Tolkien Gateway

Lossoth

Lossoth by Liz Danforth.

The Lossoth, also called the Snowmen of Forochel,[1] were Men, survivors of the Forodwaith, the ancient people from whom the northern lands of Middle-earth took their name.

Contents

[edit] History

The Lossoth are a remnant of the ancient people of Forodwaith, about whom not much can be known. By the Third Age, they were afraid of the Witch-king, and they believed he could control elements like frost and thaw. At some point, the Lossoth had retreated to the Cape of Forochel, inaccessible to hostile peoples who harassed them.[2] It can be assumed that the Lossoth flourished well outside the Númenórean sphere of influence, and they suffered from Angmar, causing their remnants to retreat.[3]

They entered history near the end of the second millennium of the Third Age, when they gave aid to Arvedui, last King of Arthedain, who had fled into the north to escape his kingdom's destruction. In T.A. 1975[4] when an elven-ship came to rescue him, he rewarded the Lossoth for their friendship with the Ring of Barahir. His hosts sensed approaching disaster, and warned Arvedui not to board the ship. Against their advice, he did so, but a great storm overwhelmed the vessel and the last King of Arthedain was lost in the cold waters of the far north.[2]

In the later Third Age the Rangers of the North learned from the Lossoth the fate of the ship, and also paid to buy back the Ring of Barahir.[2]

[edit] Culture

The Lossoth lived mainly on the Cape of Forochel that enclosed the Icebay of Forochel, but in winter the Bay was frozen over, and they could camp around its southern rim at the feet of the Blue Mountains. They had a culture well adapted to their icy existence, constructing houses in the snow (possibly similar to igloos), and travelling on sleds and bone skates. Despite this comfortable existence, the Lossoth had a very primitive culture. They were afraid of the weapons that Arvedui and his men had, and could not understand sailing boats.[2]

An isolated and unfriendly people, they must had some limited contact with other peoples of the Westlands, as they apparently knew some Westron.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Loss(h)oth is Sindarin and consists of loss ("snow") + hoth.[1]

Andreas Moehn suggests that the word is a collective name, from an outsider's point of view, without knowledge of any tribes or variance of cultures. It seems to be derogatory, as highlighted by the (usually pejorative) ending hoth.[3][1][5]

[edit] Portrayals in Adaptations

2008: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

The Lossoth appear in the zone of the Ice-Bay of Forochel introduced in April 2008. The Lossoth skate ons ice and push sledges, and have the ability to tame and ride to war on mammoths. Many aspects of their language, culture, and appearance seem to be derived from or inspired by that of the Finnish, Sami, and Inuit peoples.

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names" (entry hoth)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Andreas Moehn, "The Lossoth and the Forodwaith" , Lalaith's Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 29 July 2014)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan" (Note 24)