Thread: The Elves
    >>
I'd want to see that go down!!!!! I'd place my bets on Aragorn. He's got the best of both worlds in his genes!
A new thread seems as good a place as any to discuss the Elves in The Hobbit. Can I start off a conversation about all things Elvish by asking the following question:
When Elves in Rivendell are [i:mhrnin67][b:mhrnin67]merry[/b:mhrnin67][/i:mhrnin67], how does this merriment manifest itself?
Are you asking a question about how merriment manifests itself in the book, or how merriment should be manifested in the movie?
The book should be the template, don't you think? If so, how to film it? I'd argue they can sing their "Tra la lallies...." for a start, and it can be [i:304lh4vn]merry[/i:304lh4vn] and a little cheeky, but NOT silly...
NB I'm not sure how well I designed my initial question, but I guess the above is the kind of thing I'm getting at.
Well the elves in LoTR (film) were a right bunch of miserable sods, granted its a darker story full of melancholy about times changing but still. There a bit more upbeat about it in the book at least and you still get a fair bit of song and dance out of them so I'd like to see a bit more of that.
In TH its Thranduils unruly bunch of elves that are the fore so I hope they will take the opportunity to show them as being a bit more interested in having fun. However as they are an obstacle to the quest and even a threat to it I worry that instead the coven will represent them as being overly serious again.
Ah! Mr Tyrant, is that so. But what of Rivendell? JRRT lets us see a good glimpse of them and their lighter side. The Elves were among the trees, when Bilbo and Co arrive there. Their merry (joyous?) singing came from there, didn't it? I imagine shimmering shapes but light, wise, don't-take-me-for-Feanor-he-was-a-sour-cat voices merrily singing. It's a very welcoming kind of song. Light and easy. Their spoken words are chiding and aggravate the dwarves, but are not nasty at all, for the dwarves are hungry and tired and the Elves seem to know that. Their words are certainly not insulting and are archly welcoming as well. The Elves also cheekily warn them to be careful not to dip their beards in the water. (Careful GB, they might drop you in!) Can tall, beautiful, somewhat serious people behave in this lighter manner and not seem silly. Of course they can! The Elves are not cut from cardboard... well, yes, they are in the movies, but not in the book - especially not in The Hobbit! Infact, the Elves are more interesting in the The Hobbit than they are in LotR (the books). They're certainly merrier...
[quote="Odo Banks":10h6x5e9]The book should be the template, don't you think? If so, how to film it? I'd argue they can sing their "Tra la lallies...." for a start, and it can be [i:10h6x5e9]merry[/i:10h6x5e9] and a little cheeky, but NOT silly... [/quote:10h6x5e9]
The tra la la lallies are the goofiest part of the Elves, and as such I think they will be the first part to be cut. I suppose its possible their songs could be performed in such a way as to not be laughable, though I imagined them as being pretty silly.
I hope for a very different sort of Elf in The Hobbit: less serene, less "wise", more human (in a way) and more lively (even the Elven music in LotR is very sombre and reserved). I highly doubt this will happen, but it's nice to imagine.
[quote="pettytyrant101":375boreu]In TH its Thranduils unruly bunch of elves that are the fore so I hope they will take the opportunity to show them as being a bit more interested in having fun.[/quote:375boreu]
I think the Elves of Mirkwood would be the best bet to show as lively Elves since we don't see much of them in LotR and it would be less out-of-place in the film pentology that is being constructed. Legolas (in the films) is not necessarily representative of his race, and the "Wood-elves" shown in FotR-EE might not have been from Mirkwood, or might have been from there yet still been light-hearted ... before the Dark Times, before the Empire.
Umm, I mean the second rise of Sauron. Yes, that's what I meant.
Sometimes I'm a little taken aback by your vulgar thoughts, Eldo.
[quote="Eldorion":d2f1m48a]The tra la la lallies are the goofiest part of the Elves, and as such I think they will be the first part to be cut. I suppose its possible their songs could be performed in such a way as to not be laughable, though I imagined them as being pretty silly. [/quote:d2f1m48a]
I NEVER thought the Elves or their Song 'goofy' or 'silly'. Both came across as light hearted - yes! - but in a joyous welcoming way. The sheer delight of living in Rivendell and sauntering in the trees at twilight springs forth in their choir-like chorusing. If I were there, I'd sing like a nightingale alongside them, for the sheer joy of living - and being in Rivendell. Hells bells - why wouldn't you be merry? (NB I'd sing like a very masculine nightingale, though).
As to [i:d2f1m48a]'pentology'[/i:d2f1m48a] - wash your mouth out with soap. I shouldn't like to think language such as that is going to start creeping onto this forum.
[quote="Odo Banks":20fybizf]Sometimes I'm a little taken aback by your vulgar thoughts, Eldo.[/quote:20fybizf]
You're one to talk.
