Down the Wine Cellar

Tolkien’s Elvish languages were mainly influenced by two languages: Welsh and Finnish. The two shared no similarity besides the fact that they are both spoken in Europe (though only Welsh is Indo-European) and that they pleased Tolkien’s ears. Finnish is the model for Quenya, and although both Sindarin and Quenya were designed to be euphonic, Quenya has a distinct melancholy feel that would invoke the snowy wastelands of Finland.

On his discovery of Finnish Tolkien writes:

It was like discovering a complete wine-filled cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavor never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me. . .

This amazing song by Jenni Vartiainen which I discovered some weeks ago gave me an idea of what it felt like for Tolkien to discover his sacred Finnish winecellar.

 

PS. Finland has one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

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