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Old 06-19-2006, 10:05 PM   #1
Kuruharan
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Tolkien Arcane Topic Warning: Part the Second

This may seem more like an encyclopedia article than a discussion topic, but everyone can at least tell me how wrong I am…

I was just thumbing through The Silmarillion and something obvious finally dawned on me. The Dwarves were aware of the existence of the Elves well before they inhabited the Blue Mountains and crossed over into Beleriand and had their first “official meeting.” The Dwarves must have known about the Avari for a long time before they (the Dwarves) went west (you always have to specify who you are talking about when things are going west). The Petty-Dwarves had some sort of cultural memory of them, to judge from Mîm’s words (I say cultural memory because I doubt that Mîm had ever actually met one of the “Wild Elves” that he refers to in regard to them not knowing about earth bread…although, perhaps I should not assume that. Mîm might have been a great traveler in his younger days). If the Petty-Dwarves knew about Wild Elves, it is only natural to assume the rest of the Dwarves knew of them as well, especially considering how long the Dwarves inhabited the same areas as the Avari. In fact, contact could have been made fairly early on in Dwarven cultural existence. Although, it is a bit difficult to see what sort of interaction the Dwarves would have had with the Avari. Two more dissimilar cultures it would be hard to imagine, the Dwarves with their society based essentially on mining and commerce and the Avari with their society based on meandering about aimlessly and singing silly songs at the top of their voices. In fact, the Dwarves are referred to as fighting against the Avari, which seems likely enough.

Anyway, the point is that the “amazement” that filled the Elves upon meeting the Dwarves was all on one side. The Dwarves had to have known about Elves already, and may have known that at some point a whole bunch of them had gone off west looking for some funny flashing lights. The Dwarves were probably expecting to find more Elves on the other side of the Blue Mountains. If they were surprised about anything, they were probably surprised about the level of cultural development the Sindar had achieved as all the other Elves they’d ever met were little more than tramps.

The more one studies, the more one gains the impression that the Elves were the ones blundering naively about the world while the Dwarves were the enlightened and experienced cultural sophisticates.

It is also interesting to note that the Dwarves seemed to have more contact with the Avari than the Sindar because it is the Dwarves to relate to Thingol that the Avari are being driven out of the plains and into the hills by Morgoth’s creatures.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:04 AM   #2
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In Appendix B, Elvish names for the Dwarves, Quendi Eldar, it is stated that elves hunted the petty dwarves, considering them to be strange animals, not Incarnates. Their later amazement is probably due to realising that the petty dwarves were of the same race with the more cultured great ones. Seeing their initial behaviour, they probably met these ousted dwarves firstly.
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:41 AM   #3
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they probably met these ousted dwarves firstly.
Yes.

It seems odd that the Petty-Dwarves made no attempt to talk to the Elves even when they were trussed up and roasting on a spit.

I assume everybody does realize that the Elves probably barbequed and ate the Petty-Dwarves that they killed. I mean, why else do you hunt, and the Elves don't seem big on wanton slaughter of anything. The second factor in particular probably goes a long way to explaining the "great offense" of the Dwarves and why they never got on well with the Sindar.

It is a bit ironic (or symmetrical) that the higher cultures of Elves and Dwarves (as they existed on Middle-earth at the time, since the highest Elven cultures were not present) both first made contact with the outcast or more primitive subset of the other.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:30 PM   #4
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I assume everybody does realize that the Elves probably barbequed and ate the Petty-Dwarves that they killed. I mean, why else do you hunt
To kill.
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and the Elves don't seem big on wanton slaughter of anything
One word- ORCS.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:45 PM   #5
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To kill.
Why?

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One word- ORCS.
Nobody knew about orcs at that point.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:49 PM   #6
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I mean, why else do you hunt, and the Elves don't seem big on wanton slaughter of anything.
According to the same source, some petty dwarves attacked the Eldar by stealth at night.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:52 PM   #7
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Nobody knew about orcs at that point.
My point about Orcs was that, contrary to your statement, Elves DO wantonly slaughter entire races without regard to "Is this orc different from the others?" and other such moral qualms.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Nobody knew about orcs at that point.
Depends which version of history regarding the origin of the Orks that you suscribe to. Tolkien certainly leaves the door wide open there- and if memory serves, there is one reference to Ork (linguistically) being derived in Elvish from primitive Elven menaces in the days of the Great March and earlier.

And, if one decides that Orks came from Elves (and so were probably distorted by Morgoth prior to his Ages of imprisonment), then there may indeed have been Orks abroad (albeit in small numbers) for the Sindar to know and kill.

