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Old 10-24-2002, 07:44 PM   #40
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,141
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!

Inquit Westerly Wizard:
Legolas has always seemed to me to be one of these, as there are no other major repititions of elvish names, besides Glorfindel which Tolkien explained with reincarnation .
Respondit Lindil:
And as has been pointed out, we have 2 galdors [maybe] and 2 Rumil's [positively] and there may be other examples.
Also two Gelmirs. I think it can be pretty well demonstrated that Elvish names are in fact repeated. Not that the point is completely lost, however; I think it should be reinterpreted thus: Elves are not named after namesakes (with the exception of patronymics). So Rumil of Lorien is not named after Rumil of Valinor; he was given the name independently as it were. I have no evidence at hand for this hypothesis, and it must be considered merely personal opinion. But it does explain, to some extent, the repetition of a few names.

Inquit Lindil:
I and 1 other member favored to differing degrees using the quenya name Laiqulasse or a variant to distance the Elf from Legolas as far as possible.
I feel I should set down my disagreement with this view. I would love to be able to get around the problem of name repetition - that's why I was tempted to vote for Legolast. I don't think Laegolas addresses the problem. But neither does Laiqualasse or any other Quenya form. Laiqualasse is just a different form of Laegolas, just as Legolas is a different form of it. In other words, Laiqualasse is as close to Legolas as is Laegolas. It might look more different, but to an educated Elf it isn't. So if what we want is to fool the readers, Quenya is a viable solution. If we want to deal with the fundamental problem of name repitition, it is not. That's my view, anyway; I know Lindil and I disagree on this rather vehemently.

Inquit Lindil:
CRT felt Rog's name because as he says 'it was absolutely certain that my father would not have retained this name as a Lord of Gondolin' was completely incompatible with the tone we could say of a later Silm.
I never understood why CRT felt this way; he provides no evidence. I don't see anything about Rog that makes it incompatible with later Sindarin. How is it different from Balrog? And it appears as late as the 1930 Quenta Noldorinwa.

I also think it might be useful to make the following distinction. There are many things that Tolkien would probably (or almost definitely) have changed. Of these there are

1. Some that we must change because they contradict other things - for example, the Tale of Years story that Dwarves invade Doriath must be altered because of the existence of the Girdle of Melian.

2. Others that we must change because Tolkien indicates that he was going to change them and indicates exactly how he was going to change them, and they can be changed without producing any problematic contradictions. This includes things like Gil-Galad being Orodreth's son instead of Fingon's.

3. Others that we cannot change because to do so would result in a contradiction: the round earth cosmology; the story that Celeborn was a Teler.

4. The tricky bit. Things that JRRT would probably/definitely have changed, but which do not present contradictions and also about which there is no authoritative note. That is, they do not fall under 1,2, or 3 above. This means things like Rog or Legolas (though for different reasons). My view is this: these things should either be retained as they are or dropped/made ambiguous. Even though we can be about 90% sure that JRRT would have changed them, we have no definitive note, no pressing reason to change them, and most importantly, no good idea of to what to change them.

This is, of course, not anything like a simple question, and my answer is inadequately simplistic. Nonetheless, I think our guiding principle in such cases should be minimal tampering wherever possible.

Note that the change Legolas -> Laegolas does not fall under 4; it is necessitated by changes in Sindarin.

[ October 25, 2002: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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