The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > Novices and Newcomers
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-16-2007, 02:37 PM   #1
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien Beardless

Do you suppose that the beardless features of Tolkien's Elves and Numenoreans have anything to do with the fact that he himself was beardless? In pictures and videos of the Professor it does not seem like he needed to shave, unless he did it everyday.

I find that beards are usually given to characters of less nobility, or of mixed blood, or of less stature. I can't explain that for say, Gandalf and Cirdan (the only known Elf with a beard I believe), and I can't recall off the top of my head who else is said to have a beard but Gimli and Theoden, but do you get the same feeling here? Many of the common folk were bearded, I think, unless I am going off my own mind and no fact.

We know that the Elves we meet in The Lord of the Rings did not have beards (except in extreme old age, like Cirdan I suspect), and we know that most likely neither did Aragorn, Faramir, Denethor, Boromir (although left to opinion), Imrahil, and all of the Hobbits (I know a certain race of Hobbits had beards, but not the one's we meet.)

So what's the deal here? Was Tolkien biased towards the beardless? Any opinions?
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2007, 02:56 PM   #2
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I like to think that Elves could grow beards, if they wanted them, as it might throw up all kinds of slightly uncomfortable* hormonal problems otherwise! Maybe it was the Elves' culture to prefer to be clean-shaven, and Numenorean Men followed them in this 'fashion statement'. As to why Cirdan grew a beard, maybe it was the influence of living out on a limb from most other Elves, or he kinda liked the style statements made by them Istari when they arrived on the shores of Middle-earth?

Mind, I always picture Elrond with a beard - and I'm not the only one, as Alan Lee does, too.

*Literally...
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
Boo Radley
Wight
 
Boo Radley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ohio. Believe it or not.
Posts: 154
Boo Radley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I like to think that Elves could grow beards, if they wanted them, as it might throw up all kinds of slightly uncomfortable* hormonal problems otherwise!
*Literally...
You completely lost me on this one!
Being a bit of a thickie, I think you'll have to explain it to me.
Use pictures if necessary.
__________________
Don't believe everything you read on the interwebs. That's how World War 1 got started!
Boo Radley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 09:23 PM   #4
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

yeah, do tell...So you think they shaved? haha
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 04:50 AM   #5
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:

I find that beards are usually given to characters of less nobility, or of mixed blood, or of less stature.
Which characters exactly? The bearded characters that immediately come to my mind are dwarves and Cirdan. Well I suppose dwarves are characters of "less stature" but who are the bearded characters of "less nobility" and "mixed blood"?
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
ninja91
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
ninja91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chozo Ruins.
Posts: 439
ninja91 has just left Hobbiton.
I dont think that it had to do with nobility or anything. All dwarves had beards (as far as I know) and many humans do, and as we all know humans make up some of the most noble beings ever to walk Arda. I think that the perception of Elves being the fairest folk of the land has to present them as somewhat angelic. And gristle does not fit in well there. Elves were known for their valour and grace, and in order to extend that presenting them as fair (and, consequently, smooth and beardless) the Elvish men were not bearded.
__________________
Quote:
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it...
ninja91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2007, 10:10 AM   #7
Anáwiel
Pile O'Bones
 
Anáwiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Anáwiel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Anáwiel Send a message via MSN to Anáwiel
When I think of beards in Middle Earth, I think of Gandalf and Saruman and the other wizards, as well as of Dwarves and Wild men... So I don't think it has anything to do with nobility. Some races like it, some probably (like elves) don't.

And it is nowhere said that elves don't have beards, imagine they are like the north-american indians, who have much less facial hair than the other races and remove it.
Anáwiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,257
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Of course, despite the apparent claims, re: Imrahil and Dol Amroth, that Elven lineage means beardlessness, the Elves themselves are not beardless. Quite apart from Círdan, we have Thranduil (who, though he may have been in the Hobbit is no less a valid image of how Tolkien viewed a major Elf-king).

