Feanor armour concepts for an illustration I’m doing for class. I don’t think I’m going to end up mirroring the exact designs in the illustration since they are too complex and beyond my current painting abilities but it was fun to design. Very final fantasy because I love their armour designs:D
Finwë was King of the Noldor. The sons of Finwë were Fëanor, and Fingolfin, and Finarfin; but the mother of Fëanor was Míriel Serindë, whereas the mother of Fingolfin and Finarfin was Indis of the Vanyar. Fëanor was the mightiest in skill of word and of hand, more learned than his brothers; his spirit burned as a flame […]
While still in his early youth he wedded Nerdanel, the daughter of a great smith named Mahtan, among those of the Noldor most dear to Aulë; and of Mahtan he learned much of the making of things in metal and in stone. Nerdanel also was firm of will, but more patient than Fëanor, desiring to understand minds rather than to master them, and at first she restrained him when the fire of his heart grew too hot; but his later deeds grieved her, and they became estranged. Seven sons she bore to Fëanor; her mood she bequeathed in part to some of them, but not to all […]
The seven sons of Fëanor were Maedhros the tall; Maglor the mighty singer, whose voice was heard far over land and sea; Celegorm the fair, and Caranthir the dark; Curufin the crafty, who inherited most his father’s skill of hand; and the youngest Amrod and Amras, who were twin brothers, alike in mood and face. In later days they were great hunters in the woods of Middle-earth; and a hunter also was Celegorm, who in Valinor was a friend of Oromë, and often followed the Vala’s horn.
I think I like how it turned out. It is a little less colourful than I first imagined it, but hey I managed to leave something blank for once. As to how many spikes touch the border, it’s either 5, 7 or 13. I don’t know how many he should have, something between 4 (Noldor prince) to 11 (king, but less than a high king of the Noldor). Finarfin’s sigil in the background looks like a setting/ rising sun so I’m happy with that.
Let’s see some more evolution in elven culture. Throughout the Silmarillion, so many millennia pass that it’s difficult to keep track, and yet we aren’t given an in-depth enough view to see all of the changes that happen along the way. Look at how far humanity has advanced in 2,000 years–and then look at the extensive time lines of Middle Earth.
Let’s see elves from Cuiviënen with pale, almost translucent skin and excellent night vision and hearing because the sun doesn’t even exist yet. Give me stone-age elves hunting in the dark with spears and huddled around fires, passing on their history and traditions orally. Give me Cuiviënen elves that are amazed when any of them live past the age of a hundred because of all of Morgoth’s beasts lurking just beyond the firelight. (Just because they can live longer doesn’t mean they’re given the chance to.) Let’s see Oromë teaching the elves how to use the stars to guide them across Endor. That way, even (and especially) those left behind can still wander without getting lost.
Give me elves distinguishing themselves from each other with how they dress, with how they grow and cut and style their hair. We already know that different groups of elves sort of latched onto different Valar and Maia from which to learn; give me Noldor that prefer practical clothing because they don’t give as much thought to their appearance as the Vanyar because they just want to be able to create; then give me Vanyar that find great joy in decorating themselves and their dwellings with pretty stuff that they find or that the Noldor make for them. Give me Teleri that wear loose clothing because they love the feeling of the ocean breeze on their skin; maybe some of them don’t even clothe themselves at all, preferring to be as close to Ulmo’s realm as they can be when they swim. Give me followers of Yavanna that weave flowers and leaves into their hair and that of anyone who let’s them.
But then, nothing good lasts forever, does it? Ungoliant and Morgoth happen; the High King of the Noldor is dead, along with the two trees. Give me elves that wear black to mourn the extinguished lights and life. The rifts between the peoples of Valinor grow, and weapons such as that which Fëanor drew on his half-brother become a widespread commodity among the Noldor. But maybe the Vanyar refuse to follow suit, having complete faith in the Valar that they won’t come to harm. Some of the Teleri make weapons in their unease, but the production isn’t as rampant, which makes the outcome of the Kinslaying of Alqualondë all the more inevitable. After that, when the Noldor have left, the Teleri survivors aren’t seen wearing anything but protective clothing and at least one blade for many, many centuries.
Let’s look, too, at the Helcaraxë. Fingolfin’s people are in no way prepared to deal with the cold wasteland that they’re faced with, but they learn fast, and those that don’t die. They learn how to hunt seals, snow hares, and polar bears. They make shelters and clothing out of their hides, and use every single piece of everything they catch because they can’t afford to not. They learn that animal fat can be used to make candles after their almost nonexistent supply of firewood runs out. When they finally set foot on Middle Earth, there isn’t a community of elves more tightly bound and utterly loyal to each other anywhere on Eä. Even centuries after the ordeal, those white-furred cloaks are prized possessions and stark reminders of what those elves have done and would do again for each other.
