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Old 10-27-2002, 04:51 PM   #1
Rose Cotton
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Silmaril The Silmarillion makes the elves seem more human

In the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit the elves are portrayed as these angelic beings that are all knowing and all powerfull.

Now as I'm starting to read the Silmarillion the elves seem to have less of that. It felt like I was reading about the men because of the kinds of follies they made. There was never a moment when you thought that the elves could have been exiles.
They make mistakes just like any other Middle Earth race. The Silmarillion made me think "Hey, you know these elves are human too."

What do you think? Am I just being stupid?

[ October 27, 2002: Message edited by: Rose Cotton ]
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Old 10-27-2002, 05:08 PM   #2
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Silmaril

Rose: no, you are not stupid. In "The Lord of the Rings", the Elves seem to be truly brave, noble, strong, angelic, otherworldly (etc., etc.) beings in Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam's eyes. I think that it is because they do not know exactly what had and was going on in the true worlds of the Elves. They had only heard tales of the heroic deeds that this "great" race had accomplished. They did not hear as much of the follies and great mishaps involving the Elves earlier on in their history.

As an analogy (a fairly poor one, but still...), it would be like learning of the heroic deeds of knights in the Middle Ages (such as tales of the maybe mythical King Arthur and the tale of Lancelot), but not knowing of tyranny and betrayal and pain that had to have gone on then (as it goes on in all times).

So, yes, in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit", the Elves are given an out-of-this-world-type of heavenly "glow" of sorts in the eyes of the small, sheltered Hobbits, who have only heard of tales such as that of Eärendil's journey and the romance and chivalry of Beren and Luthien. You're not completely crazy (or maybe you and I both are, either way...)
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Old 10-27-2002, 05:33 PM   #3
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I mostly agree, however, if you look at what the elves did, they did a lot more then what we could now do. Wandering around for months at a time without food. They didn't do that in LOTR.
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Old 10-27-2002, 05:42 PM   #4
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The elves seem more life-like in the the sil because you learn more about them. in the other novels they are more of an enigma. they also have changed with the times they grow weary of the world and all become more sad.
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Old 10-27-2002, 05:43 PM   #5
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Silmaril

Well, I admit that they were physically tougher and more enduring than we are today, but in LotR, they made them out to be, as I said, more holy than they were. "The Silmarillion" have them "flesh and bone", so to speak, in that they killed each other and had weaknesses.
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Old 10-27-2002, 06:49 PM   #6
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I was personally shocked when I read about the kin-slaying. Elves???? But like the above posts say, they aren't angels. Even the "gods" were capable of folly and wrongdoing. Just take a look at ol' Melkor...

I find that I like Elves better, though, knowing that they aren't flawless. I don't think anyone finds goody-two-shoes very interesting.
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Old 10-27-2002, 08:00 PM   #7
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Elve sto me were always Immortal Humans, eternally youthful and always happy. Sincemy first introduction to tolkien was that Hobbit, I got my first impression of elves by that song in rivendell th Bilbo heard as they entered. You know, "Oh where are you goin', with beards all a waggin'," and I saw them more as a Cherubic race. The Sil changed that view, obviously, but when I look at it I get this feeling that elves don't have a large amount of children, So in the 1st age they were perhaps filled with more fire, that burns away eventually to a cold ember. I always thought of elves as more powerful in the first age; which I still believe they were. The sil made me seem them as super humans, where as LOTR made me see them as elderly wise ones.
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Old 10-27-2002, 08:12 PM   #8
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Silmaril

In The Silmarillion, Elves are called The Children Of Illuvatar. The Ainur who come to live in Arda are called The Valar. Men come later and there's another designation for them. So, I think a system of levels is implied. 1., Valar 2., Elves 3., Men. Dwarves are the Children of Aule. But Valar, Elves and Men are connected directly to Illuvatar. In our world, angels are supposedly the only intermediate between God and Man. This is what I like about Tolkien's world; there's another level of beings in there. And I think you're right, in LOTR, Elves are shown in a more supernatural light. But even though they are immortals, they are still beneath Illuvatar and susceptible to self undoing and death(if they are slain).
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Old 10-27-2002, 09:05 PM   #9
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Actually it's Eru, Valar, Maiar, Elves, Men. Mustn't forget the Istari and Sauron and Balrogs and such.

[ October 27, 2002: Message edited by: Diamond18 ]
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Old 10-28-2002, 04:48 AM   #10
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The fact that they are seen from a different light is very important. They elves Frodo and Sam saw were portraid differently because to them they were very different. Personelly i like to think of the elves in happyness, like they are in the hobbit. I think that this is more the destination for the elves, a sort of happy, carefree folk. The Elves of ME were just kinda trapped and upset, and they didn't want to get involved with anything any more. They're just in a soppy silly mood, give em a few millennia in Aman they'll get over it.
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:38 AM   #11
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Well, I think that the elves are shown quite different in every book.