Indeed, unless we are TOLD that an Elf or Man was cleanshaven, we have no necessary reason to assume so...
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2007, 09:01 PM   #9
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
Which characters exactly? The bearded characters that immediately come to my mind are dwarves and Cirdan. Well I suppose dwarves are characters of "less stature" but who are the bearded characters of "less nobility" and "mixed blood"?
Well I did say that I couldn't explain it for charactes such as Cirdan and Gandalf. The characters of "less nobility" and "mixed blood" I was referring to was the common man, the people without Numenorean blood or Elvish blood.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007, 08:34 AM   #10
ninja91
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
ninja91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chozo Ruins.
Posts: 439
ninja91 has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM
Well I did say that I couldn't explain it for charactes such as Cirdan and Gandalf.
Well, Gandalf is ancient, and it is fitting for him to have a beard. I dont think that in his case there is a question of nobility. The beard just enhances his character as he smokes his pipe or thoughtfully strokes his... beard.
__________________
Quote:
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it...
ninja91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007, 09:43 AM   #11
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Well I did say that I couldn't explain it for charactes such as Cirdan and Gandalf. The characters of "less nobility" and "mixed blood" I was referring to was the common man, the people without Numenorean blood or Elvish blood.
But were Numenoreans beardless? I don't recall if Tolkien actually says that they were. He does make such a specific comment about Hobbits IIRC in The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party (though in the Prologue to LotR he only specfically says that the Harfoots are beardless). Unless there is a similar statement about the Numenoreans (and I do not say that there is not), why should we assume that as a race they were beardless?

That aside, there are number of very different characters described as having beards:Cirdan, Gandalf, Saruman, Theoden, Ghan-buri-Ghan (who is described as having a "scanty beard straggled on his lumpy chin as dry moss"), Beorn. I therefore don't think of beards as something Tolkien assigned to characters to indicate a lack of nobility; but that he simply visualised certain characters as bearded.
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
But were Numenoreans beardless? I don't recall if Tolkien actually says that they were. He does make such a specific comment about Hobbits IIRC in The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party (though in the Prologue to LotR he only specfically says that the Harfoots are beardless). Unless there is a similar statement about the Numenoreans (and I do not say that there is not), why should we assume that as a race they were beardless?

That aside, there are number of very different characters described as having beards:Cirdan, Gandalf, Saruman, Theoden, Ghan-buri-Ghan (who is described as having a "scanty beard straggled on his lumpy chin as dry moss"), Beorn. I therefore don't think of beards as something Tolkien assigned to characters to indicate a lack of nobility; but that he simply visualised certain characters as bearded.
That makes sense. I don't know for sure that there is a quote saying Numenoreans were beardless, but I recall so many people saying it. Does anybody have this quote?!?!
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 12:51 PM   #13
Anáwiel
Pile O'Bones
 
Anáwiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Anáwiel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Anáwiel Send a message via MSN to Anáwiel
Quote:
In a note written in December 1972 or later, and among the last writings of my father's on the subject of Middle-earth, there is a discussion of the Elvish strain in Men, as to its being observable in the beardlessness of those who were so descended (it was a characteristic of all Elves to be beardless); and it is here noted in connection with the princely house of Dol Amroth that "this line had a special Elvish strain, according to its own legends" (with a reference to the speeches between Legolas and Imrahil in The Return of the King V 9, cited above).
Quote:
My father first wrote here (emending it to the text given at the time of writing): 'But we have to go on, and we have to cross the mountains here or go back. The passes further south are too far away, and were all guarded years ago - they lead straight into the country of the [Beardless Men Mani Aroman >] Horsemen.' In the rewritten passage, the reference to the passes further south is removed, but it reappears a little later: 'further south the passes are held' (cf. FR p. 300: Further south there are no passes, till one comes to the Gap of Rohan').
Quote:
The Stoors were broader, heavier in build, and had less hair on their feet and more on their chins, and preferred flat lands and riversides. [Added: Their feet and hands were large.] The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; they preferred highlands and hill-sides. [Added: Their hands and feet were neat and nimble.] The Fallohides were fairer of skin and often of hair, and were taller than the others; they were lovers of trees and woodlands. [Added: All Hobbits were 'good shots' with stone, sling or bow, but the Fallohides were the surest on the mark.] The Stoors [> Harfoots] had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and long lived in the foothills of the Misty Mountains.
These are the only three quotes, containing the word beardless, I found in my e-books, all from HoME. No mentioning of beardless Númenoreans. In fact, Beregond of Gondor (and if I am not mistaken, the Númenoreans are the ancestors of the Men of Gondor), mentions to Pippin that the hobbit has seen more than the 'greybeards' of his nation.
But as Tolkien contradicts himself often, as we see in the first quote, it may cetrainly be, that he mentioned somewhere Men without beard.
Anáwiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 01:50 PM   #14
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
QUOTE] Quote:
The Stoors were broader, heavier in build, and had less hair on their feet and more on their chins, and preferred flat lands and riversides. [Added: Their feet and hands were large.] The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; they preferred highlands and hill-sides. [Added: Their hands and feet were neat and nimble.] The Fallohides were fairer of skin and often of hair, and were taller than the others; they were lovers of trees and woodlands. [Added: All Hobbits were 'good shots' with stone, sling or bow, but the Fallohides were the surest on the mark.] The Stoors [> Harfoots] had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and long lived in the foothills of the Misty Mountains.

