Visitors Come to Court

Discussion in 'The Glittering Caves' started by Valandil, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    I have just added a line I inadvertently forgot to write in (but had always schemed to). It's late in Chapter 6, and for now I have bolded and italicized it for easy finding by those who have already read the new chapters.

    I'll repost those earlier chapters soon - in their edited form.

    Would an "Author's Notes" section be of interest to anyone? :)
     
  2. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Author’s Notes

    Chapter 1:
    1. Celepharn is listed in Appendix A as the fourth king of Arthedain, where he rules from 1110 to 1191 of the Third Age. The History of Middle Earth, Book 12 (“The Peoples of Middle Earth”) adds the further information that he was born in the year 979. This story being late in the year 1004, Celepharn is now 25 years old. Very young for a Dunedain of the ruling house – as he will live another 187 years. The full translation of his name seems indeterminate, but the first portion is from the Sindarin, celeb = ‘silver’.
    2. The three wanderers are, of course, Elrohir son of Elrond (this time without his twin brother Elladan), Glorfindel of the House of Elrond, and Galdalf the Gray. The Istari, or wizards, were said to arrive about 1000 years after the start of the Third Age (Appendix B, notes on the Third Age prior to actual dates). So Gandalf is very newly arrived to Middle Earth. One account of Glorfindel’s return to Middle Earth had him potentially returning along with Gandalf. However – JRRT seems to have later settled on Glorfindel’s return sometime in the middle of the Second Age. The alternate concept was initially part of this story, but upon discovering JRRT’s final conclusion, it was easy enough to modify it and make him a companion of Elrohir’s in retrieving Gandalf from Lindon.
    3. The place of this first encounter is on the Great East-West Road, directly south from the old city of Annuminas. It was most likely in the very near vicinity of Hobbiton-Bywater.

    Chapter 2:
    1. Gandalf and his companions evidently delayed to visit with some of the nobles of Cardolan. They may have been initially detained, and then made the best of things and stayed willingly for a few days, until freed to continue.
    2. The description of the city of Fornost, in this chapter and the next, are entirely the author’s own. JRRT is silent on that, except that we know in Bree, the then long-abandoned place is known as “Dead Man’s Dike”.

    Chapter 3:
    1. “The Prince of Fornost” – here and elsewhere, the author follows a conception that there “Princes” ruling various portions of Arnor (and also Gondor) beneath the King. These were not princes who were sons of a king, but rulers of principalities. The theory continues that in Arnor, the three princes (ostensibly descended from the captains of Elendil’s ships – Elendil having reached the north with four ships and presumably in direct command of one, leaving three other ship captains to be major nobles subject to him.
    2. Mallor was the third king of Arthedain, reigning from 1029 to 1110. He was born in 895, and is thus 109 years of age in this story. His name is Sindarin for ‘Yellow Gold’.
    3. Tiriel is the author’s own creation, as JRRT is silent on all but a very few wives of the northern kings. This Tiriel is from the family which has charge over the Palantir of Emyn Beraid – the one which looks westward. In Sindarin, her name means ‘daughter of watch’ or ‘daughter who watches over’.
    4. Beleg was the second king of Arthedain, ruling from 946 to 1029, and was born in 811, making him 193 years old at the time of this story. By conjecture, he is treated as being bitter over the fact that Arnor was divided – even more bitter than his father was over the event. His name is Sindarin for ‘Mighty’.
    5. Hiriluial – again, a creation of the author. The indication is made that she was previously married and widowed, and that her husband and kinsmen had died coming to Beleg’s rescue. He rewarded their loyalty by providing for her as his wife. In Sindarin, her name means ‘lady of twilight’.
    6. The Division of Arnor occurred in 861 of the Third Age, upon the death of King Earendur of Arnor. The kingdom was divided among his three sons into the daughter realms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Amlaith, father of Beleg, was the first king of Arthedain. JRRT gives no particular reason or cause for the division, other than it being ‘…owing to dissensions among his (Earendur’s) sons…’ in Appendix A. Anything here recounted beyond that is the author taking liberty, as based on theories to which he had been exposed.
    7. The earlier guests, who visited briefly in Celepharn’s absence would have been the other four Istari. Gandalf was said to come last of all, and alone. Saruman would have been leading the other three, and probably disappointed in the remnants of Arnor, would have gladly hastened to Gondor (then at the height of its glory), with a brief stop at Rivendell along the way. Celepharn was apparently away on some sort of ‘rite of passage’ journey which took him far and wide, such that he went far enough north to take a white bear, and probably in this time first visited Rivendell himself, for he was familiar with Elrohir and his family.
    8. Celepharn’s words on chastity are in line with how the Faithful – who emulated the Elves in all things – would have tried to live their lives.
    9. The Seer: the only Seer we know of from JRRT is the much later Malbeth, who was alive at the time of Arvedui’s birth in 1864, and was still making prophecies during Arvedui’s reign (1964 to 1974). The author has extrapolated from this a line of Seers of Arthedain, all female, descended mother-to-daughter, until the last dies at the birth of her first child – a son, Malbeth – who is deemed by his grandmother to be the last, and greatest of the Seers.
    10. The naming of Gandalf: Gandalf had many names. His most common, as we’re told by JRRT, comes from ‘Elf with the Wand’. Here we have him called by this title, and then named “Wand-Elf”. It’s easy to imagine this becoming soon corrupted to “Gandalf”.
    11. Tiriel is evidently somewhat gifted with foresight, as are many of Aragorn’s people. Here though, she also makes mention that as her heart had been previously warmed in Cirdan’s presence, it is once again warmed in Wand-Elf’s presence. Unknown to her, Cirdan had given Gandalf the Elven Ring of Fire, one of the Three, upon his arrival in Middle Earth, with the words, “…For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill…” We see that she also presents him with a silver scarf, adding another piece of the outfit in which we first see Gandalf in “The Hobbit”. Of course, we cannot say for sure whether he still wears the same scarf nearly 2000 years later, preserved by the power of his Ring, or if he had replaced it.
     

