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Old 05-23-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
Gothmog, LoB
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Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
I am not an expert in language, but even the Queen's accent and pronunciation has changed in the last quarter of a century. New generations were being born and I imagine that despite having regular contact with their ancestors they were making slight changes to the language. Feanor certainly was improving on things.
Well, what Feanor did should/would actually be seen by the Elves as a presumptuous messing with tradition. That is, if we take the Elves seriously as an immortal race whose very nature was to be, well, immortal and unchanging.

They would be the ultimate conservatives. A young elf would not learn how things are and are supposed to be sitting at the feet of his/her parents and grandparents, but at the feet of all his paternal and maternal ancestors (especially in Aman and on Eressea).

What right could an elf like Feanor have to mess with the way his elders spoke?

The idea that such beings would make (or allow) such changes leading to the development of Quenya and Sindarin is actually very unlikely. I mean, Elwe lived from Cuiviénen throughout most of the First Age - the idea that his brain/mind went to various stages of Elven tongues from the proto-forms to Sindarin just doesn't make any sense. Nor does it make any sense that there were only two generations between the speakers of the earlier forms (Finwe, Míriel, Ingwe, etc.) and Quenya as Feanor, Fingolfin, Galadriel, etc. brought it back to Middle-earth.

Languages need time to change, and the Elvish languages would realistically needed much more time to change - and, more importantly, many more dead fathers and grandfathers. Many generations of Elves would have to be cut off permanently from their forefathers and the way they spoke.

I mean, our languages only change because old people die and the young can establish new forms and ways to express themselves. If the old would not go away then we would all speak more or less the same language for centuries if we assume we would still speak to each other - but even if we didn't we would be still able to understand our elders because they would have taught us their way of speaking when we were young.

But that's a separate issue.

However, when it comes to culture I can see many reasons for there to be a great change. The Noldor were not lower down the hierarchy and power scale in Aman. They lived a life of peace if in a limited space. The Sindar had wide lands to roam in and always knew should they roam too far there were dangers.
It is, perhaps, also to be questioned where the kingship stuff originally came from.

If we go with 'the eldest rules' kind of thing to explain Ingwe's exalted position then this is fine, and could also shed light on the status of the early elves whose kings (Ingwe back at Cuiviénen included) would be more chieftains rather than kings.

I guess the whole kingship thing is more some sort of the Eldar beginning to emulate the Valar who also have their Elder King. And Elwe certainly would have learned about the Valar from Melian and earlier from Orome and during his visit in Valinor.

What the high-kingship of the Noldor essentially is seems unclear to me. That seems to be more some sort of honorary title, perhaps symbolizing the role Finwe had back in Valinor for them.

But it is quite clear that pretty much nobody of the Exiles pays the high-king any mind (especially the Feanorians), and there is no hint that Fingolfin or Fingon have any right to interfere with, say, Finrod, Maedhros, or Turgon set up their own realms.

In that sense I don't see any good reason why the hell a descendants through the female line (or perhaps even a woman or her husband by right of his wife) could also clain the high-kingship if we are sort of in agreement that this might have been happened also with Noldorin kingdoms like Gondolin.

I mean, Turgon clearly had only one child, so his successor would have been either Maeglin or Idril-Tuor/Eärendil, all of which would have been his kin through the female line.

Unless we make some perhaps not so justified assumption about the nature of the high-kingship (military/supreme leader, etc.) then there is actually no reason to believe why a woman or the male descendant of a woman should inherit it.

Celeborn also has supreme authority over all the domains of Galadriel by the right of his wife despite the fact that he is inferior to her in mind and (spiritual) strength (just as Elwe Singollo clearly was inferior to Melian). But in Tolkien's world the men rule, not the women. The consorts of kings - even Galadriel - restrict themselves to the roles of wife, mother, and counselor, not monarch. In Doriath and Lórien Thingol and Celeborn made the decisions, not their wives. They were asked about their opinion and usually the ruler did follow their counsel (or should better have done so) but neither Galadriel nor Melian actually ruled.

They were 'queens', of course, in a sense, but queen consorts, nor queen regnants. Kings need female consorts, after all. And in that sense Idril most certainly was in a very powerful role in Gondolin as the first woman of the kingdom, filling in for her own lost mother and aunt (at least after Aredhel's death).
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