questions on Galadriel

Hey, thank you  @absynthe–minded for sending me this! As to not confuse anyone, your questions are bolded, while my responses are not are not. That said, on we go (And thank you much for being respectful with your questions)! 

this is meant entirely as an invitation for discussion, because I’m genuinely curious as to your opinions on a couple of things. Specifically, I always interpreted Galadriel’s character arc as her coming to terms with her imperialist tendencies and rejecting the colonialism she’d previously embraced (the same colonialism that might have gotten her banished and doomed by Mandos; later versions of the mythology have her leaving Valinor early and missing Alqualondë’s Kinslaying, and if that’s true when viewing LotR her actual moral victory was a victory over colonialist tendencies). She was not queen or even really officially ruler of Lothlórien; she and Celeborn seemed to have taken over leadership after Amroth disappeared but it’s worth pointing out that she never called herself a queen except in her temptation by the Ring and that she didn’t create or govern Lothlórien originally. (One might argue that taking control after Amroth’s disappearance was itself a colonialist act, but at the same time Celeborn, himself Sindarin like a lot of the elves in Lorien (and like Amroth before him) seemed to be the de facto ruler while she was defender and protector and advisor and perhaps a spiritual leader of some sort; this in my view at least suggests that she was no longer actively seeking to rule.)

Galadriel’s arc is definitely a narrative of one who’s progressed from problematic ways of thinking, especially, as you say, regarding imperialism.  But I think given the author and the time, Tolkien fell short when it came to making Galadriel reject that mindest completely.  She did a bit, but not completely. 

On Loth Lorien, we need to realize that while Galadriel “rejected” imperialism and colonization, she married into a system that upheld  and was responsible for colonization, and she benefited from it. Rejecting imperialistic tendencies does not mean marrying into a family that upholds imperialism, it’s not benefiting from a system that colonizes other groups–marginalized groups of individuals.

When Galadriel marries into Loth Lorien, she does not change anything in regards to the issue with colonization. She is silent and benefits from it, as her position as the Lady of Loth Lorien gives her a place in the White Council (and if not completely, there’s no denying that it has something to do with that), it gives her a reputable title in Middle Earth (White Lady of Loth Lorien), and gives her a position of power over people that are not her own. It’s like putting something on your resume that boost how people perceive you. She benefits from her title as the White Lady. 

And we need to also understand that both Celeborn and Galadriel do rule Loth Lorien equally, though looking from the outside in, it seems that Galadriel rules it more so than her husband. That’s a perception that everyone (even the dwarves)  get. 

So while the narrative writes her off as rejecting imperialistic tendencies, she didn’t really do that. She married into an establishment that upheld it, and did absolutely nothing to stop it.  Essentially she stopped being actively “imperialistic” because there was no need for her to do so anymore, not when she married into an establishment that is built off of imperialism and colonization anyway.

I also want to talk about the spiritual leader bit, and how that in itself is a huge red flag for colonization. Imposing your own spirituality on a group of individuals that are not your people is like the Europeans imposing Christianity on indigenous and African tribes. At first it may seem good, but in the end it leaves the people utterly decimated, which is what happened to Galadriel in the case of the Ring (I’ll talk about that later on). Assuming that she is a spiritual leader implies that she imposed her own spirituality on them, which is colonization.

So again I’d like to reiterate that while, as you say, “ this in my view at least suggests that she was no longer actively seeking “, she benefited from a system that upheld and established colonization without stopping it. In fact if she acted as a spiritual leader, as you assume, then  she only reinforced that colonist system more. She did not have to actively seek because she got what she wanted.

You also mention Celeborn, and how her marrying him (or just his character in general) might lessen the colonialist narrative. However, Celeborn is privileged and in a different class then the rest of the Sindar and Silvan, and it was his family that colonized them in the first place. He may be “one” of them, but he’s not one of them. He benefits from the system as well (his only saving grace is when he scrambles to save them in the end), and does nothing to fix it (marrying Galadriel does not help that). And we need to also realize he’s not even Silvan. We can’t use his narrative to say it’s not colonization, when there’s a population of Silvan living in Loth Lorien. 

