Tolkien s sources
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Tolkien’s Sources. Where did all of this come from?. Tolkien’s background. Professor of Old English/English Language and Literature at Oxford Knew Old English very well Studied Old Norse Studied other languages and developed his own for LOTR. The Prose Edda.

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Tolkien’s Sources

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Tolkien s sources

Tolkien’s Sources

Where did all of this come from?


Tolkien s background

Tolkien’s background

  • Professor of Old English/English Language and Literature at Oxford

  • Knew Old English very well

  • Studied Old Norse

  • Studied other languages and developed his own for LOTR.


The prose edda

The Prose Edda

  • Possibly written by Snorri Sturluson around 1220

  • Icelandic, written in Old Norse

  • Contains tales from Norse mythology


The hervarar saga

The Hervarar Saga

  • Written in the 1200s

  • Gestumblindi, in Norse mythology, uses help from the Norse god Odin to escape death in a riddle contest


Beowulf

Beowulf

  • Anglo-Saxon epic

  • Written between the 8th and 11th century

  • Beowulf fights three major battles:

    • The Monster Grendel

    • Grendel’s Mother

    • The dragon


Names

Names

  • Smaug, the dragon

    • From the Germanic verb smugan: “to squeeze through a hole”

  • Thorin, the dwarf

    • From Old Norse: “bold one”

  • Beorn, the shape changer

    • From Old Norse. Beorn: “warrior.” Bjorn: “Bear”

  • Gandalf, the wizard

    • From Old Norse: “sorcerer-elf, wand-elf, staff-elf”


Names1

Names

  • Orcs, or goblins

    • From Old English: “demon”

      Bonus for LOTR fans:

  • Samwise Gamgee: Frodo’s friend

    • From Old English: sam = some, so “samwise” = “some wise”, or “half-wit”


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