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Topic: A question on Legolas' people

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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Date: Jul 4, 2010
A question on Legolas' people

Hope I've put this in the proper place. I have not read the trilogy, however, I have seen the films. Can anyone answer a question?

Im confused over the abode of the people of Legolas. Elronds folk live in this wonderful area of forest. Then theres Galadriels people living in Lorien - which is just amazing - Well, in the films anyway. Why do Legolas people live in a cave? Were they driven there because of the spiders? And why does Sarons evil reach just their home? Ive looked at a map of Middleearth, it appears Mirkwood isnt that much closer to Mordor than Rivendell. Why didnt Rivendell have the same problems as Mirkwood? Rohan and Gondor were practically next door to Mordor and didn't seem to be affected the way Mirkwood was - or am I missing something here? 

Thank you for any info you can offer.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
While the films are wonderful and a terrific introduction to Tolkien's world the books are so much richer.
Your answers about Legolas' people are found in the texts "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".
I am sure that others on the Forum's can give you other sources ... but here is a start.
Welcome to the Tolkien Forum's and make yourself to home!
Bear an Elf-Friend


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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Sorry to hear you cant answer my questions, Thanks for the trouble anyway.

Saba



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
I am sorry.  But your questions are a book in themselves.

Rivendell or Imladris  has a long history as a haven for men and elves.
As you briefly saw in the films Elrond was a war leader but at the time in Arda or Middle-earth he was more of a counselor.
There are three clans, tribes, or races of elves...type in the search box for the thread called "Basic Elf".  That will help you with the background of Legolas father's kingdom ... and a little why they are in Mirkwood.
You may also type "Shelob" or "Ungoliant" and a thread will lead you to more about the spiders.
Part of the reason for the crisis of Legolas family deals with an evil "Necromancer" who is Sauron in disguise, past wars and quarrels among the elves, a dragon named "Smaug", conflicts between elves and dwarves, evil orcs in the Misty Mountains, an Elvish/ Human love story of Beren and Luthien, the destruction of a kingdom called Numenor, (part of how Sauron gets to be such an evil entity), The basic fabric of the world created in music by the ultimate God figure called "Eru" or "Illuvatar", rebellion by the Ainur and Maiar (sort of angels), a super bad guy named "Melkor" ... sort of Sauron's boss ... the destruction of part of the world (remember in the movies with Frodo sailing into the West) ...and jewels called the Silmarils ...
And that has a lot to do with Galadriel's kingdom and Elrond's family history and how Lady Arwen could choose to be mortal ... because her grandfather and grandmother saved the world ... or at least petioned the Ainur not to destroy all of it ... and how Aragorn's ancestors came to establish their kingdom in Middle-earth ... why Elrond helps men ... why Gandalf who is one of the "Istari" comes to help rid the world of Sauron ... and make things right ... why Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel sail with Frodo and Bilbo into the West ...which is a sort of heaven.

If you are not confused by now ... I sure am ... so I didn't mean to be rude ... there was just no easy answer.

A quick answer to your questions about Elrond.

Elrond was Lord of Rivendell, one of the mighty rulers of old that remained in Middle-earth in its Third Age. His name means "Vault of Stars", "Star-dome", or "Elf of the Cave" (the exact meaning is uncertain, as Tolkien gave different derivations in different places).
He was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and a great-grandson of Lúthien, born in Beleriand in the First Age, making him well over 6,000 years old by the time of the events described in The Lord of the Rings. Elrond's twin brother was Elros Tar-Minyatur, the first High King of Númenor.
Although Elrond was considered half-elven, that was not meant to be an exact percentage value; he and his brother Elros were also descended from the Maiar, angelic beings who had come to Middle-earth thousands of years before. Elrond, along with his parents, his brother, and his children, were granted a choice between Elven or human fates by the godlike Valar. Elrond chose to travel into the West and live as an immortal Elf, while his twin Elros chose mortality.


