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  1. #1
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    Gandalf and Glamdring

    When Gandalf is imprisoned upon Orthanc why does Saruman let him keep his sword?, or if he is disarmed as is the custom when imprisoning people how does he get it back after he escapes via eagle?.

    Since Orcrist and Glamdring were made in Gondolin then the runes inscribed in them were most probably in Tengwar which at that time he was unable to decipher, yet he was able to read the Black Speach written in Tengwar on the Ring and the Quenyan Tengwar inscribed on the doors of Moria. The only solution to this ridle is that the swords were forged after Thingols ban on Quenya and Gandalf being a native of the undieing lands remained ignorant of Sindarin.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Quote Originally Posted by Morthaur View Post
    Since Orcrist and Glamdring were made in Gondolin then the runes inscribed in them were most probably in Tengwar...
    If I had to guess, I'd say they were written in a form of Cirth, which were originally devised by the elves. The Tengwar aren't typically referred to as runes. Also, Gandalf knows Sindarin, because he speaks it several times in the books. When trying to open Durin's Doors, he says "Annon edhellen, edro hi ammen!" and "Fennas nogothrim, lasto beth lammen!", and it is he (not Frodo, like in the movies) that finally deciphers the riddle of the Doors and utters the word "Mellon!".

    Having said that, according to TolkienGateway the sword contained Gondolinic Runes.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Good question about how he kept Glamdring. Did he get it back after Moria too? How so? Is it in the text that it's Glamdring he has post-Moria? I always assumed so, but maybe once he's white he might not need a special sword.

  4. #4
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Without taking a detailed look at the timeline I was under the impression that Gondolin was founded prior to Thingols ban on quenya, thus the need for those in Gondolin to adopt the the Sindarin forms of their noldorian names and the sindarin language seems a little odd, if Gondolin was a closed country then why change your tongue if you are hidden from your neighbours?.

    Presumably the Sindar from Aqualonde were able to sail back to middle earth prior to the years of the sun and the moon as they seem to have done when the visited Numenor in the 2nd age, thus Daerons' runes may have arrived in the undying lands prior to the departure of the Noldor, although sea voyages for any elves from middle earth in the first age seemed to be problematic, but if this was the case then why did the Sindar at Aqualonde build a large ocean going fleet?.

    Its also strange to me that we are only given the Sindarin names of the Noldor prior to them leaving the undying lands, i cant see the sons of Feanor willingly adopting the sindarin form of their names for instance.

    Gandalfs use of the G rune on weather top shows his familiarity with the Cirth too so possibly Redhawks' sugestion of Gondolinic runes is the answer.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Quote Originally Posted by Morthaur View Post
    Without taking a detailed look at the timeline I was under the impression that Gondolin was founded prior to Thingols ban on quenya, thus the need for those in Gondolin to adopt the the Sindarin forms of their noldorian names and the sindarin language seems a little odd, if Gondolin was a closed country then why change your tongue if you are hidden from your neighbours?.


    ...

    Its also strange to me that we are only given the Sindarin names of the Noldor prior to them leaving the undying lands, i cant see the sons of Feanor willingly adopting the sindarin form of their names for instance.
    An internal answer could be that the Silmarillion is a history recorded and compiled primarily by Elves who had long taken Sindarin as their primary language. (And perhaps tranlated into Westron as a document, Translations from the Elvish, written by Bilbo, who would probably be more familiar with Sindarin than Quenya.) A similar argument could perhaps be made for Bilbo's diary (i.e. The Hobbit) itself. While not written in Sindarin, it's reasonable that Bilbo would have used the proper names most familiar and more closely related to Westron.

    An external answer is that for a long time, the prototype of the language we know as "Sindarin" was formulated by Tolkien to be the birth language of the Noldor in Valinor. Only late in the development of the mythology did Tolkien decide / realize that it was instead the native language of the Sindar, and only the adopted language of the Noldor in Middle-earth. So even if Tolkien had intended to give us the native names of the Noldorin princes, it's possible this was never thoroughly integrated into texts from which his son had to compile The (real world) Silmarillion

    Interestingly, since this language shift was long after the writing of The Hobbit, it also implies that the names inscribed on to Glamdring and Orcrist were intended to be some sort of Noldorin even though they're given to us in Sindarin.

