Requests for Tolkien Research Assistance

A forum to help all of us when we are researching Tolkien's writings.
Riv Res
Manwë
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Requests for Tolkien Research Assistance

Postby Riv Res » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:56 pm

I am opening this thread in the hopes that someone among us can assist me in finding any info that may be out there on The Pelennor.

While we are doing this I would invite anyone and everyone who may be researching any Tolkien topic and would like some help from our wonderful and numerous in house scholars :wink: to posts their requests here as well.

Here is what I am researching.

The Pelennor Fields:

:arrow: Any descriptions of the Pelennor.
:arrow: The climate.
:arrow: Was it used for any kinds of agriculture?
:arrow: Was it indeed a 'field'?
:arrow: Was it liberally or sparsely populated in times of peace?
:arrow: Populated where and by whom?

If you have anything at your fingertips...would sorely love for you to post it here. :D

Many, many thanks!

Any other research requests?
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Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:10 pm

Fun!
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:42 pm

I haven't read through LOTR on the Pelennor recently, but there are a couple of things that I remember that suggest that it is a Mediterranean climate. I think that in one of his letters, Tolkien writes that he thinks of Minas Tirith as something like Rome. Also, the description of the plants in Ithilien, which is nearby, suggests a more temperate climate--lots of herbs, etc. I can't get any more specific, but I'll try to look up the references tonight.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Riv Res
Manwë
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Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:57 pm

This is EXACTLY what I am needing Merry. I want to know if Tolkien mentions vineyards anywhere in the Pelennor or to the south. I am envisioning Tuscany here. :wink:
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Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:58 am

Auden has asserted that for me 'the North is a sacred direction'. That is not true. The North-west of Europe, where I (and most of my ancestors) have lived, has my affection, as a man's home should. I love its atmosphere, and know more of its histories and languages than I do of other parts; but it is not 'sacred', nor does it exhaust my affections. I have, for instance, a particular love for the Latin language, and among its descendants for Spanish. That it is untrue for my story, a mere reading of the synopses should show. The North was the seat of the fortresses of the Devil. The progress of the tale ends in what is far more like the re-establishment of an effective Holy Roman Empire with its seat in Rome than anything that would be devised by a 'Nordic'.
(Letter 294)

More than you need, RR, and nothing about vineyards directly, but interesting nonetheless. I think Tuscany is apt, but I'll keep looking for evidence.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:09 am

More! Tyler says that 'Pelennor' is Sindarin for 'Enclosed-lands', a reference to the Rammas Echor, the fence surrounding the Pelennor. Tyler also calls the enclosed space 'townlands' in a couple of places. I'm not sure if that means cultivated fields or not.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:02 am

I'm quoting my own essay on names here:
Logically, then, we should be able to link the name ‘Peregrin’ to the real-life position of Gondor, which David Day asserts is said to have been envisaged by Tolkien as “being . . . in a location that might be equivalent to Florence.” (Tolkien’s Ring, Ch 7)


Hope this helps!
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Merry
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Postby Merry » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:22 pm

I've been thinking more about this. If the Pelennor had been cultivated, wouldn't Tolkien have mentioned it? The orcs and machines of war plowing down the vines, etc.? It would have been the kind of thing he would have noticed.

It makes sense to think of the Pelennor as just a buffer zone between the Rammas and the city. I would imagine that food and wine for Minas Tirith could be produced by one of the other regions of Gondor.

Just a guess!
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Riv Res
Manwë
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Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:52 pm

That thought has entered my mind too Merry. I am beginning to look more closely at Lebinnin, South Ithilien and South Gondor for my vineyards. :wink:
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Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:57 pm

Good thought.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Riv Res
Manwë
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:50 pm

From Fonstad's Atlas...

All of Gondor, and even southern Rohan, all of Ithilien, and all of Lebinnin are classified as humid climates, all having mild winters. The northern reaches had mild summers.

Everything from Gondor southwards having hot dry summers. Fonstad lists our current equivalents as Mediterranean Sea area and Southern California. :wink:
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:02 pm

Hi Riv!

Here's the description of the Pelennor Fields from the "Minas Tirith" chapter in ROTK:

Gandalf passed now into the wide land beyond the Rammas Echor. So the men of Gondor called the out-wall that they had built with great labour, after Ithilien fell under the shadow of their Enemy. For ten leagues or more it ran from the mountains' feet and so back again, enclosing in its fence the fields of the Pelennor: fair and fertile townlands on the long slopes and terraces falling to the deep levels of the Anduin . . . .

The townlands were rich, with wide tilth and many orchards, and homesteads there were with oast and garner, fold and byre, and many rills rippling through the green from the highlands down to Anduin. Yet the herdsmen and husbandmen that dwelt there were not many, and the most part of the people of Gondor lived in the seven circles of the City, or in the high vales of the mountain-borders, in Lossarnach, or further south in fair Lebennin with its five swift streams.


So, sounds like the Pelennor was composed of small towns and homesteads for folk raising cattle, sheep, goats, etc., as well as fodder for such -- maybe oats, wheat, etc. Orchards, but no mention of vineyards.

Hope that helps!
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Riv Res
Manwë
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Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:40 pm

You KNOW these people had to drink wine and it had to come from somewhere!!! That Tolkien! Heavy on mythology...short on potent potables except for the Shire. :wink: :roll:
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:35 pm

Riv, I have at last found a direct reference to wines in none other than The Hobbit. From the chapter "Barrels Out of Bound:"

It must be potent wine to make a Wood-elf drowsy; but this wine, it would seem, was the heady vintage of the great gardens of Dorwinion, not meant for his soldiers or his servants, but for the king's feasts only, and for smaller bowls not for the butler's great flagons.


According to Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle-Earth, Dorwinion is "The Land of Wines." You can find it on her maps on pages 53 and 77. located in the area where the River Running terminates into the Sea of Rhun.

According to The Encyclopedia of Arda, Dorwinion is "A little-known land, probably lying in the vales of the River Running, famed for its great gardens and the quality of its wine."

While Dorwinion might be the producer of the finest wines in Middle-earth, that does not mean it is the SOLE place that produces wine. Therefore, since Tolkien apparently associates vineyards with gardens, it might also be feasible to assume that Ithilien, the "Garden of Gondor," would be a location that would feature vineyards. Lebinnin might also be a good possibility because of its many rivers and fertile soil.

Elsewhere, I strongly suspect that the Shire produces its own wines, as well as the garden/orchard areas in Rohan. The entire area around Laketown and Dale was described as turning into a teaming garden after the death of Smaug, so I suspect they had vineyards. The elves surely produced wines -- as well as miruvor -- in Rivendell and Lothlorien.

Hope that's helpful!
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Lindariel Image



“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Riv Res
Manwë
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:48 pm

Lindariel...if you were in front of me I would give you a BIG kiss!

The Vineyards of Dorwinion sounds like an outstanding subject for a watercolor piece!! :D
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