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Valedhelgwath began this thread with the following post.

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Throughout Tolkien's works, elves are immune to the ravages of time and disease, remaining youthful and healthy looking. Why then is Cirdan, a Sindarin, unique among his kind in appearing old and possessing a white beard?


Eryan replied

He is not unique, Gwindor, an Elf prince of Nargothrond is also told to have the looks of "one of the aged among mortal Men " after his escape from thraldom in Angband.
I believe that elves, when they become very very old, will eventually assume an appearance of "one of the aged among mortal men". Cirdan had been in middle earth since the first elves originally left for the undying lands. He is considerably older than Galadriel!

Cirdan may have looked old, but he was still fit and healthy in body. I think Tolkien said somewhere that elves dont feel old until they reach the age of one million? I dont know that Cirdan is quite that old, but remember he had seen a lot in ME and this may have hastened his aging (like Gwindor). Perhaps when he fianally goes to the undying lands he will be healed / restored by the Valar.
Was he the oldest elf left in ME by the time of the War of the Ring? Mmm, must check my Silm.
I had forgotten about Gwindor, and yes, I suppose Cirdan was getting on even by elven standards. Without dates being kept in the First Age, you cannot be sure how many thousands of years passed, and thus how old Cirdan actually is.
I suppose also, being Sindarin, Cirdan hadn't been across the sea to Valinor and therefore wasn't blessed with the Secret Fire beyond which King Thingol brought back with him. I'd imagine something as powerful as this would provide some sort of life sustaining properties, and would explain why other old elves such as Galadriel (who had been in the West) were able to remain youthful.
It could also be that being forced to live alone (which is my guess as no companions are ever mentioned) has wearied him beyond his years, Forever dwelling on the coast (with that curse of sea lust that Legolas talks about in ROTK) but having to wait for the rest of the slackers. Tongue Smilie Wink Smilie
Sure, having never seen the 2 trees may have its effect too, but can you imagine what that salty sea air does to your skin and hair over a few millenia????!!!!!
Oldest Elf in Middle Earth? I think so, check the Encyclopedia of Arda, it may have a reference there.

[Edited on 27/6/2002 by Cirdan]
Cirdan is quite the passive observer. Other than guiding Gandalf and company to the sea and warning Isildur to destroy the Ring, he didn't do a lot. . .
During the First Age he ruled one of the last Elven strongholds to survive in Beleriand. He might not be counted among the great lords of the Noldor, but for a Sindar he certainly did well for himself. If it were not for his havens at Eglarest and Brithombar, and later at the Isle of Balar, many elves who lived to fight in the later ages would not have survived Morgoth's forces when the elves were all but beaten. Both Gil-galad and Elwing sought shelter with Cirdan, so imagine the later ages if they had not survived.

Cirdan must have been held in high esteem by his contempories, too, because he was entrusted with Narya, one of the three elven rings of power. Seeing strength in Gandalf (which incidently he had seen Saruman did not possess), he had the wisdom to give Narya to Gandalf realising it would be of more use there. He knew his own strength lay in building ships, that those of his brethren who wished to return to Valinor may do so.

He was considered wise and was a valuable member of the White Council.
I agree about never having seen the Two Trees. Does Cirdan ever leave ME? And does anyone know if he is related to Thingol? He was certainly well off for a Sindarian lord, and I like him because he seems very wise.

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but can you imagine what that salty sea air does to your skin and hair over a few millenia????!!!!!
[Edited on 27/6/2002 by Cirdan]

I have lived by the sea all my life, and I don't think so! But then again, I haven't been around as long as that... Big Laugh Smilie Big Laugh Smilie
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Was he the oldest elf left in ME by the time of the War of the Ring? Mmm, must check my Silm.
I've found something in Morgoth's Ring that while not confirming Cirdan is the oldest elf in Middle Earth, does confirm that there are none actually older than him.

Cirdan is mentioned as being on the Journey to the West, which makes him older than Feanor, who was born in Tirion after the Noldor had reached Aman. What I found, however, says that Feanor was the very first elf to be born of mother and father, all the preceeding ones having awoken at Cuivienen. This means, then, that Cirdan was one of those elves who awoke there. The guy is truely ancient. He is one of those who were originally created.

Unless there are others in Middle Earth, who like him, awoke instead of being born, he is oldest. There are some dates mentioned in Morgoth's Ring, but as they are Valarian years, they are not simple to calculate years of the sun from. Once I've got my head round them, I'll try to calculate just how old Cirdan really is.
said the
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I've found something in Morgoth's Ring that while not confirming Cirdan is the oldest elf in Middle Earth, does confirm that there are none actually older than him.
Then, it is said, he stood forlorn looking out to sea, and it was night, but far away he could see a glimmer of light upon Eressa ere it vanished into the West. Then he cried aloud: 'I will follow that light, alone if none will come with me, for the ship that I have been building is now almost ready.' But even as he said this he received in his heart a postBody, which he knew to come from the Valar, though in his mind it was remembered as a voice speaking in his own tongue. And the voice warned him not to attempt this peril; for his strength and skill would not be able to build any ship able to dare the winds and waves of the Great Sea for many long years yet. 'Abide now that time, for when it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it will be remembered in song for many ages after.' 'I obey,' Crdan answered, and then it seemed to him that he saw (in a vision maybe) a shape like a white boat, shining above him, that sailed west through the air, and as it dwindled in the distance it looked like a star of so great a brilliance that it cast a shadow of Crdan upon the strand where he stood.
As we now perceive, this was a foretelling of the ship# which after apprenticeship to Crdan, and ever with his advice and help, Erendil built, and in which at last he reached the shores of Valinor. From that night onwards Crdan received a foresight touching all matters of importance, beyond the measure of all other Elves upon Middle-earth.

Then, it is said, he stood forlorn looking out to sea, and it was night, but far away he could see a glimmer of light upon Eressa ere it vanished into the West. Then he cried aloud: 'I will follow that light, alone if none will come with me, for the ship that I have been building is now almost ready.' But even as he said this he received in his heart a postBody, which he knew to come from the Valar, though in his mind it was remembered as a voice speaking in his own tongue. And the voice warned him not to attempt this peril; for his strength and skill would not be able to build any ship able to dare the winds and waves of the Great Sea for many long years yet. 'Abide now that time, for when it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it will be remembered in song for many ages after.' 'I obey,' Crdan answered, and then it seemed to him that he saw (in a vision maybe) a shape like a white boat, shining above him, that sailed west through the air, and as it dwindled in the distance it looked like a star of so great a brilliance that it cast a shadow of Crdan upon the strand where he stood. As we now perceive, this was a foretelling of the ship# which after apprenticeship to Crdan, and ever with his advice and help, Erendil built, and in which at last he reached the shores of Valinor. From that night onwards Crdan received a foresight touching all matters of importance, beyond the measure of all other Elves upon Middle-earth.


