miércoles, 28 de enero de 2015

The Middle-earth that never came to be

ONLY after watching all three of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films I pressed myself to read both The Hobbit for the first time in English, and John D. Rateliff's The History of The Hobbit, an edition of Tolkien's papers during the making of the story. It is in the line of The History of Middle-earth, but Christopher Tolkien had not undertaken the task due to the book not belonging (in the author's first conception of it) to J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium (invented mythology).

I can't but praise Rateliff's work on The Hobbit, especially the broad scope he uses in his comments on Tolkien's possible inspirations and models. They build up on Tolkien's stature as an author and scholar. And the connections between even those early stages and first edition of The Hobbit and the legendarium are shown to be so pervasive that I've even experienced again the feeling of the discovery of new things in Middle-earth, something that, after reading back and forth, once and again on it, I deemed to be impossible.

More in particular, the constant parallels that The Hobbit draws from the Silmarillion (to call briefly the ever revised mythological texts, not just the book finally published in 1977) lead me to speculate on which differences would there have been between the Middle-earth that Tolkien created as a framework for The Lord of the Rings during or after its writing, and the Middle-earth that could have been if, before creating The Lord of the Rings, he had decided to embed The Hobbit into the legendarium taking advantage of their mutual influences, which have been exposed by Rateliff.


So I've put together the elements taken from Tolkien's works in the years in which The Hobbit was created (roughly, the 30's decade), both from The History of The Hobbit and The History of Middle-earth (in this case volumes IV: The Shaping of Middle-earthV: The Lost Road and Other Writings, a bit from the earliest geographical concepts in VII: The Treason of Isengard, vol. 2 of "The History of The Lord of the Rings"), and some details from later concepts and stories. Then I will try to establish some general timeline of events of Middle-earth within that frame.

To begin with, let us compile some elements that Rateliff points to in his keen commentaries in The History of the Hobbit (the numbering refers to its chapters and sections). Please keep in mind these are not "canonical" equations, just points where Tolkien borrowed from himself that will allow us to create a Middle-earth history alternative to the one finally the author defined:

I(a).iii. and I(c).iii. The Taur-na-Fuin to which Thû the necromancer of "The Lay of Leithian" flies is Mirkwood (or a part of the same woodland continuum), Thû being the Necromancer of The Hobbit (this would eventually be Tolkien's choice, since Thû is the same character that was later called Sauron, see the name evolution in The Lost Road, chapter II: "The Fall of Númenor"). As Rateliff explains:
Comparison of the first Silmarillion map in Volume IV of The History of Middle Earth with Fimbulfambi's Map [Tolkien's first one of Erebor & surroundings] shows a striking parallelism in the former's placement of Taur-na-Fuin and Dor-na-Fauglith [Anfauglith...], and the latter's Wild Wood and Withered Heath; if the two were blended, the Mountain [Erebor] would probably be to the southeast of [...] Dorthonion [...], near where Tolkien would later place the Hill of Himring,
though
Its geographical location shifts as the "Third Age" of Middle-earth slowly takes shape in its own right through the writing of The Hobbit.
I(c).i. and III. There are two races of dwarves: the Indrafangs of Belegost of whom the dwarves of The Hobbit descend, and the Nauglath of Nogrod.

I(c).ii. and XIX.ii. The mines of Moria have no specific connection to any of the aforementioned dwarven realms, being only the place where Thorin's father "went" and Thorin's grandfather was murdered. They just seem to be one of the goblin mines in the Misty Mountains.

III.iii. The Elrond from The Hobbit is the same appearing in the Silmarillion stories (as it eventually happened, when The Lord of the Rings was developed).

IV.i. Quoting Rateliff: "There seems to be no connection between the goblins of the Misty Mountains and the Necromancer".

V.iii. Quote: "Bilbo's ring is not the same as Frodo's in its nature nor its powers [...] Gollum's ring is a simple ring of invisibility", "simply a magical ring that makes you (mostly) invisible"; and of course the whole matter of the Rings of Power does not exist in The Hobbit. Nor seems Gollum to be a hobbit at all, but a creature of the dark caves (V.i.).

IX.iii. The Elvenking is Thingol himself, allowed to be re-incarnated to reign again over the remnants of his former people and their kin who abandoned the Great Journey before coming to Beleriand.

IX.v. The Dorwinion of "The Lay of the Children of Húrin" and of The Hobbit is one and the same. It would however be a region more extended from the Sea of Rhûn towards the lands finally known as Gondor than what we know from the definitive map of NW Middle-earth: that allows a position to both south of Beleriand and south-east of Mirkwood, the different locations in Tolkien's concept of the land bearing that name (see map below).

XI.i. The Withered Heath is the remainder of Dor-na-Fauglith (> Anfauglith), so that the dragons didn't flee anywhere at the drowning of Angband: they simply stayed there in a kind of hibernation.

XIV.ii. The Arkenstone is one of the Silmarils, cast by one of Feanor's sons to a volcanic pit after robbing it and proving they had no right to their possession any more.


And now adding some other facts coming from those volumes IV and V of The History of Middle-earth (now with references to the volumes and chapters):

IV.V. "The Ambarkanta": The Misty Mountains don't appear in the general outline of Middle-earth geography because they are introduced by The Hobbit. Not existing any distinctive mention to them, they could be equated with any other of the major world-level ranges (Blue, Red, Grey, Yellow, Iron, and Wind), and the Blue Mountains are the most natural choice, being the NW range.

VI.XXIII. By the way, the White Mountains of Gondor were on their turn a product of The Lord of the Rings, see vol. VI: The Return of the Shadow, and could be considered a part of the Blue, according to the shape of these in the Map V of "The Ambarkanta".

