• Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ (4/4)

    From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Fri Feb 21 22:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sat Mar 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Tue Apr 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Thu May 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jun 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jul 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Fri Aug 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Mon Sep 21 23:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Wed Oct 21 23:14:02 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sat Nov 21 22:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Mon Dec 21 22:14:01 2020
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jan 21 22:14:02 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sun Feb 21 22:14:02 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sun Mar 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Wed Apr 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Fri May 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jun 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jul 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sat Aug 21 23:14:02 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Tue Sep 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Thu Oct 21 23:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Sun Nov 21 22:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Tue Dec 21 22:14:01 2021
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jan 21 22:14:01 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Mon Feb 21 22:14:01 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Mon Mar 21 23:14:01 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steuard Jensen@21:1/5 to All on Thu Apr 21 23:14:01 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through his
    Orcs and very possibly more directly. The Dwarves knew that "Durin's
    Bane" was still in Moria when Dain saw it inside the gate at the battle
    of Azanulbizar, but they may not have known what it was: at the Council
    of Elrond, Gloin calls it simply "the nameless fear."

    In "Lothlorien", Celeborn tells the Fellowship, "We long have feared
    that under Caradhras a terror slept." This indicates that he wasn't
    sure anything was there, and suggests that he did not know the nature
    of the "terror". Similarly, in "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", Gandalf
    clearly does not know what to expect: after confronting the Balrog
    through the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul, he says, "what it was I
    cannot guess". When the company finally sees it, he says, "A Balrog.
    Now I understand." If neither Gandalf nor Celeborn knew of its
    presence, it seems unlikely that any of the White Council did.
    -------

    9. Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along?

    In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth and
    Sauron. However, their attitudes toward each other seem to have varied substantially at different times and places. In some cases, they were
    great friends, while in others they viewed each other with substantial mistrust. There are indications of the latter in the Sindarin/Silvan
    kingdoms at the time of the War of the Ring, while something
    approaching the former held in Rivendell, where Gloin and Gimli were
    warmly welcomed.

    Opinions on the frequency of each attitude cover the entire
    spectrum. When Bilbo first meets Elves in /The Hobbit/ ("A Short
    Rest"), we read that "They were elves of course. ...Dwarves don't get
    on well with them", but that statement is certainly a broad
    generalization. One of the more direct statements on the issue can be
    found in the introduction to the Second Age in Appendix B of LotR:

    The Noldor were great craftsmen and less unfriendly to the Dwarves
    than the Sindar; but the friendship that grew up between the people
    of Durin and the Elven-smiths of Eregion was the closest that there
    has ever been between the two races.

    In general, this passage seems to imply that unfriendliness between
    Elves and Dwarves was common and that true friendship between them was relatively rare. However, it also demonstrates that such friendships
    did exist.
    -------

    10. Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed?

    [This updates question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]

    This question is answered in detail in Letter #211. Tolkien says
    that when Sauron was taken to Numenor as a prisoner, "he naturally had
    the One Ring". He goes on to say that at the time of the Akallabeth,
    "Though reduced to 'a spirit of hatred borne on a dark wind', I do not
    think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon
    which his power of dominating minds now largely depended." We know
    that Sauron could (eventually) rebuild a physical body even in spirit
    form, so carrying the Ring to safety seems plausible as well. (In
    fact, the Valar and Maiar must have used this sort of ability to shape
    the world in the first place.)

    A passage from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in /The Silmarillion/ is sometimes cited as evidence that, contrary to the
    statements above, Sauron left the Ring in Mordor before going to
    Numenor. In that essay, after Sauron returned to Middle-earth and
    rebuilt his body, "He took up again the great Ring". However, this is
    not a contradiction: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one
    definition of "take up" is

    c. With special obj., implying a purpose of using in some way: as,
    to take up one's pen, to proceed or begin to write; to take up a
    book (i.e. with the purpose to read); to take up the (or one's)
    cross (see CROSS n. 4, 10): to take up ARMS, [etc.]

    Some have also argued that Ar-Pharazon would have demanded that Sauron
    give him the Ring, but (again in Letter #211) Tolkien says that "I do
    not think Ar-Pharazon knew anything about the One Ring."
    -------

    11. Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth?

