J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor
Khuzdul is a fictional language created by J. R. R. Tolkien, is one of the languages which feature in Middle-earth, is the secret and private language of the Dwarves. Although not known, Tolkien had begun developing Khuzdul within the 1930's before the publication of The Hobbit, with some names appearing in the early versions of The Silmarillion. Tolkien based Khuzdul on Semitic languages Hebrew, featuring triconsonantal roots and similarities to Hebrew's phonology and morphology. Tolkien noted some similarities between Dwarves and Jews: both were "at once natives and aliens in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue…". Tolkien commented of the Dwarves that "their words are Semitic constructed to be Semitic." Although a limited vocabulary is known, Tolkien mentioned he had developed the language to a certain extent. A small amount of material on Khuzdul phonology and root modifications has survived, yet to be published. In the fictional setting of Middle-earth, little is known of Khuzdul, the Dwarves kept it secret, except for place names and a few phrases such as their battle-cry and Balin's tomb in Moria, which read respectively: The highest level of secrecy applied to Dwarves' "inner-names", their personal names, with the possible exception of the Petty-dwarves.
The names of all Dwarves are "outer-names" either from another language or nicknames/titles, sometimes in Khuzdul: e.g. Azaghâl, Gamil Zirak. According to the Lhammas, Khuzdul is a language isolate, the sole member of the Aulëan language family, not related to the Oromëan languages spoken by Elves. Aulëan was named from the Dwarvish tradition that it had been devised by Aulë the Smith, the Vala who created the Dwarves. Tolkien dropped the origins of Elvish being taught by Oromë, but kept the origins of Khuzdul the same, it is said in The Silmarillion that Aulë created the dwarves, taught them "the language he had devised for them", making Khuzdul in both fiction and reality, a constructed language. The Dwarves had a great reverence for Aulë; because of this, Khuzdul remained unchanged. As a result, all Dwarven clans could speak with each other without difficulty despite the great distances that separated them and the more than 12,000-year history of the language. Khuzdul was to the dwarves “a tongue of lore rather than a cradle-speech”, was learned through reverent study as they matured, to make sure Khuzdul was passed down unaltered from one generation to the next.
The changeability of Khuzdul versus other languages was compared to "the weathering of hard rock and the melting of snow". Dwarves were unwilling to teach outsiders Khuzdul to their non-dwarf friends. Dwarves would speak the languages of the region "but with an accent due to their own private tongue...", being careful not to speak Khuzdul around non-dwarves. Only a few non-Dwarves are recorded as having learnt Khuzdul, most notably the Elves Eöl, Fëanor's son Curufin, reluctantly the Noldor loremasters of the Second Age: "They understood and respected the disinterested desire for knowledge, some of the Ñoldorin loremasters were allowed to learn enough of both their "aglâb" and their "iglishmêk" to understand their systems". There were many similarities between Khuzdul and the native tongues of Men of the Far-East of Middle-earth; this is because in the early days of Middle-earth, Men of these regions had friendly contact with the Dwarves, who "were not unwilling to teach their own tongue to Men with whom they had special friendship, but Men found it difficult and were slow to learn more than isolated words, many of which they adapted and took into their own language".
Adûnaic, the language of Númenor, retained some Khuzdul influences and was said to have been influenced by Khuzdul's basic structure. Dwarves were however, willing to reveal the names of places in Khuzdul, with Gimli revealing the names of the landmarks of Moria: "I know them and their names, for under them lies Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf... Yonder stands Barazinbar, the Redhorn...and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead:...that we call Zirakzigil and Bundushathûr.". Khuzdul is written with the Cirth script, with two known modes used, Cirth Moria and Cirth Erebor. Besides their aglâb, spoken tongue, the Dwarves used a sign language, or iglishmêk, just as secretive as Khuzdul. According to The War of the Jewels, it was learned with the aglâb from childhood; the Dwarvish sign language was much more varied between communities than Khuzdul, which remained "astonishingly uniform and unchanged both in time and in locality". Tolkien described of their structure and use among the dwarves: "The component sign-elements of any such code were so slight and so swift that they could hardly be detected, still less interpreted by uninitiated onlookers.
