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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Avari and Avariel

Rhûn Darkmoon
AelKennyr Rhiano  
Lihan Taifun            
Shawn Daysleeper  
William Shrinshee  (william.foresight)
Siwan Sandalwood 

Tolkien uses the term “Avari” (“unwilling”) to describe the Elves that did not even start the journey to the Blessed Lands. The reason he gives is that the Elves were at first afraid of Oromë and his horse, partly because Melkor had been spreading scary stories about Oromë. Also the idea of seeing the Two Trees didn't motivate them so much. The other Elves believe that some of the Avari were captured by Melkor, and used as the raw material for the race of Orcs. Tolkien says that the descendants of the Avari and the descendants of those who went, or intended to go, to the Blessed Lands, did not meet “until many ages had past.” None of the descendants of the Avari show up in any of Tolkien's stories, which leaves wide room for speculation on what happened to them, and how they developed.

Avariel” are a race of winged elves, originating from D&D. William speculates that, in the Tolkien universe, Avariel elves would be a subset of the Avari.

{Siwan's comments removed at her request.}
AelKennyr Rhiano:   William generously agreed to come and tell us about Avariel elves
William Shrinshee smiles "Thanks"
Lihan Taifun:             excellent
William Shrinshee:   Yes. From what I have read and been told Avariel elves originally lived in remote and high altitude locations in the central part of Middle Earth when most elves departed for the high mountains of the West for the Valars. Some were snatched by Melkor and became orcs and slaves of the darker underworld.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   wait, the Avariel or the Avari?
William Shrinshee:   It seems that the Avariel are a subset of the Avari thought that is only speculation.
Rhûn Darkmoon blushes, 'William, do you have any references for your information so.. so I may read them later?'
William Shrinshee:   Yes, I can provide those.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   yes, please
Rhûn Darkmoon smiles warmly, 'Thank you. I appreciate it very much.'
William Shrinshee looking up the primary source now.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   thank you
William Shrinshee: is one,_Avariel also is by far the best and most detailed.
Rhûn Darkmoon loads the pages to read later
William Shrinshee: is the obligatory D&D one.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   ok...the first one is a D&D reference. It is not from Tolkien
William Shrinshee:   true
Lihan Taifun:             The Avariel did originate from D&D, right?
William Shrinshee:   Tolkien does not say much himself. The sources do not fully agree with each other.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   What was your source that speculated the Avariel were a subset of the Avari?
William Shrinshee:   That was my own speculation and that of a friend I chatted with who is a Cleric at Sylvhara.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Ahh.
William Shrinshee:   I am trying to find a thread of agreement that fits.
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Did you have any place where Tolkien actually referenced the Avariel?
William Shrinshee:   not yet =) He does say that the ones left behind likely came to a variety of fates. and that orcs is only one path that Avari descendants took
AelKennyr Rhiano:   ok...just so I am clear....Tolkien never mention Avariel at all.
Rhûn Darkmoon frowns a little in confusion, 'I thought Orcs were created by Melkor from captured elves? Do you mean captured Avariel elves?'
William Shrinshee:   captured Avari. other Avari may have become winged over time
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Perhaps we should start with Lihan talking about who the Avari were?
William Shrinshee:   due to breeding with either Fae or Dragons or even Ainur
AelKennyr Rhiano:   o.O
William Shrinshee:   but Fae is most often mentioned
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Wait, please...
William Shrinshee:   ok
AelKennyr Rhiano:   hold on....
William Shrinshee:   ok William Shrinshee motions to Lihan to take the floor.
Lihan Taifun:             are you waiting for me, or for something else?
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Please don't think I am rude. We do a lot of speculation in the course of our discussions here. BUT...we do so after we have laid a groundwork of what we do know, and where we found it .
William Shrinshee:   No problem. makes sense
AelKennyr Rhiano:   And with all due respect...all this has been mingling a whole bunch of things...but not one thing claimed of Tolkien has, in fact, proven to be from Tolkien, and I think we need to get our fact first, please. and then we can speculate ? :)

Lihan Taifun:             Tolkien uses the word "Avari" to refer to the Elves who did not even start the journey to the Blessed Lands. Very little is said about them, since the story is not about them.
AelKennyr Rhiano nods listening
Lihan Taifun:             They are -- or the other elves think they are -- the raw material Melkor used to make orcs, but it is not clear whether actually all the Avari were captured by Melkor
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Why didn't they want to go to the West? Do we know?
William Shrinshee listening carefully.
Siwan Sandalwood:  ••••••••••••••••••••••
William Shrinshee:   the Silmarillion says they were afraid of the one Valar that arrived on horse.
Siwan Sandalwood:  ••••••••••••••••••••••
Lihan Taifun:             true, some were frightened of Orome, and possibly Melkor had a hand in planting that idea
AelKennyr Rhiano:   Because it does speak of him spreading tales among the elves, Melkor, I mean
William Shrinshee:   shadow horsemen stories, spread apparently by Melkor to the North
Shawn Daysleeper:   shadow horsemen? and the humans were kind of alone in the east without guidance from the valar till then
Lihan Taifun:             "But many refused the summons, preferring the starlight and the wide spaces of Middle-earth to the rumour of the Trees; and these are the Avari, the Unwilling, and they were sundered in that time from the Eldar, and met never again until many ages were past."
Rhûn Darkmoon leans forward in his seat a little, listening with interest
William Shrinshee:   page 50 of my edition
AelKennyr Rhiano:   of the Silmarilion?
William Shrinshee:   yes
Lihan Taifun:             of the Silmarillion, yes
AelKennyr Rhiano:   ok :)
Lihan Taifun:             that, however, comes two pages before the Elves split up
William Shrinshee:   yes
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Lihan Taifun:             the comment about the Avari not meeting the Eldar "until many ages had passed" suggests that some Avari did remain, as elves, in Middle Earth
William Shrinshee:   leaving an opening for D&D embellishment
Lihan Taifun:             from the chart in the back of the Silmarillion, it appears that the Avari were not ancestors of any of the elves that show up in Tolkien's stories. even the Green Elves were descended from Teleri who started the journey, but never finished

so, there is wide empty space for speculation about other races of Elves that evolved elsewhere, outside the corner of Middle Earth Tolkien is telling about, but there is no information from Tolkien about them
Siwan Sandalwood:  ••••••••••••••••••••••
AelKennyr Rhiano:   no... not really, Siwan. D&D weaves many folklores, traditions, literatures, in with races that can only be found first in D&D.
{The conversation gets totally derailed here.}
{The topic does continue next week in Fireside Chats.}