Elves (Middle-earth): history, names. Stories of Middle-earth
The elves of Middle-earth are a free people born out of the music of Ainurov under the stars of Yavanna. Older children of Iluvatara. The most beautiful creatures that ever inhabited Arda. Their perfect bodies do not need sleep. They are able to communicate without words. Their thirst for wisdom and knowledge is insatiable. They excelled in arts and crafts, it was they who forged the Rings of Power and created the Silmarils. But let's not get ahead of ourselves ...
Eru Iluvatar - the creator of everything, living in the Void, was the first to create for himself assistants - Ainur, which in Qenyah means “Sacred”. These are higher beings whose purpose in existence is creation. As disembodied spirits, they could become visible or take on a physical appearance.
Eru asked them musical themes. At first Ainur sang singly or in small groups, gradually learning and trying to understand the creator’s great intention. Soon, Iluvatar unified them by giving them Great Music and allowing them to interpret it at their discretion, adding something new to it.
And their melodies merged into one, and the Song born by them filled everything around, pierced the great Emptiness and it ceased to be a void.
For a long time, Iluvatar enjoyed Music, until Melkor, the greatest of Ainur, endowed with the gifts of the Creator more than his fellows, decided to change the melody, to weave into it his thoughts, born in the journeys through the Void.
Overwhelmed by pride, he decided that Eru was not up to the Void in his idleness. He wanted to give life to his creations. Melkor brought discord into the harmonious choir Ainur.
The melody was broken, turning into a raging storm at the throne of Iluvatar. Eru was stopped by the choir Ainur and, with a wave of his left hand, ordered the second topic to begin. But even here Melkor managed to intervene and break the tune of Ainur.
Disgruntled, Iluvatar ordered the start of the third melody. She was beautiful and full of suffering and sadness. Melkor's theme was still strong and full of her own harmony, but she still failed to bring discord into the choir Ainur this time. Melody Eru swallowed her, woven into her own pattern.
Iluvatar decided to show everyone Ainur and Melkoru what their struggle led to.He descended into the Void, made the song Ainur visible and showed them the history of the World, hiding from them the era of the sunset of the Firstborn and the times following it. Many Ainur wanted to come to a new World.
Then Eru Iluvatar promised them to light the Undying Fire in the Void and create the World so that they could go down there. Thus appeared Ea - the universe, the greatest in which was the kingdom of Arda (Earth). Ainur wanted to prepare her for the arrival of the Children of Eru Iluvatar, elves and humans. Having forever become the voluntary hostages of Arda, Ainur turned into Valar and Maiar - Elements and Spirits of the new world.
Melkor also wanted to descend to Arda, but with the sole purpose to enslave the children of Eru and stand at the head of Arda. His plan failed, and Melkor went to the Void, the return of which brought him even greater disappointment. He saw how the Valar transformed the world in his absence, and became angry. Thus began the war of Melkor and Valar for power in Arda.
Children of Eru Iluwatara
Two kinds of creatures are considered children of Iluvatara: Elves (Quendi, Firstborn) and People (Atani, Followers). Elves are considered elders. The life cycle of elves from birth to possible death does not even have approximate boundaries, because initially they are immortal, but they can be killed or they could die from grief, longing, or fatigue from the world.
Incarnated during the second theme of Music, the elves of Middle-earth are forever attached to Arda, cannot exist outside her, and even after death cannot leave her, but can continue to live in her, having received new bodies from Ainur.
Back in the Pre-Era, a split arose among the elves, some of them — the Eldar — subsequently went on the Great Trek, reaching Haman, others — an accident — remained in Middle-earth, remaining deaf to the Call of Valar.
The First Age has arrived - the era of the true power of the elves. Their strength was so great that they could resist Melkor, but gradually their strength weakened, and by the end of the third era most of the elves of Middle-earth left.
Elves have a difficult relationship with people. In the first epoch, they maintained friendship with Easterlings (Vastasks) and Adans, but after the Vastasks went over to the side of Melkor, only Adans and their descendants remained allies of the Firstborn.
The marriage traditions of the Elves
Elves of Middle-earth were very serious about marriage and, despite the fact that most of them started a family in their youth, they married only once in their life. Eldar unions were always created out of love, or at least according to the voluntary consent of both parties.
Family life was the natural way of life for elves. Often they chose their companion very early, some as early as childhood. When lovers reached the age of marriage, their families met and declared engagement.
The pair exchanged silver rings, the engagement lasted for at least a year. During this time, the agreement could be terminated by returning the ring to the witnesses. The rings were then melted down and never used for betrothal.
After the engagement, the couple had to choose the date of the wedding. The holiday was arranged by both families. At the end of the ritual, after the solemn feast, the parents blessed the newlyweds and they returned each other silver rings, in exchange for which they exchanged gold. Worn them then on the index finger of the right hand.
All the rituals associated with marriage, were just a tribute to the tradition, customs, symbolizing the love of parents and the desire of families to unite. In the years of hardship, disaster, and exile, it was enough to have only mutual consent to be together, bound by blessings. Union recognized legal.
Attitude to children
Elves are very attached to their children, but despite this, there are few children in elven families, usually not more than four. The fact is that conceiving and carrying a child takes too much vitality, so the elves tend to acquire offspring in their youth. Later, other interests absorb them, and the desire to continue the race gradually disappears.
