Lower Class Elves?

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Lower Class Elves?

Postby Drogo Baggins » Thu May 25, 2000 11:07 am

We all think about the high Elves, Elrond, Galadriel and all. But what was it like to be a lower class elf. The story involves the leaders but there had to also be workers. All the elves weren't kings. What was it like to be at the bottom. Consider this...you are the janitor of Rivendell. You clean toilets and mop floors...and you are immortal (no retirement). Or maybe you are a waiter in Elrond's dining room. Spending thousands of years filling wine glasses would be a real drag. Or did the elves hire poor humans to do all the dirty work?
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Postby nili » Thu May 25, 2000 11:14 am

HI<BR><BR>intersting :-) i don't think thay used humens , don't think aragorn well look kindly on that , can you emagen him storming at Elrond "free my peopal " <lol><BR>no how about thay clean after themselves ?
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Postby Uinen » Thu May 25, 2000 11:57 am

Maybe the elves would have been enlightened enough to consider service the noble profession it can be. Cleaning up after others and serving them may not be the peachiest job in the world, but when done out of love is very satisfying. Any parent knows this.
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Postby DariusTheGreen » Thu May 25, 2000 12:24 pm

Well hmm cleaning up after the nobles for thousands of years. Hmm well you have to remember that time for Elves is not measured really they can spend years looking at a flower and not care about how long it took. <BR> Maybe they switch jobs around so like maybe for 50 years your a stable hand then a scout. I don't think that the nobles would ever clean up for them selves.<BR>Besides if you could behold the beauty of Galadriel for a lifetime you would be truely blessed (at least Gimli would think so).
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Postby helpingfriendlybook » Thu May 25, 2000 1:26 pm

Yes, good question. One thing I often wondered though. If the elves were so keen on nature and trees and such, what did they build their structures out of and where did they get it? And, to keep with the thread, who put it all together?
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Postby DariusTheGreen » Thu May 25, 2000 2:09 pm

Well to quote Aulë "Nonetheless they will have need of wood." I know he wasn't talking about the Elves with this quote but I feel it's about all the people that live on M.E.<BR><BR> And I think that everyone piched in. The Elves may have a King and Queen but that doesn't mean that there are serfs and slaves. I feel that the Elves would be very openminded about work that needs to be done and just do it. Remember that since elves are immortal what's to stop them from learning new skills and also I like my job changeing idea.<BR><BR>
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Postby Drogo Baggins » Thu May 25, 2000 2:31 pm

I agree that there weren't elf slaves (except when elves were captives of Morgoth or Sauron). But there had to be workers. And I don't believe the nobles ever did their own work...can you see Galadriel down by the river washing out her lacy things...hmmmm<BR><BR>Oh, sorry, got carried away with that image.....<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Anyway. Just like in any medival culture there had to be workers. We know there were elven smiths so there were probably elven cooks and elven weavers and elven garbage haulers, etc. etc. And once a garbage hauler, always a garbage hauler...even if you're immortal. Maybe that's why they were so bent on going back to Valinor.
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Postby Nienna » Thu May 25, 2000 4:00 pm

Well, I suppose that's the real beauty of any imagined world - there is no dirty work. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Do you suppose a 13-year old Elf child's room could possibly be as disgusting as my son's is right now?
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Postby Telcontar » Thu May 25, 2000 4:05 pm

Long ago, in the early years of the second age, the great elven Cooks baked cakes of power. Nice cakes for mortal men, Scented cakes for the Dwarf-Lords in thier halls of stone, Fruit cakes for the elven kings under the sky. Then the Dark Lord learned the craft of Cake Baking, and made the One Knife to Cut Them All, One knife to find them, one knife to bring them all and on a plate eat them, In the Land of Mordor where the washing up is. He made the eaters of the Nice cakes for mortal men into the CakeWraiths, terrible pale forms eternally vomiting thier cake back up. Dwarven digestion was too strong for his interference, and all the more did he hate the dwarves therefore. The elves hid thier cakes from him and did not eat them and thus was he foiled to his great wrath.
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Postby Elendil » Fri May 26, 2000 3:19 am

lol, that was funny Telcontar.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0>
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Postby Damelion » Fri May 26, 2000 1:24 pm

Ok, so the Elves had their cakes, and got to eat them later too?<BR><BR><BR><BR>Damelion
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Postby helpingfriendlybook » Fri May 26, 2000 1:43 pm

