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Old 02-22-2008, 09:29 AM   #1
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The neglected race- The Dredain

I have always thought that the Pkel-men (Dredain) have been neglected by many people studying the work of Tolkien, and especially on forums such as these. I have always been fascinated by them (being my favourite race in ME), but I want to know what you thnk of them.


A summary of The Dredain in UT:

Basic summary:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UT, The Dredain
There were not many, a few hundreds maybe, living apart in families or small tribes, but in friendship, as members of the same community [of the folk of Haleth, who] who called them by the name drg, that being a word of their own language
Their looks, voice and nature:
Quote:
Originally Posted by UT, the Dredain
To the eyes of Elves and other Men they were unlovely in looks: they were stumpy (some four foot high) but very broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs; their wide faces had deep-set eyes with heavy brows, and flat noses, and grew no hair below their eyebrows, except in a few men (who were proud of the distinction) a small tail of black hair in the midst of the chin. Their features were usually impassive, the most mobile being their wide mouths; and the movement of their wary eyes could not be observed save from close at hand, for they were so black that the pupils could not be distinguished, but in anger they glowed red. Their voices were deep and guttural, but their laughter was a surprise: it was rich and rolling, and set all who heard it, Elves or Men, laughing too for its pure merriment untainted by scorn or malice.' In peace they often laughed at work or play when other Men might sing. But they could be relentless enemies, and when once aroused their red wrath was slow to cool, though it showed no sign save the light in their eyes; for they fought in silence and did not exult in victory, not even over Orcs, the only creatures for whom their hatred was implacable
Quote:
Originally Posted by UT, the Dredain, CT's comments
My father was at pains to emphasize the radical difference between the Dredain and the Hobbits. They were of quite different physical shape and appearance. The Dredain were taller, and of heavier and stronger build... They were moreover a frugal people, eating sparingly even in times of plenty and drinking nothing but water. In some ways they resembled rather the Dwarves: in build and stature and endurance; in their skill in carving stone; in the grim side of their character; and in their strange powers. But the 'magic' skills with which the Dwarves were credited were quite different; and the Dwarves were far grimmer, and also long-lived, whereas the Dredain were short-lived compared with other kinds of Men...
Their skills:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UT, the Dredain
They had a marvellous skill as trackers of all living creatures, and … for the Dredain used their scent, like hounds save that they were also keen-eyed. ... Their knowledge of all growing things was almost equal to that of the Elves … and it is said that if they removed to a new country they knew within a short time all things that grew there, great or minute, and gave names to those that were new to them, discerning those that were poisonous, or useful as food...

In the far distant past they appear already to have had small tools of flint for scraping and cutting, and these they still used, ... But when in Beleriand by association with the Eldar and in traffic with the Dwarves of Ered Lindon [metals] became more common, the Dredain showed great talent for carving in wood or stone. They already had a knowledge of pigments, derived chiefly from plants, and they drew pictures and patterns on wood or flat surfaces of stone; and sometimes they would scrape knobs of wood into faces that could be painted. But with sharper and stronger tools they delighted in carving figures of men and beasts, whether toys and ornaments or large images, to which the most skilled among them could give vivid semblance of life...

But among the powers of this strange people perhaps most to be remarked was their capacity of utter silence and stillness, which they could at times endure for many days on end, sitting with their legs crossed, their hands upon their knees or in their laps, and their eyes closed or looking at the ground.
It is said that the Dredain would often sit thus in times of grief or loss, but sometimes for pleasure in thought, or in the making of plans. But they could also use this stillness when on guard; and then they would sit or stand, hidden in shadow, and though their eyes might seem closed or staring with a blank gaze nothing passed or came near that was not marked and remembered. So intense was their unseen vigilance that it could be felt as a hostile menace by intruders, who retreated in fear before any warning was given; but if any evil thing passed on, then they would utter as a signal a shrill whistle, painful to endure close at hand and heard far off...

Indeed, though they held the Dredain in love and trust, many of the Folk of Haleth believed that they possessed uncanny and magical powers; and among their tales of marvels there were several that told of such things...


I know this thread is a bit useless, but I just want to know what other people think of the Dredain, and what your thoughts are on their moral side.

edit: I might get some more info another time
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:30 AM   #2
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MatthewM, sorry, I should have found this sooner, but the point still remains.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
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Yes, I also enjoy the stories, especially the Faithful Stone and I guess alongside Woodmen, Beornings and other secretive people they are my favourites as well.

