The Line of Elros

A discussion of Tolkien's Unfinshed Tales
serinde
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Post by serinde » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:55 am

By the way, I love the Alan Lee Illustrated version of LotR!

When I ponder the kings of Numenor, I am always reminded of Elrond's comment to Gandalf in the movie "That line is diminished, spent"

Was he thinking of his twin brother Elros? The males of his line were eventually faithless, easily corrupted, failed in their potential, caused the downfall of Numenor, life span down from 500 years to only 100. (Aragorn is an exception to live to 150)

If Elrond is bitter over Arwen's decision, Elros was the first to make that choice. His wife long ago sailed West, his sons spend their time fighting orcs and don't sail into the West with him. He must be very weary of Middle-Earth, yet would feel no personal pull to Valinor.

Serinde

Merry
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Post by Merry » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:36 am

Great insights, serinde! The relationship between the brothers must have been an interesting one.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

serinde
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Post by serinde » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:17 pm

I think a biography of Elrond would be among the most interesting to read!
"Elan sila lumenn omentielvo"

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:23 pm

I agree serinde. Their lives began in turmoil and if you think about it, they most have thought some of their own ancestors faithless and ill mannered. Kind of sad really...
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serinde
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Post by serinde » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:02 pm

I've always thought it interesting that Elrond & Elros were fostered by a son of Feanor (his name escapes me), and Elrond fosters the heirs of Valandil
"Elan sila lumenn omentielvo"

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:29 am

Good point, Serinde, I hadn't thought of that before.
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Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:39 pm

Serinde, Elrond and Elros were fostered by Maglor, the mighty singer. He is the lone surviving son of Feanor, who throws his recovered Silmaril into the sea, and then wanders the coasts of Middle-earth singing sadly of his horrors and loss. We are never told about his ultimate fate. It could be that he gradually "faded" or finally died of a broken heart. Taking pity upon the sons of Earendil and Elwing was probably Maglor's saving grace -- and Maglor was always portrayed by Tolkien as the more sensitive and far less blood-thirsty son of Feanor.

That Elrond would foster the sons of Valandil is far less surprising, since these are the long-descendants of his brother Elros and therefore blood relatives.
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Post by Merry » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:54 pm

I suppose that in such a violent world, fostering would be fairly common. But I can't help but think of the young orphaned Tolkien and how many fatherless boys there are in Middle-earth.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

serinde
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Post by serinde » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:37 pm

Merry wrote:I suppose that in such a violent world, fostering would be fairly common. But I can't help but think of the young orphaned Tolkien and how many fatherless boys there are in Middle-earth.
There are no mothers! From Frodo to Aragorn, Eowyn & Eomer, Faramir (rejected because of his mother's death), Celebrian's departure ( and abandonment of Arwen, Elladan & Elrohir) ... "I have given Hope to the world; I have kept none for myself"

That reminds me also of Miriel, Feanor's mother, whose spirit was stripped of all it's energy by Feanor's birth.
"Elan sila lumenn omentielvo"

Merry
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Post by Merry » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:56 pm

Yes, you're right--probably more fathers than mothers in Middle-earth! I suppose if the hero's journey is all about growing up, one has to leave parents behind in some form and find some other way to be fostered.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

serinde
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Post by serinde » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:40 pm

Merry wrote:Yes, you're right--probably more fathers than mothers in Middle-earth! I suppose if the hero's journey is all about growing up, one has to leave parents behind in some form and find some other way to be fostered.
In reading Joseph Campbell, part of the hero's journey is to join with his father. But the psycho-analysis is too deep for me!

Elrond seemed to be under the tutelage of Cirdan & Gil-galad in the Grey Havens before he founded Rivendell.
"Elan sila lumenn omentielvo"

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:35 pm

There is good reason for Elrond to have come under the protection of first Cirdan and then Gil-galad. If Gil-galad were to produce no heir (and he didn't), Elrond was technically next in line to become High King of the Noldor, as the sole surviving male descendant of Turgon of Gondolin. It could be argued that Gil-galad did come to view Elrond as his heir, especially when he made the decision to entrust Elrond with the stewardship of the elven ring Vilya.

