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[page 8] <Handwritten.> TWO VIEWS <End handwriting.> I In speculation about the change of Arwen from elf-kin to mortal woman, the thing to remember is to limit the talk only to the elves as described by Tolkien. It has been too long since I re-read THE LORD OF THE RINGS, but the general feeling I got while reading about the elves was that while they were wondrous fair, and oft referred to as seeming to glow with an internal radiance, they were not greatly different from Men. Not, at least, physcially, in apperance or interval chemistry, or they would not have been able to intermarry and have children by men. The difference came from within; rather than making them "not human', it mad @made@ them "more than human." While the elves can do many wondrous thinga, these abilities are treated more as "skills" than as "Magic." Their abilities are similar to, and in some ways less than those of "The People" in the Zenna Henderson series. Even their great age seems more the result of action than an inheritance; for they are able to give it up at will. Then, too, long life was known to some men of Middle Earth as well, and was not limited to the elves alone. There may have been something they did to keep themselves young and in tune with the elf-magic. Their powers misght have been both psychological and physical, resulting both from mental training and some type of physical action; such as what they ate. The elves may have drawn on one another for their powers and skills; and closing off their minds from the rest of their kin might be in part what brought about the change. All this may seem less picturesque than viewing them as an elder race apart; but it would fit the feeling the books give ---that RICK SNEARY THE WORLD WELL LOST [page 9] could be explained --if only we knew enough about them. Thus, when Arwen decides to renounce her heritage and become a mortal woman, she may not actually have undergone any magical transformation --although the knowledge may have been so old, and so steeped in tradition, that it had taken on the air of magic. She may have but closed that part of her mind that was attuned to the elf-world, and given up the elvish science that had assured her long life. In much the same way, a Princess of a later age might have given up her Royal title, and rights, to marry for love. She too might feel that she was giving up something real, and in becoming a commomer, becoming a different kind of woman. While no actual change might take place, in either case, the belief that it had taken place would be the main consideration. Wouldn't this fit in, then, as another of the "great loves" of classic fiction? The one who gives up family and fortune, to follow the hero. Strider becomes an all-powerful King; but Arwen gives up what might seem to be a gift even greater --- be it science or magical inheritance -- for her love. <Handwritten.> OF MEN AND ELVES <End handwriting.> II It puzzles me how Arwen could marry a man two thousand years younger than herself. One would think that the difference in experience would be such that they would have little in common. Perhaps elves, after a certain point, did not continue to mature; or perhaps their maturity came so slowly that, two thousands of years older than her husband, she was still on a par with him in respect to experience. It appears that the elvish immortality is at least partly psychological; from Arwen's increased gravity and maturity after meeting Aragorn, from the ability of the Halfelven to _choose_ between humanity or elfdom, from the fact that the elves lost their immortality after marrying humans. It has occurred to me that the elves must have had some ability to predict the future. Why else would any half-elf choose to be human, except from the knowledge that his seed would inherit the earth? Nothing else would <Hnadwritten.> ELINOR BUSBY <End handwriting.> THE MYSTERY OF CHOICE..... [page 10] THE MYSTERY OF CHOICE ; Elinor Busby even partially recompense for the loss of the elvish immortality. Yet at least two of the elf-women made this mysterious choice. Interbreeding between the various races of "Men" is interesting to consider. Apparently elves and men could interbreed with ease, the only deterrent being that in general it would not appeal to the elf. It appears that in each case of interimarriage it was a mortal man with an elf woman. Why is this? Did elf-men (perhaps a tautology, but we will retain the term for the sake clarity) never interbreed with human women? If not, why not? Since from all accounts the elves mate for life, I surmise that the elf who made such a choice lost his -- immortality, or whatever it was -- and women having more humility, the elf-women were more apt to give up this gift than were the elvish men. And most interbreeding between races--Americans with