Questions for the Lore Masters.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:42 am

{{ Thankyou Elthir, interesting stuff there, and I am glad to see at least that if Tolkien felt a First Fall was necessary that it not too closely follow the Genesis account at least, that I simply wouldnt have adam 'n' eved. Very Happy (I wonder how good Lore Master Cockney is?)}}

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Post by halfwise Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:51 pm

So in one of the videos Petty posted the assertion is made that the 7 and 9 were originally 16 undifferentiated rings. It's just that Sauron split them up the way he did. Does this ring true?

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Post by Elthir Fri Dec 17, 2021 6:00 pm

halfwise wrote: ( . . . ) Does this ring true?

I see what you did there. Nice.

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Post by Eldy Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:30 pm

halfwise wrote:So in one of the videos Petty posted the assertion is made that the 7 and 9 were originally 16 undifferentiated rings.  It's just that Sauron split them up the way he did.  Does this ring true?

The Rings being assigned to Elves and Men was Sauron's decision (unless you believe the Longbeards that Durin III got his ring straight from Celebrimbor; I don't). I've always assumed this means they were originally undifferentiated, but I don't think this was ever explicitly stated anywhere. Given the different powers/effects ascribed to the Nine and the Seven, I don't think one would be wrong to assume that they were designed to be different, even if it's not my interpretation. It's worth noting that OTROP states that Sauron "perverted" the Rings he captured, so any differences in their nature might be ascribable to that process, and/or to their interactions with the differing metaphysical natures of Men and Dwarves (i.e., "the Dwarves indeed proved hard and tough to tame").
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Post by Amarië Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:34 pm

Good to see you, Eldy! :hug:

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Post by halfwise Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:45 pm

I think you did a good job of covering all the bases there, Eldy. Nod

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Post by Eldy Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:59 pm

Thanks, guys. I love you
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:28 pm

{{ Great to see you back Eldy! cheers }}

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:50 am

Didn't Celebrimmor learn the craft from Sauron? So could the initial design have been different with the end goal in mind and the maker thinking it was his own idea?
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Post by Eldy Wed Jan 19, 2022 3:18 pm

Lancebloke wrote:Didn't Celebrimmor learn the craft from Sauron? So could the initial design have been different with the end goal in mind and the maker thinking it was his own idea?

I think that's a reasonable interpretation. It's not my take, since I don't believe Sauron had a premeditated plan to turn on the Elves and seize all the Rings for himself, but my view of Sauron and Celebrimbor is based on a raft of headcanons with a relatively tenuous textual basis, and I don't expect anyone else to share it. Pokey Tongue
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jan 26, 2022 3:02 pm

{{ This doesn't really belong here but I couldn't find an appropriate thread where it would, as it not really a question, so much as an observation.
On one of my random flicks through Letters I came upon one in which Tolkien tells his son Christopher that he has heard of the posthumous upcoming publication of early previously unseen stories from Wind in the Willows, and how keen he is to get hold of a copy.

I'd never realised Tolkien was a Willows fan, so I'd never really given thought to their similarities. Both hark to a disappearing rural England, the Willows world has similarities to Tolkien's Shire. And one could go a bit further in comparing the basics of Moley and Bilbo - both live in a hole in the ground, both are well-to-do and don't want for anything, both are set in their ways and habits, and both have an unrealised potential and desire for adventure and to see  more of the world.

Just an observation that had not occurred to me before. }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:31 pm

Wow, you are right.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:39 pm

{{ Another similarity which occurred to me is that both Bilbo and Moley are middle aged grown-ups when the story starts, and whilst they both live in a hole both holes are notable for their homely appearance and comforts, and whilst off on their adventures when it gets dark or scary they both think of their cosy hole-homes and wish they were back there. }}

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Post by halfwise Tue Mar 08, 2022 3:47 pm

Tolkien himself definitively answers the question "why didn't the eagles just fly the ring to Mordor?" Laughing


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Post by Amarië Tue Mar 08, 2022 8:43 pm

Nod

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Mar 08, 2023 11:17 am

{{ Do we still have any lore masters about? Eldy? Elthir?

