i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 12, Volume 1. October 3rd, 2003.
Primary Contributor and Reporter: Xara.
Additional Contributors: Prongsie, Hula-n.
In this issue:
Featured Article: The Song of a Frodo Fan by Xara.
What's in a Name? by Perian.
A Brief History of Elvish Hairstyles by Xara.
i Nili's Lord of the Rings Survey.
In every issue:
Fantasy Fan Fiction. This fortnight: What University Classes Should Be Like: Lecture 1 by Prongsie.
Letters to the Editor.
The Song of a Frodo Fan
When you look at the Fellowship, and think that everything that happened to each of them as an individual, there is one who, though he does not always stand out when surrounded by his fellows and their numerous deeds of honour and valour, it is immediately obvious got the rawest deal of the lot. Was it Aragorn? No. Gandalf? Pippin? Merry? Sam? Legolas? Gimli? Boromir? No, it was Frodo. Out of all the Fellowship in the end, Frodo came out of it having gained the least, unless you count post traumatic stress of course.
Aragorn. Now Aragorn got a lot from being in the Fellowship. He got his crown, he got the entire realm of Gondor, South and North, under his control, he got an immortal elf maiden and a nice pretty white tree. All in all, a pretty good deal for Aragorn. Gandalf, he got lovely new white robes and a staff, he got to break Saruman's staff and tell everyone else including Aragorn the King what to do! Pippin got a free trip in Shadowfax, a knightship, a very spunky Gondorian uniform and an extra foot or so in height. Merry also got some extra height, a knightship, a Rohirrim uniform, a free ride with Eowyn Tthough he didn't know at the time) and a near death experience which, ok, can't have been that fun, but at least he could tell his grandchildren and anyone else who would listen that he helped kill the Witch-King of Angmar, right? Sam? Well Sam got a lovely box of dirt, a pony, Rosie and thirteen children! Legolas got a new best friend, a new bow and arrows and he got to see Fangorn Forest! Gimli also got a new best friend, and got to see the Mines of Moria and the Glittering Caves! Not bad! Boromir, well, Boromir got a chest full of arrows, but at least he got to see the error of his ways before that!
But what did Frodo get? Frodo, the Ring-bearer, saviour of Middle Earth, defeater of the ultimate evil! Let's see now, well, he got stabbed by a Ringwraith and nearly lost his immortal soul, as well as his health which was permanently damaged, he probably got a huge chiropractor bill having to carry that heavy ring around a chain on his neck the whole time. He nearly lost his mind, his life, his will to live, and his finger! But he got lots of horrible awful memories to haunt him forever, so that's a plus, right? Then, when he went to the Grey Havens (Rehab for all this stuff that'd been happening) he lost his home, his friends, and his former life. Oh, but he did get a nice pretty white jewel, and a phial.
Let's face it, when everything was over and all was said and done, Frodo had probably been through and lost the most out of it all. You can say all you like about Aragorn's valiant deeds, Gandalf's wizardry or Legolas's hot elf bow action, Frodo is the real hero of the The Lord of the Rings, as he should be. But sometimes that poor little hobbit gets shoved aside in the shadow of taller members of the Fellowship, which is alright. But sometimes, we need to remember Frodo Baggins.
What's In a Name?
The root meanings of a name often tell a story of their own, be it the name of a person, place, thing. This rule holds true even for the unusual names featured in Tolkien's work. Let us take Frodo as our first example. This name we would alter to its pure form, as described in the appendixes, before translating. As -a is the traditional hobbit masculine name ending Frodo then becomes Froda, a Germanic word meaning "noble". Certainly there has never been a hero of literature as noble as Frodo.
Gandalf, in contrast, has Norse beginnings. His name, used in the Poetic Eddas, means "wand-elf". In the Silmarillion it is said that Olorin (aka Gandalf) when he chose to take physical form took one like unto that of the elves. We all know that he carried a wand - in fact, three wands, if you consider all objects capable of channeling or transmitting his will or magic ... Glamdring, his wand, and his staff. Wand-elf, indeed.
