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Old 12-13-2004, 03:01 PM   #1
Bandobras Took
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Silmaril mithril vest

This thread is for the discution of the origin of frodo's mithril vest. And a little bit on Legolas's age.
Theory: King Thranduil ordered the vest for his young son Legolas, but was never deliverd due to the arival of Smaug.

clues:
1. found in eribor
2. Thorin said it was made by his people
3. it was said that it could not have fit a dwarf
4. made for an elf-prince
Why Legolas and Thranduil? It was said that Thranduil had a weekness for silver and white gems. The vest had these. Beregond said Pippin looked like a boy of nine summers, and young elves had about the same growth rate as humans. Thranduil's kingdome was closest to Eribor too. He also had only one son. Elronds sons where to big and to old for it to fit them also. Celeborn and Galadrial had only a doughter and there is no mentoin of Cirdan having children.
Thranduil said to Bilbo " Bilbo Baggins! you are more worthy to wear the armor of elf princes than many that have looked more comely in it." Legolas would have to be around 250 in the war of the ring. Besides the arival of Smaug there is no reason it would not have been delivered. It would have had to be compleated around the same time Smaug came or it would have been delivered before he arived. I know he is not the only elf prince in middle earth. It is just the one theory out of many I thought most reasonable.

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Old 12-13-2004, 03:23 PM   #2
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Silmaril

It's possible, but Legolas isn't the only elf prince in Middle Earth. And that statement is like our saying "it's fit for a king", we're not actually saying that it belongs to a king somewhere.

But it is possible that it did belong to some elf prince, maybe even Legolas.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:04 PM   #3
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Good logic, I daresay. It may well be so.

But compare:

Quote:
(In Rohan, discussing royal burial mounds)

'Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood in my home since then,' said Legolas, 'and but a little while does that seem to us.
It does not have a feel of someone twice less as old as period mentioned talking. But it does not eliminate probability of your reasoning, as there is no explicit reference to Legolas' actual age.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:30 PM   #4
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For other threads concerning the birthdate of Legolas, click here, here, here, and here.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:25 PM   #5
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Silmaril

"and but a little while does that seem to us" he sais indicating his people ( I think), not himself

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Old 12-13-2004, 07:57 PM   #6
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1420!

The thing I can't stop thinking about, is unless Thranduil planned on "stealing" the mithril coat somehow, I don't see why the dwarves of Erebor would just hand it over to Thranduil. Considering that he did imprison him.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:18 PM   #7
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The coat was made before the whole dwarf-capturing incident so the dwarves would've been happy to give Thranduil the coat (for a hefty price, of course).
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Old 12-14-2004, 04:47 AM   #8
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Although there are no explicit statements with regards to Legolas' age, it can be inferred that he was a relatively young elf, though I'd say way over 250.

Note that in one of their discussions, Legolas says of Aragorn and Gimli: (paraphrased) " the forest is old, so old that i almost feel young again as i have not done since journeying with you children". Or something like that. I haven't got the book on me.

Firstly, Legolas infers that the forest is so old that it makes him look young, which is a surprise to most elves.

Secondly, he is comparing his age with his two companions. Aragorn is said (in the apppendix) to be around 70 or 80 (again, no book on me) and Gimli is slightly older than Aragorn. They are therefore both relatively "old" in our terms, though hardly to be compared by an elf as being children, if the elf in question wasn't markedly older.

BTW, it is all conjecture as to what prince the Mithril coat was made for. It could have been made for noone in particular, or it could have been other Silvan Elves that do not come in to the books. How about the obscure "Dorwinion"? Although I don't think that Silvan Elves would have the means to pay for such an expensive item.
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:14 AM   #9
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Silmaril

Thranduil probibly did not demand it from Bilbo because maby he had not payed for it yet and felt he had no ownership over it. Also, what would he use it for, it to small. And Bilbo had just givin him the arkinstone. He probibly felt to abliged to ask for it

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Old 12-14-2004, 08:12 AM   #10
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Tolkien Just about the coat, not Lego's age

Yee! Someone else shares my idea of the mithril-coat being for Legolas!

