Forum: Domain of the Dúnedain

Discussing: Dúnedain Social Customs

Dúnedain Social Customs

Before they ate, Faramir and all his men turned and faced west in a moment of silence. Faramir signed to Frodo and Sam that they should do likewise. "So we always do," he said, as they sat down: "we look towards Númenor that was, and beyond to Elvenhome that is, and to that which is beyond Elvenhome and will ever be. Have you no such custom at meat?" --Frodo, Sam, and the Rangers just before eating a meal at Henneth Annûn
What social customs did the people of Gondor and Arnor observe? How about their class structure -- how would an artisan relate to a soldier or a nobleman? Feel free to discuss these and other similar questions here. Feel free to consult Liz's Gondorians essay. If you have any other resources to recommend, please do so and I will link to them here.

 

 

Help with

I am writing a fic with Ecthelion handing over the "reins of power" to Denethor and I want Ecthelion to be able to remind Denethor to "honour the traditions of Gondor" by asking him to continue to observe certain "Steward's Traditions". Does anyone have any suggestions for what these might be, beyond the two ideas I have at the moment: * inducting the Steward's Heir (SSP for Marta's fic How Many Years?, which is a lovely exploration of this) * Observing the festivals such as mettarë and honouring the Valar. I also want Ecthelion to pass on knowledge about the signs to use to recognise the "true King" if a claimant comes along. There's obviously The hands of the king are the hands of a healer - does anyone have any other suggestion for signs the Stewards could use to confirm the identifty of a true Heir? Thanks in advance! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Help with

Hi, Liz, I don't have the books with me now, but I've thought of a few things you could potentially use to make up traditions for those people. I have no historical basis for them now, but I'll keep looking. I was thinking there are some things that could be used as traditions like the White Flag of the Stewards. I think there's so much potential there. We know that, when Denethor died and Imrahil was in charge of the city, the flag was taken down and the Swan flew over Gondor. Is there some sort of tradition behind that white flag? Was there a particular way of folding it? Did they take it down for mourning? Did they fly something else on joyous occassions? What did they do with the King's flag? Where did they keep it? Did they have to take it out and air it on occassions, or did they destroy it? Another item would be the crown in the hallows. Did they pay a yearly visit, polish it, of forgot it completely? I'm sure there had to be some sort of tradition- we know that Faramir retrieved it from where it was, so it had to be known. We know that there were two thrones in the throne room: The King's throne and the Steward's black, lower one. It was custom that the higher throne was left empty (there's a beautiful visual of this in the movie), and the Steward always sat in his black throne. We also know there were statues of the kings in the throne room (I've always been hunted by that image) Maybe that could spark an idea for a tradition. Denethor has a ring and a rod. There could be a customary way of handing those over to the new steward. You could also bring in the warden of the keys for this, and have him do something special. What are those keys, anyway? Does the new steward, when he steps up for office, has to re-hand the keys, or receive anything from the warden? Do they renew a pledge of some sort? There's also the King's house. The stewards live in the steward's house. What happens with the king's house all that time it's been empty? Do they ever go in? (I'm thinking they do, and they must keep servants there to, for tradition's sake. Can you image all that dust, and animals living there, after being closed for so long?) The White Tree must have its own tradition, as well. It's such a symbol, and icon of what Gondor is. There must be a tradition about it: whether it is that the steward goes there and gives a speech at times of festivals, or whether it has a tradition of its own... I think it's a wonderful thing to bring up in a story. Garlands... We know plants are usually associated with ideals and concepts: wealth, worthiness, etc. The Caesars are usually depicted wearing an olive branch, for instance. You could have a plant associated with the Steward's office, and have them use that for garlands at times of feasts (to decorate Merethrond, perhaps?) Colors for dressing according to the various public occassions: We've discussed this before. I think at my Steward's forum there was a disccussion on different colors appropriate for different things. It was said that red could stand for weddings, white for funerals... You can go check that out and see if it helps. About the Steward's Family About how to recognize the King: I'm so looking forward to this conversation, Liz! What will Denethor say? I know they had to talk about this, but what will happen between them? Will Ecthelion die worried about his son? At this point in his life, does Denethor still wait for the king? Oh, I'd love to read this! This reminds me of the arthurian legends. Maybe you could check that out and see what customs and traditions you can find there. The only thing I can think of now would be the star. The star seems to be a very strong symbol with that culture (Numenor, the land of the star/the star brooch the rangers wear as their only device/the stars over the tree: Gondor's banner) I'll research some more about the symbology of the star and get back to you, but I think that could develop as a powerful link with the kingship. UT might prove a good resource as well. There's all the story about Numenor, and then the tradition of Isildur. Maybe that would help. Those are just some idea-sparklers, but I'll do some "real" research and get back to you, if you wish. I hope any of that helps, and I'm really, really looking forward to your story. Take care, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with

