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Old 05-16-2007, 05:59 PM   #1
Elladan
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Question Elves in modern times

This is just a hypothetical question..

I know the Elves cant come back, wouldn't come back. BUT.. Lets say they did, lets say they sailed back to the world in present day 2007.. What would take place? What would they think of the Earth they find? Would they try to re-establish themselves with humans? Would they turn tail, and go back?

What say you, for I am very curious.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:08 PM   #2
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Tolkien

They would probably choke from the air.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:20 AM   #3
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They have done what the Elves of Lorien did.

They have found a suitable place to establish their realm and have hidden it in ways we cannot understand. The reports of aliens and UFOs that turn up in our news media are the result of accidental sightings of Elves.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:10 AM   #4
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Most elves mind their own business and don't care about humans and their concerns.
Hypothetically, if our world was Middle Earth and Elves were still inhabiting it (though I don't know why they would stay and not leave for Aman), they would hide themselves in a place, far from the Men and from their big cities, far from the smog and the bad air, in a place where they can see the stars, ALL of them, not just the three, that can be spotted in the big cities.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:45 AM   #5
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So you don't think they would try to teach man the error of our ways? Try to clean up the earth? To fix all thats wrong today? Or would they simply just decide that its not their business what we do?
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan
So you don't think they would try to teach man the error of our ways?
If I recall correctly, elves made a few errors of their own along the way. There's always a difficulty when some think they have all the answers which others lack, especially when those answers are so entwined with nostalgia.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Elladan
So you don't think they would try to teach man the error of our ways? Try to clean up the earth? To fix all thats wrong today?
Frodo quotes an old saying to Gildor: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no."

A more accurate statement might be: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will get it wrong every time."
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Selmo
A more accurate statement might be: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will get it wrong every time."
I wouldn't say it in such strong way, but it's true, like Bęthberry said, the Elves don't have answers to everything and also are not faultless. They are, though Elder, just Children of Ilúvatar like the Men. If there were few of them, they'd surely hide somewhere in woods or on remote islands. If there were many of them, they'd have to merge with the current political structures of Men (which would surely be a fun to see), and then many of them would probably become active in debates concerning ecology, military problems (strongly against), definitely not technology (they'll have their own specific Fëanorian manufactures, if anything), very creative in music, poetry and art... in short, they'll be like the hippies
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc
If there were many of them, they'd have to merge with the current political structures of Men (which would surely be a fun to see), and then many of them would probably become active in debates concerning ecology, military problems (strongly against), definitely not technology (they'll have their own specific Fëanorian manufactures, if anything), very creative in music, poetry and art... in short, they'll be like the hippies
Hey, I was under the impression that 'hippies' is a bad word these days.

I wonder what would be an elven response to the military problems of our world these days. Tolkien was not a pacifist, nor are the elves, and certainly the warrior ethic is a major theme in Tolkien's work.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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Don't you think the internet would be the ideal hiding place for Elves?! They could communicate without being seen and would certainly hang out in sites like our forum to reminisce about the good old days...
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bęthberry
Hey, I was under the impression that 'hippies' is a bad word these days.
From what I saw in US sitcoms, in US surely. But not everywhere.

Concerning the wars, elves surely were not pacifists, but if they'd wage war on someone, it would need some Dark Lords. But if they were to speak to inter-human wars, they'll probably stand for peace.

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Don't you think the internet would be the ideal hiding place for Elves?! They could communicate without being seen and would certainly hang out in sites like our forum to reminisce about the good old days...
Shhh...
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #12
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So the Elves would not think of modern man as an evil force? Would Eru want man to continue as they are? I would think Eru would not be happy with how man are treating the Earth.

I also wonder if Elves did come back to the world of men now, would they be any different than when they left, and how would men treat them. Would men be afraid of them?
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
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First, to your second question: surely. As there's already enough xenophobia even among humans as they are, imagine what would happen if an completely new species would appear. I can imagine gangs of "let's get rid of the pointy-eared freaks!" racists.

