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Kortirion

From Tolkien Gateway
(Redirected from Kormas)
"Kortirion" by Irina Timofeeva
City
Kortirion
General Information
Other namesMindon Gwar, Gwarmindon, Corangos, Corthirion (G)
Koromas, Kormas (Q)
Warwick (E)
Warwíc (OE)
Caergwâr (W)
LocationAlalminórë (Tol Eressëa)
TypeCity
People and History
InhabitantsElves
After the Faring Forth, Men
CreatedAfter the March of Liberation
EventsWanderings of Eriol
Faring Forth
GalleryImages of Kortirion

Kortirion was the chief city of Tol Eressëa, according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.[1] It later became known as Warwick.[2]

The city was located on the Gliding Water[3] at the heart of the island, in the realm of Alalminórë, the Land of Elms.[1]

History

Foundation

Cortirion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Kortirion was founded by Ingil son of Inwë, and the Elves of Kôr that came with him to Tol Eressëa following the March of Liberation. He called the town Koromas, meaning "the Resting of the Exiles of Kôr", and built a great tower there. The city was afterwards often called Kortirion, in reference to the tower.[1]

Arrival of Eriol

Located in the city was the Cottage of Lost Play, where Eriol, the Mannish mariner who found Tol Eressëa, stayed for a while.[1] There, he heard many tales of the history of the Elves and the Valar, told to him by the inhabitants of Kortirion, including Lindo, the lord of the Cottage of Lost Play, his wife Vairë,[4] Rúmil, the old door-ward of the Cottage, and Littleheart, son of Voronwë.[5]

After a while, he also went to the home of Meril-i-Turinqi, the Lady of Tol Eressëa, who lived at the foot of the tower of Ingil (her grandfather[6]), amidst a korin of elms.[7] There, she told him the story of the Chaining of Melko,[8] and the Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr.[9]

Before winter came to Kortirion that year, Eriol also visited many of the homes of the Teleri and the Inwir[note 1][10] (the royal clan of the Teleri), who lived there, and learned more of the language, history and customs of the Elves.[11]

The Faring Forth

Sometime during the 5th century AD,[12] when the disastrous Faring Forth took place, and the island of Tol Eressëa was dragged across the Ocean and anchored off the coast of the Great Lands, Men invaded the island, along with Orcs, Trolls and other evil beings.[13] In the ensuing destruction, Kortirion was one of the places that were ravaged by Men from the Great Lands, with the Elves of Kortirion fleeing from them, and eventually fading away.[14][15]

However, not all Men were hostile to the Elves, and these were led by Hengest, Horsa and Heorrenda, the sons of Eriol.[16] Kortirion itself was later conquered by Hengest, and became known as Warwíc (in the language of his people).[17]

The city would eventually become known as Warwick.[16]

Etymology

The name Kortirion is in Qenya. It is comprised of Kôr (the name of the ancient elven city in Valinor) + tirion ("(great or mighty) tower; city on a hill").[18]

In the etymology of Tolkien's earliest languages, the name of the hill of Kôr refers to its roundness. It is derived from the primitive Elvish name Guord, from which came Qenya Qora, and Gnomish Gwar.[17]

Other names

The Gnomish cognates of Kortirion are, depending on the text, either Corthirion[19][20] or Mindon Gwar[21] (with Gwarmindon being the hypothetical true cognate of Kortirion). Both Qenya and Gnomish names mean "Tower of Kôr". It was also called the Citadel of the Island or the Citadel of the World, by "those that speak of it with love".[1]

Christopher Tolkien notes that his father intended to relate the Gnomish form gwar- with the first element of Warwick (Welsh: Caergwar), suggesting it to be Elvish in origin.[17]

The city was also called Kormas or Koromas, meaning "the Resting of the Exiles of Kôr" in Qenya, being a combination of Kôr + the suffix -mas ("-ton, -by"; i.e. town).[22] Its Gnomish cognate is Corangos (changed from an earlier form Cormath[23]).[19]

It was also called New Kôr.[24]

In Old English, the city was called Warwíc.[17]

Other versions of the legendarium

Early legendarium

In some of the outlines for the continuation of The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien decided to completely change the nature of the framework of the tales.

