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Old 01-16-2002, 07:41 PM   #1
Lostgaeriel
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Silmaril Pointy Elf Ears?

OK, this is driving me crazy! Where did Tolkien describe Elf (and Hobbit) EARS as being pointy?

I understand the film using this as a visual device to distinguish Elves from Men, etc. But a lot of fan and professional artwork also shows the pointy ears. Is this based on JRRT's drawings? Or is it just an aesthetic that I don't understand? Are pointy ears more "fair" than rounded ears?

I'm working on some drawings and want to be as accurate on the details that are set by JRRT.
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Old 01-16-2002, 08:11 PM   #2
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Tolkien never mentioned the elves or hobbits as having pointy ears, but I gues everyone has allways thought of elves as having pointy ears, (I have, they look neat that way). And if the hobbits didn't have pointy ears, they would just look like little people with fuzzie feet, the the movie producers had to change it just a little.

[ January 16, 2002: Message edited by: Dûrkriswen ]
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Old 01-17-2002, 02:37 AM   #3
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Here's a link to another topic in here where the Elf ears issue came up. Link
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Old 01-17-2002, 03:31 PM   #4
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I wondered that about the Hobbits, too. I mean, the Elves, as it's been said, one just tends to think of them that way....but the ?Hobbits? I would think the shortness and the big fuzzy feet would've been enough to distinguish them from other races. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 01-17-2002, 04:03 PM   #5
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Well, I scanned through the first couple pages of “The Hobbit” where the Hobbits are described by Tolkien. And it doesn’t mention anything about their “pointy ears”. But some people call hobbits, halflings, and in many other novels and even RPG, Elves and Halflings have pointy ears. That is what I have always thought.

My, what long ears you have. The better to hear you with, my dear!?


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Old 01-17-2002, 04:44 PM   #6
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Yes I would have to agree with Samwise with being able to distinguish hobbits by their hairy feet! As for the ears, I don't remember Elves being described as having pointy ears...
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Old 01-17-2002, 08:47 PM   #7
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[img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] I certainly can't remember it either. Then, as I've admitted, It has been a loooong time since I've read the books... [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 01-17-2002, 11:54 PM   #8
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Silmaril

Thank you, all. And extra special thanks to Elrian for the link to the recent discussion of Elfin Anatomy.

I should have tried a search of the Newcomers, Books & Books II Forums for "elf ears" or "pointy ears". I would have found it.

So for my comic strip entries, the Elves will have pointy ears, but for my "serious" artwork they might not. I'm not sure yet.
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Old 01-18-2002, 04:21 PM   #9
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Looking forward to it, wether they do or not. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-21-2002, 12:57 PM   #10
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elves, hobbits, man, goblins... all these creatures were not invented by Tolkien, he took them from a variety of myths, hobbits are Halflings which have been described as between 2 and 4ft tall, elves have been described as tall and slender, with slightly pointed ears, immortal and more graceful than man... so the way these races look is the way they have looked for centuries of tale and myth
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Old 01-21-2002, 02:23 PM   #11
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Concerning Hobbits Tolkien wrote in one of his letters:

I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf).
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 35 (#27)

Concerning whether Elves have pointed ears here isan artcle on elvish ears.
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Old 01-28-2002, 03:30 PM   #12
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[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]I like the pointy ears! [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 01-28-2002, 04:35 PM   #13
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I'm for the pointy ones. Not very pointed, but a little. The ones in the movie fit my imagination 99.99%!
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Old 02-01-2002, 02:17 PM   #14
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the ears in the film seem perfect to me, plus they look really sexy
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Old 02-01-2002, 02:37 PM   #15
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ok. that person's new. most people don't say hobbits are S-E-X-Y. LOL... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-01-2002, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frahhamn:
<STRONG>ok. that person's new. most people don't say hobbits are S-E-X-Y. LOL... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]</STRONG>
Other hobbits probably do.
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:16 PM   #17
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Old 02-02-2002, 04:43 AM   #18
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I think the ears in the movie are sexy too!
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Old 02-02-2002, 06:53 PM   #19
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I liked the pointy elf ears. I think they're cool. Though I do not recall hearing about pointy hobbit ears in the books, but I have not read them al so yeah... But I like them.
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Old 02-03-2002, 04:19 PM   #20
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If I haven't had the chance to say it before, Ara'rial--welcome to the 'Downs!
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Old 02-05-2002, 07:13 PM   #21
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I am currently reading the books and in my imagination the hobbits and elves have pointy ears. From what I've read and heard, they do have pointy ears, in my opinion anyway...
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Old 02-05-2002, 07:19 PM   #22
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Pointy ears are very sexy! And it never hurts to have long flowing hair, particularly golden or silver in color. I for one would like to see an elf with red hair! (Muses to self - hmmm, maybe I could be one of them there red-haired elves?) [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-08-2002, 09:37 AM   #23
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Silmaril

