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Old 01-23-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
mark12_30
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stone elves

I was looking at movie stills of Lorien and RIvendell, and noticed that the movie sets had lots of humanoid statues.

And this struck me as very odd. Men make statues of men when they die; or to preserve their youth; or to show some ideal that man cannot really attain. Why would an elf carve a statue of an elf? The real elf is still there. (Unless the elf died; then I understand it-- excepot they're going to get reincarnated.) Anyway-- why make a statue of an elf, when the elf would likely outlive the statue? Those statues in Lorien and Rivendell looked rainworn and weathered. I bet the elf who posed as the model, doesn't.

Why would elves bother making statues of anything? They like things that live. Trees, rivers. Tirion and Gondolin were both famous for their fountains... I don't remember fame of statues.

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Old 01-23-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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Interesting. I remember a statuette of Aragorn's mother in Rivendell, but no other. WIll have to look more closely.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #3
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That's the only statue that makes sense to me.

Unless one of the statues was supposed to be Celebrian...
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
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I don't get it either. Maybe it's one of those interpretations of PJ that we'll never really understand--he interpreted that because there is the Argonath, there must also be statues of Elves everywhere in Lorien and Rivendell.

Now that I googled it, Gilraen's statue looks a lot like the Virgin Mary's in Catholic churches.



Couldn't find other statues too, but I remember they look a bit like that too. Like old Catholic statues.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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The statues could well be from the imagination of Alan Lee rather than Peter Jackson. And in most things I would hesitate to criticize either Lee or John Howe because I love their art so much, but you make a very interesting point here. Dwarves and men carve stone for fun, but elves use stone for practical needs, don't they? I remember no mention in the books of any carven figures crafted by the Eldar people.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:04 AM   #6
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Plenty of Elves died in the first age, could it not be some of the major characters from the Sil?

It could be that the elves of Rivendell found statues decorative. . .

Personaly I think they add a bit of atmospere to Rivendell when watching the movies, it gives the impression that it is a place that have excisted for a very long time and maybe that is the reason they where put there by the movie makers.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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Rune, good point. I shall choose to think of them that way. So the holder of the shards of Narsil would be...?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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Possibly Ohtar? No really. It looks neither male nor female.

No I don't think so , Rune. Imagine Glorfindel for example. He died in the First Age as a sort of great war hero. And then in the Third Age he was there again. How would he feel if after a long absence, he sees a statue of him? Or of his fallen contemporaries in the First Age?

The most I can think of that the Elves made for decorating purposes was Turgon's Trees and the Stars (or was it Tree) of Feanor.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:17 AM   #9
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No I don't think so , Rune. Imagine Glorfindel for example. He died in the First Age as a sort of great war hero. And then in the Third Age he was there again. How would he feel if after a long absence, he sees a statue of him? Or of his fallen contemporaries in the First Age?
Honored? or do you expect he would start yelling at people "blasphemy! you must not picture me!" Is Glorfindel not the only elf that we know of that has returned from Aman after his death? Anyway It does not seem that it was something that happened on more than a few occations, so I doubt it is something that would keep people from making statues.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:35 AM   #10
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You actually make a good point, Rune! I never thought of that. But anyway I still don't think Elves made statues of themselves. For some reason, I think they're beyond "that mortal nonsense."
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
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Leaf

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You actually make a good point, Rune! I never thought of that. But anyway I still don't think Elves made statues of themselves. For some reason, I think they're beyond "that mortal nonsense."
Agreed. They liked music, dancing, song, and things that threw light or water. They strewed gems on the beach after they made them... stone statues just don't fit that pattern.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #12
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I do understand that it is not a thing that fits the pattern perfectly and especially not in places like Rivendell or Lothlorien, but I have a hard time imagining places like Gondolin and Tirion without some sort of statues.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:04 PM   #13
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Already in Valinor the Noldor were making portrait-sculptures: check out the (full) description of Feanor's wife Nerdanel, the sculptress, in Morgoth's Ring. And the Elves may also have had the Renaissance attitude of celebrating the Hroa, the body- not that of any particular Elf, but its idealized form.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #14
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I think the the problem is that some people are thinking of Tolkien's Elves as an homogenous group, which they certainly weren't. So it's not a question of whether "The Elves" would make statues, but of whether particular Elven cultures would.

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Agreed. They liked music, dancing, song, and things that threw light or water. They strewed gems on the beach after they made them... stone statues just don't fit that pattern.
*cough* but ships "in the likeness of swans," do?

That said, the people of Lorien are mainly Silvan Elves, and I should say aren't all that likely to make statues.

Still, I really don't think it's that important.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:42 AM   #15
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SHips get you to Valinor. They have an extremely practical reason for making them, and while they are at it, they'll make the most gorgeous ships they can. THey make bows, beautifully; they make rope, beautifully; they make clothes, beautifully. THey make houses, beautifully. THe caves of Nargothrond (or was it Menegroth? Both?) were carved into the stone as if the ceiling was held up by trees, rooted beneath, branching above.

But that is different (I think) than sticking a statue of an elf (or other humanoid) into the woods. Or having a statue of an elf in your library. The latter seems very mortally minded, to me.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #16
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it sounds interesting!
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:11 PM   #17
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It does sound interesting however I don't know why the elves wouldn't make statues... I mean they'r very artistic aren't they? why paint a portrait of someone alive?

Thanks Spambot for making this post possible!
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