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Topic: Pengoloo and Aelfwine

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Nov 4, 2007
Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Can someone tell me who exactly these characters are? Pengoloo I heard was a sage in Gondolin but nothing more I can find. As for Aelfwine I have no dear who he is but these two people seem to be a focal point for advanced lore, particularly in the History of Middl-earth volumes.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I believe Pengoloo is another name for Pengolodh, a lore master who amongst other works wrote an essay on telepathy, later shortened as the Ósanwe-kenta.
A little reding material: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pengolodh

As for Aelfwine, he was a character Tolkien later abandoned, that came from 11th century Wessex, and that discovered Tol Eressea as the first mortal after many millennia. He learned there from Pengolodh and he translated many works into Old English. Supposedly this was the source Tolkien later used to write his books.
http://www.tolkienonline.de/etep/C/chroniclers.html#aelfwine


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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That was an interesting article I read TM. I am also a little confused however as it kept refering to Aelfwine in real history and also Middle-earth history at the same time.

I quote:

"Ælfwine was an Anglo-Saxon, living in Britain during the 10th century. His name is in Old English, and means "Elf-friend", not a very uncommon name at this time. He was a long way descendant of Eärendil, and had, like all of Eärendil's descendants, sea-longing in his blood."

"The first sets him in 11th century Wessex, but this version of the story seems to have been very mingled with vocal tradition, since it gives the origin of Warwick as originally built by Elves (who called it Kortirion in memory of Kortirion on Tol Eressëa)."

"It is not known how long Ælfwine stayed on Tol Eressëa, but it can be safely assumed he stayed there for many years. Eventually he returned to Britain, but what there befell him is not known."


And a few instances besides it uses both real and Middle-earth history in the same sentence.
Can anyone clarify?

-- Edited by mouth of sauron at 11:44, 2007-11-06

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

Very generally because Elfwine was the vehicle for the tales to be transmitted to the Primary World, thus it would not be odd that Elfwine or 'Elf-friend' is connected to later history and places in England or elsewhere, and indeed the name occurs in Primary World sources.

After Tolkien finished The Lord of the Rings Elfwine still appears, he is still part of the framework at this point it seems, but Christopher Tolkien dropped this mode of presentation for the published Silmarillion of 1977.

Christopher Tolkien states that the original mode in which a Man comes to an Isle in which the Elves dwell and learns their own history, '... had (by degrees) fallen away.' (Foreword to The Book of Lost Tales I)  and that: 'I think that in the end he concluded that nothing would serve, and no more would be said beyond an explanation of how (within the imagined world) it came to be recorded.'

Christopher goes on to mention Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish, and regrets his reluctance 'to step into the breach and make definite what I only surmised'. So Quenta Silmarillion 'should' have been noted as being part of Bilbo's work... and the 'Elfwine mode'  -- it does seem to have fallen away by degrees, though Tolkien was still including Elfwine the character after he had finished The Lord of the Rings in any case.


-- Edited by Galin at 02:15, 2007-11-07

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Pengoloo and Aelfwine

So Elfwine was a mortal man who manged to find the straight road to Eressea in Tolkien's myth and was an English man who found his way to Ireland in real history? So Tolkien just incorporated a real legend into his fantasy myth?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

Basically Elfwine was an Englishman who sailed to Tol Eressea, yes. And the name Elfwine is found in Primary World sources, like the Old English Battle of Maldon for example. Tolkien used it for his Mariner (though first it was Ottor, and other names); the meaning 'Elf-friend' had something to do with this of course.

This is very general. As often enough the matter is very complex, Tolkien revising, thinking with his pen, trying to find out the 'truth'. As I have some time to delve a little deeper into the earlier version (and since I find it fun): originally the Mariner was Eriol...

The Eriol story

Eriol's original name was Ottor. He settles on the Island of Heligoland in the North Sea, weds, has two sons named Hengest and Horsa. His wife dies.

