Tolkien Discussion Group
November 18, 2009
Topic: Comparing Tolkien's Elves to Other Traditions
Funny story...i was on the phone with my mother talking about the Simarillion....well she kept correcting me on everything...and I asked...you know these works,too? I had no idea
What is a 'phone' ?
I knew she was into fairies...but the whole Tolkien series?...yes knows it
It's amazing what we do not know about our parents sometimes
What are parents??
A "phone" is a bit like a human palantir, isn't it?
You have never watched procreation Fifi?
We should get Ael and Lihan to give us a demonstration when he arrives
I've seen the result of our song and learn from that . . is that what you mean?
Lihan Taifun glares
Bryster Shan snickers
Anyway, Ael is busy tonight, and Ossy is offline.
Killiing trespassers no doubt.
Thank Illuvatar Belenos is here *grins
Maybe this is it for tonight
We were going to discuss how Tolkien's elves compare to other tradtions, not that I knowmuch about those "other" traditions
That is something I am curious about
Well, Tolkien elves are full sized ... don't have wings ... what else?
Well, from what I've heard, elves outside of tolkien can vary to the little ones who help santa at teh north pole, to elemental elves and all things magical in between
Do any aelves ever have wings?
Bryster Shan: Eh-hum.
He has wings!
So that puts paid to that theory.
Usually though tis the fae or fairy who are depicted with wings in popular culture I believe
I guess so
Just shows generalties always have exceptions
The elves in tolkien have great magic, yes?
Depends on how you define "magic"
They do not call it magic, as Galadrial explained tothe Halflings
Or is it that 'men' see it as magic
What do you mean,Lihan?
BelenosStormchaser Magic racks my brains...yes, it's more that men see it as magic
Compared to second nature?
What Bry and Fifi said, that they elves don't think of it as "magic", although humans or halfllings might. I guess the elves think of it as "technology"
such as ?
In fact they do not recognise the word.
ohhhh....elfnocentric perspective lol
Lihan Taifun pokes Tuatha
In the example with Galadriel, I think they were talking about the cloaks
And the Mirror of Galadriel.
And the rope, and the lembas
Mithrail might appear to be magic
Perhaps she was just being modest
But then, how DO you define magic
I think even she would agree the mirror was "unusual"
The humans have an expression......."One man's technology is another man's magic."
Then perhaps magic is what cannot be explianed by those observing.
Galadriel presumably knows at least the principles of lore that make her things work
Then from what I understand tolkien elves and many from other stories are magical creatures... magical... not godlike
Magical in the sense of having abilities that other races don't
Possessed of skills that others do not understand
And isn't it only women that make lembas?
Thought so. One of the few things that Tolkien women do that male elves do not
And especially unusual in that male elves do more of the cooking
Once in a while
There is no mention of that fact in the Great Books appendices.
I think it comes from one of the Professor's essays
technology ... lembas ....Lihan Taifun tries to get the conversation back on track
Lembas or Waybread was only for times of dire need I recall.
So perhaps not often made.
You said you knew about their mating/courting ,Lihan? <grins>
That was a couple weeks ago. Fifi was quoting us all sorts of things
but I missed that one.. :(
So how are tolkien elves mating/courting different to folklore.. *grins*
Fifi Wickentower looks down and scuffs toe
I'm not saying.
Dont be self conscious...we'reamong friends
Not knowing ANYTHING about how folklore elves mate ...
It does involve a lot of dancing
My husband does that
Bryster Shan blushes
oh yes...dances...encircles me
Well, you know, with Tolkien writing it ... he describes who came to the wedding feast ... and then a year later a kid is born
so elves have baby goats?
Bryster Shan rolls his eyes skyward.
A feast could mean...everyone was...ummm
I like to dance - is that like mating?
It's a prelude to...er.....mating.
So tolkien used a lot of euphermisms then?
More like Tolkien skipped those scenes. Or, according to some sources, edited them out before the books went to print. Apparently his earlier versions were spicier than the later ones
Indeed he did. The Gardener wed and sometime later was known to have two or three ...er...little hobbits.
Well a book has to be able to be published after all..