As the Eldar discovered in their dealings with the Naugrim, they could speak with their voices but at the same time by ‘gesture’ convey to their own folk modifications of what was being said. Or they could stand silent considering some proposition, yet confer among themselves meanwhile". Tolkien only gave a few examples of the Iglishmêk sign language in his unpublished notes; the command to "Listen!" Involved a slight raising of both forefingers simultaneously. The acknowledgment "I am listening" involved a slight raising of the right-hand forefinger, followed by a similar raising of the left-hand forefinger; the following phonemes are attested in Tolkien's Khuzdul vocabulary. Only one diphthong is attested in Khuzdul: ai. 1 Often at the start of words that begin with a vowel not written in the Latin alphabet, but has its own rune in An
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, the Lonely Mountain is a mountain in the north of Wilderland, it is the source of the Celduin River, the location of the Kingdom under the Mountain. The town of Dale lies in a vale on its southern slopes; the mountain is called Erebor in Sindarin. This name, a translation of "Lonely Mountain", does not appear in The Hobbit, where the mountain is called by the English name throughout, or the Mountain. In The Lord of the Rings, the name "Erebor" occurs only once in the main narrative text: in chapter 9, book V of The Return of the King; the Lonely Mountain is the goal of the protagonists in The Hobbit, the scene of the climax. The story of The Hobbit is sometimes referred to as the Quest of Erebor. Erebor stood hundreds of miles from the nearest mountain range. Tolkien's rendering of Thrór's map in The Hobbit shows the mountain with six ridges stretching out from a central peak, snowcapped well into spring; the whole mountain was ten miles in diameter.
The mountain was the habitat for a variety of plants and animals, including thrushes, crows and pines. The most well-known were the ravens of Ravenhill, a spur of the mountain; some wildlife survived the Desolation of Smaug, a dragon who invaded the Mountain and dominated its surrounds for nearly 200 years in the Third Age. Erebor became the home of the Folk of Durin, a clan of Dwarves known as the Longbeards, after they were driven from their ancestral home of Khazad-dûm. In the latter days of the Third Age, this Kingdom under the Mountain held one of the largest dwarvish treasure hoards in Middle-earth. Dale, a town of Men built between the two southern spurs of Erebor, formed an economically symbiotic relationship with the dwarves; the Kingdom under the Mountain was founded by Thráin I the Old. His son, Thorin I, left the mountain with much of the Folk of Durin to live in the Ered Mithrin on account of the great riches to be found in that range. After dragons plundered their hoards, the Longbeards, led now by Thrór, a descendant of Thorin, returned to Erebor to take up the title King under the Mountain.
Under Thrór's reign, Erebor became a great stronghold where the dwarves became a numerous and prosperous people. The Dwarves of Erebor were at that time well known for the making of matchless weapons and armour, there was great demand for their work by the surrounding peoples; the Longbeards amassed a large treasure hoard during this time. In 2770 T. A. while the young Thorin II Oakenshield was out hunting, the dragon Smaug flew south from the Grey Mountains, killed all the dwarves he could find, destroyed the town of Dale. Smaug took over the mountain, using the dwarves' hoard as a bed. King Thrór, his son Thráin II, several companions escaped death by a secret door. Although Thrór and Thráin perished, Thorin lived in exile in the Ered Luin, far to the west. In T. A. 2941 he was on a journey. Together they formed a plan to reclaim the mountain. Gandalf insisted that burglary was the best approach and recommended the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, whom he represented to be a professional thief, thus Bilbo and Thorin's company of twelve other Dwarves travelled to the Lonely Mountain to regain the treasure.
They planned to use the secret door, whose key and map Gandalf had managed to obtain from Thráin, whom he had found at the point of death in the pits of Dol Guldur. On Durin's Day, when the setting sun and the last moon of autumn were in the sky together, the day's last sunlight would fall on the door and expose its keyhole so that it could be unlocked. By a fortunate coincidence, this happened soon after Bilbo and the dwarves arrived, the hobbit was able to enter the mountain and steal a golden cup. Smaug, enraged by the theft, emerged from the mountain and flew south to destroy Lake-town, which he thought to be the source of the "thieves". During this attack Smaug was slain by Bard the Bowman. However, the Men of Esgaroth, supported by Thranduil and the Elves of Mirkwood, marched in force to the mountain to demand a part of the dragon's hoard as recompense for the destruction. Thorin, mad with greed, refused all claims and sent word to his second cousin Dáin II Ironfoot, chief of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, who brought reinforcements to the aid of Thorin and Company.
