Feanoreans

MithLuin

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Marcus Vanco graduated from college (bachelor's degree) in 2013, so if I had to guess his age, I'd say he's about 26 or so.

He also looks rather similar to Devon Bostick (26), who plays Jasper on The 100. He's kinda a goofy sidekick character, the type of guy who brags overly big about his exploits and worries about partying at inopportune times, always trying to get a girl, but usually unsuccessfully. But he also has a character arc where he gains some responsibility and experiences a significant loss at the end of Season 2, and spends Season 3 acting like someone who is off his meds. He's...unstable, reckless, drunk/high, mad at the world, etc. So, kinda useless, but I guess I mean that at least the guy playing him has some range, and doesn't mind playing a rather unsympathetic character?

I wouldn't immediately think of him as Fëanorean material, but I guess he could look the part? He's pretty skinny, but elves don't exactly bulk up either.
 

Haakon

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(I also concluded that although pink may exist as a very rare elf hair color (from inheriting silver + red from both parents), it is very unlikely for any of Feanor's sons to have pink hair. I'd rather assume none did.)
Let's keep this knowledge as secret as we can.
 

MithLuin

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Silver should have even less pigment than blond, so probably we don't need to worry about pink hair; it would likely come out as a normal shade of red.

...with the caveat that I have no idea what silver elf hair is like, because silver human hair is an entirely different type of hair than regular hair (more wiry), so it's not a perfect analogue.

Probably they can wash it with lemon juice and bring out highlights in the sunlight, but the care of elf-hair will be another topic we avoid, most likely ;).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Well after researching hair color genetics (what little is known of them) and trying to diagram the Elven royals' hair color inheritance, I think it's plausible that Celegorm was blond or light brown. Possibly. There are some unknowns. But assuming that you get redhead Elves more-or-less the same way as redhead Humans (a light color + red) then if you take the lightest shade of red Feanorian and subtract the red, whatever color that leaves is more-or-less the lightest Celegorm could be.

It's also plausible he had dark brown hair, though.

(I also concluded that although pink may exist as a very rare elf hair color (from inheriting silver + red from both parents), it is very unlikely for any of Feanor's sons to have pink hair. I'd rather assume none did.)
Not likely. Feanor had dark hair, Nerdanel had red/auburn hair.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Miriel had silver, Finwe and Feanor had black, Nerdanel has brown, Mahtan has auburn. Nerdanel, Feanor, and (either Finwe or Miriel) are clearly carriers for red, but are not red themselves.

In Europeans, red is inherited separately from dark/light. Ginger is 2 recessive red genes, plus blond hair. Auburn is 2x red, plus brown hair. Chestnut is 2x red, plus dark brown hair. This is evidently the same mechanism in the Feanorians.

If silver is just "less pigment than blond" on a group of several additive genes, then according to current theories, silver + black should produce a dark blond child. But Feanor was as black-haired as Finwe. So is silver an entirely separate set of genes, a leucism/albinism that only affects hair? If so it's a simple recessive and would probably cancel out red genes. But if it's merely "even less pigment than blond" then if a kid gets all silver alleles, and 2 red alleles, pale red is the only visible color. Probably it would be more apricot/beige or salmon/rose rather than hot pink (which I think has some violet in it).

For Feanor to be black-haired, silver should be a simple recessive, not additive/subtractive in the same way as black-brown-blond.

But for the twins to turn out the way they did (born auburn, one turning darker later), they must inherit a combination of dark/light genes to get dark brown or black, but have enough deactivated at birth to produce light brown instead. Then one turns the dark genes back on and becomes chestnut or possibly black. And Galadriel (but not her brothers) has blond hairs next to silver hairs, somehow. That appears to be possible only if silver is additive/subtractive. So is silver a gene-deactivator rather than a leucism?

Maedhros starts out auburn (light brown + red) and stays that way.
If Celegorm inherits light brown + no red, he'd be light-haired.

