This website contains archives of the Tolkien Discussion Group from 2009 to early 2013.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groups of Elves of Middle Earth

Shawn Daysleeper  
Lihan Taifun            
AelKennyr Rhiano  
Fi Piaggio                 
Kellinar Trevellion 
Koni Lanzius            
Squeak Barzane (briefly)

When the Valar invited the young elves to relocate to the Blessed Lands, the Vanyar and Noldor came fairly quickly. The Teleri (who called themselves Lindar) moved more slowly, and at each rest stop small groups stayed behind. These became the ancestors of the “Wood Elves”, the “Green Elves” (Laiquendi), and the “Valley Elves” (Nandor). The Elves of the Blessed Lands call these groups “Dark Elves” (Moriquendi), not for their appearance nor because of any evil, but because they had not experienced the Light of the Blessed Lands.

A larger group of Teleri stayed behind to look for King Elwë, and then settled in Doriath with King Elwë and Queen Melian. The Elves of the Blessed Lands call these “Grey Elves” (Sindar), because Queen Melian, a Maia, brought them some measure of the Light. They called themselves simply “Elves” (Edhil).

Another group of Teleri were left behind on the shores of the Isle of Balar, and became the “Shore People” (Falathrim), lead by Cirdan.

The remaining Teleri continued to the Blessed Lands, led by King Olwë, and largely disappear from the histories of Middle Earth. The considered themselves among the “Light Elves” (Calaquendi).

The Sindarin language diverged quite a bit from the Quenya spoken in the Blessed Lands (and returned to Middle Earth with the Noldor). We know the language of the Green Elves (Mirkwood, and the common elves of Lothlórien) had diverged from “standard” Sindarin. Likely the other scattered groups of elves had their own dialects. The various forms of “elvish” languages spoken by Second Life groups is plausible.

Did the Elves of Middle Earth remember their kindred who moved to the Blessed Lands? Maybe, as a legend of long ago – a group who left looking for a distant promised land and were never heard from again. Do they think of themselves as “Teleri” anymore”. Would the Noldor who stayed in Middle Earth by the Third Age think of themselves as “Noldor”? Probably not.

Lihan Taifun:             are we ready? tonight's topic -- the Teleri who stayed in Middle Earth
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Yay, Teleri
Lihan Taifun:             heh heh, Elwe's Teleri, and the ones who got separated, dawdled too much, whatever happened to them
Shawn Daysleeper:   yay :)
Zryonotralionxus:     Yeah! I need to know who to infiltrate, or uhm, never mind
AelKennyr Rhiano:   I gave them the map :P
Lihan Taifun:             (is someone drifting IC? :P )
Shawn Daysleeper:   hehe
AelKennyr Rhiano:   hahaha (joke)
Zryonotralionxus whistels innocently
Lihan Taifun:             so when the Valar invited the young elves to move to Aman, the Vanyar and the Noldor came along fairly quickly (as mass migrations go), and the Teleri ( whose name means "the last ones") were slower, and it seems groups kept staying behind, at various points
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Lihan Taifun:             then of course King Elwe got distracted by meeting Melian
Shawn Daysleeper:   nods
Fi Piaggio:                  men, pfff (haha))
Koni Lanzius:             hehehe
AelKennyr Rhiano:   hahahah
Shawn Daysleeper:   grins
Lihan Taifun:             and some large part of the Teleri stayed looking for him, and became the Sindar, following Elwe and Melian
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Tell me about it...:P
Lihan Taifun:             was that the last split of the Teleri, before the rest went on with Olwe to the Blessed Lands?
Shawn Daysleeper:   I believe so
Fi Piaggio:                  I dont know
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Everywhere, they stopped to rest. it seems a small group was left behind.
Zryonotralionxus:     Or continued on!
Shawn Daysleeper:   some were left at the shores of the bay of balar, when the teleri went aboard the island. these became the Falathrim. and were ruled by Cirdan
Lihan Taifun:             Cirdan was born in Middle Earth? I don't remember
Shawn Daysleeper:   it seems Cirdan was born in Middle earth yes
Lihan Taifun:             so there were all these small settlements of scattered elves
Zryonotralionxus:     Some left the great journey, ending up in hithaeglir where then a small group continued on lead by lenwe and where never written about again
AelKennyr Rhiano: This, I think, is a great visual. Although, I have to take issue that a Large number of Teleri stayed behind, waiting for Elwe.
Lihan Taifun:             oh yes, that is great!
AelKennyr Rhiano:   :)
Shawn Daysleeper:   yes, nice visual :)
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Also, were the Sindar really known as the Moriquendi?
Lihan Taifun:             according to the chart in the back of Silmarillion, no
AelKennyr Rhiano:   So, while I like the chart, I don't think the text is really accurate.
Lihan Taifun:             according to the chart in the back of the Silmarillion, only those who didn't come across the Misty Mountains were Moriquendi (the Misty Mountains were a lot farther inland in those days -- or more like the shore was a lot farther west)
Shawn Daysleeper:   hmmm kind of an unusual way to make a major definition
AelKennyr Rhiano:   and actually Lindar was another name for the Teleri, not the Eldar. yes, I agree

