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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Who were considered Dark Elves? (Page 2)
Author Topic: Who were considered Dark Elves?
Pippin Toker
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Hi Miritran

You are completely wrong. The Dark elf and Wood elf is two different catagories. A man kan also be a carpenter while at the same time be in England.

I dont think Eol has seen the trees eather, so he must be a dark elf in the Tolkiensense.

Pippin

[ 06-15-2002, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Pippin Toker ]

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Eol the Dark Elf
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I think he was called the Dark Elf, because he was most noted for shunning sunlight, and always preferring the stars and twilight, despite being (sic.)"of high kin to Lord Thingol".

quote:
There he lived in deep shadow, loving the night and the twilight of the stars.
Dark, maybe became a foresighted name, considering the events that lead to his being thrown onto sharp rocks.But initialt least it was probably given due to his shunning the sun light.

Not sure if "evil" was a fair term though, he almost despised the Noldor, holding them responsible for Morgoth, and a bit like Feanor things went down from there on.

.....

As a side note: Thingol, alone of the Sindar, was considered a Calaquendë, because he had been to Aman with Ingwe, and Finwe.

[ 06-16-2002, 12:25 AM: Message edited by: Eöl the Dark Elf ]

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The Dark Lord of Mordor
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Good topic. I've been wondering about this myself for a heavyweight RP I've been in for over a year now. How about the children of the Calaquendi born in Middle-earth after the Flight of the Noldor? They never saw the Two trees, were they considered Moriquendi?
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Eol the Dark Elf
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It would tend to Calaquendi, I think. Because the Eldar seem to pass a lot of themselves into their children (Nerdanel, as a good example). Also they are likely to grow up in a community of other Calaquendi. This is only a guess, though.

Although I can't straight off name any children of the returing Noldor born in M-e, that weren't half Elven or similar.

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Maglor
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"Although I can't straight off name any children of the returning Noldor born in M-e, that weren't half elven of similar"

Gil-Galad
Celebrimbor

Also I'm pretty sure that in the faces of the Valar still shone the light of the two tress and that the elves of Valinor emitted more light then elves of ME, in both shadow and real worlds.

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Galadhir
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I think, Lilliana, that the kind of elves you're thinking of (secretive, mysterious, and living in dark forests) would be the Avari.

Basically, when the Noldor returned from Aman they called themselves 'Calaquendi' and all those elves who hadn't seen the Two Trees 'Moriquendi'. So at first *all* the elves born in Middle-earth were Dark elves.

However, the Sindar were rather insulted at being called Dark Elves (as the word had a different connotation to them - it meant 'Avari') and therefore the Noldor revised the categories, so that all those who obeyed the summons of Orome and set out on the Great March became known as 'Eldar', and only the Avari continued to be called by the insulting name of Dark Elves.

The Avari were the ones who refused to leave their birthplace at Cuivienen, and were secretive and suspicious of other kinds of elves.

quote:
the Avari in general remained secretive, hostile to the Eldar, and untrustworthy; and they dwelt in hidden places in the deeper woods, or in caves.

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Roll of Honor Lassë
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quote:
However, the Sindar were rather insulted at being called Dark Elves (as the word had a different connotation to them - it meant 'Avari') and therefore the Noldor revised the categories, so that all those who obeyed the summons of Orome and set out on the Great March became known as 'Eldar', and only the Avari continued to be called by the insulting name of Dark Elves.
I am aware that Galadhir is probably not here anymore, but maybe someone else can answer this for me.

Is there anywhere in the texts where Tolkien described this story about the Sindar being insulted and the name 'Eldar' being devised AFTER the return of the Noldor? I somehow always had the idea that the term Eldar was older, and originated from the days of the march, or at least from the days before the retur of the Noldor...

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Mithrennaith
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quote:
Maglor, answering Eol the Dark Elf: "Although I can't straight off name any children of the returning Noldor born in M-e, that weren't half elven of similar"

Gil-Galad
Celebrimbor

Gil-Galad was indeed born in M-e, but, according to a note to 'Of Dwarves and Men' in HoMe 12, Celebrimbor most certainly was born in Valinor.
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Master of Fate
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Apparently, from the trees in the appendix of the Silmarillion, Moriquendi, or dark elves include all of the following: Sindar, Avari, Nando (later known as Laiquendi or "wood" elves).

The only Calaquendi were the ones of the three houses that actually got to Aman while the trees were still living.

That means that all the elves in Middle-Earth, barring the few remaining noldor such as Galadriel, but including Elrond were Moriquendi.

