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Discussing: What is it about Elves?

What is it about Elves?

I am trying to figure out what sort of power it was Glorfindel and the other High Elves (did I get that right?) have? I am talking "canon" here, not "movie-verse" and not fanfic-mystical-stuff.

I am looking at this quote: (Gandalf talking to Frodo in "Many Meetings" about the Elves)

"Here in Rivendell these live still with some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.

Who are the Elven-wise? (Elrond, Glorfindel, Galadriel, anybody else?)

What is meant by "both worlds"? Seen and Unseen? And what are these? (not to sound thick or anything, I'm just trying to pin this down. By "Unseen" are we talking about some other plane of existence where wraiths see clearly, like when Frodo put the Ring on and could see the Witch King?)

What kind of "great power" are we talking? Does JRRT give any other details of this?

And while we're on the subject, I'm having difficulty with capitalisation and adjective use. When do you use "elven" and when do you use "elvish"? Is it always "Elf" and never "elf" (talking nouns here)? I've noticed that when "elf" is used to modify a noun, such as "elf-horse" or "elf-tongue" it is not capitalized, but then again, I've found "Elven-folk" and "Elf-lord".

Got suggestions? Is JRRT himself inconsistent in this, or are there rules of usage? (I could ask the same about hobbit and Hobbit...)

Someone also told me that it is not acceptable to call Elladan or Elrohir "the elf" (or, for that matter I suppose, "the Elf"). They are always called by name or called the "son of Elrond". Is this true?

Thanks for any and all assistance.
Lin

 

 

Re: What is it about Elves?

What kind of "great power" are we talking? Does JRRT give any other details of this?

JRRT is referring to Elves who have been to the Undying Lands, within sight of Valinor. That's what he means by Blessed Realm.

Someone also told me that it is not acceptable to call Elladan or Elrohir "the elf" (or, for that matter I suppose, "the Elf"). They are always called by name or called the "son of Elrond". Is this true?

It is true they should not be called Elves or Elf

Elladan and Elrohir can also be referred to collectively as:

Peredhil [means half-elven]
the Half-elven
the twins
the sons of Elrond

and individually as

a Half-elf

Tolkien usually capitalized Half-elven and Half-elf.

 

 

Re: What is it about Elves?

Someone also told me that it is not acceptable to call Elladan or Elrohir "the elf" (or, for that matter I suppose, "the Elf"). They are always called by name or called the "son of Elrond". Is this true?

I don't remember where I read this, but Tolkien never calls Elladan or Elrohir 'Elves,' even when Elves are being addressed, he makes a distinction. At the Field of Cormallen the minstrel says:

"Lo! lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dúnedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and greathearts of the Shire, and all free folk of the West, now listen to my lay."

Lindelea, I'd like to know also what kind of power the Elven-wise have. There are very few facts, and lots of speculations.

In Peoples of Middle-earth, Tolkien says that Glorfindel, having been reembodied, becomes 'almost an equal' to a Maia, but doesn't elaborate as to what that might mean.

My speculation is that one of the chief weapons of the ringwraiths - fear - would be useless against the wise; they simply would not feel the unreasoning terror that kept the Gondorians from fighting effectively at Osgiliath.

Who are the Elven-wise? (Elrond, Glorfindel, Galadriel, anybody else?)

You can make an argument for Gildor and possibly some of his people, as they are called Exiles in FotR.


Lyllyn

 

 

Re: What is it about Elves?

the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds,

Given this specific a definition, the Elven-wise would not include Elrond.

Not to slight his true wisdom, of course, but he was born in Middle Earth and had never seen Valinor at that point in the book.

- Barbara

P.S. And the information about Elladan and Elrohir not being Elves is in Tyellas's Fact Sheet on Elladan and Elrohir, which you can find linked from either biography in the research area. As many times as I have read LoTR, I had never picked up on that distinction...

 

 

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