Advent Calendar 2018 – Entries

Bluetiger’s Advent Calendar 2018

All daily entries from December 2018, collected at my Twitter profile and gathered here in one post published nearly a year later.

Advent Calendar 2018 – Introduction


File:Ernst Gustav Doerell - Rothirsche im Winter (1875).jpg

Ernst Gustav Doerell (1832–1877), Deer in Winter (Wikimedia Commons).


The First Week of Advent 2018

2 December (First Sunday)

The Return of the Queen essay is published.


3 December (Monday)

Fëanor, the greatest Elven craftsman and creator of the Silmarils & Aerion Targaryen, the Mad Prince who drank wildfire, share some similarities. Aerion was called “Brightflame”. Just like Feanor: Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and a bright flame was in him (from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien).


4 December (Tuesday)

In LOTR, Isildur dies in an ambush at the Fields of Gladden, in AGOT, Beric Dondarrion’s party is ambushed in a similar manner, by the Mountain. Among Beric’s companions, we find Ser Gladden Wylde. (This skirmish is featured in the opening sequence of LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring movie). Isildur had a squire who saved the shards of Narsil, the Sword that Was Broken – at the Battle of the Mummer’s Ford, Ned Dayne pulled Beric from the river. Isildur was less fortunate.


5 December (Wednesday)

There are numerous parallels between ASOIAF House Durrandon and LOTR House of Durin. For example, Duran Godsgrief supposedly lived for millenia, just like Durin the Deathless. Another Durrandon monarch, Duran Ravenfriend, might be a reference to the famed friendship between House of Durin and sentient Ravens of Erebor (The Lonely Mountain).


6 December (Thursday)

oday, I’ll share one of JRRT’s poems. I believe many ASOIAF ideas about ‘weirwood stigmata’, ‘silent scream’ and MelanieLot7 ‘s ‘Silenced Women’ motif were inspired by Quickbeam’s lament for his rowan-tree.


7 December (Friday)

The First Circle of Minas Tirith was built from black stone with the use of lost Numenorean craft. At Oldtown, the Hightower’s foundations are made of mysterious oily black stone (The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire: Minas Tirith and the Hightower).


8 December (Saturday)

We find many references to The Tale of Beren and Luthien in ASOIAF – names like Daeron, Beren, Berena, Melian, or thematic parallels between Sansa & Luthien and Sandor & Huan the Hound of the Valar (The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire: Sansa & Lúthien).


File:Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski Der Wolf.jpg

Alfred Wierusz-Kowalki, “Wilk” – The Wolf (Wikimedia Commons).


The Second Week of Advent 2018

9 December (Second Sunday)

Eärendil, Bearer of Light essay is published.

The TWOIAF passage where Queen Rhaenys and Meraxes burn Planky Down is probably a reference to The Hobbit, where Smaug destroys Laketown (Esgaroth).


10 December (Monday)

There are some interesting parallels between The Titan of Braavos and Argonath, the Pillars of Kings from LOTR (The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire: Argonath and the Titan of Braavos).


11 December (Tuesday)

The Barrowlands of the North are likely a reference to Barrow-downs from LOTR, and GRRM’s wights might have been inspired by JRRT’s Barrow-wights.


12 December (Wednesday)

The Grey King and the tree-hit-by-lightning myth might have been influenced by The Silmarillion passage where Sauron defies Manwe, Lord of the Valar.


13 December (Thursday)

Some aspects of The Seven might have been inspired by Tolkien’s portrayal of The Valar, while the drowned god of the Ironborn might owe something to Ulmo.


14 December (Friday)

Castamere might be named after Castamir, the usurper king of Gondor You can learn more about Castamir from my A Brief History of Gondor essay.


15 December (Saturday)

The sigil of House Hightower, and the title of its head – The Beacon of the South – are probably references to LOTR and the Beacons of Gondor (The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire: Minas Tirith and the Hightower).


File:Pieter Kluyver - Winterlandschap met spookachtige bomen.jpg

Pieter Kluyver (1816 – 1900), Winter Landsape with Ghostly Tress (Wikimedia Commons).


The Third Week of Advent 2018

16 December (Third Sunday)

The Jade Empire essay is published.

Ser Theodan Wells of the Warrior’s Sons is likely named after King Theoden of Rohan from LOTR.


17 December (Monday)

Westeros and Essos have it mysterious “black oily stone”. Middle-earth has its black and gleaming stone used by Numenoreans and the Dunedain to build the Tower of Orthanc in Isengard (Saruman’s seat) and to raise the first circle of Minas Tirith.


18 December (Tuesday)

Did you know that there was a Long Night in Tolkien’s universe? The Long Night of Valinor was caused by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, who treacherously pierced the Two Trees with his spear.


19 December (Wednesday)

The creation of Coldhands the ranger might be GRRM’s response to JRRT’s Tom Bombadil. There are many parallels between the two… Or rather, inverted parallels.


20 December (Thursday)

It’s possible that Lord Hoster Tully’s funeral, described in “A Storm of Swords”, was inspired by Boromir’s funeral in “The Two Towers”. Whatever the case, I find the language very similar…


21 December (Friday)

In Westerosi history, there were two major ship burnings – Brandon the Burner’s and Nymeria’s. It’s possible they were based on Feanor’s burning of the Teleri fleet of Swan-ships in The Silmarillion (which, in turn, was based on Tuatha Dé Danann’s ship-burning upon their arrival in Ireland in Lebor Gabála Érenn – “The Book of Invasions”).


22 December (Saturday)

There are some interesting parallels between Tywin and Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor – Boromir would be Jaime, the favoured son, Faramir would be Tyrion, the second son and Finduilas would be Joanna after whose death the Hand of the King/Steward became bitter. Aerys’ pyre is probably supposed to echo Denethor’s funeral pyre.


File:Hillingford Yule Log.jpg

Robert Alexander Hillingford (1825-1904), Yule Log being brought in at Hever Castle (Wikimedia Commons).


The Fourth Week of Advent 2018

23 December (Fourth Sunday)

Aenar’s Aeneid essay is published.

Westeros has its pairs of extraordinary swords: Oathkeeper & Widow’s Wail and Blackfyre & Dark Sister. Middle-earth has its twin blades: Anguirel and Anglachel, forged by Eol the Dark Elf from black meteoric iron. Anglachel was later reforged as Gurthang, Iron of Death, and its owner was Turin Turambar the Blacksword. Anguirel was stolen by Eol’s wife Aredhel and their son Maeglin, who later became known as the traitor who betrayed Gondolin, the Hidden City, to Morgoth. Gurthang is in a way a Dark Lightbringer, for “though ever black [was the blade] its edges shone with pale fire (from The Silmarillion).


24 December (Monday, Christmas Eve)

In ASOIAF, the founders of House Dayne followed the trail of a falling star until it landed in a place where they’ve raised Castle Starfall. In “The Silmarillion”, the Edain followed the Star of Eärendil until they’ve reached the Isle of Elenna, where they founded the Kingdom of Numenor. I explore Tolkien’s symbolism based on Venus (The Star of Eärendil) and its impact upon ASOIAF in my Eärendil, Bearer of Light essay.

Thus, Advent Calendar 2018 comes to an end. Thanks for reading and sharing my tweets and essays, and for all kind words. Merry Christmas!

Yours, Bluetiger


File:Alfred Kowalski-Wierusz - Stado wilków.jpg

Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski, “Stado wilków” – Wolfpack (Wikimedia Commons).


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Advent Calendar 2019 – Entries

Bluetiger’s Advent Calendar 2019

Advent Calendar 2019 – Introduction

Julius Arthur Thiele - Deer in a Winter Woodland

Julius Arthur Thiele (1841–1919), “Deer in a Winter Woodland” (Wikimedia Commons)


The First Week of Advent 2019

1 December (First Sunday)

In my Polish Taniec z Mitami: G(r)endel and Gorne (A Dance with Myths…) essay I suggest that the Free Folk legend of Gendel and Gorne is a reference to the Old English epic poem “Beowulf”. Gendel parallels Grendel the monster, and the Starks who defeated and chased him away are a reference to Beowulf (Bee-wolf), the heroic warrior who defeats Grendel: “Gendel did not die. He cut his way free, through the crows, and led his people back north with the wolves howling at their heels” (A Storm of Swords, Jon III).

Following his encounter with Beowulf, Grendel flees to his underwater cave, whereas Gendel also escapes and enters the caverns underneath the Wall (made of frozen water). Neither Grendel nor Gendel ever emerge alive.

The Shire Calendar: The first month in the Shire Calendar from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is Afteryule, which corresponds to the period between 23 December and 21 January in the Gregorian Calendar. The name comes from Old English month Æfterra Gēola, = “after Yule”, with Yule being the Midwinter festival. Modern “after” descends from “æfter”, and “gēola” is Yule. In Saint Bede the Venerable’s account this month is called Giuli and the scholar gives “Januarius” as its Latin equivalent. It appears that Bede ommits “after” and “before” in all month names which have them.


2 December (Monday)

The legend in which king Rodrik Stark wins Bear Island from the Ironborn in a wrestling match is possibly another reference to “Beowulf”. Here the Stark King parallels Beowulf (Bee-wolf) and his Ironborn rival would be Grendel, the accursed descendant of Cain.

In the epic Beowulf defends King Hrothgar’s magnificent mead-hall Heorot, located on one of the Danish islands, and wrestles with the monster. It is also worth to mention that according to J.R.R. Tolkien “Beowulf” – wolf of the bees – might be a poetic description, a kenning, for “bear”. Thus, Bear Island is the perfect place for GRRM to include yet another reference to the Old English poem.

The Shire Calendar: The second month bears the name Solmath and is based on the Old English Sol-mōnaþ, which means “mud-month”. This second month of the hobbits corresponds to the period between our 22 January and 20 February. Saint Bede writes that to Anglo-Saxons, “Sol-monath” was the equivalent of Latin “Februarius”.


3 December (Tuesday)

The surname Mormont might originate from Irish mormónta, a borrowing from Middle English wermode, which in turn comes from Old English wermōd. Mormónta means “wormwood”, as in the plant, but also the star Wormwood mentioned in the Book of Revelation, where it turns a third of the waters bitter.

Elsewhere in ASOIAF we find House Wormwood, with only one known member, Ser Julian. This Julian Wormwood was a knight who supported Aegon II during the Dance of the Dragons, and in the final days of the claimant’s reign was dispatched across the Narrow Sea to hire sellswords for his monarch’s cause. It should be noted that wormwood oil is green in colour, which might be what GRRM is referencing here.

The Shire Calendar: The name of Rethe (21 February – 22 March), the third month in this calendar, comes from the Old English Hrēþ-mōnaþ, which – according to Bede – was named after the pagan goddess Rheda (Hretha). The scholar gives “Martius” as its Latin equivalent.


4 December (Wednesday)

Brandor the Shipwright, the Stark king who tried to sail across the Sunest Sea and never returned might be a reference to Saint Brendan the Navigator who – according to legend – had sailed across the Atlantic and encountered many wondrous islands and phenomena.

The Shire Calendar: The fourth month is Astron, which begins on our 23 March and ends on 21 April. Its equivalent in the Anglo-Saxon calendar was Ēosturmōnaþ (or Easter-mōnaþ), which according to Bede was named after the pagan goddess Ēostre. The monk gave “Aprilis” as its Latin counterpart. In later times the name might have meant “Easter-month”. The word “Ēostre” is related to such words as “east” and “Easter”, which ultimately derive from Proto-Indo-European word for “dawn”.