Ottor sets out to find Tol Eressea, did so, is made young again (by drinking limpe) weds again and has a son named Heorrenda. Eriol adopts the name Angol and learns the tradition of the Elves or 'fairies' on Tol Eressea. Heorrenda afterwards turns a song of the fairies into the language of his people (Old English) -- thus such things could be rendered again into Modern English by anyone who knows Old English (like JRRT for one).

It is even said that Heorrenda complied the Golden Book from Eriol's writings -- though in other versions it was complied by someone unnamed, or Eriol himself concluded and sealed the book. The Golden Book contained those writings Eriol made in his sojourn in Tol Eressea.

Now in this conception Tol Eressea ultimately becomes England.

Places

Angol -- ancient home of the English (not England itself) from which Ottor (Eriol) first came.

Tol Eressea -- dragged over Sea, becomes England (Osse tried to drag it back, and broke off what was to become Ireland)

Places in Eressea or England

Kortirion -- Warwick (associated with Hengest in the tale)
Taruithon -- Oxford (associated with Horsa in the tale)
Tavrobel -- Great Haywood (associated with Heorrenda in the tale)

Events (as reconstructed by Christopher Tolkien from various evidence)

Eldar and rescued Noldoli depart from the 'Great Lands' and come to Tol Eressea; they build towns (Kortirion for example). Ottor comes, the Elves name him Eriol or Angol. Eriol becomes greatly instructed in the history of Gods, Elves and Men, goes to Tavrobel, writes down what he has learned, drinks limpe, weds, has a half-elven son Heorrenda.

The Lost Elves of the Great Lands rise against the servants of Melko. The 'Faring Forth' occurs, Tol Eressea is dragged over sea to the geographical position of England (Ireland also made).

Battle of Ros, defeated Elves retreat to Tol Eressea. Evil men follow with Orcs and other hostile beings. Battle of Heath of Sky Roof. Elves fade and become invisible to the eyes of almost all Men.

The Sons of Eriol conquer the Isle and it becomes 'England' -- they are not hostile to Elves, and from them the English have the true tradition of the Elves.

Kortirion becomes known as Warwick. According to one version Heorrenda completes the Golden Book. And according to one idea Eriol himself was to 'hasten the Faring Forth', and because of his disobedience 'all was cursed' and the Elves faded before the noise and evil of war.

Note that Hengest, Horsa, Heorrenda are Anglo-Saxon mythic/historic figures from Primary World sources. Tolkien is connecting misty English 'history' or figures with his invented legends, explaining how the specifically English -- the Germanic settlers of England, not the Celtic peoples or Romans -- have come upon the true stories of the Elves, while the Welsh and Irish have 'garbled' versions by comparison.

But the concept shifted. Tol Eressea was no longer England but a 're-embodiment' of Elvish Luthany (England) over sea, which the Elves had lost at the coming of Men. So now Elfwine sails from England to Tol Eressea -- where before Eriol had sailed to Tol Eressea (the future 'England') when it was not yet where it would end up.

I will not try to set out the Elfwine Tale from The Book of Lost Tales, or the version of the Elfwine tale that Mans tried to set out (he did this by compiling different sources already noted in his article). And again, it's all much more complex than this (not that you wanted any of this in any case), and I have left out much of even the Eriol story -- but that's part of why The History of Middle-Earth took twelve volumes. 

smile


-- Edited by Galin at 16:01, 2007-11-10

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Was this concept of Elfwine still around in later writings or was it abandoned by Tolkien later on? Or did Elfwine become a character more familiar later on? Sounds alot like the tale of Earendil.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

In an introductory note to the Narn a character named Ælfwine is said to have translated the Narn i Chîn Húrin into prose for example, and this was written after The Lord of the Rings was published. Christopher remarks that it is notable that his father was considering this idea at this time.

I think I'll make a general distinction (concerning what I might call the 'Ælfwine texts'):

1)
The English (or early Germanic) mariner who came to Tol Eressea to learn and record from the Elves. Old English versions can then become Modern English by means of a modern scholar able to translate Anglo-Saxon. This framework connects historically and geographically to England, and the Elvish legends come 'through' an Englishman.

