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BS: Tolkien Trivia

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Uncle_DaveO 09 Sep 02 - 06:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Sep 02 - 06:11 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Sep 02 - 06:17 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Sep 02 - 06:32 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Sep 02 - 06:35 PM
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GUEST,Peter from Essex 09 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM
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Robin2 09 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM
Wincing Devil 09 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Sep 02 - 10:57 PM
Guy Wolff 09 Sep 02 - 10:58 PM
Hagbardr 09 Sep 02 - 10:59 PM
greg stephens 10 Sep 02 - 07:42 AM
John P 10 Sep 02 - 08:26 AM
HuwG 10 Sep 02 - 08:29 AM
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MMario 10 Sep 02 - 01:51 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Sep 02 - 02:16 PM
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Clinton Hammond 10 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM
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Subject: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:10 PM

I'm going to put up some clues, and ask you to answer FROM YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE AND RECOLLECTION, and not research it either in LOTR or Silmarilion or on the web. I'll put up the answer after a day has passed, if no-one has posted the correct answer(s).

Okay, the first question, the answer to which was available (if not prominent) in LOTR:

An character had been known in one area as Incanus, and in another as Tharkun. Under what other name(s) was or had this character been known?

Extra credit for identifying where/when this character was known by any/each of the names.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:11 PM

That is, "a character".


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:17 PM

Stormcrow, Olorin, Mithrandir (sp?)

All names used by that old wizard we all know and love, that maiar in mens clothing...

Gandalf himself...

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:32 PM

There is at least one more name, which is basically a translation of one of those.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM

And who can remember where or when each of the names was or had been used for him?

Incidentally, "maiar" is plural, not singular. He was a maia.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:35 PM

At least one more?? He's known by all kinda of names in Middle earth... I kinda started tuning 'em out as I read the books the first time...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:38 PM

"where or when each of the names was or had been used for him"

Who cares...

Even better.. research myth and folklore and find out where JRR swiped all those various names from....

,-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:59 PM

Clinton:

As to "who cares", it's not real important; that's why it's labeled trivia. But on my sixth or seventh reading I found some information that had gone over my head or leaked from my alleged mind.

I believe there are "only" six names given for Gandalph in LOTR, and the extra-credit info is either explicitly listed or obvious from reading LOTR.

I'm hoping others may chime in with little-known or easily forgotten trivia questions, to be answered from memory, not research.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM

For real trivia - how many horses are named in LoTR?

I can think of 6 but I am sure there is a seventh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM

For real trivia - how many horses are named in LoTR?

I can think of 6 but I am sure there is a seventh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 07:17 PM

Let's see:

Bill, Wisenose, Fatty Lumpkin, Shadowfax (of course), Snowmane, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't think of any of the others. I know there were about four others in the group Tom Bombadil assigned names to, and I vaguely recollect a couple more named horses of the Rohirrim.

Can anyone else come up with missing horse names?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Robin2
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM

Without looking at the book...

Swishtail, White socks, and Arod. Is there more?

Thanks for the trivia, this is fun. I haven't read the books in 10 years, so it should be a challenge!

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM

Is the Gandalph/Gandalf spelling dependent on which side of the pond you're from?

If you really want to start a fight heated discussion, finish this list:

  LOTR   : Star Wars :Christian Mythology

Gandalf : Obi-Wan :John The Baptist (Mystic, killed in story)
Frodo : Luke :Jesus Christ (Naive Idealistic Leader)
Boromir : Lando :Judas (Traitor in the Midst)
Aragorn : Han Solo :Peter (Reluctant 2nd in command)
Galadriel : Leia :Mary Magdalene (Heroine)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:57 PM

No fight here WD... That's what happens when you deal with fantasy's that all tell essentially the same story using the same archetypes... ;-)

Gandalph???????

Who said that??? *Scans thread* Oh... Dave...

As far as I know, that's just incorrect... A common enough mistake, but a mistake none-the-less...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:58 PM

Hello all here.. WHen I prebought the first part of the movie the man at the vidio store proudly gave me the one ring as a key chain.. Being a potter I am concidering throwing it into my kiln when at white heat. Great thread at any rate
All the best Guy Wolff


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Hagbardr
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:59 PM

Asfaloth was Glorfindel's horse. Hasufel was given to Aragorn by Eomer.

