Tolkien Gateway

Westernesse

Westernesse was a name in the Common Speech for the Isle of Númenor.

[edit] Etymology

The ending -ess (also in Elvenesse) was used in romance literature for fictional lands that had partly francized names (as in Lyonesse in Arthurian legends).[1]

Tolkien noted that the name is Middle English, rare and of vague meaning, taken to mean "Western lands" (in contrast to the East).[2]

[edit] Inspiration

In the 13 century chivalric romance King Horn, Westernesse is a kingdom ruled by "King Ailmar" and it is reached by ship by Horn.[1]

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 778-9
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 276, (dated 12 September 1965)