Questions for the Lore Masters.

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Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:53 am

Rather than start a new thread every time someone has a question suitable for a Lore Masters scrutiny here's a place to put them all.

I was rereading Fellowship and in the Great River chapter there is this exchange between Aragorn and Boromir when discussing how to bypass the rapids of Sarn Gebir, Aragorn is speaking first:

"No road was made by the Men of Gondor in this region, for even in their great days their realm did not reach up Anduin beyond the Emyn Muil; but there is a portage-way somewhere on the western shore, if I can find it. It cannot yet have perished; for light boats used to journey out of Wilderland down to Osgiliath, and still did so until a few years ago, when the Orcs of Mordor began to multiply.'
"Seldom in my life has any boat come out of the North, and the Orcs prowl on the east-shore," said Boromir.

There seems to be a difference of opinion here between Aragorn and Boromir. Why does Aragorn think boats were still going to Osgiliath until only a few years ago when Bormoir does not seem to think so? And who would these boat users be? I always got the impression the lands around the Great River on both banks south of Lorien were empty and housless. And why to Osgiliath? I know the river goes there but a disputed violent border to a long abandoned and partly ruinous city doesn't seem the best place for a trade route (if thats what it was).

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:23 am

I'm guessing a few years for Aragorn might be the entire lifetime of Boromir. That's only a guess, though, the Lore Masters will probably give you a better answer, maybe even based on facts Smile

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:56 am

Maybe Ringdrotten- but that seems more an elvish perspective to me. Aragorn lives a lot longer than the average but I don't think the Numenoreans experience time as the elves do.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:03 pm

True, but the difference in age between the two was fairly big, right? Aragorn might think 15-20 years are "few years", while Boromir perhaps doesn't remember much from 20 years ago. I can't really say as I don't remember how old either of them were.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Eldorion on Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:31 pm

I'm not sure if I count as a Loremaster but I'll give this a try. Smile

Pettytyrant101 wrote:There seems to be a difference of opinion here between Aragorn and Boromir. Why does Aragorn think boats were still going to Osgiliath until only a few years ago when Bormoir does not seem to think so?

I think Ringdrotten is on the right track with this. Aragorn was 87 years old when that conversation took place, and he had been actively travelling Middle-earth since he was 20. Boromir was about 39 and probably not as well-traveled outside the borders of Gondor. It's possible that Aragorn's statement reflects and Elven perspective because he grew up and lived around them for so much of his life. However, there is a span of several decades of Aragorn's adult life in which boats could have made this passage before Boromir was alive or aware of such things.

And who would these boat users be? I always got the impression the lands around the Great River on both banks south of Lorien were empty and housless.

You're right that those lands were mostly empty. On the Rohan side there were sparse settlements in the north of the country and as you got farther south the Emyn Muil separated the Anduin from the Rohirrim. The other side of the river was the Brown Lands which were even emptier. However, I think Aragorn meant to state that the boats came from farther north. He specifically names Wilderland, which I think in this case probably refers to the Vales of Anduin. Those were inhabited by men (the ancestors of the Beornings among them) and were close at hand to the woodmen who lived in Mirkwood.

It's also feasible that Kings or merchants from Dale could have reached the Anduin by way of the Old Forest Road. This would have been particularly easy early in Aragorn's life after Sauron left Dol Guldur but became much more difficult after he sent his Nazgul back, which could explain why the flow of trade had dried up by the time Boromir was old enough to pay attention to such matters.

And why to Osgiliath? I know the river goes there but a disputed violent border to a long abandoned and partly ruinous city doesn't seem the best place for a trade route (if thats what it was).

I think it's reasonable to assume that Aragorn was referring to a trade route. However, that route was the river Anduin, so there wasn't much to do but follow it. If my hypothesis about the route being used by merchants of Dale is correct, they would probably favor river travel, since that was common in the area surrounding dale (travelling on the Rivers Running and Carnen that flowed all the way from the Lonely Mountain to the Sea of Rhun). I also suspect that the Anduin was less militarized (though not completely peaceful) before Sauron returned to Mordor and even after he had but before the War of the Ring began. Ithilien was a disputed territory for a long time but actual attacks against Osgiliath and the river-border were IIRC infrequent before the War began just a year or so before the main events of LOTR.

As for Osgiliath, while it was partly ruinous, it would still have been as good a place as any to stop because the Numenorean highway still ran through the city. After portaging down the Falls of Raurous our hypothetical merchants would be in the middle of marshes (the Vales of Entwash and Nindalf). Sailing south, Osgiliath would be the first major crossing of the river by a major, easily accessible road (they could also have landed at Harlond, the adjacent port of Minas Tirith). From there it would have been a simple matter to unload their goods and take them over land the short distance to Minas Tirith and the surrounding lands. It's possible they could have sailed farther south to Pelargir if their destination was in southern Gondor and they were allowed to sail that far into Gondor's territory, but Osgiliath was the nearer and probably more convenient terminus of the trade route.

