9/16 Elven: 1. Not Half?

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1. Not Half?

This is a work of fan fiction. The characters and setting belong to J. R. R. Tolkien.

Forty two years before the second chaining of Melkor ....

Maglor strode into the room where his foster sons worked on the problems assigned by their tutor. It was still often a play room, for the twins were too young to spend overmuch time on serious things. Elrond, however, had announced recently that it was his "study", which had drawn a heartfelt laugh from Maglor and a frown of protest from Elros. The twins were bent over their figures, but Elrond, Maglor noticed, was not performing the task set to him.

"So, Elrond, have you solved the problem?" asked the older Elf. "Yes, Ada!" The boy beamed. "If you can carry three packets of lembas, but must make a journey that would require four packets of lembas to return home without starving, you have to prepare for the journey by leaving caches along the way. You will need two additional packets of lembas on the journeys where you set up the caches. So, the total is six packets of lembas."

"Wonderful!" Maglor beamed. The boy was precocious. Elros' frown indicated he had not yet solved the problem. "Do not be troubled, Elros.", Maglor said gently. "It is a difficult problem. My brother Curufin had not yet solved it at your age." Elros gave the slighest pout before turning on his twin, saying "But, what, brother, if someone steals the caches? Will you not then starve?", and then storming red-faced out of the room.

Maglor knew better than to follow after an angry child - especially one not his own - too soon. I will speak to him in an hour's time, he thought. Elrond, however, now looked confused. "Ada, he is right! You will starve, will you not?"  So soon to have to worry about such things, Maglor thought sadly. Already the boys must learn to think of supply lines, rather than playing in the gardens of Aman as Maglor had at their age - but here they were, where war ever threatened.

"Yes." Maglor said gravely, "You must set guards on the caches, and the guards must eat, but that is a problem you will not solve in an afternoon. Elros saw this, and you may find you need his advice in such things. Do not forget that he saw it before you, and that you work best together. But enough of work! I see you have set your mind to something else" glancing at the figures on the boy's desk. "Tell me about it and then we will go find Elros."

Elrond looked embarassed. "The others call me and Elros 'Half-Elven', and it's not right!"

"Yes, my kinsmen and followers can be unkind. But need you remind them that your forefathers among Men were Beren and Tuor? If children call you that, you may ask them what their fathers have done. Few in this city can claim greater lineage than you and Elros. But if it is grown Elves who call you thusly, and they do so with malice, then you must tell me their names, for an insult to my sons is an insult to me, and I do not take kindly to such."

Elrond was slightly frightened by his not-really-Ada's sudden change in mood. Not as he was of his not-really-Ada's terrifying one-handed brother, but frightened enough. "No, it's not that. I am proud of my forefathers. But I'm not Half-Elven!"

Maglor frowned - was the boy in some sort of denial? "How so?", he asked.

"If my blood were divided into sixteen parts, the Elvish parts would be ten.", Elrond exclaimed proudly. "Perhaps they should call me 'Elrond Five-Eighths Elven'. Elros agrees."

The older Elf now laughed. "Ah, I see you have been neglecting your poetry lessons! We will have to amend this! I will fetch my harp after we find Elros, and we will sing a bit."

But first, a secret had to be revealed. The twins had not been told the true nature of their great-great grandmother Melian. It did not do to tell children they were part divine - this tended to go to their heads. Even being one-quarter Maia was no protection against swords, as the astonishingly arrogant Dior had learned, too late. But it seemed the boys were now ready for it...

"And how do you conclude that ten of the sixteen parts of your blood are Elvish, ion nin? Four come from your father who now sails the skies, so how many from your naneth?" Maglor had found that openly discussing the twins true parentage was the best track - it allowed the tragic details of their endings, especially Elwing's, to be left unspoken.

"Six, of course!", the boy responded. "Four from daernaneth Nimloth, and two from daeradar Dior."

"No", Maglor replied, "One from Dior."

Elrond immediately protested, "But Dior was truly Half-Elven, as my Star-Adar was.  Therefore two from Dior."

"No again. Dior's blood was less than half Quendi, for his daernaneth Melian was not an Elf as she seemed, but a Maia." Shock transformed the boy's face as Maglor quickly continued; "Therefore you are nine-sixteenths Elven, three-eighths Man, and one-sixteenth Maia. Perhaps I shall decree that you and Elros are now to be known as Nine-Sixteenths Elven." Maglor concluded grandly, feigning gravity, "Would you like that?"

Elrond looked around for a way to escape. Stern and kingly his not-really-Ada now seemed, and surely his answer would be important. "No, Ada, well, let's ask Elros, but I don't think he would like it either. I guess Half-Elven will have to do."

Maglor grinned, and the many cares that beset him vanished, at least to to a child's eyes. "So, ion nin, now that we have decided how you shall be known ever after, let's find your brother and have a song or two before bed. I know just the one."

Shortly after, Elrond, Elros and all in the hall who were off duty sat entranced as the not-really Ada who the others called "Macalauire" sang "The Tale of Thingol and Melian".

Author's note: Elrond and Elros' grandparents were the Elves Idril and Nimloth, the Man Tuor, and the 1/4-Elf 1/4-Maia 1/2-Man Dior. The six-packets-of-lembas is a reference to the simplest case of the famous "Jeep problem" - the age old problem of how many supplies are required to make a journey longer than one can carry supplies for. The Elves would surely have considered this by the time of this story, very near the end of the First Age. Elrond and Elros, being brilliant (and part-Maia!) could work this simple case out while still quite young. To the best of my knowledge they were born in Year of the Sun 532, while the second chaining of Melkor occurred in YoS 587, so this story occurs in YoS 545, making them about 13. This is also the year in which the War of Wrath began, but presumably the host of Aman has not yet arrived in Middle Earth.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: maeglin

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/04/10

Original Post: 04/03/09

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

9/16 Elven

curiouswombat - 19 Apr 09 - 2:04 PM

Ch. 1: Not Half?

I have thought, a few times, of this same puzzle in relation to the children of Elrond - who should really be called the 'slightly over 3/4 Elven'...

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