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hail and well met curunir Smile Smilie
Welcome to our little guild for those in who's minds the nobility of the elvenkind and the beauty of their songs and poetry run deep Smile Smilie
**Puts on elven robe and disguise and walks in**

Aiya Eareandil Elenion Ancalima my friends!
Grondy opens the door, peeks in, smiles, waves to his Elven friends, and leaves.
Mae govannen
Despite being an Elf, I haven't been with this forum yet.

I've been reading your posts regarding the Elf/Orc origins, and have developed a theory.
Since Melkor can't create life, he must have got the material for Orcs from somewhere, and it was presumably the Elves since they were the only ones around originally.

HOWEVER, I can't see the Eldar race being physically twisted into the likes of Goblins/Orcs. The only conclusion I see is that Melkor(being an ex Vala, Ainur - ie pretty smart at least) was some sort of early geneticist who used Elvish DNA from those he captured. Since we can do this now(almost) it stands to reason that those with Godlike powers can do much more.

Please feel free to discuss
Gwindor, In The Silmarillion, it is said that Melkor, by slow arts of cruelty made the orcs out of elves he captured.

The actual wording of Thorin's above paraphrase are highlighted by me in bold below.
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Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressëa, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindalë before the Beginning: so say the wise. And deep in their dark hearts the Orcs loathed the Master whom they served in fear, the maker only of their misery. This it may be was the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful to Ilúvatar. - from 'Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor', Chapter 3 of the 'Quenta Silmarillion' in The Silmarillion. (Page 47 in the 2002 Del Rey/Ballantine paperback edition.)
"It is held true by the wise of Eresseä" hence just another theory.
Sure, just another theory like Arien and Tilion guide and steer the Sun and Moon respectively around Arda. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
Bit of a non sequitur. That knowledge came from the Valar, obviously, and was imparted to the Eldar. The Valar had no knowledge about the happenings in Utumno. Hence, a theory.
Having read the Silmarillion a number of times I'm well familiar with the passage quoted by Thorin and Grondmaster.
However, being an Elf( Quendi, Eldar, Avari etc)is more than just being tall, grey-eyed and such.
The thing about Elves is they are bound to world (Arda) by their Spirit or Fea in the Elvish, hence Feanor etc. So even when they die/discorporate they go to the Halls of Mandos and then are reborn/reincarnated as Elves, whether in Aman or elswhere in Arda. So when being tortured etc to such a degree all they need do is discorporate. If I was being turned into an Orc by "slow arts of cruelty" I certainly wouldn't survive the experience. If indeed as Thorin and Grondy imply then all Orcs have the spirit of Elves within them. Although it might explain their suicidal tactics - die an ugly Orc and wake up in the Blessed Realm? - don't quite buy that.
So it really has to be their bodies that were corrupted, otherwise we'll have too many contradictions.
Still, good to have such Elf-scholars in the Elven Guild, who happen to be...er, Dwarves
Mayhaps Melkor took and filled each newly spiritless corrupted Elven body with a swarm of fire ants, tiger wasps, or African bees whose ferocious nature animated the Orc with its antisocial nature. Or possibly he just successfully transplanted the living brain of a Tasmanian Devil into the spiritless corrupted Elven body after its spirit fled. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
When the Elves were first caught by Melkor they had not yet reached full stature of mind and body. It is possible that Melkor may have filled their body with spirits of his as it is possible that he corrupted some elvish spirits.

I have to disagree with you Gwindor because if the Elves could leave their bodies at will then they would have done that when they were captured and put to work in the mines of Thangorodrim. Yet that is not the case as seen.
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When the Elves were first caught by Melkor they had not yet reached full stature of mind and body.

Please elaborate.
Yes, please do elaborate Virumor's point Thorin

Furthermore, toiling in the mines usually doesn't kill anyone, even men. There's a vast difference
between doing a bit of hard work in the mines, (you can always get rescued or escape as a lot of them did), and being tortured unmentionably in order to be turned into something unspeakable.
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When the Elves were first caught by Melkor they had not yet reached full stature of mind and body.


