people of middle earth

a couple thoughts/headcanons/meta about dwarves

  • in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, Tolkien states: “But if a son is seen to be 110 or so years younger than his father, this usually indicates an elder daughter.“ I did the calculations for the line of Durin, found one dwarf to probably have an older sister: Farin, Balin and Dwalin’s grandfather.
  • I did the calculations, and the average age the dwarves of Durin’s Line have children is 102 years of age. 
  • for dwarves, the Khuzdul name of their creator, Mahal, is given extra respect and reverence. to swear on His name— unless in sincerity— is profane, as is to destroy or erase His name. 
  • the dwarves born in Erebor have Khuzdul accents, since they were not as exposed to men as the dwarves who grew up in the Blue Mountains.
  • there are places in Erebor where the runes are written in Khuzdul, instead of Westron: these places are considered more sacred, and private, and so not shown to outsiders.
  • in Dale’s tongue— Old Norse— the name for the Arkenstone is not the Arkenstone, but the jarknastein. Jarknastein is actually the Old Norse cognate for what the Old English word Arkenstone was derived from, eorcnanstan.
  • the Khuzdul word for star is related to the word for crown: since Durin first saw the stars reflected in the Mirrormere, and thought of them like a crown.
  • Thorin states that the dwarves “never bothered to grow or find [food] for ourselves.” This is why exile is especially hard on them, as they lacked the means to purchase food, and had little experience with growing it.
  • in The Hobbit, Gandalf states that if they don’t want Bilbo as their burglar, they can “go back to digging coal.” That’s what they mined in the Blue Mountains— a serious downgrade from Erebor, where the Arkenstone was discovered, as were countless other precious stones. 
  • dwarves come of age at around 75. Gimli, at 62, was considered too young to come on the Quest for Erebor, but Fili and Kili, at 82 and 77 were considered old enough.
  • dwarves do not call Erebor Erebor, since it is the Sindarin name: they call it the Lonely Mountain, or just the Mountain. Consider: Bilbo uses the word Erebor. The dwarves are miffed. Hilarity ensues.
  • using bows isn’t considered “shameful” or “elvish”. The dwarves use their bows to shoot the white hart in Mirkwood, and later Thorin shoots at one of the Lakemen when they attempt to bargain. They also refer to their use of bows in the song Under the Mountain dark and tall.
  • Dís fought in the Battle of Azanulbizar. She was in the first assault of the vanguard with Thráin, her father, and Thorin and Frerin, her brothers.  
  • Dís also has a wife, who did not die. She is one of the Firebeards, so she’s native to the Blue Mountains.
  • the dwarves have a lot of issues with permanent injuries or PTSD. Post-Azanulbizar, “barely half of their number… could still stand or had hope of healing.” Many of them faced dragons (in the Grey Mountains and Erebor), Durin’s Bane (in Moria), war (War of the Dwarves and Orcs), and poverty and xenophobia while in exile. The children of these survivors face transgenerational trauma.
Everyday Bread

This is a perfect example of an easy bread that can be made every day. I mean, sure, it would be just as easy (if not easier) to use a sourdough starter, or to bake a large batch for several days in a row*, but if you are a fan of fresh, chewy, crusty bread every dang day than this is the one you want to use. This is the recipe I use whenever I need (or want) fresh bread for dinner. It’s easy. Seriously, it can be done in less than an hour. Plus it’s one of the best breads I’ve ever made, so there’s that too :)

*When one is involved in all the menial tasks to survival that we take for granted, sometimes we forget just what goes into ‘survival’. Peoples of Middle Earth would naturally have to work very hard, since not everyone can go on adventures and have everything taken care of for them. I like this little saying, even if it’s just household chores (leaving out planting, weeding, butchering, harvesting, thrashing, preserving, spinning, weaving, knitting, chopping firewood, etc.) I suppose I’m guilty of romanticizing the ‘olden lifestyle’; it sure sounds fun but if it came down to it I’ll stay in the 21st century, thank you very much.
“Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday.”

Everyday Bread (printable)
makes two loaves

Ingredients
2 ½ cups (595 mL) warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
5 ½ cups (660 g) flour
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

In a large bowl, mix warm water and yeast until yeast has dissolved.  Next add sugar, salt and flour. Knead ingredients together till it’s a soft uniform dough.

Now place a thin towel over the bowl with the dough in it and let it rise in a warm place for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° (232° C). Separate dough into two, and begin shaping dough into long loaves, and place on a baking sheet.

Make slits with a knife and brush with olive oil. If you are garnishing with herbs or cheese, do so now.