[/QUOTE] Ah, the bearded Stoors. It is said of the hobbits of the Eastfarthing that they were "Stoors in a large part of their blood, as indeed was shown by the don that many grew on their chines." By contrast "(n)o Harfoot or Fallohide had any trace of a beard". (LotR, Prologue:Concerning Hobbits)
So to amend my earlier statement hobbits, with the exception of those with Stoor ancestry, are beardless.

Quote:
Quote:
In a note written in December 1972 or later, and among the last writings of my father's on the subject of Middle-earth, there is a discussion of the Elvish strain in Men, as to its being observable in the beardlessness of those who were so descended (it was a characteristic of all Elves to be beardless); and it is here noted in connection with the princely house of Dol Amroth that "this line had a special Elvish strain, according to its own legends" (with a reference to the speeches between Legolas and Imrahil in The Return of the King V 9, cited above).
So, Men with elven ancestry are beardless; those with strictly human ancestry are not (what volume of HoME is the above quote from by the way?)
__________________
He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. "She was not conquered," he said
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 08:03 PM   #15
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anáwiel
These are the only three quotes, containing the word beardless, I found in my e-books, all from HoME. No mentioning of beardless Númenoreans. In fact, Beregond of Gondor (and if I am not mistaken, the Númenoreans are the ancestors of the Men of Gondor), mentions to Pippin that the hobbit has seen more than the 'greybeards' of his nation.
But as Tolkien contradicts himself often, as we see in the first quote, it may cetrainly be, that he mentioned somewhere Men without beard.
I didn't get the second quote, really. Was it saying that the men of Rohan were beardless? That's kind of confusing, and we know Theoden had a beard.

"Greybeards" are probably the common folk of Gondor, most likely not the ones with Numenorean blood...

thank you for the quotes! Much appreciated...it's a confusing subject...
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 08:12 PM   #16
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,257
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
The quote in question isn't from the HoME, but from Unfinished Tales, unless I am vastly mistaken. From the section on Nimrodel in "The Tale of Galadriel and Celeborn", possibly a footnote. (All that is a guess... I could be way off.)

However, I am quite certain that I am NOT way off when I say that nowhere ever printed or referred to in print, did Tolkien EVER write anything saying that Númenoreans were unbearded. Even his statement on the Elves is contradictory with the image of Elves shown elsewhere, as already demonstrated by Thranduil and Círdan.
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 10:00 PM   #17
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
Where does it say that Thranduil is bearded? I've been looking through TH for the reference but so far nothing.
__________________
He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. "She was not conquered," he said
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2007, 03:00 AM   #18
Anáwiel
Pile O'Bones
 
Anáwiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Anáwiel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Anáwiel Send a message via MSN to Anáwiel
Quote:
The passes further south are too far away, and were all guarded years ago - they lead straight into the country of the [Beardless Men Mani Aroman >] Horsemen.
As far as I was able to understand it, the quote states that the Rohirrim are beardless. This in my opinion doesn't mean that the men were unable to grow beards but rather that the fashion was to be clean-shaven. At least I interpret it this way.

Concerning the other quote, I think greybeards is just another name for the elders of Gondor and if they are referred to as "greybeards", it is somehow logic to me that they have beards.

The subject is really confusing (and very interesting too). Tolkien often contradicts himself. I think I'll search my e-books again, this time to see how many bearded characters I find, this subject really arose my interest

All quotes are from HoME, I'll check later in which volumes I found them, when I get home
Anáwiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2007, 04:38 PM   #19
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,257
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
Where does it say that Thranduil is bearded? I've been looking through TH for the reference but so far nothing.
After my own look-through... I'm embarassingly forced to conclude likewise. I can only conclude that I was thinking of the fact that Thranduil was blond, and was somehow conflating it with the idea that he was bearded--which is a reasonable mix-up, since blondness and beardedness would both contradict normally-held statements about Elves (barring the Vanyar).

