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Riener Quentandil

LorenzoCB - Quentandil.png
Emblem of Riener Quentandil
Biographical Information
Other namesQuentandil (Q, mn), Lórenotso (Q, sn)
LocationNargothrond; Balar; Lindon; Hyarastorni; Luvailin
AffiliationUnion of Maedhros, Lambengolmor
LanguageQuenya, Adûnaic, Telerin
BirthY.T. 1490?
Sailed westS.A. 882
HouseHouse of Finarfin; House of Finrod
Physical Description
Hair colorBlack
WeaponryQuill pen and sword
"As I am but an orphan dragged by fate, a scribe whose only imprint in the court is the ink of others' words."
Letter to Orodreth

Riener was a Noldorin scribe of the Elder Days. He joined the Exile of the Noldor and came back to Aman in the Second Age with some of his literary works. In Eldamar he resumed his work as scribe and author until he sailed East, never coming back.

There is no biography of Riener, so everything we know about his life is extracted from his writings and the historical research made in the Library of Finarfin, in Tirion.


[edit] History

[edit] Life in Middle-earth

Riener was born under the Light of the Trees in a vassal family of the House of Finarfin. Because of his early attraction to tengwar and stories, his mother gave him the name Quentandil.

He was just a teenager when the Fall of the Noldor happened. His mother abandoned him and his father when Finarfin refused to follow the Noldor into exile, and his father died in the march by the Helcaraxë, so he arrived in Beleriand completely orphaned. Finrod Felagund took him under his protection, granting him a position as a scribe in his court.

During the stay of his lord in Doriath, he had problems refusing to abandone Quenya speech in public. It is known that at this time he wrote some linguistic works, including a Quenya grammar and a Defense of Quenya.[1]

Quentandil as a wanderer. Art by Jenny Dolfen

He lived in Nargothrond until the Union of Maedhros, because he rejected Orodreth as king, whom he accused of being an inept ruler who was losing the best chance to avenge the death of King Finrod. Although his disdain for the House of Fëanor was known, he promoted the Union with numerous writings, although we only preserve the Letter to Orodreth. He survived the Nirnaeth Arnœdiad, and later he wrote a poem about it.

After the Nirnaeth, Riener lived some years in Mithrim, but he wished to find the Hidden City of Gondolin, so he left those lands before the coming of the Easterlings. However, he could not find the secret entry and wandered among Beleriand for many decades.[2] When he heard of the Third Kinslaying, he joined the people of Círdan. Despite his pacific nature, he was forced into war one last time, fighting in the War of Wrath.

He did not return to Valinor once the War of Wrath ended, as he was too attached to Middle-earth; but seven hundred years later he embarked to the West. However, he stopped in Númenor, where he lived for several centuries as a teacher, until his stay on the island put in danger many friends.[3] As he had to escape quickly, he could not take many books with him and he barely saved anything he had written on the island.

[edit] Life in Valinor

Due his delay in Númenor without authorization, he had to wait in Tol Eressëa for a whole age, until the end of the Third. He settled in a cabin near Kôr, where he had time to read and put his writings in order. After finding the Golden Book and various manuscripts of the Quenta Silmarillion, he realized that with the pass of time the different versions had changed or omitted information. Then he decided to create his own edition, in which he would compile as much information as possible from all the sources, giving it coherence and expanding it with some details of his own knowledge. It took him a long time to get the necessary manuscripts, millennia in some case, as he was confined in Tol Eressëa, so when he was able to return to Eldamar, his edition was still in process.[4]

Quentandil as a scribe. Art by Ten Thousand Leaves

In Valinor he built his home in a retired cave, next to the Shadowmere. But he also used to live long periods in Tirion, again under the service of Finrod, and he loved travelling through the woods and borders of Aman. As a result of these trips and his bibliographical research, he wrote Description of Aman.[5]

