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

Thread: Mithrellas

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > Characters > Mithrellas   

Quote:
In the tradition of his house Angelimir was the twentieth in unbroken descent from Galador, first lord of Dol Amroth (c. T.A. 2004-2129). According to the same traditions Galador was the son of Imrazor the Númenórean who dwelt in Belfalas, and the Elven-lady Mithrellas. She was one of the companions of Nimrodel, among many of the Elves of Lorien that fled to the coast about T.A. 1980, when evil arose in Moria; and Nimrodel and her maidens strayed in the wooded hills, and were lost. But in this tale it is said that Imrazôr harboured Mithrellas, and took her to wife. (1)But when she had borne him a son, Galador, and a daughter, Gilmith, she slipped away by night, and he saw her no more. (2) But though Mithrellas was of the lesser Silvan race (and not of the High Elves or the Grey) it was ever held that the house and kin of the Lords of Dol Amroth were noble by blood, as they were fair in face and mind.

1) So, any ideas on why Mithrellas left Imrazôr and their two children?

It strikes me as odd and it goes against the grain, this idea of abandonment. That Elves and Men are not meant to mingle, that grief comes from it, well... I suppose that holds true because they didn't live a long happy marriage, did they. But why?

Perhaps because her children were mortal? Because she, a Silvan Elf, longed for the woodland of Lorien again? And her love of the woods overrode her love/desire to remain with her mortal family. Not hard to imagine… wander the woods or watch your loved ones wither and die. Note her son Galador lived a very mortal life, dying (of natural causes) at the age of 125.

Or perhaps dwelling near the sea made her eager take up her journey across the sea once more - as was originally intended when she left Lorien alongside Nimrodel? I’m less inclined to believe that… it seems an odd choice for a Silvan elf in the first place.

2) Why is she a mere Silvan Elf? Not of any apparent noble/royal blood... I wonder at Tolkien's choice. A lesser Elf to play a lesser part I suppose.

I have a friend who thinks it's somewhat wasteful and unnecessary - they're not Luthien and Beren after all. But my thought was; not everyone can play the lead role.

What comes of their union;

- Galador, son of Imrazôr becomes the first Prince of Dol Amroth

- Dol Amroth founded by Galador, is a prominent city of Men

- a strong military force (knights, archers, ships)

- the most skilled harp players in all of Gondor

- Finduilas, sister of Prince Imrahil, wife of Denethor II, mother of Boromir & Faramir

- Imrahil comes to the aid of Minas Tirith in the War of the Ring

- Imrahil saves Faramir from Southrons

- Imrahil recognises Eówyn still lives

- Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, husband of Eówyn

- Lothíriel, daughter o Imrahil, wife of Eómer and Queen of Rohan

- marrying into the royal family of Rohan, raising their status from beyond that of 'lesser Men'.

- creating 'appropriate' matches for the children of Aragorn and Arwen (Dol Amroth, Rohan, Ithilien)

Quote:
"That is a fair lord and a great captain of men. If Gondor has such men still in these days of fading, great must have been its glory in the days of its rising." ― Legolas, The Last Debate

In that repsect he's a brilliant example of the strength left in Men during the end of the Third Age.

I think that although Imrazôr and Mithrellas didn’t have some epic lay like that of Beren and Luthien - their (understated) union and the descendants that come from it play a vital role in Middle-Earth during the Third Age. And without them - no Dol Amroth, no Finduilas, no Boromir or Faramir.

 

... back to Mithreallas.

Any more thoughts on her?

Perhaps she didn't want to have the grief of seeing him grow old, whilst she stayed youthful and fair. As for the sons, surely as half-elven, they would get the choice of their destiny, whether to be mortal or not.  Or am I missing something?

Nice post Sigrún!

I wrote about Mithrellas elsewhere, so please forgive the lazy copy and past as an 'answer', and my quoting of me to set it apart as written already.

As Tolkien put it in 1972, concerning the princely house of Dol Amroth: 'this line had a special Elvish strain, according to its own legends' and Legolas appears to believe the legend just by looking at Imrahil, so if you take it as true you would at least be in good company.

In a text written before The Return of the King was published, Mithrellas was said to be one of the companions of Nimrodel who fled Lorien in the year 1980 of the Third Age. She was ultimately harboured by Imrazor the Numenorean, who took her to wife.

Granted, it is hard to see how Legolas could be wrong, and the author does provide a somewhat detailed tradition in posthumously published papers, but I note that the tradition itself includes the detail that after this Elf maiden had born children 'she slipped away by night and he saw her no more'

So it might be thought that it was well known that Imrazôr had taken a 'fairy wife', however it might also be wondered why she appears to have fled so early -- perhaps this very action led some to wonder about, believe, or even start the tale that this woman had been one of the immortal folk?

