I think that Tolkien spent much time studying Irish language and mythology (in his scholarly and linguistic capacities) but would never admit that his own writings were so heavily influenced by them.
They live in the woods, are very beautiful and sing and dance beautifully.
I believe Wagner's opera was actually based on the Germanic Myth The Nibelungenlied; or is Germanic Myth a subset of Nordic Myth? And Tolkien got very perturbed when people tried to compare his Ring to Wagner's Ring.I would also suggest reading the opera "Ring des Nibelungen" by Wagner written between 1848 and 1874. This opera is all based on Nordic mythology and follows the path of a ring of power. Very interesting.
This is a lie on Tolkiens part to throw us off the trail. Politically and culturally, at the time he felt it unwise to admit that his 'new' English mythology was largly influenced by Irish Celtic language/mythology.
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