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Do the Dwarves fade away, too?
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HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Aug 1 2014, 1:26pm

Post #1 of 37 (2971 views)
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Do the Dwarves fade away, too? Can't Post

Forgive me if this topic was addressed before, but I will bring it back up if it has been discussed in the past.


We all know that after the Fourth Age, Elves fade and Men eventually become the masters of Middle Earth. But what of the other species/races of Middle Earth? What happens to the Dwarves, Orcs/Goblins, Dragons, etc.? Do they all "fade" or go extinct? Unlike the Elves, these other creatures can't go overseas to Valinor.


Some of the Elves who do not cross back over the sea "fade" and become sprites or faeries, I guess. Maybe the same happens to the Dwarves, and they become more like the fairy-tale Dwarves in children's books. The Orcs and Goblins also "fade" and become small malevolent sprites.


Bigger creatures such as Dragons and Trolls may go extinct. Hobbits merge with humans and they become one race (they are basically the same genus as humans, but maybe different species ... such as humans and Neanderthals were very close cousins.


Any theories on what happens to the other creatures/beings in Middle Earth other than Elves and Men that is consistent with Tolkien's legendarium?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 1 2014, 2:14pm

Post #2 of 37 (2567 views)
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The Dwarves probably just die out. [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwarves have a low birth rate, especially for females. I think that we can assume that the Dwarves die out in all but the most remote of locations. It is possible that isolated colonies survive far from the eyes of Men.

Perhaps some of the Neanderthal DNA still present in human populations was introduced from Orcs and Half-orcs?

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 1 2014, 2:16pm)


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 1 2014, 2:55pm

Post #3 of 37 (2485 views)
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Dwarves and stuff [In reply to] Can't Post

There's an interesting description in Appendix A [drafts] which, according to Christopher Tolkien, was possibly rejected or simply lost when the Appendices were being prepared for publication. It notes that Durin returned to Moria and there was light again in deep places, and the sound of hammer and harp '... until the world grew old and the Dwarves failed and the days of Durin's race were ended at last.'
This is vague enough, as it arguably should be.

In Appendix A it was said of Durin '... but his line never failed, and five times an heir was born in the House so like to his Forefather...' while the genealogy in the same section (on the chart), contains 'Durin VII and Last'.

sadness alert

Here are some hints (not necessarily all) -- and for the Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits at least, the sources date from around the 1950s or later:

Elves: those of Middle-earth that didn't pass into the West were destined to fade in the body at some point. Some Elves who died might still refuse Mandos, remaining as spirits; but the faded Elves of Middle-earth were the Lingerers (see Laws And Customs Among The Eldar, Morgoth's Ring).

Dwarves: as already mentioned in the thread, the fewness of Dwarf-women is noted at least (Appendix A), along with this factor putting the Dwarven kind in peril when they have no secure dwellings. That isn't much but it arguably offers a factor that might account for a later dwindling anyway.

Hobbits: Tolkien once noted with respect to Hobbit stature: 'The much later dwindling of Hobbits must be due to a change in their state and way of life; they became a fugitive and secret people, (...) driven to refuge in the forest or wilderness: a wandering and poor folk, forgetful of their arts, living a precarious life absorbed in the search for food and fearful of being seen.' (Unfinished Tales, Disaster Of The Gladden Fields, Appendix)

Orcs: I've never really mused on the evidence here. There might be instances of Tolkien arguably speaking to the orcishness that could be found in some Men of his day, rather than what Frodo might have called an orc (although even in Frodo's day certain half-orcs probably blurred the line a bit).