5 December (Thursday)

In my essay Taniec z Mitami: Krew Kvasira (A Dance with Myths: Kvasir’s Blood) I have suggested that the so called “Jojen paste” Bran drinks in ADWD is based on the Mead of Poetry (which turns the one who drinks it into a poet or a scholar) from Norse Mythology. This beverage was created when honey was mixed with the blood of the sage Kvasir, after he had been killed by the dwarves Fjalar and Gjalar. (Jojen Reed parallels Kvasir, and the Children of the Forest would be the dwarfs). It is also worth to mention that Bran’s paste tastes of honey as well: It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him. I have also noted that Tyrion’s “singer’s stew” – which tastes so good that it makes him want to sing – symbolizes both weirwood paste and the Mead of Poetry.

The Shire Calendar: The fifth month is Thrimidge, which begins on our 22 April and lasts until 21 May. Its Old English precursor was Þrimilcemōnaþ, which Bede provides as the equivalent of Latin “Maius”. Thrimylchi (or þrimilce) stands for “three milkings”, and thus the name of the fifth month meant “Month of Three Milkings”, apparently because it was believed that at that time cows could give milk three times a day.


6 December (Friday)

I have suggested that the character of Larra Rogare (the wife of King Viserys II) is based on Queen Berúthiel of Gondor. Both were foreign spouses of a monarch, and both were rumored to use cats as spies. Please compare the following passage:

Cats were seen coming and going from her chambers so often that men begun to say they were her spies, purring at her in soft voices of all the doings of the Red Keep. (Fire and Blood by GRRM)

with

She had nine black cats and one white, her slaves, with whom she conversed, or read their memories, setting them to discover all the dark secrets of Gondor, so that she knew those things ‘that men wish most to keep hidden’, setting the white cat to spy upon the black, and tormenting them. (The Unfinished Tales by JRRT, edited by Christopher Tolkien)

If you want to find out more about Berúthiel and her connections with Larra, please check out one of the later sections of my essay The Jade Empire.

The Shire Calendar: The sixth month (22 May – 20 June) bears the name Forelithe and is based on Old English Ærra Līþa. Lithe was the Midsummer festival which had its winter counterpart in Yule. Bede includes the month of Ærra Līþa as Lida and pairs it with Latin Junius. (As I have mentioned, Bede omits “Ærra” (before, ere) and “Æfterra” (after) in those month names which have them.


7 December (Saturday)

The actions of Aegon III during the Winter Fever are most likely a reference to Aragorn and the hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known motif from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (which in turn was based on a real custom practised in some European monarchies, to which GRRM might be also alluding). In Fire and Blood we read that:

To the horror of his Kingsguard, Aegon spent his days visiting the sick, and often sat with them for hours (…) Most of those he visited died, but those who lived would afterward attribute their survival to the touch of the king’s “healing hands”.

The Shire Calendar: Following Forelithe there come the Lithedays (Midsummer festivities), which do not belong to any month. 1 Lithe falls on our 21 June. Then comes the Mid-year’s Day itself, with its Gregorian calendar counterpart in 22 June. In leap years Mid-year’s Day is followed by the extra day of Overlithe. Finally, there is 2 Lithe (23 June). In Old English calendar, we find the word Līþa (which Tolkien developed into Lithe) in two month names.


File:Carl Hilgers Winterliches Wasserschloss.jpg

Carl Hilgers (1818 – 1890), Winterliches Wasserschloss mit heimkehrendem Jäger – “Castle with a moat in winter, with returning hunter” (Wikimedia Commons).


The Second Week of Advent 2019

8 December (Second Sunday)

9 December (Monday)

10 December (Tuesday)

11 December (Wednesday)

12 December (Thursday)

13 December (Friday)

14 December (Saturday)


The Third Week of Advent 2019

15 December (Third Sunday)

16 December (Monday)

17 December (Tuesday)

18 December (Wednesday)

19 December (Thursday)

20 December (Friday)

21 December (Saturday)


The Fourth Week of Advent 2019

22 December (Fourth Sunday)

23 December (Monday)

24 December (Tuesday, Christmas Eve)


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Advent Calendar 2019

éala éarendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended

Hail Earendel, brightest of angels
over middle-earth to mankind sent

– from the Old English poem “Crist I”

It has become something of a tradition that every year with the coming of Advent I start a series of short entries at this blog, and this format was inspired by the traditional Advent calendar. There were two previous editions, the original one in 2017 and its 2018 sequel… and thus, there was an Advent calendar ever since I’ve set up this blog – with the initial name of “The Amber Compendium”, subsequently changed to “The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire”, as such was the direction in which my thoughts and then my essays turned. It stands reason that this emergent tradition should be maintained. Another consistent characteristic of my December series is the inconsistency of form between those yearly editions.

Julius Arthur Thiele - Deer in a Winter Woodland.png

Julius Arthur Thiele (1841–1919), “Deer in a Winter Woodland” (Wikimedia Commons)

My first Calendar – of 2017 – consisted of 22 daily posts, each devoted to a distinct topic. The topics themselves varied greatly. A significant portion of them concerned parallels between George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium. Other posts focused solely on aspects of Tolkien’s mythology, such as the final Christmas Eve entry in which I discussed – rather briefly – the impact of the Old English poem “Crist I” (also known as The Advent Lyrics, and thus quite apt for my calendar series itself) on Tolkien’s mythopoeic endeavors. It should be noted that I later followed up on many leads merely hinted in the 2017 Advent calendar – for example, my Polish essay Tom Bombadil i Zimnoręki published at FSGK PL this July expands on ideas discussed in the opening post of the Advent calendar from 2017. Another such case is W(r)enly from October 2019, which was developed from the final section of the 9 December 2017 entry.