BelenosStormchaser Magic cannot imagine an x rated tolkien
Fifi Wickentower: *shudders
although Harverd Lampoon could ...
I'm glad he left it out...let us discover it for ourselves, dont you think?
Bryster Shan scrapes the grounds with the toe of his boot.
http://www.ansereg.com/what_tolkien_officially_said_abo.htm That is a summery of his essay
That's one of the things I noticed about many of his cahracters... they have a certain childlike innocence about them
It might be helpful if we could create a list of Elfen references in books.
It seems that Tolkiens elves have more of a hierarchy - kings, queens etc
such as what? Bry
But where else do we find them? We all know that Elves exist here..... That's all backwards. I know of one book in particular that speaks of fairies or Fae who spent most of thier time...er......fornicating.
Which book would that be?
Which makes me wonder what they had between their ear... because as alluring as brilliant sex can be, eventually other parts of oneself assert themselves.. such as the brain
If they are nature devas then that would seem appropriate
I'd have to look it up. My addled brain doesn't remeber the title. although it was a recent work involving Humans.
hmmm I agree with Fifi, though, it could be appropriate for nature spirits: "birds and the bees"
It was about a human male returning home after a car crash ...whatever that is.....and he was exploring a wood or forest when he found fairies. They were 'at it' all the time and included him....blah-blah..
Written by a teenage male?
We'rejust more hormonal : )
I doubt it. It was a serious novel of sorts.
Quite innocent, really
You are a hormonal Ainu, Tuatha?
What's a hormone?
Has to do with running physical bodies
I am fey...a rather large fey,I realize....my mother was Sidhi <i am a mutt>
Are fey/fairy folk in any way related to elves?
Like distant cousins or something?
I wouldn't think so. They would seem to exist in harmony though, more so than with Edain.
Are they similar creatures, from different traditions?
I think distinctly different
In what way?
Only innoncent humans can see fairies
I don't think so...my fey family really didnt want me to marry an Elf..it took much timeconvincing them of his value
Have not heard in any tradition of elves and fae the same, but they seem to coexist in their worlds
omg.. I just read on that page that elven childhood and adolescence lasts 50 years in elves.. can you imagine putting up with a teenager for that long? I'd slit my wrists..
That's funny, Belenos
Blame Lihan.. she gave us the link
Do you have wrists?? looks closely
BelenosStormchaser Magic wiggles my hands.. well yeah.. it's those thinsg that let my hands pivot
What creature lived with Tom Bombadil?
It never really said what kind of creatures Tom or Goldberry were. Some people speculate they were Maiar, but that is just a theory.
I'm sure Goldberry was a kind of Elf. But not of the same sort as myself.
She was describes as "the River Man's daughter"
Goldmere?...wasnt that her name? She seemedlike a Sidhi to me
What are Sidhi like?
And the Sidhi are different, how?
Part human and fey
I don't recall her talking at all.
So are you 1/4 human?
Really?....she was so close to her animal friends
es...I must be alittle human...it makes me tall
But the Eldar are tall, also
Loook....let me explain...I could a real mix because..well....my people were always taking babies that fancied them
So...sadly, I can't tell you forsure how much. Oh..dont get me wrong...they were always kind to these babies..even spoiled them
In the end it matters not . . for you are you and just right :)
Since Belenos wasn't here the last few times . . pehaps she would consider enlightening us about
mating habits of dragons :D Krathlolis touched briefly on the subject, but he has become a bit forgetful about certain things
When you're flying?
Ahhhh, now that is a matter of much debate and popular myth... some believe dragons are non-sexual creatures adn can indeed change sex at will, some believe it is when taking a deep dive while flying, others believe it is more as snakes or lizards would.. But in honesty, as my mate is a fox, I'd hardly know about dragon sex.. *grins*
I like the "deepdive" part
Fifi Wickentower blushes
I mean...that flying could feel that good, I grok that one
Do dragons 'decide' to have a family?
The bit that many seem to forget is that sex between beasts, and dragons are beasts is for mating/procration purposes only.. not for pleasure
I think the desire to procreate is instinct driven
So most dragons then would have a hatchling
That depends on their age really and circumstance. Like elves we have much that occupies us.
I know the eggs are carefully guarded
Oh indeed.. they are not left just lying around
I just adore hatchlings. I have to restrain myself.
One has to remember.. while a hatchling may be cute they will one day be a full grown dragon
I want to take them....and I know thats not good
So make sure you are prepared for the committement that takes before taking one home... Oh wait.. we aren't sold in pet shops
Much too dangerous for the pet shop!
It's my instinct
Fifi Wickentower siddles a bit closer to Belenos
Your instinct will see you dead one day... if a dragon ever catches you near their eggs or young
What do you want to do with them ? ^^
Pet them and sit them on your lap perhaps?
Feed them treatas? and give them lots of nice toys?
If they let me..they skirm alot
Perhaps that would be because they are dragons.. not lapdogs?
I know..just I'd be just as content with watching them a ll day
I've heard they grow slowly but gain strength on the inside
But..enough about that...I do restrain myself...I wouldn't want their mother to hunt me down
Might there be some hatchlings in Arador?
That is the thing about dragons.. they are so long lived that the would often outlive a mortal being.. and then be left homeless and ignorant of dragon lore and nature
Mayhap there could be increased inter race understanding
I don't believe we do have any hatchlings Fifi.. I think we get a lot of single dragons.. but no mating pairs
That is sad, Belenos
I've heard of eggs in places not Arador
as have I, Fifi
The thing to always bear in mind is that dragons are wild things.. not to be domesticated.. if they choose to live quietly among mortal beings they do so by choice but are always wild at heart
Because dragons are so long-lived it would only benefit generations after if a young dragon learned of other ppl's ways
While some lands have a hatchery, I find it hard to understand a dragon entrusting their egg/s to such a place... however it could have its uses in the case of eggs that have been orphaned
and still the dragon would be free
I never thought of that....mother's take their babies to hatcheries?
But who would teach it to hunt as a dragon hunts? Who would teach it how to recognise the flows of air and thermal that it needs to know to fly?
I'm not suggesting a dragon be raised apart from his kind, at al, only Tuatha expressed such interest in even watching
That is why dragons need to be raised by dragons.. if they come to seek human/elven or other company in later years well and good.. but only a dragon can teach a dragon how to be dragon..
Well..the next time I feelany impulse to steal one away....I will think/feel about this discussion. Maybe I should just stick to hatchie sitting
You see, if you love the dragons Tuatha, you will get more dragon from a wild dragon, than one raised by others... *smiles*.... but you are alawys welcome in our realm.. all true friends of dragons are
So,is the impulse to steal young ones a characteristic of non-Tolkien Sidhe?
Oh..that's the fey side of the family. I reallydo show restraint
I appreciate your openess
We have discussed Sidhe, fey ... any other beings we should mention?
A little about elves
Like Santa's elves?
no no.. I meant we had discussed a little about elves
Do we feel any clearer on the differences?
Somewhat, yes :)
Between Tolkien elves and non-tolkien elves?
yes. Do we?
Yeah.. you don't weary pointy caps and live at the north pole.. :D erm.. 'they', not you
Tolkien Elves seem more humnalike than folklore
I learned more about Tolkien than non-Tolkien and that is fine :)
Was it your topic?
Yes - idealized, as the article Lihan pointed out mentioned
Any ideas for next week's topic?
hehe.. yeah. what about mer?
How they do it? I wanna know lol
LOL.. we can tell where your mind is..
No... all about them
Is always about that lol?^^
But...you know, I havent asked any mer folk about that...but I've always wanted to
How much do they figure in his work?
I have heard they are actually mentioned, though not in the Silmarillion. I don't know where it is they show up
hhmmmmm research :))
I think Phoenix found the reference. Good luck getting him to concentrate long enough to find it again
Did we have a topic for next week?
*awaiting other suggestions
Wasn't it going to be merfolks?
oh, right, ok
Sounds good to me
Lots of other topics if we don't want to talk about ppl
such as? Any other topics to put on the list for later?
What do you have a desire to explore?
So our topic is shapeshifting Maiars?