Themadviolinist
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Extrapolations

Wed 06 Oct 2021, 21:05

I rather liked the Lord of the Rings Living Card GAme from Fantasy Flight. The designers set themselves a really hard task, to design a card game that would give the feel of Middle EArth. I think that in general they did a fairly good job, but one major gripe I had with the game was the excursions they took from phrases in the text to create game mechanics they needed.
I think that a few of these textcursions have crept into ToR. The one I'm thinking of right now is the tiny fairies west of the Shire from the starter set, extrapolated from the notion that some hobbits took a fairy wife, as quoted from The Hobbit.
Given Tolkien's known disdain for Victorian tiny fairies, (I think he called out J. M. Barry specifically somewhere) this feels like an unfortunate, overly literal reading of this throw-away line. Whether one reads the Hobbit as part of the legendarium, or as a separate story, as it was originally, before JRRT ret-coned it into the larger context, "fairy wife" always felt to me like hobbit myth, rather than literal fairies, especially diminutive ones.
Let me hasten to add that this is not a deal-breaker, though it was a record scratch moment for me when I read it.
 
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Francesco
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Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 06:00

I answered this on Rpg.net already but I’ll repost here:

First, Tolkien’s disdain about diminutive fairies was aimed at the Victorians treatment of Elves in particular, not at the general fairies of British folk lore. This said, in the starter set, the introduction of fairies is attributed to a piece of Hobbit-lore, and it’s not presented as ‘truth’.

“The Hobbits of Greenholm speak of strange little creatures that conceal themselves in this mist, enchanting travellers that dare step off the East Road and into the gloom.”
 
Swcrusader
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Joined: Thu 11 Mar 2021, 06:29

Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 06:27

My general impression is that this is the Hobbits rationalizing some elves playing "The Hobbit" type games on them with no actual faeries involved at all.
 
Dunheved
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Location: UK

Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 07:59

Isnt an identical occurrence of the same idea buried in the mention of the lineage of Imrahil? Since TOR1e nor TOR2e has made it to Gondor etc yet, this point has not raised its head at all?
I'd have to seek out the reference, but the idea I think I remember is that there is Elven blood in the line of the Dol Amroth rulers.*

A proper Tolkien scholar, rather than my limited memory, will know and correct me on this: didn't the professor say that there were only three human-elf marriages? So there would be no canonical room for another in Dol Amroth, even allowing for the story of Nimrodel and Amroth of Lothlorien.

* with more modern ( i.e. post Tolkien!) understanding of genetics to help illustrate our debate now, it seems that a chance combination of Numenorean noble blood has emerged. From this the Fisher folk of southern Gondor have generated their own rumour that "there must have been" a full alliance with an elf. Middle Earth Fake News at work!
 
Themadviolinist
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Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 14:00

Re: Dol Amroth, I believe Tolkien has a tale of a liaison between one of Imrahil's ancestors and an elf maiden that did not result in marriage, so that there truly is Elven blood in Imrahil's ancestry, which does go against the three marriages idea.
As for my oroginal post here, I'll have to go back and read that section again. I came away with a different reading, but I'll have to take Francesco's word about intent. *smile*
 
Alfgar
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Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 16:15

With regard to the three marriages, Appendix A states:
There were three unions of the Eldar and the Edain: Lúthien and Beren;
Idril and Tuor; Arwen and Aragorn.
Note this specifically states Eldar, not all Elves. Thus there could be marriages between Avari and Men which would not contradict the statement.

With regard to Mithrellas, UT states:
According to the same traditions Galador was the son of Imrazór the Númenórean, who dwelt in Belfalas, and the Elven-lady Mithrellas. She was one of the companions of Nimrodel, among many of the Elves that fled to the coast about the year 1980 of the Third Age, when evil arose in Moria; and Nimrodel and her maidens stayed in the wooded hills, and were lost. But in this tale it is said that Imrazór harboured Mithrellas, and took her to wife. But when she had borne him a son, Galador, and a daughter, Gilmith, she slipped away by night and he saw her no more. But though Mithrellas was of the lesser Silvan race (and not of the High Elves or the Grey) it was ever held that the house and kin of the Lords of Dol Amroth was noble by blood as they were fair in face and mind.
So Mithrellas and Imrazór were married and Mithrellas was a Silvan Elf.

So if we accept both statements as true, the only way to reconcile them would require that the Silvan Elf Mithrellas was not of the Nandor who were counted among the Eldar.

Is such a thing possible? In the War of the Jewels, Tolkien writes of how some of the Avari did eventually journey west, coming to the Vales of the Anduin, with some crossing into Eriador and some even into Beleriand. One such tribe of Avari, the Penni, did merge with the Nandor of the Vales of Anduin.

So it could be possible to reconcile the two statements using 'deuterocanonical' sources if Mithrellas was a member of the Penni who retained that cultural identity.
 
Dunheved
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Location: UK

Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 23:15

Thank you Alfgar for the information.
Didn't think of it like that at all, so it's widened my understanding!
 
Otaku-sempai
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Re: Extrapolations

Thu 07 Oct 2021, 23:50

So Mithrellas and Imrazór were married and Mithrellas was a Silvan Elf.

So if we accept both statements as true, the only way to reconcile them would require that the Silvan Elf Mithrellas was not of the Nandor who were counted among the Eldar.

Is such a thing possible? In the War of the Jewels, Tolkien writes of how some of the Avari did eventually journey west, coming to the Vales of the Anduin, with some crossing into Eriador and some even into Beleriand. One such tribe of Avari, the Penni, did merge with the Nandor of the Vales of Anduin.

So it could be possible to reconcile the two statements using 'deuterocanonical' sources if Mithrellas was a member of the Penni who retained that cultural identity.
.
In the case of such a union (Man and Avari/Silvan Elf) my assumption would be that the Choice of the Peredhil would not come into play and any offspring would by default be mortal. This is where I would have to part with the old rules from MERP for Half-elves.
#FideltyToTolkien

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