Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:53 pm

Question Elthir- was there a gnomish language?
You say at one point Tolkien used elfin in distinction to gnomish. So was gnomish seperate, or did it just evolve and get absorbed into one of the elvish strands (noldor presumably)?

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Yes Petty, Gnomish became a distinct language of the Noldoli, evolving in the Great Lands (the term Middle-earth was not in use at this point, if I recall correctly). The tongue of the free Noldoli and the thrall Noldoli altered over time, and changed due to borrowing, from both goblins and men interestingly enough.

There were dialects, one being the dialect of Ros for example (the promontory of Ros might be connected to Brittany according to Christopher Tolkien).

Different from the much later scenario of course.
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:45 pm

Goldilocks part five in which we learn very little of the slow escape of Glorfindel

All quotes from JRRT, Glorfindel II

'Its use [the name Glorfindel] in The Lord of the Rings is one of the cases of the somewhat random use of the names found in the older legends, now referred to as The Silmarillion, which escaped reconsideration in the final published form of The Lord of the Rings. This is unfortunate, since the name is now difficult to fit into Sindarin, and cannot possibly be Quenyarin. Also, in the new organized mythology, difficulty is presented but the things recorded of Glorfindel in The Lord of the Rings, if Glorfindel of Gondolin is supposed to be the same person as Glorfindel of Rivendell.'

I don't think Tolkien is trying to be cute here: he knows The Lord of the Rings took a long time to complete, so the term 'escape' really only means that he never reconsidered the matter, at least in enough measure, before the book was published. Again he does not say something like: 'I would have liked to revise the name and surely would have at the time', but that this escape is unfortunate. And why?

It's no great surprise that the first concern is linguistic. Tolkien had devised Glorfindel as a Gnomish name, long before this language changed into what he and we would call Sindarin, but still, I am at a bit of a loss here, I must admit...

... as it seems from Tolkien's earlier musings about the name (already posted in the thread) that it could be fitted well enough into Sindarin, and even the lack of -nd- to -nn- was explained by JRRT himself as archaic, which to my mind fits well enough considering Glorfindel's history. Although I'm not a trained linguist, and this is JRR Tolkien after all. Anyway...


... Tolkien will then go on to wonder if Glorfindel could be a Sindarin prince. He rejects this based on the idea that Gondolin is said to be almost entirely Noldorin, which was not true according to the Silmarillion (as it stood, at least), but in any case he also rejects this for the reason that Glorfindel of Rivendell is said to have been one of the 'lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas... who had dwelt in the Blessed Realm' The Sindar had never left Middle-earth, notes the author.

So whether or not Tolkien misremembered about the population of Gondolin, he finds a sound enough reason in my opinion, based on already published description, to reject Glorfindel as a Sinda. But note, this is within the context of Tolkien's if scenario: that is, if the two are the same being, making this one being one of the Sindar in problematic. In other words, although perhaps to state the obvious, this is not the same as the consideration that one Glorfindel could be Sindarin -- which would have to be Glorfindel of Gondolin -- the other Noldorin. Does this, or something similar work? Tolkien will go forward here with...

'At any rate what at first sight may seem the simplest solution must be abandoned: sc. that we have merely a reduplication of names, and that Glorfindel of Gondolin and Glorfindel of Rivendell were different persons. This repetition of so striking a name, though possible, would not be credible. No other major character in the Elvish legends as reported in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the rings has a name borne by another person of importance. Also it may be found that acceptance of the identity of Glorfindel of old and of the Third Age will actually explain what is said of him and improve the story.'

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that two important Elves having the same name would not be credible, not necessarily anyway. That said, Tolkien is the creator of his world, and if he thinks this should be so, then so be it. The question becomes, however, who is going to judge which characters are too 'important' or too 'major' so that this should apply. And who is going to judge if a name is too 'striking' perhaps, if that too should come into play.

Possibly Kristen Stewart, but well, it probably won't come up much anyway.

At least we can say that the name Glorfindel is too striking a name in this context, and that these 'two' Glorfindels, if different persons, would both be considered too important I guess. And if we can say that much, this should yet not be interpreted to mean that, generally speaking, Elves can't have the same names: they can and do.

