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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37
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3answers
38k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

The Half-Elven and their choices

Earendil and Elwing were given the choice of kindreds after their journey to Valinor, This choice was extended to their sons (specifically sons, not daughters or grandchildren) Elrond chose the race ...
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2answers
16k views

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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2answers
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Of Half-elven and mortal life

When half-elvens choose mortal life, how would their bodies behave? Half-elven are always elves by nature. Ever since they're born, their physical body and behaviour would be elvish - they have keen ...
35
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7answers
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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
28
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4answers
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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 ...
26
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3answers
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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 ...
60
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3answers
13k views

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'...
28
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6answers
13k views

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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5answers
7k views

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)
42
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8answers
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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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6answers
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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 ...
19
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5answers
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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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5answers
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What does JRR Tolkien say about the Elves (and other non-Human Races) and Free Will?

The Simarillion has the following to say about Men and their specialness: Therefore he willed that the hearts of Men should seek beyond the world and should find no rest therein; but they should ...
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4answers
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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 ...
120
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11answers
23k views

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 ...
35
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8answers
55k views

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?
19
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5answers
10k views

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 ...
18
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7answers
32k views

What is the Elven Diet?

It seems that a lot of emphasis is given to both the Hobbits and the Dwarves in regards to their diet, but I don't recall much being said about the Elves. (It has been about 15 years since I read LOTR ...
29
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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
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Are any of the original elves that awoke at Cuiviénen named?

This came up because a friend told me he thought Glorfindel was an "original elf". As far as I know, the earliest mention of Glorfindel is at the Fall Of Gondolin, which is a far cry from Cuiviénen. ...
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2answers
490 views

What did Tolkien write regarding Elvish succession?

I was answering this question, which made me curious about the succession rules for the High Kingship of the Noldor. Based on my analysis, it seems as though succession works on a variation of Salic ...
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6answers
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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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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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3answers
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In Tolkien's world, are the Vanyar considered to be greater than the Noldor?

I often read so, but couldn't find a specific quote. So did Tolkien say that or is this a generalization or assumption I am making? I know that Ingwë, the King of the Vanyar, is at the same time High ...
33
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5answers
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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 ...
23
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2answers
5k views

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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2answers
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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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3answers
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Were ANY of the Elves in Tolkien twins?

Thinking about the idea of Elves having low numbers overall, got me to wondering: as far as Tolkien's writing, could elves ever have twins? As a "yes" answer, I need an example of twins (any of JRRT ...
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5answers
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Do all elven blades glow blue in the presence of orcs?

There have been a couple of questions that I believe are related to this one, for example this one that asks why Sting glowed blue in the presence of orcs, and this one about the origins of Sting ...
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1answer
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Is Gandalf an elf?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, when Gandalf is walking alongside the Elven king Thranduil, I noticed some similarities between the two, like their height and their hair. Gandalf seems too ...
71
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2answers
9k views

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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8answers
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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 ...
36
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7answers
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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 ...
22
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3answers
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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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2answers
4k views

Why do Elves remain in Middle Earth?

Once there are ships that can take them to the Undying Lands, what is the motivation for the Elves to stay in a war-torn, darkened land full of Men and Orcs and other undesirable creatures? We know ...
11
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2answers
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Difference between elves and dwarves blacksmithing in the Lord of the Rings

Both the elves and the dwarves were famous for their metal work in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but what is the difference between what they made, and which one had the better skill of making amours ...
38
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1answer
38k views

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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2answers
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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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3answers
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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 ...
29
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1answer
8k views

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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4answers
3k views

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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5answers
9k views

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 ...
15
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4answers
7k views

Why aren't there any recognizable elf children in Middle-Earth?

Why aren't there any recognizable Elf children in Middle-Earth? I don't remember reading about younglings, only adults. Hobbit children, goblin imps and human children are all represented in the LOTR ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Do the bearers of the Elven rings know the identity of the other bearers?

I was just wondering if the identity of the owners of the Elven rings was known to the other bearers? In the Lord of the Rings, there is much mention of the identity of the wearers of the Elven rings ...
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3answers
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Why did Arwen have to become mortal to marry Aragorn if they were both half-elven?

I am sure Elrond is half-elven, so Arwen is too. I recall something saying Argorn was half-elven as well. Shouldn't half-elves not have to become mortal to marry each other?
5
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1answer
209 views

What factors affect Elves starving?

In The Children of Húrin, it is said that Beleg sickened nearly to death when he was starved of food and water for two days. It is said that Maedhros survived for a long time (probably) without food. ...
4
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1answer
873 views

Looking for canon Quenya and Sindarin dictionary

Are there any canonical English <-> Elvish dictionaries, that means with no added material? Some Grammar would also be useful.
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2answers
6k views

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 ...