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Old 05-14-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
Urwen
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Silmaril Is there a character you're obsessed with?

Is there a character that you're practically obsessed with? That you want to know all about them and wish there were more to find about them?

For me, there are three.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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Old 08-22-2020, 02:48 AM   #3
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has to be Gríma Wormtongue, charmingly evil
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:15 AM   #4
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Legolas's mother. I want to convince the world that she was alive, intelligent, loving and involved in Mirkwood politics straight through to the end of the War of the Ring.

Hopeless. I wrote one mini-story on Fanfiction and no one else is helping to fill in her true backstory. I'm not trying any more.

Except for this one stab - please grant that Tolkien's not mentioning female characters if far from proof that he thought they were dead. It would be quite farfetched to think that Sam, Merry, Pippin and Gimli were all orphaned of their mothers, yet there isn't a peep about any of them. Orphanhood, especially from mothers, gets mentioned (too often) - Frodo, Boromir and Faramir, Aragorn, Eowyn and Eomer, semi-orphanhood for Celebrian's kids. The silences probably refer to the living mothers.

Make hay out of that regarding Tolkien's approach to mothers! (I think another thread did this already.)

So yeah - I'd like to meet Mrs. Thranduil.
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Old 08-23-2020, 05:03 AM   #5
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Legolas's mother. I want to convince the world that she was alive, intelligent, loving and involved in Mirkwood politics straight through to the end of the War of the Ring.

Hopeless. I wrote one mini-story on Fanfiction and no one else is helping to fill in her true backstory. I'm not trying any more.

Except for this one stab - please grant that Tolkien's not mentioning female characters if far from proof that he thought they were dead. It would be quite farfetched to think that Sam, Merry, Pippin and Gimli were all orphaned of their mothers, yet there isn't a peep about any of them. Orphanhood, especially from mothers, gets mentioned (too often) - Frodo, Boromir and Faramir, Aragorn, Eowyn and Eomer, semi-orphanhood for Celebrian's kids. The silences probably refer to the living mothers.

Make hay out of that regarding Tolkien's approach to mothers! (I think another thread did this already.)

So yeah - I'd like to meet Mrs. Thranduil.
I think this is an interesting--and probably practicably useful--approach. In the case of Mrs. Thranduil, shouldn't her nickname be "the Elvenqueen?"

Though, if we say that she IS alive, it does seem a bit odd that there's never a reference to her in The Hobbit--not because this necessarily means she's dead, but because the Elvenking and his halls were stolen from Thingol and Menegroth in the writing of The Hobbit and in-universe Thranduil and Oropher before him are attempting to recreate Menegroth among the Silvan. And my point is that Menegroth without Melian makes no sense.

So there is AN argument that since we never anything in The Hobbit or elsewhere that hints at the existence of a Melian-ersatz. However, it's also possible that I've already glanced at the answer: Oropher, not Thranduil, had the wife who was the Melian-equivalent. And the reason Mrs. Thranduil has no prominence might be that Mrs. Oropher, unlike Melian, never vanished after the death of her husband. Thus, instead of being able to be the Elvenqueen (Nimloth to Thranduil's Dior), Mrs. Thranduil forebears from a clear public presence and Thranduil reigns effectively alone--if someone had said to Galion, "the Elvenqueen desires some wine," would he have brought it to the dowager or to her daughter-in-law?

And the idea that the Dowager-Elvenqueen never left Middle-earth (at least as of the start of the Fourth Age) isn't implausible. We don't know for certain whether Oropher or Thranduil wedded fellow Sindar or Silvan Elves, though if we posit Mrs. Oropher as a Melian-analogue, then a woman of higher race seems possible--and maybe we have the source of Thranduil's golden hair there: perhaps some half-Vanya in the train of the Finarfinians stayed in Doriath with Galadriel, and though a step down from Melian, that would still leave as sufficiently exalted to be the Melian-analogue in a woodland realm that was a step down from Doriath. And, certainly, if Legolas's mother were a Silvan Elf (and, given the timeframe, possibly even a Silvan Elf of a late enough generation to just as plausibly have some Avari in her blood as be pure Nandor), it would make sense that even if Mrs. Oropher was very retired after her husband's death that Mrs. Thranduil would feel uncomfortable stepping into her place while she yet remained in Mirkwood.