Tolkien even notes, at the time of writing one of his Glorfindel essays, that a name like Galdor might be repeated, for example. In another late text he also notes another case: where the name Argon was repeated, in memory of a famous Elf. Tolkien even has an Elf of Lorien named Rumil in The Lord of the Rings, and in the Appendices notes the seemingly famous Rumil of Aman. Arguably the Rumil of Lorien is not a major character, but the point is, Tolkien's reflections about the name Glorfindel not being repeated does not hinder the general scenario that one Elf could have the same name as another.

This is a rather popular misconception [that two Elves can't have the same name], or at least I have always argued it is. I won't go into it in detail again now, but I think this statement might sometimes play a part in that misconception.

An idea liked and well before facebook


The other thing I note is Tolkien's last sentence in the above quote. To me it reveals that he likes the idea of one Glorfindel. It will improve things. He doesn't 'need' to make them one being, he can simply change the name of the Elf from Gondolin, but he wants to.

But it might be fun to challenge Tolkien's opinion that two Elves named Glorfindel would not be credible...

... could Glorfindel of Gondolin had been a rare enough golden-haired Sindarin Elf in that city to have earned the name of an already famous Exiled Noldo, who lived... somewhere... this Elf surviving in Imladris as the Glorfindel Frodo meets? Too strained? If golden hair was rare among the Noldor and Sindar, which JRRT himself states is true, is it a strain on the tale to have two characters, both being named 'Golden-haired' back in the Elder Days -- or might it pass the test because this relatively rare trait would arguably inspire the name Glorfindel in Sindarin circles?

Gondolin was pretty isolated. There were thousands of Elves within this realm. Could *Malgalad (to borrow a name from Unfinished Tales) the Sindarin prince of Gondolin have received the name 'Glorfindel' as a nickname, perhaps even after his sacrifice in saving the fugitives became legend? Then again, what did the 'other' Glorfindel do that makes him important too? if this notable deed is given to a Sinda who dies and never returned to Middle-earth.

The Noldorin Glorfindel does have some history according to The Lord of the Rings itself, however.


Or have I thought about this too much Very Happy
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Brillaint as always Elthir.
For me the strongest staemnt Tolkien gives is; 'acceptance of the identity of Glorfindel of old and of the Third Age will actually explain what is said of him and improve the story.'

For me this is a case where Toklien instinct for story, for the telling of the tale is in conflict with his purely scholarly linguistic interests.
That the heart of this for me. And in the end he comes down on the side of story, but recognises that leaves some linguistic questions hanging over the name, which irks him enough to want a credible solution he is happy with- but not enough he wants to change it and risk losing something in the story.

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by halfwise on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:28 pm

I seem to remember some phrase about "for those who have lived in the blessed realm live at once in two worlds" which would relate to characters that are killed being able to come back.

but wouldn't that imply that when the Sindar are killed, they are truly dead?

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:39 pm

Thanks Petty... that is well noted about the story.

Another button for you, although oddly this one is worth 1 point but only for a day, and I can't tell which day either. I shall make it yesterday so that no scores need change as already posted, and no places are upset when considering the final outcome as viewed from today. However, it should be asterisked [by someone] that Pettytyrant, in the past and for a day, achieved 9 points. And reverted to 8.


As far as the Sindar go, I think as Elves they are allowed to be reincarnated like the Quendi in general, for otherwise, upon being slain or dying from grief, they would be doomed to remain as spirits in Mandos until the end of the World itself. The normal mode for Elves is physical life, and I do not think they differ from the Noldor in this respect.
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:44 pm

Buttons are like buckie- you get one and then mysteriously next day its gone, and you have no recollection of what happened to it.

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:47 pm

Laughing
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Not idly do the buttons of Elthir fall.

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:33 pm

Enough external stuff although there will be a bit more below

What can we say about the mighty Glorfindel and Ecthelion within the history of Middle-earth? As always the following does not intend to include every possible detail, or to say so can be useful, in case one forgets something.