To your first question I answer with a question: do you think how men are treating Earth now is any different from how the men of, let's say, Beleriand were treating Earth? And it's not only about Earth in the ecologic way - the modern man can do much more to the nature than a man several hundred years ago, of course, which means that his actions have more impact even on the ecosystems. But if you say you think Eru would not be happy with how men are treating the Earth, then I'd say of course, but then I think he wouldn't be happy in the first place with how they are treating each other. And this is not just a matter of today, this was a matter of ancient times on our Earth and of Middle-Earth as well. And if nothing happened to Men there, then I don't see why would Eru do anything with today's men, if he suddenly appeared in our world. But this is a little bit off-topic, since I thought we were speaking about Elves, not Eru. After all, these Men are not even his Children. Or rather, Eru is not in our universe. You could imagine Elves appearing here quite easily, but Eru is something that has impact on the entire cosmology.

Back to the Elves - and what do you call "modern man"? I mean, if you had the Three Kings of Eldar suddenly mustering their hosts on the plains of Kazakhstan, who would they march against? Or what will they do? Or will several Wise find shelters, build New Lórien in the forests of Amazonia and New Rivendell somewhere in Himalayas and New Havens on some remote island in the Pacific, and there make councils trying to find ideas how to... how to what? Here is no single, specific enemy, no "Sauron" whom they could march against. Or what is that you have in mind?
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"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:44 AM   #14
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Maybe they could help find Tony Blair's One Ring...or muster against his evil craggy northern lieutenant, the dreaded Gordon (his name ends in an -on, he must be a Dark Lord...)
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:06 AM   #15
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Im sorry if i sound foolish.. I just was curious, and wanted to ring in my being new here with what i thought is a good discussion, if I sound stupid ill stop.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:10 PM   #16
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Im sorry if i sound foolish.. I just was curious, and wanted to ring in my being new here with what i thought is a good discussion, if I sound stupid ill stop.
No, surely not, it's interesting. I was merely saying my own opinion on it, which does not mean you should stop. If you disagree with something, say it. If you agree, move on with the thought or take your original question from another angle. Or say your opinion on that. I think the original idea is good and might be a start for interesting topic, so let's continue with it.
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"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:11 PM   #17
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Don't mind us, Elladan. Some of us (won't speak for all) just can't take elves as seriously as they take themselves. (There's dwarven humour and hobbit funnies, but there's scant elven comedy, if I remember correctly.)

But, to reply in a more serious vein, what reason would prompt the elves to return to the 7th Age? They fairly ignored Man for much of their time in Middle-earth; why pay attention now?

In terms of the whole Legendarium, would such a return signal the start of Tolkien's end of time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate
Concerning the wars, elves surely were not pacifists, but if they'd wage war on someone, it would need some Dark Lords. But if they were to speak to inter-human wars, they'll probably stand for peace.
That's the big question, isn't it--deciding who are the Dark Lords and who the merely human combatants.

btw, I absolutely adore Esty's comment. Do you think elves would have a preferred domain or server?
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethberry
But, to reply in a more serious vein, what reason would prompt the elves to return to the 7th Age? They fairly ignored Man for much of their time in Middle-earth; why pay attention now?

In terms of the whole Legendarium, would such a return signal the start of Tolkien's end of time?
Well, sure. That would mean also probably, that their return occured for some reason like that... for example, the return of the mythological "material" evil, which, as Tolkien said, was the last time defeated with Sauron's fall.

Another thing, partially connected with what I mentioned here earlier, how would you imagine the "return" will occur? If I understood you correctly, Elladan, then you imagined it like the Elves coming on the Ships, suddenly appearing at the shores? I think it could be some High Elves coming this way and then little bands of wild wood-elves suddenly emerging from the virgin forests of Amazonia, Africa and south Asia and from the large Siberian taiga... the few Elves who actually remained in Middle-Earth when the world of Men came...

