the early men

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
The last podcast gave me some trouble...

The hosts have brought up the question of how the early hildor look like, again not only talking about ethnic diversity but also possible sub-races like (proto)-hobbits and Druedain (why not giants also? Or beornings..).

We already did decide that we do not want ethnic diversity for elves... which i still think was a coward idea (sorry but being honest). We decuded that it would be odd to have different ethnicities of elv3s at cuivienen and then hsve eldar and avari divide alond ethnical lines... and ended us up with all elves being a bunch of white people , which i think is even worse.

Now with the hildor i have a quite different issue because we probably WILL have the ancestors of the Haradrim and Easterlings at hildorien too...

But corey mentioned the different "ethnicity" of the Numenoreans... them becoming taller, more elf-like and longlived as a result of the intervention of the Valar.And i think he is wrong!

Just as the eagles or Ents are not created by the valar, nut only granted to them by the mercy of Eru... also the blessing of the Numenoreans does not directly come from the Valar or the closeness to the immortal lands but only indirectly.The true reason is they are blessed by Eru... as we did argue before they have sort of re-evolutioned , because ofvtheir ancestors deeds, and are even or at last close to the original men , in their pre-fallen state.

So the Valar cannot create new ethnicities of men on their own by "blessing". No hobbits and no druedain. Even Melkor cannot "warp" his servants... he can dominate them and make them orc-like ( maybe troll-like) but that is it. He cannot make them pre-fallen or bless them in the way eru can. Quite the opposite is true... mannish fall and subsequrnt degeneration is what he does to them!

So what are Hobbits and Druedain?

I already suggestwd, and it is possibly hinted at by jrrt too, that the druedain might be descendants of men who were tried to change and make orc-like by morgoth, but who were able to escape him.

I suggest hobbits are a strain of men who are sort of "unfallen"... because... well hobbits are closer to nature and earth than humans are.or maybe hobbits "fell" in a way different to normal humans and so did degenerate in a less hurting way?

Anyway i suggest there are ethnic diversities among the first hildor, and proto-halflings, proto-druedain and maybe other sub-groups are among these too...


And yes, i am aware of the fact that most of this is irrelevant for the depiction, as , sadly, we did decide against showing the hildorien plot on screen, but only to mention it in dialogue ( since we still, irrationally, avoid flashbacks).

Still it seems important to me in matters of cosmology.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
In real life skin colors, height differences, and other traits evolved over time. In my imagination, that happened with Men but much, much faster. Mortals who fled Hildorien northward became lighter skinned in 1-2 generation. Those who fled southward became darker skinned. Those who started living underground became very small, until they became hobbits (I don't know what the furry feet are about). So I imagine the original Men at Hildorien were generally a medium-light brown color, or with a small amount of variation. But that might be boring to depict (if we ever depict it) so we could show each tribe having a different appearance even very early on.

Druedain, I agree, appear to have been altered by Morgoth, but unsuccessfully.
Numenoreans I always got the impression were blessed by the Valar, but I'm not saying you're wrong.

I don't think any Mortals are unfallen. Their original state was to be immune to old age and all diseases, and also to take their bodies with them when they died. The hobbits (and Dunedain) are idealized in many ways, but they still age and leave bodies, and they were both affected by the Great Plague in Third Age 1636. Even the Numenoreans at their height, when they were immune to disease and aging, still mummified their bodies and buried them in tombs.


I do want to say that I want our hobbits to be brown. Various shades of brown, some merely swarthy and some darker brown, but still... genuinely brown. Tolkien called them brown with "close, curly" brown hair, and it irritates me that every fanart and movie whitewashes them, often with blond hair and blue eyes too. Whitewashing characters of color is a big problem in Hollywood and fantasy novel cover art that I do not want to perpetuate.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
While it was decided against showing the Hildorien plotline on screen in Season 4, we're not skipping it entirely!

During the most recent Session, it was suggested that we could show a 'teaser' of Hildorien sometime in Season 4 (though not give away the Fall of Man part). More like, oh, hey, there are Men living somewhere in this world, don't forget. Then, sometime in Season 5 (maybe even in the first episode when Finrod meets Beor, but maybe not until later) we would show the events of the Fall in some flashback format.

