Tolkien Gateway

Epessë

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In [[J.R.R.  Tolkien]]'s [[Middle-earth]] legendarium, the '''epessë''' is one of the three categories of [[Elves|Elven]] names, equivalent to a nick-name or honorary title.
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'''Epessë''' is a nickname or honorific choosen by an elf as his or her public name later in life. It is part of the '''[[essë]]''', or naming, of [[High Elves]], along with the '''[[father-name]]''' and '''[[amilessë]]''' ("mother-name").
  
Elves were typically given two names at or near birth: a ''father-name'', which often was based on the father's own name or (in later times) was derived from old legends, and a ''mother-name'', which was held to be prophetic.
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An example is ''Gil-galad'' ("Star of Radiance"), which was the mother-name of the last [[High King of the Noldor]]. His father-name was ''Rodnor''. Upon becoming king he was given the epessë ''Ereinion'' ("Scion of Kings") and called [[Ereinion Gil-galad]].
 
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The epessë was the third type of name, and unlike the other two, it was given later in life, or chosen by the Elf himself. An Elf could be referred to by any of the three, but a self-chosen name typically took preference.
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== Examples ==
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*'''[[Maedhros]]''', the oldest son of [[Fëanor]], was by his brothers referred to as ''Russandol'' (copper-top): an epessë he had earned because of his ruddy hair. Maedhros itself was an epessë: his father-name had been ''Nelyafinwë'' (Finwë the third: Fëanor's own father name had been (Curu)finwë), and his mother-name ''Maitimo''.
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*'''[[Gil-galad]]''' (Star of Radiance) was the mother-name of ''Rodnor'', son of [[Orodreth]]. He was given the epessë, ''Ereinion'' because of his heritage: literally the name means "scion of Kings".
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*'''[[Círdan]]''' (shipwright) was the epessë of a [[Teleri]]n Elf who remained in [[Beleriand]], and later [[Lindon]], until the end of the [[Third Age]]. His original name had been forgotten, and he was referred to always as Círdan, a title which had been given to him as Lord of the [[Falas]] before the [[First Age]].
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*'''[[Finrod Felagund|Finrod]]''' was usually referred to as ''Felagund'' (hewer of caves), an original derogatory nickname given to him because of his dwellings at [[Nargothrond]]. Finrod adopted the name, and made it a title of honour.
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[[Category:Elves]]
 
[[Category:Elves]]
 
[[Category:Names]]
 
[[Category:Names]]

Revision as of 17:07, 28 April 2006

Epessë is a nickname or honorific choosen by an elf as his or her public name later in life. It is part of the essë, or naming, of High Elves, along with the father-name and amilessë ("mother-name").

An example is Gil-galad ("Star of Radiance"), which was the mother-name of the last High King of the Noldor. His father-name was Rodnor. Upon becoming king he was given the epessë Ereinion ("Scion of Kings") and called Ereinion Gil-galad.