This way of presenting ideas – one post released every Advent day – proved perhaps too strenuous to the reader. Keeping in mind that many people simply don’t have that much free time to spare, the following year – in December 2018 – I made the decision to change the format. Thus, there were only four long posts, released one by one on the four Advent Sundays – The Return of the Queen, Eärendil, Bearer of Light, The Jade Empire and finally, Aenar’s Aeneid. There were also daily “posts” – but this time in the shape of tweets such as the following ones:

This year the format changes again – there will be short entries added to one post pinned at the top of this blog’s homepage, and the same short tidbits will be also released at my Twitter profile (@lordbluetiger). As for the topics, this year I will share with you those ideas I’ve been exploring in the past year. Almost all of my 2019 writings related to ASOIAF and Tolkien were in Polish – you can find them at the Polish fan-site FSGK.PL – most easily by looking at https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/author/bluetiger/. Of those only one was later released in English (The Fate of Frey). As not that many people know my native language, Polish, this Advent calendar series might be the perfect way to share those theories and ideas with a wider audience language-wise.

File:Charles James De Lacy - The Winter Carriage.jpg

Charles de Lacy (1856–1929), “The Winter Carriage” (Wikimedia Commons)

Since the series’ format is a reference to a calendar, I thought that it would be fitting to also explore how two calendars created by Tolkien – the Shire Calendar and the Bree Calendar – correspond with the Old English calendar, as described by Saint Bede the Venerable in “De temporum ratione”. Therefore, there will be actually two daily tweets (and corresponding entries added to the post pinned at the top of this blog) – one with a short tidbit from one of my ASOIAF or JRRT essays, and one with trivia about one of the months from those two calendars used in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

With that said, the 2019 Advent calendar begins,

Yours, Bluetiger

Link to the post in which daily tidbits will be collected: https://theambercompendium.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/advent-calendar-2019-entries/

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For the previous editions of my Advent Calendar please check out:

2017

The Advent Calendar 2017 – Introduction
The Advent Calendar 2017 – List of Episodes
Kalendarz adwentowy 2017 – Wstęp (The Advent Calendar 2017 – Introduction in Polish)
Kalendarz adwentowy 2017 – Lista odcinków (The Advent Calendar 2017 – List of Episodes in Polish

2018

The Advent Calendar 2018 – Introduction
Four Weekly Essays published on Advent Sundays:

 

 

Listopad 2019: Teksty Bluetigera na FSGK

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Taniec z Mitami: G(r)endel i Gorne 

2 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/taniec-z-mitami-grendel-i-gorne/

G(r)endel i Gorne Grafika.png

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Tolkienowska Pieśń Lodu i Ognia: Przedmowa

9 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/tolkienowska-piesn-lodu-i-ognia-przedmowa/

TPLIO Przedmowa Grafika.png

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Poprawiamy Martina: Języki (wspólnie z DaeLem)

11 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/poprawiamy-martina-jezyki/

Poprawiamy Martina Języki Grafika.png

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Shire i Rohan oraz Siedem Królestw, czyli inspiracje Anglosaską Heptarchią

16 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/shire-i-rohan-oraz-siedem-krolestw-czyli-inspiracje-anglosaska-heptarchia/

Shire i Rohan Grafika.png

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Zapowiedź Tolkienowskiego Q&A

17 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/zapowiedz-tolkienowskiego-qa/

Zapowiedź TQ&A Grafika

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Tolkienowskie Q&A 1

23 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/tolkienowskie-qa-1/

TQ&A 1 Grafika

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Tolkienowskie Q&A 2

30 listopada 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/11/tolkienowskie-qa-2/

TolkienowskieQ&A 2 Grafika.png

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Kalendarz Shire’u J.R.R. Tolkiena – porównanie z kalendarzem staroangielskim

Stworzony przez J.R.R. Tolkiena kalendarz Shire’u opisany w dodatku D “Władcy Pierścieni” porównany z kalendarzem anglosaskim (staroangielskie nazwy miesięcy według “De Temporum Ratione” świętego Bedy Czcigodnego).

(opracował Bluetiger):

Miesiąc w kalendarzu Shire’u (stworzonym przez J.R.R. Tolkiena) Znacznie nazwy: Współczesny odpowiednik: Miesiąc w kalendarzu staroangielskim Znacznie nazwy: Współczesny odpowiednik:
2 Yule drugi z Yuledays (Godów), nowy rok 22.12      
1.         Afteryule „po Yule” 23.12 – 21.01 Æfterra Gēola „po Yule” Styczeń/January
2.         Solmath „miesiąc błota” 22.01 – 20.02 Sol-mōnaþ „miesiąc błota” Luty/February
3.         Rethe od staroang. „hreþmonaþ”,

w znaczeniu „rough-month”

21.02 – 22.03 Hrēþ-mōnaþ „miesiąc bogini Hrēþ (Rhede)” Marzec/March
4.         Astron od “eastre” (jak w „Easter”), od pragerm. „świt” 23.03 – 21.04 Ēosturmōnaþ „miesiąc bogini Ēostre”,

„miesiąc Wielkanocy (Easter)”

Kwiecień/April
5.         Thrimidge „þrimilce” 22.04 – 21.05 Þrimilcemōnaþ „Month of Three Mikings”, miesiąc, gdy krowy dają mleko trzy razy dziennie Maj/May
6.         Forelithe „przed Lithe (Sobótką)” 22.05 – 20.06 Ærra Līþa „przed Lithe” (Śródleciem Czerwiec/June
1 Lithe „pierwszy dzień Lithe” (Sobótki, Śródlecia) 21.06      
Mid-year’s Day „dzień Śródlecia” 22.06      
Overlithe „nad-Lithe” dodatkowy dzień w latach przestępnych      
2 Lithe „drugi dzień Lithe” 23.06      
7.         Afterlithe „po Lithe” 24.06 – 23.07 Æftera Līþa „po Śródleciu” Lipiec/July
8.         Wedmath „miesiąc traw” 24.07 – 22.08 Weōdmōnaþ „miesiąc traw/roślin” (por. „weed”) Sierpień/August
9.         Halimath „święty miesiąc” 23.08 – 21.09 Hālig-mōnaþ „święty miesiąc” Wrzesień/