2)
The English Mariner who was part of the 'time-travel' stories of The Lost Road, which led to The Notion Club Papers (the later 'time-travel' story). Here we have  the Ælfwines through history transmitting the genetic re-collections of their ancestors. As Verlyn Flieger put it, after asking In what way would the nature of the Mythology be English? adding to the earlier conception of historical and geographical:  'because it was encoded in the memory of Englishman, memory revived, re-experienced, and repossessed' by members of the Notion Club itself (and they can relate the tales in Modern English as well).  Going down the timeline the other way, one can find Elendil 'Elf-friend' for example, and he had a book too, about the Downfall.


Both these 'time-travel' tales were left unfinished and abandoned by JRRT, so at least as texts they only go so far (though ideas in them might get 'lifted' and possibly put into a different context).

In the Eriol Story there was as yet no Second Age. Within the later conception any Englishman named Ælfwine (or Eriol) would have to travel the Straight Road if he was to come to Tol Eressea (because the Change of the World ultimately preceded his sailing West to find the Isle). But as the mythology advanced, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings re-shaping it, not only do Galadriel and Frodo enter the stage (for example), but also the Red Book and Note on the Shire Records too. The Reader is informed that copies were made for the use of the descendants of Sam's children (note also Findegil's copy); and Bilbo had translated three volumes, using sources in Rivendell, both living and written, which were almost entirely concerned with the Elder Days.


Tolkien also ultimately introduced his own doubts about such things as flat world myths and the making of the Sun and Moon, and he seems to have desired (in my opinion) to solve this by shifting the early transmission: many of the legends could not come from the Eldar who knew better, but:

'It is now clear to me that in any case the Mythology must actually be a 'Mannish' affair (...) what we have in the Silmarillion etc. are traditions (especially personalized, and centered upon actors, such as Feanor) handed on by Men in Númenor and later in Middle-earth (Arnor and Gondor); but already far back -- from the first association of the Dúnedain and Elf-friends with the Eldar of Beleriand -- blended and confused with their own Mannish myths and cosmic ideas.'
JRRT Text I Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring

Or very late in 1971:
'But the legends are mainly of 'Mannish' origin blended with those of the Sindar (Gray-elves) and others who had never left Middle-earth.' JRRT, Letter 325

So if the idea was that the legends came down through Numenor to Gondor and Imladris, which leads to Bilbo and his work, or to Findegil; if indeed the old versions of the tales were retained but now the legendarium contained variant traditions due to original authorship and subsequent copies, leaving one with Elvish traditions (like The Cuivienyarna), or Mannish (The Drowning of Anadune) or Mixed traditions, the question is: did an Anglo-Saxon speaker from England 'still' sail to Tol Eressea and learn the legends there? 

Charles Noad suggested a framework which combines both Hobbits and Ælfwine, but this seems contingent on an idea of two distinct pasts merging at the fall of Numenor (an idea gleaned from The Notion Club Papers).  This could have preserved the old versions of the stories, and Ælfwine:
'He would have known of the Hobbits as they survived in tenth-century Britain, and learning from them about the Red Book and its contents (...), have been inspired by its hints about the histories of the Elves to seek the straight Road to the West, there to learn the lore of the Elves and recover it for the race of Men.' Charles Noad, Tolkien's Legendarium

Veryln Flieger delves into 'what if' Tolkien had used The Notion Club Papers as the mode of transmission all the way back to the 'Golden Book'. If Ælfwine gets to see 'both books' (on the assumption that there are two different books, based on Tolkien's note found in Sauron Defeated), one might contain the older stories, the other could be Elendil's account of the Downfall, and:

'The Reader would encounter the 'faerie' myth by way of a more novelistically conceived work of science fiction which would in turn effect the ethos and spirit of the legendarium contained within both. It would have made the 'Englishness' a genetic -- even psychic -- as well as historic and geographic element in the story. This is a profound change.'
V. Flieger, The Artifice, Interrupted Music

Of course Christopher Tolkien left out the Ælfwine framework for his constructed Silmarillion (and keeping in mind his quotes already given above), but it must be remembered that he was putting something into print and had more concerns than simply answering a question in casual conversation, for example -- where he could arguably afford to be more speculative concerning some paths his father might have taken, or some ultimate decision that JRRT 'might' have made here. 


