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Aiya Eärendil elenion ancalima!

Shelob by John Howe

Aiya Eärendil elenion ancalima! was the cry in Quenya of Frodo Baggins while crossing through Shelob's Lair. It seems that it was a common cry among Elves in the past. It meant "Hail Eärendil, brightest of Stars".[1]

[edit] History

After Frodo and Sam Gamgee found themselves in complete darkness, they noticed Gollum had abandoned them to a trap. Then Sam reminded his master about the Phial of Galadriel, which Frodo had forgotten he had. He cried "Aiya Eärendil elenion ancalima!". The light of the phial then showed them the eyes of Shelob, who knew that cry from ages old and was not afraid of it.[2]

Later on, Frodo cried a variant: "Aiya elenion ancalima!", while crossing the Two Watchers, again with help of the Phial's light.[3]

[edit] Inspiration

Tolkien explained that the phrase is derived from the first line of the Old English poem Christ: éala éarendel engla beorhtast.[1]

[edit] External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967), p. 385
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Shelob's Lair"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"