Questions tagged [elves]

For questions about to elves, a common trope in fantasy works. Elves are magical creatures from mythology, popularised by JRR Tolkien as an immortal, wise, nature-loving, and beautiful race. Always use in conjunction with the relevant work/universe tag such as [tolkiens-legendarium]

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Why were the Elves so great at archery?

It seems that there is an underlying assumption (I don't know of an explicit quote to confirm) that Elves in Middle-earth are exceptional archers, compared to other races. Am I correct in that ...
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Why weren't the Three Rings for the Elven-kings destroyed as well?

At the end of The Return of the King, after the One Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, the rings were carried out of Middle-Earth. IIRC it may have been Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf ...
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Is there a hidden significance behind the fact Galadriel gave 3 hairs to Gimli instead of one?

I just saw an interesting interpretation of Galadriel's gift to Gimli on Reddit today, I retraced the source of the image to this tumblr post: If you’ve read the Silmarillion, you know who ...
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Elvish tattoo - can it be translated into English?

A cousin of mine recently died in a disastrous accident. Her family discovered a tattoo on her arm, which was completed shortly before. It appears to be written in Elvish (from Lord of the Rings) and ...
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Are there any bad elves in the Lord of the Rings universe?

Is there ever acknowledgement of a bad elf, or even an elf doing a very bad thing (because he is bad)? I've heard that bad elves are orcs and good orcs are elves, or something like that. Similar to ...
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Why don't elves have more babies?

Is there a particular reason the elves die off so fast? After the first war against Sauron, I recall the elves being decimated, to the point that they're almost useless army-wise in the trilogy. But I'...
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Can the Elves do magic?

It's mentioned many times throughout Tolkien's work that the Elves (High Elves mostly) are in some way more powerful than Men. We hear many times, for example, that Rivendell and Lórien are mostly ...
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Did Sauron and Finrod Felagund really get into a singing fight?

In The Silmarillion, in the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien", we read of what can only be called a singing fight, at least if we take the account at face value. I won't repeat it in its entirety, but ...
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What is Elrond's position/status, as compared to Galadriel's?

In the Lord of the Rings books, Galadriel of Lorien is even more exalted than in the movies. She is essentially a queen, and the deference shown to her far exceeds that shown to Elrond of Rivendell. ...
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1answer
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How did Gandalf come to possess one of the Elf rings?

Gandalf wasn't an elf, but rather he was one of a few wizards sent to help Middle Earth. So, how did he end up with one of the Elf Rings? And, why did Frodo not notice it, when he easily noticed ...
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How do Middle-Earth Elves age (if they age at all)?

This is coming from someone who has only briefly read the books a while ago and mostly remembers the film. Elves are immortal. But they are depicted at different stages of aging. Do they just age up ...
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Why is Arwen dying?

This question was inspired by xkcd #1256's Title text and refers specifically to a scene in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). The exact quote is: ARAGORN: (bows) My ...
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Why don't Elves like Dwarves?

Is there a specific reason that most elves aren't very fond of the dwarves in Tolkien's writings?
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What are the main reasons the elves did not show up in force to defeat Sauron?

During The Great Battle of the Last Alliance, there were an estimated 100,000 elves that fought with the armies of Isildur. This was one of the first scenes in the first LOTR movie. However, in the ...
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Are Tolkien Elves taller or shorter than Men?

Are Tolkien Elves taller or shorter than Men? In general fantasy, elves are frequently smaller than humans. But I seem to recall that in Tolkien they aren't. Based on this SFF.SE comment
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Why does Cirdan give Narya to Gandalf instead of Saruman?

In the Lord of the Rings I recall some mention of when Cirdan gives Narya to Gandalf when the Istari arrive in Middle Earth. I think it is in the appendices but I cannot recall exactly, but I remember ...
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1answer
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Where did Thranduil buy his wine from?

The Wood-Elves of Mirkwood apparently drink a lot of wine and the people of Laketown are providing them with it, hence the returning of the barrels via the river. However, the people of Laketown are ...
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What would happen to an Elf if they had used one of the Three while Sauron had the One?

Would they become wraiths and dominated by Sauron, or would they just be able to be mind-read?
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Do Tolkien's elves have pointy ears?

I think we all imagine elves with pointy ears – but do they really have pointy ears? (canonical references please)
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Why is “the time of elves” considered to be over?

From the movie series, it seems obvious that the civilization of Elves, once great and important, is declining. Their numbers keep reducing and they retreat into some remote islands and in general "...
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Are there other types of Elves in Harry Potter?

In the Harry Potter universe, we obviously know of House-elves. They have their own brand of powerful magic etc. In general I love the thought of Elves as beings, ergo: Is there any mention of other ...
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Does any of The Hobbit's negative impression of Wood Elves survive in Tolkien's other writing?

In The Lord of the Rings, the only Wood Elf we get to know is Legolas, who is obviously awesome. But in The Hobbit, the image we get of Wood Elves is far less positive. We are told that they "are ...
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Did the Elves do mathematics?

The Elves had quite a lot of time to do what interested them. They liked the stars, which is (among mortals) a good starting point for geometry. It is also said about the Noldor, that they always ...
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How did Círdan have a beard?

While reading this answer, I saw that it says: In the Unfinished Tales Christopher Tolkien states that: In a note written in December 1972 or later, and among the last writings of my ...
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1answer
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Was Legolas a regular elf?

In The Lord of the Rings (both film and book), Legolas shows great skill in a wide variety of ways. He's an excellent fighter, archer, and tracker. He also shows some awareness of magic at times (e....
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Was Elrond always supposed to be an Elf?

