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Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water:
Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Elvish Months of the Year: August
In the High-Elven tongue, the eighth month of the year was named Úrimë (Urui being its Sindarin equivalent). Now, the root úr— comes from the Quenya word úrë, meaning ‘heat’. From this, we can conclude that Úrimë was the month of hot weather.
July—another month gone by, and with that comes a new Elvish Lesson. So in the High-elven tongue, the seventh month of the year was named Cermië (Cerveth being its Sindarin equivalent). As to the meaning of that name, there are actually surprisingly few references. However, in my research I did discover that one of the meanings of the Quenya root ‘cerm’ is ‘to give’. By this, I’m assuming that Cermië was the month of harvest or plenty (though don’t take my word for it).
As for the above picture, July always reminds me of Lothlórien somehow.
Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings. Fineliner and coloured pencil drawing.
Frodo: Lady Galadriel, what’s that on your hand?
Galadriel: Nenya business.
Tolkien book covers: The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the ring
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,“ said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Insp.
Gríma Wormtongue: Behind the Name
In Old Norse (as well as in modern Icelandic) the word gríma refers to a ‘mask’. This is an effective name choice for the character as it serves to emphasise his treacherous and deceptive nature. He is, as a manner of speaking, hiding behind a ‘mask’, pretending to serve the King of Rohan while, in reality, working as a spy for Saruman.
On a much more obvious note, the name Wormtongue, of course, refers to a snake—often seen as the archetypal traitor throughout history, particularly in reference to the Bible. (e.g. In Genesis, it was a snake, after all, that tempted Eve into eating the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden.) In The Lord of the Rings, of course, Wormtail, very fittingly, uses his powers of speech to deceive the minds of those around him with poisonous lies (and frequently succeeds at it).
Thus, the name Gríma Wormtongue couldn’t possibly be more suited to a traitor. In his own linguistic way, Tolkien practically named him Traitor McTraitorson.
Funny Moments From The Lord of the Rings
One of the funniest moments I remember from the book is when the Fellowship is attempting to cross the mountain pass of Caradhras. All of a sudden, the travellers find their path blocked by a heap of snow. Then Legolas picks a very bad moment to be a smartass by suggesting that Gandalf should go in front of them and melt a path in the snow. The wizard, of course, is not amused and replies in his snarkiest, most sarcastic tone:
“If Elves could fly over mountains, they might fetch the Sun to save us”
What are some of your funniest moments from The Lord of the Rings? Tell me in the comments. 😂
The Story Behind the Tapestry in Arwen’s Chamber
© Still from The Two Towers (2002)
In the second instalment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Two Towers, a tapestry can be seen hanging on the wall of Arwen’s chamber in Rivendell. Depicted on the tapestry are two trees (their design very similar to those depicted on the Doors of Durin at Moria) as well as a ship gliding on an ocean beneath a lone star in the sky. Easy to miss perhaps, but the scene depicted here is actually a subtle reference to The Silmarillion, one of Tolkien’s other works, which largely deals with the history of Middle-earth and which has a particular emphasis on the Elves.
Undoubtedly the two trees on the tapestry are meant to represent the Two Trees of Valinor. In The Silmarillion, the Two Trees of Valinor were the source of all light in the universe. The elder of the two was named Telperion, the Silver Tree, while the younger was named Laurelin, the Golden Tree. But notice how one tree is surmounted by a sun and the other by a moon. You see, when the first dark lord Morgoth destroyed the Trees, as detailed in the Valaquenta, the Valar managed to save from each tree a single blossom and fruit. These would ultimately become the sun and the moon.
Now that we have explored the meaning of the two trees, let us move on to the next object depicted on the tapestry: the ship.
There is no doubt that the ship is a reference to the story of Eärendil the Mariner, who became the first mortal to set foot in Aman, the country of the Valar, located in the Uttermost West. Together with his wife, Elwing, Eärendil crossed the Great Sea which separated the mortal shores from the Undying Lands, where at last he came before the Valar’s council and, on behalf of the free peoples of Middle-earth, asked them for aid in their fight against Morgoth (the same one I mentioned earlier).
It is important to note that at this point in time, the Valar had long since severed their ties with the mortals of Middle-earth and any attempt by a human to cross the Great Sea into the Blessed Realm was to be punishable by death. However, as Ëarendil‘s motives had been selfless (having undertaken his journey not for himself, but for the sake of his kin), the Valar pardoned him and obliged his request. On top of this, Eärendil and his wife were granted an additional honour by the Valar. As both husband and wife were descended from the union of Elves and Men, they were given the choice to choose to which race they would be forever bound. Depending on their choice, this would render them either mortal or immortal. This same choice would also be passed down to their descendants, who became known as the Half-elven. Which finally brings us to why the banner is seen in Arwen’s room. You see, her father Elrond is the son of Eärendil, making Eärendil Arwen’s grandfather.
As we’re on the subject of Elrond’s family, did you know that Elrond also had a twin brother named Elros? The reason we do not see him, however, is that unlike his father, mother and brother who chose to live on as one of the Elves, Elros chose to live among the race of Men and eventually died of old age.
But if Elrond’s father Eärendil chose immortality, why is it then that we do not see him during the events of The Lord of the Rings?
You see, having stepped foot in the Blessed Realm of the Valar, Eärendil was not permitted to return to Middle-earth. After aiding the Valar in their War against Morgoth, his fate was to sail his ship Vingilot across the skies until the end of days, bearing the Evening Star upon his brow while also protecting the Sun and the Moon, (the last light of the Two Trees).
In fact, the light from the glass phial which Galadriel gave Frodo at his departure from Lothlórien came from that very same star. When Frodo finally has need of it in Shelob’s Lair, he exclaims: “Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!” (“Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!”).
So there you have it: the intricate story behind a seemingly meaningless tapestry, which at first glance may just look like a simple movie prop, but ends up being so much more. It truly goes to show just how much passion was poured into The Lord of the Rings movies by the filmmakers. If you look hard enough, there’s meaning and symbolism behind everything — even down to the most random piece of fabric.