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Discussing: The house at Emyn Arnen

The house at Emyn Arnen

As usual, one research question prompts another... Is there any canon about the "White House" that Eowyn and Faramir are said to live in, in Emyn Arnen? I assumed that there was at least a ruin in Emyn Arnen from when the Steward's holding was being used, but most authors seem to think that the house had to be built from scratch after the War of the Ring. The only evidence I can find is that Ithilien was uninhabited, but Aragorn bade Faramir to dwell in Emyn Arnen in sight of Minas Tirith, which makes me believe that there was someplace for Faramir to live, even if it was an abandoned house. Is there any other canon that I am missing, or at least some theories on how deserted Ithilien actually was?

~MerryK 

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

As usual, one research question prompts another...

Bwahahahahahaha! Glad I'm not the only one.....

Is there any canon about the "White House" that Eowyn and Faramir are said to live in, in Emyn Arnen?

It depends on what your definition of "canon" is... does HoME qualify?

I assumed that there was at least a ruin in Emyn Arnen from when the Steward's holding was being used, but most authors seem to think that the house had to be built from scratch after the War of the Ring.

This is a note from Christopher Tolkien buried in HoME 12, in the section giving notes about each Steward (emphases mine):

Faramir. The note in [draft] B is the same in substance as that in C, but adds that as the Prince of Ithilien he 'dwelt in a fair new house in the Hills of Emyn Arnen, whose gardens devised by the Elf Legolas were renowned.'

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Stewards of Gondor


(I love the part about Legolas designing the gardens...)

And there is, indeed, a quote that establishes that Faramir and Éowyn's house is white — though I nearly missed it:

Q Legolas. Did he go back to the King? Will he stay there?
A Yes, he did. He came south with Gimli, and he brought many of his people from Greenwood the Great (so they call it now). They say it was a wonderful sight to see companies of Dwarves and Elves journeying together. The Elves have made the City, and the land where Prince Faramir lives, more beautiful than ever. Yes, Legolas will stay there, at any rate as long as Gimli does; but I think he will go to the Sea one day. Mr. Meriadoc told me all this, for he has visited the Lady Eowyn in her white house.

Sauron Defeated - The End of the Third Age, HoME Vol 9, Ch 11, The Epilogue


So, this appears to be a case where the fanon is based on Tolkien's early drafts, whether you choose to accept them as canon or not. (I do, in situations where they do not conflict in any meaningful way with the books published in Tolkien's lifetime.)

If you are truly interested in the history of the desertion of Ithilien, go to the Research Library and type the Search criteria "ithilien and desert", then scroll down to the resulting Events.... there will be several entries, most of them related to that topic. (I distinctly remember suggesting that the sequence of entries be titled something like "Ithilien 30% deserted", "Ithilien 60% deserted", ..., but fortunately a cooler head (Tanaqui's) prevailed. )

And, if you would like to see the context in which Ithilien was deserted by degrees, see the History of Gondor overview.

Hope this helps!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

This is a note from Christopher Tolkien buried in HoME 12
Barbara, have I ever told you what a complete geek you are? It amazes me that anyone knows this much or even can find this much with a little bit of research, and I mean that with all possible love.

*bows to the master*

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

Bwahahahahahaha! Glad I'm not the only one.....

Grin

And, like before, you pulled up a quote that I have seen many times, but could not remember until now. Must have been too distracted over the idea of wonderful gardens to notice the word "new"... Wink What a great resource this site is! Considering the state of Ithilien in the Third Age, I would still imagine that there would be ruins from the former house there, even if Faramir had to start anew, so "my" canon can remain intact, which is always a nice thing. Wink

Thanks for the help! 

~MerryK

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

Hi Marta!

Barbara, have I ever told you what a complete geek you are? It amazes me that anyone knows this much or even can find this much with a little bit of research, and I mean that with all possible love.

Why, thank you, Marta! That means a lot coming from a fellow appreciator of geeky detail...

- Barbara

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

Must have been too distracted over the idea of wonderful gardens to notice the word "new"...

LOL! I think *I* was distracted by having gardens designed by an Elf.........

What a great resource this site is!

Thank you, MerryK! It's been the result of a lot of people adding various bits and pieces...... For examle, Tanaqui did the history of Gondor stuff, which leaves *me* in absolute awe.

I would still imagine that there would be ruins from the former house there, even if Faramir had to start anew, so "my" canon can remain intact, which is always a nice thing.

Oh, absolutely! I imagine that the remains of buildings and towns would be dotted all over Ithilien... now, the hills of Emyn Arnen seem pretty large on the map, so the ruins of Húrin of Emyn Arnen's house might not be at precisely the same site that Faramir and Éowyn choose for their own house.... especially if they use the services of a Dwarf and/or an Elf to choose the site....

Best wishes for your writing muse!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: The house at Emyn Arnen

I imagine that the remains of buildings and towns would be dotted all over Ithilien... now, the hills of Emyn Arnen seem pretty large on the map, so the ruins of Húrin of Emyn Arnen's house might not be at precisely the same site that Faramir and Éowyn choose for their own house.... especially if they use the services of a Dwarf and/or an Elf to choose the site....

There are a lot of landscapes like this today, where the foundations of old farmsteads (or grander buildings) litter the countryside.  But the reason we have them is that land use has changed dramatically from what it was a few centuries ago.  What we see archaeologically is that good sites to put a house--near a good source of water and a goodly patch of ground, sheltered from the weather and open to the sun by the shape of the land, perhaps defensible or with easy access to transportation routes--are reused over and over and over again.  War and ruin might drive people away for a time, but when they come back, they build in the same places, often using the ruins of their forerunners to construct their homes.

Dwarves and Elves look for somewhat different things in their homes than Men do, so while they would undoubtedly give sage counsel regarding the details of siting one's foundations and gardens Smile , I doubt they would substantially improve on the wisdom of the generations.

Cheers--

Adaneth

 

 

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