--Hagbardr


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:42 AM

Shergar?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: John P
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 08:26 AM

Felarof was the name of the horse that Eorl rode from the north. He was the forefather of Shadowfax. That line of horses was called the mearas.

The horse that carried Eowyn and Merry from Rohan to Gondor was Windfola.

The Grey Wanderer was a common name for Gandalf, a translation of Mithrandir, which is what the elves and the men of Gondor called him. Tharkun was his name among the dwarves, Stormcrow in Rohan, Olorin in Valinor. I think Incanus was what he was called by the Southrons, but I'm not sure.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: HuwG
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 08:29 AM

How sad am I ...

Another couple of horses in LOTR:
Roheryn was brought by Halbadir for Aragorn when he and the other Rangers and the sons of Elrond met him in Rohan; I think this horse was left behind at Pelargir when Aragorn took ship for Minas Tirith;
Windfola was ridden by Eowyn (disguised as "Dernhelm") and Merry to the Battle of the Pelennor fields; it bolted when the Top Nazgul went for Theoden, and not mentioned afterwards;


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 01:39 PM

Oh, oh! I said "Gandalph"?? I guess I did. I don't know how that happened.

Here's one that needs both LOTR and Silmarillion to answer:

Two creatures, fire-related, killed each other. What did they have in common other than fire?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: MMario
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 01:51 PM

a deep irresistable urge for godiva Chocolate?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 02:16 PM

Dave... isn't that also Gandalf, and the balrog from Moria? They're both fire related, and they killed each other...

In common other than fire? They are both again, *Scans to get the singular right this time* maia no?

Oh gods it's been a long time since I read any of this crud...

Heh...

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 02:47 PM

Yes, Gandalf and the balrog are each maia, the lower-level, so to speak, of the Valar. Many of those were seduced by Melkor (later Morgoth) and became his creatures, such as the Balrogs and Sauron himself.

That one seems to have been too easy. Gotta think of something else.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

Here's one (maybe also too easy):

What did the people of Middle Earth call Sauron long after his defeat by the armies of Elrond and Isildur, but before he returned to his strongholds in Mordor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 02:59 PM

There are a number of thinking (to one degree or another) races in LOTR, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, Orcs, Trolls, of course the Wizards, the wild men (whose name I forget for the moment).

But in only a few instances (I'm thinking three, but I could be wrong) does Tolkien put actual conscious thoughts and/or reason in an animal's mind, and as I recall only one instance of an animal speaking. I'm ignoring wargs and horses and the birds that act as spies for Sauron, all of which show some sort of intelligently directed behavior, but not what I'd call conscious thought evident from the text.

What animals can you name?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:05 PM

Eagles of course, Shelob and the other spiders, the bird that warns Bard of Smaug's weakness in The Hobbit... Any more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:22 PM

My intention in posing the question was to limit it to LOTR. Doesn't hurt to talk about The Hobbit, of course.

Eagles, definitely. The King of the Eagles speaks in language to Gandalf.

I wouldn't personally think that Shelob is of the level of conscious intelligence that I was speaking of. Certainly an independent selfhood and an evil will, but it seems to me her observed behavior and Tolkien's description of her actions and intentions seem more animal-like. On the other hand, I've sometimes thought that she might be another of the maiar.

I know there is at least one other example of an animal whose mental processes are related, "inside its head" as it were, such that recognition of another race, memory of prior events, and curiosity about the purpose of actions of other individuals are displayed.

I'm drawing a blank here about a third animal that showed clearly rational thought, that I thought I recalled.

Any further inputs on this one?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:26 PM

Sorry, DaveO,

then my question about Sauron is also nullified, because the discussion occurs in the Hobbit, where Sauron is referred to exclusively as The Necromancer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:31 PM

Nerd:

No, you were right in the LOTR context too, because you will remember that Gandalf said that he had penetrated and was imprisoned in the tower of the Necromancer, and there learned that the Necromancer was none other than Sauron.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM

Not so fast Nerd...

Gandalf says he "passed the doors of Dol Guldur" and discoverd he was Sauron, in the Council Of Elrond, if my memory served...

Can anyone lay a hand to the book to check for me...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:36 PM

Heh... I gotta type faster to beat Dave...

