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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
They aren’t called high elves for nothing


Aug 14 2011, 5:15am

Views: 836
They aren’t called high elves for nothing [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

5ft5in to 5ft8in? For elves? Hmm...

I guess that’s one way to separate the Grey-elven Sindar from the Wood-elves whom they ruled. Lee Pace, who’ll be playing Thranduil, is 6'3", and Orlando Bloom as his son Legolas is 5'11". The casting call is for shorter Elves than those two actors, and this makes good sense.

We think of Elves as tall or even very tall, but that’s because we think too often of the Eldar from when the world was young. The Light Elves, especially those of each House’s royal family, were portrayed as anywhere between tall and towering, whereas the Dark Elves may not have been all that tall at all. Galadriel was considered tall, certainly over 6' tall as she was taller than many of the men of her people, although Cate Blancett is herself only 5'8½".

When the Eldar and the Edain mixed to produce the Dúnedain, their seen grew taller still. It is only right that Hugo Weaving at 6'6" should play Elrond, who was probably of at least the average Númenórean height of 7'. Isildur the Tall famously stood just a bit under 8', tall enough to battle a Maia in mortal combat, though not to victory.

But these Dúnedain — Tall men and tall ships, three times three — were hardly the tallest. Taller than any Man or Half-elf was Elrond’s great-grandfather Turgon, for Gondolin’s king was tallest of all the Children of Ilúvatar, tallest that is save for one alone.

The very tallest of all was Elrond’s other Eldarin great-grandfather, Elu Thingol, the only Child of Ilúvatar to join his spirit to that of one of those ancient spirits from before Arda, from before Time. In the unstained light primeval that shone forth from the visage of Melian his queen, the Lord of Beleriand grew so like unto his spouse that it seemed that here truly did another Maia grace these Hither Shores.

How tall then was Greycloak? That we cannot say for certain, but we do know that the Hidden King was certainly taller than Elendil’s 8', and taller even then Turgon who himself topped Elendil. Perhaps Elwë stood 8½'. Perhaps he stood 9'. Twice as tall and more he stood above the heads of the Stunted Folk who in the darkness slew him. Alone of all the Children, Greymantle had the stature to look as though he were kin to the likes of Eönwë, and perhaps even to look the Elder King’s herald in the eye as well, for by marriage he indeed was the gods’ kin.

From the gods to the High Elves, from the High Elves to the Grey, and from the Grey to the Dark, it seems there was diminution of physical frame. It is possible that the filmmakers wish for these extras, who shall doubtless play Wood-elves, to stand head and shoulders below our Sindarin Elven-king and the king’s son.

Thranduil was a refugee of Doriath, and may have known Elwë and Melian in his youth. His underground halls are a distant but dull echo of the glories of Menegroth, just as he his himself a fading echo of Thingol (so no wonder he mislikes the Naugrim!). It is fitting that Thanduil should be taller than his son, who, after all, never saw even the reflected light of Aman in Melian’a face, and that both these two Sindar should stand taller than the rustic people they rule.

Let these Grey Elves stand as high above the Elves of the Dark whom they rule as once stood Thingol the High Elf over the Grey Elves whom he ruled so long ago, in age after age of starlight unsullied, before the Noldor returned out of the West in bloody ships stolen from Elu’s murdered kin.

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311

Subject User Time
Extras Wanted Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Send a private message to Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Aug 12 2011, 4:58am
    Those are some awfully short male elves! Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Aug 12 2011, 6:26am
        Perhaps they want scale-double elves... RoseCotton Send a private message to RoseCotton Aug 12 2011, 6:40am
        Short indeed kiwifan Send a private message to kiwifan Aug 12 2011, 12:12pm
            IMDB says she's 165 cm mutelock Send a private message to mutelock Aug 12 2011, 1:04pm
        I'm too tall! Anarrima Send a private message to Anarrima Aug 12 2011, 2:50pm
        They aren’t called high elves for nothing Finrod Send a private message to Finrod Aug 14 2011, 5:15am
    I actually fit those requirements perfectly! Earl Send a private message to Earl Aug 12 2011, 7:19am
    anyone knows if they want kiwis only? Mr. Arkenstone (isaac) Send a private message to Mr. Arkenstone (isaac) Aug 12 2011, 9:51am
        Yeah, you'd probably need an NZ work permit Earl Send a private message to Earl Aug 12 2011, 10:55am
    Laaaame :P Spencissimus Send a private message to Spencissimus Aug 12 2011, 1:07pm
        Wood Elves elfritobandito9 Send a private message to elfritobandito9 Aug 12 2011, 1:44pm
            Only Problem shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Aug 12 2011, 3:06pm
                Legolas elfritobandito9 Send a private message to elfritobandito9 Aug 12 2011, 3:12pm
                    Height Carne Send a private message to Carne Aug 12 2011, 3:21pm
                    Considering the height of Legolas Maranata Send a private message to Maranata Aug 12 2011, 4:57pm
                Legolas isn't a Woodelf but a Sinda. // Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Aug 12 2011, 6:31pm
    Is that a legit ad? taekotemple Send a private message to taekotemple Aug 12 2011, 3:19pm
    Almost meet the requirements tauriel387 Send a private message to tauriel387 Aug 13 2011, 3:51am
        That's ok at least you have a cool name SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Aug 13 2011, 4:41am
    Sweet Jonathan the Elf Send a private message to Jonathan the Elf Aug 13 2011, 5:46am
    Interesting about the updated extras casting call. Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Aug 17 2011, 1:22am
        With Stephen Fry in town Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Send a private message to Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Aug 17 2011, 1:43am
        Just seen this on the Noldor blog Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Send a private message to Bilbo Bling Just One Ring Aug 17 2011, 1:46am
        Yah. Mannish extras by the look of it... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Aug 17 2011, 2:00pm


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