However before any battle began, an army of Orcs and Wargs descended on Erebor. Dwarves and Men joined ranks against them, which led to the Battle of Five Armies. During this battle, Thorin's nephews Fíli and Kíli were slain, Thorin himself was mortally injured and died shortly afterwards; the title of King under the Mountain passed to Dáin. With the restoration of the Kingdom under the Mountain the area became prosperous again. Dale was rebuilt under Bard's leadership, Dwarves and Men reforged their friendship; some of the Dwarves, led by Balin, left Erebor to reclaim the ancient Dwarvish Kingdom of Khazad-dûm. They established a colony there but five years Balin was killed by an Orc, soon after Moria was overrun by Orcs and the rest of the Dwarves were killed. Gimli, a dwarf of Erebor and the son of Glóin, one of Thorin's twelve companions, was chosen to represent his people in the Fellowship of the Ring and helped Aragorn II regain the throne of Gondor. In the War of the Ring, an emissary from Sauron, the lord of Mordor, twice came to Erebor and spoke to Dáin Ironfoot, still King under the Mountain.
The messenger asked for as
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Moria named Khazad-dûm, is a fabulous and ancient subterranean complex in north-western Middle-earth, comprising a vast labyrinthine network of tunnels, chambers and huge halls; the complex ran under and through the Misty Mountains. Moria is one of the wonders of the world of Middle-earth. Moria is introduced in Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, is a major scene of action in the sequel, The Lord of the Rings. In much of Middle-earth's fictional history, which spanned many millennia, Moria was the greatest city of Dwarves in Middle-earth; the Dwarves had founded and built Moria, giving it the name Khazad-dûm, inhabiting it for thousands of years. The city's wealth was founded on its mines, which produced mithril, a metal of high value and versatility; however by the times in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set, Moria had been abandoned by the Dwarves long ago. It was now a place with an evil repute; this is the situation. Tolkien deploys his constructed languages to translate a number of names for Moria.
The relative frequency of these various names in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings reflects the usage in the fictional times in which those novels are set. Moria is thus by far the most common name of the place in Tolkien's writings; the name means "the Black Chasm" or "the Black Pit", from Sindarin mor ='dark, black' and iâ ='void, pit'. The element mor had the sense'sinister, evil' by association with infamous names such Morgoth and Mordor; the name Moria had applied only to the Black Chasm itself. However after the Dwarves were forced to abandon Khazad-dûm, its many bright lamps were destroyed, the whole subterranean complex was drowned in darkness: a veritable Black Pit. Tolkien borrowed the name Moria itself, but not its meaning, from a book. Khazad-dûm is the second-most used name, tends to be limited in application to the fabulous city-kingdom of the Dwarves in an historical or nostalgic context. In the fictional history, Khazad-dûm was Moria's original name, that given it by the Dwarves in their own language.
It is translated as the Dwarrowdelf,'dwarrows' being an archaic English plural of'dwarf', and'delf' an archaic alternative to'delving', from the verb'delve', to dig. However whilst'delf' connotes an ancient excavation, it does not capture the sense'large halls' in the Dwarvish dûm. Tolkien rhymes dûm with tomb; such was Khazad-dûm's splendour and long history that it was well known by many peoples in Middle-earth. Some of them translated Khazad-dûm into their own languages: Hadhodrond by the Sindar, Casarrondo by the Noldor and Phurunargian in the Common Speech; however by the times in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set, these translated names are little used: the name Moria is dominant. Moria was a system of natural caves located in Dimrill Dale, a great valley on the eastern side of the central Misty Mountains; the caves led to an immeasurably-deep subterranean abyss: the Black Chasm. Three of the Misty Mountains' most massive peaks embayed Dimrill Dale: the Mountains of Moria.
In the Common Tongue they are named Silvertine and Cloudyhead. The caves of Moria, where the Dwarf city-kingdom of Khazad-dûm was founded, were situated under Silvertine; the area was discovered by Durin the Deathless, one of the Fathers of the Dwarves and the first King of Khazad-dûm. He named its main natural features. Durin gave the names in Khuzdul, the language of Dwarves, but the main features became better known by their translations in Sindarin and the Common Tongue; the first feature encountered by Durin was the great valley itself: "a glen of shadows between two great arms of the mountains, above which three white peaks were shining". Within this valley, a long series of short waterfalls led down to a long, oval lake, which appeared to have a magical quality: "There, like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above". Perceiving these stars as a crown glittering above his head, Durin took this as an auspicious sign, named the lake Kheled-zâram, the'Mirrormere'.