As documented in The Silmarillion, Elrond was born at the refuge of the Mouths of Sirion soon before its destruction by the sons of Fëanor. He and his brother, Elros, were captured alive. Their parents feared that they would be killed, but instead they were taken up by the brothers Maedhros and Maglor.
Elrond went to Lindon with the household of Gil-galad, the last High King of the Noldor, when Beleriand was destroyed at the end of the First Age. He chose (like his parents but unlike his brother) to be counted among the Elves when the choice of kindreds was given to him.
According to the appendices of The Return of the King, Elrond was Gil-galad's herald in the Second Age. During the War of the Elves and Sauron, Elrond was sent to Eregion when it was attacked by Sauron. He united his army with one from Eregion, led by Celeborn. Eregion was destroyed, however, and Elrond was driven back and surrounded by Sauron. Fortunately, an army led by Durin and Amroth assailed Sauron's host in the rear, causing the Dark Lord to turn and drive them back to Moria. Elrond was able to retreat to a valley where he made a settlement at Imladris (Rivendell). In 1700 an army from Númenor arrived in Lindon and Gwathló, and Sauron was trapped between the Númenóreans and Elrond.
The White Council decided that Eregion would be abandoned in favour of Imladris. Upon this occasion, Gil-galad entrusted Elrond with Vilya, the mightiest of the Three Rings of the Elves.
Near the end of the Second Age, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed, and the army departed from Imladris, led by Elendil and Gil-galad, who were both killed in the Siege of Barad-dûr. Elrond and Círdan were the only ones to stand by Gil-galad's side when he fell.
In the early years of the Third Age, Elrond married Celebrían, daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel and his second cousin twice removed. The union produced twin brothers Elladan and Elrohir, and a daughter, Arwen Undómiel.
During the Third Age Elrond was the main ally of Arnor. Following its fall, Elrond harboured the Chieftains of the Dúnedain and sheltered the Sceptre of Annúminas,      Arnor's symbol of royal authority. After being captured and tortured by Orcs in the Redhorn Gate, Celebrían left Elrond and went over the sea to seek healing. After Aragorn's father Arathorn was killed a few years after Aragorn's birth, Elrond raised Aragorn in his own household and became something of a surrogate father to him. Aragorn was also Elrond's far-distant nephew (removed by sixty-four generations), being the descendant of Elrond's twin brother Elros.
In The Hobbit, Elrond gave shelter to Bilbo Baggins's party, after which, presumably, the two became friends. He received Bilbo as a permanent guest when the latter left the Shire some 60 years later.
In The Fellowship of the Ring, he headed the Council of Elrond, at which it was decided that the One Ring must be destroyed.
Elrond remained in Rivendell until the destruction of both the Ring and Sauron in The Return of the King. He then travelled to Minas Tirith to see Arwen marry Aragorn, now King of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Three years later, at the approximate age of 6,520, Elrond left Middle-earth to go over the Sea with the Ring-bearers, never to return.

So I hope you will accept my attempt to answer your question and understand that I did not mean to be rude.
There was just no "simple" answer.


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Tolkien did have different ideas concerning the derivation of Elrond over the years, but there are at least two late sources where 'Elf of the cave' (itself from a letter of 1958) seems to be a discarded idea -- probably why Christopher Tolkien went with 'Star-dome' for the 1977 Silmarillion.


There's a very late letter in which Elrond meaning 'vault of the stars' is noted, and a late text on ros in which Tolkien explains in a bit more detail:

'Now Elrond was a word for the firmament, the starry dome as it appeared like a roof to Arda; and it was given by Elwing in memory of the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe in the midst of his stronghold of Menegroth that was called the Menelrond, because by the arts and aid of Melian its high arched roof had been adorned with silver and gems set in order and figures of the stars in the great Dome of Valmar in Aman, whence Melian came.' JRRT, The Problem of Ros

Anything is possible, but as I say this seems to imply the older derivation 'Elf of the cave' had been forgotten or revised.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Saba wrote:
Hope I've put this in the proper place. I have not read the trilogy, however, I have seen the films. Can anyone answer a question?

Im confused over the abode of the people of Legolas. Elronds folk live in this wonderful area of forest. Then theres Galadriels people living in Lorien - which is just amazing - Well, in the films anyway. Why do Legolas people live in a cave? Were they driven there because of the spiders? And why does Sarons evil reach just their home? Ive looked at a map of Middleearth, it appears Mirkwood isnt that much closer to Mordor than Rivendell. Why didnt Rivendell have the same problems as Mirkwood? Rohan and Gondor were practically next door to Mordor and didn't seem to be affected the way Mirkwood was - or am I missing something here? 

Thank you for any info you can offer.


To answer your questions one by one:

Not all elves have 'lived in trees' as the films may lead one to think. Back in the First Age, 7000 years before the time of the War of the Ring, a great king of elves known as Thingol made his dwelling a mighty underground fortress. This is clearly what the elven stronghold in Mirkwood where Legolas comes from is based on.

Secondly, the evil of Sauron reaches them because in the south of Mirkwood (around 200-250 miles south of the Mirkwood-elf stronghold, it is a big forest!) there is an ancient fortress of the enemy known as Dol Guldur. It is from this fortress that Sauron sends armies out to attack Lorien, which is very close to the west, and the northern Mirkwood elves.
The spiders are not the servants of the enemy. They are an ancient race that goes back into the deeps of time, very evil but rarely do they serve the enemy. This is another problem the elves of northern Mirkwood have to deal with.