Anyway, the founding of Dol Amroth is another matter: according to an author's note to Cirion and Eorl (Unfinished Tales) the founding of Dol Amroth may go well back before Galador (son of Mithrellas according to the legend), with the name 'Dol Amroth' being applied much later.

This is a late note, but if I read the description correctly, in a very late note (December 1972 or later) Tolkien again refers to Nimrodel in any case, with:  'The legend of the prince's line was that one of the earliest fathers had wedded an Elf-maiden: in some versions it was indeed (evidently improbably) said to have been Nimrodel herself. In other tales, and more probably, it was one of Nimrodel's companions who was lost in the upper mountain glens.' which again, considering 'one of the earliest fathers' here, seems to imply that the line started nearer the drowning of Amroth instead of much earlier.

With respect to these accounts Christopher Tolkien notes: '... the two statements can only be reconciled on the supposition that the line of the Princes, and indeed the place of their dwelling, went back more than two thousand years before Galador's day, and that Galador was called the first Lord of Dol Amroth because it was not until his time (after the drowning of Amroth in the year 1981) that Dol Amroth was so named.'

Skipping over the further difficulty of an Adrahil mentioned here, Christopher Tolkien also notes that while his explanations to reconcile the seemingly variant accounts are not impossible, they seem less likely than there being two distinct and independent traditions of the origins of the Lords of Dol Amroth.

So in short, I don't know what happened to Mithrellas Wink Smilie

Maybe she went to the Havens and after a while left for Valinor.About the sons having the choice of the Eldar Wouldn't that fall under the authority of the valar,or the male elf,right,like Elrond and Elros had achoice but Elrond became a Elf( a better choice in my opinion) and Elros a man,so the descendents of Elrond could have that choice only.

Thank you for the replies Smile Smilie

To Gwindor...

It's the only (sort of) reasonable argument for her having chosen to leave them, for me anyway. Though it's not unheard of for Elven mothers to be pulled away from their children, like Elwing for example. But at least she had some higher purpose... even though she let her kids with the same lot who murdered her brothers and parents.

... but that's another thread for another day. Wink Smilie

She had one son, Galador (dated birth T.A 2004) and a daughter Gilmith. Not much is said about the daughter beyond her name - but the son is recorded in the Princes of Dol Amroth family tree - he lived to 125 years of age...

So, mortal. I didn't expect the children of Mithrellas to get a choice - Mithrellas is no one of significance, she's not descended from Luthien, nor did she play any part in... well, any events (that we know of) in the First Age, or the Second. From what I understand the choice was granted to Eärendil and Elwing once they hit Valinor. Then to Elros and Elrond after the War of Wrath (correct me if I'm wrong) - with Elros, none of his decedents would have a choice (something they came to resent greatly - note; fall of Númenor) but Elrond's would... and that's it. This was all dealt with at the end of the First Age - then we have Mithrellas a Silvan Elf in the Third Age... why would they be offered a choice?

No choice. Mortal children... and worse, their life spans aren't extended due to her blood. I wonder if that was an error on Tolkien’s part, if he would have corrected it eventually? - of if they were meant to have ‘normal’ life spans in accordance with their father’s kin.

But I think if they lived twice or three times longer than most, it would take away the mysterious air surrounding the myth of Imrazôr’s 'fairy wife'.


To Galin...

Lol, you're forgiven Smile Smilie

It was my understanding that Belfalas was a Princedom - known as 'the Land of Princes‘ (Dor-en-Ernil) populated by many of the Faithful who had fled Númenor on their ships.

Also... that perhaps Adrahil I was Imrazôr’s father? He fought by the King Ondoher side during the his war against the Wainriders. He played a significant role in commanding the King’s left wing, whilst the King’s nephew took the right, the King and his son took the centre.
Reminds me of Imrahil’s role in LotR.

... I had read somewhere that Imrazôr or Adrahil was ‘kin of Elendil’ as well. It's something I've wondered at - their ancestry to say, back in Númenor.



To Amras...

To leave for Valinor she'd have to...well, either take a ship and sail herself to Valinor or travel to the Grey Havens and leave from there.

After the loss of Amroth, it's said all the Elves left Edhellond (neighbouring Elvish harbour) and that even Galadriel and Celeborn dwelt there, but left for Lothlorien (to rule it in Amroth's place).

Choice - again, I assumed Mithrellas' children didn't have a choice. Just like Luthien didn't have a choice, per se. Nor do I think it was granted to others - or planned so (by the Valar) - if not for the roles they played in bringing the Valar to war against Morgoth thus saving all in Middle Earth. I thought their choice was a gift - a reward for their deeds, because their ancestor Luthien was granted a choice - who was until then an exception to all the rules.