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Author Topic: Beleg's Beard?
Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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In this image:



Beleg is apparently depicted as having a beard. But then this is a bit of a point of contention.

Do you think that he has a beard in this picure?

It would certainly be possible. A specific primitive elvish stem may indicate that 'beards' began to appear before the end of the great march and further in certain texts made at around the ime of this painting Beleg may be depicted as being among the first elves who awoke and so would be rather old.

Can you see a beard here?

[ 07-15-2002, 05:48 AM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]

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Roll of Honor Kosomot
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I assume the picture is by Tolkien? I´ve read nothing about Beleg´s age, but he might well be among the first that woke. I´m not sure if that´s a beard I see, but what disturbs me more are his shoes, and Turin´s(?), capri pants. I like to think that Cirdan was the only elf with a beard.

I´ve never seen that painting. When was it painted, and what´s its name?

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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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It is rather early:

when: 1927-1928 named: 'Beleg in Taur-nu-Fuin'

according to The Book of Lost Tales 2 pg 123 softcover BB edition

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Roll of Honor Lugbúrz
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I cannot see the image, and neither can I access the site.
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Roll of Honor Ecthelion of the Fountain
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ditto on the image, appears broken
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Ok I tried to use the Rolozo hosted one instead of the nightrunner one. Is it working now?
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Roll of Honor Lugbúrz
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The question to ask is how tall are those trees! The beard is beyond the pixel resolution.

Actually it looks quite like a beard. []

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Roll of Honor Swift Asfaloth
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Fingolfin-

You say this is an early painting by JRRT-could it be from the period in which Gnomes were still thought to be diminutive? I'm thinking of part of the Book of Lost Tales, Part 1-I remember something about the houses being quite small. I'll look at it again tonight, when I have my books.

To me it looks as if a lock of Beleg's hair has blown across the lower part of his face, rather than a beard. It looks as if most of his hair is streaming out behind his head.

Thanks for posting the painting-I do watercolors myself, and I admire Tolkien's style. Do you know if he ever had any formal training?

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Mormegil
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It looks like he shaded it to look like a shadow under his chin to me. The forest was probably dark so why not?
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I don't think so if I recall correctly 'diminutiveness' was an element of the very earliest traditions and as CT feels this should be dated around the late 1920's I don't think when painted Tolkien still held this.

I don't think he actually had any formal training either. Indeed it seems from his letters he had great doubts about his artisitic abilities. Here I would chose to disagree with him though []

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Galin
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Just to add, on stature and beards:

This picture was made after The Fall of Gondolin 1920 text, for example (which is the text in The Book of Lost Tales II if I recall correctly), and in section V to this tale, Christopher Tolkien ends his commentary with. 'As emended, however, the meaning is rather that Men and Elves were not greatly distinct in stature.' (the passage before it was rewritten described that while Tuor himself was not unusually tall for a Man, he was nonetheless taller than the Elves of Gondolin).


Hammond and Scull seem certain that Beleg is bearded, or at least they describe him as bearded with no difficulty. And they add of the Elves: 'They appear to be diminutive, however only in relation to the size of the trees. 'There greyly loomed/ of girth unguessed in growth of ages/ the topless trunks of trees enchanted, Tolkien says of Taur-na-Fuin in The Children of Hurin.' (JRRT, Artist And Illustrator)

This picture was later used for a calendar, with Tolkien's consent and with a new title in the artist's hand: Fangorn forest! so it seems possible, at least, that JRRT no longer imagined these figures as Elves at all -- though perhaps it's more likely that he just thought the figures small enough within the painting to get away with this change, unexplained.


In any case, if the figure 'remained' Beleg, I tend to doubt that Beleg remained bearded, for despite that we don't know how long an Elven-cycle is supposed to be, Tolkien's later note...

quote:
Elves did not have beards until they entered their third cycle of life. Nerdanel's father was exceptional, being only early in his second.
... makes one wonder if Tolkien thought Beleg, and Elf of the First Age, had reached his third cycle of life.


A very late note on beards (Unfinished Tales) seems to generally say that Elves had no beards, but perhaps Tolkien did not intend this passage to mean 'all Elves at all times' -- unless he had forgotten Círdan perhaps, though his description was published and never revised. Possibly JRRT meant that since Elves take very many years to have beards (if his note above is still in play), far longer than the lives of Men, then his point about Men was really the point in any case.

[ 06-03-2010, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Snöwdog
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Wow... Fingolfin of the Noldor disagrees with Tolkien... simply wow.

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