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Topic: Origins of Galadriel

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Jun 29, 2006
Origins of Galadriel

I know that this may simple to some of you, but I know very little about the origins of Galadriel.  All I know is, the following.


She was the Lady of the Golden Wood who harboured the Fellowship during the War of the Ring.  Wife of Lord Celeborne.  She was of Noldor race and was the greatest of her kindred save Feanor only.  Who she hated most of all of the Eldar. 


Can anyone give me more info on her than this?  Please keep it relatively simple.



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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Galadriel was the only daughter of Finarfin and Earwen.  She also had 4 brothers, Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod and Aegnor.
She was born in Valinor while the two trees still grew there, and she travelled to Middle Earth at the beggining of the first age with her brothers.
Her mother, Earwen was Thingol's niece, and her father, Finarfin, was the brother of Fingolfin and the son of Finwe and Indis. Feanor (who Galadriel hated) was Finarfin and Fingolfin's half brother, and therefore her uncle.
Finwe, her grandfather, was the first high king of the Nolder. Her other grandfather, Olwe, was a lord of the Teleri.


I hope this was helpful to you Galadriel. Anything else you want to know about her or don't understand?



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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If you ever wish to learn more about her past you can read the "Story of Galadriel and Celeborn and of Amroth King of Lorien" in the Unfinished Tales

there are many useful quotes there, not only about where she came from but also about the way she ended up as Lady of Lorien
I'd give the story here, but the problem is there are several variations of the story, and it is quite long

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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All of the info that I gave in my last post came from the Silmarrilion. If you haven't read it then maybe you should think about it. It's a really good read.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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was that message for me or for Galadriel?
cause...I personally did read it

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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It was for Galadriel TM. I kinda guessed that you have read it.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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no prob
I didn't take it as a bad remark or something
just didn't know

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Thanks for your reply - it was most enlightening

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Tom Bombadil
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Galadriel your namesake also had other names besides Galadriel. Alatáriel, Altáriel, Artanis, Nerwen, Galadiel, and Galadhriel, which was incorrectly used, and meant 'tree-garland'

Alatáriel was the epessie given to her by Celeborn and means" Maiden Crowned with Radiant Garland" which is of course talking about her Golden Hair.

Hope you can use this one too, Galadriel

-- Edited by ArwenLegolas at 01:18, 2007-04-09

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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A bit more on the names:

Galadriel 'maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance' epesse

An epesse is an 'After-name' a nickname not necessarily given by kin and mostly given as a title of admiration or honour.

Artanis 'Noble-woman' Father-name
Nerwen(de) 'Man-maiden' Mother-name

Alatariel(le) (Telerin form), Altariel (Quenyarized version of Telerin form), Ñaltariel true Quenya form. Galadriel Sindarin form.

The text of The Shibboleth of Feanor suggests that Celeborn gave Galadriel her epesse in Telerin form and Artanis chose the Sindarin form Galadriel. However it might be read that Celeborn gave her the Sindarin form also, which reading I prefer, due to published text regarding Celeborn (that he was Sindarin).

Edit: the post won't produce the long -a- in the Telerin form so I gave up.

Galin

-- Edited by Galin at 13:37, 2007-04-09

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Tom Bombadil
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Well Galadriel here you have the scientific version as given by our resident scholar Galin on eppese

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Forgive me but I don't recall how old Celeborn is. Could someone jog my memory?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Tolkien published that Celeborn was a kinsman of Thingol, so that part is settled anyway. He was thought of as a grandson of one of Thingol's brothers -- in one conception Elmo, in another Olwe.

Galin


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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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As said there are several stories, one that he was already king of Lorien when Galadriel came there, another that he lived in Alqualonde, and then left with the Noldor and Galadriel, but as Galin said the most accepted one is that he was a kinsman of Thingol
So based on this last story he was in Doriath around the year 52 of the First Age when he met Galadriel
But exactly how old...is hard to say

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Also, making Celeborn a grandson of Olwe draws him closer to Galadriel on the family tree -- closer than if he was the grandson of Elmo I mean.


Anyway, a look at the Tolkien-published texts: The Road Goes Ever On

'... refer to the special position of Galadriel. She was the last survivor of the princes and queens who had led the revolting Noldor to exile in Middle-earth. After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return, and she had replied proudly that she had no wish to do so. She passed over the Mountains of Eredluin with her husband Celeborn (one of the Sindar) and went to Eregion.' JRRT RGEO

Tolkien published that Celeborn was one of the Sindar in The Lord of the Rings as well. The earlier form of the passage reads...