Also, the most telling part for me has always been that when given the chance to choose between fading and returning West and a path of more conquest and more ambition she chooses to diminish. She also says she’ll remain Galadriel, possibly rejecting her Noldorin roots in favor of the more humble name and role her husband has created for her. Rather than continue to conquer and rule, she chooses to relinquish her status and her position and leave. This does consign her current home to fading with time, but not only is this the fate of all elves, Noldorin or otherwise, elves were never intended to remain in Middle-Earth and Silvan and Avarin people were also included in the invitation to journey over the Sea.

Giving them a choice between fading and going to the west (not returning, because they were not from the West), is like telling indigenous populations that they can either stay in the land the Europeans destroyed, or move to an unfamiliar land, a land that may perceive them as lower class. And historically, this happened all the time. I mean, that’s what the American Reservations were supposed to be, and a lot of American ghettos and intercity communities. Historically, what Galadriel offered to the Silvan elves is what white people have offered to my people. 

Galadriel’s ultimatum was terrible. It was not good.

Loth Lorien was dying because of a Ring she brought. Her people’s realm was fading due to a device she brought into their homes, that promised to protect them, but failed in the end. So she offers them to come to a place they’ve never been to, that’s not where they’re from, a land where their colonialist are the ruling class (only, it gets worse), a land where they’ll be seen as lower class, or they can stay in Loth Lorien and die. This is what colonization is. Ruining someone’s home and relocating them, what Galadriel has offered has happened, historically, to many black and brown civilizations. It never, ever turns out well for us.

The only saving grace, as I mentioned before, is Celeborn, who ensured that his people have a home with Thranduil. And considering  a large majority of Celeborns’ people are silvan, he’s returning them to their own culture, he’s assimilating them into a culture his people stole from them (and Thranduil isn’t necessarily free of a colonialist narrative either, though the only issue with him is that he assumes the title of King, when he should not be). 

Galadriel offers them to die in  Loth Lorien, or come with her to Valinor.

It’s like saying “We destroyed your land, but you can come to our land which you’re not used to, which is where your colonizers are a ruling class, which is not your home (because we destroyed it btw, so we won’t fix it for you, but you can drop everything and come with us),  which is where people already perceive as below us. That, or you can just stay and die”

(And I don’t even want to get into how iffy Valinor’s ruling system treats the elves in power)

And while she relinquishes her title in Middle Earth, she is still a princess and of the royal family, and loved by the Valar in Valinor.  She’s going to have it made and still be held in a high position in the West, easily. She’s not relinquishing anything  but responsibility when she leaves Loth Lorien in my humble opinion. She is basically the same in Valinor, and while she may not have a realm, she presides over elves as a member of the ruling family. So she really hasn’t lost anything, in fact she gets to go home.

I’m not saying her narrative isn’t colonialist to an extent, and I’m not defending her actions, and I’m not insisting anyone is wrong for critiquing her. I’m just wondering if there’s any space for seeing or interpreting a critique on colonialist mindsets in her overall character arc. And if I’m entirely wrong, I ask that you tell me - I’m constantly learning and shifting my views of Tolkien’s works.

I think unfortunately that Galadriel falls victim to Tolkien’s writing, which embodied many social norms of the time. I do believe he intended to write Galadriel as shedding her imperialistic tendencies, but by making her silent in the face of colonization while benefiting it from it at the same time, he did the exact opposite.

Perhaps she shed the mindset, but her silence and tendency to benefit from it says otherwise.

Had Tolkien wrote her assimilating into their culture, we could have said she rejected imperialism. Had she spoken out against what Celeborn’s family was doing and relinquished her status above the elves at the beginning, we could have said she rejected imperialism. But she didn’t. She just comfortable settled into it.

That said, this doesn’t mean it’s bad to like her, because despite these problems, she is, depending on who you are, a great character with likable traits. 

And again, thank you for sending me this! I really appreciated the tone you used, as I know Galadriel is a hot-topic in our fandom. So thank you for being respectful and listening to what I have to say :) 

A (Super Brief) Outline of Elvish Linguistic History

So, actually, Sindarin didn’t come from Quenya at all - the two languages share a common root in Common Eldarin, but each come from a separate branch of the languages that developed from that language.

Probably the best example of the differences between the elvish languages (or, at least, the most-developed of these languages), is the word for “elves.” In Primitive Quendian the elves called themselves the “kwendî” (sing “kwende”.) Tolkien then lists six different Avarin words for elves, theoretically representing six different Avarin languages (“kindi”, “cuind”, “hwenti”, “windan”, “kinn”, and “penni.”) A Common Eldarin equivalent isn’t listed, but the “modern” Quenya word used is “quendi” (sing “quendë”), and the Common Telerin word is “pendi” (no singular.) And Tolkien says that there actually isn’t really a Sindarin equivalent for this word (there isn’t even have a Sindarin word for the Sindar.) However, the Sindarin word for person, “pen”, is clearly taken from the Telerin “pendi.”

I’ve seriously simplified this topic - Tolkien wrote several linguistic essays about Middle Earth, especially the elvish languages. The chart above is, again, very simplified, and I’ve left out many dialects for the sake of sticking to the basic point that Quenya and Sindarin are linguistic cousins, not parent and child.

SOURCES: The Histories of Middle Earth (“Quendi and Eldar”)

a smoller problem

a present for cy-lindric, born on the 14th of july

this fic is a spiritual, if not an actual, successor to a smol problem

Content warnings: Maedhros suddenly turning into a toddler, a brief smattering of Quenya (Atar = Dad), potentially problematic assumptions that Fingon may not like kids too much despite being an older bro and generally a perfect Elven being, off-color jokes, Maglor, kissing cousins

enjoy your smol elves, cy-lindric

Keep reading

 I have trouble determining how much of Pengolodh’s vitriol towards Maeglin is post-Fall vengefulness, and how much of it reflects the views that were actually held while Maeglin was alive. Because if his opinions do represent a popular sentiment prior to the Fall, then that says a lot.

Let me expand on one point in particular here. When Pengolodh refers to Maeglin (and Eöl) as “dark elf”, he does not mean “Sindarin”. The Quenya word for “dark elf” is “moriquende”, and most Noldor stopped using it to refer to SIndar specifically because Sindar find it offensive. Pengolodh is half-Sindarin himself, and the surviving Gondolindrim were allied with the surviving Doriathrim at the time of writing. Pengolodh would not have used that word to refer to a Sinda, no matter what they may have done.

Besides that, Pengolodh was writing in Sindarin, not Quenya. Now, Sindarin happens to have a very similar word: “morben”. It means essentially the same thing, with the primary difference being that it refers to anyone who isn’t Sindarin or a Sindarin vassal. Noldor can technically fall under this term, although I doubt Sindar living with Noldor would have used it that way. Easterlings can sometimes fall under this term. Nandor and any other group the Sindar recognize as being related to them do not fall under this term.

The only people both words are consistently applied to are the Avari. And it should be obvious at this point that they’re not pleasant words. Even if Maeglin isn’t half-Avarin, Pengolodh is at the very least equating bad actions with ethnicity.

an anon asked what I think about maeglin

I think a LOT OF THINGS about Maeglin, anon.

I think he worries constantly that he should have stayed in Nan Elmoth, and that he blames himself for the death of both his parents and also (long before he betrays Gondolin) for ruining it somehow, for bringing his darkness and wrongness and failures and self-loathing to a place that would otherwise be pretty and pure and perfect. I think he idealizes Gondolin even once he’s living in it and I think he thinks of himself as too fundamentally impure and broken to really be part of it.

It makes me really sad when people mention the fact he’s expressionless, still, or doesn’t say things at various high-intensity moments as proof that he’s a monster or doesn’t care about his parents or is selfish. Freezing up/nonexpressiveness/not feeling the appropriate emotions are all really common reactions to trauma and don’t say anything about whether you care about people.

Moving to Gondolin must have been one of the most painful social and cultural transitions imaginable. Because there’s the differences in sensory and social and language and expectations and basically it’s a completely different thing on every conceivable level. Even without his father murdering his mother and being executed on his first day, it would have been a really scary and hard thing. Also if I’m not mistaken, he’d pretty much never seen the Sun. I think that, certainly at first, Maeglin was incapable of functioning in Gondolin.

