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  1. #1
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    17.07.2013
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    Roleplaying a Half-elf?

    Don't kill me.

    I'm new to LOTRO and LOTR in general. I don't have acess to the books; but I've recently watched the LOTR movies(not the Hobbit one) and have a feel for the lore. It seems like Half-elves are more common here than they have been in other lore for games/novels/ect. I was just curious how the fanbase takes to someone roleplaying one. I know it's generally frowned upon in other communities.

    I was just looking through wikis and the like so I know more about Middle Earth and its creatures; and I was struggling with making a character for awhile. I have an idea for "a farmers daughter". Something simple and easy; but I've done that so much that I'm hesitant to touch it. As I was sitting here and thinking, the idea of a half-elf crossed my mind.

    Elves in LOTR mate once in a lifetime; and I was kind of thinking that maybe the father(the elf in this scenario) had lived a long life, but never had he found his life mate. Feeling like there isn't much left for him, and feeling weighted by Middle Earth(sorry if this sounds goofy, like I said, I'm new) he plans to leave to Aman. Though a young human woman finds her way to Rivendell(still working out why and how) and they begin to bond. Then that kind of inexplicable connection happens, and they spend some twenty years together(I know that's short for an Elf). Remembering his concerns from long ago, she ends up encouraging him to go to Aman, not wanting him to see her grow old and die. Then yadda yadda, she convinces him, he goes, she's pregnant, has the baby.
    She's forty-something at this point, raises the child for as long as she can, and then she's taken care of by the baby. Although she sent away the man she'd fallen in love with, having the child made it less painful. As for the child, it's just sort of a difficult process to live among people that age and die while they stay young. And because the child was raised with Men, it doesn't feel like it has much of a place with the Elves.

    If that just sounds too special-snowflakey, I'll scrap it and go with the farmers daughter. Or maybe a hobbit.

  2. #2
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    07.09.2010
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    Zitat Zitat von Naviese Beitrag anzeigen
    Don't kill me.

    I'm new to LOTRO and LOTR in general. I don't have acess to the books; but I've recently watched the LOTR movies(not the Hobbit one) and have a feel for the lore. It seems like Half-elves are more common here than they have been in other lore for games/novels/ect.
    Actually they are not common, but very rare.

    Elves in LOTR mate once in a lifetime; and I was kind of thinking that maybe the father(the elf in this scenario) had lived a long life, but never had he found his life mate. Feeling like there isn't much left for him, and feeling weighted by Middle Earth(sorry if this sounds goofy, like I said, I'm new) he plans to leave to Aman. Though a young human woman finds her way to Rivendell(still working out why and how) and they begin to bond. Then that kind of inexplicable connection happens, and they spend some twenty years together(I know that's short for an Elf). Remembering his concerns from long ago, she ends up encouraging him to go to Aman, not wanting him to see her grow old and die. Then yadda yadda, she convinces him, he goes, she's pregnant, has the baby.
    She's forty-something at this point, raises the child for as long as she can, and then she's taken care of by the baby. Although she sent away the man she'd fallen in love with, having the child made it less painful. As for the child, it's just sort of a difficult process to live among people that age and die while they stay young. And because the child was raised with Men, it doesn't feel like it has much of a place with the Elves.

    If that just sounds too special-snowflakey, I'll scrap it and go with the farmers daughter. Or maybe a hobbit.
    I've never heard a male elf married a female human. Only male elf and female maiar, or male human and female elf. Probably because... well elf ladies usually more beautiful than human ladies, and men is more "manly" than gay elf lords :P. And most people believe that female are more emotional so they're easier to follow their heart, while male are more reason so elf lord with all their wise, know how the mortal - immortal love end and will try to avoid that ending. Further more, a human can only live, lets say 100 years, or even a Dunedain, 200 years, while a half-elf child need 100 years to full grow physically. So a mortal mother cannot rise an immortal child properly. That's another reason why male elves would not mate with an immortal, cause they must think for their children.

    I think that's why half-elven are rare. Tolkien try to avoid this, cause it could lead to a very complicated subject.
    Geändert von Hiritier (21.07.2013 um 03:01 Uhr)

  3. #3
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    I've been thinking on it. Now that I shared it, I'm not so sure. It is rather complicated, so I don't think I want to touch it.

