Fate and Free Will

Fate and Free Will NOTES AND DOCUMENTS Fate and Free Will J.R.R. TOLKIEN Edited by Carl F. Hostetter Sometime after January 1968, Tolkien turned again to considerations of two Quenya words encountered and glossed in The Lord of the Rings, ambar `world' and umbar `fate,' and of their precise meanings and etymological and semantic relationship.1 Amidst a linguistic discussion of certain points of Elvish phonology, Tolkien cited the Eldarin base MBAR underlying both these Quenya words, as well as the related Sindarin forms amar `world' and amarth `fate' : MBAR: basically "settle, establish" but with a considerable semantic development, being especially applied to `settlement', sc. the settling of a place, occupation (permanently) and ordering of a region as a `home' (of a family or people) > to erect (permanent) buildings, dwellings? 2 Tolkien goes on to cite various derivatives of this base, including: Q[uenya] and T[elerin] ambar, S[indarin] amar `world,' `the great habitation.' Beneath these glosses he added a note of clarification: The full implications of this word cannot be understood without reference to Eldarin views and ideas concerning `fate' and `free will.' (See note on these points.) The sense `world'--applied usually to this Earth--is mainly derived from sense `settlement': `the great http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

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