He witnessed the Erunostalë festivities, and he was so impressed that he decided to write a summary of those sacred months, researching about the actions of the Valar. Two years later, he was called by Finrod to be one of the official scribes in the debates on the Nativity of Eru. Riener wrote everything that was said there and gave it shape in the Istimon Artaquetta, his last work.[6]

Since the announcement made in the Erunostalë, he showed great joy and was very active, but inside him grew the longing for the East, and he frequented the shores of Eldamar. In the year 26 of the Sixth Age, he commissioned the construction of a ship for himself. As soon as it was completed two years later, he told his few friends that he was leaving to Middle-earth again, but he gave no explanation. His intention surprised many and some denounced him to the Valar. However, Riener leaved discreetly, and was not seen again in Aman except in Mandos.[7]

[edit] Etymology

Riener was his father-name, meaning "Male with vegetal crown", form rië ("crown, garland") + nér ("man, male").[8]

[edit] Other names

Quentandil clarily means "Lover of Stories", from quenta ("tale, story") + -ndil ("friend, devoted to").[8]

The name Lórenotso is only known through personal testimonies. When Riener was still a child (in Elvish terms), he announced he had had a recurring dream seven times, so he was choosing that personal name. From this we can deduce Lórenotso can be translated as "Seven Dreams", from lórë ("dream") + otso ("seven").

All the names of Riener were Quenya, but some scribes included a Sindarin name in copies of his works: Findegil. It is unclear the origin of this name, but Araglas of the Tree believes it could mean "Finrod's pen": Fin(rod) + tegil ("pen").[9]

[edit] Heraldry

Riener's heraldic device

His personal emblem is based on Finrod's, his lord: that's why it keeps the green background even though the heraldic rules do not allow to put an element on a background of the same color. The laurel crown comes from his father-name Riener. The tengwa rómen is clearly from the first letter of the name, but we can also deduce two more details: his love for the letters and his attraction for the East, to which his destiny was linked since his childhood.[10]

[edit] Literary work

  • Known works
    • Letter to Orodreth (Tenca Artarestonna)
    • Mourning for the Fourth Battle (Yaimë rá Ohta Cantea)
    • Mourning above the Fifth Battle (Yaimë or Ohtas Lempea)
    • Elegy for Sunken Beleriand (Noilirë rá Ingolonden)
    • Little History of the Silmarils (Quentallë Silmarillion)
    • The Slaying of the Dragon (Angonahtalë), a dramatized version about the Death of Glaurung
    • Kôr Doze (Koroloro)
    • A personal reedition of the Quenta Silmarillion (Entécina Quenta Silmarillion)
    • Description of Aman (Amanquenta)
    • Christmas in Valinor (Erunostalë Valinóressë)
    • Debate of the Wise (Artaquetta Istimon: Manen Eru ná nóna ve firë?)
  • Lost works
    • Quenya Grammar and Phonology (Quenyava Tengwesta Pahtayë)
    • A Defense of Quenya against the Edict of Thingol (Varyalë Quenyo Axanna Þingollova)
    • A dramatized version of the Noldolantë


  1. Pengoloð the Wise, The Lost Literature of Beleriand, "Linguistics", pp. 33-34
  2. Inco Armaro, 'The lands that lie under the wave': Beleriand according to the First Age survivors, "Riener Quentandil's testimony", pp. 630-654
  3. Riener Quentandil, Quentallë Silmarillion, "Introduction"
  4. Riener Quentandil, Entécina Quenta Silmarillion, "Introduction"
  5. Riener Quentandil, Amanquenta, "Introduction"
  6. Riener Quentandil, The Debate of the Wise, "Introduction"
  7. Rúmil, Annals of Aman, "Volume DCCXXI: The Sixth Age", §17
  8. 8.0 8.1 Quennar Onótimo, The Names of the Known Elves, Volume LXXXII, entry "Riener", p. 344
  9. Araglas Galdon, "The use of Sindarin among the Returned Exiles", in Gnomish Studies XLVII, p. 9
  10. Laitendil i Tecemmaitar, Eastern Heraldry from Beleriand and Eriador, pp. 197-198