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2nd #Tolkien session @IMC_Leeds: “Materiality in Tolkien’s Medievalism, II”
First up: Gaëlle Abaléa on “Corpses, Tomb, and Barrows: The Materiality of Death in Tolkien” @TolkienSociety @UofGFantasy #IMC2019
How are people in Middle-earth dealing with death? Abaléa is drawing upon Louis-Vincent Thomas’s “Les Chairs de la mort” in her analysis.
How do the Rohirrim and the men of Gondor face death differently? Glorious/heroic death for the former - buried in mounds outside the city. The latter: tradition of ship building and ship burials (my book was referenced on this point! 😊) but also tombs inside the city. #IMC2019
Decline of Númenor: corruption via the fear of death - in the Third Age they are embalmers, building great tombs (parallels with Egypt - again, nice to be quoted here! ☺️)
Abaléa: Funereal practice in Middle-earth seems to be homogeneous: burial. Cremation as a mark of “bad” death. #IMC2019
Abaléa: Boromir’s burial - combination of ship burial tradition + social necessity.
2nd speaker: Aurélie Brémont: on “‘Cleaving the undead flesh’: Solid Blades and Invisible Foes in Middle-Earth” @TolkienSociety @IMC_Leeds #IMC2019 @UofGFantasy
Frodo will use Sting (which he’s inherited from Bilbo) only once, in the Mines of Moria - it passes on to Sam, by the end of the book. Courage + appropriate (magical) weapons/aids seem to be a powerful combination: the mithril coat + phial of Galadriel amplify Sting’s power.
Brémont: at the barrow-downs Merry seems to be “inhabited” by a dead warrior from the past - Flieger has linked this incident with concepts of reincarnation in the legendarium (e.g. in The Lost Road or Notion Club Papers + Elvish reincarnation) @IMC_Leeds #IMC2019 @TolkienSociety
Brémont: what if Merry’s dream had an influence on his storyline, leading him (indirectly) to the moment of killing the Witch-king? Was this a way for Tolkien to make a hobbit into a hero?
3rd speaker: @AslBulbul on “Be Careful What You Bring for Your Journey: The Fate of the Fellowship Beaconed by Their Provisions”
@TolkienSociety @IMC_Leeds #IMC2019 @UofGFantasy
@AslBulbul: emphasis on description of weapons and provisions when the fellowship leaves Rivendell - argument: the fellowship’s weapons are crucial for the resolution of The #LordOfTheRings
@AslBulbul: Narsil/Anduril - Anduril cannot be forged until the One Ring has been revealed. The decoration of Anduril is significant: Sun, Moon, stars - all forces of light are gathered together against darkness. @IMC_Leeds @TolkienSociety @UofGFantasy #IMC2019
@AslBulbul: Anduril’s power is revealed gradually: at Rohan and then in Gondor. It marks Aragorn as the King. It seems to have a light of its own (and perhaps its own agency?) @IMC_Leeds @TolkienSociety #IMC2019
@AslBulbul: Boromir’s horn - its cleaving seems to chime with the breaking of the Fellowship (especially when Denethor asks for an explanation for the broken horn). @IMC_Leeds @TolkienSociety #IMC2019
@AslBulbul: Gandalf’s sword, Glamdring, serves as an icon of the white light, the Flame Imperishable, at the point of conflict with the Balrog.
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