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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    516

    I have a couple of questions after my second read through

    Hello all,

    I had a couple of story / lore related questions after my recent read through.


    Oliphant vs. Mumakil

    When Sam and Frodo reach Ithilien, they oversee the Haradrim and Sam stares in wonder at the sight of an Oliphant. In the battle of Pellenor fields they seem to always refer the them as Mumikil on the field of battle.

    Would Oliphant refer to a non war-hardened animal, where Mumikil contained the driver and the mounted soldiers on its back? Is it more, depends on who you ask... like hobbit vs. halfling?


    Gwaihir and Gandalf

    After the battle at the black gate, Gandalf asks Gwaihir to help him one last time and mentions that he had twice before. After reading through the appendicies I found an exerpt mentioning Gwaihir retrieving Gandalf from Zirakzigil, I don't remember seeing that before.

    The quote is as follows.. "Twice you have borne me, Gwaihir my friend" Is there one below not counted in that statement?

    1) In The Hobbit - From the tree tops in Out of the frying pan into the fire, it isn't by name but it is the "Lord of the Eagles" (I think that name belongs to Gwaihir)
    2) FOTR - Othranc rescue
    3) Zirakzigil - After defeating the balrog, but was on Galadriel's request
    4) Cormallen - To rescue Frodo and Sam


    Just wondering, thanks everyone!!

  2. #2
    to your first, I would say it's the latter - it depends on who you ask. Oliphant comes out of a nursery rhyme from the Shire and imo is just another name in another language for the same thing.

    as to the second - Gwaihir retrieving Gandalf is mentioned briefly in Gandalf's telling of his tale after he meets Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn in Rohan. And for the latter part of the same, the first one is not counted. It could one of two things. The first would be because the Lord of the Eagles is a different bird now than it was in the Hobbit; after all, his name is not given, and it is almost 80 years later. The second would be that Gandalf did a service to the eagle in the hobbit and if it is the same bird as Gwaihir, the first carrying could be said to be a direct payment for the service he did and thus cancel each other out.

    /two cents

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    516
    Thank you for the response!

    I didn't think about repayment of a debt to have cancelled one. That is a clever thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    6,094
    Quote Originally Posted by captainBA View Post
    Oliphant vs. Mumakil

    When Sam and Frodo reach Ithilien, they oversee the Haradrim and Sam stares in wonder at the sight of an Oliphant. In the battle of Pellenor fields they seem to always refer the them as Mumikil on the field of battle.

    Would Oliphant refer to a non war-hardened animal, where Mumikil contained the driver and the mounted soldiers on its back? Is it more, depends on who you ask... like hobbit vs. halfling?
    'Oliphaunt' would presumably represent the Westron name, 'Múmak' was apparently supposed to be what the Men of the East called them (see 'The Appendix on Languages' in HoME vol. 12).

    Re the Eagles, the Lord of the Eagles in The Hobbit isn't the same Eagle as LOTR's Gwaihir.

  5. #5

    Radhruin_EU is correct.

    To clarify some things just a little:

    "Oliphaunt" is an archaic word in real-life English, most-likely derived directly from Germanic "olifant"; it is a defunct term for, "elephant" (in The Canterbury Tales, there is a character named, Sir Olifaunt).

    "Mûmakil" is the plural for "mûmak", the word used by the men of Gondor to refer to (an) "oliphaunt", which RotK further describes as an ancient creature much larger and much more-terrible than (what modern people would call) an elephant.

    No etymology of "mûmak" is given in LotR, so far as I know, but Radhruin points us to HoME; I had always felt as though the word, while used by the Dúnedain of Gondor, was of neither Elvish nor Adûnaic origin, but rather the Adûnaicized version of a word adopted from some other (Middle-Earth-Mannish) language.

    And, yes, LotR-eagle-lord and Hobbit-eagle-lord are different birds.

    HoG

 

 

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