It must however be stressed that being a dark elf in Middle-Earth has nothing to do with the connotations you would get from other sources, such as the drow of that certain RPG. Dark elves are no more inherently evil than other elves are (in fact, some of the worst things elves did in Middle-Earth were done by Feanor and his sons, who were Calaquendi). I think it is important to remember that to the Elves, darkness was not necesarrily an evil, only the humans had been scared by the early servants of Morgoth into thinking that the darkness itself was a bad thing.

Eol however is an interesting elf, in that he is specifically singled out as THE dark elf. I can only reason as has been stated here before that it must have come as a result of him preferring to stay in his wery dark, dense forest and his fondness of the night, as reflected in this quote from the Sil (translated from the Norwegian version, as I am afraid I havent gotten to buying an English one yet): "There he lived in deep shadow, for he loved the night and the gloom beneath the stars".

It appears that even in Eol, who certainly was a bit on the evil side, the dark in dark elf didnt reflect on his deeds evil or not, but rather on his preferences for the dark.

Edit: Spelling, spelling, spelling

[ 05-22-2006, 04:55 AM: Message edited by: Master of Fate ]

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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Wow, this topic is so old! It keeps getting pushed up.

But thank you, Master of Fate, even after my re-readings of the Silmarillion (and parts of HoME) you still brought up some things I hadn't realized!

So where did the "drow" originate from, as it appears in fantasy RPG games?

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Alatar the Wizard
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My guess is that Drow are just an imaginative D&D version of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svart%C3%A1lfar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_elves

But note the following from the link below:

"Drow are a species of elf in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Etymologically, the term is probably derived from the Shetland Isles Drow (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1970) states: "Drow, n., [scot.] A tiny elf which lived in caves and forged magical metal work."). The word's origin is identical to the origin of the word "troll," which both go back further to the Scottish Gaelic word spelled "trow." The original Scottish Gaelic word is pronounced "dtrow" with a soft "dt" sound, and the original pronunciation sounds similar to "troll." The word is also found in Cornish and Welsh, with slight pronunciation differences. The race itself seems based on another dark elf, specifically the Dokkalfar of Norse mythology."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drow

Now someone explain Beholders. []

[ 05-23-2006, 07:46 AM: Message edited by: Alatar the East-helper ]

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Galin
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Lasse (though you probably have answered the question yourself by now!) about Elda(r)...

quote:
(d) CE *eldā, an adjectival formation 'connected or concerned with the stars', used as a description of the *kwendī. According to legend this name, and the next, were due to the Vala Oromë. They were thus probably at first only used in the plural, meaning 'star-folk'. (...)

4. Elda and Eldo. The original distinction between these forms as meaning 'one of the Star-folk, or Elves in general', and one of the 'Marchers', became obscured by the close approach of the forms. The form Eldo went out of use, and Elda remained the chief word for 'Elf' in Quenya. But it was not in accurate use held to include the Avari (when they were remembered or considered); i.e. it took on the sense of Eldo. It may, however, have been partly due to its older sense that in popular use it was the word ordinarily employed for any Elf, that is, as an equivalent of the Quende of the Loremasters. When one of the Elves of Aman spoke of the Eldalie, 'the Elven-folk', he meant vaguely all the race of Elves, though he was probably not thinking of the Avari.

These quotes (and the following) are from Quendi And Eldar. I'm going to add a seperate post on the Silvan Elves following this. On Calaquendi, Moriquendi...

quote:
There also existed two old compounds containing *kwendī: *kala-kwendī and *mori-kwendī, the Light-folk and the Dark-folk. These terms appear to go back to the period before the Separation, or rather to the time of the debate among the Quendi concerning the invitation of the Valar. They were evidently made by the party favourable to Orome, and referred originally to those who desired the Light of Valinor (where the ambassadors of the Elves reported that there was no darkness), and those who did not wish for a place in which there was no night. But already before the final separation *mori-kwendī may have referred to the glooms and the clouds dimming the sun and the stars during the War of the Valar and Melkor, [*] so that the term from the beginning had a tinge of scorn, implying that such folk were not averse to the shadows of Melkor upon Middle-earth.

The lineal descendants of these terms survived only in the languages of Aman. The Quenya forms were Kalaquendi and Moriquendi. The Kalaquendi in Quenya applied only to the Elves who actually lived or had lived in Aman; and the Moriquendi was applied to all others, whether they had come on the March or not. The latter were regarded as greatly inferior to the Kalaquendi, who had experienced the Light of Valinor, and had also acquired far greater knowledge and powers by their association with the Valar and Maiar.