V.II.ii. "The first version of The Fall of Númenor" incorporates this tale as an epilogue to the history of Beleriand told in the Silmarillion. Here we already have the story of the conversion of many Númenóreans to the worship of Morgoth by Thû (who comes to Númenor not in chains, but apparently on his own initiative "in the likeness of a great bird" (§5), maybe the fair version of his known ability to take the shape of a bat).
In §14 we are told that after the drowning of Númenor, "Amroth was King of [the Númenóreans of] Beleriand", and allying with Elrond and the elves of Beleriand he waged war on Thû: here arises the concept of the War of the Last Alliance, and probably also the origin of the name "Dol Amroth", which appears in the Gondorian geography developed in The Lord of the Rings (see VII.XV, "The First Map of The Lord of the Rings"), though later it was given a different explanation as the name "Amroth" itself was replaced by "Elendil" and given to an elf-lord of moving parentage.
In battle, this Amroth is slain by Thû, who is however defeated and flees "to a dark forest", his very familiar place to hide. And in the next recasting of Thû's defeat (V.II.iv. The second version of The Fall of Númenor), Tolkien is more specific when he tells that his fortresses were in Mordor (first appearance of the name) and that he
was thrown down, and his bodily shape destroyed, and his servants were dispelled, and the host of Beleriand destroyed his dwelling; but Thû's spirit fled far away, and was hidden in waste places, and took no shape again for many ages.
The matter of Númenor would ultimately result in the Second Age of the Sun, but here we still have no chronology and the "there remains still a legend of Beleriand" (§14) gives, I think, an idea of those events happening in a timespan much shorter than some 3300 years. Nor we have anyhow a reference of the lapse between the Fall of Númenor and this "Last Alliance".

All in all, if I go on with the premise that the Hobbit sequel would ultimately tell the involvement of Bilbo (or of a relative and heir of his) in the events around Thû's definitive defeat, in my opinion some possible moments for the story told in The Hobbit to take place could be:
  • after Morgoth being overthrown and ousted, but before Thû's journey to Númenor (therefore from his main stronghold of Dol Guldur), so that between The Hobbit and its sequel, or in the sequel itself we would have the drowning of Númenor and rounding of Arda;
  • between Thû's stay in Númenor (of whose cataclysmic drowning the hobbits would have some memory, at least a vague one) and Thû's defeat by the alliance of men and elves, which could even be told in the sequel;
  • after Thû's defeat by the alliance, which would then not be a definitive one, this having to be moved to a later time (that was in the end the option developed by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings).

So let us finally go on to my "never-came-to-be" chronology, for which I provide two "compressed NW Middle-earth" maps below. I give no exact years as this is just a speculative sketch, only general reference points in some cases:
  1. When the Valar pass to Aman, Melkor, whose main stronghold is Utumno, builds an outpost in Angband, and prepares his dominion over the regions south of the Iron Mountains by digging tunnels in the ranges connected to the Iron Mountains, and creating volcanoes from which the Balrogs and other powerful servants can spread his power. Some of these are future Gondolin, Dol Guldur, Erebor, and Orodruin.
  2. The War of the Powers destroys and sinks Utumno into Ulmo's realm, and the volcanoes are left alone, and some become extinct. The highlands north of Beleriand are raised by the cataclysmic fights.
  3. The dwarves appear in the Blue Mountains. Some say they are creatures seeded by Melkor in his tunnels, but redeemed by Aule after the war when he discovered them. That is the reason given for their lust for gold, similar to the dragon-sickness (Rateliff XIV.i), and for the wicked acts that are more typical of one of their races, the Nauglath of Nogrod. The other race, the Indrafangs (Longbeards) of Belegost are more friendly to the elves.
  4. Under the guidance of Melian, the elves of Beleriand clear the darkness of the forests of their land, in contrast with the Mirkwood that extends from the remains of Utumno to the Blue Mountains.
  5. After the return of Melkor/Morgoth and the pursuing noldor to Middle-earth, they engage in an intermittent war for several centuries, Morgoth from Angband and the noldor from Beleriand and the highlands. Thus Morgoth's power is mainly held back in NW Middle-earth.
  6. When the noldor suffer their first great defeat in the Dagor Bragollach, Morgoth sends Thû to darken again the woods north of Doriath.
  7. Men eventually come to Beleriand and ally themselves to the noldor. A small stature human people, the hobbits, come there too, but live secretively in the Taur-im-Duinath, that had been before unpopulated.
  8. After the terrible defeat of the noldor in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, some of the elves of Beleriand, led by Galadriel daughter of Finarfin, cross the Blue Mountains and in the eastern side establish the lordship of Lothlórien over some of the wood-elves, creating inside the Mirkwood a core from which to liberate that old forest from its darkness, as Melian had done in Beleriand in the past.
  9. Morgoth's minions overrun most of Beleriand, and start spreading south. They go down the Blue Mountains again and occupy many of its tunnels and make war on the dwarves. These suffer a further setback after some nauglath smiths kill Thingol, King of the wood-elves of Beleriand, over the payment of their works in the Nauglamír or its possession: the green-elves led by Beren ambush and annihilate them. Thenceforth the leading dwarven kingdom is Belegost, though relations between elves and all dwarves are strained forever.
  10. When Morgoth is overthrown by the army of Valinor, Angband is sunk, and a part of Beleriand and the highlands are riven and invaded by the sea too. The dwarven halls are also greatly destroyed and dwarves seek new homes east of the Blue Mountains, as other inhabitants of Beleriand do.
  11. Maedhros and Maglor rob the two Silmarils recovered from Morgoth, but having no right to hold them, and torn by physical and spiritual pain, Maglor throws his to the advancing sea, while Maedhros flies east until he finally casts himself with the Silmaril into Erebor, one of Morgoth's volcanoes rekindled by the cataclysms.
  12. The Valar decree pardon and rewards for those who have fought Morgoth, and to proclaim it, Fionwe, herald of Manwe, sends some Maiar, who in the guise of wizards will stay in Middle-earth to watch over the fulfilment of the Valar's will. Chief of them are Gandalf and Radagast.
  13. To the noldor the Valar lift the prohibition to return to Valinor, and many of them, as well as other elves, set sail to the West. The elves who stay in the remaining regions of Beleriand are led by Elrond, who takes refuge in a house in one of the western valleys of the Blue Mountains.
  14. The Valar appoint the re-extinguished volcano of Erebor as a kingdom for the Longbeards, and as a gift from Aule, Maedhros's Silmaril (called the Arkenstone by the dwarves) is recovered from the depths and held as a heirloom of the royal line.
  15. For the Fathers of Men the island of Númenor is raised in the Great Sea, and for several generations their kingdom grows, and some of them settle back in the southernmost regions of Beleriand, the Belfalas.
  16. Thingol is allowed to re-incarnate and comes back to Middle-earth to reign over his lost people, the Teleri wood-elves of Mirkwood.
  17. Some four centuries after Morgoth's defeat, Thû, who had been in hiding in his stronghold of Dol Guldur, south of Mirkwood, since his defeat by Lúthien and Huan, comes out when he flies to Númenor in the shape of a bird, and preaches salvation through the worship of Morgoth. He achieves the destruction of Númenor when he convinces the king to conquer immortality taking Valinor by force, and the Valar destroy the island and make the world round. This cataclysm further sinks Beleriand, drowning most of the islands; the hobbits have to flee from the coastland, and after this they shun the sea.
  18. Thû comes back to Dol Guldur and takes possession of one of Morgoth's active volcanoes, Orodruin, around which, in the land of Mordor, he starts building fortresses with the intention to install himself as a new Dark Lord; at that moment evil creatures have no unified purpose (Rateliff XII.ii), and maybe only bats and the great spiders that have darkened Mirkwood are under his influence.
  19. Further pressed by the advance of the sea, some dragons come to the light in the Withered Heath, a region formerly part of Angband. The largest of them, Smaug, attracted by the gold treasure of the thriving kingdom of Erebor, attacks the Longbeards and ousts them from there. They go back to the Blue Mountains, now more humid and full of mists, because of which they are now more usually named the Misty Mountains. They find them so infested by goblins that recovering their old kingdom of Belegost is revealed an impossible endeavour, though they still fight a bitter war culminated by the massacre of the mines of Moria, and they build their dwellings in the western foothills.
  20. Some two centuries after the drowning of Númenor, the events described in The Hobbit take place.
  21. Events in the Hobbit sequel in which Bilbo's nephew and heir is involved: in Belfalas, the remaining Númenóreans raise their charismatic leader Amroth (after whom his growing, favored hometown and base has been renamed Dol Amroth) as King, and under Gandalf's advice they ally to Elrond and his elves of Beleriand to fight Thû. To this Last Alliance join the old Wizards, Galadriel, Thingol, the Longbeard dwarves, the Eagles, the Ents, and all the enemies of darkness, and Thû is destroyed for the last time, his spirit becoming a shadow for ever, and his fortresses razed to the ground. This war hastens the fading of the elves, and many of them set sail to the West, while the lingerers are only shadows and can only be seen by mortals when deliberately making the effort.
The remarkable consequence of this alternative Middle-earth that never came to be is that the Third Age of the Sun that is a part of the Rings of Power story disappears. It is an expectable missing, since Tolkien developed the story for The Lord of the Rings.