That was in reference to your idea of elves being able to abandon their body.

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So when being tortured etc to such a degree all they need do is discorporate.


As far as I remember only Feanor and Luthien were able to do that. Feanor's case is debatable because he had been mortally wounded. Yet, in both cases these elves were high Elves and were descendants of the Elves of Valinor. I do not think that Elves in general had that Gift because in the Sil it is mentioned that Elves were only killed by grief and weapons.

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Although it might explain their suicidal tactics - die an ugly Orc and wake up in the Blessed Realm?


I do not believe that this would have happened. We do not know exactly whether his slow arts of cruelty were only physical. He could also have corrupted their spirits just like he did with the spirits of the werewolves of angband.

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If I was being turned into an Orc by "slow arts of cruelty" I certainly wouldn't survive the experience.


It might have been just like torture. It is not necessary that whatever arts he used were done hastily. Remember the words, Slow arts of cruelty. The process of breeding the orcs could and most likely had been a long process.

Of course there is a lot of assumption here but that I believe is something good because each of us have a different view on the subject.

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Furthermore, toiling in the mines usually doesn't kill anyone, even men. There's a vast difference between doing a bit of hard work in the mines, (you can always get rescued or escape as a lot of them did), and being tortured unmentionably in order to be turned into something unspeakable.


I would like to go back to the Sil once more.I do not remember exactly which chapter it is but I remember that those who escaped in truth from the dungeons/mines of Angband were shunned by their own people. So if the elves had the ability to discorporate, would they have chosen a lonely life or death?

It is also said that Melkor could not create anything of his own being but only mar that which was already made. Melkor must have had been able to corrupt the Children of Illuvatar just like he did to the Trolls, who were mockery of the Ents. However this fact is only vaguely mentioned in the LOTR.
I've now done some extensive research into this, HOME etc, but then found someone had beaten me to it and produced quite a scholarly essay examining this in some detail. The conclusion drawn is there is no definite theory on the origin of Orcs, indeed JRRT himself said as much. Below is the essay by Wypych, you can draw your own conclusions.


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The origin of the Orcs and matters touching thereon

by Marek Wypych ( angolhir@gmail.com )

Foreword
“The origin of the Orcs is a matter of debate.”(1)

This small essay was written to address the problem of creation of the Orcs. Tolkien changed the idea himself fairly often, and it seems that he was never fully satisfied with the answer.
I will try to present some of the major theories consistent with Professor’s writings. Unfortunately there is no undisputable answer, and furthermore if the published “Silmarillion” is regarded as ‘canon’ then some theories are irrelevant to some degree and are perhaps merely wishful thinking. Fortunately: “my [Tolkien’s] world is highly imperfect even on its own plane nor made wholly coherent – our Real World does not appear to be wholly coherent either”(2)

Every quote from Tolkien’s writings is given in italics between the quotation marks.
References to the quotes are to be found at the end of text.

Chapter I. Of the creation of life.

“But since they are servants of the Dark Power [Melkor], and later of Sauron, neither of whom could, or would, produce living things”(3)

That statement is repeated so many times that there is really no need to bring up consecutive quotes. It remains uncertain though what did Tolkien understood under the ‘living things’ term. Generally (biological) life should exhibit movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, excretion, nourishment and reproduction. The six first principles seem to be quite easy for Melkor to fulfil. Could Melkor achieve the seventh requirement? Most probably – yes:

“But if he had indeed attempted to make creatures of his own in imitation or mockery of the Incarnates, he would, like Aulë, only have succeeded in producing puppets.”(1)

Now the archetypal dwarves of Aulë could in my opinion reproduce, as they were made in the semblance of Children of Ilúvatar. The real difference was the independence, that in biological terms is not the requisite of ‘life’.

