Session 5-19: The Differing Perspectives of Men and Elves

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Session 5-19 will be held on Thursday December 3rd at 10 PM Eastern Time. We will be discussing the differing world views of Men and Elves, and how to incorporate these differences into the Season 5 material on our show.

What do you think are some of the most important differences in perspective that would result from the differences in lifespans between Men and Elves? How would these differences affect their cultures in ways that a member of the other culture would notice?​
What other cultural differences are likely to have resulted from the very different histories of the Noldor and the Men who come to Beleriand?​

This will be a brainstorming session, so the more suggestions, the better!

Session 5-20 will be held on Thursday December 17th at 10 PM, and will be discussing Episode 2. Discussion for that Episode can be found on the thread in the script forum. That will be our final session for 2020.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
How are the Elves going to decide that Men are going to be more useful than cannon fodder?

Also, maybe get into something regarding Andreth and Aegnor; is Aegnor a coward for not going further with Andreth?
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Birthdays and anniversaries. Men: Yes please! Elves: I don't understand what you mean.
Strictly defined rules of succession of power: Men: how would our civilization survive without this? Elves: let's wing it!
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Birthdays and anniversaries. Men: Yes please! Elves: I don't understand what you mean.
Strictly defined rules of succession of power: Men: how would our civilization survive without this? Elves: let's wing it!
“Smokey, this isn’t ‘Nam; this is bowling, there are rules.”

I think Elves have pretty definite rules of succession, that of eldest-male preference. Luthien was never stated to be Thingol’s heir while her son Dior was. Idril was never stated to be Turgon’s heir either, and was subsequently passed over in favor of her younger cousin Gil-galad. Men, at least the House of Beor in our adaptation, are a bit less defined.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
No matter where you stick Gil-galad genealogically, there are some interesting twists and turns, and some definite improvisations, in Finwe -> Fingolfin -> Fingon (the only father to eldest son transition) -> Turgon -> Gil-galad.

And you could posit that the notion of an "heir", or at least the relative importance of having or being one, was in the background when Luthien came around, but was now in the front of people's brains by the time of Dior's arrival. If you asked a random Sindar pre-Noldor "Hey, who is Thingol's heir?", the answer would probably be a puzzled look, followed by "Luthien, I suppose.". Ask the same question after Beren has come and gone, and, well, Dior has got Thingol's Heir in his name.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
No matter where you stick Gil-galad genealogically, there are some interesting twists and turns, and some definite improvisations, in Finwe -> Fingolfin -> Fingon (the only father to eldest son transition) -> Turgon -> Gil-galad.

And you could posit that the notion of an "heir", or at least the relative importance of having or being one, was in the background when Luthien came around, but was now in the front of people's brains by the time of Dior's arrival. If you asked a random Sindar pre-Noldor "Hey, who is Thingol's heir?", the answer would probably be a puzzled look, followed by "Luthien, I suppose.". Ask the same question after Beren has come and gone, and, well, Dior has got Thingol's Heir in his name.
Well in our case we used the Gil-galad as Orodreth's son, so Fingon had no kids, so the line passed to Turgon, Idril gets shunted aside, and it goes to Gil-Galad. That's pretty well-defined (not least because most everybody else is dead).
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well in our case we used the Gil-galad as Orodreth's son, so Fingon had no kids, so the line passed to Turgon, Idril gets shunted aside, and it goes to Gil-Galad. That's pretty well-defined (not least because most everybody else is dead).
Wouldn't it pass to Maedhros before Fingon by that definition?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Hadn't Maedhros forfeited to Fingolfin and for the House of Fëanor in general had forfeited by their actions, that they would become the lowest of the Noldor?
Maedhros established that Fingolfin should be king because he was eldest of the descendants of Finwë available. Once Fingolfin dies, that should pass to Maedhros. It doesn't happen, so the rule isn't a firm policy.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Maedhros is Feanor's heir. Maedhros pulls an interesting sleight-of-hand where he decides the High King should be Finwe's heir, and oh look, with Feanor dead, that's Fingolfin. The High Kingship then passes to Fingolfin's heir Fingon.

