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Discussing: Silvan v. Noldor Elves

Silvan v. Noldor Elves

I recall reading somewhere that Silvan and Noldor Elves were at war or have some sort of longstanding grudge (sort of.... Celeborn is married to Galadriel after all). I ought to read the Silmarillion, but as I won't have time to do that for a while, I shall just ask for a fairly concise explanation of the politics here. Are there politics?



Re: Silvan v. Noldor Elves

Here’s my attempt at summarizing the events/politics in question. I know this is vastly oversimplified; the only way to really understand is to read the Sil. There are also some essays that bear on the subject in Unfinished Tales. I think the rub was more between the Sindar and the Noldor. The prejudice against the Noldor was a result of Fëanor’s massacres of their people and kin and the dislike extended to all those who had followed him. Galadriel was one of those that had followed him, though she had come for reasons of her own. She and her brothers had been welcome in Doriath because they were relatives and had taken no part in the first kinslaying. Galadriel married Celeborn, a Sindarin Elf who was probably a relative of King Thingol. The friendly Noldor had brought many influences to the folk of Beleriand, including the Tengwar letters the Sindar adopted for writing. But unfortunately, the Sindar then became entangled in the curse of the Noldor. The jewels Fëanor had created and sworn to reclaim at any cost eventually resulted in the death of Thingol, King of Doriath, and the subsequent sack of the kingdom at the hands of Dwarves (hence the Elves’ distrust of Dwarves). The kingdom had only begun to recover when Fëanor, his sons and close followers attacked, completely destroying Doriath this time, and then at a later time slaughtered most of the remaining refugees from Doriath and Gondolin as they dwelt peacefully beside a river. It was after all this that Oropher, a Sindarin survivor from Doriath, and his son Thranduil, along with a handful of other Sindarin adventurers, chose to abandon the life of their people, the Noldor-influenced Sindar of Doriath, and headed east across the mountains into the vale of Anduin. They traveled into Greenwood the Great, and founded their own kingdom among the Silvan Elves there. In UT, Tolkien stated in one essay that it was by intention that they conformed to the simple ways of the Silvan Elves they lived among. In one UT source, Oropher, whose realm was originally located in the southern part of Greenwood, was said to have moved his people northward because he resented the growing power of the Dwarves in Moria and the intrusions of Galadriel and Celeborn into Lothlórien. Another source said they moved northward to distance themselves from the evil emanating from Dol Guldur. At Dagorlad, Oropher was slain and two thirds of his army lost – partly because he would not recognize Gil-Galad’s authority or follow his orders. However Thranduil supposedly harbored resentment against the Noldor thereafter. Details are sketchy, but he was definitely scarred by events of that war. Keep in mind, though, that there did not seem to be any overt animosity between Legolas and any of the Noldor in LOTR, and he seemed delighted to make his first visit to Lothlórien. I hope I have made things clearer and not further muddied the waters for you ;) Ithildin *(



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