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Discussing: Ship Names

Ship Names

I have been playing around with sea scenarios and I realize that I ought to name some of the Gondorian ships, if only to keep them straight in my head.

Besides "Vingilot" (Foam Flower), does anyone know of other canon ship names?

Do you think the Gondorians kept the First Age fanciful naming practices, and named their warships "Sea Spray" or "Gull Wings"? If they didn't, in your opinion would they have gone for civic recognition, "Pride of Pelargir" or "City of Minas Tirith"? Good, rousing names like "Revenge" or "Enterprise" (and, yes, this old Star Trek fan is snickering)? Personal remembrance like "The Elendil", "The Turgon" or "The Luthien"?

I have been far too entertained with the thought of a grizzled sea captain reporting, "And the 'Blossoming Rose' rammed the ememy admidships, boarded and killed all the pirates." but I'm not sure that's the precise reaction I'm looking for.

Any thoughts?




Re: Ship Names

Hi Gwynnyd,

Sorry, I'm not feeling up to speculation, but here are the ship-names I could find in a quick search, and their captains:

Alcarondas 'Castle of the Sea' - Ar-Pharazôn

Eärrámë 'Sea-wing' - Tuor

Entulessë 'Return' - Vëantur

Hirilondë 'Haven-finder', aka Turuphanto 'The Wooden Whale' - Aldarion

Palarran 'Far wanderer' - Aldarion

Vingilot 'Foam-flower', aka Rothinzil 'Foam-flower' - Eärendil

- Barbara

Edit: Missed a couple:

Númerrámar 'West-wings' - Aldarion

Eämbar - Aldarion (Guildhouse of the Venturers)

Aldarion seemed to change ships as often as most people change their socks....



Re: Ship Names

Ohh my! thank you!

Only one 'warship', the 'Castle of the Sea', but much to ponder on naming practices.

Also realized yesterday that I really can't call the big ships triremes or quadriremes - way too Greek for Tolkien. And we know they were oared and not just sailed, so they can't be schooners or galleons.


I found a fascinating page that gives the names of Athenian warships. "The names are all to be found on Tabulae Curatorum Navalium - a series of 4th century BC inscriptions, now in the Epigraphical Museum, Athens"

Trireme Names

I can see the dockside conversation now!

"Yes, that's my ship. And she is called "Miss Fussy". You got a problem with that, stranger?"




Re: Ship Names

Hi Gwynnyd,

Thanks for the trireme names link - snort :-) Pretty much not the average 'wine-dark sea' type thing...

Not that I have too many names to suggest to you, but Tolkien's admiitedly sketchy description made me think of Viking ships- they were pretty versatile: both sails and oars, and they came in various favours... the cargo ships could carry large volumes in the open sea, but were shallow enough of draft that they could navigate rivers.

So, on that note, a few Viking inspired names:

-Sea Dragon
-Sea Swift




Re: Ship Names

Tolkien's admiitedly sketchy description made me think of Viking ships

That'll teach me not to do my proper research. The Corsair ships are described as "dromunds, and ships of great draught with many oars, and with black sails bellying in the breeze".

What the heck is a Dromund??

At least I now have a name of a class of ships!

And yes, I too was thinking of something along the lines of a Viking long-ship or a penteconter. Although I'm sure that Gondorian ships would have had 24 oars (twice 12) to a side and not 25!

Edit: YES! I have found the ship I sought for Thorongil's 'small fleet'. The Liburna

One bank of oars, decked, room for 50 marines. Now to think of a 'class' name that is not so obviously Roman.




Re: Ship Names

Edit: YES! I have found the ship I sought for Thorongil's 'small fleet'. The Liburna

Ooh- nice choice!

If I remember correctly, the Liburnians were Adriatic pirates (Ah-ha: a corsair connection!) who were subjugated by the Romans... possibly the ship class was named after them?

Why not a generic class name like 'warship'? From what I recall of my history lessons, we used to refer to large Roman ships as galleons, too... kind of like Spanish galleons. Which still had oars at the time of the Spanish Armada. But I digress.

"But she's such a pretty boat," as Captain Jack Sparrow would say.

Ahem. Thorongil's fleet, you say? Looking forward to that story...




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