But it’s even worse than that. Because I don’t actually imagine Gondolin as an egalitarian paradise, even though it’s the only kingdom with named Sindarin Elves in leadership roles and which gives a lordship to a mortal. From the reaction to Eöl and from various undertones in Pengolodh’s texts I sort of feel  there still were peoples considered uncivilized and inferior, and that Eöl (whether you read him as estranged Sindar or Avarin or what) was one of them, which means Maeglin would be the target of racial as well as national prejudice. Being Turgon’s nephew helps, a lot, but types of social power don’t just erase other types of social othering, and I think what we see with Maeglin is someone who’s both very powerful and very othered.

Also related to that there’s an ugly real world history of the threat of the predatory (racialized) man lusting after our pure (wealthy, white, golden-haired, pedestalized) woman and I want to find a way of talking about Maeglin’s unrequited thing for Idril that doesn’t play into that history or use that language. And ‘how did social power function in Gondolin’ is a really weird vast complicated question that could encompass its own really long post.

Daeron is way creepier and should be our go-to for thwarted romantic who tries to bring coercive sexist institutional power to bear against the girl he supposedly loves, is what I’m saying.

It makes me so happy that Maeglin refused to remain in Gondolin for the Nirnaeth because he wanted to fight. The relentless courageousness of Tolkien’s morally ambiguous characters generally really moves me. Fëanor has that line in response to the Doom of the Noldor and I forget the wording but the meaning that stuck with me is something like “so they’ll call us monsters, but never cowards. all right.” and this is a sentiment I thoroughly enjoy.

I think Morgoth tortured him.

I am tormented by the fact no one seems to have noticed Morgoth tortured him.

therechercherambler  asked:

I've never been particularly interested in Eol before, but your post about Thingol, where you said there were some hints that he's Thingol's son, got me intrigued (I love hearing about theories like this). What kind of evidence do you think there is?

Okay, this is mostly a circumstantial pet fan theory, so don’t expect quotes here, but!

Eol is among Thingol’s people at the point where they decide to cease in the Journey, but judging by his words to Turgon in Gondolin, he does not identify as one of the Teleri.  There’s no indication he taught Maeglin to think of himself as Telerin, either.  Neither are ever described as Grey-elves.  So there’s some reason he was with Thingol other than “of course I am; these are my people.”

Thingol granted him total lordship over Nan Elmoth, where Thingol met Melian (so this is an important and magical spot) and where no one else seems to hold any power over Eol – even the entire people of the Laiquendi, led by Saeros and Ithilbor, don’t hold that level of autonomy within Doriath.  Why is Eol so preferred that he doesn’t even seem to need to report to Thingol about his doings?

Eol paid for that territory with the sword Anglachel, an extremely powerful magical blade which was the mate to his own Anguirel.  Given the way he and Maeglin seem to regard Anguirel, he’d be unlikely to present his phallic symbol sword’s match to someone he had no connection to outside of “hey dude can I live here.”  Thingol, though, takes this rather amazing blade and chucks it in a storeroom where he doesn’t have to look at it (until Beleg fishes it out because it matches his bow).  There’s something goin’ on there.

Eol’s widely thought to have been an Avar, though there are other arguments one could make.  Thingol rejected the Avari and did not give them shelter within his borders when they fled Morgoth; there must be a reason why Eol (and perhaps his people; Maeglin’s chapter in the Silmarillion indicates he has some servants) represents an exception here.

Eol is known to have been in contact pretty regularly with dwarves.  Thingol hired the dwarves of Belegost to build his city of Menegroth.  Eol takes Maeglin with him on some of his journeys, but leaves him at home with his mother for others (specifically a time when he was visting dwarves), even though he has to know damn well that Aredhel uses that time to tell Maeglin things Eol doesn’t want their son to know.  But that’s a necessary evil if Eol wants to hide from Thingol that he has a grandchild who is also the grandson of the High King of the Noldor and could represent a way to re-legitimize Thingol’s claim over all of Beleriand.  This allows a marginally better motivation for some of Eol’s behavior toward his son: he wants to keep him isolated enough that Eol’s father can’t take an interest, which involves taking him along only when he’s visiting neutral territory or people who won’t mention to Thingol that Eol had a young boy with him.

