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Mirkwood Elves

Talierin

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Do you think that if the Mirkwood elves had been in LOTR, would they have been changed from what they were in the Hobbit? In the Hobbit, they seem so... nasty. I wonder if Tolkien would have modified them much.
 

chrome_rocknave

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Go Mirkwood!!

Well, I'm glad that the Mirkwood Elves didn't make an appearance in LOTR (besides Legolas :D ). I think that by refraining from putting them in LOTR, they were able to keep that nasty, bitter, and somewhat mysterious air that they posessed in The Hobbit. I was rather baffled at why the Elves in LOTR were different from the ones in The Hobbit. I think that the reason we see the Elves as "nasty" in The Hobbit is because we are only getting the perspective of Bilbo who is in the company of Dwarves which hate the Elves. In LOTR, we get the perspective of Frodo (not to mention Sam) who really like the Elves.
 

Walter

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The elves from Mirkwood were Sindarin ("Grey Elves"), who had neither seen the light of the trees in Valinor nor been directly influenced by "High Elves".

Most of the Elves we meet in LotR are either direct remnants of the Noldor - like the Elves from Imladris or at the Grey Havens - or at least influenced by "High Elves" - like the originally Silvan Elves from Lórien were under strong influence from Galadriel and Celeborn.

That sure would be likely to explain a generally different behaviour, IMO...
 
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pippin le qer

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maybe Tolkien didn't take the Hobbit that serieus as he did the Silmarillion and LOTR. Don't forget that the Hobbit was intended as a children story keeping close to the folklore abouth elves being little people who turned the milk sour and braded knot in horse mane:p
 

Talierin

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Yeah, I know that, but do you think that if they had been in LOTR, would Tolkien have changed them in any way?
 

Walter

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Tal: like I stated above, there would be no need to do so, but of course if Tolkien felt like changing them he would have done it anyway...
 

pippin le qer

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wasn't the king of the Mirkwood elves; Thandruil I thinks he was called l (correct me when I misspelled his name ) not one of Thingol Sindarin court, just like Celeborn. meaning nurturing an old grudge against dwarves, because it were dwarves who killed Thingol, just before he started to get corrupted by the Silmaril Beren brought him.
I think Tolkien had a clear mind abouth the caracteristic of the Mirkwood elves when these had played an more active role in the LOTR , at least not as childish fairy talelike as in the Hobbit, but not very nice people to mesh with being not elvish or even not of their tribe
:mad
huh strangers
 

BelDain

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It's been a while since I read the Hobbit but was the Elf king in that book ever named as Thranduil? If it was Thranduil then I think Tolkien put in an interesting turn having Thranduil with such animosity toward the Dwarves but then in Lord of the Rings his son ends up becoming "best-buds" with one.
 

thoughtful20

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Tolkien didn't treat the LOTR books as "fantasy stories". He only wrote them so he could create a background for the langauge he created. Tolkien was a proffesor of language and was particularly interested in a languages history (how it changed and developed over a period of time). So the LOTR books were just history books in a way, written to provide a basis for the elven language. I don't think, even if he wanted to, Tolkien would just "change" the elves, he just provided basises for certain behaviours. To him, elves were just as humans would be if we hadn't sinned, so how the elves reacted to a bunch of dwarves and a hobbit envading the place they lived must have been totally rational in his eyes. I think, to the reader, the elves of Mirkwood would have seemed much more courtious to the fellowship, if they had need to enter Mirkwood, despite Gimli.


i hope this helps
 

henzo33

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I must agree with the above statement. Elves were a very private people, and the attitudes and reactions of the Mirkwood faction in the Hobbit are completely understandable when one looks closely at their history with dwarves and also at how even the elves of Lorien react to unannounced visitors wandering in their wood, espescially dwarves. Blindfolds. Otherwise, I believe Tolkien does show a better side of the Mirkwood elves through his depiction of Legolas in LOTR. Now what about the elves residing in Rivendell the ones who serenade the party of 13 as they approach the House of Elrond, it seems as if they may be more along the lines of The Mirkwood elves than the elves of Lorien.
 

pippin le qer

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to BelDain
Thranduil isn't mentioned by name in the Hobbit, but that does'nt matter that much.The characters in the Hobbit are not the same as in the LOTR. even Bilbo in the Hobbit only shares a name with Bilbo in LOTR... according to the laws of literature. In the "Historica Middle-Earthica" they are one and same. In this sense Tolkien had only one Elf king of Mirkwood in mind, namely Thranduil the son of Oropher and ruling since Oropher died in the battle against Sauron in a charge that took the live of two-thirth of the Mirkwood warriors.
 

BelDain

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What do you mean by "even Bilbo in the Hobbit only shares a name with Bilbo in LOTR"? What are these laws of literature that says they aren't the same characters?

Isn't a character in a sequel the same "person" as they were in the previous publication?

I'm not understanding what you are saying here.

Originally posted by pippin le qer
to BelDain
Thranduil isn't mentioned by name in the Hobbit, but that does'nt matter that much.The characters in the Hobbit are not the same as in the LOTR. even Bilbo in the Hobbit only shares a name with Bilbo in LOTR... according to the laws of literature. In the "Historica Middle-Earthica" they are one and same. In this sense Tolkien had only one Elf king of Mirkwood in mind, namely Thranduil the son of Oropher and ruling since Oropher died in the battle against Sauron in a charge that took the live of two-thirth of the Mirkwood warriors.
 

Aiwendil

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I don't claim to know the mind of Tolkien, but you have to take into consideration the time that passed between the writing of trilogy and the Hobbit, and the audience he was writing each one to. The Hobbit was supposed to be a children's story, much lighter and less complex than the trilogy. There had to be a definite diference between good and evil, "Meanies''and Friends, (in this case, elves and dwarfs) for the little ones to understand.

I've also heard that Tolkien was not a Christian before he wrote the Hobbit. That might have something to do with it, though I'm not sure.
 

Snaga

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The Mirkwood elves are not out and out bad in the Hobbit. After all they end up fighting on the right side in the Battle of 5 Armies.

They are just suspicious when a gang of dwarves keeps crashing their parties! And Thorin, when captured, is not exactly open and friendly is he? He gets in trouble repeatedly for being too haughty. The elves imprison the dwarves, but they are not really mistreated. The elves I think show quite a bit of concern for the well-being of the men of lake-town, who Thorin doesn't give two hoots about even after they kill Smaug and their town is destroyed. When you look at it from their point of view, you wouldn't say they behave impeccably, but they're not that bad either.

(Yeah and don't gate-crash my parties any of you lot, or I'll lock you in my dungeon!!!:D )
 

Gnashar_the_orc

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Well the Elves of Mirkwood are not elves of the west, or High Elves. They are the descendants of the High Elves that went over the Misty Mountains and remained there. Apparently in 'The Hobbit', Tolkien describes them as Elves with more powerful magic as the High Elves.
In the Hobbit, the elves we encounter are Wood-elves or Mirkwood elves. We also encounter them in LotR in the forest of Lothlorien. As we can notice the Elves of Mirkwood and Lothlorien are somewhat isolated and do not like foreigners much. This is contradictory with the High Elves (example: Rivendell), where they seem more concerned about matters concerning Sauron and the Ring.
Now a question:
Please correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there 3 major types of Elves?
The High Elves (of the west), the Wood Elves (of the east of the misty mountains) and the Dark Elves (mentioned in the appendix of LotR).
 

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