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


Staff member
There are two separate issues at play here.

One is that, yes, generations among elves are not quite the same as generations among humans. They are, in general, in no hurry to have kids, and willing to wait until it's a good time (peace, settled, etc) before having a family. And once they have a family, they do hit a stopping point. Elves may appear to be young forever, and not have a 'biological clock', but they do not produce countless offspring. Fëanor and Nerdanel's seven sons is the largest elvish family we ever learn about. Finwë has more than 3 children if you count his daughters; in Silm Film, we gave him two of those (Findis and Irimë). So, no, no one is having 50 kids over the course of 1000 years...that is not how elves work! But at the same time, the 'average' elf is likely to marry soon after reaching adulthood (so, around 50-100 years old), and have their children not long after that..and a modest family size is normal. At least...if we believe that Laws and Customs Among the Eldar speaks to the general experience. There are few elves in our story who actually do this, some waiting thousands of years to marry!

The second question is...who are the 'Fëanoreans'? We have not portrayed them as all being kin to Fëanor! Rather, they are the people among the Noldor who followed him into exile in Formenos, and their families. They are a subset of the Noldor who are of like mind with Fëanor (to a point) and claim him as a leader. And, naturally, these are the people who were at Alqualondë when the Kinslaying first began, so they are complicit in Fëanor's deeds there. Fëanor and his sons are the leaders...but the bulk of the people would be craftsmen among the Noldor, not kin of Fëanor. In our story, they are mostly nameless redshirts, suggesting that there is not a close relationship between the leaders and the 'common' people in this group. But, no, there is no suggestion that all of the people in Gondolin are related to Turgon (for instance). They simply live there, and it's a mixture of Noldor and Sindar. Aredhel and Idril are his immediate kin, and Glorfindel *may* be related to him more distantly, but in, not family, even in a loose sense.

Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod introduces himself to Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring in this way. When written, the introduction meant that Gildor was the son of an elf named Inglor (Finrod from the published Silmarillion) of the House of Finrod (Finarfin in the published Silmarillion). So, setting aside the part where Finrod Felagund has no children, this introduction is a straightforward indication of relationship. But...if we are to interpret these words in a way that is *compatible* with the published Silmarillion, we would take Gildor to be the son of an elf named Inglor (no relation to Finwë), and to be of the 'House' of Finrod, suggesting that Inglor lives in Nargothrond and is part of Finrod's immediate household. Inglor will therefore (in Silm Film) be one of the elves to die in Sauron's werewolf pit with Finrod.

So, in our story 'house' can imply being a member of the group of elves without (necessarily) implying kinship.
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