September

10.    Winterfilth „pierwsza zimowa pełnia ksieżyca” 22.09 – 21.10 Winterfylleth

(Winterfylleþ)

„pierwsze napełnienie (księżyca) zimą” Październik/

October

11.    Blotmath patrz staroang. 22.10 – 20.11 Blōtmōnaþ „miesiąc blót” (ofiar) Listopad/

November

12.    Foreyule „przed Yule” (Godami) 21.11 – 20.12 Ærra Gēola „przed Yule” Grudzień/

December

1 Yule „pierwszy dzień Godów

/Śródzimia”

21.12      

 

1 Yule & 2 Yule = Yuledays, święto śródzimia, końca starego roku i początku nowego.

1 Lithe & Mid-year’s Day & Overlithe (w latach przestępnych) & 2 Lithe = Lithedays, święto śródlecia

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Kalendarz Bree

Miesiąc w kalendarzu Bree Znaczenie nazwy: Współczesny odpowiednik: Odpowiednik w kalendarzu Shire’u
2 Yule „drugi dzień Yule” 22.12 2 Yule
1.         Frery od staroang. „frēorig”

(mroźny, lodowaty, zamarzający)

23.12 – 21.01 Afteryule
2.         Solmath „Solmónaþ”, miesiąc błota 22.01 – 20.02 Solmath
3.         Rethe „od staroang. „hreþmonaþ”,

w znaczeniu „rough-month”

21.02 – 22.03 Rethe
4.         Chithing „ciðing” (kiełkujący, wschodzący) 23.03 – 21.04 Astron
5.         Thrimidge „þrimilce” (miesiąc, gdy krowy dają mleko trzy razy dziennie) 22.04 – 21.05 Thrimidge
6.         Lithe „liþa” (czerwiec, lipiec) 22.05 – 20.06 Forelithe
1 Lithe (Summerdays) „pierwszy dzień Sobótki” 21.06 1 Lithe
Mid-year’s Day (Summerdays) „dzień śródlecia” 22.06 Mid-year’s Day
Overlithe (Summerdays) „nad-Lithe” dodatkowy dzień w latach przestępnych Overlithe
2 Lithe (Summerdays) „drugi dzień Sobótki” 23.06 2 Lithe
7.         Mede „łąka” 24.06 – 23.07 Afterlithe
8.         Wedmath „Wéodmónaþ” (miesiąc traw) 24.07 – 22.08 Wedmath
9.         Harvestmath „Hærfestmonaþ” (miesiąc żniw) 23.08 – 21.09 Halimath
10.    Wintring „zimowy, zimny” 22.09 – 21.10 Winterfilth
11.    Blooting „Blōtmōnaþ” (miesiąc blót – ofiar) 22.10 – 20.11 Blotmath
12.    Yulemath „miesiąc Yule (Godów” 21.11 – 20.12 Foreyule
1 Yule „pierwszy dzień Godów” 21.12 1 Yule

 Według rozdziału “De mensibus Anglorum” w dziele “De Temporum Ratione” Bedy Czcigodnego nazwy anglosaskich miesięcy to (w nawiasach podano łacińskie odpowiedniki): Giuli (Januarius), Sol-monath (Februarius), Rhed-monath (Martius), Eostur-monath (Aprilis), Thrimylchi (Maius), Lida (Junius), Lida (Julius), Vueod-monath (Augustus), Haleg-monath (September), Vuinter-fylleth (Oktober), Blod-monath (November), Giuli (December).

Najwyraźniej uczony podając nazwy grudnia i stycznia, oraz czerwca i lipca pominął przedrostki “przed” lub “po”, gdyż grudzień to Ærra Gēola (Przed-Yule), styczeń to Æfterra Gēola (Po-Yule), czerwiec to Ærra Līþa (Przed-Lithe) zaś lipiec Æftera Līþa (Po-Lithe).

Pisząc o pochodzeniu nazwy “Vuinter-fylleth” (Winterfylleth), Beda wywodzi ją od słów “zima” oraz “pełnia księżyca”: Unde et mensem quo hyemalia tempora incipiebant Vuinter-fylleth appellabant, composito nomine ab hyeme et plenilunio, quia videlicet a plenilunio eiusdem mensis hyems sortiretur initium. (…) Vuinter-fylleth potest dici composito novo nomine hyemeplenilunium. (Bede Venerabilis, De Temporum Ratione, Caput XV: De mensibus Anglorum).

Październik 2019: Cztery teksty Bluetigera na FSGK

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Taniec z Mitami: (W)renly

5 października 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/10/taniec-z-mitami-wrenly/

WrenlyFSGK

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Taniec z Mitami: Ashara Dayne

12 października 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/10/taniec-z-mitami-ashara-dayne/

AsharaDayneFSGK.png

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Taniec z Językami: Bran i Brandon

19 października 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/10/taniec-z-jezykami-bran-i-brandon/

BrandonFSGK

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Taniec z Mitami: Zawiasy świata

26 października 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/10/taniec-z-mitami-zawiasy-swiata/

ZawiasyŚwiataFSGK.png

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Wrzesień 2019: Cztery teksty Bluetigera na FSGK

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Taniec z Mitami: Przeznaczenie Freya

7 września 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/09/taniec-z-mitami-przeznaczenie-freya/

Przeznaczenie Freya Grafika

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Pies Baskerville’ów (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – recenzja książki

14 września 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/09/pies-baskervilleow-sir-arthur-conan-doyle/

Pies Baskerville'ów Grafika

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Mity skandynawskie (Roger Lancelyn Green) – recenzja książki

20 września 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/09/mity-skandynawskie-roger-lancelyn-green/

