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Old 09-28-2018, 02:13 PM   #9
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
Spectre of Decay
 
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Well, it may not be a coincidence that Tad-dail is so similar to Tarka Dal. Best be careful what you eat at a Noldorin barbeque.

Although it's not expressly denied in any text, this idea of the Noldor eating dwarves feels wrong to me. I think that it's suggested by the word hunt, which Tolkien uses fairly regularly to describe chasing down enemies. For example, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas become the Three Hunters when chasing Uglk's merry band, but I don't recall them toasting up Uruk burgers on the edge of Fangorn.

Huinesoron has identified the possibility of either clothing or hands identifying the quarry as something more than an animal, and it would seem to me that a butcher gets a fairly close look at the kill. Enough at least to constitute catching sight of it in a clear light. Anything left lying dead in the wilderness will be eaten very quickly (nature tidies up well), so I doubt that abandoned bodies would constitute much of a health risk. Also I'm by no means convinced that if the hunting itself can become widely known among the Dwarves, feasting on the corpses can be kept a secret. Even Mm has no record of it in his litany of grievances, yet it seems that the hunts are common knowledge. Who would need to be kept in the dark anyway? These were mere cunning animals after all: who hides their bacon from a pig?

All this is conjecture, though. To be honest, dark though he could be when the mood took him, Elves eating Dwarves doesn't sound much like Tolkien. He called the Noldor Gnomes for years to emphasise their wisdom, and where they fall into evil he portrays it as tragic. Cannibalism, even the eating of other rational beings, is something he assigns to Gollum and Orcs, and has Saruman ascribe to Wormtongue. It's something bestial, sub rather than superhuman, not consistent with his apparent view of the Eldar. While it might have been as unknowing as Trin's incest, something tells me that this idea is one so serious that he would have done something with it had it occurred to him.
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