Tuesday, February 8, 2011

C.S. Lewis & Tolkien

As I was reading the Fellowship this week, I noticed off hand in Chapter XI that Tolkien mentions the insects that stung the travelers mercilessly as they trekked towards Rivendell. They are portrayed as quite annoying and hostile, and Sam names them "Neekerbreekers." He wonders what they eat when Hobbits aren't on the menu. As I read this, I immediately thought back to C.S. Lewis's Narnia, specifically Prince Caspian. In Prince Caspian, one of the dwarves is named Nikabrik. He is portrayed as annoying, bad tempered, and treacherous. Later in the book, Nikabrik betrays Prince Caspian and allies himself with the evil races. I know that Tolkien and Lewis were peers, and if this similarity of name and character is purposeful, or simply a coincidence? Thoughts?


Radagast said...

That's a really interesting thought! I would guess that this is just a coincidence partly because the "neekerbreekers" are such a small thing, but maybe it was an inside joke between them or something. I guess mainly I just don't know, but I thought this was really interesting!

Theodred said...

This is definitely interesting. Perhaps Lewis shared his idea for the character of Nikabrik with Tolkien, and then while Tolkien was writing, he subconciously created a creature that shared some characteristics with Nikabrik. Of course, this may be far from what actually happened, and in reality it may just be an interesting coincidence.