Rovendell didn't have the threat of Dol Guldur because it was the other side of the Misty Mountains, which are very difficult to cross. Back in the middle of the Third Age it had alot of trouble with the realm of Angmar, however. That was created by the Witch King on the orders of Sauron. At that time Sauron had not yet returned to Mordor and dwelt in Dol Guldur. Angmar was established in order to destroy the Northern Kingdom of Men, known as Arnor, which it succeeded in doing, but was also defeated itself. From then on the men of Numenor only had the South Kingdom, Gondor, except for a few ragged bands of Rangers, known as Dunedain, which still patrolled the land of the North Kingdom, even though it is mostly ruins.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Just to add a bit (book-spoiler warning here)





Generally speaking, concerning the Eldar and underground fortresses: '... though they might at need, in their bitter wars with the Dark Power and his servants, contrive fortresses underground, were not dwellers in such places by choice. They were lovers of the green earth and the lights of heaven;...' Appendix F

As already noted, when the Shadow began to fall upon Greenwood and spread, Thranduil established his realm in the north-east and delved there a fortress and great halls underground, echoing Thingol's ancient home. 

With respect to Lorien, Dol Guldur was on the other side of Anduin, but also it seems that Lorien was: 'a flat land with no good stone, except what might be quarried in the mountains westward and brought with difficulty down the silverlode.' The History of Galadriel And Celeborn, Unfinished Tales (etymological discussion). In The Fellowship of The Ring, Legolas notes that: 'The people of the woods did not delve in the ground like Dwarves, nor build strong places of stone before the Shadow came.'

So Lorien had no great stone to work with in any case, but they had the mallorn-trees after Galadriel introduced them there, which did not grow in Greenwood (Mirkwood). Also, more generally, Lorien eventually had Galadriel herself: 'Three times Lorien had been assailed by Dol Guldur, but besides the valour of the elven people of that land, the power that dwelt there was too great for any to overcome, unless Sauron had come there himself.' (no offense to Thranduil of course!)

So we have two Silvan Realms -- both menaced by Dol Guldur -- and it appears the Galadhrim of Lorien felt safe enough across Anduin living in great trees, under Amroth's rule, and ultimately under the watch of the mighty Galadriel (with Ring of Power to boot), noting too the wall of earth raised around their main city. 

Not all the wood-elves of Mirkwood lived within Thranduil's cavern in any event, though they might seek it in dire times I would say.






-- Edited by Galin on Monday 5th of July 2010 05:42:59 PM

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Tom Bombadil
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Thranduil in the SA 1000 lived in what was called Lindon, but before SA 1000 he established a Kingdom in Greenwood the Great, later known as Las Galen. This Kingdom survived, despite the attacks of the great Spiders, Orc and wars with the dwarves. It was thought that part of his Hall was sub-terrainien and we know at least that the cellars were underground, because that is where the dungeons were and where they dumped the barrels in the river running to Lake. Thranduil also loved Jewels, and it would make sense that he continued to mine the underground caves and areas of his fortress-searching for more.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Thranduil in the SA 1000 lived in what was called Lindon, but before SA 1000 he established a Kingdom in Greenwood the Great, later known as Las Galen.

This implies that Thranduil's realm is very old by Frodo's time, and I agree, this is the implication of Appendix B -- that is, there is no mention here of Oropher (Thranduil's father), or of the subsequent movements of the Silvan Elves as noted in (what I call) the 'unpublished Oropher texts' (made public by Christopher Tolkien in Unfinished Tales).

In the first edition of The Lord of the Rings it's noted: 'Thranduil in the north of Greenwood the Great, and Celeborn in the south of the forest' (a draft for The Tale of Years notes SA 750 for this migration). Anyway, since Appendix B represented Tolkien-published text, and the Oropher Texts were unpublished drafts, I gave much more weight to even the implication behind Appendix B.


However then I noticed Legolas' statement, which is also Tolkien-published, and appears to state that the Silvan Elves did not delve underground until the Shadow came -- and this statement seems in line with the 'Oropher timeline' which was written later.


In the Oropher timeline Thranduil does not delve his halls until the Shadow falls on Greenwood, thus much later in the Third Age. With the Oropher texts we have two seemingly competing histories concerning the detailed movements of these Elves, but basically it seems that it is Oropher who had passed to the south of Greenwood early in the Second Age, while Amdir took Lorien -- that is, Amdir ruled the forested section upon the other side of Anduin, or Lorien (and ultimately Oropher and Thranduil move north).

The description of Celeborn in the south of the forest (first edition) was removed for the second edition, arguably because Tolkien wanted him in Eregion with Galadriel in the Second Age.


Taking this route at least, Thranduil's halls are still pretty old by Frodo's time, but not nearly so old as the implication of Appendix B -- in this context I guess Appendix B must be read as an extreme abbreviation of history, since it lacks the Orophorian details.