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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Very interesting information Galin.
What I really wonder in this whole story, is how come an English sailor would have been allowed to reach Tol Eressea, as I'm sure the Valar would have known of his arrival.
Was this an exception, and if so why? Only to pass own the knowledge about the past ages and to inform Men about the great deeds of their ancestors? Would the Elves, that all in all are a quite secretive folk, simply share all these things with a sailor.

Or maybe the simply said, "hey, we can tell him all this, nobody will believe him when he'll be back anyway". Not sure if the reason for allowing him to come is specified anywhere.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

Note Tolkien's explanation concerning 'English related' stories (which does not mean 'British' here of course).

'I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands. There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing English, save impoverished chap-book stuff.' JRRT, letter to Milton Waldman

As we see this 'Eriol idea' evolved as the legends changed and grew: first Tol Eressea was England or became England, and the Mariner is more involved in the history, as well as being a recorder. Hengest and Horsa connect to England, for example, and Eriol told the fairies of Woden, Thunor, Tiw etc (Old English names for Odin, Thor...) and the Elves identified them with Manweg, Tulkas, and a third (illegible) name.

'Thus it is that through Eriol and his sons the Engle (i. e. the English) have the true tradition of the fairies, of whom the Iras and the Wealas tell garbled things.'

'Thus a specifically English fairy-lore is born, and one more true than anything found in Celtic Lands.'
The Book of Lost Tales

When Elfwine became an Englishman from England he was still a special character, being a descendant of Ing who had derived a knowledge of and love of the Elves from the tradition of his family, and when he came to Tol Eressea he found that Old English was spoken there. And he was called Luthien 'friend'.

Reaching Tol Eressea was not alway easy in any case, even for this Elf-friend. In The Lost Road (again the 'time-travel' tale) JRRT attaches a note to the idea of 'The English story of the man who got onto the Straight Road'. It begins:

'But this would do best of all for introduction to the Lost Tales: How Aelfwine sailed the Straight Road....' JRRT

Tolkien then notes that the water seemed white and thin. Looking down Elfwine suddenly saw lands and mountain(s) down in the water. 'Their breathing difficulties'. His companions dive overboard, Elfwine falls insensible and when he awakes he finds the ship being drawn by people walking in the water, and is told that very few Men there in a thousand years can breathe the air of Eressea, but none beyond.

Christopher even notes a 'second story' that Elfwine never reached the isle, found both in the older Elfwine of England tale (Book of Lost Tales) and again in the end of an outline for the Elfwine story in The Lost Road. Perhaps this second story is meant to be 'internal' along with the other however, as opposed to one replacing the other.

After the 'time-travel' stories had been abandoned, and knowing that the mention of Elfwine as translator was to thin, or fall away so to speak, one notes in Akallabeth that tales and rumours arose concerning mariners and men forlorn upon the water who 'by some fate or grace or favour of the Valar, had entered in upon the Straight Way', seen the face of the World sink below, had come to Avallone, or to the last beaches on the margin of Aman, and there had looked upon the White Mountain before they died.

I think this is an 'echo of Elfwine', leaving his mark even if he had been ultimately abandoned. And if he was, that doesn't mean  characters like Pengolodh had to go too, characters who compiled or wrote (or copied) ancient texts; essentially characters like Bilbo or Findegil. I think it virtually certain that if JRRT himself had published his own Legendarium, or part of it,  some sort of 'introductory note' would have attended the tales themselves; and I think Christopher Tolkien regretted not doing so back in 1977.

Also, I don't see any problem with the Elves telling their stories to Men or certain Men, as they did so in Imladris, and allowed Bilbo the Elfwine or 'Elf-friend' to do much work concerning the Elder Days of course.



