1.05.2010

What's in a Name? Part 2



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I never would have guessed that I would some day be a "dog person". (And no, this has nothing to do with being an unregistered animagus.) Growing up, my brother and I enjoyed the sporadic company of outdoor cats, kittens with names like Cow Cat and Tiger Cat and Screamy Meamy. We also had a hawk. A whole nest of hawks actually. We didn't realize that fact until it was too late; too late for Screamy Meamy at least. Dogs were always a little too unpredictable and enthusiastic and usually quite smelly. We didn't grow up with prime examples of responsible dog ownership. Plus we just never asked for one.
But now there's Numi! Coming up on one year old, our little black lab/mix is a veritable delight. He's sweet. He's annoying. He snores like the guardian of Tartarus with a head cold. He's Numi.
"Mumi?"
"No, Numi."
"Muni?"
"N-U-M-I."
"Boominy?"
"Sigh."
"What sort of name is that?"
"Well (rolling up sleeves with a hungry look of passion in my eyes) let me explain:
As you can tell from just looking at our pup, Numi is imbued with an unmistakable sense of majesty, glory, and regality. I believe it has to do with him living up to the name we gave him. In order to plumb the depths of his lineage we will have to travel back to a long forgotten and distant time and place:
PictureMiddle Earth.
End of the First Age.
The demon Morgoth oppresses the whole of the world, threatening to sweep away all who oppose him, both elf and man.
Enter stage right: Eärendil son of Tuor, man, sailor, bad-ass.
Enter stage left: Elwing daughter of Dior, elf, princess, perhaps animagus.
Forbidden interracial marriage!
The only hope for Middle Earth is to 1) sail on their good ship Vingilot across the unsailed waters, 2) find the unfindable land, and 3) implore the unimplorable demigods of Valinor to bring salvation to an unworthy land.
Check, check, and check! (Cue rock music!)
Just when it all seems hopeless the questers return with a heavenly army, blazing with incalculable glory and justice, laying low the prideful towers of evil and casting down the Dark One in fitting retribution and power! Oh and there are eagles! Dragon-eating eagles! And Vingilot can fly! Bad-A!
Middle Earth is saved! Eärendil and Elwing are heroes! Yet due to lingering cultural elf-man tensions a decision has to be made by their children, Elrond and Elros; they can either choose to be human and all that goes with that or put in their lot with elves and all that goes with that.
Elrond chooses to be an elf, and apparently develops a pretty severe eyebrow crease and scowl if Hugo Weaving has anything to say about it.
Elros on the other hand chooses to be human, mortal but imbued with extremely long life and graced with power and honor and wisdom. Calling himself Tar-Minyatur, Elros becomes the first king of a mighty race of humans. His lineage leads all the way to stubbly Aragorn! And what is that race of men called? Why, they're the Númenórians. That is where Numi gets his name, and his wisdom, and his stubbly chin."
(For more information, visit your neighborhood library and check out J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion, especially the chapters on the Voyage of Eärendil and the Akallabêth. Or for good measure, just suck it up and read the whole thing cover to cover. That's what Viggo Mortensen would do.)

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