The Silmarillion Series by Jenny Dolfen

The artistic interpretation of Tolkien's imagination can be breathtaking. Or it can be appalling... Join in on the discussion of the artistic representations and collectible items in the Tolkien universe.

Postby rowanberry » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:37 am

Congratulations to Jenny for winning the White Council Ilúvatar's Illustrator Award of 2005! :clap:
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Postby niamh » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:48 am

She certainly deserves it.


W00T!W00T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby NienorNiniel » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:16 am

niamh wrote:She certainly deserves it.


And no doubt about that!

:clap:
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Postby GoldSeven » Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:14 am

Oh my! And to find that out by accident almost three months later.... :shock:

Thanks! ^__^

Got a new pic in the works, by the way - of Ecthelion and Glorfindel in Gondolin. ^^ Coming soon!

Oh - and anyone care to fill me in what was going on in the commentary section of "The Coming of Fingolfin"? I just see hints of trolling and removed posts but haven't looked int here for ages. Judging by what's been happening on Elfwood lately, I'd swear the reason was hair colour? :roll:
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Postby niamh » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:21 am

Well, you're talented, and your men look good :D

What can I say ;)
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Postby rowanberry » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:00 pm

Nice to see you back, Jenny! :)

I think you'd better e-mail the mods if you'd like to have a better clarification about the trolling in the comments. I don't know any better what it was all about (I don't think it was the hair colour issues this time though), but it seems to me that somebody trashed the picture in general, was modded for it, and that urged another poster to attack the mod.

I'm curious to see what your new pic will be like. 8)
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Postby GoldSeven » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:40 am

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Postby NienorNiniel » Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:56 am

Jenny! :D

Great picture. I love the details on Glorfindel's armour. That must have taken ages to paint! The background is also very nice.

:)
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Postby rowanberry » Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:48 am

Excellent. :thumbsup: Glorfindel looks very much like I've imagined him, and Ecthelion's good as well. And, I must second Nienor about the armour details!
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Postby niamh » Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:59 am

Love the colour scheme! another great one.
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Postby LadyCoralie » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:30 pm

GoldSeven wrote:Oh my! And to find that out by accident almost three months later.... :shock:

Thanks! ^__^

Got a new pic in the works, by the way - of Ecthelion and Glorfindel in Gondolin. ^^ Coming soon!

Oh - and anyone care to fill me in what was going on in the commentary section of "The Coming of Fingolfin"? I just see hints of trolling and removed posts but haven't looked int here for ages. Judging by what's been happening on Elfwood lately, I'd swear the reason was hair colour? :roll:


Hi Jenny,

sorry about the ruckus in the Gallery. Rowanberry is right about the trolling that was going on. I administer the gallery and am putting my foot down about how artwork is rated and commented upon. I am busy trying to clean it all up, but I'm the Lone Ranger in there at the moment. There are a couple of trouble makers who have been posting nonsense and despite my repeated requests to take their comments to the forums and debate, they continue to spam the gallery and lowball pics etc. If there are nay mods out there who would like to help me, please email me at coraliescorner@theonering.com I could use the help. Hisstah used to help but I don't know where to find her lately.

Anyway, I love your artwork. Watercolour is one of the hardest mediums out there. I will try to keep a vigilant eye on the gallery.

Cheers

LadyC :)
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Postby GoldSeven » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:59 am

Thanks! It's all right, really - I'm used to weird posters (as anyone knows who has ever looked at that picture in my Elfwood gallery). :shock:
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:23 am

How did I not find this thread earlier?

<looks around> Oh, it's in the Art forum, and I never come in here.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my small praise to the heaps already in this thread. I love the Silmarillion, which is so much more tragic than Lord of the Rings, with only faint gleams of hope. GoldSeven, you have really brought the Feanoreans to life, and captured so much of what makes them worth reading about. Maedhros is by far my favorite, so I certainly like that he features so often in your pictures ;) But the recent Kinslaying one, with the blood still liquid on his sword, reveals him at his darkest (but still lovable!) That is quite a feat, and I take my hat off to you (not that I have a hat...) Oh, and I guess I first discovered your work through rowanberry's sig, so my thanks to her as well!

