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Discussing: Elvish Labor

Elvish Labor

Hi all I have a rather unusual question concerning the birth process in Elves and their labor. Do Elves have painful/difficult labor like human women do? Or was their labor much easier with less pain, etc. Also, just to make it even more interesting, how would this affect Arwen, since she has chosen the mortal life with Aragorn? I haven't been able to find anything in canon regarding this and kind of need to have an idea about it for a nuzgul that was sicced on me. Thanks for any help! Cheryl



Re: Elvish Labor

Hi, Cheryl The closest to definitive is the passage from HoM-e 10: Laws and Customs of the Eldar:
Also the Eldar say that in the begetting, and still more in the bearing of children, greater share and strength of their being, in mind and in body, goes forth than in the making of mortal children.
I haven't found anything more specific, only oblique references, such as that found in the Silm re: the effect Fëanor's birth had on his mother. The other reference that I found is even more oblique, and it may only indicate the perception that Men had of the Eldar. In UT, the story of Aldarion and Erendis, there is a passage about her teaching their daughter, Ancalimë where Tolkien wrote:
And though childbirth had less of ills and peril, Númenor was not an "earthly paradise," and the weariness of labour or of all making was not taken away
As noted, this may only be indicative of the view the Númenoreans - or Erendis herself - had of the Eldar (equating the Undying Lands with an "earthly paradise"). Of course this last is pure conjecture on my part, and seems to be contradicted by what Tolkien wrote in LaCE. It would, however, tie in neatly with the Númenoreans' envy of the Eldar. For whatever it's worth, that's what I have so far. If I find anything else, you'll be the second one to know. ~Nessime



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