Tolkien Gateway

Ravens

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File:Ravens.jpg
Ravens by Mark Evans

Ravens were large black birds,[1] associated with ill news of death,[2] and were known for their harsh voices.[3] The ravens that lived on Ravenhill near Erebor, though, were friendly with the Dwarves, and some could even speak Westron. Carc had been one of these, and his son Roäc was the leader of the ravens of Erebor around T.A. 2941, when Thorin and Company reclaimed the mountain from Smaug.[4]

When Peregrin Took became one of the Guards of the Citadel, his new garments included a "high-crowned helm with small raven-wings on either side".[5]

Inspiration

It has been suggested that J.R.R. Tolkien's use of ravens is reminiscent of Odin's two messenger-ravens Huginn and Muminn of the Norse mythology, appearing in the Edda.[6] See also: Roäc: Inspiration

In The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, the lord of the ravens is Rerir, grandson of Ódin.[7] Ravens are further associated with the coming of death.[8]

Portrayal in adaptations

Raven portrayed in MERP

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Ravens, level 4 birds, are enchanted and intelligent, friends of the Free Peoples. They are reputedly the messengers of the Vala Námo (Mandos), and are able to speak many Mannish and Elvish tongues.[9]

2002-5: The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game:

"Ravens of the North" are "creatures of especially powerful magic", being able to understand Westron and having extraordinarily long lives.[10]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto II (Gorlim's betrayal and Beren's revenge)", p. 161 (§119)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, pp. 164-165, 341
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Voice of Saruman"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 315
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, p. 72
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, pp. 275, 285
  9. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 26, 132
  10. Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, p. 58