I have been considering the nicknames given to the Masters of Buckland (Brandybuck of Buckland Famiily Tree), and I am wondering about Saradoc's: Scattergold.'
Saradoc's father, the reknowned Rorimac, was called 'Goldfather.' I'm assuming this means he either had a talent for making money or that he horded it. Certainly it seems to imply wealth in any case.
So if Saradoc was tagged 'Scattergold,' does that mean he was wasteful in spending it or benevolent in bestowing it on those less fortunate?
What do you think?
I am a real champion of Author's Intent, and the charm and excitement of HoME and the Letters to me is that you can see Tolkien thinking, working things out, considering and re-considering that vast world of his. You're right to say that HoME isn't always canon, though, particularly if the bit in question is something that was discarded early on and never re-entered in the final text. I do often think of the Letters as akin to canon, because in many cases he explains himself and painstakingly tries to set down in his perspective on things. That's a real gift from an author--I love to know what a writer was thinking and experiencing when s/he was working! (Often makes me feel a LOT better about my own process!) One of my favorite things in Letters is the story of how Faramir came walking out of the woods one day and at first, Tollkien didn't even know who he was! I love that suggestion that what he did in writing was simply uncover the truth that was always there.