LOL. Good job.
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Postby Tsblab » Sun May 28, 2000 4:35 am

It would be just like everwhere else I think. There is the nobility, and there are the folks with dirty hands. It would take hundreds of workers to build a city. not all could be the boss. Every civilization needs citizens with strong backs and dirty hands to succeed. Never mind going to war. Who keeps the bejillions of orcs at bay while a Glorfindel slugs it out with a Balrog? Grunts, thats who. Every great leader needs a follower to get killed by the bad guys. the option is really short stories of heroes that goes something like this: : "Sir Pickaname the Robust" greatest of all warriors stood with weapons drawn to hold the pass against the hosts of Mordor. Grim and determined to protect his homeland he stood his ground, waiting for the inevitable attack. He watched as the uncountable armies of his greatest foe massed in the pass ahead of him. He heard the faint cry of a whistle from the ranks of the wretched mass from Mordor. suddenly, silence. The still lasted forever (about ten seconds). Then came a loud cry, and with a shout, the entire host of mordor charged. The ground shook under Sir Pickaname's feet as the onslaught of the enemy drew near. Three minutes later, Sir Pickaname had managed to kill/wound about 15 of the 15,000 orcs charging before he was simply run over. To this day there is a depression in the ground where Sir Pickaname's body fell under the stinky sweaty feet of all the orcs from mordor.<BR>Not exactly a story about grand heroics is it? But that what happens when there are no grunts, the bigshots have to do the dirty work.
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Postby Glorfindel_80 » Sun May 28, 2000 9:40 pm

Of course there would have to be workers...if there was a mess...Supposedly the Elves were very clean beings...and they loved nature so I would guess most would clean up after themselves, with others rotating in cleaning up after the nobles...but maybe they were rewarded by being the first to sing after supper or something...who knows
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Postby HanSolo » Sun May 28, 2000 9:43 pm

I think they used hobbits as slaves<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Treagol » Tue May 30, 2000 5:00 pm

I believe that Legolas was a "normal, everyday" elf.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Billobob » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:24 am

Drogo Baggins wrote:We all think about the high Elves, Elrond, Galadriel and all. But what was it like to be a lower class elf. The story involves the leaders but there had to also be workers. All the elves weren't kings. What was it like to be at the bottom. Consider this...you are the janitor of Rivendell. You clean toilets and mop floors...and you are immortal (no retirement). Or maybe you are a waiter in Elrond's dining room. Spending thousands of years filling wine glasses would be a real drag. Or did the elves hire poor humans to do all the dirty work?


I don't really think there were jobs like janitors because it seems while some elves were of higher power and stature elvish society was pretty fair so all elves had pretty nice lives I'm pretty sure almost all lower class elves had it far better than anyone of a human lower class. Actually one reference to some of the lower classes of elvish society is shown in the Hobbit when it talks about the cook and prison guard drinking some dowinion wine (http://forums.theonering.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=107136) which shows that even some lower class guys could still have it good.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby ngaur » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:15 am

You clean toilets


I don't think there were any toilets at rivendell, unless you count the river. Presumably everyone handled their own.

and mop floors...


certainly there would have been housekeepers among them. Probably women. Like everything with the Elves it would have been regarded as a position of honour and included a wide range of responsibilities and rewards.

and you are immortal (no retirement).


It is certain that any Elf could have retired at any time they pleased, and that few would have done so for beeing tired of the work. They would not be as restless as humans.

Or maybe you are a waiter in Elrond's dining room.


Elves would strive to reach such an accomplished position and trust.

Spending thousands of years filling wine glasses would be a real drag.


An Elf dedicated to the task would find it the fulfillment of his desires and desire it and the memories of it to last forever. For human though it would have been torture.

Or did the elves hire poor humans to do all the dirty work?


Humans might have been accepted into the households for a brief span of time, as a token of great honour and a chance of education.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Billobob » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:26 am

ngaur wrote:
You clean toilets


I don't think there were any toilets at rivendell, unless you count the river. Presumably everyone handled their own.

and mop floors...


certainly there would have been housekeepers among them. Probably women. Like everything with the Elves it would have been regarded as a position of honour and included a wide range of responsibilities and rewards.

and you are immortal (no retirement).


It is certain that any Elf could have retired at any time they pleased, and that few would have done so for beeing tired of the work. They would not be as restless as humans.

Or maybe you are a waiter in Elrond's dining room.