,-)

But I guess that'll count as confirmation...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:34 PM

Probable correction: "In the South I am known as Incanus, to the East I go not" - the South doesn't refer to the the Southrons/Haradrim. I'm sure in one of the Apocrypha (you know what I mean! Probably UT.) it says that in this context the South means Gondor. He is known to have spent a lot of time there (when he was still welcome, anyway), whereas there is no evidence he went any further South. Unlike Aragorn, of whom I believe it is stated that he went as far as Harad.

Gwaihir, the Windlord, speaks to G in both TH & LOTR, if memory serves. You've also left out one of Gandalf's soubriquets, Grayhame.

Is it possible to have 'will' without 'intelligence'? I've always regarded Shelob as both intelligent & malevolent, but she certainly doesn't speak in LOTR (unlike the spiders in TH). Her origin is a bit mysterious. I seem to remember she's a descendant of Ungoliant (equally mysterious) rather than a spirit in her own right.

I'm fairly sure one of the talking Ravens of the North is referred to at some point in LOTR. To be certain, I'd have to and look it up, but isn't Carc the raven in TH, & Roac, son of Carc mentioned in LOTR?

The only other possibilities for Dave's animal I can think of off the top of my head are Bill the pony, Shadowfax, or the thrush that fetches the raven in TH, but none of those fit his question adequately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:38 PM

Three from me: Name the...

1) Last king of Arnor, 2) Gondor, 3) likely identity of the skeleton found by Aragorn on the Paths of the Dead (this is a *real* toughie!)

And, having had two names of Sauron, there's a third (though I think it's only mentioned in The Sil, not LOTR) - what is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Hagbardr
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:53 PM

The last king of Arnor was Arvedui. The last king of Gondor was Earnur. The skeleton is likely Baldor son of Brego.

--Hagbardr


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 10:33 PM

Raedwulf said:

"I'm fairly sure one of the talking Ravens of the North is referred to at some point in LOTR. To be certain, I'd have to and look it up, but isn't Carc the raven in TH, & Roac, son of Carc mentioned in LOTR?"

I'm now about a third of the way into Return of the King on my sixth or seventh reading, and neither Roac nor Carc has been mentioned. I don't BELIEVE there's even been any mention of ravens so far, unless it was the flocks of birds seen over the fellowship in Hollin.

I'm saving my identification of the animal I mentioned for tomorrow, to leave further time for anyone else to come up with it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: leprechaun
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 12:23 AM

For DaveO's question, do the Ents count?

(Somebody's bound to say, "Yes, but very slowly.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 01:51 AM

Dave O,

I do believe that Shelob does have both the consciousness and the language abilities to qualify. Remember, Gollum has a deal with her to deliver the Hobbits, which suggests they can speak to each other. That's the main evidence from LOTR.

But elsewhere in Tolkien's writings there is more evidence. Shelob, it turns out, is a daughter of Ungoliant, a corrupted Maia who ages ago took the form of a giant spider. Ungoliant bred with similar spiders already living in Arda, and Shelob was one product. Shelob's offspring form a large colony of giant spiders living in Mirkwood. These are the spiders that Bilbo encounters in The Hobbit. Since they possess the power of language, and Ungoliant must have, it makes sense that Shelob should, even if we don't actually see her speak.

Leprechaun, I think Ents belong with men, elves, etc, rather than with talking animals. By the way, the wild men are Woses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: John P
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:21 AM

Sauron was called Gorthaur in the good old days.

Just to keep things rolling:
Who was the chief counsellor of Rivendell?
Who was the first High Elf that Sam met?
Who gave Pippin his first real meal in Minas Tirith?
Who made the prophesy that the king of the ringwraiths would not be slain by a man?
Who was the brother of Gwaihir the Windlord?
Over what land did the Witch-king rule when he first gained fame?
Who was Gollum's childhood friend?

JP


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 09:49 AM

I'm dead impressed if Hagbardr got Baldor without reference to the Appendices! The others were fairly easy & have also all be answered correctly.

I'm 99% certain on these:

Over what land did the Witch-king rule when he first gained fame? Angmar Who was Gollum's childhood friend? Deagol

Less sure of...

Who was the brother of Gwaihir the Windlord? Thorondor

And guessing rather at...

