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 Post subject: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: September 28th, 2012, 12:16 am 
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I have always thought that the sons of Elrond are Elves, since their father choose to be of the elf kindred when the choice was given him. However, in the ROTK it never names Elladan and Elrohir as elves. When Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and the Grey Company are just about to enter the Paths of the Dead, it says that everybodys heart quailed, except for Legolas because he was an elf. This apparantly means that Elladan and Elrohir are not elves. But when it describes them in the chapter "The passing of the Grey Company", it says that they are "neither young nor old" and their faces were "elven fair". This certainly implies that they are elves. What are your thought on this apparent contradiction?


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2012, 8:55 am 
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I would say they are not Elves but Halfelven. And according to letter 211: Elladan 'Elf-man' (Elf-numenorean) and Elrohir 'Elf-knight'. Elrond was Halfelven and also 'as noble and fair as an elf-lord', and the mortal Turin earned the name Adanedhel, for example.

'... and he was in truth the son of Morwen Eledhwen to look upon: tall, dark-haired and pale-skinned, with grey eyes, and his face more beautiful than any other among mortal men, in the Elder Days. His speech and bearing were those of the ancient kingdom of Doriath, and even among the Elves he might be taken at first meeting for one from the great houses of the Noldor. (...) Now that he had his way, and all went well, and he had work to do after his heart, and had honour in it, he was courteous to all, and less grim than of old, so that well nigh all hearts were turned to him; and many called him Adanedhel, the Elf-man.'

And of course, the children of Elrond, as Arwen notes to Aragorn, 'have the life of the Eldar'... which I take to mean that they will live as Elves (Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen are quite old by mere number of Sun Years), even though if any among them choose mortality, then they must die as Men and their spirits leave the Circles of the World.


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 10th, 2012, 11:56 pm 
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Ok thanks that helped a lot :)
But what is the actual definition of being an Half-Elf?
Because Luthien and Idril choose mortality too but they weren't half elves.


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 12th, 2012, 1:37 am 
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Hmm, defining Half-elven can be tricky.

Somewhere in a letter, I think Tolkien seemingly refers to Luthien as the absolute exception of an Elf being allowed to escape the limited 'immortality' of the Elves. Ah found it: 'In the primary story of Lúthien and Beren, Lúthien is allowed as an absolute exception to divest herself of 'immortality' and become 'mortal' -- but when Beren is slain by the Wolf-warden of the Gates of Hell, Lúthien obtains a brief respite in which they both return to Middle-earth 'alive'- though not mingling with other people: a kind of Orpheus-legend in reverse, but one of Pity not of Inexorability.' JRRT letter 153

And I think Idril remained immortal rather. Didn't she?

There's also a letter in which Tolkien rather directly states that Arwen was not an Elf (although obviously she was Elvish enough in ways to be counted among the Three Unions mentioned in the Appendices): 'Arwen was not an elf, but one of the half-elven who abandoned her elvish rights' JRRT, letter 345

Another letter seems to define half-elven as those of mixed blood who had the power of choice: 'The view is that the Half-elven have a power of (irrevocable) choice, which may be delayed but not permanently, which kin's fate they will share. Elros chose to be a King and 'longaevus' but mortal, so all his descendants are mortal, and of a specially noble race, but with dwindling longevity: so Aragorn (...). Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children - with a renewed Elvish strain, since their mother was Celebrían dtr. of Galadriel - have to make their choices' JRRT, letter No. 153

But then there is a late text (The Problem of Ros) where Dior calls himself the first of the Peredhil, or half-elven. And the judgement concerning the choice of the half-elven did not occur until after Dior's death. Hmm. It might also be noted that, in connection with this judgement for Earendil, Elwing and their sons, the Silmarillion as it stood in the mid to later 1930s also noted that 'all those who have the blood of mortal Men, in whatever part, great or small, are mortal, unless other doom be granted to them'.

Christopher Tolkien did not take this line up for the published Silmarillion of 1977 in any case. Seemingly the choice was limited to Earendil and Elwing and their sons, and extended to Elrond's children. Dior's status has been debated over the years.

If any of that helped :-D


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 13th, 2012, 2:03 am 
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All of this is quite interesting, I'd never really considered it before. So, would Aragorn and Arwen's children be mortal then? Long-lived, yes, but mortal regardless?

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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 13th, 2012, 11:25 am 
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I think Aragorn's children would be mortal, yes.