Starlight, these ideas are fabulous - thank you! I'd forgotten things like the symbols of office and the White tree (doh!) Probably because my brain is seizing up as this fic is proving really hard to write in places - at the moment I am working out what Ecthelion will say and have a very nasty big lump of exposition, which I need to turn into a proper conversation! If you could uncover anything more about how the king is recognised (I will skim UT and the Akallabeth as well) that would really help - and I will go and flick through my copy of the Mabinogion to see if there's anything useful about recognising true heirs in there! Don't want to give too much away about how I see things playing out between Ecthelion and Denethor, but I hope it will be an interesting and entertaining read when it eventually gets done. Thanks again, Liz

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Have some questions about how coronations in the north would have been conducted. Considering that the sceptre of Annuminas was the symbol of the reigning monarch, would the dead king be placed in the tomb with the sceptre until the coronation day, when it would be removed and offered to the new king? Who would have offered the sceptre? And would the king then be crowned with the Star of Elendil? Would like to know everyone's thoughts/opinions. Arquen

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

About the King being recognized: I'm thinking about Narsil. Is there a way people in the south could recognize Narsil for what it was? What about the other heirlooms? I don't remember the quote, but it's in the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, when Elrond tells Aragorn that he'll give him the ring and the sword, because those are rightfully his, but the crown he still has to gain. Maybe people in the south could recognize any of those and know him. I'll look up some more info on UT and get back to you. Cheers, and you're most welcome, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

I guess someone might be able to recognise the Ring of Barahir without much difficulty, if he knows enough about the history of the line of Andunie But Narsil? As far as I know there are no special signs and letters on Narsil itself, proclaiming the sword for what it is. It says in LOTR somewhere (don't have a copy near me, right now, sorry) that Aragorn let the Elves put the name Andúril on the sword, as well as its lineage. But they were not there before, so how could someone know it was Narsil? Might there be scrolls in Minas Tirith, describing the sword? I think I will have a look at UT, too Maka

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Have some questions about how coronations in the north would have been conducted. Considering that the sceptre of Annuminas was the symbol of the reigning monarch, would the dead king be placed in the tomb with the sceptre until the coronation day, when it would be removed and offered to the new king? Who would have offered the sceptre? And would the king then be crowned with the Star of Elendil? Would like to know everyone's thoughts/opinions. As there is no canon on this point at all one is free to make up whatever one pleases. In my particular version of the North Kingdom the King 'passes the scepter' on to his Heir long before he dies, as they did in Old Numenor before it was corrupted. The usual course of events was for the King to issue a formal proclaimation of his intention after which he and the Heir would make a progress around the Kingdom allowing their people to say farewell to the old and welcome the new King. Upon their return to Annuminas the old King would formally invest his successor with the scepter and present him to the people; this ceremony would take place out of doors in the great Square of the Kings in front of the palace. The new monarch would then invest his queen with her scepter and officially proclaim his heir, who would usually be named Prince of Fornost, or later Prince of Dor-Lomin (ie: the Evendim Hills). The proceedure for the Kings of Cardolan and Rhudaur was somewhat similar save that the old King would give up his scepter to the High King who would then invest his successor. All this is of course Fanon of the purest description