“the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them, and if thy thought be elsewhere, standing idle”(4)
“But the Orcs were not of this kind [robot-like puppets]”(1)
“As the case of Aulë and the Dwarves shows, only Eru could make creatures with independent wills, and with reasoning powers.”(1)

The full statement should be then:

“Melkor could not 'create' living 'creatures' of independent wills.” (1)

It indicates both ‘biological life’ and ‘independent will’, which no creations of any save Eru fulfil.

Chapter II. The Mockery of the Children of Ilúvatar.
“But he [Melkor] desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envying the gifts with which Ilúvatar promised to endow them; and he wished himself to have subject and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be a master over other wills.”(5)

Yet Melkor could not wholly subdue Men, even less the Elves, and always there were many ready to oppose him. He then desired to devise his own servants and because “he could make nothing save in mockery of the thought of others”(6) he bred the hideous race of Orcs in order to taunt Children. “The idea of breeding the Orcs came from Melkor, not at first maybe so much for the provision of servants or the infantry of his wars of destruction, as for the defilement of the Children and the blasphemous mockery of the designs of Eru.”(1)

Originally “The hoards of the Orcs he made of stone, but their hearts of hatred”(7) and “all that race were bred by Melko of the subterranean heats and slime. Their hearts were of granite and their bodies deformed; foul their faces which smiled not, but their laugh that of the clash of metal”(29). The stone/slime Orcs wholly made by Melkor cannot fulfill the demands of ‘true life’ as “naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindalë before the Beginning”(8). Therefore the idea was abandoned very early. Only Eru had power to put Flame Imperishable (a spirit of true, idependent life) into creations:
“He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame... Yet he found not the fire, for it is with Ěluvatar.”(5)
Ilúvatar could always, of course, sanction the creations of subcreators, as he did with the Dwarves of Aulë, but “Eru would not sanction the work of Melkor so as to allow the independence of the Orcs.”(1)

There is, although, another possibility: that Orcs were after all merely puppets controled remotedly by the will of Melkor, and as such not living, independent creatures. Unfortuately even if such Orcs existed, they are not explicitly refered to.
“and when Morgoth was at last removed from Arda the Orcs


Moderator Smilie Loss: Edited to fix the missing tag Moderator Smilie
Hail for Gwindor!

And I shall say I can not quite agree with all of the above, but still remarkable work you did! There shall be a pointer to this post in the threads where the origin of the Orcs is in discussion.
Thank you for that, however this is something I found on a website. It is the most comprehensive and extensive work on this subject I've found. Couldn't have done better myself. Also good to have a reply from a fellow Elf - so there are some in the Elven Guild after all.
Time to share some memories...

As the days of the Winter become shorter and the nights start to come earlier and stay longer, I am now asking you, to attempt to make overview of life during the hot days recently past. So everyone is welcome to share memories and thoughts from and for the Summer: where have you been; what have you done etc. ...
Elen!

May the stars shine upon you.

Why is that those who wished the elven guild a long life are not around to nurture it??

Let me try. I am a vanyarin elf from the house of Ingwe(the only one of the vanyar I know Tongue Smilie ).
Is there any Vanyar left to share my cup of grief that is weighing down that the songs don't talk of us. Though a Noldor in part, I feel thaat we are left out of the happenings of Middle Earth.

Anyone care to empathise?
Elen sila lumenna omentyelvo!

Merciful Eru! You are one of the Vanyar. I thought I will not see one of you.

Since you are now in Middle Earth, you are most welcome to share our days (though they are not always as happy as the dwellers of Aman are convinced to believe). I would like to know more about your grief. Please share!
The Vanyar, the dwellers in the Holy Mountain are not at all involved in the stories of Middle Earth. The Noldor and Teleri were the most involved in the grievous wars of Endor. I wish that we had had more of the Vanyar in the stories. That is my cup of grief.
Have you read about Galadriel, she was half Vanya, and then her daughter Celebrian gave life to Arwen Undomiel, in who's blood was also running the blood of the noble Vanyar. Do not grieve for those who are lost nor for those who have not been. We know a little for the Vanyar, yet what we know they still dwell in the bosom of Taniquetil in Valinor. So smile again, and by the way I recal something was in the BoLT about Vanyar. I can check and come back with page if you like.

