Wait, Page 250? I’m roughly a quarter of the way through! Holy oliphaunts, Batman!
Anyway, Gandalf is asked why Saruman has not been consulted, and why he is not present at this meeting as well. Remember, Saruman is actually the leading scholar on Rings of Power. Gandalf begins to recount his tale, starting from when he left Bilbo and the dwarves long ago to drive an evil power out of Mirkwood. Saruman had initially shot down thoughts of attacking the “Necromancer”, but eventually caved, and those who drove him out realized that the Necromancer was none other than Sauron, regaining strength. Unfortunately, Sauron had planned for all this, and had long before taken Minas Morgul with the Ringwraiths. He fled there, and rebuilt his power in Mordor. Gandalf, Saruman, and others knew that Sauron was searching for the ring, but no one knew where it was, and Saruman said that it would never be found.
-Dol Guldur: Fortress in southern Mirkwood. Hideout of Sauron.
This is also the first page to contain the word “Nazgûl”, the proper term for the Ringwraiths. Quite literally, in the Mordor tongue, it comes from “nazg” – ring, and “ûl” – wraith (but really, ghoul, clearly). How did I figure that out? The first lines of the ring inscription in the Black Speech: “Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul” – “One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them.” “Ash nazg” is definitely “one ring”. Language lesson!
I want to break away here for a moment. Sure, we know what’s going on, and frankly, I don’t have a whole trove of jokes for today’s page. Deal with it.
I’ve been mentioning the prejudices between the different races (and classes) in Middle-earth a bit recently. I want to take a look at the source: Tolkien himself.
In 1938, a German publisher was interested in translating The Hobbit into German. They sent a letter to Tolkien, asking if he was…Aryan enough for them. He sent a response. There’s a little more explanation on this page before the letter, but just know that it’s 1938, and Tolkien, an Englishman, is writing to the Germans. Don’t worry, it’s only two paragraphs. Take a look at this:
The man was NOT having any of that Nazi Kool-Aid. More than just a great author, it’s good to know that Tolkien was also a stand-up fellow. He “regrets” not being Jewish. They are a “gifted people,” he says. He essentially apologizes for not being Jewish, to the Germans. Like a boss.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
Thank you, J.R.R. Tolkien, for being awesome.
“‘”But what was lost may yet be found, he thinks…”‘”