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Thread: Thehobbit : About the woodelfs

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I have to disagree on that one, thehobbit. (welcome, btw Big Smile Smilie: )

The elves of Mirkwood were not evil, just suspicious of dwarves, as elves tended to be at the time. Thraduil was a kinsman of Thingol after all!

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The giant spiders were the only living thing that they had no mercy on.


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Still elves they were and remain, and that is Good People.


Poor Thranduil was under the mistaken impression that Thorin and company were trying to attack his people, which was why he had them imprisoned - with adequate food and water. He could have ordered them executed.

Thranduil may have misinterpreted Thorin's reluctance to explain himself as hiding some sort of plot against him, when really, Thorin was trying to conceal the fact that he was going after his family fortune.

The problem seems to have been elves and dwarves mistrust of each other. A 'misunderstanding' as it was later described in the Council of Elrond.
This mistrust was also evident in Lothlorien with the blindfolds and Celeborn almost jumping down Gimli's throat until Galadriel soothed the way with her smoothing words to Celeborn on Gimli's behalf, for which she received the dwarf's undying admiration.

And the Elves had reason to fear or at least harbor suspicion about the Dwarves intent, for they had an ancient history of doing bad things against the Elves including the sacking of Doriath and later the closing of Khazad-dûm when the Elves sought refuge from Sauron there. Could the 'Emeralds of Girion' have been the 'Nauglamir' sans its Silmaril or were they two separate necklaces?
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Did you also notice that in The Hobbit, the Elves lived underground (...) Yet in the LOTR, the Elves live in forests,
In Mirkwood they lived underground, in Lothlorien they lived in the trees. Mirkwood was dark and dangerous and the caves would be a secure place to live. Lothlorien was protected by the magic of Galadriels ring, nothing bad could happen in there.

I do feel the Mirkwoodians cave dvelling was more tree-friendly then the Lothlorien way. They didn't get to live and sleep in the trees, but I do imagine the Lothlorians used quite a lot of wood to build those flets they lived on... Wink Smilie
The elves of Mirkwood weren't the first to live in Caves. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Thranduil's halls were built in memory of the Menegoroth, the city of Doriath, which was a simillar construction. Nargothrond was also underground and Gondolin was surrounded by very high mountains.

It seems a practical way for elves to live, very defensible (unless assaulted by a dragon) and as Amarie said, it doesn't disturb the forests that the elves love so much.
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Could the 'Emeralds of Girion' have been the 'Nauglamir' sans its Silmaril or were they two separate necklaces?
I believe the Nauglamir passed over the sea into the West with Earendil. The Silmaril was taken out and worn on his brow, but as the necklace was still intact when Elwing took it to him (and he was already at sea at this point), I think it must have gone into the West with them.
Not all the Elves of Mirkwood lived in the caves. Thranduil and his family lived there but most of the Elves lived amongst the trees.
I don't think the Mirkwood elves are evil, but I do agree with thehobbit that they are different than other elves. Perhaps some of this is due to the fact that THE HOBBIT was written before LOTR and was originally written as a children story. Tolkien's own ideas about Elves evolved since then.
It is interesting what Allyssa brought up about people in Doriath living in caves, as Thranduil reminds me quite a lot of Thingol.
Thranduil and Thingol are both Sindarin Elves. So it makes sense that they would have similarities.
Many details about caves inhabited by Elves can be found in the History of ME vol. 3 (The lays of Beleriand"). In the lay about Turin Turambar there is a fantastic, very vivid description of Nargothrond, which was quite similar to Moria (at least for me!) and as awesome. The caves of Doriath (Menegroth, the Thousand Caves) are described in detail in the Lay of Leithian.
And many, if not most of the caves the Elves occupied in Tolkien's world had been built for them by Dwarves under contract.
Maybe these differences came from the type of elf they were. There are Mirkwood elves and Rivendell Elves and Lothieren Elves and thats all I can name. just a thought!! Big Smile Smilie
OK. I've had to do some hard work (!) for moving some posts over here from the Just Wondering thread. But, I figure they're more relevant here in this thread.

