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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Expensive Literary Messengars: Legolas and Gimli

newrow
The Shire

Apr 4, 12:25am

Post #1 of 9 (2751 views)
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Expensive Literary Messengars: Legolas and Gimli Can't Post

Reading one of my, no favorite, works of mankind had me thinking of an odd notion; The Last Debate chapter.

Why was that Gimli and Legolas, both princes, not be invited to the Debate of the Captains
in the "Last Debate?" Imrahil and Eomer were invited. Tolkien knew the rich history of
war fought by Britian and the role of royalty in such matters. I was thinking that Tolkien needed these two non-humans to
fulfill the role of sharing stories with Pippin and Merry. Where else in the story would the
riding of the Grey Company from Dunharrow to the Harlond be explained?
Has anyone else thought about this? Or know why these two were not invited?
It is true that both were leaders of no one in or near Minas Tirith and thus
not needing to be persuaded by the oracle craft of Gandalf to lead others to certain death.
The Sons of Elrond were also absent.


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Apr 4, 1:00am

Post #2 of 9 (2731 views)
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Where is it said [In reply to] Can't Post

that Gimli was a prince? He was quite far down the royal line in the house of Durin, so would not be considered a prince, just a noble.

Beyond that, I really wish that Tolkien had included the tale that they told Merry and Pippin to see as it happened, rather than in a flashback, but I suppose it gives weight to the idea that not every player is aware of every other player's happenings during such a war. Still, I would have loved to see it, and genuinely wonder why Tolkien did not include it in prose.

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Happy reading everyone!


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Apr 4, 1:42pm

Post #3 of 9 (2692 views)
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In answer to your question about the flashback [In reply to] Can't Post

I think he did intend to show it in prose at some point during the writing - I cannot remember at the moment why he chose not to, but I'm glad he chose to insert the flashback into The Last Debate and not in the place where he originally intended it to go: on the Fields of Cormallen, after the destruction of the Ring! Could you imagine, just when the whole story is rolling along swiftly to its bittersweet conclusion - having to stop and listen to Aragorn tell us, finally, what happened to him all those chapters ago? The final placement of it, just after the Pelennor Fields, where it is still fresh in the reader's mind, is the perfect place for it.

"We are Kree"


hanne
Lorien

Apr 4, 3:24pm

Post #4 of 9 (2685 views)
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Or Legolas? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think we tend to assume that Legolas is Thranduil's heir, but does Tolkien ever say so? He could be the youngest of five brothers, for example, and the reason he gets to go on messages to Rivendell and then wander about without coming back is that they don't need him for anything executive. Happy to be corrected here!

I looked at the family tree in the appendices and Gimli is Dain's third cousin once removed.(I think! I'm not very hobbity geneologically) If the Dwarves were the British royal family, Gimli is to Dain as any great-great-great-grandoffspring of Queen Victoria is to QEII...that's pretty far :)


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Apr 4, 4:06pm

Post #5 of 9 (2680 views)
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He could be [In reply to] Can't Post

BUT the elves were fading though, and dwindling in population, so that would imply that Thranduil likely didn't have all that many children. In Valinor 5 wasn't unheard of, though more rare, but I cannot think of any elf in the legendarium who had more than 3 children max (Elrond) in the latter TA in Middle-earth proper (in fact, I can't think of more than 3 in ME proper at all, as far as actual births are concerned after the exiles came back to ME).

But I don't think Tolkien ever actually says so, which leaves us free to speculate Wink

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Apr 4, 4:07pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 4, 4:24pm

Post #6 of 9 (2676 views)
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Speculations on Woodland Princes [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, Tolkien never definitively states that Legolas is the only child of Thranduil. In fact, game designers Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Francesco Nepitello suggest in The Heart of the Wild, a gaming supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, that Thranduil has two or more sons. Describing the Halls of Thranduil, they write:

Quote
6. Elvenking's Apartments: Thranduil lives in these rooms when he is in the palace. When he is off hunting, he usually leaves one of his sons as seneschal.


None of the Elven-king's children are named in the book, nor is Legolas established as the elder sibling. That said, I personally have always assumed Legolas to be an only child.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


InTheChair
Lorien

Apr 4, 8:01pm

Post #7 of 9 (2654 views)
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It is true that both were leaders of no one in or near Minas Tirith and thus not needing to be persuaded [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems I think that you have answered your own question. Both were already resolved to go, and were not responsible for any other people.

They could also have been invited but turned it down, having nothing to add that Aragorn and Gandalf would not already say.


hanne
Lorien

Apr 4, 8:32pm

Post #8 of 9 (2648 views)
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Thanks both! [In reply to] Can't Post

Also newrow, sorry for the side track to your question. I think you and InTheChair have it right, that they were not commanders of anyone. The participants in the debate are referred to as Captains (except for Gandalf).


The Sons of Elrond were at the debate indeed, so I guess having 30 Rangers at your command counts as a Captaincy :) But Elladan and Elrohir also mention during the conversation that they were there to pass on Elrond's tactical advice (which turned out to be the same as Gandalf's).


uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Apr 6, 2:31am

Post #9 of 9 (2528 views)
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Princes and captains [In reply to] Can't Post

Even a younger son is a prince and a dignitary. Even an oddball cousin--particularly if he is the sole representative of his people present. I never thought of this before, but it seems a good point.

On the other hand, and I am no expert, it may be that those sorts of honoraria matter more with courtly pomp and less with councils of war? As all have observed, these two command no forces (I should say Elrond's sons aren't anybody's commanders either, but they have a history of representing their father and his people in combat scenarios at any rate.)

I'll add this, though--by the same logic that suggests L&G should have been invited, so should Pippin.

 
 

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