Q. Aicanáro m. “Fell Fire; Sharp Flame”

Q. Aicanáro, m. “Fell Fire; Sharp Flame”

The mother-name of Aegnor, from which his Sindarin name was derived (PM/346-7). Tolkien gave two distinct interpretations of this name: “Sharp Flame” (MR/323) and “Fell Fire” (PM/347). In both cases, the second element of the name was nár “fire, flame”, but the interpretation of the initial element aica shifted between “sharp” and “fell”. It is hard to say which of these two interpretations was preferred by J.R.R. Tolkien himself and Christopher Tolkien included both translations in the published version of The Silmarillion. See the entry for S. Aegnor for one possible interpretation.

Conceptual Development: In some late notes (VT41/14), J.R.R. Tolkien wrote this name as Ekyanāro “sharp flame” (S. Eignor). As suggested by Carl Hostetter (VT41/19, note #19), Tolkien seems to have (temporarily) shifted aica “sharp” (from the root ᴹ√AYAK) to ekya “sharp” (from the root ᴹ√EK), from which ᴹQ. ehte “spear” was also derived. This was perhaps a reversion to the earlier name N. Egnor (also derived from ᴹ√EK). However, Tolkien apparently abandoned these changes.

References ✧ MR/323; MRI/Aikanár; PM/346-347; PMI/Aegnor; SA/nár; VT41/14, 19; WJI/Aikanáro






aica “fell, terrible, dire”
nár “fire (as an element)” ✧ SA/nár



Phonetic Developments

Aika-nār- > Aikanáro [aikanāro] ✧ PM/347