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Old 04-21-2003, 06:12 AM   #1
Frodo Baggins
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Sting Redheads of Middle-Earth

Out of pure curiosity (and because I'm a tad partial to persons with red hair) I was wondering, could there be any cases of Some creature of Arda having red hair? I know that Hobbits are brown haired, Men are either blonde or dark haired, Elves are predominantly dark haired with a bit of gold sprinkled here and there, and dwarves hair seem to range from yellow to blue(actually a grey-blue silvery colour) any ideas?
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Old 04-21-2003, 07:04 AM   #2
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From HoMe XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth; The Shibboleth of Fëanor; ‘The names of the Sons of Fëanor with the legend of the fate of Amrod’:
Quote:
(1) Maitimo 'well-shaped one': he was of beautiful bodily form. But he, and the youngest, inherited the rare red-brown hair of Nerdanel's kin.

(6) Ambarto
(7) Ambarussa
These two names of [the] twins (i-Wenyn) were evidently meant to begin similarly. Ambarussa 'top-russet' must have referred to hair: the first and last of Nerdanel's children had the reddish hair of her kin. Around the name Ambarto [> Umbarto] - which one might expect to begin with an element of the same sense as (7) - much legend and discussion gathered. The most authentic seems to be thus:
The two twins were both red-haired. …
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:46 PM   #3
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Sting

Thus Feanor's oldest and youngest sons had red hair - Maedhros, Amrod, and Amras. They inherited it from their maternal grandfather, Mahtan.

Quote:
Elves are predominantly dark haired with a bit of gold sprinkled here and there,
That's not exactly true either.

[ April 21, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:44 PM   #4
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Sting

*faking indignation* Then why won't Pio let us have redheaded elves in the RP section? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:22 AM   #5
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Silmaril

There probably were heaps of creatures, peoples and beings of Arda who had red hair, but probably weren't dwelt on as much.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:43 AM   #6
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Sophia

Quote:
Then why won't Pio let us have redheaded elves in the RP section?
Because red-headed elves are not rampant in M-e. (especialy red-headed, green-eyed Elves as so many want to be)

Now, if you want to do some research and provide a Tolkien-based lineage for your character, then a red-headed Elf could possibly be considered for a Shire RPG. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:30 PM   #7
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Sting

[img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] I was joking pio, but I might... I've actually never played an elven character
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:23 PM   #8
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Sting

I have red hair and hazel eyes in real life... that's close to red and green. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] It is true that redheads are far and few between in ME but that just makes them all the more unique and mysterious. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Red hair has never been hailed as a very noble color. It has been more associated with fire and anger, like when you think of the celtic warriors and ogres and giants you think more of red hair and when you think of something like King Arthur, blonde, noble hair comes to mind. Now, before people jump all over me telling me that Arthur had red hair and that I am wrong, remember that this is just a theory and it relates to how we associate color with ideas and emotions. I plan to do a bit of research into this to see if it has any merit. What I am suggesting is that since Tolkien took most of his inspiration from Artherian legend, that maybe the old ideas of red hair being associated not with honor and valar but with witchery is an explanation of why there are so few redheads in middle earth. The sandy-haired people of middle earth may not be evil but they are scarce because blond hair makes the elves appear more nobel. Also, the fact that some of the sons of Feanor had red hair is interesting because Feanor himself is described as having a fire lit inside of him. Thus, his sons are also firey and some have red hair. But I am only halfway through the Silmarillion(closing the gap rapidly though) so I am not judging totally on that yet. Whew! Well, hope this doesn't bore you and give it some thought. It is a pretty simply theory but being carrot topped myself, I like to learn about the history of my fellow firey heros. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ April 23, 2003: Message edited by: hobbit punk ]
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:18 PM   #9
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Sting

Finally, someone gives redheads some credit in Middle-Earth!

