Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


And Elmo begat Gladhon
January 21, 2012 3:12 PM   Subscribe

Emil Johansson is attempting to build a Family Tree that holds all of the characters in Middle Earth. As of today, there are 646 entries.
posted by soelo (31 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy. God.
posted by youandiandaflame at 3:30 PM on January 21, 2012


I guess I expected a family tree for everyone going back to the beginning of time to be a bit narrower at the top. Thanks for misleading me, Darwin!
posted by planet at 3:33 PM on January 21, 2012


Is it just me or does the tree appear to say that Samwise Gamgee and Rose Gamgee (nee Cotton) gave birth to Bilbo as well as the entire hobbit contribution to the Fellowship?
posted by Blasdelb at 3:35 PM on January 21, 2012


I guess I expected a family tree for everyone going back to the beginning of time to be a bit narrower at the top.

There is only one name at the top: Eru Illuvatar, who is essentially God.

If you read the Silmarillion, it's very similar to the Christian creation story: he has a number of "angels," who you see on the line below, including Morgoth (aka Melkor) who, like Satan, rebels against his creator. Morgoth is Sauron's master, which is why occasionally in LoTR they allude to Sauron being "only a servant."
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:38 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's not Bilbo Baggins, just one of their kids named in his honor. Scroll to the left, Blasdelb, and you'll find the original Billy B.
posted by greenland at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah greenland has it. Also there was apparently a hobbit named "Mimosa Bunce."
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hm. The Internet had led me to believe that Dumbledore and Gandalf had settled down and adopted a little girl from Korea.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


which is why occasionally in LoTR they allude to Sauron being "only a servant."
Enlightening. I had always thought it was because early 20th century English people were kind of dicks about class, and the underlying point was that no amount of world conquest would make up for the fact that Sauron hadn't attended a good boarding school.
posted by planet at 3:43 PM on January 21, 2012 [15 favorites]


Haha, planet, no. That is why Sam calls Frodo "master" which always jars me a bit, but you know, place and time.

But Morgoth is Sauron's master. He was "cast outside the world" in an earlier age and can no longer enter Middle Earth, but apparently still exists and (maybe) communicates psychically with Sauron.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2012


And the previous Ages were so much more frightening! I love it. To think that Sauron and the War of the Ring are just echoes of glories past is just a tiny bit awesome.
posted by lumensimus at 3:49 PM on January 21, 2012


Is there one of these for the children of James T. Kirk, the women he was with, and their children? Or was Kirk on infertility hyposprays while at whatever it is you say instead of sea because it's space?
posted by juiceCake at 4:08 PM on January 21, 2012


And the previous Ages were so much more frightening! I love it. To think that Sauron and the War of the Ring are just echoes of glories past is just a tiny bit awesome.

Which is in one way the tragedy of The Silmarillion: although it certainly has its moments, it never truly approaches the grandeur of LotR, mostly because it has so much ground to tread that it never really gets going. In large chunks it reads like a history textbook: the Great Battle that ends up with the Valar once-and-for-all kicking Morgoth's ass feels almost like an afterthought in the book, and lest we forget this is a battle that ends with a landmass the size of Europe sinking into the fucking ocean. (But Tolkien was more interested in Turin Turambar, whose chapter reads like the attempt to hybridize Beowulf and Macbeth that he was, except not interesting.)

There isn't a single scene in the entire Silmarillion that can match the charge of Rohan and the Pelennor Fields, Bilbo riddling Smaug, or even a scene as prosaic as the White Council. (Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth comes close, but that's about it.) And that's a pity.
posted by mightygodking at 4:13 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


damn italics
posted by mightygodking at 4:13 PM on January 21, 2012


mightygodking: "damn italics"

Ozymandysterical?
posted by The Tensor at 4:18 PM on January 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, The Silmarillion was never really intended to be published, as he was writing the majority of it. His publishers basically said, "Man, this is a money train! You got any more?" And he was like, "Well, I've been sketching out various pieces of the history for ages, but..." And they were like, "Whatever, man! Whip it into shape!" And then he doddered about with it half-seriously until he died. Then his son stitched it together as best he could and released it.

I love it to death, and consumed the entire mythos when young... but really, calling it even a draft would be generous. World- and language-building were his hobbies, and, aside from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we just get to look over his notes. If he were an architect rather than a philologist, The Silmarillion would be the never-finished, frequently reimagined folly taking up most of the back yard.
posted by gilrain at 4:25 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


When my wife first read the Silmarillion, I spent a ridiculous amount of time creating a family tree she could use to reference who was who without flipping to the index every time. (Also so she could easily visualize how the characters in the Silmarillion relate to those in LotR, which she was already familiar with.) Mine isn't nearly as big, but it does have biographical sketches!
posted by Banky_Edwards at 4:27 PM on January 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


What about The Children of Hurin? I'll bet there's some be-gating in that one.