And, the Petty-Dwarves being two-legged, upright, and unlovely by Elven standards... who's to say that they wouldn't have been taken for Orks?
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:54 PM   #9
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According to the same source, some petty dwarves attacked the Eldar by stealth at night.
I can’t find the reference to this particular event. Admittedly, I have lent out a few of my books (a lot of people use my book collection as a public library) and it might be in one of them, but I’m looking at the Sil right now and it says…

Quote:
For Mîm came of Dwarves that were banished in ancient days from the great Dwarf-cities of the east, and long before the return of Morgoth they wandered westward into Beleriand; but they became dimished in stature and in smith-craft, and they took to lives of stealth, walking with bowed shoulders and furtive steps. Before the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost came west over the mountains the Elves of Beleriand knew not what these others were, and they hunted them, and slew them; but afterwards they let them alone, and they were called Noegyth Nibin, the Petty-Dwarves, in the Sindarin tongue. They loved none but themselves, and if they feared and hated the Orcs, they hated the Eldar no less (editor’s note: perfectly understandable reaction), and the Exiles most of all; for the Noldor, they said, had stolen their lands and their homes. Long ere King Finrod Felagund came over the Sea, the caves of Nargothrond were discovered by them, and by them its delving was begun; and beneath the crown of Amon Rűdh, the Bald Hill, the slow hands of the Petty-Dwarves had bored and deepened the caves through the long years that they dwelt there, untroubled by the Grey-elves of the woods. But now at last they had dwindled and died out of Middle-earth, all save Mîm and his two sons; and Mîm was old even in the reckoning of Dwarves, old and forgotten. And in his halls the smithies were idle, and the axes rusted, and their name was remembered only in ancient tales of Doriath and Nargothrond.
Admittedly, I don’t have all my books to check. And at the moment I frustratingly can’t seem to find the reference that the Dwarves took great offence at the hunting of the Petty-Dwarves. I might be looking in the wrong place or I might not have the right book.

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My point about Orcs was that, contrary to your statement, Elves DO wantonly slaughter entire races without regard to "Is this orc different from the others?" and other such moral qualms.
But they wouldn’t have understood the need for that sort of action at that point. Since they didn’t know that the Dwarves were rational, they would have just thought them animals, and part of the natural world. The Elves always respected and revered the natural world. Going around and embarking on wholesale slaughters of what they thought were just animals were not their way. Nor am I under the impression that they would have just killed for sport. They probably thought hunting was fun, but they probably did it for more than just that.

Quote:
And, if one decides that Orks came from Elves (and so were probably distorted by Morgoth prior to his Ages of imprisonment), then there may indeed have been Orks abroad (albeit in small numbers) for the Sindar to know and kill.

And, the Petty-Dwarves being two-legged, upright, and unlovely by Elven standards... who's to say that they wouldn't have been taken for Orks?
Well, it is sort of a point you have here. However, they certainly don’t appear to have recognized them as such.

There is another point I just realized. How is it that the Elves didn’t notice that the Petty-Dwarves were wearing things? I mean the Petty-Dwarves might have just been wearing skins or something but that is more than most animals will do. Mîm is never referred to as being abnormally dressed or anything and the Petty-Dwarves were self-reliant for practically everything so I doubt that Mîm and his family wearing clothes was a new development.

How is it the Elves didn’t notice this?

They were evidently dimmer than even I originally thought.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:28 AM   #10
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Here is the full quote, Kuruharan:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appendix B, elvish names for the dwarves, Quendi and Eldar, HoME XI
The Eldar did not at first recognize these as Incarnates, for they seldom caught sight of them in clear light. They only became aware of their existence indeed when they attacked the Eldar by stealth at night, or if they caught them alone in wild places. The Eldar therefore thought that they were a kind of cunning two-legged animals living in caves, and they called them Levain tad-dail, or simply Tad-dail, and they hunted them. But after the Eldar had made the acquaintance of the Naugrim, the Tad-dail were recognized as a variety of Dwarves and were left alone. The great Dwarves despised the Petty-dwarves, who were (it is said) the descendants of Dwarves who had left or been driven our from the Communities, being deformed or undersized, or slothful and rebellious. But they still acknowledged their kinship and resented any injuries done to them. Indeed it was one of their grievances against the Eldar that they had hunted and slain their lesser kin, who had settled in Beleriand before the Elves came there. This grievance was set aside, when treaties were made between the Dwarves and the Sindar, in considera- tion of the plea that the Petty-dwarves had never declared themselves to the Eldar, nor presented any claims to land or habitations, but had at once attacked the newcomers in darkness and ambush. But the grievance still smouldered, as was later seen in the case of Mim, the only Petty-dwarf who played a memorable part in the Annals of Beleriand.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:30 AM   #11
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HoME XI has some pretty relevant stuff. To sum up, the Petty-Dwarves were hunted because, as mentioned upthread, they attacked Elves by stealth in the night or when they caught them out alone somewhere. A note does indeed suggest that they were at first thought to be some especially cunning animal, then later believed to be related to Orcs. An important distinction is that the Elves "did not at first recognize them as Incarnates." That is, running around upright with clothes on does not necessarily mean you've got a soul (as the German soccer team amply demonstrate... haha! I jest! Don't kill me, Esty!).