Anyhow my thought leads from thinking about the north kingdom, not just during its set up but before.
First who were the people who lived there? Although its the north kingdom along with Gondor in the south it presumably had a reasonable amount of inhabitants there before the Numenoreons arrived.
In the 2nd Age we are told the Numenoreons initially taught the men of ME they found there 'many things'. Which is pretty vague. Do the 'things' include mining? Smelting?

So to the main question, did ME have equivalents to a stone/bronze/iron age?

Dwarves appear to have been taught metal work by Aule from the get go, but elves didnt learn it for some time if I recall correctly.

But little is said of men. What was the state of the north prior to it becoming the north kingdom? What sort of development did they have?

The barrows in real life would be neolithic, ie end of the stone age. The description Tolkien gives of the contents of the barrow however, which includes fine jewellery is far more consistent with the sort of finds associated with the anglo-saxons (iron age) as is the sword lying across the other hobbits necks in the barrow (I dont think Tolkien describes the material so Im going with iron, but thats a presumption based on age of the barrow by me and the other contents, but it could be bronze). As stone age jewellery tended to be made, well from types of stone like slate, quartz, marble, basalt, jasper and the like which does not seem to be the sort of stuff in the mound.
The description of the brooch that Bombadil takes from the Barrow for Goldberry-"a brooch set with blue stones' which sounds pretty anglo-saxon to me, here's a recreation of an anglo-saxon brooch-

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But 'blue stones' could be uncut actual stones, therefore possible in the stone age or Tolkien may just mean 'gemstones'. As he doesn't say what the stones are set in other than 'a brooch' we don't know if the brooch incorporates metal. It would need a pin to hold it on but that could be done with bone. I think on balance however its more likely the brooch was at least bronze and the stones set in it, like the anglo-saxon example above.

The swords Tom gives to the hobbits, with their magic woven into them against the Witch-king is stated to be of an 'unknown metal'. So that doesnt help much only we can assume its not iron, would the hobbit shave known about steel? Or would that be an unknown metal to them? Or did Tolkien mean it was some metal unknown to the present day too?

The men of Dunharrow are another case in point, they seem to have worked mainly in stone, and the woses with their pukel men certainly worked in stone.
But Im struggling to work out a technology time line for ME. So anyone got any ideas or thoughts? }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Mar 08, 2023 2:02 pm

Bree I think is supposed to be one of the oldest continuous settlement of men still extant in ME, so look to them for the types of men present when the Numenorians came. My guess is they would have known iron but not steel. I can't imagine the most advanced people of middle earth being more than one age behind Numenor; they had dwarves and elves in their midst. The Barrow-downs preceded Numenor, so not surprising to find bronze age artefacts there.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Mar 08, 2023 4:56 pm

{{ I've been trying to find a date for when Bree was established, but the first reference I can find in the Tale of Years is not until 1300TA when the hobbits are migrating west and it notes 'many settle at Bree'.
So it was earlier than that.

According to the Tolkien wiki it was settled in the Elder Days, but it would seem this is not the big settlement we come to know later and the men who settled it came from the White Mountains and are all pre-Numenorean.
The bit about the White Mountains is interesting, as that would make them the same people as the Dunlendings and the cursed folk under the haunted mountain and they seem to have retained a more primitive level of technology before Rohan overran them.

I would hazard therefore when the men came north to settle at Bree they were most likely bronze age equivalent. And they built the barrows- hence the material inside containing neither iron nor steel, and make it more likely the sword across the hobbits in the barrow was a bronze sword. Tolkien only calls it a 'short sword' which bronze swords generally were as its not a great metal for a weapon of any length. This might also explain why it breaks when Frodo uses it.

According to the wiki Bree became part of the North Kingdom in the second age, 3320. And it was at this time they abandoned their own language and adopted Westron.

