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Old 09-26-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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We all know that Arwen was Aragorn's betrothed and that they settled down to a happy marriage following the events of the Ring trilogy.

Has anyone stopped to think that at the time of Aragorn's birth (d.o.b. TA 2931), Arwen was already 2690 years old (d.o.b. 241)? This goes way beyond anything we see between Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, folks. Seriously, I'm 41, and (assuming I were single again) I'm pretty sure I could never have a serious relationship with, say, a 20 year old. The conversation, alone, would drive me batty. Heck, most casual conversations just with the friends of my 16 year old daughter drive me batty after about 30 seconds.

So after living almost 2700 years, wouldn't someone like Arwen view any mortal as childlike (at best) in their accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and outlook on life? Or are we to believe that Aragorn was just that exceptional?
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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So after living almost 2700 years, wouldn't someone like Arwen view any mortal as childlike (at best) in their accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and outlook on life? Or are we to believe that Aragorn was just that exceptional?
One might think Arwen would harbour some contempt for Men as mortal and overall weaker, as did many of the Elves apparently.
However, Aragorn wasn't just a homeless wanderer (*cough* Beren *cough*). He was the Heir of Isildur, the potential King of both Arnor and Gondor. Moreover, she would have known of their kinship. Aragorn was at many removes her cousin, so he wouldn't have appeared as 'baseborn' and 'lowly' to her as, say, Barliman Butterbur.
In the end though, it was simply 'meant' for the two to fall in love, I think. Like Lúthien and Idril before her, Arwen disregarded the brevity of mortal life and let love guide her.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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The conversation, alone, would drive me batty. Heck, most casual conversations just with the friends of my 16 year old daughter drive me batty after about 30 seconds.
Still you manage to have more or less decent discussions here in the 'downs with many people from ages 16-20+...
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Still you manage to have more or less decent discussions here in the 'downs with many people from ages 16-20+...
True. But it's much more controlled here.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
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One might think Arwen would harbour some contempt for Men as mortal and overall weaker, as did many of the Elves apparently.
However, Aragorn wasn't just a homeless wanderer (*cough* Beren *cough*). He was the Heir of Isildur, the potential King of both Arnor and Gondor. Moreover, she would have known of their kinship. Aragorn was at many removes her cousin, so he wouldn't have appeared as 'baseborn' and 'lowly' to her as, say, Barliman Butterbur.
In the end though, it was simply 'meant' for the two to fall in love, I think. Like Lúthien and Idril before her, Arwen disregarded the brevity of mortal life and let love guide her.
I wasn't thinking so much of the racial man/elf thing. It's more a question of maturity, and when someone has lived almost 3 millenia, I would think the "been there, done that" mindset would make even the wisest 70 year old human seem almost giddy and childlike.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #6
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More seriously though...

Think of a 12 year old dating with a 6 year old (six years difference)... A problem indeed.

Think of a 20 year old dating with a 14 year old (the same six years)... Well a problem still.

Think of a 36 year old dating with a 30 year old (six years again)... Now where has the problem gone?

And it is not uncommon that people date with others twenty years younger / older than themselves - after both parties have reached a certain adulthood. And those relations can be satisfying to them both.

Now the question that is begging itself is that will thousands of years of a life-span make a difference in comparison to a few hundred years? With us humans the differences start to vanish quite soon as we become "adults" but then again the common upper limit is only around 80.

I'd say the perspective of someone living for a few thousand years could change the "maturity" of a person enough to make a relationship with someone who only lives a few hundred years possibly problematic, but I think it's not an easy question.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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However, Arwen led quite a sheltered life, and you could say that Aragorn would have brought a lot of worldly experience with him to the relationship. Yes, Arwen would likely have been better read (or the like) given that she had all that time to fill with something meaningful, but Aragorn was the one who had been out in the 'real world', fighting, meeting all manner of people and dealing with difficult situations.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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I wasn't thinking so much of the racial man/elf thing. It's more a question of maturity, and when someone has lived almost 3 millenia, I would think the "been there, done that" mindset would make even the wisest 70 year old human seem almost giddy and childlike.
Well, when considering the question, the racial aspect is bound with it, as that's the reason for the diparity in life potential. Arwen's father initially considered the match unsuitable.

