reaching new heights

Page 4 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: reaching new heights

Post by Elthir on Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:01 pm

beornthebeast wrote: Hey guys I found the passage that Elthir was talking about the Eldar with their 6’6” (assuming that was an average statement): A Tall elf 'The Quendi were in origin a tall people. The Eldar (...) they were in general the stronger and taller members of the Elvish folk at that time. In Eldarin tradition it was said that even their women were seldom less than six feet in height; their full-grown elfmen no less than six and a half feet, while some of the great kings and leaders were taller.'

I think if we take out "seldom less" and "no less" than it could definitely be read as an average but with that in there I would rather think of that as a minimum height statement. That being said, since their shortest are 6’6” their average should be higher (how much we don’t know),...

I also found a nice comment regarding this particular quote. It is written by someone named Nerwen, at a site called BarrowDowns. Comparing the two late descriptions Nerwen writes:

'(...) Saying that people in a certain group are "no less than" a given height, while "some of" them are taller is a *very* vague way of putting it; there certainly isn't the clear discrepancy that exists in the statements about Elendil. However, I'd say that if Tolkien was *at this point* thinking of the height of the male Eldar as being "about seven of our feet", he would, at least, have said "most of" them were taller (than six-foot-six).

This is a matter of interpretation, though; I think it is also possible to reconcile the two quotes if you want to without jumping through too many mental hoops.

To clarify: I'm making a guess here at what Tolkien was *trying* to say- the problem is that, taken literally, that second passage doesn't really add up at all. So I'm assuming he just hadn't thought it all out in terms of normal distribution etc.

Or else he was just using stock phrases, and the statement that Elf-men were "no less than six and a half feet" is to be taken in the same sense as the preceding one that "their women were seldom less than six feet in height"; that is, a rough indication of normal height rather than a lower limit. This would explain how only "some of the great kings and leaders" were taller than this (apparent) bare minimum.

Again, though the phrasing is ambiguous enough that it's hard to be sure exactly what he did mean.

Nerwen of Barrow Downs

So while no one has to agree with that of course, I think it is a reasonable interpretation if not the only interpretation. For clarity regarding her reference to Elendil here, Nerwen is comparing another description with respect to Tolkien's reaction to the art of Pauline Baynes (so, written about the same time as this passage about the Eldar, I would guess), where it is said that: [Aragorn] "... direct descendant of Elendil and his son Isildur, both of whom had been seven feet tall" -- compared to a description in Unfinished Tales where Elendil is seemingly closing in on eight feet.


... however there are other passages that refers to the Eldar as being about 7 feet but especially the Noldor Eldar

And if we start with The Book of Lost Tales there are a number of descriptions to consider, many of them never published by Tolkien of course, so if some do not agree with others, or if someone thinks certain passages might embrace different conceptions, in my opinion it shouldn't be that unusual to the Tolkien reader to find JRRT changing his mind about things.

Someone named Tar-Elenion has already posted a fairly full description of the external evolution of Elvish versus Mannish heights, including the folk of Numenor, despite that his findings were concluded before Hammond and Scull published these texts from JRRT (his reaction to this artwork).

Some of these 'reaction comments' were published in Unfinished Tales, but were not given full context there due to the artist still being alive at that point, as JRRT had been somewhat negative about parts of these illustrations it seems (especially according to JD Rateliff in The History of The Hobbit)...

... despite that Tolkien admired the work of Pauline Baynes in general.
avatar
Elthir
Sharrasi's prentice

Posts : 1169
Join date : 2011-06-10

Back to top Go down

Re: reaching new heights

Post by Elthir on Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:51 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: I dont see much difference between King Aragorn and Strider beyond a bath and a tidy up and I dont think that very effectively conveys the difference that the book does in how people perceive him.

What about that 'Viggo-rous' kiss at the wedding... Mortenstrider gave no such greeting to Frodo, he just pushed 'im around a bit.

Okay I strained things ... but in my opinion the pun was worth it.
avatar
Elthir
Sharrasi's prentice

Posts : 1169
Join date : 2011-06-10

Back to top Go down

Re: reaching new heights

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:09 pm

Puns are always worth a bit of stretching for. Nod

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*



*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39510
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 46
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: reaching new heights

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:50 pm

Viggo became King Elessar at the wedding. The moment he sang, that was it. King. end of story. Nod king

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21901
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum