In the fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Dwarves are a race inhabiting Middle-earth, the central continent of Earth in an imagined mythological past, they are based on the dwarfs of Germanic myths: small humanoids that dwell in mountains, are associated with mining, metallurgy and jewellery. They appear in his books The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the posthumously published The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth series, the last three edited by his son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien. In The Book of Lost Tales the few Dwarves who appear are portrayed as evil beings, employers of Orc mercenaries and in conflict with the Elves—who are the imagined "authors" of the myths, are therefore biased against Dwarves. Tolkien was inspired by the dwarves of Norse myths and dwarves of Germanic folklore, from whom his Dwarves take their characteristic affinity with mining, metalworking and avarice; the representation of Dwarves as evil changed with The Hobbit. Here the Dwarves became comedic and bumbling, but seen as honourable, serious-minded, but still portraying some negative characteristics such as being gold-hungry proud and officious.
Tolkien was now influenced by his own selective reading of medieval texts regarding the Jewish people and their history. The dwarves' characteristics of being dispossessed of their homeland, living among other groups whilst retaining their own culture are all derived from the medieval image of Jews, whilst their warlike nature stems from accounts in the Hebrew Bible. Medieval views of Jews saw them as having a propensity for making well-crafted and beautiful things, a trait shared with Norse dwarves. For The Hobbit all dwarf-names are taken from the Dvergatal or "Catalogue of the Dwarves", found in the Poetic Edda. However, more than just supplying names, the "Catalogue of the Dwarves" appears to have inspired Tolkien to supply meaning and context to the list of names—that they travelled together, this in turn became the quest told of in The Hobbit; the Dwarves' written language is represented in illustrations by Anglo-Saxon Runes. The Dwarf calendar invented; the dwarves taking Bilbo out of his complacent existence has been seen as an eloquent metaphor for the "impoverishment of Western society without Jews".
When writing The Lord of the Rings Tolkien continued many of the themes he had set up in The Hobbit. When giving Dwarves their own language Tolkien decided to create an analogue of a Semitic language influenced by Hebrew phonology. Like medieval Jewish groups, the Dwarves use their own language only amongst themselves, adopted the languages of those they live amongst for the most part, for example taking public names from the cultures they lived within, whilst keeping their "true-names" and true language a secret. Along with a few words in Khuzdul, Tolkien developed runes of his own invention, said to have been invented by Elves and adopted by the Dwarves. Tolkien further underlines the diaspora of the Dwarves with the lost stronghold of the Mines of Moria. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses the main dwarf character Gimli to reconcile the conflict between Elves and Dwarves through showing great courtesy to Galadriel and forming a deep friendship with Legolas, seen as Tolkien's reply toward "Gentile anti-Semitism and Jewish exclusiveness".
Tolkien elaborated on Jewish influence on his Dwarves in a letter: "I do think of the'Dwarves' like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue..." After preparing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien returned again to the matter of the Silmarillion, in which he gave the Dwarves a creation myth. The most Dwarf-centric story from The Book of Lost Tales, "The Nauglafring", was not redrafted to fit with the positive portrayal of the dwarves from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, nor other events in the Silmarillion, leading Christopher Tolkien to rewrite it with input from Guy Gavriel Kay in preparation for publication. Sometime before 1969 Tolkien wrote the essay Of Dwarves and Men, in which detailed consideration was given to the Dwarves' use of language, that the names given in the stories were of Northern Mannish origin, Khuzdul being their own secret tongue and the naming of the Seven Houses of the Dwarves.
The essay represents the last of Tolkien's writing regarding the Dwarves and was published in volume 12 of The History of Middle-earth in 1996. In the last interview before his death, after discussing the nature of Elves says of his Dwarves: "The dwarves of course are quite wouldn't you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic constructed to be Semitic." The original editor of The Hobbit "corrected" Tolkien's plural dwarves to dwarfs, as did the editor of the Puffin paperback edition of The Hobbit. According to Tolkien, the "real ` historical"' plural of dwarf is dwerrows, he referred to dwarves as "a piece of private bad grammar". In Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings it is explained that if we still spoke of dwarves English might have retained a special plural for the word dwarf as with goose—geese. Despite Tolkien's fondness for it, the form dwarrow only appears in his writing as Dwarrowdelf, a name for Moria. Tolkien used Dwarves, which corresponds with Elf and Elves.