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

I can see a very small amount of canon about the tokens of royalty and how they are handed over, from which you can extrapolate wildly In Appendix A, it says Aragorn "said farewell to Eldarion, and gave into his hands the winged crown of Gondor and the sceptre of Arnor" which could be taken to mea there is a tradition, as with the crown of Gondor, that the kings of Arnor - where they could - relinquished control of the Kingdom before their death to their heirs and passed over the Sceptre and other tokens of the North Kingdom themselves. It also sounds like there were few occasions when this didn't happen:. Again in Appendix A: "Although even before the Watchful Peace ended evil things again began to attack Eriador or to invade it secretly, the Chieftains for the most part lived out their long lives." Where there was a problem with a Chieftain passing the sceptre on to his heir, Elrond (as foster-father to the chieftains) may well have stepped in as he did with Aragorn. In Book VI Chapter 5 "The Steward and the King", it says that "Elrond surrendered the sceptre" havjng, according to Appendix A told Aragorn when he revealed his true identity that "The Sceptre of Annúminas I withhold, for you have yet to earn it." (I've just realised that this sounds lie Elrond held on to the Sceptre for 70 years! I wonder if he handed it over before this and the events in Minas Tirith are merely him bringing the sceptre which Aragorn has already received to him?) Regarding the Elendilmir, Appendix A it says the Kings of Arnor wore no crown, "but bore a single white gem, the Elendilmir, Star of Elendil, bound on their brows with a silver fillet." In UT "Disaster of the Gladden Fields" it says Isildur "assumed the Elendilmir as King of Arnor". This is later described in the same section as "the white star of Elvish crystal upon a fillet of mithril 31 that had descended from Silmarien to Elendil, and had been taken by him as the token of royalty in the North Kingdom." This Elendilmir was lost with Isildur but apparently found by Saruman and discovered in Isengard. A second Elendilmir was made for Valandil and is the one Aragorn wears as the battle of the Pelennor Fields. (I'm under the impression that this is brought to him by Elladan and Elrohir - rather than him having wandered around with it all the time he's part of the fellowship! - but I can' t find the quote, except that he gives it to Elladan and Elorhir for safekeeping when he decides not to press his claim for Gondor immediately.) In UT, "Disaster of the Gladden Fields" it says
"Every king and the chieftains that followed them in Arnor had borne the Elendilmir down even to Elessar himself; but though it was a jewel of great beauty, made by Elven-smiths in Imladris for Valandil Isildur's son, it had not the ancientry nor potency of the one that had been lost when Isildur fled into the dark and came back no more. "Elessar took it up with reverence, and when he returned to the North and took up again the full kingship of Arnor Arwen bound it upon his brow, and men were silent in amaze to see its splendour. But Elessar did not again imperil it, and wore it only on high days in the North Kingdom. Otherwise, when in kingly raiment he bore the Elendilmir which had descended to him. 'And this also is thing of reverence,' he said, 'and above my worth; forty heads have worn it before.'''
I can't see anything else in main sources (I haven't looked in HoMe). Hope that helps Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

In Book VI Chapter 5 "The Steward and the King", it says that "Elrond surrendered the sceptre" havjng, according to Appendix A told Aragorn when he revealed his true identity that "The Sceptre of Annúminas I withhold, for you have yet to earn it." (I've just realised that this sounds like Elrond held on to the Sceptre for 70 years! I wonder if he handed it over before this and the events in Minas Tirith are merely him bringing the sceptre which Aragorn has already received to him?) And I'm sure it made Aragorn crazy that Elrond kept the sceptre after having imposed the impossible conditions for his daughter's hand! From RotK: and last came Master Elrond, mighty among Elves and Men, bearing the sceptre of Annúminas, and beside him upon a grey palfrey rode Arwen his daughter, Evenstar of her people. ...snip... Then the King welcomed his guests, and they alighted; and Elrond surrendered the sceptre, and laid the hand of his daughter in the hand of the King, and together they went up into the High City, and all the stars flowered in the sky. And Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Undómiel in the City of the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting and labours was come to fulfilment. It sure looks to me like Elrond acknowledged Aragorn as King of Arnor at that point by handing over the sceptre, and thereby fulfilling the "King of both Arnor and Gondor" condition that he had imposed on his daughter's hand. Aragorn is *never* called "King of Arnor" just Chief Ranger, or Chief of the Dunedain. The Star was worn by the Chieftains but I don't see any evidence that Elrond *ever* let the sceptre out of his keeping until he surrendered it to Aragorn outside Minas Tirith; he was waiting for a new "King of Arnor". Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

