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Old 03-19-2003, 03:24 AM   #40
Illustrious Ulair
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

Ok, I used the term 'fascist' as a shorthand. Though I did say it was 'almost' fascist. I suppose what I want is to try & combat the idea prevalent among a lot of readers that Elves are wholly good & perfect. Of course, you can't project 20th century attitudes & values on a myth, but then the Legendarium (as Tolkien called it), isn't a true myth, as Tolkien was a 20th century man, much as he might have wished to have been an Anglo-Saxon in th 8th or 9th century.
As far Elves being immortal in mythology, well, there are numerous folklore accounts of 'Fairy funerals', so the tradition is not consistent. I think Tolkien took elements of myth & changed them to suit the tale he wanted to tell, explore the themes which mattered to him. His Elves are not really very like the sources he took them from, The Norse Alfar or the Celtic Tuatha de Danaan. The are similar, but also very different in some ways. The Elves of myth are part of a Pagan world view. Tuatha de Danaan means Children of (the Goddess) Danu. They are very dangerous, chaotic & unpredictable. Also malicious & terrifying. What Tolkien has done is to in a way 'Christainise' the mythical Elves, to make them fit in with his myth.
So, while we shouldn't project modern values & ideologies onto any of Tolkien's races, we can't just say they're the races of traditional mythology, which Tolkien has picked up & put into his tales in their original form. He's changed them, so we can judge the changes hes made & question why he made the changes he did.
Anyway, this really is straying from the original subject
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