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But as for Arwen the Fair, Lady of Imladris and of Lórien, Evenstar of her people, she is of lineage greater than yours, and she has lived in this world already so long that to her you are but a yearling shoot beside a young birch of many summers. She is too far above you. And so, I think, it may well seem to her.
Appendix A

However, as far as mental maturity goes, Aragorn was probably her equal. She was really fairly coddled for most of her life, it seems, and I wonder if she honestly knew a great deal about the world in general that didn't concern the Elves. She certainly would have learned much in the way of history and lore from Elrond, but Aragron would have had the edge when it came to practical experience. Perhaps that was a factor in making him seem older than he was.

x/d with Lalwendë, who had a similar thought.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #9
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20 year old Aragorn certainly fell in love with Arwen at their first meeting in Rivendell. However, I was under the impression that the Aragorn that Arwen fell in love with is an older version of Aragorn that showed up in Lorien after undertaking a great deal of travel throughout Middle Earth. This older version is clad by Arwen's grandmother so as to appear to best advantage and given his extensive travel his conversation must certainly have been intriguing to someone who, as Lalwende points out, led a somewhat sheltered life.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:56 PM   #10
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Drawing on some autobiographical experience: I well remember the time when I was trained for my current profession and found myself, in my mid-thirties at the time, surrounded by and partially living together with people between eighteen and early twenties; and while some of them seemed to be stuck in a kindergarten stage (and are probably still stuck there), those I got involved with more closely struck me as mature and thoughtful adults, so I had no difficulty at all interacting with them on equal terms - indeed I still feel I owe them for accepting me as a peer in spite of the age difference, and I've learned a couple of things from them, never mind that some of them could conceivably have been my kids.
(I've been having a similar experience here on the Downs - yep, Nog, you're right to point it out! I've already mentioned that on another thread, but it's still true - I get surprised all the time when I click on the profile of someone who's just said something really clever and thoughtful and find out how young they are.)
Which goes to prove that maturity and experience can't always be measured in years - especially not between races of wildly different life-spans (phew, finally got round to topic!). Even if Elves grew and matured more like Men in their childhood and early youth and only slowed down later on (if we're to believe Laws and Customs), I can see Arwen accepting Aragorn as her equal and falling in love with him without any Elvish Lolito-complex being involved. Let's not forget that he was 49 when they plighted their troth on Cerin Amroth, and, as Morwen has pointed out, he'd by that time already undertaken his great journeys as Thorongil and been to the 'far countries of Rhûn and Harad where the stars are strange' - probably seeing more of Middle-earth than Arwen in her entire life; so I agree with Lal and Zil that he probably had the edge on her as far as worldly experience was concerned, and this very fact may have made him attractive for her, if she'd truly spent most of her life in Rivendell with her over-protective dad.
(Indeed, now I think of it, didn't Arwen do anything in all those endless centuries before she met Aragorn? Surely there must have been more to her life than being taught Elven lore and singing hymns to Elbereth? Lots of space for fan fiction there...)
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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Maybe Arwen was just the worst cougar ever...
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
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Well, hey. After saving herself for 2,000+ years for
the right guy can you blame her?

Go Cougars!
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:10 AM   #13
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It also seems to me that, with some notable exceptions, the mental maturity and wisdom of Elves doesn't continue to grow greater and greater with their many years. Some act just as "baseborn" as any Man even when they have thousands of years behind them. As many humans reach a certain point in life and then just stop there in terms of their maturity -- how many of us know people who are still mentally stuck in high school or college, or even elementary school? -- so do some Elves. The ones who go around talking freely about their own greater wisdom and knowledge to "lesser" races are probably about as emotionally mature as a teenager of that so-called lesser race. Arwen may have had the opportunity to see and do and learn more than Aragorn because she had more years behind her, but did she avail herself of it to any great extent? Galadriel went out into the world, sought out new experiences, learned many things, made the most of the opportunities her naturally long life could present, but did Arwen? If she did, I don't recall Tolkien ever mentioning it.