It's difficult to know if the Silmarillion line from the mid to later 1930s was retained by Tolkien (if so Dior would be mortal), as JRRT himself never got around to truly revising this late chapter -- the later revisions of the 1950s started at the beginning (not surprisingly) but Tolkien never updated some significant sections of the end of Quenta Silmarillion.

Tolkien did make some cursory corrections to this chapter (not to this line in any case), but Christopher Tolkien points out that these revisions do not necessarily mean the entire chapter had been accepted as updated.


Anyway, if one assumes (gasp) that this idea was in play later, then I think it might help explain why the choice was extended to Elrond's children -- for without other doom being granted to them (without the choice), having a measure of mortal blood would mean that they would have been mortal by default, and thus they would have been automatically sundered in fate from both Elrond and Celebrian.

And if they were automatically immortal by reason of Elrond's choice of fate (plus marrying an Elf), then the gift of Men would have been automatically withheld from beings who were part mortal.

A sundering beyond death -- at least possibly, as no one could be positive of the fate of Elves and Men after death (with respect to Elves, their ultimate death at the end of the world) -- was no light matter of course, noting Arwen's parting from her father for example, even by choice.

I think all three of Elrond's children chose a mortal fate anyway, but if so, at least it was by choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 20th, 2012, 2:39 am 
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Ya I think Aragorns children were mortal too because both him and Arwen would be considered mortal after they got married.

You think Idril stayed immortal? That's interesting...

Does is state anywhere concerning the choice of Elrohir and Elladan?

I think the matters concerning what happens to Elves and Men when they die are really interesting. I think the 3rd book of the History of Middle Earth has a lot of information about this matter. But then again, often there are controversial notes in JRRT letters and notes.

Just a totally different question, is it true that Celeborn stayed in Rivendell after Galadriel passed away into the West? Does he ever choose to go back to Valinor?


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 20th, 2012, 11:41 am 
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Quote:
You think Idril stayed immortal? That's interesting...


Yes, and my reasons are that she was an Elf and Elves cannot choose mortality, and also that Tolkien refers to Luthien as an absolute exception with respect to divesting herself of immortality (in the letter noted). Some say that Luthien was not fully Elven despite that Melian had seemingly clothed herself in the flesh as an Elf, but she was fully immortal in any case, whereas the Halfelven had a measure of mortal blood.

It's also maybe interesting that (the Silmarillion relates that) in after days it was sung that Tuor was accepted among the Elves, and if this exception is true then he would not be sundered in fate from his wife Idril.

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Does is state anywhere concerning the choice of Elrohir and Elladan?


Short answer: Tolkien never certainly states their fate (due to their choice) in a clear and simple way. I think he implies the choice of a mortal fate for these two half-elves, but not all agree.

My longer answer is longer ;-)


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Just a totally different question, is it true that Celeborn stayed in Rivendell after Galadriel passed away into the West? Does he ever choose to go back to Valinor?


Yes Celeborn ultimately went to Rivendell after Galadriel had sailed. 'It is said that Celeborn went to dwell there [Rivendell] after the departure of Galadriel; but there is no record of the day when at last he sought the Grey Havens, and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth.'

I take that to mean he passed Oversea, but that there is no record of the actual day.


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 20th, 2012, 5:56 pm 
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Isn't true that Melian was actually one of the lesser Valar? It describes it in one of the books of the History of Middle-Earth and maybe also in the Silmarillion how Thingol fell in love with Melian who was roaming around Middle Earth at the time, and that is why Thingol did not go to Valinor, or Tol Eressea, but stayed behind and dwelt with Melian.

Doesn't this make Luthien half-elven too, but then with divine blood instead of mortal blood?

I actually calculated the Geneology of Elrond and Elros once, and, if my calculations are correct, then Elrond and Elros would be 56.3 % elf, 37.5 % man, and 6.5 % divine.

Does this make sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 21st, 2012, 11:13 am 
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Yes Melian is of the Maiar, who clothed herself in a body and wed Thingol. But Tolkien never refers to Luthien as Half-elven, and in a late text (The Problem of Ros) he has Dior calling himself the first of the Peredhil, or half-elven. 'Dior their son, it is said, spoke both tongues: his father's, and his mother's, the Sindarin of Doriath. For he said: 'I am the first of the Peredhil (Half-elven); but I am also the heir of King Elwe, the Eluchil.'

Luthien was fully immortal in any case, while Dior, Earendil, Elwing, Elrond, Elros, Elladan, Elrohir, Arwen were of mixed heritage that included some measure of mortal blood. The names in italics represent those who were given the choice of fate. The children of Elros were not granted this choice; and again the choice seems to have arisen as a judgement after Dior in any case.

