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Thread: Pointy Ears

  1. Pointy Ears

    I cannot find any reference anywhere in Tolkien's work that would suggest the Elves have pointy ears. Am I missing something?

  2. Galin's Avatar
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    #2
    Hi... there's nothing about pointed Elvish ears in anything Tolkien himself published

    There are, however, interesting texts that JRRT wrote but never published himself... two of the most "famous" of which are a letter (about Hobbits and Hobbit ears) and an entry in a linguistic document called Etymologies...

    ... that said, both of these texts generally date to around the same time, the mid 1930s to the early 1940s. In Etymologies for example, an entry stated that the Quendian ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than human ears. At this time I believe Tolkien imagined his Elves as having more pointed ears than Men. But did he think so later? In the 1950s and after? Tolkien essentially (in my opinion) rewrote the Etymologies entry much later, and this next text does not have the specific reference to Elvish ears that the older text had had. This is the later description concerning leaf and ear/listen words...

    Q lasse 'leaf' (S las); pl. lassi (S lais). It is only applied to certain kinds of leaves, especially those of trees, and would not e.g. be used of leaf of a hyacinth (linque). It is thus possibly related to LAS 'listen', and S-LAS stem of Elvish words for 'ear'; Q hlas, dual hlaru. Sindarin dual lhaw, singular lhewig.

    lasse 'leaf'.
    JRRT, Words, Phrases And Passages (WPP for short)
    So "possibly" related here... where in the earlier version some thought a relationship existed because (as it was noted in Etymologies) the Quendian ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than human ears.

    As I say, Tolkien himself published none of this in any case, but if he had published the later description (WPP), would it be necessarily "true" that JRRT's Quendi had more pointed and leaf-shaped ears (than Men)? Not necessarily I think. Anyway there is more that could be said about this topic, but as I'm guessing someone is sure to post the "Etymologies citation" about leaf and ear/listen words in Elvish...

    ... I recommend keeping the date of that text in mind, as well as these comments from WPP on Elvish leaf and ear/listen words.

    What Tolkien himself did publish was Elvish words like lassi "leaves" and lasto "listen" for two examples, so he was writing WPP with certain Elvish words already in print.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Short version

    Nothing about pointy Elvish ears in texts published by the author himself.

    And when considering posthumously published texts, my answer to the question: do Tolkien's Elves have more pointed and leaf-shaped ears than Men?

    Maybe!

    It'll probably depend upon how one views the wider evidence of texts, how one interprets them, as well as certain other considerations or arguments that might arise. Or something.

  3. Athelas_H's Avatar
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    In my opinion Elves don't have pointy ears; I often draw them without pointy ears and I know of others who do the same e.g. Catherine Karina Chmiel. Noelle Stevenson sometimes draws them with pointy ears but other times doesn't. It's all about personal taste; if you think they have pointy ears then they have pointy ears. Freedom resides in the reader, sound familiar? Thanks for asking the question :)
    Last edited by Athelas_H; 20/Oct/2016 at 09:11 AM.
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  4. I agree that it is down to the individual's imagination.

    Personally I think the elves are more foxy looking than humans - with more pointy features and ears - but not like the massive ears they have in the movies, not like Mr Spock or anything. For some reason I personally see Luthian as having pointy, larger ears and an overall more shocking appearance, perhaps because her mother Melian was of the Maia. Of course this trait would pass on to her offspring who would all have had more noticeably pointy ears. But that is all just personal imagination!

    I just feel that it would have been mentioned more if the elves had big pointy Spock ears. Surely the Hobbits would have mentioned it the first time they encountered elves? Or surely one of the Dwarves, Gimli say, or Mim the petty dwarf, would have used it as an insult against the elves at some point? There are many examples throughout Tolkien's work where the Elves are described in great detail, their clothes, hair, eyes, feet etc. If they had had Mr Spock ears surely this would have been mentioned?