Later, when the Elves met the real Dwarves, grokked that they were Incarnates, and then realized that the Petty-Dwarves were related to them (and therefore incarnate), they stoppped hunting them and even eventually traded with them.

EDIT: Snap, Raynor beat me by two minutes and a direct quotation. I'll let mine stand anyway to see if my leetle jokie lures Esty to the thread.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:35 AM   #12
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Perhaps Petty-Dwarf-Hunts were the precursor to the noble art of fox hunting. You don't eat foxes...it's all in the sport...
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:17 AM   #13
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Yep. Time for me to institute a return policy. I haven't seen my copy of War of the Jewels in ages. (To be honest, I'm not even sure where it is.)

Anyway...

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Petty-Dwarf-Hunts were the precursor to the noble art of fox hunting.
A fair point. However, there is usually not much eating on a fox.

The point about the fox actually causes me to wonder something else. I think it might depend on what state Elven society had reached at that particular time. If they were more settled and had a more regular source of food, then they would probably be more likely to just kill the Petty-Dwarves because they felt like it. Again, taking foxes as an example, the whole point in hunting them is to protect the livestock, which is the source of food. Now the Petty-Dwarves were not exactly poaching on the source of food...but if the Elves were of the wandering type...or were bored...

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That is, running around upright with clothes on does not necessarily mean you've got a soul
Which is extremely curious because one of the things mentioned in the Sil as a quality of sentience is "wrought with hands" and the Petty-Dwarves obviously made whatever they were wearing.

I also wonder exactly what the Petty-Dwarves used to attack the Elves. Mim had treasuries of "axes and other gear." Admittedly, these could be from post Elf-poaching days...but still.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:53 AM   #14
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That is, running around upright with clothes on does not necessarily mean you've got a soul
However, what sort of clothes would they have? Most likely 'raw' ones (furs maybe), differentiating these outcasts little from other animals. I also think that their outcast status impacted on how they behaved; regardless of their clothes, they must have been wild in manners and appearance. And they attacked by night, which also tends to enhance (phisically and morally) the ugly parts of what the elves would perceive about them.
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:30 AM   #15
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However, what sort of clothes would they have? Most likely 'raw' ones (furs maybe)
That is entirely possible. A lot would depend on when the Petty-Dwarves were driven out and what was the state of Dwarven society at that time. As a mining culture, they probably discovered weaving comparatively late, if it was an internal discovery at all. It might have been something they learned from others. (Which makes me wonder, what did the Avari wear?)

Quote:
I also think that their outcast status impacted on how they behaved; regardless of their clothes, they must have been wild in manners and appearance.
Mim was certainly willing to bite...

However, if Petty-Dwarf origins from a mining society make it more likely that they would have been wearing animal skins (which would not by definition have to imply crudely fashioned) it also makes it more likely that the Petty-Dwarves would have used recognizable weaponry in their attacks on the Elves.

This Petty-Dwarf hunting business is getting rather difficult to sustain. While Tolkien probably didn't conceive of it lasting very long, I'm beginning to wonder if he would have modified it somehow if he'd thought about it some more. It just seems hard to believe that the Elves wouldn't have realized they were dealing with something more than an animal. I mean, the Elves at the very least were able to inspect the bodies of those they killed and presumably anything the Petty-Dwarf happened to be carrying when they were killed. Unless one assumes that every time a Petty-Dwarf died, his comrades were able to make off with whatever the Dwarf happened to be carrying (which is also difficult to believe)...
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:39 AM   #16
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I'm not understanding what part of the whole hunting business you are having trouble with, Kuru.

There are Elves living in the wild. At night these little grotesque creatures attack the Elves and run away. The only sounds they make are throaty growls and grunts. They never made any effort to say "hello" or even make the Elves aware of them. They simply attacked and killed by surprise- something that evil creatures (orcs) or animals would do.