Koreans, Indians or whatever -- is on a basis of promiscuity; the elves, with what seems to have been a high order of emotional monogamy, were completely barred from this type of interbreeding. Of course the differences smongst @amongst@ modern men are mere variety, while elves, men, dwarves, hobbits and whntever were all true species. But when elf and man intermarried, whether the result were man or elf was a matter of _choice_. Aragorn and Arwen, though of different species, were actually distant cousins; but the one who chose to be a man still inherited elvish qualities, as with the vastly improved longevity in the line of the Kings of Gondor. Did the children of such unions who chose to be of elven-kind, inherit human qualities as well? If so, what? Did Elrond have some characteristics more typical of humankind than elven-kind? Was he, perhaps, warmer to Bilbo and to the other hobbits than he might have been, had he been of pure elvish descent? It's known that orcs nnd men could interbreed. They did --and the offspring hnd the evil quality of orcs, but were able to endure the daylight --which orcs could not. It's not a pleasant thought. It's possible that the Dark Lord was simply able, in some way, to make it possible for his orcs to go out in the daytime, and hence observers merely assumed that they were not pure ores. I like this better, I think, than the idea of orcs and men interbreeding. Did men and hobblts interbreed? Were there not some hobbits who were considerably larger than the rest, and might have been of partially human descent? ((The Stoors, who also had occasionally a trace of beard.)) Difference in size would be no barrier, since midgets often marry full-sized humans and have children by them. Would there be an insurmountable psychic barrier? I doubt it. I feel sure that dwarves never married non-dwarves; Their pride of race would be terrific, nor would they be attractive to other races. They also, I believe, mated for life. You remember that there were many fewer women than men, and that many of the women chose not to marry, and for that reason the dwarves were not an expanding race. (I suspect that dwarves were less apt to marry than elves, but when they did marry, had much larger families.) Because this part of their lives seems to mve held much less [page 11] Elinor Busby -THE MYSTERY OF CHOICE relative importance, Gimli was able to form --as the most important of his life-- an attachment for Galadriel, without any fear, on anyone's part, of scandal or embarrassment. It seems apparent that elves lived, not just in the real world, but also in another world of perhaps superior reality; although this seemed to apply only to elves who had dwelt in the Blessed Realm beyond the farthest seas, so this wouldn't say anything about Aragorn and Arwen. But Galadriel had this ability -- to dwell in both worlds at once. Elves who had been in the Blessed Realm had much more prestige among their kind than elves who had not, which may be one reason (to digress for a moment) why Galadriel wore the Ring, rather than Celeborn. It's clear that Galadriel was the more important of the two -- the Lady of the Golden Wood-- but the tact with which she referred to, deferred to her husband was exquisite, and must have prevented his ever feeling one down. The reason why the elves had to leave Middle Earth was that they were an unsuccessful experiment in the long struggle against evil. They were a success, in that they loved good and they were essentially incorruptible. But they lacked flexibility; and they lacked guts. Not in the sense that they would ever renounce the good, or embrace evil, through fear or anything else. But they would flee from evil, through a fasticious horror, rather than fighting it, at times; when dwarves, hobbits or men _would_ fight it. Remember Legolas in Moria? Boromir showed far more guts than Legolas, there. On the other hand, in an open struggle, Legolas did magnificently against the orcs; I strongly suspect that he failed, at Helm's Deep, to kill more orcs than Gimli, because of deference to Gimli's pride; and the strong friendship between them; not because he couldn't have killed more orcs, if he put his mind to it. But the elves had a tendency to run across the sea when things got rough for them in Middle Earth. This was better than a giving in to the Ememy, better than embracing evil --- but it didn't help Middle Earth much. When the elves went across the Sea, all they did was clear the field for action. Of course , this does not apply to those of the elves who were still around during the action of the story and those who went across the Sea after the destruction of the One Ring were not running a way; they were leaving a world where there was no longer any place for them. And those who had chosen mortal king remained, inheritors of the world they renounced, forever.