    Interestingly the Sindarin word for Ear: lhewig is the only Sindarin word that has 'wig' in it, this reminded me of earwig - the insect once thought to crawl inside peoples ears - Maybe Tolkien was influenced by this?

    I tried to see if Tolkien had ever painted or drawn an elf. I couldn't find any. However on the website 'middle-earth': They have a picture of a Tolkien drawn figure and they say that it is Beleg -

    he doesn't seem to have big ears. But I think that this figure is cropped from a larger Tolkien painting called Fangorn Forest, in that case it couldn't be Beleg? (There seems to be some confusion about this).

    Another thing I thought about was the artwork that Tolkien himself approved. Apparently he liked Cor Blok's and Mary Fairburn's work. Both painted elves with normal sized ears.

    Fairburn's painting of Galadriel.


    Check out Cor Blok's paintings; where, if you look closely, you can find Legolas, with, apparently, no ears.

    Having said all of that I can't find any paintings that he didn't like that had elves with big ears!

    Anyway, perhaps Tolkien himself solves the problem better when he says:-

    However good in themselves, illustrations do little good to fairy-stories. The radical distinction between all art (including drama) that offers a visible presentation and true literature is that . . . literature works from mind to mind and is thus more progenitive. It is at once more universal and more poignantly particular
    Tolkien 'On Fairy Stories' 1939
    Last edited by Eagle Of Manwe; 09/Nov/2016 at 04:22 PM.

  5. Galin's Avatar
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    Tolkien did draw Beleg... painted in July 1928 however, for his The Book of Ishness.

    "It was originally called Taur-na-Fuin, or Beleg finds Flinding in Taur-na-Fuin. It depicts the moment when Beleg an elf from Thingol’s court, finds Flinding, [later called Gwindor], an elf of Nargothrond who has escaped from captivity in Morgoth’s stronghold."
    JRR Tolkien Artist and Illustrator "Taur-na-Fuin found it’s way into The Hobbit, redrawn in ink, as Mirkwood. Still later, it was published in the JRR Tolkien Calendar 1974 with Tolkien’s consent as Fangorn Forest."

    That noted, I'm not sure what readers were to make of these figures in a Fangorn Forest context. But whatever might be gleaned from this picture regarding ears (or beard), the orginal date puts it well before Etymologies even (and thus pre-dates even JRRT's statement about more pointed and leaf-shaped ears than Humans).

    Regarding the argument that Tolkien may have liked a given artist, that need not mean he accepted or rejected all given details rendered by the artist. We now know that Tolkien generally admired the work of Pauline Baynes for example, but according to The History of The Hobbit by J. Rateliff, JRRT did not react all that favorably to her depiction of the Fellowship for a map that he himself had helped with...

    ... in which, in any case, one cannot see Legolas' ears nor hair colour!

    Moreover if Tolkien himself "ultimately" wanted to keep the matter open to interpretation, then (again if) arguably he might not comment about an artist's depiction either way regarding ears (although I'm guessing that if he were to "allow" a pointed interpretation, Tolkien might have had something to say about "overdoing things" as far as his measure went... but this is all obviously very speculative).

    We know the Quendi don't have wings anyway!

  6. I have a copy of that painting, it has Fangorn Forest written underneath it, which seems to be written in Tolkien's hand, something they could have easily done for the 1974 calander I suppose. The Beleg figure seems to have thick black hair, pointy shoes, perhaps Anglachal is sheathed on his belt; but no sign of his bow Belthronding and in general lacks any precise detail. I think Gwindor is in the center of the image under the main tree but he can barely be identified. The only other Tolkien drawn elf I could find was of a raft steerer in the image 'Lake Town', but again no discernible ears.

    What about elves in ancient Old English, Norse, Anglo Saxon mythology, etc? The ones Tolkien would have been most influenced by? Is there any mention of them having pointy ears? I've had a quick look into it and I can't find any reference to pointy ears in any poems or drawings - Ha! But that would take a lot more than a quick look!