I am not sure if the Hosts have become more comfortable with flashback as the project moves on (they've mentioned it quite positively for both Eöl and Hildorien in recent podcasts), or if they are just committed to these stories and see that they would best be told out-of-sequence. In other words, maybe 'no flashbacks!' can be modified to 'flashbacks ONLY when the importance of the events occurs asynchronously' or something like that. Perhaps they are opposed to the use of flashback in the 'main' storyline, but are okay with bringing in supporting storylines in this way. We'll see!

It is also possible that after working out such an involved story for the Fall of Man, they didn't want to then toss it aside and not film it for the project.

So, yes, we will be showing Hildorien on screen, albeit briefly and more in snippets as it is background/side story stuff. Hildorien is already a 'culture' when we see it, but a very, very new one. Morgoth probably arrives before the first generation even dies. I think it would be easy to cultivate fear of death in people who haven't really experienced it, but are gradually realizing it's inevitable.

Realistically, you don't build a civilization in a single generation, so we'd have to show some pretty basic stuff at first. We want them to have clothes and language and shelters. The desire to build a temple isn't going to be in the middle of a pre-existing city...that's going to be one of the first large structures they ever build. I'll have to go back and re-listen to the broadcast where they discussed Hildorien originally, because it's been awhile (Season 3 creative stuff), to see what details they requested then. And, yes, the works of Men do not endure...but design elements of that first temple can reappear in Numenor and any cities of the Easterlings we show later - only now much more elaborate and grand.



There is a tension between 'real' science and 'fantasy' cause and effect. Certainly, we know that in the real world, it takes time for differences between peoples to develop, and for certain peculiarities to become more common among groups that are now geographically isolated from one another. The 'original' group has more of the dominant traits, and it's the weird fiddly recessive ones that tend to show up in the isolated groups that migrated away. But...this takes time. Thousands of years kind of time. We...won't be showing that. So, we aren't going to show 'real' development of commonality of certain traits in diverse groups of humanity.

The question then is if our goal is to show the 'real' process, but just speed it up, or to abandon the idea of evolution altogether and simply show a static variety among humans from the beginning. Neither option is more realistic, of course - they're both really, really fake. Which means...you have to lean heavily on your 'fantasy' explanation for the diversity in the first place.


I am very much committed to showing an ethnic diversity among humans and dwarves that we did *not* establish among elves. I understood the reasons to avoid the self-segregating of the Elves at Cuivienen into the various groups, and part of me does like the idea that there's not any clear biological difference between these various groups of elves. Their differences are all cultural.

For the dwarves, they have separate fathers, so each House will look like their Founder, which is the perfect explanation for how they are physically different and live in different places. It's also a 'static' choice - the dwarves of Belegost, being Broadbeams, look a certain way. Etc. There is some intermixing, but for the most part, it stays the way it started.

For Men...I'd like a less static and more dynamic model...but with the understood assumption that this is all fantasy hand-waving and *not* how this would really play out without supernatural interference. And once you're not following 'real' rules....

So...on to the fantasy explanations. One, the Valar are not allowed to change the actual character of Men. Men die and leave the Circles of the World, as per Ilúvatar, and there's no changing that (the Great Rings stretch that rule, obviously, by postponing death nearly indefinitely, but still). So, whatever 'changes' a Vala's influence could bring about would not be to the nature of Man, but merely to the incidental traits Men have. Height, skin tone, hair, and eye color -- these things aren't essential. Resistance to disease is certainly pretty nifty, but so long as they still age and die...we have the essential in place. So, showing how 'changeable' and 'adaptable' Men are is probably a good thing...they are easily influenced, but this makes them resilient, too.



I do like the idea of the Easterlings as being the closest to the original Men of Cuivienen. They...stay static, stay the way they are, and it's other groups that change and adapt. But I don't really want to make the Easterlings the only 'swarthy' men, either. I know we discussed options for physical traits of the three Houses of the Edain, and I'd like to stick to that. The Numenoreans becoming taller and longer lived can be a side effect of the Valar, but their skin tones probably shouldn't be. Morgoth's chosen priest caste can get more magical and longer lived, but should probably also begin to look physically different from the other Men in some way.



