View Full Version : 3 Elven maiden's marriages

11-01-2001, 10:59 AM
In the other discussion on the Elvish-ness of Arwen, the 3 unions between Elf and Man were mentioned. This triggered a question in my head: why were it always the brides in such an union who were of Elven decent? Were Elven men to proud to marry a human woman, and Elven women not?

11-01-2001, 11:13 AM
Just a quick thought of mine for now - it may have to do with the loftiness of Elves, and their splendour compared to men. Those three mortals who married an Elf maiden all had to bring an unrealistically high bride price, and earned their wife mainly through their amazing deeds (some also earned an exception from the fate of men in that way, it has to be noticed). Would a mortal woman be able to do the same, if she had to win the love and marriage of an Elf? Note that we are still in the cosmology of Middle-Earth, and that here this very point cannot simply be answered by a 'sure, men and women are totall equal'.
Of special interest to this question is of course the tale of Aegnor and Andreth, but this have to discuss those who have read HoME 10. I believe it throws a good and realistic light on the thoughts of an Elf and a mortal woman in love.

[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: Sharku ]

11-01-2001, 01:40 PM
Great question, I wish I knew more. But I have not read any of the HoME yet.

Also, think of Finduilas' love for Turin, and Melian, the Maia, for Thingol. It always does seem to be the "higher-bred" woman loving the "lesser" man. Very interesting. Somthing I'd never noticed.

11-02-2001, 01:16 PM
My humble (ha, I know) train of thought leads me to the simple point that Tolkien was a master storyteller, and a large part of great storytelling is romance. I think this offers a fairly tight solution to the query. Classic romance equation: beautiful, sought-after woman + heroic man who is unworthy in worldly matters = true love.

Now, who in Middle Earth is more beautiful than an Elf maiden? I think that the mortal men at question can also be considered more heroic than elves, considering their greatly shortened life spans and the increased susceptibility to the Dark Side (never underestimate the power). Additionally, men are certainly "unworthy" of taking Elven spouses, when materialistic concerns are taken into consideration.

Considering the emotions J.R.R. is known to have had regarding his wife, this particular version of the equation probably was close to his heart.

11-03-2001, 11:51 PM
After living a few centuries they must get bored of the same old, same old! Then a Man shows up, A whole new scenario for them, He falls for her, woo's her, is expected to perform the almost impossible to gain her hand (Tuor being an exception to that I believe, achieves the goal, and they marry. Kind of exciting after several centuries of the same old thing! Just my humble opinion. smilies/smile.gif

11-04-2001, 09:09 AM
Plus, if it doesn't work out, he'll be dead before you know it so why not? smilies/biggrin.gif

11-08-2001, 12:13 PM
Hehe smilies/biggrin.gif

To be serious though, these three gals didn't just marry those mortal guys, but they even gave up their immortality! So, it seems to have been real love in all three cases!

My question still stands: why did never an Elven guy marry a mortal woman?

Tar Elenion
11-08-2001, 06:28 PM
Idril did not give up her immortality when she wed Tuor. (And what Arwen actually gave up is arguable, she had the right to a Choice of 'immortality' and 'mortality', while allowed the 'youth of the Eldar' and longaevus she only made her Choice once).

11-08-2001, 11:56 PM
As was stated in another thread with a similar topic, Aegnor, Finrod's brother and Andreth a human woman loved each other. It is in the Athrabeth in HoME 12, I think, maybe it is HoME 10.

11-09-2001, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by Tar Elenion:
<STRONG>Idril did not give up her immortality when she wed Tuor. (And what Arwen actually gave up is arguable, she had the right to a Choice of 'immortality' and 'mortality', while allowed the 'youth of the Eldar' and longaevus she only made her Choice once).</STRONG>

Tuor wasn't granted immortality when he wentinto the West, who says Idril still retained hers. She may have followed him in death.
smilies/tongue.gif smilies/tongue.gif

Tar Elenion
11-10-2001, 02:30 PM
JRRT says so. Luthien was an "absolute exception" in being allowed to divest herself of 'immortality' and become mortal.
If Idril was allowed this as well then Luthien would not be an "absolute exception".
Also, while in the mythology it is supposed and not stated that Tuor is granted 'immortality' (accounted among the Firstborn), JRRT notes that the Valar could not alter the fundamental kind of Elves and Men, Eru could and did so in the case of Tuor, just as he did for Luthien.
I would suggest reading Letter 153 to see JRRT's own veiws, as author not narrative translater, on the subject.