Tolkien Gateway

Sheep

Artwork by Brad Williams for MECCG

Sheep were woolly grazing animals. The Folk of Marach migrated to Beleriand with flocks of sheep and goats.[1] They were especially common in the Númenórean region of Emerië,[2] and (in Middle-earth) on the Barrow-downs and in the Vales of Anduin.

[edit] Other names

The Quenya word for "sheep" is máma, derived from Primitive Quendian māmā.[3] Tolkien also suggested the Common Eldarin form mbā ("sheep").[4]

In Tolkien's early conceptions of Elvish languages, the words for "sheep" are moa in Qenya,[5] and moth (pl. mothrim or mothin) in Gnomish.[6]

There are also words for "lamb": eulë ("little lamb" is eulistsë) in Qenya,[7] and iol ("little lamb, lambkin" is iolinc) in Gnomish.[8]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Sheep are found on the fields around Bagshot Row.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Sheep are found throughout the Shire and Bree-land.

2012-2014: The Hobbit (film series):

Though the dwarves do not use horses and occassionally ride bought or rented ponies, they are depicted as keeping a fictional species of large sheep as a form of dwarven livestock. These sheep are depicted briefly in the prologue of the first film, An Unexpected Journey, as part of the refugee caravans of dwarves exiled from Erebor, and then much more prominently in The Battle of the Five Armies During the titular battle, specially trained sheep are ridden by some of the dwarven sodiers and warriors from the Iron Hills, used as an unusual form of cavalry capable of fighting in mountainous terrain. These sheep are referred to as "war rams" (albeit Dáin Ironfoot also calls them "goats", perhaps colloquially). Thorin Oakenshield borrows a war ram for a hasty gallop towards Ravenhill.[9][10]

[edit] See also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language'", p. 395
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part One" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 47, February 2005, p. 35
  5. 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. 60
  6. 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. 58
  7. 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. 36
  8. 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. 51
  9. The dwarven "war rams" of the films were depicted almost exclusively though computer generated imagery blended with live footage of "riding" actors. Greg Tozer was one of the Weta Digital concept artists who worked on the design of these creatures, with further information on the process documented in the tie-in book The Hobbit: The Art of War: The Battle of the Five Armies. The sheep's appearance is partly inspired by real life mouflons.
  10. These dwarven sheep are strictly non-canon, as even The History of Middle-earth book series implies Tolkien's dwarves rarely kept any domesticated animals of their own, not even dogs. It is therefore possible the dwarves of Middle-earth might not bother raising any sheep breeds of their own.