Luthien's case was different from the choice noted at the end of Quenta Silmarillion: she came to Mandos and sang, and 'Because of her labours and her sorrow, she should be released from Mandos, and go to Valimar, there to dwell until the world's end among the Valar, forgetting all the griefs that her life had known. Thither Beren could not come. (...) But the other choice was this: that she might return to Middle-earth, and take with her Beren, there to dwell again, but without certitude of life or joy. Then she would become mortal, and subject to a second death, even as he; and ere long she would leave the world for ever, and her beauty become only a memory in song.'

So Luthien was an exceptional case: fully immortal she chose a mortal fate with Beren, with all this taking place before Earendil landed in Aman, from which came the Judgement of Manwe regarding Earendil and Elwing and the choice of fate and so on (The Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath).


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: October 23rd, 2012, 12:35 am 
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Hmm ya that makes sense.

Did Melian lose any qualities or characteristics after she wedded Thingol, besides being clothed in a body?

Was she still considered a Maia, just like Idril stayed an elf after she married Tuor?


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2015, 9:32 am 
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In Appendix A that dwells at the end of Return of the King, there is Part V titled 'Here Follows Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen'. In it, Arwen says to Aragorn as he stood admiring her youthful beauty... "Do not wonder! For the children of Elrond have the life of the Eldar." So they were indeed elves. I think not mentioning them on the Paths of the Dead was likely an oversight in writing and editing different versions of the story. They seemed an addition to the party of Rangers, and are not mentioned too much along the way. I don't think anything more was said of their fate of remaining immortal and sailing west to Valinor, or remaining in Middle Earth and becoming mortal. For some unknown reason, I always assumed they too sailed west, for there was nothing really for them to stay in Middle Earth for, and I'm sure they would want to see their mother Celebrian again. Immortality in Elrond's line in Middle Earth ended with his departure, so Aragorn and Awren's children were mortal.

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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2015, 11:33 am 
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Hanasían wrote:
(...) In it, Arwen says to Aragorn as he stood admiring her youthful beauty... "Do not wonder! For the children of Elrond have the life of the Eldar." So they were indeed elves.


I read this differently. The children of Elrond are not simply said to be Eldar here, but to have the life of the Eldar, and we see that they do have the elvish limited immortality, until the time of their choice at least. And while Arwen appears to be "elvish" in enough senses to be considered an Elda with respect to the Three Unions, we see that even Tolkien can directly deny that she is an Elf. 'Arwen was not an elf, but one of the half-elven who abandoned her elvish rights' JRRT, letter 345


Quote:
I don't think anything more was said of their fate of remaining immortal and sailing west to Valinor, or remaining in Middle Earth and becoming mortal. For some unknown reason, I always assumed they too sailed west, for there was nothing really for them to stay in Middle Earth for, and I'm sure they would want to see their mother Celebrian again. Immortality in Elrond's line in Middle Earth ended with his departure, so Aragorn and Awren's children were mortal.


It's interesting, I don't think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the first edition of The Lord of the Rings contains any mention of whether or not the sons of Elrond remained behind in Middle-earth. It's only in the second edition that Tolkien adds two refferences to let the reader know that they did not sail with Elrond.

And in my opinion, text from The Tale of Aragorn And Arwen at least *suggests* that such a choice points to a choice of mortality. For my reasons to say that much, see below the "line of doom", which section can be used as a sleep aid.

__________ (the line of doom)

Elrond says:

"That so long as I abide here, she shall live with the youth of the Eldar (...) And when I depart, she shall go with me, if she so chooses.' Aragorn responds that the years of Elrond's abiding run short at last, '... and the choice must soon be laid on your children, to part either with you or with Middle-earth'. Elrond answers 'Truly' but notes 'soon as we account the years'. Earlier in the N. Kings it is also noted that the children of Elrond had the choice to pass '... with him from the Circles of the World; or if they remained to become mortal and die in Middle-earth.'

Of course the option remains that 'with him' means 'as he did' or similar.

But in my opinion, especially the conversation with Aragorn seems very much about timing to my mind. "Soon" probably doesn't mean "next week" to Elves, or people who have the life of the Eldar, but at this point we do have years to come, and much to do, before the passing Oversea of Elrond. Do his children need more time to choose? They have already lived very, very long lives, and Elrond's sons have seen mortal death in the world. Why does Elrond seem to mark the time of his sailing as also the time of his children's choices, if, in truth, the sons of Elrond can have even more time, even years after perhaps, their father's passing over sea?