Floyd_n_milan posted on Monday 18th October 2004 (09:46pm)

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I'm reading The Hobbit right now. And I found the following description worth wondering about :

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So to the cave they dragged Thorin - not too gently, for they did not love dwarves, and thought he was an enemy. In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay. If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old.


I began to think, at this point, why an Elf Lord would be greedy for wealth. Then the same para continues as follow :

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His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.


This was from the chapter "Flies And Spiders". The following part is from the next chapter, "Barrels Out Of Bond" :

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In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again. In the spring he wore a crown of woodland flowers. In his hand he held a carven staff of oak.


Now this description is much nearer to the image of the Elves I have in my mind. But then it contradicts with the very first one I've quoted. Any comments on this?


Grondmaster posted on Tuesday 19th October 2004 (04:34am)

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In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.


I believe this refers to the Nauglamir, the 'Necklace of the Dwarves' and the bloody contention between the Dwarves and Elves over its ownership, especially after the addition of the only remaining Silmaril to the beauty of this hunk o' jewelry. The full tale of this contention is written in 'Of the Ruin of Doriath', Chapter 22 of The Silmarillion.


Eruwen posted on Friday 22nd October 2004 (09:38pm)

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Now this description is much nearer to the image of the Elves I have in my mind. But then it contradicts with the very first one I've quoted. Any comments on this?


Hello Floyd. Well, Túrin turambar and I were discussing this in another forum actually. I kind of liked the image of the elves from The Hobbit, the fact that they weren’t so stuffy in a sense. Túrin had a good point and stated that perhaps Tolkien didn’t quite have the clear image of elves that he had in LOTR, which makes a certain amount of sense, especially since Legolas is Thranduil’s son, and he is nothing like the elves described in The Hobbit.

Regarding the following quote:

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His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.


Upon close reading, perhaps Thranduil, since he didn’t mine or work metals or jewels, horded everything that he could get his hands on. He was fascinated with it because it was something they didn’t and couldn’t do (pure speculation of course). Also, since he didn’t “bother much with trade,” perhaps he didn’t actually know the appropriate rules of trading, which is why he wouldn't give the dwarves what they thought to be their due. However it is, Legolas definitely seems to be of a higher character than his father…more like the elves of other regions, except for the green outfit of course Wink Smilie .


Eruwen posted on Friday 22nd October 2004 (09:40pm)

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Oh, and the Mirkwood elves obviously indulged in drink, and treasure is another type of indulgence, I suppose.
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Thranduil and Thingol are both Sindarin Elves. So it makes sense that they would have similarities.


Not necessarily. Grima and Eomer were both Men of Rohan, living in the same town even, yet they had little similarities.
OK. After reading all that, may I say that it was only the King of the Wood-elves that was greedy about the treasure thingy?

The following quote comes from the chapter "Fire and Water" :

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The Elvenking had received news from his own messengers and from the birds that loved his folk, and already knew much of what had happened. Very great indeed was the commotion among all things with wings that dwelt on the borders of the Desolation of the Dragon. The air was filled with circling flocks, and their swift-flying messengers flew here and there across the sky. Above the borders of the Forest there was whistling, crying and piping. Far over Mirkwood tidings spread: "Smaug is dead!" Leaves rustled and startled ears were lifted. Even before the Elvenking rode forth the news had passed west right to the pinewoods of the Misty Mountains; Beorn had heard it in his wooden house, and the goblins were at council in their caves.


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"That will be the last we shall hear of Thorin Oakenshield, I fear," said the king. "He would have done better to have remained my guest. It is an ill wind, all the same," he added, "that blows no one any good." For he too had not forgotten the legend of the wealth of Thror. So it was that Bard's messengers found him now marching with many spearmen and bowmen; and crows were gathered thick, above him, for they thought that war was awakening again, such as had not been in those parts for a long age.