Still, I am not sure if that is entirely legal, copying such a lard part of a copyrighted document I mean.
Think that might already be a bit too big to be seen as a quotation.
Still, I have nothing against this and it is a good read for anyone that does not own the UT.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Might View Post
Still, I am not sure if that is entirely legal, copying such a lard part of a copyrighted document I mean.
Think that might already be a bit too big to be seen as a quotation.
Still, I have nothing against this and it is a good read for anyone that does not own the UT.
I was wandering this. I will take it down if I find out it is actually illegal. I was just trying to illustrate the point that that is all that there is on the Druedain.


edit: I just looked and it says on the front

Quote:
Originally Posted by inside cover of the UT
Apart from any fair dealing for the puropse of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1956 no part of thos publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by ay means, electronic, electrical, chemical, mechanical, optical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permisssion of the copyright owner.
Ok, so I'm not sure exacty what that means, but if anyone is certain, I would like to find out. If anyone has any complaints I will remove the quote.


EDIT 2: OK, I don't care if it is legal or not, It is coming off in 2 days, so take your opputunity now to read it.


Edit3: Lard?

Edit 4: Ok, I cut it down, is that ok?
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Last edited by Enw; 02-22-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
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Normally, copyright laws allow pertinent quotes if they are not too long, but not entire articles such as the above. I am sure Downs members who do not own the books have the possibility of checking them out at the library, so I would ask you to summarize the chapter in your own words, or to quote only a few of the most important lines. That puts you - and the Downs forum! - on the safe side of the law. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Yes, I believe that your edits now are ok.

Btw, a second ago I just had a thought.
I would like to discuss with you the way the Druedain are capable of transfering a part of their power to such stones as in the story of Aghan?
If I think about the essay Osanwe-kenta by Pengolodh I'd have to say it seems magical but probably has something to do with a special ability of the Druedain to somehow split a part of their soul and put it in a certain object.
How this exactly should work I have no idea and this is why I am asking for your opinion.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:58 AM   #7
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TM, do you imagine that might be similar to the horcrux idea as told in the Harry Potter books?
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:34 PM   #8
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Maybe it is a bit like if you are a very strict Muslim. They (at least, many do) believe that if you draw or make an image or something you will have to put a part of your soul into it.

Aghan even says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aghan, THe Faithful Stone
If some power passes from you to a thing that you have made, then you must take a share in its hurts
but actually that doesn't help.

Maybe in order to make such good copies of real life, they needed to sacrifice some of their soul, or something like that, wich coincidently ties in with what I was saying about Islam, where it says something about when you make an imitation of something that is real, you are taking the job of the Creator, so you must give it life, and if you are not the Creator (God), then you cannot make its own soul and have to give it some of yours, and (I think) the closer you make it to real life the more you have to give.

PS. If I have offended anyone or said anything wrong please tell me and I will change this post
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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It seems that everything Tolkien wrote about came from some aspect of his professional life. He was unavoidably knowledgeable of the primitive peoples that had existed in the lands where the Germanic peoples lived that he spent most of his time studying. Whereas the Druedain do not directly resemble, say, Picts, or Basques, et cetera, there is a certain recognizability in them to such folk from our own past. There is the animistic element, though Tolkien has cleaned that up and removed from it any "witch doctor" connotations.

The Druedain seem to be depicted more or less after the fashion of primitive peoples with which we are familiar from our own studies of not so far distant history, such as the Aborigines of Australia, the Native Americans, and the natives of the Amazon as well. But their moral character seems a cut above. Which is interesting. I suppose Native Americans probably would have had an implacable hatred of Orcs; after all, they had an implacable hatred for what the European settlers did to their sacred lands....
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:52 PM   #10
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Woses

From an essay by Michael Martinez on Mysteries on Middle Earth:

"Tolkien liked the word "wose", by the way. He used it as one of Turin's nicknames (Saeros called him a woodwose in "Narn i Chin Hurin") and "woodwose" is the modern form of the Anglo-Saxon "wudu-wasa", "wild man of the woods" (another of Turin's nicknames). "Woses" is therefore intended to be a translation of the actual Rohirric word, "Rogin" (sing. Rog), with much the same meaning, "wild men of the woods". The Rohirrim were ignorant (as was Tolkien, when he wrote Lord of the Rings) of the Woses' ancient history." (and I ok with using a paragraph under a quote under Fair-Use and especially in this case where you can download the essay for free).

