother’s death, or his father’s second marriage. 

But, again, that’s my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

  #Anonymous  

So…. just out of curiosity, is anyone going to be at Comic Con this weekend?

  #who am i not?  
Since they have different afterlives, is killing a human, an elf or a dwarf considered a different crime?

Not that Tolkien ever mentioned. But I can just imagine the murder trials:

"Your Honor, my client didn’t kill Joe Mortal of Gondor, he simply delivered Iluvatar’s Gift of Men to him without warning!"

or

"Suzy Elf of Rivendell, you are hereby sentenced to imprisonment in the Valinor Detention Center until your victim returns from the Halls of Mandos."

  #jerioxy