[quote:20fybizf]I NEVER thought the Elves or their Song 'goofy' or 'silly'. Both came across as light hearted - yes! - but in a joyous welcoming way. The sheer delight of living in Rivendell and sauntering in the trees at twilight springs forth in their choir-like chorusing. If I were there, I'd sing like a nightingale alongside them, for the sheer joy of living - and being in Rivendell. Hells bells - why wouldn't you be merry? (NB I'd sing like a very masculine nightingale, though). [/quote:20fybizf]
I've never really thought about the Elves that way, but I don't see why that couldn't be the case. I should really re-read The Hobbit (again) sometime soon.
[quote:20fybizf]As to [i:20fybizf]'pentology'[/i:20fybizf] - wash your mouth out with soap. I shouldn't like to think language such as that is going to start creeping onto this forum.[/quote:20fybizf]
, just thinking about how something good might be salvaged.
So it's not got anything to do with something else starting with p.e.n.....?
My mistake! Anyone could have made it.
And, yes, read The Hobbit again, and open both your heart and your mind while doing so, that's my advice.
Unlike with LotR I actually have read The Hobbit cover-to-cover many times, it's just been a while. I'm busy with some other books now but I'll see about making time for it soon.
You mean - there [i:3r08vzpf]are [/i:3r08vzpf]other books?
I'm reading [i:1t01jai7]The Horus Heresy[/i:1t01jai7] (Warhammer 40,000) right now. It has lots of classic fantasy creates (inculding humans, Elves, and Orcs) and puts them in a sci-fi setting. It's also cooler than it sounds.
It really has to be recalled that the Dark Events of LotR can explain the more serious mood of the Rivendell Elves in the films. But nor should we forget that There and Back Again is Bilbo's Tale, replete with his own version of events and characters. "Tra la la la lally" may sound like a nursery rhyme in Bilbo's telling, but no doubt it will sound ethereally beautiful in Elvish
. And no doubt UPLIFTING, which is another way of reading "joyous" or "merry".
The Elves of Rivendell can still present a cheerful demeanor without sacrificing their more serene "Vulcanish" nature (and if you think it can't be done, witness Spock and McCoy's cheerfully irascible exchanges).
The Elves of Mirkwood don't really present any serious problems either. Think of Romulans, the cousins of Vulcans. They could be quite mercurial, carousing like Klingons one moment, then devious and treacherously cranky in the next--much like Humans, which is no doubt why Mirkwood Elves got along more with Men.
The Elves in The Hobbit definitely need to be more light hearted than in LotR but at the same time will need to be at least somewhat consistent with the trilogy. Instead of literally singing the words tra la la lally, they can just sing some upbeat elvish songs. That solves the problem of keeping the elves merry and cheery as in the hobbit, without turning them into clowns.
So are you guys saying that they should sing "Tra la la lally" in Sindarin?
I suppose that could work.
[quote="Fingolfin":2alz330h]at the same time will need to be at least somewhat consistent with the trilogy.[/quote:2alz330h]
I don't think they need to, but it would be nice to see consistency between the films. That said, I would rather see a faithful adaptation than a thematically consistent prequel.
What is the Sindarin for "Tra la lally," by the way? Though, I hasten to add, the Elves appeared to sing in Westron for the benefit, at least, of the reader (didn't they?) Which raises another interesting question. What does "Tra la lally," actually mean?
All jokes aside, a lot of words and phrases in songs might seem silly (to some) on the page, but when translated into, and transformed by, music, suddenly have the proper weight - whatever weight you wish bring to it. Making them 'upbeat' is not necessarily the answer. Capturing a certain mood, upbeat or not, is! The trick will be to have the Elves light of heart in their singing, and this will work fine, providing we don't begin with the viewpoint that the words of the songs are silly. They're not.
Yes, the composer will have a task on hand - but great composers have the capacity to realize the heart of things. We just need a great composer.
I don't think "Tra-la-la" will be the first words of elvish to be cut, it'll be "toss-pot" as used by the drunken elves of Thranduils cellarage- I think it must have had a change of meaning in the intervening years!
I agree with Odo as to why elves (or anyone else for that matter) would sing their hearts out for the sheer delight of life and being in Rivendell and I always read it this way myself (same goes for those in Lorien) but its one thing to get that impression from the written word and other to convey it on screen in the same way. But I don't think that's a good enough reason for them to try, but I am worried they might think it is.
[quote="pettytyrant101":3d1eohun]But I don't think that's a good enough reason for them to try, but I am worried they might think it is.[/quote:3d1eohun]
At the risk of being serious about this but don't you mean [i:3d1eohun]''I don't think that's a good enough reason for them [color=#FF0000:3d1eohun][b:3d1eohun]not[/b:3d1eohun][/color:3d1eohun] to try'[/i:3d1eohun]'?
