The Council of Elves

Kate Neville

Active Member
As I listened to the latest episode, it suddenly struck me how outnumbered the non-elves must have felt. There seem to have been 2 dwarves, 2 men, 2 (official) hobbits and 1 wizard, in the midst of a whole slew of elves from various realms, strange and stranger. I don’t blame Boromir for feeling the need to speak up for Men — Elrond has so far only said of Arnor that “their lordship passed,” so Boromir would have no reason to think that the guy in the corner dressed in “travel-worn clothes” was more than a local chieftain. Who better to speak for Men than the heir to the Steward of Gondor?
Flammifer has another thread about what Boromir might have been thinking, but I just wanted to add that I think Elrond was planning to segue to Bilbo’s story, then to the hunt for Gollum (featuring Aragorn), and then to Frodo’s story. After that would have been the ideal place for Boromir’s dream/prophecy. But of course, for the reader who already has most of that information, Boromir’s interruption is much more interesting, and allows Tolkien to focus on character over plot. [Gandalf’s news of Saruman was always planned for the end, I think.]

Autocorrect Note: my iPad kept trying to correct Boromir to Borodin, a Russian composer famous for his opera, Prince Igor. An oddly poetic choice.


Well-Known Member
Hi Kate,

I think the non-elves might well have been outnumbered, but possibly not by much. We only know who 13 attendees at the council were, and 8 of them were non-Elves (if we count Sam). So, only 5 named Elves. The Elves would have been outnumbered, except that we know there were 'several other counselors of Elrond's household, the chief of whom was Erestor'.

There need to be at least 3 unnamed counselors to make an even split between Elves and non-Elves. There might have been more than 3, but probably not many more, as 'several' does not imply a large number.

I'm not sure that the non-Elves would have thought themselves much out numbered, if they had thought of themselves as non-Elves. However, I doubt they did. They probably thought of themselves as Men, or Hobbits, or Dwarves, and so, probably did feel outnumbered.