That's my approach here anyway. I went from 'challenging Oropher'... to accepting him smile 




-- Edited by Galin on Tuesday 6th of July 2010 05:39:19 PM

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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Wow, what a can of worms!

Sounds like Elrond is indeed older than the hills. If I were Elrond, Id have to review my own history from time to time just to get it right if anybody asked. Its funny how Aragorn is descended from Elronds brother, and in the films Elrond doesnt seem happy about him and Arwen. I mean cripes, the guy IS family AND hes royalty, what more do you want?

Okay, so both Lorien and Mirkwood are both Silven folk. Sounds that its possible that like Lorien, no good stone for fortress walls was to be had, therefore Legolas people dug a cave -- makes sense with Sauron moving in. Wooden palisades can be burnt down. It wasnt that these elves were different, it just that they followed an example from their past as they had nothing else to hand to work with. I get it now.

Looks like Elrond had it easier (in a sense a well deserved rest) because he had the mountains between him and Sauron, and the enemy in Angmar had been defeated. Lorien had the benefit of the malhorne and Galadriels ring.

I remember in the films that they travel through a lot of ruined places. Any kind of defense must have been of primary importance.

I thought that the spiders were a product of the dark lord, Im surprised to hear that they are not.

Everyone here seems to have two names. Galin is Balin and Bear is Haldir?? Is this some Tolkien tradition ala' Aragorn is Strider, Estel and Elessar?  I'm never going to remember who is who.

 



-- Edited by Saba on Wednesday 7th of July 2010 09:11:40 PM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba.
I am just "Bear". Sometimes "Bear an Elf-Friend".
The "Haldir" is the name of my rank.
"Galin" has a rank of "Balin".
"mouth of sauron" has a rank of "Bilbo Baggins".

These ranks have to do with the number of posts and sometimes a review of a council of Site Leaders and Administrators.
Ranks are awarded in different catagories (called "Kingdoms") One is usually chosen by each new member. As soon as you are ready you should choose one.
Next time your on, go to the heading called "Site Navigation". A pop-down list will appear. Select the catagory "Ranking Kingdoms". That will help explain the dual names and the ranking system.

You will be able to choose one for yourself.
As you have not yet chosen a "ranking kingdom" so you are "Being lies with Eru - Rank 1"
When you choose a "kingdom" it will change to reflect the "kingdom" you have chosen.

But don't let the "ranking" throw you. We are mostly just folks who love Tolkien. And no matter what "rank" your opinions, questions, comments, and ideas will be treated with respect.

I love this place. And I have a lot of fun here.
Hope you will too!
Bear "your" Elf-Friend


-- Edited by Bear on Thursday 8th of July 2010 01:22:49 AM

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Tom Bombadil
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And Arwen Legolas is Tom Bombadil a Mod.

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Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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So, its the names on the top of the sidebar that I should pay attention to. I'll check out the ranking kingdoms next time.

I'll be offline for a couple of days. My Mom is having surgery today - outpatient. I'll be taking her to the hospital in about an hour and a half from now. Then I'll be at her home for the next couple of days.

You all have been most interesting and helpful. Thank you.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
You are welcome.
Hope things work out for your Mom.
We will keep her in our prayers.
Warm thoughts,
Bear


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Did Tolkien ever elaborate on the economy of Mirkwood? I did see the Hobbit cartoon (and I wish they would get to making the movie) so I do know Bilbo escaped from the place by using barrels emptied of their trade goods. Mirkwood obviously trades, but what do they use for currency? I don't think it would be coinage, not unless a large vein of gold or silver existed somewhere in Thranduil's underground abode. If not coin, then what? Mirkwood is after all a wood, so my guess is that these elves aren't farmers - therefore no large amounts of produce to trade.  I was thinking that they could trade in fur and hides, and maybe meat from wild game, although it would have to be salted down to send in barrels. Hand crafted wood products is another possibility.

Any knowledge or ideas?



-- Edited by Saba on Thursday 5th of August 2010 01:13:22 AM

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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I'm far from an expert on elven lore but it seems that I remember Thranduil's people sending wine into the city on the long lake. It would not surprise me if they were compensated by the fat king with whatever thing they needed most at anytime. It is also my idea that the elves did not require much from men, being as self sufficient as they were. I would assume that ,with gold and jewels being hoarded by so many elven kings, that it was in trade for those things and not much more. I'm sure Balin or Bear could elaborate more.

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So the Mirkwood elves are vinters. That would make them some pretty coin - and explain all the barrels. No doubt they keep their vineyards at the edge of the forest. I hadn't thought that forest elves would be making wine, but it makes sense, and its better than making a living off of selling hides. 



