Moria Observation


Well-Known Member
I know this is a couple years down the road from where the course is currently, but I'm rereading the book and noticed something rather interesting about the Moria chapters.

Has anyone else noticed that Gandalf trying to read the burned, stained Book of Mazarbul is very similar to Christopher Tolkien trying to parse his own father's handwriting at times in the History of Middle-earth series?
At the risk of engaging in crit-fic, I'd imagine that this incident was probably inspired by Tolkien's own scholarship. I can easily picture him attempting to parse manuscripts dating back hundreds of years and becoming frustrated at key pieces that have been damaged by time. This is a common problem in history—even for surprisingly recent centuries—and I suspect it's also common for scholars of ancient language and literature.

Having said that, the image is indeed somewhat ironic.


Love that observation and analogy JJ, and FothDauntless, Yeah I think of the Dead Sea Scrolls.