Picking the Good Professor’s Brains

Swords, whips, dogs and JRR Tolkien

Late night up at Fabian’s place last night. Plenty of vodka, bourbon and sitting in the spa in the rain – none of which I partook of, not being a fan of any of them (I don’t drink, and strongly suspect I may have been a lobster in a former life ;). I just drank coke and sat on the edge dodging the rain as best I could. Still, not a bad night all up and probably better than sitting at home all alone (although I could have stood to get to bed earlier than 1:00am, not having slept terribly well on Friday).

Here’s something vaguely interesting (or not). While poking around on Wikipedia (like you do) I discovered Durendal – the legendary sword of Roland (probably better known in English as Orlando). If you swap the first two syllables around you get ‘Endural’… Sound familiar? Well, probably not, because you’re not an obsessive Tolkien nut, but it’s quite obviously the same word as ‘Anduril’ – the reforged sword-that-was-broken (you know, the big flashy one Vigo Mortenson was waving around in the third movie?).

Tolkien was pretty expert in European mythology and legend – there is no way he would have been unaware of Durendal. So I reckon we can mark this one down as deliberate in-joke, or at least reference. Oh sure, Anduril means ‘Flame of the West’ in Quenya (well probably Quenya anyway) but I can state from personal experience that when you’re making a language the temptation to throw in a few little gags here and there is very strong (Zurv

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