LoTR - The Appendices

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LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Philipa » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:17 pm

The Lord of the Rings - The Appendices

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© Per Sjorgren



And the story doesn't end there. The Appendices holds so much more Middle-earth. They are a treasure trove of back story, times lines, calendars and more. This thread is free flowing and the conversations are allowed to meander with the topics involved with The Appendices.

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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Merry » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:48 pm

One of the things that amazes me is the layers upon layers in the Appendices. A small example: a couple nights ago, I was reading about Castamir the Usurper, as I said in another thread. Gotta love that name! I guess there was some question about who would succeed someone in the line of kings of Gondor. Enter Castamir. He was vanquished, but his sons go to Umbar and establish a sea base for the rebels to continue to harass Minas Tirith. Aha!, I say to myself, there is the history of the Corsairs of Umbar, right? But no, the sons are vanquished (I think it might have been Thorongil/Aragorn who does this) and some other pirates become the Corsairs. (I guess it wouldn't do to have anyone of Numenorean descent, no matter how irregular, be so bad for so long!)

I'm not sure I have all the details right above, but my point here is that Tolkien can't just have some unknown pirates show up out of nowhere! They've got to have a deep history and a culture and a story. So much texture.
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Philipa » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:40 pm

Hmm I haven't gotten to that story in the Appendices yet. Isn't it funny I've read this before but the amount of information in them is just mind blowing.

But yes, it's amazing he would try to wrap up every loose end of historical fact. Having just started the Appedix A (iv) Gondor and the heirs of Anarion, within the first several paragraphs there are mini stories of great deeds and battles found no where else in all Tolkien has written about. There is extensive history of Gondor's rule (off and on) in Umbar that could make an epic movie in itself.
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Riv Res » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:12 am

A couple of questions ...

1. Can you think of another fiction writer who "try to wrap up every loose end of historical fact" with such an intricate and extensive set of Appendices as Tolkien? I am sure there must be someone. :-k

2. In his letters or other writings, did Tolkien ever give a reason why all three of the Elf/Man unions through the Ages of M-E were that of beautiful Elf-maidens falling in love with Men? Why was there no woman who ever fell in love with an Elf-lord and visa versa? Is it simply because Tolkien's writing had such a drought of strong female human characters, or is this some grand plot of his that the Beren/Luthien, Tuor/Idril, and Aragorn/Arwen always contain that particular make-up? :-k
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Merry » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:56 am

I can think of fiction authors who have details. Think of Victor Hugo, for example: one could write a dissertation on the sewer system of Paris after reading Les Miserables. Or more recently, think of The Hunt for Red October guy (whose name I can't remember! :oops: ). But there's nobody like Tolkien. Nobody makes up multiple languages. Nobody goes back thousands of years.

I think that all the interspecies love stories are really JRRT and Edith.
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Philipa » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:02 pm

Merry wrote:Or more recently, think of The Hunt for Red October guy (whose name I can't remember! :oops: ).


Tom Clancy?

I think that all the interspecies love stories are really JRRT and Edith.


Yeah I was thinking that as well Merry. He must have felt his lovely wife was that of a strong elven maiden. That's pretty touching don't you think?
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Riv Res » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:33 pm

So ... what? ... is there no woman in Middle-earth worthy of the love of an Elf-lord? :?
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Merry » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:54 pm

Yes, Tom Clancy. Thanks, Philipa! #-o

RR, it would be interesting to make a list of human women in the legendarium to see. I don't remember many of them, come to think of it, and some of them aren't worthy! Maybe Tolkien could be criticized for putting women on a pedestal too much, in a way: he might have thought that we have the lovely qualities of elves--or else we are like Ioreth!
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Riv Res » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:10 pm

What about Eowyn? She certainly stands out in her nobility and beauty. But Legolas is not interested. Neither are the sons of Elrond. Not that she didn't make such a catch with Faramir. :wink:
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Philipa » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:24 pm

This is an interesting conversation. Other than Eowyn there wasn't any significant mention of human women (the nurse at the House of Healing ?) in all of the three books. Perhaps Eowyn was less desirable because of the sadness that permeated her aura. Remember all those that met her felt her sadness and drive to an ill end, so to speak.
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Riv Res » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:01 pm

On a related note ... can I ask that you look here too ... viewtopic.php?f=2&t=262&p=14292#p14292
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Merry » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:51 pm

Something else I learned from the Appendices last night: the Rohirrim were actually descendants of Arnor. No wonder they had such affinity with Gondor.

