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Tolkien's Middle-earth:

Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators

Unit Eight: War and Peace in Middle-earth

Key Terms

despair (di-spare) A profound feeling of hopelessness.

prudence (prood-ins) Good sense in managing practical matters. After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Gandalf counsels the victors that they will never defeat Sauron through prudence.

fey (fay) Appearing to be under a spell of death. At various points during the Siege of Gondor, Aragorn, Éowyn, and Denethor are said to be fey.

Ragnarök (rag-neh-rock) In Norse mythology, the "doom of the gods," the final battle in which humans and deities alike will succumb to the forces of darkness.

heathen (hee-thin) An adherent of a polytheistic religion. Originally heathens were simply "people of the heath." Denethor vows that he and his son "will burn like heathen kings."

muster To bring together a group of soldiers for a specific purpose, such as an inspection or a march to war.

shiver To shake or to splinter apart. Tolkien often uses the word in the latter sense: "Right through the press drove Théoden Thengel's son, and his spear was shivered as he threw down their chieftain."

hauberk (haw-burk) A long shirt of chain mail.

pyre (pire) A pile of wood on which a dead body is ceremonially burned.

bier (beer) A wooden frame for carrying a corpse to its burial place. During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Théoden's followers bear his dead body off the field on a bier.

Unit Eight Content

Comments for Teachers
Preliminary Quiz
Key Terms
Discussion Topics
Suggested Activities

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