However... despite the fact that I can't find any evidence... I STILL want to say that Thranduil was bearded... but I have no evidence and am reasonably forced to conclude that I am mistaken on that point.
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 08:29 AM   #20
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anáwiel

The subject is really confusing (and very interesting too). Tolkien often contradicts himself. I think I'll search my e-books again, this time to see how many bearded characters I find, this subject really arose my interest
Tell me about it, I've been trying to find answers to this question for a long time. Let us know the results on your search!
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2007, 10:43 PM   #21
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anáwiel

Concerning the other quote, I think greybeards is just another name for the elders of Gondor and if they are referred to as "greybeards", it is somehow logic to me that they have beards.
And concerning this, I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was stating that the "greybeards" Beregond referred to could be the one's with no rich Numenorean blood- the common folk of Gondor. As far as I know, the only 3 that were known to be actual decendants of Numenor were Denethor, Boromir, and Faramir. Could be wrong.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 10:20 AM   #22
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Any more opinions? This is a topic highly up for opinion.

Here's a question- do you think that when Tolkien describes a character as "fair of face", that this refers to beardlessness?
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 10:48 PM   #23
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anáwiel

All quotes are from HoME, I'll check later in which volumes I found them, when I get home
BTW, any luck finding which volumes they were quoted from?
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 01:23 AM   #24
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM
Any more opinions? This is a topic highly up for opinion.

Here's a question- do you think that when Tolkien describes a character as "fair of face", that this refers to beardlessness?
I don't know that the phrase is meant to indicate that a character so described is beardless. Cirdan for example is a bearded elf. All elves are supposed to be "fair of face". Ergo, Cirdan is bearded and good looking. Theoden is described as bearded ("His beard was like snow upon his knees" - TT, The King of the Golden Hall ) and Tolkien's description of the dead Theoden is as follows:

Quote:
The light of the torches shimmered in his white hair like sun in the spray of a fountain, but his face was fair and young, save that a peace lay on it beyond the reach of youth.

RotK, The Houses of Healing
Now unless Theoden had shaved before going into battle, he presumably is still bearded at the time of the above description.

So it is possible to be bearded and fair of face.

On the other hand you have hobbits, who are generally beardless, apart from the Stoors who have facial hair. But hobbits are said to have "good natured" rather than beautiful faces.
__________________
He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. "She was not conquered," he said
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 11:38 AM   #25
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Nice insight and connection. Thanks.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 03:36 PM   #26
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,045
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
...since blondness and beardedness would both contradict normally-held statements about Elves (barring the Vanyar).
Normally-held, but mistaken. Surely after twenty years people are aware that Appendix F was garbled, and that the 'dark-haired' description there was intended to refer to the Noldor alone, not all the Eldar?
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 04:19 PM   #27
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,257
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
Normally-held, but mistaken. Surely after twenty years people are aware that Appendix F was garbled, and that the 'dark-haired' description there was intended to refer to the Noldor alone, not all the Eldar?
You are correct that it is garbled, and applies specifically to the Noldor, and not all the Eldar, but since Thranduil is a Sinda, and thus of the Teleri, blond is not a hair colour that would be associated with them. Golden hair is associated with the Vanyar, but the Teleri are like the Noldor in being primarily dark-haired, and I quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tolkien, in "Quendi and Eldar", HoME XI,
On the origin of this name [Sindar] see Note 11. The Loremasters also supposed that reference was made to the hair of the Sindar. Elwë himself had indeed long and beautiful hair of silver hue, but this does not seem to have been a common feature of the Sindar, though it was found among them occasionally, especially in the nearer or remoter kin of Elwë (as in the case of Círdan). In general, the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles [Noldor], being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe. Indeed, they could hardly be told apart except by their eyes; for the eyes of all the Elves that had dwelt in Aman impressed those of Middle-earth by their piercing brightness.
As a Telerin Elf generally, and as a Sindarin Elf specifically, I stand by saying that a blond-haired Thranduil would have been atypical for his race, though provision is also made earlier in the same text (in discussing the Noldor) to leave a little leeway for intermarriage with the Vanyar in days before or during the Great March.
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 05:29 PM   #28
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,045
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quite so- and let's also please allow for natural variation within populations! For example Mahtan and three of his grandsons had red hair, and Nerdanel's was brown- even though 'officially' all non-Finarfinian Noldor had raven locks.