This notion of Wudu-wasa or woodwose is common in both Anglo-Saxon and in Europe for wildmen of the woods. The myth seems to be based around men who were extremely hairy and used a wooden club. So I think it is quite evident that Tolkien used yet again learning from his career to incorporate these people into the story.

As to why they are included I believe they are another example by Tolkien of adding such a rich diversity to Middle Earth and to his story. The Druedain for me are much like Australia's Aborigines people, yet in a deep sense, I think they reflect in a deeper way, man in a natural condition that is far more in touch with nature than "civilized man." In any case, they do add to the diversity of the people's of Middle Earth.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:11 PM   #11
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Leaf

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
From an essay by Michael Martinez on Mysteries on Middle Earth:

"As to why they are included I believe they are another example by Tolkien of adding such a rich diversity to Middle Earth and to his story. The Druedain for me are much like Australia's Aborigines people, yet in a deep sense, I think they reflect in a deeper way, man in a natural condition that is far more in touch with nature than "civilized man." In any case, they do add to the diversity of the people's of Middle Earth.
Really?, I've always though of them being more Pictish, to the rather Anglo-Saxon Gondorians and Teutonic Rohirrim

Last edited by Alfirin; 02-23-2008 at 06:12 PM. Reason: grammer correction
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:01 PM   #12
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Pictish

To clarify, I was thinking in terms of being native peoples in touch with the land. I heard others consider them perhaps lost Neanderthals, but I haven't agreed because of size etc. They perhaps could represent a lost branch of mankind that eventually died out.
I do think they represent the diversity found in Middle Earth of a variety of people and even in a race, the diversity and variety of people within a race. I think for me, that is one of many, many things Tolkien does that makes Middle Earth so much like our own world.

The Druedain also remind that Tolkien brings in beasts, people and such that are almost crossover between an ancient world and the beginning of our modern one. The Oliphant, the Fell Beast, the Druedain are all examples of this.
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:43 PM   #13
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You also might want to include the Kine of Araw (the bulls from one of whose horns Boromirs horn was made); they always impressed me as being far more like true wild bulls (Aurochs or is that Aurochses?) perhaps with a touch of the legendary white bulls of Cullingham Park mixed in (the aformetioned are a strain of cattle that as I recall were supposed to be more or less immune to cattle diseases by virtue of having been a purebred line dating back to time immemorial (time immemoria in the case being estimated at 50,000 years (yeah I don't really beive it either.))

but I agree that middle earth seems to have an astonish diversity of peoples with people corresponding to an astonishing number of groups. It even has Inuit! (the Lossoth)
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:47 PM   #14
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I actually thought about that as I wrote it Estelyn.
Also because Aghan suffers once the statue is destroyed.

And thanks Eonwe for that information, not aware of that.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enw View Post
Maybe it is a bit like if you are a very strict Muslim. They (at least, many do) believe that if you draw or make an image or something you will have to put a part of your soul into it.

Aghan even says:


but actually that doesn't help.

Maybe in order to make such good copies of real life, they needed to sacrifice some of their soul, or something like that, wich coincidently ties in with what I was saying about Islam, where it says something about when you make an imitation of something that is real, you are taking the job of the Creator, so you must give it life, and if you are not the Creator (God), then you cannot make its own soul and have to give it some of yours, and (I think) the closer you make it to real life the more you have to give.

PS. If I have offended anyone or said anything wrong please tell me and I will change this post

Gee, this sounds a lot like something Tolkien would say about sub-creation. I wonder if he had that in mind when wrote this particular story.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enw View Post
Maybe it is a bit like if you are a very strict Muslim. They (at least, many do) believe that if you draw or make an image or something you will have to put a part of your soul into it.

PS. If I have offended anyone or said anything wrong please tell me and I will change this post
The power that the Druedain possessed was perceived as remarkable (a weak attempt on my part to connect this post with the topic of the thread). In Islam the making of images is seen as sinful. I have read that those who make images will be punished but I haven't read that they will be forced to provide a portion of their soul to their handiwork. I take no offense from your post. Thanks for asking.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #17
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They are many different ways to interpret things, and what I mentioned is just one.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:34 AM   #18
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They are many different ways to interpret things, and what I mentioned is just one.
Yes, of course. My sources of information are from the traditional Sunni perspective. There are certainly other interpretations, as is well known.