Whether Eol is the son of Thingol and Melian during that 200-year blind date (probably unlikely since we hear nothing of Maeglin having Maiarin blood, although it would explain why Eol’s powers over Nan Elmoth and Aredhel seem so similar to Melian’s over Nan Dungortheb and Thingol) … or whether Thingol conceived Eol with an Avarin woman before meeting Melian and Eol was traveling in his party, but not identifying as a subject per se (my preferred theory) … Eol being Thingol’s estranged son explains the weirdness of their relationship.

… In fact, there’s an AU I’m thinking of writing where one of the major plot points is that Maeglin and Dior markedly resemble one another.

Easterling Names

I’m very sorry (and frustrated) because I wanted to find a better answer for you, but the fact is we know so so little about the languages in the East that I really couldn’t find much to help :/ It’s telling that the most relevant quote I could find from Tolkien was this: “Of the speech of Men of the East and allies of Sauron all that appears is mumak, a name of the great elephant of the Harad.” And since we’re talking about the east and not the south, this isn’t even helpful to us… 

But, for the record, here are all the Easterling names I could find (all male, unfortunately):

  • Khamul
  • Brodda
  • Lorgan
  • Ulfang
  • Uldor
  • Ulfast
  • Ulworth
  • Bor
  • Borlach
  • Borlad
  • Borthand

It’s worth noting that none of these names are from the Third Age. Khamul is from the Second Age (he’s actually one of the Nazgul, the only one that Tolkien named), and all the others are from the First Age.  So, given the thousands of years of history (not to mention the huge size of the eastern lands), I’d imagine a huge amount of diversity and variation among the names.

Beyond the few names that we have, I can really only give you one piece of advice as far as the linguistics of it all go: For the men of the west, Tolkien tells us that the indigenous/traditional mannish languages were heavily influenced by Avarin languages, Khuzdul (the dwarvish language), and Sindarin. Assuming that the same pattern holds in the east, you could expect to find some Khuzdul and Avarin influence, but there’s likely very little, if any, Sindarin influence in Easterling names or language. And while it’s likely that the base/indigenous languages differed, for some example of western cultures with less Sindarin influence, take a look at the Rohirrim or the men of Dale.

I really do wish I was able to find more for you (though not as much as I wish that Tolkien had written more on the subject, lol), but I hope I managed to help at least a little bit. And if anyone else has any advice, please add your thoughts/comments as reblogs or replies!

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales (”Hunt for the Ring”), The Histories of Middle Earth vol. 12 (”The Appendix on Languages”)


When Oromë found the Elves that awakened in Cuiviénen, he summoned them to come with him to Valinor. All the Minyar and most of the Tatyar were persuaded, along with some of the Nelyar, and followed Oromë into the west on the Great Journey.
The rest, who dwelt furthest from the waters of Cuiviénen, and wandered in the hills, had not seen Oromë at his first coming, and knew only vague scary rumors of the Valar; lies of Melkor concerning Oromë and Nahar perhaps had a role. So they remained suspicious, or simply refused to depart from their own lands, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. Their population was composed of half of the Tatyar and one third of the Nelyar, who maybe were called Lindai. According to a tradition their leaders were Morwë of the Tatyar and Nurwë of the Nelyar. They were after known by the name “the Unwilling”, because they refused the summons.
Initially the Avari stayed in Cuiviénen but many of them started to wander westwards.
The Avari who finally went westwards, were mingled with the Nandor of the Vales of Anduin, Eriador and some reached Beleriand, mingling with the Laiquendi. But very few settled in Doriath. The Avari who came from the Tatyar were unfriendly and jealous to the Noldor, their exalted kin, and accused them for arrogance.
The Edain who traveled to the West met the Avari first of all the Elves, and were taught from them music and language, which influenced theirs. They probably taught them many of the basic crafts of civilization, though the craft of the Eldar surpassed that of the Avari even more than that of the Avari surpassed primitive Men.
According to the legends Orcs may be descended by Avarin elves captured and corrupted by Melkor.
Some Avari after the end of the First Age started to mingle with the Silvan Elves.It is told that no Avari Elves were to be found west of the Misty Mountains during the late Third Age.