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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In ancient times when the Elves began their Great Journey westward to the Undying Lands, some of the Elves were reluctant to cross the Misty Mountains and decided to settle in the woods along the Anduin. These Elves were of the kindred called the Teleri, and those that remained in the woods came to be called Silvan Elves, or Wood-Elves.
The Wood-Elves settled in the fir-covered mountains north of the Old Forest Road. Their numbers increased and they roamed far and wide throughout the forest.
Around the year 1050 of the Third Age, Sauron came secretly to Greenwood and built a stronghold on Amon Lanc which became known as Dol Guldur, the Hill of Black Magic. A shadow fell on the forest at that time and it came to be called Mirkwood. It became dark and gloomy under the trees even in daytime, and the air was heavy and still. Evil creatures came to live in the woods, including the Great Spiders which were the spawn of Shelob, child of Ungoliant.
Thranduil and his people abandoned the Mountains of Mirkwood, which became infested with evil creatures. They moved northeast and built halls in a network of caves in the hills on the banks of the Forest River. A stream ran from the caves to join the Forest River and the Elves used it to transport goods to and from Long Lake and beyond. These goods were transported in barrels. Mostly wine and other goods of their labor such as bows and arrows, medicines distilled from the Enchanted river, ropes made of vines, carved dishes, cups, and toys, and other produce from the forest were all part of the trade. They were also middle men trading the honey and dairy products of Beorn and his animal friends.  The woodland elves had also learned some smith craft from a few of the Nolder but there is no record of commerce from their forges.  Trade from the Laketown area was produce of the farms nearby, small manufactured products such as knives and hand tools, and fish from the lakes.
(with thanks to "The Thain's Book" and "The Encyclopedia of Arda")


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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Thank you so much Bear! I read your post and the re-read with a map to hand.

There is a good deal of information and speculation on the economy of Gondor and Rohan on the net. However, a search for the economy of Mirkwood turned up nothing except reference to various scenarios in gaming programs.

I'm ashamed to say that the elves use bows and arrows as trade goods never entered my head - duh! no.gif

Thank you too for the mention of Thain's Book. I Googled it and found it at Tuckborough.net. Today I have a measure of free time, so I'll be looking it over.  



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Regarding...

__________


In ancient times when the Elves began their Great Journey westward to the Undying Lands, some of the Elves were reluctant to cross the Misty Mountains and decided to settle in the woods along the Anduin. These Elves were of the kindred called the Teleri, and those that remained in the woods came to be called Silvan Elves, or Wood-Elves. The Wood-Elves settled in the fir-covered mountains north of the Old Forest Road. Their numbers increased and they roamed far and wide throughout the forest.

Around the year 1050 of the Third Age, Sauron came secretly to Greenwood and built a stronghold on Amon Lanc which became known as Dol Guldur, the Hill of Black Magic.

 
__________

To me this implies these Telerin Elves first settled -- or at least in very ancient times settled -- in these fir-covered mountains, later to leave due to the Shadow of the Third Age.

OK it was very long ago, but as I read the history of the Mirkwood Tawarwaith -- at least as described in the 'Oropher texts' that is -- these Wood-elves were at Amon Lanc in the South before moving northward three times, then they settled in the western glens of the Emyn Duir (the fir-covered mountains), and it was then that Oropher's people roamed in the woods and vales westward as far as Anduin, north of the ancient dwarf road. And of course later they moved from these mountains after the Shadow arrived in the Third Age.

The compressed version gives a different impression to my mind, though by comparison the earlier movements just seem left out, so I thought I would add this much in any event. 

Where these Elves were before the southern part of Greenwood I haven't pinned down yet myself, if it's pin-downable that is*. Also, according to the other Oropher text, it's not a certainty (IMO) that the Elves ever moved northward into these mountains, for if I recall correctly, they had moved north beyond the Gladden Fields in this text, and much later, retreated before the Shadow as it spread ever northward. Which admittedly is vague! but still.

I haven't ever looked at the economy issue myself, but I have tried to wrangle with the movements of the Mirkwood Tawarwaith at times.

__________

*
Tolkien does note that, daunted by the Misty Mountains, the Teleri in question hid themselves in woodland fastnesses and became a small and scattered people, and that they once again became an ordered folk under the leadership of eastward migrating Elves in the Second Age. Of The Rings Of Power notes that the returning 'Teleri' established realms among the Silvan Elves 'in woods and mountains' far from the Sea, but in the first edition of The Lord of the Rings (Appendix B) the Sindar establish realms in the 'forests far away' in the Second Age (no mention of mountains here anyway). Notably here, it is said the 'chief' of these was Thranduil in the north of Greenwood and Celeborn in the South (of Greenwood).


And I have not yet taken into account anything from The Hobbit here, but that's enough for now.


