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Monday, September 5, 2011

Mermaids -- Reading Material

Book of Lost Tales, Part II, History of Middle Earth, vol. 2

Christopher Tolkien explains:
“But the great tale [Tale of Eärendel] was never written; and for the story as he then conceived it we are wholly dependent on highly condensed and often contradictory outlines. There are also many isolated notes; and there are the very Eärendel poems. While the poems can be precisely dated, the notes and outlines cannot; and it does not seem possible to arrange them in order so as to provide a clear line of development.”

From the names -- “Kôr” (for what was later called Tirion), “the Gods” (for the Valar) – this is very early writing, 1920's or earlier.

from “outline B”
“Eärendel sets sail to the North to find Tuor, and if needs be Mandos.
“Sails in Eärámë. Wrecked. Ulmo appears. Saves him, bidding him sail to Kôr....”
“Second attempt of Eärendel to Mandos. Wreck of Falasquil and rescue by the Oarni....”

Christopher refers back to Book of Lost Tales, Part I, History of Middle Earth, vol. 1, ”The Coming of the Valar” (pp. 65-66)
“Thereafter came [to the newly-created world] Ulmo and Aulë, and with Ulmo were none, save Salmar only....; but with Aulë was that great lady Palúrien [Yavanna] ... About them fared a great host who are the sprites of trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountain-side, or those that sing among the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve.... brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns ...

“Now behind those greatest chieftains came Falman-Ossë of the waves of the sea and Ónen his consort, and with them the troops of the Oarni and the Falmaríni and the long-tressed Wingildi, and these are the spirits of the foam and the surf of the ocean.”

The Oarni are mentioned several times in Book of Lost Tales, Part I, always as companions and helpers to Ossë.

from “outline C”:
“Eärendel ... desires to set sail and search even to Mandos.... Fiord of the Mermaid. Wreck. Ulmo appears at wreck and saves them, telling them he must go to Kôr and is saved for that.”

from “outline D”:
“How folk of the Lothlim dwelt at Sirion's Mouth. Eärendel grew fairest of all Men that were or are. How the mermaids (Oarni) loved him. How Elwing came to the Lothlim ....”

“Eärendel {* erasure, possibly reading 'with the aid of' *} Oarni builded Winglot and set forth in search of {* erasure *}.”

from “outline E”:
“The voyage and foundering of {Eärendel's ship} Earum in the north ... How the seamaids rescued Eärendel, and brought him to Tûr's bay...”
(The spelling “Tûr” (for Tuor) suggests a date between 1917 and 1920.)

from isolated notes:
“The Oarni give to Eärendel a wonderful shining silver coat that wets not. They love Eärendel, in Ossë's despite, and teach him the lore of boat-building and of swimming, as he plays with them about the shores of Sirion.”

“The Fiord of the Mermaid: enchantment of his sailors. Mermaids are not Oarni (but are earthlings, or fays? -- or both).”

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