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Thread: a qu

  1. #16
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    Re: a qu

    Quote Originally Posted by HLGStrider View Post
    I just want to point out that PJ really isn't at fault for the pointy ears because they predate him. Remember this guy?Attachment 5160
    , but outside any other proof, I think their ears might give us a glance into Tolkien's mindset.
    [/I]
    here's some, I think:

    CoH:

    Turin: "Was LaLaith indeed like an Elf-child, as my father said?"
    Sador: "Very like." "For in their first youth the children of Men & Elves seem close kin. ,"
    'Taste and see that the Lord is good'

  2. #17
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    Re: a qu

    I personally don't feel that resembling humans totally disqualifies Elves from having pointy ears. My brother-in-law has said several times that my daughter has pointed ears (I hadn't noticed until he said something, but once he called my attention to it, he's right, my infant's ears are slightly pointed). It isn't completely unheard of for ears to have a slight peak at the top. I just always imagined that it would be more distinct in Elves. Even a very distinct point (a la Spock) I think wouldn't disqualify an Elf from looking Human at first glance, especially considering most people would have long hair and ears would not always be visible.
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  3. #18
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    Re: a qu

    I agree that a general resemblance need not rule out slightly more pointed or leaf-shaped ears. Even when Tuor is known to be mortal by his eyes (revised Fall of Gondolin, Unfinished Tales), we don't know if his ears were visible enough, or if mannish ears were always notably different enough to be a sure distinction (within the assumption that they were generally different from Quendian ears in the first place).


    And I agree that some humans have more 'pointed' ears than others, which I think lends a bit of support to my theory earlier about ears in general and (certain kinds of) leaves.

  4. #19
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    Re: a qu

    We sort of hijacked this thread with the ear discussion because it really was asking about general appearance, rather than just ears. What are the general traits that set Elves apart from Humans? Is it as subtle as race? I'm personally really bad at guessing ethnicity. For instance, I recently found out my pastor's wife was half Korean and I just assumed she was of maybe Latin descent because she had really dark hair and eyes. . .but I have known people who can tell the difference between Japanese and Korean at a glance. If the difference between Human and Elf is that subtle (ie as subtle as the difference between certain "races" of humans), then I still don't think it rules out pointed ears (Weird example, but all cats are basically the same species but that doesn't stop the Scottish Fold from having very distinct ears) but it does bring up an interesting discussion:

    What exactly are the differences between Human and Elf?

    I have noted that Elves in Tolkien's world seem to be taller and that the taller lines of human (Numenorean) seem to be the ones descended in part from Elvish blood.
    I have always assumed that Elves were a little paler of complexion than Humans.
    I also have always assumed that Elves were a little more willowy of build as opposed to humans who tend to have more bulk to them.

    I am using the term assume because these are just the impressions I've gathered. I don't actually have a copy of the books handy to look up all these things (middle of a move here).
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  5. #20
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    Re: a qu

    Quote Originally Posted by Galin View Post
    I wondered if a linguist would find this reason (regular ears and certain leaves are close enough in shape to account for such a connection) plausible enough in general.
    I do not know what “a” linguist might say. This amateur linguist is not convinced at all. Your theory is a possible one, I think, but no more.

    Repeating the theory again and again in different words does not make it more convincing to me.

    ... more than shape I mean. But again the new commentary on LAS and SLAS appears to stop short of what Etymologies had noted more plainly, making me wonder if JRRT, now in the 1950s or later, at least thought it better to leave the matter somewhat more vague than he had in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
    Possibly, and possibly not. Wonder away.

  6. #21
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    Re: a qu

    Quote Originally Posted by jallan View Post
    I do not know what “a” linguist might say. This amateur linguist is not convinced at all. Your theory is a possible one, I think, but no more.

    OK, and as I think there are 'levels of possible' I take it from your phrasing here that you think the idea that human ears and certain kinds of leaves being related linguistically is closer to the: 'possible only in the widest sense of the word, too far fetched for me' end of the 'possible spectrum' -- and thus not very likely at all that Tolkien would have countenanced such an idea.


    Repeating the theory again and again in different words does not make it more convincing to me.
    Well sometimes slightly different phrasing can make all the difference however; but in any case -- along with some repetition admittedly -- I think I added some different points along the way, or expanded upon a few things, along with trying to find a way to best express what I'm wondering about.


    And with respect to convincing anyone: I myself am not convinced, and that's why other opinions were wanted...

