Tolkien Lectures: Week 7


These notes were originally written by Erik Tracey, transcribed to MS Word by Erik Tracey, and HTMLized by Scott Powers. Enjoy!


MLA (Modern Literature Association) International Bibilography - published each year. Sometimes has articles on Tolkien [?]

Black Speech -> diacritical marks appear before the consonant.

If there is no consonantal marker -> short = i long = j

Character development:
Common criticism is that all the character are either all good or all evil: NOT true, there is development, treachery, fall, and multiple heroes - Boromir fall, Denethor falls, Saruman falls.

Prof thinks the characters really start to develop after Moria.

Aragorn - torn and doubtful; as a Ranger never responsible for anyone but himself. He also is getting greater/younger in appearance as he approaches Gondor - the grey fades and there is a light in his eyes.
His development is to become a king - to grow into his legacy.

Frodo/Sam/Gollum = a trinity?

Gollum is Frodo's familiar ->in shamanism, the shaman has a familiar that leads him into the underworld.

Rohirrim speak Anglo-Saxon; "Norse on Horse" [horrible pun] a mixture of germanic/norse and American Indian which Tolkien loved as a child

holbytlan - hobbit
hole builders

Rohirrim is actual AS word [?] a backwards search for an actual AS word that could be believed as changing into its current use in ME. Tolkien did this alot.

Ent(actual Norse) - Onodrim(elvish) - Enyd(elvish plural) - Ent(ME)

Tone of Books:
Fellowship of Ring - doom, gloom, fading, regret of past, winter
Two Towers - meeting old men: Gandalf, Theoden, Denethor, Treebeard

Gandalf is resurrected and he remembers his former name - a glimpse that "Gandalf" is a persona of the Maia - "Olorin"

Gandalf comes back stronger because he has the backing of the "One" (Illuvatar). He also comes back more angelic and less human.

Gandalf still wears grey over white as a sign of humility.

Sauron comes back weaker each time because he has to rely on his own power (which he is using up).

Theoden - classic Fisher King -> Winter w/ spring(Eomer) about to come. As he ages so does his people and his land.

The old have to die in order for youth to take over:
Winter into Spring

Saruman is a 20th cent man;
"Metal and wheels"(technologist/industrialist)
Evil does evil in.

Trees(Treebeard) defeat the industrialist(Saruman).


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Scott Powers
NCSA X Mosaic Lead