khuetie  asked:

this is the tolkien (accidental) anon. i introduced a couple of friends to lotr a few years back, predictably they started swooning after good ol' legolas and were a bit incensed at thranduil's characterization in the hobbit. i'm like "should i tell 'em that 'when in doubt, kinslay it out' was the noldorin code of conduct back in the days? throwing trespassers into the dungeon and sending an army to reclaim a necklace is right up that alley (he's a sindar but eh tomato tomahto)

Sindar were far from perfect, but tbh I’m much more sympathetic to them (and Thranduil’s anger) than I am to the Noldor. The Sindar were (one) of the species of elves native to Middle-earth, and they’d existed on the same land mass as Melkor for a long, long time. It was an incredibly uneasy thing, but they’d managed to do it. Then the Noldor came along, stole a ton of land, kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest, and plunged the entire continent into an all-out war. It was an unmitigated disaster. Like I love the Noldor for a variety of reasons, but they were also straight-up Colonialists with Colonial mindsets, which is definitely… unpleasant.

And I mean, Thranduil lived through all of this, too (well, most of it). He was there to see everything fall to hell, his people’s influence diminished and their lands/resources plucked by the metal-crafting, ship-arriving, heavily armed Noldor (like the subtext of colonialism is so strong at this point it’s not even subtext). The Noldorin Exiles got absolutely thrashed by Melkor, but they weren’t the only ones: the Sindar were decimated in a war that they’d never wanted to be a part of and was definitely not their fault. So Thranduil’s got a lot of anger towards the Noldor, and outsiders in general, because he remembers what outsiders bring. It’s also the reason why he’s got such a huge beef with Elrond, because even though Elrond’s a mix he’s got Noldo in his blood and he’s a living descendant of their legacy.

Originally posted by rattle-and-burn

^When he says this, he might as well be referring to his people’s entire history. Dude has a legitimate bone to pick, and he’s got too many scars to settle for a simple sorry.

EDIT (because I’ve been asked this more than once) - no, I don’t think the situation was purely black/white, nor do I think it was inherently simple. See here for a longer response to one of my (what will probably be many) responses on this.


“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”