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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » Half elven? (Page 1)
Author Topic: Half elven?
Aragorn 3rd
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So many times i have heard the expression 'half elven'...i disagree with this term unless it is used before a 'half man half elf' gets the chance to decide whether he or she wants to be an elf or a man'... elrond is not half elven, he is an elf, he chose to be an elf, therefore he is an elf.

i dont understand how people keep saying 'does he(particularly with elrond) count as an elf?...he is an elf, he counts for as much of an elf as gil galad does. the same applies to earendil. half elves get the choice to be elven or human, if they decide to be elven they are an elf in my opinion (they are not a 'half elf') if they decide to be human then they are human(again not half elven).

anyone care to elaborate?

[ 12-28-2002, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: Aragorn 3rd ]

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Gollum the great
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But if if a half elf chose to be mortal like Arwen or Luthien, they would not be human, they would merely be mortal elves. In that case to you believe the term halfelven applies?

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...What we came to realise was that you don't have to put a sword in her hands to make her strong. And where we've come to now is all these true elements of who Arwen is. I mean this is an incredibley powerful and fearless woman filled with so much hope and belief and that is strong enough. ~ Liv Tyler (Arwen)
A proud member of H.A.A.H.A.A.

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Elladan
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But a mortal Elf would be nothing more than a human..since the only difference between a man and an elf is the immortal/mortal spirit. The body is almost, if not identical.
The only difference i could see is the pointy ears..if elves in Tolkien's world even had them. I know in the movies they do..but in the books, i've never seen it stated.
They would also be incredibly beautiful for a mortal i guess..

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Gollum the great
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Not to mention wise and graceful.
also Mortal elves do not age and have longer life spans than most mortals.
Though there is no mention of pointed ears in Tolkiens work, the Quenyan word for ear is the same word for leaf, which would indicate a pointed end.

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...What we came to realise was that you don't have to put a sword in her hands to make her strong. And where we've come to now is all these true elements of who Arwen is. I mean this is an incredibley powerful and fearless woman filled with so much hope and belief and that is strong enough. ~ Liv Tyler (Arwen)
A proud member of H.A.A.H.A.A.

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Dark Lord Andúril
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They would also be stronger, more durable to pain, hunger, thirst, and sickness. In short, they would be super-human.
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Actually there only seems to have been one 'mortal' elf and that was Luthien. The Peredhil('Half-elven') weren't so much given a choice between mortality and immortality as between being counted in one race or the other hence mortality/immortality was mandated by the nature of the race they in the end choose. Technically they did not belong to either race until the decision was made.

The Half-elven, further, were not strictly speaking half-elven but rather the children of elves who had any mortal blood. I guess it is sortof reminiscent of Greek Mythology where even a drop of mortal blood makes one 'mortal' except in this case there is always a choice until an entire final generation chooses mortality.

quote:
So it was that alone of the Eldalie she has died indeed, and left the world long ago. -The Silmarillion


[ 12-28-2002, 08:19 AM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]

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Roll of Honor Curufin the Crafty
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Along these same lines, I've always wondered what became of Elladan and Elrohir. Did they remain in Middle Earth until Arwen and Aragorn died, and then sail for Tol Eressëa, or did they remain in Middle Earth, therefore becoming mortal by not following Elrond?

[ 12-28-2002, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: Finrod Felagund ]

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To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.
~Bernadette Devlin
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Gimli son of Glóin
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The load where I teach has been extreme lately, so forgive me if I am light-years off.

I was always under the impression that the sons of Elrond remained in ME, living in Imladris with Celeborn until they all left with the last ship. I haven't read much lately, though. If I am wrong, please put me in the right.

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If life would be fair, then all of us would go to hell. But life is not fair, for we all have the chance to go to heaven through Jesus.

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Roll of Honor Boromir's Woman
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Gimli is right. Here is a thread that discussed that. The only view that could be defended with quotes was that they became mortal.
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Dark Lord Andúril
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Btw: Nice sig Gimli

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"Why is the rum gone?"
"One: It is a despicable drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels. And two: I've created a column of smoke that rises a thousand feet in the air. My father's ships will be combing the area. Do you think there is even a chance they won't see it?"
".... but why is the rum gone?"

This is not advertising! Don't you dare click on this link to my forum... ;)

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Gimli son of Glóin
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Thanks, Anduril!

Whenever my students tell me that something I do isn't fair, I remind them of this. They can't argue with it, so they usually shut up. []

Also, I'm glad my memory is good today. I thought for sure that I was off with my thinking before. Thanks BW for finding the thread. []

[ 12-28-2002, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: Gimli son of Gloin ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
If life would be fair, then all of us would go to hell. But life is not fair, for we all have the chance to go to heaven through Jesus.

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Dark Lord Andúril
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lol
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Fëanáro
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It may be that the term 'Half Elven' is somewhat misleading. However, the term does come directly from Tolkiens texts texts, Elrond is clearly refered to as 'Elrond Half Elven'.

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It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door, you step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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Tuor
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So do half-elven have round or pointy ears?
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Aragorn 3rd
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thanx for the explanations people, although i stick with my original belief that if a half elf decides to be an elf he is an elf, if a half elf decides to be human, he is human.

as for the case of arwen, i would not say she is half elven, she becomes a 'mortal elf' when she gives away her immortality to be with aragorn. as in an elf that has decided not to live for ever...but she is still an elf.

also, one quick queery to you anduril...were mortal elves super human? you say faster, stronger etc. is that compared with regular men, or men such as elendil or ar pharazon. id have to disagree about the 'strength' bit particularly...but i agree that a mortal elf would be superior to a regular man.

