Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Pets in Gondor, etc.

Pets in Gondor, etc.

1. What kind of animals would a pet seller in Minas Tirith have? Dogs, cats, & birds are obvious, but what about rabbits, squirrels, weasels? Any other M-e small fauna I'm overlooking?

2. What kind of exotic cut flowers might be for sale in M. T.?

3. How would a young woman there address her grandmother? Does "Gran" sound convincing when she is lower-class?

4. Is it believable that a few stray folk of Harad might have ended up in Gondor years before the Ring War for various reasons?

A thousand thanks for the extra ideas--I have some notions, but very much want to hear more.




Re: Pets in Gondor, etc.

4. Is it believable that a few stray folk of Harad might have ended up in Gondor years before the Ring War for various reasons?

Yes. Traders & merchants would almost certainly be there, and may even have their own "district". If we use the 14th C as our model, we will find the presence of "Italian moneymen" in Paris, along with English wool brokers, and so on. Given human nature, it would be reasonable to assume that folks from Harad would tend to cluster together in a neighborhood where their tongue would be spoken, and their foods eaten.

The main population of Minas Tirith might find them objectionable, and might force them to live in a less-desirable area. Some might try to integrate with the larger society, while others would cling to the "old ways".

Just think of the ethnic neighborhoods in the largest city near you. There's a good model to work from. The big difference, of course, is that there would be no "politically correct" pressure on the population of Minas Tirith as a whole to accept them.




Re: Pets in Gondor, etc.

Thanks, Khazar! I was wondering if this sort of idea would sound feasible. Want my swordsmith in the planned chapter 10 of "Spring Fair" to be descended from a group of Haradians who fled to Minas Tirith years earlier to escape some kind of blood feud/religious conflict. He struggles to function in the face of hostility, & practices a sort of old earth magic in forging his swords.




Re: Pets in Gondor, etc.

hmmm, am thinking of a very old movie where this woman had something that looked like an ocelot on a leash. There's an exotic pet for you.

I should say rabbits are more likely to be sold as food than pets in this era. Weasels, stoats are possibilities, as they would go after vermin. How about a boa constrictor? Also a good vermin-hunter, good for going into ratholes.

Squirrels are a pain and a half, very clever, very curious, quite destructive.

Ummm. Hedgehogs are popular these days...

A talking bird would be a wonder, I'd think, such as a grey parrot, perhaps? Songbirds in gilded cages for ladies' pleasure... Hawks tamed and trained for hunting...

I get the impression that animals were valued more for the service they could perform (herding dogs, guard dogs, cats who were good mousers) than as "pets", but I could be wrong.



Re: Pets in Gondor, etc.

Thanks, Lin--all good suggestions. Will put my thinking cap on & see if I can make this work (would be chapter 9 of "Spring Fair").

I do rather fancy Merry taking a pet squirrel back to the Houses to terrorize poor Ioreth . . .




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