Cirdan never awoke at Cuivinien, all the Elves that awoke there were espoused, Cirdan is never mentioned as having a spouse. The stroy on Elven awaknings is in 'Quendi and Eldar' HoME 11.

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What I found, however, says that Feanor was the very first elf to be born of mother and father, all the preceeding ones having awoken at Cuivienen. This means, then, that Cirdan was one of those elves who awoke there


No. The passage you have citied from was rejected by Tolkien anyway, and in that version, Feanor was born on the journey to Aman, and Miriel fell from the moutain-side and was killed. None of the Elven kings, awoke at Cuivienien. Ingwe had a a sister, or is some cases niece who married Finwe Noldoran after the death of Miriel. Elwe, had two brothers, Elmo and Olwe. He also married Melian, therefore he couldn't be one of the unbegotten, since they all awoke with spouses, and his first wife was Melian, who he met in Nan Elmoth. Finwe married Miriel in Aman, who was said to be a generation younger then him. Tolkein comments in 'Laws and Customs' (HoME 10) that a lot of the unbegotten died because they coudln't control their fea, as there hroa was too weak and mnay rejected Namo's summons.

One Valain Year is equivalent to 9.58 yrs of the sun. Since we have no specific dates for Cirdan's birth it is pointless calculating how old he was/is. Though in some cases one Valian year is is equivalent to 144 Y.O.S. This is needed in oder to allow for 'Adanels Tale' on the Fall of Man in the Athrabeth to work properly, since we are there dealing with the Myths Transformed legendarium in which men awoke soon after the Elves on a round Earth, where the sun+moon had existed from Arda's creation.

There is quite a bit of info. on him in 'Late Writings' (HoME 12)

Yes Cirdan never saw the Two Trees.

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t was during the long waiting of the Teleri for the return of the floating isle, upon which the Vanyar and Noldor had been transported over the Great Sea, that Cirdan had turned his thoughts and skill to the making of ships, for he and all the other Teleri became impatient. Nonetheless it is said that for love of his kin and allegiance Cirdan was the leader of those who sought longest for Elwe when he was lost and did not com to the shores to depart from Middle-earth. Thus he forfeited th fulfilment of his greatest desire: to see the Blessed Realm and find again there Olwe and his own nearest kin. Alas, he did not reach the shores until nearly all the Teleri of Olwe's following had departed.





[Edited on 22/5/2003 by Findekano]

[Edited on 22/5/2003 by Findekano]
Although there is no doubt that Crdan is the oldest elf we meet in the LotR, shows that while Crdan may have been born at Cuivienen, he was most probably not one of the original Elves who 'awoke' there.

The 'Unbegotten' (Elves who originally awoke) awoke each with their respective spouse (hence 144 Elves in 72 pairs). Elw had to wife Melian and she did not awaken at Cuivienen. Elw also had two brothers Olw and Elmo, hence he had parents. Crdan was 'akin' to Elw and Olw but was their junior (else He would be King of the Teleri) so is likely not of the 'Unbegotten'. He also seems not to have had a spouse. For completeness, Finw had to wife Mriel. Mriel had a mother name (Serind ), and hence a mother. Thus Mriel was born, hence Finw did not 'Awaken'. Ingw had a sister (Indis or Indis' mother) and hence had parents, thus he was born and not Unbegotten.


[Edited on 22/5/2003 by Tauron]
Hi Findekano and Tauron. Welcome to Planet Tolkien. Your knowledge of Middle Earth is admirable. I bow down to you.

I've only just recently began reading the HOME books, and though almost every page enlightens me on something, I find a few pages on, Tolkien has a change of thoughts and rewrites bits. I saw that he had quickly rewriten the idea of Feanor being born in Middle Earth, but the note suggested he was keen to still have Feanor as the firstborn elf. I must read further, I guess.

The parts about the Unbegotten appear fascinating. I look forward to reading them. The trouble is, unlike most books, you can read something new in the HOME series, only to find it's been superceeded by some other version that JRR wrote afterwards. I guess I should plough through them all before I make any more mistakes.

I look forward to seeing more from the pair of you in the future.
A stupid question from one who's only read the first part of HOME: what happened to the fathers of Ingwe, Finwe, and Olwe? Why are they the kings of the Elven kindreds? Not trying to make trouble, but it was my understanding of the Silmarillion that Olwe and Elwe were "twin kings" of the Teleri (thus both were taken to Valinor by Orome, and Elwe has the distinction of having seen the Two Trees despite not completing the journey of the Eldar to Valinor.)

I like HOME, as it provides exactly what I sought: Trilogy like detail in the stories of the Elder Days I much prefer, and for reasons like these have recently decided to reenter it, but I'm forced by the need for continuity to hold with the opinion that where the Silmarillion contradicts it I go with the Silm. Otherwise, one is forced to attempt a reconciliation of the various competing versions of stories with each other, and if this were possible, surely Christopher Tolkien would have done it. Besides, Thingols opposition to the Silmarillion marriage makes more sense (though it requires some alteration of Tuor and Idril; see what I mean?)
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A stupid question from one who's only read the first part of HOME: what happened to the fathers of Ingwe, Finwe, and Olwe?

I don't know and don't care about what's in HOME, but in the Sil they didn't have fathers, nor mothers. They were amongst the Elves which awoke at Cuivinen. They were made by Eru.

I presume Ingw was King of all Quendi because he was the very first Elf to awake at Cuivinen.

Elw and Olw weren't twin kings. Elw was the king of the Teleri, but as he stayed behind in Beleriand, his brother Olw was made King of the Teleri in Valinor.
I don't think Ingwe, Finwe and Elwe were originally kings, but just three elves selected by Orome to go to Valinor on behalf of the others.

From Of the Coming of Elves and the Captivity of Melkor - The Silmarillion

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Therefore Orome was sent again to them, and he chose from among them ambassadors who should gp to Valinor and speak for their people; and these were Ingwe, Finwe and Elwe, who afterwards were kings.
The impression I get is that their journey to Valinor (converse with the Valar, gazing on the Two Trees, etc. gave them a preeminence that established them as kings, though they obviously had some qualities that set them apart to be chosen for that honor in the first place.

And, yeah, I was asking in a purely HoME context; in the Silmarillion I (obviously) like the above explanation for how the kings of the Eldar were enthroned (and it's my understanding that you're right, In(g)we was High King of all the Eldar, no argument there.) If, however, in HoME the four kings didn't awake at Cuivenen but were born, one can't help wonder what happened to their fathers, but, as far as my LT1&2 only knowledge of HoME goes, while the names might have changed the identities remained intact. Is something I should wait to read the rest and find out, something with a simple explanation, or something never resolved?
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If, however, in HoME the four kings didn't awake at Cuivenen but were born, one can't help wonder what happened to their fathers, but, as far as my LT1&2 only knowledge of HoME goes, while the names might have changed the identities remained intact. Is something I should wait to read the rest and find out, something with a simple explanation, or something never resolved?

I think it's more logical for one of the Elves who awoke at Cuivinen instead of being born to become High King of all Elves, but that's just me.

I don't know where i read that Ingw was High King of all Elves because he was the first Elf ever to be awoken, maybe it's just a theory i picked up somewhere. It's typical for the Sil to mention facts here and there, without giving background information, but i guess we have to live with that.
Tolkien did write a long essay in 1959-60 called Quendi and Eldar, which is included in HOME - The War of the Jewels.

In this essay there were three Elf-fathers, Imin, Tata and Enel, from whom the three elven clans were derived. These clans in the essay were named Minyar (firsts), Tatyar (seconds) and Nelyar (thirds), and of the 144 elves who awoke by the shores of Cuivienen, 14 were Minyar, 56 Tatyar and 74 Nelyar.. It is said these proportions were maintained until the Separation. At the time of the Separation it says...

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It is said that of the small clan of the Minyar none became Avari. The Tatyar were evenly divided. The Nelyar were the most reluctant to leave their lakeside homes; but they were very cohesive, and very conscious of the separate unity of their clan (as they continued to be), so that when it became clear that their cheiftains Elwe and Olwe were resolved to depart and would have a large following, many of those among them who had at first joined the Avari went over to the Eldar rather than be separated from their kin. The Noldor indeed asserted that most of the Teleri were at heart Avari and that only the Eglain really regretted being left in Beleriand.

According to the Noldorin historians the proportions, out of the 144, that when the march began became Avari or Eldar were approximately so:

Minyar 14: Avari 0: Eldar 14
Tatyar 56: Avari 28: Eldar 28
Nelyar 74: Avari 28: Eldar 46 > Amanyar Teleri 20: Sindar and Nandor 26


Obviously none of this made it into the Silmarillion, but the fact Tolkien mentions Elwe and Olwe in the same essay as Imin, Tata and Enel does show he did not envisage his eventual elven kings as being the first fathers. I'm unsure what actually happened to the first three, or how the others eventually became chieftains but he does go into detail on why each of the clans contained the numbers they did.
Hey i found this posted by someone on some random site how much of this information is really credible?

Cirdan the Shipwright

Name: Cirdan the Shipwright, possible surname is Falmandil. Original
Telerin name was Now.

Race: Elf [Teleri]

Age: Approx. 4767 years old.

Gender: Male

Social Status:

Deity: Oss?

Occupation: Lord of the Falathrim, Master Shipwright

Origin: Cuivinen?

Home: Brithombar, one of the twin havens of Falas.

Household: No known relatives.

Allegiance: King Thingol/Doriath

Starting Location: Falas

Physical Appearance: His hair was silver, long and flowing down his back, and at the end of the Third
Age, he had a long silvery beard as well. Unusual as this was among
elves, most elves did grow beards in the third cycle of their life,
which began after around ten thousand years of age. His eyes were
sometimes grey and sometimes blue, and his clothing was often simple,
though in his palace he wore robes of a light blue, trimmed with
silver thread that traced delicate patterns across the garb.

Personality: Cirdan was a tall elf, lean and strong, with a sort of
quiet calm that seemed to engulf his being.

History: The first of the Children of Eru did not wake when first they
were conceived in the mind of Iluvatar, rather they slept, slept in
the east in a realm that was later called Cuivinen, the Waters of
Awakening. When at last the first of the elves awoke, they did so
under the shadow of the Orocarni, the Red Mountains that lay in the
distance. When at last they woke, the year was 1050 of the Valian
Years of the Trees. There they would dwell for over fifty years in
that land, before Orom, the Huntsman of the Valar, came forth and
learned that they had woken.

Among them were many elves who went on to become great kings of elves
throughout Arda. Ingw was among them, he who would become known as
the High King of Elves and dwell beneath Manw's halls upon Taniquetil
with his people, the Vanyar. Finw was also among them, Finw who
would birth three sons who in turn would shape the future in ways yet
untold by even the wisest of prophets. There was too Elw, who his kin
would name Singollo and more oft Thingol, and he who would play a
great part in all things yet to come. Lenw dwelt in that land also,
he who would one day lead the second sundering of the elves and form
the Nandor. Olw dwelt there with his brothers, Elw and Elmo, and
they three were born in the years in which the elves still lived in
Cuivinen. And there was Now, who was of them all perhaps the most
wise, and also the most cautious. When his three kindred returned from
their role as ambassadors in Valinor, they spoke of the glory of Aman,
and counselled their people to come forth from Cuivinen, the only
home yet known to them, and fare to that distant land of the Valar.

So from the shadow of the Orocarni they left, and traveled north to
avoid the Sea of Helcar. From there they fared west, through lands
that would only ages later be given the names that most now know them
by. What would later be Rhn they crossed through, then through
Rovannion until they came upon the Anduin, the great river that ran
through Middle-Earth. There it was that Lenw, who was well-favored
among many of the Teleri, broke from the Great Journey and settled
along those eastern banks, and his folk became the Nandor and founded
realms in that land. Others of the Telerin elves fell away from the
journey as well, and settled in the woodlands east of the Mountains.
These were the Silvan Elves, and their kind would one day build Lorien
and Greenwood the Great.

The Vanyar and the Noldor remained faithful however, and many others
as well. Elw, Olw and Elmo continued on their journey, and likewise
did Now, with many of the Teleri behind them. Twenty years after they
first left Cuivinen, they crossed the Ered Luin and entered
Beleriand. They were behind the other two kins by several leagues, for
the Vanyar and the Noldor were already nearing the western shore of
Beleriand. On their way, they passed through Nan Elmoth, where met
Elw and Melian, a Maia of Vna and of Est. Their tale tells of their
falling in love, and of Elw's founding the realm of Doriath, and
there Melian was his queen for many years. After Elw fell away from
the Journey, his brother Olw led the remaining Teleri now, though
fewer than there were when they had left from the shadow of the
Orocarni, for the people of Lenw and Elw had stayed among their
lords, and not continued toward Valinor.

