The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > Novices and Newcomers
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
Aganzir
Woman of Secret Shadow
 
Aganzir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: in hollow halls beneath the fells
Posts: 4,607
Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Question Do Elves ever get fat?

This is a thing I've been wondering for quite a long time now.

Elves lived rather happily, having feasts and parties. But has there ever been a fat elf? I don't remember reading of such.
So, didn't the elves eat & drink that much, or didn't they just get fat? I must admit the thought of a fat elf is a bit weird, but surely eating must have had some effect on them. Or did Tolkien find the idea of a fat elf unthinkable?
__________________
He bit me, and I was not gentle.
Aganzir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
Elmo
Pittodrie Poltergeist
 
Elmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: trying to find that warm and winding lane again
Posts: 659
Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
They had no disease so they wouldn't have all the problems associated with obesity and I'm after 3000 years of over eating...
__________________
As Beren looked into her eyes within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies he saw there mirrored shimmering.
Elmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:41 AM   #3
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
Thinlómien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,959
Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Thinlómien
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fall of Gondolin, The Book of the Lost Tales part II
...but their leader Salgant was a craven, and he fawned upon Meglin. They were dight with tassels of silver and tassels of gold, and a harp of silver shone in their blazonry upon a field of black; but Salgant bore one of gold, and he alone rode into battle of all the sons of the Gondothlim, and he was heavy and squat.
So we have at least one fat elf - if we can take the HoME as a credible source.

This topic was actually discussed some time ago, but unfortunately I'm unable to find the thread on which it was discussed. However, I think someone (might even have been me ) said that possibly a reason for that we see no fat Elves is that many of the Elves we meet are warriors of some kind, and warriors can't be fat. We also meet heroic kings and beautiful maidens, neither of which are usually fat in any kind of tales. Maybe if we would have had more glimpses of commoner Elves, we would have heard of more strudy Elves, but now we can't know. After all, not that many Humans are described as fat either in Tolkien's works.
__________________
Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
Double Fenris
Thinlómien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlómien View Post
many of the Elves we meet are warriors of some kind, and warriors can't be fat.
I'm going to have to take you up on that - who says warriors can't be fat? It might slow them down, but a lot of heavier people are quite strong and I am sure that not all of the best warriors were thin. However, I guess it also depends on what you call "fat". If we are talking extremely obese, then I concur with your statement. But if you mean some belly fat, I stand by my point.

Quote:
After all, not that many Humans are described as fat either in Tolkien's works.
True, although I can think of one off the top of my head - Butterbur.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
Thinlómien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,959
Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Thinlómien
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
I'm going to have to take you up on that - who says warriors can't be fat? It might slow them down, but a lot of heavier people are quite strong and I am sure that not all of the best warriors were thin. However, I guess it also depends on what you call "fat". If we are talking extremely obese, then I concur with your statement. But if you mean some belly fat, I stand by my point.
Fat people are often in bad physical condition, so that's why. But I agree a warrior could be belly fat. And I'm by no means saying warriors should be thin. Let's not confuse being sturdy/heavily built and being fat.
Quote:
True, although I can think of one off the top of my head - Butterbur.
Of course - I never said there weren't any.
__________________
Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
Double Fenris
Thinlómien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #6
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlómien View Post
And I'm by no means saying warriors should be thin. Let's not confuse being sturdy/heavily built and being fat.
That's exactly why I wasn't too sure how you meant the word "fat" to come across. And by thin, I didn't mean pencil thin. I meant all muscle, built, thin. You could be thin and be built. You could also be considered "fat" by some and still be sturdy/built. See how a computer can come between meanings? Haha
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #7
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
Legate of Amon Lanc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In that far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,162
Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
This is Rogue Two: I found them. Repeat: I found them!

Here is the thread, maybe the one you were looking for, Lommy. If nothing else, it touches the matter.

And to quickly add my two cents to the discussion about fat people: don't forget Forlong, and for the Elves we have maybe Galion (I believe there is something about it in the quoted thread, that an elf like him could have been likely fat). Yup, so these were the two cents
__________________
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
Legate of Amon Lanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
Thinlómien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,959
Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Thinlómien
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
You could also be considered "fat" by some and still be sturdy/built. See how a computer can come between meanings? Haha
Yes, I agree. And I think it's not only the computer, but language as well, since I'm not a native English speaker, as you might know.

Thanks Legate, that's exactly the thread I was talking about: your searching skills seem to be superior to mine.
__________________
Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
Double Fenris
Thinlómien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
Aganzir
Woman of Secret Shadow
 
Aganzir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: in hollow halls beneath the fells
Posts: 4,607
Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I had completely forgot about Salgant. But I remember Lommy has started a thread once about the correspondence of height and power, and I wonder if the same logic could be applied here as well. One can understand if an innkeeper is fat, but a fat elven warrior leaves admittedly a slightly repulsive and weak feeling, which sits quite well with Salgant's later deeds.