And when the Elves caught one alive it just growled and grunted at them and tried to bite. What reason would they have to believe that the thing was at all akin to them and somehow capable (or deserving) of reasoning and conversing with?

Also remember that the elves of the wild had an extremely limited perspective compared to you and I. We know all about Men, Dwarves, Elves, Ents, and Hobbits- but they didn't. Given the circumstances I don't really think I can find much fault in their actions.

There are always those silly idealists that love to sit where they are with their information and hindsight and judge events such as these. They lack the ability to put themselves into the situation and view it as the participants viewed it, and ignore the current information/hindsight they have access to. Don't be one of those people, Kuru. Strip down your brain and think simply from the perspective of an early Elf.

Here are the basic thoughts of an average Elf regarding Petty Dwarves.

Animals and evil creatures sometimes try to kill us.
When that happens we kill them in order to survive.
These new ugly little creatures attacked us one night. They killed my brother and daughter.
We fought back and killed some of them.
They continued attacking us at night or whenever one of us was alone.
So we started tracking them down and killing them.

Honestly, Kuru, can you find any fault with those thoughts? Can you blame that Elf?
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Raynor
And they attacked by night.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
These new ugly little creatures attacked us one night.
To emphasize the "Night" elements being mentioned hither and thither... there was nothing BUT night at this point in Middle-Earth's history (unless we accept Tolkien's late early-sun theory, which was never fully conceived and really whacks out the Legendarium as we know it). There wasn't even a Moon in the sky.

So there was no chance of encountering these creatures by day...
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #18
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I'll let mine stand anyway to see if my leetle jokie lures Esty to the thread.
*Esty chuckles in the background of a discussion which is interesting to read, jokes included, but on which she has absolutely no expertise to contribute.*
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #19
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one thing about elves, hunting and sports

We know that Celegorm, Amrod and Amras were great hunters - in Valinor.
I cannot believe they needed to hunt because of the food, and certainly there were no evil creatures in the true west.

So elves did hunt for sport, and even though some of us here (me included) don't approve that, the Valar (esp. Orome, and Yavanna at least tolerated it) seemed to.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
unless we accept Tolkien's late early-sun theory
The text Quendi and Eldar, HoME XI is in accordance with the solar system of the Myths Transformed, HoME X; in one of its texts, Quenya, it is stated:
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But already before the final separation mori-kwendi may have referred to the glooms and the clouds dimming the sun and the stars during the War of the Valar and Melkor, so that the term from the beginning had a tinge of scorn, implying that such folk were not averse to the shadows of Melkor upon Middle-earth.
In his comments, Chris too acknowledges the connection.
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So elves did hunt for sport, and even though some of us here (me included) don't approve that, the Valar (esp. Orome, and Yavanna at least tolerated it) seemed to.
Orome is a hunter of "monsters and fell beasts"; he is not doing for the fun of it - he trained "his folk and his beasts for the pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor" (Of the valar, Silmarillion).

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Old 06-22-2006, 02:13 PM   #21
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Orome may not, strictly speaking, be a huntsman for fun. Neither is a Master of Fox Hounds; he has countryside to scour. But don't tell me Orome doesn't enjoy hunting. He definitely loves the bright boarspear for its sharpness.

We also see the Elvenking of the Hobbit first in a hunting and feasting context. It is an inarguable fact that many Elves are not wetly "in tune with nature" but pursuers and hunters of prowess. Were they not, it would be a betrayal of folk-tradition. The Great Hunt is at the heart of Faerie.

It is as impossible to reconcile the Valar with the modern anti-hunting movement as it is impossible to reconcile the Hobbitry with the modern anti-smoking movement.

My guess is that the Quendi gloried in chasing the peculiar, cunning bearded wild kelvar for the sheer joy of it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:20 PM   #22
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Phantom – I’m afraid you seem to have entirely missed the point of post #15. How did the Petty-Dwarves attack the Elves? What did they use? Fists? Teeth? I find it hard to believe that a race that “from the first days of their Fathers they had marvelous skill with metals” would not be using metal weapons in their attacks. Metal weapons=Higher intellectual capacity than beasts.

I’m not blaming the Elves for what they did (unless, of course, they made the Petty-Dwarves dinner ). However, I am saying they were rather dumb for not putting two and two together. (I think it may also be possible that Tolkien didn't totally think this bit out).

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So there was no chance of encountering these creatures by day...
True, but the Elves would have had ample opportunity to inspect the bodies of those they killed and whatever their victims happened to be carrying.

