i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 44, Volume 2, December 24th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Columnists: Lady Morrigan Shadow, Padfoot, Cerridwen.
Contributor(s): Eowyn Evenstar, Evenstar, various characters who took a liking to a particular hobbit.
In this issue: Histories.
Minas Tirith - An Ancient City of Iran? by Xara.
Rohirric Roots by Ivy.
Real Dwarf Make by Perian.
Complete History of Middle-earth in 650 Words or Less by Padfoot.
Dragons - Real or Imagined? by Xara.
In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: If the Light Should Ever Fade - Part One by Cerridwen.
Ivy's Newsletter Trivia.
Xara's Random Fandom.
Tolkienish, provided by Perian.
Next Issue: The Women of Middle-earth.
Almost every Lord of the Rings fan has at least one friend
who loves Rohan. I know I do - I'm the one. There's just something
about the majesty of the country, its land, and its people. But just
where did Tolkien get the inspiration for the land of the horse lords?
Why, the Celts, of course.
Tolkien lived in England for most of his life, and England has a strong culture influenced by Celtic nations. He surely travelled to Wales and Scotland sometime in his life, both countries of that background. Growing up in such a strongly influenced culture would, surely, have had an impact on his writing.
The Rohirrim live on, near, or around the Plains of Rohan. Plains, if you've ever had a geography lesson, are very flat expanses of land usually covered in grass, spotted here and there by forests and veined with streams and rivers. This nearly perfectly describes the terrain of Ireland. Of course, every country has its high places, and doesn't Edoras itself stand on a hill of some sort? Rivers are also similar. The Entwash takes a similar course to that of the Shannon River.
Physical features, though, is not what makes Rohan so like any Celtic country. It's the people and their customs. Celts', as has been stated, "character and temperament have always been fiery and passionate, quick to take offence and yet chivalrous in victory. A warlike race, who fought better on horses than on foot, and their love of display was shown in their richly embroidered garments and ornate weapons. They were articulate, and passionately fond of music and the arts. Their physical appearance has been described as tall, fair, and aristocratic. Their women were considered extremely beautiful and even more dangerous than the male."* Does that not nearly perfectly describe the lives of the Rohirric people?
Their design and art are also similar to that of Celts. Knotwork and fine gold are often found in many countries with Celtic origin, and even Peter Jackson stated that the inspiration for the design team of Edoras, and for Tolkien, were the Celtic myths, culture, and design.
While it still leaves much to be debated, Rohirrim and Celts quite possibly go hand in hand. I think I shall leave it up to the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh readers to decide.
Real Dwarf Make
It was once believed by scholars and historians that children
of bygone days had no childhood, as we know them today, to speak of. In
the Middle Ages in England this was, they argued, particularly
pronounced. Short life spans, large families, a great amount of work
necessary for survival; all contributed to the theory that playtime did
not exist and that parents generally ignored their offspring until they
were old enough to work.
Tolkien clearly disagreed, or would have had he been presented with such a theory. In his world (the Shire in particular) the same conditions existed, yet the hobbit children had, if anything, more fun and free time than children today. And more to play with. Birthdays were frequent and presents numerous. If Bilbo's party on his eleventy-first birthday is anything to go by most of the presents went to the wee ones. There were crackers and musical instruments, and toys of "real dwarf make". Dwarves? Making toys? This almost sounds like an oxymoron. Surely dwarves don't play? Apparently they do. Banish not the image of Gimli and his cousins Fili and Kili huddled in a dark chamber of the Ered Luin mines, pushing around a string of miniature wagons and gleefully chanting "Glugga-glugga-glugga-glugga-whoohoo!" as it tumbles over a small precipice. The image may be valid.
The recent discoveries made by metal-detector-wielding treasure hunters in the banks of the Thames River (London, The Shire, Middle-earth) have cast a light of revelation onto the dubious theory of lack of play.
There in the reeking mud have been found exactly what a dwarf made toy should be: Tiny, ornate objects; from miniature chairs to minute weaponry, crafted in the Middle Ages of pewter. Now, I'm not saying that The Hill and Hobbiton and Bywater were actually the predecessors to old Londonium, but does it not strike you as odd that once again Tolkien has been proven more correct than the professional historians? How they would writhe and squirm to be told that a fantasy writer was more accurate than they.
A fleeting image rushes past of the white and glowing spirit of Tolkien telling those historians to go down on their bellies like the worms they are, ala Gandalf.