However I dont suppose the north/south road that Bree sits on the crossroads of with the east/west road existed pre-Arnor, there is also a question mark over if the east/west road existed at that time, as Tolkien tells us that the bridge over the Brandywine upon which the road crosses was built by the Numenoreons, so I think its fairly safe to say the roads only came about during the establishment of the north kingdom. And that in turn, Bree being perfectly situated on the trade routes grew from then.

Another issue which arises is that when Merry awakes from the Barrow he seems to have acquired, or relived, the final moments of someone interred in the barrow-

"Of course, I remember! The men of Carn Dum came upon us at night, and we were worsted. Ah! The spear in my heart!"

But if the people in the barrow were placed there following the war with Angmar that places the barrow really late, in the 3rd age, 1409.

I reread the description of the stuff Tom takes out the barrow, it includes bronze, silver, copper, gold, beads and chains - there is no mention of iron or steel and besides the one sword no notable metal workings besides jewellery.
That would fit with the barrows being from pre-Numenoreons days, but not with it being built in the 3rd Age. So now Im more confused than when I started.

Perhaps, as some archaeologists have speculated and in some cases we know to be true (Maes Howe for example), barrows were reused, and reopened time to time for the interring of important people. So perhaps the barrow is older, from the Elder Days when men of the White mountains went north- that fits with the stone works of Dunharrow and its surrounds with the standing stones marking the road to mountain fitting with using standing stones to mark their barrows.
So perhaps the life Merry relives is just the last of those interred there- thats only way I can make sense of the barrows.}}

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Post by halfwise Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:55 pm

the Numenorians respected the barrow downs because they were built by their pre Numenor forebears. They continued to use them for some burials of kings and nobles, but they predated them.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:57 pm

{ Do you have a source for that Halfy just for my own curiousity? It rings a bell. It makes sense and fits with the proposed reuse hypothesis, and makes it most likely in my view they go a long way back to when the first men came north from the White mountains. }}

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Post by halfwise Thu Mar 09, 2023 3:00 am

It's in the appendices but Tolkien gateway lays it out with references.  Just google barrow downs.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Mar 09, 2023 9:28 am

{ Im never 100% trusting in Tolkien Gateway, theres a glaring error concerning real world etymology for the prefix 'Dun' to a word on the barrow page-

'In topography, a "down" is a low-lying hill, from the Anglo-Saxon dún meaning "hill".'

Only its not Anglo-saxon at all.

'The term comes from Irish dún or Scottish Gaelic dùn (meaning "fort"), and is cognate with Old Welsh din (whence Welsh din as "city" comes).
In certain instances, place-names containing Dun- or similar in Northern England and Southern Scotland, may be derived from a Brittonic cognate of the Welsh form din.'

I'd add to that the use of the prefix dun not only denotes a fort but almost always a fort on a hill.
This is why so many places in Scotland, including my own town start with Dun, in the case of Dunoon it refers to the castle on the hill at the centre of the town. Another good example is Edinburgh, which is a completely Anglicised name, in Scots gaelic its Dun Eideann. Referring to the castle on the hill of volcanic rock.

They also seem somewhat confused over the brooch, saying it probably belonged to a wife or sister of the last Prince interred there, rather than what to me would seem more obvious, that whoever it belonged to was also buried there. Barrows were not exclusive to any one sex. And I see no indication Tolkien thinks otherwise, indeed I'd take the presence of the brooch and other jewellery as a sure sign women were also interred there.

That all said the broad outline it gives fits whats been speculated here so far. What still isnt clear is what sort of technology level these men were at when they came north and first settled and built the barrows.

Diggin about a bit, it seems the dwarves when they awoke were taught a lot by Aule, but not it seems everything, steel doesnt get a mention for example. The text says, 'but in that ancient time iron and copper they loved to work'.
So the dwarves seem to have started out as iron age equivalent, and discovered the rest themselves in the pursuit of their mining and smithing.

