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Gilraen’s Linnod

~N55$ `BiF1j$ 2$hD5 =
Ónen i-Estel Edain,
I gave Hope to the Dúnedain;
~Mcw$5% iF1j$ 5#t% =-=
ú-chebin estel anim.
I have kept no hope for myself.

The translation is given in a footnote to the Appendix A, part (v) of The Lord of the Rings. Some editions have Onen without acute accent. The Appendix gives the Sindarin word linnod without explaining it. The general meaning can be inferred from the context and must refer to some kind of verse of formula. The word is quite clearly derived from lind “song, tune” with a suffix -od. David Salo hypothesizes in A Gateway to Sindarin p. 165 that it may be the same singulative suffix (used to derived an constituent unit from a collective noun) than in the pair filig “birds” vs. filigod “one bird” (The Lost Road p. 381), and therefore suggests the meaning “verse”. Alternatively, Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter in Tolkien’s legendarium p. 131 consider that -od is a composition form of odo “seven”; Gilraen’s linnod is indeed made of two half-lines of seven syllables. In this interpretation, linnod would be the name of a specific Elvish verse form.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor” according to the general use of the Third Age created by Tolkien. An instance of its application to Sindarin is found in the third manuscript of the King’s Letter, published in Sauron Defeated p. 131. We made use of Johan Winge’s typeface Tengwar Annatar.

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lord of the Rings. London: HarperCollins, 1999. 3 vol. ISBN 0-261-10235-1.
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lost Road and other writings: Language and Legend before The Lord of the Rings. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 1993. 455 p. (The History of Middle-earth; V). ISBN 0-261-10225-7.
Salo, David. A Gateway to Sindarin: a grammar of an Elvish language from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2004. 436 p. ISBN 0-87480-800-6.
Wynne, Patrick, Hostetter, Carl F[ranklin]. Three Elvish verse modes: Ann-thennath, Minlamad thent/estent, and Linnod. In Flieger, Verlyn (ed.), Hostetter, Carl F. (ed.). Tolkien’s legendarium: essays on The History of Middle-earth. Westport (Connecticut): Greenwood Press, 2000. P. 113-139. ISBN 0-313-30530-7.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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