That'll teach me to make posts at a time of night (actually morning) when I'm not even certain if I'm awake or asleep.
That's a relief! I thought for a second you'd gone over to the Dark Side!
Elves are hard to portray, as anyone knows who has watched the extras there was some difficulty for the actors in getting into the mind space of an elf. They are immortal, compassionate, grim, and weary and full of joy, loving, longing, and filled with wonder. Hard traits to combine and harder to convey.
And then there is how to physically portray them. I thought PJ failed on this count, his examples of elvish activity with Legolas is usually to show him performing a super-human feat. I prefer the way Elrond's sons are portrayed in Born of Hope. Compare how they fight to the men around them (particularly in the scenes towards the end as they pursue the orcs) they don't do anything suer-human but they do move differently, (I don't know but suspect they cast dancers) they almost skip through their actions in comparison to the blunt movements of men. I found this very effective.
TH has quite a lot of elves in it, and they are a different type from those of Rivendell, so when it comes to the fight how should they be portrayed? If they are all as super-human as Legolas in the LoTR films the battle of five armies wouldn't last five minutes.
It may be protrayed like Helms Deep, where NONE OF THE ELVES SURVIVED!!!!
They just came to fight their butts off instead of leaving Middle Earth when they had a chance. I bet they'll fight differently than the men and dwarves, but not super human legolas like. Hopefully GDT won't exaggerate super human elf powers. Although I thought they were pretty awesome!
Elves SHOULD be Superhuman. They should be stronger, and (generally speaking) more effective fighters than most mortals. That's not to say [i:2jmtenfl]some[/i:2jmtenfl] Mortals shouldn't be nearly Superhuman too (say Aragorn perhaps), but they would stand out as such.
Elves are supposed to be Magical Beings. Elves are also the basis for Star Trek's Vulcans and Romulans, which have embodied the range of Elvish traits (as you have described them Petty) for decades on the TV and the Big Screen. I really don't see a problem with Jackson's portrayal of Elves overall, as they largely fit this mold.
As for how they move, I do agree with you Petty though. They should move like dancers or martial artists, particularly in battle. And as for their portrayal in The Battle of 5 Armies, skilled Mortal fighters should be able to [i:2jmtenfl]nearly[/i:2jmtenfl] match Elves. And Goblin Armies should be powerful and brutal, so I don't see that it should present any problems as far as unevenly matched forces.
Going back to Helm's Deep, I never assumed that the Elves were all wiped out myself. I just thought that there was a continuity gap, the Elves either tending to their own or having left off-screen.
Lol GB on Helms Deep I'd always assumed it was a bad idea executed badly-go figure!
As to elves movement- casting trained dancers would seem a wise move, there should be a gracefulness about elves that is present even when they are doing nothing more than having a walk or sitting down.
As to Vulcans and Romulans, I've never been entirely convinced by the argument they are based on elves, I think its just the pointy ears makes people think that. If Spock had been bright red as Rodenberry originally wanted I'm not so sure people would so readily make that connection.
As to superhuman, elves are stronger, quicker and more perceptive than man but the Legolas of the films is way beyond the Legolas of the books in terms of physical feats performed.
I think those physical spectacles occured to really set the difference between elves and everyone else, since they couldn't make them look too different from men. PJ exaggerated their actions to make up for the lack of visual otherworldly-ness. For the audience that isn't Tolkein oriented, they really see the difference between men/dwarves/wizards/hobbits when Legolas (and Arwen come to think of it) do really amazing superhuman tricks. I think the main reason that purists don't particularly enjoy the movies is because it's been dummed down a bit to compensate for all of the veiwers who haven't read LOTR. I am an advocate for the movies because without watching them, I'd never have even heard of LOTR!
What are you doing, Mr Tyrant?! Surely this might have gone on The Elves Thread! Have you no sense of place or time - or tact? (Mmm... I think I must be grumpy today.... sorry..... [i:2i60w2tw]buttons[/i:2i60w2tw] next I s'pose...
You're right Odo
. Ooops, I didn't catch that
. I think I'll merge this thread into the other one when I get some time in the next day or so.
oops- I missed that thread myself- so well done Odo keeping us on track!
You know me - always trying to keep things respectable.... (Well, actually I'm just worried Tin will tell us off for wandering off topic. She's quite a stickler for the proper protocols. Please don't tell her I said this. My Generation never admits to be afraid of the [i:1qg4mxk4]other[/i:1qg4mxk4] [i:1qg4mxk4]gender[/i:1qg4mxk4]!
I know some of you have said that the elves should be regarded as super-human like (as well as some humans), but shouldnt that be saved more for the 1st age and some second age books? I always thought that the elves became lesser in physical stature as it neared LOTR. Thats just what I always thought at least. Thats my 2 cents.
haha, i forgive you, and I'l try not to be such a stickler
I was only kidding, Tin. But actually we do need to focus sometimes. The other folk on this forum only too readily veer off in all directions and it is hard sometimes to keep up with what's going on. I, myself, though always a respectable hobbit at heart, am easily lead by stronger personalities, and have veered off the subject a few times myself - or, at least [i:2ndgf8od]once[/i:2ndgf8od] anyhow! I am now Stickler Odo!
Taking up Estel's point -how superhuman are the elves? They live forever, they don't get ill. They can run without putting their weight on the surface (not sure how that works!) and they are very, very good at balancing on stuff. They can tightrope walk almost as if walking on a flat surface and they are exceptionally nimble in trees. But apart from that lot is there really much other difference? Acts of great strength (physical or mental) seem to be on about a par with the best of men.
Or to put it another way if Aragorn and Legolas came to blows- who would win the fight?
Well here's my opinion (for what it's worth
) in FOTR on Caradhras Boromir and Aragorn have to dig a channel through the snow whilst Legolas walks on top of it, so maybe men are physically stronger, but Elves are quicker,light and more agile.
As for Aragorn vs Legolas, my money would be on Aragorn if he could get the first shot in
Also didn't Hurin (or maybe Turin, i forget
) chase down and physicaly beat and Elf in the book children of Hurin? Can't remember the name of the Elf either, only read the book once and i have short term memory...............
It was Turin, and the elf was a friend of his coming to find him, but he killed him, not knowing who he was. I think it was Bel- something. His name meant "strong" i think...
Don't think it was Belog i was thinking of, will have to check and get back to you.
The elf that Turin chased through the woods was Saeros. The two were most certainly not friends. Beleg, on the other hand, was not chased by Turin.
Beleg C˙thalion was his name, also known as Beleg "Strongbow." Turin killed him by accident, mistaking him for an orc after he awoke in the dark and being cut by Beleg's sword, Anglachel. The sword (reforged as "Gurthang"
reminds Turin of his accidental treachery before he throws himself upon it in his misery after slaying Glaurung, who reveals his incest before dieing. Man, gotta go reread Silmarillion.
Estel makes a fair point. Elves were diminishing, but they still had "magical" abilities that would have given them the advantage over MOST (but certainly not all) Mortal Humans. Insofar as the Numenorean descendants had Elvish blood, many of them would have been close to equal with the Elves.
It should also be pointed out that many of the "Superhuman" traits of Elves (such as those Petty describes) are also often attributed to highly skilled Asian Martial Artists, Monks, and Yogis; so I don't really see any inconsistency with the idea that for Elves such traits could be "Natural", whereas a Mortal would have to work at it.
Oh GB! I've been fretting over your abscence from the forum, but what do you do when you get back?! I tell you what you do! You imply elves use Martial Arts!
My goodness - I'd hope your time away might have been used to read Tolkien again and heal your Liberalism... you know, discover how much of a conservative Englishman he was and start showing some proper respect!
Martial Arts! God forbid!
Sheez! Next time you vanish, I'm going to try to completely expunge you from my mind, GB!
[i:2xq6xpyn]Odo[/i:2xq6xpyn] be dramatic?!
Not just Martial Arts, but the Spiritual Aspects of such training. It is the Higher levels of Spirit that endows Elves with their abilities. I'm sure Tolkien would concur with that view. Tibetan, Shaolin, Hindu, and Zen Monks deign to exercise their Chi to generate higher levels of Spirit, which supposedly leads to their abilities to perform Superhuman feats.
Even given the martial art aspect (and I can't say I'm sold on the idea myself) elves are naturally spiritual, they don't seem to have to work at it. Whilst any human (in theory) can learn martial arts and the spiritual side that goes with it, a mortal can't learn to be an elf. These are natural abilities they possess, given by God, in spite of their own traits or leanings.
Maybe the Blessed Realm is just a huge dojo!
Tolkien discusses the spiritual nature of the Eldar in [i:10dasxey]The History of Middle-earth X: Morgoth's Ring[/i:10dasxey]. One of the defining aspects of the Eldar, as opposed to humans, is that their souls and spiritual nature play a larger role in their lives than their bodies and physical nature, while the opposite is true for humans. This leads to the Eldar being more concerned with the spiritual aspects of life than the physical ones (such as, in Tolkien's own example, sex).
Yes, Eldo and Petty, that's basically what I'm getting at. And one should not forget though, that both Christian and Eastern Traditions talk about "The Armour of God", though there are clear distinctions between the respective definitions, they both relate to strengthening the Mind, Body, and Spirit. And in a way, I do think that certain paths CAN lead people to become more "Elven", at the very least in a figurative sense.
    >>
The rumour I heard was that the Eldar live in TWO places at once...
This is not so much an Eastern Concept as [i:2osvkphr]Westernessen [/i:2osvkphr]GB