Starlight and Makamu thanks for your thoughts - the two issues with the heirlooms I see are: * they are to some extent the heirlooms of the North Kingdom and Isildur - and the stewards have already pretty much told the Northern line to get lost and stay lost * it's possible someone other than the true King could get hold of them - after all, I bet Castamir got his mitts on the crown of Gondor, but it didn't make him the true heir. I think I need something less tangible or more personal (hmm, does Aragorn have a strawberry birthmark in the shape of a crown... ). I just keep seeing this scene where the Steward takes the would-be-King to the Houses of Healing and says: "OK, here are the lepers. If you're the True King, cure 'em!" (I also agree that as Narsil has been reforged into Anduril, it's not very recognisable any more - and may never have had any distinguishing features.) Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

The Star was worn by the Chieftains but I don't see any evidence that Elrond *ever* let the sceptre out of his keeping until he surrendered it to Aragorn outside Minas Tirith; he was waiting for a new "King of Arnor". That's what I always thought, Elrond had kept the scepter in Rivendell ever since Aranarth handed it over to him for safekeeping. The Chieftains wear the Elendilmir, was that the jewel Aragorn is wearing with his Elven mail after the banquet at Rivendell? And apparently carry Narsil too - though why I cannot think! And of course they have the Ring of Barahir. But those three things might be considered 'family heirlooms' while the scepter is official regalia of the Kingdom of Arnor. Therefore logically Elrond would keep it until a 'chieftain' of the Dunedain officially resumed the title of King.

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

I always assumed that the jewel worn by Aragorn with his Elven mail after the banquet in Rivendell was the Star of the Dunedain ("a star shone on his breast" I think is how it's described). Was this the second Elendilmil, the one that was made for Valandil, also known as the Star of Elendil or the Star of the North Kingdom? (I'm a bit confused by all the stars and jewels...) And speaking of signs of Aragorn's kingship, what about the Elfstone? The way Galadriel describes it when she gives it to him, it is a sign that he has taken up the name that was foretold for him - "Elessar, Elfstone of the House of Elendil!" But then it is hardly ever mentioned again that I can remember. It's not a heirloom, exactly (a least not one of Aragorn's line), so I guess it doesn't really count as kingly regalia...but if you were looking for proof of Aragorn's identity as King - the Elfstone is proof that he's the one from the prophecies, as it were...

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

(Edited to remove double post - sorry!)

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

I'm glad I'm not the only one who identified Aragorn's star with the Elendilmir. Elendilmir, Star of the North Kingdom and Star of Elendil are all names for the same piece of jewelry and applied equally to the original Star lost with Isildur and recovered by Aragorn in the early years of the Fourth Age from Saruman's hoard, and the replacement made for Valandil, which is what Aragorn is wearing at Rivendell. The Star of the Dunedain however seems to be something quite different, probably some kind of Order or decoration, as Aragorn gives it to Sam and UT makes it clear he kept both versions of the Elendilmir. It would in any case be ridiculous to give such a jewel to Sam. what would he do with it, use it as a tie pin? Personally I think both Narsil and the Ring of Barahir would be tokens the Gondorians would remember and look for. I don't think the Elfstone would mean anything to them as that prophecy was made for Aragorn himself and probably not known in the South.

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

Many thanks to everyone who answered my questions about "Stewards Traditions" and "recognising the true king" - I think I've solved this to my satisfaction (well, I've actually managed to get Ecthelion and Denethor talking at last). Morwen wrote: I don't think the Elfstone would mean anything to them as that prophecy was made for Aragorn himself and probably not known in the South. Morwen, I just wanted to check if you knew of any other information about the prophecy apart from the references in RotK and in the little essay on the Elessar in UT. That's all I can find, but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

