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Comments For Character of the Month Biographies
An excellent bio, Oshun, as always. Very thorough, as well as thought-provoking. Before reading this, I knew very little about Rumil, other than that he created the first writing. Interesting idea that he was a sort of Tolkien alter-ego. In addition to Aelfwine, Tolkien did create a few historian type characters (including Bilbo and the Red Book) that shadowed what he described as his own efforts as a chronicler, rather than an inventor, of a very real Middle-earth. Wonderful addition to your now extensive biographical library, many of which I have drawn upon in my own efforts to add tales to the legendarium. Thank you.
Thanks, Elfscribe! I am so happy you found it useful.
Another awesome addition to the biography collection! Sometimes, while updating the master list in References (which I just remembered I still have to do ... eek), I marvel at what a resource it has become, and you're mostly to credit for that!
Historians have a profound effect upon a people, serving up to them a distillation of their collective consciousness.
This sums up so neatly why I agree with you that Rumil is a profoundly important character, and yet one that many Tolkien fan writers probably cannot identify. You know this is my pet theory behind my heresy: The texts are colored by the fictional loremasters who wrote them. I refuse to believe that JRRT--himself a scholar--bothered to attribute just about every piece of the Silm to either Rumil or Pengolodh, then gave both characters backgrounds (so they weren't mere names to give the impression of "lore" versus "stories") and never, ever bothered to think how each character would perceive the history he wrote about. Rumil stayed in Valinor, for example; that is huge to me. Why? And how, then, would he have regarded those who left? (I personally think he would have understood Feanor's need to go but also, based on his experiences, especially as a thrall, would have also thought them rash and ignorant of the history he'd been so careful to preserve for them.) But the positive depiction of those who chose to stay behind certainly makes sense in light of Rumil's own choice.
Your theory about Rumil as an alter-ego of Tolkien himself is fascinating and makes a lot of sense to me. Even his history as a thrall of Morgoth fits with the early trauma of WWI that Tolkien experienced. I can definitely see how he would have connected to Rumil on a level that he didn't for other characters; how seeing through Rumil's eyes was a lot like seeing through JRRT's.
Again, wonderful job, as always! :)
Thanks, Dawn. I fell in love with Rumil from Another Man's Cage. I loved the relationship between him and Feanor in that novel.
I agree that JRRT was quite aware that his histories were colored by the tellers of the tales. That is why I go mad when fandom readers and writers refuse to take the narrator into consideration and try to attribute them all to one overriding POV. The same one's with the Ouija Boards connected to Tolkien in the afterlife I think.
I never thought about the WWI connection, but that definitely was trauma.
Thanks so much and thanks, as always, for the help and feedback.
Rumil was a good choice!
It is really helpful to have a bio of him, because the material is so scattered, and it is easy to underrate his importance.
OMG! You are so fast and so kind also. I did not know it was even posted yet. Scattered is right! It was like wrestling a bear to pull it all together. I could have give myself a bit more time. (When did I ever do that?) Thank you again!