i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 4, Volume 1. June 14th, 2003.
Primary Contributor and Reporter: Xara.
Additional Contributing Writer(s): Frodo Baggins, Esq., ~Nimrodel~.
In this issue:
Introduction to This Issue by Perian.
Sleep - Middle Earth Style by Xara.
Dreams as Inspiration by Perian.
Forgotten Baggins Dreamings by Xara.
In every issue:
Allusion to Illusion: Site Status and Updates.
Quote(s) of the Week.
Letters to the Editor.
Introduction to This Issue
Like a dream vanishing in the particulate lights of the morning, I feel the words for the light, random article with frequent quips and hobbitish insight just beyond reach of my conscious mind. Yet the topic is so inspirational! So forgive me if you will as I, without the wit and wordplay which is at times accredited me or the pre-professional sagacity of my colleague, attempt to briefly introduce this issue.
This week’s theme of sleep and dreams developed spontaneously as an idea sparked from an article written by Xara (featured below). However, contemplating the topic in order to find subject matter has eventually led my mind, over the past week, into an entirely different realm of dreams; that being the ideals and illusions of waking.
Now, thanks to Tolkien, and to Peter Jackson for furthering his visions, the dreams of our innermost selves are being brought into the starry light of realisation. We live each day in our monotonous metropolises, our concrete cages; isolated by race or belief or physical appearance; poisoned or grown slovenly on modern convenience and industry. Yet for a time we can escape this world and step into the dreamings of idealism. Reading the pages of, for example, Many Meetings, we can picture a world hidden in a vale of beauty, filled with folk of far more kinds than we know now, yet who coexist without judgement. Or we are able to spend time at A Long Expected Party to experience the innocence of how the world could be.
I have seen, though often we do not notice, that we as readers of this dream-like world soon begin to make that dream a reality. From emulating the elves by taking up the arts, to letting go of personal negative predispositions to people whose race our individual cultures shun, to using the careful yet carefree hobbits as an example for how we can co-exist with nature, the Tolkien Fanbase is becoming one of the most cultured and sophisticated, as well as conscientious, new cultures, new civilisations, in the world today.
We each, in our own way, are living his dream. A dream created for us all.
Sleep - Middle Earth Style
We spend approximately 33% of our lives asleep, so if you live for 80 years, you will spend roughly 27 of them sleeping! What a waste of time some might say, but this article is not about whether or not it is a waste of time. We have to sleep, there’s no doubt about it. But what would sleep, something we all take for granted, be like for the inhabitants of Middle Earth? That is what this article is all about! Please note, all of this article is based on information derived from books by J.R.R. Tolkien, and speculation on information derived from books by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I will begin with the sleeping habits of the common or garden variety (as in not ringbearing, fellowship joining type) hobbit. From what information that can be gathered of these illusive creatures they are never (again, excepting ringbearing and fellowship joining type) known to sleep outdoors, preferring the comfort of their feather beds and hobbit holes. They generally sleep well and late, especially after a good meal, so basically all the time. As with all hobbit activities sleep is not just a ritual, but an enjoyable pass-time, and they prefer a good eight to ten hours of it a night, when they can get it.
The sleep of rangers couldn't be more different. Being the outdoorsy, travelling type, they wouldn't think twice about sleeping in a cave, under a hedge or tree, in a ditch, when no other accommodation can be found, which is often as the parts they travel in are not the friendly hospitable type. They will stop into inns when they are passing through towns, and they are usually welcome at Rivendell and other now diminished ancient dwellings of the Dunedain, but they have learnt not to depend upon such places for shelter.
Ents on the other hand couldn't be more different again. They stand up to sleep, a characteristic worth remembering if you are planning to spend the night with one. Ents when abroad are quite happy to sleep where they stop, provided it is somewhere they feel is safe, usually in the forest. But they also have homes to sleep in when they are in the vicinity, and many ents have been known to own several homes in different parts of their native forest. It is not known how necessary sleep is for ents, as it has been suggested, but never stated in Tolkien's works that they can go for days at a time without sleep, but this is unconfirmed.