And I think one must also consider that Aragorn spent many of his formative years living in the same house and environment that had been Arwen's in her childhood. That probably made a difference as well.

Arwen the cougar, though. What a thought.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:15 AM   #14
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It also seems to me that, with some notable exceptions, the mental maturity and wisdom of Elves doesn't continue to grow greater and greater with their many years. Some act just as "baseborn" as any Man even when they have thousands of years behind them. As many humans reach a certain point in life and then just stop there in terms of their maturity -- how many of us know people who are still mentally stuck in high school or college, or even elementary school? -- so do some Elves. The ones who go around talking freely about their own greater wisdom and knowledge to "lesser" races are probably about as emotionally mature as a teenager of that so-called lesser race.
That's a good point. Think of Saeros of Doriath with his contempt of Túrin. Or, for that matter, the great Elwë Singollo himself, who demonstrated the belief that other races were beneath him when dealing with Beren and the Dwarves of Nogrod.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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It'd be a mistake to assume that all Elves are 'wise' just because of their long lives, you must assume they are individuals as much as anyone else is, and there would be bound to be some who were foolish or who wasted all that time given to them, and others who simply did not have the temperament to stop and think and to use any acquired wisdom before acting.

It could be of course that by nature Elves did not have the same impetus that Men might have to acquire knowledge and experience. Assuming you would have long years ahead of you, you may not have the same urge to fill that time with experience as a mortal might. I always think a lot of Elves must have been vulnerable to living lives of stagnation.

And to back that up, those who we meet in Tolkien's work who do seem to have a wealth of wisdom also seem to be those who were most 'active' and who mixed with others more - Galadriel and Elrond are great examples of Elves who displayed immense wisdom and who were also not 'static' in any sense.

So looked at in that light, Aragorn may have seemed an incredibly exciting and fascinating figure to Arwen.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:42 PM   #16
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It could be of course that by nature Elves did not have the same impetus that Men might have to acquire knowledge and experience. Assuming you would have long years ahead of you, you may not have the same urge to fill that time with experience as a mortal might. I always think a lot of Elves must have been vulnerable to living lives of stagnation.
There is really something to be said to this. If you want to follow the texts that suggest that Elves are automatically "written" into the Music, but Men are free to pursue their own destiny (but it'll still work out to Eru's will, because Eru's Eru, doncha know), that would suggest that Elves had a more passive relationship with the world around them. Whereas we all know from our own mortal experience that humankind has this innate drive to make some sort of impact on the world around us--which means more opportunities for new experiences and a different, "mortal" kind of wisdom. The very fact that we are not "bound" to the world gives us more opportunities to interact with it--for good, oftentimes, but sometimes for ill.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:54 PM   #17
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There is really something to be said to this. If you want to follow the texts that suggest that Elves are automatically "written" into the Music, but Men are free to pursue their own destiny (but it'll still work out to Eru's will, because Eru's Eru, doncha know), that would suggest that Elves had a more passive relationship with the world around them.
I can see the logic here. It seems to me the most active times for the Elves ('active' meaning they did something besides eat, drink, and be merry) were during the War of the Jewels. The Oath drove the Sons of Fëanor to great deeds that shook Middle-earth, even as Fëanor himself prophesied.
Otherwise, it appears they only made a mark on the world when they were directly attacked, as Sauron did at Eregion, and later in the Last Alliance.
I'm not opining there was anything necessarily wrong with a 'live and let live' philosophy, but it did set them apart from the other races in general.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #18
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Narya

You know, this is an interesting thread.

I think that one of the themes I see in Tolkien's overall artistic philosophy is how random, and angelic, and strange love is. Obviously, he didn't write about it in much detail, but it crops up in the story lines, does it not?

It's so hard to explain attraction. It's even harder to explain when it evolves into something more.