Harya Alasse! (have joy!)
What was there in the BOLT about Vanyarin elves? I knew Galadriel was a half Vanyar. But I was of the feel that they could've been more involved in things as a kindred the way the Noldor and the Telerin were.
I am on a business trip until the end of the week, but then I will look for what I can find for Vanyar. In between you can share how you imagine your elven outfit.
Dressed in silver and blue. With a cape to fit. I guess that would go well with my black hair and brown eyes. As for the accessories, a shield overlaid with gems and with the sign of an eagle on it and a silver damascened sword glittering in the starlight. In short like to Prince Imrahil, though a Vanyar.
Hmm, a dark haired Vanya... it's possible actually, I think, as JRRT writes (Quendi And Eldar):

'The name referred to the hair of the Minyar, which was in nearly all members of the clan yellow or deep golden.'
Galadriel was not half Vanya, her father was.

Galadriel was half Teleri.
Right you are, Vir, yet it was said that the hair color of Galadriel was partially from her Vanyarin blood. It runs from Indis (her grandmother that was Vanya) trough Finarfin (Galadriel's Father) to her. So, ok, it was not correct to say Galadriel was half Vanya, but Galadriel was "one quarter" Vanya yet with strong her Vanyar appearance.

Undomiel, I am still looking looking for information of Vanyar in BoLT.
Here's something...

Ingwe appears to have an interesting Northern connection: in the paper A Mythology For England (by Carl Hostetter and Arden Smith, Proceedings of the Tolkien Centenary Conference 1992) a connection to Yngvi-Freyr of the Vanir is well made...

... in brief here, Yngvi being Lord of the Ljós-alfar 'Light-Elves' who dwell in Alfheim 'Elf-home' -- to be seen as a memory of Ingwe of the Vanyar, Lord of the Calaquendi 'Light-elves', who dwells in Eldamar 'Elven-home'.
Are you sure?? I don't recall any dark-haired Vanyar. I thought I was the only one of the Vanyar with dark hair.
I don't recall any specific Vanyarin Elf being dark-haired, but...

'The name referred to the hair of the Minyar, which was in nearly all members of the clan yellow or deep golden.' JRRT, Quendi And Eldar, The War of the Jewels

Unless I'm off in my interpretation here, this seems to allow for the possibility (spotlight on 'nearly' in this quote), as I say.
Hear me all ye elves. Tell me, what is our staple food? We are potrayed as having lembas while in Middle Earth. But it is not the case in the West. Or is it?
Lembas are travel food, used for long journeys. From what I understand only a few people/elves knew how to make them. Galadriel learned from Melian, and Melian returned to the West before LOTR takes place, so Lembas would probably be known there too.

From what I remember, the elves are hunters, so meat would probably be on the menu. They are fond of wine. I believe LOTR mentions bread, and there's the 'famous' appel smelling barrel in The Hobbit Ha Ha Ha Smilie

I'm sure the elves would eat the same as Men, but add several thousand years of cooking experience and knowledge of herbs and spices. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
I'm not an elf but read about when Frodo, Sam and Pippin met Gildor Inglorien on their wat to Crickhollow and the food they were served was mostly Bread and fruit of surpassing quality. I'm guessing then that elves eat pretty much normal food, just of better quality.
I'm not saying there isn't any evidence, but I can't recall at the moment if so...

... but where is it said that Galadriel herself made Lembas?
That would be amusing.
I don't think there is any mention of the Elves eating meat anywhere in the book Ammornil.

They are hunters of orcs and not of the kelvar.

And I agree that they have bread and wine of the highest quality. Lembas making was taught to Galadriel during her long sojourn in Doriath. It is mentioned not that the Elves knew not the art of lembas-making, but only that the giving of the elven waybread remained with the Queen, in LOTR, it is Galadriel who is Queen of Lothlorien.
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Lembas making was taught to Galadriel during her long sojourn in Doriath.