In a geographic parallel, the moves of the peoples and characters in the geography of the later legendarium are reduced in a step: neither the elves cross two ranges in the Great Journey, nor due to the Wars of Beleriand do elves, the Great Eagles, etc. have to take a so long journey to their positions in The Hobbit. Even the afterwards-created character of Galadriel, had she ever appeared in the Hobbit sequel at all, would have had to take less steps until finally becoming the lady of Lórien.

As can be seen in the maps below, the general geographic scenario puts together the map of Wilderland from The Hobbit and the map of Beleriand from the 30's Silmarillion, plus some elements drawn from the Ambarkanta, Tolkien's first Lord of the Rings map, and finally some details from later stages of the legendariumI've taken the drawings for those two main parts from "Mapping Arda - Reloaded" (Other Minds #2), and manually drawn the rest. The lands under the shadow at different moments are shown in grey.

This would be NW Middle-earth after the Unnumbered Tears:

And this just before the Last Alliance:


-     O     -

HOWEVER, a more compact geography would be reached if we directly equated the first set of parallels we mentioned above, i.e.:
  • Mirkwood = Dorthonion;
  • Dor-na-Fauglith = Withered Heath;
  • Himring = Erebor.
That way we could continue the equations just taking a look at the very convenient succession of geographical accidents in the map of Beleriand:
  • Misty Mountains = Erydlómin (> Ered Wethrin), actually being the border of Hithlum ("Mist Shadow", or "Land of Mist" in The Silmarillion), and therefore bearing the same "misty" attribute. In the early Silmarillion map they are shown in the middle of several lands marked (as others are) "ORC-RAIDS", so we can suppose the orcs/goblins would thrive again in the caves in this range after the War of Wrath.
  • Great River = Sirion (or what the War of Wrath left of it).
  • Woodmen = exactly the tribe of Haleth who might have been their model (Rateliff X.ii).
  • Grey Mountains = Iron Mountains (the final Ered Mithrin were actually a remainder of the Ered Engrin), or even the later Ered Gorgoroth.
  • Mountains of Mirkwood = Andram, also a not too high range, that in time could have become forested.
  • Elvenking's Halls = outright Menegroth, where Thingol would be reigning again.
  • Forest River = Esgalduin River (< Esgaduin), its course changed to the East, but in any case showing a nice coincidence (was it in Tolkien's mind?, Rateliff XIII.iv) between the names Esgaduin and Esgaroth, where the river enters Long Lake.
  • River Running (Celduin) = Celon (another nice coincidence, two hydronyms with the same meaning).
  • Iron Hills = foothills of the Blue Mountains.
  • The Necromancer's fortress (> Dol Guldur) would have been placed in in the new forests formed just south of the Andram, that would then have become invaded and darkened by the spiders, much as the Misty Mountains/Erydlómin would have been infested by orcs/goblins. Or maybe it was Amon Ereb itself (though it's there where Maedhros, Maglor and Elrond lived before Morgoth was overthrown, according to the contemporary Silmarillion, so Thû could only take abode there after the noldor abandoned it).
  • Therefore, finally both the hobbit country and Rivendell would have been placed within the limits of Hithlum (no doubt its climate made milder by changes due to the destruction of Angband or the expulsion of Morgoth), Hithlum having been cleared of Morgoth's servants by the War of Wrath.
Note that in this scenario the Great Eagles would just have to move across Sirion to the peaks over its western bank after the fall of Gondolin.