I find the Druedain to be admirable because it seems from the information provided that they are the most pure among mankind. I have always been intrigued by the quote above, "Their voices were deep and guttural, but their laughter was a surprise: it was rich and rolling, and set all who heard it, Elves or Men, laughing too for its pure merriment untainted by scorn or malice." Also, I think that I have read that there was some speculation by the inhabitants of Beleriand that the Druedain were related to Orcs. Elves apparently squashed that speculation because to their heightened senses the two groups could not be more different.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #19
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Yes, I think you are thinking of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notes, The Drúedain, UT
To the unfriendly who, not knowing them well, declared that Morgoth must have bred the Orcs from such a stock the Eldar answered: `Doubtless Morgoth, since he can make no living thing, bred Orcs from various kinds of Men, but the Drúedain must have escaped his Shadow; for their laughter and the laughter of Ores are as different as is the light of Aman from the darkness of Angband.'


edit:

Quote:
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TM, do you imagine that might be similar to the horcrux idea as told in the Harry Potter books?
Isn't the ring like the horcrux idea in the Harry Potter books? (though obviously JRRT wrote first)
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:21 PM   #20
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Neither Tolkien nor Rowling came up with the idea. While I admits that, until I read Rowling I had never heard the word "horcrux" the concept it (and the master ring) embodies (that of an evil being hiding his or her soul in an object outside of thier body so as to become immortal and invicible) is one that should be familiar to anyone who has read a decent amount of folklore. One story that comes to mind in particular would be "The Heartless Giant" (proably becuse of the version done of the story in Jim Henson's "The Storyteller" series.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:34 PM   #21
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I actually meant "Tolkien before Rowling"not "Tolkien first"
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:25 AM   #22
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Does size matter (and I'm talking about Druedain statues)

An interesting question I just though of is... Does size matter in Druedain statues?

What I mean is, is a Watchstone that is 5cm tall as strong as one that is 10m tall? Because they don't work like normal beings. I don't think they are fully sentient, as they don't live independently (Aghan gets burns where the Pukel got burned), and they are not actually alive. It also became alive because, as Aghan says "If some power passes from you to a thing that you have made, then you must take a share in its hurts" which is why Aghan got burnt. This states also probably means that Watchstone became alive because some power passed from Aghan into it which means that it is not a lifeform in itself.
But if they are just helda alive by the power of their maker does this mean they all have the same strength? Because a PUkel can have only a certain amount of strenghth. Would they need to put the same amount of power in to make it sentient? I'm sure you can imagine a 10m tall Watchstone lifting up something like an elephant (not an Oliphaunt, becasue I doubt that even one of the Argonath could lift one of those), but if it could, would it also mean that the 5cm one could too? Just a question, which I hope you experts who know all about incarnations and such can answer.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:50 AM   #23
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I doubt Tolkien ever bothered to think about that...but if if this a truly crazy question I'll try to answer.

In note 11 to this chapter, Tolkien remarks:
Quote:
The tales, such as The Faithful Stone, that speak of their transferring part of their 'powers' to their artefacts, remind one in miniature of Sauron's transference of power to the foundations of the Barad-dr and to the Ruling Ring
As such, I believe that we should compare the watch-stone to the One Ring so as to get a better idea of how things worked.
Now surely, a drg could only create a certain number of watch-stones, since he did not have limitless power. Same goes with Sauron. This is why he couldn't create any other Ruling Ring, there was not enough power left all in all.
And so I also expect that the strength of a watchstone would depend on how much power wa given to it and just like that that for a larger stone more power was needed, this seems rather normal.
However, I have no idea about watch-stones of different sizes having the same strength when given the same power and I do nto wish to speculate on it because I find this is a bit too far off from Tolkien's world.
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:30 PM   #24
Enw
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
But I don't think Sauron had the same sort of control over the ring as the Druedain had over their watch-stones, did he?
He never made it get up and kill the fellowship.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:08 PM   #25
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
What do people think about their contact with the Dwarves and Eldar? Was it equal ended or was it just them giving help to the less advanced Dredain?

And how about their fighting? What sort of weapons do you think they use? Have they discovered the wonders of martial arts? (they seem to me like the sort of people who would)
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #26
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enw View Post
I have always thought that the Pkel-men (Dredain) have been neglected by many people studying the work of Tolkien, and especially on forums such as these. I have always been fascinated by them (being my favourite race in ME), but I want to know what you thnk of them.
The comedian Denis Leary had a routine where he'd discuss the animals worth saving from extinction, like otters and baby seals and dolphins...you know, all the cute ones. But a cow? Grind it up and grill it, baby, I'm hungry! A pig? We're having sausage for breakfast!

The Dredain are like that. Ummm...sort of.
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