'The Exiled Noldor dwelt in Lindon, but many of the Sindar passed eastward and established realms in the forests far away. The chief of these were Thranduil in the north of Greenwood the Great, and Celeborn in the south of the forest. But the wife of Celeborn was Noldorin ...' Appendix B, first edition 

In the revised version 'Thranduil was one of these' (compare to 'The chief of these...') but the rest of the sentence makes no mention of Celeborn. Gil-galad is mentioned in the following sentence (living in Lindon), then 'In Lindon south of the Lune dwelt for a time Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol...' But anyway, see again The Road Goes Ever On.

Galin


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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So we can summarise that Celeborn was most likely a kinsman of Thingol in Doriath but we don't have any estimate for his age? So he is also part of the Moriquendi or did he at some point see the tree's of Valinor?

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Tom Bombadil
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It is sort of strange that the White Tree, a seedling of Galathilion which grew in Tol Eressëa was called Celeborn, and to project just a little, that Lord Celeborn would have not have seen "The Trees". Especially when Tol Eressëa was bathed in the Light of the "Two Trees"

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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As for me, I see no reason to think Celeborn, when described simply as one of the Sindar anyway, had ever been West to the Undying Lands (the Sindar were Eldar of Beleriand, though Thingol had earlier passed into the West as an ambassador of course). Tolkien says as much in the following at least...

'(...)These comments imply that Celeborn could have left Middle-earth with Galadriel if he had wished, and Tolkien's replies to queries from readers seem to confirm this. In his unpublished letter to Eileen Elgar, begun 22 September 1963 he comments that Celeborn and Galadriel were of different kin: Celeborn was of that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth that they had refused the call of the Valar to go to Valinor; he had never seen the Blessed Realm. Now he remained until he had seen the coming of the Dominion of Men. But to an immortal Elf, for whom time was not as it is to mortals, the period in which he was parted from Galadriel would seem brief.' Hammond And Scull, Reader's Companion

Of course that's 'unpublished' too. But I also find it interesting that when the parting of Celeborn and Galadriel is (apparently) part of the consideration, Tolkien notes that Celeborn had indeed never seen the Blessed Realm.

Galin

-- Edited by Galin at 12:23, 2007-04-17

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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Reading the above, do I understand correctly that the Lady Galadriel was Noldar and Lord Celeborn was a Sindar like Thranduil?

And is Celeborn correctly pronounced as "Sell-aborn" or Kell-aborn." I've heard it both ways and wondered what pronunciation Tolkien intended.

-- Edited by Saba on Saturday 18th of September 2010 07:29:06 PM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Yes, Keleborn (Sindarin) is the correct pronunciation.

Interestingly Tolkien did note this (and other details of pronunciation) in the books before the tale began -- in the first edition anyway, but in revised editions this note dropped out (although information on pronunciation is still given in the Appendices, but now after the tale proper).



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'Reading the above, do I understand correctly that the Lady Galadriel was Noldar and Lord Celeborn was a Sindar like Thranduil?'

Well, as no one else yet took up this part...

Yes you are correct that Galadriel is of the Noldor. Some rightly note that she had other blood too for example, but as Tolkien himself consistently refers to Galadriel as Noldorin in any case, that general statement is correct enough in my opinion.

And I would say that Celeborn is Sindarin, like Thranduil.


Or let me put it this way. That is the clan (the Sindar) that Tolkien himself published concerning Celeborn -- and actually Tolkien published this twice: once in the first edition of The Lord of the Rings, and again in the 1960s in The Road Goes Ever On. Christopher Tolkien chose this idea for the 1977 Silmarillion.


_______________

Christopher Tolkien has now made public not only early draft text concerning Celeborn (The History of The Lord of the Rings), but existing material that actually post-dates The Lord of the Rings (first and second editions), and The Road Goes Ever On. Within this 'unpublished' material (including some letters) one can find various other clans concerning this character. 


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Galin wrote:
Christopher Tolkien has now made public not only early draft text concerning Celeborn (The History of The Lord of the Rings), but existing material that actually post-dates The Lord of the Rings (first and second editions), and The Road Goes Ever On. Within this 'unpublished' material (including some letters) one can find various other clans concerning this character. 

What might they be, Galin?