The following is from the chapter "The Gathering of the Clouds" :

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"So much for joy, Thorin Oakenshield. You may go back to your halls in safety; all the treasure is yours-for the moment. But many are gathering hither beside the birds. The news of the death of the guardian has already gone far and wide, and the legend of the wealth of Thror has not lost in the telling during many years; many are eager for a share of the spoil. Already a host of the elves is on the way, and carrion birds are with them hoping for battle and slaughter. By the lake men murmur that their sorrows are due to the dwarves; for they are homeless and many have died, and Smaug has destroyed their town. They too think to find amends from your treasure, whether you are alive or dead.


OK. All this has gotten me a little confused. I have a few doubts here:

First of all, let's get one thing straight - Do we agree that it's only the King who's greedy about the treasure and not his subjects? If that's the case, then I'm most certainly confused.

First of all, the elves marched with all the arms and necessary "man"power. Was that all for the Dwarves that might have resisted? Or did they "foresee" ( Wink Smilie ) the war against the likes of Goblins and/or the Dwarves from the Iron Hills?

Speaking of the Elves being ready for a battle, I'm wondering why they'd want to go about killing and dieing for some treasure, which technically (!) shouldn't be of much use to them.

Speaking of the Goblins, they were interested in the treasure or were they just there to kill the 13 Dwarves? Because I can't see how the news of the Dain's people's arrival got to the Goblins before they actually started their march towards the Lonely Mountain.

This following quote from the chapter "The Clouds Burst" adds a little to my confusion :

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So began a battle that none had expected; and it was called the Battle of Five Armies, and it was very terrible. Upon one side were the Goblins and the wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves. This is how it fell out. Ever since the fall of the Great Goblin of the Misty Mountains the hatred of their race for the dwarves had been rekindled to fury. Messengers had passed to and fro between all their cities, colonies and strongholds; for they resolved now to win the dominion of the North. Tidings they had gathered in secret ways; and in all the mountains there was a forging and an arming. Then they marched and gathered by hill and valley, going ever by tunnel or under dark, until around and beneath the great mountain Gundabad of the North, where was their capital, a vast host was assembled ready to sweep down in time of storm unawares upon the South. Then they learned of the death of Smaug, and joy was in their hearts: and they hastened night after night through the mountains, and came thus at last on a sudden from the North hard on the heels of Dain.


Were the Goblins there for the treasure or for the revenge against Thorin's people? As mentioned in a quote above, the Goblins holding counsils is a bit confusing to me. Thinking practiacally, I think the whole battle would never have happened. Unless of course it's a matter of Eru's will Wink Smilie But, let's keep him out of here!!

Dang!! I can't put what I exactly think down here. But, oh well, this is the best I can do for now.
WEll, the Elf-king certainly wanted treasure, alrigth. But how do we know the others didn't want it too? The only other mirkwoodian elf we know well is Legolas.
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Ever since the fall of the Great Goblin of the Misty Mountains the hatred of their race for the dwarves had been rekindled to fury.
The father of Blog The Hobbit's Great Goblin, was Azog. Azog killed Thrór the father of The Hobbit's Thorin when Thrór, under the influence of the last of the Seven Dwarven Rings, entered at the Gate of Moria years after being run-out of there by the Balrog and his Orc minions. Thrór's head was later thrown out of the gate with Azog's name branded on its forehead. Thrór's family wasn't strong enough to do anything about it at the time, as they were still settling into Erabor (The Lonely Mountain) where they had moved after they left Moria. This happened long before Smaug chased them out of Erabor. - You can read about this near the end of Appendix A of the LotR.

I think the Goblins of the Northern Misty Mountains figured that when Blog was killed by the Dwarves (whom Gandalf was working for) this was the Dwarves revenge and when they attacked Erabor at The Battle of Five Armies, this was the Goblins revenge for the killing of Blog. Note: The Goblins of The Hobbit are synonymous with the Orcs of the LotR.