This passage in The Hobbit puzzled me: The master of [Rivendell] was an elf-friend... He was as noble and as fair as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king ...
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Is there more than one species of elf in Tolkien's Legendarium?

I recall that in The Hobbit, the company of Dwarves was captured by "Wood" Elves. I don't remember if LOTR mentioned Elves in any other way than "Elves". Is there more than a single type of Elf in the ...
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Why can Arwen decide her mortality?

I want to know what the books say about this. In the movie Arwen gives her necklace (Evenstar) to Aragorn, and he says that she cannot give it away (I am not sure if this could also mean her ...
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How do the Elves in LOTR (canon) obtain their food?

It's been asked before what Elves eat, but my question is specifically: where on (Middle) Earth do they get it? I find this to be a significant mystery & potential "hole" in the mythology. I'll ...
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1answer
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Books about dragons and war from a cat-loving author

I remember reading a series consisting of three books a few years ago, maybe around 2010. The series was pretty new when I was reading it. It was set in your typical medieval fantasy world where magic ...
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Why could Elrond not delay his one-way voyage to Valinor for a few more years?

We know from LotR that: The Children of Elrond all had the choice to be counted among either Men or Elves. That this Choice needed to be made at the time when Elrond would leave for Valinor - they ...
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How and why did the Elves sense Sauron's treachery when he put on the One Ring?

This question was borne out of another asking why the Dwarven rings produced greed and not invisibility shown here. Consider the following: Sauron encouraged and assisted the Elves in forging the ...
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How much Elven ancestry does Aragorn have?

I know Aragorn is descended from Elros the half-Elf, and from what I've been able to find, there are somewhere between 64 and 99 generations separating Elros from Aragorn. I can't do the math, I don'...
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Where did the Noldor learn to fight?

Melkor had no reason to suspect that Fëanor or his kin would have any ability as warriors: It may be that he feared him little, for he had as yet no proof of the swords of the Noldor And yet, ...
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Can the Elves and Hobbits in Tolkien's Legendarium grow facial hair?

I recently re-watched the Lord of the Rings movies with my kids and noticed something, I don't think any of the Elves or the Hobbits had any type of facial hair or beards. I also couldn't think of any ...
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What happens to an elf in Lord of the Rings who dies twice?

An Elf who dies (whether they are in Valinor or Middle-Earth) goes to the halls of Mandos. After a certain time (to be determined by Mandos, its different for each case) they are returned to life in ...
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What happened to elves when they died or lost the will to live?

I understand that the elves want to Valinor when they died. However, sometimes they took boats to Valinor, such as at the end of Lord of the Rings, and other times they died of injury and had no ...
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Who was the oldest Elf left in Middle Earth at the start of the War of the Ring at the end of the third age?

Some of the remaining notable and named Elves' birthdates are either known, or through association can be reasonably guessed at. They are: Galadriel - birthdate YT 1362, Elrond - birthdate FA 532, ...
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Tolkien's history of Elves singing and Ents walking and talking

Background Gandalf, when prompting Théoden to get him to understand from his memory who might have brought the forest to fight the Orcs at Helm's Deep, states (bold added): It is not wizardry, but ...
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What exactly happened to the Noldor?

The Noldor were numerous and powerful, yet by the time of the events of The Lord of the Rings they are few and far between. Why did this once great group of Elves all but vanish by then?
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In The Lord of the Rings, what exactly does “Elf-friend” mean?

The term elf-friend is used a number of times in the Lord of the Rings. First, when Frodo and the Hobbits leave the Shire, they encounter Gildor who says the following to Frodo: I name you Elf-...
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Which Elves are the men of Bree familiar with?

The Men of Bree were brown-haired, broad, and rather short, cheerful and independent: they belonged to nobody but themselves; but they were more friendly and familiar with Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and ...
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Are the Sindar Gray-elves immortal?

In Lord of the Rings, there are High Elves and Sindar, or Gray-elves. It is my understanding that the High Elves can go to the Undying Lands and are immortal. In the Letters of J.R. Tolkien, it says ...
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What is the origin of elves (and fairies and Vulcans) having pointy ears?

Related: Do Tolkien's elves have pointy ears? and Why do Vulcans have pointed ears? I doubt Tolkien is the origin. How far back in literature or mythology does it go?
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Did Arwen actually die?

Appendix A of Lord of the Rings says of Arwen's fate: There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her ...
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Do male elves have long or short hair?

I've noticed that almost every fan drawing of elves (as well as their portrayals in the movies) show them with long hair, both the men and the women. But did Tolkien ever write anything that proved ...
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Why do the dwarves and elves hate each other?

In nearly every single medieval story Elves and Dwarves hate each other, or at least are very unfriendly towards each other. As I have read, watched and played many a lore of the medieval genre it ...
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How does interspecies reproduction work in the Lord of the Rings universe?

So, I know that there is a race in Lord of the Rings of Peredhil (half elf). Also, in the Hobbit (film trilogy, not book), there is a romance between a dwarf and an elf. My question is, how do man/...
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Why did Celeborn not go with Galadriel?

Galadriel and Celeborn are a strange couple, that's sure. But is there some reference to the reasons why Celeborn doesn't leave for the Grey Havens (which he will do, sooner or later even if we don't ...
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Why are elves and humans so much alike?

Why are elves and humans so much alike (physically speaking)? Except for the pointy ears, there are no other major (physical) differences, am I right? Do they have a common ancestor? Or does one of ...