In that reimagining of the legendarium, Tol Eressëa ceased to be identified with England/British Isles - instead, it became a completely different island, and Great Britain became the island of Luthany, while the mariner that came to Tol Eressëa was called Ælfwine, an Englishman sailing from England/Luthany.[25]

So, as opposed to the previous conception, where the Elves of the Great Lands sailed directly to Tol Eressëa following the defeat of Melko in the March of Liberation, the Elves now sailed to Luthany instead.

There, they built many cities and settlements - and, after their eventual return to Tol Eressëa, named many places there after the ones in Luthany. For example, the city of Kortirion (the New) in Tol Eressëa was named after Kortirion the Old (i.e. Warwick) in Luthany.[26]

In one note, the capital city of Tol Eressëa where Ælfwine was brought to is called Rôs.[27] However, other notes continue to have Ælfwine come to Kortirion (the New) instead.[28]

Ælfwine of England

In the text called Ælfwine of England (c. 1920) from The Book of Lost Tales, Kortirion (the Old) appears as a city in Luthany (here called Lúthien[note 2]).

It was ruled by the Prince of Gwar named Óswine, who was friendly to the Elves that still lived on the island. In that city also dwelt the minstrel Déor, along with his wife Éadgifu of Lionesse and their son Ælfwine.

While Ælfwine was still a boy, a fierce people called the Forodwaith (i.e. Vikings) laid siege to the city, during which Óswine, the Prince of Gwar died, as well as Déor and Éadgifu, Ælfwine's parents.[29]

Later legendarium

In the later version of the legendarium from the 1930, in the preamble to Quenta Noldorinwa, Kortirion was mentioned as a city in Tol Eressëa where Eriol saw and read the Golden Book, which formed the basis for his writing of the Book of Lost Tales.[30]

The city of Cortirion in Tol Eressëa also appears in the conclusion to the 1937 Quenta Silmarillion, where it is stated that Ælfwine alone of all Men "brought tidings of Cortirion to the Hither Lands".[31]

Inspiration

The city of Kortirion was inspired by the town of Warwick in England, where Edith Bratt lived from 1913 until her marriage with J.R.R. Tolkien in 1916, and where Tolkien visited her from Oxford.[2]

The Gliding Water which flows through Kortirion was probably inspired by the river Avon, which flows through Warwick.[32]

Tirin na Gilweth, the tower of Ingil, might have been inspired by a tower which, according to legend, once stood on Ethelfleda's Mound in Warwick Castle.[33]

See also

Notes

  1. According to one text, the Inwir are said to have spoken Inwelin, a more archaic form of Telellin.
  2. For the many uses of the name Lúthien in the legendarium, see Lúthien (disambiguation).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play", p. 16
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play": "Notes and Commentary", pp. 24-5
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play", Kortirion among the Trees (pre-1937), p. 33
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play", pp. 14-5
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "II. The Music of the Ainur", p. 46
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "V. The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr", p. 129
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "IV. The Chaining of Melko", p. 95
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "IV. The Chaining of Melko", p. 98
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "V. The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr", p. 113
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenyaqetsa: The Qenya Phonology and Lexicon", in Parma Eldalamberon XII (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 1
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "I. The Tale of Tinúviel", p. 4
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play": "Notes and Commentary", p. 23
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 5, p. 283
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "I. The Cottage of Lost Play": "Notes and Commentary", p. 26
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 9, p. 289
  16. 16.0 16.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", p. 293
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 13, pp. 291-2
  18. Paul Strack, "ᴱQ. Kortirion loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 6 May 2022)
  19. 19.0 19.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 26
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Sí Qente Feanor and Other Elvish Writings", in Parma Eldalamberon XV (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), "Names and Required Alterations", p. 7
  21. Paul Strack, "G. Mindon Gwar loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 7 April 2022)
  22. Paul Strack, "ᴱQ. Kor(o)mas loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 7 April 2022)
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Sí Qente Feanor and Other Elvish Writings", in Parma Eldalamberon XV (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), "Names and Required Alterations", p. 9
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Early Qenya and The Valmaric Script", in Parma Eldalamberon XIV (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), p. 60
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", pp. 300-1
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 27, pp. 307-8
  27. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 16, pp. 301-2
  28. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales", outline 17, p. 302
  29. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales": "Ælfwine of England", pp. 313-4
  30. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Opening Section]", pp. 77-8
  31. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", "The Conclusion of the Quenta Silmarillion", §33, p. 334
  32. John Garth, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, "Rivers, Lakes and Waterlands", p. 108
  33. John Garth, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Land of Lúthien", pp. 48-9