Rocks and grass...

Fin

Member
In the middle of listening to the last episode dealing with Legolas telling the fellowship what he is hearing from the rocks, grass and trees in Eregion . I have to say that I beleive that the rocks do remember the Noldor and how they delved and wrought them. I don't think that they are remembering echos of other rocks or rocks distance from them. I think this because I also think when Legolas talks about the grass and trees not remembering them that that is because grass and trees are fleeting. Grass and trees die and have offspring, but the ones that did "know" the Elves have long ago left this world. Not so with the rocks, rocks can be worn down after many years, from weather, and moss/lichen, but the rocks that were around when the Noldor were there are also still there. That is why they remember them, and lament there leaving... to the grass and trees the Noldor are just a myth handed down from there ancestors. Just my thought.
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
I beleive that the rocks do remember the Noldor and how they delved and wrought them. I don't think that they are remembering echos of other rocks or rocks distance from them.
I have to agree with you. The thing about remembering echoes from other rocks is from "The Notion Club Papers", written a decade after LotR. I doubt JRRT had any such idea when he was writing this chapter. And of course, I read LotR dozens of times before I (or anybody, for that matter) even knew The Notion Club Papers existed, and I always took it exactly the way you do.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Jim and Fin,

I don't think it is exactly the rocks that remember. Nor exactly the trees and grass that do not. Is it not some spiritual being, some 'genus loci' which represents (looks after?) the rocks, or represents the trees or the grass, which does the remembering or forgetting? Some lesser spirits of the Ainur, akin to Goldberry's mother (the spirit of the Withywindel)?

The rocks near Legolas were presumably not delved nor wrought by the Dwarves, but the spirit of the stones of Eregion remembers the delving of other stones in the region, and appreciated it.

Surely it is this spirit permeating the stones of Eregion that Legolas is communicating with, not the stones themselves?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Surely it is this spirit permeating the stones of Eregion that Legolas is communicating with, not the stones themselves?
If somebody speaks with you is s/he communications with your lips and vocal cords or with your mind/spirit? Still s/he will tell s/he speaks with you. If Legolas perceives the stones as "animated" he thinks to speak with the stones.
 
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Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
Surely it is this spirit permeating the stones of Eregion that Legolas is communicating with, not the stones themselves?
If that is so, why would the spirit of stones remember longer than the spirit of trees and grass? The elves in Hollin were Noldor, and they didn't interact so much with trees and grass, but they made a bigger impression on the spirit of the stones, which they delved deep, wrought fair, and builded high.

Your point is well taken, but I think I like the "trees and grass that knew the Noldor died long ago" theory better. It just feels right to me.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Jim and Odola,

You might be right, and Legolas might be communicating somehow with the trees, grass, and stones. However, we have been introduced to this idea of spiritual beings inhabiting places and things in Middle-earth through meeting Goldberry, the River's daughter. As trees, grass, and stones are not usually thought to be particularly communicative (though perhaps not so to Elves?) I think we should consider whether they are communicating, or whether it is some sort of spiritual companion/representative/protector of these things which communicates for them. If Legolas reported the thoughts of the Withywindle, would it be the river he was hearing, or Goldberry's parent?

As to why the spirit of trees and grass might forget the Elves, while the spirit of stone remembers, it would fit with some of JRRT's ideas in the legendarium (though we probably could not have got this idea from LOTR) that spiritual beings (such as Maiar) become more and more attached to and like the physical shapes in which they embody. In this case, the spirits of trees and grass might have a more ephemeral memory than those of stone.

I don't know whether Legolas is hearing the actual trees, grass, stone, or whether he is hearing the 'guardian spirits of these things'. However, from what we know so far in TLOTR, I think we need to consider both options.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I don't know whether Legolas is hearing the actual trees, grass, stone, or whether he is hearing the 'guardian spirits of these things'. However, from what we know so far in TLOTR, I think we need to consider both options.
And actually even - if the need for differenciate between them would be at all an elvish thing to experience for him as it it is a human thing to divide anything in its sub-parts and categories to such a degree. As such, there is the possibility that the question would not even occur to him.
 

Fin

Member
All great posts! If the rocks, trees, and grass are inhabited by some sort of spirit, (which I would not rule out) I think they would be much more down the spirit ladder then Goldberry/ Tom, Old Man Willow, or Caradhras. there is no way to be sure of course, but that's why thinking about Tolkien's work is so much fun. He really left so many doors open for "other hands and minds" to walk through.
 
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