{Lihan crashes and relogs.}

AelKennyr Rhiano:   the first of the Teleri to come to Valinor, who became their king. until he fell in love
Shawn Daysleeper:   so Elwe would be a calaquendi, personally, but not his people
AelKennyr Rhiano:   The Sindar of Beleriand called themselves simply Edhil, which means Elves, and is related to the Quenya word Eldar of the same meaning.
Lihan Taifun:             although didn't it say that Elwe's people got partial credit, because Melian represented the Light, also?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   I have always understood it so.
Lihan Taifun:             which was one of the reasons they were called "gray" elves -- partway between the Light and the Dark (although I'm not imagining them using that derivation of their name)
AelKennyr Rhiano:   no...they called themselves the Edhil
Lihan Taifun:             "it's not our fault everyone else went off and left us"
AelKennyr Rhiano:   The Teleri were the ancestors of the Valinorean Teleri, and the Sindar, Laiquendi, and Nandor of Middle-earth. And by extension, the Sylvan elves as well. So it is with good reason Comet calls Olwe "cousin"
Lihan Taifun:             the Sylvan elves would be the Laiquendi and the Nandor? or, you mean the Sylvhara elves?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Mostly the Nandor, I think. yes, to both. As Comet claims to be the Sylvan Queen
Lihan Taifun:             heh heh, but then they would speak Sindarin, instead of D&D elvish
AelKennyr Rhiano:   details, details.. Wait...would they? Over time...would not the language morph and change?
Lihan Taifun:             if they were isolated from the Sindar, it might
AelKennyr Rhiano:   The most removed they were from the Sindar...the more they developed as their own clan...a case could be made that they would develop their own tongue.
Lihan Taifun:             yes, even in the Third Age, I think Legolas understood the dialect of Lothlorien?
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Lihan Taifun:             both Mirkwood and Lothlorien had more Laiquendi ancestry than real Sindar
Shawn Daysleeper:   yes, Legolas could speak to the elves there
Lihan Taifun:             and you couldn't really call either of those "isolated communities"
AelKennyr Rhiano:   And spoken language is a living language....part of the definition of a "living" language is the ability to adapt and take in new words or adapt those from other languages.
Lihan Taifun:             so by the Third Age, Mirkwood and Lothlorien would have been moving closer to the "global" elvish (which would be Sindarin), and the fact that they weren't speaking Sindarin would suggest they started out as distinct languages
AelKennyr Rhiano:   May I ask...would it be Sindarin, or a derivative of sindarin?
Lihan Taifun:             is that the same question as whether First Age Sindarin is the same as Third Age Sindarin?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   maybe? I mean....would Telerin not have survived in some pockets? or derivatives of Quenya? I am honestly asking
Lihan Taifun:             it would make sense, if there were communities isolated enough
AelKennyr Rhiano nods, pondering.
Lihan Taifun:             places where the language wasn't influenced by Doriath. it seems that Elwe and Melian, in Doriath, were the cultural center of the elves in Middle Earth, until the Noldor arrived
Lihan Taifun:             and then there were a lot of communities, all in communication
AelKennyr Rhiano:   because of the Noldor? or because Tolkien chose to suddenly write of their communities?
Lihan Taifun:             both?
AelKennyr Rhiano nods :)
Lihan Taifun:             I'm sure the arrival of the Noldor really stirred the pot, in Middle Earth
AelKennyr Rhiano:   nod nod nod What was in the pot is the question :P
Lihan Taifun:             shook up the cultural balance
AelKennyr Rhiano:   oh, yes, I agree
Shawn Daysleeper:   nods
Lihan Taifun:             Doriath was no longer the one central cultural center
AelKennyr Rhiano:   and the Noldor who came had a very well defined agenda
Lihan Taifun:             and a number of ambitious leaders, who each set up small kingdoms. but they also each stayed in contact with the others, except for Gondolin
AelKennyr Rhiano:   yes, that is true