Although, some of your reasoning is faulty, (like elves maturing about the same as humans, check out HoME v 10 Morgoth's Ring, "Laws and Customs of the Eldar"), I do share this view b/c

1) It was mithril and diamonds, and Thranduil liked white gems and such.
2) The quote from the Hobbit is that it was "made for some young elf prince long ago." And of course "long ago" Legolas would've been young, little matter so old he was in LotR. I get the idea that Elrond would've ordered two if any at all, since ElladanandElrohir seem to be "the twins" and not seperate people. Those are the only elf-princes we know about in the Third Age.
3) Another quote is Aragorn saying it's a coat for an "elf-princeling".

Another theory I feel inclined to put out there is one I read in a fanfic that the mithril coat was Earendil's. (At least I think that's what she was implying.) She didn't explain how the dwarves got it; perhaps something to do with the Beleriand Dwarves moving to the Ered Luin, and from there, the Dwarves brought it to Erebor.

It seems to me, if the dwarves were going to end up with any First Age elf-prince's things that prince would be from Doriath (since the Dwarves were the ones who sacked Doriath), but as we all know: No prince in Doriath...well, maybe Dior...but that was after the sack wasn't it?..curses, haven't read Silm yet.
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:00 AM   #11
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1420!

Quote:
The coat was made before the whole dwarf-capturing incident so the dwarves would've been happy to give Thranduil the coat (for a hefty price, of course).
Ok, I see, but even with that in mind I would think the feud between Elves and Dwarves would still be going on. Especially amongst the Mirkwood Elves, with Thranduil despising dwarves so much. Now with Galadriel, being Noldor, has a connection with dwarves (Aule), which is why we see her sympathize for Gimli. Celeborn having connections with Thranduil, and being Teleri, we see him a little more "rude" to Gimli, but he does apologize after Galadriel corrects him. Elrond has always welcomed Gloin in Rivendell, and there is no reason for not welcoming Gloin's son either. That pretty much sums up the dwarves vs. elves feud.

Thinking about Thranduil, and I'm trying to think, before he imprisoned them, what would a reason be that he despised dwarves? Here's an interesting quote from Appendix F...
Quote:
But [dwarves] are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the tales of Men may have alleged. For men of old lusted after their wealth and the work of their hands, and there has been enmity between the races.
Now this is talking about the "tales of men," but as already said Thranduil had a great desire for wealth, and jewels. Being that he lives in Mirkwood, and seeing that the dwarves are away with their own riches and gold, he too might have gotten jealous, and he too might have made "lies." This is just pure speculation though.

Quote:
made for some young elf prince long ago.
I don't see how Thranduil would know that this "vest" was made for some elf-princeling long ago, it was just that "particular vest." I don't have The Hobbit handy, but Elianna (or someone else), would you mind giving the entire quote, it could be important. Maybe, Thranduil was saying, that wonderful vest should be for an elf-princeling long ago (back in the day of the elves, remember in the 3rd age the Elves began to decline) and not worn by a hobbit who associates himself with dwarves. However, I can not tell what Thranduil means if part of the quote is missing, and we still might not be able to tell.
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:21 PM   #12
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Eye

Thranduil wasn't the only one who made a statement about the mail being made for an elf-prince.

From The Hobbit-
Quote:
"Mr. Baggins!" he (Thorin) cried. "Here is the first payment of your reward! Cast off your old coat and put on this!"
With that he put on Bilbo a small coat of mail, wrought for some young elf-prince long ago.
So Thranduil's statement does not stand alone. The narration backs him up.

But do we know for certain that Legolas had no brothers?
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:30 PM   #13
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1420!

Thanks for the quote Phantom, if it was just Thranduil who was saying it I would have lots of doubt. I wouldn't doubt that Thranduil would try lie to get the vest. But that quote from narrative backs up Thranduil. Maybe I should be more kind to the guy? Naaa, I still don't like what he did to my dwarves.
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
But do we know for certain that Legolas had no brothers?
We do not know whether he had brothers or not. Actually, I have always thought that Legolas was Thranduil's younger son, because he is never presented as his father's heir but a messenger from his father.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:18 PM   #15
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1420!

