HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Thain's Book, The - Annotated Copy of the Red Book

Type: Books & Scrolls

Description:A complete copy of the original Red Book made in the Shire in the Fourth Age, taken to Gondor, and annotated there:

The original Red Book has not been preserved, but many copies were made.... The most important [Findegil's copy] ... is an exact copy in all details of the Thain's Book in Minas Tirith. That book was a copy, made at the request of King Elessar, of the Red Book of the Periannath, and was brought to him by the Thain Peregrin when he retired to Gondor in IV 64.

The Thain's Book was thus the first copy made of the Red Book and contained much that was later omitted or lost. In Minas Tirith it received much annotation, and many corrections, especially of names, words, and quotations in the Elvish languages; and there was added to it an abbreviated version of those parts of The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen which lie outside the account of the War. ... But the chief importance of Findegil's copy [of the Thain's Book] is that it alone contains the whole of Bilbo's 'Translations from the Elvish'.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Note on the Shire Records

The name Incánus [Gandalf] is apparently 'alien', that is neither Westron, nor Elvish (Sindarin or Quenya), nor explicable by the surviving tongues of Northern Men. A note in the Thain's Book says that it is a form adapted to Quenya of a word in the tongue of the Haradrim meaning simply 'North-spy' Inkā + nūs.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 2, The Istari

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 6.17.04; added Incánus: ET 6.24.04

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