No cider in Middle Earth?

Discussion in 'Bag End' started by Rivendell_librarian, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Rivendell_librarian

    Rivendell_librarian Member

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    I can find instances of ale, beer and wine in The Hobbit and LOTR but no cider! Disappointing for a cider drinker. Would it have been different if Tolkien had been based at Exeter University and not Oxford University since cider is a traditional West Country drink?
     
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  2. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    Even if he didn't mention cider it doesn't mean it wasn't made. I've actually seen cider in a Lotr based game.
     
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  3. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    I am sure there is cider in Middle-earth :D
     
  4. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Treacherous and Vile

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    If there were apples, there was cider.

    You didn't mention another beverage, mead. That was consumed too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

  5. Rivendell_librarian

    Rivendell_librarian Member

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    I think Pippin must have been a cider drinker.
     
  6. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Treacherous and Vile

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    You think that contributed to making him a "fool of a Took"? :p
     
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  7. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    MEAD!
     
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  8. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    Those mead halls of the Eorlingas. :p
     
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  9. Rivendell_librarian

    Rivendell_librarian Member

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    On the cider theme Tolkien could have called Peregrine Took "Perry", but probably thought it was too much like Lewis Carroll with Merry and Perry.
     
  10. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Treacherous and Vile

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    Wasn't he "Perry" for a while in the drafts?
     
  11. Rivendell_librarian

    Rivendell_librarian Member

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  12. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Treacherous and Vile

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    I'm not sure that was the case, but I thought I remembered reading some instances in HoLOTR. I won't be able to check it until I get back to my library -- maybe some others here can answer?

    A bit more on mead:

    The origin, according to Norse mythology, is complicated, to say the least, but involves the gods spitting into a cauldron, murderous dwarves, giants, and a theft by Odin.

    Because of that last, mead is considered either a gift, or accidental spillage, by Odin to Man. Drinking it was believed to bestow benefits; interesting to me is that it would turn the drinker into a poet or singer -- perhaps the appropriate term would be skald.

    Mead appears, so named, in both The Hobbit and LOTR: Beorn serves it to the Party -- he must have quite a store of it, with those giant bees; and Galadriel gives it, as a parting drink, to the Fellowship.

    But it may also appear where it's not specifically named. It could well be the drink given to the hobbits by the Elves in the Shire; mead can be flavored with fruit and herbs, and the "clear drink, pale golden in colour" with "the scent of a honey made of many flowers", fits the bill.

    There's also the drink on offer at Tom Bombadil's house, and here's an interesting connection with the Norse tradition on becoming a "singer":

    The drink in their drinking-bowls seemed to be clear cold water, yet it went to their hearts like wine and set free their voices. The guests became suddenly aware that they were singing merrily, as if it was easier and more natural than talking.

    This could be attributed in part to TB' s influence, but note that in The Hobbit, after drinking Beorn's mead, the Dwarves sit down and begin to sing.

    Tolkien would of course be familiar with the Norse myths, so I don't think these are coincidence.

    Gandalf never seems to participate in any of these singing bouts, even though he drinks "at least a quart of mead" on his return from tracking Beorn. But then, he seems to channel his creative instinct into blowing unusual smoke rings!
     
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  13. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    In notes concerning actual Westron words, razar meant "a small red apple". Razar is translated "Pippin" -- Razar is associated with the apple-word but is actually short for Razanur, Pippin's real name, Razanur Tûk.
     
  14. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    Well, that is good to know!

    I think I heard something similar in Celtic legends....Or, am I mistaken?

    CL