mine: tolkien

i just

weird elves

elves who find babies fascinating because they like, never see them

elves whose fingers are just sort of uncomfortably long to anyone who isn’t an elf

elves with slightly too-pointy canines

elves who don’t understand why you’re getting so emotional because in a hundred years this won’t really matter

chessmaster elves who manipulate the short-lives in their control and are surprised at them being upset about it

elves with completely black eyes

elves who come off as drunk when they’re happy because they throw themselves one hundred percent into joy when they get a chance at it

elves who constantly forget about the concept of dying of exposure and don’t remember to tell you to bring a coat

elves who don’t blink for uncomfortably long periods of time

frickin

weird

elves

9. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, | and council held,
To find who should raise | the race of dwarfs
Out of Brimir’s blood | and the legs of Blain.

10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
Many a likeness | of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

12. Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thorin
Thror and Thrain, | Thekk, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,— | now have I told—
Regin and Rathsvith— | the list aright.

13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

14. The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin’s throng
Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;
The rocks they left, | and through wet lands
They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

15. There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.

16. Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti, | Fith and Ginnar;
So for all time | shall the tale be known,
The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.

— 

Dvergatal, Völuspá, Poetic Edda

For those not familiar with Old Norse, Eikinskjaldi literally means ‘Oakenshield’. Since it occurs twice it’s sometimes theorised to be a byname/surname rather than a given name like the others.

ALL RIGHT EVERYONE SIT DOWN AND LISTEN UP BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO LEARN ABOUT ELVES

Let’s start with Tauriel, because The Hobbit and she’s awesome and has hair that makes me weep with jealousy. I’ve seen people poking fun at the healing scene where she starts glowing, because ~*cheesy romance lol*~

NO

NO

THE GLOWING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH KILI’S FEELINGS ABOUT HER

Remember this from Fellowship of the Ring?

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Frodo sees Arwen as glowing and in white, and he is very much not in love with her. You know why he sees that? Because he’s been stabbed by the Witch-King and has one foot in the grave already, and can therefore see her elf-soul-essence WHICH IS INCREDIBLY BRIGHT AND POWERFUL. This is 100% canon, straight-from-Tolkien. So when Kili sees Tauriel all white and shiny when she’s healing him, it’s not because of love, it’s because he’s SO CLOSE TO DYING HE CAN SEE HER ELF-SELFNESS.

Moving on.

Remember this scene from the movie?

(yes, I know it’s a bts gif. It still makes my point.)

We all got the point of this scene. Tauriel isn’t good enough for Thranduil, who is a bad classist snotty dad (and will probably wish Legolas had gone for Tauriel fifty years down the road). But what does it mean when Tauriel calls herself “Silvan?”

WELL.

Way long ago, long long before The Hobbit or LOTR happened, before the race of Men even existed in Middle Earth, there were elves. Quite a lot of them. But the Valar (who are superpowerful angel-like spirits) decided that Middle Earth wasn’t the perfect place they’d hoped it would be, and invited the elves to come back and live with them all in Valinor (which is this totally awesome magical land).

Most of the elves thought that was a great idea. But there was a group that got to the Misty Mountains and said, “You realize that means we’d have to walk across all of Middle Earth and sail across an ocean, right? That’s too much effort and too dangerous. We’d rather just stay here.” And they became the Silvan elves, who never saw the light of Valinor and are thus less powerful, less wise, and less magical than any other group of elves and are therefore on the bottom of the elf totem pole. Most of the elves in Mirkwood are Silvan.

Thranduil (and Legolas), however, are not. They are Sindar. Sindar are elves who started making the journey to Valinor but got stuck about halfway through when their king fell in love with a Maiar (read: demigod) and disappeared for about four years. A lot of the elves got tired of waiting for him and continued, but some stayed behind for him or just made their own civilization, and thus became Sindar. Since they got closer to Valinor than Silvan elves, they rank higher than them.

SO THIS SCENE ISN’T JUST “LEGOLAS IS PRINCE AND YOU’RE A SIMPLE WARRIOR,” IT’S ALL ABOUT ELF HIERARCHY AND ELF RACISM AND BASICALLY WAY TO GO TAURIEL FOR MAKING IT UP TO THE RANKS ON SKILL ALONE.

Back to the types of elves, though. Most of them made it to Valinor, but later, when the whole debacle with the Silmarils happened, there were three main clans - the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri. The Vanyar and Teleri never left Valinor again, but most of the Noldor came back to Middle  Earth to look for the Silmarils. You know who one of them was?

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THAT’S RIGHT, GALADRIEL WAS BORN IN VALINOR AND IS AROUND 12,000 YEARS OLD.

She rebelled and left Valinor with her brothers to go reclaim the Silmarils - which was a horrible decision for pretty much everyone, as it led to a lot of war and death including the first case of elves killing elves ever - and she regretted it for the rest of her life. It didn’t help that she (along with all the other elves who rebelled) ended up being banished from Valinor. WHICH IS WHY in Fellowship of the Ring when she decides not to take the Ring from Frodo and says she will “diminish and go into the West” IT’S A REALLY BIG DEAL because it means she’s repented from her mistake and will no longer sacrifice personal integrity for power and can go back to Valinor!

Also Galadriel is canonically 6’ 4" and the most powerful elf in Middle Earth and if you don’t think that’s awesome then get off my blog.

THAT CONCLUDES THE ELF HISTORY LESSON FOR TODAY.

A lovely morning dawned on us this morn. A mist like early Sept. with a pearl-button sun that soon changed into serene blue, with the silver light of spring on flower and leaf. Leaves are out: the white-grey of the quince, the grey-green of young apple, the full green of hawthorn, the tassels of flower even on the sluggard poplars. The narcissuses are a marvellous show, but the grass grows so quick that I feel like a barber faced with a never-ending queue.

I cannot tell you how much I miss you, dear man.”

—  J.R.R Tolkien, 1944 a letter to his son during WWII