S. Fanuilos pn. “Bright (Angelic) Figure upon Uilos”

S. Fanuilos, pn. “Bright (Angelic) Figure upon Uilos”

A title of Elbereth appearing in the poem A Elbereth Gilthoniel (LotR/238) and Sam’s related invocation for her aid (LotR/729). This name is a combination of the elements fân “cloud; bright thing”, ui “ever” and loss “snow, snow-white”.

Possible Etymology: In his notes in the song-cycle The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien translated the name as “bright spirit clothed in ever-white” (RGEO/63), but elsewhere his translation referred to the mountain Uilos: “Figure (bright and majestic) upon Uilos” (PE17/26) or to snow: “Bright angelic figure ever-white (as snow)” (PE17/180). No doubt the final element of this name at least alluded to the snowy mountain of Valinor where Elbereth made her home.

The initial element fân is similarly complicated to translate. In ordinary Sindarin speech the word had come to mean “cloud”, but its meaning was also influenced by Q. fana “(radiant) figure”, a term used for the bodily forms assumed by the Valar (RGEO/66, PE/173-6). It is this second meaning that applies to this name.

References ✧ Let/278; LotR/238, 729; PE17/26, 69, 174, 176, 180; RGEO/63-64, 66





fân “(white) cloud; veil; shape, vision” ✧ Let/278 (fan); PE17/26; PE17/174; PE17/176; PE17/180; RGEO/66 (fan-)
ui “ever” ✧ Let/278
loss “snow” ✧ Let/278
PHAN “cover, screen, veil” ✧ PE17/26 (FAN)
fanui “cloudy, (lit.) having much cloud” ✧ PE17/26
Uilos “Ever-snow” ✧ PE17/26; PE17/26; RGEO/66

Element In