Very little indeed is known of the sleeping habits or dwarves, and even less of the habits of orcs so I shall not dwell upon them, and only mention that I have no information on this particular area of Middle Earth sleep incase anyone thought I had forgotten.
The sleeping habits of elves I have saved until last as they are by far and away the most interesting for the simple reason that they don't actually sleep at all, or at least not in the normal sense of the word, and no, they are not all coffee addicts. The elves sleep with their eyes open, "blending living and night with deep dream..." and it has even been speculated that they can sleep whilst travelling, they certainly seem not to rely upon it for energy, that or they have an amazing store of it.
So there you have it, the many an unusual sleeping habits of the inhabitants there before you, something to think about next time you're going to sleep!
Dreams as Inspiration
Humans spend, on average, one third of their lives sleeping, (as apparently do dwarves, hobbits, and possibly wizards) having approximately three to six dreams each night. Sadly, much of this part of our lives is never known to us, save for that time when the dream is present. But dreams should be neither forgotten nor ignored. It is said, apocryphally, that J.R.R. Tolkien once sourced his inspiration for Numenor on a recurring nightmare of being upon an Atlantian-style sinking island.
Many other people of prominence have paid attention, if inadvertently, to their dreams; particularly writers. But how can you do that? How can you remember your dreams with clarity and detail, so as to incorporate the fantasy images into your writings, poems, art, or even how you view the world? There are, fortunately, several ways to improve your dreaming skills:
1. Before you go to sleep, drink a glass of water. This will create the need for you to wake up quickly, and likely during the dreaming cycle. It will irk you for a few nights, particularly if the bathroom is some distance from your bedroom, but you will become used to it.
2. Keep a dream-reserved notebook and pen close to your bed or on your nightstand at all times. As you wake up, write down a few key words from your dream. These will help your memory when you come back to them. Another helpful tool is a bit of red lamp-film or red paper over a flashlight or reading light. This will allow you to turn on a light, to write, without having to wait for your eyes to adjust while losing the dream.
3. When you have a free moment, hopefully early in the day, sit down and focus on those words. Write down every detail you remember from your dream.
As you do this you will soon find yourself remembering more of your dreams, and even feeling more contented for having taken the time to rationalise any nightmares.
One last tip for dreaming: If you wish to dream of a certain person or thing (yes, this goes for all ye Legolas fans, as well) take some time before bed to focus on this. Look at a few pictures, and write down a sentence or so about what you wish to dream of. It often works.
Forgotten Baggins Dreamings
When our esteemed editor, one Frodo Baggins Esquire, otherwise known as Perian, asked me to write an article to do with dreams and sleep in Middle Earth for the next themed issue of the i Nili o i Ardanole newsletter, after much consideration I decided to write about the Sackville-Bagginses. What's the connection? you might ask, and rightly so. It is perhaps not immediately obvious, yet after much study (I admit I have always been especially interested in the petty affairs of Hobbiton's least liked family) I have come to the conclusion that these often forgotten Bagginses lives seem to be entirely based around dreams and aspirations, which I might add they did eventually achieve, though it brought them little joy.
So, the question is, what would your actual sheep-counting dreams be like if you were a Sackville-Baggins? I shall attempt to briefly sketch my opinion of a Sackville-Baggins dream, from the point-of-view of a fan. From the information I have so far been able to gather, the dreams of Otho and Lobelia I think would be startlingly similar. They would probably involve Bag End, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and some grovelling apologies from the latter, offering the former, and on Lobelia's part, involving some silver spoons. No doubt in a Sackville-Baggins dream, everbody would be respectfully in awe, submissive to harrowing abuse, flattering, anxious to please and indulgent of every whim and request (or order).
The same can be said of Lotho Baggins, but there is slightly more to be added to this S-B's dreams. Judging from the unlikely alliance of unpopular Shire-ling and head of the White Council, Lotho Bagginses' dreams would most likely involve power, possession and Shire-domination. Hobbits, men, elves, dwarves and wizards alike would bow before him in honour and flee in terror before his wrath. There would be luscious banquets comprised of the very best mushrooms and Old Winyards the Shire had to offer, and let's not forget the pipe-weed! There would be all the comforts of a terrible hobbit-dictator at his leisure.