-- Edited by Galin on Monday 9th of August 2010 09:57:21 PM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin,
It was deliberately left out ... the question was about the economics and trading ventures of the Wood-Elves ... I did not want to twist it up with the "history" of
"Oropher texts."
Just wanted to let Saba know what was shipped in those barrels besides wine.
Perhaps that was an error ... because I know telling half a story can be worse than none.
Still clarifying the "history" does "pin-down" some facts and calls for more investigation.
Thanks again my friend for "filling in" the gaps I left.
Bear


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My cousin Dennice and I are sitting here (having chilled drinks) and we can't help but wonder why the elves (Teleri) would be 'daunted' by mountains. Was this before the dwarves settled in Kasad dum? Or were the elves on their travels after the balrog was known to be in the Misty Mountains?

In reference to the topic of Mirkwood economy, as far as wine goes we've come to agree that we've been thinking inside the box instead of out of it. I envisioned grape vines because the only forests I'm familiar with are decidedly modern day. Same with Dennice, but we've been discussing this, and we realize we have to lift our minds out of the idea of sparce forests with limited and fragile supplies of nuts and berries, so that even the wild animals are at times forced into town to raid garbage cans. Surely the elves would have cultivated their woodland bounty with the same attention that the farmer would pay to his fields. Raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry patchs no doubt would have been carefully tended. Encroaching greenery would have been carefully cleared away and anything lacking supplied.  It would not be beyond the bounds of reason for the elves to have made wine from wild berries as well as a few grapes here and there. And yes we would love to have a barrel of that wine!




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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
Do you or Dennice know anyone in Laketown?
I wouldn't mind a barrel or two of Elfwine myself.
Been quite a few years since I have had any blueberry wine.

I would like to know a little more about what daunted the Wood-elves myself.  But I better lay of the sauce if I want to find out. (bears get woozy and stumble when having too much "fun")
We are in the middle of a heat wave and "chilled drinks" sound good too!

With a smile,
Bear


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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
Here is a quote from the Thain's book about the Wood~Elves history.


"In ancient times when the Elves began their Great Journey westward to the Undying Lands, some of the Elves were reluctant to cross the Misty Mountains and decided to settle in the woods along the Anduin. These Elves were of the kindred called the Teleri, and those that remained in the woods came to be called Silvan Elves, or Wood-Elves.

The woodland Elves lived in small scattered communities at first. In the early part of the Second Age, the Woodland Realm was established in Greenwood the Great by a lord of the Sindarin Elves who had migrated eastward from Lindon. By some accounts, it was Thranduil who founded the Woodland Realm; by other accounts it was his father Oropher.

According to the latter accounts, Oropher and his people originally lived around the hill called Amon Lanc near the southwestern edge of Greenwood. But as Sauron grew in power in Mordor south of the forest, Oropher began to move his people northward. He may also have been trying to distance his realm from the realms of Lothlorien and Khazad-dum across the Anduin. The Wood-Elves settled in the fir-covered mountains north of the Old Forest Road. Their numbers increased and they roamed far and wide throughout the forest.

During the War of the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age, Oropher and his son Thranduil led a great army to fight Sauron. Many Elves of Greenwood died in the war, for though they were courageous they were poorly equipped for battle and their forces remained independent of Gil-galad's supreme command. Oropher himself was slain during the assault on the gates of Mordor.

After Sauron's downfall, Thranduil returned to Greenwood with only a third of his army. For the first millennium of the Third Age, the Wood-Elves were at peace and their numbers grew again. During this time, the Northmen who lived east of Greenwood also increased and some made settlements in the eaves of the forest. The Men felled many trees to build their homes, creating the great clearing called the East Bight.

Around the year 1050 of the Third Age, Sauron came secretly to Greenwood and built a stronghold on Amon Lanc which became known as Dol Guldur, the Hill of Black Magic. A shadow fell on the forest at that time and it came to be called Mirkwood. It became dark and gloomy under the trees even in daytime, and the air was heavy and still. Evil creatures came to live in the woods, including the Great Spiders which were the spawn of Shelob, child of Ungoliant.

Thranduil and his people abandoned the Mountains of Mirkwood, which became infested with evil creatures. They moved northeast and built halls in a network of caves in the hills on the banks of the Forest River. A stream ran from the caves to join the Forest River and the Elves used it to transport goods to and from Long Lake and beyond.

The Northmen who lived east of Mirkwood were decimated by the Great Plague of 1636 and by the invasions of the Wainriders from Rhun in the East. Some of them moved to the town of Dale at the foot of the Lonely Mountain where the Dwarves had a prosperous kingdom not far from the Elvenking's Halls. In the latter part of the Third Age, some bold Men known as the Woodmen established settlements in the western eaves of the forest south of the Old Forest Road. Radagast the Wizard lived near the southwestern edge of the forest in Rhosgobel."


That might add a little to answering your questions and I think might inspire asking more questions.

