Apr 10, 2016
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“Forth Eorlingas”

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Fragment from “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”. © 2002 New Line Cinema. All rights reserved.

This sequence condenses in a very short time lots of elements from ancient myth. Disguised as an earthly battle, it is actually a divine battle, a battle of the skies.

The blazing light on top of a mountain is one of the most recurrent images of the axis mundi throughout the ages. For orcs, see this fragment from Beowulf:

þanon untydras ealle onwocon
eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas
swylce gigantas þa wið gode wunnon
lange þrage he him ðæs lean forgeald
Beowulf, Fitt I, vv. 111–14[5]
Thence all evil broods were born,
ogres and elves and evil spirits
—the giants also, who long time fought with God,
for which he gave them their reward
—John R. Clark Hall tr. (1901)[6]
  • F. Klaeber, Beowulf and the Finnesburg Fragment: A Translation Into Modern English Prose by John R. Clark Hall, Allen & Unwin, 1950.
    [Bibtex]
    @Book{Klaeber1950,
      author     = {Klaeber, Friedrich},
      title      = {Beowulf and the Finnesburg Fragment: A Translation Into Modern English Prose by John R. Clark Hall},
      year       = {1950},
      date       = {1950},
      publisher  = {Allen \& Unwin},
      pagetotal  = {248},
      url        = {https://books.google.es/books?id=pEUkrusVxRIC&hl=en&redir_esc=y},
      langid     = {english},
      shorttitle = {Beowulf and the Finnesburg Fragment},
      timestamp  = {2016-07-28},
    }

Orcus was a god of the underworld in Roman mythology. See this fragment (p.337)

The Roman poets use the names Dis, Orcus and Tartarus, as synonymous with Pluto, for the god of the Nether World. Hades was son of Saturn (Cronus) and Rhea, and brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and Neptune (Poseidon).

  • W. Smith and C. Anthon, A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography, mythology and geography: partly based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology., New York : Harper & Brothers, 1862.
    [Bibtex]
    @Book{bub_gb_FjIaAAAAYAAJ,
      author    = {Smith, William and Anthon, Charles},
      title     = {A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography, mythology and geography: partly based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.},
      year      = {1862},
      note      = {Source http://books.google.com/books?id=FjIaAAAAYAAJ\&hl=\&source=gbs_api Oclc-id 13365562 Identifier-access http://archive.org/details/bub_gb_FjIaAAAAYAAJ Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t0jt2pn12},
      publisher = {New York : Harper \& Brothers},
      url       = {https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_FjIaAAAAYAAJ},
      file      = {bub_gb_FjIaAAAAYAAJ.pdf:bub_gb_FjIaAAAAYAAJ.pdf:PDF},
      timestamp = {2016-07-28},
    }

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