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Topic: Translation of 'Gothmog'

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jul 17, 2006
Translation of 'Gothmog'

I have seen many translations to the word 'Gothmog', ranging from it meaning 'Voice of Melkor' to 'Son of Melkor'.


I have heard that 'Gothmog' translates to 'Kosomot' in Quenya, which in turn means 'Son of Melkor'.


However The Might has often provided things suggesting otherwise. Some clearance in the matter would be benificial.


 



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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Here is the quote I was after:


"It emerges from this list that Omar-Amillo is the twin of Salmar-Noldorin (they are named as brothers in the tale, p. 76); that Nieliqui (p. 76) is the daughter of Orome and Vana; and that Melko has a son ('by Ul-bandi') called Kosomot: this, it will emerge later, was Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, whom Ecthelion slew in Gondolin."
BOLT 1


 


"Gothmog 'was a son of Melko and the ogress Fluithuin and his name is Strife-and-hatred, and he was Captain of the Balrogs and lord of Melko's hosts ere fair Ecthelion slew him at the taking of Gondolin. The Eldar named him Kosmoko or Kosomok(o), but 'tis a name that fitteth their tongue no way and has an ill sound even in our own rougher speech, said Elfrith [emended fmm Elfriniel].' (In a list of names of the Valar associated with the tale of The Coming of the Valar (I. 93) it is said that Melko had a son 'by Ulbandi' called Kosomot; the early 'Qenya' dictionary gives Kosomoko = Gnomish Gothmog, I.258. In the tale Gothmog is called the 'marshal' of the hosts of Melko (p. 184).) In the later development of the legends Gothmog was the slayer of Feanor, and in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears it was he who slew Fingon and captured Hurin (The Silmarillion pp. IO7, I93, 195)."
Bolt 2



-- Edited by mouth of sauron at 22:42, 2006-07-17

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Here is a quote from HOME5, Etymologies:

Gothmog '= Voice of Goth (Morgoth), an Orc-name.' Morgoth is
explained at its place in the list as 'formed from his Orc-name Goth
"Lord or Master", with mor "dark or black" prefixed.' These entries in
the List of Names have been discussed in II. 67. In the Etymologies the
element goth is differently explained in Gothmog (GOS, GOTH) and in
Morgoth (KOT, but with a suggestion that the name 'may also contain
GOTH ).

This is how Tolkien himself explained the term "Gothmog".
Now if Tolkien wrote that Gothmog = Voice of Morgoth, I think I'll stick to that.

and as you see the confusion is somehow explained:
"In the Etymologies the element goth is differently explained in Gothmog (GOS, GOTH) and in Morgoth (KOT, but with a suggestion that the name 'may also contain GOTH )."


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I gave two quotes in my last post...

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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as far as I see, the quotes say that Kosomot is the son of Melkor, not that Kosomot means son of Melkor
indeed, Melkor had a son called Kosomot, but that doesn't mean Kosomot also meant son of Melkor
And also, may I remind you that these writings belong to a very early stage in Tolkien's legendarium.
Tolkien changed his opinion about Gothmog, and also he didn't mention any son of Melkor in his later writings. This was only one of his earlier ideas, which he changed. And so the final idea of Tolkien about the name of Gothmog and its meaning ins given in HOME5.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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"it is said that Melko had a son 'by Ulbandi' called Kosomot; the early 'Qenya' dictionary gives Kosomoko = Gnomish Gothmog, I.258."


Gothmog = Kosomot (Kosomoko in Qenya) = 'Son of Melkor'



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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ok, please mark the words "early Qenya dictionary"
this idea is so old, that back then the language wasn't named Quenya, but Qenya, and it was a very early dictionary.
Ok, so as far as I can tell this is what happened.

Sometime long ago, in the beginning of his writing career, Tolkien translated Gothmog as Kosomoko which meant in the early Qenya "Son of Melkor"
As time passed Tolkien changed his mind about the meaning of Gothmog (as he changed his opinion about many other things) and eventually chose the translation "Voice of Morgoth" as the meaning for Gothmog

Now if someone says A=B, but then changes his mind and says A=C and not B, then as far as I am concerned I will believe that A=C.
Tolkien changed his mind, changed the meaning, so the original meaning is not valid anymore.
The new meaning is the one that counts, and the more recent meaning was Voice of Morgoth.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Unlike you to quote something from HOME, I thought you said you never would...

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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no....you didn't get me right
I said I wouldn't quote other things, such as earlier variants of the story of Melkor and Ungoliant, or perhaps earlier writings about the LOTR, which were later modified
but things such as HOME12 or the Etymologies contain extra-information, not information that was changed
and extra-information is in my opinion just like LOTR, only in an un-published form
the changed information is different, because it would have never been published, as it was first changed, then published.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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But amoung quite a few Tolkien forums like the plaza the general idear is that Gothmog still means 'Son of Melkor'. Why would not people, like those on the plaza, say it is 'Voice of Melkor' if that is indeed correct?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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go ask them. why should I know?
there are also other possibilities for Gothmog
also Dread Enforcer is another possibility also presented in HOME5, but still I believe that Voice of Melkor is the most likely option



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Hmm well personally I will go for 'Son of Melkor', firstly becuase its doubtful Balrogs make sound so being a 'Voice of Melkor' is unlikely, and secondly although he is not literally a 'Son' he is Melkor's greatest Servant with Sauron so one could perhaps call him that.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I only presented the facts. Each of you can choose what he wishes.
But if Tolkien of one hand says in HOME5 Gothmog = Voice of Morgoth, I'll stick to that.

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I agree with TM, Gothmog being the 'son of Melkor' appears only in BoLT which is Tolkien's earliest drafts and ideas, much of which he later changes.  The idea of Gothmog being Morgoth's son is not consistant with The Silmarillion, or HoMe which holds much more weight then BoLT...especially if the idea was rejected.


