Saturday, 28 August 2010


Sometimes different circumstances remind me of the most remote and obscure passages in Tolkien. As I lay in bed last night thinking about the menacing incantation Frodo (Frodo is Old English for ''wise'' by the way, the wisdom of experience mind you, just like Samwise is Old English for ''half-wit'' or plain-wise - an odd couple you might say) heard in the Barrow (Cold be hand and heart and bone, etc) I chuckled and reached for The History of Middle-earth, Volume I, and turned to this ancient account:

...To this Manwë assented, saying that all their force might scarce dig Melko from his stronghold, whereas deceit must be very cunningly woven that would ensnare the master of guile. ''Only by pride is Melko assailable,'' quoth Manwë, ''or by such a struggle as would rend the earth and bring evil upon us all,'' and Manwë sought to avoid all strife twixt Ainur and Ainur. When therefore the Gods had concerted a plan to catch Melko in his overweening pride they wove cunning words purporting to come from Manwë himself, and these they put in the mouth of Nornorë, who descended and spoke them before the seat of Melko. ''Behold,'' said he, ''the Gods be come to ask the pardon of Melko, for seeing his great anger and the rending of the world beneath his rage they have said one to another: 'Lo! wherefore is Melko displeased?' and one to another have answered beholding the tumults of his power: 'Is he not then the greatest among us - why dwells not the mightiest of the Valar in Valinor? Of a surety he has cause for indignation. Let us get us to Utumna and beseech him to dwell in Valinor that Valmar be not empty of his presence.' To this,'' said he, '' Tulkas alone would not assent, but Manwë bowed to the common voice (this the Gods said knowing the rancour that Melko had for Póldorëa) and now they come constraining Tulkas with violence to beg thee to pardon them each one and to fare home with them and complete their glory, dwelling, if it be thy pleasure, in the halls of Makar, until such time as Aulë can build thee a great house; and its towers shall overtop Taniquetil.'' To this did Melko answer eagerly, for already his boundless pride surged up and drowned his cunning.

''At last do the Gods speak fair words and just, but ere I grant their boon my heart must be appeased for old affronts...'' (The History of Middle-earth, Volume I, Chapter IV).

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