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Rúmil (elf of Tirion)

From Tolkien Gateway
(Redirected from Rúmil of Tirion)
"Rúmil" by Steamey
Noldo
Rúmil
Biographical Information
Other names"Elf-sage of Valinor"
PositionLambengolmo
LocationTirion, Valinor
LanguageCommon Eldarin, Valarin, Quenya and Telerin
BirthBefore Y.T. 1169
Notable forSarati; see Works
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Rúmil

Rúmil was a Noldorin sage of Tirion,[1] one of the Lambengolmor ("Loremasters")[2] of the Noldor and first deviser of written characters.[1]

History

Rúmil was notable for inventing a writing system that was fitting for the recording of speech and song, some for graving upon metal or stone, others for drawing with brush or with pen.[3]

His alphabet was called both Tengwar of Rúmil ("Letters of Rúmil")[4] and Sarati, as each letter was called a sarat.[2][5] The Tengwar of Rúmil was not used in Middle-earth and was later expanded and perfected by Fëanor[3] as the Tengwar of Fëanor ("Letters of Fëanor"), more commonly known as simply Tengwar.[4]

Based on when Rúmil's work in the Annals of Valinor ends, it was suggested that he was one of the Noldor who initially joined the Exile, but then returned to Valinor with Finarfin.[6]:99

Rúmil continued his studies from Aman for many thousands of years beyond the fall of Gondolin.[7]:154 He continued to document the evolution of language among the three clans in Aman,[7]:145 as well as what he had learned of languages from Middle-earth, such as Dwarvish.[7]:144[note 1]

Works

Rúmil was said to be the author of various works, some of which would find great acknowledgment after they were translated into Westron by Bilbo Baggins. These include:

Pengolodh of Gondolin continued and completed much of Rúmil's work.

Etymology

The only thing known about the name Rúmil is that it is Quenya.[9]

Christopher Tolkien speculated that it is likely connected with Gnomish /rûm ("secret", "mystery")[10]:345

Other versions of the legendarium

Book of Lost Tales

In The Book of Lost Tales, Rúmil was the Gnome Door-ward of Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva and the narrator of many tales including The Music of the Ainur, The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor, and The Flight of the Noldoli (along with Lindo).

He is described as old in appearance and grey of locks.[11] The character Littleheart referred to him as "Rúmil the Sage"[12]:82 and Christopher Tolkien described him as "the garrulous and whimsical philologist of Kortirion".[13]:61

In the distant past ("a lifetime gone") Rúmil was a resident of Kôr.[11]:60 In the Great Lands, long before the Fall of Gondolin, he was a slave under Melko.[11]:59 He was not one of the first Elves as, when describing the Music of the Ainur, he claims his knowledge of it originated from Manwë whispering it to "the fathers of my father in the deeps of time".[14]:66

Rúmil was very learned in languages. During his days in Kôr he learned much of the "secret tongue" of the Valar by the goodness of Aulë. He was aware of the distinctions between the various Elven tongues of the Teleri (later Vanyar), Noldoli, Solosimpi, and the Inwir (the royal clan within the Teleri). While a slave under Melko, he lightened his thraldom by learning the speech of all monsters and goblins. He further conned even the speeches of beasts including voles, mice, and beetles. He worried at whiles over the tongues of Men, but disliked them due to their propensity to change and of being a "hard stuff whereof to labour songs or tales".[11]:59–60

Rúmil does not appear directly in The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two, however he and his work, "the book of Rúmil", is frequently cited in the Appendix defining names.

In a later draft of Meril-i-Turinqi's "The Chaining of Melko", Tolkien apparently intended to replace Rúmil with Evromord the Door-ward of Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva.[15]

The Lost Road

In the 1930's version of the Ainulindalë, Ælfwine (Eriol) still heard the story of the Music of the Ainur from Rúmil’s own lips in Tol Eressëa.[16]

Notes

  1. A note specifically attributed to Rúmil, in his writings concerning the speeches of the earth of old, is "of the language of the Dwarves little is known to us, save that its origin is as dark as is the origin of the Dwarvish race itself; and their tongues are not akin to other tongues, but wholly alien, and they are harsh and intricate, and few have essayed to learn them"; to this Pengolodh adds an interjection of his hearing of Aulë first making the Dwarves and teaching them language.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion", "Index", Rúmil
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 396-8
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing"
  5. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "III. 1917-1925: The making of a mythology", p. 100
  6. 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, II. The Later Annals of Valinor"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion", "Index", Ainulindalë
  9. 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), pp. 51, 54
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "II. The Music of the Ainur", Commentary on the Link between The Cottage of Lost Play and The Music of the Ainur
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "II. The Music of the Ainur", The Music of the Ainur
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "IV. The Chaining of Melko": "Notes and Commentary", p. 107 note 3
  15. 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, IV. Ainulindalë (Lost Road)", p. 133, note 1