The same seems to be true of at least some of the elves regards their technology in the beginning.
Of the Sindar for example, in the Silmarillion Tolkien says -'Now these were a woodland people and had no weapons of steel, and the coming of the fell beasts of the North filled them with great fear.'

Of the elves of Ossiriand it says, 'For those of Ossiriand were light-armed, and no match for the Orcs, who were shod with iron and iron-shielded and bore great spears with broad blades.'

Light armed does not to me imply metal armour but more likely leather, especially as Tolkien contrasts it with the iron armour and weapons of the orcs.

Of the Silvan elves Tolkien says- 'Silvan Elves were hardy and valiant, but ill-equipped with armour or weapons in comparison with the Eldar of the West.'

This explains why Thranduils kingdom was so reliant on the dwarves of Erebor to fashion things for them.

The exception for the elves seems to be the Noldor, who were taught by Aule himself-

'And it came to pass that the masons of the house of Finwë, quarrying in the hills after stone (for they delighted in the building of high towers), first discovered the earth-gems, and brought them forth in countless myriads; and they devised tools for the cutting and shaping of gems, and carved them in many forms.'

So they were quarrying stone if not mining it when they discovered gem stones. Its also of note that when Noldor were taken captive by Morgorth he rarely killed them-

'few of the Noldor whom Morgoth captured were put to death, because of their skill in forging and in mining for metals and gems; and Gwindor was not slain, but put to labour in the mines of the North. By secret tunnels known only to themselves the mining Elves might sometimes escape'

From this we can infer forges- therefore bellows and furnaces and of course mining for the ore needed. There is no indication at this point however that anyone had discovered how to make steel for example.

So for the dwarves (and orcs) the starting point seems to be iron age technology.
Its more mixed for the elves, with some branches like the Noldor mining, smithing and forging, and others like the Silvan seemingly not and possibly not even having iron age level smithing.

But the one group I still havent quite worked out the technological level of is the one group Im trying to work it out for- the men who came north in the first age and built the barrows.
Some groups had met and interacted with dwarves by then, but I find it unlikely the dwarves shared their knowledge openly, given the secrecy of their culture and the simple economic fact if you have a monopoly on a good you dont tell everyone else how to get the goods themselves.

The other issue is because the barrows seem to have been used and resused from the first age right up till the fall of the north kingdom, and the one barrow we get the contents described of was for the last Prince of that kingdom, we cant rely on the contents as dating evidence as the stuff could have been put there at any point in all that time frame.

If we take the contents at face value as being put there at the end of the north kingdom with the last burials then that would indicate the north kingdom was equivalent anglo-saxon iron age levels at its fall.

At this point, and until I dig up more evidence or someone comes along with more, I'm favouring the men that came north in the first age as late Neolithic (the first farmers in the real world) and that they would be moving into bronze age territory by the time they settled in the north and started building barrows.

I am starting to see them technology wise as similar to the real world folk of Mesopotamia who built the first cities like Ur. Impressive but using nothing more sophisticated than copper and bronze. The building style is very different due to climate differences, but the technology I think must have been at similar levels.}}

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Questions for the Lore Masters. - Page 29 Empty Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Apr 09, 2023 11:41 am

{{ Random Tolkien quiz question, because why not?

So where in Middle Earth would you find a '12 mile cousin' and what does it refer to? }}

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Pettytyrant101
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Questions for the Lore Masters. - Page 29 Empty Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Lancebloke Mon Apr 10, 2023 8:37 am

No idea! I have many guesses including the beacons of Gondor but I am going to go with in the Shire and referring to everyone being related to someone else so there os always a cousin in 12 miles.
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Questions for the Lore Masters. - Page 29 Empty Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Apr 10, 2023 1:56 pm

{{ You get half a point Lance, as part of that answer is correct- the place and you are snuffling along the right sort of tracks in your thinking as to why its called that. }}

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