Anyway, to stay on topic... Redheads are rare anyway. Tolkien probably reflected the world in this. The country with the highest percentage of redheaded people is Scotland. Scotland is not a huge country and even in Scotland red hair isn't as common as, say, black hair in Japan. When one brings in the fact that three of Feanor's sons had red (reddish anyway, if not full blown red) hair, then I'm willing to bet that Tolkien did that on purpose. He probably didn't wake up one day and think "Hey, I'll make me some redheaded elves!" Actually, he might have said that, but I doubt it.

Just to muse on somehting a little... Maedhros, Amrod, and Amras are the ones who had red hair. Maedhros was tortured and lost his hand. Either Amrod or Amras died in the burning of the ships (going by the Shibboleth). Does this sound a little strange to anyone else? Maybe Tolkien had something against redheads... Sorry, I'll be quiet now.
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:15 PM   #10
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Sting

I am(being one) partial to red heads as well. But can you imagine an elf with red hair and green eyes? I mean, especially after seeing the movies and having the blond and brown elves pasted in my brain, I think red hair would just look odd. But I think it was probably more common in men and dwarves than anything. But maybe they didn't say "red" hair. There are many ways of saying red. Auburn, rust, etc. I will read the collection again and pay closer attention to see if there are any "red heads" among the lot. Also, to bring up the movie again, both Boromir and Gimli had auburn hair.
Wait! I just thought of something! I live in Canada, where most everyone is British somehow. I know I am. And red hair is rare, every red head I know, including myself is either scottish or Irish to some degree. Maybe, since Middle earth was based on ye olde England, who didn't really mingle with the Irish or scottish, they were just never introduced to red hair.
Once again, there are so many possibilities, how could anyone except Tolkien himself, know for sure?
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:42 PM   #11
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Sting

I know only a few redheads, and all have sometype of history in Scotland and Ireland. So, I agree with you there.
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:49 PM   #12
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Hmm ... Red hair would look terrible on an elf. I wonder though, were there any red-heads left after the Third Age?

-Maikafanawen
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:06 PM   #13
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Sting

Look HERE at my post of April 27, 2003 05:28 AM.

Read all the little gold colored links.
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:00 PM   #14
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Sting

Well, pio has a fairly good reason to not really allow red-haired and green-eyed Elves in RPGs. Red hair is actually the result of a certain mingling of both brown/black hair on one parent's side, with blond/very light hair on the other parent's side. The way it works is, dark hair is a dominant gene, whereas the gene for blond hair is recessive. A person with a dominant dark-hair gene and a recessive blond-hair gene could marry someone with a both dominant and recessive blond-haired gene, and have a child (or more) with red hair. It's actually just a quirk of nature.

Unless your character is in some way related to Mahtan/Nerdanel, or is the result of any intermingling of Noldorin and Vanyarin bloodlines, then you can be sure that it's "ok" to have red hair. Other than that, however, it is very rare.
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:57 PM   #15
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Well in the movie Boromir and Faramir had red hair.

(probably means Denethor did too)
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Old 07-08-2003, 07:30 PM   #16
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Sting

It also says in UT [can't remember which part] that Húrin had "red-gold" hair. So he was strawberry blonde.
also, reading over the quote from the Shibboleth (emphasis mine)


Quote:
(1) Maitimo 'well-shaped one': he was of beautiful bodily form. But he, and the youngest, inherited the rare red-brown hair of Nerdanel's kin.
BUT??? So he was "well-shaped", BUT he had red hair? Definitely sounds like Tolkien had something against redheads. Or maybe I'm just being nitpicky and taking an innocent conjunction out of context, as I don't have HoME right now. After all, Maedhros was pretty awesome, so why would Tolkien give him red hair if he liked him?
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Old 07-08-2003, 08:36 PM   #17
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Presumably used in the adverbial sense 'only, merely'.
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Old 07-08-2003, 08:39 PM   #18
Lord of Angmar
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Sting

An interesting fact; Strider, who was formerly known as Trotter, was originally described as having red hair.
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