With the latest in Professor Tolkien's work starting to drop, I figured I'd kick off a little book club discussion. I received my copy earlier this week and have only now begun to peruse it. This needn't be only regarding our hobby here but I imagine that will be most of it haha.
So to kick it off, my little contribution will be the fact that Aragorn clocks in at 6 foot 6 inches (score one for me at 6'5"!)
Aragorn carried a staff?Descriptions of Characters, page 194 wrote:Elendil the Tall, leader of the Faithful who survived the Downfall, was said to have surpassed 7ft., though his sons were not quite so tall. Aragorn, his direct descendant, in spite of the many intervening generations, must still have been a very tall and strong man with a great stride; he was probably at least 6ft.6. Boromir, of high Númenórean lineage, would not be much shorter: say 6ft. 4.
Descriptions of Characters, page 191 wrote:In 1970 Allen & Unwin published a poster-sized Map of Middle-earth, executed by the artist Pauline Baynes, and based about that included in The Lord of the Rings. On the map itself are a series of vignettes portraying various locations significant to the story, such as the Barrow-Downs and Minas Tirith; and above and below the map proper, Baynes depicted the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, the Black Riders, Gollum, Shelob, and the other enemies of the West. On seeing the finished art, Tolkien wrote a series of comments on these depictions of places and characters..... and he found the depiction of Aragorn good, those of Sam and Gimli "good enough" and that of Boromir to be "the best figure, and most closely related to the text".
And we now have a location for a Dúnedain settlement!Descriptions of Characters, page 192 wrote:*Incidentally: Aragorn is provided with a staff, much more suitable for Gandalf, though Aragorn is never described as using one.
Potential female Rangers? In a section on the name of Gilrain that was omitted from Unfinished Tales.Silvan Elves and Silvan Elvish, page 366 wrote:Trolls had lived in the north of the Misty Mountains since the days before memory, especially near the Ettenmoors; but they increased in numbers and wickedness while the realm of Angmar lasted. They then retreated east of the mountains, but about 300 years before the War of the Ring they returned and began to trouble Eriador, in spite of the vigilance of the Rangers, making dens in the hills even as far from the mountains as the North Downs. In the time of Arador a band threatened the house of the Chieftain, which was then in woods near the Hoarwell north of the Trollshaws, though many of the Dúnedain, though many of the Dúnedain lived in the woods between the Hoarwell and Loudwater.
The Rivers and Beacon-Hills of Gondor, page 382 wrote:More likely it was her true name, since it had become a name given to women of her people, the remnants of the Númenóreans of the North Kingdom of unmingled blood. The women of the Eldar were accustomed to wear such tressures; but among other peoples they were used only by women of high rank among the "Rangers", descendants of Elros, as they claimed.
Sadly, it seems like NoMe might be it as far as non-language writing of Middle-earth from the Professor. The editor Carl F. Hostetter had an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit today and he had this to say on future publications from the archives.
And I asked this -Hi! Do you have any idea what the plans of The Tolkien Estate for the future are, now that Christopher has passed away?
- Are you going to get more manuscripts to try and edit into a book, or was this a one-time thing?
- Do you know if they plan to focus more on publishing unpublished manuscripts of Tolkien, or to focus on re-editing already published material in a more approachable form (such as Christopher did with Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin), or both?I am not privy to the plans or thoughts of the Tolkien Estate (though of course I have contact with them on matters of permission to publish, etc.). Based solely on what I have seen of Tolkien's manuscripts — which to my knowledge is nearly exhaustive, save for letters and personal papers — I don't think there is enough unpublished material concerning Middle-earth (outside of the linguistic papers) to form another volume like NoMe. There are of course many of Tolkien's academic writings and lectures that remain unpublished (for now), but nothing substantial pertaining to Middle-earth. But I'd be delighted to be proven wrong on this!
So we might have to be content with what we have now.Unfortunately, the Professor was not very forth coming on details of the Dunedain in the 3rd Age. Not much on dress, culture, or real-world historical inspiration. I already love NoMe but it seems much of it is focused on the Elves and Numenoreans (which do lead to the Dunedain, yes).
So my question is, do you know if there will ever be more about the daily lives of the 3rd Age or specifically more about the Dunedain?Thanks! I know of no other such material, alas.
So that's what I've gleaned so far. I know Greg has a very exciting bit he posted about on Facebook regarding dog breeds. Looking forward to a good discussion!