Sources: MERP

anonymous asked:

Hi! I was curious to know what your headcanons for the feanorian wives were, since, well, headcanons are all we have, and yours tend to be awesome. Thanks, and I hope you have a nice day :)

(Some of the sons of Fëanor were married. The only place where Tolkien sees fit to mention this is in Peoples of Middle-earth, where Curufin’s wife gets one line of description: “[Celebrimbor’s]mother had refused to take part in the rebellion of Fëanor and remained in Aman with the people of Finarphin” and the others get even less: “Others who were wedded were Maelor [=Maglor], Caranthir.”)

Gee, Tolkien, thanks. I do tend to treat that throwaway line as true, because yay, more women in the mix, but it gives us precious little to work with. So, here you go, headcanons:

Maglor’s wife is Avarin-pretending-to-be-Sinda-because-it’s-safer and the elected leader of a coalition of nomadic tribes who gravitate toward the Feanorians around Lake Mithrim and eventually vote to follow them east. They meet via her girlfriend, who made a brief appearance in And One Man and who they’re both sleeping with on-and-off throughout the Age. 

She’s hella gay, but this doesn’t matter, because in her society selecting the person you want to commit to raising children with is totally separate from who you’re attracted to, and in fact choosing to marry someone because you are attracted to them would be profoundly irresponsible. (They have no sex life to speak of but they have an erotic music arrangement that is very mutually satisfying). They’re actually adorably compassionate toward, healthy for and supportive of each other, though they end up spending large chunks of the Age apart for political reasons. I don’t think they have any kids. 

She hates hates hates Thingol for tragic backstory reasons and is a major agitator for the Second Kinslaying. She dies about two months after it of injuries sustained during the fighting.

Caranthir’s wife is a Dwarf of Nogrod. They meet at trade negotiations, a few hundred years in once he’s outgrown his reflexive prejudice and something of his tendency to be an asshole. They argue each other hoarse and the first time they have sex they’ve both managed to convince themselves they’re doing it to gain an advantage in negotiations. The next couple times that excuse becomes less and less plausible. They both sort of figured they wouldn’t give it a label, until the kids were born (Dwarves; because of Aule’s modifications for resilience half-Elven, half-Dwarven children are indistinguishable from Dwarves) and then they decided they’ve retroactively been married for a hundred years. It’s their marriage celebration that Celegorm and Curufin are at when Aredhel arrives. 

Their kids - two daughters and one who is agender - are killed by Beren and Dior at the ambush at Sarn Athrad. She was too old to go, and dies in the subsequent flight of the Dwarves from Nogrod to Khazad-dum.

For Curufin’s wife I have wholesale stolen James’ Hyellinde and all of the associated Tatyarin tribal politics in which her decisions make sense; suffice it to say I didn’t want her to fit into the same ‘wise, virtuous woman who serves as a taming influence on her husband and is left behind by him when the author needs him to start making bad decisions’ model and I was delighted that other people in the fandom didn’t love that idea either.

How Would Middle Earth React to Aliens?

(Okay, this question just had to be answered immediately. So, sorry if I gave you whiplash by answering so quickly, Anon.)

Obviously, Tolkien never actually talked about aliens in Middle Earth, since that’s just really not how his universe worked (at least according to elvish tradition.) But, we do have a few examples of how the different people of Middle Earth reacted to meeting unknown strangers of different (previously unknown) races, which I think could applied to your alien scenario:

DWARVES: Always the most mysterious of Tolkien’s races, we almost never get a story from the dwarvish point of view. Which means that Tolkien didn’t tell us how dwarves reacted to meeting elves for the first time, or men. But I think this lack of described reaction could be indicative of a generally mellow reaction. Specifically, when it comes to dwarves and men meeting for the first time, it’s mentioned that the first men to come to the west were initially wary of the dwarves they met there (that being the Longbeards of Moria, by the way), because some of the dwarves they’d met in the east served Morgoth. That isn’t actually important, but I think the fact that Tolkien says that the men were initially wary of the dwarves sort of implies by default that the dwarves weren’t all that wary of the men? Anyway, considering we have almost no information on this topic for the dwarves at all, my general impression is that they seemed to be reasonably blasé about meeting new races. 

