16 august 2009
ELENDIL THE TALL, son of Amandil, Lord of Andúnië, became leader of the Faithful upon his father's desperate mission to the uttermost West. In seven ships the remnant fled the wrack of Númenór, and were cast upon the shores of Middle-earth. With his sons Anárion and Isildur, Elendil founded Arnor and Gondor, the Númenórean realms-in-exile; and with the Elven-king Gil-galad, he formed the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, which at great cost overthrew the Dark Lord Sauron at the closing of the Second Age.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist first, a myth-maker second: the names found in his work—whether they be of places or of people—are suffused with meaning. Elendil, for instance, is Quenya for Elf-friend: and to be called a friend of the Eldar, the People of the Stars, was in Tolkien's estimation the highest of mortal honors.
Elendil has its primary-world equivalents. In Anglo-Saxon, Ælfwine (Aelfwine) carries the same meaning, and in less archaic form is written as Elfwine, the name recorded for the firstborn son of Éomer and Lothíriel. A bit more wearing down gives the form Elwin, the given name of the remarkable Dr. Ransom from C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. (Ransom was like Tolkien a philologist, and there is ample evidence to conclude that the character was a tribute to Lewis's fellow Inkling.)
But Elwin is by no means the only modern name that can be traced back to Ælfwine: there is also Alvin, Edwin, and—uh
Do I have any idea where I'm going with this? No, I do not. It's just too freaky weird.
Hey man, you still kicking around? How was the army?
You know your blog still looks good.
post a comment