Mity skandynawskie Grafika

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Taniec z Mitami: Krew Kvasira 

28 września 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/09/taniec-z-mitami-krew-kvasira/

Kvasir Grafika

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The Fate of Frey

The Fate of Frey by Bluetiger

Originally published in the Polish language at FSGK PL as Taniec z Mitami: Przeznaczenie Freya (https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/09/taniec-z-mitami-przeznaczenie-freya/)



The last time we saw him, a blizzard forced Stannis Baratheon to halt his march on Winterfell and make camp in an abandoned crofters’ village by an ice-bound lake, some three days away from his destination. Against his army, made up of knights and men-at-arms who have accompanied the claimant from the South, and warriors of the mountain clans, two hosts have been dispatched by Roose Bolton. The first of those is led by Lord Wyman Manderly, while the second consists of Freys, aiding the Lord of Dreadfort in subjugating the North, in accordance with their alliance pact sealed before the Red Wedding.

The contingent from the Twins was led by Lord Walder’s third son, Ser Aenys Frey, until a clever trap set by Stannis’ ally Mors Umber caused his demise. In this situation, the command of the Frey detachment passed to Walder’s sixth son, Hosteen.

Although Ser Hosteen is a battle-hardened warrior, it would appear he finds following orders much easier than giving them. Stannis’ opinion about the knight’s abilities is rather unflattering, and he goes as far as to name him “Ser Stupid”. To make matters even worse (at least from the Frey point of view), Hosteen is an impulsive man and lacks the restraint (and calculatedness) which characterizes some of his kin.

When a series of suspicious deaths begins in Winterfell, Hosteen makes it no secret that he believes Manderly is the culprit. He has no doubts that lord Wyman was involved in the enigmatic disappearance of three Freys (Jared, Symond and Rhaehar) traveling from the White Harbor to Winterfell either. Following Little Walder’s murder, Hosteen publicly puts the blame on Manderly, who denies such allegations, but declares that perhaps the youth’s death was a blessing – “had he lived, he would have grown up to be a Frey”. Hearing those words, the future commander of an entire army can’t help but to allow himself to be provoked, and attacks the Lord of White Harbor, only to be stopped by Manderly’s knights.

House Frey coat-of-arms by Abjiklam

To prevent future disputes within Winterfell’s walls, and dispose of bothersome allies (at least one of whom can be strongly suspected of being disloyal), Roose Bolton sends the Freys and the Manderlys against Stannis. However, due to aforementioned animosity between the two houses, their forces set off separately (which is quite beneficial for Wyman, if he really has plans to switch sides, and also suspiciously convenient for Mors Umber, since only the Freys fall into his trap). Thus, Ser Hosteen and his men will have to face Stannis Baratheon on their own.

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What will be the result of this engagement? Many a theory has been written about this incoming battle, known as the Battle of Ice, but this time, we will turn to Norse Mythology, where – as I believe – some hints about our Frey’s fate can be found.

Much can be said about the influence those tales had on George R.R. Martin’s works. From Dreamsongs we know that the writer has read the Eddas (the older Poetic Edda and the younger Prose Edda) and some of the Icelandic Sagas.

My major was journalism, but I took a minor in history. My sophomore year I signed up for the History of Scandinavia, thinking it would be cool to study Vikings. Professor Franklin D. Scott was an enthusiastic teacher who invited the class to his home for Scandinavian food and glug (a mulled wine with raisins and nuts floating in it). We read Norse sagas, Icelandic eddas, and the poems of the Finnish patriotic poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. I loved the sagas and the eddas, which reminded me of Tolkien and Howard.
—George R.R. Martin, Dreamsongs

Today we fill focus on a certain event which takes place during the end of the world (at least as we know it) described in the Eddas, when the destiny of the gods will be fulfilled, and Asgard and all the other worlds, including Midgard, will be destroyed in fire. This final battle between the forces of good and evil will is known as Ragnarök, which means “the fate of the gods” or “the destiny of the gods”. Due to an error in translation of this Old Norse term, there exists a second term for this Doomsday – the Twilight of the Gods (Götterdämmerung), made well-known in a large part because of Richard Wagner’s music drama The Ring of the Nibelung.

File:Kampf der untergehenden Götter by F. W. Heine.jpg

Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, Battle of the Doomed Gods An artistic vision of Ragnarök (Wikimedia Commons)

In A Song of Ice and Fire we find many references to events heralding Ragnarök and taking place during it, such as: the terrible winter (Fimbulvinter) lasting for three years, the swallowing of the sun and the moon by the wolves named Sköll and Hati, the Iron-holt (Iron-wood) Járnviðr¹, the hound Garmr belonging to the goddess Hel, the horn-blowing Heimdall, the three crowing roosters, Valhalla, Tyr and Fenrir, Odyn and his ravens, the World Tree Yggdrasil, the Midgard Serpent Jörmungandr… influences from other myths can also be discerned (it is worth to mention, for instance, the valkyries, the undead draugr, Loki, Iðunn and her apples, the tale about Baldur’s death inadvertently causes by the blind Höðr).

¹ Simplifying,  ð is pronounced in a similar way to th in words like father and that.

All those connections are a fascinating topic, one to which we will surely return in the future. However, in this essay, I wany to primarily  bring to your attention one event and two heroes.

In order to do so, we have to reach out to the Poetic Edda, which begins with the poem Völuspá, which can be translated as The Prophecy of the Völva or The Prophecy of the Seeress. According to beliefs of the pre-Christain Indianina, a völva was a person whom we could also call a prophetess, a foretelling woman or a seeress (think of seer, on the basis of which GRRM has created his greenseer term). It is curious that another word for a völva is vala (in fact, Völuspá sometimes appears as The Prophecy of the Vala) – perhaps this is where GRRM got the name Val from. After all, the ASOIAF Val might be, in a way, a priestess of the old gods, and it also appears that the author intentionally contrasts her with Melisandre, a believer of the fire god.