I'm thinking that the versed in lore had to know about Narsil. Isildur had it, and he dwelt in Gondor for about a year after the last alliance and before his death. I was thinking that at the time he left the scroll with the description of the ring, he probably left some description of the other heirlooms, though those, of course, are just my conjectures. (I also agree that as Narsil has been reforged into Anduril, it's not very recognisable any more - and may never have had any distinguishing features.) But wherein, then, lies the significance of Aragorn bringing forth Anduril once more? He could have used any other sword, but he chooses to use Narsil. It cut Sauron's hand once, it will defeat him again. But, that's how I see it. I understand that reforge means "to make anew" so the reforging process may well have erased recognizable features, like Liz and Makamu mentioned. Perhaps what they wanted was the material? (Because of the light/ Anduril: Flame of the west) It could have also been that Aragorn was stepping into his foreordained role, therefore he uses the sword of his fathers, just because it's his... I agree with you on the issue of heirlooms, and I had not thought about that (thanks for bringing it up. It's been so thought-provoking!) But, I think they must have known that any heir who would come had to be from the north kingdom. As a tradition, the stewards still maintained that a king would come, but I'm thinking they did so only because a body never was found to prove for certain that the king was dead (I'm thinking about all the political and social implications of the Steward proclaiming himself as king. Mardil could not have done so sucessfully. They had to say something to the people, keep a figure, as it were). But, after all those years a mortal was going to die, anyway (assuming that Earnur survived the encounter with the Witch-king). I think that phrase "until the king comes" was only customary, more out of respect for their ancient lineage than truly out of hope. What do you think? Perhpas that's why Denethor was so angry when Thorongil showed up, and refused to be friends with Gandalf- because he thought it likely that the claim would be made again, if the man proved to be Isildur's heir, and this time he could not say no without much war (no other heir would be found in Gondor). Which brings me to... why was Denethor so afraid of Thorongil? There's a quote somewhere, but I can't find it now, that talks on this subject. I think it's in UT. Do you remember that part when Denethor tells Gandalf that he was "seeking to supplant him?" This is not either of the quotes I mentioned, but it comes from Appendix A: Therefore later, when all was made clear, many believed that Denethor, who was subtle in mind and looked further and deeper than other men of his day, had discovered who this stranger Thorongil in truth was, and suspected that he and Mithrandir designed to supplant him. My point is, if Denethor had room for at least a tiny suspicion, then something in Thorongil's appearance made him think so, and perhaps that could help you, Liz, or become a starting point. I think I need something less tangible or more personal (hmm, does Aragorn have a strawberry birthmark in the shape of a crown... ). Oh, Liz I just keep seeing this scene where the Steward takes the would-be-King to the Houses of Healing and says: "OK, here are the lepers. If you're the True King, cure 'em!" If you have the visual, I think you should go along with it! From my own experience -which is not so very extensive- some of the best stories are the ones that begin with visuals (I'm visually-trained, so maybe that's why, but, it seems to work! ) The going through a test is a sort of rite of passage. Often the King has had to prove his claim and inheritance through tests. In literature there are examples of such tests: Arthur removing the sword from the stone is the first one that comes to mind. I think Aragorn passes the test when he heals Faramir, Eowyn, Merry and some others in the city. It must have been so impressive that it prompted Ioreth to remember the words. what a beautiful moment! I'll keep thinking about a more personal sign, and do some research to see what more we can uncover about this topic. Thanks so much. I've had the best time thinking these things over. Cheers, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

Hi Starlight I think I've actually found a way to solve the "test of kingship" by being creative with some of the prophecies and who would know what. But don't let that stop you researching - maybe you could do a research article: "'So, You Think You're Elendil's Heir': a Steward's Response" >:-E why was Denethor so afraid of Thorongil? I think Denethor does have a very good idea who Thorongil is. And he has plenty of evidence of how charismatic Thorongil can be.... More grist for my fic. Once again, thanks to everyone here for their help Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

I think Denethor does have a very good idea who Thorongil is. And he has plenty of evidence of how charismatic Thorongil can be.... How come no one ever says, "poor Aragorn"? He probably just wanted to go and see what was happening in Gondor, see the ancestral city and all that. Probably just wanted to sight-see. So he shows up and, wham!, everyone is so impressed with him they make him a Captain, and he has to stick around and fight, and take out the Corsairs. All he really wants to do is go back and snuggle Arwen and see if he can't induce her to run away to the East with him where no one cares that he's Isildur's Heir. They can hang out and make babies and farm and do al the back to nature stuff. He'd probably bring lots of Longbottom Leaf and and they could use it for trade, dude. Sheesh. Give the guy a break already. Being King isn't what it used to be and everywhere he goes they give him a command of the armies and want advice. It's just no fun. Wait! No. He'd probably rather be fishing in the wild or something. That was the big thing he was summoned to. He heard that the fish in Lake Nurnen were really big, and he wanted to go see for himself. Gwynnyd (ducking for cover)