I see he's collecting donations for the site - maybe one day he'll be able to afford scrolling.
posted by sneebler at 4:44 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't overlook The Children of Húrin. Although not up to LotR, it was a great book.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:45 PM on January 21, 2012


GEDCOM?
posted by eddydamascene at 5:32 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


juiceCake: "Is there one of these for the children of James T. Kirk, the women he was with, and their children? Or was Kirk on infertility hyposprays while at whatever it is you say instead of sea because it's space?"

Nope, just bromide. Good, old-fashioned, in-use-since-the-19th-century potassium bromide.

At least in the first series. In later series, Spock used to sneak up behind him and administer a Vulcan nerve pinch just before the appropriate moment. This was edited out for broadcast due to the same reasons you never see a punch actually connecting on the show.

That look of sly pleasure you sometimes see on Kirk's face when he's seducing an alien babe? That's because he knows what's coming. Had some … uh, "slightly unconventional" … tastes in the bedroom, did our Kirk…
posted by Pinback at 6:35 PM on January 21, 2012


I've been watching nothing but masterpiece theatre style period peices for the past week. I would really like to see an analysis of class among the peoples of middle earth. The hobbits clearly have a class structure, but do they have a nobility? Humans, the people of Rohan for instance, clearly have a nobility but do they have any other type of class structure?
posted by Ad hominem at 7:00 PM on January 21, 2012


The Tooks are the Thains of the Hobbits, after the Oldbucks/Brandybucks went to Buckland. The Brandybucks have the Master of Buckland, which I suppose would be analogous to the Thain.

Pippin will be the Thain, or was the Thain.
posted by winna at 7:33 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just knew my 15-foot-wide monitor would come in handy someday!
posted by zardoz at 8:51 PM on January 21, 2012


Mimosa Bunce is the owner of The Pink Dragon, just between Hobbiton and Bree. No judgement, no attitude.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Technically, The Mayor of Michel Delving (an elected office) is the highest political authority of the Shire (the Shire Reeves are under his authority). Certain family chieftans (The Took Thain and the Master of Buckland in particular) wield considerable influence in hobbit society but their effective political authority only goes so far as the location of the family seat.

Man, I read the shit out of those all appendices in the LoTR back in the day.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:28 AM on January 22, 2012


Somebody needs to do Hobbiton Abbey.
posted by dhartung at 1:15 AM on January 22, 2012


The hobbits clearly have a class structure, but do they have a nobility?

They appear to acknowledge that they are kings, but note that Sam is elected Mayor after the War of the Ring - in fact, he's the only elected character in any of the books; the Mayor is the practical head of Hobbiton. So they appear to be a sort of constitutional monarchy/democracy. Which would kind of fit in with Tolkien's general affection for a certain traditional, rural Englishness (indeed, reading Orwell's views on the virtues of the English character makes me think the two of them would, vastly otherwise different politics aside, find some common ground on the topic).
posted by rodgerd at 2:23 AM on January 22, 2012


> Technically, The Mayor of Michel Delving (an elected office) is the highest political authority of the Shire
> (the Shire Reeves are under his authority). Certain family chieftans (The Took Thain and the Master of Buckland
> in particular) wield considerable influence in hobbit society but their effective political authority only goes
> so far as the location of the family seat.

Overmighty subjects, like John of Gaunt


> Enlightening. I had always thought it was because early 20th century English people were kind of dicks about
> class, and the underlying point was that no amount of world conquest would make up for the fact that Sauron
> hadn't attended a good boarding school.

Mixed emotions: Dr. Arnold thinking about Flashman getting a VC.
posted by jfuller at 8:23 AM on January 22, 2012


The family-tree approach really emphasizes the linguistic patterns in the names of men: Haldad/Haldar/Haldan/Halmir/Hundar/Hunleth, Balan/Baran/Boron/Boromir/Bregor/Bregolas/Baragund.
posted by stilist at 11:08 AM on January 22, 2012


I think I just came in my pants, just a little.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:18 AM on January 22, 2012


So, which families have a little Orkish they don't mention?
posted by jfuller at 2:20 PM on January 22, 2012


« Older There's been a lot of great photography of Yosemit...  |  Perfected by the old masters, ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments