A Tolkien Virgin: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie - The Journey Continues
Of Eldamar and the princes of the Eldalie
At this point, I'm hooked. The story of the Elves up to this point has been sweet and sad, but Tolkien has me, and I like it. He's addicted to complexity, and I like that too. He couldn't have had all the Elves pick up and go to Valanor/Aman, that wouldn't be Tolkien, and that wouldn't be interesting. All along the way some are lost. Some flee Orome at the very beginning and were lost. And as the Teleri finally arrive on the shores of Aman, we can't forget that Elwe (Thingol) and many of his friends and kinsman were left behind in Beleriand. So even though it's a happy event when the greater part of the Teleri arrive at last upon the shores of Aman, there is ever a hint of sadness. Not only sadness that a good number of the Teleri were sundered from their kinsfolk (to use Tolkiens vocabulary), but also sadness because of the love of Osse for the Teleri and that they left him to come to Valinor.
The Quendi are a divided people. There are three distinct groups, the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri, and they are constantly splintering into smaller groups. These large groups each seem to have their own personalities, just as much as their princes do, if not more. Tolkien does a good job of developing them and getting his audience (namely myself) caught up in their actions and interactions, etc.
I'm so interested in the Quendi at this point, in fact, that I'm a little disappointed that Tokien doesn't really describe them. Correction: he describes them generally, and certain characteristics specifically quite well. But I crave to know their culture, their way of life, heck even their appearance. These are clearly legends for later generations of Elves, so they lack all of those specifics that are so intriguing about people-groups. Do they farm? Do they even eat? If so, what? How do they spend their time? Are they taller than we are or shorter? To say they are the ""fairest"" and ""most beautiful"" can only do so much. We know they are distinct from humans...but in what ways physically? Tolkien seems to have wanted so much to have control over this created world of his, I'm surprised he leaves so much to the imagination...but then, legends will do that.