  3. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Author’s Notes (continued)

    Chapter 4:
    1. Annuminas – now abandoned: We do not know for certain whether Annuminas became abandoned right after the Division of Arnor in 861, or if it continued as an inhabited city right up to the fall of Arthedain in 1974. We do know, however, that Fornost became the ruling city of Arthedain, right from the time of Amlaith, and that Annuminas would be well within Arthedain’s borders. Again, the description of it is entirely the author’s own. JRRT gives us nothing on it, other than that it was on the southern shore of Lake Evendim – or Emyn Uial.
    2. Mist on the Lake / Cold Drake: The author was inspired for some of this by observation of Chicago’s own Lake Michigan in winter. He was particularly struck by the rising mists as the lake froze on one sub-zero day some years back. More recently, driving his family back home from a museum, he saw what appeared to be a large mass of ice (perhaps over some other object off the shore?) and asked his young sons if that was not an ice dragon. They thought that was silly, but the notion stuck with the author and he wondered whether he might not work it into his story of Gandalf’s arrival in Middle Earth. Appendix A mentions a cold drake at a later point in the Third Age: “At last Dain I, together with Fror his second son, was slain at the doors of his hall by a great cold-drake.” Appendix B dates this as 2589 – almost 1600 years after this story.
    3. Glorfindel speaks! Up to here, he has been the silent companion, at least in words recorded. The intent with him was to treat him as quite distant toward Humans – and also quite profound when he does speak. He acts quite differently with Aragorn 2000 years later, but by then he’s had plenty of time to take the heirs of Elendil under his wing – and may have had a particular friendship with Aragorn. Of course, that could have all started with this episode.

    Chapter 5:
    1. Destruction of Annuminas: ‘Annuminas’ means ‘Tower of the West’. That, together with the presence of a palantir, which were mostly housed in towers, indicates that there was likely a notable tower there. Yet, mention of this is notably absent from any accounts of the halflings in the second half of the Third Age, although the northern parts of the Shire are in fairly close proximity to whatever would be left of the city. The solution employed is that there WAS a tower, and that it is now destroyed.
    2. ‘Helkaruth’ means ‘icy wrath’.
    3. Glorfindel here unveils himself in much the same way he does 2000 years later at the Fords of Bruinen.
    4. Gandalf, although constrained with the other Istari to not reveal his full power, lets loose some of it to save Celepharn and drive away the dragon. He is always depicted as quite adept with fire. How much of this is his own nature, and how much a function of the Ring of Fire, is a point of speculation.
    5. Glorfindel has a knack for prophecy. The author hopes to see this one fulfilled in a later story – so that vengeance can be taken on the cold drake that slays Dain I much later.

