Olórin essenya

Discussion in 'Books' started by Urambo Tauro, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    I have a question regarding the name of Gandalf.
    We read in The Return of the King that during the time Gandalf is at Minas Tirith, he is most commonly referred to as "Mithrandir". This is his Sindarin name which means "grey pilgrim". But at this point in the story, he is no longer "Gandalf the Grey", but rather "Gandalf the White" reflecting his new position among the Istari. Apparently, the men of Gondor still recognize him, but shouldn't they now call him "white pilgrim" (perhaps Lánrandir or Nimrandir)? Or maybe because of his new position, sould he even be called "pilgrim" at all?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2004
  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    hehe Indeed, I haven't noticed before that this name is technically wrong. However, I believe that it is custom for people in ME to remember one name, maybe two, of one person and then call him by that name the rest of his life. For instance, Aragorn is called "Strider" by the Hobbits all through the book, although they know his true (most common) name is Aragorn, who is called Estel by his mother by the way. Even when King, and his Striding days are over, the Hobbits used Strider, if I remember correctly. And I realise that Olorin makes a metamorphose during his absense, but he remainst the same, just as he is still called Gandalf by most people of ME. This is indeed more correct, since I believe it means something like Man with Magic Wand or something.
     
  3. byzantine warrior

    byzantine warrior Autokratos Konstantinou

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    yes indeed his name is wrong!! I guess they call him mithrandir still because the men of gondor dont really understand what has happened to Gandalf They probably just think he got new white robes.
     
  4. asap

    asap New Member

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    He was called a White Rider though, so people did recognise the change, it's just that they didn't find it sensible to stop using his old name altogether, he was just given a new more suitable honourary title.

    An Elf with a Cane (cane-elf), to be precise, since in the beginning mortals used to think he was an elf.


    (On a sidenote, isn't it interesting how a legendary character is often associated with some colour in medeival/fantasy stories.)
     
  5. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Maybe the Men of Gondor don't really speak Sindarin, and therefore don't know what it means ? They just think it's his name.
     
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    The fact that they actually don't call him Gandalf must be a hint to at least some knowledge of Sindarin. Note the fact that the Rohirrim call him Gandalf, although there isn't a good reason why they sood name him different than the Men of Gondor. I believe it was common for only a selected few, amoungst them kings, princes and others in the household to study Sindarin, to enforce their heritage and connection with the Elves. At least Denethor shood have known his name could not be Mithrandir any more, but at that point he had his personal problems with him. Maybe that's a hint to why he is still called Mithrandir, to emphasize that at first he wasn't that welcome or this new title wasn't recognised by Denethor.
     
  7. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    I read somewhere that the men of Gondor were somewhat ceremonial and were known to use Quenya at times. We see this in The Rerurn of the King (book), especially in regards to the hobbits. Elessar also recites an important phrase at his coronation. But did the men of Gondor use Sindarin? (Well, besides the name "Mithrandir", I mean.)
     
  8. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    How many of the Gondorians do you suppose speak Sindarin?
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I don't think any of them used Sindarin on a regular basis, they used Westron, if I am not mistaken. However, I guess some would have mastered it for studying old documents, and I thought the house of Stewards did also due to their (and Gondorian) history. Though, if Denethor would have announced a name-change for Gandalf/Mithrandir, I'd guess he wouldn't be called Mithrandir anymore...
     
  10. asap

    asap New Member

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    But wouldn't the old documents be written in Quenya? :confused: Quenya being the old ceremonial language?

    How many Gondorians would actually need to know Sindarin?
     
  11. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    My point in asking that question was to show that they may not have known the meaning of Mithrandir, therefore they wouldn't have known it was inappropriate for the White Wizard.
     
  12. asap

    asap New Member

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    I see we were working in same direction, Turin ;)

    I agree, Gondorians might not have been aware of the meaning of the name, only using it because that's the first name they heard in connection with Gandalf or simply because elves were referring to him as Mithrandir (and Elves are mostly right about everything, according to the Gondorian way of thinking (;)), so Mithrandir was instantly adopted as Olorin's true name).
     
  13. Aenónar

    Aenónar Elf of Arda Tauréndor

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    Gandalf still had his old grey robe consealing his new white robes, he only showed his white robes when he went into battle.

    and I believe that most of them knew Sindarin (or Quenya? that was the language they spoke on Numenor right? exept for the andunak(???) or the Numenorean language)

    (btw, don't you think that the numenorean language seems pretty close to Dwarvish?)
     
  14. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    I thought that was an elven cloak from Lothlorien. (The leaf brooch gave it away.)
    I wonder, if it was not appropriate to refer to Gandalf as the "Grey Pilgrim" anymore, what would be a better name?
    "Yes, I am in white now. Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been..."
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2004
  15. asap

    asap New Member

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    Saruman the New? ;)


    How about a Sindarin version of White Rider? Lánrohir/Nimrohir? If, as pointed out, "pilgrim" isn't describing Gandalf's new status anymore.

    (I'm using the words you gave for "white" in Sindarin here).



    I can't believe none of us thought about it before that Gandalf still wore grey robes most of the time :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2004
  16. Aenónar

    Aenónar Elf of Arda Tauréndor

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    Well, yes. but they were grey too ;)

    (I didn't remember that he got elven robes, but no big deal, grey as grey :) )