    Maybe time to drop the subject and include it on my long list of reasons why Peter Jackson's ridiculous movies are a despicable travesty.
    Last edited by Eagle Of Manwe; 23/Oct/2016 at 06:17 AM.

  7. Galin: We know the Quendi don't have wings anyway! ... Only the fools!
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  8. Staying a bit more to the point, Doug Anderson also discusses this in his Annotated Hobbit

    In neither The Hobbit nor The Lord of the Rings does Tolkien give any clue to the answer to a question that has been fiercely debated among his readership: Did his Elves have pointed ears?
    The nearest thing to an answer that one can give is founded on the linguistic elements in Tolkien's invented languages. In the “Etymologies,” a kind of dictionary of Elvish word relationships that Tolkien maintained for his personal use in the 1930s, which is now published in volume five of the History, The Lost Road, he notes in regard to the stems LAS{1} from lassē = “leaf” and LAS{2} “listen” (lassē = “ear”) that there is a possible relationship between the two in that Elven “ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped” than human ones. All that can be said, then, is that certainly at one time (probably in the mid-1930s) Tolkien held this view.
    Tolkien's own artwork does not provide any further clues, for in the only drawing in which he depicts elves, they appear as very small figures, and features such as ears are not visible. See the drawing Taur-na-Fúin in Artist (No.54).
    Tolkien, J.R.R., Anderson, Doug (ed.). The Annotated Hobbit, note 11, pp. 206–7

    This is as good a summary of the issue as any that I've seen (and I dare say we can trust Doug Anderson to have investigated the issue exhaustively before putting it in the book).

    This, then, is the – probably a bit tenuous – basis for the wide-spread belief that Elves had pointed ears, or, as the slightly more informed will insist, ‘leaf-shaped’ ears.

    How any individual reader will envision the Quendi of Tolkien's legendarium is, of course, entirely up to that individual – I do not believe that we are necessarily obliged to follow Tolkien in such details, though I do advocate knowing also hos Tolkien conceived of things.

    Regarding the latter, in the face of a complete lack of evidence to suggest that he changed his mind, I tend to find it more probable that he did not (and certainly the two stems √LAS{1} and √LAS{2} for hearing and leaf were retained in The Lord of the Rings as evidenced in Parma Eldalamberon 17 – Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings).

    But that doesn't tell us in detail. What leaves were Tolkien thinking of? Surely neither maple nor oak (), but I have seen readers discuss at length the degree of pointiness that Tolkien intended ... and there is certainly a lot of room for interpretation between the human ear and the spear-head atrocities that I have seen from a few artists
    Troels Forchhammer, physicist, Denmark
    The love of Faery is the love of love: a relationship toward all things, animate and inanimate, which includes love and respect ...

  9. It seems that Mr Anderson is the go-to-guy on this subject.

    What and when is the first illustration to show an Elf with pointy ears? I have started to look but cant find an elf with pointy ears in the 40's or 50's.

    Has anyone ever seen that footage of Tolkien were he says that Dwarves are very like Jews? What modern race are the elves based on? And what kind of ears do they have? Do a certain race have more leaf shaped 'pointy ears? You could say that different human races have more leaf shaped ears than others. That doesn't mean ridiculously over-sized and pointy.

    The reason I brought this up was because of Peter Jackson's character Tauriel.

    I cannot fully express my hatred for Peter Jackson's films, it is too traumatic. The indignation and anger overwhelms me. After watching some of the Hobbit I went into a catatonic state and couldn't, work, speak or eat for 3 days.

    My therapist suggests that I try to talk about it with other people. So please someone agree with me about Tauriel. You don't even have to agree with me about any of the other reasons why this character is so hateful - But come on - Those ears - it's ridiculous! Is she an Irish Vulcan or something? A ginger Vulcan with a penchant for dwarf!