Snorre Sturluson-Christian Krohg.jpg

Christian Krohg, Snorri Sturluson – author of the Prose Edda (Wikimedia Commons)

In the poem Völuspá a certain völva is asked by Odin to present the history of the world, beginning with its creation and finishing with its end, Ragnarök. Here we are mainly interested in one event in the final battle between the gods (Æsir and Vanir) and the giants.

According to the seeress’ words, among portent revealing that the end is near will be the following events: a witch living in Járnviðr (Ironwood) will give birth to two offspring of Fenrir the wolf, Sköll and Hati, who shall steal the sun and snatch the moon from the firmament; three roosters shall crow – the golden Gillinkambi in Valhalla, the crimson Fjalar in Jotunheim, and the unnamed soot-red rooster in Hellheim; the infernal hound Garmr guarding the entrance to the realm of the dead will howl and fetters binding him shall burst.

There will come a time when:

Brothers shall fight and fell each other,
And sisters’ sons shall kinship stain;
Hard it is on earth, with mighty whoredom;
Axe-time, sword-time, shields are sundered
Wind-time, wolf-time², ere the world falls;
Nor ever shall men each other spare.
—From Henry Adam Bellows’ translation of Völuspá in The Poetic Edda

² Perhaps this is why GRRM originally wanted to name one of the ASOIAF novels A Time for Wolves.

Then Heimdall, guarding the rainbow bridge Bifrost, which connects Midgard (lands inhabited by humans) with Asgard (realm of the gods), shall blow his horn Gjallarhorn. When it sounds, the World Tree Yggdrasil will shiver. The giant Hrym will come from Jotunheim, bearing a shield. The serpent Jörmungandr, surrounding Midgard, will writhe, arousing enormous waves. The ship Naglfar will sail on this turbulent sea, carrying Loki and his host of monsters and giants.

Another enemy of the gods who will arrive is Surtr, a giant coming forth from Muspelheim (realm of fire) the south. His flaming sword will shine brighter than the sun.

File:The giant with the flaming sword by Dollman.jpg

John Charles Dollman, The Giant with the Flaming Sword (Wikimedia Commons)

During Ragnarök the gods – and their allies, mortal warriors who were slain in earlier battles and whose souls were carried to Valhalla by the valkyries, to await this one last fight – will stand against the forces of evil. According to the Prose Edda, which was written by Snorri Sturluson (12th and 13th century Icelandic poet and historian descended from the influential Sturlung clan), the Rainbow Bridge Bifrost will collapse when giants from Muspelheim, led by Surtr, will cross it.

Odin will sally forth with warriors of Valhalla to face the monstrous wolf Fenrir, and will be devoured by him. Vidar will avenge his father’s death. The one-handed Tyr (who has sacrificed his limb so the gods could capture Fenrir) will fight goddess Hel’s dire hound Garmr – the adversaries will kill one another. The result of Heimdall’s duel with the treacherous Loki will be similar. Thor’s destiny will be to combat Jörmungandr, and he will manage to slay the beast, but won’t leave long enough to boast of it – he will perish, poisoned the Midgard Serpent’s venom. Freyr will stand in the way of the giant Surtr (brandishing the shining sword, as bright as the sun), but won’t manage to overcome him and will fall dead. At the very end, Surtr will use his weapon to engulf the entire world in flames. Thus the destiny of the gods will be fulfilled.

File:Tyr and Fenrir-John Bauer.jpg

John Bauer (1882 – 1918), Tyr and Fenrir (Wikimedia Commons)

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I suspect that when George R.R. Martin created a scenario where, in the Battle of Ice, Stannis Baratheon and Hosteen Frey become adversaries, he has this very scene with Surtr and Freyr in mind.

The surname “Frey” is most likely a reference to “Freyr” (whose name is often anglicized as Frey). The mythical Frey was one of the Vanir, the elder group of Norse deities, which was supplanted by the Æsir led by Odin. As it was described in Philip Parker’s book  The Northmen’s Fury: A History of the Viking World, according to some researchers, the merger of two pantheons (Æsir & Vanir) might suggest that two distinct peoples, worshiping different gods, were united. There are also theories that the Scandinavians originally worshiped the Vanir, deities associated with fertility and prosperity, and only later did the Odinic cults develop (it seems this god rose to prominence in the Vendel Period – between roughly 550 and 790 AD – shortly before the Viking raids began).

File:Freyr by Johannes Gehrts.jpg

Johannes Gehrts, Freyr (Wikimedia Commons)

Be it as it may, Freyr was the god of fertility and virility. His twin sister was Freya, goddess of love. Their parents were Njörðr, protector of the sea, sailors and fishermen, but also god of winds; and (at least in some accounts) Skaði, goddess of skiing, mountains, winter and hunting.

Just like Freyr, House Frey (and especially its patriarch, Lord Walder) is famous because of its fertility. We may see another parallel if we look at the god’s steed, the golden boar Gullinbursti, whose bristle glowed in the dark. Actually, Ser Hosteen also has a connection with with animal. To find out how this parallel works, we have to simply look at the sigil of the house his mother Amarei Crakehall came from.

House Crakehall.svg

House Crakehall coat-of-arms by Abjiklam

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As for Stannis and Surtr, the obvious similarity between the two is the flaming sword – Lightbringer is described in a way reminiscent of the fiery giant’s weapon. What is more, in some scenes George R.R. Martin appears to be using the same phrase as Snorri Sturluson in Prose Edda. Just like Surtr’s blade, Stannis’ sword is compared to the sun:

Stannis Baratheon drew Lightbringer. The sword glowed red and yellow and orange, alive with light. Jon had seen the show before … but not like this, never before like this. Lightbringer was the sun made steel. (…)

Lightbringer was brighter than I’d ever seen it. As bright as the sun.” Jon raised his cup. “To Stannis Baratheon and his magic sword.”