    And I read that an Elf matures at 50. Well; in their eyes that is. But I don't think it would honestly take 50 years for them to "grow-up" and become an adult. They generally age(Elves across all kinds of different lore) like a human does till a certain point, and then it just slows to a near stand-still or stops completely.

    Anyways, the woman would have only been with the child for 30 years, maybe. 20 more likely.

    I think my main interest in this was the tragic part of it. Sadly, I always enjoy tragic romance. The elf and the human being separated by their worlds and ages, and now a halfblood that doesn't know how to deal with living alongside those who die far quicker than they do.

  4. #4
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    Half-elves are exceptionally rare and, with the exception of the descendents of Earendil and Elwing, offspring born of Elves and Men are simply mortal Men. They are far more rare in this setting than in, say, Azeroth or baseline D&D. I don't recommend it as a character concept.

  5. #5
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    You have thought up a very interesting character and backstory however half-elves are special and there were so few that they had special stories throughout history, stories that changed Arda. I would advise against creating a half-elf for this reason and many other reasons. Instead why not create an Elf and have her fall in love with another Elf? Maybe her parents went West after she grew up but she wanted to wait and experience more of Middle-earth. There are lots of backstory ideas you could use and by the backstory you built for that half-elf I am sure a new one for an Elf would be excellent.
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  6. #6
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    11.07.2013
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    There is no need to abandon your imagining. Perhaps it can be adjusted into something others would find more suitable for the lore. Someone is welcome to correct me if I'm mistaken. As far as I'm aware, elven blood did run in the veins of the Numenoreans, and thereafter their descendants, the Dunedain. This being the reason Aragorn ages so very slowly, and any given Dunedain could expect an exceptionally long life compared men of another heritage. (Perhaps two-hundred and fifty years or so.)

    Although the Dunedain would be few in number at this time, there were still communities of them in certain regions, and some also who bred with other tribes of men. A child of theirs whose mother was of more common blood could age as you've described in contrast to his mother, though perhaps not to such an extreme degree, still very slowly. The child would still endure much of the conflict and emotion you mentioned. As the father, this Dunedain could have any number of reasons for being forever separated from his wife and child.

    This may not be what you had in mind, but this is an entire bloodline of men with distant elven ancestry. Thus, a Dunedain may be a long-living man but he is not a rare anomaly, such as an actual 'half-elf' would be. As many have mentioned, it was seldom that a true half-elf was born, and it would be a stretch most would not approve of if you wished to create one.

    I for one enjoy creativity that treads respectfully in the realm of Tolkien's work. He left much uncharted territory, and we would have little to do if we could not explore it. When our own stories are woven from the threads we've been given, this adds to the richness of the whole creation. What I, and likely most of us, find terribly painful is when a new thread tries to tie itself too tightly to the original characters. When people claim to be Aragorn's lost daughter or the wife of Legolas, this is when we all begin to cry. Now there will always remain some who find even the slightest comment unforgivable if it will not fit neatly into the box they built when they studied the lore, or even if it does, but they think it is too 'creative' to be acceptable. It is never necessary to please everyone who frowns on everything, and yet even they might find it hard to argue against something as simple as a Dunedain youth, for example. At any rate you are welcome to join the rest of us who embrace creativity - so long as it is not too far-fetched - and add to the great & growing history of our Middle Earth.

  7. #7
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    And I read that an Elf matures at 50. Well; in their eyes that is. But I don't think it would honestly take 50 years for them to "grow-up" and become an adult. They generally age(Elves across all kinds of different lore) like a human does till a certain point, and then it just slows to a near stand-still or stops completely.
    The elves reach adult height around 50, but doesnt mean they're mature at that age. Just like you can reach adult height around 15-16, but only really mature around 20ish. For elves, i think that time must be longer, so 100 is generally accepted.