The Moriquendi (of which the Green and Grey Elves belonged) unlike the Noldor, never went to Valinor and thus were never taught the finer arts and crafts by the Valar, so they couldn't make the pretty -pretty things. However, the Vala Aulë, taught the Fathers of the Dwarves this craftmanship which was passed down from generation to generation. These Elves appreciated the finer things, but unable to make them themselves, had to purchase or commission them from the Dwarves.

Thinking that Smaug had killed the Dwarves and knowing Smaug was now dead, the Elves of Mirkwood wanted a share of the Mountain's treasures to help defray the cost of supporting the Men of Esgaroth during the coming winter now that the lake town was destroyed. While the Men of the now destroyed Esgaroth wanted their share to defray the cost of keeping and supplying Thorin and Company on their journey plus a little something to replace their town and to lessen the widows and orphans plight.

The Goblins, had yet to hear of Smaug's demise and were only out for revenge against the Dwarves, who were alive and kicking. Having heard the Elves and Men were approaching, the Thorin had called for Dwarven reinforcements from the Iron Hills. None but Beorn and the Eagles knew the Goblins and Wargs were massing, and they were following these to see what they were up to. I don't think Gandalf knew anything about the Goblins until he saw them approaching around and down the Mountain, though he was friendly with the Eagles, so a little bird may have told him.

The above may not make much sense, and probably isn't gramaticaly correct, but I can't spend any more time on it. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
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The Goblins, had yet to hear of Smaug's demise and were only out for revenge against the Dwarves, who were alive and kicking.


I wonder. I'm not sure I agree. I think the Goblins had only started the council and all when they heard of the news about Smaug. Hmm. Maybe not. This is a bit confusing. Read this again :

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The Elvenking had received news from his own messengers and from the birds that loved his folk, and already knew much of what had happened. Very great indeed was the commotion among all things with wings that dwelt on the borders of the Desolation of the Dragon. The air was filled with circling flocks, and their swift-flying messengers flew here and there across the sky. Above the borders of the Forest there was whistling, crying and piping. Far over Mirkwood tidings spread: "Smaug is dead!" Leaves rustled and startled ears were lifted. Even before the Elvenking rode forth the news had passed west right to the pinewoods of the Misty Mountains; Beorn had heard it in his wooden house, and the goblins were at council in their caves.


Did you get what I mean to say? It only says that the Goblins heard the news about the events at the Lonely Mountain before the Elvenking set off for the Lonely Mountain. It doesn't clearly suggest the exact time when they heard the news. But it does say that the news that was spread was that "Smaug is dead". But then again, it doesn't deny that the news the Goblins heard could have been about the arrival of Thorin's folk at Esgaroth, as well. But, in that case, it doesn't make any sense that the Goblins would wait for over 3 weeks to finally attack.

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The Moriquendi (of which the Green and Grey Elves belonged) unlike the Noldor, never went to Valinor and thus were never taught the finer arts and crafts by the Valar, so they couldn't make the pretty -pretty things. However, the Vala Aulë, taught the Fathers of the Dwarves this craftmanship which was passed down from generation to generation. These Elves appreciated the finer things, but unable to make them themselves, had to purchase or commission them from the Dwarves.


I wonder. What good would a pile of riches be if you're not going to use them. What exactly is the meaning of "purchase" here? The exchange of goods through the barrels with Esgaroth for example, was it based on money or was it a type of "barter" system? It's quite interesting. I mean, as far as I've read the Hobbit, I didn't find a mention about the way the Elves payed the men back for all the goods that were sent via those barrels. Or did I miss something?