Cover the dough with the towel once more and let rise 5 minutes or so (the longer the better).

Remove towel, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are brown and crusty.

Recipes adapted from Urban Strawberries

So...Aragorn...

Was an outcast among men for being raised by elves…but was also an outcast among elves for being a mortal man

Was a ragged Ranger of the North but was also heir to the throne of a kingdom in the South

A mortal man who married an elf 

 A warrior but also a healer

 A man who lived far longer than ordinary men but was not immortal like the elves 

A man who spent years wandering Middle Earth protecting different peoples not under his own name, but under the names they gave him (Thorongil, Strider, Elessar), becoming whoever they needed him to be: always a hero but always an outcast, among them but not one of them

Who always walked between all the different worlds of Middle Earth, unable to fully belong to any of them

Here have 50 somewhat questionable character trait prompts
  1. Wears a t-shirt with a picture of them doing their worst habit to warn people how shitty they are
  2. Or doing something cool that’s their proudest moment and just wants everybody to know about it
  3. Always carries a picture of a specific meme and is aggressively waiting for the right time to use it
  4. Invented an instrument and only plays that instrument
  5. Has the weirdest saying that makes no sense
  6. Owns 57 different hats
  7. Hates pants
  8. Wears the same jacket 24/7
  9. Repeats every joke 
  10. Calls people by their full names 
  11. Barely talks to people but will go into lengthy passionate discussions with animals
  12. Talks reeeeaaaallly slow
  13. Can only cook pizza
  14. Thinks their protected by the will of God
  15. Doesn’t believe any history because they weren’t there to see it
  16. Owns over a hundred plants
  17. Is always the guinea pig of the group
  18. Biggest idol is Indiana Jones
  19. Eats 5 bananas a day
  20. Wants to be a villain but is too lazy
  21. Makes questionable fashion choices
  22. Always has a weapon on
  23. Thinks guns are cheating
  24. Wants to be a pirate and is super bummed about being born in modern times
  25. Dances away their problems
  26. Has a secret cooking show
  27. Has a lucky rock
  28. Draws things they think they’ll forget
  29. Got stuck in a well once
  30. Drinks a LOT of milk
  31. Tried to pursue a comedy career for a few years
  32. Likes to find high places to hang at
  33. Powerpoints every problem to make a decision
  34. Becomes unintelligible in action-packed situations
  35. Has a personal agenda against diaries
  36. Invents the crappiest things
  37. Is scared of the rain
  38. Hates sodium
  39. Is a perfectionist but only about completely irrelevant things
  40. Listens to the same 10 songs on repeat and ONLY those 10
  41. Logic > Emotions
  42. Emotions > Logic
  43. Only cares about their dogs
  44. Gets triggered by rubber ducks
  45. Would absolutely hate this list ‘cause what kinda people are these
  46. Thinks Middle Earth is an actual country on earth. Nobody has the heart to tell them the truth
  47. Nobody actually knows whether they’re always drunk or it’s just their personality
  48. Loves musicals more than anything and wants to be in one so bad but can’t sing for shit
  49. Believes anyone can change and has endless hope and is just the purest and healing person okay
  50. Not used to human contact and has no tact or manners at all

Nobody’s going to deny that, as it’s conventionally depicted, Middle-Earth - the setting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - is awfully monochrome. In art, basically everybody is drawn as white, and all major depictions in film have used white actors.

When this state of affairs is questioned, the defences typically revolve around “accuracy”, which can mean one of two things: fidelity to the source material, and the internal consistency of the setting. Being concerned primarily with languages and mythology, Tolkien left few clear descriptions of what the peoples of Middle-Earth actually look like, so in this case, arguments in favour of the status quo more often rest on setting consistency.

Of course, we need hold ourselves neither to fidelity nor to consistency - the author’s dead, and we can do what we want. However, what if I told you that there’s a reasonable argument to be made from that very standpoint of setting consistency that Aragorn - the one character you’d most expect to be depicted as a white dude - really ought to be portrayed as Middle Eastern and/or North African?

First, consider the framing device of Tolkien’s work. The central conceit of The Lord of the Rings - one retroactively extended to The Hobbit, and thereafter to later works - is that Tolkien himself is not the story’s author, but a mere translator of writings left behind by Bilbo, Frodo and other major characters. Similarly, Middle-Earth itself is positioned not as a fictional realm, but as the actual prehistory of our own world. As such, the languages and mythologies that Tolkien created were intended not merely to resemble their modern counterparts, but to stand as plausible ancestors for them.

