LotR Question (spoilers)

eyes Qadgop’s post above

Hey, don’t look at me…I’m just a modern-day Bilbo, an amateur scholar with perhaps a slightly out-of-proportion love of fictional worlds (ask me somethin’ about Toril or Pern, go ahead!)

I don’t have adventures. :slight_smile:

Great responses.

Since I’m in the mist of such admirable Tolkien scholors, I have a LOTR (the book) question myself.

What exactly is the deal with the fox in the Three is Company chapter?

All of a sudden this fox comes out of nowhere and has thinking dialogue! The episode goes something like this [I’ve thrown in a couple of made-up lines for effect]:

How does this end up in the Red Book of Westmarch? Did Sam put this in and imagine what a fox was thinking? Or are there really intelligent, self-aware, small, four-legged mammals running around Eriador? If so, why don’t we see any more of them?

Why on earth did Tolkien put this in? Did he regress into “The Hobbit” mode or something?

Strange, very strange…

Tolkien said LOTR was “a tale that grew in the telling.” His assignment was to write a sequel to “The Hobbit”, but his heart led him to write a sequel to “The Silmarillion.” The tone of the entire book shifts from light fantasy to epic adventure as it progresses. Rather than ask how fox dialog and a reference to an express train made it into the early chapters, you might ask why they were left in once the story had evolved into something else.

I think the light, fanciful tone of the early chapters serve as a bridge between two very different books, as well as reflecting the limited perception of the hobbits at that point. That may be intentional, or it may be an artifact of the way the story came to be.

Well, I’ve never crashed a plane (altho’ I was in a plane that slid off the runway during landing once), but I was held at gunpoint by Royal Canadian Mounties while they searched my truck once.

To get back on track, from “Note on the Shire Records”

Italics mine. It would appear that Tolkien may have used additional sources and/or taken liberties with the story to make it more interesting to modern readers, much as others have added/changed/deleted to make it more interesting in other media.

Well, there was also the Green(stamp) Book of the Imladris Safeway, the Bluebook of Minas Tirith U., the White Book of the Snowmen of the Forochel (which appears to be mostly about a weird-looking hobbit named Kaélfinn who carries around a stuffed Troll named Hûrbz) and the Black Book of Mordor, though the last is so-called because of its condition after the explosion of Mount Doom, and is thus pretty much unreadable.

I’ve seen things you wouldnt believe. I’ve seen gunships on fire off the… :D:D:D

Okay-I have a question-was Smeagol a hobbit originally?

Yup. He and his cousin Déagol were Hobbits of the Stoor type living in the Vales of the Anduin, on the other side of the Misty Mountains from the Shire. Déagol found the Ring, which had slipped from Isildur’s finger during the Battle of the Gladden Fields at the end of the Second Age, and Sméagol killed him for it, then fled into the mountains, where he eventually became Gollum.

Just be glad I didn’t bring up that unpleasantness with the Soviet sub, a tall Mango lassi, and a handful of stale soda crackers. Now that was a close-run thing, it was!

OK, a related question. I know Galadriel was a Noldor, but how many other Noldor were left in Middle Earth at the end of the third age? Was Cirdan Noldor? I know Elrond, all the wood elves including Legolas and Thranduil, Arwen, etc weren’t Noldor. How about Celeborn, Galadriel’s husband? I think he was a wood elf, right? Was Glorfindel Noldor?

Elrond and Arwen were part Noldo, since Elrond’s paternal grandmother was Idril, the sister of Turgon, High-King of the Noldor and Gil-Galad’s uncle.

Galadriel was most likely the last full-blooded Noldo left in Middle-Earth at the beginning of the Fourth Age, since she was really the only one who was sentenced to remain in exile after the Great Battle at the end of the First. Celeborn was a Sindar.

Glorfindel is…difficult. There was a Noldor of Gondolin in the First Age named Glorfindel, with shining golden hair (which was, incidentally, a mark of the House of Finarfin (Galadriel’s father) in any Elf outside of the Vanyar). This Glorfindel died in the Fall of Gondolin battling one of the Balrogs of Morgoth. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, Tolkien’s letters give hints that Glorfindel was released from the Halls of Mandos to accompany the Istari back to M-E, making it a possibility that the Glorfindel of Rivendell (with shining golden hair) is the same as the Glorfindel of Gondolin, and therefore a Noldo. Unfortunately, the amount of faith that one places in the Letters is an individual thing, and the “same Glorfindel” theory has about the same universal approbation as the “Balrog wings” theory…

No. Don’t ask. Just trust me on that one.

Oh, and Cirdan was a Sindar as well, as he did come to the shores of Belegaer with the host of the Teleri but didn’t go on to Valinor until the beginning of the Fourth Age. It’s probable that Cirdan was the oldest Elf still in Middle-Earth up through the War of the Ring.

Oh, and Arwen was also part-Noldo through her mother, who was Galadriel’s daughter.

I need to actually start making notes so I get everything in one post… sigh

When I read the book, I got the impression that Smeagol was not actually a hobbit, but of a race related to hobbits.

There are actually three strains of Hobbit: Stoors, Fallohides, and Harfoots. The Stoors were much more water-centered than the others, living originally in the marshy areas of the Vales of the Anduin, and had more to do with boats than the other strains. The Fallohides were more adventurous than the others, and more friendly with Elves. The Harfoots were the shortest and most pastoral of the strains.

By the time of the War of the Ring, with the vast majority of Hobbits concentrated in the Shire, the three strains were mostly melted into a single “Hobbit” race, though some families still had strong blood in one strain or another (the adventurous Tooks and Brandybucks (and certain Bagginses) had strong lines of descent from Fallohides, for example).

But Sméagol was very much an actual Hobbit of the Stoor strain.

You left out the famous Yellowed Pages of the merchants of Pachbel.

Miller, that’s because there’s still denominational strife about interpretations of the Yellowed Pages between the Merchants of Pachbel and the Plutocrats of Bel-a-Tlantic, not to mention the Conglomerators of Vérissôn.

I’ve always wanted to ask a pilot this: If a good landing is one you walk away from, what’s one where you gimp?

Back on track. Excellent summary, jayjay, I’m gonna save it because I never could keep straight what group of elves went where, when.

Galadriel: I got to flipping through the appendices in the book and the Encyclopedia of Arda and it turns out at the time of the War of the Rings she was the oldest elf and one of the oldest creatures of any sort in Middle Earth. Tom Bombadil is older; Treebeard and at least some of the Ents are older; Bob, the Balrog was older; Shelob might be older; and I suppose the five wizards were older, although they didn’t arrive in Middle Earth until about the midle of the third age.

That’s about it. Shows her age well, doesn’t she?


D’oh! You’re right. He allegedly was in the original group that awoke when the time was right. How could I forget him?


DesertDog, I’d beg to differ on Galadriel’s position as the oldest Elf in M-E. She was born in Valinor after the Noldor had completed the Journey, and Círdan was of an age to lead the Teleri who remained in search of Elwë during the Journey. Now, Galadriel may have been of more noble position and demeanor than Círdan, having seen the light of the Trees, but I don’t think she was older.