    The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below are
    listed a number of possible answers (as of the end of the Third Age),
    starting from the oldest.

    1. Eru Iluvatar, the Creator... but he never inhabited Ea itself.

    2. The Ainur (including Sauron, Gandalf, etc.): they existed before
    the Music that gave Middle-earth form.

    3. Tom Bombadil. In addition to his direct claim that he is
    "Eldest" (confirmed at the Council of Elrond), he says that he
    "was here before the river and the trees", and that he
    "remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn". If he is
    one of the Ainur, this implies that he was the first of them to
    enter Middle-earth; if not, it probably means he was the first
    "native" inhabitant.

    4. Some trees in Fangorn (and maybe elsewhere): Treebeard says that
    in some parts of his forest, "the trees are older than I am."

    5. Treebeard. Gandalf tells Theoden that he is "the eldest and
    chief of the Ents, and when you speak with him you will hear the
    speech of the oldest of all living things." (Given #4, Gandalf
    must actually mean something like "speaking living things", and
    given #2 and #3 he must be using a specific definition of
    "living".)

    If any of the Fathers of the Dwarves were alive (having been
    "reincarnated"), they might fall between #4 and #5. As any living Elf
    would certainly be one of Gandalf's "living things", all of them must
    be younger than Treebeard. (Although the Ents awoke only after the
    Elves, this does not prove that none of the "First Elves" remained
    alive: Treebeard could conceivably have existed as a normal tree before awakening as an Ent.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV. EXTERNAL RESOURCES

    While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction to
    discussions of Tolkien and his works online, there is clearly far more information available than could be recorded in a single document.
    Some frequently asked questions require a more substantial answer that
    could possibly be given here. In this section are collected a few
    resources that address such questions. (Only resources that address
    specific questions asked frequently in the newsgroups are included
    here: this is not an attempt to list all of the excellent Tolkien web
    sites in existence.)

    Because most of these resources are located on the World Wide Web
    rather than on Usenet, it is always possible that they could move or
    disappear without notice. A reasonable effort will be made to ensure
    that the addresses here remain valid, but if these resources go away
    there really isn't much that we can do about it. (Please do let me
    know if a link here is broken.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.A. WHERE ELSE CAN I FIND GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MIDDLE-EARTH?

    1. The Tolkien Meta-FAQ

    The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a unified
    index to this FAQ and the other FAQs listed in this section. By
    organizing all of their content in a consistent way with
    cross-references where appropriate, it will hopefully make finding the
    answers you want faster and easier. It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/
    -------

    2. The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ

    Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists of
    frequently asked questions and answers. They are well written and well documented, and most of the conclusions that they reach have stood the
    test of time (some have even been strengthened by information that has
    been published since they were written). They are posted to the
    newsgroups roughly every four weeks. For convenience, they are also
    available in HTML form; the web addresses follow, along with each FAQ's summary.

    The Tolkien FAQ consists of "Frequently Asked Questions about the
    author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions commonly raised by the first reading
    of /The Hobbit/ or /The Lord of the Rings/; details of the background
    mythology and invented history which relate directly to the stories; biographical matters." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tfaq/

    The Tolkien LessFAQ consists of "Less Frequently Asked Questions
    about the author J.R.R. Tolkien: questions on his lesser known works;
    questions on deeper and/or more obscure details of the invented
    history, background mythology, and matters philological and
    theological." It is on the web at

    http://tolkien.slimy.com/tlfaq/
    -------

    3. The "FAQ of the Rings"

    Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently in
    discussions of Tolkien's work, and it would be difficult to do them all
    justice in a general FAQ like this one. Because of this, Stan Brown
    has created a "FAQ of the Rings" addressing many such questions in
    depth. It can be found at

    http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    -------

    4. The Letters FAQ

    Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's works
    are addressed in his letters, collected in /The Letters of J.R.R.
    Tolkien/. As it can be difficult to find the letters that relate to a
    given topic, Mike Brinza has compiled a list of common questions and
    where to look for their answers. This can be found at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/lettersfaq.html
    -------

    5. Google's Usenet archive

    The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a debate
    on the newsgroups is to read the debates themselves. The best Usenet
    archive currently available is hosted by Google, which contains posts
    all the way back to the founding of Usenet in the 1980's. Google's
    advanced newsgroup search page is at

    http://groups.google.com/advanced_search

    To search specifically on the Tolkien groups, enter "*tolkien" in the "Newsgroup" field (without the quotes, of course). The main interface
    on this page is mostly self-explanatory, and should be familiar to
    anyone who has used a web search engine.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.B. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES?