This scenario could allow a chronology even shorter than the one presented above, The Hobbit story becoming a continuation to the tale of the First Age, and producing that the Erebor to which Maedhros would have cast himself with the Silmaril was Himring itself, so that he would not have fled far to the East, but to his home of old. To make the map of Beleriand match the map of Wilderland, it would have to be stretched in the North-South direction, or to overlay the whole Hobbit geography on the Silmarillion map we could assume the changes in Beleriand would have been brought about by the War of Wrath. The map thusly shaped would be something like this:





-     O     -

BUT STILL we could abridge the history one step further, and it was pointed to by Tolkien himself when creating The Hobbit. This story would have to happen even before the fall of Morgoth, since Tolkien, in the first stages of its writing, and when its end was far from definite, thought of that option (Rateliff I.iii), because "less than a century has passed between those events [the defeat of the Necromancer by Lúthien and Huan] and the time of our story". Later Tolkien, when settling the final scenario and environment for the story, removed the reference to that event and opted for a longer timespan. If he had never done that, The Hobbit would have ended up being not a Silmarillion epilogue, but actually one of its chapters, and what would its possible sequel have told? One of the final defeats against Morgoth? Would it have been incorporated into one of the then well established tales (Túrin, Gondolin, the Nauglamír and Doriath)? Or maybe... the War of Wrath itself? Intriguing, but already too far suppositions.

martes, 18 de marzo de 2014

The Dúnadan Kingship in Exile

A Tolkien topic that my thoughts have been coming once and again to is the nature and reach of the Númenórean kingship in exile, and the configuration of the crown of Elendil under his successors, at the highest level.
One of the issuing points of this topic is the apparent contradiction between two texts by Tolkien himself, dealing with the geographic extension of Gondor.
On the one hand, the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings where we are told that the Ship-kings expanded Gondor to the west and south of the Mouths of Anduin.
On the other hand, “The Tradition of Isildur” in Unfinished Tales pt. III. II. iv, where we have “a tomb and memorial of Elendil the Faithful. Here it shall stand at the mid-point of the Kingdom of the South” in Amon Anwar, which later fell in the boundary between Gondor and Rohan.
Michael Martinez's keen deductions, particularly those in “Razing Arnor: How Real Were the Dunadan Conspiracies?” have decisively pushed my thoughts on the subject. Here, Martinez basically says that Gondor’s expansion and policies might have indirectly influenced the partition of Arnor.
Those are several points that made me wonder about the more general topic I’m dealing with now. Some of the questions were:
  • If the oldest male heir of Isildur’s line was the High King, and the Númenórean kingship was sacred, how could it be that different independent realms, with their independent kings, were established through the partition of Arnor?
  • What did it mean to be High King at all? What was de iure and de facto the geographical reach of High Kingship?
  • Which way was the governance of Gondor included in the attributions of the High Kingship? Had the High Kings anything to say regarding the expansion of Gondor?
  • And, most intriguingly, does the apparent documentary contradiction on the boundaries of Gondor play any role in all this?

Putting together the sources and the deductions by Michael Martinez and others, and using my own invention to give answers to those questions to cement all that together, I have outlined the following thread of the history of Middle-earth:

When Elendil was cast by the great wave on the shores of Harlindon, he was received by the Elves. Elendil himself said that in those times he thought of spending the rest of his life among the Elves; so heavy was the grieve in his heart for the loss of the millenary homeland, even though that homeland was his enemy, and of his people.

But comforted by the Eldar, and with the friendship and counsel offered by Gil-galad, Elendil started to change his mind, and came to conceive an ambitious idea: to keep united the Númenórean nation, though at that moment it was made of colonists and exiles. For he was the heir of Elros’s firstborn line and head of the Faithful, so if anyone was to establish a new kingship of the Dúnedain, that was him.

But the Kingdom of Númenor had been established by the Valar themselves, and Elendil could not dare to take that step without their approval. And he could take counsel from them directly, since one of the Palantíri he had brought to Middle-earth in his ship was the one with its view fixed in Valinor. Through the stone, Elendil received the ruling of the Máhanaxar: that the sacred functions of the Númenórean Kings passed to him and his dynasty.

Keeping all Dúnedain under a single crown was a most difficult task, not only because of the blasphemy of the Black Númenóreans, who were the majority of the old King’s Men left, but also because of the destructions brought by the great cataclysm.

Elendil was proclaimed as King by Gil-galad himself, and acclaimed by the nearest Númenórean colonies, those most favourable to him, which were the ones of the Arthedain, the pious colonists living in Eriador closest to Lindon. Gil-galad ceded all the lands in Eriador that he protected but were sparsely populated by Elves to the new Kingdom, which was called Arnor, “King’s Land”, as a kind of augmented reproduction of the Arandor in Númenor. Since lesser men were under the protection of Gil-galad, Arnor was intended to comprise all Men in Eriador and their affairs, not only Dúnedain. That was the first foundation of Elendil’s rule.

The kingship had yet to be extended to other Númenóreans in the south, a task started by Elendil’s sons themselves after he counselled them, through the Palantíri, to divide their areas of action. Isildur and Anárion had spent their military service in the colonies of Gondor, and there they had tried to steer their ships. The waves kept them to get to he great colony and naval base of Pelargir directly; instead they were stranded in the Ras Morthil, a part of the coasts dominated by Tharagrond. The lord of this fortress were among those King’s Men who, in spite of his old friendship with Ar-Pharazôn, had managed to avoid declaring himself for the religion of Melkor, since he deeply rejected it, and now he offered his support to Elendil and his sons.

Now the Númenórean sway over the hinterland was tiny, and when news spread of the end of Númenor, there was unrest among the native Gwathuirim (whose descendants three millennia later were the Dunlendings), since a part of them still wanted to come back to the worship of Sauron, their god of old. So Isildur decided to deal with the Gwathuirim, and took the Covenant Stone of the Lords of Andúnie to the core of the native lands. Knowing of the natives’ superstition, he thought it to be the best instrument to keep their loyalty to the Númenórean lords (the other Covenant Stone was the globe of Umbar, on which Ar-Pharazôn had taken Sauron’s oath of fealty). Isildur planted the Stone in the place where the Gwathuirim had a temple (erech, in their tongue), and got too their oath.

Anárion chose to go to Pelargir, their first intended destination, to ask for the support of his friend Eldarion of Eldalonde, a lord of the Faithful. He was heir of the noble house of Hyarnustar, military men of renown, and in Middle-earth, as many other like him, he had found a place where his military skills were well valued over the fact of being one of the Faithful. He became commander of the Pelargirean forces in Ar-Pharazôn’s grand operation to beat Sauron, and on that occasion he had been mentor of Elendil’s sons, Anárion being his favourite. Eldarion had married Imrêth of the old house of the founders and lords of Pelargir, but had himself founded Linhir as a colony of his own. He had gained more ascendancy over the Faithful of the Bay of Belfalas when he refused to obey Ar-Pharazôn’s summon to the Great Armament, and instead attacked some of the Black Númenóreans coming to join that blasphemous force.