Elves would strive to reach such an accomplished position and trust.

Spending thousands of years filling wine glasses would be a real drag.


An Elf dedicated to the task would find it the fulfillment of his desires and desire it and the memories of it to last forever. For human though it would have been torture.

Or did the elves hire poor humans to do all the dirty work?


Humans might have been accepted into the households for a brief span of time, as a token of great honour and a chance of education.

Yeah the lower class of elvish society would have probably had it a lot better than ours. But something I've been thinking of is that the lower class elves would have probably found something more fulfilling to do alongside his job because filling wine glass wouldn't be enough for the mind of even the most primitive elves.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Aravar » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:13 pm

The "toilets" at Rivendell were obviously for the non-U. :roll:
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Billobob » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:21 pm

Aravar wrote:The "toilets" at Rivendell were obviously for the non-U. :roll:

Did you mean the nonupper class or did you mean something else?
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Re:

Postby Morwenna » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:20 pm

Telcontar wrote:Long ago, in the early years of the second age, the great elven Cooks baked cakes of power. Nice cakes for mortal men, Scented cakes for the Dwarf-Lords in thier halls of stone, Fruit cakes for the elven kings under the sky. Then the Dark Lord learned the craft of Cake Baking, and made the One Knife to Cut Them All, One knife to find them, one knife to bring them all and on a plate eat them, In the Land of Mordor where the washing up is. He made the eaters of the Nice cakes for mortal men into the CakeWraiths, terrible pale forms eternally vomiting thier cake back up. Dwarven digestion was too strong for his interference, and all the more did he hate the dwarves therefore. The elves hid thier cakes from him and did not eat them and thus was he foiled to his great wrath.


That cracked me up. :rofl:

Just my own opinion, of course, but I think the lower-class elves would have rotated the jobs, or most of them anyway, except for those like smithing which were specialized. I'm tying to remember: did Galadriel do hand-work along with her maidens? Even in human history, there were some tasks that even the nobility did, like spinning.
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Re: Re:

Postby Billobob » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:27 pm

Morwenna wrote:
Telcontar wrote:Long ago, in the early years of the second age, the great elven Cooks baked cakes of power. Nice cakes for mortal men, Scented cakes for the Dwarf-Lords in thier halls of stone, Fruit cakes for the elven kings under the sky. Then the Dark Lord learned the craft of Cake Baking, and made the One Knife to Cut Them All, One knife to find them, one knife to bring them all and on a plate eat them, In the Land of Mordor where the washing up is. He made the eaters of the Nice cakes for mortal men into the CakeWraiths, terrible pale forms eternally vomiting thier cake back up. Dwarven digestion was too strong for his interference, and all the more did he hate the dwarves therefore. The elves hid thier cakes from him and did not eat them and thus was he foiled to his great wrath.


That cracked me up. :rofl:

Just my own opinion, of course, but I think the lower-class elves would have rotated the jobs, or most of them anyway, except for those like smithing which were specialized. I'm tying to remember: did Galadriel do hand-work along with her maidens? Even in human history, there were some tasks that even the nobility did, like spinning.


Rotating jobs? I'm not sure since Elves in the books often devote themselves to a specific craft or interest like, for instance some elves made ships ,some crafted things of beauty, while others were admirers and cultivators of nature. I've never read of an elf of all trades so to speak not to say they were limited to their craft but they all had a special interest they focused on.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Morwenna » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:32 pm

I didn't mean the handicrafts, regarding rotation; I was thinking there of the rather mundane tasks. (Hard to think of an elf having a mundane task, isn't it?) Those who specialized in certain crafts would stick with them and perfect them, and with such long lifespans they would become pretty darn good!
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Billobob » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:04 pm

Morwenna wrote:I didn't mean the handicrafts, regarding rotation; I was thinking there of the rather mundane tasks. (Hard to think of an elf having a mundane task, isn't it?) Those who specialized in certain crafts would stick with them and perfect them, and with such long lifespans they would become pretty darn good!


