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How would you fully and properly speak Thorin's name, "Thorin II Oakenshield"?

Would you say "Thorin Oakenshield the Second"? Or "Thorin, the Second, Oakenshield"?

Same question goes for Dain II Ironfoot, Thorin III Stonehelm, and many others.

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  • 3
    If he was a rapper it would be "Thorin2Oaken".
    – Omegacron
    Jun 4, 2014 at 21:01
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    "Thorin OR Oakenshield"
    – flq
    Sep 5, 2015 at 7:03
  • I swear it's Thorin eye-eye Oakenshield
    – Voronwé
    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:35

1 Answer 1

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The second way. Thorin Oakenshield is not the second "Thorin Oakenshield". Oakenshield is a nickname which applies only to him and not to his ancestor Thorin I. So the correct way to render it is "Thorin the Second, Oakenshield."

Or if you want a long-winded version that borrows from Game of Thrones, "Thorin, second of his name, called Oakenshield."

For a real world example, Alexander the Great was King Alexander III of Macedon, but he is not known as "Alexander the Great the Third". The "great" appellation does not apply to the previous two Alexanders because they didn't conquer the known world. If you want to specify both his number and nickname, it would be "Alexander the Third, the Great".

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    FWIW, the technical term for this is "honorific", and is especially familiar from ancient and classical sources, e.g. "Antiochus IV Epiphanes" (= "antiochus-the-fourth-epiphanes") in which "Antiochus" is the name, and "Epiphanes" (meaning "god-manifest") the honorific, or "Artaxerxes I Makrocheir", where the "honorific" means "long hand". And so on.
    – Dɑvïd
    Apr 28, 2014 at 21:18
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    @Davïd: Yes. Again FWIW, the numerical part is known as a "regnal number": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnal_number Apr 28, 2014 at 21:23
  • Awesome! That sounds right (even if it may sound weird, lol), "Dain the Second, Ironfoot!" Apr 29, 2014 at 12:57
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    I suspect in fact that the answer is simply "You wouldn't ever use his 'full' name" -- he would be referred to either as "Thorin the Second" or as "Thorin Oakenshield" depending on circumstances. You'll note that Alexander is never in fact called "Alexander the Third, the Great" -- he's just Alexander the Great.
    – Mike Scott
    Sep 5, 2015 at 6:17
  • @Mike Not necessarily so. Swedish kings, for example, still use this pattern today, although the ‘honorific’ in their case is an actual part of their name. Both regnal number and ‘honorific’ are frequently used together: the current king, Carl XVI Gustaf, is called Carl Gustaf and Carl den sextonde Gustaf with more or less equal frequency. Apr 20, 2016 at 8:00

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