    I still think a male-elf wont mate with a woman, but as "role-play rule" i will observe your story. However, a little suggest: the woman should be a Dunedain and live in Esteldin or Annuminas, so even after she's dead, there are still kinsman/woman to take care of the child (if she life in Bree, the child could be corrupted. I mean, he/she is too different, and could be ostracised. And that would lead to more complicated problem cause elves are supposed to not easy to be corrupted, and half-elves are more close to elf than human). And since the Dunedain have more knowledge about the elf than common folk in Bree or Ost Guruth for example, they can easily realize that the child is half-elf and teach him/her about the history and pride of his father's race, and even, take him to the elven realm... That's way, even for some reason, he/she dont want to go to the elven realm, the child still not be easy to corrupted because he/she was risen among good people.

  8. #8
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    Zitat Zitat von Aestivan Beitrag anzeigen
    Half-elves are exceptionally rare and, with the exception of the descendents of Earendil and Elwing, offspring born of Elves and Men are simply mortal Men. They are far more rare in this setting than in, say, Azeroth or baseline D&D. I don't recommend it as a character concept.
    Thank you for pointing this out. It always seems to be forgotten by folks that Earendil and his family were an exception, not a rule. The movies do not help make this clear, either.

    Zitat Zitat von Faengalith Beitrag anzeigen
    There is no need to abandon your imagining. Perhaps it can be adjusted into something others would find more suitable for the lore. Someone is welcome to correct me if I'm mistaken. As far as I'm aware, elven blood did run in the veins of the Numenoreans, and thereafter their descendants, the Dunedain. This being the reason Aragorn ages so very slowly, and any given Dunedain could expect an exceptionally long life compared men of another heritage. (Perhaps two-hundred and fifty years or so.)
    No. Only Elros had Elvish blood, as he was the twin of Elrond who chose to become mortal rather than immortal. By the time you get to Aragorn 60ish generations later, it is so incredibly diluted that it makes little to no difference. If you take Imrazor's and Mithrellas' marriage as canon (the line of Dol Amroth mentioned in UT), their marriage was in the third age and so Imrahil has a lot more Elvish than Aragorn-- but, unlike Aragorn's Northern Dunedain brethren, came from a much more diluted Dunedain line via his father, as Gondor diluted much faster than Arnor and their most 'pure' men died about 120 (Faramir's age at his passing). The fact that there was an elf in the line seemed to make no difference to lifespan-- the Numenoreans are long-lived as a whole by the grace of Eru, and nothing genetically present before this transformation. Their reunions with normal Mannish people over 6000+ years diluted it considerably.

    Although the Dunedain would be few in number at this time, there were still communities of them in certain regions, and some also who bred with other tribes of men. A child of theirs whose mother was of more common blood could age as you've described in contrast to his mother, though perhaps not to such an extreme degree, still very slowly. The child would still endure much of the conflict and emotion you mentioned. As the father, this Dunedain could have any number of reasons for being forever separated from his wife and child.
    I've known half-Dunedain who've been played very well. It's less about the concept here and more about execution. When it comes to age, Aragorn was an exception to the dwindling of Dunedain blood and lived to 210; I do not see full-blooded Dunedain of the North living longer than 140/150, and half for significantly shorter. Considering that the 'purest' of lines in Gondor lived naturally until 90-120, about, that would be a safe range for a half-Dunadan to live a natural life. Aging would be slower, but not so much that it would be noticeable by other Men, I imagine.

    I personally put one of my characters, who is about 1/8th northern Dunadan, as only inheriting the coloring with no expectancy of an extraordinary long life and none of the specialness that tends to be associated with Dunedain. If she did live to old age, with no disease taking her, I see her living into her 80s, but definitely not longer than that.


    A warning to the OP-- in my experience, RPers who like Tolkien's lore tend to label folks who play half-elves as 'Mary Sues' and steer clear of such characters. If you want something special, so to speak, half Dunadan may be a better alternative if you put the research into it.