I have been drooling over your pictures this morning, especially your attention to detail and "costume design." The Star of Feanor seems so natural in their heraldry, and the trims on everyone's tunics are somehow simple, flowery, and elvish all at the same time. I can "read" more of Maglor in his clothing than in his face, which is certainly saying something! You have the most interesting version of Luthien I have seen, where she is at once utterly foreign and yet more "earthy" and approachable than most beautiful women ;). But again, it's not just her face, but the flowers and ribbons in her hair and the glimpse of her dress that we see that emphasizes this so well.

I am curious what your version of Ulmo would be, but of course I realize that you have your own future projects in mind.

I am not an artist myself (I can merely copy pictures that I see), so I really cannot comment on your art, but I will say that it is beautiful and I enjoy it very much. Thank you!
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Postby GoldSeven » Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:10 am

Thanks a lot! :)

As for Ulmo ... I'm currently doing commissions, the same style as the Lúthien pic. :D In case you're interested ;)

My version of Lúthien was influenced by a photograph I found online of Edith Tolkien, since he based Lúthien on his wife. I really wonder how JRRT picured her.
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Postby GoldSeven » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:09 pm

So, we went for Finrod instead of Ulmo, but... here he is ;)

http://www.goldseven.de/c_finrod_fin.jpg

Enjoy him, MithLuin - he's all yours :D
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Postby niamh » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:29 pm

Is the resemblance to Leo DiCaprio conscious? :)

You certainly can draw, and I'm jealous ;) I don't remember the Luthien pictures and will remedy this asap :):)
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Postby GoldSeven » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:47 pm

lol! Better Leo diCaprio than Uma Thurman - as in that certain other pic of mine XD
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:16 pm

I agree :)

Poor Finrod looks a bit...lost in that painting, and is of course not nearly as cool as Fingolfin!

But he's perfect in this drawing! :love:

I didn't think much of diCaprio in Titanic, but I liked him a lot in Catch Me if You Can. Luckily, this doesn't remind me of him, or else I would have even more explaining to do when I put this up on my wall ;).
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Postby truehobbit » Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:57 pm

Ok, so I came here because I saw Mith's name in the last post column! :D

And I'm thinking whether I can just join her in the swoon for Finrod or whether I have to wrestle her for him! :P ;)

In short, I think that's a gorgeous drawing, Jenny! :love: :)
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:39 pm

They're following me! <shifty eyes>

:D

You are welcome to swoon over the electronic version as much as you want. I am feeling magnanimous for some reason (though I'm not sure that I can spell man...magnam...magnanimous) ;)

But the real one is all miiiiiiiine! (Or will be...)
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Sun May 28, 2006 9:48 am

Still no Bombadil and Goldberry, Jenny? *sigh* :(

I'm certain you'd do a wonderful job if only you'd try. :)



GoldSeven wrote:OW! Tom, that link was VILE. :D

If you think that was vile, now I have a link to the song plus the accompanying animation...

Where There's a Whip There's a Way

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Postby MithLuin » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:38 pm

Has this thread really been dormant for 2 years? I suppose her website hasn't been updated recently, but her deviant art site is current. Her most recent Tolkien illustration seems to be a lovely watercolor of Luthien from May. Enjoy, if you haven't seen it yet!

But the reason I wanted to drag this thread back up is that I've recently completed a costume based on Jenny Dolfen's paintings. It's not a recreation, I hasten to add - it's not exactly like her Fëanoreans, but it is based on them.

So far, the only picture I have is this one, but I know several other people took a picture of me wearing this outside in better lighting.

The original (for comparison) would be mostly this one: The Dispossessed

Now that I look at it again, I think her stars are prettier than mine :P.
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Postby GoldSeven » Tue May 10, 2011 11:20 am

Hi guys,

it has *so* been ages. If nobody remembers me, on my head be it.

Mith, wow, that's so cool! I agree the stars are beastly - to draw and, I bet, to sew!

I've taken a long absence from most things Tolkien over the last few years, but I'm currently revisiting some of my old Silmarillion haunts.

I could literally swamp you with my recent and not so recent images now, but I'll just give you a few teasers and a link to the rest, I think :) I'd be glad for your thoughts. The Tolkien fans are the second hardest to please bunch on the Internet (second only to A Song of Ice and Fire fans; those are hardcore!) :D

I've pretty much completely moved to actual watercolours again - haven't made a digital piece in nearly two years.