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I cannot believe they needed to hunt because of the food
They may not have needed to hunt for food, but you can bet that they spent at least some time hunting things they intended to eat. And Valinor was heaven on earth. Middle-earth wasn’t.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:56 PM   #23
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Eye

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How did the Petty-Dwarves attack the Elves? What did they use? Fists? Teeth? I find it hard to believe that a race that “from the first days of their Fathers they had marvelous skill with metals” would not be using metal weapons in their attacks. Metal weapons=Higher intellectual capacity than beasts.
Just working from memory here, I recall that the morquendi knew zilch about metal. They had bows, and maybe spears- not swords, armor, and axes. So I don't really think the metal weapons of the dwarves would in any way cause the Elves to see a similarity between themselves and the Petty Dwarves. And similarity is important, of course, because Elves would naturally use themselves as the measuring stick of what an intelligent rational being was.

If an Elf came into contact with a Petty Dwarf for the first time and received a cut from an axe, the elf wouldn't think "Ooo, this little guy must be smart because he mined metal out of rock and used a furnace to melt it and forged a blade." Elves didn't know didly-squat about mining, furnaces, and forging. For all we know, the Elves might've thought "What the heck! That shiny silverish thing is sharp! What is it? Do those little things live somewhere where they grow from the ground? Is it dark magic? Do they eat rocks and poop out those shiny things?"

Anyway, you get my point.

And my second point is this- I wouldn't care if I knew the Petty Dwarves were rational beings. If they attack I'm going to defend myself and my family, and if they continue to be a problem (killing my friends, stealing my stuff, and so on) I'm going to track them down and kill them.

If you just up and attack me without notification or reason, then you have, in my mind, lost the right to be dealt with in a peaceful fashion. If you instigated the attack, the most I'd be willing to do is extend a hand of peace once, and once only, and if you tried to cut the hand off... well... I'm through with you. I'm hunting down every last one of you in order to prevent you from doing any further harm to me or my people.

It's all basic survival.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kuru
How did the Petty-Dwarves attack the Elves? What did they use? Fists? Teeth? I find it hard to believe that a race that “from the first days of their Fathers they had marvelous skill with metals” would not be using metal weapons in their attacks. Metal weapons=Higher intellectual capacity than beasts.
The note in H-XI mentions that the Elves recognized the great Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost as Incarnates by their "skill in many crafts" and their ability to learn Elvish for "purposes of traffic". It might be inferred from this that the Petty-Dwarves were less skillful -- which squares with the idea (from the same source) that the Petty-Dwarves were the descendants of outcasts from mainstream Dwarven society: the "deformed or undersized, or slothful and rebellious". So they must have looked freakish even by Dwarf standards, where all the hot chicks wear beards. I imagine an Elf might feel compelled to put an arrow through one out of sheer aesthetic outrage.

Also, the Elves did not class the Petty-Dwarves as "Naugrim" even after discovering the relationship, so the quote you mentioned sorta doesn't cover them in the whole skilled-in-the-metallurgical-arts thing. Based on the evidence, we might suppose that the Petty-Dwarves lived in a considerably more primitive fashion than their slightly taller cousins.
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:39 PM   #25
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Just working from memory here, I recall that the morquendi knew zilch about metal. They had bows, and maybe spears- not swords, armor, and axes.
-the phantom
So even the Petty-Dwarves were more technically advanced than the Elves!

Learn something new everyday.

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So I don't really think the metal weapons of the dwarves would in any way cause the Elves to see a similarity between themselves and the Petty Dwarves.
-the phantom
If they had stopped to ponder for a moment, they would have had a thought process similar to..."Hey, this here seems to be a tool of some kind and it appears to be made of something we don't have a whole lot of experience with. Animals don't build tools (notice I said "build" and not "use" to prevent somebody tossing the chimpanzees at me). We probably have something completely different on our hands! P.S. These funny creatures seem to be wearing things."

