Tolkien Geek Challenge

Okay, now this is obscure trivia. Granted, Google makes anybody a contender these days, but I want to try it out anyway, and see who can answer the question, and ask equally challenging ones.

Who was the Vala of song, who could speak any language?

It’s at times like this that being Silmarillion-less sucks.

Making do with The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster, I guess …Ulmo? It is said that he learned more music from Illuvatar than any other of the Ainur.

My questions:
LL-1: What was the name of Garulf’s horse?

LL-2: What type of animal encounters Frodo, Pippin and Sam on the night they leave Bag End?

LL-3: Who was Frar, and where did he die?

Each heart its Balder hath.
Hast thou forgot, my son,
Those days ere life’s dark struggles had begun, —
When all existence was so glad, so fresh, so one
As is the woodland songster’s dream
When summer eve’s warm breezes gently stream
Lulling each drowsy flow’ret’s head,
Rocking that songster’s own soft leaf-green bed?
Ah! then, thou asa-born, –- thou moving image fair
Of glorious Valhal! — still in thy spirit pure
Did Balder’s life endure!
To th’ child the god lives ever, and whene’er
A new-born infant sees the day,
Hel, that goddess grim, restores her prey.
“But in each human soul we find
That night’s dark Hoder, Balder’s brother blind,
Is born and waxeth strong as he;
For blind is ev’ry evil born, as bear cubs be.
Night is the cloak of evil; but all good
Hath ever clad in shining garments stood.
The busy Loke, tempter from of old,
Still forward treads incessant, and doth hold
The blind one’s murder-hand, whose quick-launch’d spear,
Pierceth young Balder’s breast, that sun of Valhal’s sphere!
“Then waketh hate; for prey
springs violence quick
And hungry roameth, hill and valley round,
The sword’s grim wolf, while dragons wildly swim
O’er redly-flowing billows; for pale Virtue
Sits hopeless, strengthless, shadow-like, with Hel,
All dead amongst the dead, and Balder’s house,
Once tow’r’d so high, now lies a black’ning ruin.
“The lofty asas; life thus images
The lower course of man’s existence; — both
Are great Allfather’s thoughts, and alter never.
What hath been, as what shall be, knoweth well
The mystic vala’s chant; that chant the sweet-ton’d,
Soft, cradle-lullaby of infant time
It’s death-dirge also pealeth. Yes! the records
Of wide Heimskringla echo vala’s song,
And man therein his own sad story readeth.
“The vala asks thee, — mark,
my son, her words, —
Grasp ye the sense, or no?
“Thou wilt be reconcil’d. but
reconcilement’s — what?
Nay, youth undaunted, meet my gaze and turn not pale!
Th’ atoner wanders round our earth, and death he’s hight.
All time is, in itself, a troubled streamlet
From vast eternity; all earthly life
From great Allfather’s throne hath fall’n atonement
Restores us thither back, all cleans’d and pure.
Yet, th’ asas ev’n have fall’n; and Ragnarok
Is their great day of reconcilement. Ah!
A bloody day ‘twill be, on Vigrid’s boundless,
Wild, death-strewn plain — for there shall th’ asas perish!
But unaveng’d they fall not; no! all evil
Dies there an endless death, while goodness riseth
From that great world-fire, purified at last,
To a life far higher, better, nobler than the past.
“Yes! tho’ from heav’n’s proud
brow the garland drops
Of faded stars, and earth sinks in the deep,
Fairer and newly-born her flow’r-crown’d head
Again shall rise above the crystal flood,
And younger stars shall hold, with purer lustre,
Their silent course above the new creation.
“But Balder then, where verdant
hills fresh rise, shall rule
The new-born asas, and the pure-made race of men;
And those fair golden runic-tablets lost, alas!
In time’s young dawning — Valhal’s children, reconcil’d,
‘Mong Ida-valley’s fragrant grass shall find once more.
Thus is the death of fallen goodness only
Its reconcilement, its fierce furnace proof, —
Another birth to a far other life,
Which backward flies whence first it emanated,
And innocently playeth, infant-like
On parent-knee upborne. Ah! after all,
The best, the happiest, noblest, of existence
Beyond the tomb we find, — that green-deck’d portal
Of Gimle’s paradise. Yes! low, and with but ill
Deep-stained is what we meet beneath heav’n’s star-lit hill.
“Yet ev’n this life atonement
hath, —its lowly path
Dim antetype of that still higher, — the last day’s fire!
        Imperfect and yet sweet
it is!
        Like minstrel harmonies
When deep-skilled skald with ready finger sweeps
        The waking harp,
And broken chords doth strike, and keeps
        Now low, now sharp,
        Tuning the quiv’ring strings
        With dream-like fragment
Till, high upborne at last on music’s wings,
With full tones richly peal’d, entranced he sings
        Of exploits and of heroes
        Awaking from their grave
The mighty forms of old, —
While, charmed, is beaming eyes behold
All Valhal’s glories, all great Odin’s pillar’d gold!