Now, Aragorn is the king of a tribe or nation of people called the Dúnedain. Let’s take a closer look at them in the context of that prehistoric connection.

If the Dúnedain were meant to be the forebears of Western Europeans, we’d expect their language, Adûnaic, to exhibit signs of Germanic (or possibly Italic) derivation - but that’s not what we actually see. Instead, both the phonology and the general word-structure of Adûnaic seem to be of primarily Semitic derivation, i.e., the predominant language family throughout the Middle East and much of North Africa. Indeed, while relatively little Adûnaic vocabulary is present in Tolkien’s extant writings, some of the words we do know seem to be borrowed directly from classical Hebrew - a curious choice if the “men of the West” were intended to represent the ancestors of the Germanic peoples.

Additionally, the Dúnedain are descended from the survivors of the lost island of Númenor, which Tolkien had intended as an explicit analogue of Atlantis. Alone, this doesn’t give us much to go on - unless one happens to know that, in the legendarium from which Tolkien drew his inspirations, the Kingdoms of Egypt were alleged to be remnant colonies of Atlantis. This connection is explicitly reflected in the strong Egyptian influence upon Tolkien’s descriptions of Númenorean funereal customs. We thus have both linguistic and cultural/mythological ties linking the survivors of Númenor to North Africa.

Now, I’m not going to claim that Tolkien actually envisioned the Dúnedain as North African; he was almost certainly picturing white folks. However, when modern fans argue that Aragorn and his kin must be depicted as white as a matter of setting consistency, rather than one of mere authorial preference, strong arguments can be made that this need not be the case; i.e., that depicting the Dúnedain in a manner that would be racialised as Middle Eastern and/or North African by modern standards is, in fact, entirely consistent with the source material, ethnolinguistically speaking. Furthermore, whether they agreed with these arguments or not, any serious Tolkien scholar would at least be aware of them.

In other words, if some dude claims that obviously everyone in Tolkien is white and acts like the very notion of depicting them otherwise is some outlandish novelty, you’ve got yourself a fake geek boy.

(As an aside, if we turn our consideration to the Easterlings, the human allies of Sauron who have traditionally been depicted in art as Middle Eastern on no stronger evidence than the fact that they’re baddies from the East, a similar process of analysis suggests that they’d more reasonably be racialised as Slavic in modern terms. Taken together with the preceding discussion, an argument can be made that not only is the conventional racialisation of Tolkien’s human nations in contemporary art unsupported by the source material, we may well have it precisely backwards!)

In a morbid, kind of way it’s interesting to see how the  internalized racism in Tolkien’s time that went unchecked due to the white society he was born in continues to go unchecked and internalized in the Tolkien fandom by white fans today.

The racist tropes that he wrote into his books are quite obviously those cultivated from his time, and because of the time they were written in it was a little more…understandable that readers then  were unable to realize their problematic nature. But still in 2017 white fans are still oblivious (either by ignorance or on purpose) to the deeper racism in his works, and that’s kind of scary.

And a lot of it comes from the fact that the fandom is so “white” dominate, so racism is typically examined from a “white” perspective, where it is whitesplained (Ie: No black people in Middle Earth, which to be fair isn’t quite true).

White fans tend to see racism as “action” as in, you must be doing a racist thing for it to be considered racist, and if you’re not doing a racist thing then you aren’t racist, and fail to realize that in itself racism starts with a mindset rather than an action. So “subtle” hints of racism get ignored.   

Instances of racism that would be recognizable by people of color are invisible to white fans only because they haven’t experienced it, and have already solidified a “white” view of racism.

That said, the fact that white fans are more willing to listen to other white fans about racism in Tolkien’s characters and fandoms then they are willing to listen to actual people of color is, I think, is another example of white washed racism in the Tolkien fandom.

Racism is valid when white people are talking about it, but annoying, discourse, or reaching when people of color are talking about it. Why is that so? When did we get to this point?

The fact that I’ve seen white fans talking about racism being more well received than me and other fans of color talking about racism is disturbing, especially for a fandom that’s supposed to be so liberal (but the majority of fans I’ve seen in Tolkien-Tumblr are all white women in their late 20s and above, and thus the award holders for white feminism. And they validate the 16 year old white girls who think a year on tumblr gives them a degree on social justice, so an unhealthy cycle is continued).

If you find yourself drooling over a white girl’s explanation of racism in Tolkien fandom but rolling your eyes when a fan of color talks about it, then you need to reevaluate your life. Because white girls only know surface racism, people of color live it.

