Tolkien Gateway

Corn

"Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?"
Aragorn[1]
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Corn.jpg
Corn
Other namesBarley, rye, wheat, oats
LocationNúmenor, Middle-earth, Aman
Corn is a general name for various cereal crops, barley, rye, wheat and oats.

[edit] History

Corn was one of the creations of Yavanna.[2] Corn grew in Aman which had in it the strong life of the Blessed Realms. This corn grew swiftly and needed only a little sunlight to ripen, and if it was sown at any season (save in frost), it soon sprouted. This corn was brought to Middle-earth although it did not thrive and would not endure northern winds that came from Angband. None were permitted to handle this grain, save the elven-maidens of Yavanna, the Yavannildi, who also knew the art of making lembas.[3]

According to Treebeard, Men learned the cultivation of corn by the Entwives of the Brown Lands, and they were greatly praised for it. That information, however, passed into legend.[4]

Corn was also introduced to Númenor, who learned to cultivate it. During the Ban of the Valar, the Númenóreans spread their knowledge of corn and agriculture throughout Middle-earth, and so, this crop was introduced to the Middle Men.[5]

The area that would later be known as the Shire was known for its fertility. The Kings of Arnor made many farmlands there, and aside from wine, corn was the main produce. Though the land was deserted by the time they came to live there, the Hobbits continued used their land for similar crop.[6] In T.A. 3018 as he prepared to leave the Shire, Frodo noticed that due to the fine weather in the summer and autumn "the corn was tall and full".[7]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Probably due to the dialectical homonym of the New World crop (Zea mays), the Sam and Frodo walk through a field of maize.[8]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Account of the Valar and Maiar According to the Lore of the Eldar"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Lembas"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  8. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"