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Topic: Mythology

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Valar
Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date: Sep 30, 2006
Mythology

I began to think that we could get more in to Tolkien work but in a way of studying them from other view. I think it would be great to gather some info about certain things. So here we go:

Every country has their own mythology and Tolkien 'used' lot of time to study/learn things from them and now i'm opening this topic to find exatly what same is in his work and your country mythology. Something concrete that you have noticed when reading LotR,Sil,UT etc. If you have noticed something and you also know that thing from mythology, just post that here. I'll start this thing:

Being from Finland, i have noticed that there's so much that i recognize when i read those books. May say that every time i read them i find something new and start to think 'is there something behind this idea or what was that thing that gave idea about this one?'
As i said, something concrete: Those candles in Dead Marshes, those are (among some other Nordic countries) from Finnish mythology and they are representing the souls of the dead and they are commonly linked to evil, witchcraft etc. Also other thing is that in some countries (also in Fin), those candles could show the exat place of hidden treasure.


Floor is open for new 'pieces of info' or then to discussion about already presented one.



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I am Tulkas the Valiant who laughs ever in the face of Good or Evil.
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2372
Date: Sep 30, 2006
This sounds a very deep discussion Lord. I am not sure there are any who would be too willing to delve in it...

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Valar
Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date: Oct 1, 2006
This is not mean to be too deep discussion mos. Just simple list of things that members have noticed in books that are reminding about something of their own country mythology. No analytical discussion was meant to have here. Just to gather pieces of information to maybe understand Tolkien 'groundwork' before books were released little better. I can't imagine that JRRT had so wide and unbelieveble imagination that he came up with everything. Maybe that was the case but/and that's why this thread was opened. To solve this.

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I am Tulkas the Valiant who laughs ever in the face of Good or Evil.
Chief Maiar
Status: Offline
Posts: 375
Date: Oct 8, 2006
Looking at his runes and doing history is useful sometimes. The runes on a viking/swedish runestone match some of the runes that Tolkien used in Angerthas (mostly). So, knowing that Tolkien himself had studied the mythologies of the scandinavian countries, no wonder that he used them.  

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...But it was so that from Nienna he learned pity and patience.

Soldier of the East - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 306
Date: Oct 8, 2006
Read "Middle-earth for dummies" it has all kinds of stuff about the mythology. Mostly about the comparasin with the norse god stuff.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Posts: 2161
Date: Oct 11, 2006
Yes I am not sure we have the experience in all the myths etc that would be required for this topic, Lord.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
Status: Offline
Posts: 619
Date: Oct 13, 2006
Unfortunately the United States is compilation of different cultures from around the world and so we don't really have "mythologies" outside of those surrounding our largest holidays (e.g. Christmas and Thanksgiving).

I guess Annatar puts a whole new spin on old St. Nick and his Elves. Imagine Sauron with a population of enslaved Elves far to the north as he ruthlessly forces them to create gifts for all the good children in his grand scheme of subverting the will of man.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
Status: Offline
Posts: 3118
Date: Oct 13, 2006
lol, if I think of Romanian mythology and fairy tales, what first comes into mind are Eagles
Eagles are often present in our mythology, always as good creatures, that help the hero fight off the demons that threaten his world
The problem is our own mythology is also little developed because we have lost almost all links to the past.
After beeing conquered by Romans, Hungarians, Huns, Slavs, Ottomans, Russians, Habsbugs, Romania has unfortunately lost many of its original myths, having now a rather mixed mythical culture with elements from the different nations that influenced our history.
this is of course not an isolated phenomena, but something you can notice in all the Balkan area.
anyway, except the Eagles, only the do good- receive good concept comes into mind.
just as Frodo releasing Gollum and sparing his life eventually proved to be of great importance to his mission and to the outcome of the war, the heroes in our mythical writings all need to help others into to succeed in their quest
usually the pattern of the heroes' families is old brother, another older brother and the young brother
both older brothers set on the quest to free the princess/get a magical artefact/kill the dragon or demon.
both older brothers deny people they meet on the way help, and this eventually leads to their deaths
the younger brother on the other hand helps the people he meets, and just like Frodo manages to win in the end
also, I believe that magical items that help you become invisible also exist in our myths, though we have no corespondent for the wraith world.
also I believe that trees can also sometimes speak, and sometimes also move in the fairy tales, thus resembling the Ents.
I haven't really been very interested in the subject so I can only provide you with my limited knowledge on the subject, but I guess that there are some similarities between the world of Tolkien and the mythical writings of Romanian folklore, though I doubt he ever used them as a source of inspiration.
however, considering the fact that Romanian myths resemble those of other European cultures, I can realise why these similarities are present.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Valar
Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date: May 26, 2007
Now when CoH is released i want to bring up one point about that book and how much that story has similarities with Kalevala and Kullervo.
Both have cursed life, both are guilty for 'evil' relationship and both die the same way.
And not just that actual dying, both men are asking from their swords would they drink the guilty blood of both and then place a sword to ground and throw themselves to it.
Now the question is: Could this be just coindidence or was Tolkien using Finnish national epic as a inspiration to NihH? He had read it (Kalevala) of course but was that story of Kullervo in Kalevala so powerful that Tolkien wanted to use that in his work?

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I am Tulkas the Valiant who laughs ever in the face of Good or Evil.
Chief Maiar
Status: Offline
Posts: 375
Date: May 26, 2007
It mightve influenced him. Just bringing out that: many of the baltic epics are quite similiar in ways, Finnish "Kalevala" and our (Estonian) "Kalevipoeg" for example have some similiar lines. I believe its rather the "baltic" etc. epics in whole that influenced his works.

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...But it was so that from Nienna he learned pity and patience.

Valar
Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date: May 27, 2007
Actually Olorin, Kalevpoeg is also been inspired by Kalevala. The author of Kalevpoeg and author of Kalevala Lönnrot were indeed ´some sort of friends and Kalevpoeg is been inspired by the story of Lönnrot. smile
But yes there could be other inspirations also but in Kalevala the similarity is so striking that it can't just be coindidence.

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I am Tulkas the Valiant who laughs ever in the face of Good or Evil.
 
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