Who was the first High Elf that Sam met? Glorfindel, because I don't remember that the party of Elves they met on the journey to Rivendell were specifically mentioned as High Elves (i.e. Noldorin) Who gave Pippin his first real meal in Minas Tirith? The member of the guard to whom he was handed over, but his name escapes me for the moment...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 10:29 AM

Beregond is the name of the guard who took Pippin to the mess hall, it just came to me!

I'm woefully wrong on the first High Elf Sam met, though. That was annoying me, so I checked it, but I shan't give the right answer away...

It also occurs to me, however, that Glorfindel is the right answer to the wrong question - it is he who made the prediction of the fall of the Witch-King of Angmar.

Incidentally, what was the name under which Aragorn served in Gondor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,Crazy Eddie
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 10:49 AM

Who was the first High Elf that Sam met? Gilrod (Gilrond?) Frodo, Merry, Pippin & Sam met with him & other elves while walking from the Shire to Buckland, to Frodo's supposed new home. The elves made an exception & allowed the hobbits to travel a little way with them because the hobbits were being trailed by dark riders (later revealed to be ringwraiths)

Who was Gollum's childhood friend? Deagol (Acute accent on the e)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 10:51 AM

Because I'm operating purely from memory on Wednesday morning, and the question was posted Tuesday, late, and someone else may have answered it, I'm going to give what I think is the answer before reading the posts since my last post.

As I recall it, Sauron's name in the first age was Tebildo, Prince of Cats, or something close to that. I don't think it was in the Silmarillion, but rather I think in the Lost Tales.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 11:52 AM

Going back to the intelligent animals, I've gone back to get Tolkien's actual language.

The three Hobbits have just left Bag End, and are very quietly and secretly going cross-country. They stop for the night, curled up among a great tree's roots.

"They set no watch; even Frodo feared no danger yet, for they were still in the heart of the Shire. A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed.
"'Hobbits!' he thought. 'Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There's something very queer behind this.' He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it."

I thought I remembered yet another animal who is assigned either speech or rational "inside-the-head" thought, but I can't remember now what it was, and I haven't run across it in my current reading.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

The first Elf Sam meets is Gildor.

Now for some tough stuff...who are the other two Nazgul (besides Angmar) who are named...and what are their positions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:59 PM

By the way...Merry's horse of the Rohirrim was Stybba.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: smallpiper
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 07:00 PM

Damm I was going to say Fox!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: John P
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 01:18 AM

One of the other named Nazgul was Gothmog, the lieutenant of Morgul. He commanded the bad guys in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields after the fall of the Witch King. I don't know the other. I don't remember that the Witch King was ever named, either.
Beregond took Pippin to the mess hall and ate with him, but he didn't give him the food.
Aragon was known as Thorongil when he served in Gondor.

How much older than Aragorn was Denethor?

JP


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 02:04 PM

"It also occurs to me, however, that Glorfindel is the right answer to the wrong question - it is he who made the prediction of the fall of the Witch-King of Angmar.

Where is that found?

Gandalf at Gondor, while the assault on Minas Tirith was going on, related that prediction, as being a prophesy from ancient times, without naming who may have said it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 04:19 PM

The third named Nazgul is in Unfinished Tales. Without getting the book out I think it is Khamul.

Naming all the wizards is a good one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 08:58 PM

I'm not aware that Tolkien ever gave all of the names of the wizards, but I could have overlooked something.

Of course there are Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast, but the rest, as far as I can recall, are merely mentioned as having existed, and never come into any of the stories.

Oh, but how about the other name(s) of Saruman? I know at only one, but there may be more.

And as to other names for Gandalf, I don't think anyone has mentioned the Steward's name for Gandalf: "the grey fool".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,D-Rail
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 09:19 PM

Snowmains Mother was Lightfoot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Venthony
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 12:55 AM

Do you all realize (you do of course) that Dr. Tolkien kept all these plot threads and "historical" details in his HEAD as more or less a second job while teaching Chaucer, etc., to undergrads?

What can ya say? Even Wystan Auden was impressed, and that's saying quite a lot. After 30 years of reading this stuff over and over, I'm still humbled.

Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: John P
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 08:46 AM

The information about Glorfindal and the prophesy must have been in one of the appendices. I'm pretty sure it's not in the main book and it would have been too late period for The Silmarillion.

I think another name for Saruman was Curunir.

What was the name of Aragorn's heir?

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 11:07 AM

Curunir was the other name for Saruman that I had in mind.