In the period of Exile the Ñoldor modified their use of these terms, which was offensive to the Sindar. Kalaquendi went out of use, except in written Ñoldorin lore. Moriquendi was now applied to all other Elves, except the Ñoldor and Sindar, that is to Avari or to any kind of Elves that at the time of the coming of the Ñoldor had not long dwelt in Beleriand and were not subjects of Elwë. It was never applied, however, to any but Elvish peoples. The old distinction, when made, was represented by the new terms Amanyar 'those of Aman', and Úamanyar or Úmanyar 'those not of Aman', beside the longer forms Amaneldi and Úmaneldi.' JRRT Quendi And Eldar The War of the Jewels

Galin

[ 10-03-2006, 08:52 AM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Galin
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JRRT published that most of the Elves of Mirkwood and Lórien were 'East-elves'.

quote:
'The Elves far back in the Elder Days became divided into two main branches: the West-elves (the Eldar) and the East-elves. Of the latter kind were most of the elven-folk of Mirkwood and Lórien; but their languages do not appear in this history, in which all the Elvish names and words are of Eldarin form.' Return of the King

"Elves has been used to translate both Quendi, 'the speakers', the High-elven name of all their kind, and Eldar, the name of the Three Kindreds that sought for the Undying Realm and came there at the beginning of Days (save the Sindar only)." (Appendix F)

Looking at what Tolkien wrote, but did not publish himself...

Unfinished Tales


quote:
'The Silvan Elves (Tawarwaith) were in origin Teleri, and so remoter kin of the Sindar, though even longer separated from them than the Teleri of Valinor.'


'The Silvan Elves hid themselves in woodland fastnesses beyond the Misty Mountains, and became small and scattered people, hardly to be distinguished from Avari; but they still remembered that they were in origin Eldar, members of the Third Clan, and they welcomed those of the Noldor and especially the Sindar who did not pass over the Sea but migrated eastward [i.e. at the beginning of the Second Age].'

From these references we would seem to have Silvan Elves of Telerin origin (and 'in origin Eldar') who became hardly to be distinguished from Avari.

Quendi And Eldar (War of the Jewels)


quote:
'...the Lindarin elements in the western Avari were friendly to the Eldar, and willing to learn from them; and so close was the feeling of kinship between the remnants of the Sindar, the Nandor, and the Lindarin Avari, that later in Eriador and the Vale of Anduin they often became merged together.'
Here we have Nandor mixing with Lindarin Avari in the Anduin Vale.

quote:
'This resentment on the part of the Avari is illustrated by the history of PQ *kwendi. This word, as has been shown, did not survive in the Telerin languages of Middle-earth, and was almost forgotten even in the Telerin of Aman. But the Loremasters of later days, when more friendly relations had been established with Avari of various kinds in Eriador and the Vale of Anduin, record that it was frequently to be found in Avarin dialects. These were numerous, and often as widely sundered from one another as they were from the Eldarin forms of Elvish speech; but wherever the descendants of *kwendi were found, they meant not 'Elves in general', but were the names that the Avari gave to themselves. They had evidently continued to call themselves *kwendi, 'the People', regarding those who went away as deserters ... The Avarin forms cited by the Loremasters were: kindi, cuind, hwenti, windan, kinn-lai, penni ... The form penni is cited as coming from the 'Wood-elven' speech of the Vale of Anduin, and these Elves were among the most friendly to the fugitives from Beleriand, and held themselves akin to the remnants of the Sindar.'
Penni comes from the Wood-elven speech of the Vale of Anduin. More on the Nandor, from War of the Jewels...

quote:
'... and of the wanderings of that people, the Nandor, little is now known. Some, it is said, dwelt age-long in the woods of the Vale of the Great River...

'Nandor. This name must have been made at the time, in the latter days of the March, when certain groups of the Teleri gave up the March; and it was especially applied to the large following of Lenwe.... The name was often interpreted as 'Those who go back'; but in fact none of the Nandor appear to have returned, or to have joined the Avari. Many remained and settled in lands that they had reached, especially beside the River Anduin.'

Back to Unfinished Tales ...

quote:
'Celeborn and Galadriel came to be regarded as Lord and Lady of the Eldar in Eriador, including the wandering companies of Nandorin origin who had never passed west over Ered Lindon and come down into Ossiriand.'

'But in the meantime the power of Galadriel and Celeborn had grown, and Galadriel, assisted in this by her friendship with the Dwarves of Moria, had come into contact with the Nandorin realm of Lórinand on the other side of the Misty Mountains.'