The question is, who would they turn to first? The United Nations? Can you imagine an Elf-lord coming there and having a speech about the two kins too long separated, but now in the perspective of reunion? This would be great! Imagine if you were at home, watching the TV where it would be aired... a leader of the Elves - someone like a grand-grandson of Elrond (or why grandson? The elves are long-living... Hey! Elladan, is this a coincidence you brough this topic or...? ).
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:28 PM   #19
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Oh no no my friend. This is merely a coincidence out of my lingering thoughts, and questions. I understand now, I was just afraid that I had offended some, I mis-understood the manor of replies, and yes I do admit now I wandered off the path of the original topic, for this I apologize verily.

That would make sense Bęthberry. I would understand an event of that magnitude to come to pass in said End Time.

That being said, can any think of a reason that the Elves would come to our modern world? Would it be of their own accord? Something to do with a prophecy? Longing to reconnect with once known races?
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Old 05-19-2007, 12:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar
Don't you think the internet would be the ideal hiding place for Elves?! They could communicate without being seen and would certainly hang out in sites like our forum to reminisce about the good old days...
How do you know this hasn't already happened?! There might be a whole heap of elves, wights, reincarnated first age heroes lounging around on this site... Who knows, there might even be a wizard or two.
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:41 AM   #21
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Elves cannae come back, either because their hroa has faded away because that is their fate in Arda marred or because 'Ruddy Hell, It's Harry and Paul' is on tv.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:23 PM   #22
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Hey, I was under the impression that 'hippies' is a bad word these days.
Only to Eric Cartman

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Originally Posted by Ang
Maybe they could help find Tony Blair's One Ring...or muster against his evil craggy northern lieutenant, the dreaded Gordon (his name ends in an -on, he must be a Dark Lord...)
I think Elves would be out and out Blairites intent on constructing a deep and endless nanny state.

They would be the ultimate do-gooders and tree-huggers, recommending we all keep slop buckets in our kitchens and going round micro-chipping wheelie bins so they could tick us off for bashing down too much rubbish into the bottom of the bin with a spade (and maybe sneaking in a brick or two). Elves like Galadriel would be making 'designer jute bags' bearing the logo "I am not an old bag" and selling them as limited editions in Sainsburys and laughing behind our backs when us sucker mortals were queueing up to pay Ł200 for one on eBay.

Elves like Elrond would slop round in those slightly smelly 'sports' sandals, even in winter and tut loudly if anyone smoked within a 300 yard radius and follow Jamie Oliver's every word like he was the ultimate guru. They'd have those little carts on the back of their bikes to ferry the kids to the Montessori school and back (via organic yogurt weaving classes). Glorfindel would of course follow closely behind with his fancy robes.

Oh I've just described David Cameron...
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:27 PM   #23
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When JRRT wrote of the Eldar, it was of mythological figures rather than what one might call historical persons. He pointed out that his 'history' should be considered as an Anglo cultural text to place alongside the Eddas or the Domesday Book (if not the Old Testament, which he presumably considered qualitaively different), and that the Valar and Eldar are mythical vehicles through which moral values are shown to humanity. If we are to imagine some Elves appearing in the modern world, it must be more of a momentous occasion than merely a curiousity. What would bring them forth? Certainly, nothing less than Morgoth returning to Arda and someone finding the Silmarils in preparation for the Last Battle. Anything less would be shrugged off by them as childish games played by us mortals.