I like the idea of Hobbits not being there from the beginning. Hobbits are clearly a 'later addition' - Merry complains that they've been left off all the old lists. So, sure, there can be some shorter people amongst the humans at Cuivienen, but a separate people that is all short and all hairy-footed and all HOBBIT is likely a much, much later development. I know it was suggested earlier that we'd have a group of Men farming the Entwives' lands (what later become the Brown Lands outside Mordor), and over time, these become the Hobbits. There's no explanation offered (did the Entwives 'cultivate' hobbits somehow?), but that's their origin. I like that, because it doesn't try to answer too many questions, but does fit with the model of Valar influence (via Yavanna). And I can see Hobbits being Entwife-like. Even Treebeard says the Ent-wives would like the Shire. It also ties the origin of hobbits to a time and a place that 'fits' in their story. The Tom Bombadil suggestion wasn't terrible, either -- we'd just need an excuse for him to travel that far East (and he's the kind of character that 'because he felt like it' is good enough).

But then...which Vala would give you Beornings, if not Yavanna? Aulë doesn't seem right! Vana, Yavanna's little sister who loves flowers so much? That might explain the bees.... If we wanted to use the suggestion that the sons of Dior don't die but run off to become children of the forest helped by someone (a Vala?), that might work. After all...these kids have Melian's blood in them - they are a special case. Why not somehow turn them into the later Beornings? [I think they 'really' died in the forest of starvation/dehydration/exposure, because this is the Silmarillion and no one gets a happy ending. But...we don't *have* to do that! All we need is for Maedhros to believe them dead.]

Pukel-men are obviously something Tolkien gave some thought to, and they *should* be around in the First Age of Beleriand. We'll have to think through what we want their origin to be. I'm rather reluctant to make that Morgoth-inspired, but that doesn't mean we can't give them a positive origin story even if Morgoth was involved. It's just...what could we do that's not Morgoth?

Oh, and as for what people Nessa chooses as her own, I think they should look exactly like Nick's daughter ;). And be amazing dancers/gymnasts! But no, seriously, not all Valar need to interact with Men in any way. Certain ones should - Oromë, Yavanna, Ulmo, probably. The others may be content to stay in Valinor and watch from afar until Numenor.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Morgoth probably arrives before the first generation even dies.
This was the idea in Tolkien's version, and it's also necessary. If the unfallen Men had lifespans at least as long as Numenoreans, they couldn't possibly have started dying before the date that Beor meets Finrod.

Realistically, you don't build a civilization in a single generation, so we'd have to show some pretty basic stuff at first. We want them to have clothes and language and shelters.
I think palaeolithic cavemen is where they should be. Caves or very simple huts, spears, simple and sparse leather clothes, and yes a language.

So...on to the fantasy explanations. One, the Valar are not allowed to change the actual character of Men. Men die and leave the Circles of the World, as per Ilúvatar, and there's no changing that (the Great Rings stretch that rule, obviously, by postponing death nearly indefinitely, but still). So, whatever 'changes' a Vala's influence could bring about would not be to the nature of Man, but merely to the incidental traits Men have. Height, skin tone, hair, and eye color -- these things aren't essential. Resistance to disease is certainly pretty nifty, but so long as they still age and die...we have the essential in place. So, showing how 'changeable' and 'adaptable' Men are is probably a good thing...they are easily influenced, but this makes them resilient, too.
I hadn't thought of the ethnic differences, or the hobbits, being caused by the Valar. I think of it as something that 'just happened' or, really, something caused by Eru. Why? Because skin color and body size really are adaptations for different habitats, and mortals are fragile and need advantages like that. Not awakening in the dark before the Sun, we need our ultraviolet light to get vitamin D. Also sexual selection... but sped up unrealistically. ...Sure. (Also the Valar shun Mortals until the Second Age.)

I agree the Numenoreans shouldn't look different from their Edain ancestors, except taller and healthier. With perfect teeth, which most Edain wouldn't have even if all our actors actually do. By the way, supposedly they started out mostly descended from Hadorian survivors, but by the end of the Third Age they're all dark-haired. Why? Is it just genetic drift and dominant alleles, or because they intermarried with Middle-earthians? But the Gondorians intermarried with Rohirrim. :confused:

I do like the idea of the Easterlings as being the closest to the original Men of Cuivienen.
I prefer Hildorien to be in Mesopotamia, which I think would be southeast of Khand. So I imagine the Easterlings were in the area northeast of Khand and Mordor, due east of Rhun.

