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Old 02-01-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
DSV
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how tall??

I did not find any threads about this and I did not know where to write it so if I'm in the wrong place I am sorry.

I read somewhere that Elu Thingol was the tallest of the children of Illuvatar and I was just wondering if there is any mention of how tall he was?

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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There is something in UT about Elendil's height which would make him the best part of 8 ft but that might have been a miscalculation seeing as he was working in a ME unit of measurement (and it is hard enough, I find, to think of the metric equivalent to feet and inches).

This is from the LOTR Companion by Hammond & Scull:

The Numenoreans before the Downfall were a people of great stature and strength, the Kings of Men, their full grown men were commonly seven feet tall, especially in the royal and noble houses. In the North where men of other kinds were fewer and their race remained purer this stature remained more frequent, though in both Arnor and Gondor apart from mixture of race the Numenoreans showed a dwindling of height and longevity in Middle-earth that became more marked as the Third Age passed. Aragorn, direct descendant of Elendil and his son Isildur, both of whom had been seven feet tall , must nonetheless have been a very tall man...probably at least 6 ft. 6; and Boromir, of high Numenorean lineage, not much shorter (say 6 ft. 4)...
Tolkien Papers, Bodleian Library, published in The Lord of the Rings Companion , Hammond and Scull, 2005

Now given that Tolkien associates height with high lineage..it is reasonable to expect that Elendil would not have been so much shorter than the tallest elves. We know that Galadriel was the tallest elf woman at about 6 foot four.

But her growth may have been stunted by her elder siblings
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2441839.ece

I have played around with some potential height calculators and it seems that a woman is likely to be between 4 and 10 inches shorter than her brothers which suggest that Finrod and co would have been bewtween 6"8 and 7"2.

Their first cousin Turgon was second tallest of the CHildren of Illuvatar so has to be over 7 foot to beat elendil and possibly over 7"2 to be taller than the maximum likely height of Galadriels brothers. However they don't have to be a lot taller. Elendil is nicknamed the tall which suggests conspicuously different height whereas Turgon and Thingol may have just happened to be the tallest of a generally tall people rather than towering over their peers... so maybe only a few inches in it. But this is my supposition not fact.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:51 PM   #3
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I'm not sure Thingol's height is actually given (not that I recall anyway).

As noted already Elendil was about 7'11", according to texts in Unfinished Tales, but seven feet tall (as also noted) according to a note dated 1969. According to Of Dwarves And Men anyway, 'Halfling' referred to: 'the normal height of men of Numenorean descent and of the Eldar (especially those of Noldorin descent) which appears to have been about seven of our feet.'

I have doubts about Galadriel being 'only' six foot four inches, because in The Lord of the Rings both Galadriel and Celeborn are described as very tall, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord. And in a note describing Celeborn as a 'Linda of Valinor' (that argument aside for now) he was 'held by them to be tall, as his name indicated' ('Silver-tall'), but (it was added) the Teleri were in general somewhat less in build and stature than the Noldor.

OK 'somewhat less' in build in stature, but to my mind six foot four is quite notably shorter than seven feet -- especially for a Teler who was held by the Lindar to be tall (and this tallness being reflected in his name as well). If we raise Celeborn closer to the Noldor then perhaps we should raise Galadriel as well. Of course I'm juggling various unpublished texts to try and come up with something, and I'm not sure JRRT had arrived at something very definite on these things.

Tolkien did once write that Turgon was the tallest of the Children save Thingol (revised Fall of Gondolin), but in a later text (Shibboleth of Feanor) he made Argon the tallest of the brothers.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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Clearly since Tolkien never had the time to make his work consistent (and what would we all do with our time if he had?!!!! ) there isn't going to be a definitive answer. I think it says somewhere (UT?) that the reason that old Gondor had little in the way of cavalry was due to the fact that few horses were substantial enough to carry a Numenorean. British guardsmen were traditionally sixfooters ... much taller than that and the riders are practically going to need rollerskates since few horses are over 18 hands (6ft at the withers) - if hte H&H website is typical - only 4 horses for sale over that height compared with 460 in the 16-18 hand range. That must have been quite a palfrey galadriel had!

Of course it is possible that they had larger horses but it seems unlikely. Based on armour destriers were no bigger than 16 hands though powerful..

Edit - of course Elves would not it seems be anything like as heavy as even a lean human of hte same height but they would still have very long limbs - would look like the tall skinny Thelwells....

like this!!
http://www.thelwell.org.uk/images/po...s/Ponies11.htm
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Last edited by Mithalwen; 02-01-2008 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Ist time forgot , second to add picture link
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:54 PM   #5
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A bit of off-topic, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
I think it says somewhere (UT?) that the reason that old Gondor had little in the way of cavalry was due to the fact that few horses were substantial enough to carry a Numenorean.
Well, at least to me that sounds rather improbable... They would have to be really big so that it would cause a horse problems to carry them, and even if there were some 8 ft men I guess they could find them big enough horses (though it's a different matter if they should fight on horseback at all, then). But it looks rather normal if a 6 ft man is riding a 5 ft horse.

If you've seen paintings of medieval tournaments, the knights are often quite tall compared to their horses. Both men and horses were smaller back then, but the horses were relatively even smaller.
To my knowledge, light horses were preferred to big in the battles, though. But if the rider was really tall and stout the horse had to be big as well... Even nowadays there are still quite a lot horses over 17 hands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mith
Of course it is possible that they had larger horses but it seems unlikely.
Is there any mention how tall the mearas were?
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:20 PM   #6
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I would say that a 6ft man on a 15 hander would be underhorsed. Even the modern Household calvalry horse has to carry about 18 stone of man + heavy gear and they are Irish draught horses so up to weight but not especially tall - up to 17 hands. Of course not all tall horses are up to weight ....

As for the Mearas, I imagined that they were not necessarily giants but magnificent .... like trakehners.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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My comment here would be similar to my reply concerning any Orcs riding wolves (there must have been orcs small enough and/or wolves large enough).

If a Noldorin lord was seven feet tall in Tolkien's world, and he rode a horse, then he rode a horse large and strong enough to carry him.

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Old 02-02-2008, 06:23 AM   #8
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thanks for all those quick replies!

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