Isn't this fun?  I love the Tolkien Forums!
This bear has become a Tolkien geek!
Please pass the miruvor
and the lembas!
smileBear


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There is one thing. I've read in more than one place that Oropher and Thranduil were Sindar who essentially came into lordship over a settlement, or group, of Silvan elves. What caught my eye was the term that was used in the article I read of the Sindar Oropher, Thranduil and Co "going native" - (anthropology was one of my majors). Apparently, Oropher had decided a simple life was a better life for his Sindar kin. I'm sure Tolkien did not elaborate on what it was about the Sindar that so captivated the Silvan as to have them hand over the keys to their kingdom as it were, but I'm sure curious to know. 



-- Edited by Saba on Wednesday 11th of August 2010 01:04:15 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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JRRT says this much anyway (but yes, I too don't recall him going into much detail on this matter)...

'Being Elves of much greater power and knowledge they usually became rulers of the Elvish companies that they gathered about them; and even when the ordinary speech of these groups was kept up their nomenclature became largely Sindarin.' Words, Phrases, and Passages

In Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn Tolkien had actually noted that the Nandorin realm of Lorinand (read Lindorinand) had no princes or rulers* when Galadriel first visited (here Amroth is Galadriel's son incidentally). And a late note reveals that the Silvan Elves had invented no forms of writing (!).

That's write, the Wood Elves couldn't right at first!

__________
* in Words, Phrases and Passages JRRT noted that 'Lothlorien' was originally ruled by Nandorin princes.








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I suppose the Silvan thought a certain amount of higher learning could be an advantage.

One possible disadvantage would have been involvement in the Last Alliance. From what I read, Oropher lost about two thirds of his force from what appeared to be reckless arrogance. So much for higher mindedness here. After such a loss I can't help but believe, if Oropher would have lived, that his stock among the Silvan would have dropped considerably.  I imagine post war was a bit tough politically for Thranduil.

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"Gil-galad entrusted Elrond with Vilya, the mightiest of the Three Rings of the Elves."


Does anyone have a grasp of the essence of the three elf rings? Erond ended up with vilya, Galadriel had nenya, and I forget who had the third. But weren't these rings forged by Sauron in order to have power over the wearer? I mean, look what happened to the nine kings. I remember it being said that the rings of Elrond and Galadriel offered their respective realms some protection. This would seem the opposite of what the rings were intended to do.

... and I assume that Oropher was not given a ring because his reclusiveness kept him from being considered as any serious threat. 

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Saba,
I think the "Three Rings of the Elves" is one of Tolkien's most interesting creations.
And I think the story behind the creation and corruption of all the rings enriches the work in a way that makes us want more.
Covering all the rings would be another two or three movies in their own rights so it is given "short-shift" in Jackson's films.

This is gleaned from the net and the books.


Narya, Nenya, and Vilya ~ The Three Rings of the Elves ~
the most powerful of the Rings of Power apart from the One Ring. Their power was in understanding, making, preserving and healing. They were not weapons, though they could be used to defend against Sauron and his servants. The Three did not make their wearers invisible.
The Three Rings were made by the great Elf-craftsman Celebrimbor in Eregion . Celebrimbor and the Elven-smiths of Eregion had been deceived by Sauron, who had come to them in a fair disguise pretending to be an emissary of the Valar and had promised to teach them new skills. Under Sauron's instruction, the Elves began making the Rings of Power including the Nine Rings and the Seven Rings.
The Three Rings were made by Celebrimbor alone.

Sauron forged the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom to rule the other Rings of Power. Although Sauron never touched the Three Rings, they had been made using the skills he had taught, and they were still subject to the power of the One.
When Sauron put on the One Ring, the Elves were aware of him and they realized they had been deceived. The Elves could not bring themselves to destroy their Rings, so Galadriel advised Celebrimbor that the Three Rings should be hidden and never used for as long as Sauron had the One. 
Galadriel received Nenya, while Narya and Vilya were sent to Gil-galad in Lindon.
Sauron waged war against the Elves and destroyed Eregion.  He tortured Celebrimbor to learn the location of the Three Rings, and when Celebrimbor refused to tell him where they were, Sauron had him killed.
Sauron was defeated and the One Ring was taken from him by Isildur and was later lost. Since the One Ring was no longer in Sauron's possession, the bearers of the Three were able to use their Rings during the Third Age for"preserving the memory of the beauty of old, maintaining enchanted enclaves of peace where Time seems to stand still and decay is restrained, a semblance of the bliss of the True West." (Letter #131)

After the One Ring was destroyed the Three Rings lost their powers and all that had been wrought by them began to fade. The Three Rings were taken into the West to the Undying Lands when their bearers left Middle-earth 

Narya ~

Narya - The Ring of Fire. Narya was set with a red stone. Also called Narya the Great, the Ring of Fire, the Red Ring, and the Third Ring. The name Narya comes from the Quenya word nar meaning "flame, fire."
Gandalf wasn't at first the bearer of Narya.  It was given to him to help battle Sauron and he took it with him when he passed into the West.