If i got it wrong I am sorry !!!


I believe that the answer to LL-2 is a fox.

Yuppers. You got a question of your own? C’mon, don’t be shy!

5TC-1 What are tarks?

5TC-2 What or where was The Gardens of the King?

5TC-1: I believe tarks was the disparaging nickname given to the Rohirrim by the Orcs.

So, like, when Gandalf goes into Frodo’s study and opens the locker, what was the combination number of the locker?

whoops, sorry, wrong geekdom.

BZZZZZT! No, sorry. It wasn’t Ulmo. This question can’t be answered from reading The Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings. But JRRT referred to this Vala, who loved song, and could speak all languages, of birds, beasts, men and elves, in many of his earliest writings.

Any other attempts?

It wasn’t Baldur, either.

Tarks were men of Gondor.
“The gardens of the King” referred to the Suza, under the rule of the King of Arnor. Later it became the Shire.

Argh! You’re right. kicks self

What orc’s name was used twice in LOTR (for different orcs)?

You’re probably thinking of snaga, however, that’s not really a name - it’s an orcish term (not sure if it’s proper Black Speech or slang like tark) that basically just means “slave”.

So, how many times in LOTR is the Entish language spoken, and when?

Quadgop , I bow to the Master! Right off the top of my head I don’t know - but I’ll see if I can find out by Monday.

(Damn! Now I’m going to have spend Sunday rereading the early volumes of HoME, when I REALLY need to be working on my income taxes. Oh well, I’m sure that the IRS will understand. :smiley: )

Well, all of the Ents speak Entish at some point, right? If you mean how many times a more or less exact written depiction of Entish given, I think it may be only one time, when Treebeard is trying to think of the name of the hill he meets Merry and Pippin on: “a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or-burume”. There are some other quotes later from him when he is talking about Lorien, and trying to describe the nature of the Ents and Hurons, but I think they are Quenya.

5 time champ is right about my questions (although one was already answered), making him/her eight time champ now, I guess.

Qagdop, if you’re going to post questions that can’t be answered without the complete annotated 35 volume set of J.R.R.'s grade school notebooks, I surrender!

LL-4: During the WR, the Grey Company come upon the skeletal remains of a man on The Paths of the Dead. Who was that man’s paternal grandfather?

You’re right on both points - that’s the only time a fragment of actual entish is described in the text, and the other bits are in fact Quenya.

IIRC, the skeleton belongs to Brego, grandson of Eorl the Young.

LL4 The skeletal remains are those of Baldor, the Hapless, son of Brego, Hall-Builder, son of Eorl, the Young

5TC-3 What sport was said to be invented with parts of Orcs?

5TC-4 Where were the Seven Stones originally placed?

5TC-5 Do Balrogs have wings? or were whips and thongs sufficient.

BTW, 5 time champ is a he.

LL4 The skeletal remains are those of Baldor, the Hapless, son of Brego, Hall-Builder, son of Eorl, the Young

5TC-3 What sport was said to be invented with parts of Orcs?

5TC-4 Where were the Seven Stones originally placed?

5TC-5 Do Balrogs have wings? or were whips and thongs sufficient.

BTW, 5 time champ is a he.

LL-1- Hsufel

LL-3 - One of Durin’s people - Dwarf King and ringbearer died under the mountain - Balrog killed him

Has a great article on whether balrogs have wings. In both movies they did. This is not really clear from the books. FOTR states that the shadow of the balrog spread from wall to wall “like” wings. Yet if they had wings, they were never useful for flying, because no balrog is ever recorded as flying, including the one that fell in Moria, when flying would have saved it. Moreover, Gandalf broke the bridge with the intent of causing said fall, knowing the capabilities of a balrog, and he wouldn’t have wasted his time if it were merely able to fly up. So if it did have wings, they weren’t for flying.

The Encyclopaedia of Arda is really a wonderful reference source.