I've read the Appendices many times, although apparently not with much attention! I had to laugh last night as I was reading of the Long Winter, the one that ended up making Helm Hammerhand crazy and then killing him. Tolkien records that snow was on the ground for five months, from November to March! I know how you feel, Helm, I really do! 8)
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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.

Philipa
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Philipa » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:50 pm

Merry wrote:I've read the Appendices many times, although apparently not with much attention! I had to laugh last night as I was reading of the Long Winter, the one that ended up making Helm Hammerhand crazy and then killing him. Tolkien records that snow was on the ground for five months, from November to March! I know how you feel, Helm, I really do! 8)


I remember that story. :lol: A Brit's point of view of how winter could drive you crazy is our reality. lol

You're ahead of me, I need to pick up the book and start reading. So much to revisit and talk about it. :D
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Riv Res » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:47 pm

This is a really broad question, but I am curious. (Of course) it is concerning the section, "Here Follows a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". The very first time I read the book and for several times after, I get to this part of the Appendices and I just want to shout ... What? ... Why here in the Appendices? I continue to get huffy at this point and would LOVE to ask Tolkien why in the world did he not incorporate all of this info (especially about Aragorn - the King) into the chapters of the the book itself. Why keep us wondering about things and then try to catch it all up in the Appendices. Perhaps it was the almost haphazard way he wrote things and continued to pull this and that in from his mythology as he wrote LOTR. LOL ... I often think of Tolkien's brain and memory as a disorganized hardware store where only he knew where to find the right nail or the right tool or the right lumber.

So my questions to you are ...

1. Am I the only one who feels this way or has this thought entered anyone else's mind?

2. If Tolkien incorporated it into the regular text ... where would/could he effectively do the parts to not disrupt the story flow? The Council of Elrond comes to mind, but there is already ssooo much there. How about when we are first introduced to Strider at Bree? All we get is that very enigmatic poem and I must say that Tolkien used that vehicle superbly. He had me hooked at, "The crownless again shall be King". What about the part where Aragorn goes all silent and wistful at Cerin Amroth? I wondered, then, why he was acting that way. How about when the Dunedain meet him in Rohan? I think there are many places that Tolkien could have inserted these parts.

3. Is putting it in the Appendices what keeps the whole LOTR tale Hobbit centric?


LOL ... so many questions. :wink:
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Re: LoTR - The Appendices

Postby Lindariel » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:57 am

Great questions, Riv! If I remember correctly, Tolkien originally wrote the tale for Aragorn to marry Eowyn. Arwen was a late-comer to the story, and by the time Tolkien conceived of the long-standing romance between Aragorn and his elven princess, most of the tale had already been written. Rather than try to shoe-horn the story into the already almost completed novel, he removed it to the Appendices, leaving only the few hints we have. I found the following in Letter #181:

Here I am only concerned with Death as part of the nature, physical and spiritual, of Man, and with Hope without guarantees. That is why I regard the tale of Arwen and Aragorn as the most important of the Appendices; it is part of the essential story, and is only placed so, because it could not be worked into the main narrative without destroying its structure: which is planned to be "hobbito-centric," that is, primarily a study of the ennoblement (or sanctification) of the humble.


Personally, I like your idea of inserting some portion of the love story into the tale during the time the Fellowship spends in Lothlorien. I'm sure Aragorn and Frodo had an interesting conversation on Cerin Amroth, after the hobbit witnessed Aragorn saying "Arwen vanimelda, namarie." After all, Frodo is the one who witnessed the look that passed between Arwen and Aragorn at the feast in Rivendell. Tolkien could have made us privy to that conversation, however, I suspect he felt it bogged down the flow of the larger story, and opted for the solution above.

Riv, I have a feeling the Professor WOULD have incorporate the story of Arwen and Aragorn into the main body of the story if it had occurred to him earlier on in the writing process. I have the feeling that by the time he'd worked all of that out, he was so far along in the tale that trying to reverse-engineer the entire thing proved to be too difficult. Hence, it takes pride of place in the Appendices.

I still remember my initial reaction after reading the following section of the Cerin Amroth passage for the first time:

"Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth," he said, "and here by heart dwells ever, unless ther be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I. Come with me!" And taking Frodo's had in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as a living man.


That last phrase left me with the horrible feeling that Aragorn was going to die at some point in the next few chapters!!! I was so stricken by the thought of losing my much beloved Aragorn that I went immediately to the end of the story to see if I could determine Aragorn's fate. You must understand -- I NEVER skip to the end of the book, but for Aragorn, I CHEATED!!!
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