Glorfindel was a Noldorin Elf born in the year :cough: hmmm right away things are hazy. The First Age! Yet we can say he was around early enough to be involved in the Rebellion of the Noldor, as he is said to have joined in the Rebellion due to kinship with Turgon and allegiance to him. Idril was also golden-haired, although whatever 'kinship' Glorfindel had with Turgon is not yet revealed, and may never be.

Does someone own a private letter where Tolkien pops Glorfindel into a family tree? If so please send this letter to me to help me update this post. I promise fingers crossed I will give it back.



So Laurefindele passes the Grinding Ice and ends up in Gondolin (he should have a Quenya name until it was given Sindarin form in Middle-earth).

Edit: forgot this bit from Of The Fifth Battle: when Turgon retreated towards the Pass of Sirion '... and his captains Ecthelion and Glorfindel guarded the flanks to right and left, so that none of the enemy should pass them by.'

And what can we say about him if we... and I am suspect of doing this... take a few details from the only long prose version of The Fall of Gondolin that Tolkien ever finished, which is extremely early and contains various things out of keeping with the later mythology.

The following details, in my opinion, don't seem like anything Tolkien would necessarily need to change, except possibly the description of the Balrog, as the conception of Balrogs changed somewhat over the years, if they were here still more formidable than Orcs. That said, Tolkien may change details simply because he desires to, for whatever reason, so imagining some of the internal history must remain, at least for me, an admitted conservative when dealing with very early texts, within the realm of speculation. Or at least, accompanied with an asterat... asterisque... ah... one of these *

That noted:

'There stood the House of the Golden Flower who bare a rayed sun upon their shield, and their chief Glorfindel bare a mantle so broidered in threads of gold that it was diapered with celandine as a field in spring; and his arms were damascened with cunning gold.'

JRRT, The Fall of Gondolin, The Book of Lost Tales

Glorfindel is called to Turgon's council; and ultimately the battle drives him and his warriors into the Square of the Palace of Turgon. They had earlier been fighting in the Great Market to the east of the city, and having reached the Square, Tuor and Glorfindel clear it and bar the entrances, save at the South. Ecthelion lay by the Fountain, already wounded and in a swoon, but when a barrier to the North was broken Ecthelion fought Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, driving his spiked helm into the breast of the Balrog, although both dropped into the deep fountain and died, for Ecthelion sank steel-laden and perished.

Ultimately Turgon orders that his people should flee (Turgon will not flee) and save the women and children, and Glorfindel fought during this flight, and many more of his house died in this defense. Glorfindel defends the rear when the refugees come to Cristhorn, where he was attacked again, as others were. And next comes the fight with the Balrog... the Elf beat a heavy swinge upon its iron helm, and hewed off the creature's whip-arm at the elbow, and pierced the Balrog's belly with a dirk (the demon was double his stature), but falling the Balrog clutched Glorfindel's yellow locks beneath his cap, and both fell into the abyss.

If Tolkien meant to keep this last detail, it will be noted that Glorfindel's golden hair is a notable factor with respect to how he met his fate. But here I will again raise an external detail: a very late note associated with the Glorfindel essays, where Tolkien writes:

'The duel of Glorfindel and the Demon may need revision'

... it is not noted in which way however. Possibly more due to the Balrogs being different creatures according to the later mythology, having become powerful Maiar cloaked in shadow nobody mention any possible 'wings' please but who knows really how Tolkien would have later described this duel in detail. I'll add that in the unfinished (long prose) update of The Fall of Gondolin (Unfinished Tales), Ecthelion's helm is described '... and upon his shining helm was set a spike of steel pointed with a diamond;...' seemingly indicating that his killing of Gothmog would be similar to the old story, at least.

In any case Glorfindel dies, and Thorndor the eagle brought up his body; and despite the haste of the refugees Tuor let raise a stone-cairn over Glorfindel, and Thorndor has not let any harm come to it, and yellow flowers afterwards grew there. And still do the Eldar say, when they see good fighting at great odds of power against a fury of evil:

'Alas! 'Tis Glorfindel and the Balrog'.



