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Old 11-06-2002, 10:26 AM   #1
Novlamothien
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Sting Aragorn's Elfstone

I am memorizing the poem "Earendel was a Mariner", and was wondering about a piece of dialogue that followes the poem. Bilbo says to Frodo "... it was all mine. Except that Aragorn insisted on my putting in a green stone. He seemed to think it was important.I don't know why..." The green stone bilbo is referring to is when in the second stanza of the poem it says "and on his breast an emerald". Here is my question. Do you think that Earendel's emerald became Aragorn's Elfstone he recieves from Galadriel? If not, why do you think Aragorn insisted upon that point.
Namarie
Note- all quotes are from "Many Meetings" in FOTR.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:40 AM   #2
lathspell
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Sting

In The Silmarillion it says: '..., and the Silmaril was bound upon his brow'.

I guess it was the Silmaril, the Green Stone that Aragorn meant.

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Old 11-06-2002, 10:44 AM   #3
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Sting

I think it was referring to the emerald mentioned in the poem, not the Silmaril. And yes, I think we're supposed to guess that it's the same emerald.

The silmaril would have been either silvery-white or golden, because the two trees gave off silver and gold light. And since Venus looks white, I think Earendil's silmaril was silvery-white.

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 11:22 AM   #4
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Sting

The elfstone (Elessar) that Aragorn receives from Galadriel is not a silmaril, but another stone of high quality. The history is mixed when reading the UF and the Lost Tales. In one version, I believe, the Elessar was a gift of Celebrimbor to Galadriel. I think that there were actually two Elessars', the first being destroyed in the Fall of Gondolin, but I don't have my materials in front of me to know exactly.

I surmise that the Elessar that Aragorn receives is the second made by Celebrimbor.
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Old 11-06-2002, 11:42 AM   #5
Raefindel
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Sting

Does anyone know anything of the Emerald Glorfindel left in the mud on the Last Bridge for Aragorn to find? Is it of any historical importance?

Quote:
He held out his hand and showed a single pale-green jewel. "I found it in the mud in the middle of the Bridge" he said. "It is a beryl, an elf-stone."
Aragorn

Quote:
"It was my lot to take the Road, and I came to the Bridge of Mitheithel, and left a token there, nigh of seven days ago..."
Glorfindel

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: Raefindel ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 12:23 PM   #6
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Sting

Hullo Raefindel,

* bows a friendly greeting *

Your question raises intriguing possibilities.

To my mind, Glorfindel's leaving a pale green elf-stone in the mud on the Last Bridge as a token that is eventually found by Aragorn is a foreshadowing of Pippin's leaving his Lorien Elven brooch as a token to be found, again by Aragorn. Each of these tokens contain a green hue ... perhaps symbolizing hope as well as planting.

This foreshadowing speaks well of Aragorn's humility. For even as Aragorn compliments Peregrin Took for being able to cast away a treasure at need, Aragorn's ability to stoop down to the mud and there recognize treasure that others would pass by without a second glance is just as worthy.

In fact, perhaps this repeated action is meant to affirm Aragorn himself, as described by the phrase "all that is gold does not glitter."

Gandalf the Grey

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: Gandalf_theGrey ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 03:02 PM   #7
Manwe Sulimo
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Sting

Just BTW..."beryl" is the stone's name, not "emerald". Just like in the quote Raefindel gave us.
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Old 11-06-2002, 03:21 PM   #8
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Sting

The beryl is in the same family of stones as the emerald. Low quality beryls are pale green and of an almost waxy color. High quality beryls are not unlike emeralds.
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Old 11-06-2002, 04:15 PM   #9
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Sting

Regarding the original question, and wether or not there were one or two Elessars. There is never any mention in Tolkiens writings that any Elessar was destroyed in The Fall of Gondolin.

The Elessar (or both of them was great green gems/stones) which fits perfectly. Secondly in UT the Elessar is given the ability of Healing the hurts at the Havens of Sirion - Later when the Silmaril comes to the Mouth of Sirion the power of the Elessar is more or less made obsolete by the greater power of the Silmaril.

We can only assume that Earendil wore the Elessar on his voyages, as he was the rightful owner of the stone. - So the stone passed into the West. Wether it was brought back by Gandalf or if there was a second Elessar made by Celebrimbor in Eregion, we can only speculate, but they have the same features and the one seems to be a substitute of the other.

I belive that when Aragorn wants a green gem in Bilbos verse its because he knows that the Elessar has passed from Galadriel to Celebrain and then to Arwen, his love.

Thirdly, the use of the word Emerald is, I think, a choise JRRT made to illustrate a green gem to the reader, nothing more.

... my thoughts, cheers T
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Old 11-06-2002, 04:24 PM   #10
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Sting

The greenish tint of Glorfindel's gem would blend in with the grasses; I suppose that then only a skilled Ranger like Aragorn would notice it, ensuring that it would not be picked up by any random creature wandering around. But, then again, we know how that goes... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: TolkienGurl ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 04:35 PM   #11
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Sting

Gandalf, thank you for your thoughtful and interesting words. I hadn't thought of the similarity to Pippin's brooch.