Pardon the interruption.
What other medieval misconceptions will in the future turn onto the Tolkien-trodden path? Will miniature boats be found in the modern equivalent of the Brandywine River, the much-widened English Channel? An extinct volcano discovered in Romania, its last time of eruption coinciding with the last days of the fourth age, perhaps even with over-large footprints being found in the slag? Will the assertions of both Plato and Tolkien be affirmed when the lost continent is proven an actual fact, a part of what is now the Mid-Atlantic Ridge or even Bimini? Perhaps the greatest of all our hopes of realism will come to be when an ancient manuscript is uncovered. No, it wouldn't be the original. That would have rotted away long since, but perhaps something re-penned with care in a minuscule script, 500 to 1,000 years ago.
Impossible, you say? My friends, never forget that things are only impossible until they aren't.
Complete History of Middle-Earth in 650 Words or Less
Ok, so first there were the Elder Days, which were the
days before the First Age started. In the First Age a bunch of
stuff happened. Some important events in the first age were: in
the first year of the First Age the men awoke and the Noldor
returned to Middle-earth. Then there was this glorious
battle called Dagor Aglareb, which was the third battle in the
Wars of Beleriand. This battle took place around the year 75. The next
important event in the First Age was the completion of Gondolin in
126. Next we move on to year 305 when men arrived in Beleriand.
Then there was the battle of sudden flame called Dagor Bragollach. It
was in winter and, of course, against Morgoth. This battle took
place in the year 455. We jump ahead 10 years, which was when
Beren and Luthien completed the quest for the Silmaril. Then we go
ahead to the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. One final assault against
Morgoth and the Noldor were utterly defeated. That was in 471
First Age. Next in 510 was the fall of Gondolin and then the last
important event in the First Age was the War of Wrath, which was the
defeat of Morgoth. That took place in 583 First Age.
Second Age - this had a lot more stuff happen in it. So here we go! In the first year of the Second Age was the foundation of some elven kingdoms in the west. Then in 32 S.A. (Second Age) was the arrival of the Edain in Numenor. Then we jump ahead to 1200 S.A.; Sauron goes to the elves of Eregion and begins to teach 'em. Then around 1590 the smiths of Eregion finish makin' the three rings of the elves. Then we take a leap 10 in to the future when Sauron makes his One Ring and all that jazz. Then in 1693 the elves and Sauron begin to fight with each other. Then about 2250 the Nazgul begin to show up. A little bit after that Sauron gets captured and sent to Numenor in 3262. Then a while later in 3319 Sauron causes the downfall of Numenor 'cause he told the king to sail to Valinor. Then a year later Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anarion found Gondor and Anor. Then around 3430 the Last Alliance was formed and to close the Second Age in 3441 they "defeated" Sauron.
Ok, onto the Third Age. All right, so in year 2 Isildur plants a seedling of the white tree in Minas Anor, but when he comes back he gets killed by orcs. Then we take a giant leap to year 1000 when five wizards enter Middle-Earth. Then about 1100 Sauron begins to stir and the Nazgul return. In 1409 the Witch King invades the Northern Kingdom. Then we jump ahead to 1432 when we get some good ol' Civil War in Gondor. Before long in 1601 the Shire is founded. A little while afterward the Dwarves of Moria unleash Durin's Bane. After that, 22 years later, the Witch King captures Minas Ithil and renames it Minas Morgul. Then around 2463 Gollum gets the One Ring, which then in 3941 Bilbo gets it when he goes with the dwarves and then there's this battle called the Battle of the Five Armies. And then we get the real destruction of the One Ring and the end of Sauron in the year 3019, and Aragorn is named King of Gondor. In 3021 of the Third Age the Ringbearers leave Middle-Earth.
A Holiday Movie Review
By Lady Morrigan Shadow
I had a glorious movie review in my head to write... and
then, it hit me.
It won't go over well, because I try NOT to come off as pompous or better than the writer/director. I just state whether or not I like the movie. However, the last 10 movie reviews I've read have left me wondering whether or not movie reviewers get paid to be bitter.
When it's a review of a fantasy movie, they tell everyone how it's not realistic. If it's a historical movie, it's not entertaining. If it's an action movie, it's got too much violence.
