The Lord of the Rings is a classic fantasy series that has captured the hearts of readers around the world. Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, the series features a complex world with its own languages, cultures, and histories. One of the many influences that Tolkien drew upon when creating his fictional universe was the Germanic language family, including the Frisian language.
Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken in the coastal areas of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. It shares many similarities with other Germanic languages, including English and German, and has influenced these languages in various ways. Tolkien, a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, was well-versed in the Frisian language, and it is believed that he incorporated Frisian words and phrases into his novels.
One of the most well-known examples of Frisian influence in The Lord of the Rings is the character of Eowyn. Her name is believed to have been derived from the Old Frisian name Eo-wyn, which means “horse-joy”. The character’s association with horses is significant, as horses were highly valued by the Frisians and played an important role in their culture.
Other Frisian words and phrases that appear in The Lord of the Rings include “eored”, which refers to a group of horsemen or cavalry, and “thain”, which is a term for a trusted or important person. These words are believed to have been derived from the Old Frisian words “harid” and “thegen”, respectively.
While Frisian words are not as prevalent in The Lord of the Rings as those from other Germanic languages such as Old English, Old Norse, and Old High German, their influence is still significant. Tolkien’s use of Frisian words and phrases adds depth and authenticity to his fictional world, as well as pays homage to the rich linguistic history of the Germanic language family.
In conclusion, Frisian words and phrases can be found throughout The Lord of the Rings, adding to the richness and complexity of Tolkien’s fictional universe. From the character of Eowyn to terms like “eored” and “thain”, the influence of Frisian is clear. For lovers of both Frisian and The Lord of the Rings, the connection between the two is a fascinating reminder of the deep linguistic roots of our favorite stories.