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Old 03-26-2009, 12:37 PM   #32
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,149
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!
Do we real have on single text of the Narn that has in it Gelmir son of Guilin and Gelmir companion of Arminas?
Well, the early portions of the Narn and the fragments from the middle are at least closely contemporary, and it certainly seems that Tolkien wrote about Gelmir the companion of Arminas when the story of Gelmir Guilin’s son was already in place. Note also that Gelmir Arminas’s companion appears in the later ‘Tuor’, written (as far as I can tell) after the Grey Annals but before the beginning and middle sections of the Narn.

But for me the question is simply this: was the note with the name ‘Faramir’ written before or after the text given in UT with Gelmir and Arminas? This is of course impossible for us to answer conclusively. From CT’s description of the note and from the text as presented in UT, I get the impression that the ‘Gelmir’ text is the latest form and that the plot-synopsis with ‘Faramir’ was only an outline that preceded it. I fully recognize though that the evidence is very shaky; and moreover it’s possible that CT himself misunderstood the relations among the texts when he published UT. Also, given that Gelmir and Arminas had already appeared in ‘Tuor’, it is perhaps a little strange that Tolkien should change the name to Faramir only to later revert to Gelmir. I need to think about this a little bit more (and would like to hear other opinions – Aran, Maedhros?), but I suppose I can see a fair argument for the change to Faramir.

On the subject of the authors of the texts, a few comments:

- I think that one cannot reconcile Tolkien’s latest ideas with Aelfwine of England as the transmitter of the legends, especially given Bilbo’s ‘Translations from the Elvish’. It has always seemed strange to me that Aelfwine appears in texts as late as the 1950s Ainulindale and the ‘Dangweth Pendolodh’, and I cannot fully explain this. But I think that, particularly once the idea entered that the Silmarillion was of Numenorean origin, Aelfwine ceased to be.

- I had always assumed the Valaquenta to be the work of Pengolodh, but searching for it a while ago I could find no statement at all pertaining to its authorship. Nonetheless, Pengolodh (Thingodhel, I suppose I must get used to calling him) seems a likely source.

- The Quenta Silmarillion is in MT said to have been written in Numenor. I think that this can be accepted even if one rejects the cosmological elements of MT.

- I seem to recall (though I’m not certain) a statement that all the ‘Great Tales’ of the Atanatarion were written by Men. That would mean none of ‘Beren and Luthien’, ‘Tuor’, or ‘Earendil’ could have been written by an Elf.

- I’m also quite sure Elendil is said explicitly to be the author of the Akallabeth, though I can’t recall the source at the moment. Perhaps LotR appendices?
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