ridiculawesome

anonymous asked:

🔥 like, elrond? Tell me about elrond

While I don’t remember if I said it myself, I believe my reblogs and tags have indicated my opinion that Tolkien’s wording as well as basic extrapolation strongly suggests Elrond closely identified with his Numenorean kin, but lemme try for something more actually contrary:

This is a prime example of how funny a thing fanon is, but when I read the Silm I was totally insulated from all fandom input and so my ideas about Elrond and Elros as a set of twins wound up very different from fanon. Like, there’s this idea of Elrond being very scholarly and quiet and reserved and unadventurous, especially in contrast to Elros. Which I did not pick up on in isolation at all because, what stuck out to me about Elrond when I read LOTR as a kid was his…ridiculous level of bluntness about how difficult or dangerous something will be or how much is riding on it (I was SO AMUSED at that bit where he’s just, to Aragorn, “lol if you don’t succeed everyone is doomed no pressure!!11”) And that thing where he was simultaneously like gently, “there’s no reasonable way this is ever gonna work” and “we absolutely have to do this” which I didn’t really have the framework to talk about until I read the Athrabeth, but which still struck me very strongly.

And then in the Silm, there’s that idea of, well Elrond became a loremaster, while Elros became a king. But, I imagined, post-apocalyptic loremastery with no stable institutions would be like, exploring this strange ME to collect or write down the lore and stories and history from unknown peoples or from the survivors of Beleriand; whereas Numenor is similar in its unexplored newness but is this specially prepared hallowed peaceful island, and I thought, the first king of such a place would be a visionary, a planner, a builder - a dreamer even! And I guess, it’s often mentioned that Elrond is a healer? But I barely remembered this because he’s not mentioned as a healer until the 3rd Age, whereas Elros…well, one of my first thoughts about Elros was to flash back to the first time I read ROTK, and that line “the hands of the King are the hands of a healer,” where I was like, “since when?” And once I wrapped my head around who Elros was, I was like “oh! since then?”

And in just stitching things together, I was reminded of that ridiculawesome Mary Sue description from the Hobbit: “He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer.” So many different things, and so much overreaching – to live two lives even, or at least, to live one immortal life to the brim! And I feel like, especially given that his choice to become immortal means being separated from Elros by death forever, there’s a strong element of, “what’s the point of being immortal if I don’t take advantage of having all the time in the world?” And so my impression of younger!Elrond was the guy who is like, learn ALL THE THINGS! Become immortal in order to have all the time to do all the things and see all the things, because the world is so great and there’s so much of it…

Ofc this is Tolkien so everyone goes to hell and there’s a ton of war and really, chilling in a green valley and innkeeping is the A+ life, though also over the ages, it becomes more desperate, “what was the point of becoming immortal if I don’t use it” regarding Sauron and the rings, and the Akallabeth, and the Dunedain. But also…there’s this impression in fandom, and a bit in the text too, that Elros was like, an ideal human? Or, no, not the ideal in the sense of being better than other humans, but having an ideal appreciation of human mortality because he chose it freely. I love that, and I think the same would apply to Elrond, for elves. There’s that other description of him in LOTR: “in his face was the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful.” And…isn’t that close to the ideal for immortality? The focus is usually on how immortality sucks because of all the endless inescapable sorrow, but immortality also means unlimited opportunities for gladness and glad times if you can keep them in your memory, like he apparently has. Those fifteen chieftains! The line “both the sweet and the bitter” is applied to choosing mortality in LOTR, but it applies to immortality just as well.

But anyway, the point is, 2nd age Elrond, literally the most carpe diem of elves! Even though he has unlimited…diems…to…carp…I don’t speak latin at all guys.