on 9/6/02 11:47 pm, Patrick Wynne at pwynne@...
wrote a fine and
convincing piece on the Quenya title _Anaxartaron Onyalie_ (XI:340).
My faith wavered over three points:
(1) The idea that the ending of _anaxarta_ involves _arta_ by haplology. I
would have thought a simple suffix -ta would be feasible.
(2) The suggestion that _anaxartar_ might be a sub-group of _soroni_ (as
opposed to a synonym). I feel there is no evidence for this either way.
(3) It should be pointed out that _Of the Ents and the Eagles_ contains the
name _Ezellohar_ (S:46) and is therefore one of relatively few texts where
Tolkien indisputably made use of loanwords from Valarin as described in
_Quendi and Eldar_, written probably three to four years previously (XI:
341, 359). Furthermore, it is a story of the Valar before the coming of the
Eldar. It does not seem far-fetched, therefore, to look to a Valarin
etymology for _anaxartaron_.
Nevertheless, I don't think any of the various the translations offered
during the 1998 discussions (TolkLang and Elfling messages cited by Patrick)
were particularly convincing including my own. It seems symptomatic of
this that the most elegant attempt was a joke: Stephen Rowland's suggestion
that _Anaxartaron Onyalie_ means "Synopsis for _The Lord of the Rings_";
Elfling message 148. Nor did anyone offer an explanation of why Tolkien
would decide to call the story one thing in English and another in Quenya.
A literary point can be made in favour of Patrick's interpretation of
_anaxarta_ as a word for the Eagles of Manwe. This is Thorondor's key
moment, as described in S:154:
"And Morgoth took the body of the Elven-king [Fingolfin] and broke it, and
would cast it to the wolves; but Thorondor came hasting from his eyrie among
the peaks of the Crissaegrim, and he stooped upon Morgoth and marred his
face. The rushing of the wings of Thorondor was like the noise of the winds
Here are Gwaihir and his kin at the Black Gate (LR:927):
"Straight down upon the Nazgûl they bore, stooping suddenly out of the high
airs, and the rush of their wide wings as they passed over was like a gale."
And here is the first appearance of the Great Eagles in Tolkien's work, when
they aid the fleeing Gnomes in _The Fall of Gondolin_ (II:193):
"Thereupon there was a rushing like a great wind in rocky places, and the
Thornhoth, the people of the Eagles, fell on those Orcs who had scaled above
the path, and tore their faces and their hands and flung them to the rocks
of Thorn Sir far below."
Rushing and rending, therefore, are at the very heart of Tolkien's abiding
image of the Eagles of Manwe.