On that note, I think that fanon has tried to make Oropher a branch of the House of Elmo--on the strength of Oropher and Amdír being Sindarin "princes" and on Celeborn referring to Northern Mirkwood as their kin. And this has a logic to it. But it's nowhere in Tolkien's work, at least that I recall, and it could just as easily be that Mrs. Oropher was the connection to the Elwëans and that THAT made her the Melian-analogue, while it was Oropher's "commoner" status that made him her relatively-lesser, though more-active, consort. And, if that's the source of Thranduil's right to rule, then it is completely understandable why his wife wouldn't take the role of "Elvenqueen" if his mother was still living in Mirkwood--but, though I like this theory, it doesn't have the convenience of tying up Thranduil's mysterious golden hair.
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:34 AM   #6
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The behavior of the Mirkwood elves in the Hobbit has a flavor of Tokien's style of male-companionship, more than his notions of female propriety. We don't see Thranduil himself carousing, but he seems not to rein in his people. Some see this as evidence that most of the Mirkwood elves were Avari.

Be that as it may, it probably fits better with Mrs. Oropher, the Melian-figure, having left for Aman some time before, and for Mrs. Thranduil being a lower-status person unable to put her stamp on the goings-on. Or being Avari herself and enjoying that sort of thing.

It also fits with Legolas seeming somewhat clueless about the wider world outside Mirkwood, despite having had hundreds of years to get educated. If his grandmother had no Noldor blood (Vanyar weren't "knowers" either) and if he was brought up by an Avari mother with his grandmother out of the way, he might end up being something of a hick.

This clashes with my preferred picture of her being Sindar, but it makes more sense.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:50 AM   #7
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Now that I think of it, the Lorien elves didn't treat Legolas like royalty at all. Just like any common elf.

That could well point to an Avari mother.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-23-2020, 02:54 PM   #8
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...for Mrs. Thranduil being a lower-status person unable to put her stamp on the goings-on. Or being Avari herself and enjoying that sort of thing.

...

This clashes with my preferred picture of her being Sindar, but it makes more sense.
Another possibility is that Mrs. Thranduil is really uncomfortable in large crowds. I say this because there's exactly one named character who could even possibly be Legolas' mother, and that description fits her perfectly: Nellas, Turin's childhood friend, who was socially awkward enough that she began her defence of Turin on capital charges with "My king, I was sitting in a tree. [Silence]"

We know that Thranduil's people didn't so much live in the Halls as centre on them (per The Hobbit), so it could well be that she left Faux-Menegroth to her husband, and spent her time outside in the wider Northern Mirkwood.

(She'd be Thranduil's wife rather than Oropher's on the basis that Thranduil seems to remember the death of Thingol as something he was around for, and I don't think there's enough time between Turin's departure and Thingol's death for Nellas to have plausibly gotten married.)

All pure fanon, but if you want a canon character to marry Thranduil, I'm pretty sure she's it.*

hS

*Okay, okay, one of two... "Meleth, nurse of Earendil, was a Sinda of Nevrast who escaped with Idril's party and met Thranduil in the Havens of Sirion". It could work, just about, but would require her to completely throw out her time in Gondolin and be happy living in a knock-off of Menegroth.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:15 PM   #9
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Another possibility is that Mrs. Thranduil is really uncomfortable in large crowds. I say this because there's exactly one named character who could even possibly be Legolas' mother, and that description fits her perfectly: Nellas, Turin's childhood friend, who was socially awkward enough that she began her defence of Turin on capital charges with "My king, I was sitting in a tree. [Silence]"

We know that Thranduil's people didn't so much live in the Halls as centre on them (per The Hobbit), so it could well be that she left Faux-Menegroth to her husband, and spent her time outside in the wider Northern Mirkwood.