If there was anyone to whom the people of Pelargir could have raised to the throne before the coming of Elendil, that one was Eldarion; instead, as soon as he got word of the arrival of Elendil and his sons he did not hesitate to proclaim them as Kings. Uinen confirmed the righteousness of Eldarion’s deeds appearing before Anárion’s ship, calming and opening the whirls in the changing Anduin of those years. Enthusiasm exploded: the Kings were acclaimed by the people, bells rang along the coasts with joy for the new lord whose name alone made them feel back to the most blessed times of Númenor, the true children of that ill-fated land, liberated from Ar-Pharazôn’s madness, and the most powerful nation on Earth.

In spite of Uinen, there was not the same enthusiasm among the Pelargirean nobles, many of them officers in the armed forces, were King’s Men unwilling to accept a king of the Faithful. First among them were Herumir and Fuinur, Eldarion’s sons —that was the pitiful state of the Númenórean people, in which even families were torn apart by the Kings’ rebellion against the Valar. Herumir, a tradesman, and Fuinur, commander of the XXIII Division “Minulthôr”, main army of Umbar at the time, had plans to control both Pelargir and Umbar through their combined influence. Their father’s quick cession of the government of Pelargir and the command of the XXIX “Starry” Division, main land force of that colony, to Anárion, shattered those plans.

Maybe they had at that time already fallen under the dark religion, by which at last Herumir would change his name for Herumor, but the fact is that they rebelled against their father and, conspiring with other officials in Pelargir, they usurped the VI “Starry” Fleet, the naval forces of Pelargir, and brought it to Umbar, establishing there a stronghold against Elendil’s reclamations.

After that, Elendil’s efforts to communicate with the Númenóreans beyond Umbar were blocked by the rebel brothers. There were Faithful colonies in the Inner and Eastern Seas, but next to Umbar were the King’s Men of Bellakar, who would not accept a Faithful king, and they also were of no help. Therefore Elendil’s rule, though theoretically encompassing all Númenóreans of Middle-earth, was effective only in the old colonies of the Northwest, of strongest Faithful presence.

There, to ensure the loyalty of the small colonies of Anfalas, Elendil gave the title of “Prince” (meaning they had sovereign rule within their lands, only owing loyalty to the King himself) to both Eldarion in Linhir, on the easternmost extreme of those shores, and the lord of Tharagrond, in the west.

So far then we have seen that Elendil built his rule on different foundations: Elendil’s lordship in Arnor, the support of the Princes of Tharagrond and Linhir, the oath of the Gwathuirim natives to Isildur, and the governorship of Pelargir and command of its forces by Anárion, which he shared with his brother Isildur as soon as he came from among the Gwathuirim. And there was not at the time a particular division, let alone theoretical, between Arnor and Gondor.

When establishing what was conceived as a single realm of the human Westlands under Elendil’s rule, he and his sons added more lands to secure the Númenórean core of their dominions: the borderlands of Eriador in the North, the areas north and east of Pelargir up to Mordor, as well as the Gwathuirim lands in between, as we have seen. In Gondor, the old frontier became the centre of the brother kings’ dominions, where they built the head city of each one’s personal fief (Minas Anor for Anórien and Minas Ithil for Ithilien), and their joint capital, Osgiliath. Communications were completed by land with the North-South Road and the strongholds guarding it, most notably Angrenost (Isengard).

That is the basic outline of the general structure of Elendil’s crown. Now this is of course not the place to tell details about the War of the Last Alliance, but some things must be told which affect the subject we are dealing with.

After Sauron unexpectedly ousted Isildur and his family from Minas Ithil and the king fled to Arnor, Anárion stayed behind commanding the defence along the Anduin. Later, when the armies of the North came, a force under the command of Aratan and Ciryon, second and third sons of Isildur, was detached to recover Ithilien and its capital, while Meneldil Anárion’s son stayed behind as governor of the realm of Pelargir. Anárion and Aratan personally commanded the siege of Barad-dûr, and when Anárion was killed, Isildur joined his brother’s command to his own, thus becoming the most powerful commander of the Alliance.

As is well known, Sauron killed Elendil but was on his turn killed (or so it was thought) by Isildur, who became undisputable lord not only of Arnor (by inheritance) and Gondor (by his own kingship) but also of Mordor (by conquest). He had to arrange matters in both North and South, and he sent the main army to Arnor, but stayed a while organising the South.

Now when Anárion was killed, Meneldil made of the fact that his father had held the title of “King” more than a mere circumstance and took it too, until Isildur came from war. Finally Isildur entrusted the government in the South to his nephew Meneldil as a continuation of his functions during the war, and departed to Arnor with his three sons, but said nothing about the title of “King”. It was later evident that Meneldil had the superior ambition to fully succeed his father, but Isildur trusted his nephew would not do it without authorisation; otherwise he could have left behind his sons Aratan or Ciryon, who knew well the realm and were respected commanders of its troops, under the pretext of seeing after the lordship of Ithilien, for example.

But now Arnor was also Isildur’s fief, and much larger than Ithilien, so the King decided to bring all his sons with him, to join his wife and youngest child Valandil, left in Imladris during the war. Meneldil ruled in the south with the following duties:
  1. regent of the old colonial kingdom of Pelargir, with jurisdiction over Lebennin and Calenardhon and including vassalage (to say it in modern terms) of Lossarnach;
  2. Lord of Anórien, by right of inheritance;
  3. governor of Ithilien, on behalf of Isildur, a duty including the watch of Mordor, in concordance with:
  4. commander of the Starry Division, which included the governorship of the military territories to the west of Pelargir (later called Lamedon);
  5. President of the Council of the Dúnedain for the Realms of the South (later named Council of Gondor); and
  6. patronage of the Pelargirean League, which coordinated with Pelargir several old colonies established along the coasts.
Nothing Isildur said about separating from his crown a southern kingdom, which was still his, or to permanently hand it over.

And Isildur and his three sons died in the disaster of the Gladden Fields, and his youngest and now only son Valandil, thirteen years old, had not took part in the war and had no ascendancy over his southern subjects. Therefore Meneldil assumed the royal title, this time on behalf of his Northern cousin, and this bold and dubious step was supported by the prince Eldarion of Linhir, helping the son of his dear Anárion, and the Council of Gondor, happy to have a close King, rooted in the South.

