Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search
swiss replica watches replica watches uk Replica Rolex DateJust Watches

A Case of Mistaken Identity  by Conquistadora

Fatherhood ~ First and Foremost

First of all, I treat the role I think nearest his heart. With the publication of Morgoth’s Ring we were provided many gems of canon passages regarding elvish families. Nothing is more detrimental to domestic peace than antagonism between the parents and their children, and it would seem that the Elves either went out of their way to avoid it, or simply never gave themselves cause. A notable exception would be the rift between Eöl and Aredhel with Maeglin in the middle; but that was a poorly planned marriage from the start, and another debate entirely.

"They had few children, but these were very dear to them. Their families, or houses, were held together by love and a deep feeling for kinship in mind and body; and the children needed little governing or teaching." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, MR)

For all his faults, even Fëanor seemed a good father if all seven of his sons were so enthusiastic to follow him to the bitter end in ultimate peril of their immortal lives. In that light, I cannot honestly believe Thranduil was darker at heart than a marked rebel, traitor, and kinslayer. Surely there would have been more outcry from someone.

Tolkien lay down unequivocal norms regarding elvish libido as well. So, all those slash, smut, and incest writers are essentially out of luck; as a rule, the Eldar are above that.  Tolkien plainly seems to have drawn heavily from the morality and theology of his Catholic faith.  I will let him speak for himself on this point.

"The Eldar wedded only once in life . . . . Even when in after days, as many of the histories reveal, many of the Eldar in Middle-earth became corrupted, . . . seldom is any tale told of deeds of lust among them." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, MR)

"They are not easily deceived by their own kind; and their spirits being masters of their bodies, they are seldom swayed by the desires of the body only, but are by nature continent and steadfast." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, MR, emphasis mine)

"Some fell into pride, and self-will, and could be guilty of deeds of malice, enmity, greed and jealousy. But among all these evils there is no record of any among the Elves that took another’s spouse by force; for this was wholly against their nature . . . . Guile or trickery in this matter was scarcely possible (even if it could be thought that any Elf would purpose to use it); for the Eldar can read at once in the eyes and voice of another whether they be wed or unwed." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, footnote, MR, emphasis mine)

Maeglin in Gondolin seems a glaring exception to this rule, but his inclinations to incest and spouse-snatching were not dismissed among his own people, who deplored them as something perverted.

"The Eldar wedded not with kin so near, nor ever before had any desired to do so. And however that might be, Idril loved Maeglin not at all; and knowing his thought of her she loved him the less. For it seemed to her a thing strange and crooked in him, as indeed the Eldar have ever since deemed it: an evil fruit of the Kinslaying, whereby the shadow of the curse of Mandos fell upon the last hope of the Noldor." (Of Maeglin, The Silmarillion)

". . . [A]nd to Maeglin [Morgoth] promised the lordship of Gondolin as his vassal, and the possession of Idril Celebrindal, when the city should be taken; and indeed desire for Idril and hatred for Tuor led Maeglin the easier into his treachery, most infamous in all the histories of the Elder Days." (Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, The Silmarillion, emphasis mine)

And even wedded Elves lived lives of chastity for the greater part.

"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. The union of love is indeed to them a great delight and joy, and the ‘days of children’, as they call them, remain in their memory as the most merry in life; but they have many other powers of body and of mind which their nature urges them to fulfil." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar, MR)

<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List