Gimli, to himself: Legolas is approaching… act natural….
what she says: i’m fine
what she means: the words “christmas tree” are used in the hobbit, and since we know that bilbo is the author of the hobbit, hobbits must have christmas which means there must be a middle earth jesus. but hobbits seem to be the only ones who have the concept of christmas which means it was probably a hobbit jesus. but frodo says in return of the king that no hobbit has ever intentionally harmed another hobbit so who crucified hobbit jesus?? were there other hobbit incarnations of religious figures?? was there hobbit moses?? did jrr tolkien even think about this at all??
Wait wait I might actually have an answer
Tolkien wrote The Hobbit like waaaay before he even dreamed up the idea for Lord of the Rings, so when he DID dream up LotR, he had a whole bunch of stuff that didn’t make sense. Like plotholes galore
Like for example in the first version Gollum was a pretty nice dude who lost the riddle contest graciously and gave Bilbo the ring as a legit present and was very helpful and it was super nice and polite and absolutely nobody tried to eat anyone because this is a story for kids and that’s very rude
But that doesn’t work with LotR, so Tolkien went back and re-released an updated version of The Hobbit with all the lore changes and stuff to fix everything that didn’t work
This is the version we know and love today
BUT rather than pretend the early version never existed, Tolkien went and worked the retcon into the lore
If you pay attention in Fellowship, there’s a bit where Gandalf is telling Frodo about the ring and he mentions how Bilbo wasn’t entirely honest about the manner in which it was found
To us modern readers, this doesn’t make a ton of sense, so mostly we just breeze by it–but actually that line is referencing the first version of The Hobbit
The pre-retcon version of the Hobbit is canonically Bilbo’s original book. The original version with Nice Gollum is canonically a lie Bilbo told to legitimize his claim to the ring and absolve him of the guilt he feels for his rather shady behavior
Then the post-retcon version is an in-universe edited edition someone went and released later to straighten out Bilbo’s lies
So it’s 100% plausible that the in-universe editor who fixed up Bilbo’s Red Book and translated it from whatever language Hobbits speak was a human who knew about Christmas Trees and tossed the detail in to make human readers feel more at home, because that’s the kind of thing that sometimes happens when you have a translator editor person dressing up a story for an audience that doesn’t know the exact cultural context in which the original story was written
Tolkien was a medieval scholar and medieval stories are rife with that sort of thing, so like… yeah
There’s a good chance it maybe did cross his mind
@old-gods-and-chill LOOK AT THIS THAT’S SO COOL
Not only all that, but Tolkien was also working within a frame narrative that he wasn’t the real author, but a translator of older manuscripts; so, in-universe, the published The Hobbit isn’t actually Bilbo’s book, but rather Tolkien’s copy of an older copy of an older copy of an older copy of Bilbo’s book. So when errors and anachronisms came up, he would leave them there instead of fixing them, and he may have even put some in intentionally; what we’re supposed to get from the “Christmas tree” bit is that the first scribe to translate the book from Westroni to English couldn’t come up with an accurate analogue for whatever hobbits do at midwinter.
Yes. Another example of tolkien doing this is him using, for instance, Old High Gothic to represent Rohirric – not because the people of Rohan actually spoke that language, but because Old High Gothic had the same relationship with English that Rohirric had with Westron (Which is the Common Language spoken in the West of Middle-Earth). There’s tons of that stuff in the book.
Like, Merry and Pippin’s real names (In Westron) are Kalimac Brandagamba and Razanur Tûk, respectively (to pick just one example of this). Tolkien changed their names in English to names which would give us English-speakers the same kind of feeling as those names would to a Westron-speaker. Lord of the Rings is so much deeper than most readers realise.
tolkein’s entire oevre is just one epic in-joke with the oxford linguistics department imo
No that’s right! The basic point still stands and is neat but a lot of Rohirric names are translated as Old English, like Theodred and Eorl and so on. Another interesting thing is that he sometimes modernized them to modern English because, apparently, those names were intelligible to Westron speakers, either because Gondorians knew them or because the Hobbits recognized them from their dialects (they once lived near the Rohirrim and borrowed a bunch of words, including their name for themselves). Here’s a good link about it from Tolkien Gateway, it’s SUPER cool.
Also if I correctly recall (it’s been a while so I might not) there was a draft of TTT where Tolkien intended for Theoden to greet Our Heroes in Old English. This was in The Treason of Isengard and I have a very distinct memory of reading it at about fifteen and being completely floored and baffled by the fact that he just…wrote an entire speech in Old English for Theoden to say. Like, can you even believe. I absolutely love how much flavor and care he put into the languages in LOTR.
#other than in respect of certain blind spots
#the answer to ‘did tolkien even think about this’
#is almost always ‘the man spent twenty years overthinking it’ #and it’s either a moving philosophical reflection or a dumb joke he put in to annoy cs lewis (via @simaethae)
Last night i had a dream where legolas straight up shot someone with a gun
legolas what does your scoped .50 caliber barrett m82 rifle see
welcome to my yeet and greet
Hey dears! Sorry for the lack of new posts but there’s a little something in the works that’s taking me a lot of time!
I’ll be making the whole thing: character design, set design, props, costumes etc., both for The Lord of the Rings and A Series of Unfortunate Events (help!) and I’ll be uploading the artworks here on Tumblr, on Insta but mostly on my website, so please feel free to love, comment, make suggestions and share to all your tolkienite friends because this is going to be a journey indeed 😉
Oh, also, last two days of free worldwide shipping on my Etsy shop! Lots of goodies in need of new comfy homes!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!