The years it took Valandil to cement his rule in Arnor and the shameful opposition of the northern regent Elentirion, who saw in Meneldil’s elevation the possibility of a similar progress, maybe intending to leave the line of Isildur with no effective power, were enough for Meneldil to do in the South the same functions as not only his father but his uncle too.

Meneldil issued orders as “King for Gondor” at first, and later as “King of Gondor”, thus being the first to officially individuate that territory. Against that, the only resistance that Valandil was able to oppose was to devise a title of High King, which actually consisted only in adding the traditional Númenórean prefix “Tar-“ to his name and, retrospectively, his father and grandfather. But that only had effect in Arnor, while in Gondor, where our records mostly come from, it was deliberately obviated to equate both Kings.

Valandil visited his cousin on two occasions: in his coming of age, and one hundred years later; but on the first he found no option to put away from his governmental duties Cemendur Meneldil’s son and could only obtain a declaration of loyalty less effective than rhetoric; and on the second he did not dare to disturb with requirements the real or feigned illness of his elderly uncle.

Thus was Meneldil finally able to pass as inheritance his kingship to his descendants, and thence the northern Kings, though as the elder line of Elendil considered themselves as rulers of all Númenóreans, were in fact only of Arnor. And for the time being, the situation went on as each kingdom dealt with its own affairs.


There was never again debate over the nature of the High Kingship until the time of the Ship-kings of Gondor. The previous Kings of the South had expanded their rule to the East, thus surpassing the attributions of the first successors of Meneldil. One of the labours of King Siriondil, with his son Tarannon as executor, was to order the borderlands of the kingdom, and a part of the Arnorian nobility that regretted the impossibility to expand of the Northern kingdom went to help him, with the hope of establishing a lordship of their own, and Prince Cemendur, second son of High King Elendur, was their leader.

Elendur knew that Arnor could not expand, but let a part of his subjects help Tarannon to get rid of some troublesome noblemen. But trouble was not kept away that way, since the first campaign was to be held in Anfalas, of doubtful allegiance. This region had been under the control of Tharagrond, whose princes had ceded their rights to Isildur, though the municipalities descending from old colonies belonged to the Pelargirean League. The distancing of the two kingdoms had abandoned the rights over Anfalas in a grey zone, and its municipalities governed themselves and quarrelled with more independence than the old colonies they descended from.

That grey zone was now lit by Tarannon’s plans: it was a debatable matter whether Anfalas was under the High Kings, as descendants of Isildur, or under the Kings of Gondor, as successors of Isildur’s initial government in the South and patrons of the League.

The land forces of the Kings and a mixed royal-Pelargirean fleet put Anfalas under Gondorian rule, but Cemendur and his adventurers were paid with gold but no lordship or lands, a poor reward to the legitimacy that a Northern prince had contributed to Tarannon’s campaign.

The deceived Arnorians came back to their homeland with, among others, the idea that the title of High King had no effect and, within a generation, the kingdom was divided in three. The High Kingship was discarded by Amlaith, as he doubted that Tarannon, his forces now stationed in the very Arnorian frontier, would recognise it. Actually, in Gondor the idea was beginning to spread that the true heir of Númenor was Gondor, not the declining Arnor.

When later the line of Isildur had been extinguished in Cardolan and Rhudaur and the Kings of Arthedain were the only royal line descending from Isildur, they wanted to resume some sense of the High Kingship, but just for Arnor, since Gondor at the time had a great influence in the North through Tharbad. So they added to their names the “Tar-” particle in the Sindarin “Ar-” version: Celephor changed his name for Argeleb (I), later his son Belegorn to Arveleg (I), and from that moment on, princes received a name with the “Ar-” already incorporated to their names.


The last “round” of the debate over the High Kingship happened when King Ondoher of Gondor and his two sons died in battle against the Easterlings, and his only remaining child, princess Fíriel, was the heir to the southern kingdom.

Now nothing in the Númenórean law had never been said regarding preference for males in the inheritance to the throne, and actually the only rule in force was Tar-Aldarion’s law that the King’s firstborn, male or female, was the heir to the throne. But two circumstances worked against Fíriel in this case, keeping her from becoming Ruling Queen.

On the one hand, though the primogeniture rule had been the practice in Númenor itself, in Middle-earth the Kings had had a stronger military component for which the traditional male role of army commanders was more fit, so that there never was a ruling queen in Arnor or Gondor —any possible candidates did not even consider themselves as such.

On the other hand, and most important —and this is the point why the case comes to the “High Kingship debate”—, Fíriel was married to the heir of Arthedain (of all Arnor in fact), Arvedui, and it was highly unlikely that this prince could accept to restrain himself to the role of a consort in Gondor, especially once he had inherited the northern throne.

Maybe if Arvedui had taken more modest steps regarding Gondor could have granted him a slower but successful way to the rule of Gondor, but he in fact claimed the southern throne for himself by right not only of his marriage to Fíriel, but also of him being the heir of Isildur.

This latter point was the key of the controversy, of course. Arvedui was absolutely right in claiming the throne of Gondor, and actually was the first Northerner to claim it from Elendil himself. But for the southern elite he was likely to be either too distant to be a useful presiding figure towards the people, or too detached from the southern interest networks to respond positively to them.

So the Council of Gondor tried to work a way out of this uncomfortable candidature by delaying a decision debating over it. There were those who wanted only to accept someone of the line of Anárion or nothing. The army objected that in those times of trouble and invasion a male commander-King was needed. Only very few proposed reunion with Arnor through the person of Arvedui.

After one year, general Earnil, descendant of King Telumehtar by male line and recent victor of the Easterlings, who was therefore a principal person in Gondor at the time, was summoned to the Council to speak proposing a solution. It was later said in Arnor that he initially intended to speak for Arvedui, but while en route to the meeting he was convinced by a delegation from the Council itself to claim the throne for himself, which was granted wilfully by the Council and the people.

The later story is well known, that in the next generation of Kings things would change much: Arvedui was the last King in the North and his line survived ruling no realm; while in Gondor, it was the kingdom and not the royal line what survived.