Again, I don't remember reading this... where is this noted please? At the moment I can only recall that the Yavannildi made Lembas.
How then would you account for her knowledge of lembas-making and the custom of passing it to whom the Queen deemed worthy. Cause it was she who gave it to the fellowship as it passed through Lorien.

Anyway that is not the point.
OK, but where does Galadriel show knowledge of the making of the waybread of the Elves? She wasn't present when the Galadhrim gave it to the Company, for instance. In Of Lembas Pengolodh notes that the art of the making of Lembas was a secret among the Yavannildi, ' ...and so ever has remained'.

Apologies for being off the point, but threads wander sometimes Happy Elf Smilie
I think I will lead the elven food talk over to this thread here: Elven Eating Habits

It has the quote from the Hobbit that I was about to mention here about meat and hunting.

As for the lembas, The Silmarillion says (in 'Of Turin Turambar')
Quote:
And she gave him store of lembas, the waybread of the elves, wrapped in leaves of silver, and the threads that bound it were sealed at the knots with the seal of the queen, a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion; for according to the customs of the Eldalie the keeping and giving of lembas belonged to the queen alone.
But it doesn't say who actually made them or how many were able to make them. Galadriel was friends with Melian and learned a lot from her. I don't think it says anywhere that Galadriel did learn to make Lembas from Melian, but I think many thinks she probably did.

I don't believe we have a thread about Lembas. Perhaps it is time some one made one? Happy Elf Smilie
Thanks Amarie.

Hmm, unless anything from JRRT himself awaits, so far it seems possible that the idea of Galadriel learning the art from Melian might be a reader's attempt to explain the lembas in Lórien from The Lord of the Rings.

Another niggle here could be that Galadriel is (arguably at least) not to be called a Queen of Lórien*

Although I believe even Tolkien himself calls her a queen at least once (somewhere), nonetheless we have other statements, for example: 'But they took no title of King or Queen' (from The History of Galadriel And Celeborn), or from letter 210, where when someone referred to Galadriel as an 'Elvenqueen', JRRT reacted: '(She is not in fact one)'

In light of this, I note another statement in Of Lembas, where Pengolodh explains:

Quote:
'Since it came from Yavanna, the queen, or the highest among the elven-woman of any people, great or small, had the keeping and gift of lembas, for which reason she was called massánie or besain: the lady, or breadgiver.'


from The Peoples of Middle-Earth.

*If Tolkien himself published a reference to Galadriel as a Queen however, I would hold to it -- again, can't recall at the moment, with respect to this distinction.
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'Since it came from Yavanna, the queen, or the highest among the elven-woman of any people, great or small, had the keeping and gift of lembas, for which reason she was called massánie or besain: the lady, or breadgiver.'


Hmm... Now there is an interesting quote. Surely Galadriel would be the highest of the women in Lothlorien, royal title or not?
Yes, I wonder if Tolkien is here thinking about Galadriel... in the context of her not taking the title of 'Queen'...

... while still considering the gift of Lembas to the Company of course.
Aulë & Yavanna were spouses. Since Aulë loved the Noldor and taught them smithing, etc. it's logical to assume Yavanna also chimed in and taught the Noldor a thing or two, like the making of lembas.
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I posted: *If Tolkien himself published a reference to Galadriel as a Queen however, I would hold to it -- again, can't recall at the moment, with respect to this distinction.


'(...) refer to the special position of Galadriel. She was the last survivor of the princes and queens who had led the revolting Noldor to exile in Middle-earth.' JRRT, The Road Goes Ever On

So Tolkien himself did publish that, in any case -- just to note it. Hmmm. And Gimli refers to Queen Galadriel at one point in The Lord of the Rings as well.
So back to the point. Their staple food??
Memories of days long passed
roads forgotten and sights lost
yet here once again my road leads me
atlast...

with greetings to my brothers who share the heart of the elves!

Arath Hyarmenyon
Hey Arath! Nice to see you back here and hope things are fine with you! Drop a word whenever you can. I miss all the fun we used to have together! Ah! The good old days. Smile Smilie
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