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Old 10-31-2022, 02:55 PM   #1
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,338
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
The Unions of Elves and Men

Tolkien's writings make clear why unions between Men and Elves are rare. Gilraen tells Aragorn simply that "it is not fit that mortal should wed with the Elf-kin." But this is not a matter only of Elves having a higher station than Men, though this is, no doubt, a component of the reasons that the two races rarely marry. More important is the fact that such a marriage could only last several decades and would inevitably end with the Elf not only enduring the aging of the Mannish spouse, but also the parting at death which leaves the Elf alone and bereaved for so long as Arda may last. Keep in mind that Elves marry only once (with the notable and ultimately tragic exception of Finwe and Miriel who receive a special exemption from the Valar). The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen reflects the great sadness of the separation of Elrond and Arwen even though the couple shares a common fate.

As a result, there are only three "documented" unions of Elves and Men and only one further "legendary" one. The unions of Beren and Luthien, Tuor and Idril, and Aragorn and Arwen are integral parts of the mythology of Middle Earth. The union of Imrazor and Mithrellas, that gave renewed Elvish blood into the line of the princes of Dol Amroth is less clearly established as "fact." The first three are events of high fate and are exceptional, the last less so.

Regardless, there is a common thread in these tales. In each case, the husband is the Man and the wife is Elvish. Elsewhere is the story of Aegnor and Andreth, who were apparently in love but never were wed, told in the Athrabeth with a discussion in some detail of why Elves and Men rarely should marry. There is nowhere told the tale of a male Elf marrying a female of the Mannish race. Is there any explanation regarding why this is the case?
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