Obviously this is speculation based on the assumption that there was a trade route. However, I think that's a reasonable assumption and I'm not sure what else people from Wilderland would use the route for. As Sauron asserted himself more and all lands became more dangerous, trade would have become less frequent. There is specific mention of this occuring in Eriador on the other side of the Misty Mountains (Gandalf warns Frodo in "Three is Company" that the road to Rivendell is "less easy than it was, and it will grow more perilous as the year fails") and I don't think it's a big leap to assume this same phenomenon occurred in the lands around and between Dol Guldur and Mordor.

Sorry this got so long, but I hope it's interesting and perhaps even informative. Razz
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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:17 pm

My only problem with that reading of it Eldo is Aragorn seems to quantify his statement stating "and still did so until a few years ago, when the Orcs of Mordor began to multiply."
That phrase about multiplying orcs crops up in Shadows of the Past where Gandalf uses it saying "his orcs have begun to multiply again" I am sure it pops up elsewhere too and in all instances it gives the impression that this is a relatively recent turn of events- perhaps not a mere few years but certainly not a whole lifetime before either.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:23 pm

I have a question for the Lore Masters, does anyone lnow why Arwen went to live in Lothlorien? was she living in Rivendell when Estel was there or in Lothlorien at that time. I know she was immortal but was she an adult when or if she met Estel/Aragorn? or did they only meet when Aragorn was an adult? just curious.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Norc on Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:26 pm

interesting reading I must say. I have to say I think it was a trade route too, and what is said here, by everyone, seems very likely.
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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:22 pm

I am going on memory here Mrs Figg but Arrwen I believe was in Lothlorien until Aragorn was in his 20's. Not only was she in Lothlorien but no one it seems had even hinted as much to Aragorn that Elrond even had a daughter. This is probably just becasue 20 odd years is nothing to an elf rather than he was delibretly kept a secret- although Aragorn does hint he suspects that might be the case when he first sees her saying something about 'Elrond kept his greatest jewel hidden' or something, I think....
Aragorn is immediately smitten of course but Arwen is not so impressed.
Arargorn eventually tells his mother he is in love with her and she gets pretty gloomy about it because Elrond isn't going to like it and he is the only reason the Heirs of Isildur have survived this long. Then eventually he meets Arwen again when he is in Lothlorien and she is staying ther eonce more and now he is a full growmn man and Galadriel has him kitted out so he looks every inch the Numereon King and she falls for him.
I dont have the book to hand so this is a rough outline I'm sure I've got bits wrong but in outline I think its more or less right.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:44 pm

How old was Arwen when her mother was attacked and eventually left ME?

It might be as easy as Arwen just being on vacation with her grandma and grandpa. Imagine all the wisdom there was to gain from those two, and they had already raised a daughter. I don't recall that Elrond was hiding her, deliberately or not, that sounds a lot like a PJ line to me. But I can be wrong.

And what is 50 or so years to an elf? Like popping in for a cup of tea. Laughing

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Got the book to hand Amarie- the bit you thought sounded like a PJ thing I was thnking of is the following exchange when they meet for the first time;

But she laughed merrily and said; 'Then we are akin from afar. For I am Arwen Elrond's daughter, and am also Undominiel.'
'Often it is seen,' said Aragorn, 'that in dangerous days men hide their chief treasure. Yet I marvel at Elrond and your brothers; for though I have dwelt in this house from childhood, I have heard no word of you. How comes it that we have never met before? Surely your father has not kept you locked in his hoard?'

Aragorn was 20 when this exchange took place and when he fell in love with her.
He was 49 when they met again in Lothlorien and she fell in love with him.

Celebrian (Elrond wife, Arwen's mother) was waylaid in the Redhorn Pass by orcs on her way to Lothloiren and received a poisoned wound in 2509TA she left middle earth across the sea in 2510TA.
Arwen was born in 241TA, so she was 2269 years old when her mother left. Shocked

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:28 pm

Mhm, this is what happens when kids and work and life and such get in the way of reading books. Let that be a lesson to you all. But now I can clearly remember what she replied: "It is true that that some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world. But I want to be the one to walk in the sun. Oh girls just want to have fun."