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Also, the Elves did not class the Petty-Dwarves as "Naugrim" even after discovering the relationship, so the quote you mentioned sorta doesn't cover them in the whole skilled-in-the-metallurgical-arts thing.
- Mister Underhill
I'm afraid that I don't agree on this point. What the Elves thought of the matter (even after discovering what the Petty-Dwarves were) I believe is irrelevant to the Petty-Dwarves skill in metallurgy. I'm perfectly willing to concede that the Petty-Dwarves were probably not as skilled as regular Dwarves (in fact, it almost necessarily follows) but that does not imply they were unskilled. I also don't think that the Elves would have been in a position to form an accurate assessment on that matter. I think that the Elves not referring to them as "Naugrim" is probably due to the influence of the Dwarves themselves who likely would not have taken kindly to it.
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kuru
Animals don't build tools (notice I said "build" and not "use" to prevent somebody tossing the chimpanzees at me).
This is missing the point again -- namely, that simple tool-building (even if we suppose that the Petty-Dwarves retained some skill in this art) isn't enough to distinguish Incarnate from not. Orcs, for instance, weren't animals in the sense that we think of animals -- but were presumably ripe for being made Elvish pincushions of whenever and wherever they were encountered. I would imagine the Elves progressed rapidly from their evaluation of "cunning two-legged animals" to "believing them to be related to Orcs and creatures of Morgoth" (if indeed there was any meaningful difference between the two evaluations for them).
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Originally Posted by Kuru
I think that the Elves not referring to them as "Naugrim" is probably due to the influence of the Dwarves themselves who likely would not have taken kindly to it.
Well, maybe... and then again maybe not. According to H-XI, though the great Dwarves despised the Petty-Dwarves, "they still acknowledged their kinship and resented any injuries done to them. [...] it was one of their grievances against the Eldar that they had hunted and slain their lesser kin." It seems unlikely that the Elvish naming was done out of any special consideration for Dwarvish feelings one way or the other.

In any case, the implication seems to be that the Petty-Dwarves lived "in caves" like animals, or at least like Orcs. And if we accept that they were mistaken for animals, and hunted as animals by the Elves, then... well, you know the saying, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...? There isn't much evidence to support the notion of Petty-Dwarves as only slightly less sophisticated than the great Dwarves.

On the other hand, there are contradictions here, and I think you're ultimately right that, as you mentioned a few posts back, Tolkien never brought this Petty-Dwarf stuff into a finished, consistent form.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:22 AM   #27
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This is missing the point again -- namely, that simple tool-building (even if we suppose that the Petty-Dwarves retained some skill in this art) isn't enough to distinguish Incarnate from not.
I don't believe that making implements from more than one material qualifies as "simple tool-making." If the Petty-Dwarf weapons were made out of iron that in no way qualifies as simple tool-making, but any metal at all would qualify.

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Orcs, for instance, weren't animals in the sense that we think of animals -- but were presumably ripe for being made Elvish pincushions of whenever and wherever they were encountered. I would imagine the Elves progressed rapidly from their evaluation of "cunning two-legged animals" to "believing them to be related to Orcs and creatures of Morgoth" (if indeed there was any meaningful difference between the two evaluations for them).
I don't think that by this point the Elves had enough experience with orcs to make this leap. Even if one assumes a very early date for orcish creation, Elves will have encountered genuine orcs only a couple of times by this point in their history.

Quote:
In any case, the implication seems to be that the Petty-Dwarves lived "in caves" like animals, or at least like Orcs.
While Mim's standard of living probably wasn't the best, it certainly seemed better than some of the Men that were knocking about at the time. I just don't think that the Elves really knew that much about it.

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There isn't much evidence to support the notion of Petty-Dwarves as only slightly less sophisticated than the great Dwarves.
Oh, I don't know. Mim's house was probably similar to the family mansions of most dwarf families in the great cities...only writ small and empty. Dwarves being as stubborn as they are, the Petty-Dwarf way of life probably didn't change much even after they stopped being hunted.

Quote:
Tolkien never brought this Petty-Dwarf stuff into a finished, consistent form.
I think the easiest way to ultimately reconcile this is A) This probably didn't happen very much or last very long B) the Elves were not very swift in analyzing the evidence in front of them.
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:44 PM   #28
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Although you make some good points regarding Mîm, Kuru, I think it should be noted that the point in history that Mîm lived in was well after the Elves and the Dwarves met, discussed the Petty-Dwarves, and agreed to stop eating them.

To be serious, although I can easily imagine Mîm's predecessor's inhabited the caves of Narog and Amon Rűdh at a very early date, I'm not sure that we can ascribe to these Pre-First Contact Petty-Dwarves a standard of living comparable to their latter-day descendent.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:13 PM   #29
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I'm not sure that we can ascribe to these Pre-First Contact Petty-Dwarves a standard of living comparable to their latter-day descendent.
Why not? Tolkien always pictured things as declining over time and he said that the Petty-Dwarves' smithcraft declined over time.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:26 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Why not? Tolkien always pictured things as declining over time and he said that the Petty-Dwarves' smithcraft declined over time.
But he also pictured them building up over time... and I see no reason to think that the Petty-Dwarves' "Golden Age" was as early as the days when they were being hunted for dinner. Far more likely to have occurred AFTER the Sindar stopped hunting them, and before Morgoth and the Noldor returned to start gobbling up the real estate.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:38 AM   #31
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I also think that we are missapplying our standards on what is a rational soul and what is an animal. Many kelvar behave inteligently, to a degree that in unparalled in our world; and they also speak . Therefore, (regardless of aspect) though we may qualify some beings as having a fea, based on speech and behaviour, the Men/Elves would probably require more qualifiers.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:30 AM   #32
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Many kelvar behave inteligently, to a degree that in unparalled in our world; and they also speak
But they don't make. I can't think of any instance where even one that could speak made anything.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:48 AM   #33
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Several points:

