Great Bear-dance

From Tolkien Gateway
Great Bear-dance
Event
Other namesRuxöalë
LocationNúmenor
DateAutumn
ResultSpectacle
ParticipantsPrimarily black bears
DescriptionSpectacle in which the Númenóreans watch a group of Bears perform strange and curious bear-dances for their entertainment.

The Great Bear-dance (Q. Ruxöalë) of Tompollë was an annual event in Númenor.

History[edit]

The Great Bear-dance was held during the autumn season within the region of the Forostar where a great concourse would be assembled at Tompollë. This dance was the most famous of the bear-dances, which the bears, mostly black bears, performed to the delight of their human friends. The spectacle gathered many people from all across the island due to it being shortly after the Eruhantalë. During these dances, as many as fifty or more bears might show up and participate. The slow and dignified motions that the bears made often appeared astonishingly comic to those not accustomed to them. Despite the sight, no Númenórean that was admitted to the event voiced open laughter, which angered and alarmed the bears since they could not understand it.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Though the annual Great Bear-dance ended with the Downfall of Númenor, the ordinary Bear-dances lived on into the Third Age. According to Gandalf, bears of various sizes east of the Misty Mountains occasionally gather outside of Beorn's Hall for a "regular bears' meeting" where they dance "from dark to nearly dawn".[2] It is possible that this dance could be related in some way to the Great Bear-dance.

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

The Quenya name for the Great Bear-dance was first typed by Tolkien as ruxopandalë, but was then changed to ruxöalë,[3] so it can be deduced this is a short form.

Originally, the laughter of Men was "a sound that the bears resented" outright, rather than just being a sound that they simply could not understand.[4]

In the index of The Nature of Middle-earth, the Great Bear-dance is spelled as the "Great Bear Dance",[5] whether this was intentional or a mistake is unknown.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XIII. Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor", pp. 334-5
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XIII. Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor", "Notes", p. 341, note 2
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XIII. Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor", "Notes", p. 341, note 3
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Index", entry "Tompollë"
Númenor
Andor · Atalantë · Elenna · Mar-nu-Falmar · Númenórë · Westernesse
Regions Andustar · Arandor · Emerië · Forostar · Hyarastorni · Hyarnustar · Hyarrostar · Mittalmar · Nísimaldar · Orrostar
Towns and cities Almaida · Andúnië · Armenelos · Eldalondë · Nindamos · Ondosto · Rómenna
Buildings Calmindon · Eämbar · King's Court · Temple · White House of Erendis
Natural features Bay of Eldanna · Bay of Rómenna · Firth of Rómenna · Hallow of Eru · Meneltarma (mountain) · Nísinen (lake) · North Cape · Nunduinë (river) · Oromet (mountain) · Siril (river) · Sorontil (mountain) · Tarmasundar (ridges) · Tompollë
Plants and trees Fragrant Trees · Lairelossë · Laurinquë · Lavaralda · Nessamelda · Nimloth · Oiolairë · Taniquelassë · Vardarianna · Yavannamírë
Heirlooms Aranrúth · Bow of Bregor · Dramborleg · Elendilmir · Narsil · Palantíri · Ring of Barahir · Sceptre of Annúminas · Sceptre of Númenor · Tile and Textiles · Helmet
Concepts Adûnaic · Ban of the Valar · Council of the Sceptre · Downfall of Númenor · Great Bear-dance · Númenórean Sindarin · Three Prayers (Eruhantalë · Erukyermë · Erulaitalë)
Key people Aldarion · Amandil · Captain of the King's Ships · Elros (House of Elros) · Erendis · Faithful · Great Armament · Guild of Venturers · Guild of Weaponsmiths · Isildur · Kings and Queens of Númenor · King's Archers · King's Men · Lords of Andúnië · Meneldur · Miriel · Palantir · Pharazôn · Sauron · Silmariën
Main texts The Silmarillion ("Akallabêth") · Unfinished Tales ("A Description of the Island of Númenor" · "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife" · "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor") · The Lord of the Rings ("Appendix A" · "Appendix B") · The Nature of Middle-earth ("Lives of the Númenóreans" · "Of the land and beasts of Númenor")