Thanks for the link, Legate. I tried search as well but gave up maybe a bit too quickly.
__________________
He bit me, and I was not gentle.
Aganzir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boromir was described as being a sturdy bloke wasn't he? And Hobbits are fat by nature and preference - Fatty Bolger must have been a really big lad then. Dwarves are also stocky, so I don't think Tolkien built anything into his works about people being fat or thin having any consequence much. Maybe if we imagine Elves as thin that's us as readers projecting ideas about 'perfection' onto them?
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 03:11 AM   #11
Laurinquë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Laurinquë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 385
Laurinquë has been trapped in the Barrow!
White Tree

I for one always thought of the Elves as being perfect, even more perfect then they were portrayed in the books.

Last edited by Laurinquë; 01-31-2008 at 01:41 AM.
Laurinquë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 03:37 AM   #12
THE Ka
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
THE Ka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: As with the flygja
Posts: 1,559
THE Ka has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via MSN to THE Ka
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
Boromir was described as being a sturdy bloke wasn't he? And Hobbits are fat by nature and preference - Fatty Bolger must have been a really big lad then. Dwarves are also stocky, so I don't think Tolkien built anything into his works about people being fat or thin having any consequence much. Maybe if we imagine Elves as thin that's us as readers projecting ideas about 'perfection' onto them?
I like that idea quite a bit.

As for hobbits, I think Tolkien allowed more of a breadth size wise for them, especially when you come upon their actual names they give to one another, like 'fatty'. Then again, what is considered 'overweight' by our standards might mean something quite different to a hobbit of 'good standing'. Thankfully, Tolkien tended to go into more detail with hobbits than some other races, but I don't think he was convicted with a twinge of malice against certain characters based on their physical predicament.

Somewhat facial/eye and mostly mentally wise he certainly does in a way that we know he's talking about someone like Saruman and not Gandalf for example.

As for other forms of 'large', there is the such form of a larger frame, which he uses in Boromir's case. Though, I am not sure, but that is probably more an eludement to his character/mental state and birth, especially how Tolkien compares his height, etc, right next to that of Aragorn via Frodo's observation.

So again, it seems more based upon such as what is used in art history often, the 'psychological portrait' (where the 'inner state' is reflected in the eyes and especially facial form of a person. Done mostly by northern Renaissance artists and later Baroque artists, good example: Rembrandt).

I think it is more of that case, and with that I think Tolkien does an amazing job at, because I don't see him spending too much time on the physical than he has to. Except in certain cases, and it is either to increase the sheer 'light and beauty' or 'darkness/malice' of a being or act.
Which makes sense getting a strong point across.

So yep, there's my little cents on the matter.

~ Ka
__________________
Vinur, vinur skilur tú meg? Veitst tú ongan loyniveg?
Hevur tú reikað líka sum eg,
í endaleysu tokuni?
THE Ka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 04:00 AM   #13
zxcvbn
Wight
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In front of my PC
Posts: 164
zxcvbn has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien pictured Elves as an idealised verison of humans, so the thought of fat Elves usually doesn't enter people's minds. Personally, I think that there were overweight Elves, but of the 'cute and chubby' type than 'disgustingly repulsive rolls of fat'. Overweight but still fair to look upon.
zxcvbn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 10:10 AM   #14
Elmo
Pittodrie Poltergeist
 
Elmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: trying to find that warm and winding lane again
Posts: 659
Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurinquë View Post
I for one always thought of the Elves as being perfect, even more perfect then they were portrayed in the books.

As for lack of fat humans, most of them had it pretty rough it seems and probably suffered from malnutrition, at least in Minas Tirith under Denethor.
Ummm I have to take exception to that comment. Where does Tolkien say he mistreated his people? Starved them?
__________________
As Beren looked into her eyes within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies he saw there mirrored shimmering.
Elmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 03:43 PM   #15
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE Ka View Post
As for other forms of 'large', there is the such form of a larger frame, which he uses in Boromir's case. Though, I am not sure, but that is probably more an eludement to his character/mental state and birth, especially how Tolkien compares his height, etc, right next to that of Aragorn via Frodo's observation.

So again, it seems more based upon such as what is used in art history often, the 'psychological portrait' (where the 'inner state' is reflected in the eyes and especially facial form of a person. Done mostly by northern Renaissance artists and later Baroque artists, good example: Rembrandt).
That's an interesting take on the matter, and you could surely make a claim for it. However, I feel like Tolkien was, at least in Boromir's case, mainly referring to his physical larger frame. He wanted to clearly distinguish that Aragorn was just a bit taller, yet Boromir was "broader and heavier in build". Even beyond the text of LotR, Tolkien shows further interest in the matter of height between the two in an unpublished note, located at the Bodleian Library in Oxford-

“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 Númenorean lineage, not much shorter (say 6 ft. 4).”