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: Raefindel ]
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Old 11-10-2002, 10:21 PM   #12
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Silmaril

Gandalf the Grey and Telchar - thank you for your illuminating comments. They add to the enjoyment of the story.

Regarding the word 'beryl' - out of curiosity, I had looked this up in the dictionary some time ago.

A beryl is a semiprecious or precious stone, a beryllium aluminum silicate, varying in colour from white through yellow (heliodor), greenish-blue (aquamarine), green (emerald) to pink (morganite). Therefore a green beryl is by definition an emerald.

[ November 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]
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Old 12-15-2002, 02:28 AM   #13
Lostgaeriel
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Silmaril

I've recently read Chrétien de Troyes Perceval and Wolfram Von Eschenbach's Parzival (translations, of course) and was amazed to find that in Wolfram's version, the Grail (graal - a serving platter) was made of a single green stone or gem - presumably emerald. Not only that, but it has healing powers.

Wolfram lists some 58 gems or stones - each of which have some particular power or virtue - inspiring courage or specific healing powers, etc.

And not having read Unfinished Tales before, I checked it out because of Telchar's post regarding the Elessar's healing powers. Is the parallel to the Grail a coincidence?

Were Aragorn's healing hands due to the Elfstone he wore or was it a skill or power of his own? Or a combination?

Comments, anyone?

[ December 16, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]
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Old 12-15-2002, 02:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Does anyone know anything of the Emerald Glorfindel left in the mud on the Last Bridge for Aragorn to find? Is it of any historical importance?
It was a basically <just> an elf gem. Glorfindel left it on the bridge to serve a double purpose. First, as was previously mentioned, as a signal to let Aragorn know that way was safe, and secondly to keep the path safe. The stone had been bestowed with some sort of magical elven "virtue" so to speek. The ring wraiths would have been repealed by it would have kept a safe distance from it. Glorfindel assumably left several such stones in different paths he thought Aragorn would have tried to take to protect them.
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:03 AM   #15
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Silmaril

Lostgariel is quite right in thinking that a lot of answers can be found in the old mythologies that Tolkien loved, and was trying to resurrect an appreciation for. Just another reason to read some of these old stories - problem is, there are so many other great books to read that are easier to find.

As for Earendil's stone being Aragorn's, I admit that it's possible. But he'd have to be a pretty good shot to throw it down from where he is flying his magic ship through the upper airs, or Venus or wherever he's supposed to be. If the Istari bring it with them from the west, I don't think any mention is made of it.

EDIT: okay, so there is mention of it (Unfinished Tales). Out of the two possible theories, though, I think that it is the least likely. Anyone know which was the final, definitive version?

[ January 05, 2003: Message edited by: doug*platypus ]
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Old 12-29-2002, 01:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Were Aragorn's healing hands due to the Elfstone he wore or was it a skill or power of his own? Or a combination?
Although this is an interesting idea, I beleave it was purely his own power as King and a little of his skill. If he did not have the inherent ability as Isildur's heir it would have been difficult to identify him. Remember, the hands of a king are hands of healing as well as of war.

It may be though that the "profesy" was made with the understanding that the King Elessar would have the elf stone and so would have healing powers by possesing it. But then why would King's Foil be called King's Foil? It is an interesting thought either way.
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:45 PM   #17
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something, but not too much

Just had a thought as I woke this morning...

Perhaps Aragorn IS the holy graal, the healing green stone of medieval romantic poetry. Then his name "Elfstone" finally makes complete sense - at least to me - as a literary symbol. (Of course this just ties more tightly into Christian imagery.) I had been trying very hard to compare Aragorn to the character Perceval, but it doesn't [i]quite[/i[ fit. (Perhaps I will find another thread where I can post the comparison.)

I really do recommend that Tolkien fans read Perceval, The Story of the Grail by Chrétien de Troyes translated by Burton Raffel, published by Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-300-07585-5 (hardcover) & ISBN 0-300-07586-3 (paperback). It reads very modern - you'll be surprised. Raffel is a wonderful poet.
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Old 07-20-2005, 01:35 PM   #18
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An Elfstone or two

"The King has come again indeed," And they named him Elfstone, Because of the green stone that he wore. (The Houses of Healing).

Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up, and there came a green fire from his hand. (Many Partings).

This Green Jewel (The Ellessar of Aragorn) was thought to be the second such gem. The first, (The Ellessar of Earendil) was supposed to be the most potent, and was said to hold the light of the sun. There is conjecture that the first gem was brought back to Middle-Earth by Gandalf, however it is believed by many that the second gem was a new one. Both were said to have been made by Celebrimbor, though some believe that Enerdhil of Gondolin made the first, this came into the hands of Idril and then to Earendil.
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