    Though it seems to me that in the RP world, the rarest sorts of main characters are the characters that have absolutely nothing 'special' in their background whatsoever, so you may want to consider that, too Heck even my main has a little 'special' and sometimes I wish I could go back and alter it out. Ah well. I do not consider dead parents special, so long as they weren't killed in a random orc/brigand attack in a random village... that's a bit too stereotypical. Where are all the dead parents from tuberculosis and pneumonia? xD
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  9. #9
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    Like others have said, it's best to steer clear of half elves as they were exceedingly rare in Middle Earth--there were only 3 possibly 4 marriages of elf and human in the whole history of Middle Earth that were mentioned by Tolkien. Even if you could argue that others may have occurred on the occasion, it was something rare and not the norm. If you want to role play a character with a mixed lineage that will be widely accepted in game, you really are better off sticking with either a mixed elven lineage--say a Noldor from Rivendell marrying a wood elf from Lothlorien or such--or a human mixed lineage. A good canon mixed blood would be Gondor with Rohan, as that seemed to be fairly common near the end of the Third Age--Theoden was actually half Rohirric half Gondorian as his mother was Morwen from Lossarnach, a region in Gondor.

    Gondor as a nation by the end of the Third Age was not really pure Numenorian in their descent any longer; for over 2,000 years, they had, at least in the common folk, been intermarrying with the original settlers of the region that had been there where Isildur and his brother arrived, and later with northmen who had come south with the rightful king during the time of the Gondorian civil war (sorry, can't remember his name off hand) The northern Dunedain, however, tended to remain much more pure, especially in their line of kings and later chieftains. There is a whole thread dedicated, I've heard, to the whole argument over whether Gondor's approach--which kept them strong as a nation but diluted their bloodline, or Anor, which dwindled to at most a few thousand people but kept their bloodline purer--was better, but I won't get into that here However, the men of the north did not seem to intermarry nearly as much as their southern brethren, and intermarrying with the Breelanders may have been frowned upon, so that scenario would be a bit more unlikely and would need a good storyline to make it plausible, but it's not impossible.

    The main thing to keep in mind is that the gift of long life given to the Numenoreans had been slowly removed as the Third Age passed due after Numenor was destroyed--it didn't matter if they intermarried with other peoples or not, the gift of long life was dwindling and almost gone by the end of the Third Age. I'm not sure the complete reason for that; if I remember correctly, it was hinted it was a punishment due to the evils committed by their forebears in Numenor, though since Elendil and his people were the faithful, I wouldn't think that very fair.......Anyway, as stated earlier, the average life of a Gondorian was around 100 by the end of the Third Age--Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth and uncle to Faramir, even with the supposed elvish lineage he had, only lived to 90. Faramir was said by Gandalf to have by some chance of lineage managed to have a nearly pure Numenorian heritage, so his making it to 120 was rare and not the rule. If you can find a listing of the stewards and calculate their ages at their deaths, you'll see they were averaging about 100 by the end of the Third Age. As someone said before, the men of the north were down to about 150 years by the end of the Third Age, though that is harder to pinpoint from the list of kings and chieftains of the north since so many of them died untimely deaths. Again, Aragorn was the exception, not the rule, as he was the renewer. His son and grandchildren, on the other hand, may have lived to his lifespan or longer being that their mother was elvish, but Tolkien doesn't say anything on that matter.

    Oh, and there was one possible canon case where an elf male fell in love with a human female: Aegnor, brother to Finrod and Galadriel, who fell in love with Andreth in the First Age, though that only appears in the Histories of Middle Earth and so is heavily debated.

    One word of caution in using the movies as your guide: the movies were great but they were divergent in places from canon--the latest Hobbit movies even more so. Don't get me wrong; I personally loved the movies, but the movies really have to be held as a separate canon of their own, or an alternate universe, so to speak. Of course, the game itself would be considered a third alternate universe, but it is entirely separate from the movies, so what may be "canon" for the movies won't appear in the game (for example, the whole Aragorn being knocked off his horse part of Two Towers or better yet, the whole Theoden leading his people to refuge in Helm's Deep to begin with. And if you are a fan of Haldir, you'll be happy to know he did NOT die at Helm's Deep; he wasn't even there.....). And to make matters even worse, you really need to be careful when looking for sources online--and even when you find a reputable source, you'll find yourself embroiled into the whole "what is truly canon and what is not" debate that has arisen since the release of the Histories of Middle Earth, since Tolkien himself didn't really have a consistent canon to work from and was constantly changing things throughout his lifetime....has that demoralized you completely yet?

