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Gandalf/Names

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Revision as of 13:21, 19 October 2012

The name Mithrandir refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Mithrandir (disambiguation).

Gandalf acquired many names from the people he met whilst he was in Middle-earth. This article explains each one in full.

Contents

Olórin

Olórin, his original name in Valinor. It is Quenya, and its meaning is associated with the Quenya word olos or olor, meaning "dream" or "vision / of mind").[1][2] In a draft manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, occurs the spelling Olórion.[3]

Mithrandir

Mithrandir, ([miˈθrandir]), his Sindarin name, used in Gondor and meaning "Grey Pilgrim" or "Grey Wanderer" (mith "grey" + randir "pilgrim, wandering man".[4][5]

Incánus

Incánus, his name "in the south" (probably meaning no further south than Gondor or the Near Harad[6]), gained during his long travels in Middle-earth in the mid-Third Age.[7]

Etymology

Although Incánus seems to be of unclear language and meaning, a note in the Thain's Book says it is a Quenya form simply adapted from a word in the tongue of the Haradrim: Inkā-nūsh (or possibly Inkā-nūs), meaning "North-spy".[6]

Other versions of the Legendarium

J.R.R. Tolkien several times changed his mind about the meaning of Incánus. Besides the etymology given above, his other variations were:

  • Archaic Quenya word meaning "Mind-ruler", from in(id)- ("mind") and cáno ("ruler, governor, chieftain")[6]
  • An adaptation from Quenya incānus(se), meaning "mind mastership"[8]
  • A possible Westron invention meaning Greymantle[6]. In a draft manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, different names used were Forlong>>Fornold>>Incânus.[9]

Inspiration

Incánus in Latin means "grey-haired". Although Christopher Tolkien has noted that the "coincidence in form" might be an "accident",[6] his father wrote "Incánus Latin" in a later published manuscript,[8] suggesting that the similarity was perhaps mere than a coincidence.

Tharkûn

Tharkûn, the name given to Gandalf by the Dwarves.[10] Tharkûn is Khuzdul, meaning either "Grey-man"[8] or "Staff-man"[11]. The word possibly derives from the unattested word thark "staff" + a nominal ending -ûn.[12] In a draft manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, occurs the spelling Sharkûn.[13]

The White Rider

The White Rider, his name while riding the great horse Shadowfax.[source?]

Greyhame

Greyhame or Gandalf Greyhame was one of Gandalf's many titles and surnames, used particularly in the country of Rohan.[source?]

Etymology

It was the equivalent in the tongue of the Rohirrim of "Greymantle" or "Greycloak" which would have been grēg-hama.[14]

The name is perhaps a rendering of Incánus, the Westron name for Gandalf (though this is only but one of several competing explanations of the name "Incánus").

Stormcrow

Stormcrow was a name given to Gandalf in Rohan, a reference to his arrival being associated with times of trouble.[source?]

Láthspell

Láthspell I name you, Ill-news; and ill news is an ill guest they say.
Gríma Wormtongue[15]

Láthspell was a name given to Gandalf by Gríma Wormtongue when the former arrived at Meduseld.

History

Attempting to keep Théoden weak, Gríma pointed out that Gandalf always seemd to appear in the land of Rohan at times of hardship or war, bearing ill tidings. Gríma's strategy - to get Gandalf denied access to the King - did not succeed, for Gandalf broke his hold over Théoden, and he soon found himself exiled from Edoras.[15]

Other versions of the Legendarium

In an earlier drafts, it is actually Théoden who refers to Gandalf as Láthspell.[16]

Etymology

Láthspell translates to "ill news" in Old English which comes from láð meaning "causing hate, evil, injury" and spell meaning "story, message".[17] Compare with Gospel which means the opposite: "good news".

Portrayal in adaptations

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

Wormtongue uses the quote "Lathspell I name him. Ill news is an ill guest".

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 88
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Two: The Ring Goes East", "Faramir"
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 320
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 60
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Window on the West"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 88
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Two: The Ring Goes East", "Faramir"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Window on the West"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
  12. Mellonath Daeron, "An analysis of Dwarvish" (accessed 11 October 2010)
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Two: The Ring Goes East", "Faramir"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 758
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "The King of the Golden Hall", p. 444
  17. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 404