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Are all Elves extraordinary?

Legsofglass

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I just got to thinking about this a few minutes (EDIT: ago), thus I haven't had much time to research it (and frankly I don't feel like it, since I know it'll take loads of time. Also why bother when there's a forum like this one? :)).

Anyway, according to all the Tolkien's works I've ever read, nothing is ever mentioned about an "ordinary" Elf. I mean, were there any non-famous or non-outstanding Elves?

I presume the Elven armies lead to wars were composed of "regular" Elves, but there's no record about that. Perhaps all the Elves lead to war were Elven Lords following their king.

Could anyone enlighten me about this subject?
 
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Greenwood

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I am not sure I understand you here. There are lots of unnamed elves in Tolkien. Legolas' dad Thranduil (sp.?) has a whole kingdom of them in Mirkwood (Bilbo and the dwarves keep stumbling into their feast in The Hobbit). Frodo and Sam run into a traveling group of elves in the Shire shortly after leaving Hobbiton. Lothlorien has a whole city of elves. There is another population at Rivendell. Also, I assume Cirdan does not build his ships at the Grey Havens singlehandedly.
 

Goro Shimura

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Why conduct research when we already have enough information to solve the riddle?

Assume you're making a list of every elf that appears in LotR.

There's Fingolfin, Maeglin, Elrond, Celebrimbor, etc...

You go over each elf in the list and examine him... and elf after elf, you just have to admit they're absolutely extraordinary.

But then you come across one that isn't.

"Extraordinary!" you say to yourself. But then you realize that the first unextraordinary elf in the list is actually extraordinary for being the first unextraordinary elf!

Therefore you can never find an elf that is not extraordinary!
 

Camille

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the reason it seams that all elves are extraordinary is because the Tolkien's stories are about the princes of the elven race (finwe, Inwe, their sons, feanor, fingolfin, felagund, tuor etc) those that made amazing things, I think there is a lot of other elves who were not so brave like the High kings, but even an ordinary elf is more powerful or wiser than a man.
 

Greenwood

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Legsofglass

Camille is right. There is a certain selection factor at play here. Also, have you ever noticed that people who believe in reincarnation always seem to have been a member of the nobility in their past lifes? Nobody ever seems to be the reincarnation of Spud, the stableboy. :D
 

Legsofglass

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All of these points I have already thought of, but none of them is acctually PROVEN. Say, the Elves in Mirkwood: They are dancing by the fires, having their feasts, singing etc. But, there is no information about them saying they are plain or regular, right? So how can one say they AERN'T Noble/High/Extraordinary Elves?

Goroshimura: Just to add a toothpick to the fire, you would find an ordinary Elf (according to your "way". The SECOND regular Elf you find will already be ordinary ;), but that strays a bit off the topic I presented here)
 

Greenwood

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Legsofglass

You are asking for Tolkien to have written something along the lines of: "Frodo, let me introduce you to some ordinary elves"? :)

Have you met Harad yet on the forum?
 

Legsofglass

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I am not asking that of Tolkien, but the subject might have been clearer if, say, while walking in Rivendell or some other Elf colony the Narrator would say something like: "And they passed a bunch of Elves on the way, outside a house, discussing matters of no importance to Frodo..." or something of the same feel.


P.S. I haven't met Harad yet, but read some of his posts
 

Tar-Palantir

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Originally posted by Legsofglass
All of these points I have already thought of, but none of them is acctually PROVEN. Say, the Elves in Mirkwood: They are dancing by the fires, having their feasts, singing etc. But, there is no information about them saying they are plain or regular, right? So how can one say they AERN'T Noble/High/Extraordinary Elves?

Goroshimura: Just to add a toothpick to the fire, you would find an ordinary Elf (according to your "way". The SECOND regular Elf you find will already be ordinary ;), but that strays a bit off the topic I presented here)
Forgive me if my memory is a bit off, but in "The Hobbit" we are introduced to two more or less ordinary Elves - the two who got drunk while Bilbo rescued the Dwarves from Thranduil's dungeon. I believe they were the butler and the jailor.
 

Hama

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Elves are phenomenal creatures with much power, but not all of them have used it to their utmost ability. The High Elves who have been to Valinor are definitely special in their own way, but the Avari and many of the Silvan elves are completely content with their songs and drink and food. Remember the only people ever mentioned in a chronicle of times are the greatest. Someone reading an account of people today will only read about the leaders and shakers and movers, and forget that there were in fact six billion of us sitting around doing completely ordinary things. I am not sure you thought over it as much as you could have...
 

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