(She'd be Thranduil's wife rather than Oropher's on the basis that Thranduil seems to remember the death of Thingol as something he was around for, and I don't think there's enough time between Turin's departure and Thingol's death for Nellas to have plausibly gotten married.)

All pure fanon, but if you want a canon character to marry Thranduil, I'm pretty sure she's it.*

hS

*Okay, okay, one of two... "Meleth, nurse of Earendil, was a Sinda of Nevrast who escaped with Idril's party and met Thranduil in the Havens of Sirion". It could work, just about, but would require her to completely throw out her time in Gondolin and be happy living in a knock-off of Menegroth.

Nah, Meleth loved Morleg. You will rip this headcanon from my cold dead hands.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:30 PM   #10
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Nah, Meleth loved Morleg. You will rip this headcanon from my cold dead hands.
I don't think she's a great fit either, but I felt obligated to mention her for completeness' sake.

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Old 08-23-2020, 03:43 PM   #11
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Also, I doubt that Nellas got over big brother that quickly.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:54 PM   #12
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Also, I doubt that Nellas got over big brother that quickly.
Ah, but that's the beauty of it: she doesn't have to get over him for millennia. All she has to do is be together-enough to escape from Doriath (my in-progress fanfic of this has Thranduil leading her out); after that, she would naturally fall in with the party that wants to go live in forests again (rather than hanging out in Lindon or Eregion). She could of course sail West - but the West is full of Noldor, and who was it that actually burned Doriath? Yeah. I can't see her going that way, not when 'more forests' is an option.

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Old 08-24-2020, 08:07 AM   #13
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I'm fine with Nellas, especially if she's a Nandor.

If not, if his parentage is pure Sindar, how does it fit the puzzle I thought of - why Legolas is not treated as royalty in Lorien, and why he acts so uneducated?
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:07 AM   #14
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Also, who was Nellas's big brother?
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Old 08-24-2020, 11:24 AM   #15
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Also, who was Nellas's big brother?

Not hers. Mine. ^_^
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Old 08-24-2020, 12:54 PM   #16
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She was changing Turin's diapers. Alright, not quite. But how could she be attracted after bringing him up?
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Old 08-24-2020, 01:09 PM   #17
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She was changing Turin's diapers. Alright, not quite. But how could she be attracted after bringing him up?

Well, this implies she was:


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Coming suddenly out of thought he looked at Beleg, and said: 'The elf-maiden that you named, though I forget how: I owe her well for her timely witness; yet I cannot recall her. Why did she watch my ways?'

Then Beleg looked strangely at him. 'Why indeed?' he said. 'Turin, have you lived always with your heart and half your mind far away? As a boy you used to walk with Nellas in the woods.'

'That must have been long ago,' said Turin. 'Or so my childhood now seems, and a mist is over it - save only the memory of my father's house in Dor-lomin. Why would I walk with an elf-maiden?'

'To learn what she could teach, maybe,' said Beleg, 'if no more than a few elven-words of the names of woodland flowers. Their names at least you have not forgotten. Alas! child of Men, there are other griefs in Middle-earth than yours, and wounds made by no weapon. Indeed I begin to think that Elves and Men should not meet or meddle.'
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:06 PM   #18
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It implies she cared for him, not that she was attracted.

It is classic that former nannies attend their charges' weddings and college graduations, and give them big, nostalgic hugs. Much attachment and strong feeling, no romantic attraction.
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:09 PM   #19
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I'm fine with Nellas, especially if she's a Nandor.

