Q. Incánus m. “Mind Master(ship)”

Q. Incánus, m. “Mind Master(ship)”

The name of Gandalf “in the South” (LotR/670). In one place, Tolkien intrepretted this name as Quenya, meaning “Mind Master(ship)”, a derivation of the roots √IN(ID) and √KAN (UT/400) from the word incánussë “mind mastership” (PE17/88, 155). Elsewhere he interpreted it as a name in the language of the Haradrim meaning “North-spy” (UT/399): see Eas. Incánus for discussion of its meaning in that language and of earlier forms of the name.

Conceptual Development: In his notes “Words, Phrases and Passages from The Lord of the Rings” from the 1950s-60s, Tolkien indicated that this word was Latin, which Christopher Gilson (among others) pointed out meant “grey-haired” (PE17/88). This Latin term may be the original inspiration for this name.

References ✧ PE17/88; UT/400



incánussë “mind mastership” ✧ PE17/88 (incānus(se))
IN(ID) “mind, (inner) thought, inmost heart, inner senses” ✧ UT/400
KAN “cry aloud; (Q. only) command; lead, rule” ✧ UT/400

Eas. Incánus m. “North-spy”

References ✧ LotR/670; LotRI/Gandalf, Incánus; UT/399, 402; UTI; WR/153; WRI/Forlong, Fornold, Incânus





inkâ “North” ✧ UT/399 (Inkā)
nûs “spy” ✧ UT/399 (nūs)