Perhaps only having one other name is because he seems not to have circulated throughout Middle Earth as did Gandalf. And of course there's the fact that he's not the central character that Gandalf is.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 11:54 AM

The original prediction from Glorfindel is indeed mentioned in Appendix A. It concerns the fall of Arthedain, & the rather belated relief force despatched by Earnil, King (who shouldn't have been) of Gondor, under the command of his son Earnur.

Having destroyed the Witch-King's army, Earnur's horse fails to withstand the charge of the Witch King himself and flees. When Earnur manages to master the horse & would set off in pursuit, Glorfindel advises him not to & makes the prediction. It is this incident, above all others, that the Morgul Lord (the only other name by which he is referred to in LOT or the Silmarillion, apart from LOTNazgul) uses to taunt Earnur with, thus drawing him out to his eventual death.

The other two named Nazgul are Gothmog (the #2), and Khamul who is named in the UT. Khamul is actually almost as powerful as Morgul himself by night, but weakens more than any of the others by daytime.

The 3 Istari named in LOTR are Saruman the White (a Maia of Aule, as was Sauron), Gandalf the Grey (in the service of Lorien & Nienna), & Radagast the Brown (from Yavanna), if I've remembered their Valar correctly. The other two are the Istryn Luin, the Blue Wizards, named in UT, Pallando & Alatar. I don't remember that they were ever assigned Valar, & without checking, all that was said was that they went to the East. Nothing was heard of them & they were presumed to have fallen away from their allotted task.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 03:27 PM

Thank you, Raedwulf, for the extra names. I've read the Unfinished Tales a couple times, and remembered that the others had gone east and were no longer heard from, but I had forgotten the "Blue Wizards" and the names.

I've been musing on the nature of "magic" in Tolkien's writing. The elves at Lothlorien (and maybe at Rivendell too, I forget) were puzzled by the term, I speculate perhaps because such influences were not separable from their ordinary understanding of the world.

But with few exceptions the magic in LOTR and the other works seems seldom to deal with the sort of physical magic that one might think of, like changing an object or being into another object or being, or a command destroying or creating an object, and so on. More often, there are spells of warding, of guidance, et cetera.

Now we come to the trivia quiz part:
1. How many instances can you list of what might be called physical, objective magic in LOTR? and
2. I've given two examples of non-physical spells. How many more can be listed?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 07:12 PM

You're welcome DaveO. I'm not going to attempt *your* little posers, though. It's actually been the best part of ten years since I sat down & read the book. I can think of plenty of magic items, such as rings, palantir, the battering ram Grond, swords, blah, but actual spellcasting (which I assume is what you mean)?

Off the top of my head (alright *BG* I will have a go!), Gandalf's fireworks (although that's, strictly, enchanted items again), Gandalf's wizard light in Moria, the breaking of the bridge in Moria, Galadriel's Mirror, the sight granted by the High Seat at Henneth Annun (if I've remembered the name right - the Falls of Rauros, if I haven't!), the breaking of Saruman's staff, Saruman's voice (& charm spells, which this effectively is, are non-physical), Treebeard doing his Ent-draught thing, the blasting of the culvert at Helm's Deep, the Black Breath, & the unnatural darkness at the Siege of Gondor.

They're all the instances of overt magic that come immediately to mind, but they're not necessarily all 'physical, objective magic'. Take yer pick.

Incidentally, after the last reply, I actually checked the Istari chapter in UT. Alatar was a Maia of Orome, & Pallando (who Alatar took 'out of friendship') was originally assigned by Tolkien to Mandos/Lorien & Nienna (& not Gandalf!), though that was at seem point crossed out by the Prof & he was also made a Maia of Orome. Gandalf himself was a Maia of Manwe, the Chief of the Valar. I'm bloody sure hr had some kind of association with Mandos & Nienna, it's where he got his deep compassion from, but I can't remember where I read it...

The actual quote on the Blue Wizards, interestingly, is along the lines of "they went to the East with Curunir, but they never returned with him". Strike another one for Saruman! Lastly, the number of Istari is "at least 5" - only those who came to the North West of Middle Earth & therefore have some kind of connection with LOTR ever get mentioned, but it seems deliberatly vague. There may have been others sent elsewhere...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 10:42 AM

By "objective physical magic" I did refer to such things as the breaking of the bridge or the breaking of Saruman's staff. Also, making light from the tip of Gandalf's staff, in Moria, or the fire from the same source earlier, when the fellowship desperately needed fire.

