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The Hobbit's relation to the legendarium, redux

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  • William Cloud Hicklin
    I just noticed something which may be relevant here, maybe: the Ambarkanta map, which I believe almost certainly to date from the later 1930s around the
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 13, 2008
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      I just noticed something which may be relevant
      here, maybe: the Ambarkanta map, which I believe
      almost certainly to date from the later 1930s
      around the general time of the Lost Road and
      Quenta Silmarillion, contains no trace at all of
      the Misty Mountains or the Great River- which
      suggests, again, that to the extent The Hobbit
      was considered at its writing to fit into the
      established geography, it must have been
      superimposed on at least an approximation of
      Beleriand rather than the lands further east.
    • Jason Fisher
      ... Good observation! Related to that possibility, in The History of The Hobbit, John Rateliff argues that Mirkwood (in Rhovanion) and Taur-na-Fuin (in
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 13, 2008
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        > --- William Cloud Hicklin wrote: ---
        > I just noticed something which may be relevant
        > here, maybe: the Ambarkanta map, which I believe
        > almost certainly to date from the later 1930s
        > around the general time of the Lost Road and
        > Quenta Silmarillion, contains no trace at all of
        > the Misty Mountains or the Great River- which
        > suggests, again, that to the extent The Hobbit
        > was considered at its writing to fit into the
        > established geography, it must have been
        > superimposed on at least an approximation of
        > Beleriand rather than the lands further east.

        Good observation! Related to that possibility, in The History of The Hobbit, John Rateliff argues that Mirkwood (in Rhovanion) and Taur-na-Fuin (in Beleriand) really were, in inception, probably one and the same. See "The Geography of the Tale & The First Map" (pp. 17-22) for this and further overlap.

        Jason




        The world is but a word.
        Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
        How quickly were it gone.
        � William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John D Rateliff
        ... Yes, I make that argument as part of my effort to point out all the links between Mr. Baggins story and the larger legendarium that proceeded and
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 13, 2008
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          On Mar 13, 2008, at 11:57 AM, Jason Fisher wrote:
          >> --- William Cloud Hicklin wrote: ---
          >> I just noticed something which may be relevant
          >> here, maybe: the Ambarkanta map, which I believe
          >> almost certainly to date from the later 1930s
          >> around the general time of the Lost Road and
          >> Quenta Silmarillion, contains no trace at all of
          >> the Misty Mountains or the Great River- which
          >> suggests, again, that to the extent The Hobbit
          >> was considered at its writing to fit into the
          >> established geography, it must have been
          >> superimposed on at least an approximation of
          >> Beleriand rather than the lands further east.
          >
          > Good observation! Related to that possibility, in The History of
          > The Hobbit, John Rateliff argues that Mirkwood (in Rhovanion) and
          > Taur-na-Fuin (in Beleriand) really were, in inception, probably one
          > and the same. See "The Geography of the Tale & The First Map" (pp.
          > 17-22) for this and further overlap.

          Yes, I make that argument as part of my effort to point out all the
          links between Mr. Baggins' story and the larger legendarium that
          proceeded and paralleled it. But it's important to remember that the
          exact relationship between the two remained fluid, deliberately I
          think. That is, Tolkien freely drew on the Silmarillion texts for THE
          HOBBIT,* but initially THE HOBBIT was not supposed to require
          recasting of the older legends to match;** the new story was a
          sideline, 'non-canonical' if you will. If he wanted to change
          something from the (unpublished, unfinished drafts of the) older
          stories because it'd make the new story better, he did so without
          compunction. Eventually, once THE HOBBIT made its way into print and
          Tolkien undertook the sequel, he did decide that the older stories
          had to be made to fit the newly established 'canon' of the hobbit
          stories. Or so I wd argue.

          (*this is what I think Tolkien means when he says THE
          SILMARILLION is one of his two main sources for THE HOBBIT)
          (**this is what I think Tolkien means when he says THE HOBBIT was
          not originally part of the legendarium)

          I don't think Bag End can be identified with any confidence on
          the Ambarkanta maps, but the general region of Bilbo's adventures
          fits very well onto Maps IV & V (HME.IV.249 & 251) if you assume that
          at that time the northernmost reaches of the Blue Mountains are one
          and the same with the Misty Mountains of Bilbo's book (the Grey
          Mountains and Iron Hills are very obviously the remnants of the Iron
          Mountains after the sundering of Thangorodrim by the Valar). Later,
          of course, Tolkien distinguished them and placed the whole of the
          newly-invented Eriador between them.

