Saturday, January 26, 2013


(Edit: I've switched out the word Ohtari for Dírnaith. Ohtari seems to be a word referring to a mounted soldier. More anon.)

It's probably fitting for the first miniature-specific post to feature one of the three units of Dírnaith (Sind./ man-spearhead) that I've painted for the Wars of Arthedain.

These are ex-Mithril soldiers of Minas Tirith that were once available from Time Machine Miniatures. They are based for Armati. The spears have been removed from the right hand and replaced with pikes from Old Glory. They are more likely to break than bend, but I hate bendy spears.

The history around these figs, as told to me by the caster, is that Mithril Miniatures couldn't sell "wargame miniatures" due to the rights being awarded to, well, the guys who currently hold the rights - aka Sauron's Workshop.  These figs were removed from the Mithril catalogue and TMM purchased them.
TMM has since re-focused on 54mm vignette-style miniatures, but perhaps it's possible to ask the proprietor to cast some as a special order? 

Somewhere I have target shields for these troops - only I'll need to dremel the White Tree of Gondor off each one before mounting.  Funny how this project had stalled...


  1. Would not "wars" be Dagorath.

    Wars is a special case in Sindarin. It is a class plural form, or the "Collective" case. Like Stars (Elenath, plural of êl) , or Dwarves (Nogothrim, plural of Nogoth). As in Dagorathrim (People of the wars).

    It might also be said that Wars is an Instrumental form... But I am not good enough with English Grammar to get into that.

  2. And...

    I miss those minis. Pity that Mithril was forced out of the gaming business by GW.

  3. Hi Matt,

    Thank you fro commenting - I greatly appreciate it.

    You are partially correct, I think, at least so far as the plural -ath is concerned. I caught that last night while painting and watching The Fellowship of the Ring, as they passed under the Argonath. To paraphrase Sauron when he first realised the hobbits were going to destroy the ring...DOH!

    I'm not so sure if the Collective tense applies, as although Dagorath is certainly a collective noun (as applied to "Battle of Battles" aka Ragnarok) the plural for simple nouns like hill/hills is amon/emyn. Hence dagor/degyr. Without the Prof weighing in (or Chris Seamans at the least) we're rather stuck making our own way. Think of it as a debased Sindarin and indicative of the waning of the North Kingdom. : ) (Though if you find something definitive, do let me know.)

    I applaud your Sindarin and thank you for the link - my hisweloke download is years out of date, and I was out on the web for about an hour, looking to decline "dagor".

    Finally, you won't see many GW miniatures on this blog, or any blog I write.

    Best regards,
    Keith F.

    1. Although "Dagorathrim" is a compelling argument...where did you find the term?

    2. The Plural for "Physical Things" is different from that of collectives.

      If one was taking about "Those hills over there", then one would use 'emyn.'

      But if one was taking about a non-physical collection of "all hills" then one would use the collective case Amonath.

      Things that are purely non-physical to begin with always use the Collective Case. Thus, Dwarves: "Nogorath" or "Nogorathrim" (all of the people who are Dwarves). Stars is a kind of complex case, as in Tolkien's Ëa, they are not really physical things, but manifestations of the Fëa of Varda. Thus the 'Elenath.'

      Thus, if you are talking about "All the Wars" you would use 'Dagorath.'

      The Dagor Dagorath is the "War of All Wars."

      Tolkien has referred to "The Wars of Bereliand" (Dagorath Beleriand), for instance.

      Now, if you are talking about: "The Collection of Wars, whose names are: 'The Battle of x,' 'The Battle of y,' ..." then you would use Deigor. Dagor/Dagr is a special case.

      Go to the following page, and you will find why Dagr/Dagor is a special case. The 'o' intruded late into the development of the language. Do a "ctrl-f" and enter "dagr".

      Sorry... Even though I am a Cognitive Scientist, I am an Amateur Tolkien Scholar (although my specialty is in the Digital Humanities, and the logistical construction of population density, and city construction). But it does require learning a stupid-lot of Sindarin and Noldorin language.

      Personally, I would go with the "Dagorath" as it refers to "All of the Wars", but if you want to g with the less collective case, then go with Deigor. "Degyrath" is sort of like saying Mices or Sheeps as the plural of Mouse or Sheep.

    3. Oh... I almost forgot.

      If you use Deigr/Deigor, then you will want to say "Deigor oh Arthedain" or "Deigor uin Arthedain" (The Wars that happened specifically in Arthedain).

      'o-' is the word for "of" meaning "concerning", with an 'h' appended for use before a word beginning in a vowel. Some dictionaries have this as 'odh' instead of 'oh.'

      There is a similar word (A homonym) 'o-' that means "from the point of view, or in the direction of the speaker" that ends in 'd' before vowels... And this is why much of the concerns and confusions over the word "odh" arises. Tolkien used it a couple of places where there is a huge amount of ambiguity (And Tolkien was pretty much the archetypical "Absent Minded Professor," which never helps to sort out his intentions).

      "Arthedain Dagorath" (All wars of Arthedain) or "Dagorath oh Arthedain" (All of THE wars of Arthedain) would be how to use 'Dagorath'.

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  5. Oh... And "Soldier" is just Maethorim/Maedhorim (another of Tolkien's irregular nouns). It also has appeared as Maedhrom/Maedhrim (another of his words where the 'o' entered belatedly.

    A word of caution. Do not use the word "daug" to refer to Soldiers or Warriors.

    This word was reserved for describing Orcs.

  6. Matt - you sold me. : )

    Reading the articles made it plain - luckily, the new address was available.
    I'm also pretty sure that if I translate the tengwar on the frontispiece of The Silmarillion, I'll see "Dagorath Beleriand". That rung a bell.


    1. Yes, Dagorath Beleriand is on the Tengwar on most copies of the Silmarillion.