Of course that's all assuming that light hair has the same genetic basis as in Europeans. That's implied by Earendil being blond and Amros turning darker with age. But if it is different, then I have no idea what's going on.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I#ve found this fun APP:
https://dna.frieger.com/calc-quick.php

Genetic Heredity Calculator

also works for other traits... it's quite interesting to play through some combinations, Silver/white Hair should work as very light blond

don't know how reliable it is though.

following the APP Feanors and Nerdanels Kids would most likely have brown hair, Fingolfins Brown Hair and Earendil would most likely be blond while Elwing should bebrown/dark haired.Celebrian should be Blond, Dior would also have brown Hair, Elured and Elurin could be brown or blond. Also interesting: Nerdanels Mother should be red or blond too...

all of this considering white/silver a variation of Blond.
true! Elf genetics have to work different from human genetics, otherwise Feanor can't have black hair, but only brown.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, there's the added caveat that black hair on a person of European descent is likely not quite as dark as black hair on anyone else. So, while a white person might describe their own hair as 'black,' a non-white person would be more likely to call that 'brown.'

Conversely, in cultures that basically only have black hair, *any* hair color lighter than black can be called 'blond.' And even then, Kwashiorkor can cause lighter hair colors (like a rusty red).


I think that elf hair color genetics work almost *exactly* like human genetics...with the exception of silver.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
For Earendil to be blond, Elves must either 1. have the same hair color genes as Europeans, or 2. have simple dominant blond hair. The latter is admittedly a tempting explanation for Finarfin and his kids.

Well, there's the added caveat that black hair on a person of European descent is likely not quite as dark as black hair on anyone else. So, while a white person might describe their own hair as 'black,' a non-white person would be more likely to call that 'brown.'
Well good, because that might be necessary to make pairs like Fingolfin-Finarfin and Turin-Nienor possible.

Luthien's seem to have the ultra-black, though. Or some kind of dominant (or magic) that overrules every normal elf gene.

EDIT: For even more fun, Dwarves can have blue hair!
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
For Earendil to be blond, Elves must either 1. have the same hair color genes as Europeans, or 2. have simple dominant blond hair. The latter is admittedly a tempting explanation for Finarfin and his kids.

Well good, because that might be necessary to make pairs like Fingolfin-Finarfin and Turin-Nienor possible. (If it was just the Elves I was tempted to say blonde

Luthiens seem to have the ultra-black, though.
Well for Turin and Nienor, Turin took after his mother in looks, for Morwen was of the house of Beor, who have dark hair. Nienor took after her father in blond hair if not her stature. And there’s no knowing what Turin and Nienor’s children would have looked liked because Nienor took a dive off Cabed-en-Aras.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Sure it could mean grey. But how about an actual blue? In birds blue is usually a structural color, not a pigment. Iridescent, not iridescent, or iridescent mixed with grey or black. (I'm more comfortable with (not-bright) blue hair on Dwarves than any shade of pink-haired Elves.)

Anyway, it turns out the redhead Feanorians are specifically "auburn" and that suggests Celegorm is extremely unlikely to be blond. But he could possibly be anything from dark blond to deep black.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
well... Mahtan has red hair and Nerdanel has, Nerdanewls mom can have red, brown or strawberry blond hair...
but Feanor... there´s just no way any of Feanors children can have any other hair colour than brown with Feanor having black and Finwe having black hair - and theres no way - as far as i can see - for Feanor to have raven black hair when Finwe has black hair and Miriel´s silver hair corresponds to blonde or strawbery blonde...

rationalized Feanor could have dark brown hair and his children brown, red or strawberry blond hair ... as far as i understand it. If both, Finwe and Feanor have raven black hair and Nerdanel and Mahtan red hair, all their children would have different shades of brown hair.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
well... Mahtan has red hair and Nerdanel has, Nerdanewls mom can have red, brown or strawberry blond hair...
but Feanor... there´s just no way any of Feanors children can have any other hair colour than brown with Feanor having black and Finwe having black hair - and theres no way - as far as i can see - for Feanor to have raven black hair when Finwe has black hair and Miriel´s silver hair corresponds to blonde or strawbery blonde...

rationalized Feanor could have dark brown hair and his children brown, red or strawberry blond hair ... as far as i understand it. If both, Finwe and Feanor have raven black hair and Nerdanel and Mahtan red hair, all their children would have different shades of brown hair.
I thought Miriel’s hair was black.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Yeah, Míriel has silver hair.