1. Orks do 'build tools'
2. I don't remember reading about time period of hunting, i.e. - how long did elves hunt petty-dwarves? It may have been couple of occassions, not more, which is excusable (see above about night)
3. Mim was not carrying all of axes and weapons he had on him when he was caught. Couple of occassions I refer to in Clause 2 may have happaned by accident, when both parties (lone elf and party of petty dwarves) were out on other business than war. Imagine company of petty dwarves on root-gathering expedition seeing an elf taking a stroll. They kill him with handy weapons, i.e. selfsame 'roots' or stones.
4. Read clause 1
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:47 AM   #34
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Orks do 'build tools'
Orcs are not animals. No matter what version of orcish existence you happen to subscribe to, some of them at least have something inside them (and I'm just speaking generically and not getting into all the classifications).

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how long did elves hunt petty-dwarves?
No definitive answer.

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Couple of occassions I refer to in Clause 2 may have happaned by accident, when both parties (lone elf and party of petty dwarves) were out on other business than war. Imagine company of petty dwarves on root-gathering expedition seeing an elf taking a stroll. They kill him with handy weapons, i.e. selfsame 'roots' or stones.
Yes, but the way the incident are phrased gives the impression of malice aforethought on the part of the Petty-Dwarves.
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:22 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Orcs are not animals. No matter what version of orcish existence you happen to subscribe to, some of them at least have something inside them (and I'm just speaking generically and not getting into all the classifications).

...

Yes, but the way the incident are phrased gives the impression of malice aforethought on the part of the Petty-Dwarves.
Orkish classification re - I subscribe to all of them together. But tools made by non-animal-orks (if these only are capable of making them) are successfully used by animal-ones. Hence it may be concluded that living being with a tool attacking one does not necessarily need to be anything but 'twisted' kelvar.

Malice-aforethought re - I also do subscribe to 'collective authorship' and 'later recorded' character of elvish legends. It is not hard to imagine (all this thread is based on impressions and imaginations, ain't it?) [half realised] sense of guilt on the part of elvish recorders for this obviously big mistake, exaggerating (not necessarily consciously so) just a tiny bit elements of ambush 'long planned', when 'ambush' in question might have been 'I saw you half a minute before you saw me, so I have an advantage' type of tactics. Besides, when lone is attacked by many, even if it was an accident, from the lone's point of view it would be 'malice aforethought'

But main stress is on longevity of the hunting period. Since it is not defined whatsoever, and you yourself lean heavily on 'impressions' in your reasoning, let me lean on my own impression that petty-dwarf hunting could not have possibly occurred more than couple of times at all. Even couple of times is enough to get dwarves offended (touchy folk, these), and no more is required to grasp that hunted are not merely twisted animals.

PS. And about chimps - it seems they are capable of building tools, after all
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #36
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Hence it may be concluded that living being with a tool attacking one does not necessarily need to be anything but 'twisted' kelvar.
Yes, but this reasoning is more complicated than just thinking, “Hey, these creatures might be sentient” (partially because it requires a realization of sentience before you can move to this next step).

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Besides, when lone is attacked by many, even if it was an accident, from the lone's point of view it would be 'malice aforethought'
I think too much is made of this “lone” business. There are a couple of points here. A) I don’t think the Petty-Dwarves would have attacked Elves in the first place unless they were in a position of great superiority (I think we can probably all agree on that) B) On the other hand, if the Elf was really alone or even if there were a few of them, there would not likely be any survivors to say who did it. There would not be any reason to think it was Petty-Dwarves or anybody else (unless they found footprints, which would look suspiciously like smaller versions of their own feet…hmmm…) Having survivors implies a larger group of Elves, which requires a larger group of Petty-Dwarves, which requires greater organization on the part of the Petty-Dwarves. This should have been telling to the Elves.

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petty-dwarf hunting could not have possibly occurred more than couple of times at all.
That was pretty much my impression.

