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Red Book of Westmarch

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[[File:Jeff Reitz - Red Book of Westmarch.jpg|thumb|''Red Book of Westmarch'' by Jeff Reitz]]
 
The '''Red Book of Westmarch''' (sometimes ''Red Book of the [[Hobbits|Perian]]nath'') is the book in which the [[legendarium]] of [[Middle-earth]] was written. It is bound in red leather.
 
The '''Red Book of Westmarch''' (sometimes ''Red Book of the [[Hobbits|Perian]]nath'') is the book in which the [[legendarium]] of [[Middle-earth]] was written. It is bound in red leather.
  
The first Red Book was written as a diary by the [[Hobbits|Hobbit]] [[Bilbo Baggins]] and recounted his quest for [[Erebor]], which he called ''There and Back Again''. He filled it with Elven lore while he retired to [[Rivendell]] (''[[Translations from the Elvish]]'')  where he gave it to Frodo.
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The first Red Book was written as a diary by the [[Hobbits|Hobbit]] [[Bilbo Baggins]] and recounted his quest for [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]], which he called ''There and Back Again''. He filled it with Elven lore while he retired to [[Rivendell]] (''[[Translations from the Elvish]]'')  where he gave it to Frodo.
  
 
Frodo organized Bilbo's manuscript and used it to write down his own quest during the [[War of the Ring]]. Inscribed within, it reads:
 
Frodo organized Bilbo's manuscript and used it to write down his own quest during the [[War of the Ring]]. Inscribed within, it reads:
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The original book was kept in a red case (with a three-volume Elvish Translation and a fifth volume [genealogical tables and commentaries]). Several copies, with various notes and later additions, were made and copies were passed on to future generations, of which one, the "''[[Thain's Book]]''", is the most important.
 
The original book was kept in a red case (with a three-volume Elvish Translation and a fifth volume [genealogical tables and commentaries]). Several copies, with various notes and later additions, were made and copies were passed on to future generations, of which one, the "''[[Thain's Book]]''", is the most important.
  
The "original" version of the Red Book contained the story of Bilbo's journey as it originally stood: thus, Gollum willingly gives the [[One Ring]] to Bilbo, and there is no trace of the Ring's hold over Gollum. Later copies of the Red Book contained, as an alternative, also the true account (later written in by Frodo), where Bilbo comes across the Ring by accident.
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The "original" version of the Red Book contained the story of Bilbo's journey as it originally stood: thus, Gollum willingly gives [[the One Ring]] to Bilbo, and there is no trace of the Ring's hold over Gollum. Later copies of the Red Book contained, as an alternative, also the true account (later written in by Frodo), where Bilbo comes across the Ring by accident.
  
 
==Inspiration==
 
==Inspiration==
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Tolkien's inspiration for this repository of lore was the real [[Red Book of Hergest]], the early 15th century compilation of Welsh history and poetry that contains the manuscript of the [[Mabinogion]]. Bound (and rebound) in red leather, in the [[Bodleian Library]], Oxford, the manuscript was well known to Tolkien.
 
Tolkien's inspiration for this repository of lore was the real [[Red Book of Hergest]], the early 15th century compilation of Welsh history and poetry that contains the manuscript of the [[Mabinogion]]. Bound (and rebound) in red leather, in the [[Bodleian Library]], Oxford, the manuscript was well known to Tolkien.
  
In the first edition of ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', Tolkien's foreword claimed he had translated the Red Book from the original [[Westron]] into English, and it therefore must be supposed that copies of the book survived through several Ages.
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In the first edition of ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', Tolkien's foreword claimed he had translated the Red Book from the original [[Westron]] into English, and it therefore must be supposed that copies of the book survived throughout several Ages.
  