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Dancing Sparrow
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Ah! A Question!!

quote:

Can all elves choose mortality or just half-elves?

-Maha

Well... I have no idea! Do any of you?

ds

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Roll of Honor Lostfiniel
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I wonder....if you were considered half-elven would you choose to be an elf; fair, smart, adored....or a mortal? If half-elven people get a choice?
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Aragorn, Luthien was the only 'mortal-elf' Tolkien makes this very clear through works such as those in the Silmarillion and in his letters:

quote:
In the primary story of Luthien and Beren, Luthien is allowed as an absolute exception to divest herself of 'immonality' and become 'mortal'... -letter 153
the Peredhil(among whom were counted all children of Elves who had mortal blood not only the literally: 'half-elven') then choose the race they would belong to and then suffered that races fate.

[ 12-29-2002, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]

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Roll of Honor Curufin the Crafty
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Question:

Does the longevity of the line of Númenor have to do with the fact that Elros was half-elven? Or was it simply a gift granted the men of this line by Ilúvatar?

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Roll of Honor Boromir's Woman
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I remember a discussion about whether the island of Numenor itself was involved in the longer lifespans. It seemed that longer lifespans were gifted to Elros' line by the Valar - especially if they remained in Numenor, did not mix with lesser men, and remained satisfied with their ultimate fate.

[ 12-29-2002, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: Boromir's Woman ]

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Dancing Sparrow
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Can a full-fledged elf become mortal though, but choice that is?
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Dark Lord Andúril
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No, I beleive only the Half-Elvan got given the choice of mortality or immortality.
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Snöwdog
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So if Elrond is half-elven, and Celebrian is full elven, wouldn't that make Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen three-quarter elven?
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Alcuin
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 -

Here is a handy chart to break out who’s what in Elrond’s lineage.

If Dior Eluchíl is mortal – and I believe he is, because when he was born, his mother Lúthien Tinúviel had renounced her Elven lifespan and taken on the life of Men in order to remain with Beren – then both Elros and Elrond were not so much “half-Elven” as “half-Mortal”.

The only individual literally “half-Elven” was Eärendil. Dior was half-Man; technically, his grandmother was Maiar rather than Elven, but Lúthien was “biologically” an Elf even after she renounced her immortality.

I think the term Peredhil has more to do with one’s fate after death than what we would call one’s genetic makeup. Someone with a mixed claim to remain in Arda (like an Elf) or leave Arda (like a Man) is “Half-elven”: he has a claim to Elven immortality that Manwë could not allow Mandos to peremptorily set aside.

There are only four individuals with a claim like this: Eärendil, Elwing, Elros, and Elrond. Elrond’s claim was extended to his children as well: apparently the Valar either thought the Fate of Men preferable that of Elves, or there was some other weighty consideration that extended the choice to Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen.

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The Flammifer
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Alcuin posits that Dior was a Man because Luthien chose to be of Man-kind.
Then we could state that Arwen, Elrohir, and Elladan were Elves because Elrond chose to be of Elven-kind. But we know this isn’t true (at least of Arwen).

A different perspective:
Setting aside the fea (spirit) and hroa (body), let’s simply follow the ‘tree’ down through the ages.

Giving each union its proper race contribution (50% from each parent), and making E = Elf; A = Maia; and M = Man:

Thingol (E) + Melian (A) = (Luthien (EA) = 50% Elf, 50% Ainur).
Luthien (EA) + Beren (MM) = (Dior (EAMM) = 25% Elf, 25% Ainur, 50% Man).

Dior (EAMM) + Nimloth (EEEE) = (Elwing (E5, A, M2) = 62.5% Elf, 12.5% Ainur, 25.0% Man).
Elwing (E5, A1, M2)+ Earendil (E4, M4) = Elrond (E9, A1, M6) = 56.25% Elf, 6.25% Ainur, 37.50% Man.

Elrond (E9, A1, M6) + Celebrian (E16) = (Arwen, Elladan, Elrohir (E25, A1, M6) = 78.125% Elf, 3.125% Ainur, 18.750% Man).

Or to somewhat simplify:

Thingol (100% Elf) + Melian (100% Maia) = Luthien (50% Elf, 50% Maia)
Luthien + Beren (100% Man) = Dior (25% Elf, 50% Man, 25% Maia)

Dior + Nimloth (100% Elf) = Elwing (62.5 % Elf, 25% Man, 12.5% Maia)
Elwing + Earendil (50% Elf, 50% Man) = Elrond (56.25% Elf, 37.50% Man, 6.25% Maia)

Elrond + Celebrian (100% Elf) = Arwen, Elladan, Elrohir (78.125% Elven, 18.750% Man, 3.125% Maia)
____________________________________

Assuming pre-Choice - there are only two precise Half-elven – Luthien at ½ Elf & ½ Maia; and Earendil at ½ Elf & ½ Man.
The only other half anything is Dior at ½ Man.

So Elrond (and Elros) are slightly over half-elven at 56.25% (pre-Choice).

It’s interesting to note that Elrond’s children are 21.875% more Elvish than their father (still pre-Choice of course).

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