          --JDR

          P.S.:
          > The world is but a word.
          > Were it all yours to give it in a breath,
          > How quickly were it gone.
          > — William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

          Wow. You've actually read Shakespeare's worst play? I'm impressed!
        • William Cloud Hicklin
          ... with any confidence on ... Bilbo s adventures ... 251) if you assume that ... Blue Mountains are one ... Bilbo s book (the Grey ... the remnants of the
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 13, 2008
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff
            <sacnoth@...> wrote:


            > I don't think Bag End can be identified
            with any confidence on
            > the Ambarkanta maps, but the general region of
            Bilbo's adventures
            > fits very well onto Maps IV & V (HME.IV.249 &
            251) if you assume that
            > at that time the northernmost reaches of the
            Blue Mountains are one
            > and the same with the Misty Mountains of
            Bilbo's book (the Grey
            > Mountains and Iron Hills are very obviously
            the remnants of the Iron
            > Mountains after the sundering of Thangorodrim
            by the Valar). Later,
            > of course, Tolkien distinguished them and
            placed the whole of the
            > newly-invented Eriador between them.

            And that would accord with the passing stage
            wherein Tolkien identified Moria with ancient
            Nogrod.
          • John D Rateliff
            ... Yes; I overlooked that part* when discussing the connections between Thorin s people and the Indrafangs of Belegost. *I assume you mean the passage in the
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 15, 2008
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              On Mar 13, 2008, at 7:41 PM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
              > And that would accord with the passing stage wherein Tolkien
              > identified Moria with ancient Nogrod.

              Yes; I overlooked that part* when discussing the connections between
              Thorin's people and the Indrafangs of Belegost.

              *I assume you mean the passage in the 1937 Quenta Silm. (HME.V.
              274)?--how I love the HME Index volume.

              Many thanks for drawing this to my attention.

              --JDR
            • William Cloud Hicklin
              ... stage wherein Tolkien ... the connections between ... Quenta Silm. (HME.V. ... Yes, especially when coupled with notes in the August 1939 papers (HME VI)
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 18, 2008
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                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff
                <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Mar 13, 2008, at 7:41 PM, William Cloud
                Hicklin wrote:
                > > And that would accord with the passing
                stage wherein Tolkien
                > > identified Moria with ancient Nogrod.
                >
                > Yes; I overlooked that part* when discussing
                the connections between
                > Thorin's people and the Indrafangs of Belegost.
                >
                > *I assume you mean the passage in the 1937
                Quenta Silm. (HME.V.
                > 274)?--how I love the HME Index volume.
                >
                > Many thanks for drawing this to my attention.
                >


                Yes, especially when coupled with notes in the
                August 1939 papers (HME VI) which create the
                strong impression that Moria was to be reached
                by first crossing the Mountains and then
                journeying southward, just like Nogrod. Given
                T's vacillations as to which Mansions the
                Longbeards were associated with, it all makes
                sense.

                JDR has made a very convincing case that The
                Hobbit began set in something resembling the
                geography of the Silmarillion, with the
                Erydwethion and Sirion more-or-less as placed,
                with Mirkwood/Taur-nu-Fuin beyond. But I
                suspect there was also an intermediate stage,
                where Tolkien realized that the Long Lake-Erebor
                geography didn't fit at all, and so the
                Mountains became in his mind the Ered Luin, and
                marked the "Edge of the Wild," the terra
                incognito beyond the theater of the legendarium.
                Even Thorin's callig Bilbo "child of the kindly
                West," i.e. 'civilised' Beleriand, would fit
                this hypothesis.
              • William Cloud Hicklin
                Addendum: It s worth noting that Hadhodrond and Nogrod are just alternate Sindarin translations of Dwarf- mine or Dwarrowdelf, although T covered his tracks by
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 18, 2008
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                  Addendum:

                  It's worth noting that Hadhodrond and Nogrod are
                  just alternate Sindarin translations of Dwarf-
                  mine or Dwarrowdelf, although T covered his
                  tracks by re-glossing Nogrod as Hollowbold.
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