Maedhros
Image

Aragorn
Image

Maedhros portrait
Image

Fingon portrait
Image

And for Mith (if she's still here??)
Image


My website is out of date; I'm currently mostly using deviantArt. A direct link to my Tolkien artwork there is here: http://gold-seven.deviantart.com/gallery/137656

Thanks for looking! *bows*
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Postby ElvenArcher » Wed May 11, 2011 7:00 pm

WONDERFUL to see you here again! Love the paintings, especially Aragorn.
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Postby rowanberry » Thu May 12, 2011 4:30 am

Nice to see you, it really has been a long time! :) And, the new paintings are as great as ever! 8)
Image I'm judging MoST again this year! Ready for the opening banquet...

MoME 2013 results are in!

The Sons of Fëanor re-embodied in the beginning of the Fourth Age? Yes, for The Maedhros and Tygarya Saga – and, as fire-hearted as ever!

On my way to Morannon on the Walk to Rivendell and Beyond!


Shire and Shutter - the TORC photoblog

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Postby *Alassë* » Thu May 12, 2011 2:15 pm

Those are wonderful pictures! I especially love the Maedhros' expression in the portrait.

I've seen your work on the net (who hasn't? :P ) and one thing I really like is the details you put in the clothes/hair/etc.
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Postby Galin » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:40 am

I'm a fan! I note the attention to grey eyes too! I'm also in the Legolas is dark-haired camp, although I usually imagine most Elves as being long haired myself; and on that note...

Jenny Dolfen wrote: I'm curious -- is it said anywhere in Tolkien's works (Sil or LotR, not HoMe) that Elves have long hair? The thought really never occurred to me.


None that I remember, including The History of Middle-Earth. My research has revealed (so far), the following male Elves noted as having long hair:

Beleg and Gwindor -- not noted anywhere in text (that I recall), but illustrated as long haired by JRRT in 1928 (a bit early, but anyway).


Celegorm (noted in Quenta Silmarillion, mid to late 1930s version, IIRC). Olwe (Quenta Silmarillion early 1950s). Celeborn (draft text [long white hair]. Published text [long silver hair] 1954, The Lord of the Rings). Fingon (noted 1968 or later, The Shibboleth of Feanor).

Glorfindel's hair is described as he rides his horse (Fellowship of the Ring), which description might indicate long hair in my opinion. In the unrevised Fall of Gondolin a Balrog pulls him to his death by grabbing his hair (not that that proves he had long hair necessarily).

And I think the ending -os in Maedhros sounded so masculinely Greek to me I had to draw him with short hair, "classical", as most Greeks as well.


Just to add, Maedros is said to have worn a copper circlet (not necessarily all the time of course). And not that you didn't know these details, but from an Elvish perspective the ending is -ros and actually refers to hair colour here. Tolkien changed the names of Amrod and Amras to Amros... meaning they both had the Quenya name Ambarussa in the newer conception (Sindarized as Amros, generally speaking), although I understand why people use the more well known forms chosen for the 1977 Silmarillion.

Speaking of red-brown or glints of copper in the Feanorian house, there's a marginal note describing that Nerdanel 'herself had brown hair and a ruddy complexion' (Vinyar Tengwar 41)

red_xavier wrote:Are there any references to the hair of Feanor and his sons though? Perhaps, and this is just me thinking out loud, that this group of elves cut their hair shorter than their distant kin as either a sigil of their House or a mark of their oath?


There are some, yes; though your question seems to be more about length, and the first reference below doesn't actually mention hair:

In The Shibboleth of Feanor Curufin was said to have resembled Feanor very much in face and was called Atarinke 'little father' 'referring to his physical likeness to Feanor...' (partial quote)

Caranthir Morifinwe was said to be black-haired like his grandfather -- but under 'mother-names'... 'he was dark (brown) haired but had the ruddy complexion of his mother'.

At one point it was said of the elder Amros that he: 'grew darker in hair, and was more dear to his father. After childhood they [?were not to be] confused...'