Pippin is a veritable fount of diverse meanings. His proper name brings to mind a falcon, the meaning rooted in a Latin word for "wanderer", "traveller", or "pilgrim", while his nickname can be read as anything from a small apple to a well-admired person. While on the subject of Tooks, his father's name is quite straightforward, the paladin, heroic knight. Also speaking of Tooks and of hobbits, one of my favourite trio of names has always been those of the famous Took sisters, Belladonna, Donnamira, and Mirabella. A full circle of name elements (Bella, Donna, and Mira) and each botanically valid.
Elven names, though in Quenya or Sindarin, hold no less meaning. From Legolas (green leaf) to Arwen (noble maiden).
So would elanor by any other name smell as sweet? I think not...
A Brief History of Elvish Hairstyles
Elvish fashions and particularly elvish hairstyles seems to be a preoccupation amongst many fans of Lord of the Rings. Small but devoted sites spring up all the time with instructions on the correct way to braid hair like Legolas's, mirror and hairgel jokes are common-place amongst fan-listings everywhere and quite soon after Lord of the Rings was originally published, didn't long hair amongst men suddenly become fashionable? Yes, it's true, though described very little by Tolkien in his writings the hair of elves has fascinated most, become a free-Saturday afternoon pass-time for many and even a fixation for a few more devoted fans. And no matter how much it is left out of the Middle Earth history books, it can no longer be ignored. And so now ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever I give you: The history of elvish hairstyles!
Keep in mind that as no accurate records have yet been found, this is little more than speculation, based on the assumption that an elf once deciding on a hairstyle that suits his/her skin tone, facial shape and the fashion dictates of the time, will never change it again. Once this assumption has been made, we can start to piece together a pretty clear picture of this obscure but highly colourful and surprising branch of lore.
We will begin with Galadriel. Being the oldest known elf with reliable photographs she has provided a gold-mine of information on the very early styles. She grew up in Valinor during the Years of The Trees so her style must reflect that era. Galadriel wears her hair long and blonde with a kind of wave that is not different to that of noodles, slightly wider in wavelength than your average two-minute, however, and of course more elegant. Her hair is thin and manageable, and is pinned at the back in a half-ponytail, letting it fall delicately down the sides of her hair without obscuring her face, displaying her beauty to full advantage. This style is not unexpected for the elves of her time as they were then at the height of their splendor and craft, rightly proud and (If Feanor is anything to go by) perhaps a tad showoffy.
Celeborn, who was slightly after Galadriel's time, has a similar hairstyle though his hair colour has more dynamics with a darker hue beneath the surface. It is thinner, wispier and shorter supposedly like that of the elves of Doriath in the First Age. However, he displays what seems to be a common male trait of a very prominent widows peak, something which can be common in mortal men when they are at the early stages of hair-loss, of course this is not the case with the elves and it could be speculated that they purposefully shape their hair in this manner as a display of their age and wisdom. You may also notice that Celeborn clips his hair back at the side rather that right at the back as Galadriel does.
Now in Elrond, born at the end of the First Age and the beginning of the Second we see a dramatic change. Blonde has gone out of style it seems as his hair is a deep dark brown, and there also seems to be more ornamentation here with the knotting of the classic front-ear-hand-down-locks, as well as the ornate metal headband. Elrond's hair is also thicker to compliment the darkness, and fully brushed back off the ears to display their pointiness. Elrond also carries the classic exaggerated male widows peak, with great similarity to that of Celeborn's. Clearly this trait was not a passing trend amongst the elves.
Now comes Elrond's daughter Arwen, born during the beginning of the Third Age (We think, no exact date is known) she also carries the dark thick hair suggesting that this style remained popular for many years, though of course she may have been influenced by her father. However we see a change in Arwen in that she does not often brush her hair away from her face, more often letting it frame it, very effective due to the colour. However Arwen's styles are much more changeable and she has been seen in many different styles including one in which her hair was completely tied back, though this may simply have been a fantasy of Aragorn's. It is clear that by the Third Age elves were becoming more flexible in their styling, not sticking unfalteringly to one style but trying new things.
And finally, youngest of all the elves with photographs, Legolas, and blonde seems to have come back into fashion. His hair seems to be thicker than those of the elves of the First Age, a combination of both the wispy blonde and the thick dark, perhaps? Legolas also displays to full advantage the male widows peak though here it is less prominent than in previous examples, whether because of a change in fashion or as a symbol of youth it is unknown. But in Legolas we see the first example of elvish braiding, sometimes a simple half-pony tail braid at the back, sometimes two little braids brushed behind the ears at the sides. This seems to be a fairly recent development in fashion.