MEN: While we generally have more information about men that we do about elves, in this category they’re about equally unsatisfying. The problem is that their first interactions with elves and dwarves happen “off screen”, when men still lived far to the east, and before they really enter the story. But we know that these early men learned a great deal from the elves and dwarves that they met (specifically mentioned are some basic “civilization” skills - I’m assuming agriculture, building, took-making, etc.) and language.) This openness to learning tells us that, at least when men are encountering beings more “advanced” than themselves, they’re willing to keep an open mind. The best example we have of men reaction to “lesser” beings would be the rangers of Ithilien’s reactions to meeting Frodo and Sam for the first time:

‘We have not found what we sought,’ said one. 'But what have we found?’

'Not Orcs,’ said another, releasing the hilt of his sword, which he had seized when he saw the glitter of Sting in Frodo’s hand.

'Elves?’ said a third, doubtfully.

'Nay! Not Elves,’ said the fourth, the tallest, and as it appeared the chief among them. 'Elves do not walk in Ithilien in these days. And Elves are wondrous fair to look
upon, or so 'tis said.’

They’re obviously confused, but not immediately hostile (or, at least, no more so than usual), nor afraid. So, though I’d imagine that men are a little more excitable than dwarves, I’d say that they too handle meeting strange new races pretty well.

ELVES: The elves are, surprise surprise (note the complete lack of surprise), the race we know the most about with regards to this topic. We watched them meet one of the Valar for the first time (many of them were pretty terrified, although much of that reaction was due to Morgoth’s manipulations). We then see those elves who meet the Valar easily fall into service of them (the Teleri decide to stay on Tol Eressea in order to stay closer to Osse and Uinen, the Vanyar move away from Tirion in order to live closer to the Valar, etc.) Later on, we see the Sindar meet orcs for the first time, and assume that they’re Avarin elves who’ve gone savage in the wild. Then, when they meet the first dwarves (technically petty-dwarves, but whatever), they hunt them for sport, assuming that they’re animals. When Finrod met the first men to arrive in Beleriand, he basically adopted them (though, to be fair, the elves always knew that the men would show up some day, so they weren’t really unexpected.) Even the strangest mannish subculture, the Druedain, were said to be beloved by the elves.

To be honest, even though (or perhaps because) we have the most information about the elves, they’re the hardest group to generalize about. Sometimes they react very positively to new races, and sometimes they react very negatively. If we’re to discount the men (since the elves did know about them ahead of time), we could say that the elves tend to react positively to beings more “advanced” than themselves (the Valar and the Maiar), and negatively to beings less advanced than themselves (dwarves and orcs.) So meeting aliens could really go either way, I guess (though, considering the elvish obsession with stars, they might be culturally inclined to react positively to anyone who flies down from the sky.) 

Reactions to technology is a tougher topic - because one of Tolkien’s overarching themes was anti-industrialization, technology in general tends to get a bad rep in his stories, so the data’s automatically skewed. ((EDIT: Though it could very well be that the elves would see any “alien” technology as similar to their or the Valar’s “magic”, depending on what exactly they’re doing.)) But, if interested, check out these posts about “outer space” in Middle Earth, to get an idea of what Middle Earth’s residents would have assumed about space before the aliens showed up. And good luck with your story!

SOURCES: Various works, especially The Silmarillion, LotR, and The Unfinished Tales (“The Druedain”)

Thranduil is a Sindarin term for “Vigorous spring”, from tharan (“vigorous”) and ethuil (“spring”). It was said that the name “Thranduil” was of Lemberin language (later Avarin or Telerian), along with other Sindarin names such as Legolas, Nimrodel, and Amroth among others. Thranduil first appears as a character in The Hobbit, where he is not named. Tolkien refers to him as the elf-king or the king,  and also by the titles Elvenking and King of the Elves of the Wood. The name Thranduil first appears in The Lord of the Rings, in which his title was given as the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood. Elsewhere in Tolkien’s writings he was also referred to as King of the Woodland Realm, a title he inherited from his father.