You know, from Arwen's perspective, Aragorn was something new, was he not? Someone brave, and strong, and also finite - at least to the world she occupied. Someone who had already accomplished a lot in his short life, and who would go on to accomplish much more. She took a major leap of faith to be with him, and I think realizing that she would have to do it in order to be with him - it must have been a transformative experience right there.

Someone who challenges you, and takes you way out of your comfort zone can be very attractive. And inspiring. And all those good things.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:47 PM   #19
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Was Arwen one the elves living a "life of stagnation" though? She may not have travelled as extensively as Aragorn but during her stay (or stays) in Lorien it is possible that she may have spent a good deal of her time learning what Galadriel had to teach, as Galadriel herself would have spent time learning from Melian. If these teaching sessions involved the use of sanwe, then Arwen, though not having perhaps a lot of rich personal experiences, can tap those of her grandmother is willing to share. This could also have been done with her father and grandfather. Given her lineage she probably had as thorough an education as an elf could have in the Third Age. I guess what I'm saying is that elves may not have a need for direct experience in the way that humans do.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #20
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It's quite possible that what to us would look like 'stagnation' would look different to someone who would be alive for an almost unending length of time. If you only have 70-100 years to get everything done that you'd like to achieve then you might have to get a considerable 'shift on' compared to an Elf who could take their time. However, I think that just from the Elves we meet in Tolkien's work it was clear most Elves were great procrastinators, compared to the works Elrond and Galadriel achieved. It also sheds some light on Feanor and his character, and why he was viewed as hotheaded.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #21
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Was Arwen one the elves living a "life of stagnation" though? She may not have travelled as extensively as Aragorn but during her stay (or stays) in Lorien it is possible that she may have spent a good deal of her time learning what Galadriel had to teach, as Galadriel herself would have spent time learning from Melian. If these teaching sessions involved the use of sanwe, then Arwen, though not having perhaps a lot of rich personal experiences, can tap those of her grandmother is willing to share. This could also have been done with her father and grandfather. Given her lineage she probably had as thorough an education as an elf could have in the Third Age. I guess what I'm saying is that elves may not have a need for direct experience in the way that humans do.
Arwen may not have had a "stagnant" experience, but there is something massively different between learning about life's experiences and living them. The fact that she had so much access to lives past may even explain why she was so content up until the point that she met Aragorn.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:02 PM   #22
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Arwen may not have had a "stagnant" experience, but there is something massively different between learning about life's experiences and living them. The fact that she had so much access to lives past may even explain why she was so content up until the point that she met Aragorn.
I'm not suggesting that learning from life's experience and living it are the exact same thing. I am suggesting that "stagnant" may not be the best way to describe Arwen's life.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:06 PM   #23
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I'm not suggesting that learning from life's experience and living it are the exact same thing. I am suggesting that "stagnant" may not be the best way to describe Arwen's life.
Moss-gathering, then? Ah, the limitations of language...

But I do think we are arriving at the same concept.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:10 PM   #24
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I wonder if some foreknowledge of 'fate' might have been a factor in Arwen's decisions in accepting Aragorn.

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'For a moment Aragorn gazed in silence, but fearing that she would pass away, and never be seen again, he called to her crying Tinúviel, Tinúviel! even as Beren had done in the Elder Days long ago.
Then the maiden turned to him and smiled, and she said: "Who are you? And why do you call me by that name?"
'And he answered: "Because I believed you to be indeed Lúthien Tinúviel, of whom I was singing. But if you are not she, then you walk in her likeness."
' "So many have said," she answered gravely. "Yet her name is not mine, though maybe my doom will not be unlike hers".
Appendix A

The comment of having a similar 'doom' to Lúthien makes it appear almost as if she had been waiting for someone like Aragorn. At least she didn't seem all that surprised to observe a young Man walk out of the trees, and call her by the same name as that of the likeness in her recognised by her people.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #25
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I think part of what makes it easier is Aragorn's Numenorean bloodline. And his tragic family history. It makes him feel aged and just as part of the past as Arwen.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:49 PM   #26
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A couple things I'd like to say.

Firstly, Arwen, if we think of her as a real person, might not have lived such a sheltered life as the general opinion makes out. Maybe she had her fair share of dangerous adventures and travelled widely too, but if these experiences wasn't important on a grand scale for the history of Middle Earth, there would be little use mentioning them in the tales, which is not to say they didn't occur.

Secondly, Elves don't seem that hung-up on age. Off the top of my head I can think of a few examples of relatively young Men and Elves making a name for themselves and becoming very respected despite being relatively young. There's Dior, Thingol's heir, who became king of Doriath at a very young age. We have the snotty Maeglin, who rose to a very prominent position in Gondolin, which of course goes for Tuor too. Let's not forget Túrin, who made it big in Doriath and Nargothrond, and Beren. These three Men were loved by Elven princesses too of course. Perhaps age truly is but a number when ageing don't affect yourself?
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:04 PM   #27
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Firstly, Arwen, if we think of her as a real person, might not have lived such a sheltered life as the general opinion makes out. Maybe she had her fair share of dangerous adventures and travelled widely too, but if these experiences wasn't important on a grand scale for the history of Middle Earth, there would be little use mentioning them in the tales, which is not to say they didn't occur.
If we're talking Arwen as imagined by Peter Jackson, you're probably right.
In the books, though, I don't see much evidence she did a great deal of travelling. Journeys to and from Lórien (likely under guard) would seem to be the limit of the world she knew.
Her mother, of course, was captured by Orcs while crossing the Mountains, but there's no indication Arwen ever was in any sort of danger. And why would she have gone anywhere but Lórien?

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Secondly, Elves don't seem that hung-up on age.
Among themselves, I'd agree. But it appears they generally did take it into consideration when dealing with Men. Thingol had his 'baseborn mortal' remark to Beren. Legolas made several references to his great age relative to the rest of the Fellowship.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:22 AM   #28
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Among themselves, I'd agree. But it appears they generally did take it into consideration when dealing with Men. Thingol had his 'baseborn mortal' remark to Beren. Legolas made several references to his great age relative to the rest of the Fellowship.
That is true, although I think again, it was not really the "age" that was in concern there, when they said "age", they meant "race". I mean: when an Elf said "I am 1000 years old, you youngsters", it was more like just underlining the fact that he was an Elf. I don't think the age would play that big role per se. Aside from that, I think the Elves got quite soon used to the humans' short lifespan, they had to cope with the fact that there is this short-lived species, but they very soon discovered that amazingly, these mortals can make so much of a difference in even their short lives, or that they can be so wise no matter that they are ten times younger than an average Elvish kid. So the Elves, I think, would not really consider the age a problem. Saying "I am Elf AND I am old and have experienced far more than you" was an argument for the sake of an argument, an argument for racists, if I were to put it rather nastily - I think it would not be "politically correct" among Elves to normally use it as a real argument. In Thingol's case, it was just this, in Legolas' case a mere joke.
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:27 AM   #29
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If we're talking Arwen as imagined by Peter Jackson, you're probably right.
No! honestly, Liv Tyler, fit though she be, has nothing to do with it. My point was simply that though we never hear of any daring bravado from Arwen, neither is it stated that she spent her entire life gossiping in the beauty-saloon or reading harlequin-novels in her girl's room, as far as I'm aware. We hardly know anything about her life or personality, do we?

She probably lived a quieter life than her brother's though, because since it is written that they did travel widely, taking every opportunity fighting the servants of the Enemy, we might assume she did not. But saying that the evidence points to her living a sheltered life isn't something that would hold in a court of law, is it?

To return to the original question, I don't really think it's that strange that Arwen would fall for Aragorn. Love and attraction are indeed mysterious and hard to explain, as Lush says, but I also think that there are some general factors that often seem to reoccur among men deemed attractive and desirable, and when a woman falls for a certain man. I realise I'm stepping out on perilously thin ice now, but isn't status something the ladies do seem to go for in a man, speaking very generally? Now status could include many things, but always involves having a name in some context or other. It could be worldwide fame or notoriety in a certain field but also more mundane qualities like being well liked, respected or even feared in the eyes of others in the near environment.

Influence
can't be looked past either, can it? Someone with the power to take control of a situation is more attractive than he who is a leaf on the wind. This might involve having lots of money or political power but also being confident, persuasive or physically able. In today's rich western well-fare societies this factor might have become less important, but I imagine it was the number one factor up until quite recently.

Looks is another factor of course. Love is blind they say, and although that's a nice romantic notion, it's not the entire truth, is it?

Being somehow different I think is important too. Maybe a hard-wired evolutionary instinct against in-breeding, who knows? In any case, girls do seem to go for a man who somehow stands out from the crowd, someone who is different from the usual servings. Not too different, god forbid, but exotic enough to give that well needed spice to a relationship.

(Boys, generally, tend to be less complicated. Answering "Is she fit?" is usually enough to explanain)

Aragorn it seems, should have possessed all these qualities in the eyes of Arwen. He was in a sense famous, as the heir of Isildur, and although Arwen would have seen many such, he was prophesied with a high doom unlike his predecessors. He was also a hard man of action, a great leader aspiring to be king of Men, and probably not hard on the eye either, at least not when he'd had a shower and a shave for once, like when they met in Lorien. For obvious reasons he was also different, making him more interesting than some run-of-the-mill nobleman of Lorien or Rivendell. This combined would make rather him rather hunky, don't you think?
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #30
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In the books, though, I don't see much evidence she did a great deal of travelling. Journeys to and from Lórien (likely under guard) would seem to be the limit of the world she knew.
Her mother, of course, was captured by Orcs while crossing the Mountains, but there's no indication Arwen ever was in any sort of danger. And why would she have gone anywhere but Lórien?
The tale of Arwen and Aragorn deals with only a tiny fraction of Arwen's life. I don't know that we are given any indication of what she might have been up to in all the long years of her life prior to meeting Aragorn. I take Skip Spence's point that we don't know enough about her to definitively say that the Rivendell/Lorien route is the extent of her travels.
We do know that she does some traveling. During the 60 (?)year period between her first meeting with Aragorn and the Council of Elrond she apparently makes at least three trips between Rivendell and Lorien:

1. Her journey from Lorien to Rivendell - first meeting with Aragorn
2. Her journey from Rivendell to Lorien - second meeting with Aragorn
3. Her journey from Lorien to Rivendell - at the time of the Council of Elrond

These journeys take place at a time that Sauron's power in ME is growing and also after the attack on Arwen's mother. Neither of these things appears to have inspired Arwen to become a shut in, confining herself to either the safety of her grandparents' lands or that of her father's house. Instead she appears to be dividing her time between the two places, justifying her father's description of her as Lady of Imladris and Lorien. Given that she does some traveling during the darkening latter days of the third Age, is it not possible that she might have ventured futher afield in the earlier part of it, before her mother's attack, before Sauron had begun to regroup?
Where she would go besides Lorien? Aredhel while she lived with Eol is described as venturing far and wide under starlight. I don't recall any mention of a visit to a specific place. But certainly their excursions could fall under a broad definition of traveling. Similar types of excursions for Arwen in the earlier part of the Third might be a possibility.
I emphasise that the above are suggested possibilities. I am not saying that Arwen definitely and most certainly did these things. But I do agree with Skip Spence that we don't have enought info to definitely and certainly rule them out.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:56 AM   #31
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I am not saying that Arwen definitely and most certainly did these things. But I do agree with Skip Spence that we don't have enought info to definitely and certainly rule them out.
Of couse there is a degree of uncertainty here. I'm not saying Arwen 'adventuring' was completely out of the question.
Beyond Lórien though, I can't conceive of any other places she would have had reason to go. Even Lindon is a long shot, I think. And her brothers, who often rode afield with the Dúnedain, seemed to have confined their journeys to Eriador and Lórien. If they kept their travelling relatively close to home, I see no reason why their sister, the Evenstar of her people, the returned likeness of Lúthien, and the beloved of her father, would have gone places she was likely to run into hardship and peril.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:20 AM   #32
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Of couse there is a degree of uncertainty here. I'm not saying Arwen 'adventuring' was completely out of the question.
Beyond Lórien though, I can't conceive of any other places she would have had reason to go. Even Lindon is a long shot, I think. And her brothers, who often rode afield with the Dúnedain, seemed to have confined their journeys to Eriador and Lórien. If they kept their travelling relatively close to home, I see no reason why their sister, the Evenstar of her people, the returned likeness of Lúthien, and the beloved of her father, would have gone places she was likely to run into hardship and peril.
Especially after what happened to her mom...
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #33
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Beyond Lórien though, I can't conceive of any other places she would have had reason to go.
Which is why I mentioned Aredhel and her journeys with Eol.

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Even Lindon is a long shot, I think. And her brothers, who often rode afield with the Dúnedain, seemed to have confined their journeys to Eriador and Lórien. If they kept their travelling relatively close to home, I see no reason why their sister, the Evenstar of her people, the returned likeness of Lúthien, and the beloved of her father, would have gone places she was likely to run into hardship and peril.
Would there have been no danger involved in the Lorien/Rivendell journey? Middle Earth at the end of the Third Age is not a place free of hardship and peril and given that her mother had already been attacked, it is interesting to me that Arwen travels at all at this time.
Additionally are all periods of the Third Age equally perilous? It's conceivable that it might have been easier to move around during the earlier periods than it was later on.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:37 PM   #34
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Which is why I mentioned Aredhel and her journeys with Eol.



Would there have been no danger involved in the Lorien/Rivendell journey? Middle Earth at the end of the Third Age is not a place free of hardship and peril and given that her mother had already been attacked, it is interesting to me that Arwen travels at all at this time.
Additionally are all periods of the Third Age equally perilous? It's conceivable that it might have been easier to move around during the earlier periods than it was later on.
Wasn't it precisely on a Rivendell-Lorien journey where her mother was captured and tormented? Not exactly a walk in a park.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:24 PM   #35
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Wasn't it precisely on a Rivendell-Lorien journey where her mother was captured and tormented? Not exactly a walk in a park.
Yes. Celebrían was captured while crossing the Mountains. But that incident was certainly noteworthy, enough so that it got a mention in the books. I have to think that if Arwen had ever been involved in a similar situation, or anything that would qualify as 'adventure', there would likely be a notice of it somewhere.
Instead, we are only told that she spent her time in Rivendell and Lórien, presumably because she had kin on both places.
Contrast that with her brothers, whose trekking about with the Rangers, in addition to going to and from Lórien, was duly noted.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:35 PM   #36
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Yes. Celebrían was captured while crossing the Mountains. But that incident was certainly noteworthy, enough so that it got a mention in the books. I have to think that if Arwen had ever been involved in a similar situation, or anything that would qualify as 'adventure', there would likely be a notice of it somewhere.
Instead, we are only told that she spent her time in Rivendell and Lórien, presumably because she had kin on both places.
Contrast that with her brothers, whose trekking about with the Rangers, in addition to going to and from Lórien, was duly noted.
But why does the possibility of Arwen traveling (aside from her Rivendell/Lorien trips) have to be equated with having an adventure? It's quite possible to journey without incident.
I could be wrong but I thought the point Elmo was making was that a Rivendell/Lorien journey could be dangerous and we are provided with an example of that.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:11 PM   #37
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But why does the possibility of Arwen traveling (aside from her Rivendell/Lorien trips) have to be equated with having an adventure? It's quite possible to journey without incident.
I could be wrong but I thought the point Elmo was making was that a Rivendell/Lorien journey could be dangerous and we are provided with an example of that.
The possibility of danger was certainly there, as evidenced by Celebrían's experience. But my point was that if Arwen had been in a position where she was in danger, or underwent a trying time, the books probably would have mentioned it, as was the case with Celebrían. I was mainly responding to Skip's earlier statements here:

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Firstly, Arwen, if we think of her as a real person, might not have lived such a sheltered life as the general opinion makes out. Maybe she had her fair share of dangerous adventures and travelled widely too, but if these experiences wasn't important on a grand scale for the history of Middle Earth, there would be little use mentioning them in the tales, which is not to say they didn't occur.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:37 PM   #38
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Being just partway thru the thread, I feel compelled to bring up Lindir's comment: "But mortals have not been our study. We have other business."

Perhaps the question of maturity is, almost, a side-track. Mortals have not been our study. Mortality involves growing old and dying-- does it involve "growing up" as it were? Is that something strange to elves? Or do they retain their childlikenes even as they watch the ages pass and grow in lore and knowledge? What DO elves study? Elrond is a great loremaster and historian; but what had Legolas studied? What had Haldir studied? How youthful, or ageless, or agelong, were they?

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and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in form of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred. Young she was and yet not so. ... yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring.
The thought that comes to me with all this is, a human "maturity" is often disdainful of youthfulness, preferring something more like itself. But an elf can hardly afford such an attitude, especially as they live through more and more ages.

What about that elvish joy? "Terrible and splendid" are some of them; "merry as children" the others; and isn't it interesting that once Sam had spent some time with Galadriel, he said that she was both?

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Beautiful she is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes like a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white daffadowndilly, small and slender like. Hard as di’monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime.
I think that when we try to fit elvish "maturity" into a framework of human "maturity" we somehow miss the essence of their elvishness. "Merry as children, terrible and splendid."
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:53 PM   #39
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20 year old Aragorn certainly fell in love with Arwen at their first meeting in Rivendell. However, I was under the impression that the Aragorn that Arwen fell in love with is an older version of Aragorn that showed up in Lorien after undertaking a great deal of travel throughout Middle Earth. This older version is clad by Arwen's grandmother so as to appear to best advantage and given his extensive travel his conversation must certainly have been intriguing to someone who, as Lalwende points out, led a somewhat sheltered life.
I think this is an important point. Their relationship is sealed when Aragorn returns from the travels that made him "the greatest traveller of his age", at age 50 as I recall. This is no longer the "young punk" that she encountered in Rivendell. While still much younger than Arwen, he has 1) experienced hardships and difficulties beyond what many Elves would face in the course of their lives in Middle Earth, and 2) true to the Dunadan/Numenorean spirit, he has managed to absorb the wisdom of that race of men that began with Earendil. This ability of the Numenorean race/strain to absorb the wisdom of the forbearers is noted elsewhere, even in the case of Faramir, who is admittedly less high and lofty than is Aragorn. So while Aragorn is mortal and therefore less longlived than the Elves, I don't think this is a basis in and of itself to devalue him (or other men). After all, Elrond and Elros are twin brothers, but I doubt either would have said that Elros was the lesser person. He chose mortality, with all that comes with it, but as a result he was able to influence the world of men more directly than Elrond was (like Aragorn was in the Third Age)...
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:10 AM   #40
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The possibility of danger was certainly there, as evidenced by Celebrían's experience. But my point was that if Arwen had been in a position where she was in danger, or underwent a trying time, the books probably would have mentioned it, as was the case with Celebrían. I was mainly responding to Skip's earlier statements here:
I dunno, do you really think the books would have mentioned the attack on Celebrian's party had she not been captured and tortured, and as a result left Middle Earth? Sure, something this grave probably never happened to Arwen, but since the high pass over the Misty Mountains were by all account dangerous for many reasons, and the trip down to Lorien hardly a Sunday stroll either, I actually find it unlikely that Arwen could have made that journey so often without anything going wrong or ever being in danger. Also, didn't Galadriel (according to UT) live in Lindon for most of the Third Age? Arwen probably came to visit there too, and crossing Eriador was surely not without its risks. But like I said, it's futile really discussing Arwen's life and personality since we know next to nothing about it.
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