    One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth and
    its history was to provide a home for the languages that he invented.
    The interest in those languages among his readers has given rise to
    many books, journals, web sites, and other resources for those who wish
    to learn them, and we could not even begin to list them here.

    Perhaps the best list of such resources can be found at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship web site:

    http://www.elvish.org/resources.html

    For actual details regarding the languages themselves, one of the best
    web sites is Ardalambion, located at

    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/index.html

    A group of excellent Truetype fonts for writing in Tengwar and Cirth (together with a good introduction to using those alphabets) can be
    found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows page:

    http://www.acondia.com/fonts/index.html

    Another excellent Truetype Tengwar font family is Tengwar Annatar,
    created by Johan Winge; it can be downloaded from

    http://home.student.uu.se/j/jowi4905/fonts/annatar.html

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IV.C. STORIES OF MIDDLE-EARTH IN MANY FORMS

    1. What editions of Tolkien's books are best?

    Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy a
    copy it's worth knowing what those differences are. Mike Brinza has
    created an excellent guide to the editions of Tolkien's books currently available in the United States, which is on the web at

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/editions.html

    His main site also includes a list of British editions, although it
    does not have the level of detail of the US edition list.

    One book that deserves its own mention is /The Hobbit/: many find
    that /The Annotated Hobbit/, edited by Douglas A. Anderson, is the most satisfying edition of the story. It contains illustrations from many
    other editions, as well as detailed commentary on the text and its
    history (which can, of course, be ignored if you're not interested).
    -------

    2. What audio versions of Tolkien's books are available?

    A variety of verbatim audio book recordings and adapted
    dramatizations of Tolkien's books have been produced over the years. A
    good overview of these can be found at Mike Brinza's site:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/aznirb/mtr/tolkien-audio.html

    Even those who are not interested in audio books or radio plays
    should take note of the recordings of Tolkien himself that are
    available. In particular, /The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection/ is a
    set of four CDs including J.R.R. Tolkien reading and singing excerpts
    from /The Hobbit/, /The Lord of the Rings/, and /The Adventures of Tom Bombadil/, as well as Christopher Tolkien reading lengthy passages from
    /The Silmarillion/. Separate recordings of interviews with Tolkien are
    also available.
    -------

    3. What is the groups' view of the recent /Lord of the Rings/ movies?

    By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in Peter
    Jackson's /Lord of the Rings/ movie trilogy is already quite familiar
    with them. Detailed information on the movies is inappropriate for a
    general FAQ, but there are many websites dedicated to the project. One
    good place to start is

    http://www.theonering.net/movie/faq/

    Tolkien fans' opinions on the movies vary enormously. Most (but
    certainly not all) of those on the Tolkien newsgroups who have seen the
    films seem to have enjoyed the experience, but most found at least some
    aspects of them quite disappointing, too. (The second and third movies deviated from the books more than the first one did, and generated correspondingly more frustration.) This is obviously a matter of
    personal taste, so it is important to be polite to those whose reaction
    was different than yours. In the end, Peter Jackson's own words are as
    good a description as any: "Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie."

    Discussing the movies on the newsgroups is certainly allowed: the rec.arts.books.tolkien charter explains that "The group would be open
    to discussion about art works which are based on Tolkien's works (e.g.
    graphic depictions of scenes from his worlds, musical settings of his
    ballads and poetry)." There has been a mild effort to limit movie-only discussions to alt.fan.tolkien, so that those who prefer to avoid movie
    talk can stay in r.a.b.t, but this is less important now that
    movie-related discussion has died down somewhat.
    -------

    4. Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?

    Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough that
    this FAQ could not hope to list them. Instead, we refer you to the
    Tolkien Music List by Chris Seeman, at

    http://www.tolkien-music.com/

    The list is organized alphabetically by artist, and the lyrics for each
    song can be found by clicking on its title. The artist/title list is
    all on one page, which makes it possible to search for a title, but be
    aware that the page is very large and may take some time to load.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)