Lihan Taifun:             Zryon, are we being any help at all? :p
Fi Piaggio whispers "He's sleeping"
Koni Lanzius:             ~**smiles**~
Shawn Daysleeper pokes Zryon
Lihan Taifun whispers "ok"
AelKennyr Rhiano:   I thought I heard snoring.
Koni Lanzius:             hehehe

AelKennyr Rhiano:   So, by the 4th Age, there would be huge cultural differences between the Teleri of middle earth and the Valinorean Teleri.
Shawn Daysleeper:   I would think so
Lihan Taifun:             huge
AelKennyr Rhiano:   And probably by then between each of their separate clans.
Lihan Taifun:             who would there be, by the 4th Age (or the end of the 3rd)?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Would the Teleri of Middle Earth even know of the Vanyar elves in Aman?the Avari?
Lihan Taifun:             Lothlorien, Mirkwood, the Gray Havens, Rivendell; and of those, Rivendell and Gray Havens might be seriously depopulated
AelKennyr Rhiano:   the Silvans?
Lihan Taifun:             hmmm, possibly not
AelKennyr Rhiano:   maybe fragments survived?
Lihan Taifun:             possibly they heard some vauge legend of ancient elves who left searching for some promised paradise, and were never seen again
AelKennyr Rhiano:   One wonders how they would feel about their Aman kin, too.
Lihan Taifun:             possibly, from the returning Noldor, some legends returned about that lost paradise, but the Noldor would have been foreigners, even if they ever met Noldor
AelKennyr Rhiano:   And would the Noldor of middle earth, over time, consider themselves Noldor? or would they have found a new identity for themselves over the passage of time.
Lihan Taifun:             we know elves of Mirkwood visited Elrond in Rivendell, we know the elves of Lothlorien knew Galadriel
AelKennyr Rhiano:   yes, true
Lihan Taifun:             but other communities ... the stories might be rather foreign tales. yes, I can imagine that any Noldor who stayed in Middle Earth at the end of the First Age would probably be already not thinking of themselves as "Noldor". nowadays, when transportation is easy, how many people don't move back to their ancestral homeland?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   alot
Lihan Taifun:             you don't see me moving back to The Old Country, and I know about 2 words of the language :P
AelKennyr Rhiano:   and most would not have one "Old Country."
Lihan Taifun:             I can imagine it being similar for the Noldor, especially those born in Middle Earth

AelKennyr Rhiano:   Is this a good stopping place for tonight?
Zryonotralionxus:     Well there is so much information so it was very helpful
AelKennyr Rhiano:   yay, he woke up! :P
Fi Piaggio:                  hahah
Koni Lanzius:             hehe
Kellinar Trevellion:  lol
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Do we want this or another topic next week?
Lihan Taifun:             (silence)
Fi Piaggio:                  haha is the topic still language?
Lihan Taifun:             the topic was supposed to be "groups of elves"
AelKennyr Rhiano:   oops lol
Fi Piaggio:                  haha oops
AelKennyr Rhiano:   how about groups of elves next week? AelKennyr Rhiano smiles brightly
Koni Lanzius:             sounds good
Lihan Taifun:             if we have more to say?
Fi Piaggio:                  sounds good
Lihan Taifun:             ok