The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-24-2002, 07:50 PM   #1
Elven-Maiden
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Elven-Maiden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 307
Elven-Maiden has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe The Aging of Elves

I was wondering. I'm 17, and if I were actually an elf, how old would I look? Would I look like a child, a seventeen year old, or an adult?
__________________
Tout ce qui est or ne brille pas,
Tous ceux qui errent ne sont pas perdus.

Mobilis in Mobile
Elven-Maiden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2002, 07:54 PM   #2
Raefindel
Sword of the Spirit
 
Raefindel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,325
Raefindel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Raefindel
Tolkien

I have thoeries, but no facts. I believe Elves age to about 25 and look the same after that.
__________________
Blessed be the Lord my Strength, Who trained my hands for war and my fingers to fight. Psallm 144:1
Raefindel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2002, 07:57 PM   #3
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,667
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you would be practically a baby. I think Elven childhood lasted something like fifty years.
__________________
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2002, 08:08 PM   #4
Raefindel
Sword of the Spirit
 
Raefindel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,325
Raefindel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Raefindel
Sting

Really? I've never heard anything like that .... but I never read the Sil.
__________________
Blessed be the Lord my Strength, Who trained my hands for war and my fingers to fight. Psallm 144:1
Raefindel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2002, 08:52 PM   #5
Elven-Maiden
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Elven-Maiden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 307
Elven-Maiden has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe

I'm still a baby! Wow, that's kinda cool! I haven't made any dumb mistakes yet then! In Middle Earth, Id still be as innocent as a lamb! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Not to imply that I'm otherwise not.... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
__________________
Tout ce qui est or ne brille pas,
Tous ceux qui errent ne sont pas perdus.

Mobilis in Mobile
Elven-Maiden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2002, 12:17 PM   #6
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,667
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Tolkien

I could swear that I saw somewhere that Elven childhood lasts for about fifty years. Can't remember where, of course. But I think that it said so somewhere.
__________________
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2002, 06:28 PM   #7
Aralaithiel
Ghost Eldaran Queen
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A remote mountain in Valinor
Posts: 353
Aralaithiel has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Yep, if you were 17 as an elf, you'd be a cute lil' elven babe. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] And I do mean little! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
I think it is 50 man years for an Elven childhood. Now, if only that were true for us humans in the real world! Sigh...
I still prefer my red-headed, slate gray eyed Elven personna to my dark blonde, slate gray eyed mortal in the real world!
__________________
A lelyat, wen! (Quenya Elvish for "You go, girl!"
Aralaithiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 09:35 AM   #8
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
I could swear that I saw somewhere that Elven childhood lasts for about fifty years. Can't remember where, of course. But I think that it said so somewhere.
What a parenting sentence that is! Fifty years. What an incentive to family planning. No wonder elves had so few children.
Bęthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 09:41 AM   #9
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,628
Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Hmmmm, that depends on how "good" Elven children were. It certainly explains why Fëanor's mother didn't want to stay around!

However, it seems to me that 33 years of raising a mischievous Hobbit child might have been just as strenuous...
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 09:50 AM   #10
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
What a parenting sentence that is! Fifty years. What an incentive to family planning. No wonder elves had so few children.
Laws & Customs among the Eldar (HoMe 10):

Quote:
For at the end of the third year mortal children began to outstrip the Elves, hastening on to full stature while the Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood. Children of Men might reach their full height while Eldar of the same age were still in body like to mortals of no more than seven years. Not until the fiftieth year did the Eldar attain the stature & shape in which their lives would afterwards endure, & for some a hundred years would pass before they were ful grown.

The Eldar wedded for the most part in their youth & soon after their fiftieth year.
It seems that Elves wedded as soon as they reached adulthood, had children of their own soon after, & then got on with more interesting things . Tolkien at first applied the same condition to Numenorean children, due to their longer life, as to Elves - this extension of 'childhhood' - but later changed his mind.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 03:03 PM   #11
VanimaEdhel
Etheral Enchantress
 
VanimaEdhel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wellesley College!
Posts: 1,473
VanimaEdhel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to VanimaEdhel Send a message via MSN to VanimaEdhel
Silmaril

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
It seems that Elves wedded as soon as they reached adulthood, had children of their own soon after, & then got on with more interesting things . Tolkien at first applied the same condition to Numenorean children, due to their longer life, as to Elves - this extension of 'childhhood' - but later changed his mind.
That's very, very interesting when compared to the human tendency to marry within a "time limit" of sorts. The average age that we get married these days is higher than it was centuries ago. This, as opposed to the Elvish reasons, derives from the average lifespan of a human. As that increases, it becomes less urgent for children to marry as soon as they hit sixteen or eighteen. Humans marry and reproduce as soon as needed so that they can have procreated before they grow too old or die. Meanwhile, Elves married and procreated so they wouldn't have to "think about it", practically, for the rest of their confinement on Middle Earth.

But you know, it would also imply that the average Elvish female probably had longer times between cycles than Human women. If they had as many children as they wanted, and then just got on with their lives, you would think that siblings you hear about would be born closer together. Elladan and Elrohir were born 111 years before Arwen - a very interesting number, actually. Unless Elves would have a child or two, let that one grow up and have their own lives, then wait a while, then realize, "Wait: I want another little bundle of joy to nurse for fifty years," have another many years later and so on.

ETA: Bethy, but imagine round-up time at the Feanor household? "We have six...who are we missing? Why can't I remember these things?!" Finarfin and Earwen probably also had a party when the kids got out of the house.
__________________
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time." - Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes

Last edited by VanimaEdhel; 07-03-2005 at 03:07 PM.
VanimaEdhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 03:15 PM   #12
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.
It's also worth bearing in mind that having children seems to have taken a toll on Elven women - this is/was being discussed in another thread Luthien and Galadriel - and so it could well have been that Celebrian went through a fair amount of struggle in bearing twins!

What interests me is that if it was a custom to marry at a young age, would characters such as Arwen have been seen as 'on the shelf' as it's so delightfully put these days? There seem to be a fair few characters who this would apply to, including Legolas, so was it a case of the higher status Elves having to wait longer until a partner who was 'approved of' was found?
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005, 04:26 PM   #13
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
To go against my earlier post somewhat, I think we have to take it as read that 'Laws & Customs' relates mainly to the Eldar in Valinor. In Arda things may have been very different - Tolkien implies as much - due to the much more dangerous situation the Elves found themselves in. Certainly Elrond was much older than fifty when he married Celebrian.

Its been stated elswhere that the probable reason there were no Elf children born during the later Third Age was due to the growing sense of hopelessness & the deepening sense of not belonging in Middle earth that the Elves felt. Probably true. Having children implies commitment - not just to the spouse but to the world & its future. Feeling that their time in the world was over, that (like Niggle) they soon had a journey to make, probably inspired in them a desire to finish their (percieved) tasks in Middle earth & have their bags packed, ready to leave.

I suspect that this also played a part in their 'passivity' - they knew that soon they would be leaving. In that situation it can be difficult to commit to anything. I suppose in a way, this sense of an oncoming end of their time in Middle earth was the closest thing an Elf could experience to 'mortality'. It was like they knew they were going to 'die' & go to 'Paradise' - albeit an 'Earthly' one. There must have been an incredible sense of 'failure', which probably produced their feelings that all they were doing was 'fighting the long defeat', 'many defeats & many fruitless victories' as Elrond put it.
davem 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 03:27 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.