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  1. #1
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Naming the Characters

    Came across an interesting item this morning: "In Shakespeare's day, there was an English word bilbo for a sword of outstanding quality; this derives from the name of the Basque city of Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque), since the Basque Country was known at the time for its excellent iron and steel goods."
    As a consumate linguist, I can imagine J.R.R was familiar with this fact and it makes for a strong motivation for naming his character thusly. Has anyone seen a reference to the roots of his naming conventions?

  2. #2
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    That's interesting. I remember one of the appendices in Return of the King dealing with the roots of Hobbit names. Need to look it up.

  3. #3
    Just finished reading Beowulf, and a simple flick through the character list at the back reveals some familiar names ;

    Froda : King of the Heathobards, fathe of Ingeld. Killed by the Danes - Mr Frodo!!!

    Hama : Hero who escaped from Eormenric with the Brising necklace. - Was he at Helms deep, or was he a Guard, i can't remember? Something like that

    Eomer : Son of Offa the Angle - Eomer Son of Eomund, Marshall of the Mark

    Helmings : Wealtheow's family - Obvious links to the Rohirihm and the last King of the first Line, Helm Hammerhand ( ? ), of which Helms deep is named after.

  4. #4
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Cool. I knew Tolkien was a Beowulf expert, but I've never actually read it. Would you recommend it, and what version exactly was it?

    Hama, by the way, was one of Theoden's two most loyal guards. The other was Gamling, who has a bigger role than Hama in the movies.

    In the book Hama dies at Helm's Deep, in the movie he is the first to die in the Warg attack.

  5. #5
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye
    Came across an interesting item this morning: "In Shakespeare's day, there was an English word bilbo for a sword of outstanding quality; this derives from the name of the Basque city of Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque), since the Basque Country was known at the time for its excellent iron and steel goods."
    As a consumate linguist, I can imagine J.R.R was familiar with this fact and it makes for a strong motivation for naming his character thusly. Has anyone seen a reference to the roots of his naming conventions?
    I have an article somewhere on where he pulled some of his names from, but I'll have to dig it out. Not sure where it is at the moment. I don't recall this being mentioned for Bilbo, but I don't remember everything I read, either.

  6. #6
    My version was an ancient one i got for a pound from a secondhand book shop. Its just a penguin classic version, and the translater was Michael Alexander, he even gives Proffesor Tolkien a mention in his introduction.

    Well essentially its an epic poem, if you feal like readng it go ahead, i'd certainly reccomend it too anyone with an interst in Tolkien and the period that it was written. I read it mainly on a whim, but at only 100 pages ( in the version i have anyway ) it was fairly easy to read and enjoy.

    Ooh ooh, heres of another one;

    Uruk : This was a city that was resided in by Gilgamesh, and was situated in southern Mesopotamia. It seems to have been situated in an important postition near the Euphrates and was ocupied by many civilisations Selucids and Babylonians included!

    Uruk hai springs to mind

    Yet interestingly the Biblical name or Akkadian for Uruk turns out to be Erech, which was the location of the black stone of which Aragorn needed to reach in Return of the King.

    Interesting

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