In QS (The Lost Road) with respect to Celegorm 'golden was his long hair'

In the Lay he has 'gleaming hair', and his Old English name was Cynegrim Fægerfeax ('Fair-hair'). Christopher Tolkien explains that the phrase was removed in the published version 'on account of the dark hair of the Noldorin princes other than in the golden house of Finarfin' but he remains 'Celegorm the fair'.

I agree with Christopher Tolkien's edit here. I think it at least seems dubious that later on Celegorm was considered golden-haired.


Elvish hair colour in general

Vanyar: mostly golden or yellow (Quendi And Eldar)

Noldor and Sindar: mostly dark-haired (Quendi And Eldar)

Silver hair: noted as seemingly not common among the Sindar, though found among them occasionally: '... especially in the nearer or remoter kin of Elwe (as in the case of Cirdan)'. (Quendi And Eldar).

Tolkien will not only note, but publish in Appendix F, that the Eldar were generally dark-haired, noting the golden house of Finrod/Finarfin as a notable exception here. This description has been somewhat questioned, and I'll digress a bit with my opinion here:

While it is true that in draft text this description referred to the Noldor, in the final revised version it referred to the Eldar. Christopher Tolkien himself objected to this statement, because the Vanyar are Eldar and Tolkien would ultimately come to think of this clan as mostly golden or yellow haired... true enough, but I think the description can work well enough if one thinks of it as describing the Eldar of Middle-earth, noting that Tolkien would describe the Sindar as resembling the Noldor, including being generally dark haired, and considering too that the Vanyar had departed Middle-earth very (very) 'long ago' within the history.

It might also be noted that Tolkien himself never altered this description or added a footnote (a footnote now appears in some editions) -- and I don't know if he noticed the implication regarding the Vanyar and thought it problematic, but he did actually change 'Finrod' from the first edition, so one can not easily argue that he forgot the passage entirely for the revised edition. Yet the dark-haired Eldar remained in any case.



hróva or morna?

Words, Phrases, Passages (p. 155): 'The Noldor were generally hróva or morna' [these Elvish words are noted] 'morna black of hair: hróva 'dark, dark brown'

In another entry JRRT seemed to think absolute black was not the case (same source): 'The predominant colour of Noldorin hair was very dark brown (no Elf had absolute black hair: morna)' I note here that Tolkien used morna, the word used in the previous citation.

But even if this entry is later than the first, it appears possible that JRRT revised that no Elf was black of hair, as in The Shibboleth of Feanor (dated 1968 or later), for example, Finwe has 'black' hair (note 19). Or concerning Urundil (note 61): 'His hair was not as dark or black as was that of most of the Noldor, but brown, and had glints of coppery red in it.'


Anyway, there could be more references! and here's a fun one to end on for now: Aegnor -- his hair is said to have been 'strong and stiff, rising upon his head like flames'.

Again nice work Jenny! and hope you don't mind my 'hairy pottering' here :wink:

____________________

sleep aid or 'Galin niggles with a Tolkien expert about a somewhat meaningless point'

In 'In The Halls Of The Elvenking' (Mr. Baggins part one), P. 407 John Rateliff writes: '... and there is some evidence that he originally conceived of the Second Kindred or Noldor (the Deep-elves) as golden-haired: in the genealogies meant to accompany the ('Earliest) Annals of Beleriand' [early 1930s] they are referred to as Kuluqendi or 'Golden-elves' (HME V. [403]); the 1937 Quenta Silmarillion includes 'the Golden' as one of their many descriptors (HME V. 215) and Christopher Tolkien notes (BLT I. 43-4, HME XII. 77) that the passage in Appendix F of the first edition of The Lord of the Rings describing the Eldar (the Three Kindreds of the High Elves) as dark haired, 'save in the golden house of Finrod' (i. e., the character known as Finarfin in the published Silmarillion and more recent editions of The Lord of the Rings [cf. LotR. II71]: Galadriel's father not her brother, some of whose children were golden haired because of his Vanyar wife), was written as a description of the Noldor (the Second Kindred) before being applied to the Eldar as a whole'.

The last example confuses me a bit: how does the revision to the passage in Appendix F help argue that the Noldor might have been originally golden haired? Raising the draft text reveals that the dark hair originally referred to the Noldor: in other words, it read that the Noldor were dark haired 'save in the golden house of Finrod'. Tolkien then revised this to describe the Eldar. Or am I missing the meaning here?