If not, if his parentage is pure Sindar, how does it fit the puzzle I thought of - why Legolas is not treated as royalty in Lorien, and why he acts so uneducated?
Depends what your instincts are on Oropher's parentage, I guess--the theory that he is a distaff Elwëan isn't definitive (I've never been inclined toward it, though I see its merits). So, if you are looking at Lórien as a place that recognises the kin of Elu Thingol as preeminent, why would take the grandson of some upstart kingdom-founder as a lord when you have Celeborn, who is presumably the eldest male-line Elwëan left in Middle-earth (I'm making some assumptions about his father and brother here...) who is wedded to the granddaugther of Olwë?

But I'm not entirely convinced that we should take the denizens of Lórien--and Mirkwood, for that matter--as necessarily revering all things Sindar. It's clear enough that the founders of those realms did (Oropher and Amdír) and they probably had a nucleus of followers around them, and obviously they presented something by their presence to the Silvan Elves that allowed kingdoms to collalesce around them, but the realms that resulted are still fundamentally Sylvan more than Sindar.

Granted, I've already given away my bias in thinking that Oropher and Amdír were probably not relatives of Thingol, so for the sake of consistency, I'm imagining that the argument of "I'm kin to the King of the Sindar" wasn't part of the founding myths of those realms, even if "I will be a new Thingol" was clearly a personal motivation--in Mirkwood, definitely. Amdír is a harder case to make any solid guesses on, not least because the history of Lórien between the Fall of Thangorodrim and the loss of Amroth is better described as written in pencil than indelible ink. It's not hard, in the LotR, anyway, to squint and say that the conception where he's the son of Celeborn and Galadriel still holds.
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Old 08-25-2020, 02:41 PM   #20
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I wasn't thinking Lorien should treat Legolas as equal to Celeborn. But still, visiting royalty should get some fancy attention, and he gets none. Aragorn gets more respect from the Lord and Lady than Legolas - which seems appropriately earned. Even Boromir seems to get more. Yet Legolas has had at least a few hundred years to do something to justify his royal upbringing - and still we don't see anything, not in his behavior, not in how Lorien treats him. (They welcome him better than the rest of the fellowship, but that's for being an elf.)

I wonder why Legolas is such a washout among relatives of his own people.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:40 AM   #21
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AIUI, the Elves just aren't very big on pomp and ceremony. Note that Celeborn and Galadriel rose to greet the Fellowship as was, we are told, Elvish custom, and were dressed very simply. Even going back to the First Age and the relatively august Thingol, his foster-son (ergo, adopted prince) Turin doesn't seem to get any bowing and scraping.

(Of course, externally, the Lorien chapters were written before Legolas became the son of the Elvenking from the Hobbit, himself not named until the Appendices.)
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Old 08-26-2020, 03:14 PM   #22
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I forgot that piece of authorial chronology.
So Legolas as written wasn't a prince at all. And JRRT didn't retcon any royalty into his behavior.
Was he originally from Mirkwood?
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:02 PM   #23
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I forgot that piece of authorial chronology.
So Legolas as written wasn't a prince at all. And JRRT didn't retcon any royalty into his behavior.
Was he originally from Mirkwood?

Originally he was called Galdor (a name Tolkien used for several Elves at various times), and for a long time Galdor/Legolas* was simply a messenger from Mirkwood, not the king's son (in the same way that Galdor in the final version was simply a messenger from the Havens). The Mirkwood connection was there from the start, because it was he who brought word of Gollum's escape.

*Both names were borrowed from the original Fall of Gondolin, where Galdor, Legolas and Glorfindel were all heads of Houses.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:15 AM   #24
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Thanks for saving me a re-read. (I'm reviewing other things toward a better treatment of Reality Theory.)

So Legolas was originally a junior undersecretary at best, a low-status runner at worst. That explains everything - why Lorien treated him exactly in that status, and why he was so unfamiliar with Lorien - the royals must have had contact often enough (by elf-standards, at least every hundred-odd years?) so that a Thranduilion would not be as wide-eyed as Legolas was, not only at Lorien but at the wide world in general.

So the fault isn't his Avari mother, but his originally ignorant author, who wasn't up to a rewrite after he realized who Legolas "really" was.

