Author Topic: Norse mythology in Tolkien's work  (Read 1280 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Norse mythology in Tolkien's work
« on: December 13, 2015, 03:39:08 PM »
It is often said that Tolkien was inspired by Norse mythology when creating Middle-Earth. And indeed, the inspiration seems to be far-reaching, more so than I thought. The below is from Völuspá. How many Dwarven (and non-Dwarven) names do you recognize?

10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
Many a likeness | of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

12. Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,– | now have I told–
Regin and Rathsvith– | the list aright.

13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Hepti, Vili, | Hannar, Sviur,
(Billing, Bruni, | Bildr and Buri,)
Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Ambious

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Re: Norse mythology in Tolkien's work
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2015, 04:18:59 PM »
I learned this week that "Middle-Earth" is a direct translation of "Midgard", which in Norse mythology apparently just means "Earth"
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Norse mythology in Tolkien's work
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 04:26:01 PM »
Midgård is the home of the humans in Norse mythology. It is one of the nine worlds.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Norse mythology in Tolkien's work
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 09:57:51 PM »
Tolkein as you know was first and foremost a linguist. The elven language Quenya was heavily based on Finnish.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Norse mythology in Tolkien's work
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 11:00:10 AM »
The inscrutable (to a non-linguist) verisimilitude of the languages is the glue that holds Middle Earth together.
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