And so there you have it. All that is known of the history of elvish hairstyles, I can only hope that you have found this account as instructive as I have.
This Fortnight: What University Classes Should Be Like: A Play.
Professor Dumbledalf (Prof.)
Frodo - luvin’ gal # 4 (FLG4)
Prof.: Welcome to LOR101, An Introduction to Lord of the Rings. I’m glad to see so many of you here today. Before we begin, let’s see a show of hands. How many of you wish to continue your studies in Lord of the Rings?
(Prof. pauses and hands are raised).
Prof.: A fair number of you - I’m impressed. How many of you chose this course out of pure interest?
(Prof. pauses again and fewer hands are raised).
Prof.: A couple - good, good. And how many of you watched the movies, thought Elijah Wood was - I think hot is the term you use today - and want to learn more about him?
(Prof. pauses. A group of 12 girls sitting at the front scream and raise their hands).
Prof.: Well, I suppose you’ve come to the right place then, eh? I warn you though that this is not an easy course. It requires much memorization of historical dates and family members’ names.
(Prof. hands out a sheaf of stapled papers).
Prof: Please take a copy of the next lecture’s reading material and pass it on. As you can see from the course outline, we are going to spend the next few lectures discussing the principle characters in the trilogy. These lectures will not be very detailed-
(Prof. is interrupted by boos - mainly from the 12 girls in the front row)
Prof.: If I may continue. These lectures will not be very detailed because this is an introductory course. There are second year courses that deal exclusively with the characters - (looks pointedly at the 12 in the front row) - you can learn everything about Frodo then. Starting the next time though, we will be discussing Samwise Gamgee. Be warned that I do enjoy handing out pop quizzes, so I suggest that you come to class alert and ready to learn. Okay, does anyone have any questions?
FLG4: Why couldn’t we have started with Frodo?
(Prof. ignores FLG4)
Prof.: No questions? Good. Well, then you are all dismissed - have a good day.
(Prof. runs out of lecture hall before he can be caught by mob of Frodo - luvin’ girls)
Having helped Frodo immensely in destroying the One Ring of Power, you must know a lot about defeating evil. Can you tell me how to defeat evil teachers?
The basics of fighting evil are simple; never trust any slimy greenish creatures who claim to be hobbits (or in your case, humans) because they're traitors, never leave home without your cookware and a box of salt, and always keep your spirits up, knowing you'll be put into a big book with black and red letters someday. Oh, and when your enemies (aka teachers) seem to kill your masters, close friends, etc., wait for an hour or two just to make sure before you charge off into danger on your own.
Of course, you'll have to fit those so they work in school...
From one good-doer to another, Samwise.
My dear Samwise,
My problem is that I am hypercompetitive on the sports field. At 4’11.5 and 105 pounds, I am often the smallest girl competing and, because of this, the opposition tend to underestimate my abilities. In trying to prove to them that I am as tough as anyone, I often have to resort to (minor) violence. Also, if we lose, I go into a state of deep depression which lasts for a few days. Please help me with my problems! Thank you.
Your darling, Prongs
You're darling Prongs,
At 3'1' and 97 pounds amid a Fellowship, I often went through the same problem. I would suggest impressing upon your teammates the force of your hidden strength on a personal, one-to-one level. Opposition, being mindless, always bigger and more numerous, and characteristically evil, is a bit more difficult a matter. Channel that violence in to winning in general, rather than attacks against individuals (the frying pan may come in handy here, too, so long as you're careful about what you hit). And vent your depression or repressed anger in physical form by practicing and getting even better.
I need your help... I can't seem to resist the temptation of those savory french fried taters. I get them everyday at lunch, and I love them too much not to eat them. I know this is not good for my health... but my cravings become so much. I tried not buying them, but it results in stolen fries from my friends. Please help me wise Samwise!