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:57 pm

lol!
After 2 and a half thousand years I don't blame her. And Arwen or Liv are welcome to pop by my barrel anytime they want fun. I'll even give them the buckie for free Nod

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:05 pm

Nice of you to invite them both. You are such a generous man, Petty. Nod

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:55 pm

Here's a left field one for Lore Masters thats the result of a conversation with my neighbour about Shadowfax- she owns horses and they are her passion and so Shadowfax is one of her favourite things in the book. I asked her what sort of horse he would most likely be if he were real- her reply was that he is fast, great endurance and white- so definetly Arabic.
I found this interesting as it made me wonder whether the breeding stock for the Rohirrim horses, or at least the special ones Shadofax is from could have originally come from Harad way.
I doubt there is any evidence to support it but was curious to know if Tolkien ever wrote anything about Shadowfax specifically outside of LotR's.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Norc on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:03 pm

I think the Rohirim and the elves bread (is it really bread? to breed, breeds, bread?) their own horses. I've always imagined the rohirim to have icelandic horses or lyngs-horses(Norenglish ftw!) but taller and a bit more elegant. the elves had slender horses, a bit like themselves, dwarves had small, shaggy icelandic-horse-types and hobbits ofc, ponies. that's my idea. The dwarves could also have big working horses like the shire-horse and similar types. Big, heavy work-horses to work in the minds carrying up whatever they found.


Lyngs-horse, distant relative of the icelandic one (just less fur I guess..)

my sister knows more about horses, I'll ask her Smile maybe I'll find more specific breeds that suits better ^_^
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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:10 pm

Now this I remember. Shadowfax is silver/grey and his ancestors come from Valinor.
PJ made him white.

Borrowing a quote from the dark planet (thank you, Grondy) :
During 'The Council of Elrond', FOTR:
'And there is one among them that might have been foaled in the morning of the world. The horses of the Nine cannot vie with him; tireless, swift as the flowing wind. Shadowfax they called him. By day his coat glistens like silver; and by night it is like a shade, and he passes unseen. Light is his footfall! Never before had any man mounted him, but I took him and tamed him...


Last edited by Amarië on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:45 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling... and linking and all sorts of mishaps.)

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:17 pm

I love you I ADORE Icelandic horses I love you

And Norenglish rocks! It’s not only only, but but you know! Laughing

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks for the quote Amarie- but do you know where the reference to Shadowfax being a descendant from steeds from Valinor is from?

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:40 pm

According to our lore master Galin:

Tolkien commented in letter 268: 'I should argue so: Shadowfax came of a special race (...) being as it were an Elvish equivalent of ordinary horses: his 'blood' came from 'West Over Sea',

Though there are probably more quotes to be found when the local Lore Masters wake up.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:43 pm

Interesting- but if memory serves the Kings of Rohan always rode one of these type of horses- if so I wonder if by 'an elvish horse' Tolkien is implying an elvish lifespan and it has been the same horse, Shadowfax, all along.
If not then there would need to be a breeding pool of 'elvish' horses otherwise they would be reduced over time as the elvish lifespan is when mixed with mortal.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Amarië on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:22 pm

The Maeras were a separate breed of horses descending from Oromë's horse, apparently. Theoden's horse was also a Maera, but Shadowfax couldn't be tamed until Gandalf came along. Seems the other Maeras mentioned were white?

I think Tolkien just means they were as different to ordinary horses as Elves are to Men. That's just me guessing though.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Tinuviel on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:55 pm

There's definitely a bit about the Maeras in the Appendices concerning Eorl and Rohan, I just read it. It said that only the descendants of Eorl could tame them, and that Gandalf had some difficulty doing so. That's why Theoden didn't really like Gandalf because he took his best horse and made him un-rideable!

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:56 pm

them? So a plural- so there must have been a breeding stock of them somewhere out there in Rohan.

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Re: Questions for the Lore Masters.

Post by Tinuviel on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:00 am

Just re-read that bit. Leod, Eorl's father, tamed horses. He raised a white foal that became a strong, fair, and proud horse. No man could tame it though. When Leod tried to, he was thrown off and died because his head struck a rock. Eorl was just 16. So Eorl vowed to avenge his father and searched far and wide for the horse, and when he did, instead of killing it, he said, "Come hither, Mansbane, and get a new name!" The horse went and stood by his side. "Felarof I name you. You loved your freedom, and I do not blame you for that. But now you owe me a great weregild, and you shall surrender your freedom to me until your life's end." so the horse was forever loyal to his master, and "that horse proved as long-lived as men, and so were his descendants. These were the mearas, who would bear no one but the King of the Mark or his sons, until the time of Shadowfax. Men said of them that (Orome) must have brought their sire from West over Sea."

Appendix A II The House of Eorl

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