This is of course but a limited insight into the dreams of the Sackville-Bagginses, as there is only limited information on them, but I hope perhaps you have found it interesting, or at least entertaining. I leave you know to the no doubt more factual and insightful writings of Frodo Baggins Esquire aka Perian.
Allusion to Illusion
Or Site Updates as Announced by Frodo Baggins.
Well, it would seem that the world is not so set, even the fully documented world of The Lord of the Rings, as we may think! Yes, peeps, I am happy to say that I must shatter a few illusions today. Usually I’m not happy to say that, but ... heh ... every now and then people need to realise that the world is not so cut-and-dry as they think.
And so, without further ado, who were you attracted to? (For those who took the poll, of course.) And the answers aaaare...
1.) (Appearance: Noble)...Carven face with proud bones and skin like ivory... 6% Denethor.
2.) (Appearance: Cold)...Eyes grey as the sea, hard and fell... 17% Eowyn.
3.) (Appearance: Luminencence) ...Light seemed to be shining faintly within... peaceful... 28% Frodo.
4.) (Passion)... "My heart burns within me"... 22% Gimli.
5.) (Situation: Vulnerable)... Beyond friends and kin... 6% Gollum.
6.) (Situation: Flattery) ... Came as thick as moths 'round a candle... 0% Orcs.
7.) (Honesty) ..."And I never lie."... 6% Oliphaunt.
8.) (Eloquence) ... Another voice spoke, low and melodious... 6% Saruman.
9.) (Ability to admit to mistakes) ... "Forgive me! It was unwise." ... 6% Faramir.
10.) (Courage) ... "Few have gained such a victory"... 6% Boromir.
I won, I won, I wooooon!!! Whoop! Now please excuse me while I go have a good chuckle over Gimli and Saruman...
Oh yes, and the voting for the monthly site awards will begin tomorrow. And I’ll be back writing to you the week after next... for now? Too busy gloating... he he he...
Quote of the Week.
"He deserves death."
"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be so eager to deal out death in judgement."
Waith: (noun) A waste, particularly a wasteland, as in Forodwaith, Enedwaith.
March: (noun) An archaic word, though still in use today, a march is the disputed area between two lands, for example Westmarch can be said to be between the realm of the hobbits’ Shire and the elves’ Grey Havens.
Letters to the Editor.
First of all I would like to say something which I forgot to mention in last weeks letter, that I greatly enjoyed your article "How to Create Depth in Shadows", and that the caption on one of the diagrams "Badly drawn arrow. Ignore." Gave me the best laugh I've had in a long time!! I was disappointed to hear of Frodo's dilemma this week as I was greatly looking forward to reading his article, but I suppose that will only increase my enjoyment next week! I greatly enjoyed both your poem and your explanations of the words Eo and Faerie, both of which I had been wondering about for quite some time! I live in hope of becoming less lonely on the Letters to the Editor!
PS. I was very excited to see myself listed as a member of staff!
Aha! So someone actually went to that page! Er, I mean...
Dear Staff Member (yes, I finally found you a staffish post, my good wizard of words,) ~Xara,
I am most gratified that you enjoyed the article and imitation-informative captions. And you shall not be lonely for long... Hearken, do you see another letter? Aha! Must make haste...
I love receiving the newsletter. It has answered many questions that I have been asking myself, such as 'Tolkien's Women' and 'Tolkienish'. I have never believed that Tolkien was ever racist or prejudiced. That helped prove those points that those who knew him, knew that he didn't mean any bad things by his books. I really learnt a lot about the mastermind behind Lord of the Rings. Thank You!
Luv Alwyz, ~Nimrodel~
Many thanks, though it is my most esteemed colleague who deserves most credit. I merely rant now and then. Hers are the informative articles. I am most certain that she will appreciate your letter, however! May the hair on your toes never grow thin (unless by choice).