My flight to Auckland from Queenstown is delayed and it’s going to snow this afternoon and I’m missing it because I’ll be stewing in an admittingly very pretty airport:( Oh and I might take a colouring book drawing retreat into the wilds of the South Island, this place really makes my artistic bug shake >
(The only mistake, which is probably not a mistake and just perspective for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, is the Ingwë appears to be taller than Thingol, and at 9′ / 3m tall, Thingol Greycloak was the tallest Elf, period. Perhaps that is because the Elvenking with the longest rule is Ingwë, so he appers the highest. Finwë was killed by Morgoth and centuries later Thingol was slain by dwarves over the Nauglamir. Ingwë was never killed, but he never returned to Middle-earth either.)
There have been so many elvish kings, and they’re all so different, and there are so many different ways to judge success. So, what I’ve done is listed them all below (yeah, all of them), so you can judge yourself (though I’ve starred my personal favorites.)
Amdir (King of Lorien)
Reign: A little over 2,000 years. Created his own dynasty, and died in 3434SA at the Battle of Dagorlad.
Accomplishments: Traveled from Lindon to Lorien in order to establish a Sindarin dynasty in the Silvan community there.
Narrative Bias: Not much information.
Amroth (King of Lorien)
Reign: 1,988 years (3434SA - 1981TA, when he drowns.)
Accomplishments: ? He doesn’t seem to have been a great king, since he abandons his people in order to move west and marry his love. But he drowns on the way, leaving them leaderless during a time of panic…
Reign: About 147 Valian years (about 1,396 solar years.), from when his people got to Beleriand, to his death in the First Battle of Beleriand.
Accomplishments: Led his people from east of the Misty Mountains all the way to Beleriand, and established a realm in Ossiriand.
Feanor (High King of the Noldor)
Reign: 2 Valian years (which is about 19 solar years), from his father’s death to his own death in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath
Accomplishments: As a king, not too many accomplishments. Unless you count attacking the Teleri, leading your people into a doomed exile, stranding your brother and half your people on the wrong side of the ocean, and then dying soon after arriving in Middle Earth because you thought you could take on a pack of balrogs by yourself.
Narrative Bias: Feanor’s kind of more an antagonist than a hero…
Finarfin (High King of the Noldor in Valinor)
Reign: Practically forever (started in 1495YT when his father died and his brother left Valinor in exile, still ruling today.)
Accomplishments: He led his people during the War of Wrath.
Narrative Bias: We really don’t know anything about Finarfin as a king, as the story follows the exiles.
Fingolfin (High King of the Noldor)
Reign: 451 years (5FA, when he arrives in Middle Earth and realizes Feanor is dead, - 456 FA, when he dies in the Dagor Bragollach.)
Accomplishments: Pretty much maintained peace with the sons of Feanor, led his people through the most peaceful years of the First Age, including the Dagor Aglareb and the Dagor Bragollach.
Fingon (High King of the Noldor)
Reign: About 17 years (456FA, when his father dies, - 472, when he dies in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.)
Accomplishments: Defends his land from Morgoth’s invasion, then plans a joint attack with the sons of Feanor (which tragically backfires.)
Finrod Felagund (King of Nargothrond)
Reign: 413 years (52FA, when he established his kingdom, - 465FA, when he died on Beren and Luthien’s quest.)
Accomplishments: Established the hidden realm of Nargothrond and kept it safe, as well as leading his people in the Dagor Bragollach.
Narrative Bias: Everybody loves Finrod.
Finwe (High King of the Noldor)
Reign: 393 Valian years, which is about 3,733 solar years (1102YT, after returning from Valinor, - 1495YT, when he’s killed by Morgoth.)
Accomplishments: Led his people from Cuivienen west to Valinor, where they built their city of Tirion.
Narrative Bias: His role as a father is more important to the story than his role as a king.
Gil-Galad (High King of the Noldor, King of Lindon)*
Reign: 3,521 years (510FA, when Turgon died, - 3441SA, when he died during the War of the Last Alliance.)
Accomplishments: Led his people (mainly refugees) through the end of the First Age, including the War of Wrath and the sinking of Beleriand, to form a new kingdom in Lindon. Also led his people through the War Between the Elves and Sauron, kept Lindon safe, befriended the Numenoreans, and formed the Last Alliance with Elendil, leading the elves through the War of the Last Alliance before being killed by Sauron.
Ingwe (High King of the Elves, King of the Vanyar)*
Reign: By the time the Third Age ends? Over 11,000 years. Became king in the very beginning.
Accomplishments: Led his people from Cuivienen west to Valinor, where they eventually settled among the Valar.
Narrative Bias: Very little information on him.
Olwe (King of the Teleri)*
Reign: 11,000+ years. Became king when Thingol went missing.
