Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Children of the Fourth Age

Children of the Fourth Age

I  am writing a story that will mainly be about Elanor Gamgee, and have two logistics questions that I hope can be answered. Firstly, do you think that all of the Gamgee children that were alive at that time came along to meet Aragorn and Arwen at Lake Evendim? The only one that is mentioned is Elanor, plus her parents and the other travelers. (At least that I remember from the last time I checked. I don't have a copy of RotK to reference right now.) Personally, I don't think that they all went. I know Sam would have been a family man, but a trip with nine (at the time) children, especially when some were still very young, may not have been logistically a good idea. Still, it is possible, and I have seen other fanfictions write it that way, so I wanted a second opinion. (More opinions are fine as well, of course.)

My story  also will eventually involve children of other heroes from the end of the Fourth Age, both named (Eldarion, Elboron, Elfwine) and slightly OC (mostly other children of the same parents, mainly to add daughters to the mix). (Incidentally, its interesting that the El- name beginning was so common among royal children around this time. Reason? Not sure). I'm just wondering, how far, in your opinion, can a fanfiction take OC characters such as these without being too out of canon? For instance, would it be possible/okay to have an elder sister for Elboron? I'm still debating whether she (the OC daughter of Faramir I am creating) will be the eldest or second eldest after Elboron.

Thanks for any help.



Re: Children of the Fourth Age

On the Gamgee children, as far as I know you can write it either way.

I'd be careful about adding an elder sister for Elboron, unless you're going to address the political issue of female inheritance (even if only in passing).

Hope that helps...



Re: Children of the Fourth Age

Hi Lizzie,

I've started an answer to you twice, and my laptop has crashed and lost my answer both times. So, I'll try to keep it short this time.

Since your copy of RoTK is not at hand, the Evendim passage is here in the HASA Resource Library: Elessar and Arwen dwell in Arnor awhile, at .

As a far-too-infrequent fanfic author and reader, I also have a few opinions for you (since you asked *vbg*).

First, I believe that even the most canon-respecting author has a free hand where Tolkien neglected fill in the blanks... and women are mostly blanks in all of his family trees, except for the Hobbits'. Even in the case of Aragorn's daughters, he supplied neither names, nor birth dates, nor numbers (except the implied plural). So, in your family trees for Fourth Age canon characters, I suggest including whatever OCs, with whatever ages and genders, makes sense for the story *you* want to write.

Second, while it is true that traveling with nine children, some very young, is difficult, you might want to consider a few things.

First, in 1436, Sam is not only Frodo's heir, but has been elected Mayor twice already, which makes him a prominent member of the Shire. I suspect he has become, perhaps not wealthy, but probably more financially comfortable than he ever imagined while growing up. (If nothing else, being Mayor involves many feasts, so he doesn't have to spend as much money on feeding his family as might have been the case otherwise.) So, owning a carriage, or renting one or two from a livery, is not at all out of the question.

And I suspect that innkeepers on the route through the Shire would consider it an honor to accommodate the Mayor (who, after all, helped to rebuild the Shire) and his family on their journey. Not that they would necessarily put him up for free, but it would be uncharacteristic (and impolitic) to gouge him for a large family.

Also, being a member of the Fellowship, Sam is presumably still friendly with Merry, who became Master of Buckland two years before. So, visiting Elessar and Arwen at the Brandywine Bridge probably would involve a stay at Brandy Hall, where they seem well-able to handle visitors with children.

And, if the entire family goes to Evendim, they will be the honored guests of the King and Queen of the Reunited Kingdom. How many Men (and Elves and Peredhil) would be only too thrilled to care for a brood of cute and mostly well-behaved Hobbit children who are friends of the first royal family in a millennium?

And, maybe most compelling to me, these are Hobbits.... They seem to value children, and large families (by our standards, anyway) seem not uncommon. This is strictly opinion, but I think the tendencies in their society would be to include children more often than not, especially for an event that is historic and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime.

Regarding 'El-' names, I think it's not surprising that Aragorn and Faramir honored Elves, and regretted that their time was passing; but even Éomer seemed to develop an appreciation for Elves after meeting Arwen and Galadriel. Or perhaps it was Lothíriel who named Elfwine ('Elf-friend' in Rohirric/Anglo-Saxon), since we know the Dol Amroth folks were proud of their Elven heritage? Anyway, I don't think those names are really all that surprising for the first royal generation of the Fourth Age. After all, even Elanor-- a Hobbit! -- was named for a flower from an Elven realm....

I hope this helps, Lizzie!

- Barbara



Re: Children of the Fourth Age

Hi Nath,

I think female inheritance in the Steward's line may be a settled question (which doesn't mean it couldn't change in the Fourth Age, of course).

Denethor II had two unnamed older sisters, and he became Steward. Of course, we don't know if they survived until Ecthelion II's death.... *sigh*

Steward Hador may have been in the same boat, but I upgraded to a new OS and a new version of Family Tree Maker, so my Steward family trees aren't in readable shape (can't tell which siblings are older), until I figure out how to use the new software.... which is nothing like the old version and not better..... *grrrrrrrrrrrrr*

IIRC, Théoden had older sisters, so it's also not an issue for Kings of Rohan.

So, the only problem might be with Eldarion, if he had older sisters; but IIRC, Númenor's (later) law that the eldest child could inherit regardless of gender was never honored (needed?) in Gondor, and for sure was never needed in Arnor (before the Fourth Age, of course).

Dynastic politics, even fictional ones, give me almost as much of a headache as badly-designed "new and improved" software and crashing computers.....

- Barbara



Re: Children of the Fourth Age

I haven't done this before, but I'm intending this to be a response to all of the posts so far. So: thank you for your considerations. You brought up some things I hadn't thought of before.

The first question: I will probably end up having them all along, although my story mainly centers around Elanor. I have begun some characterization of her closest siblings in age, but the rest I may have to develop along the way. Elanor, in my mind, is a storyteller and seen as a bit of an oddity among other hobbits, based on her looks and habits. Frodo is interested in lore and often hides in the Party Tree with a book. Her sister Rose is a lovable worrywart and takes care of the youngest ones well. The young Merry and Pippin I have characterized as admiring and trying to be like the ones they were named after, desiring adventure. Goldilocks loves magic and is insightful for being young. The other children who are alive at the time (Daisy, Primrose, Bilbo) were too young for me to really characterize yet. We'll see where the story takes me.

As for the second question, I will probably end up having the OC sister of Elboron I was making be younger anyway. It is probably easier to write and less tricky. There were two reasons I was leaning toward her being older, but they can both be worked around. One is that I hope to write her to be about Elanor's age, which is exactly two years after the end of the war. I just figured that might be too soon for Eowyn and Faramir to have two children. But it will be fine if she is a little younger than Elanor. The other reason was that this OC character is loosely based on a friend of mine, who is an eldest child, like I am. (Probably a reason I like Elanor.) But that doesn't matter in the long run. It's her personality/"essence" that will be a part of this character, not necessarily the fact that she is the eldest. By the way, the name I currently have for my OC daughter of Faramir is Ithilmir. Does that sound genuine and believable enough?

If anyone has anything more to add, I would be happy to hear it, especially as the story is still in its early stages. Again, I value the opinions of others greatly, as I am relatively new to the fanfiction thing. Thanks again!



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