When the Three Rings were hidden Narya was entrusted to Gil-galad. He passed it on to Cirdan, the Lord of the Grey Havens. It is not certain when Gil-galad did this. In one version of "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" it is said that Gil-galad gave Narya to Cirdan shortly after he received it from Celebrimbor, and this seems to be supported by comments in "The Tale of Years" and The Silmarillion which imply that Cirdan held Narya from the start. But a marginal note to "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" says that Gil-galad waited until he left Lindon with the Last Alliance to give Narya to Cirdan.

When Gandalf arrived at the Grey Havens, Cirdan perceived that he was the wisest of the Wizards and had the greatest spirit.  He gave Narya to Gandalf, saying: "Take this ring, Master, for your labors will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill." (Lord of the Rings, The Return of The King, Appendix B ~ "The Tale of Years," p. 366)
Gandalf bore Narya in secret, but Saruman became aware of Cirdan's gift and he grew resentful of Gandalf. Gandalf's spirit was enhanced by Narya, and he countered the destructive fire of Sauron with a kindling fire of hope.  When Gandalf returned to the Grey Havens he was openly wearing Narya. He bore the Ring with him when he sailed into the West with Elrond and Galadriel, the bearers of Vilya and Nenya.

Nenya ~
Nenya - was set with a white diamond and its band was made of mithril. Also called the Ring of Water, the White Ring, and the Ring of Adamant - meaning "diamond." The name Nenya is derived from the word nen meaning "water."
Galadriel was the bearer of Nenya.

Galadriel received Nenya from Celebrimbor when the Three Rings were first hidden.  She used Nenya to preserve the beauty of the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, making it seem like "a timeless land that did not fade or change or fall into forgetfulness."
Galadriel also used Nenya to defend the borders of Lothlorien as the Shadow of Sauron grew in the outside world.
When Frodo Baggins came to Lothlorien, Galadriel revealed Nenya to him. As the bearer of the One Ring, Frodo was able to see Nenya on Galadriel's finger, while others, like Sam Gamgee, could not. Galadriel told Frodo that if he succeeded in destroying the One Ring, Nenya would lose its power and Lothlorien would begin to fade. This saddened Galadriel greatly, but she and the other Elves were willing to endure it so that Sauron would be utterly defeated.
Galadriel's longing for the Sea and her desire to return to the Undying Lands were increased by Nenya. After the downfall of Sauron, Galadriel left Middle-earth and she took Nenya with her into the West.

Vilya ~
Vilya - Vilya was said to be the mightiest of the Three. It had a gold band set with a blue stone. Also called the Ring of Sapphire, the Blue Ring, and the Ring of Air. Vilya means "air, sky." The word vilya is related to the word vilna, the innermost of the three airs surrounding the world.
Vilya was borne by Elrond.

Vilya was first given to Gil-galad for safekeeping and he passed the Ring on to Elrond. It is not certain when Gil-galad did this. According to "The Tale of Years" Gil-galad did so before he died, though it does not specify how long before his death, . In "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" it is said that Gil-galad gave Vilya to Elrond when he appointed Elrond as his vice-regent.
Elrond used Vilya to preserve the refuge of Rivendell and keep it safe from the servants of Sauron. Elrond kept Vilya secretly until after the War of the Ring.  Elrond bore Vilya with him over the Sea.

So you can see there is plenty of story behind the rings and they remained uncorrupted because Sauron never touched them and never knew where they were.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Galin wrote:


Thranduil in the SA 1000 lived in what was called Lindon, but before SA 1000 he established a Kingdom in Greenwood the Great, later known as Las Galen.

This implies that Thranduil's realm is very old by Frodo's time, and I agree, this is the implication of Appendix B (...)

However then I noticed Legolas' statement, which is also Tolkien-published, and appears to state that the Silvan Elves did not delve underground until the Shadow came -- and this statement seems in line with the 'Oropher timeline' which was written later.




 

Yes but Galin (if that is your real name), are the two statements from The Lord of the Rings necessarily at odds?

 

Can't Thranduil (Oropher who?) establish his realm in the north of the forest in the early years of the Second Age, but not delve underground until much later, when 'need' (the Shadow) drives him?

 

Or am I forgetting something here (I didn't check the books)?

 

If so, why should the Oropher timeline necessarily supersede the author-published account (which was never revised), even if it can be read as highly abbreviated in order to allow for two competing 'unpublished' draft accounts.

 

The old question again... or at least my old question wink

 

 



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