It has got really difficult.
, you are right, there is no passage of not-marrying in evil times. I have no idea why I tied that up in my head to the child thing. Especially since the Edain and Eldar were quite alike in early days and we all remember Rian who married Huor just before the Nirnaeth where the possibility of him not coming back was very big.
If Legolas was born during the darkness of Mirkwood, though, this might go against the idea that Elves only had children during "good" times. How bad were things supposed to be in Mirkwood during the time of the Necromancer? Also, if we decide that Legolas could have been born during such difficult times, then surely the Elves would have married in those days, too.
The marrying thing we can now forget but since I still am sure he is not too old, there was always the Watchful Peace of more than 400 years.
Also JRR usually has generations fairly clearly drawn - we have the father and son of Amdir and Amroth and Oropher and Tharanduil, a lot of parallels. If we suppose that Celeborn was about the same age as Oropher, Thranduil's father, then Celebrian would be with Thranduil and Legolas with Arwen and the twins.
The quote "Marriage, save for ill chances or strange fates, was the natural course of life for all the Eldar
" (Morgoth's Ring, 210) still makes me belive Legolas possibly married in Valinor.
Mortals do die in Valinor. There is an essay dealing with the who Men and Aman theme in Morgoth's Ring. In the part Myths Transformed, the text number XI Aman
. Also the end of the Athrabeth's notes, page 366, quotes from the Letters
of Frodo's fate.
The number 50 to 100 for the Elves gaining of their full-stature for me was made shaky when I got to the end of Morgoth's Ring, the same text XI.
"But since Aman was made for the Valar, that they might have peace and delight therein, all those creatures that were thither transplanted or were trainer or bred or brought into being for the purpose of inhabitation in Aman were given a speed of growth such that one year of the life natural to their kinds on Earth should in Aman be one Valian Year.
For the Eldar this was a source of joy. For in Aman the world appeared to them as it does to Men on Earth, but without the shadow of death soon to come. Whereas on Earth things in comparison with themselves were fleeting, swift to change and die or pass away, in Aman they endured and did not so soon cheat love with their mortality. On Earth while an elf-child did but grow to be a man or a woman, in some 3000 years...."
Ok, in the notes to the same text JRR equated 1 Valian Year to 144 Sun-years and that gives the age of the same elf-child as grown-up in Valian Years 21 (the usual number among his works and real life). So the 50 does not fit as much as I can understand.
From one side we could say that therefore Legolas would have to be more than 3000 years old, but for me what makes it all the more difficult is that those two texts seem to be from about the same time but which preceded? The one before would more likely be the number that JRR had in mind when writing
Then again, when written at about the same time, could the 50 and the 3000 be contradictory?
Those two numbers have created for me one of the most puzzling pieces of information and I have tied myself to knots trying to relate it now once more. I'll stop now before my head explodes.