 



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Here's my list MOS. So far anyway, I have:

Noldo draft material, The Lord of the Rings (this idea is possibly implied at least, according to CJRT)

Nando draft material, The Lord of the Rings (Nandorin phase noted in Unfinished Tales)

Sinda published description, The Lord of the Rings, 1954, 1955 (description in Appendix B revised for second edition in the 1960s -- Celeborn is a kinsman of Thingol in any case).

Avar letter, 1963 -- this is my guess due to Tolkien's choice of wording (see below), noting that Avari basically means 'Refusers'.

Sinda published description, The Road Goes Ever On, 1967

Teler of Aman late idea from various 'unpublished' sources, not all dateable (The Shibboleth of Feanor for one instance, dated '1968 or later').
______________

That's a bit of a simplified version! Any more?
_______________
In 1963 (in a letter from JRRT not published in Letters) Celeborn was described as belonging to that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth they had refused the call of the Valar. My emphasis, source Hammond and Scull.

-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 23rd of September 2010 01:09:09 PM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Is nothing certain about the history of Galadriel and Celeborn?

I have to admit, some people may enjoy countless versions of events, and piecing them altogether, and there is nothing wrong with it of course, but I do crave some certainty with major events.

Wasn't HOME and UT meant to go somewhere towards this goal? Were not any firm facts established in those books regarding Celeborn and Galadriel (and anything else, for that matter) or were they merely the notes placed in a coherent order with Christopher Tolkien just providing a commentary?

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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While I can certainly get lost in who wrote what, when, or even why ... I see creativity honors very few boundaries.
What I think was supposed to happen with "History of Middle-Earth" and "Unfinished Tales" was that the stories be bound in a coherent readable form and also reveal their evolution within Tolkien's mythos.
I think to glean an understanding of the creative evolution one must leave the bulk of J.R.R. Tolkien's work published in his lifetime and dive deep into Christopher Tolkien's edited material and his synthetic conglomerations. That and the multitude of commentaries and scholastic work are a map to that evolutionary trail.

I admit to hold "The Hobbit", "The Lord of The Rings", and the "Silmarillion", closest to my heart.
And the commentaries plus scholastic output cloud my enjoyment of these works.
Still I hope to learn and these sources (along with Galin's explanations) are a wealth in understanding how they were created. They fill in the who,what, when, where, how, and why behind Tolkien's works.


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 24th of September 2010 03:02:41 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'Is nothing certain about the history of Galadriel and Celeborn?'

To me Celeborn is Sindarin and Galadriel a Rebel Noldo, for two examples -- Tolkien himself publishing these things is as certain as I need anyway.

Of course there are areas in this matter that were open field for Tolkien's imagination, and it's not all that surprising to find a measure of conflict and confusion where the author is still working in drafts to find out 'what really happened' before he reveals it to a readership at large.

Some seem to disagree, and that raises the whole 'canon' debate, or might, and I have been there before, especially regarding Galadriel and Tolkien's faith. 

-- Edited by Galin on Friday 24th of September 2010 05:54:03 AM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin,
You defend your opinion with facts and direct quotes.
That certainly is clear enough for me in all my limited Tolkien experience.
And a very big
"THANK YOU" for doing all that work and a second very big "THANK YOU" for having the guts to pull it off!
With the utmost respect,
Bear


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"To me Celeborn is Sindarin and Galadriel a Rebel Noldo,"

Galin, you described Galadriel as a 'rebel.' Was she labeled thus by the Noldor for marrying a Sindar? Did the Noldor consider themselves as that exclusive?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Saba, I mean Galadriel's role in the rebellion of the Noldor; or as JRRT once put it: 'The Exiles were allowed to return -- save for a few chief actors in the rebellion of whom at the time of the L. R. only Galadriel remained.'  (1967, drafts for a letter to Mr. Rang). This basically agrees with Tolkien's description published in The Road Goes Ever On.

Oh, and thanks Bear! too kind!



-- Edited by Galin on Saturday 25th of September 2010 03:25:37 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Glorfindel1235 wrote:

Is nothing certain about the history of Galadriel and Celeborn? I have to admit, some people may enjoy countless versions of events, and piecing them altogether, and there is nothing wrong with it of course, but I do crave some certainty with major events. Wasn't HOME and UT meant to go somewhere towards this goal? Were not any firm facts established in those books regarding Celeborn and Galadriel (and anything else, for that matter) or were they merely the notes placed in a coherent order with Christopher Tolkien just providing a commentary?