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

Morwen, I just wanted to check if you knew of any other information about the prophecy apart from the references in RotK and in the little essay on the Elessar in UT. That's all I can find, but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. That's all I know of either, which doesn't necessarily mean that's all there is but it's certainly all I can remember ! BTW, about the essay on the Elessar, I go with the replica made by Celebrimbor for Galadriel version because I cannot for the life of me see why the Valar could or would give a jewel belonging to Idril Celebrindal to Galadriel. Logically if it were returned to ME it would be given to Idril's descendants; Elrond or the Line of Elendil.

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

I think I've actually found a way to solve the "test of kingship" by being creative with some of the prophecies and who would know what. I'm very very glad to hear that, Liz I'm looking forward to read it. Your visual was very strong, and now it's haunting me, too! I'm glad you found a way to work things out. But don't let that stop you researching - maybe you could do a research article: "'So, You Think You're Elendil's Heir': a Steward's Response" >:-E evil Liz... Would you help me with it? And he has plenty of evidence of how charismatic Thorongil can be.... Alas, he does. Would you come over to the gentler Denethor forum and elaborate a bit more on that? Good luck with the fic! Thanks for letting us in on your creative process. Take care, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

Oh, Gwynnyd! I got a kick out of that! Would you write that story? Cheers, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

I got a kick out of that! Would you write that story? [Blushes] Thanks. Um, I think that's about as far as the nuzgul takes me. It was a very weak and silly little thing and has slunk off my ankle and run away to join the ones about Aragorn and Eomer not inviting Imrahil to their parties because Imrahil doesn't like his adult sons to drink beer, and Bilbo and Aragorn stealing Lotho's chickens. (Besides, if I took on another nuzgul now my beta group would probably seek me out and defenestrate me. I have at least five things started right now and couple more in the background begging to be started. I desperately need to finish something.) Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Coronations in Arnor

Hi Morwen That's all I know of either, which doesn't necessarily mean that's all there is but it's certainly all I can remember ! Thanks - the couple of other people I've asked can't remember anything either, so I'm guessing that's all there is. BTW, about the essay on the Elessar, I go with the replica made by Celebrimbor for Galadriel version because I cannot for the life of me see why the Valar could or would give a jewel belonging to Idril Celebrindal to Galadriel. Logically if it were returned to ME it would be given to Idril's descendants; Elrond or the Line of Elendil. Oh, I prefer that interpretation, since by giving the jewel to Celebrian, Galadriel effectively passes it back to Elrond's family - and with Celebrian passing it on to Arwen, it then goes back to the Line of Elendil as well. And before that, Galadriel gets to wield some power but then have to renounce it by giving up the jewel. A nice foreshadowing and rehearsal of rejecting the One Ring, I think. It strikes me as a very neat and tidy strategy for the Valar. Besides, I want to be able to use that prophecy - albeit in a very indirect way - in my fic Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

Hi Starlight But don't let that stop you researching - maybe you could do a research article: "'So, You Think You're Elendil's Heir': a Steward's Response" >:-E evil Liz... Would you help me with it? I think I really must blame Marta's influence for the fact I seem to be flinging nuzgulim of all kinds in all directions these past few days. I am just an innocent channel for her evil ways.... And in answer to your question: maybe. I'm sure a research article will come out of this fic (I'm having to spend so much time extrapolating from canon to write it!) although whether it will be that one is open to debate. Maybe something covering all kinds of "Stewards' Traditions". And he has plenty of evidence of how charismatic Thorongil can be... Alas, he does. Would you come over to the gentler Denethor forum and elaborate a bit more on that?. Will do: I was following the fairly intense debate over there and feeling like I would have to sit down and write for an hour to respond! But I think I can run up a brief comment on that. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Help with-Addendum

How come no one ever says, "poor Aragorn"? I do!! But I haven't got anywhere near exploring that bunch of Denethor/Thorongil/Finduilas nuzgulim I mentioned to you back in, ooh, February , was it? I'm sure Aragorn found dealing with Denethor extremely hard work! (Besides, if I took on another nuzgul now my beta group would probably seek me out and defenestrate me. Yes, we would. I have at least five things started right now and couple more in the background begging to be started. I desperately need to finish something.) Yes you do! Cheers, Liz (wondering why she is the only member of her beta group who seems capable of sticking to just one main fic on the go at any one time. Not that I don't get sidetracked by the odd piece of poetry or short bit of fluff that can be completed in less than a day. But I am the only one of us without at least three major WIPs going on at any one time. Even if I do have 25 story ideas lined up.)