In The Hobbit they are more like fairies.

n The Lord of the Rings they seem to be much wiser and more sad and weary of life.

In The Silmarillion they feel more like humans, yes. And it's said that the elves and men were more like each other in the First Age than in the Third Age.

But The Silmarillion shows only the great deeds, like battles and speechs. Is there any part in that book that shows elves in their daily works? In The Hobbit the elves of Rivendell and Mirkwood were doing their daily works, or at least it seems so(well, I think that they sing more than battle against orcs).

So, they seem to be more like humans in The Silmarillion, but that doesn't show their daily life like the other books(well, the others actually don't show it much more, but they are more like books, whereas The Silmarillion could as well be a history book).

Oh no, a terrible post..

[ October 28, 2002: Message edited by: Afrodal Fenyar ]
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:09 PM   #12
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I think the perception of elves has to do with who is writing the stories. In LOTR, the story is being told from the point of view of the hobbits who are in awe of the elves. The Silmarillion is told from the point of view of the elves so they are portrayed as more human because that is how elves wou7ld see other elves.
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Old 10-28-2002, 11:17 PM   #13
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In The Hobbit we are seeing Elves in Rivendell who think that the Dwarves [not too mention a hobbit are totally out of their league and are mocking them]. The Mirkwood Silvan Elves are shown possesing extremely strong magic within their forest,and Thranduil at least showing strong prejudice.

In the LotR we see mostly Noldor in desperate situations [Gildor and co., Glorfindel, Galadriel], and again Silvan Elves who are at war. Thus not inclined to be as lighthearted as their northern companions, also they have been under the tutelage of Galadriel in the same way the Sindar were ennobled by Melian [ Galadriels mentor in M-E]. Also the sense that outsiders were being permitted in must have been cause for realizing the seriousness of the situation.

The Silmarillion is a whole other ball of wax.

We see Elves in their innocence upon awakening, in the undying lands were the greatest among them became as the least of the Maiar [Finrod who could take disguises for himself and others, even a Man, and who could go toe to toe w/ Sauron. And Feanor who created works of art that even amazed the Valar.]

We also see their fall.
Their blindness and futile war, their incredible heroics in Finrod, Fingolfin, Fingon. Their stubborness and pride. And finally their succumbing to the twin curses of the Kinslaying and Oath of Feanor coupled with the Curse upon Hurin and his family.

In the Second Age we see a repeat in Celebrimbor of the follies of his grandsire and a reduction of the Elven Culture of Beleriand now taking a back seat to that of the Dunedain. However in Lorien Elven community rises to hieghts probably not known outside of Valinor. We are given more of a view of Lorien and it's community than anywhere else, even Rivendell, but even that is sparse, but intoxicating. We feel the power to a degree of the Elven Ring and of Galadriel, first hand, in a way the Silmarillion never shows. In the Silmarillion, it is as if we see back through a Palantir. THe Elves are shown in so many lights and of course most of what we see are the leaders.


Many of the texts in UT and HoME 10-12 are more immediate and exspansive, but the Silmarillion ushers us through the final moments of the Third age and deposits us at the Grey havens before we know it.


The Road Goes Ever On is also good for opening a bit of the devotional life of the Noldor to us.

[ October 29, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 10-30-2002, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
I think the perception of elves has to do with who is writing the stories. In LOTR, the story is being told from the point of view of the hobbits who are in awe of the elves. The Silmarillion is told from the point of view of the elves so they are portrayed as more human because that is how elves would see other elves.
Also in LOTR they are more troubled and have more on their mind since they have to leave ME and are then more distant and since they have lived for longer years then they have learnt more and are more wise....also that the Elves that the Fellowship encounter in detail (ie:Galadriel, Elrond)are the wise ones who have learnt from their longer lives on ME or Valinor
But in The Silmarillion they have stuff on their minds yes, but they are happy in Valinor and yes, it is told from the Elves point of view.Plus they are not that old then as they are in ME and have not learnt as much and yes they are stronger in The Sil than in the 3rd Age and are yet young and headstrong with the power to carry out their point of views...Also Feanor who was the idiot who lead the Kin Slaying and other stupid things like that was full of anger of his fathers second marriage and other things that he decided to go around getting the elves cursed (curses Feanor under breath) [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]

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Old 10-30-2002, 10:47 AM   #15
Enyįviė Ellerina
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Yeah when i was reading the Sil i always had problems deciding whether someone was a man or an elf
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