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Old 08-05-2020, 01:31 PM   #1
Huinesoron
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Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
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Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Father-names among the Noldor

Noldor men are really terrible at naming their children.

I've known aspects of this for a while: Finwe, famously, named all three of his sons Finwe, and then differentiated them later (into Skilled, Wise, and Noble Finwe - Curufinwe, Nolofinwe, and Arafinwe). And of course, equally famously, Finwe - sorry, I mean Curufinwe - sorry, Feanor - named all seven of his sons... Finwe. I don't think Tolkien explicitly stated that he added individual parts later, but he did say that Curufin has his dad's full name because he was Feanor's favourite, which seems hard to square with him getting it at birth.

Okay, fine. I assumed this was just a quirk of the Finwe-Feanor relationship. After all, Curufin named his own son 'Telperinquar', which has nothing at all to do with his own name!

... haha. Nope. Check out the full family tree:

-FINWE had three sons - Finwe, Finwe, and Finwe. He also had two daughters, one of whom he named Findis, because she was the daughter of Finwe and Indis. (Írimë/Írien seems to have gotten away unscathed.)

--(Curu)Finwe named all seven of his sons Finwe. We know this one.

--(Nolo)Finwe (aka Fingolfin) had three sons, whose names are listed as Findekáno, Turukáno, and Arakáno. 'Kano' means 'commander', so yes, he called all his sons 'chief'. As in 'hey there, chief, how was school today?'. (His daughter... well, 'Aredhel' means 'noble elf', which is a pretty awful name, but he may have named her Írissë.)

--(Ara)Finwe (aka Finarfin) had four or five kids, depending on where you count Orodreth. Their names? Findaráto, Angaráto, Ambaráto, Artaresto (or Artaher), and Artanis (no escape for Galadriel here!). And yes, that's the same -ara- element in all the names - it means 'lofty' or 'exalted'. 'Arato' means 'champion'. If we treat Orodreth (Artaresto) as Angrod's son, then all three of Finarfin's sons were named... 'champ'.

---Artaresto, according to Tolkien's preferred family tree, doubled down on the theme. His own son (aka Gil-Galad) was called Artanáro. (Finduilas seems to have done okay, though her name might mean 'shiny hair' and be essentially a mirror of Galadriel's nickname).

And that takes us through the entire House of Finwe... what's that? There's more? Oh, yes, of course there are:

---Finwe and Finwe - sorry, that's Third-Finwe and Loud-Finwe, or Maedhros and Maglor to you - found a couple of kids in a cave. "Hey, look," they said, "elves! Let's call them Elrond and Elros!" (Sure, that might be 'star'; that's not any better.)

----Elrond had two sons (by Celebrian, who was a Finwe by blood, and indeed has a name made from bits of her parents names). "Hey, look," he said, "elves! Let's call them Elladan and Elrohir!" Presumably at this point Celebrian rolled her eyes, but didn't bother to say anything, because men just suck at names. Nor did she say anything when he named her daughter 'noble lady'.

I wonder if this is why Noldorin mothers insisted on giving their own names to their kids - because they knew that men had a huge cultural blindspot which led them to either give them all the same name, or name them something daft like 'pretty'.

... oh, and in case you think this is just House Finwe being daft - go check out Guilin. We don't know his sons' original names, but Gelmir and Gwindor certainly have a conspicuous first letter in common with dear ol' dad.

(And Edrahil of Nargothrond was also named Enedrion, which means 'son of Enedir'... yes, that could well be the same element!)

All of which means that I have to conclude the most creative Noldorin man was... Curufin, who gave his son an actually original name.

hS
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