unionthesalmon replied to your post: givenclarity replied to your post: Ok …

oh god feanorians are such drama queens they’ll try to get out of doing things by boring everyone with their passionate but lengthy speeches

oh my god definitely. they’d be SO high maintenance too, especially in their youth. they’re all prodigies of some sort, and growing up in a really intellectual household of a high-profile, privileged family…. ok NOW I want Au Pair AU with some well written OC hired to take care of the kids. It’d be INTENSE. Can you imagine them trying to push boundaries first. And nothing happens without discussion first. Nelyo trying to bargain his curfew hours; that’s two hours going back and forth and endlesssss arguments and before you realize it he’s lecturing you on avarin hierarchies and power structures in the early days of tirion and how this all relates to how he should be allowed to stay out all night (HEADACHES). Celegorm has the animal problem (worst disney princess), so you’re mostly busy cleaning squirrel droppings from the bedspread that Miriel embroidered back in the day. Caranthir needs LOADS of attention so he’s just running around naked, screeching and hitting you with blunt objects (“why are you hitting yourself”). You get used to it, eventually. Curufin just takes everything apart. Mercilessly. He DOES put them back together, but he’s not a pro yet, so sometimes he’ll just put them together.. sort of. Which leads to picking up objects you intent to use, and them falling apart in your hands, and other more dangerous malfunctions. Curufin just stares blankly, saying “I just wanted to see how it works” (perfectly rational excuse if youre a son of feanor), and continues dismantling the sofa. Which is great! Except as a result the house nearly burnt down seven times and you’re pretty sure he turned the stove into a refridgerator. Ambarussa are the creepy kids who follow you around for hours just staring at you and asking ‘why’ seventy times in a row.

All this happens to the perpetual background noise of Maglor practicing scales and tuning his instruments and. EXPERIMENTING WITH MUSIC. loudly. SO loudly.

What Are Silvan Elves?

Alright, everyone ready for an elvish history lesson? In the beginning, while the elves were traveling west for Valinor, there were three Sunderings (almost everything elvish comes in threes.) The First Sundering was when the Avari refused to follow the Valar, and instead remained behind in Cuivienen. The Second Sundering was when some of the Telerin elves refused to cross the Misty Mountains, and broke off from the rest of the elves. This group became known as the Nandor, and they mostly settled in Greenwood/Mirkwood. And the Third Sundering came when some more of the Teleri refused to cross the ocean, and remained in Beleriand, becoming the Sindar.

Later during the First Age some of the Nandor traveled west to Beleriand and settled in Ossiriand, and throughout the age many of the Avarin elves joined the Nandor living in Greenwood. So, by the time we reach the Second Age, the elves still living in Greenwood (as well as Lorien, and in the southern haven of Edhellond, near Dol Amroth) are referred to as the Silvan elves. They’re basically just the descendants of the Nandor, with some Avarin influence. And then, later, when the Sindarin dynasties are established in Greenwood and Lorien, a Sindarin influence is added to the mix (as well as some Noldorin influence in Lorien.)

The Silvan elves are interesting, because while there are many examples of multi-cultural elvish settlements and communities, the Silvan elves are the only ones where the diversity and intermingling was so great that Tolkien actually renames them. But the main influence would have been Nandorin.

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”)

Thranduil in Lindon

Basically, yes Thranduil used to live in Lindon. For probably about 1,000 years (the dates for this time period are a little fuzzy) before traveling to Mirkwood/Greenwood. This is mentioned in passing in the appendices of Lord of the Rings, but it’s talked about more in “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”.

But the thing is, nearly every elf has lived in Lindon at some point. This is because, after the First Age, Lindon is where all the refugees of Beleriand ended up. So, a general rule is that, if a character lived in Beleriand during the First Age, and is still in Middle Earth after the War of the Wrath, they’ve spent at least a little time living in Lindon. 

Within the first 1,000 or so of the Second Age, many elves left Lindon to settle in other places (Eregion, the Sindarin dynasties in Mirkwood and Lorien, as well as the small haven of Edhellond, and wherever Galadriel was living before she got to Lorien - Tolkien wrote varying version.) But, up until then, pretty much everyone except the Silvan and Avarin elves lived in Lindon.

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”), LOTR Appendices

((The map is an excerpt from Karen Wynn Fonstad’s Atlas of Middle Earth, which shows the movement of refugees after the War of Wrath. I’ve highlighted the elves who stayed in Middle Earth. The blue arrows show elves escaping Beleriand into Lindon, and the purple arrows show those elves who later left Lindon.))