Take for instance this quote in BoLT:


Evil has now hold of Boromir who is jealous of Aragorn. The Lord of Minas Tirith is slain (9) and they choose Aragorn. Boromir deserts and sneaks off to Saruman, to get his help in becoming Lord of Minas Tirith.~The Story Foreseen from Moria, The Treason of Isengard


This is clearly not consistant with what happens to Boromir in LOTR, because Tolkien changed many, many of his ideas from his first drafts in BoLT.  Some others include Balrogs not being Maiar, but a race of their own, and Aragorn being a hobbit named Trotter.


Glorfindel and as shown in this thread, Balrogs indeed could talk...
http://tolkienforums.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=77580&p=3&topicID=7235015


Now, those quotes use to show Balrogs 'talking' are from BoLT also, but Tolkien does not contradict the fact that Balrog's could 'speak,' therefor BoLT holds ground.  Where the idea of Gothmog being 'Morgoth's son' is later rejected, as TM shows.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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just another question...didn't Gandalf also have a strange name?
I mean I remember Trotter, but I don't remember if Gandalf also had another name.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Trotter?


Perhaps you mean Tharkun(sp) what the Dwarves called him.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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no, Glorfindel
read HOME, I know you have it
there, you can find earlier versions of the story where Aragorn is called Trotter

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Valar
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TM, I think you're right about Gandalf, but for the life of me can't remember.


Glorfindel, Trotter the Hobbit eventually in the depths of Tolkien's mind evolves into Aragorn the Ranger.  Tharkun is what the dwarves called Gandalf.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
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niope, I looked
he was called Mr Gandalf..kinda strange
but Frodo was for example a Took, and one of the Hobbits was called Bingo
anyway, let's not get too far off-topic

the fact about Trotter or Bingo is the proof that Boromir88 brought to very well point out, that Tolkien very much changed his works as time passed, and definitions or ideas in BolT, are never to be taken for granted.
These idease were changed.
Just like Trotter became Aragorn, Gothmog = son of Melkor became Gothmog = Voice of Melkor, or Dread Enforcer, both definitions beeing later given in HOME5
unfortunately the Master never decided on one of them...

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I'm looking for the quotes, now, am unable to find them at this point. Tolkien did not abandon the idea of Morgoth wanting an heir.  He had desired the Maia Arien so he could have a son and heir for ready.  However, he never did get his wishes.

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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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wow...
thanks for the very interesting info Boromir88
I never knew that Melkor wanted (at least in the early versions) to take Arien as a wife...
I guess that would have pissed off Tilion pretty bad...

And I can see why he would choose Arien, a spirit of fire, also not so peaceful...at least not very friendly with Tilion.

anyway, if you do find those quotes I would be very grateful...
btw...maybe you know where they could be found...I could look for them too...

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I agree with TM that Gothmog was voice, rather than son of Morgoth.


Also, BoLT is very unreliable. Most times I've been wrong its because I took something from BoLT and it was incorect.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Well it remains undeided.


However I need some clearance on this:


If 'Goth' means 'Voice' then why does 'Morgoth Bauglir' mean 'Black foe of the World'? I see no 'Voice' in that...



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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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I think thats just one of the many names that Morgoth has. I can't remember off hand what Morgoth actually means.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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that isn't even correct Bauglir means the constrainer, so the traslation is the Black Foe, the Constrainer, not "of the world"

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Again you have missed the point The Might:


'Goth' is in 'Morgoth' yes? 'Goth' is also in Gothmog' yes? SO if 'Gothmog' means 'Voice of Melkor' (though I still think it means son) then how come there is no mention of 'Voice' in the translation of Morgoth???



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I did some digging and I still cannot find a translation of Gothmog.

Morgoth is the Sindarin version of Moringotto or Moringotho which is "Black Foe" which is transliterated to "Black Enemy of the World"

If we are assuming that Gothmog is indeed of Sindarin origin, which it probably is, then Goth means "Foe" as it does in Morgoth. The Quenya root for Black is Mori.

The Quenya words for Son and Voice are Yondo and Oma respectively. I am not sure if Mog is the Sindarin form of Oma (mog sounds a bit harsh for Sindarin), but it could be and if so it would make sense that Gothmog would translate to "Foe Voice" or transliterate to "Voice of Morgoth"

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Thanks Celethil. That should clear things up a bit.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Hmm, in the early scenario Gothmog didn't meant 'son of Melkor' as far as I know, but 'Strife-and-hatred' rather. Compare information found in the early Qenya Lexicon, MOKO 'hate' and KOSO 'strive' (and part of an early quote already posted in this thread).


As noted already Tolkien also had an idea that Gothmog '= voice of Goth (Morgoth), an Orc name' and that Morgoth was formed from his orc-name Goth with mor- prefixed.


In Etymologies however, the last part in Gothmog is suggested to have been related to a base MBAW- and would mean something like 'tyrannous, cruel, oppressive'. Also in Etymologies, the explanation of the name Morgoth includes Noldorin coth 'enmity, enemy', and Tolkien added 'but this may also contain GOTH' -- and so (same source) we find GOS- GOTH- and words meaning 'dread' -- including both Gothrog 'Dread demon' and the name Gothmog.


Etymologies was abandoned before The Lord of the Rings was completed. In a later source, as already mentioned, Tolkien imagined that Morgoth meant 'dark foe', noting archaic Moriñgotho for example. According to an idea presented by the publishers of Vinyar Tengwar, strengthened -ñgotho  'dread one, foe'.


Tolkien liked to revise  



-- Edited by Galin at 22:35, 2006-11-15

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