However, in Silm Film, we decided that the Noldor are choosing a High King each time the need arises, and it's mostly a case of recognizing the best person for the job with seniority. There is not a strict 'male primogeniture' rule in place. Fingolfin rules as High King for 450 years, so...the question does not arise often.

For Season 5, we can definitely have observations about Men lead Fingolfin to pay more attention to the need to train Fingon as his heir. 'Passing the torch' to the next generation is a necessary part of preserving human culture. While elves likely do some of the same things, they would have nowhere near the urgency about this. They plan to be around for awhile, and so the assumption is that you can always consult a living memory and things will not be lost to time.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Even the notion of using writing to record history.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Men learn writing from Elves here, right? What if it's almost accidental - the Elves have so much to teach, and writing is just this cute little artistic thing in a long list of other cute little artistic things. But the first of the Men to see writing and have it explained might immediately see the path to long term memory that the Elves have overlooked.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Even the notion of using writing to record history.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Men learn writing from Elves here, right? What if it's almost accidental - the Elves have so much to teach, and writing is just this cute little artistic thing in a long list of other cute little artistic things. But the first of the Men to see writing and have it explained might immediately see the path to long term memory that the Elves have overlooked.
Professor Olsen brought up this very point not incredibly long ago.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
To Men, nature is something that provides stuff you can use, often by destroying it to some degree. Elves collaborate with nature, or brings out hidden qualities. This makes Men prone to struggle, while Elves play with things and love them.
 

Finrodismyboi

New Member
I think the conversation between Turin and Beleg is very relevant here. In that Turin regards the valar as maybe existent but not in the slightest bit effective in his life because of how short it is and therefore places his trust in his own deeds and himself as master over his own doom. Whereas beleg placed his trust in the valar and sees their providence unfolding all of the time, and has the lifespan to one day witness that the promise of the valar to redeem middle earth actually comes about. I think the elves should also hold men by and large of little account because of their short days and fragile natures in comparison to their own. However they should then be equally awed that someone with such a short life should dedicate it to the vanquishing of evil no matter how futile that quest seems to be and how outmatched they are by their opponent.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think the conversation between Turin and Beleg is very relevant here. In that Turin regards the valar as maybe existent but not in the slightest bit effective in his life because of how short it is and therefore places his trust in his own deeds and himself as master over his own doom. Whereas beleg placed his trust in the valar and sees their providence unfolding all of the time, and has the lifespan to one day witness that the promise of the valar to redeem middle earth actually comes about. I think the elves should also hold men by and large of little account because of their short days and fragile natures in comparison to their own. However they should then be equally awed that someone with such a short life should dedicate it to the vanquishing of evil no matter how futile that quest seems to be and how outmatched they are by their opponent.
I thought that conversation was with Gwindor.
 

Finrodismyboi

New Member
I think the conversation between Turin and Beleg is very relevant here. In that Turin regards the valar as maybe existent but not in the slightest bit effective in his life because of how short it is and therefore places his trust in his own deeds and himself as master over his own doom. Whereas beleg placed his trust in the valar and sees their providence unfolding all of the time, and has the lifespan to one day witness that the promise of the valar to redeem middle earth actually comes about. I think the elves should also hold men by and large of little account because of their short days and fragile natures in comparison to their own. However they should then be equally awed that someone with such a short life should dedicate it to the vanquishing of evil no matter how futile that quest seems to be and how outmatched they are by their opponent.
I think also that elves at the beginning should be fascinated by men though and men should be captivated by the beauty and wisdom of the elves as was shown when my boi finrod first encountered the men of Beor
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, the Men entering Beleriand have an oral tradition. The House of Bëor living in Nargothrond is going to become fully literate quickly, and no doubt will consider the usefulness of preserving the wisdom of earlier generations in the written word, whereas Elves were just being artistic, treating written records as a variation on a song - you could compose a lay to tell a story, but you wouldn't need to do that to make sure you remember the details.
 
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