5

In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 2, The Illearth War, chapter 17 "Tull’s Tale," the account of Lord Hyrim’s combat with turiya Raver is given, and we see him speak six words (bold added):

Lord Hyrim stepped forward, planted his staff, said bravely, "Come no closer, turiya Raver. I am Hyrim, Lord of the Council of Revelstone. Melenkurion abatha! Duroc minas mill khabaal! I will not let you pass."

Melenkurion abatha is used regularly by the Lords in the books. The glossary at the end simply states:

phrase of invocation or power

I am not immediately aware of the other four words (Duroc minas mill khabaal) being spoken elsewhere within the first two books, and those words have no explanation in the glossary. However, some explanation does come from the reply (bold added):

The Giant winced as Lord Hyrim uttered the Words of power. But then he laughed again. “Hah! Little Lord! Is that the limit of your lore? Can you come no closer than that to the Seven Words? You pronounced them badly.”

[I have made this a spoiler, since those who have not read will not want to know about a Giant being mastered by a Raver.]

That there are Seven Words is testified to by the Lords (Book 1, Lord Foul’s Bane, chapter 13 "Vespers"):

Seven Words for ill’s despite—
Banes for evil’s dooming wight;

So here we apparently find six of the seven words:

  1. Melenkurion
  2. abatha
  3. Duroc
  4. minas
  5. mill
  6. khabaal

The question here is whether Donaldson, either within the series itself or elsewhere in an official statement, ever indicates

  1. What the seventh word is.
  2. What the meaning of these words are (i.e., in some translation to English; I realize the intent is that these are words of power in the Land, and so they have a dimension to them that is beyond mere communication). There is an unofficial wiki that gives indications here (and a 7th word), so I am seeking some source of official information.
  • On a related note ... what language are these words in? – LarsH Aug 7 '18 at 1:56
6

“The first is melenkurion, which signifies bastion or source. The second is abatha, suggesting endurance, or the need for endurance. Third is duroc, a reference to Earthpower, the substance of the fire which the lady wields. Fourth comes minas, which also means Earthpower, but in another sense. It indicates Earthpower as a foundation rather than as a form of theurgy.”

As he spoke, each Word seemed to resonate and expand until it strained the fabric of the tent. “The fifth Word is mill, which cannot be defined in human speech, but which implies invocation. The sixth, harad, may be understood as a stricture against selfishness, tyranny, malice, or other forms of despair. It binds the speaker to make no use of Earthpower which does not serve or preserve the munificence of creation. And last is khabaal, to which many meanings may be ascribed. In your mouth, it is an affirmation or incarnation of your sworn oath to the Land.”

Fatal Revenant

  • I spent decades wondering about that seventh word before it finally appeared. – Buzz Jan 4 '17 at 22:48

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