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Old 04-19-2008, 10:21 AM   #41
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
What I find most odd about them is that they are able to enter & leave Tom's country not only without his leave but also without his being able to exert any control over them - so much for his being 'Master' ....

Of course, I suppose we have to assume that this (like the other Bombadil poems) was composed by Hobbits & so the whole thing may be a fantasy. Still, its another glimpse into Hobbit folklore, & the idea that they conceived of creatures (other than the Man in the Moon) with an extra-terrestrial origin is interesting. Makes you wonder what kind of stories they told around the fireside....
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #42
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Ooooh, aliens?!

Very interesting point about the lack of control - small though those creatures are, if TB cannot exercise any control over them, then they could be considered more dangerous than the Barrow-wight or Old Man Willow!
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:41 PM   #43
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Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.

Well, before we all turn into Fox Hornblower let me interject a little bit of the sort of analytical analysis favoured by Chica Chubb.

Originally Posted by davem's find
Once upon a moon on the brink of June
a-dewing the lintips went too soon
Now why is it "too soon" that they went? Was there a consequence for their bad timing? Were they in fact 'uncloaked' by Tom by this untimely appearance, such that, having once been seen, they were rendered invisible and so never more heard of in Hobbit lore? After all, Tom doesn't seem terribly frightened of them or by them.

As for the word lintips, there's nothing in the OED to match it. But then, neither is mewlip to be found in the OED. (Unless both are included in the most recent editions of the OED.) There is, however, one most interesting medieval word.

Quoting a text from 1423, the OED records the word Lintworm, also spelt Lyntewormes, from MHG. Unusually for the recondite academic research of this famed dictionary, the meaning is rendered but tentatively, preceeded by a question mark. The meaning is "A figure of a dragon." Yes, that's right. Dragon.

So what was in the "star winks" or "moon slide"? Was Tom, He who is First, witness to the sub-creation of dragons, little dragonets? And was Tom in his playfulness unable to see, appreciate, understand the terrible marring that Melkor was making? Did dragons smell like rodents?

I myself find it difficult to believe that Melkor could be more powerful than Tom. Almost prefer to think that Tom was engaged in chasing down pixielint or toejam.

Now, if any of you think that I am once again being extreme or too serious, well, I simply resign myself to the fact that reading is a dangerous business.
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:02 PM   #44
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Originally Posted by davem View Post
Going back to the Bombadil poem I gave earlier, & taking this off at a tangent - does anyone have any idea what a lintip is/was

Clearly they're 'little', have a mousy smell, drink dew &, most importantly, are the only things that won't talk to Tom.

The '-ips' ending recalls the mewlips of course, but I can't find any mention of them in any other writing by Tolkien.
Humor me in this odd bit of exposition...

Lintip and the associated linti refer (in translation, anyway) to mean 'waves upon water' (lintip) and a 'pool' (linti) from the ancient Gaelic poem Táin Bó Cúalnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), but that makes no sense in regard to the poem (YET!)...

The Gaelic linti, by way of prestidigitation (see, nothing up my sleeves!), becomes lintie, which is a short nick for a linnet, a bird native to the British Isles and a member of the finch family.

A titmouse is not a finch, but according to what I've heard, they apparently put on airs like they wish to be finches (finches, after all, are far less warbly than the titmouse). Therefore, Tolkien has mistaken a titmouse for a linnet (hence the mouse reference), and as linnets prefer to nest in heathlands and are fond of hemp, I wonder if perhaps some of that substance got into the professor's pipe as he was composing the poem.