Granted, at one point even Tolkien seems to say (in a letter) that Elrond's sons could still choose after Elrond sailed, but considering the date of this letter, it's possible (as I read the evidence so far), that Tolkien was still working on parts of Appendix A after he wrote this often quoted letter.

In any case, it seems hard for me to believe that JRRT would be unaware that he had at least *suggested*, in a source he himself had published for his readership, that any of Elrond's children that remained after he had sailed, had chosen a mortal fate. Looking at author published material (with respect to this matter anyway) Robert Foster arrives at the conclusion that Elrond's sons seem to have chosen mortality, even if he characterizes this conclusion as not wholly certain, as I do.

There's also an interesting draft text called T4 in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, which according to Christopher Tolkien: '... was and remained for a long time the form of the Tale of Years that my father thought appropriate, and was indeed proposed to the publishers in 1954.' It reads in part (concerning Elrond's children):

2300 '(...) These children were three parts Elven-race, but the doom spoken at their birth was that they should live even as Elves so long as their father remained in Middle-earth; but if he departed they should have then the choice either to pass over the Sea with him, or to become mortal, if they remained behind.'

Again, I realize one could work around this with something like: well time is different to these children, and the meaning doesn't have to be on the exact same day.

I agree. But taken all together (not that Foster had this last bit to work with), as I say, Tolkien has (IMO) at least left the impression that to stay in Middle-earth when Elrond departed reflects the choice of mortality. And it's interesting to me, that readers in 1955 could not even say for sure if Elladan and Elrohir sailed with Elrond, or stayed behind (again if I am correct about the first edition evidence)...

... but for the second edition in the 1960s, Tolkien revealed twice that they did not sail with Elrond, at least on this same, arguably notable ship (arguably notable given who sailed upon it, and the passing of the Three Rings, I mean).


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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: April 1st, 2017, 7:52 pm 
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Love your replies El!
I have picked up the sense from many that 'time' was a variable and was different for elves and men, but I guess I always held in my head that it was the same. Elves and men matured at the same rate, with the only difference being the years lived. Which brings me to what seems to be the prevailing artistic capture of Cirdan. Why would he be depicted as 'old' if he is elven. Do they age?

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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: April 1st, 2017, 8:26 pm 
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As I vaguely believe to remember, in the Book of Lost Tales, some of the Elves (Gnomes) are also described as looking old - wizened even. So if Cirdan belongs to this ancient layer of the mythology, some outdated concepts may have stuck with him. :annoyed2:

I would also speculate that he was one of the first Elves to awake by Cuiviénen, so he was really old even by Elven standards. I'm also guessing he must have been of Telerin nobility just below the level of Elwë and Olwë, as he is taken as leader of the Falathrim, acknowledging Elwë's overlordship while Menegroth lasted, but he was still in Middle-earth when the Bilbo and Frodo left from the Grey Havens. Cirdan had not been to Valinor up to that time, so he was subject (to the degree Elves can be subject to it) to the faster changes of Middle-earth.

And last, in some scattered writings (maybe in PoME? a case for Elthir, once again! ;-) ) JRRT may have tried to give an explanation for Cirdan's beard by introducing some age thresholds even for the Elves, and only Cirdan in M-e had crossed that threshold ...

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 Post subject: Re: Sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2017, 2:27 pm 
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There's a late essay on Cirdan in The Peoples of Middle-earth, but there's nothing about his beard there. Drat. Early on, well before The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien depicted Beleg with (what looks like) a beard. Later, as we all know, JRRT published Cirdan's description (a bearded Elf). And later still, he explained (ultimately published in the linguistic journal Vinyar Tengwar, issue 41): "Elves did not have beards until they entered their third cycle of life. Nerdanel's father was exceptional, being only early in his second."

Though nothing further is noted about the "cycles" here, this could explain Cirdan's beard. Although in a very late note, Tolkien appears to have written that it was a characteristic of all Elves to be beardless (Unfinished Tales, The History of Galadriel And Celeborn). I take it that he either forgot about Cirdan here, or misspoke or something.

So, hmmm. Anyway, I have no great problem imagining Nerdanel's father as having a beard too. As for the painting with Beleg, Tolkien later thought it could be reimagined as a depiction of... Fangorn Forest! So the small figures of Beleg and Gwindor become... who knows I guess...

... two figures among the trees. One possibly bearded :-D

With respect to ageing and Elves, gotta run for now, but it's an interesting topic.


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