“Sss, sss, my preciouss,” he said. “Sun on the daisies it means, it does.”
Seven, for halls of stone
An electronic essay that reads the riddle of the tower with a sea view, which Tolkien first pictures in ‘The Fall of Númenor,’ and a few months later (November, 1936) made a metaphor for Beowulf.
In early 1938, in the first weeks of penning a sequel to The Hobbit, a hobbit mentions three Elf-towers by the sea to the west of the Shire. In the published story, Frodo sees the tallest of the three in his dream in the house at Crickhollow. By the time Tolkien had finished his story, and in addition to the Dark Tower (already mentioned in Bilbo’s story), he had told of seven ancient towers built by the exiles of Númenor; in the days of the war of the Ring only one remains in Númenórean hands – the White Tower of Minas Tirith.
Seven towers keep Seven Seeing Stones; enchanted art of Valinor, brought by Elendil out of the ruin of Atlantis; the Palantíri.
This essay shows how the imagination of Middle-earth in the late Third Age is founded on a delineation of the mutual vision of myth and history that Tolkien discovered in Beowulf. This cosmic geography takes its meaning from the tower by the sea, a riddling symbol of the world we inhabit.
From Weathertop, the new hobbit story came, step by step, to unveil and inhabit the part mythical and part legendary beginning of the lost age of ancient history conceived in early 1936, when Tolkien first wrote down the story of Númenor.
The new hobbit story became an answer to the riddle of the view from the tower.