However, after Gil-galad's death in the Battle of the Last Alliance, no one takes up the title of High King of the Noldor. Tolkien never tells us why. Did Elrond refuse the throne? Was he regarded as unworthy because of his "mixed" heritage? Did the Sindar and Silvan elves oppose the raising of another Noldor King? Was the title essentially meaningless, since there were so few remaining Noldor in Middle-earth?

Another question I've wondered about is the nature of Elrond and Celebrian's marriage. Just how politically motivated was it? That was a POWERFUL alliance, uniting the heir of Turgon with the daughter of the Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood. Did this marriage have anything to do with political maneuvering regarding the Kingship? This is not to say that it wasn't also a love match, but that there also were polticial motivations or benefits to the match.
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serinde
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Post by serinde » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:46 am

The concept of the Nolder "High King" is never fully explained. It seems to have been in one sense a military position in the war against Morgoth. Once he was eliminated and then Sauron defeated at the end of the Second Age, there was no need for the position.

After the second? war of Elf against Elf -- would a Nolder King have been acknowledged?

a Politically charged marriage would also be Earendil (a Nolder of Gondolin) & Elwing -- also no inclusion of a son of Feanor -- the union of the refugees

Elrond does seem to be 'the center' of the political world in Middle-Earth; Lorien seems very isolated & the Grey Havens on the edge. we don't know what errand Erestor had coming from Cirdan at the Council of Elrond

I wish we had more information about the White Council & the politics behind it -- why was saruman appointed head and why did Galadriel oppose it?
"Elan sila lumenn omentielvo"

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Post by Merry » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:36 am

I thought Cirdan had sent the advice that the Ring should be destroyed. Did I make that up? :?

I've always found Cirdan an enigmatic character. Giving the ring to Gandalf was an interesting move. I guess there is a precedent for people in Tolkien to renege their power in order to indulge their love for the sea, but it seems that some elves might resent losing that much power, even if it were to one of the Maiar.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:50 pm

Looking at the life of Elrond, one certainly couldn't blame him if he had abandonment issues; I have often felt that the sufferings Elrond endures certainly rival that of the House of Hurin!

Just look at his losses:

(1) His father Earendil departs on his desperate voyage to the West when he is just a child and never returns.
(2) His mother Elwing leaps from the Tower of Sirion with the Silmaril, essentially abandoning her children to the mercies of the Feanorians.
(3) His foster father Maglor succumbs to the lure of the Silmarils.
(4) His brother Elros choses a different fate; in essence, the brothers (twins?) abandon each other. Tolkien does not tell us whether this was because of a true scism between the brothers, or simply a strong difference in temperament. The upshot is that Elrond is left with NO family.
(5) He loses his beloved King during the Battle of the Last Alliance.
(6) His wife Celebrian departs for the West after her cruel ordeal.
(7) His daughter Arwen makes the same choice as his brother, although this time for the love of the man who is to be her husband, and he is well aware that the choice was agonizing.
(8 ) His sons do not sail with him to the West, and Tolkien does not inform us about their ultimate fate.

Every one of these losses is a SEVERE blow to the psyche. That Elrond endures to become the extraordinary leader and healer we encounter in LOTR is nothing short of a miracle and speaks to his incredible strength of will and character.

Elrond has always been one of my very favorite secondary characters in LOTR. Little wonder that he features so prominently in my own writing!

Another question about Elrond -- Does anyone know if The Professor ever made a definitive statement about whether Elrond and Elros were twins? Many people assume they were, but the only references in The Professor's own words are that they are brothers. Their mother Elwing did have (twin?) brothers, Elured and Elurin, who were captured by Celegorm during the assault upon Doriath and abandoned in the forest to die of starvation. And of course, Elrond and Celebrian have twin sons Elladan and Elrohir. It is easy to see why folks assume all of these pairs of brothers are twins, but is there a definitive reference?
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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