Now was with Olw throughout, and together they came to the shores of
Beleriand, and there their people built ships, for the Noldor and the
Vanyar had left these shores three years prior, and by device of Ulmo.
Oss and Uinen befriended the Teleri when they reached those shores,
and they aided them as best they could. At last the ships were built
and they readied themselves to set sail. In a final attempt to find
Elw, who had been lost unto them since he had entered the woods of
Doriath, Now and a small band of elves sought him a final time, and
many in this quest chose instead to abide upon the shores of
Beleriand, rather than cross unto the sea. Yet Now was insistent on
traveling to Aman, even if it was himself alone. Some few chose to go
with him, and Now set about the task of building a vessel to fare
them hence. On the night before their departure, Now had a dream in
which he received a message from the Valar.


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And the voice warned him not to attempt this peril; for his strength
and skill would not be able to build any ship able to dare the winds
and waves of the Great Sea for many long years yet. "Abide now that
time, for when it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it
will be remembered in song for many ages after." "I obey," Cirdan
answered, and then it seemed to him that he saw (in a vision maybe) a
shape like a white boat, shining above him, that sailed west through
the air, and as it dwindled in the distance it looked like a star of
so great a brilliance that it cast a shadow of Cirdan upon the strand
where he stood.

-The History of Middle-earth, vol. XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth:
"Last Writings - Cirdan," p. 386



Now indeed obeyed, and did not try to pursue Olw further. Oss had
persuaded others of the Teleri to remain in Middle-Earth while Ulmo
drew all who were willing across the Belegaer for the second time. Yet
Now lived among the Teleri who remained upon the shores, and became
their lord. In Falas they were, and in Falas they would stay. They
called themselves Eglath, the Forsaken People and became known in
Middle-Earth as the Falathrim. There at the South-Western shores of
Beleriand began the building of the great havens of Eglarest and
Brithombar. Now was their lord in this, and to mark this new life, he
took the name Cirdan, meaning Shipwright. Perhaps he took this name in
defiance of the message of the Valar, or perhaps in honor of it. In
Falas they dwelt in peace for many years, and in time Cirdan regained
contact with Thingol, whose kingdom of Doriath was now well-known in
Beleriand. The Lord of the Falathrim was a kind leader, and the lives
of his people were simple and peaceful, and at all times in tune with
the sea. Mariners were they mostly, though some were weavers and
minstrels and shipwrights.

The Falathrim lived beneath the stars for many years, until Morgoth
began to wage war upon Beleriand. Weapons, they built; swords and bows
and arrows. The elven folk of Doriath and Ossiriand joined their
defense against Morgoth, with the aid of Aul's dwarves, and thus
occurred the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, in which Finw's son Fanor was
slain. Three war-filled years later, the first sunrise filled the sky,
and with it came the Host of the Noldor, led by Fingolfin, Finw's
second son.

Cirdan's warriors fought at the Dagor Bragollach, though they did not
make up any part of the Siege of Angband that held Morgoth in check
for close to four hundred years. When at last that siege was broken,
Morgoth's armies took Maglor's Gap and the Dorthonion, thus granting
his armies pass into the rest of Beleriand. When rumor reached Cirdan,
he marched with his warriors to the aid of Himring, a fortress held by
Fanor's eldest son, Maedhros. During that battle, Fingolfin was slain
in single combat against Morgoth, who was himself wounded in the duel.

After that, Beleriand was pushed onto the defensive by the onslaught
of Morgoth's armies. Fingon, one of the sons of Fingolfin, was
besieged at his fortress of Barad Eithel, and it was only by the
fleets of Cirdan that the enemy was defeated. Thus the battles
continued, but in Doriath another tale was underway. The Lay of
Leithian, the tale of Beren and Luthien, is a well known one and shall
not be recalled here in whole, for it is of great length and much of
it is of little consequence. Yet this tale tells of Beren's love for
Luthien, Thingol's daughter, and of his quest to retrieve a Simaril
from Morgoth's iron crown as an appeasement for the elven king. Beren
was ultimately successful in this, though the full tale tells of the
peril that both lovers underwent to meet this end, and a sort of hope
was restored across Beleriand, for these deeds seemed to prove that
Morgoth was not unconquerable.

In the spirit of this new-found hope, Maedhros created the Union of
Maedhros, a union of elves and men and even dwarves against the power
of Morgoth. Cirdan supported this union, and pledged his Falathrim
warriors to this cause. The Union gathered support across Beleriand,
and at last Maedhros and his allies made war against their enemy,
purposing to overthrow the Dark Lord. Yet with the betrayal of Ulfang,
the easterling lord who marched under the banners of the Sons of
Fanor yet betrayed them upon the battlefield. Br however, who was an
Easterling chieftain himself, stayed loyal to the Union and aided them
in what little victory they attained that day. Though they were
ultimately defeated, many survived and fled to the havens of Eglarest
and Brithombar. Among these refugees were the folk of Tuor and
Erendil, and Cirdan taught that people the craft of ship building.

Meanwhile, the mariners of the Falathrim had a different task. With
their swift boats they attacked the coasts held by the enemy and
crushed them in small raids before returning to the safety of their
ships. With his other enemies defeated or driven back, Morgoth turned
his attention to Cirdan's havens. In the year 473 of the first age,
Eglarest and Brithombar were at last smote, and Cirdan's folk forced
to flee by ship to the Isle of Balar, where they created a refuge and
maintained a small fleet there. As time passed, Cirdan regained
control over the lands around the Mouth of Sirion, and moved his fleet
there. Gil-Galad, having been named the High King of the Noldor,
journeyed to the Isle of Balar and dwelt there for a time, being
himself in exile due to the enemy's control over most of Beleriand.

Other elves fled to Cirdan's refuge, those from Gondolin and
Nargothrond, from Doriath and Ossiriand. However, in the year 532, the
remaining four Sons of Fanor, still bound to their terrible Oath,
assaulted the havens at the Mouth of Sirion, seeking the Simaril in
Elwing's possession. The havens were defeated, for the forces of
Cirdan and Gil-Galad came too late to save their stronghold. Many had
escaped by ship, but still their numbers were fewer after that Third
Kinslaying.

At last Erendil made his voyage across the sea, in hopes of gaining
aid from the Valar against the Enemy. His voyage, unlike many that the
elven kings had sent before him, was successful, and thus the War of
Wrath was set into motion. Gladly did the Falathrim aid the host of
the Vanyar and the Noldor, and the Maiar who sailed with them upon the
ships of the Falmari, those elves of Olw who dwelt in Aman. Men and
elves alike drew swords against the enemy in this, though it was Enw
and the Maiar who in the end were the great victors of the battle. In
the course of this battle the enemy was defeated, and Morgoth cast
into the Void, yet such was the power that the Maiar wielded against
the Dark Lord that in the end Beleriand was sundered and sank beneath
the sea, though through the vigilance of Cirdan's mariners, many
survived and sailed out of the ruins of Beleriand onto the shores of
Middle-Earth, where they would come to form the havens of Lindon and
Mithlond.

