One of heget’s original elven heraldric devices for Amarië of the Vanyar, beloved of Finrod Felagund, who stayed in Valinor. It’s such a simple but beautiful design.
Since this is put in a lozenge and not a circle, I take this as a family symbol for Amarie’s family as a whole. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do another one in a circle with a little more true to life flowers. I guess some sort of wildflowers but idk which ones yet.
The background took the longest. Some nice concentric circles.
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.
The first-born are so deeply entwined with middle-earth: more
so than any of the mortal races. As such, their fëa is aligned with aspects of
the world that surrounds them.
The Sindar are aligned with the trees and animals of their
forest homes: they hear the voices of trees and plants, speak as easily to the
animals as they do to each other. It is they who woke the trees in the
beginning. Their songs can shape the forests to their will, make allies of the
fiercest beast or calm the most timid of creatures. They are the twilight under
trees, eyes glowing in the shadows, the echo of a voice across the grassy plain
and the flicker of movement in the corner of your eye.
The Falmari are bound to the sea: to the very motion of the
waves and the patterns of the currents, to every creature living beneath the
surface. With a single song, they can summon a sea breeze to fill the sails or
call forth the tides. Fish flock to hear their voices, dolphins dance to their
music, whales harmonise with their melodies. They are fluid, forever in motion,
and as ever-changing as the sea.
The Noldor are curious: forever seeking more knowledge or
bringing mysteries to light. They delve deep into the earth, singing to the
stone and hearing her sing back. Following the chime of gemstones and the
voices of veins of metal ore through the earth. The forge and hammer accompany songs
of creation, drumbeats in the deep halls. They raise up their high towers,
carving runes of power and protection into the stone with their songs. They are
glittering gold with all the strength of the mountains they adore.
There is always music in Valmar. The Vanyar sing to the
Valar, sing to the light of the two trees, sing to the sun and the moon. They
glow with the light they have devoted themselves to: gold and silver and the
palest of blue. They are eyes too bright to meet, translucent skin shimmering
and hair like beams of light.
The Vanyar are the fairest of all the elves hence their name: the Fair Elves. Unlike the others who were attracted to the sea or the building and forging of things, the Vanyar culture seemed to revolve about Valar and Valinor.
Finwë: This is my first son. His name shall be Fëanor and he is the strongest of anyone to ever be born ever. Míriel: I’m so tired now after birthing the most strongest son to ever be born ever. Finwë: Get ready for round two, bae. Míriel: I’m too tired tho …. Finwë: Just like … two more kids. pls. Míriel: *dies instead* Finwë: … noooooo! Mírieeeeeel! Míriiiiiiiel!
Finwë: ok that’s enough mourning. Indis: hey. Finwë: Can you birth kids. Indis: sure. Finwë: Welcome Fingolfin and Finarfin.
Fëanor: dad wtf. Finwë: say hello to brothers! Fëanor: you just don’t get it dad. ugh. so LAME.
*much much later*
Fëanor: fuck yeah. seven sons. No muddled blood here. Lame-os. Let’s name them Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod, Amras.
Fingolfin: I mean … I got Fingon, Turgon, and Aredhel.
Finarfin: I have Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod, Aegnor and Galadriel.
Finwë: I am the proudest grandpa to ever have lived ever.
Everyone Else: Can house of Finwë just stop breeding, please.
Celebrian is a mix of all three elvish kindreds, yes. And while Tolkien wrote many multi-cultural elves (like, as you pointed out, Galadriel and Finarfin), he tends to associate them primarily with the patrilineal culture.
So, even though Finarfin is 50% Noldorin and 50% Vanyarin, because his father is Noldorin Finarfin is generally associated with the Noldor. One step down the family tree we come to Galadriel, who is 25% Noldorin, 25% Vanyarin, and 50% Telerin. Yet she (like her father) is mostly associated with the Noldor. One more step down we come to Celebrian, who is 12.5% Noldorin, 12.5% Vanyarin, and 75% Telerin. Since her father is Telerin (100%, as far as we know), she’s mostly associated with the Teleri/Sindar.
SOURCES: LotR Appendices, The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales (”The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”)
(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.)
So busy i haven’t really posted art :’< Here’s some stuff I recently worked on~
- Ingwê: High King of the Elves and King of the Vanyar
The following sketches is one elf drawn and colored the way they would look in each kindred/clan of the elves. If you’ve been following my Silmarillion work you know that each of the kindreds is made of multiple races. For example in this pic: Glorfindel looks of asian descent and Ecthelion black but they are both considered Noldor in their world. The same can be found in any of the elf clans. The clans are seperated by physical and cultural differences I’ve designed for them that are not the same in our world. I wanted to show the racial diversity in each clan but I don’t have time because of a deadline for the book so I had to draw how one person would look in each clan instead of multiple. :’(
- The physical differences I’ve made for the three kindreds are:
Vanyar and Noldor are pretty much the same in body build and silmilar to the race of men (besides of course being taller in most cases). Vanyar however have naturally elongated heads and ears, their skin and hair are shades of gold (they literally shine like golden minerals), and their eyes are blue where they should be white.
Noldor look the most similar to humans the only difference is their ear shape (which is short, wide and more round than the others).
The Teleri come in different shades based off their faction, but in general their bodies are long (especially their necks) giving them a more “alien-like” look making them more lithe than the Noldor and Vanyar, and their ears are more pointed than the Noldor and curve in at the middle like a bat shape. The Falmari and Sindar skin colors are in bluish/gray tones, same for their hair but it also comes in white. The green and wood elves skin and hair tones are more human than the rest of the Teleri.
I’m not done with the Avari/dark elves yet so that’s why its not up there. But their design as far as their bodies goes is a mix of Teleri and Noldor but their eyes have a larger iris and a larger pupil for seeing in the dark.
The direct descendants of the Minyar, the first host of the Elves to awake at Cuiviénen and the people of Imin, the Vanyar (Q.“Fair-ones”; S.“Baniai”) had golden hair and fair skin, with eyes of clear blue or violet. They were the tallest and most beautiful of the Elves, beloved of the Valar. Ingwë was their king, and as such he was deemed High-King of all the Eldar. Their musical skills were unsurpassed, except perhaps by the Falmari who learned the art of song from the Maia Ossë. The Vanyar spoke the Vanyarin dialect of Quenya, the western variant of the original tongue of the Eldar, which was in fact the Elvish version of Valarin, the mental language of the Valar. They referred to themselves as the Ingar or Ingwer. The Vanyar were the tallest of the Elves, two rangar being common for men and women. They also were strongly built, but more gracile than the Noldor. They were noted for their golden hair and ivory-pale or sometimes slightly gold-coloured skin and their bright (often blue or grey, sometimes violet, golden, or green) eyes. Their prefered color was white. Among all Elves the Vanyar were considered the greatest artists, poets and musicians; only the Lindar were greater singers. They were also proud warriors, especially with the spear, their main weapon, for which they became also known as the Spear-Elves. They were most beloved by Manwë and Varda and lived in the plains and woods Valinor or on the slopes of Taniquetil.The were also called the blessed Elves, Elves of the Air, Friends of the Gods, Holy Elves, the immortals, Children of Ingwe, the Fair Folk and the White. The Vanyar spoke the Vanyarin or Quendya dialect of Quenya, which of all elvish tongues was the closest to the Valarin and had many influences and loanwords from that holy eldest speech. The Vanyar were divided into several Tribes or Clans.Their royal clan was known as the Inwir.
Sources: MERP module: “Lords of Middle-Earth I - The Immortals”