The 1937 Silmarillion does refer to the Noldor as the Golden, but looking at the other references (extremely edited here to do so), starting with the Vanyar: '...they are the fair folk and the White. The Noldor are the Wise, and the Golden (...) The Teleri (...) the gatherers of Pearl, the Blue Elves (...) The Nandor (...) the Axe-elves, the Green-Elves and the Brown (...) The Sindar (...) the Silvern.

Mr. Rateliff surely knows the context here, and it's still possible that golden hair is meant, but I think no more possible than other things, like gold itself.

In HME IV. p 212 we find the terms: 'Eadwine: goldelfe, eorðelfe, déopelfe, Rædend. Finningas'. Christopher Tolkien notes that Ead- in the context of the Noldoli is no doubt to be interpreted 'riches', and that, although he isn't sure of Rædend, it refers to the knowledge and desire for knowledge of the Noldoli in some aspect. I suggest 'goldelfe' might refer to a love of gold or its general association with the Noldor.

In HME I The Tale Of The Sun And Moon: 'Now golden light not even the Gods could tame much to their uses, and had suffered it to gather in the great vat Kulullin to the great increase of its fountains (...) 'Tis said indeed that those first makers of jewels, of whom Feanor has the greatest fame, alone of the Eldar knew the secret of subtly taming golden light to their uses, and they dared use their knowledge but very sparingly, and now is that perished with them out of the Earth.'

From very early on (externally) the Noldoli (the first makers of jewels are the Noldoli: '-- and therefrom did the Noldoli with great labour invent and fashion the first gems' The Coming Of The Elves) have a special relationship with golden light, and Mr. Rateliff's first reference Kuluqendi 'Golden-elves' could be furthering a general association of gold with the Noldor [I won't go into earlier versions, but in Etymologies at least: KUL- 'gold (metal), Q. kulu, N côl; Q kuluinn of gold. KUL- gold (substance). Q. kulo.' But this was struck out and replaced by: KUL- golden-red. Q. (poetic) kullo red gold; kulda, kulina flame-coloured, golden-red; kuluina orange; kuluma an orange; N coll red (*kuldá).']

In Quendi And Eldar (1959-60), referring to the colour of the hair of the Vanyar, it was noted: 'This was regarded as a beautiful feature by the Noldor (who loved gold), though they were themselves mostly dark-haired.'


While I have certainly not proven that Mr. Rateliff is in error here -- nor did he present this little detail as certain in any case -- I just thought I would take a look.
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:55 am

GoldSeven wrote:I've taken a long absence from most things Tolkien over the last few years, but I'm currently revisiting some of my old Silmarillion haunts.
Beautiful work as always, Lady, but still no Bombadil? Tsk tsk. At this rate you'll never get to him! :P


In regards to Galin's post about the color of Elven locks, I note that he has omitted the Sylvan/Nandor Elves. Technically they would both be considered Eldar, that is those who participated in the Great Journey, although they failed to cross the Misty Mountains. The two references in LOTR ('Lothlórien', FOTR) depict them with golden hair, including Nimrodel herself:

A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair,
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lórien the fair.


There is one of my people yonder across the stream,' [Haldir] said, 'though you may not see him.' He gave a call like the whistle of a bird, and out of a thicket of young trees an Elf stepped, clad in grey, but with his hood thrown back; his hair glinted like gold in the morning sun.


I'm in the Legolas had golden hair camp. (Legolas' "dark head" was at night.) His father Thranduil, a Sinda, had golden hair. There is no information about his mother.

Christopher Tolkien writes in the 'Introduction' to Unfinished Tales that his father "would not have dreamt of allowing even the more completed narratives in this book to appear without much further refinement." How much more is this true of the material in HOME?! Anyone who has read HOME surely must come to the conclusion that Tolkien was, in addition to being a self-professed "niggler", seldom content to write something and let it be. His works were in a continual state of revision, which at least in part explains why The Silmarillion was never published in his lifetime. As it was it took nearly 20 years for him to finish LOTR!
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Postby Galin » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:16 am

Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote: '(...) In regards to Galin's post about the color of Elven locks, I note that he has omitted the Sylvan/Nandor Elves. Technically they would both be considered Eldar, that is those who participated in the Great Journey, although they failed to cross the Misty Mountains.'


I did skip the Tawarwaith, but technically the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood and Lorien are not considered Eldar according to The Lord of the Rings.


The two references in LOTR ('Lothlórien', FOTR) depict them with golden hair, including Nimrodel herself: (edit references for brevity). I'm in the Legolas had golden hair camp. (Legolas' "dark head" was at night.) His father Thranduil, a Sinda, had golden hair. There is no information about his mother.


As the Sindar are certainly Eldar, with golden hair being implied as somewhat rare among them (noting again the inspiration behind Christopher Tolkien's edit concerning Celegorm, for instance), for myself I think it would be odd for the tale to have never noted Legolas -- the main Elf of the narrative and son of an Elda -- as having this arguably rare enough golden hair (if he did that is). Although on the other hand, if 'blood' is considered no doubt Thranduil was golden haired at least, as you note.

That said, and still accepting what Tolkien published, we don't know exactly when The Hobbit truly became 'part of Middle-earth', and Tolkien never reached this part of the narrative in his revision to bring the story more in line with The Lord of the Rings (at least with respect to the fuller revision that attempted to do this). Would he have changed the colour of the Elven-king's hair? or altered the description to leave it unknown perhaps?

We can't know obviously, but one wonders -- and granted he had the chance to change this for 'less revised' editions in any event. And that said too, in a late text Tolkien described Amroth (who is Sindarin by this time) as golden-haired in any case.

Alas that Pauline Baynes put a hood on Legolas in her illustration of the Fellowship, since Tolkien wrote a commentary about her depiction of the Nine Walkers and might have given his opinion had she chosen a colour!

Christopher Tolkien writes in the 'Introduction' to Unfinished Tales that his father "would not have dreamt of allowing even the more completed narratives in this book to appear without much further refinement." How much more is this true of the material in HOME?! Anyone who has read HOME surely must come to the conclusion that Tolkien was, in addition to being a self-professed "niggler", seldom content to write something and let it be. His works were in a continual state of revision, which at least in part explains why The Silmarillion was never published in his lifetime. As it was it took nearly 20 years for him to finish LOTR!


If your point is that Tolkien-published text should take top shelf, then I strongly agree. And within an author published context I think JRRT has left the matter of hair rather open with respect to the East-elves, or 'non-Eldar'. One can point to Nimrodel, or the Elf of Lorien that you refer to, but these Elves of course do not necessarily represent all East-elves with respect to hair color (not that you said so in the first place). I can't think of a general reference here, published by the author himself I mean.


I have noted before (in discussion with Voronwe I think) that text published by Tolkien himself leaves the impression that the 'Vanyar' were generally dark-haired -- although this clan is not noted by name in The Lord of the Rings. And the East-elves of Mirkwood and Lorien, not being Eldar (the term Avari is likewise not noted here), arguably remain 'open' as far as a sweeping description is concerned -- thus easily allowing for golden haired Elves among the East-elves.


The History of Middle-Earth volumes will ultimately give, or imply, a different picture on both accounts, yes, but as you rightly point out, JRRT wasn't against changing his mind.
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Galin
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:32 am

Galin wrote:I did skip the Tawarwaith, but technically the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood and Lorien are not considered Eldar according to The Lord of the Rings.

I see. I found the passage that you must have referred to:
The Elves far back in the Elder days became divided into two main branches: the West-elves (the Eldar) and the East-elves. Of the latter kind were most of the elven-folk of Mirkwood and Lórien...
Source: Tolkien, J.R.R. 'Appendix F, Of the Elves'. The Return of the King

It obviously has been some time since I read that passage. The communities that I have been participating in accept the definition found in The Silmarillion:
According to Elvish legend the name Eldar 'People of the Stars' was given to all the Elves by the Vala Oromë (49). It came however to be used to refer only to the Elves of the Three Kindreds (Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri) who set out on the great westward march from Cuiviénen (whether or not they remained in Middle-earth), and to exclude the Avari...

Given my own practice of accepting Tolkien's works published prior to his death over those published posthumously, I will henceforth accept the definition from Appendix F.
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