    Chapter 6:
    1. Celepharn’s affliction is not simply due to cold itself, but there is some lingering evil magic of the ice dragon at work. Without very special treatment, he probably wouldn’t have made it.
    2. Wand-Elf’s treatment though, is quite special. No doubt the Ring of Fire is being exerted on Celepharn’s behalf, countering the penetrating frost of the ice dragon’s breath.
    3. The items Celepharn had previously stored beneath the Tower of Annuminas are now beyond his recovery. No doubt Gandalf will remember to tell Aragorn about this – and when Annuminas is resettled following the events recounted in “The Lord of the Rings”, special efforts will be taken to recover what may remain beneath the heap that was once the tower.
    4. “Flaw in the ointment” was meant to be a twist on the contemporary expression of ‘a fly in the ointment’. However, the author is disappointed to learn that the former is a common corruption of the latter, after trying to suggest that the latter was actually a corruption of the former – and previously thinking himself wise enough to have first invented, is somewhat humbled to learn that his suggested alternative use is already in wide use. Nonetheless, it is retained in the story.

    Chapter 7:
    1. The Yule: The major holiday of winter in Middle Earth, at the time of the winter solstice. The later Hobbits observed two “Yule Days” – the last day of one year and the first day of the next, the New Year coming over the solstice. It is supposed that they took this from the Dunedain, as they did so much else with their calendars. Further, the ‘Unfinished Tales’ account; “A Description of Numenor” describes three high days celebrated by the Numenoreans at the OTHER quarter points of the sun: summer solstice and both equinoxes. The author supposes that the Numenoreans who first came to Middle Earth felt more free to make the Yule holiday their own (possibly even adapting existent local customs – but maybe introducing the concept, and the science of observing the sun, to the other Men of Middle Earth). Also, the author is quite partial to Christmas. The Hobbits made a general observance of celebrating the Yule for two full weeks though; the last week of the one year through the first week of the next. The author takes the liberty of extending this also to the Dunedain, and marks out the days as ‘Valandil’s Day’ (Dec 25) – probably marking the birth in Rivendell of the King who ruled Arnor the longest, and ‘Elendil’s Day’ (Jan 7 on the Numenorean calendar, but shifted by the addition of a separate ‘Yule Day’ to Jan 6 on the Shire calendar) – though whether this was reputed to be the day of his birth, or the day of his landing at Lindon with the remnants of Numenor has been lost to us.
    2. Thane of Stonebows: This person is descended from a line of Counts – a step up from Thanes in old Arnor (and “towns” purportedly derived from “thanes” as “counties” are from “counts”). However – in this interpretation, after the Division of Arnor, Counts were classed as Thanes – at least in the thinking of the people, and were commonly called such. The author’s more complete outline of historical persons suggests that Celepharn was to much later marry a daughter of the Thane of Stonebows. “Stonebows” was the name of the bridge over the Baranduin (later Brandywine) River along the Great East-West Road – just east of the later Shire.
    3. It is suggested that both Beleg and Mallor were spectators of the confrontation of Helkaruth at Annuminas, via a Palantir. Presumably the palantir originally placed at Annuminas was transferred to Fornost when Amlaith made it his seat of power. It’s also evident that the palantiri are kept fairly secret – even within the royal family – and that Celepharn is only now just about to learn of them.
    4. “Seen her birth”: According to the account in “The Silmarillion”, the sun rose for the first time as the main host of the Noldorin Elves (of whom Glorfindel was one) returned to the shores of Beleriand in the First Age. Contrary to common usage today, the Elves considered the Sun to be “she” and the Moon to be “he”.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  4. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    I enjoyed your comment about where you got your idea for the cold drake. I, too, live in Chicago. I'll be watching for them everytime I drive by the lake this winter. I think one of their lairs must be north of Oak Street Beach. And I'm sure they were very active last night with the temperature drop.
     

  5. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Yes - it's been cold drake weather the past few weeks for sure!

    And now... the past two days, every time we let her out, our dog has been barking at the snowman in the neighbor's yard. :p

    I'm not sure I can use that for fanfic inspiration though. Unless maybe... something with the Druedain! ;)
     
  6. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    *BUMP* - in case anybody wants to check out a sample of my fan fiction. My greatest interest is the Northern Dunedain, and their history through the years.
     
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