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Menelvagor

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Menelvagor was the Sindarin name of the constellation Orion, called Menelmacar (q.v.) in Quenya.

Contents

[edit] History

Frodo and his companions were spending their night with the Elves in the woods of the Shire; the Elves burst into song as Menelvagor, the Swordsman of the Sky, appeared in the sky.[1]

[edit] Etymology

The name is a direct calque of the constellation's Quenya name Menelmacar, "Swordsman of the Sky".[2]

[edit] Other Versions of the Legendarium

The constellation entered into the story only in the latest phases of its composition. In earlier versions of the manuscript of The Lord of the Rings the Elves begun to sing as 'the yellow moon rose',[3] and in a later revision 'in the East the thin silver rind of the New Moon appeared'[4] due to Tolkien's calculations considering the phases of the Moon;[5] still there was a fault: the Moon would not have risen from the East at that time of the year;[6] thus the Moon was finally changed to the apparition of Menelvagor and other stars.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow (p. 61)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow (p. 325)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow (cf. p. 434)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow (p. 325)