Quote:
We do not know whether he had brothers or not. Actually, I have always thought that Legolas was Thranduil's younger son, because he is never presented as his father's heir but a messenger from his father.
Good hypothesis, there are many possibilities to this answer, however this is a good thought.

Here are some possibilities to the Messenger thing.

1) Your idea, Legolas had an older brother, and he actually wasn't Thranduil's "primary" heir.

2) I don't see why a King/Lord would send their heir, on a mission that they could possibly not return on. However, we see this a lot in LOTR. Boromir begged his father to go and Theodred died in battle. Maybe, Legolas begged Thranduil.

3) Thranduil simply didn't think it was something dangerous. Maybe he thought Legolas would give out the news, and then return home.

I will have to do some searching, but I don't believe Faramir was ever called an "heir," or any mention of him being "heir" until Boromir died.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
Thinking about Thranduil, and I'm trying to think, before he imprisoned them, what would a reason be that he despised dwarves?
The reasons are at hand. The roots of Thranduil are in Doriath (going round the different Thranduils-Oropher-versions) and there is a huge anger of the sacking of Doriath by the Dwarves of Nogrod. This anger has been outlived till the Third Age. We could see that also in Celeborn.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:04 AM   #17
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Tolkien

Just to clear things up: my quote of it being made for "soome young elf-prince long ago" was from the narration, not a quote of Thranduil.


Hmmm, I wonder if Tolkien had thought that Lego was going to be as popular as he is, would Tolkien have written more about him?
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elianna
Hmmm, I wonder if Tolkien had thought that Lego was going to be as popular as he is, would Tolkien have written more about him?
I don't think so. I remember a quote from Tolkien (having my books not around me), that Legolas did of all members of the Fellowship least.
This is mirrored by the situation of the Elves in Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring. Legolas IMHO do represent in a way this situation in the Fellowship. The time for the Elves in Middle-earth is over. And showing 'more Legolas' in the book wouldn't have fit the situation.
So I think that Tolkien gave Legolas this role explicitly.

Leaving offtopic:
Correct me, if I am wrong:

- There is no mention, that the vest was made by the Dwarves of Erebor.
- There is no mention, in which age the vest was made. "long ago" is a bit vague. :-)
- There is no mention, how the vest came to Smaug.
- We know, that Dwarves have made the vest.
- We know, that this vest was made for an elf-prince.

Assuming this, we can think of other potential candidates:

#1 Amroth:
Amroth's history was often changed by Tolkien. In one version, he is the son of Celeborn and Galadriel, but this version was rejected. Or he was the son of Amdir. A a version with Malgalad but without fatherhood.
In every case, Amroth was a prince, before he became King or Lord of Lorien. There was mithril in the near of Lorien (-> Moria).

#2 Celebrimbor:
I am assuming, that Celebrimbor is the son of Curufin and assuming that Celebrimbor was born in Middle-earth. This is not clear, concerning his father, there are different versions and concerning his date of birth, there is no mention, but a assumption, because he didn't swear the oath. (shortly)
The family of Feanor is connected with juwels and such things. Curufin, having a region in the east of Beleriand under his control, could have had some relations to the Dwarves of the Ered Luin.

#3 other son of Thranduil:
There is no mention, that Legolas is the only one.

What about these as a alternative to Legolas?

As a very vague and improbable thesis (not to take very serious), we can choose Elladan and Elrohir. The smith(s) could only have made one vest, but Elrond wanted two. *g*
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:44 PM   #19
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Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Brandybuck
I don't think so. I remember a quote from Tolkien (having my books not around me), that Legolas did of all members of the Fellowship least.
I didn't mean Tolkien might have put more in LotR, but in other essays, that would later have been put in one of the Histories.

Good work with the other possibilities of whose vest it is.
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Old 12-27-2004, 01:08 PM   #20
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I also agree that the coat is for Legolas son of Thranduil. It is said in the book that the mail is for an Elf-prince. In that region the nearest Elven kingdom is the Woodland Realm. This kingdom is ruled by Thranduil and Legolas is his son, therefore making him prince. So if the mail is for an Elf-prince, then it is rightfully Legolas'.
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