I do recall Sam saying (which connects to the question of Moria and the Dwarves): 'Moria: I have heard no news. maybe the foretelling about Durin is not for our time. Dark places still need a lot of cleaning up. I guess it will take a lot of trouble and daring deeds yet to root out the evil creatures from the halls of Moria. There are certainly plenty of Orcs left in such places. It is not likely that we shall ever get quite rid of them.' (Epilogue, not used)

Dragons: we know dragons were still around later. Tolkien noted this in a letter [144]: 'Dragons: They had not stopped; since they were active in far later times, close to our own. Have I said anything to suggest the final ending of dragons? If so it should be altered. The only passage I can think of is Vol. I p. 70 : ‘there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough’. But that implies, I think, that there are still dragons, if not of full primeval stature…'


Are there some Elves still East of the Sea? I like to think so anyway. While perhaps not usually thought of as part of the corpus of Middle-earth, the final version of Tolkien's Trees of Cortirion (published in The Book of Lost Tales I) might speak to a relatively 'recent' time at least: it seems to be a description of faded Warwick at some point.

If so, a faded Warwick may be long ago from our perspective, but still the distant future from Frodo's perspective.


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Aug 1 2014, 3:13pm

Post #4 of 37 (2529 views)
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Extinction for Dwarves... [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't think of the low birth rate among Dwarves due to the shortage of Dwarf females. A population with only one-third females (and among that one-third many chose not to have children), there would be a dwindling of the people. It is incredible that Dwarves survived as long as they did given the numerous wars they were in, but they are a hardy and long-lived folk.


Over the long-term, however, such a population would not endure. The Dwarves at peace were already having children below replacement levels so over a few millennia, they would eventually just die out.


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Aug 1 2014, 3:22pm

Post #5 of 37 (2465 views)
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Poor Hobbits [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Hobbits: Tolkien once noted with respect to Hobbit stature: 'The much later dwindling of Hobbits must be due to a change in their state and way of life; they became a fugitive and secret people, (...) driven to refuge in the forest or wilderness: a wandering and poor folk, forgetful of their arts, living a precarious life absorbed in the search for food and fearful of being seen.' (Unfinished Tales, Disaster Of The Gladden Fields, Appendix)





Maybe they became the Hobbit people whose fossils were found a few years ago in Indonesia. It would be sad to think that the descendants of Bilbo and Frodo would eventually die out, but they were related to us homo sapiens.



Quote

The latest findings, described in a Journal of Human Evolution paper, are wrist bones unearthed on the Indonesian island of Flores. Since they are nearly identical to other such bones for the Hobbit found at the site, they refute claims that H. floresiensis never existed.
"The tiny people from Flores were not simply diseased modern humans," Caley Orr, lead author of the paper, told Discovery News.
"The new species of human stood approximately 3' 6" tall, giving it its nickname 'The Hobbit,'" continued Orr, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy at Midwestern University.
He said that they were "similar to modern humans in many respects." For example, he explained that they walked on two legs, had small canine teeth, and lived what appears to have been an iconic "cave man'" lifestyle.
"Stone tools and evidence of fire use were found in the cave, along with the remains of butchered animals, such as Stegodon (an extinct elephant relative), indicating that meat was a part of diet," Orr said.
He and his colleagues, however, also point out the differences between the Hobbit individuals and modern humans.The Hobbits had arms that were longer than their legs, giving them a slightly more ape-like structure. Their skulls had no bony chins, so their faces had more of an oval shape. Their forehead was sloping. The inferred brain size was tiny, putting them in the IQ range of chimpanzees.
"Remarkably, the feet were also long relative to the legs, as fantasy fans might expect of a Hobbit," he added.
Link here