-- Edited by Galin at 15:54, 2007-11-14

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Again thank you for a great answer.
Still, one thing still puzzles, how come from all that tried to find Tol Eressea, he was one of the so few to find it.
I mean Elves tried and failed.

The only explanation I can possibly come up with is that it could be found, but only by those not looking for it.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Elves tried and failed to find Tol Eressea? I thought they were the only ones who could find it?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Of course, remember the mariners sent by Turgon.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

But examples that come after the Hiding of Valinor, after the Blessed Realm was shut against the Noldor, are different. And then, after the Downfall of Morgoth, the passing to Eressea was permitted to and 'indeed urged upon' all Elves (according to Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth note 4 anyway). And of course, this still predates the Change of the World.

In the later scenario, if indeed Tolkien was still going to keep Elfwine as a part of some framework anyway, the idea of an Englishman sailing from Anglo-Saxon England would have him sailing many many years after the end of the Third Age even. 


-- Edited by Galin at 18:59, 2007-11-16

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Is there any mention if he was going to keep him in the framework?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Ælfwine

Christopher Tolkien could find nothing in late enough writing it appears. He dropped Ælfwine for the constructed version of The Silmarillion of course, and felt the idea had fallen away by degrees, also noting (in the following 'he' is JRRT): 

'... but in the latest writing there is no trace or suggestion of any 'device' or 'framework' in which it was to be set. I think in the end he concluded that nothing would serve, and no more would be said beyond an explanation of how (within the imagined world) it came to be recorded.' Christopher Tolkien, Foreword, The Book of Lost Tales

In any event the Note on the Shire Records and Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish had entered the mix. Christopher continues:

'... Robert Foster says: 'Quenta Silmarillion was no doubt one of Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish preserved in the Red Book of Westmarch'. So I also have assumed: the 'books of lore' that Bilbo gave to Frodo provided in the end the solution: they were 'The Silmarillion'. But apart from the evidence cited here, there is, so far as I know, no other statement on this matter anywhere in my father's writings; and (wrongly, as I think now) I was reluctant to step into the breach and make definite what I only surmised.'
Christopher Tolkien, Foreword, The Book of Lost Tales


Had Christopher Tolkien done some sort of preliminary note (or notes) for the Silmarillion in 1977 he could have traded one Ælfwine for another, in a sense, as Bilbo was an Ælfwine or 'Elf-friend' too, among others. Also he could have used Pengolodh or Rúmil (for examples), even if Ælfwine the Englishman had fallen away.


-- Edited by Galin at 03:51, 2007-11-27

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Tom Bombadil
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RE: Pengoloo and Aelfwine

Is this discussion finished?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I believe that there is little to add to Galin's extensive information on the topic.


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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RE: Pengolodh and Aelfwine

On the issue of transmission I did recently trip over a report by Richard Plotz (he visited Tolkien in 1966) thanks to Hammond and Scull (again), part of which reads:

'he, half-heartedly I suppose, was thinking up schemes for rendering the Silmarillion publishable. So far, I think what he is doing is relating it to Bilbo's stay in Rivendell, which is what he said to me.'

Mr. Plotz apparently said this at the December 1966 Tolkien Society of America Meeting. Tolkien had extended the Prologue for the second edition of The Lord of the Rings -- which then contained mention of Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish, and which were 'almost entirely concerned with the Elder Days'.

The statement from Mr. Plotz could lend support to the Prologue idea, and his seeming lack of mention of any Elfwine the English Mariner might point to his being out of the picture too (along with the implication in The Lord of the Rings that the translation, at least of this part of the legendarium, was from Westron to English, rather than from Old English to Modern English).



-- Edited by Galin at 18:21, 2008-03-20

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Tom Bombadil
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RE: Pengoloo and Aelfwine

I have a Second Edition with a copyright renewal. Where do I find that remark Galin?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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In the Note On The Shire Records section Arwen (in the paragraph that begins with mention of the Thain's book IIRC).

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Tom Bombadil
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Ok Galin got it. Thanks

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