 

 

Re: Help with Stewards Traditions

Hi Starlight (and anyone else who wants to answer!) Starlight wrote: Denethor has a ring and a rod. There could be a customary way of handing those over to the new steward. I'm working on a scene with the transfer of power from old Steward to new and I was wondering about the ring. I know there is one in the movies (Pippin kisses it, doesn't he?) but I don't remember one from the book and I can't find this in the text of RotK. I just wanted to check if I was missing the reference and it's somewhere. Thanks, Liz

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Hi Morwen! Thanks for your thoughts! I guess there's nothing that pops up in HoME or UT about this ceremony, so I guess I get to have all the fun of making up my own ceremony for my story. Yay! I always have fun with doing that. What you wrote sounds very reasonable, and I might draw a little from that, if that's ok with you. Thanks again! Arquen

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Please do, I'd be flattered If you're interested in a description of Aragorn's 'ensceptering' , as I call it, see Chapter 12 of 'The King Comes Home' in the archive, (SSP)

 

 

Re: Help with Stewards Traditions

I'm working on a scene with the transfer of power from old Steward to new and I was wondering about the ring. I know there is one in the movies (Pippin kisses it, doesn't he?) but I don't remember one from the book and I can't find this in the text of RotK. I just wanted to check if I was missing the reference and it's somewhere. Liz, I'm so sorry (and embarrassed ) that I can't provide a reference to the ring! I couldn't find it in RotK either. I think I must have read about this ring in a story and the image of it stuck with me. But, I found something that you may be able to use. The Stewards had a seal! You can read more about that in the Encyclopedia of Arda (http://glyphweb.com/arda). Once you're there, click on Miscellaneous on the left hand menu, then click on Others and there you can find it, Seal of the Stewards, under Emblems and Symbols (Sorry to make this so confusing. I tried to link you to it but it didn't work). The textual reference might be in UT, the Oath of Cirion and Eorl (I haven't checked, but I'm almost certain it's there). Now, there is historical reference about rings being used as seals (or rather, seals being used as rings), but my book is at my house in the U.S. and I won't be going home for another three weeks (I can check it, though, and e-mail the info if you think it might be useful). This knowledge comes from my art history classes at college on my first two years, so I don't remember very well anymore, but I seem to remember the egyptians, the chinese, and medieval people -among others- using rings as their seals. In the medieval case, they used the ring to press hot wax onto documents and such, leaving their mark and protecting the letter from being opened. I think you could very well pull that off with Ecthelion and his ring. I hope that helps, Liz. Take care, Starlight

 

 

Re: Help with Stewards Traditions

The textual reference might be in UT, the Oath of Cirion and Eorl (I haven't checked, but I'm almost certain it's there). Starlight, your're right, it's there, more exactly chapter (ii) "The Ride of Eorl". "He called for volunteers, and choosing six riders of great courage and endurance be sent them out in pairs with a day's interval between them. Each bore a message learned by heart, and also a small stone incised with the seal for the Stewards..." And a description in the accompanying Footnote 25: "The letters R • ND • R surmounted by three stars, signifying arandur (king's servant), steward. [Author's note.]" I think that there is no Steward's ring in canon. I have looked through LotR in vain, and I can't think of any places (other than HoME which I have not read) where it might be mentioned. But it is certainly a possibility. If you'll have a ring, you could model it after the seal, with 3 stars and the same runes. Imhiriel

 

 

Re: Help with Stewards Traditions

Starlight and Imhriel, many thanks for tracking down all the references for me. I'll see how the scene plays out in practical terms when I come to write it to discover exactly what symbols of office get transferred - other than the white rod. which is definitely canon. But a signet ring/seal or a seal of office are both excellent ideas. Thanks again, Liz