The three peaks overshadowing the lake he named Barazinbar'the Redhorn', Zirakzigil'the Silvertine' and Bundushathûr,'Cloudyhead'. The icy-cold springs below the lake he called Kibil-nâla, the valley itself he gave the name Azanulbizar, the Dimrill Dale. Durin chose the eastward-facing caves above Kheled-zâram as the earliest beginnings of his new stronghold. All of these places became revered by Durin's Folk. A rune-carved stone monolith – Durin's Stone — was erected on the site where Durin had first looked into the Mirrormere, it was still standing, although much worn at the end of the Third Age. Not far within Moria's original caves, thus not far within the city of Khazad-dûm, lay a subterranean abyss of vast depth: the Black Chasm, whose Sindarin translation Moria was applied to the whole subterranean complex; the Black Chasm was some fifty feet wide. The Black Chasm was a second line of defence to Khazad-dûm's Great Gates, it lay at the eastern end of Khazad-dûm's Second Hall, where ther
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth, the Misty Mountains are a mountain range, one of the most important features of Middle-earth's geography; the mountain-chain is less well known by its alternative names. One of these is Hithaeglir. Other alternative names are the Towers of Mist; the range stretched continuously for some 900 miles across the continent of Middle-earth. The Misty Mountains first appeared in print in The Hobbit. A vision of the mountains is invoked in the first chapter: "Far over the misty mountains cold...". Further information about the mountains was added in Tolkien's subsequent publications; the Misty Mountains stretched continuously for some 900 miles: from Carn Dûm in the north to Dol Baran in the south, were a formidable barrier between the large Middle-earth regions of Eriador and Wilderland. The northernmost section of the Misty Mountains ran from Carn Dûm to Mount Gundabad, was known as the Mountains of Angmar. Mount Gundabad was where Durin awoke according to legend, though it was an abode of Orcs.
Mount Gram, another Orc nest, was not far away. Mount Gundabad was on the eastern side of the range, where it nearly joined the westernmost extremity of the Grey Mountains; the strategic gap was about 10 miles wide. The greatest Dwarf realm in Middle-earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains; the area's three massive peaks - the Mountains of Moria - were Caradhras and Fanuidhol. Under Celebdil was the main part of Khazad-dûm; the southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Methedras. Here the southernmost foothills of the Misty Mountains looked across the Gap of Rohan to the northernmost foothills of the White Mountains; the Misty Mountains had few passes. The most important were the Redhorn Pass. A minor pass near the source of the Hoarwell the High Pass, near Rivendell Also called the Pass of Imladris and Cirith Forn en Andrath; the Orc-stronghold of Goblin-town had an outlet onto the High Pass. There were two alternative routes in the High Pass. A minor pass at the source of the Gladden the Redhorn Pass near Moria This pass was open year-round in winter.
Farther south there were no passes. Some of Middle-earth's notable valleys and dales lay in or close to the Misty Mountains: Rivendell was hidden in the foothills near the western end of the High Pass. Further south the eastern end of the Redhorn Pass led into the great Dimrill Dale in the arms of the Mountains of Moria; this dale led down into Lothlórien: the Valley of Singing Gold. At the southern end of the Misty Mountains, Fangorn forest reached right up into the eastern foothills. Nearby lay Nan Curunír, where Isengard was built, it faced the Gap of Rohan. Rivers originating in the Misty Mountains: flowing West: Hoarwell, Sirannon and Isen. Flowing East: Langwell, Gollum's stream, Silverlode, Limlight, Entwash. Deep beneath the Misty Mountains lay a primordial underworld in perpetual darkness, it was inhabited by primitive creatures. These are reported in and near the underground lake below Goblin-town, in the underworld of Moria; the Watcher in the Water was one of the creatures from Moria's underworld.