A Dance with Dragons, Jon III—

In Rasmus Björn Anderson’s translation of  Gylfaginning from the Prose Edda we read that:

In the midst of this clash and din the heavens are rent in twain, and the sons of Muspel come riding through the opening. Surt rides first, and before him and after him flames burning fire. He has a very good sword, which shines brighter than the sun. As they ride over Bifrost it breaks to pieces, as has before been stated.

Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, translated by Rasmus Björn Anderson—

Just like Surtr, Stannis came from the South, while his seat – the volcanic isle of Dragonstone – is a place which we can call a realm of fire, just like Muspelheim, the jötunn’s home. In Iceland, there exists a complex of lava caves, which must have reminded the locals of the fire giant’s domain, as they gave it the name of Surtshellir (Surt’s Cave). In the middle ages, outlaws used the cavern as their hideout, but according to long-persistent folk beliefs, in ancient times it was Surtr himself who lived there. I don’t know if George R.R. Martin heard about this place, but at the very least, its name demonstrates how Icelanders imagined the seat of the Lord of Múspell – and Dragonstone is quite similar to such a vision.

File:Surtur mit dem Flammenschwerte.jpg

Friedrich Wilhelm Engelhard, Surtur mit dem Flammenschwerte – Surtr with a flaming sword (Wikimedia Commons)

Is Stannis a giant? Well, the Baratheons are famous because of their height, and in A Game of Thrones Robert is described as a “veritable giant”. Is this enough to determine that his younger brother is another giant, which would strengthen a thesis about his connection with Surtr?

It just so happens that in A Dance with Dragons there is a scene where something curious happens to Stannis’ shadow, when the Wildlings who want to pass to the other side of the Wall are forced to burn weirwood branches:

They came on, clutching their scraps of wood until the time came to feed them to the flames. R’hllor was a jealous deity, ever hungry. So the new god devoured the corpse of the old, and cast gigantic shadows of Stannis and Melisandre upon the Wall, black against the ruddy red reflections on the ice.

A Dance with Dragons, Jon III—

This quote comes, funnily enough, from the very chapter where just after “Mance Rayder” is burned and just before the Wildlings cross to the southern side of the Wall, Lightbringer suddenly shone brighter than ever before, becoming “the sun made steel”. Jon’s third chapter in ADWD is a place where we find an unusual concentration of Norse Mythology references: Tormund (Thor), the Horn of Joramun (Jörmungandr), Ygritte (whose name most likely comes from Yggdrasil, and perhaps contains the word “rite” as well), Val (vala, or völva, a priestess and a seeress) and Sigorn (perhaps Sigurd, and even if this is not the case, the name still has a Norse ring). Perhaps Stannis (his shadow) as a giant is another of those, foreshadowing his future role as Surtr fighting the Freys.

To crown it all, the Wall itself can be seen as a symbol of the Rainbow Bridge. We can do so because of descriptions such as this, coming to us from Jon’s eleventh chapter in A Dance with Dragons:

Outside the day was bright and cloudless. The sun had returned to the sky after a fortnight’s absence, and to the south the Wall rose blue-white and glittering. There was a saying Jon had heard from the older men at Castle Black: the Wall has more moods than Mad King Aerys, they’d say, or sometimes, the Wall has more moods than a woman. On cloudy days it looked to be white rock. On moonless nights it was as black as coal. In snowstorms it seemed carved of snow. But on days like this, there was no mistaking it for anything but ice. On days like this the Wall shimmered bright as a septon’s crystal, every crack and crevasse limned by sunlight, as frozen rainbows danced and died behind translucent ripples. On days like this the Wall was beautiful.

A Dance with Dragons, Jon XI—

Considering that, as we have just established, Stannis symbolizes Surtr, and according to the Prose Edda a host led by the giant will cause Bifrost to collapse, the image we begin to see is sinister. Will Stannis play some role in the Wall’s downfall?

Since Ser Hosteen is Freyr’s counterpart, and Stannis is a Surtr analogue, we should suspect that the Baratheon and his men will succeed in defeating the Frey army in the battle of the crofters’ village. If the scenario DaeL has plotted out in one of his Wild Theories (Szalone Teorie), GRRM will recreate the myth quite thoroughly. If Hosteen leads his men in a charge over the frozen lake, and if the ice breaks under them, we will get out shattering Bifrost. And if Stannis makes use of the trick used by the pirates of the Three Sisters, luring the Freys onto the lake, while the king himself will be safely positioned on an isle, and in the crucial moment of the charge will use Lightbringer to blind his enemies – well, GRRM’s Freyr will die because of Surtr’s sword brighter than the sun, just like his mythical predecessor.

And even if the events of The Winds of Winter won’t unfold exactly in this way, when Stannis Baratheon and Hosteen Frey face one another in battle, the pattern established by Snorri in the Prose Edda will still be fulfilled. The Freys will live to see their own Ragnarök.


Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece
Yours, Bluetiger

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Dwa artykuły Bluetigera na FSGK

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Ślady Palców Świtu: Powstanie, Zmierzch i Upadek Wielkiego Cesarstwa Świtu – 24 sierpnia 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/08/slady-palcow-switu-powstanie-zmierzch-i-upadek-wielkiego-cesarstwa-switu/

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Ślady Palców Świtu: Sukcesorzy Wielkiego Cesarstwa po Długiej Nocy – 31 sierpnia 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/08/slady-palcow-switu-sukcesorzy-wielkiego-cesarstwa-po-dlugiej-nocy/

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Tom Bombadil i Zimnoręki 

13 lipca 2019 roku

https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/07/tom-bombadil-i-zimnoreki/

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J.R.R. Tolkien. Pisarz stulecia (T.A. Shippey) – artykuł o książce

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https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/2019/08/j-r-r-tolkien-pisarz-stulecia-t-a-shippey/

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