I, for one, would probably prefer to miss that.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:22 AM   #24
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He pointed out that his 'history' should be considered as an Anglo cultural text to place alongside the Eddas or the Domesday Book (if not the Old Testament, which he presumably considered qualitaively different), and that the Valar and Eldar are mythical vehicles through which moral values are shown to humanity
I am curious, where did he make these two claims?
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:03 PM   #25
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Good catch. I'm stretching. It's well-founded, I think, that he was trying to build a mythos for the British Isles, but certainly did not want it to be taken as an authoritative history like the earlier works were intended. It's fiction that he meant to be seen as fiction. Also, I'm not aware of any writing where he outlines its worth as moral fables, but that it is such should hardly be questionable.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:20 AM   #26
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It's well-founded, I think, that he was trying to build a mythos for the British Isles, but certainly did not want it to be taken as an authoritative history like the earlier works were intended.
He did confess in the lettersabout having once tried such an endeavour; however, he ended up calling it "absurd"
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Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story-the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be 'high', purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.
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Also, I'm not aware of any writing where he outlines its worth as moral fables, but that it is such should hardly be questionable.
Concerning your initial statement that valar and eldar were vehicles of morality for humanity, I was mostly interested since no vala ever met a human in M-E.

Anyway, story morality is a thorny subject; Tolkien stated time and again, from the prologue to LotR to the Letters, that he did not want to write an allegory; he dislikes such manner of writting and considers it as weakening the mythos. He does admit that Allegory and Story converge, or that ideas of the author inevitable get mixed it, but he was very careful about the "package".
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:38 AM   #27
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When JRRT wrote of the Eldar, it was of mythological figures rather than what one might call historical persons. He pointed out that his 'history' should be considered as an Anglo cultural text to place alongside the Eddas or the Domesday Book (if not the Old Testament, which he presumably considered qualitaively different), and that the Valar and Eldar are mythical vehicles through which moral values are shown to humanity. If we are to imagine some Elves appearing in the modern world, it must be more of a momentous occasion than merely a curiousity. What would bring them forth? Certainly, nothing less than Morgoth returning to Arda and someone finding the Silmarils in preparation for the Last Battle. Anything less would be shrugged off by them as childish games played by us mortals.

I, for one, would probably prefer to miss that.
The Domesday Book is a foul Norman cultural imposition, no better than a Poll Tax handbook via which the English were weighed and measured to see how much loot the French could take from them.

Though of course it is a valuable historic document...

Nor are the Old Testament or the Eddas in any way, shape or form English. The Old Testament tells us zip about Britishness or Englishness - all it served to do was to direct the moral compass for a while, but you won't find anything about 'us' in there. The most you could hope to find is some linguistic resonance in the beautiful language in the King James version. The Eddas may prove more fruitful in that we have a strong element of Scandinavian culture amongst us (particularly here Oop North) - I for one grew up with local folk tales of Giants.

Tolkien was not trying to replace the mythology and folk lore that we already have - and if he was then his books ought to be burnt because that would be an appalling thing to do - he was melding a large range of cultural influences into something he could 'dedicate' to England. He was making an Artwork about England, not stomping all over the existing and very delicate mythology (as the French - them again - did with Arthur). He included the Viking, the Anglo-Saxon, the local Gods, the fairies, the Sidhe, the Brythonic Celtic, the Gaelic Celtic (just a little), the boggarts, the hobgoblins, the pagan water spirits, the Goddesses, the megaliths...

If you want to know about that cool quality just try to engage an English commuter in conversation and see the horrified reaction towards 'strangers'. We are not a very friendly people, but we have always had lots of fairies.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:32 AM   #28
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Morwen, I didn't say that JRRT meant his mythology to replace others. Personally, I consider all mythologies to be equally fictitious, but JRRT had at least one that he considered "truthful".

Back to the subject; besides my feeling that having Elves appear in the modern world would require events no less than catastrophic, all of them should have 'faded' by now, as JRRT put it, becoming veritable shades. Having any number of unseen voices begin spouting 'Elvish wisdom' or new and portentious dooms would either raise a big stir or get people locked up. Even if the End wasn't near, the effects of an Elvish 'invasion' after so many years wouldn't be pleasant.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:53 AM   #29
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Question

Feanorsdoom, I think you are replying to someone else.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:43 AM   #30
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Oops, sorry.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Elladan
What would take place? What would they think of the Earth they find? Would they try to re-establish themselves with humans? Would they turn tail, and go back?
Sorry, Elladan, for the late reply, but those pesky elves keep interfering with my posting... And I've been thinking about this, but that might not be apparent from this post.