noWizardme
Half-elven


Aug 1 2014, 3:26pm

Post #6 of 37 (2457 views)
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"Dwarves are Dwarves and not fade away" (Buddy Holly) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Darn it, now I've given myself earworm (or "earwyrm"?)

~~~~~~

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

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Sebastian the Hedgehog
Rivendell

Aug 1 2014, 4:03pm

Post #7 of 37 (2499 views)
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From The Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

From the chapter "Of Aule and Yavanna":

"For they say that Aule cares for them, and gathers them to Mandos in halls set apart; and that he declared to their Fathers of old that Iluvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End. Then their part shall be to serve Aule and to aid him in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle".

Just read this the other day, I'm glad I remembered it! Smile


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Aug 1 2014, 6:09pm

Post #8 of 37 (2498 views)
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This explains what happens to Dwarves.... [In reply to] Can't Post

at the End Times, but not what they do between the Fourth Age and the Last Battle. However, I do remember this passage know and one can construct a bit of a theory:


The Dwarves either die out of Middle Earth or dwindle to a very small and furtive society. Their "souls" are called to a separate hall in Mandos where they await the Final Battle.


Also, another in universe explanation could be that the Dwarves "believe" based on their religion/myths that they will be hallowed and join the other Children, but this is in fact incorrect or blind faith; there is no special place for the Dwarves but they hold on to this belief anyway.


(This post was edited by HeWhoArisesinMight on Aug 1 2014, 6:10pm)


Cillendor
Lorien


Aug 2 2014, 3:45am

Post #9 of 37 (2436 views)
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In the short term [In reply to] Can't Post

could they eventually "convert" into something like the Petty-dwarves? After the last Durin, they would dwindle into the dwarfs of legend (very similar to the Petty-dwarves, I think) until they completely died out.

Since there is so much authorship bias in The Silmarillion, it's impossible to know for sure whether the Dwarves' beliefs about their afterlife were true or just part of their religion.


IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Aug 2 2014, 4:57am

Post #10 of 37 (2425 views)
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That implies [In reply to] Can't Post

That the Dwarves' souls just hang around Mandos for an indeterminate amount of time until the Last Battle. This presents some interesting problems regarding justice.

It's stated pretty consistently that most Elves are eventually released from Mandos and allowed to resume their lives. The only Elves who don't leave are those who refuse (like Míriel, at least initially) or those whose deeds are too grievous or who are unrepentant (like Fëanor).

Granted, Dwarves aren't children of Ilúvatar and therefore may not have the same rights as the children. However, doesn't it seem unfair that they have no ability to leave their waiting place after they die? Elves are eventually reincarnated because a fëa without a hröa is unnatural. While it could be argued that Dwarves are, by definition, unnatural (in that they are sentient beings not created by Eru), it still seems odd to leave them body-less.

TolkienBlog.com


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Aug 2 2014, 8:33pm

Post #11 of 37 (2408 views)
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humans cant leave the halls either [In reply to] Can't Post

i think the information is there to say due to slow natural population growth and the decline of their societies the dwarves die out as a race, they dont fade like elves as they do not have the greatly prolonged mortality of the elves

as an aside i never understand the elves fading, their natural state is to live as long as arda exists, and why do they fade here and not valinor, the only possible explanation i can see is arda marred by melkors dispersement into it but i cant recall reading this specifically, in short the fading of elves seems grossly unatural to me given everything else we know of their existance and even the melkor reason i give seems a stretch


(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Aug 2 2014, 8:34pm)


IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Aug 2 2014, 10:36pm

Post #12 of 37 (2391 views)
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It's not clear what happens to men after they die [In reply to] Can't Post

That's an interesting point you bring up about Elves fading.

If Elves fade in Middle-earth but not in Valinor, then is Valinor the "natural" home for Elves? If that's the case, why did they awake in Middle-earth?

TolkienBlog.com


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Aug 3 2014, 4:53am

Post #13 of 37 (2423 views)
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The dwarves have a low population of women? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Dwarves have a low birth rate, especially for females.

Quote

I don't remember this being said anywhere.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 3 2014, 2:07pm

Post #14 of 37 (2419 views)
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LotR, Appendix A [In reply to] Can't Post