The Misty Mountains were raised by Melkor in a primeval epoch of the First Age, no than the War of the Powers. He hoped to impede Oromë, a god who rode across Middle-earth hunting; the Mountains had a more dreaded appearance. However Oromë established the High Pass, he did this to assist the Eldar to cross the mountains on their Great Journey to the West. So, the Misty Mountains were still viewed as too formidable by a large number of the Elves; this was a major sundering of the Elves. Dwarves began to use the High Pass in the First Age, they connected their roads with this pass, which reinforced it as the major gateway between Eriador and the regions to the east. The great Dwarf realm of Khazad-dûm had been established beneath the Misty Mountains earlier in the First Age, flourished for thousands of years, until the unearthing of the Balrog in T. A. 1980. The Dwarves deserted Khazad-dûm, which became known as Moria, it came to be occupied by Orcs and other creatures. In the year 3434 of the Second Age, the High Pass was used by the army of Gil-galad and Elendil when they marched east to Mordor in the War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
After this war, Isildur was slain by Orcs watching the way back towards the pass. Halflings had begun to migrate west across the Mountains by the year 1050 of the Third Age. T
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, graphic novels and video games. Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes though these genres overlap. In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, fantasy consists of works by many writers, artists and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works. Most fantasy uses other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these worlds. An identifying trait of fantasy is the author's reliance on imagination to create narrative elements that do not have to rely on history or nature to be coherent; this differs from realistic fiction in that realistic fiction has to attend to the history and natural laws of reality, where fantasy does not.
An author applies his or her imagination to come up with characters and settings that are impossible in reality. Many fantasy authors use real-world mythology as inspiration. For instance, a narrative that takes place in an imagined town in the northeastern United States could be considered realistic fiction as long as the plot and characters are consistent with the history of a region and the natural characteristics that someone, to the northeastern United States expects. Fantasy has been compared to science fiction and horror because they are the major categories of speculative fiction. Fantasy is distinguished from science fiction by the plausibility of the narrative elements. A science fiction narrative is unlikely, though possible through logical scientific or technological extrapolation, where fantasy narratives do not need to be scientifically possible. Authors have to rely on the readers' suspension of disbelief, an acceptance of the unbelievable or impossible for the sake of enjoyment, in order to write effective fantasies.
Despite both genres' heavy reliance on the supernatural and horror are distinguishable. Horror evokes fear through the protagonists' weaknesses or inability to deal with the antagonists. Elements of the supernatural and the fantastic were a part of literature from its beginning. Fantasy elements occur throughout the ancient Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh; the ancient Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Eliš, in which the god Marduk slays the goddess Tiamat, contains the theme of a cosmic battle between good and evil, characteristic of the modern fantasy genre. Genres of romantic and fantasy literature existed in ancient Egypt; the Tales of the Court of King Khufu, preserved in the Westcar Papyrus and was written in the middle of the second half of the eighteenth century BC, preserves a mixture of stories with elements of historical fiction and satire. Egyptian funerary texts preserve mythological tales, the most significant of which are the myths of Osiris and his son Horus. Folk tales with fantastic elements intended for adults were a major genre of ancient Greek literature.
The comedies of Aristophanes are filled with fantastic elements his play The Birds, in which an Athenian man builds a city in the clouds with the birds and challenges Zeus's authority. Ovid's Metamorphoses and Apuleius's The Golden Ass are both works that influenced the development of the fantasy genre by taking mythic elements and weaving them into personal accounts. Both works involve complex narratives in which humans beings are transformed into animals or inanimate objects. Platonic teachings and early Christian theology are major influences on the modern fantasy genre. Plato used allegories to convey many of his teachings, early Christian writers interpreted both the Old and New Testaments as employing parables to relay spiritual truths; this ability to find meaning in a story, not true became the foundation that allowed the modern fantasy genre to develop. The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of many ancient and medieval folk tales.
Various characters from this epic have become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba. Hindu mythology was an evolution of the earlier Vedic mythology and had many more fantastical stories and characters in the Indian epics; the Panchatantra, for example, used various animal fables and magical tales to illustrate the central Indian principles of political science. Chinese traditions have been influential in the vein of fantasy known as Chinoiserie, including such writers as Ernest Bramah and Barry Hughart. Beowulf is among the best known of the Nordic tales in the English speaking world, has had deep influence on the fantasy genre. Norse mythology, as found in the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda, includes such figures as Odin and his fellow Aesir, dwarves, elves and giants; these elements have been directly imported into various fantasy works. The separate folklore of Ireland and Scotland has sometimes been us
Saruman the White is a fictional character and a major antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, he is leader of the Istari, wizards sent to Middle-earth in human form by the godlike Valar to challenge Sauron, the main antagonist of the novel, but he desires Sauron's power for himself and tries to take over Middle-earth by force. His schemes feature prominently in the second volume, The Two Towers, at the end of the third volume, The Return of the King, his earlier history is given in the posthumously published The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. Saruman is one of several characters in the book illustrating the corruption of power; the name Saruman means "man of skill" in the Mercian dialect of Anglo-Saxon. Saruman first appears in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of The Lord of the Rings; the Lord of the Rings describes a quest to destroy the One Ring, a powerful and evil talisman created by the Dark Lord Sauron to control Middle-earth. Sauron lost the Ring in battle thousands of years before the beginning of the story, it is now held in secret in the Shire by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who passes it on to Frodo Baggins, one of the story's main protagonists.
Early in The Fellowship of the Ring, the wizard Gandalf describes Saruman as "the chief of my order" and head of the White Council that forced Sauron from Mirkwood at the end of Tolkien's earlier book The Hobbit. He notes Saruman's great knowledge of the magic rings created by the Elven-smiths. Shortly afterwards, Gandalf breaks an arrangement to meet Frodo and guide him out of the Shire to Rivendell to keep the Ring safe from Sauron's agents. Frodo and Gandalf are reunited at Rivendell midway through The Fellowship of the Ring; the wizard explains why he failed to join Frodo: he had been summoned to consult with Saruman but had been held captive. Saruman had proposed that the wizards ally themselves with the rising power of Sauron in order to control him for their own ends. Saruman went on to suggest that they could challenge Sauron; when Gandalf refused both options, Saruman imprisoned him in the tower of Orthanc at Isengard, hoping to learn from him the location of the Ring. Whilst on the summit of Orthanc, Gandalf observed that Saruman had industrialised the green valley of Isengard and was creating his own army of Half-Orcs/Half-Man fighters and Wargs to rival Sauron.
Gandalf's escape from the roof on the back of a Great Eagle left Saruman in a desperate position, as he knew he would now be known as traitor to his former allies, but was unable to procure the Ring directly for himself and therefore could not hope to rival Sauron. In The Two Towers, the second volume of the story, Saruman is the main antagonist. Orcs from Saruman's army attack Frodo and his companions, carry off two of Frodo's closest friends and Pippin; the two escape into Fangorn Forest, where they meet the Ents, protectors of the trees, who are outraged at the widespread felling of trees by Saruman's Orcs. Meanwhile, Saruman prepares to invade the kingdom of Rohan, which has lain invitingly exposed since he had his servant Gríma Wormtongue render Théoden, Rohan's king and defenceless with "subtle poisons". Gandalf frees Théoden from Wormtongue's spell, just as Saruman's army is about to invade. Saruman is ruined when the Riders of Rohan defeat his army and Merry and Pippin prompt the Ents to destroy Isengard.
Saruman himself is not directly involved, only appears again in chapter 10, "The Voice of Saruman", by which time he is trapped in Orthanc. He fails in his attempt to negotiate with the Rohirrim and with Gandalf, rejects Gandalf's conditional offer to let him go free. Gandalf casts him out of the White Council and the order of the wizards, breaks Saruman's staff. Saruman makes his final appearance at the end of the last volume, The Return of the King, after Sauron's defeat. After persuading the Ents to release him from Orthanc, he travels north on foot reduced to begging, he is accompanied by Wormtongue, whom he curses. When they reach the Shire, Saruman's agents—both Hobbits and Men—have taken it over and started a destructive process of industrialization. Saruman governs the Shire in secret under the name of Sharkey until the events of chapter 18 in which Frodo and his companions return and lead a rebellion, defeating the intruders and exposing Saruman's role. After Saruman attempts to stab Frodo, Frodo lets him go.
When Saruman blames Wormtongue for the damage done to the Shire and curses him, Wormtongue snaps and slits his master's throat. Consistent accounts of Saruman's earlier history appear in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, first published in The Return of the King, in the posthumously published The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. All were written in the mid-1950s. Saruman, like Gandalf and Radagast the Brown, is one of five'wizards', known as the Istari, who begin to arrive in Middle-earth circa two thousand years before the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, they are Maiar, envoys of the godlike Valar sent to challenge Sauron by inspiring the people of Middle-earth rather than by direct conflict. Tolkien regarded them as being somewhat like incarnate angels. Saruman travels in the east.