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Discussing: Elves and Aging

Elves and Aging

How quickly do elves/peredhil mature? For instance, would a 50-year old elf look and act in a manner similar to a 50-year old human? (For simplicity's sake, let's say this is a "regular" human, not a long-lived Numenorean-type like Aragorn) Or would such a young elf still look and act like a child when compared to his/her parents? Many thanks, Ali



Re: Elves and Aging

Hi Ali! Tolkien said in his essay on Laws and Customs of the Eldar that Elf-children age like the children of Man until the mortal children are about three. Then the Mannish children age more quickly while the Elves linger on in the first spring of childhood. And yet they have a greater mastery over their body and mind than mortal children have and a Man might think them older (in mortal years). For example, Elves learn to speak before they are one year old. Elves reach their maturity at fifty and would than, I think, look like a twenty-old human and behave in the same way. I think, most Elves would act more innocently than their parents, because their spirit (fea) has not yet started to influence their body (hroa) in such a way as to cause the "fading" i. e. that the borders between fea and hroa become indistinct and the fea has not yet reached the stage where he becomes powerful enough to directly imprint an image of the person into another mind. Hopefully this helped at least a little and if you have more questions just ask Maka P.S. I think that I should give you another hint: the fea needs the hroa and it is the fea that marks Elvish personality. If the fea has seen much violence in early youth, this will affect the Elf's behaviour as surely as an innocent childhood would.



Re: Elves and Aging

Thanks Maka, that helps very much! And it's fascinating stuff, too. Ali



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