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Old 03-08-2003, 01:38 PM   #1
Petty Dwarf
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Sting The Lay of Earendil

Do you think the Lay of Earendil was still part of the legendarium by the time of Tolkien's later writing?

I've been thinking about this after Aiwendil's comment that it's a tale we'll never have and re-reading Bilbo's Song (Earendil was a mariner...). Right off the similarities between those verses and some of the deatils laid out in HoME II hit you in the face.

By HoME X Tolkien states the Atanatarion consisted of the tales of Beren, Tuor, and Turin. So where does Earendil fit in? Did Tolkien even intend for an extant telling of his early journey anymore?

The only reason I can think of why the Atanatarion wouldn't include Earendil's story is because he wasn't a Father of Men, being truly half-elven. But the mention of this Lay in the Silm proves that it was an extant writing in the legendarium, even if it was lost. Any thoughts?

[ March 08, 2003: Message edited by: Petty Dwarf ]

[ March 08, 2003: Message edited by: Petty Dwarf ]
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:28 PM   #2
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It's always been my opinion that the lack of any full-scale Earendil writing is the most tragic gap in the Legendarium.

But I don't think that Tolkien ever considered abandoning the story. It is rather curious that he so largely ignored it in his later years. I think, though, that in the Atanatarion, the final tale "Of the Fall of Gondolin and the Rise of the Star" was to include both Tuor and Earendil.
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Old 03-08-2003, 10:12 PM   #3
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Sting

But if Tuor and Earendil's part of an Atanatarion was to be so indepth it destroys the idea that Turin's was "longest of all the lays of Beleriand".

Specifically it's that The Fall of Gondolin and The Lay of Earendil are given seperate mention in the published Silm that makes me think they were not one work. Especially if the Lay was more of an account of Earendil's first voyage before he got to Valinor.

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Old 03-09-2003, 02:23 AM   #4
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Sting

It could be that it was a lay of Numenor, not Beleriand. Also even if tagged on to Tuor, a Narn + full scale treatment ot the Wanderings of Hurin [of which we got maybe 1/4th or so of what would have been had the treatment of Dor lomin, nargothrond and Doriath ] been anywhere equal to the Brethil section it may well still have been the longest. But I think it is important to take the spirit of these sort of notes by Tolkien and realize that in many cases he was talking to himself and leaving at times much unsaid.

By thwe way we are incredibly lucky that he went back to the very end of the Earendil/war of the wrath story in the QS manuscript.

Imagine if that to had been left in Q form.

So at least we have something past Q for it.
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Old 03-09-2003, 01:45 PM   #5
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Sting

Well, they're all lays of Numenor about Beleriand. In the cases of the lays of=about (ie: the Lay about Earendil). But I'm getting pedantic.

I was just wondering about Earendil, not within the TftE bounds, but as a work outside of the "Quenta Silmarillion". Unlike BoLT, Q hardly elaborates on Earendil's journey along the Outer Lands, and QS would follow that as well. There's more about it in Bilbo's Song than either of those, which makes me think Tolkien didn't abandon the idea, but meant it for a seperate telling.
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Old 03-10-2003, 03:10 PM   #6
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Sting

Following up my last post...

So from where did Tolkien draw his account of Earendil's journeys for Bilbo's Song? I haven't read the non-Silm HoME, so I'm in dark if it says anything there. Was it out of his head or did he use the BoLT sketches?
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Old 03-24-2003, 05:15 PM   #7
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Old 03-24-2003, 06:57 PM   #8
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Petty Dwarf, I imagine it was out of his head, but I have read nothng definitive.

There are a nuber of drafts to Bilbo's version in HoME VI(?) that I have yet to investigate, they may shed clues and even more hopefully, material.
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Old 03-31-2003, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
There are a nuber of drafts to Bilbo's version in HoME VI(?) that I have yet to investigate, they may shed clues and even more hopefully, material
HoME 7; Chapter 5; Bilbo's Song at Rivendell

Sadly, the information is 'sketchy' at best and contains many elements of the BoLT LoE, such as the slaying of Ungolaint, but it can still be seen as a valuabe source of info. at times.
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