In this matter, one has to consider the fact that the
Elu Thingol is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, he appears in The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand and Children of Húrin as well as in numerous stories in the many volumes of The History of Middle-earth. He is notably a major character in many of the stories about the First Age of Tolkien's Middle-earth and he is an essential part of the ancestral backgrounding of the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings. Thingol is introduced as the King of King of the Sindar, High-king and Lord of Beleriand, he is said to be "the tallest of all the Children of Ilúvatar" and the "mightiest of the Eldar save Fëanor only". In The Silmarillion as Elwë, he is introduced as one of the three chieftains of the Elves who depart from Cuiviénen with Oromë as ambassadors of Valinor and become Kings. Upon his return, he persuades many of the Nelyar, to follow him back to that country; this host becomes known as the Teleri. On the Great Journey to the West the Teleri lag behind, loving Middle-earth and having mixed feelings about leaving it for Valinor, do not arrive at the coast until after the departure of the moving island of Tol Eressëa.
Thus, they stay in Beleriand for many years. During this time Elwë encounters Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth and, enchanted by her, he falls in love with her, they remain entranced together for some 200 years. Many of the Teleri would not leave without him. After Thingol awoke from the trance, many of the Teleri had grown to like Beleriand and decided to stay there. Thingol and Melian become queen of the Sindar, the Teleri who stay in Beleriand. Thingol's brother Olwë becomes the King of Alqualondë and High King of the Teleri who do journey to Aman. Thingol visited Valinor as an ambassador and is, both of the Sindar and of the Calaquendi, his and Melian's daughter, Lúthien, is said to be the fairest of the Children of Ilúvatar to live. Thingol's heir is son of Beren and Lúthien. Other kin of Thingol, stated by Tolkien, for which the family relation is unrecorded or unexplained in the tales are Círdan, Celeborn, Eöl, he is the ancestor of many prominent characters and Men, including Elros, Elrond and Arwen.
He is family to Galadriel, as she is the child of his niece, Eärwen. When the War of the Jewels began Thingol fought the First Battle of Beleriand defeating Morgoth's invading east host. After that battle Thingol realised that he could not match Morgoth in open battle and adopted a defensive strategy for his kingdom by closing the borders with a military March Ward and Melian's magical Girdle, a maze of mists and shadows. Sensing unspoken, dire causes for the arrival of the Noldor, he denied entry to Doriath without his leave to all except the house of Finarfin, for they were descended from Olwë; the lords of the Noldor concealed from Thingol the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, where Thingol's Telerin kinsmen in Valinor were slaughtered and their ships stolen by Fëanor's followers. Those Noldor who bore no direct responsibility for the crime felt the shame of it, they grew angry at the sons of Fëanor for their pride. Círdan the Shipwright heard rumour of the Kinslaying, sent word to Thingol. Outraged, Thingol confronted Finrod Felagund with this news, but Finrod made no reply rather than accuse his kinsmen.
His brother Angrod could not bear the blame any longer. In great anger, he revealed Fëanor and Fëanor's sons' responsibility for the Kinslaying, for the misery of the long passage of the Helcaraxë which Finarfin's and Fingolfin's kin suffered. Thingol forgave the houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin, but he decreed that their language would never again be heard or spoken in Beleriand and still bore hatred for the Fëanorian Noldor. Following the Dagor Bragollach, a Man named Beren fled to Doriath, driven by a destiny that thwarted Melian's power, Lúthien, Thingol's daughter, fell in love with him. Thingol did not wish them to marry, he demanded as a bride-price a Silmaril, which jewels were at that time set in Morgoth's crown, thinking it would be death to make the attempt to recover them. Though intended by Thingol as a way to get rid of this presumptuous mortal, as the quest was deemed impossible, the quest he laid on Beren had the effect of placing Doriath under the sway of the Oath of Fëanor, since against all odds, Beren succeeded in retrieving the Silmaril after many difficult adventures and married Lúthien.
As was required by their oath, the sons of Fëanor demanded. In spite of Melian's counsel to the contrary, he refused, remembering the sacrifices that his daughter and son-in-law had to endure to retrieve it, being enamoured of its beauty. Maedhros remained silent, since he was attempting to build an alliance to assault Angband, but his brothers Celegorm and Curufin vowed to slay Thingol and lay waste to Doriath should they return from battle victorious. Thingol thus fortified his borders and sent no aid to the Union of Maedhros, but gave permission to his marchwardens Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung to participate, under the condition that they not serve the sons of Fëanor. After the disastrous defeat of the Eldar at the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Beleg returned to Doriath with the young Túrin Turambar, a grand-nephew of Beren, sent by his mother Morwen Eledhwen from Dor-lómin, soon to be overrun by Morgoth's forces, Thingol received him gladly. Túrin caused the death of the Nandorin elf Saeros, after the latter gave him a mortal insult.
Thingol was at first outraged, but pardoned Túrin after hearing the whole story. However, Túr
A tree house, tree fort or treeshed is a platform or building constructed around, next to or among the trunk or branches of one or more mature trees while above ground level. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space and observation. Building tree platforms or nests as a shelter from dangers on the ground is a habit of all the great apes, may have been inherited by humans, it is true that evidence of prehistoric man-made tree houses have never been found by paleoanthropologists, but remains of wooden tree houses would not remain. However, evidence for cave accommodation, terrestrial man-made rock shelters, bonfires should be possible to find if they had existed, but are scarce from earlier than 40000 years ago; this has led to a hypothesis that archaic humans may have lived in trees until about 40000 years ago. Today, treehouses are built by some indigenous people in order to escape the danger and adversity on the ground in some parts of the tropics, it has been claimed that the majority of the Korowai clans, a Papuan tribe in the southeast of Irian Jaya, live in tree houses on their isolated territory as protection against a tribe of neighbouring head-hunters, the Citak.
The BBC revealed in 2018 that the Korowai had constructed tree houses "for the benefit of overseas programme makers" and did not live in them. However, the Korowai people still build tree houses, but not elevated on stilts as in the BBC scene, but fastened to trees in the tree trunks of tall trees, to protect occupants and store food from scavenging animals. Modern tree houses are built as a hut for children or for leisure purposes. Modern tree houses may be integrated into existing hotel facilities. Along with subterranean and ground level houses, tree houses are an option for building eco-friendly houses in remote forest areas, because they do not require a clearing of a certain area of forest. However, the wildlife and illumination on ground level in areas of dense close-canopy forest is not desirable to some people. There are numerous techniques to fasten the structure to the tree which seek to minimize tree damage; the construction of modern tree houses starts with the creation of a rigid platform, on which the house will be placed.
In case there aren’t enough suitable supports, the methods to support the platform are: Struts and stiltsStruts and stilts are used for relieving weights on a lower elevation or straight to the ground. Stilts are anchored into the ground with concrete although new designs, such as the “Diamond Pier”, accelerates installation time and they are less invasive for the root system. Stilts are considered the easiest method of supporting larger tree houses, can increase structural support and safety. Stay rodsStay rods are used for relieving weights on a higher elevation; these systems are useful to control movements caused by wind or tree growth, however they are the used less due to the natural limits of the systems. Higher elevation and more branches tailing off increases wind sensibility; as building materials for hanging are used ropes, wire cables, tension fasteners, springs etc. Friction and tension fastenersFriction and tension fasteners are the most common noninvasive methods of securing tree houses.
They do not use nails, screws or bolts, but instead grip the beams to the trunk by means of counter-beam, threaded bars, or tying. Invasive methodsInvasive methods are all methods that use nails, bolts, etc; because these methods require punctures in the tree, they must be planned properly in order to minimize stress. Not all species of plants suffer from puncture in the same way, depending on whether the sap conduits run in the pith or in the bark. Nails are not recommended. A special kind of bolt developed in the 1990s called a treehouse attachment bolt can support greater weights than earlier methods. Since the mid-1990s, recreational tree houses have enjoyed a rise in popularity in countries such as the United States and parts of Europe; this has been due to increased disposable income, better technology for builders, research into safe building practices and an increased interest in environmental issues sustainable living. This growing popularity is reflected in a rise of social media channels and television shows specially dedicated to featuring remarkable tree houses around the world.
Increased popularity has, in turn, given rise to demand for businesses covering all building and design work for clients. There are over 30 businesses in Europe and the USA specializing in the construction of tree houses of various degrees of permanence and sophistication, from children's play structures to functioning homes. Popularity of tree house hotels is growing, with a number of booking websites offering accommodation in tree houses. Many areas of the world have no specific planning laws for tree houses, so the legal issues can be confusing to both the builder and the local planning departments only. Treehouses can be exempt regulated or regulated - depending on the locale. In some cases, tree houses are exempted from standard building regulations, as they're considered outside of the regulations specification. An exemption may be given to a builder if the tree house is in a non-urban location. Alternatively, a tree house may be included in the same category as structures such as garden sheds, sometimes called a "temporary structure".