So, I do not really think Tolkien meant to reference Boromir's character/mental state and birth while describing his build.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #16
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
A Case for Manly Elves

When Tolkien uses the word "slender" to describe the elves, I take it to mean that they were more slender than the average human in Middle-earth. Nowadays, we're pretty hard on fat people; I imagine there would have been less social pressure to be crazy skinny among people of Tolkien's generation. So, it's reasonable that Tolkien's idea of "slender" might actually be closer to our modern idea of "healthy/normal" (at least in States, where there's still a variety of opinion concerning what "normal" is). After all, Tolkien reacted very strongly against the idea that the elves were strangely thin, girly-man lookin' beings (rather like the androgynes of the films). In a letter, he says that Legolas was as tall and strong as a young tree, who was able to string and draw a great bow of the Galadhrim with ease (that's all paraphrase). The "young tree" comparison retains the idea of some slenderness, but places a great deal of emphasis on the obvious strength of the elves. The warriors, at least, aren't thin. If anything, they're probably really big and kind of scary.

However, in my opinion, very rarely should they fat. Not the healthy ones, at any rate. The description of Salgant makes it obvious that Salgant was a scumbag, before it says he was fat. Due to the close proximity of the epithets "craven" and "heavy and squat", I naturally associate the two. So, his appearance reflects his moral state.

The conclusion I draw from all this is that healthy, normal elves are neither too fat, nor too thin. Elves who ARE fat have other, more serious problems...they're either bullies or toadies, and nobody likes them anyway.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. Maybe someone else knows for sure: what DID Tolkien mean by "slender"?
__________________
Stories and songs.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2008, 02:01 AM   #17
obloquy
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
obloquy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: WA
Posts: 930
obloquy has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to obloquy
Quote:
Here is the thread, maybe the one you were looking for, Lommy.
The thread? Here's the thread.
obloquy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2008, 06:12 PM   #18
THE Ka
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
THE Ka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: As with the flygja
Posts: 1,559
THE Ka has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via MSN to THE Ka
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathewM
Even beyond the text of LotR, Tolkien shows further interest in the matter of height between the two in an unpublished note, located at the Bodleian Library in Oxford-

“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 Númenorean lineage, not much shorter (say 6 ft. 4).”
Thanks for posting that, I've never really had a chance to delve much deeper into Tolkien's notes beyond an Appendix here or there, or things I find in enclycopedias. Gandalf would be ashamed of me, to be frank.
Sometimes I tend to overthink things, or forget that how the elves are imagined is much different than that of men. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Though, thanks again for that, I'm trying to look more into Tolkien now that I have more free time to read what I want, especially at non-main characters. Boromir is an example, though I have had somewhat of a particular interest in his case, since he definately appears more human at times.

~ Ka
__________________
Vinur, vinur skilur tú meg? Veitst tú ongan loyniveg?
Hevur tú reikað líka sum eg,
í endaleysu tokuni?
THE Ka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 03:53 PM   #19
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Ka - Glad to help.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 06:15 AM   #20
kementari
Haunting Spirit
 
kementari's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Amongst the Ferns: New Zealand
Posts: 58
kementari has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to kementari
Leaf Fat free Lemus Bread

the elves secret is that their bread is fat free!
__________________
~ Kementari ~

Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo.
kementari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 10:57 AM   #21
Eönwë
Flame Imperishable
 
Eönwë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Right here
Posts: 3,889
Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
OR maybe they just have a high metabolism. And maybe hats why they grow so tall and are so strong and are so healthy.

But also perfection is different in different places. In some cultures being what many might call "fat" is a good sign. And it still depends on what we call "fat", and that is different depending on the person.
__________________
Welcome to the Barrow Do-owns Forum / Such a lovely place

Last edited by Eönwë; 05-21-2008 at 10:58 AM. Reason: UT? I really am obsessed with Tolkien's books! I meant "it".
Eönwë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 10:32 PM   #22
kementari
Haunting Spirit
 
kementari's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Amongst the Ferns: New Zealand
Posts: 58
kementari has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to kementari
Pipe No public transport

Good point. There's actually no public transport in ME, so most people get a run around. Plus, in the movies Elves seemed not to be eating too much-quite contrary to Hobbit eating habits
__________________
~ Kementari ~

Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo.
kementari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #23
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,312
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Elves, elves, elves -- They never concerned themselves
Regarding the fat content of their feast
Elves, elves, elves -- Not that much upon their shelves
To make an Eldar morbidly obese
Elves, elves, elves -- Immortal, so I suppose
There was never a need to eat in haste
Elves, elves, elves -- No want of elastic clothes
To gird ever-expanding elvish waists
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:54 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.