Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dragon's Hoard: Smaug and the Treasure are always bigger in the retelling

Smaug. A giant winged horror that slumbers on a mountain of treasure...well maybe thats what it becomes. The problem is that mountain of gold must have limits. When the king of dwarves is promising a one fourteenth share it isnt something you can carry home in a couple of chests. Even if your hobbit can tote a fourty pound sack of potatoes those two chests amounting to four hundred gold pieces and four hundred silver pieces seem small. But what of the dragon and its Mountain of treasure?

Smaug carries the Protoindoeuropean phonetic 'aug-' which we find in other words:
  • Augend: the quantity to which another quantity, the addend, is added.
  • Augment: to enlarge.
  • August: To inspire Awe.
  • Auger: a religious leader who fortells events by interpreting signs and omens.
  • Augite: A dark green to black precious stone containing aluminium, iron, and magnesium.
So our dragon and its mountain of treasure are always bigger in the retelling. Its odd that the name of a dragon found in a story written almost a century ago should be even remotely linkable to a language thousands of years old without having been looted from some previous story and storyteller. So is the story of The Dragon's Hoard hidden in plain sight?

Gandalf, our Wizard looks to be the Auger in this company.

We have our Arkenstone in the Augite. Certainly Augite is a recent word and most is dark and dull but it comes from 'Auge', a greek word meaning brightness. Gemstone quality Augite is bright, its crystals prismatic, and transparent Gemstone quality Augite comes from a place near the Ken River in central India and is called Shajar. Its found in Basalts so it likely came from the heart of a Mountain. If shajar has a protoindoeuropean root then we will see it in a similar phonetic form of s*g or s*j:

  • Sag: to seek out.
  • Segh: To hold; through conquest or victory in battle.
So now we have a part of the plot where the Arkenstone is sought out and then must be held through battle.

The egh phonetic in this part of our plot gives us:

  • Eghero: Lake.
  • Eghs: Out.
So we even have a lake.

As to our Dragon Smaug? Smeug is a protoindoeuropean root meaning smoke and is a pretty close variant of Smaug so lets look at another phonetic variation on sm(aug): sm(eug).

  • Eugene: a name meaning well-born, noble.
A tale of seeking and holding through battle. A tale of a bright prismatic gem from the heart of a mountain, a dragon of smoke, a lake, a well-born Noble, and an Auger as an Advisor and spiritual Guide.

So the fragments of the Hobbit fall slowly into a protoindoeuropean tale?

Tolkien delved into old english and northern european lore and built a setting.
I came along and pulled a single thread from his tapestry, and found something older in a few phonetic fragments that exist exclusivly to function together to tell the tale. It might seem odd that a people would create words just to tell a specific story but that looks like what they did. Somehow this story is the plot of the Hobbit because of the use of a single name given to a Dragon. This hidden tale is the original form. Unexpected. Yet there it is.

Protoindoeuropean tales have evolved over time shared and traded via descendants and neighbours, and this is no different. The Idea of a noble travelling with an interpreter of spiritual matters to a lake where a battle is fought to posess a particular object recycles in the Arthurian Legends. But somehow excalibur is originally a bright gem stone. The liberating of a sword from the stone might well have been an iron age tale, but now it is much older.

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