The first part of the chapter “The Music of the Ainur” consists of a text which picks up from where the “Cottage of Lost Play” ended. It mainly describes a meeting between Eriol and aged Rúmil who dwells at the cottage and cares for the garden. This part forms a link between the “Cottage of Lost Play” and the tale of “The Music of the Ainur”.
In the Cottage of Lost Play, Eriols asks about the Valar “Are they the Gods?”, he is told that it is so but that further tales will have to wait and that he is welcome to remail over the night and as long as he wishes. Two individuals leads Eriol to his lodgings: Littleheart (also called Ilverín) and Rúmil. In his sleep Eriol dreams of thin, pure music sounding something like pipes of silver flutes. When he awakes he visits the garden and meets Rúmil, who is in a sour temper beacuse he is not familiar with the speech of a black bird. He explains that he has studied all the tounges of the Eldar and the Valar and that he learnt himself the tounges of many animals and beasts when he was enslaved my Melko. He have also studied the tounges of men, but he seems to be a bit vexed by the ever-changing nature of those speeches. Eriol asks Rúmil about the languages of the Eldar. The many speeches of the Noldoli, Teleri, Solosimpi and Inwir have all merged into one speech. The tounge of the Valar have been used by Eldars in the past, although never spoken. Eriols enquires to learn more about the Valar. Rúmil mentions Ilúvatar, “The First Beginning” and the Music of the Ainur.
Characters to note
- Rúmil – Aged elf with an old appearance and grey hair. He is a the door-warden of the Cottage of Lost Play and also cares for the garden there. Have lived enthralled by Melko.
- Littleheart – Also called Ilverin. A slender and small elf with a weather worn face and merry blue eyes (who looks to be 50 or 10 000 years of age). He is the gong-warden.
- Ilúvatar – “The Lord for Always”. Creator of the gods (Valar) and the world.
Regarding the Eldar
- Eldar – The race of elves.
- Teleri – One of the elvish “tribes”. = Vanyar (as used in The Silmarillion).
- Inwir – Royal “clan” among the Teleri. Descendants from Inwë.
- Noldoli/Gnomes – One of the elvish “tribes”. = Noldor (as used in The Silmarillion).
- Solosimpi – One of the elvish “tribes”. = Teleri (as used in The Silmarillion).
- Gnomish/Gnome-speech – = Sindarin. Language of the elves of Beleriand.
- Elfin/Elfin of the Eldar – = Quenya. Valinórean toungue of the elves.
- “Eldar”/”Gnome” /”Fairy” – They are all used interchangably among the three kindreds (mentioned above) throughout the development of Tolkiens writings and are all referring to the race of elves. However, different contexts makes for different use.
I suggest you to read the commentary for this text to gain a deeper insight about the terms used for elves and the development of language within the context of The Book of Lost Tales.
This text and also the previous chapter introduces mentions of different types of elves and gods. The texts hints as to some of the history of the elves, their language, their gods and to their language. I hope that I can reference or make up a seperate post that can make it easier to keep track of the movements of groupes of elves, their names and developments of language. I myself have been struggling with keeping track and having it in my mind. Especially since I most recently have been reading literature where variants of terms for the groups of elves have been used I tend to get it all scrambled up in my help. Being able to keep track of the development is essiential to understand a lot of the goings on and references throughout all of Tolkiens work on Middle-Earth (and it is also one of the big beauties of his work).
If anyone have an easy, good source for this, it would be greatly helpful! A map included for those that prefer visual aid is encouraged!
There are a few mentions about some characters that I did not put as noted in this chapter, but is intriguing to know a little about anyway. Ómar the Vala (“who knows of all tounges”), Tuor, Bronweg (father of Littleheart, both Tuor and Bronweg will feature in future chapters), Melko (one of the Ainur, defiant of Ilúvatar’s will. More on him in upcoming chapters!), Tevildo Prince of Cats a demonic servant of Melko (who will develop into Sauron).
Have you read this chapter? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part and if you have anything to add!