Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Random Tolkien Thought

I am reading a history of the Northern Crusades against the Baltic pagan tribes in the 12th through 15th centuries and I was interested to discover that the Wends, a Slavic tribe that lived in what is now eastern Germany, worshiped a forest god named Radigost.

Now considering J.R.R. Tolkien had more than a passing interest in the Baltic region, especially the Finns and Finnish language and literature, I wonder if Radigost is the source for the wizard Radagast the Brown?  After all Tolkien was not above stealing names wholesale from medieval literature.  Gandalf and all the dwarves' names from The Hobbit can be found in the Icelandic Prose Edda.  And  Radigost was a forest god it makes and Radagast was a wizard who lived in Mirkwood, so there is that similarity.

I can't prove any of it, but it makes sense to me.

1 comment:

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