Now the puzzles (according to Reality Theory) are - first, was Legolas really a prince or not? And second, was his treatment in Lorien something JRRT observed "really happening" because Legolas was a common elf or despite Legolas being a prince - or was it something JRRT invented assuming Legolas was a common elf?

To resolve these, I would do a close reading of anything HoME says about T's realization that L was a prince, and then a close reading of the Lorien chapters to see if they have the characteristics of observation, detailed hearsay or invention. IIRC, when I was doing this back in the day, the Lorien chapters seemed most unreliable - T seems not to have observed anything personally and only heard second-(or further)-hand stories about it.

Apropos L being prince, the denouement of LotR also seemed to me to include more invention than the earlier chapters - the opposite may be true of the appendices - so Legolas's epilogue behavior (his princely leadership in Ithilien, possible evidence for true princely status), may also be in doubt. But I'd have to go back and check.

Anyway, this resolves the original question of Mrs. Thranduil. If Legolas is prince, there is no evidence she is Avari. And if he is not prince, there is even less evidence who she might have been! JRRT's pattern has always been to pair higher status women with lower status men. So we can assume that she was at least a Sindar.

If she was Nellas, that would then pose the question of why Nellas was so attached to the woods (Silvan style). But if she was a Sindar Nellas who yet avoided caves, it would at least explain why the Hobbit dwarves and Bilbo never saw her.
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Old 08-27-2020, 09:30 AM   #25
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Not obsessed, no.

I wish Tolkien would have written more about Cirdan; maybe as the central figure in a few stories of the Silmarillion. I keep hoping that someone uncovers an old shipping trunk, under some clutter in an overgrown garden shed in Tolkien's old home, and finds an original, 300 page manuscript by JRR, entitled, The Adventures of Cirdan.

Unfortunately, I think the window for such a discovery has closed.
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Old 08-27-2020, 12:44 PM   #26
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Andsigil, you may want to keep an eye on our slowly developing fan fiction forum...
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:05 PM   #27
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Andsigil, you may want to keep an eye on our slowly developing fan fiction forum...

I think we'd all be dead before we are even allowed to post new fanfictions...
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:56 PM   #28
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I wish Tolkien would have written more about Cirdan
I wish there was more about the whole elven community of Lune. We know they exist, but zero else. We have a glimpse of all the other elven communities, but nothing about this one.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:49 PM   #29
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I wish there was more about the whole elven community of Lune. We know they exist, but zero else. We have a glimpse of all the other elven communities, but nothing about this one.
I agree. The statement in LOTR Appendix A that it was "Elvish country, green and quiet, where no Men went" has always been tantalizing.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:08 AM   #30
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I wish there was more about the whole elven community of Lune. We know they exist, but zero else. We have a glimpse of all the other elven communities, but nothing about this one.
Perhaps everyone was apprehensive to go near there. After all, the folks in Lune were known as Lunatics.
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:31 PM   #31
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Why should we believe Nellas even survived the First Age? Most of Doriath's population was eradicated, given the Dwarven sack and the 2nd and 3rd Kinslayings. The Silmarillion says that the community at the Mouths of Sirion was "a mere gleaning" of the people of Doriath and Gondolin- the implication is that only a bare handful survived, like Elendil's refugees from Numenor - and that was before the Sons of Feanor rolled through.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:19 PM   #32
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Why should we believe Nellas even survived the First Age? Most of Doriath's population was eradicated, given the Dwarven sack and the 2nd and 3rd Kinslayings. The Silmarillion says that the community at the Mouths of Sirion was "a mere gleaning" of the people of Doriath and Gondolin- the implication is that only a bare handful survived, like Elendil's refugees from Numenor - and that was before the Sons of Feanor rolled through.
Not saying she did! Just that of all the named, canonical characters, she is the only real possibility for Legolas' mother. I'm nearly positive Tolkien didn't envisage the role for her.

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Old 08-29-2020, 02:38 PM   #33
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Not saying she did! Just that of all the named, canonical characters, she is the only real possibility for Legolas' mother. I'm nearly positive Tolkien didn't envisage the role for her.