So...my father has black hair, and my mother has red hair. All five of their kids have brown hair :p I certainly have red highlights that show up if I've gotten a lot of sun.
But my father's sister has black hair, her husband has red hair, and their daughter has red hair.
My grandmother on my father's side had black hair. My grandfather was bald for most of his adult life, but I'm under the impression he had light brown hair - hard to tell in black-and-white photos!
My sister was blond as a child, and grew up to have light brown hair (with blond and red highlights). Her husband was the same. Both of them had one red-headed parent. Three out of four of their children are currently blond, with one child being dark brown haired from birth.

(Keeping in mind that this 'black' would doubtless be called 'dark brown' by some people.)


So, Fëanor should be dark-haired. Black. But his mother has silver hair, so he definitely carries other genetic markers that are masked by the black hair. Since we know half of his children come out with red hair, he is clearly a carrier for red hair. He could be a carrier for other traits, too, as we're talking about multiple genes here.

Nerdanel has reddish-brown hair. Sometimes, 'auburn' is described as 'reddish brown', so whether this is 'brown hair with some red in it' or 'red hair of a darker shade' is really up for interpretation. Regardless, we know her father had redder (less brown) hair than her, and that some of her children have hair like her father. It skips a generation, as recessive traits are bound to do.

I agree that it is unlikely that Celegorm is blond. Depending on how silver hair works, though, he could have inherited that from Míriel the same way Maedhros inherited the red hair from Mahtan. Various shades of brown are also a possibility.

But I completely disagree that it is 'impossible' for a black-haired person with one black-haired parent to have a variety of different haired children. Happens all the time (including in my own family!)


26952568_10159910253300597_3911966798159606735_o.jpg
(My parents and their grandchildren. For the purposes of this conversation, I do need to point out that my mom does indeed dye her hair, as it went whitish grey some time ago. But she dyes it close to what her natural color was, so it's still a decent example. My dad's hair used to have considerably less silver in it, but alas.)


But since I don't want to derail the casting discussion with an inheritance pattern discussion, I've started another thread in the 'general' casting forum about elvish hair and eye color. That way, we don't have to stick to Fëanoreans and can hash out other problem spots in Tolkien's family trees. For funsies. ;)

https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/elven-hair-and-eye-color.2020/
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
actors can dye their hair, wear contacts and makeup.. so I don#t think it´s necessarily casting relevant (I remember a quote that Ecthelion had "face of the pallor of grey steel"... )

following the examples you gave I´d prefer celegorm either silver haired or - what i would prefer - a lighter brown tone.

we do not know nerdanel´s mother´s hait colour... as i have stated, if i put miriel´s hair colour as "undefined" on my app half of feanor´s children come out black, other half brown haired - which i am okay with if we count auburn as abrown tone.
 
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MithLuin

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Staff member
And I think it's safe to say that your app doesn't account for silver hair ;). Depending on what algorithm the app is using, it might not be accounting for lots of normal human hair conditions, either. Most heredity discussions of human hair color are over simplified and not entirely accurate.
 
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MithLuin

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Staff member
But to address the pertinent issue - yes, we are going to be putting most of our actors in wigs. Because of course elves need ridiculous hair, and few actors are going to grow their own for that! So especially if we decide someone should have silver hair, it's not like we have to find a silver-haired actor to play the part.

10405243_10153266199373531_3725483196491306252_n.jpg
Curufin, Celegorm and Amrod in front of a ship that is (surprisingly) not on fire!
Photo by David Ng
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
But to address the pertinent issue - yes, we are going to be putting most of our actors in wigs. Because of course elves need ridiculous hair, and few actors are going to grow their own for that! So especially if we decide someone should have silver hair, it's not like we have to find a silver-haired actor to play the part.

View attachment 1496
Curufin, Celegorm and Amrod in front of a ship that is (surprisingly) not on fire!
Photo by David Ng
This is obviously pre-Kinslaying.
 
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