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Things of Middle-earth

Green Bough of Return

Type: Miscellaneous

Description:Here must be told of the custom that when a ship departed from Númenor over the Great Sea to Middle-earth a woman, most often of the captain's kin, should set upon the vessel's prow the Green Bough of Return; and that was cut from the tree oiolairë, that signifies "Ever-summer," which the Eldar gave to the Númenóreans, saying that they set it upon their own ships in token of friendship with Ossë and Uinen. The leaves of that tree were evergreen, glossy and fragrant; and it throve upon sea-air.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 8

Erendis herself set the green bough of oiolairë on the prow of the Palarran....

... they were ... driven into wastes perilous with ice ... even as Aldarion looked out in longing from the prow of the Palarran and saw far off the Meneltarma, his glance fell upon the green bough, and he saw that it was withered. Then Aldarion was dismayed, for such a thing had never befallen the bough of oiolairë, so long as it was washed with the spray. "It is frosted, Captain," said a mariner who stood beside him. "It has been too cold."

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

Contributors: Tanaqui 6Nov05

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