    ... even from amateur linguists

  7. #22
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    Re: a qu

    Quote Originally Posted by HLGStrider View Post
    (...) I have noted that Elves in Tolkien's world seem to be taller and that the taller lines of human (Numenorean) seem to be the ones descended in part from Elvish blood.
    Here's a few later ideas (the exernal history of how tall the Eldar were compared to Men aside here):

    Aragorn: at least 6 foot 6 (noted by JRRT in reaction to an illustration)

    Eldarin men: no less than 6 foot 6, and taller for some kings and leaders (noted by JRRT in reaction to an illustration)

    Eldarin women: seldom less than 6 feet (noted by JRRT in reaction to an illustration)

    Thingol, Turgon, and Argon seem be the tallest of the Children of Eru, despite that the Numenoreans, at their peak, were very tall of course. Maedros is nick-named the Tall, as well as Elendil -- but for Elendil there appears to be two variant (IMO) late descriptions regarding just how tall he was.

    For the Eldar I chose a late note where Tolkien reacts to an illustration made by Pauline Baynes -- but there is another late description in Of Dwarves And Men where the Eldar appear to be generally taller (see below). I have no real evidence as to which text came after the other.

    Again these are the two latest texts I'm aware of, and a person posting as Tar-Elenion has already posted (on the web if not here) the history (external) of Tolkien's changing ideas on the matter.

    Elendil and the Numenoreans

    There is a well known note in Unfinished Tales that implies Elendil the Tall is nearly 8 feet tall (but see below) -- and yet seemingly, Thingol should be taller for example, as the tallest of the Children of Eru -- but which Elendil is he taller than?

    'They were called 'Halflings'; but this refers to the normal height of Men of Numenorean descent and of the Eldar (especially those of Noldorin descent), which appears to have been about seven of our feet.' JRRT, Of Dwarves And Men, '1968 or later'


    'The Quendi were in origin a tall people. The Eldar (...) they were in general the stronger and taller members of the Elvish folk at that time. In Eldarin tradition it was said that even their women were seldom less than six feet in height; their full-grown elfmen no less than six and a half feet, while some of the great kings and leaders were taller.'
    JRRT, late manuscript, The Lord of the Rings Reader's Companion, Hammond and scull, p. 107

    And also...

    '... the Numenoreans before the Downfall were a people of great stature and strength, the Kings of men; their full grown men were commonly seven feet tall, especially in the royal and noble houses. In the North where men of other kinds were fewer and their race remained purer this stature remained more frequent, though in both Arnor and Gondor apart from mixture of race the Numenoreans showed a dwindling of height and of longevity in Middle-earth that became more marked as the Third Age passed. Aragorn, direct descendant of Elendil and his son Isildur, both of whom had been seven feet tall, must nonetheless have been a very tall man…, probably at least 6 ft. 6; and Boromir, of high Númenorean lineage, not much shorter (say 6 ft. 4).'


    The problem is, again I've no idea if these notes published by Hammond and Scull are earlier or later than the late statement from Of Dwarves And Men (in which the Eldar seem generally taller).

  8. #23
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    Re: a qu

    It seems to me a remarkable disadvantage for Rangers to be such massively tall persons... Poor Faramir must have had a hell of a time trying to be stealthy in Ithilien while whacking his head on everything, not to mention the Rangers of the North! I can't imagine a 6'6" man blending into any crowd, though I guess that puts the nicknames "Strider" and "Longshanks" into a bit more context.

    Aragorn and Boromir (and Legolas) must have been utterly miserable in the more Dwarf-sized of the winding tunnels and doorways of Moria.
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  9. #24
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    Re: a qu

    It's not easy in this world. My husband is 6'5'' and a member of the armed forces. He is technically too tall to drive Humvees (but they make him anyway) and was relieved that he has avoided being on Naval vessels because those are hellish for anyone over 6 foot. In his civilian life, he can't fit into a lot of cars, and while we were living in Japan people wanted to get their picture taken with him. That said, he is still sneakier than me because he walks lightly and is quiet and calm by nature and tends to stand in corners to avoid conversations with strangers and annoying acquaintances.

    Tolkien himself was under average height, so I'm not sure why he placed so much importance on height. Maybe he just felt it made rulers that much more mythical and imposing.

    Or maybe he just knew it was sexy.
    Elgee! Meldomeoir-- Cat in LOVE!
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    That's pretty ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as Denise Richards playing a Nuclear Physicist named Christmas Jones in a Bond movie.--Shawn Spencer
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    now "published"

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