And this goes back to my point of “white washed” racism, and even further to our non-liberal fandom. It’s almost disappointing to see that as a fandom, we haven’t really progressed past Tolkien’s traditional, imperialistic views as far as racism goes.

I think a lot of this has to do with white feminism. One of the reasons we consider ourselves a liberal fandom because we can talk about sexism. But that’s slave-time feminism if we’re suddenly unable to listen to fans of color do the same with racism.

And of course I’m not talking about all white people in the Tolkien fandom, but it’s not very many that are not like this.

In my own experience I only know a handful.

REBLOG IF YOU ARE FEMALE AND A FAN OF THE HOBBIT/LOTR AND TOLKIEN'S MIDDLE EARTH!!!

This is to prove to SOME people that we chicas can love it too and it is not just designed for lads!!

The Silmarillion aesthetic | Curufin (Curufinwe Atarinke)

‘Curufin was a man of perilous mood.. ‘

‘..and he could have slain Eol (as he greatly wished!) and no one beyond the few men with him at his camp (WHO WOULD
NEVER HAVE BETRAYED HIM) would ever have heard of it.’

J.R.R. Tolkien, HoMe 11, The War of the Jewels, The Later Quenta Silmarillion.

Female characters in Tolkien’s writings

One criticism towards Tolkien’s works is his scarcity of female characters. Some believe that he was being chauvinistic. Personally I disagree with this opinion for some reasons I will explain shortly.

First of all, Tolkien’s works (especially the “Lord of the Rings” and the “Silmarillion”) are supposed to be written as pseudo-medieval/ancient accounts of a fictional historical past of Europe. Also, the stories revolve a lot around perpetual war. It is only natural that male characters would be prominent since, traditionally, it was men that mostly participated in wars. Considering the period that Tolkien lived, we have to remember that feminist notions weren’t circulating much in society so he adherred to more traditional values.
Yes, some Tolkien’s female characters are courageous but only within the limits of femininity (e.g. Eowyn kneeling in front of Aragorn and then resolving to become Faramir’s lady). I think that Tolkien kept some feminine traits but didn’t make them look inferior like many old writers used to do. It can be argued, that in Medieval Literature for instance, females used to be literary tools for a knight to prove his worth or trophies to be won. I didn’t get that from Tolkien. Tolkien’s female characters have agency and influence.
He doesn’t use the “evil-temptress” or “femme fatale” archetype for them. I think this is because Tolkien’s characters served as morally didactic; he showed how people should be so maybe having evil characters (apart from the villains) would be against his purpose.

Secondly, the most important clue that shows that Tolkien wasn’t a chauvinist is that his few female characters were powerful and capable women and not ‘damsels in distress’. This is a short description of them that proves this:

EOWYN
“No living man am I! You look upon a woman.”
The strongest female character that comes to most people’s mind is Eowyn. She was a shieldmaiden who went to fight alongside men. She famously killed the Witch-king of Angmar. Tolkien was inspired to write this sequence after he found a flaw in the prophecy in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” which he found that this meant that a woman could actually kill him.

GALADRIEL
“…but Galadriel, the only woman of the Noldor to stand that day tall and valiant among the contending princes, was eager to be gone.”
Galadriel is a very ancient Elf and Tolkien describes her as strong and tall as an Elven man, that’s why her mother gave her the name “Nerwen” which means Man-maiden. When she was young, she was rebellious of nature, strong-willed and wished to rule a realm of her own. And she succeeded it.

LUTHIEN TINUVIEL
The most beautiful maiden that ever lived and inspired by Tolkien’s wife, Edith. In the Silmarillion, we see she is a powerful Elf who isn’t afraid to take initiatives. To save the man she loves, she runs away from her King father, defeats Sauron in a spell-battle, releases his captives, enchants Morgoth (Sauron’s mighty boss) and helps Beren retrieve a Silmaril.

HALETH
“…and Haleth only brought her people through it with hardship and loss, constraining them to go forward by the strength of her will.”
A lesser-known character, Haleth was also a female warrior. After her father and brother were killed, she valiantly held the forces while being cornered by Orcs. Eventually, she was saved by the Elven lord, Caranthir, but she was too proud to remain close to him and led her people far away. The people loved her and she held them together with her strong leadership skills and created her own realm in the Forest of Brethil. In a different version, Tolkien describes her as “a renowned amazon with a picked bodyguard of women”. (Tolkien, J. R. R. (1996), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Peoples of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Of Dwarves and Men, p. 309)

AREDHEL
“I am your sister and not your servant, and beyond your bounds I will go as seems good to me. And if you begrudge me an escort, then I will go alone.”
Aredhel was tall and strong, and loved much to ride and hunt in the forests. She is considered one of the most fearless and self-confident Elven maids and loved freedom. Her relationship with Eol, though, leaves a lot to discussion.