Thus began the Second Age of the Sun, with the foundation of the elven
havens of Gil-Galad and Cirdan. The Edain, those men who had remained
faithful to the cause of the Valar, were granted the island of Elenna,
which was known to those men as Nmenor. When first these men required
passage to that island, it was Cirdan's elves who made their ships,
and taught them the craft, so that these Nmenoreans might make their
own ships and become mariners in their own right. Indeed, these men
came to be great shipwright and mariners, and none save the Famari in
Aman and the Falathrim in Middle-Earth could rival their craft.

For many years, little was heard from Nmenor, indeed for close to six
hundred years naught was seen of these men who had fought alongside
them in the battles of Beleriand many years before. In the year 600 of
the Second Age, a mariner by the name of Veantur landed in the Grey
Havens, and Cirdan welcomed him as a friend and ally. Over a century
later, for indeed these men had been gifted by the Valar with long
lives, Veantur returned, this time with his grandson Aldarion, who
would one day become the King of Numenor. Cirdan befriended this man
and taught him much about ships, of the building and sailing of them.
In the years that followed, mariners continued to visit Cirdan's
havens, and Cirdan welcomed them all as friends and allies, much as he
had Veantur, the first of their folk to land in Mithlond.

In addition to befriending the men of Nmenor, he also was closely
allied with Amdr of Lorien and Celebrimbor in Eregion. When the
latter was visited by a mysterious being named Annatar who spoke of
magic rings, Cirdan counselled against creating such. Yet his words
were ignored, and the three elven rings were forged. Celebrimbor kept
Nenya, the Ring of Water, for himself, but gifted Gil-Galad with
Vilya, the Ring of Wind, and Narya, the Ring of Fire. The latter of
these was gifted to Cirdan. When Morgoth's greatest servant Sauron
revealed himself to have been Annatar, Celebrimbor went to fight
against him and was utterly defeated. Celebrimbor himself was slain,
and Nenya passed to the only daughter of Fingolfin, Galadriel.

Sauron had created a ruling ring, one that could control all of the
others, for indeed he had made others and gifted them to the dwarves
and to men. These rings were far more dangerous than the three elven
rings, and while the dwarves were not harmed by them, the nine men
gifted with rings were corrupted, and became the Nazgul, or
Ringwraiths. Sauron grew powerful and attempted to invade Eriador, and
indeed drove them as far as Lindon, where the new Dark Lord purposed
to regain the elven rings. However mariners from Nmenor arrived by
ship and drove Sauron back across the Misty Mountains.

After many devastating battles against Sauron, many of which had ended
in defeat for Cirdan and his allies, an unforeseen defeat shook them
all. Sauron had corrupted Nmenor's king, Ar-Pharazn, and had
convinced him to go against the Ban of the Valar, which forbade men
from setting foot upon Valinor. Ar-Pharazn sailed against the island
of the gods and as retribution, Nmenor was cast beneath the oceans.
Elendil however escaped, with his sons Isildur and Anarion, and many
others, and they landed in Mithlond and were received by Gil-Galad and
Cirdan. The survivors of the Downfall of Nmenor, led by Elendil went
on to form Arnor in the northwest of Middle-Earth, neighboring Lindon
and the newly founded realm of Imladris, or Rivendell.

Others went south, journeying across the Misty Mountains and founded
Gondor. War began between Gondor and Mordor, and after victories and
defeats on both sides, Gil-Galad proposed an alliance, much like the
Union of Maedhros an age before. The Last Alliance, as it was called,
was led by Gil-Galad and Elendil, though Elrond of Imladris, Amdr of
Lorien, Oropher of Greenwood, and Cirdan of Mithlond all fought
alongside them. A great war it fought, marching across the entirety of
Middle-Earth to do battle with Sauron. In Gondor it gained the aid of
Isildur and Anarion, Elendil's sons, who had been defending Gondor
valiantly.

Oropher, King of Greenwood, rushed forth with reckless abandon, not
heading the advice of Gil-Galad, and his host was separated from the
main armies, and they were slain, and the battlefield on which they
fell became known as the Dead Marshes. His son, Thranduil, remained
behind with Gil-Galad, and took command of his father's remaining
forces. When at last the main host marched to battle, they were for a
time held back at the Morannon, the Black Gate that guarded the
entrance to Mordor. At last they were victorious, and overthrew their
enemy in a battle known as the Dagor Dagorlad. The host pressed on,
across the plains of the Gorgoroth, fighting the enemy every step of
the way there, until at last they reached Sauron's dark tower,
Barad-Dur.

There they besieged the enemy for seven years, until at last Sauron
himself entered battle and forced the Last Alliance back several
leagues, so that in the end they did battle not outside Barad-Dur, but
on the slopes of Orodruin, where Sauron's ring had been forged. In
this battle, the Nazgul stood with Sauron, and Isildur with Elendil,
and Elrond and Cirdan with Gil-Galad. Gil-Galad, despite the skill of
the warrior and his prowess with his spear, Aiglos, was slain in
battle.

Elendil sought to do battle with Sauron, and was slain, and his sword
Narsil shattered by the great mace of Sauron. Isildur went to defend
his father's dying body, and was attacked by Sauron. In a moment of
desperation, Isildur took up the hilt of his father's sword, with only
a shard of the great sword still attached, and swung it at Sauron's
approaching form. The stroke was a fortunate one, for it severed the
Dark Lord's ring-finger from his hand, and such was the power that
Sauron had poured into the forging of that Ring that he was all but
slain without it. His spirit was cast from his body, and his thralls
were scattered and fled, and the Nazgul fled too, they into the east
and were not heard from for many years.

Thus Isildur son of Elendil took up the Ring that he had cut from the
Dark Lord's finger, and chose to keep it, for such was the power in
the Ring that it had a will of it's own, and within that will it had
the power to corrupt. Cirdan and Elrond counseled that the Ring should
be cast into Orodruin, and thus such things ended, yet Isildur heeded
them not, and kept the Ring, and made to return to Arnor in victory.

In the first days of the Third Age, that man planted the first
seedlings that would yield the White Tree of Gondor, then made to
travel on by way of the Gladden Fields. Here it was that he was slain,
for orcs remained in the lands around Mordor, scattered and
leaderless, yet still savage and dangerous. Isildur there was slain by
the betrayal of the Ring, and that foul weapon was for a time lost in
the River Anduin that ran alongside where he fell.

The Disaster of the Gladden Fields, as it came to be known as, was the
last any heard of the Ring for many years, though the wise knew in
their hearts that the Ring existed still, and therefore so did Sauron,
though in a weakened form. Sauron's fate was bound to that Ring, and
its to him, and so long as one survived, the other would as well. Yet
the years passed in relative peace, at least for the elves of Lindon,
now under sole lordship of Cirdan.

With the first stirrings of evil once again touching the land, the
Valar sent emmisaries to help rally the people of Middle-Earth to
fight against Sauron and overthrow him for good. A council was held
among the Valar, and there they conceived to send three of the Maiar
as these emmisaries, to carry out the task the Valar set for them. The
Valar decreed these three must hide themselves in flesh to win the
trust of Elves and Men, and they knew that this would also endanger
them, and that it would diminish their power and even perhaps their
wisdom, and worse yet it would bring upon them fear, and the care and
weariness that came of flesh. In body these three emissaries would go
about in the guise of old men, and they were warned not to use their
power to intimidate nor inspire, simply to offer counsel and to plant
the seeds of wisdom that the people of Middle-Earth would then be left
to tend and grow.

Aul sent forth Curumo as one, and Orom sent forth Alatar, and from
Manw's halls came Olorin. Yavanna entreated them to take a fourth,
one who would remember her creations in nature when it came to the
wars ahead, and knew not to imperil them. Aiwendil was chosen for this
task, and in the end a fifth was chosen, also of Orom's folk, and his
name was Pallando. These five went forth to Middle-Earth and upon
those shores they were received by Cirdan, who alone knew their
purpose and task in this land, and confided this to few. Although
Curumo was by design their leader, Cirdan perceived that Olorin was of
the five most wise and powerful, and gifted him in secret with Narya,
the fire ring, and this he spake to Olorin:


Quote:

"Take this ring, Master, for your labours 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. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I
will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await
you."
-Appendix B: "The Tale of Years," p. 366



Thus equiped, Olorin, who from then on was known as Gandalf and shall
be called such, left Mithlond, as did his kin. Three hundred years
after the coming of the Istari, a new shadow threatened the borders of
Lindon and Arnor. The Lord of the Nazgul built Angmar, a new
stronghold in the north of the Misty Mountains, and from here made
unceasing war upon the Dunedain. Although Cirdan's elves played a
small role in the first years of the battles that took place between
the Witch-King and the Dunedain, in 1409 of the Third Age, Cirdan's
forces in Mithlond and Lindon to help defeat the armies of Angmar
which had been besieging Fornost after their victory at Amon Sul. The
enemy was defeated, and no more battle was seen in Araphor's reign.

Yet in the years that followed, many more battles were fought, and at
last Arthedain, the last standing providence of Arnor, was overthrown.
Its king, Arvedui, fled north, and Cirdan sent ships to rescue him.
Though the ships found Arvedui, they were lost at sea during a mighty
storm, loosing both the king and the two Palantiri that he had escaped
with. Arvedui's son, Aranarth, became the first Chieftain of the
Dunedain, the leader of a broken race.

However, for all that the Witch-King had triumphed over the Dunedain,
it was Aranarth's reign that would see the end of Angmar. The defeat
would come from Mithlond, from an army of ships sent by Earnur from
Gondor. These Gondorians, along with elves of Cirdan's folk and the
Dunedain, rode out to meet the Witch-King in what would come to be
known as the Battle of Fornost. There they were joined by the elf
warrior Glorfindel of Rivendell, who commanded his own small army as
well. There they defeated the Witch-King, and drove him away, and
there it was that Glorfindel made his prophecy concerning that fell
creature.


Quote:

"Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is
his doom, and not by the of hand man will he fall."



Cirdan perceived this counsel to be wise, and agreed, and returned to
Mithlond in victory. Meanwhile, Sauron's Nazgul were growing stronger
in Mordor, and many elves feared that the Dark Lord's return was
imminent. Those who had grown world-weary chose to travel to Mithlond,
where Cirdan maintained ships that could sail them safely to Tol
Eressea and Valinor. Of them, only one ship never left harbor. That
ship was a great ship, perhaps larger than any other he had built, and
made entirely of fine white wood. This ship he maintained with the
purpose of upholding the promise he had made to Gandalf upon the
shores at his arrival.

After the fall of the Dunedain, Cirdan was entrusted with the Palantir
of Elostirion, the west-looking stone that could see not into the
other six stones around Middle-Earth, but instead to Tol Eressea and
the Master Stone in the Tower of Avallone. From there perhaps Cirdan
gained much knowledge from the elves that could see into all of the
Palantiri, and knew much of the enemy's movements.

With the threat of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, the Council of the
Wise was formed, led by Saruman who was Curumo to the elven folk, and
also came Gandalf, and Galadriel and her spouse Celeborn, who were
Lord and Lady of Lorien. Also there was Elrond, with Erestor and
Glorfindel, his counsellors and advisors in both peace and war. Cirdan
was among them too, with the elf Galdor at his side. Thranduil was
perhaps among them, though none say with any certainty, or perhaps his
son Legolas Greenleaf.

The White Council purposed the expulsion of this Necromancer, who they
thought to be of the Nazgul, but who Gandalf learned to be Sauron
himself. They succeeded in driving him away, and the Dark Lord fled to
Mordor, and for a time the Council was victorious. It is thought that
the Council was broken after Gandalf's discovery of Saruman's treason,
though the council members remained in frequent contact throughout the
War of the Ring.

In the year 3018, a council was held in Imladris, to which came
emissaries and representatives from every realm of the free folk.
Cirdan himself did not attend, but he sent his counsellor, Galdor, to
speak on behalf of the Falathrim. Galdor's wisdom there was crucial in
the formation of the Ringbearer's quest, for he counseled wisely that
even Tom Bombadil could not keep this Ring from the enemy, though he
was immune to its effects. Also, he warned, the Ring could not be sent
into the West, nor cast into the Sea, for Sauron no doubt would be
watching that road closely.

Though Cirdan played no part in the battles of the War of the Ring, it
is possible he sent elves to join the Captains of the West under the
command of Elrohir and Elladan. When at last the Ringbearer's task was
carried out, and all of the Ringbearers arrived in Mithlond, Cirdan
was there to meet them. Elrond was among them, as was Galadriel and
Gandalf, and indeed Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo, the last of
whom was in deed the savior of Middle-Earth in the Third Age. Thus the
fruits of his labor were revealed, and they boarded the White Ship of
the Ringbearers, the keeping of the promise that Cirdan had made to
Gandalf over two thousand years earlier.

In the year 1000 T.A. Cirdan had said to Gandalf, "I will await you."
And waited he had, and now Gandalf, with the others, passed across the
sea, where all the burdens of the Rings of Power were lifted from
them, and Olorin was praised in Valinor for alone remaining true to
his task as appointed by the Valar.

The final two Ringbearers had yet to pass across the sea, but in the
sixty-second year of the Fourth Age of the Sun, Samwise Gamgee,
faithful companion of Frodo Baggins, arrived in Mithlond, and he and
Cirdan sailed away on the last of the ships built by that great
shipwright upon those shores. And so in the end, the words of Ulmo
were proved truthful as well, for that Vala had warned Cirdan not to
fare over the sea then, but instead to wait and work upon the shores
of Beleriand and Middle-Earth, and he had obeyed through all those
long years, though kin and friend had passed before him, and though
the longing for the Sea had engulfed his heart those long years.

For Ulmo had said unto him in a dream, "Abide now that time, for when
it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it will be
remembered in song for many ages after." And Cirdan had sworn to obey,
though his kin sailed ahead of him, and he had wished to follow. Yet
in return, Ulmo's words had been the truth, for none shall forget the
Shipwright and his deeds upon these shores, not while others still
live to remember him and tell the tales of his greatest deeds.

Inventory: Cirdan is skilled with the sword, as many elves are, and
proficient with a bow and arrow, yet neither is his weapon of choice.
He also bears a war hammer, a large intimidating weapon made of
mithril, gifted to him by an emissary of the dwarves at the Feast of
Reconciliation that Fingolfin called in F.A. 20. The war hammer is his
primary weapon, though he does carry a sword at his side, a fine elven
blade that he has named Erorme, meaning sea-wrath. His horse is a
noble steed, white in color, and he bears the name of Alagos
I assume this came from one of the many dice, paper and pencil D&D type games of the type that Val played as a young man. The above is far more detailed than anything Tolkien wrote and is more like that found in a game manual. Val, if he could spare the time to put his mind to it, could probably even tell you from which game and scenario it came. Teacher Smilie
My immediate reaction, purely based on its length and quantity of detail, was that it was from a MERP role playing module such as Masters of Middle Earth. The detail in that module is not as exhaustive as this, however. Looking at it more closely, I think it has possible come in its entirety from the HOME XII book, Peoples of Middle Earth. As I only have the set up to book XI, however, I cannot check that out.

The weapon preferences do still seem a little RPG, however. Maybe the author of the website has knitted bits of information together.
The age in that source is way off. In the "Grey Annals" in HoME XI, Cirdan is first mentioned in Valian Year 1149-1150, at which point he is already Lord of the Falas. This is (using the dating of the Grey Annals and Tales of Years), 10,403 years before the War of the Ring is over. So Cirdan is much older than 4767. (4767 years before the War of the Ring was only 1693 of the Second Age--93 years after the forging of the One ring).

His association with Osse is sensible, but Tolkien does not make a habbit of identifying Elves with a certain deity. And Osse, as a Maia, might not even qualify as a deity. Moreover, according to the Silmarillion and HoME XII, Cirdan seems to have a direct connection with Ulmo. In the Sil, he receives warning about the destruction of Nargothrond. In HoME Xii--which the site quotes--he hears a message from the Valar, coming from the Sea, telling him to wait upon the shores of Middle-earth for he will be needed in the future--specifically, to help Earendil build a ship.

The physical description is all invented, except for the presence of the beard. Though silvery hair might make sense for a Sinda (though Cirdan is himself "Grey and old" so perhaps not so silvery).

Clothing made up, and he is nowhere noted as being calm--though we do kind of see that in the texts.

The history is sensible, though I've only skimmed it lightly. Here's a couple comments: Mostly a paraphrase of the Silmarillion imagining Cirdan as taking place in the Great Journey, and highlighting his role in the stories of the First, Second, and Third Age--as outlined in teh Sil, UT, and LotR. There is an extended quote from a HoME XII text about Cirdan, but it is only the short paragraph which the text actually cites as a quote (The HoME XII text is itself only about a page and a half long). Also, the quote attributed to Ulmo at the end of the history: "Abide now that time, for when it comes then will your work be of utmost worth, and it will be remembered in song for many ages after." This does come directly from the HoME XII text (but Ulmo's name as the source is not actually mentioned in the text. Though I'd say that it's pretty easy that Ulmo is the one speaking, as we know the message comes from the Valar). However, the quote about Cirdan's work being "of utmost worth" when the time comes is a reference to his helping Earendil get to Valinor--not to his work in the Third Age.

The name Now is given in a footnote to the HoME XII text as perhaps being Cirdan's original, archaic Telerin name. (The note says that according to Pengolodh, the Elves of Doriath believed this was Cirdan's original name, but the text itself highlights that Cirdan's original name, whatever it was, is never used).

Weaponry - completely made up. The "feast of reconciliation" did take place in First Age 20, and Cirdan is listed as one of the guests. No mention of the gift however in the Sil or the HoME XI texts which concern this feast (and Cirdan did not exist in the early narratives of the First Age, so this means that in no story of the "feast of reconciliation" is Cirdan's weapon mentioned. Indeed, there are no details really about the feast at all, except a brief mention of who came and why it was held).

His horse is never mentioned, let alone named. I don't think he is ever explicitly described as riding one.

So clearly a fictional source of information, though they did do their homework in giving Cirdan's history.
ok thanks i'll edit his bio and save it. To be honest i'm a nut about Cirdan I think hes plays an incredible role even though he does all background stuff. I also believe that if it were not for his help in some parts that Middle Earth would have been conquered long ago by Melkor. His last minute relieving of the forces at Barad Eithel, (and maybe, I'm not certain, this helped save some characters who would later help make up Beren's companions who accompanied him to the Isle of the Werewolves, certainly with one less companion Beren would have died) creating the Vingilot that allowed Earendil to pass over the great sea, His incredible foresight to give gandalf Narya, the ring of fire, of which gandalf used to help stop the balrog, what would have happened if the balrog was somehow able to get to frodo? and his other aids in battle hes done so much yet is often forgotten and cast aside as a less important character. And lastly his plight is one being so unique, he must endure the ages seeing friend either sail away or pass away, and he never married, he may have felt a bit lonely at times... Cirdan is pretty incredible in what he has done, though this is not to say that he alone saved middle earth, he did his part as did others in the grand scheme of things. So thats just my take. Tx for the info.
Really? I thought that Cirdan lived in the southern haven of Elgarest, well that what the Sil said

Well, I'll tell you what Manwe told me, although it will probably just make things worse. Ingwe, Finwe, Elwe and Olwe were NOT Original Elves, their grandfathers were. Minie was the father of Vanwe, who was the father of Ingwe. Tatie was the father of Tatwe, who was the father of Finwe. Nelie was the father of Nelwe and Nelmo. Nelwe was the father of Elwe (Thingol) and Olwe; Nelmo was the father of Cirdan and Elmo. Elmo was the father of Telimo, who was the father of me, Celeborn! In the Year 1075 AT (Age of the Trees), Minie, Vanwe, Tatie, Tatwe, Nelie, Nelwe, and Nelmo all went to treat with Melkor. Of course, they never came back. And they were used as Orc breeding-stock, then Orc-food. The early Elves were furious with their forebears for being stupid enough to trust Melkor, so they struck their names off their records. They were besides themselves that they now had Orc relatives, and would not admit to it. The War to Save the Elves was waged against Melkor by the Valar, because of this vile, blasphemous act, and led to his capture and imprisonment in Mandos for three Ages (around 6,000 years). Cirdan looked so old because he had seen all the horror of every single war in Middle Earth; the sorrow of it aged him. He was the oldest Surviving Elf in Middle Earth in the Third Age. He was King Thingol's first cousin, and the great-uncle of me, Celeborn.

Cirdan is a Third Generation Elf. The good thing about Aman is that you can get answers rather quickly here. The other day, I asked Cirdan if he had been the oldest surviving Elf in Middle Earth. He laughed and told me that at the end of the Fourth Age he had met a First Generation Avari Elf who opted to become a Finn! He told Cirdan that he was tired of living. Cirdan looks young and healthy since he's been living here in Aman. He still wears a long beard though; apparently that was the height of Elf fashion in the earliest days.

I certainly have to go back and reread so much, I have forgotten a lot. Tauron, that was amazing and also the rest of the comments.

I always had this strange feeling in my heart about Cirdan, to me he was magical and deep and very mysterious and I don't know where I get this, but rather quiet and a deep thinker. I should have loved to have the privelege of watching quietly as he worked, or perhaps engaged in a very short conversatin with him, just to plumb the depths of his obviously brilliant mind and hear the rich timbre of his voice, or so I think.

I thought this discussion was about what Tolkien said on Cirdan.  I do not see what the fanfic of member Celeborn can contribute to this discussion.

Gandalf

With the long post above -- which is sort of a mix of Tolkien's ideas plus fan-stuff -- plus Celeborn's purposed fan-fic, we now have quite the mix going here.

Celeborn's shenanigans painfully remind me of the rubbish I used to write in Tolkien related threads.

But at least I can still try and pretend that "Miruvor" is somebody else.

This is quite astounding to me Vir. You used to write rubbish , I cannot even conceive of that. And I have never understood the Mir, Vir thing. When I was brand new on this site I thought they were the same person and then again I didn't and I got totally lost over it all.

This is the funniest thread that I have ever read!  I love Cirdan, he is one of my favorites.  In my mind Cirdan's age is etched on his face and in his eyes however he is strong and has vitality like all Elves.  I thought Tolkien described him as having silver grey hair and a bearded chin, not a Dwarf type beard.  Ill have to re read a few thing.....

Imagine his trip on the last ship to Valinor.  After tens of thousands of years he traveled to Valinor, a place he had only ever heard of and Im sure had described to him over millennia by elves of light.  Thats a book in itself!

Yes my memory served, silver grey hair/beard.  Celeborn has silver hair as well, so did Thingol.

Surely even if Cirdan was not born in Cuivienen he would still be 10's of thousands of years old and his majesty would have grown and grown, however the long defeat would particularly have been heavy on him as he was involved in almost all of the Elder Days wars and battles.  He would have seen thousands of his friends and family destroyed by the dark powers and knew that he was literally stuc in ME until the last ship, which he built sailed finally into the West....

And I thought Elrond had a hard life!

I personally don't have the knowledge of what great length of time had to do with Cirdan's appearance, a look of elderliness in the face, but I think myself that it had to do more with grief and private knowledge of things 'told' to him by Eru to his mind, things shared with him because of his great obedience and faithfulness. His body was lean and as fit as when he was young; I think it was care and grief personally. And his having been 'touched' as it were by the creator. And when you think of it, Gandalf himself came to carry out his duties and was transformed into a sort of slighty stooped elderly gentleman, whose face showed the cares and concerns those higher had for all on middle-earth , so much so, he was sent as emmisary. To me he portrayed the suffering of both unbegotten and the born at the hands of evil. Evil, to my mind is so very wearying. But, what in the end Tolkien actually thought about all this, who knows, for even though we have in black and white his words on many things, his words changed so much and yet according to him, he had so little time to go through all his manuscript to change and edit a lot he had a mind to do so that, for all we know he meant in his heart at least something quite different than what we have accepted as canon.!

Ever true Lee Lee.  For those of us luck enough to have slogged through HOME it become apparent that JRRT was truly a genius. however like any genius he ran out of time in his mortal life.  If only for the life span of the men of the west we would still be reading new tales from Arda and beyond....

I thought Tolkien described him as having silver grey hair and a bearded chin, not a Dwarf type beard. 

 

 

Wondering what you meant by not a Dwarf-type beard. Here's the description from the book:

 

'As they came to the gates Círdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed...' 

I guess Galin I see Cirdans beard as refined as all other Elf features. Possibly long and more like sculptured and aqualine rather than full, Falked and bushy as a Dwarf. This description of course is my imagining of Sirsan whilst reading. I'm sure others have a very different opinion.

You are right about John Ronald, if only he would have had more time. In one of his letters he mentions his longing to have more years. But the fact that he indeed smoke a great deal when he could and still somehow managed to reach his age is amazing to me and please don't try this at home! The thing is though, once his Luthien left middle-earth his life too began to ebb. Though he received the royal treatment from the university and was given status and a well furnished room, meals and such, he said he was so very very lonely. It broke his heart and that was that I think.

As for Cirdan's beard, in mind it was very long and if not thin, not thick and extremely silky and had a soft shine. Rather like the engineer I believe he was on Polar Express His red beard was so soft and silky looking you could almost 'feel' it in your mind.

Just returning to this old thread. A great read for those interested in Elvish law. Do we think that Cirdans people grew renewable forests to build their ships or simply only used trees at the end of their lives? I imagine the Telerin Ship builders in the West would equally require wood.

Cirdan has always been my favorite character,( I didn't realize this thread existed until after I posted it but-) I've posted a thread explaining why