Oh you meant menial chores like scrubbing toilets. Thanks for clarifyingand I agree with you about the elves skill level.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby BillBo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:30 pm

Several jobs for the "Lower Orders" among the elves of Mirkwod are mentioned in "The Hobbit".
They include a butler, prison guard and raft elves.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Billobob » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:55 am

Something I've been thinking about. In the hobbit we get a glimpse of the lower class elves of mirkwood but the elves in mirkwood were of a lower order in both knowledge and civilization than the high elves of rivendell. Which leads me to believe that the elves of rivendell might not even require those less skilled to perform menial labor like the elves of mirkwood did, instead those menial jobs would be replaced with "magic" and other crafts. With the less skilled elves instead devoting time to becoming more skilled in their craft/hobby of choice.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Morwenna » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:09 am

Well, yes and no. The bulk of the populace of Lothlorien, were, IIRC, of the same subrace (if that's what you call it) as the Mirkwood elves, and I can only suppose there were such elves in Rivendell too. I get the impression that there were more than just high elves or Sindar there. We're never told specifically, but if you go back to The Hobbit, you see or rather hear the elves singing nonsense and teasing the dwarves; those are not likely high elves! (Yes, I know there was a huge tonal shift between books, but still...)
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Galin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:45 pm

We know that Elrond retreated from Eregion with a remnant of the Noldor, and founded Rivendell [Appendix B], and we know that the Sindarin hymm A Elbereth Gilthoniel was a variety of Sindarin used by the High Elves "(of which kind were most of the Elves in Rivendell)" [JRRT, RGEO], and in the context of RGEO here, High Elves equals Noldor (rather than in other contexts, in which it can mean the Noldor or Sindar). That said, according to Words, Phrases, and Passages for example [Parma Eldalamberon 17], there seems to be the possibility, at least, of some Nandor in Imladris: "In Eriador such Elves as remained, or were gathered under the protection of Elrond, were either Nandor, or else Sindar and Noldor, fugitives from the destruction of Beleriand at the end of the First Age."

In any case, most of the Elves in Rivendell were Noldor, but for myself, I have no great problem with the song in The Hobbit. In The Lord of the Rings, some of the Noldor tease the hobbits a bit [".. and Hobbbits are so dull," they laughed], and in my opinion, some Elves lightly tease Bilbo in Elrond's House, laughing that Bilbo doesn't tire of reciting his own verses. Not teasing in a mean way, but with affection I would say, or merriment. I think the Elves of Rivendell are summed up nicely by Sam: "Some like kings, terrible and splendid; and some as merry as children."

I dunno, I don't find the merry teasing and song in The Hobbit all that problematic for Elves in general... that is to say, I don't need to imagine the song in The Hobbit could only have been sung by fugitives from Ossiriand, for instance, or once wandering Nandorin Elves from Eriador.
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Re: Lower Class Elves?

Postby Morwenna » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:34 pm

Galin wrote:We know that Elrond retreated from Eregion with a remnant of the Noldor, and founded Rivendell [Appendix B], and we know that the Sindarin hymm A Elbereth Gilthoniel was a variety of Sindarin used by the High Elves "(of which kind were most of the Elves in Rivendell)" [JRRT, RGEO], and in the context of RGEO here, High Elves equals Noldor (rather than in other contexts, in which it can mean the Noldor or Sindar). That said, according to Words, Phrases, and Passages for example [Parma Eldalamberon 17], there seems to be the possibility, at least, of some Nandor in Imladris: "In Eriador such Elves as remained, or were gathered under the protection of Elrond, were either Nandor, or else Sindar and Noldor, fugitives from the destruction of Beleriand at the end of the First Age."

In any case, most of the Elves in Rivendell were Noldor, but for myself, I have no great problem with the song in The Hobbit. In The Lord of the Rings, some of the Noldor tease the hobbits a bit [".. and Hobbbits are so dull," they laughed], and in my opinion, some Elves lightly tease Bilbo in Elrond's House, laughing that Bilbo doesn't tire of reciting his own verses. Not teasing in a mean way, but with affection I would say, or merriment. I think the Elves of Rivendell are summed up nicely by Sam: "Some like kings, terrible and splendid; and some as merry as children."

I dunno, I don't find the merry teasing and song in The Hobbit all that problematic for Elves in general... that is to say, I don't need to imagine the song in The Hobbit could only have been sung by fugitives from Ossiriand, for instance, or once wandering Nandorin Elves from Eriador.


Good points. And you found some of the references I didn't look for, confirming that Noldor and Sindar weren't necessarily the only elves in Rivendell.

I suppose the question still remains, though, about who among the elves does the menial tasks. There has to be someone to do it, because even back in Beleriand there had to be someone to do it. I suspect that one's subrace is not the whole answer to the class issue.
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