I'm a huge movie fan. I love watching movies almost as much as I love a good book. Almost. I want to read a movie review where the movie is the point, and, unless they're intensely obvious, plotholes are left alone. I would like to see a review where the movie isn't picked apart piece by piece, simply because the reviewer doesn't like the director.
With that said, I give you... not a review, but holiday movies for people who love movies.
Every year around this time, there are all kinds of great movies on t.v. to get you in the holiday spirit. It may come as very little surprise to those of you reading that most of my favourite holiday movies are kids' movies. They are the absolute best, when it comes to just watching to sit back, relax, and have a giggle.
They are in no particular order, so, this isn't a "first to last" list, just a list of movies that I recommend cramming in within the next few days. Besides, they're fun year round!
- Jack Frost - Rankin/Bass
I love all of the old stop-motion claymation/puppet movies. This one, in particular, has a really cute story. An immortal (Jack Frost) falls in love with a girl, and wishes to be human. So, Father Winter lets him go down into the world, and become a real man. Jack saves the day, and doesn't get the girl, and goes back to being immortal and covering the world with frost. What I love most about this movie, is the idea... the idea that there really is a Jack Frost who hears me tell him how beautiful the snow is, and how much I love icicles. Every year, ever since the first time I saw the film, I sit and watch the snow fall outside my window, with a nice cup of cocoa, and all the lights turned off inside. No noise, just snow.
- Garfield's Christmas Special -
What's not to love about a smarmy fat cat? Especially on Christmas?
You've got great characters, from the crazy Grandma, not-all-there Dock-Boy, and, of course, Garfield and Odie. Not only that, but it actually has a great storyline. It doesn't matter what you give, as long as it's a gift from the Heart.
- A Christmas Story -
This was a classic from the time it was released. This family was unbelievably dysfunctional, but you knew it was loving. Everything from the boy getting his tongue stuck to the flag pole, to beating up the bully, the 'dancer leg' table lamp, and, of course "Eat like a piggy!". If you haven't had a chance to see this gem, you owe it to yourself. It's funny, really. And, be careful... "You'll shoot your eye out!"
Finally, my favourite holiday movie.
- Gremlins -
Ok, so it really isn't about celebrating Christmas. First of all, Gizmo (the mogwai) is cute. Adorable. There were three simple rules to caring for a mogwai: No Water. No Bright lights. No food after midnight. Not only does the kid break the rules, but he does it all in one night. See, this movie used to scare me. I didn't like the gremlins, and I was mad that they didn't show Gizmo through the whole movie. Folks, I was 4 when the movie came out, lol. A little slack, please! However, Billy (the owner of Gizmo) and Kate (his lovely lady friend) save the day, kill all the Gremlins, and have a holly, jolly Christmas.
I hope your holiday season is a good one. Feel free to heckle, jeckle, or joke, but please, if you're thinking of throwing food, please rethink that, and donate it instead.
This Fortnight: If the Light Should Ever Fade
A child's cry broke the night. Aragorn pulled himself awake
as Arwen moaned and began to very slowly and carefully get up.
"Stay in bed, meleth." Aragorn got up quickly and helped her to lie back. Hurrying, he moved to the crib on the other side of the room, "Shh, shh. It's alright," Aragorn soothed his three day old daughter, cradling her in his arms as he picked her up. Arwen, who had managed herself into a sitting position, held out her arms as Aragorn approached. He smiled at his exhausted wife, "I had forgotten how many times Eladrion woke us because he was hungry," he said. Arwen gave a faint nod as she leaned back against the pillows. Aragorn lost track of how long they sat there, but he was instantly alert as Arwen slowly began to get up to put her daughter to bed. "Meleth, you must rest. Let me help," Aragorn got up and took Nevalariel from her.
Arwen nodded, giving in. Aragorn shifted Neva to a one-handed grip as he took her arm in the other; he knew that he was being overprotective, but he was worried for her. This birth had been far harder for her than Eladrion's had been and she still was extremely weak and pale. He helped her ease her frame into bed and then tucked Neva into her bed. He came back over to his bed, carefully easing his arms around her as he fell asleep.
Yawning, Elladan swung his legs out of bed. He stretched and then walked over to the window, pulling the drapes open. He glared. More fog. He was really tiring of the fog. Muttering to himself as he got dressed, he went to see if he couldn't find Ciryawen, Elrohir and Meluiwen. He wished to see Arwen, but she had not left her room since giving birth and Elladan wasn't sure he could get in.
