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Phantoms

Mark Evans - Phantom

Phantoms was a name commonly used to describe evil, shadowy beings, such as undead, demons or delusions.[1][2]

Contents

[edit] History and characteristics

In the Elder Days, creatures of "dreadful shapes", among whom are said to have been phantoms, haunted the Elves, dragging people into the darkness surrounding the borders of the Elven dwellings never to reappear.[3]

In Beleriand, the forest of Taur-nu-Fuin was an infamous locale of "phantoms of terror" said to strangle or pursue lost wanderers.[4]

Using wizardry, it was possible to summon phantoms of delusion. Sauron, "master of shadows and of phantoms",[4] devised a phantom resembling Eilinel to entrap Gorlim.[5] In the late Third Age, Saruman was rumoured to also be able to craft such phantoms.[6][7]

It is also told that disembodied, "phantom-like" Elf-souls (from Elves "who had been slain in the course of some wrong-doing") could maliciously appear before living beings to induce fear, being envious of people still alive.[8]

Beings called phantoms also appear in the poem Oilima Markirya.[9][10]

[edit] Etymology

Phantom (from Middle English and Old French fantosme, from Latin phantasma), means "specter, spirit, ghost" or "illusion, unreality".[11]

The Quenya word fairë is glossed as "phantom; disembodied spirit, when seen as a pale shape" (pl. fairi).[10][9] The Black Speech word gûl is glossed (among other things) as "phantom".[12] The Qenya form qímar ("phantom"; qímari "phantoms") has been suggested as a reconstructed form deriving from linguistic material.[13][note 1]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In a "hastily written manuscript on small slips of paper, entitled ‘Reincarnation of Elves’",[14] Tolkien discussed different possibilities of how the houseless fëa of an Elf can have a "memory so strong that it can in another fëa (incarnate) induce a picture of it, so that it seems a phantom form". Such a phantom "cannot be touched, but can be walked through".[15]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

A phantom is rumoured to haunt a wood in Rhudaur.[16]

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

Phantoms, one of the three type of ghosts, are those that seek revenge in their after-life. The phantoms "often resemble their mortal form as it appeared in death" (e.g., the phantoms of the Mere of Dead Faces), although some are also invisible.[17]

[edit] See also

Notes

  1. Based on the etymology of qímari, linguists have suggested that Tolkien intended (in this stage of the legendarium) that a phantom was a "'awake'...but not...'living'" hence "a mind or spirit that is incorporeal or disembodied" (J.R.R. Tolkien, "Early Elvish Poetry and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets", in Parma Eldalamberon XVI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, Carl F. Hostetter and Bill Welden), p. 82).

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, passim
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, passim
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", p. 416
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 179
  9. 9.0 9.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Three" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 49, June 2007, p. 11
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "A Secret Vice", (HarperCollins 2006, p. 223)
  11. "phantom" at Dictionary.com Unabridged. (accessed 26 December 2010)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 79
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Early Elvish Poetry and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets", in Parma Eldalamberon XVI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, Carl F. Hostetter and Bill Welden), p. 82
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Four. Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth", "Appendix: 'The Converse of Manwë and Eru' and later conceptions of Elvish reincarnation", p. 363
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Reincarnation of Elves" (edited by Michaël Devaux with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien and Carl F. Hostetter), in J.R.R. Tolkien, l'effigie des Elfes, La Feuille de la Compagnie, Nr. 3, pp. 146, 148
  16. Graham Staplehurst (1986), Phantom of the Northern Marches (#8102), p. 4-14
  17. Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, pp. 25-27