The contents of the Red Book were probably as follows:
 
*Bilbo's journey: ''[[The Hobbit]]''
 
*Frodo's journey: ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''
 
*Background information: the [[Appendices]] to ''The Lord of the Rings''
 
*Hobbit poetry and legends: ''[[The Adventures of Tom Bombadil]]''
 
*[[Translations from the Elvish]]: ''[[The Silmarillion]]''
 
 
==Portrayals in adaptations==
 
==Portrayals in adaptations==
In [[Peter Jackson]]'s movie trilogy, the Red Book appears at the end of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|The Return of the King]]'', where Frodo entrusts the book to Samwise just before he leaves Middle-earth. It also seen in the extended version of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring|The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', where Bilbo is seen writing in it at [[Rivendell]].
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In [[Peter Jackson]]'s film trilogy, the Red Book appears at the end of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|The Return of the King]]'', where Frodo entrusts the book to Samwise just before he leaves Middle-earth. It also seen in the extended version of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring|The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', where Bilbo is seen writing in it at [[Bag End]]; later, when in [[Rivendell]], he shows it to Frodo.
 +
 
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
* [[Third Age]]
 
* [[Third Age]]
 
* [[Westmarch]]
 
* [[Westmarch]]
  
[[Category:Books within the Legendarium]]
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[[Category:Books and documents within the legendarium]]
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[[de:Das Rote Buch der Westmark]]
 
[[de:Das Rote Buch der Westmark]]
 
[[fi:Länsikairan Punainen Kirja]]
 
[[fi:Länsikairan Punainen Kirja]]

Revision as of 19:42, 9 August 2012

"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
This article or section needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality.
The name Westmarch refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Westmarch (disambiguation).
Red Book of Westmarch by Jeff Reitz

The Red Book of Westmarch (sometimes Red Book of the Periannath) is the book in which the legendarium of Middle-earth was written. It is bound in red leather.

The first Red Book was written as a diary by the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and recounted his quest for Erebor, which he called There and Back Again. He filled it with Elven lore while he retired to Rivendell (Translations from the Elvish) where he gave it to Frodo.

Frodo organized Bilbo's manuscript and used it to write down his own quest during the War of the Ring. Inscribed within, it reads:

My Diary. My Unexpected Journey.
There and Back Again.
And What Happened After.
Adventures of Five Hobbits.
The Tale of the Great Ring,
compiled by Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the accounts of his friends.
What we did in the War of the Ring.

THE DOWNFALL
OF THE
LORD OF THE RINGS
AND THE
RETURN OF THE KING
(as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire,
supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise.)
Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell.

Apart from Bilbo's translations of Elven legends from the Elder Days, there were various Hobbit poems and a lot of background information on the realms of Arnor, Gondor and Rohan, added to it by Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck from their contacts in Rohan and Gondor. Other material was provided by King Elessar.

After Bilbo and Frodo left for Valinor, the Red Book passed into the keeping of Samwise Gamgee, mayor of the Shire. The book was left in the possession of Sam Gamgee's eldest daughter, Elanor Fairbairns, and her descendants (the Fairbairns of the Towers or Warden of Westmarch).

The original book was kept in a red case (with a three-volume Elvish Translation and a fifth volume [genealogical tables and commentaries]). Several copies, with various notes and later additions, were made and copies were passed on to future generations, of which one, the "Thain's Book", is the most important.

The "original" version of the Red Book contained the story of Bilbo's journey as it originally stood: thus, Gollum willingly gives the One Ring to Bilbo, and there is no trace of the Ring's hold over Gollum. Later copies of the Red Book contained, as an alternative, also the true account (later written in by Frodo), where Bilbo comes across the Ring by accident.

Inspiration

"But most of all he [Tolkien] found delight in the Fairy Books of Andrew Lang, especially the Red Fairy Book, for tucked away in its closing pages was the best story he had ever read. This was the tale of Sigurd who slew the dragon Fafnir: a strange and powerful tale set in the nameless North."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

Tolkien's inspiration for this repository of lore was the real Red Book of Hergest, the early 15th century compilation of Welsh history and poetry that contains the manuscript of the Mabinogion. Bound (and rebound) in red leather, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the manuscript was well known to Tolkien.

In the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien's foreword claimed he had translated the Red Book from the original Westron into English, and it therefore must be supposed that copies of the book survived throughout several Ages.

Portrayals in adaptations

In Peter Jackson's film trilogy, the Red Book appears at the end of The Return of the King, where Frodo entrusts the book to Samwise just before he leaves Middle-earth. It also seen in the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring, where Bilbo is seen writing in it at Bag End; later, when in Rivendell, he shows it to Frodo.

See also