    Presumably the Sindar from Aqualonde were able to sail back to middle earth prior to the years of the sun and the moon as they seem to have done when the visited Numenor in the 2nd age, thus Daerons' runes may have arrived in the undying lands prior to the departure of the Noldor, although sea voyages for any elves from middle earth in the first age seemed to be problematic, but if this was the case then why did the Sindar at Aqualonde build a large ocean going fleet?.
    Logical, maybe, but there's no hint of this in the stories. Except in a very tenuous way, when toward the end of his life Tolkien theorized that Galadriel tried to make her way to Middle-earth before the darkening of Valinor.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Quote Originally Posted by BlancoFallowhide View Post
    Good question about how he kept Glamdring. Did he get it back after Moria too? How so? Is it in the text that it's Glamdring he has post-Moria? I always assumed so, but maybe once he's white he might not need a special sword.
    A bunch of n00bs kept whining about CRs on the forums, and it was after the Carahdras patch, so he rezzed with all his gear.

  7. #7
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Quote Originally Posted by BlancoFallowhide View Post
    Good question about how he kept Glamdring. Did he get it back after Moria too? How so? Is it in the text that it's Glamdring he has post-Moria? I always assumed so, but maybe once he's white he might not need a special sword.
    Yes, he has Glamdring after Moria. Háma, the Doorward of Théoden, makes him and the others lay their weapons aside before entering Meduseld. Aragorn is initially hesitant to leave his sword, so Háma bars their entry and warns him of trouble should he not do so. Gandalf diffuses the situation by going ahead and giving up his weapon:
    'Come, come!' said Gandalf. 'We are all friends here. Or should be; for the laughter of Mordor will be our only reward, if we quarrel. My errand is pressing. Here at least is my sword, goodman Háma. Keep it well. Glamdring it is called, for the Elves made it long ago. Now let me pass. Come, Aragorn!'
    I don't really think it is too astonishing that he got Glamdring back before leaving Moria. Gandalf says that he was sent back to the same place where he defeated the Balrog and darkness took him. It was here that Gwaihir found him and delivered him to the Golden Wood. I would imagine that Gandalf simply retrieved Glamdring from the spot where it was left lying when he passed out of thought and time. Why Saruman permitted him to keep the sword upon Orthanc is another matter. I would imagine that it was simply this: that Saruman did not believe Glamdring would be of any use to Gandalf imprisoned upon the pinnacle of the tower. He had no reason to expect Gwaihir to come to his aid, and so he failed to disarm him. In this case, Saruman was a bit like Sauron, whom Gandalf later deemed a "Wise fool."
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  8. #8
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    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Good answer about Glamdring after Moria. I thought about the door warden scene but was too busy (read "lazy") to look it up. I hadn't remembered the line about Gandalf returning before darkness took him, though. Good investigation!

    I suspect you're right about Orthanc. I bet that's the kind of answer the Professor would have given if asked, but I wonder if it was something he "knew" ahead of time or was it a continuity issue that never occured to him? He was amazing at making sure everything else matched up. I remember reading that he asked somebody else to help him match up the phases of the moon between different parts of the tale, tracking between Frodo and Sam on one thread and Aragorn et al on the other. But even the master could have made a mistake!

    Thanks for another good answer Redd!

  9. #9

    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    My guess about Glamdring and Orthanc, is the Gandalf did not have it with him, he is a Wizard after all, he does not need it all the time, I bet it was in Rivendell, but we will never know
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  10. #10

    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    Quote Originally Posted by Aralt View Post
    My guess about Glamdring and Orthanc, is the Gandalf did not have it with him, he is a Wizard after all, he does not need it all the time, I bet it was in Rivendell, but we will never know
    Good point, especially when he's gone to visit someone he thought was an ally.
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  11. #11

    Re: Gandalf and Glamdring

    I'm inclined to agree that Gandalf didn't have Glamdring with him when he was imprisoned. Unless someone can quote from something JRRT wrote where Gandalf specifically did have the sword with him, it's more likely to me that he didn't have the sword with him. Leave a prisoner armed with a sword? Unlikely. Leave a prisoner armed with a very rare sword from Gondolin? Even more unlikely.

    It isn't stated in the main story but it's in the appendicies of LOTR that Saruman experimented with making items of power, including some minor rings of power. The chance to acquire and study a sword with unusual properties is something I don't see Saruman ignoring.

 

 

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