I mentioned in another thread that I was researching this particular "story" found in War of the Jewels pgs 420-424. I think what I would like to do here is broaden the scope into JRRT's writings as he refined his thinking on The Awakening of the Elves. So, I will start with The Lost Tales I and continue on as far as it will take me. But first here is a link that describes the story in War of the Jewels: tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Cuivienyarna
In looking at the books I own, it's only taken me 20 years to figure something out. Shippey mainly deals with history and words and how JRRT used them to create. Flieger concentrates on the mythology of it. But, I digress. I did find something in Splintered Light which I will share in time.
Last Edit: Aug 11, 2020 11:34:10 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
I am busy putting post it notes in all the pages of every book where the Lake or awakening are mentioned, except in passing or brief name changes. But, the name changes are maddening. The indices of the HoMe books tend to separate each reference by each name. So far I've gone back twice to check if there are pages associated with another name I discovered in another book. Any book index, not written by a Tolkien, has its own challenges. I am looking for the obvious in the indices, but then also under the broad subject of "Elves" for origins and history.
I woke up with the thought this morning of Tolkien's idea that the story as written in War of the Jewels was a children's counting-lore or as a fairytale. And what is the significance of it being the same in both the Elves of Aman and Sindarin Elves? Does that make it "true"? Beyond the idea of being a counting-lore story, what is the moral? Don't all fairytales have a moral?
Interesting to see your use of "counting lore." Looking forward to your explanation of the term as it relates to Tolkien's work! Numbering things seems important to JRRT: numbered rings, one, three, seven, nine; 7 stones and 7 stars of the House of Elendil, brought from the wreck of Numenor; five Istari; seven "houses" of the Dwarves; three peoples of the hobbits; three houses of the Elves...
Cuivienyarna: "Actually written (in style and simple notions) to be a surviving Elvish 'fairytale' or child's tale, mingled with counting-lore." note by JRRT p. 421 The War of the Jewels
Having gone through every instance of Waters of Awakening, Cuivienen, Koivie-neni, and Kuivienen in (HoME) I, II, III, IV, V, X, XI, Unfinished Tales and Silmarillion I have a renewed respect for Christopher Tolkien. I can't imagine all the details he kept straight, when my head is spinning over this little bit. I think if it would have been me putting HoMe together, I would have beat my head against a brick wall until it stopped bleeding long before got ten pages into Lost Tales 1. I never lost respect for Chris, but, going through all the nitty gritty details of this one thing just got me. I never have read HoMe cover to cover except for 6-9 that covered LotR. I think my eyes tended to glaze over when there were too many interruptions and explanations. Tonight, I am going to read over Sil's version and then start picking apart LT 1 - on tomorrow morning.
Last Edit: Aug 11, 2020 18:59:15 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
I have another question - WHY? Why did JRRT decide to "change" The Awakening into a fairy tale? Obviously, as we know, he had written for children - The Hobbit and his shorter tales were some that children could enjoy. But, why did he take this step with something within his "adult" writing? I checked to see if it might have to do with grandchildren. He had a couple of pre or young adolescent grand-kids, one who was around 9 and in 1959, a baby grandson born. He spent 1959 - 1960 on a number of essays as can be seen here www.tolkiensociety.org/author/timeline/ I do not know the answer. Was it an outgrowth of his essay on The Laws and Customs of the Eldar in which marriage and children are a part, or did the writing of the "fairy tale" make him decide he needed to put forth his thoughts on love, marriage, and children? I don't have the energy to figure it out. But, I still wonder.
Onwards: Lost Tales 1 -Sometime between 1918-1920. My paperback pgs 142-143 Commentary on "The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kor" - The major difference here, that CT notes, is that the Elves awaken during Melkor's imprisonment, so no Elves are captured by him and there is no reason to be afraid of Orome. Also, Manwe did not need Orome to tell him the Eldar had awakened. He already knew. It does not appear that any Elves refused the call to go to Valinor. There were three Elvish ambassadors and they were questioned by Manwe but did not remember anything prior to their Awakening. Also, of interest to me was that Varda did not make the 7 stars of the Sickle. They were sparks from Aule's forge.
Somewhat later, Chapter 10 Gilfanon's Tale starts on pg 259 of the Del Ray paperback, with some explanations and commentary. His tale begins on 262 in which he talks about Elves that did not leave the environs of the Waters of Awakening. Here, too, near those waters were deep caverns underneath which was the home of Tu The Wizard. Tu taught these Elves deep things.
I am not going to go into name changes or that sort of thing in my summaries, because I have a stone wall that I will beat my head against, if provoked. However, if anyone else wants to add anything to these, whether it is stuff I left out or want to discuss name changes, please, feel free.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2020 15:03:31 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
Lost Tales 2 only has three pages for Waters of Awakening, and these mentions are basically in passing.
Ok moving on: The Lays of Beleriand mentions Cuivienen 5 times, but all are in passing and not relevant to the Awakening.
I am still pretty stuck on the Fairy Tale aspect of the Cuivienyarna. The Cuivienyarna is a part of a larger work called "Quendi and Eldar" also found in War of the Jewels which is a language study. Call it a fairy tale so he could leave it be instead of having to rework things he had already done and was satisfied with?