'Galadriel and Celeborn together with Celebrían departed from Imladris and went to the little-inhabited lands between the mouth of Gwathló and Ethir Anduin. There they dwelt in Belfalas, at the place that was afterwards called Dol Amroth; there Amroth their son at times visited them, and their company was swelled by Nandorin Elves from Lórinand.'

Noting the 'Nandorin realm'. Again, Tolkien himself did not publish these latter texts. This post is not meant to be exhaustive, but my opinion is that Tolkien might have landed on these Silvan Elves being Telerin Elves in origin who became like Avari, were eventually joined by some Avari (and joined by Sindarin and Noldorin Elves of course). If so, we would have a mix.

And though the Teleri who became these Tawarwaith or Wood-elves could be considered Eldar 'in origin' they were not considered Eldar according to texts published by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings.

There is draft text that seems to equate 'East-elves' with Avari, but in the final published version JRRT avoided the term 'Avari' in The Lord of the Rings. Note Robert Foster's entries in his Guide to Middle-Earth...

quote:
'East-elves The Silvan Elves

Silvan Elves '... The Silvan Elves are probably to be identified with the Avari (...) they may also have included the surviving Nandor who did not enter Beleriand.' R. Foster

Foster can hardly 'avoid' adding the Nandor here because in The Silmarillion as published by Christopher Tolkien one reads...

quote:
Silvan Elves Also called Woodland Elves. They appear to have been in origin those Nandorin Elves who never passed west of the Misty Mountains, but remained in the Vale of Anduin and in Greenwood the Great; see Nandor' Silmarillion Index Of Names
I've used some of Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-Earth series as well, to guess where Tolkien might have landed here, so basically when 'unpublished' texts are considered we both ended up with some sort of 'mix'.

Galin

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LyraLuthien Tinuviel
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I saw this and couldn't believe it was actually a debatable topic! I thought Tolkien was quite clear on the definition of Dark Elves.
Then I saw that the thread has discussed far more than just the simple question of the difference between Moriquendi and Calaquendi.
Which is easy: the Elves who never saw the Light of the Two Trees in Valinor were Dark Elves. End of Topic.

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Eluchil
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*didn't see this thread before [] *

Great posts, Galin []
I like those quotes from Q&E, some good examples of a mix of linguistics and history []

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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That's because I posted it a loooooooong time ago. [] (It's interesting seeing posts of mine from like two years ago...oh man oh man)

Galin - I haven't had time to read your posts yet with all the quotations, but I appreciate the work you went through in replying to this topic. Thanks a lot. []

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Galin
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Since I quoted from Q&E I should also add a bit from the later text Of Dwarves And Men (ODAM) which reads, at one point:

quote:
'It was therefore modeled on the classification by the Atani of the Elves: the High Elves (or Elves of Light) were the Noldor who returned in exile out of the Far West; the Middle Elves were the Sindar, who though near kin of the High Elves had remained in Middle-earth and never seen the light of Aman; and the Dark Elves were those who had never journeyed to the Western Shores and did not desire to see Aman. This was not the same as the classifications made by the Elves, which are not here concerned, except to note that 'Dark Elves' or 'Elves of Darkness' was used by them, but in no way implied any evil, or subordination to Morgoth; it referred only to ignorance of the 'light of Aman' and included the Sindar.'

The Peoples of Middle-Earth

Christopher Tolkien does not seem to note the statement here on 'Dark Elves' as used by the Elves as conflicting in any measure with statements made in Q&E, but he does point out (in note 62 to ODAM), with respect to Tolkien's further statement that it is doubtful if any of the Avari ever reached Beleriand, that back in Quendi And Eldar there is a reference to Avari who had crept in small and secret groups to Beleriand.

On the subject in general there's an interesting marginal note (with respect to the text Maeglin) which reads:

quote:
'(...) For Eol was said to be a 'Dark Elf', a term then applied to any Elves who had not been willing to leave Middle-earth -- and were then (before the history and geography had been organized) imagined as wandering about, and often ill-disposed toward the 'Light-Elves'. But it was also sometimes applied to Elves captured by Morgoth and enslaved and then released to do mischief among the Elves. I think this latter idea should be taken up. It would explain much of Eol and his smithcraft.'

JRRT Maeglin

Christopher Tolkien goes on to comment: 'I do not think that 'Dark-elves' had ever been used in the sense referred to in this note, that of 'darkened Elves', Elves ensnared and corrupted by Morgoth.'

Tolkien wrote a sketch of Eol's history wherein it was thought that he was captured and taken to Thangorodrim; but in any case he thought better of it, being too repetitive of the history of Maeglin.

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