Nor can we forget the nameless Elf of Lorien who helped Haldir with the rope-bridge: whether Noldo, Sinda, or Nando he's not 'supposed' to have golden hair: but he does.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 05:32 PM   #29
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,045
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Indeed, they could hardly be told apart except by their eyes; for the eyes of all the Elves that had dwelt in Aman impressed those of Middle-earth by their piercing brightness.
On wonders- how did one tell Sindar from Beleriand-born Noldor?
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 12:45 AM   #30
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
As a Telerin Elf generally, and as a Sindarin Elf specifically, I stand by saying that a blond-haired Thranduil would have been atypical for his race, though provision is also made earlier in the same text (in discussing the Noldor) to leave a little leeway for intermarriage with the Vanyar in days before or during the Great March.
Yes, but Thranduil (or simply 'the Elvenking') first came into being in TH, which was not directly linked to the Legendarium at all originally, so Tolkien would not have actually cared about 'consistency' or lack of same. The Elves of TH could all have had blonde hair, pink eyes & carried teddy bears (Rateliff points put that the prominence of bears in Tolkiens children's stories (TH, Father Christmas Letters & Mr Bliss) comes down to the fact that his audience (Christopher, Michael, John & Priscilla) all had beloved teddy bears (Priscilla at one time owning over sixty of them ).

Another example of the arguments one can get into by treating TH as part of the Legendarium proper......
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 10:01 AM   #31
Morwen
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Morwen has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
On wonders- how did one tell Sindar from Beleriand-born Noldor?
I suppose you couldn't tell just by looking and that whether a particular dark haired elf is a Sinda or Noldo is something that can only be determined through conversation/interaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
Quite so- and let's also please allow for natural variation within populations! For example Mahtan and three of his grandsons had red hair, and Nerdanel's was brown- even though 'officially' all non-Finarfinian Noldor had raven locks.
This is, in part, why I don't think that Thranduil's golden hair is a huge issue. In The Hobbit, IIRC, only Thranduil is described as golden haired. I don't recall the hair colour of the other Wood Elves being mentioned. Golden hair as a trait therefore may be personal to him, and may possibly be shared by his close relatives.

Or (speculating) it may be that Thranduil has a Vanya ancestor in his family tree.

In any event I don't think that one Sinda being described in TH as golden haired is enough to cast doubt on/cause significant conflict with anything said elsewhere on the hair colour of the Sindar.
__________________
He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. "She was not conquered," he said
Morwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 06:14 AM   #32
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 987
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
Normally-held, but mistaken. Surely after twenty years people are aware that Appendix F was garbled, and that the 'dark-haired' description there was intended to refer to the Noldor alone, not all the Eldar?
Christopher Tolkien objects to the implication concerning the Vanyar, but he also notes...

Quote:
'But my father carefully remodeled the passage in order to apply it to the Eldar as a whole, and it does seem 'extraordinary' that he should have failed to observe this point.' Christopher Tolkien The Appendix on Languages HME XII
I agree it does seem extraordinary and so I cannot agree with characterizing a Tolkien-published description in a prime source such as The Lord of the Rings as a garbled mistake because a draft reads differently.

In any case I see no great reason to give the 'Vanyarin concern' textual parity here: published text concerning the Eldar outweighs unpublished text concerning the Vanyar in my opinion (and certainly outweighs draft text).
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 10:45 PM   #33
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Does anybody know, as Anáwiel is M.I.A., where this quote is from?

In a note written in December 1972 or later, and among the last writings of my father's on the subject of Middle-earth, there is a discussion of the Elvish strain in Men, as to its being observable in the beardlessness of those who were so descended (it was a characteristic of all Elves to be beardless); and it is here noted in connection with the princely house of Dol Amroth that "this line had a special Elvish strain, according to its own legends" (with a reference to the speeches between Legolas and Imrahil in The Return of the King V 9, cited above).
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 06:03 AM   #34
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 987
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
MatthewM, that was published as part of The History Of Galadriel And Celeborn in Unfinished Tales

And with respect to Elves anyway, Tolkien once wrote (published in Vinyar Tengwar 41)...