By the non-physical I meant such things as the words of ward and guidance spoken by Gandalf to Bill, the pony, at the west entrance to Moria, so that he could safely return unaccompanied whence he came. Also I meant to include the workings of Galadriel's mirror here, because, although it was visible, what was seen might or might not be present facts, past facts, or even mere possibilities.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 11:05 AM

"Dr. Tolkien kept all these plot threads and "historical" details in his HEAD"

Then explain the piles and piles of notes and bits that Chris Tolkien has raped and pillaged to crank out crap like The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales and all that other garbage that never should have been published...

JRR kept notes just like any other author... actually, probably more than most...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 01:04 PM

Oh, oh! Here comes the fight, kiddies!

I've spent hundreds of hours reading and rereading the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and the Lost Tales. As well as being great reading, there's a lot of insights to the Tolkien cosmos, by way of history, cosmology, and religion.

One of the reasons I consider Tolkien a "Great Name" in the arts (others being such fellas as Michelangelo, Bach, and Shakespeare) is his having invented a world, in breadth and depth. I believe I can say he invented this approach to writing. I'm not aware of any writer before him who provided that sort of depth and richness. Since LOTR and Silmarillion there have been a few writers who made a pass at something similar, but only as a pale and only slightly effective reflection of Tolkien.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 01:18 PM

"I'm not aware of any writer before him who provided that sort of depth and richness... Since LOTR and Silmarillion there have been a few writers who made a pass at something similar"

And most who came after realised that it's mostly just a waste of time...

World building especially on that scale is only really important to one person... the author...

And well, I'll fight ya tooth and nail Dave, over The Sil... it is NOT great reading... I've read cereal boxes that were better written... and I'm even a HUGE Guy Gavriel Kay fan...

Nahh... ya know what... I'm not fighitng with ya... It's not worth it, even for the sport... you read and enjoy what you want, and I'll read and enjoy what I want...

"I've spent hundreds of hours reading and rereading the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and the Lost Tales."

What ever blows your hair back mate... I think when an artits dies, his art should go with him... or rather no one should try to continue his art after him... it's insulting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 10:33 AM

Correct...the 2nd named Nazgul was Khamul the Black, lieutenant of Dul Guldur after The Necromancer took shape as Sauron again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: HuwG
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 01:52 PM

Raedwulf and Uncle DaveO, another feat which falls (IMO) into the category of "physical magic" also occurs in Moria. Gandalf says at one point:

"I could think of nothing but to try and put a shutting spell on the door. To do this sort of thing rightly requires time, and even then the door can be broken by force"

In the event, Gandalf's and (I assume) the Balrog's contest for control of the door brought down the roof of the entire chamber.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 06:01 PM

HuwG - Yup, missed that one, but I'm not doing bad for 'from memory'!

Clinton - I'm at a loose end, have a fight! *BG*

The Silmarillion isn't crap & wets on anything GG Kay (notable for an awful integration of Arthurian myth into a pulp story, IMO) will ever achieve. I'll partly agree - once you get past UT, it is rather a cash cow, but 'rape & pillage' is unfair. CJJ hasn't produced this market out of nothing. I suspect, as the inheritor of his father's writings, he's spent a lot of time writing letters in response to requests for more information (as his father did before him) & therefore came to the conclusion that it would make more sense to methodically work through the inherited notes for the benefit of those that were interested. No-one forced you to read the stuff.

The Silmarillion only reads badly if you expect it to be a story like TH or LOTR. It was never intended to be that. UT is useful as a source of further, more fragmented, background information. After that, granted, it starts getting a bit silly.

Whatever else you may care to say about him, Tolkien never set out to write multiple books, a charge that most modern Fantasy authors cannot deny, since they do it quite deliberately (GGK - guilty!). Nor did he spend all that time on the background info with a view to nothing else but getting it published. The fact that it has been is testament not only to the quality of the original work, but to the depth of the supporting mythology he produced. No modern author has ever matched the achievement, no matter how many pulp novels set in a single world they've managed to churn out.

Alright, not much of a fight really, but hey, you're the man that thinks the film was better than the book, so what can I say?! :p ;)


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