🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

At what age do elves reach maturity?

Elfarmari

Tingilindë
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
516
Reaction score
1
Location
New Mexico, USA
I have not found any information on this either; I do not think Tolkien wrote any definitive age. I would think they would mature more slowly than men.
 

FarahSlax

Registered User
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Connecticut
My question is, why do elves have so few children? Do they just have low libidos? They should have thousands of reproductive years. Also, the elven women are really hot! Why don't the men put it to them more?
 

Dwimmerlaik

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
I don't know the answer to this one either,but I could hazard a few guesses.
Firstly,when Tolkien wrote about the elve's,I am sure he thought of them as an ideal.Not perfect,as he write's of their flaw's as well as their many virtue's,but a people who had the maturity to know that because of their doom it would be wise not to have too many children,for fear of unruly dynastic squabble's-see the son's of Feanor.
Maybe,as FarahSlax ask's,because of their longevity they were limited to a smaller amount of children.
Low libido?I doubt it.
It could also be that Tolkien was a bit of a prude and may have thoght his elves above that sort of thing.
As to Winged Elf's original question,I interpret the text's to read that elve's mature fairly rapidly in relation to their age.How rapidly I don't know,but I would guess that it would be similar to us if Maeglin's tale is any guide.
 

Maedhros

The Tall
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
3
Location
Formenos
The answer you're looking for can be found in Morgoth's Ring: Laws and Customs of the Eldar.
It was in their fiftieth year that the elves reached maturity.
Also the Eldar say that in the begetting, and still more in the bearing of children, greater share and strenght of their being, in mind and body, goes forth than in the making of mortal children. For these reasons it came to pass that the Eldar brought forth few children; and also that their time of generation was in their youth or earlier life, unless strange and hard fates befell them.
 

Ithrynluin

seeker of solace
Staff member
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
4,623
Reaction score
11
Originally posted by Maedhros
It was in their fiftieth year that the elves reached maturity.
So elves only have 50 years of childhood max. and the rest of their lives (many thousands of years) is reckoned as adulthood? A bit sad. :(
 

Popqueen62

Registered User
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
135
Reaction score
0
Location
The House of Elrond
yeah, that totally is...

But my mom thinks it's cool that elven children get to be children for fifty years. I asked her what race she would want to be from Middle earth, and she said with no question about it, she would love to be an elf (of course only if my dad was one too). My dad also said he would be an elf.
 

Hirila

2009 - life is great
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Messages
428
Reaction score
0
Location
at Lake Zurich, Switzerland
OK, this is no "tolkienish" answer, but a biological:
Why did elves have so few children?

Think of it as a natural necessity. If each couple had had a child every, let's say only every fifth year. It would by now be millions of them, crowding Middle Earth. So it is only right if they have few, the survival of their race is secured with these few. They are enough.
Take a look at animals: Simple flies and fish have thousands of descendants. This is because they live so short lives and have many natural enemies. The elefant only has few descendants, but then lives much longer than a fly and definitely has less enemies.

The elf has a very (!) ong life and few natural enemies. So why should he need many children to survive?

(Forgive me my prosaic view. But I think it fits perfectly.)
 

Éomond

Rider of Rohan
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Messages
884
Reaction score
1
Location
Aldburg
I forgot where I saw/read this but elves had no need to reproduce every week, month, year. They didn't need to have alot of childern, why would elves? There were already alot of them, so this is not biological.
 

Rúmil

THE Loremaster.
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
556
Reaction score
0
Location
Public library, Narrowthrode
Mostly their childhood lasted 50 years, but LCE also says that sometimes it was up to 100 years: depended on whether they were in a hurry to be adults or not.

But they reached intellectual maturity younger than men: at around ten they were about as intellectually mature as full-grown Men (often more :p)

Also, if they somehow were killed, they had the opportunity of being re-born, and thus getting a second childhood (during which they would progressively rember all of their former life).
They seldom were re-born thrice though (getting killed twice would seem a little careless perhaps).

The Elves had less children as men, because:
a/ moch of their native power went into begetting each of their children (thus Míriel was exhausted after begetting Fëanor, etc.)
b/their libido was indeed lower:
Doubtless they would retain for many ages the power of generation, if the will and desire were not satisfied; but with the exercise of the power the desire soon ceases, and the mind turns to other things.

All to be found in Laws and customs of the Eldar, the Later Quenta Sil., Home vol.X (Morgoth's ring) (from page 209 of the Harper Collins editon)
 

Thread suggestions

Top