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Before they ate, Faramir and all his men turned and faced west in a moment of silence. Faramir signed to Frodo and Sam that they should do likewise. "So we always do," he said, as they sat down: "we look towards Númenor that was, and beyond to Elvenhome that is, and to that which is beyond Elvenhome and will ever be. Have you no such custom at meat?" --Frodo, Sam, and the Rangers just before eating a meal at Henneth Annûn With reference to the above (which I borrowed from the first post by Marta), does anyone think that this is a custom that would observed by all Dunedain? Or else by all Men in the North and South? Does anyone think it would have been observed from the time of Elendil and the the destruction of Numenor? Does anyone have theories why they do this? Know it's been discussed somewhere before (sorry, having a spacey day and can't remember where...), but my curisoity has been sparked and the Nuzgul's are on their way, and I need to know! Arquen

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Arquen, It is plausible that all Dúnedain would follow this practice: clearly it dates back to the beliefs of the "Faithful" of Númenor, that is, reverence of the Eldar and Valar. So the descendants of Elendil's people would likely have some such tradition. Though sadly, we don't see any hint at this being the case with the Dúnedain of the North. But you could state that it just wasn't mentioned, though they all did the same thing. The only problem with that is that Frodo and Sam seem not to have seen Aragorn ever doing it before... cheers, Maya

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Maya wrote: The only problem with that is that Frodo and Sam seem not to have seen Aragorn ever doing it before... I can think of a couple of just-about plausible reason for that. (Oh dear, expounding Aragorn theories - Gwynnyd has corrupted me.) For one thing, Boromir is never described as doing it either - surely both brothers would observe the custom. Or is Boromir particularly irreverent and Faramir particularly pious? Or are there only special circumstances in which the Standing Silence is observed? "Formal" meals perhaps. Frodo and Sam have hardly any "formal" meals with Aragorn before the feast at Cormallen - they're mostly travelling and camping when they eat together. In fact, the only "formal" meal I can think of that they share is in Lorien, where "prototcol" for the meal is controlled by the elves. In addition, Aragorn has spent a lot of his life travelling in disguise and is used to blending into the customs of others. it's entirely possible that he does observe the Silence, but has learnt to do it in a subtle way, so that it isn't obvious when he's with people who won't appreciate it. So he's doing it, but the hobbits don't notice? Or Boromir and Aragorn are both observing the Silence but, because they're not a whole caveful of men doing it at once, and because the setting is less formal, Frodo and Sam don't realise what they're doing.? So Aragorn and the Dúnedain of the North could have followed the custom, I think. Of course, this could also just be one of Professor Tolkien's delightful inconsistencies and a consequence of writing LotR over so many years....! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Liz wrote: Or Boromir and Aragorn are both observing the Silence but, because they're not a whole caveful of men doing it at once, and because the setting is less formal, Frodo and Sam don't realise what they're doing.? You've convinced me. There you go, Arquen - seems pretty plausible as a "within canon" extension. cheers, Maya

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Another possibility is that the Silence was something only observed by a group. There are some religious traditions that are only done in a community setting. It is possible that this would be one of those. Possibly, observing it alone could be a private and inward thing. But in a group you would all stand together. Which would explain why it is not mentioned at all in Boromir's behavior, when we could expect that he at least would hold to the same traditions as his brother. Sort of like saying Grace is for many Christians-- when alone, it is either not done or is said silently to oneself. I know in my family it is only said aloud on special occasions when there is a large gathering of people. I don't think any of the meals taken together by the Fellowship are described in any great detail-- not narratively, anyway. So it's pretty open to interpretation.

 

 

Re: Dúnedain Social Customs

Thanks guys! You have really good points. I agree that Aragorn probably didn't do it so it was noticeable because he traveled out into the eastern lands and into the south, where the Dunedain had so many enemies, and doing something like that would have made him stand out. Aragorn and Boromir both probably didn't do it so they wouldn't make anyone else in the Fellowship feel uncomfortable when they did it. Though I have nothing against people who say grace before eating, I always feel out of place when they do it and I don't. I think maybe I will incorporate that into my story somehow. Arquen

 

 

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