IDRIL CELEBRINDAL
“…But Idril Celebrindal was wise and far-seeing, and her heart misgave her, and foreboding crept upon her spirit as a cloud.”
Idril was a wise-hearted and foresighted Elven princess of the First Age. It was thanks to her initiative that a remnant of Elves managed to escape the sack of Gondolin by secretly having a tunnel opened under the mountains. She led her people and if it wasn’t for her idea, no one would have escaped (and this would have had terrible consequences as her descendants were some of the most influential characters).

MELIAN THE MAIA
Melian was the mother of Luthien and a Maia, a semi-divine species. She fell in love with the Elven-King Thingol and thanks to her magic, she protected his realm with the Girdle of Melian. It was thanks to her that the Sindarin kingdom was safe and prospered for centuries while other realms were in constant battles against Orcs. She was the one who taught the Sindarin Elves wisdom, old lore and arts that they otherwise wouldn’t have learned and would have probably been be akin to the Dark Elves of the East.

MORWEN ELEDHWEN
Morwen was one of the most beautiful mortal women that ever lived and the mother of the tragic hero Turin Turambar. She is known as very proud, stern and strong-willed. The barbaric men who conquered her land dared not to touch her because they were afraid of her. When she went to King Thingol’s realm and found her son was gone, she went by herself to find him during perilous times. This proved a bad decision though…

YAVANNA
The Vala (deity) of Nature. She created the famous Two Trees of Valinor, which played an important role in the Elder Days. It is through their holy light that the Undying Lands were so fruitful and the Elves that lived there became stronger than anywhere else. Their light was later trapped in the Silmarils, the holy gems that were central in the wars of the First Age. The light of her Two Trees was also used in the creation of the Sun and the Moon.

Honourable mention: the Numenorean Queen, Tar-Ancalime, who can be considered a proto-feminist.

NERDANEL
Nerdanel was the wife of Feanor. She’s described as free of mind, understanding, strong and skillful. The fact that she was the only one who could control someone like Feanor shows her inner strength. Also, having her take up stereotypically unfeminine occupations (such as crafting/sculpting) and having a wife influencing such a powerful husband is definitely a non-traditional view that isn’t found in old literature where it was expected that wives should be submissive. Even when Feanor told her that as a good wife she ought to follow him to Beleriand, she didn’t succumb and remained strong and wise. Moreover, her wandering alone in Aman (where she met Feanor) shows independence. All these demonstrate a strong female figure.

ANDRETH
Andreth was a mortal wisewoman from the House of Beor. She was so highly esteemed that Finrod Felagund himself would seek to converse with her. Throughout old literature, wisdom wasn’t a popular trait that writers would give to female characters. In the past centuries, the seeking of knowledge wasn’t expected to be the field of women. So, having a mighty ruler like Finrod seeking a woman’s company and appreciating her for this reason is something that most male heroes of old stories would rarely do, since they valued male opinion more. Here, Tolkien provides a different view in gender interaction.

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I believe these strong and influential female characters prove that Tolkien was far from being a chauvinist. And if his stories weren’t revolving around war, I’m sure he would have added even more female characters. However, the fact that they were so few is what makes them even more special and well-developed.

When you’re trying to fall asleep but then you realize that if you take The Peoples of Middle Earth as canon, both Fëanor’s eldest and youngest sons burned to death: Amrod because he tried to turn back too soon and Maedhros because he was determined to see the quest to the bitter end.

10

So this was totally suppose to be for Valentine’s Day but I just got around to finishing it lol! 

A little comic (?) about Ulmo cause seriously he’s like the coolest. Constantly helping out people of Middle Earth when he could. Obviously wasn’t able to stop a lot of horrible things that happened but still he was like the most active of the Valar. 

And also since it was for Valentine’s Day this was just kind of for everyone and especially all you single peeps, to celebrate all kinds of love and not just romantic cause you really don’t need romance in your life to be happy. 

So I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and a good weekend. Thank you to all my awesome friends (especially The Company you know who you are), followers, and people in general who support my art by liking and reblogging. UuU 

You’re all wonderful <3

P.S. I’m sure there’s a lot of grammar mistakes so forgive me for that. Grammar isn’t my forte ;w;