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Old 12-18-2017, 02:27 AM   #81
Huinesoron
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Yeah, sorry, Inziladun, I was lacking a bit in clarity there... the point I was driving at was that Tolkien (not Sauron) originally set things up so that female Ringwraiths were just as likely as male ones, and that it seems unlike him to completely drop such an idea.

Again, the later 'mass-produced' stuff was about Tolkien's intent. It's trivially true that Sauron could, physically, have made a female Nazgul; the question is whether Tolkien would have considered it.

And I have new evidence! (What can I say? Dawn brings fresh light.) How do you feel about this?

The Cats of Queen Beruthiel are a metaphor for the Nazgul.

To get it in straight away - a metaphor by Tolkien, not by Beruthiel or the Gondorians. But...

Beruthiel's cats are nine black and one (the leader) white. We think of Sauron as black or red, but he himself preferred to go in fair guise, and would doubtless use white as a colour if he could. The Black Riders, of course, are black.

Weak, obviously... except that these cats are spies, just like the Nazgul, reporting back to their white Lord. Except that these are cats, in a Legendarium where the only other famous cat was Tevildo... who was later replaced by Sauron. Except that everyone feared the Cats, just like they did the Nazgul. Except that Beruthiel's name was written out of history (she is remembered by an obvious epithet, 'Angry Queen'), while Sauron purportedly refuses to let his be spoken (the Mouth aside). Except Beruthiel directly caused the end of the first line of the Kings of Gondor, while the Nazgul eventually ended the last...

My point? In this short piece that has so many points of connection to the Nazgul, the lead character... is a woman.

(Next time: the unusual place of Tar-Telperien, prospective Nazgul, in the narrative of Numenor. Maybe.)
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:19 AM   #82
William Cloud Hicklin
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-The first reference to the concept of Ringwraiths occurs in HoME 6, 'The Return of the Shadow', where Gildor tells Bingo that the Black Riders are 'Servants of the Lord of the Ring - [people?] who have passed through the Ring'. Note the sadly-unclear word 'people' - not 'men'. Deliberate use of a gender-neutral term?
No, a race-neutral term. At that very early stage (before even The Shadow of the Past, or alternatively the earliest draft of what would become that chapter) Tolkien envisioned the "people who have passed through the Ring" as including Men, Elves and Dwarves. He specifically mentioned how horrifyingly powerful "elf-wraiths" were.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:26 AM   #83
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Tar-Telperien died in SA 1731. She was notable for two things: being the second ruling Queen, and being the first monarch to cling to the Sceptre into her dotage (although she did finally relinquish it shortly before her death).

Now, besides the whole "death" part scotching the Nazgul theory, even if we were to go all Alex Jones and suggest she faked it somehow, there's also the fact that she very visibly aged-- not something a keeper of a Great Ring would or could do.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:21 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
...there's also the fact that she very visibly aged-- not something a keeper of a Great Ring would or could do.
Where's that from? I've been researching the queens of Numenor of late (for entirely unrelated reasons), but haven't been able to find much more for Tar-Telperien than 'long lived, died in the same year she handed over the sceptre'. Is there a source for 'very visibly aged'? (It's actually a bit late for my other thing, but it's always worth finding out more...!)

Obviously the Tar-Nazgul theory assumes that she either faked her death, or was actually ousted in a palace coup that was hushed up. Since the only source texts I know of are of Numenorean origin (or rather, were written by Tolkien as in-universe documents of Numenorean origin...), they would be expected not to mention such a shameful event.

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