Despite the fact that elves consider marriage to be sacred, spouses did not have to live together. Each of them is a separate, independent person with his own interests and needs. But the couples were never separated in good faith during the period of waiting for the child and the first years of his life. That is why the elves preferred to have children in periods of calm and peace.
Tradition to give names
In the works describing the world of Middle-earth, it is told about the unusual rules of giving names to the elves. For example, the elves of Valinor had four names.
The first name was given by the father immediately after birth, it reflected either the name of the father or the name of the mother. The second, having matured, the elf received from the mother, it was a reflection of his personality, abilities, fate.
The third name, or "after-name," the elf received much later, usually it was an honorary title. The fourth elf could choose himself.
The first two names were considered “true names” and were usually used only by family and friends.
You can view the list of elves of Middle-earth, as well as learn more about this and other traditions, by reading "The Silmarillion", "Unfinished Tales" and "The History of Middle-earth".
Social equality concept
Men and women elves are equal in everything except for the birth of children. However, natural inclinations leave a definite imprint on the occupation, for example, it is believed that women are the best healers, and men are warriors. Nevertheless, among the male elves there are quite a few great healers, and women, if need be, can have excellent weapons.
Eldar believe that causing death, even forced, deprives of healing power. That is why male healers take up arms only when absolutely necessary. And that is why healing is mainly the prerogative of women, because they do not need to fight.
Clan Vanyar, Blond
A clan of blond elves, whose leader Ingve is the supreme king of all Eldar. From Lake Quivienen they left for Valinor. This is the only elven people who completely abandoned the shores of the Waters of Awakening.
The greatest influence on the Light had Manwe - the lord of air, the second in power from Ainur.Manwë and his wife Warda loved Vanyar more than other elven peoples. Manwe gave Vanyar a gift of singing and poetry. His views formed the worldview of Vanyar. It is thanks to him that the Blonde left Middle-earth and never later regretted it.
Quenya was the language of Vanyar, although it underwent some characteristic changes.
Clan Taleri, Third
The Teleri is the largest clan of elves, so numerous that they have chosen two leaders for themselves, Elwe and Olwe.
Those who fell in love with the twilight and waters of Kuivienen Teleri were in indecision for a long time trying to understand whether they wanted to exchange all this for the bright light of Valinor. They could always negotiate with the outside world, and above all with themselves. This tendency to compromise prevented them from making decisions.
However, when their leader Elva was unable to go with his people, because he did not want to part with his beloved Maya Melian, the elves, later called the Sindar (twilight elves), preferred to stay with their king. Separated from the sea, they were doomed to eternal longing for it. Is this sacrifice the best proof of their determination, courage and loyalty?
This love of the sea played a tragic role in the future fate of Thalery, when their favorite creations - the ships - caused a fierce massacre, started by Feanor, and other terrible events that forever changed the life of Teller and the history of Middle-earth.
Forest Elves are called elves living in northern Mirkwood and Lórien. They came from the Teleri, the part of them that during the Great Trek remained in the Anduin Valley.
Forest elves gradually split into separate disunited tribes, sheltered behind the misty mountains. Nevertheless, they always remembered their roots and that they came from the Third Clan, so they were on good terms with the Noldor, and especially with the Sindar.
Due to the remoteness of the tribes from each other, the language of the elves has undergone significant changes. But the main thing still remained Sindarin, albeit strongly distorted.
Despite the fact that the language of the elves over time began to differ from Sindarin so much that they initially could not understand each other, it soon became clear that it was connected with the Eldarin languages.
Wood elves had no written language. Only a few of them have learned to write in Sindarin.Unfortunately, there is practically no information about the languages of the Wood Elves, except perhaps a few names, names and words. By the end of the third era, these languages were probably no longer spoken.
All the elven languages of Middle-earth are descended from the Prakvandi language, which the elves spoke upon awakening. As you remember, the division into clans existed initially, and after that there was also a division into Eldar (who went on a campaign) and Avari (those who remained).
Little is known about the language of Avariya, just a few words. It is also known about the many adverbs Avari.
Eldar languages are learned much better. John Tolkien often speaks about one common language of the Eldar, in which three clans originally spoke, noting that the division of languages took place long before the division of the elves into Eldar and Avari. This suggests that the general Eldarian language consisted of several dialects.
Be that as it may, the Eldar was divided into three nations: Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri. Noldor and Vanyar spoke Quenya - High Elven, or rather two of its dialects. The Teleri language was divided in accordance with the division of the people themselves into nandorin (nandor), sindarin (sindar), and thelerian, the language of the Telerin that came to Valinor.
Almost nothing is known about nandorin, only a few words remain. Teller is better studied, and there is reason to consider him one of the Quenya dialects.
One way or another, the main Elven languages are Quenya and Sindarin, which John Tolkien devoted a lot of time to creating. Despite the fact that in early works these languages were called differently and belonged to other nations, the idea of preserving two related, but dissimilar languages, persisted throughout the writer's life. He has achieved such excellence in the development of these languages that they can communicate freely and even write poetry.
You can read about the history of Middle-earth in the collection of myths and legends “The Silmarillion” by Tolkien, where historical events are described in terms of the Valar and the elves. The book was published after the death of the writer, his son.