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  1. #1

    Thumbs up A Question about Servants?

    As the title states, would roleplaying certain servant roles be Lore-breaking? such as having a Butler, maids, a personal cook, groundskeeper, that would all work on your "estate?"
    please I am eager to hear all of your opinions
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  2. #2
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    I personally wouldn't think it'd be lore-breaking as Sam and his gaffer were hired on as gardener's for Bag End. I would think that for jobs such as butler, maids, personal cooks, the estate would have to be quite large as the lady folk would normally be staying home to tend to the housework. If it is a large estate, she'd need the extra help I would think.

  3. #3
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    I don't see anything wrong with it. After all, who else would it be that keeps all the candles and fireplaces lit, or keeps putting food out on the feasting tables? I often RP both my Captain's herald and my skirmish soldier as NPC characters, and nobody has ever had any opposition against it.
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  4. #4
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    In 'The Hobbit', we actually are introduced to a character named Galion, who is the Elven-king(Thranduil)'s butler.

    At least in Elven society, it seems this concept is acceptable.

    This may not be the case for Hobbits, but then, Elves have a more specific royal hierarchy.
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  5. #5
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
    In 'The Hobbit', we actually are introduced to a character named Galion, who is the Elven-king(Thranduil)'s butler.

    At least in Elven society, it seems this concept is acceptable.

    This may not be the case for Hobbits, but then, Elves have a more specific royal hierarchy.
    The Elves in The Hobbit aren't exactly like LOTR's Elves. They're a good bit more fairy-tale in character, hence the cheekiness of the Elves of Rivendell, how the Elvenking's feast keeps appearing and disappearing in Mirkwood (that's straight out of tales of Faerie, with mortals blundering into the midst of their revels) and probably also why those two Elves were making free with their king's best wine. They only become fully serious, Silmarillion-style Elves in the latter part of the book, with the lead-up to the Battle of Five Armies.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The Elves in The Hobbit aren't exactly like LOTR's Elves. They're a good bit more fairy-tale in character, hence the cheekiness of the Elves of Rivendell, how the Elvenking's feast keeps appearing and disappearing in Mirkwood (that's straight out of tales of Faerie, with mortals blundering into the midst of their revels) and probably also why those two Elves were making free with their king's best wine. They only become fully serious, Silmarillion-style Elves in the latter part of the book, with the lead-up to the Battle of Five Armies.
    And yet The Hobbit is part of the canon and you can't just dismiss it. That is the way those Elves are in the published works, whether it was quite intended or not. One has to try to incorporate those elements, not try to explain them away.

    To the OP, I think the word "Butler" specifically would be a little anachronistic, but the job wouldn't be. There are definitely servants all over Middle-earth, used to different extents in different cultures. So it depends a little on where your character is from and what his job would be.
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  7. #7
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    Re: A Question about Servants?

    I think it would depend on the race and location as to how traditional and prevalent servants would be.

    In Gondor, I think you would find the roles of servants to be much like that of the Middle Ages, and they would come closest to what you think of when you think of the word. It seems Gondorian society was similar somewhat to feudalism, where the king owned the land (except for Dol Amroth and Ithilien--I believe), and he parceled that land out to various lords who parceled it out to others on down the line. Except I think the freeman was much more prevalent in that society--so probably look toward the later Middle Ages for a better example.

    But this is all only my impression from the books and lore, and nothing concrete.

    I say Dol Amroth and Ithilien were different because the lords of those lands were Princes, and not lord--their lands, especially Dol Amroth-were not under the direct ownership of the king, though they still considered the king their lord. hence the reason why the Prince of Dol Armoth was the 3rd highest nobleman in the land behind the king first and then the steward, and the prince of Ithilien followed as the 4th highest in the land. So Faramir was the 2nd and 4th highest lord of Gondor in the 4th age

    At least, that's my take on it, and what I seem to recall reading about Dol Amroth. I know the order of prestige of the lords of the land--King then Steward then Prince of Dol Amroth then Prince of Ithilien--is definitely right because it came out of the letters of Tolkien.

    But in bearing to your question, I think maids and butlers, man servants, etc. would have definitely existed in Middle Earth, especially in Gondor and probably to a lesser extent in Rohan. The steward of Gondor was, after all, the King's servant.

    In Bree and Dale, I think it might have still been something that could be, amongst the most wealthy of those societies, but probably much more Victorian in nature. Think of the novels you've read set in Victorian times that speaks of maid and man servants to get an idea of how they might function there. But I'd say that there were very few in either of those communities who would have been wealthy enough to afford such a thing.

    That could also be said to be true of the Shire, as well.

    But that's my two cents only, and you can take it or leave it Usually, when I'm creating a background for a captain, I usually have it so that the soldier with the captain is their manservant or personal bodyguard.

 

 

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