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Roäc

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Sketch of Roäc and Thorin by John Howe

Roäc was the chief of the ravens of Ravenhill near Erebor.[1]

Contents

History

While Thorin and Company and Bilbo Baggins were keeping watch on Erebor, an old thrush summoned Roäc. Being able to speak Westron, the raven delivered the news that Smaug had been killed. Roäc agreed to bring a message to Dáin II Ironfoot from Thorin, a call for help in guarding the treasures of Erebor in the wake of war.[1] However, Roäc also gave a piece of advice to Thorin, warning him that "the treasure is likely to be your death".[2]

Roäc was the son of Carc, and as such "a descendant of those [ravens] that had remained on the hill even after Smaug had driven out their old allies, the Dwarves".[3] When he met Thorin and Company in Third Age 2941, Roäc was marked by age, being one hundred and fifty-three years old.[1] He was thus apparently born in Third Age 2788.

Etymology

Roäc is likely an onomatopoeic name.[4]

Inspiration

In Celtic mythology, ravens are often associated with warfare and the battleground (especially in Irish mythology). In Welsh mythology, ravens figure as the army of King Arthur's knight Owain.[5] See also: Ravens: Inspiration

In The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, a raven and a finch speak five of the verses,[6] reminiscent of Roäc and the old thrush.

Portrayal in adaptations

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

Roäc comes to the Dwarves after Smaug's death. He is voiced by John Wyse.

1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series):

"Rwaak son of Kwaak" informs the Dwarves of Smaugs demise. He is voiced by an uncredited Pat Franklyn.

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Roäc, a level 6 Raven, is given game statistics and a short description.[7]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Roäc the Raven" is a Diplomat Ally, playable at any site in Northern Rhovanion.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Thief in the Night"
  3. Mark Fisher, "Roäc: The old raven of Ravenhill" at Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 4 December 2010)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 316
  5. Raven in mythology: Celtic mythology at Wikipedia (accessed 4 December 2010)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, pp. 116-117, 214-215
  7. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 26, 138