"Nenwen! Be careful!" Eowyn yelled as the small elvish girl
darted through the stables. She sighed, Eomer was due to arrive today
and the stables were a mess. Several horses had to be moved to
different stalls so that there would be room for Eomer and his men's
horses. Nenwen and Eladrion had been delighted that they could be near
the horses and had promptly gone in two different directions.
Novrion laughed, "Do not worry, Eowyn, Nenwen has grown up around horses. She will be fine."
Eowyn cast a glance after the girl, "Are you sure?"
Novrion slowly got up from where he had been sitting, Eiliandel's potions had saved his life from the poison, but she had not managed to help him find something to recover his strength, "Eowyn, why don't you go help Eiliandel? I can watch the children," he offered, a kind look on his elvish face.
Eowyn looked at him, "But, you... you..." she stopped, worried about hurting his feelings.
Novrion's gentle smile made her feel horrible for saying anything, "Eowyn, I came very close to leaving my daughter with no father. I would like nothing more than to be with her," he said softly.
Eowyn nodded, "I'm so sorry I even..." she trailed off as he held up a hand, smiling. She returned the smile and turned towards the palace. Novrion had scared her when she'd first met him, but now he had proved himself to be one of the kindest men she had ever met. Faramir, too had warmed towards him and Eiliandel, once they had actually talked to the elusive couple. She entered the kitchen, and picked up a tray.
"M'lady! Do let me!" a maid darted forward.
Eowyn shook her head, "No, no. I will bring some breakfast up to Arwen. I trust neither she nor Aragorn has come down?"
The maid shook her head, "No, m'lady."
Eowyn smiled, "Very well," she headed towards the door, having found a small breakfast for Arwen, "Pardon me." she said politely as she brushed past the maid and down the hall.
Q: Squeaky clean Elves... Scruffy rangers... Sauron?! What is it and
who was in the midst of this conspiracy?
Q: Overdue for part two? Oooh, rhyming. Who did it, and what's the name of the article?
Last issue's answers: On the ring finger; Frodo and Sam, interview with Perian.
Xara: You come home to find a large hole in your floor
leading to a tunnel, and discover all your pretty gold and jools are
missing. 'Tis obviously the work of thieving dwarves, but how do you
get it back?
Prongs: They're missing?! Aw dang it! Not again! OK, well ... plan of action. First I would muster up all my able bodied mates from Gondolin. We would be armed with pitch forks, food containing sleeping draughts and various girly apparatus. We would present the food to the dwarves, wait until they fall asleep ... and then ... we would ambush them with our beauty equipment ... straighten their hair, put ribbons and scrunchies in them, apply liberal amounts of makeup ... and then take pictures! And threaten them with these pictures unless they give back what they stole!
Xara: You hear bumps out in the hallway in the middle of the
night and after working up the courage to go out there discover a
hobbit shuffling around confusedly and giggling like a maniac. Why is
Prongs: Oh dear. It's obvious that this devilish hobbit has been in my wine cellar ... he drank all my best wine ... the wine that I was saving up for the day that Samwise and I finally get together ... aw, man! Good stuff though, isn't it? Ah! Now what do I do?! *sinks into despair* Thanks a lot, Xara!
Xara: The next morning you find Aragorn dressed in his best
brandishing a bunch of roses on your doorstep. You remember writing a
rather friendly letter to him but you didn't think he'd actually take
you up on your suggestions, what are you going to tell Matt?!
Prongs: Oh my God! First the drunk, giggling Hobbit and now this?! What have I done to deserve this!? I look awful! I have puffy red eyes and a splotchy face! Oh, this could work to my advantage ... come Aragorn, comfort me ... hold me, hug me (editor: enough already) ... er, Matt ... er, Matt who? Oh, that Matt ... I wont tell him anything ... I'll tell him I got an autographed picture ... which is kind of the truth ... I will get an autographed picture ... er ... sorry, I'm rather busy right now ... *wink, wink* Do you mind leaving me alone now? Thank you. *looks at Aragorn* So, where were we?
[Note from Editor: You do know that I’m not the one censoring Prongsie, I hope. Hehehe. The above mentioned editor is her own conscience.]
Merry is sulking with me, and I don't know why. Would you be a doll and ask him? I miss him. *Sniffles.*
He said it had something to do with your breaking a carrot. Did not ask him to elaborate. Perhaps you ought to work it out between you.