We have only to point here to what we could call the “donation of Isildur”, as a parallel to the Donation of Constantine; it is related to what is said in “The Tradition of Isildur”, in the Unfinished Tales:
Isildur […] remained for a time in Gondor, ordering the realm and instructing Meneldil his nephew […]. With Meneldil and a company of trusted friends he made a journey about the borders of all the lands to which Gondor laid claim; and as they were returning from the northern bound to Anórien they came to the high hill that was then called Eilenaer but was afterwards called Amon Anwar, "Hill of Awe." That was near to the centre of the lands of Gondor.
Though the main topic of the “Tradition” is the location of Elendil’s tomb, it is supposed that the scroll that told it, kept by the Stewards, was altered at some point between two which are known with certainty: when it was first written down (ss. V-VI) and when it was used against Arvedui’s claim to the throne of Gondor.

The alteration would be the additions of the situation of Amon Anwar “near to the centre” of Gondor, and of the journey of Isildur and Meneldil along the boundaries of Gondor. That the first one was added is certain because the territory of Gondor could hardly have its centre in Amon Anwar in Isildur’s time (then it was more in a western borderland), let alone in the time of the writing of the scroll, when the kingdom had expanded eastward.

Suspicions are cast over Pelendur, Steward to King Ondoher and a staunch supporter of Gondorian establishment, as the likely hand behind the forgery. The moments in which the document could have been modified were those in which the alterations would be most necessary, and those were no doubt the ones of the debate over the High Kingship: as we have seen, either under Tarannon or after Ondoher’s death.

The latter moment is the one most likely, since the centrality of Amon Anwar corresponds to the boundaries of Gondor in that time: rivers Angren and Anduin in the North, the Mountains of Shadow in the East, river Harnen in the South. The evident intention of the alteration was to “record” the separation of the kingdom of Gondor from the High King’s crown by the only person who could have rightfully done it since he was the true sovereign: Isildur himself.

Moreover, the scroll was under custody of the Stewards, who passed it to every new King in his crowning, and Pelendur was prominent among the refusers of Arvedui’s claims. So he probably added the point of the uncle and nephew Kings’ journey to establish the separation of Gondor, but going further to the situation of Amon Anwar in reference to the boundaries of the realm was a not so necessary step that in the end has revealed the forgery.