Hi All. Pointy elven ears aren't something that was just 'made up', but the image we have received from folklore. Also, not all elves are very tall. They can vary in height.
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Old 02-11-2002, 05:02 PM   #24
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Hello, Mereth'iel. Enjoy your time at the 'Downs.
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Old 02-11-2002, 05:55 PM   #25
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In all my stories when I use elves (which is almost every one) I tend to describe them as tall and lithe, with flowing hair (of some color, usually gold or black) and pointed ears. It might have been described somewhere in some book, but I really never thought of hobbits, or halflings, having pointed ears. I guess it all depends on the writer's and reader's imagination.
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Old 02-13-2002, 03:22 PM   #26
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Silmaril

I was puzzled by pointy hobbit ears, but the more times I see the film, the more I get to like them. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-15-2002, 01:13 AM   #27
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I got to where I liked them too. I guess pointy ears are visible clue in movies that you are dealing with an out-of-the-ordinary creature.

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Old 02-15-2002, 01:15 AM   #28
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P.S. Samwise, thanks for the welcome.
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Old 02-16-2002, 10:33 AM   #29
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Silmaril

I have information on this!

In TT in the first book of it Tolkein mentions that Merry and Pippin were like "elf children peeping round at the dawn of...etc". As it is generaly accepted the elves have pointy ears, is this a clue that hobbits do indeed have pointy ears?
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Old 02-16-2002, 10:51 AM   #30
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Hmmm...could be, Starbreeze.
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Old 02-16-2002, 10:57 AM   #31
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Thats what I translated it as meaning anyway.
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Old 02-16-2002, 03:05 PM   #32
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I'm glad you mentioned the red hair, Aralaithiel. That is just what my name means... Raefindel is Red-haired elf. Thaoug I am a rare elf, indeed! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-16-2002, 03:53 PM   #33
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Old 05-30-2002, 01:07 PM   #34
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Silmaril

Tolkein doesn't really say elves have pointy ears, but people tend to assume they do. Tolkein also doesn't say they don't...hmmmm...maybe some elves have pointy ears and some don't...my brain hurts
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Old 05-30-2002, 01:23 PM   #35
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Tolkien said hobbits had slightly pointed ears. Tolkien did not say Quendi have pointed ears (the only line where he ever said their ears were more 'pointed' and 'leaf-shaped' than human ears was from 1937/38 and can safely be rebuked). Ergo: Quendi do not have pointy ears in Tolkien's later writings including The Lord of the Rings. On the contrary, he meticulously stressed in his later philosophical writings that the difference between Quendi and Men was one of fate only, not of physiology.
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Old 05-30-2002, 01:50 PM   #36
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what would an elf be without his pointy ears?

not much more than a normal human
(with some extra powers)
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Old 05-30-2002, 02:35 PM   #37
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i like elves wether they have pointy ears or not... [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] i read the books not a long time ago and i could not see that they have pointy ears anywhere....
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Old 05-30-2002, 07:14 PM   #38
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Thanks Sharku!

I never imagined Elves looking any different than Men, except for being more beautiful and taller.

Where did Tolkien describe Hobbit ears as 'slightly pointed'? Is that the extent of the description?

When illustrating an event or character in a story, is the illustrator required to read every last word of every work by the author or is it enough to go by the information given in the story being illustrated?

Oh, never mind. I guess I could avoid the issue entirely by just covering Merry's ear(s) with his hair or his helmet! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Time to get on with it.
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