Ooooh, so THIS is why you haven't been answering my notes! You're seeing Prongsie, is that it?! What are you trying to do, humiliate me?! *Bursts into tears and runs off.*
Er... er... do I know you? (Shh, we'll talk about this later.)
Forget Rosie! Forget Prongsie! Marry ME!
Dear Mr. Frodo,
You shouldn't make fun, I'm being serious! And I was in Cirith Ungol, too! You didn't listen then, now, did you? It's rather too late to be asking, I think.
I'm twice Frodo's height and have better hygiene! Marry ME!
I can't say as I don't like elves, but I think there would be a few difficulties from the start. Stick with Gimli.
Leggy is a poof, marry ME!
After the state you put my master in? I had to make special shoulder guards while the rest of you were restin' in Lorien just so he would get jittery.
If you weren't so damn adorable I'd kill you! For stealing Aragorn away from me! But as it is, you're too cute. So I have a better plan to avenge myself... marry ME!
*Blushes.* Aww, m'lady, you hadn't ought to say that. We're both married, you know, and ... wait a minute, you're the fourth person to ask. What's going on here?
I've apples here for sharing. Marry ME!
Keep your apples to yourself or I'll toss 'em right at your gob!
Carrots are better than apples! Marry ME!
*Brandishes his frying pan.* Just you try it.
*Arched eyebrow stare* Marry ME!
What the hell, I'll jump on the band wagon. Marry ME!
*Shudders and continues quailing.*
We're almost the same height. Marry ME!
*Leaves the quails alone and runs at full speed away from Gimli.*
Frodo wouldn't have me. Marry ME!
*Is not around to hear this one, otherwise he may have heard and taken note of that one.*
Ah-ha... Now I know where you've been going in the middle of the night. We need to talk, Mister.
*Is currently hiding under the bed in a state of mental overload, and upon hearing this looses his mind completely and temporarily.*
Sorry to disappoint you but frankly, I don't want to marry you. If I married anyone it would be Pippin. *looks dreamy* so cute!!! Ah....anyway, even then I would rather be his girlfriend/troublemaking girl. Find me Pippin if you please. Ta!!!
PS: *Still looks dreamy* Mmm...Pippin…
Dearest, darling Samwise,
Merry Christmas, my love! Whenever I've gone to sleep over the past few days, I have dreamed of that night in the den ... do you remember it, my darling? Mistletoe hung all over the room so that we kissed wherever we went? Oh, the happy memories. And one thing led to another and you and I soon (editor: further content deleted due to less than innocent comments)
All my love darling,
Dear EE and Prongs,
My sincerest apologies, Samwise has suffered a nervous breakdown and will not be able to answer either of your questions, nor will he be here for the next issue. The dirty nursie- I mean, psychologist, assures me that he will be back by mid-February.
WANTED: The one who spiked the drinks at Gandalf's six-millionth birthday party with 'Love Samwise' potion. I'll get you, if it's the last thing I do! *Shakes fist.*
NEED: A time machine so I can go back and make enough time to finish
WANTED: Nothing, for a change. Stay, contentedness, stay! Good emotion. Nice emotion. Stay.
WANTED: more vacations! Someone please help! Two weeks is not enough!
Descriptive Elements, Part IX. (Key: q.= Quenya, s. = Sindarin, where known.)
man: (adjective) good, blessed, unmarred. Aman, Manwe,
Amandil, Araman, Umanyar.
men: (noun) way. Numen, Hyarmen, Romen, Formen.
menel: (noun) the heavens. Meneldil, Menelmacar, Meneltarma.
mereth: (noun) feast. Mereth Aderthad, Merethrond.
In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed - you must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. In declaring myself thus I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends and I hardly need add my own better judgement. The relative situation of our families is such that any alliance between us must be regarded as a highly reprehensible connection. Indeed as a rational man I cannot but regard it as such myself - but it cannot be helped. Almost from the earliest moments of our acquaintance I have come to feel for you a passionate admiration and regard, which despite all my struggles has overcome every rational objection and I beg you most fervently to relieve my suffering and consent to be my wife.
Dear Mr. Darcy,
I do not mean to offend you, but I don't think I know you. Perhaps you have the wrong address, or have mistaken me for an evil twin whom I don't know about. Well, not too evil. You clearly seem to like her. I'm flattered, mind, but, er, until I know you better... Marry Samwise.