martes, 27 de abril de 2010

List of the most important Maiar

The Valar, and the Maiar that are included in the entourage of each of them, are mentioned according to their power and hierarchy. The Valar are ordered after the classification of the Rávanári astrologers, who counted Vaire and Nessa among the Maiar, thus having twelve good Valar, whom they identified with the twelve Zodiac signs, so the sign is included besides.
Also the names in the Valarin language appear, including those of Enemies possibly having been created before the invention of the Black Speech. The voiced velar fricative consonant, represented by Tolkien with a symbol similar to a “3” is here graphed as “γ”. A capital “X” is always a voiceless velar fricative. The accent is always placed in the first syllable.
An * denotes those who became servants of Melkor; a - the spirits with a female incarnation.
1
MANWE (Mānawenūz; Gem.): Lord of Winds, King of Arda
EONWE (Æγōwenūz): herald
THORONDOR (Šebethwenūz): Lord of Eagles
ÓMAR AMILLO (Ačāi): lyre strummer
-MÁNIEN (Mānajuk): Lady of the Mánir
SÚLIN (Šebethγan): Lord of the Súruli
ARVILNA (Rāzōγan): main spirit of the lower airs
-*THURINGWETHIL (Šebethaþāγærr): Lady of Vampires
TANFANTO (Rušuršebethur): spirit of the hot volcanic airs
-TAMROSSE (Ǽrjuimaþāð): spirit of dew
HELCARION (Šebethānamk): lord of frosty airs
-ISTARNIE (Mānafīruks): Manwe’s counselor
-MÍRIEN (Ithīreðel): spirit of Hyarmentir; Legolas Thranduilion’s wife
-ARVÁNIEL (Ithīraγabh): spirit of Taniquetil; friend of the Vanyar
EARVILNA (Ūγǽnæšaib): spirit of sea breezes
*ELOEKLO (Rāzōyānamk): ice demon
-PALISNE (Ezelšebeth): spirit of meadow breezes
2
VARDA (Ithīrmāχāz; Aqr.): Lady of Light
-ELENIEL (Ithīræγas): main star spirit
ILMENWE (Ulbanithīr): main spirit of the middle airs
-CALNINQUE (Bhārithīr): starlight spirit
-SILVANYA (Ithīrušanammaχ): spirit of silver light; friend of the Vanyar
*LUNGORTHIN (Ūæzanithīr): the White Balrog
-ILMARE (Ulbanwenūz): main maid at Ilmarin
-ISILIEN (Ithīrušþad): spirit of silver light; related to Tilion
-ARSILME (Χǽlþ): star spirit of silver light
AURANNA (Tulukhithīr): main spirit of golden light; Manwe’s and Varda’s counselor
CALAMO (Ithīrōγan): lamp-maker; friend of the Noldor
-RINGALNI (Ithīrānamk): spirit of the boreal lights
-ARTILYE (Ūæzanaþāγærr): the Darkness-slayer; Ungoliant’s enemy in the South
PALANTÍR (Ainjazla): the sharp-sighted
-ALMÁRIEL (Ælks): main spirit at Taniquetil
TIRLÓMIN (Rušurphelūn): spirit of the western twilight in Middle-earth
-TIRCALE (Næšarithīr): spirit of dawn in the Lands of the Sun
-ERINTI (Runzya): Ilmarin maid
3
ULMO (Ullubōz; Psc.): Lord of Waters
OSSE (Ošošai): the rough sea
-UINEN (Ūγǽnæājan): the calm sea
SALMAR (Ačæājan): musician; maker of the Ulumúri
-UIN (Ūγǽnnak): the Great Whale
-OARNEN (Ulbaχn): Lady of the Oarni
FALMANTUR (Zullχūnþ): Lord of the Falmaríni
WINGILMO (Ošošūk): Lord of the Wingildi
FALASSION (Zullōb): spirit of the outer shores of Aman
-NENINQUE (Ullobāþai): spirit of the northern cold waters
VAIRANDIR (Ulbþāγærrāðkaš): main spirit of Vai; Vaiune’s husband
-HÍRIME (Mānōllubān): Lady of the Rivers of Valinor
-SILEAR (Ithīrušæājan): main spirit of the waters of Eldamar
-VAIUNE (Ulbþāγærrāð): Vai spirit; Vairandir’s wife
-Lady of the WITHYWINDLE (Āγenšūk)
ARCELMIR (Lūbawphelūn): spirit of the rivers of Middle-earth; Indearvarda’s husband
-INDEARVARDA (Ullubphelūn): spirit of the inner seas of Middle-earth; Arcelmir’s wife
-LINYUILE (Ullubān): lady of Nenuial Lake
4
YAVANNA (Ezelγūnāþ; Vir.): Lady of Plants
IARWAIN-BEN-ADAR (Ezelayūn): Lord of the Old Forest
-OLVANYA (Χarač): friend of the Vanyar
TUILINDO (Wærγztan): protector of birds
-LAURISQUE (Tulukhǽγza): main spirit of Yavanna’s pasturelands in Valinor
ALDARION (Arōwenūz): Lord of the Tavari
*LANGON (Jyalgā): the Torturer; main orc-breeder Maia; friend of Fankil
ARDAMROD (Wærγijnaks): Lord of the Nermir
AIWENDIL (Wærγi): Tuilindo’s counselor; Istar
-HYARENIE (Aiþulezel): spirit of the pasturelands of Valinor; Laurisque’s sister
-CALENVARDA (Ezelmāχāz): spirit of the meadows of Middle-earth
-LAURORNIE (Yaztulukh): spirit of the mallorns
5
AULE (Aγūlēz; Tau.) the Smith
*SAURON (Aγūrušwenūz): Morgoth’s lieutenant; Lord of the Rings
-ARMAITE (Jærušwenūz): armor smith; friend of the Vanyar
CURUMO (Mūlēzþ): head of the Istari
NARTANWE (Aγūrušlēz): fire master
NÚRON (Fāχoeraþāð) the Wise
LAURMAIA (Tulukhedelaš): main goldsmith of the Maiar
CALEMBOR (Ezeljæγ): Lord of the Nandini
TYELMORDO (Χǽlþaurī): main silversmith of the Maiar
MAIVANYA (Šinšaγarōma): Lord of the Orossi; friend of the Vanyar
ARMALDOR (Edeljæγ): goldsmith
-ARTANIEL (Jærušsal): armor smith; Armaite’s counselor
ARTAMBE (Našarjæγ): copper smith
ARCANU (Æniþjæγ): lead smith
LATÚCEN (Žilbjæγ): tin smith
6
NÁMO (Æniþalāð; Lib.): the Judge
-VAIRE (Žærχač): the Weaver; Námo’s wife
-*FLUITHUIN (Æniþanūz): Captain of the Ogres
AMNON (Žærχæniþalāð): the prophet
PALLANDO (Aššanūχibaph): Istar
-*ULBANDI (Ulbanaðīð): Fluithuin’s lieutenant
7
NIENNA (Īnīzaγir; Sco.): the Mourner
-NURUVAINA (Akašānaχ): lady of introspection and meditation
VASTURYA (Mānaþāγærr): Lord of the Glooms of the Far West
-MORFANIEL (Žærmušan): main Nienna’s maid
-TELUFINDIS (Ulbanþāγærr): maid of the serene sky
-LÓMEANNON (Þāγærratūn): guardian of the Door of Night
8
OROME (Arōmēz; Sgr.): Lord of the Trees
-NESSA (Nešāšan): the dancer; Oromes sister and Tulkas’s wife
ALATAR (Alǽððā): nature sorcerer; Istar
*DRAUGLUIN (Aðǽbūþ): Lord of Werewolves
-TAURANDIRE (Arōphelūn): spirit of the forests of Eastern Middle-earth
HUAN (Nmuχāw): the Great Hound
NAHAR (Næχærra): Father of Horses
TILION (Arōphanai): Helmsman of the Moon
*ORCOBAL (Arōχīð): orc captain
*BALCMEG (Ūæzanæχ): Angband general, leader of the trolls
*OTHROD (Aðurrāþā): orc captain
9
VÁNA (Ezelurušag; Ari.): the Ever-young
-ARIEN (Rušurwenūz): Helmswoman of the Sun
*GOTHMOG (Rušurχač): Lord of Balrogs
-CALEVALA (Phanairušur): spirit of light warmth
-URWEN (Urušγæ): keeper of Laurelin
ANAREL (Kukušur): spirit of red and golden stars
VANYANAR (Urušγinaks): Urwen’s lieutenant
-VANEMAIA (Kelūthγinaks): the Dazzling Beauty
-*KHEMAKH (Χemæχ): a Balrog
*KAMAZHÛR (Kamažūr): a Balrog
-CALEANNON (Phanaiatūn): guardian of the Gates of Morn
*LUG (Aigažarksa): dragon captain
*MOURMAELGAX (Χemγāγþa): a Balrog
-*MÚAR (Šebethušur): a Balrog
10
IRMO (Āγenūjan; Cap.): Lord of Dreams
*FANKIL (Afakōilmaz): captain in Utumno; friend of Langon
*TEVILDO (Γgaw): Prince of Cats
-IRIE (Āγenžarksa): the quick thought
OLÓRIN (Āγenūjanþāč): friend of the Elves; Istar
SILMO (Ithīrušan): keeper of Telperion
*OIKEROI (Oyagarrūi): cat captain
-ARSILYA (Āγenæχad): spirit of the silver flowers of Lórien
*UMUIYAN (Ūbunajānur): cat captain
11
ESTE (Γarīχāzarrēnam; Cnc.): the Healer
-MELIAN (Āγenwenūz): spirit of visions and rest
-ÚVANDA (Ammaγāððγ): spirit of rest
-SINDIME (Amarīχāzar): main physician of the Maiar
-TOLDÍRIEL (Aþūjan): main maid of Este’s Island
-SILVASTE (Þāγærrinīððγ): spirit of serene glooms
12
TULKAS (Tulukhastāz; Leo): the Strong
MAKAR (Čalχā): swordsmen trainer; Meásse’s brother
-MEÁSSE (Mæγāžšai): spearmen trainer; Makar’s sister
TELUMEHTAR (Tulukhatūn): swordsman
ARCÁNO (Šuyγksa): strategist
MAKARION (Χæmarušn): body fighter
13
MELKOR (Ūæzanχīlurrōžiþaštānamk): the Enemy
-*UNGOLIANT (Ābbhaþāγærr): the Great Spider; light-devourer
-*GWERLUM (Ābbhulč): Lady of the Spiders of Angband
·
© Breogán Rey, 2010.