Rumil of Valinor

[Image: Roger Garland]

Rumil one of the oldest known of the chroniclers, and appears already in the oldest texts. The meaning of the name is unknown, but it may be connected with the Noldorin word rum: "secret", "mystery"

Rumil was a Noldo and a sage living in Valinor in the city of Tirion. He was called the Elfsage of Valinor and the Ancient Sage of Tirion, and wrote many documents that especially concerns Valinor. Much of the Eldarin history science seems to have been based on his works. One of his most famous works is the Ainulindale that tells of the Music of the Ainur and usually forms the introductory part of the Quenta Silmarillion.

Rumil seems to have abandoned his profession as a sage later, because in the many texts he is often referred to as a long-gone loremaster. There is a work called I Equessi Rumilo ("The Sayings of Rumil") that is a collection of his thoughts from the earliest days of the Eldar in Valinor. It treats, among other things, the Valarin language. The title might imply that he reached a status similar to that of Socrates, and was surrounded with disciples that wrote down his words (like Plato's "Dialogues").

Something that signifies Rumil's greatness as a chronicler is that he in the Valian Year 1179 invented an alphabet: Rumil's Tengwar, properly called the Sarati. This is the oldest known alphabet in Middle-earth, and was the one Feanor was inspired by when he developed Feanor's Tengwar, which was later used by almost all peoples in Middle-earth.

A document of special interests for historians is the text called the Annals of Aman (or Annals of Valinor). The document retells the events of each year in Valinor up to the creation of the Sun and the Moon and may have been one of the sources to the Quenta Silmarillion. In one manuscript, Rumil is said to be the author of this work. But in another, Rumil merely began it and wrote as far as the Doom of the Noldor in the Valian Year 1496. There he stopped, and others continued. This may have one of two explanations:
1) He did not follow the house of Feanor towards Middle-earth, but heard of the adventures of the Noldor who set out from Tuna and came back, or
2) He himself went with the company of Fingolfin, and turned back with him when he heard the threatening doom.

Rumil was also interested in languages and had - according to one (unfortunately generally erroneous) source - learnt very many languages. He made some writings that concerned the languages of the Elves, probably after the Noldor had left. We base this assumption on the fact that Pengolodh the Wise read these texts and used them for one of his works, but not until he came to Valinor.

When Pengolodh came to Valinor in the middle of the Second Age, Rumil saw his Quenta Silmarillion and made slight additions to it, such as the mentioning of Mandos' and Lorien's real names, Namo and Irmo.

Rumil is not mentioned in any more narrative texts, and it is not known what befell him in later ages. He does not seem to have been on Tol Eressea, since Aelfwine, much later, didn't meet him there, but well read his documents. Pengolodh was definitely there, and told Aelfwine many stories, among them Rumil's Ainulindale. It's probable that he stayed in Tirion upon Tuna, and lives there still.

•The History of Midde-earth vol. 1 Appendix
•The Silmarillion Index
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 10 The Annals of Aman
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 5 The Later Annals of Valinor
•The Silmarillion Of the Flight of the Noldor
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 1 Music of the Ainur
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 5 The Lhammas
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 10 The Later Quenta Silmarillion
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 10 Ainulindale
•The History of Midde-earth vol. 11 Quendi and Eldar Appendix D

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