Check Section III (DURIN'S FOLK) of Appendix A. The subject is discussed just before the genealogical chart appears that depicts the Line of Durin.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


squire
Half-elven


Aug 3 2014, 2:24pm

Post #15 of 37 (2434 views)
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Yes, another fact hidden away in the appendices [In reply to] Can't Post

As already noted, this appears in the LotR Appendix A.III.:
It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This has given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that the Dwarves ‘grow out of stone’.
It is because of the fewness of women among them that the kind of the Dwarves increases slowly, and is in peril when they have no secure dwellings. For Dwarves take only one wife or husband each in their lives, and are jealous, as in all matters of their rights. The number of dwarf-men that marry is actually less than one-third. For not all the women take husbands: some desire none; some desire one that they cannot get, and so will have no other. As for the men, very many also do not desire marriage, being engrossed in their crafts.
However, since there's no apparent reason why the Dwarves of the Fourth Age should not have had "secure dwellings" for their families, the inherently low marriage rate of the race should not automatically imply their decline or decay in the Age of Men; rather we might conclude that the above-mentioned 'slow increase' would take place. Now the decline of the Elves in Middle-earth is ascribed ultimately to the effect of mortal lands on an immortal people; with the Dwarves as with the Hobbits and the Ents it is harder to say what the 'mechanism' might be but clearly it is of the same order: in the grand scheme of Eru, the world of Faerie must sooner or later give way to our present world of the Mundane.



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HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Aug 3 2014, 5:29pm

Post #16 of 37 (2392 views)
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As for the Ents.... [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember correctly, he says some Ents become so sedated that they actually become more "tree-like" and may stay rooted for centuries. Some of the Huorns became Ents, but it seems that some Ents become more like Huorns.

The Old Forest on the border of the Shire probably had Ents a long time ago and it is likely that Old Man Willow was a Huorn. Maybe this is the fate of the Ents as time goes on, they still have a "spirit" so to speak, but become rooted in one place like Old Man Willow. Some of them even become malevolent, as Treebeard warns Merry and Pippin about some of the Huorns in Fangorn.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Aug 4 2014, 7:43am

Post #17 of 37 (2373 views)
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re: the elves....why? [In reply to] Can't Post

they are meant in erus plan to live within arda as long as it exists. arda is now marred so that is the only variable. has this somehow made arda uninhabitable for elves long term, and if so why do men thrive as the weaker race, is it meant to represent an amendment to erus plan due to melkors actions


Elarie
Grey Havens

Aug 4 2014, 5:05pm

Post #18 of 37 (2357 views)
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Galadriel mentions "dwindling" into a rustic folk [In reply to] Can't Post

When Galadriel talks to Frodo at her mirror about what will happen after the One Ring is destroyed, she says, “We must depart into the West, or dwindle to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and to be forgotten.” This doesn't really seem to give the same impression as "fading" physically, but rather seems to imply that their bodies will live on, but their unique elfin abilities and powers will fade away. I'm not sure what it is that they would "forget" though, or why. If they are still immortal, it seem like they would still remember everything they had learned.


And once again the world has not arranged itself just for me.


Maciliel
Valinor


Aug 4 2014, 5:19pm

Post #19 of 37 (2347 views)
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orcs and neanderthals [In reply to] Can't Post

[ otaku sempai ]

Perhaps some of the Neanderthal DNA still present in human populations was introduced from Orcs and Half-orcs?

[ / otaku sempai ]

if this was so, then everyone not of pure african decent would have orc dna, because everyone who is not of pure african decent has some neanderthal dna.

seems a little disparaging of neanderthals...

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 4 2014, 5:28pm

Post #20 of 37 (2320 views)
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Eh. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not like the notion was meant to be taken seriously.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Maciliel
Valinor


Aug 4 2014, 6:04pm

Post #21 of 37 (2329 views)
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a little bit more on our neanderthal dna [In reply to] Can't Post

 


https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/neanderthal/


When our ancestors first migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, they were not alone. At that time, at least two other species of hominid cousins walked the Eurasian landmass—Neanderthals and Denisovans. As our modern human ancestors migrated through Eurasia, they encountered the Neanderthals and interbred. Because of this, a small amount of Neanderthal DNA was introduced into the modern human gene pool.

