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Re: The Hobbit's relation to the legendarium, redux

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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