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And about chimps - it seems they are capable of building tools, after all
Didn’t I say that?
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:53 PM   #37
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I don’t think the Petty-Dwarves would have attacked Elves in the first place unless they were in a position of great superiority (I think we can probably all agree on that). On the other hand, if the Elf was really alone or even if there were a few of them, there would not likely be any survivors to say who did it
The petty dwarves seem pretty savage so as to act based on basic fight/flight instincts - esspecially since they didn't know the might of the first elves. I would say they clearly underestimated the elves' might and I think there were very few (if any!) casualties among the eldar. (Moreover, the elves have been dealing with Melkor's minions ever since they were born.)
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Yes, but this reasoning is more complicated than just thinking, “Hey, these creatures might be sentient
Not much complicated, if we take into account that just earlier elves have been absolutely sure they are the only incarnates.

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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Having survivors implies a larger group of Elves
Not necessarily. As the issue of elves eating petty-dwarves must have been merely a joke on your part, I don’t expect you believe petty-dwarves were eating slain elves as well? Hypothetical ‘lone elf’ might have been sorely wounded, but knowing how hardy elves are, one might have lived to tell the tale.

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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Didn’t I say that?
Nope. Your words, exact:

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Originally Posted by Kuruharan
notice I said "build" and not "use" to prevent somebody tossing the chimpanzees at me
I’ve tossed at you tool-building chimp, not tool-using one

But, as a whole, one way or another we are bound to speculate – no data to build upon. Arguments I’ve presented you with were no intended to rule out even the possibility of things as you reason them, I’ve just tried to illustrate that quite different development of events might have taken place as well. Plausibility is in the eye of the beholder here. I tend to hold that killing of petty-dwarves was just regrettable accident. Arguments to my rescue seem plausible to me. I’m content. Hence:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
This should have been telling to the Elves
Seems tiny bit pointless. We do not even know what was the ‘telling’ which finally stopped the hunting. It might have been ‘greater organization’ as you describe it, it might have been fear to offend 'real' dwarves more, it might have been lone elf survivor realizing (after not being eaten) that these must have been incarnates, if they haven’t eaten him raw, and just dined nearby on soup made of roots, and haven’t made a soup out of him either. (Or even maybe ‘lone elf’ saw petty-dwarves pickling ‘lone elf #2’ in the pot and than realization dawned on him )

If you imply that elves should be blamed for the fact itself – well, probably they should. On the other hand, they’ve stopped of their own accord, and [as I believe] quite soon – feat quite commendable.

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That was pretty much my impression
m-m-m... than what are we arguing about?
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:19 PM   #39
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The petty dwarves seem pretty savage so as to act based on basic fight/flight instincts
They might have, but given the stated stealthy nature of the Petty-Dwarves, I think they probably would have observed for awhile before actually doing anything. I think they would have had some idea of what they were dealing with or at least would have only attacked when they greatly outnumbered the Elves.

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Moreover, the elves have been dealing with Melkor's minions ever since they were born
Not to the extent that they were particularly great fighters or well equipped for war at this point. You will no doubt recall where Thingol got his first major arms shipments from *cough* *cough*...

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As the issue of elves eating petty-dwarves must have been merely a joke on your part, I don’t expect you believe petty-dwarves were eating slain elves as well? Hypothetical ‘lone elf’ might have been sorely wounded, but knowing how hardy elves are, one might have lived to tell the tale.
The Elves eating the Petty-Dwarves was a serious point on my part. You have to take into account that the Elves knew no reason not to eat them. The Elves just thought (even as much as it defies reason) that the Petty-Dwarves were animals. However, you do have a good point about the toughness of Elves.

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We do not even know what was the ‘telling’ which finally stopped the hunting.

-and-

On the other hand, they’ve stopped of their own accord, and [as I believe] quite soon – feat quite commendable.
Ummm...yes we do. The "telling" was done by the Dwarves of Nogord and Belegost who explained to the Elves (probably using small words and talking very slowly) what the Petty-Dwarves were. The Elves did not stop hunting the Petty-Dwarves on their own.

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than what are we arguing about?
I believe it is because you are trying to defend the Elves from my astonishingly just and accurate charge that the Elves were ignorant dullards.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:29 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
I believe it is because you are trying to defend the Elves from my astonishingly just and accurate charge that the Elves were ignorant dullards.
Well, I'm doing that pretty well, I reckon

Even if 'dwarvish telling' was the reason of stoppage, there is no evidence that reasoning of the elves was 'ah, these are their cousins! we won't hunt them not to offend bigger cousins, than' and not 'ah, these are their cousins! they are incarnates! one should not kill incarnates, let us stop here and now'.

If the latter option be true, than it is 'of their own accord' all right.
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