Everyone living outside of Africa today has a small amount of Neanderthal in them, carried as a living relic of these ancient encounters. A team of scientists comparing the full genomes of the two species concluded that most Europeans and Asians have between 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal DNA. Indigenous sub-Saharan Africans have no Neanderthal DNA because their ancestors did not migrate through Eurasia.

On one level, it’s not surprising that modern humans were able to interbreed with their close cousins. According to one theory, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans are all descended from the ancient human Homo heidelbergensis. Between 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis left Africa and then split shortly after. One branch ventured northwestward into West Asia and Europe and became the Neanderthals. The other branch moved east, becoming Denisovans. By 130,000 years ago H. heidelbergensis in Africa had become Homo sapiens. Our modern human ancestors did not begin their own exodus from Africa until about 60,000 years ago, when they expanded into Eurasia and encountered their ancient cousins.

Photo: An artist's reconstruction of a Neanderthal man

The revelation that our ancient ancestors mated with one another could help explain one of the great mysteries in anthropology: Why did the Neanderthals disappear? After first venturing out of Africa, Neanderthals thrived in Europe for several hundred thousand years. But they mysteriously died out about 30,000 years ago, roughly around the same time that modern humans arrived in Europe.

Some scientists have suggested modern humans outcompeted or outright killed the Neanderthals. But the new genetic evidence provides support for another theory: Perhaps our ancestors made love, not war, with their European cousins, and the Neanderthal lineage disappeared because it was absorbed into the much larger human population.

Even though Neanderthals and Denisovans are both extinct, modern humanity may owe them a debt of gratitude. A 2011 study by Stanford University researchers concluded that many of us carry ancient variants of immune system genes involved in destroying pathogens that arose after we left Africa. One possibility is that these gene variants came from other archaic humans.



cheers --


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


squire
Half-elven


Aug 4 2014, 6:36pm

Post #22 of 37 (2319 views)
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'Our ancestors'? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's interesting stuff indeed, and although the science in the article is up to date, I am surprised how shockingly Eurocentric its terms are. Repeated references to "we", "modern humans", and "our ancestors" seem to ignore, except with occasional nods to "indigenous sub-Saharans", the many hundreds of millions among us modern humans whose ancestors never left mother Africa.

(The other side of this coin is that African peoples' DNA is more diverse than all the other branches of the human race combined, since the latter group descends from a few small populations that migrated across Suez and out to the rest of the world. Compared to that, a little Neanderthal DNA in the Eurasian people is chicken feed.)



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Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 4 2014, 6:41pm

Post #23 of 37 (2338 views)
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the Elvish word 'hroar' roughly translates to 'bodies'... [In reply to] Can't Post

Finrod notes that [Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, Morgoth's Ring]: "For your bodies live in Arda Marred, as do we, and all the matter of Arda was tainted by him [Melkor], before ye or we came forth and drew our hroar and their sustenance therefrom (...) for know, it is not otherwise with the Quendi themselves: their health and stature is diminished."

But see also the text Aman, where it's noted that since the blessing of Aman descended upon the hroar, this bodily fading seemingly does not occur; rather spirit and body age together differently than in Middle-earth, and fea [roughly translates 'spirit'] and hroa live in '... undimmed power of body and spirit conjoined for ages beyond our mortal comprehension.'

So there are various senses of 'fading' for Elves. And an Elf who has normally become invisible to mortal eyes, due to bodily fading, is called a Lingerer in Laws And Customs of The Eldar.

All these texts and more are found in Morgoth's Ring.


squire
Half-elven


Aug 4 2014, 7:11pm

Post #24 of 37 (2332 views)
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I never understood the 'roughly' part in 'roughly translates as' [In reply to] Can't Post

Ever since I encountered Tolkien's terms for the classic dichotomy, I've never read a single passage of his for which the simple direct translations hroa='body' and fea='spirit' didn't make total sense. They seem like exact translations, not rough ones. But maybe I'm missing something!



squire online:
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IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Aug 5 2014, 3:15am

Post #25 of 37 (2304 views)
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Forget other races? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe they forget about other races, because they cease to care?

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