~Addicted to Taters
Dear someone besides me who is Addicted to Taters,
I would suggest taming your tater fixation by eating them at dinner (if you can talk your gardener/cook to fix them) more often, as there's nothing bad about taters. One of the best foods, if you ask me. It's the fat and the frying that make them bad. Actually, you can make fries yourself so they're much better for you. One moment while I find my copy of Sam's Superb Suppers... ah, here we are.
Ahem. Cut your taters how you like them, and put them in water to wash off the starches. Rinse, and leave out to dry. Now with a tiny bit of olive oil grease a cookie sheet or two. Spread out your tater strips on the sheet(s) and add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Bake at 300-350' F. until light golden. That makes them as good as they can get as far as health goes, and taste too.
Samwise, Local Authority on Roots.
COMMUNITY NOTICE: Elrond Halfelven and Celebrian, Heiress of Lothlorien, announce the anniversary of the marriage of their daughter Arwen to a filthy stinking mortal who happens to be a king. To be celebrated with the release of palantir-recorded home videos. All are invited to their local cinemas on 17th of December, 2003 c.a.
WANTED: Strong, sensitive and broodingly handsome male required to fulfill a university student’s Ranger fantasies. Potential applicants*, please send pictures to: Hana, Box # 9, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
*Applicants must look like Aragorn and be as messy as Aragorn is – I do not like squeaky clean elves.
MISSING: Words. I can't seem to think of any today. Where have they gone? If you've seen any stray words wandering around that look like they belong to the mind of a teenage reporter/ webmistress/ SPAM hater/ eccentric/dithering/ babbling/getting distracted whilst writing classified ads person just back away slowly and contact me immediately at email@example.com
WANTED: Halflings for the Nan Curunir Petting Zoo. Must be alive and unspoilt. No limbs or personal items missing, please.
Hobbitish, Part VII.
Monendai: (noun) Monday.
-n: (suffix) modifier to make an object plural, as the English -s, e.g. Holbyltan: Hobbits.
nahald: (adjective) secret. Was the original name of Deagol.
nin: (noun) water, river. Adapted to hobbitish use from elvish.
Overlithe: (noun) Leap Year's Day (in Midsummer).
Letters to the Editor.
I would like to voice my opinion on Xara’s article "Couldn’t You Have Waited?" which was featured in your last issue. As a Can-eh-dian, I feel that Frodo and Bilbo’s birthdays could not have come at a better time! We have just started school and hardly have any homework to hand in or tests to write – an ideal situation for allowing us to party hobbit – style on this great day! If Xara has a problem with the date of Bilbo and Frodo’s birthdays, perhaps she should move to Canada.
As a dabbler in the ancient philosophies, I agree with you (though obviously for different reasons). Star-crossed, they were. Which may have had something to do with their supernatural abilities, as well as their undeniable good-looks. Well, Frodo's undeniable good looks, and Bilbo's longevity, anyhoo. I'll leave be for a moment, and let Xara reply to her personal comments.
You know I never thought about Frodo and Bilbo's luck like that before! Hehe, by the way I love the idea that Frodo might have ESP! A triumph article, a real triumph! And I loved the nursery rhymes too! I reckon Volume 11 must be one of the best ever editions of this newsletter!!! Loved it! And you know, surprisingly seeing as how much I enjoyed it this week....that's all I have to say...Bye bye!
You've left out some of the chief articles! Character Careers, and Lord of the Stress, not to mention the masterpiece of literary comedic genius, LotR4.
Yes, I am happy to say the quality of the newsletter (many thanks to our contributors) has been on the upclimb. May its caliber and quality grow never dim.
The idea of careers was a very clever idea, xara! and of course well written, as always. But I can think of other things they might of done. This also makes me ponder the thought... What would be their favorite movies, songs, and food now a days. and subject in school (*cough Merry N Pippin LUNCH cough*) hehe, those fall colds! And the stress relief statements, were very true! Also, I never did realize how many nursery rhymes were related to LotR! Thanx again for the newsletter!
Very interesting idea, Hula-n. Perhaps you should write an article to that effect *hint, hint*. Or perhaps I will pursue it with your permission at a later date. Again, I will allow Xara to reply to the comments toward her own articles. And ah, yes, there are far more LotR inspired ... heh heh heh ... nursery rhymes than anyone ever may expect! Glad to have your participation, as always, in the newsletter.