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Ann-thennath (Sindarin ann = long, thenn = short, -ath = collective plural) was a song mode used in the Song of Beren and Lúthien as chanted by Strider. He stated that it was hard to render in the Common Speech.[1]

[edit] Inspiration

The English metric mode of Beren and Lúthien consists in a iambic tetrameter (four pairs of unstressed and stressed syllable); in Classical Greek poetry however, the iambic tetrameter was originally 4 pairs of alternating short and long syllables, which is consistent to the meaning of the Sindarin term ("long-short"). This difference of terminology might account for Strider's adaptation/rendition from Sindarin (quantitative verse) to Westron (accentual-syllabic verse).

Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter explain that the metric and rhyme of the English text tries to imitate what the ann-thennath would have been in the original Sindarin poem.[2]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
  2. Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth: Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter, "Three Elvish Verse Modes: Ann-thennath, Minlamad thent / estent, and Linnod", pp. 113-120