Oh dear, I believe I've given myself a headache.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:11 AM   #45
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I only recently discovered the poem myself - after reading a recent entry on John Rateliff's blog & it was the mention of "brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns" in BoLT that got me wondering whether Tolkien was drawing on British folklore for lintips (& by extension mewlips). Rateliff kindly provides us with a copy of the Denham Tracts in his History of the Hobbit but neither creature makes an appearance there (of course Denham's list of British spirts/fairies is not exhaustive), but we do find Hobbits on the list.
"What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, Bloody Bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, spectres, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars[2], nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns[3], men-in-the-oak [4], hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs[5], pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns[6], tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries[7], Jack-in-the-Wads,mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies [8], Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots[9], imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars[10], hudskins[11], nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets[12], friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks [necks, waiths, miffies[13], buckies[14], ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins [Gyre-carling][15], pigmies, chittifaces[16], nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes[17], grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes[18], mannikins, follets [19], korreds[20], lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors[21], mares, korreds, puckles korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees,clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins [22], whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps[23], cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its spectre, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!"
I did wonder, though, whether lintips might be a common name for an animal or insect.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #46
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Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
Due to an internet shortage, posting one thing I almost posted several days ago, and a short reply to one thing directly responding to my quote, I will read the new posts properly as soon as I have time, and hopefully contribute somehow...

Originally Posted by Bêthberry View Post
And in this case of said comments about Goldberry and her consort, what makes them extreme?
The first one, because it simplifies the theory of "Arda Marred" too much (I more or less expressed my view of that in the post above). The second one is more extreme, because it takes too seriously arguments about sinister nature of Goldberry just from one funny poem (I also spoke about that in the post above), not taking into account that it is funny, that Goldberry does not seem sinister at all in LotR etc.

Originally Posted by Eönwë View Post
So doesn't that mean that Goldberry could not be marred, because water could not be marred?
Even that would be possible. In my opinion, maybe, why not? Depending of course on the thing, that Goldberry is not just water. In any case, water may be, for example, poisoned, but that's rather "destroying" it (cf. Ulmo's words about his powers leaving the waters of Middle-Earth).
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:21 AM   #47
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Just to further muddy the waters, I came across an interesting little item in the notorious Letter 210 to Forrest J. Ackerman, in which Tolkien gives rather detailed commentary on "Mr. Zimmerman's" script treatment of LotR for a proposed film version, back in June of 1958 (one would love to see the exact script that provoked this commentary; it sounds like it would've been a real hoot to read):

The first paragraph misrepresents Tom Bombadil. He is not the owner of the woods; and he would never make any such threat.

'Old scamp!' This is a good example of the general tendency that I find in Z to reduce and lower the tone towards that of a more childish fairy-tale. The expression does not agree with the tone of Bombadil's long later talk; and though that is cut, there is no need for its indications to be disregarded.

I am sorry, but I think the manner of the introduction of Goldberry is silly, and on a par with 'old scamp.' It also has no warrant in my tale. We are not in 'fairy-land', but in a real river-lands in autumn. Goldberry represents the actual seasonal changes in such lands. [emphasis mine] Personally I think she had far better disappear than make a meaningless appearance.
If Goldberry is meant to represent seasonal changes, than this, I think, would argue for her being (if she is indeed a Maia in any way) descended of Yavanna, or possibly Vana or Orome, not Ulmo. Granted, we do know of Maiar who served more than one of the Valar (Melian and Olorin, most notably), so it would not be inconceivable that if she were indeed a Maia (or descended from one), the affiliation would be to, say, Yavanna and Ulmo, if one wishes to pursue a possible connection to the latter.

Still thinking about it...
Call me Ibrin (or Ibri) :)
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:45 AM   #48
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I do not think that Goldberry is an Ainu (or one of the Ealar, for that matter, i.e. a naturally discarnate being), because it is stated that she has a mother (the "River-Woman"). My Head-Canon is that Goldberry is, like Luthien, the offspring of a Maia and an Elf. The "River-Woman" could be a female Maia of Ulmo that resided in that region of Eriador just as the Elves were passing through during the Great Journey or maybe she accompanied the Journey. Just like Melian with Thingol this unnamed River-Maia then fell in love with an Elf, incarnated herself for him and gave birth to Goldberry. What happened next is anybodies guess: maybe they both moved on after they grew weary of Middle-Earth or they got killed during the events of the First Age, either by one of the many of Melkors free roaming Monsters, or by the Creatures and Orks that fled Angband after its destruction and passed through Eriador on their way to the East. Whatever happened to the parents, in the end Goldberry fell in love with Bombadil and stayed with him.

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