You won't want to miss Glorfindel back in Aman (and back again to Middle-earth) or maybe you will want to miss it coming to a thread near you if I have the time and if I feel like it someday

Very Happy


Last edited by Elthir on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:06 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:04 pm

cheers (Im only using the cheer emoticon cause I dont have a round of applause one).

Brilliant fascinating read Elthir- more from your Tower please. Nod

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:22 pm

Thanks Petty, I'm encouraged!

And anyone, if you disagree with anything or have something to add, please post! Especially if you have that letter I imagine to exist. Actually it seems a bit odd for JRRT not to pop this character into a family tree, but I also like a bit of mystery here in any event.
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by CC12 35 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:21 pm

so elthir
are glorfindel and galadriel the same person or whatsup with that

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:22 pm

CC12 35 wrote:so elthir are glorfindel and galadriel the same person or whatsup with that

Different people I'm guessing. Galadriel(le) has a feminine suffix in her name, while Glorfindel doesn't... so once again with Tolkien, etymology answers a pressing question.

You could raise Galadriel's name Nerwende 'Man-maiden', but again we don't have *Laurewende or *Glorwen, so that doesn't work either.
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by azriel on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:42 pm

I read something like that also Halfy, I think I may have found it ??
As told in the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, Glorfindel is sent by Elrond of Rivendell many years later to help the hobbit Frodo reach Rivendell as he is pursued by the Nazgûl. He sets Frodo on his horse, Asfaloth, and Frodo rides ahead to the other side of the Ford of Bruinen, where he defies his pursuers. He is nearly captured, but Glorfindel, Strider and Frodo's hobbit companions come from behind and drive the Nazgûl into the water, where they are swept away by a wave of water resembling charging horses (an enchantment of Elrond's and Gandalf's). Strider and the hobbits bear torches, but Glorfindel reveals himself as a mighty Elf-lord terrible in his wrath; Frodo sees him as a shining figure.[7]

Later, when Frodo asks about the safety of Imladris from Sauron's forces, Gandalf explains:

In Rivendell there live still some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.[8]

Gandalf points to Glorfindel as one of these, saying he is "one of the mighty of the Firstborn," "an Elf-lord of a house of princes." While enjoying the hospitality of the Elves, Frodo finds that his Wizard friend spoke true:

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by CC12 35 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:43 pm

Elthir wrote:
CC12 35 wrote:so elthir are glorfindel and galadriel the same person or whatsup with that

Different people I'm guessing. Galadriel(le) has a feminine suffix in her name, while Glorfindel doesn't... so once again with Tolkien, etymology answers a pressing question.

You could raise Galadriel's name Nerwende 'Man-maiden', but again we don't have *Laurewende or *Glorwen, so that doesn't work either.

ok bt lol there names both begain with the same letter ?? whats up with that

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Elthir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 pm

Oh nothing much I think.

Glorfindel, Gil-galad, Galadriel, Glaurung, Galathilion, Galadhrim, Gelion, Galathil, Galion, Gelmir, Gildor, Gilraen, Glorfinniel, Gorthaur, Gothmog, Galdor, Glorindol, Gondolin, Gondor, Glamdring, Gil-estel, Gildis... and so on...

... and of course Gilthir Wink
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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:06 pm

Laughing Put the robot in its place Elthir! Twisted Evil

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by CC12 35 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:07 pm

wow and their all the same person u say ?

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:08 pm

Maybe not....... Mad

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by chris63 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:12 pm

Garry, Gordon, Gladys the list goes on Smile

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by CC12 35 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:28 pm

im not sure posting a list on someones face is wise Chris i mean surely it would hurt??
maybe use tape instead of staples but still
just give it 2 theyre hand

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:32 pm

Could safely bluetack it to their forehead.

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by chris63 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 pm

Super glue.

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Re: Goldilocks and the Three Trolls

Post by CC12 35 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:42 pm

just play super smiley guy johny cashes covet of hurt if you want to cause him pain Chris
no their must be a better way

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