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2020 15:02:45 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
Post by Fredeghar Wayfarer on Aug 13, 2020 10:44:23 GMT -6
I also find it weird that the Awakening was written as a fairy tale or counting-lore story. On the one hand, it makes sense since it's a creation story from the dawn of history and would be passed down and evolve. But on the other hand, Elves are immortal. There would presumably be still-living Elves that awoke at Cuivienen that remember how it really happened. Is this what they told their children and descendants? Or were there not many original generation Elves left?
There isn't much mention of the originals after the Awakening story. Imin, Tata, and Enel are said to be the first Elves to awaken. But what happened to them? They're never mentioned again so I guess they weren't part of the Great Journey to the west. Ingwe, king of the Vanyar, was possibly an original but that's unconfirmed. Maybe the original Elves mostly stayed in the east and/or died in the wars of the First Age and that's why Cuivienen is only dimly remembered in Elf lore.
Very valid point, Freddie. Just how many generations of Elves could there be that would be that far away from the Awakening? And that brings me back to wondering if Tolkien was toying with this as a change to the Silmarillion and abandoned the notion, calling this a fairytale.
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2020 12:00:03 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
Post by Stormrider on Aug 13, 2020 13:16:37 GMT -6
I think a fairy tale would make for easier reading. Perhaps he wanted to make it more like The Hobbit which was so well received.
I thought in Fan's link above that the original awakened elves (Inan, etc) did go west. Also the Valar kept the War against Melkor unknown to the elves so they would not be affected by it. Already some had been snatched and corrupted by Melkor.
But there must have been some of the first elves in ME to keep the awakening alive for younger generations.
"You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!"
The Shaping of Middle-earth has several references. Chapter 2 Sketch.pg 13, 50-51 CT states that the sketch was written in 1926, however it was heavily edited. Varda (named Bridhil here) makes the stars and the Elves wake and are found by Orome, who goes to tell the Valar. The Valar are now "reminded" that they govern M-e for the two races of Children. Morgoth is taken captive and the Eldalie are invited to Valinor. There are 3 hosts - Ingwe (Ing in parentheses) leading the Quendi, Finwe (Finn) leading the Nodoli, and Elwe (Elu) leading the Teleri. Many get lost on the road and wander, including Thingol who finds Melian eventually. There is no mention in the sketch of language making or any time spent near Cuivienen. No ambassadors to Valinor, either. Chapter 3. The Quenta.pg 100, 102-103 1930. The basic outline is the same as the sketch with the addition of: Varda makes the stars and the 7 stars that Varda made are now called Burning Briar or Sickle of the Gods. Ingwe is the most high and lord of all Elves and his host the Quendi are favored by Manwe and Varda. There is a fuller version of Thingol and Melian. Again, all the Elves leave Cuivienen in answer to the call to come to Valinor. Some get lost upon the road. Chapter 5 Ambarkanta pgs 302-303 Possibly several years after Quenta. Cuivienen is now beside the Lake of Helkar. In LT it was a lake in a vale surrounded by pines. In Sil, it is a bay of The Sea of Helcar. Chapter 6. Earliest Annals. pgs 328-329 early/mid 1930's? Varda makes the stars in one time period. (I did not make this clear earlier.) Elves awaken at the conclusion of starmaking, not during. Elves have awakened in the midmost of the world, not the east. There is a suggestion that not all the Elves left Cuvienen when summoned.
It occurred to me, that I should have, also, looked for the proper names of our fairytale leaders in the indices to see if they had an alter-ego prior to assigning them their numerals. *SIGH* I'll do that after I get all these changes recorded.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2020 5:22:15 GMT -6 by fanuidhol
The Lost Road Chapter 5 The Lhammas 1937-1938? pg 183 Orome taught the Awakened Elves the language of the Valar. Elves made changes and added words. Later in the Lhammas CT talks about name changes, which I am not going to include here. The Teleri were last on the road due to be the last to awaken. Chapter 6 Quenta Silmarillion pg 232-238 I am relying on CT's commentary 236-238. Music of the Ainur does not include the coming of the Children of Illuvatar. The Valar are amazed when Orome brings the news, though Manwe knew and let the Valar in on the mind of Illuvatar. They understand their duty to the Children, but they did not know it previously. The ambassadors to the Valar are back: Ingwe, Finwe, Elwe (Not Thingol), who later became kings, however Ingwe is the chief. They had been missing since LT. So, most of the Elves harken the summons and the name Eldar for those and Avari for the Unwilling seem now fixed. Ingwe's folk are still the beloved of Manwe and Varda, Finwe's Noldor become friends of Aule. The Teleri now tarry on the road rather than be last to wake. Interestingly, some Noldor forsook Finwe and turned south. They are The Pereldar, Half-eldar. They are not included in the Avari. They called themselves Danas.
Minor points of clarification, pliz: "Ingwe, Finwe, Elwe (Not Thingol), who later became kings, however Ingwe is the chief."
1) What do you mean here, Fan? I'm all confusticated with the various versions of names, altering with almost every new scrap of paper JRRT scribbled upon. I thought Elwe (sometimes given as Elu) was always the primary name, and Thingol (sometimes Singolo) was a mere, later added appellation from the Sindaran/ Sylvan Elves he ruled = "Greycloak." So what's with the "not Thingol?"
2) Do you have a good chronology for the Cuivienyarna? I know it shows up late in The War of the Jewels, but when was this scrap on p. 421 actually written?