I know it was suggested earlier that we'd have a group of Men farming the Entwives' lands (what later become the Brown Lands outside Mordor), and over time, these become the Hobbits.
I still like this, whether or not we credit the Valar with turning Men into hobbits. I imagine the Edain also learned farming from them.

If we wanted to use the suggestion that the sons of Dior don't die but run off to become children of the forest helped by someone (a Vala?), that might work. After all...these kids have Melian's blood in them - they are a special case. Why not somehow turn them into the later Beornings? [I think they 'really' died in the forest of starvation/dehydration/exposure, because this is the Silmarillion and no one gets a happy ending. But...we don't *have* to do that! All we need is for Maedhros to believe them dead.]
It was a joke, I swear. :p I think they died, too. But if the Execs and/or most people here want to run with it, I probably won't vigorously object.

I'm rather reluctant to make that Morgoth-inspired, but that doesn't mean we can't give them a positive origin story even if Morgoth was involved. It's just...what could we do that's not Morgoth?
The suggestion that Morgoth is involved is based on the essay about the Druedain (in Unfinished Tales) which said that they were probably Men whom Morgoth tried to breed with Orcs or turn into Orcs, but they rebelled and escaped. I'm not sure how Morgoth has time to accomplish this in 60 years, but if he sends Orcs with Fankil then it could be Fankil's/the priest caste's project. That'd also make their escape more plausible.


My thoughts about appearance are probably in that thread you linked to, but I'm too lazy to reread it. My thoughts below are based on what Tolkien wrote, plus my own speculations to fill in the blanks.

Beorians: dark hair, grey eyes, most white but some swarthy, some tall for Men (range from white to very light brown)
Folk of Haleth: average a shade or two swarthier than most Edain (Mediterranean-looking?), dark hair, short and broad (Also later the ancestors of the Dunlendings)
Hadorians: white, blue or grey eyes, mostly blonde, tall for Men (also later the Rohirrim)
Folk of Bor: My suggestion is very dark skin, with black hair, like the prehistoric Cheddar Man. South Asian or East African actors (but not some of each, the hair won't match each other). (Also later the Forodwaith and Lossoth)
Folk of Ulfang: some light-ish? shade of brown
Hobbits: Brown, please. I know you all cast a white actor for Bilbo, so maybe the Tooks tend to the whitish side of swarthy, the Brandybucks average a couple shades darker than them, and the other hobbits range generally from a shade lighter than Brandybucks to (more often) a medium brown. And yes, I know that even in the Third Age some rare hobbits had blonde hair, but in real life blonde hair can combine with brown skin. It's common in native peoples of Melanesia, New Guinea, and Australia.
 
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MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I know why it is suggested that they are failed orcs. It's just...orcs are irredeemable, and the Pukel-men are decent people, so it's a weird origin story. Having them turn out how they are for some other reason might work better.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I know why it is suggested that they are failed orcs. It's just...orcs are irredeemable, and the Pukel-men are decent people, so it's a weird origin story. Having them turn out how they are for some other reason might work better.
Plus, what sort of thing would happen to make them a failure?
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
What if this is the moment where Morgoth first realizes just how much of himself he is pouring into his minions - he notices something amiss (what? dunno), and pulls back, halting the process before draining himself any further.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
What if this is the moment where Morgoth first realizes just how much of himself he is pouring into his minions - he notices something amiss (what? dunno), and pulls back, halting the process before draining himself any further.
Perhaps. Maybe he takes a cut and realizes that it isn’t healing?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I don't think Orcs are inherently irredemable*, and I also don't think Druedain were Orcs. I think an attempt was made to turn them into Orcs, and they rebelled before the attempt succeeded. I'm fine with Morgoth himself not actually being part of the attempt, or even present when it was happening.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
About numemorean ethnicity..

We know the dark hair, grey eyes, tall, look which is given us as so typ7cal for the dunedain of gondor and armor is that look which is attributed to the house of beor too.

We know beorians and halethians were minority favtions among the proto-numrmoreans, they were laregly hadorians.

But remember: arnorian and gondorian dunedain descend largely from the elendili, and these faithful came from andunie, a very distinct region of numrnor.

So i just take the possibility that andunie was that land where most beoriabs settled... thsts why their late descendants look like them!

Many other numrmoreans might he more golden haired... in fact i wpuld like ar-pharazon to be blonde, and most black numenoreans too!
 
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