Quote:
'Elves did not have beards until they entered their third cycle of life. Nerdanel's father was exceptional, being only early in his second.' JRRT, VT 41
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 11:08 AM   #35
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

Thanks. What is Vinyar Tengwar? Elvish speech? Is there a section for this in UT or HoMe?
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 02:01 PM   #36
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 987
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Vinyar Tengwar is a not-for-profit refereed journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship.

More details can be found on the web at The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship (from where I lifted this description actually) which is an international organization devoted to the scholarly study of Tolkien's languages.

Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 02:21 PM   #37
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM
Thanks. What is Vinyar Tengwar? Elvish speech? Is there a section for this in UT or HoMe?
VT publish a lot of Tolkien's still unpublished writings - mainly the linguistic stuff, though some stuff of more general interest finds its way in there occasionally - as far as I'm aware Osanwe Kenta hasn't appeared anywhere else...
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 10:56 PM   #38
MatthewM
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
MatthewM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 627
MatthewM has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to MatthewM
Tolkien

On the subject of hair color-

Do you think that when Tolkien described a character with dark hair that it was always raven? What about dark brown? Faramir's hair is described as raven when it mixes with Eowyn's in the wind, however black hair is seen in our modern world predominately in the Asian culture, although it is possible in a European background I'm sure. What color do you think "dark hair" meant? I like to think he meant dark brown, as well as raven.
__________________
"Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills...and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
MatthewM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2007, 06:08 PM   #39
Arathul
Pile O'Bones
 
Arathul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Arathul has just left Hobbiton.
Pardon for slight off topic

now that you mention Cirdan and his beard, he 's an elf right? and they were gifted with the gift of immortality and never grow old. then why did Cirdan looks like an old man. just look at Galadriel, she's at least as old as Cirdan and yet they say she's very beautiful. remember the first movie, at the beginning when they mention "three rings were given to the elf"? there's 3 elf there, Galadriel (Cate Blanchet), and there's also 2 other elves. i assumed the dark haired one is Gil-Galad and the White haired old loking one is Cirdan. even in movie depictionas he look quite old.
__________________
"This I say to you, lord, with the eyes of death. Though we part here and for ever, and I shall not look on your white walls again, from you and from me a new star shall arise. Farewell" - Huor words to Turgon during Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
Arathul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2007, 07:54 PM   #40
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,257
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arathul
Pardon for slight off topic

now that you mention Cirdan and his beard, he 's an elf right? and they were gifted with the gift of immortality and never grow old. then why did Cirdan looks like an old man. just look at Galadriel, she's at least as old as Cirdan and yet they say she's very beautiful. remember the first movie, at the beginning when they mention "three rings were given to the elf"? there's 3 elf there, Galadriel (Cate Blanchet), and there's also 2 other elves. i assumed the dark haired one is Gil-Galad and the White haired old loking one is Cirdan. even in movie depictionas he look quite old.
Well....

Actually, you have a good point... but I must quibble about the relative ages of Círdan and Galadriel.

Círdan is quite a bit older than Galadriel. From texts about him in the Silmarillion writings, we can see that he was clearly born either before or on the Great March, since he was an adult at the time that Elwë (Thingol) was lost in Nan Elmoth, and I would lean towards an earlier date for his birth rather than a later one, since he was clearly a person of some stature among the Teleri, as evidenced by his lordship from the beginning of the Falathrim, and since the Sindar in general were widely composed of those akin to Thingol, it cannot have been on the basis of his kinship to Thingol alone.

Círdan, then is probably about the same age then as Thingol, or his good friend, Finwë-- Galadriel's grandfather. We are also told, in Unfinished Tales that it was not long before the brightness of Valinor was dimmed (with the release of Melkor) that she grew to adulthood. And since Melkor was imprisoned for three Ages, and since most of those three Ages passed after the arrival of the Vanyar and Noldor in Valinor, it seems likely to assume that Círdan was something like two and a half Ages older than Galadriel. It also seems probable that Galadriel was the youngest of Finwë's grandchildren, or one of the youngest, seeing as she was the youngest child of his youngest son.

(It should also be noted that these "Ages" before the demise of the Two Trees were of a fixed, numerical length--one that I can't recall at the moment, but one which I believe was rather shorter than the 2nd and 3rd Ages turned out to be... Still, although Galadriel and Círdan are both quite old, the Shipwright has a decided edge.)
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:41 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.