As far as I've read the Hobbit and the LOTR, one thing I noticed was that JRRT was never quite clear with the economic point of things. For example, he speaks of the rich and the poor amongst the Hobbits. As far as I can see, the Elves don't seem to be in any need of money. He talks about the Dwarves being rich at the Lonely Mountain before the coming of the "Great Worms". Then they were digging up gold. Now, they're living a poor life by digging up coal. What use would coal be? The armies. Where do they get all the metal and stuff for the armies? If they bought all that metal from the Dwarves, where would the Dwarves be digging it up? Iron Hills? What kind of a trade would it be? How could Sauron breed such huge armies of Orcs in a place like Mordor?

Speaking of the Iron Hills, why would Thorin's folk be digging up coal (and where did they dig the coal up exactly?) when they could have gone to the Iron Hills? I'm confused.

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Thinking that Smaug had killed the Dwarves and knowing Smaug was now dead, the Elves of Mirkwood wanted a share of the Mountain's treasures to help defray the cost of supporting the Men of Esgaroth during the coming winter now that the lake town was destroyed.


Two questions here. Firstly, if the Elves thought that the Dwarves were dead, why would they be marching towards the Lonely Mountain with a big army? I can see the point of "man"power for helping the people of Esgaroth, but then, why would the Elved be thinking about a battle or something?

Secondly, how would the treasure be able to pay the Elves with the costs of helping the people of Esgaroth? What kind of "trade" were they exactly involved in with those men? JRRT isn't clear. Or are we just suppose to assume that it was money? In that case,

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His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.


this sentence is a bit absurd.

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While the Men of the now destroyed Esgaroth wanted their share to defray the cost of keeping and supplying Thorin and Company on their journey plus a little something to replace their town and to lessen the widows and orphans plight.


I think this part can be made to fit in, because we can safely assume that the men had probably developed an economical structure for their internal affairs.

Oh well, I think that's more than enough for one post!!

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Having heard the Elves and Men were approaching, the Thorin had called for Dwarven reinforcements from the Iron Hills.


Agreed.

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None but Beorn and the Eagles knew the Goblins and Wargs were massing, and they were following these to see what they were up to. I don't think Gandalf knew anything about the Goblins until he saw them approaching around and down the Mountain, though he was friendly with the Eagles, so a little bird may have told him.


Agreed too. Here's something to support it, from the chapter "The Clouds Burst" :

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Not even the ravens knew of their coming until they came out in the broken lands which divided the Lonely Mountain from the hills behind. How much Gandalf knew cannot be said, but it is plain that he had not expected this sudden assault.


Oh and,

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The Goblins of The Hobbit are synonymous with the Orcs of the LotR.


Yes. I know that! It's mentioned in The Hobbit.
We all know that. Or hopefully! Smile Smilie
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I think the Goblins of the Northern Misty Mountains figured that when Blog was killed by the Dwarves (whom Gandalf was working for) this was the Dwarves revenge and when they attacked Erabor at The Battle of Five Armies, this was the Goblins revenge for the killing of Blog.


I agree the enmity between the Dwarves and Orcs went back to the days of Azog, Grondy, but as it was Bolg who led the goblins at the Battle of the Five Armies (where he was subsequently killed by Beorn), I think your reasoning behind the goblins appearance at Erebor is slightly flawed. Are you confusing Bolg with the Great Goblin by any chance?

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How could Sauron breed such huge armies of Orcs in a place like Mordor?


Mordor was not all desolate. In the south, around the Nurnen, the land was fertile. Here slaves tilled the fields providing food for Sauron's armies. After the War of the Ring, Aragorn gave this land to the freed slaves as their own.
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I agree the enmity between the Dwarves and Orcs went back to the days of Azog, Grondy, but as it was Bolg who led the goblins at the Battle of the Five Armies (where he was subsequently killed by Beorn), I think your reasoning behind the goblins appearance at Erebor is slightly flawed. Are you confusing Bolg with the Great Goblin by any chance?
Oh My! I always assumed that the Great Goblin was Blog. During the Battle of Five Armies, that rock to the head, took me out of the combat; by the time I came around again, the battle was over. Thus I wasn't awake to see that Blog was the Orc leader. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie