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Old 12-11-2014, 05:33 PM   #80
Shade of Carn Dm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
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jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
And not that you asked or anyone cares, but the passage I was thinking about regarding Bombadil is where he refers to the bent seas.
In Fellowship, page 131, Tolkien writes:
When they [the hobbits] caught his [Tom’s] words again they found that he had now wandered into strange regions beyond their memory and beyond their waking thought, into times when the world was wider, and the seas flowed straight to the western Shore; and still on and back Tom went singing out into the ancient starlight, when only the Elf-sires were awake.
That the Undying Lands were once on Earth is part of Tolkien’s thought in all his writing. The removal of the Undying Lands from the circles of the world at the time of the drowning of Nmenor is being referred to here. Tom is telling of days before the Undying Lands were removed.

In Morgoth’s Ring (HoME 10), page 377-78, Tolkien writes of the waking of the Elf-sires:
From the far North (where [they are] dense) to the middle (Endor) great clouds brood. Moon and stars are invisible. Day is only a dim twilight at full. Only light [is] in Valinor.

Varda arises in her might and Manw of the Winds and strive with the Cloud of Unseeing. But as fast as it is rent Melkor closes the veil again – at least over Middle-earth. Then came the great Wind of Manw, and the veil was rent. The stars shine out clear even in the North (Valakirka) and after the long dark seem terribly bright.

It is in the dark just before that the Elves awake. The first thing that they see in the dark is the stars. But Melkor brings up glooms out of the East, and the stars fade away west. Hence they think from the beginning of light and beauty in the West.
In The War of the Jewels (HoME 11), beginning on page 420, Tolkien relates an Elvish legend of the waking of the first Elves, in which several groups of Elves awake on different days, each beneath the stars of early twilight before the dawn.

In Fellowship, page 131, Tolkien has Tom claim:
When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent.
This refers to later accounts in which after the drowning of Nmenor and the removal of the Undying Lands from Earth, Elves could still sail there following the old track whereas the vessels of Men normally followed the bent seas and were therefore bound to Earth, no matter how far they sailed.

At least this is how I interpret these references.
As for twilight: in Appendix A Twilight appears to refer to a place, West Over Sea (Tale of Aragorn and Arwen) but there are at least two references to a seeming time period: a time of 'twilight' (not Twilight)... one with respect to trolls, the other connected to a reference to Thingol in the language section. I think both are in Appendix F.
The reference to Thingol on page 1128 of Return reads:
There Thingol Greycloak of Doriath was their king, and in the long twilight their tongue had changed with the changefulness of mortal lands and had become far estranged from the speech of the Eldar beyond the Sea.
Twilight literally refers to the light in the sky just preceding full sunrise or just following full sunset. Metaphorically it may refer to light that is similar in some way. The reign of Thingol before the raising of the Moon and Sun in the Silmarillion is literally a reign under the darkness of night, not a reign illuminated by literal twilight. As already mentioned, in The Hobbit, Tolkien had originally written, “the Wood Elves lingered in the twilight before the raising of the Sun and Moon” but in the edition published in 1966 changed the text to, “the Wood Elves lingered in the twilight of our Sun and Moon”. I think this later text represents the metaphor intended by Tolkien here, that Thingol reigns under what is a long twilight in comparison to the Undying Lands beyond the Sea illuminated by the Two Trees.

Tolkien’s reference to Trolls on page 1132 of Return reads:
In their beginnings far back in the twilight of the Elder Days, these were creatures of dull and lumpish nature and had no more language than beasts.
Here I think Tolkien is metaphorically referring to the years of cloudy darkness brought on by Morgoth.

I admit that neither of these meanings can be proved from the texts.

Last edited by jallanite; 12-11-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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