There may be distance from boundary and privacy for nearby properties. There are various
Ulmo is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, he first appears in The Silmarillion as Vala of the Elven pantheon. Ulmo is a title, he is known as King of the Sea and Lord of Waters. Ulmo is similar to the god Poseidon in Greek mythology, Neptune in Roman mythology, Ægir or Njordr in Norse mythology, Manannan in Celtic mythology. Ulmo was one of the chief architects of Arda. Ulmo was second in majesty of the Valar, after Manwë and before Aulë, he was close friends with Manwë. Before the creation of Earth when the Ainur sang to their father Ilúvatar, Ulmo was the best singer and maker of music; this translates into the fluidity and versatility of water on Earth, blending with air to form clouds, freezing into ice, running on rivers and mixing in with all aspects of life and landscape. The Elves owe their skill in music to the early teachings of Ulmo and recognize his melodies in the running of streams and rivers as well as the beating of the waves on the sea. Ulmo had always distrusted Melkor, the Dark Lord feared the Sea as much as he feared Varda, because neither could be tamed.
Ulmo had no dwelling in Valinor, went there only or any permanent dwelling on land as he preferred the deeps of the seas and the rivers. His palace, on the bottom of Vaiya, was called Ulmonan, he was never married. He came to the Councils of Máhanaxar, only when in great need, he preferred to stay in Arda, not by walking on the land, as his form would fill Man or Elf with great dread. All waters were under his government, it is through these that he kept in touch with Arda, thus knew more of the goings on with the Children of Ilúvatar than Manwë, for it was said he lived in the veins of the world. He was said to be fearful to look upon to mortal eye, dressed like a giant wave in glittering green armour, blowing his great horns the Ulumúri. Ulmo's vassal Ossë, Ossë's wife Uinen were the best known of the Maiar among the Elves. Through them Ulmo would learn much of the Elves. Ulmo had always loved both the Eldar and the Edain, during the Exile kept the elves in his thoughts for though the Valar waited for the appointed time to assail Morgoth Ulmo who had not been fooled by Morgoth during his freedom in Valinor still brought council to those east of Aman.
He opposed Oromë's plan to bring the Elves to Aman, ordered Tol Eressëa to be anchored in the Bay of Eldamar, which he did because he knew the minds of the Teleri. In the earlier version of the Legendarium and in the Roverandom, along with Ulmo's working, Uin the great Right Whale was in charge to pull the island whose parcel became the land of Ireland today. Ulmo was the Vala most responsible for the fall of Morgoth, by urging Turgon to build Gondolin and Finrod to build Nargothrond, he urged him to go to Gondolin as a messenger to Turgon. Ulmo defended them in the council from the potential wrath of Mandos. Ulmo is another name for St. Elmo, the patron saint of mariners. Ulmo Appears before Tuor as illustrated by Ted Nasmith
The Children of Húrin
The Children of Húrin is an epic fantasy novel which forms the completion of a tale by J. R. R. Tolkien, he wrote the original version of the story in the late 1910s, revised it several times but did not complete it before his death in 1973. His son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the manuscripts to form a consistent narrative, published it in 2007 as an independent work; the book contains 33 illustrations in colour. The history and descent of the main characters are given as the leading paragraphs of the book, the back story is elaborated upon in The Silmarillion, it begins five hundred years before the action of the book, when Morgoth, a Vala and the prime evil power, escapes from the Blessed Realm of Valinor to the north-west of Middle-earth. From his fortress of Angband he endeavours to gain control of the whole of Middle-earth, unleashing a war with the Elves that dwell in the land of Beleriand to the south. However, the Elves manage to stay his assault, most of their realms remain unconquered.
In addition, after some time the Noldorin Elves forsake Valinor and pursue Morgoth to Middle-earth in order to take vengeance upon him. Together with the Sindar of Beleriand, they proceed to lay siege to Angband, establish new strongholds and realms in Middle-earth, including Hithlum ruled by Fingon, Nargothrond by Finrod Felagund and Gondolin by Turgon. Three centuries pass, during; these are the Edain, descendants of those Men who have rebelled against the rule of Morgoth's servants and journeyed westward. Most of the Elves welcome them, they are given fiefs throughout Beleriand; the House of Bëor rules over the land of Ladros, the Folk of Haleth retreat to the forest of Brethil, the lordship of Dor-lómin is granted to the House of Hador. Other Men enter Beleriand, the Easterlings, many of whom are in secret league with Morgoth. Morgoth manages to break the Siege of Angband in the Battle of Sudden Flame; the House of Bëor is destroyed and the Elves and Edain suffer heavy losses. Túrin, son of Húrin of the race of Men, lived in Dor-lómin with his father, his mother Morwen, his sister Urwen.