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Old 08-29-2020, 03:54 PM   #34
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If we're back to speculating about the Queen of Mirkwood, what's the vote on her being higher status to Thranduil vs lower?

All Tolkien's known couples have the wife upstatus whenever possible (Dunadain chieftains and kings of Gondor had nowhere to go up but elves, and they couldn't all do that). Any reason to think otherwise here?

Does that explain why Elladan and Elrohir stayed single? They couldn't find higher status elves to marry? (I know the "time of strife" theory, but there were long peaceful times in the 3rd Age.) Same question about Legolas, though for all we know he might have been married, and Gimli too (ducking tomatoes from fangirls).
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:17 PM   #35
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This is not about that. It's about characters we're obsessed with. Simply state who it is and why.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:00 PM   #36
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Does that explain why Elladan and Elrohir stayed single? They couldn't find higher status elves to marry? (I know the "time of strife" theory, but there were long peaceful times in the 3rd Age.) Same question about Legolas, though for all we know he might have been married, and Gimli too (ducking tomatoes from fangirls).
Well, unlike Men, Elves also wouldn't be in any particular hurry to look for the right someone, and they don't settle for an imperfect fit. Maybe they just didn't meet their better halves yet. Who knows, maybe a couple millenia later, in Valinor, they will get married too.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:08 PM   #37
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Well, unlike Men, Elves also wouldn't be in any particular hurry to look for the right someone, and they don't settle for an imperfect fit. Maybe they just didn't meet their better halves yet. Who knows, maybe a couple millenia later, in Valinor, they will get married too.
Maybe they delay their departure, not because of concern for Arwen or out of any doubt about which kindred they will choose, but because Celebrían's last words before sailing west were that "I'll be waiting with some nice girls to settle down with."
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:38 AM   #38
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I said stop, and I mean it. If you don't stay on topic, I am going to mods. Off-topicness is considered a non-no here, after all.

And if you really must talk about off-topic posts, then include me as well. Please?

Like, I am trying my hardest to talk to you to be a part of the discussion, and I don't like how you are making it difficult for me to interact with any of you.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:22 AM   #39
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I said stop, and I mean it. If you don't stay on topic, I am going to mods. Off-topicness is considered a non-no here, after all.

And if you really must talk about off-topic posts, then include me as well. Please?

Like, I am trying my hardest to talk to you to be a part of the discussion, and I don't like how you are making it difficult for me to interact with any of you.
Discussions on the forum have for years been organic and free-flowing. Within specific threads there is an ebb and flow, and there are relatively few that stay rigidly on-topic without side discussions. If anyone is interested in the original topic, I am sure they will post in that regard.

Personally, I am not obsessed with any character. After a brief perusal of the thread, it would seem the majority view is that they are not obsessed, and after the poster says, "No, I am not obsessed," there is nothing further to discuss. Evidently, no one is obsessed with a character like you are. And you've brought it up in countless posts. Over and over.

So, I suppose you can contact the mods. Have them lock the thread, if you wish.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:48 AM   #40
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Off-topicness is considered a non-no here, after all.
I'm sorry. I'm sure I saw many threads that had lots of side topics. But I'm really aiming for your topic - unless by "obsessed" you meant "have a crush on." The character I've given the most thought to is indeed Legolas's mother. I don't think about her week-in, week-out, but when I think of Legendarium characters, I think of her and feel sorry for the bad reputation she's gotten from fanon.

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And if you really must talk about off-topic posts, then include me as well. Please?

Like, I am trying my hardest to talk to you to be a part of the discussion, and I don't like how you are making it difficult for me to interact with any of you.
I certainly didn't think I was shutting you or anyone out. You wanted to know who I thought about most, and I told you, and I'm happy to discuss that with you. Who do you think about most? Morthoron says you've mentioned him/her extensively, but I haven't hung out at the Downs much till recently, so I don't know.
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