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Old 11-26-2002, 06:26 PM   #1
MaladyMirkwood
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Sting weird question about elves

alright this is a stupid question but its been nagging me so my question is :
do elves age in any way, shape, or form?
i mean like getting a year older every hundred years, because in the movie both arwen and elrond and the rest of the elves
all look young but i doubt they were born like that. Do they get to a certain agre and just stop aging or something?
I hope you can answer this and i know its a stupid question but oh well. Im not sure this if this would go in here or in the books or somewhere else... please try and help, thanks.
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:36 PM   #2
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Silmaril

Yes, they physically age a bit. An "Elvish" year is 144 solar years, but I am sure that they age a bit slower than that physically. They say that Elrond was ancient-looking when Frodo awakes in Rivendell (well, he was ancient), so yes, Elves age, just not as quickly as we do. Don't Elves come of age at about 100 years old? Right? Or did I just hallucinate reading that somewhere?
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Old 11-26-2002, 07:33 PM   #3
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Sting

I'm in agreement with VanimaEdhel.

Elves definately do age, just not as quickly as mortals. And I'm not sure about 100 being the coming of age. Interesting though.
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Old 11-26-2002, 07:46 PM   #4
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Tolkien

So are you guys saying that when an elf is 50 they look about ten? Or do elves grow (outwardly) like humans and then just stop around twenty? This has been hovering at the back of my mind for some time now; I'm glad someone brought it up.
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Old 11-27-2002, 02:49 PM   #5
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Elves grow at the same rate as men when they are very young but slow down as they begin to leave childhood and can be over 50 when the reach their final adult form (I think)
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Old 11-27-2002, 03:32 PM   #6
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Sting

Well, think of some elves we all know and love. Arwen: she was a couple of hundred? years old and looked like she was 20-40ish in human years
Cirdan: Thousands of years old, looked like a very old man

Conclusion: Yes, elves age, slower than humans, but they do age.
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:39 PM   #7
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Sting

Arwen, some couple of hundred years?? Let's say a couple of thousand!

Arwen was born in year 241 of the Third Age, the War of the Ring began in 3018 of the Third Age.

As for the Elves aging, he is a quote from the Laws and the Customs of the Eldar from Morgoth's Ring - HoME 10.

Quote:
Morgoth's Ring (HoME X)
Of the Laws and Customs Among the Eldar
Ęlfwine's Preamble

The Eldar grew in bodily form slower than Men, but in mind more swiftly. They learned to speak before they were one year old; and in the same time they learned to walk and to dance, for their wills came soon to the mastery of their bodies. Nonetheless there was less difference between the two Kindreds, Elves and Men, in early youth; and a man who watched elf-children at play might well have believed that they were the children of Men, of some fair and happy people. For in their early days elf-children delighted still in the world about them, and the fire of their spirit had not consumed them, and the burden of memory was still light upon them.

This same watcher might indeed have wondered at the small limbs and stature of these children, judging their age by their skill in words and grace in motion. For at the end of the third year mortal children began to outstrip the Elves, hastening on to a full stature while the Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood. Children of Men might reach their full height while Eldar of the same age were still in body like to mortals of no more than seven years. Not until the fiftieth year did the Eldar attain the stature and shape in which their lives would afterwards endure, and for some a hundred years would pass before they were full-grown.
Quote:
Morgoth's Ring (HoME X)
Of the Laws and Customs Among the Eldar

[...] It might be thought that, siince the Eldar do not (as Men deem) grow old in body, they may bring forth children at any time in the ages of their lives. But this is not so. For the Eldar do indeed grow older, even if slowly: the limit of their lives is the life of Arda, which though long beyond the reckoning of Men is not endless, and ages also. Moreover their body and spirit are not separated but coherent. As the weight of the years, with all their changes of desire and thought, gathers upon the spirit of the Eldar, so do the impulses and moods of their bodies change. This the Eldar mean when they speak of their spirits consuming them; and they say that ere Arda ends all the Eldaliė on earth will have become as spirits invisible to mortal eyes, unless they will to be seen by some among Men to whose minds they may enter directly. [...]
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2002, 04:54 PM   #8
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Silmaril

WOW!
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Old 11-29-2002, 05:06 PM   #9
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i think they all age at different rates look at Galadriel shes soooooo old but looks quite youthful
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Old 11-30-2002, 12:52 AM   #10
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Silmaril

MaladyMirkwood, this is not a stupid question, and I'm moving it to the Books forum to give the experts a chance to answer.
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Old 11-30-2002, 01:17 AM   #11
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1420!

the way i see it is that they do age but slow down the older they get. You probably won't know what i'm talking about here but i think its like one of those graphs- a parabola or something. The line never touches the y or x-axis but keeps getting closer. In other words elves never die of old age but keep aging. Sound weird huh...
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Old 11-30-2002, 09:39 AM   #12
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Silmaril

Well in the books, Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir were all described as looking 'niether young, nor old' (or something of that like.) So I take this to to mean that they were all quite old but being Elves made them just quite not look it. Or, something else I thought of, which is probably not right but, Galadriel is universally taken to be very fair and youthful looking, correct? Nothing about her looking young nor looking old. Do you think that Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir looked that way because they were not 100% Elf? Maybe Elrond looking that way had something to do with only being half Elven and same with the twins, being 3/4 Elven. Well, I'm straying off topic, so I should stop now. Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2002, 10:11 AM   #13
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Tolkien

Keep in mind that the way they LOOK in the movie isnt exactly the way Tolkien described them in the book.
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Old 11-30-2002, 03:12 PM   #14
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1420!

Good point Guildo. Also, I think that elve's physical appearances do not really age that much once they are adults. I think that they just absorb more knowledge and get wiser as they get older. Also, you can think of it like it is for hobbits- a 30 year old hobbit is like a 13 year old human, I think (please correct me if i'm wrong).

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Old 12-01-2002, 12:25 AM   #15
Keneldil the Polka-dot
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Sting

Forgive me for not having quotes to back this up right now, but in reading the Sil. I remember thinking that an elf's state of mind sometimes had something to do with how old they looked. Captives released from Angband, etc. Also those who had seen the light of Valinor seemed to be described differently as if being exposed to that environment raised their state of mind and somehow altered their appearance.
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