  • Either the elves have returned across the Straight Road or they have not.
    Best guess is that the elves - those that weren’t trapped here by Straight Road construction - are gone and are not coming back before the Dagor Dagorath.

  • Why would they return?
    Do they want to visit/rescue abandoned/distant kin? Also, Paris is in jail, and so the world is a safer place or, Paris is in jail, and they’ve come back to spring her. And when the Gondolindrim unexpectedly appeared, they weren't wearing party hats.

  • If they have, are we aware of them, or was their return secret?
    If they did return, then it was in secret. People would go nuts hearing that our cousins have come back, and a whole commercial industry would arise to take advantage of both sides in the event. As no infomercials have appeared hocking elven fitness equipment, I’m guessing that there hasn’t been even a whiff of the return. Even if the world governments know and are covering the return up, I’m still guessing that we would see a hint of something somewhere. Also, if the elves did come back and have done so in a way that we cannot detect, and also remain hidden, then there’s really not much to talk about. And though this may not be true for all elves, surely some vain elves exist that would let us know that they returned with a message or some wisdom or other.

  • Did they stay, or did they return into the West (after a shopping binge)?
    Not sure why the elves would set up shop. The earth is somewhat dirtier and messier since the Third Age, and the elves were setting sail then because Middle Earth even at that time was no Lothlórien (and that no Laurelindórenan). The reason many elves departed at the end of the Third/beginning of the Fourth Ages was (1) boat fare was discounted and (2) with the loss of the Rings, the embalmed oases in which they lived and hid were returning to the normal flow of time. So even if the elves came back, I don’t think that they would stay unless there was some compelling reason or they brought back some artifact that would rejuvenate the land in which they lived.

  • If they left, what made them leave?
    These elves left after thousands of years already spent on these mortal shores, and so even if they did come back, I’m not sure why, given the opportunity, they wouldn't go/flee back West yet again. If it weren’t for Fëanor, how many would have come back the first time? Anyway, you’d better head for the hills if these twice-returned elves began leaving again, as that’s never been a good sign for the near future.

  • If they stayed, why?
    So, given our shorter spans, let’s say that in our life times they return and seem to stay. Would they try to reintregrate with the Second Born? How would that benefit the elves? Has some darkness finally found its way into Aman, and so the elves are returning as refugees? Do they need our help, our phoenix-like ability of continually arising from our own ashes? Regardless, if they did come and began building fortresses, again that wouldn’t bode well.

    If they decided to come back to help us out, would we be beholden to follow their lead? Would they be, as some see them, as hippies/environmentalists? Would they, for our own good, set up a supreme worldwide government in an attempt to balance out the world (we know how well that’s worked)? Or, having actually remembered their own past, say neither yea nor nay when we ask for help?

    And just what would they think of our space program?

  • And do they participate in human society or are they since hidden?
    So if they did show up, undetected at large, has anyone reported seeing any being that would fit the description? Alien encounters, such as those purported by UFO enthusiast, may mistakenly be elvish in nature (that cause is just as likely as extra-solar beings ). Or are they hidden in plain sight, such as in the fashion industry, which is the phenotype that Peter Jackson sought for his elves (tall models)?

Anyway, so I conclude that even if they had some reason to return, that they would soon leave, and that the whole affair was completely done right under our noses.

Not that I’m not looking…
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:29 AM   #32
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White Tree ohh,if it were

ohh!!
if we could ever live our dreams!!
although i wish for it,from the bottom of my heart!
t'will,never be
alas!!
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #33
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1420!

That does depend on where they land first.

If they landed in New York City, they would not know what to think. Everything would be completely alien to them, and it is up to specultation whether they would try to befriend us and explore this new land or leave the strange world they had found.

Depending on where they went, the result would be different. In some cases, they might even be disgusted with the putrid, thick factory air and dirty lifestyles of some, or interested in the quaint nature filled life of some cultures.

I ... can only wonder.
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