The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Flourished III 1864 to at least III 19641
Race
Division
Culture
Meaning
Literally 'golden word(s)'3
Titles
The Seer

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About this entry:

  • Updated 10 June 2001
  • Updates planned: 1

Malbeth the Seer

The visionary of Arthedain

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A wise Man who lived in the last years of the realm of Arthedain. Gifted with foresight, he predicted events of the near and far future. He saw that Arvedui would be Arthedain's last King, and predicted Aragorn's passage of the Paths of the Dead, though it lay a thousand years in his own future.


Notes

1

The dates of Malbeth's birth and death are unknown. He first enters history during the reign of King Araval, where we find him present at the birth of the King's grandson, Arvedui. This took place in the year III 1864, at least according to The Peoples of Middle-earth. Malbeth is a trusted advisor to the royal house at this point - it was he who suggested Arvedui's name to his father Araphant - so it seems likely he was born some decades earlier.

In The Return of the King III 5, Aragorn quotes Malbeth's prediction about his own future, and says that this was made '...in the days of Arvedui, last king at Fornost.' This seems to mean that Malbeth made the prediction during Arvedui's Kingship, which began in III 1964, exactly one hundred years after his birth. Whether Malbeth survived much beyond this point is unknown.

2

Actually, there is no specific evidence to state that Malbeth was descended from the Númenóreans, but he seems to have lived for about 150 years or more, which makes this a safe deduction.

3

Malbeth's name was perhaps inspired by a real historical figure, St John Chrysostom, who was Patriarch of Constantinople during the late fourth century CE. His surname Chrysostom means 'golden-mouthed'.

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