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|Locations||Kôr, Nargothrond, Dorthonion, Gondolin, Tol Eressea|
|Members||Finwë, Fëanor, Finrod, Inglor, Beren, Turgon|
|Distinctions||Great skill with metal and gems, deep knowledge|
|Gallery||Images of Gnomes|
The term Gnomes or Noldoli was briefly used in J.R.R. Tolkien's early work The Book of Lost Tales to describe the race of Elves that would become the Noldor. In those works he borrowed several folkloric names to describe his original creations, like Fae, Elves, Dwarves, Ogres and Goblins.
The names of the Noldoli are in the Goldogrin (or Gnomish) language.
The word likely comes from genomos "earth-dweller". It has a similarity with Greek γνώσις gnosis "knowledge" which is why Tolkien used it for the wise clan of his Elves (Quenya Ñoldo "the Wise").[source?]
After the flight of Noldoli and slaughter of Solosimpi, the gnomes who stayed in Aman and did not join other tribes were called Aulenossë (nossë "kind, people" is related to -nor in Valinor (root NO in a dictionary of Qenya)), the people of Aulë. He himself called the gnomes who stayed in his palace just Eldar.
A Gnome is a dwarf-like creature of European folklore, often associated with Dwarves and Goblins. Traditional Gnomes however were unlike his depiction of his High Elves: they were imagined as deformed underground dwellers, and by the 19th century were depicted dwarf-like.
For that reason Tolkien dropped the term since that would confuse the readers. However, other folkloric names like "Elves", "Dwarves" and "Goblins" would persist in Tolkien's writing ever since, although he would be unsure about them (he did replace "Goblin" with "Orcs" after the publication of The Hobbit").
Other versions of the legendarium
At one time, "Gnomes" also referred to the Valar.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Letter to Elena Jeronimides" (letter)
- ↑ Douglas Harper, "gnome", Online Etymology Dictionary (accessed 19 June 2012)
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, entries "Aulenossë" and "Valinor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "VIII. The Tale of the Sun and Moon"