Urwen died as a child from a plague. Túrin's father was taken prisoner by Morgoth after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. During Húrin's imprisonment Túrin was sent by his mother to live in the Elf-realm Doriath for protection. In his absence Morwen gave birth to her third child, a girl. Morgoth had placed a curse upon Húrin and all his family whereby evil would befall them for their whole lives. King Thingol of Doriath takes Túrin as a foster-son. During his time in Doriath Túrin befriends an Elf named Beleg, the two become close companions. Túrin accidentally causes the death of the Elf Saeros, who attempts to jump a ravine while fleeing but falls and is killed. Túrin refuses becoming an outlaw. Thingol tries Túrin in absentia and pardons him, he gives Beleg leave to bring him back to Doriath. Túrin meanwhile joins a band of outlaws in the wild, he renames himself Neithan, "the wronged" and becomes their captain. Beleg locates the band while Túrin is absent, the outlaws leave him tied to a tree until he agrees to give them information.
Túrin returns in time to cut Beleg free and, horrified by the outlaws' actions, resolves to forsake the cruel habits he has fallen into. Beleg delivers the message of the king's pardon but Túrin refuses to return to Doriath. Beleg returns to aid Doriath's defence. Túrin and his men capture a Petty-dwarf, who leads them to the caves at Amon Rûdh. Beleg decides to return to Túrin; the outlaws resent disliking Elves, grows to hate him. Mîm betrays the outlaws to orcs, leading the orcs to the caves where Túrin's company is taken unawares; the entire band is killed, save for Túrin. They take Túrin off towards Angband. Mîm is about to kill Beleg after the orcs depart when one of the outlaws, mortally wounded, rouses himself before dying to drive Mîm away and release Beleg. Beleg follows the orcs. Beleg happens across a mutilated elf, Gwindor of Nargothrond, sleeping in the forest of Taur-nu-Fuin, they enter the orc camp at night and carry Túrin, from the camp. Beleg begins to cut Túrin's bonds with his sword Anglachel, but the sword slips in his hand and cuts Túrin.
Túrin, mistaking Beleg for an orc, kills Beleg with his own sword. When a flash of lightning reveals Beleg's face, Túrin falls into a frenzy, he refuses to leave Beleg's body until morning. Túrin remains witless with grief. Túrin and Gwindor proceed to Nargothrond. There Túrin gains the favour of King Orodreth, after leading the Elves to considerable victories, he becomes Orodreth's chief counsellor and commander of his forces. Against all counsel Túrin refuses to hide Nargothrond from Morgoth or to retract his plans for full-scale battle. Morgoth sends an orc-army under the command of the dragon and Nargothrond is defeated; the orcs, crossing over the bridge that Túrin had built, sack Nargothrond and capture its citizens. Túrin returns as the prisoners are to be led away by the orcs, encounters Glaurung; the dragon enchants and tricks him into returning to Dor-lómin to seek out Morwen and Niënor instead of rescuing the prisoners—among whom is Finduilas, Orodreth’s daughter, who loved him. In Dor-lómin Túrin learns that Morwen and Niënor
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are 600 extant species of oaks; the common name "oak" appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae. The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic; the second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains 100 species. Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species. Many deciduous species are marcescent. In spring, a single oak tree produces small female flowers; the fruit is a nut called an oak nut borne in a cup-like structure known as a cupule. The acorns and leaves contain tannic acid, which helps to guard from insects.
The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not a distinct group and instead are dispersed across the genus. The oak tree is a flowering plant. Oaks may be divided into two genera and a number of sections: The genus Quercus is divided into the following sections: Sect. Quercus, the white oaks of Europe and North America. Styles are short; the leaves lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are rounded. The type species is Quercus robur. Sect. Mesobalanus, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the section Mesobalanus is related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Sect. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the inside of the acorn's shell is hairless. Its leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Protobalanus, the canyon live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste bitter; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly.
Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Lobatae, the red oaks of North America, Central America and northern South America. Styles long; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. The actual nut is encased in a thin, papery skin. Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with spiny bristles at the lobe; the ring-cupped oaks of eastern and southeastern Asia. Evergreen trees growing 10–40 m tall, they are distinct from subgenus Quercus in that they have acorns with distinctive cups bearing concrescent rings of scales. IUCN, ITIS, Encyclopedia of Life and Flora of China treats Cyclobalanopsis as a distinct genus, but some taxonomists consider it a subgenus of Quercus, it contains about 150 species. Species of Cyclobalanopsis are common in the evergreen subtropical laurel forests which extend from southern Japan, southern Korea, Taiwan across southern China and northern Indochina to the eastern Himalayas, in association with trees of genus Castanopsis and the laurel family. Interspecific hybridization is quite common among oaks but between species within the same section only and most common in the white oak group.
Inter-section hybrids, except between species of sections Mesobalanus, are unknown. Recent systematic studies appear to confirm a high tendency of Quercus species to hybridize because of a combination of factors. White oaks are unable to discriminate against pollination by other species in the same section; because they are wind pollinated and they have weak internal barriers to hybridization, hybridization produces functional seeds and fertile hybrid offspring. Ecological stresses near habitat margins, can cause a breakdown of mate recognition as well as a reduction of male function in one parent species. Frequent hybridization among oaks has consequences for oak populations around the world. Frequent hybridization and high levels of introgression have caused different species in the same populations to share up to 50% of their genetic information. Having high rates of hybridization and introgression produces genetic data that does not differentiate between two morphologically distinct species, but instead differentiates populations.
Numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain how oak species are able to remain morphologically and ecologically distinct with such high levels of gene flow, but the phenomenon is still a mystery to botanists. The Fagaceae, or beech family, to which the oaks belong, is a slow evolving clade compared to other angiosperms, the patterns of hybridization and introgression in Quercus pose a gre
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Great Sea or the Sundering Seas, is the sea of Arda, west of Middle-earth, it represents a loose mythical view of the Atlantic Ocean. Before the Second Age, Belegaer stretched from the Gap of Ilmen in the far north, where a bridge made of ice known as the Helcaraxë connected Middle-earth and Aman, to the far south, where it connected with Ilmen and froze. Belegaer was narrower in the north than with its widest part near the equator of Arda; the full extent of Belegaer after the Akallabêth is never made clear, but it reaches far enough to the north to be ice-covered, far to the south. The name is Sindarin, has the elements beleg and aer or eär, the latter present in the name Eärendil; the Quenya name of Belegaer, never used in published writing, is Alatairë. Before the end of the Second Age, the continent of Aman, home of the Valar, formed the western edge of Belegaer. Before the ruin of Beleriand at the end of the First Age, the sea was narrow and ice-filled in the north, forming the strait of Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice.
It was thus possible to cross from Aman to Middle-earth on foot, though with difficulty, as did Fingolfin and his people of the Noldor when fleeing Valinor. After the War of Wrath Belegaer was widened by the drowning of a large part of Middle-earth. During the Akallabêth in the Second Age, the seas were "bent" and the world was made round. Aman was removed from the world, Belegaer washed "new lands", only the chosen could find the "Straight Road" to Valinor; the new western reaches of Belegaer are never described in the narrative, although there are indications that Númenórean refugees reached them in search for Valinor. The "new lands" have been compared before to the Americas by fans, although Tolkien himself never indicated whether, what he intended. On the west, before Aman was removed from the world near the end of the Second Age, features of Belegaer included: the Twilit Isles or Enchanted Isles in the Shadowy Seas, it was the remainder of the eastern edge of the Great Gulf that had divided Beleriand from the Lands to the South in the First Age.
After the end of the War of Wrath a large section of western Middle-earth was drowned, with the new coastline the Bay of Belfalas extended from Andrast to the Mouths of Anduin, south past Umbar to the unknown southern shores. The Bay of Belfalas was an important inlet for incoming ships, it served as a passageway for Corsairs coming from the Havens of Umbar in the South. Most of the Rivers of Gondor flowed into the Bay of Belfalas, it had many smaller bays and capes; the mouths of the Anduin and the Rivers Lefnui, Ciril, Ringló, Harnen all emptied into the Bay of Belfalas. The Bay was named for the region of Belfalas, in it lay the rocky island of Tolfalas at the mouths of the Anduin. Bay of Belfalas Tolfalas, in the Bay of Belfalas "Belegaer". Tolkien Gateway