Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: Writing Gimli/Legolas's story

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Author > Writing Gimli/Legolas's story   
Do you think when Tolkien was writing the developing friendship between Legolas and Gimli in The Lord of the Rings, that he actually planned it that way from the beginning towards softening The Silmarillion's emnity between the Elves and the Dwarves? Or was it just serendipity and these two characters just took over and wrote their own story?

I think that the friendship forged between Legolas and Gimli was intentional from the start... The Three Kindreds in The Lord of the Rings was of Elves, Men and Dwarves, all free peoples of Middle-Earth coming together in friendship to combat the evil... 'The enemy of your enemy is your friend'... They would all form friendships in the Fellowship, they would not want to make the already doomful situation anymore hard by having the same old argument, (though there were some 'words' spoken ill-willed). The chancing of the three main races coming together for the same cause would see an end to the quarreling and settle it for the end of the tales... Chronologically there would be no more tales or stories about Middle-Earth and Arda, so maybe Tolkien wanted a more peaceful Middle-Earth to leave us with... The close relationship with Legolas and Gimli did change the views of many Dwarves and Elves, recognising that the deeds done by the two together can set an example for the ages to come, I think it was intentional to break whatever difference they had...

It would have also closed the quarrel of spouses Yavanna and Aul, which is what started the whole difference between them in the first place, the Elves loving the trees for their beauty and life (Yavanna), the Dwarves for their love of cutting down for creation (Aul)... among other debates throughout the ages... Setting the example for future generations of Elves and Dwarves I think was the original idea of Tolkien as he knew he wouldn't carry on writing past the beginning of the Fourth Age. Though the Elves did depart and not see the Dwarves much thereafter, the different thinking would probably be implanted in them forever on...
This enmity towards the Dwarves only concerned the Sindar and the Nandor. For some reason they did not like it when the Dwarves chopped King Thingol of Doriath in as many bits as they could.

Son-in-law Beren then decided to courageously wipe out those Dwarves by ambushing them Maquis-style (undoubtedly encouraged to this foul act by his loving spouse who now finally had the chance for a new necklace) and arrow them all down, obviously fearing the Dwarves' axes that were still red with the blood of Thingol.

As Celeborn was related to Thingol, as was Thranduil according to some versions, this made the Silvan Elves dislike the Dwarves too.

The Noldor, though, had always been friends of the Dwarves, which is why the Lady Galadriel summoned Gimli to come to her after the death of King Elessar the Mad, being desperately in need of a new jester.

As for Legolas & Gimli, I take it Tolkien made them friends in order to create something to do for them: hold endless inane conversations and soliloquys about a certain red-headed Elf, glittering caves and the future of Man.
Which Elves were more than bent out of shape at the Dwarves when the Western Gate of Khazad-dm was closed, lessening their chance to escape Sauron's minions who were putting Eregion to the flame?
Shutting the Gates was necessary to force the Elves to fight. The Dwarves understood that only through conflict and war one is truly tested and can better oneself, for peace and convalescence lead only to stagnation, apathy and ultimately enslavement and death... the Dwarves had no time for cowards fleeing in the shadows and refusing to fight for their people and land. If the Elves were routed, at least they died right up and fighting instead of cowering on their knees.

That is why the Dwarves never shut themselves from the world, unlike the Elves hiding in their forest realms, but instead took back their rightful homes by means of action - the Lonely Mountain from Smaug, Khazad-Dm from the Orcs. That is also why the Dwarves fought in Nirnaeth Arnoediad, to aid those who had previously spitted on them, humiliated them and hunted them like animals.

But then, Elves were not made for fighting, they were made only to be beautiful and create beauty for which there was no more place after Arda was marred and had become a grim and violent place; when the few strength they had received had wained after hundreds of years of dwelling in the marred Middle-earth, they had no choice but to retreat in their artificial resorts and hope that somehow the other races would defeat Evil for them. But even then they would only keep on dwindling until they would be nothing but feeble, forgotten spirits.

This is a very important (perhaps the major) theme in Tolkien's works: the end of the old and the dawn of the new.

They were not made to be strong and hardy like Dwarves, or resourceful like Men. My conclusion is that they can both be blamed and not be blamed for their feelings towards Dwarves, and to a lesser degree, Men.
wheres loss' avatar? Shocked Smilie
Moderator Smilie How about sending a PM to Loss instead of pushing this thread off topic?
Out of topic: I have already sent a PM to Grondy about it... I was trying another avy, but it wouldn't work, so I just tried to switch to my original and that also won't work... Now I'm stuck without it Sad Smilie Help!

On with topic...
Grondy hasn't received the PM and couldn't do anything about the avatar anyway other than to suggest you logout before and after trying to change your avatars. I've heard that sometimes helps.

Moderator Smilie In a day or two I'll delete these off topic avatar posts.
Having spent more time reading professor Tolkien's letters, over and over, than I care to admit, I don't think the relationship was intentional. It just seems that because it was language, his own, that was the basis of everything, he seems to have been all over the board with characters and their relationships to one another.
Just looking at the HObbit and the Silmarillon and then to the greater body of his work LOTR, it appears over the fifteen or so y ears that so much of it just suddenly popped into his head and seemed right, then not, then yes, then oh well. It was so epic that , it seems just going back over even some of it and working and reworking was beyond tedious after a while.
Still, I am not him, don't begin to think as he did, so I don't know really.
Interestingly, in early versions of the Council of Elrond, Gimli and Galdor (Legolas) are present, but in the original Ring Goes South manuscript, no Dwarf or Elf is in the Company however.

With respect to a later version of The Ring Goes South, Tolkien notes to himself that Elrond says (or should say): 'We must send out messages to all free folk to resist as long as possible (...) But with Frodo must go helpers, and they should represent the Free Folk. Nine should be the number to set against the Nine Evil servants.' Tolkien's list begins with the names Galdor and Legolas written above, then...

Quote:
Hobbits Frodo 1 Sam 2
Wizard Gandalf 3
Elf Legolas 4
Half-elf Erestor 5
The road should go the Minas Tirith, therefore so far at least should go:
Men Aragorn 6 boromir 7
Dwarf Gimli son of Gloin 8

Merry, Pippin. They insist on going. [struck out: Pippin only if Erestor does not go.] Elrond says there may be work in the Shire, and it may prove ill if they all go.
Shall Pippin return to the Shire?


Erestor the half-elf almost nudged out Pippin at this point.

Quote:
Son-in-law Beren then decided to courageously wipe out those Dwarves by ambushing them Maquis-style (...) and arrow them all down, obviously fearing the Dwarves' axes that were still red with the blood of Thingol.


Actually, Beren came forth to meet Naugladur, casting aside his bow. And the Dwarf tried to rasom his own life with the necklace. And Beren alone advanced on him and his companions, and having slain the foremost of these, the others fled; and Beren called out that all the other Elves should not fire any arrows while he fought Naugladur.

As for the others: ambush for ambush (though the Elves seem to have sounded their horns before they began the assault at least, and were said to be lightly armed, and that most bore only knives and bows in any case), as the Dwarves had ambushed Thingol when he was resting upon the hunt, and Naugladur beheaded the King only after he was dead, for 'living he dared not so near to his bright sword or the axe of Mablung.'

Tongue Smilie
What can I say? I just wanted to make Beren & Lthien look bad.

Although it is very hard to make Lthien look bad. Even if she'd be dragged behind a horse all the way from Eglarest to Tol Galen she'd still make Galadriel look like one of Cinderella's step-sisters.
That is quite the complement and applause from you for Luthien Vir. Really; and if you take that view I can see why Galadriel and Arwen and just about any other girl type character has to take a very very back sit, miles back to her.
Makes sense.
Quote:
Do you think when Tolkien was writing the developing friendship between Legolas and Gimli in The Lord of the Rings, that he actually planned it that way from the beginning towards softening The Silmarillion's emnity between the Elves and the Dwarves?


Well I tend to think that he was trying to resolve the conflict between dwarves and the different elf kindred he created in The Hobbit. Moreover, It seems to me that elves are rather exaggerating in their enmity with the dwarfs as their grief was with only one of the house of the dwarves. Yet they extended their enmity even to those of the house of Durin, at least the Sindar did.
Quote:
Well I tend to think that he was trying to resolve the conflict between dwarves and the different elf kindred he created in The Hobbit. Moreover, It seems to me that elves are rather exaggerating in their enmity with the dwarfs as their grief was with only one of the house of the dwarves. Yet they extended their enmity even to those of the house of Durin, at least the Sindar did.


Thorin's point is quite valid - but doesn't explain it all. Some of the Sindar(those in Lothlorien) were somewhat put out by Durin's folk during the third age. Namely, the dwarves waking up the Balrog, unintentially of course, but wasn't it their greed that caused it? But then mining does have its hazards. Since Lorien is near the Gate of Moria, where once it was peaceful throughout the ages we now have all manner of orcs, dwarf/goblin wars etc. right on their doorstep. Indeed, this is how they lost Nimrodel. So this enmity does have a more recent history, at least in Lorien which partly explains Celeborn's attitude
Very true Gwindor but unless I'm wrong Khazad Dum was founded well before Lorien. And how are the dwarves to be blamed if they like the minerals of the earth as their maker Mahal does. In fact I often wonder how the Balrog got there at all as it is mentioned in the Sil considering that Khazad Dum was already a place of wonder according to the dwarves of Nogrod and belegost in the first age. So how did he do to go there?
I think Shelob, the Watcher, and the Balrog had moved to Eregion with the downfall of Morgoth. Then with the downfall of Angmar, they parted company. Shelob crossed the Misty Mountains; ambled through Mirkwood; and continued on down to to stake a claim at Cirith Ungol. The other two disguised themselves as itinerant day laborers and journeyed down to Khazad_dm where they found work. One remained outside as ticket taker, souvenir vendor, and subsequently, after the Orcs moved in, as night watchman. The Balrog entered right away, ostensibly to clean out the lower level drains, there it made itself a home in an unused storage room at the end of a played out vein of mithril, way down in the lower bowels of the mines of Moria. Or not, as the case probably was. Elf Winking Smilie But there is just enough truthiness to my story, that might have been so.
That Grondy dear, gives me absolute shivers and also makes me think that that is how evil is making its' terrible way in the real world right now and noone much is paying attention. Sad Smilie