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Old 10-08-2021, 04:23 PM   #18
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Second post because utterly unconnected to the first:

While Tolkien wavered as to precisely the rates at which Elves (and Numenoreans) matured, the consistent thread in all of these writings is that these longeval races nonetheless grew from birth to first maturity (~20 years in human terms) at a much faster rate than the rate of their aging, compared to humans. Roughly speaking, we spend a quarter of our lives (0-20) growing up, and then the remaining 3/4 (20-80) decaying. For both Elves and Dunedain, though, while Tolkien vacillated on what the ratio was it was much, much greater than 1:3. Aragorn's was about 1:10, and Elves naturally way, way more.

This reflects back to a position I have long held, which was a minority position even before PJ cast a teenager to play Frodo and carved it in pop-culture stone: Frodo was not physically a teenager at 33 (and thereafter, because Ring). He was 33 in our regular human terms.* Hobbits, like Dunedain and Elves would fit the pattern: growth to adulthood at our rate, but slower decline thereafter. In ratio terms 1:4, since the average Hobbit life expectancy ("as often as not") was 100.

I have always thought that Hobbits coming of age at 33, (besides the maths of one gross), was the university don's droll little joke-- No society as sensible as the Shire would ever consider young people in their twenties to be "adults!"

*Mentally and emotionally, of course, he was 50, a middle-aged bachelor, not an ingenue. PJ never understood that.
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didnít know, and when he didnít know it.
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