Accomplishments: Led his people across the ocean to Valinor, where they built their city of Alqualonde. Survived the Kinslaying at Alqualonde.
Narrative Bias: Not much information on him as king.
Orodreth (King of Nargothrond)
Reign: 30 years (465FA, when Finrod dies, - 495FA, when he dies during the Battle of Tumhalad.)
Accomplishments: He wasn’t a strong ruler, and let Turin sway him into making decisions that ultimately led to the destruction of Nargothrond.
Oropher (King of the Woodland Realm)
Reign: Probably around 2,500 years. Created his own dynasty, then died in 3434 at the Battle of Dagorlad.
Accomplishments: Established a Sindarin dynasty among the Silvan elves of Mirkwood. Then led his people during the War of the Last Alliance, but died because he couldn’t take orders from Gil-galad.
Narrative Bias: Not much information on him, aside from his death.
Thingol (King of the Teleri, King of Doriath)
Reign: About 3,800 years (to his death in 510FA.)
Accomplishments: Led his people from Cuivienen to Beleriand. Then established a new kingdom in Doriath, where he ruled throughout the First Age. Doriath was kept safe, though Thingol only led his people into one battle (the First Battle of Beleriand.)
Narrative Bias: Thingol is a… complicated character. Plenty of negative attention to balance out the accomplishments.
Thranduil (King of the Woodland Realm)*
Reign: As of the end of the Third Age, 3,026 years (starting in 3434SA, when his father dies in the Battle of Dagorlad.)
Accomplishments: Led his people through the rest of the War of the Last Alliance, then kept his people safe throughout the Third Age, when Sauron’s presence in Dol Guldur had horrible effects on the forest. Also fought in the Battle of Five Armies and the Battle Under Trees.
Narrative Bias: He’s sort of an antagonist in The Hobbit.
Turgon (High King of the Noldor, King of Gondolin)
Reign: 384 years as King of Gondolin (126FA, when he established the kingdom, - 510, when he died in the Fall of Gondolin), and 38 years as High King of the Noldor (starting in 472, when Fingon died.)
Accomplishments: Established the hidden kingdom of Gondolin, which he kept safe for 384 years. He also led his people in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and tried to get help from the Valar.
SOURCES: The Silmarillion, LOTR Appendices, The Hobbit, The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”)
Okay everyone, sit tight, because I’m going to unleash a year’s worth of headcanons.
General Headcanon about Elves
Since Tolkien did say that Middle Earth was our Earth in the distant past, the geographies should roughly line up. the twilit mere of Cuivienen would roughly be situated around the Caspian Sea area in Central Asia. Thus, I’d imagine that the earliest elves as well as the Avari who refused to depart from Cuivienen to have more Asian features, with slanted eyes and darker hair.
Following the same logic, the Silvan elves who settled east of the Misty Mountains, and that area would roughly correspond to Central Europe, which is dominated by, you guessed it, temperate forests. The Sindar elves who settled in Beleriand would occupy Western Europe.
The argument becomes a little more tenuous for the Vanyar and Noldor, most of whom (or in the case of the Vanyar, all) sailed to the West, which, pre-eleventh century, was considered the Great Unknown.
Though blonde hair is not particularly prevalent in Central Asia, it does occur, and I’d like to think that the Vanyar were a group of elves who had such genetic predispositions.
As for the strain of silver hair that runs in Telerin royal houses, that might just be due to a genetic lack of pigmentation.
Regarding Thranduil’s golden hair, he might have had an ancestor who was a Vanya (we can assume that elves married outside of their clans with the case of Indis and Finwe, a Vanyarin lady who married the High King of the Noldor).
If only I put this much effort into my actual research.
Okay, so this brings us to the main topic of this post: Thranduil’s queen.
anyway @alikuu here’s my further thoughts on how the AU where Tuor and Voronwe drag Turin to Gondolin would go, I’m sorry I got overinvested:
- Turgon remembers Hurin, and he feels sorry for Turin. He lets them both stay, but on the same terms as in canon - like Tuor, Turin can enter Gondolin, but he can’t leave. (Gwindor parts ways with them well before they reach Gondolin, he wants to go back to Nargothrond. Turin gives him the rest of his lembas for the road.)
- Turin spends a lot of time exhorting Turgon to bring the war to Morgoth. Tuor supports him in somewhat more tactful terms (this is not hard), or, like, at least tries to suggest they should do something other than dig in and wait. Turgon, being a more forceful character than Orodreth, is sympathetic but unmoved. If he didn’t listen to Tuor and Ulmo he’s not going to listen to Turin either. Turin is loudly angry, unhappy, and critical of Turgon.
- It’s worth remembering at this point that despite everything, Turin and Tuor are both very charismatic people who attract followers easily.