 

I'll put it this way: I would think that HOME and UT were not intended to muddle the known history of Galadriel, but that is what has happened in any case, in some places at least. What was never published about Galadriel (by Tolkien) is one thing: if that's a bit muddled then it's muddled (like her movements in the Second Age, for example); but I can't agree with posthumous writings intruding on the art of world building, which was important to JRRT.

 

For readers Galadriel's history began in 1954, was added to in 1967 (RGEO) and altered a bit in the second edition of The Lord of the Rings -- in the first edition her father was 'Finrod' and her brother was Felagund -- changed to her father being Finarfin of course, her brother still Felagund, but now Finrod Felagund. That detail noted, these sources are not as confusing and conflicting as when one adds the 'private writings' into the mix, and for a while after Tolkien's death readers had little reason to question what was true about Galadriel.

 

It wasn't until the 1980s (not counting Silmarillion) and later that other texts were published posthumously -- and today all you young folk can buy UT and read it mere days after The Lord of the Rings (or even before it, technically), and that, coupled with the fact that RGEO can be hard to find, and is seemingly of less interest to readers, at least to some readers, than UT...

 

... well in theory today one might not get to 'live long' with Galadriel's tale as Tolkien himself once revealed it to his readership, before it becomes questioned by all the other stuff he wrote. Then we start getting into what Tolkien 'intended' to do at some point, or 'might' have done ultimately, or what he possibly forgot about and so didn't realize what he 'should' not do... and so on.

 

In any event these posthumous texts have unintentionally sent a cloud before Galadriel's distant path, so to speak -- at least for some, simply by becoming known to the public.

 



-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 7th of September 2011 08:38:09 PM

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Tom Bombadil
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Awesome reply Galin. As always, the Master in things Tolkien. Bows with hand on heart.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Too kind Arwen.

 

And I've been chatting Tolkien long enough now to know that there are those who think I put too much emphasis on Tolkien-published material, over his written work. I have my reasons, but in any event, thus for me, Galadriel's history begins in the author-published corpus -- and then I wade through the rest to (try to) fill in the gaps, so to speak. 

 

The Second Age is still a bit of a muddle! and notably here author-published material is light enough. And for me the 1977 Silmarillion represents the right choice with respect to the First Age, since the material used (chosen by Christopher Tolkien) agrees well with RGEO.



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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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Galin, your last post explains your point of view, it also explains mine. I agree that what Tolkien published holds more weight then other writings of his as it is what he decided the public would read and believe. Also I agree that the Silmarillion can be taken as the "right choice" of Tolkien lore, as you say as well.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Thanks Huan! but I should like to split this hair: I agree with Christopher Tolkien's Silmarillion choice regarding the history of Galadriel, and any other choices that were made in effort to agree with author-published accounts.

 

That doesn't mean I necessarily agree with all his choices however, as even he has second guessed himself regarding certain decisions -- but this is an extremely complicated subject in any event. And there is also this distinction: what might be a good choice for a consistent Silmarillion does not necessarily represent what I think is 'true' about the First Age*

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler alert: For example I don't necessarily disagree with the choice of having both Amras and Amrod live after the burning of the Ships at Losgar, but when I imagine the 'true' history of Middle-earth, one of them died in the burning of the ships (the names here are a bit different as well).



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Tom Bombadil
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But that would leave a gap when they tried to steal the Silmaril by force from Elwing in the Havens of Sirion, and died in the attempt.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Well I imagine that only one of the two youngest sons of Feanor is present in Middle-earth after the burning of the ships, which Tolkien would have re-imagined as well, within the context of the new story of course, if he ever got around to updating the end chapters of Quenta Silmarillion, that is.

 

Certainly within the concept of one of the brothers dying so early, any later reference to the dead son would be changed.

 



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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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...I must be far behind you both in Tolkien lore to be so lost in this discussion

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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Tom Bombadil
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Huan, your how old? Twenty? I don't know how old Galin is, but I am 57 years old and have been into Tolkien half of YOUR lifetime, and Stared on the Hobbit back in 1986. So that has been a while. I would not be too concerned. It will come with time.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Well I read The History of Middle-Earth, or HME, when I was young-er wink

 

But that's the key here, as the HME series deals with (among other things) both the external and internal history of the Silmarillion and Silmarillion related texts. HME is not for everyone perhaps, but I use the information within to imagine, or construct, my Middle-earth, building around the author-published works of the 1930s to 1960s.  



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