    The biggest thing is that you are here to have fun, and since the game itself is an alternate universe, you should have some wiggle room for creativity within the bounds of the game itself. As others have suggested, its probably best to steer clear of tying your character to the larger than life heroes in the game, ie making your character related to Aragorn or Elrond or Galadriel, but if you stay within some basic rules that are widely accepted as canon for Tolkien, you should be okay. One thing to note is that I believe the license that the game makers work under comes from Tolkien Enterprises which was granted by Tolkien himself and thus only applies to works published in his lifetime--that means the LOTR books and the Hobbit, which makes it much easier to find the source of material being used by the game makers, since those are the only things they are expressly allowed to use - the appendices in the back of Return of the King would be an excellent reference tool and basic guideline for LOTRO. Anything else from the histories is incorporated by game players for their characters and is probably in the background but cannot be directly referenced by the game makers. This means that if you stick to the framework provided by the appendices in Return of the King, you'll probably be safe in your characterization and back story unless you run into one of those people I lovingly refer to as the "canon police".......thankfully, most people in the game are really pretty nice and won't bash you if you aren't strictly lock in step with what they think is canon. This is a great place to start if you are new to the world of Middle Earth and have never read the books and have nothing to go on but the movies themselves. If you are short on time, then I'd suggest getting yours hands on a copy of at least Return of the King for the appendices; later, if you have more time, I really would suggest reading the books eventually--the movies were great but the books are still way better! (well, I prefer Jackson's characterizations over Tolkien's, but that is my personal preference......)

    One of the best places online that I've found for information on people and the history of Middle Earth is the encyclopedia of arda ( http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/ ). I've also used the Tolkien Gateway ( http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Main_Page ) which is more detailed in its articles than the encyclopedia of Arda, though the gateway is a wiki, so I'm not completely sure to its entire reliability. Steer clear of Wikipedia; its got some good information, but its also got a lot of rubbish mixed in. For information from the game's canon, or the setup for the world of LOTRO, the LOTRO wiki has a ton of information built into it, and gives a lot of background information for the peoples and places that appear in game. It would be a great idea if, after picking what people and region your character will be from, to look up that region on the wiki to get a feel for the direction that the game developers are going.

    Also, if you are still intimidated by all the background on the cultures in Middle Earth, you can also make up your own people and culture as the game developers have done with many of their peoples, such as those in Forochel or the Enedwaith. Middle Earth is a vast continent, and Tolkien only gave information on a very small part of it, so there is plenty of room to play and plenty of regions that he doesn't touch! If there is a particular culture that you like--say, for example, the celts or the vikings--you can create your own people and base their culture on that culture. The developers, for example, used the ancient Icelandic culture for Forochel and have used an ancient Welsh culture for their peoples of Enedwaith, so that is a possible way to go based on game canon. Again, you'll still have to stick within the basic framework of Middle Earth so that your new people blend well into Middle Earth--i.e., no it would not be a good idea to bring steam punk to Arda--but that route may be a little less intimidating.

    All that being said, it is possible your original idea would work, but to pull it off, you would really need to know a lot about Tolkien's elves and lore in general, and such a character--while very interesting--would sadly not be widely acceptable to others, so if you intend to role play that character in game outside a group of your personal friends, its probably better to change the background. If you are playing out your own storyline to yourself or with a small group of friends and have an overarching storyline going for your own personal RPG, however, by all means--go for it! I personally think your idea could work and would be interesting, that your setup for the character was at least believable and wasn't necessarily non-canonical, or at least, not completely outside the bounds of canon. If you really like that idea and want to go with it, I'd suggest seeing what information you could find on the Princes of Dol Amroth and using that as your model for the character in regards to how they looked and acted and ages, etc, as it seems that if the foremother of the princes of Dol Amroth was indeed an elf, all her descendents were apparently fully human and lived human lives with human lifespans and didn't seem to be give the choice of the half elven of the First Age.

    Sorry for the extremely long response and repeating of a lot of information, and good luck! (you're braver than I am when it comes to Role Playing! All the backgrounds for all my toons are strictly regulated to my head and only told to my best friend; I'm a horrible actress and couldn't roleplay my way out of a bucket.....)

 

 

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