  10. Galin's Avatar
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    Troelsfo wrote: "... in the face of a complete lack of evidence to suggest that he changed his mind, I tend to find it more probable that he did not (and certainly the two stems √LAS{1} and √LAS{2} for hearing and leaf were retained in The Lord of the Rings as evidenced in Parma Eldalamberon 17 – Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings)."

    Yet PE17 is evidence of a change of mind, arguably at least (admittedly it depends upon how one views the two texts), and as good as Mr. Anderson's summation is, it was written before the entries in PE17 became available. One way to view the much later entries in PE17 is that while LAS, LAS, and SLAS (SLAS- being new to this scenario) are indeed in play, "no longer in play" is the stated fact (not present in PE17 but present in Etymologies) that the Quendian ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than Human ears. I very much agree with Mr. Anderson that in the late 1930s Tolkien held this view, but I would also like to hear his opinion when PE17 gets tossed into the mix.

    Again, in my opinion we've gone from: "some think" LAS1 and LAS2 are related because of the fact that Quendian ears are more pointed and leaf-shaped, to... Q. lasse "leaf" "is thus possibly related to LAS "listen", and S-LAS..."

    In other words:

    A) some thought there was a relationship because of an observable, physical fact (Etymologies)

    to

    B) the author of this text (Tolkien as translator?) again notes there is a possible relationship here, but no longer states the observable fact based on a comparison of the Quendi to Humans. And we know that "Elves" in Tolkien's time were generally imagined with pointed ears, so it's arguable that Tolkien himself -- or some later redactor -- is feigning ignorance of knowing (for certain) about "true" Elvish ears, while allowing for the implied possibility.

    As I say, that's one way to look at it. I'm sure there will be folks who will view the PE17 description as a mere extension of the idea from the 1930s, but I would wonder, given that Etymologies had become an old abandoned document after The Lord of the Rings was published (and no longer reflected the major historical change made to the linguistic scenario in the early 1950s and beyond), if the information in Etymologies was to be carried forward...

    ... when Tolkien could have, with but a phrase, carried it forward in PE17 (and once again explained what the relationship was specifically based on) but did not.

    Well, in any case, he didn't

  11. Rivvy Elf's Avatar
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    Eagle of Manwe- I completely agree with you about Tauriel.

    And I think just like how some humans are depicted in literature having long ears that extend to their shoulders (Liu Bei, Buddha), doesn't mean all humans have really long earlobes. Some humans also had pointy ears, due to a genetic disorder I believe. Does this mean that most or all humans have long earlobes or pointy ears? I think not.

    I believe that logic also applies for elves. Given Galin pointing out the word 'possibly' changes eliminates the direct relationship between leaves and ears, to more of I say more of a possible correlatory relationship between leaves and ears. That is to say, that while some elves could have pointed ears, or even most. Given that wording change, not all had pointed ears, just like not all humans have the same ears.
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  12. If you look at the Old English word Ear it also has two meanings:- organ of hearing and the grainy stem part of corn, an ear of corn. The two aren't necessarily linked, oddly an ear of corn is long and pointy. Regardless "more pointed and leaf shaped" still doesn't denote Spock ears.

    For me the issue isn't whether Elvin ears are more leaf shaped and pointed than Humans, but the degree to which this is so. You could say that Danish people's ears are more pointed and leaf shaped than Spanish people's ears. So for me the notes in Etymologies and PE17 don't hold much weight on the subject.

    Even if Tolkien appeared today and said directly that Elvin ears are 'more leaf shaped and pointed' it still wouldn't give us a clearer picture.

    If he had said:- "Elvin ears are dramatically bigger than humans, looking very leaf shaped and very pointed, somewhat like a Kangaroo's or a Fox's ears, and in fact the main distinguishable factor between Elves and humans are the ears." Then that would tell us something.

    If you walked into a room filled with Peter Jackson's Elves alongside humans you would be able to tell them apart instantly - how would you be able to do this - Well you would point at the stupid ears on the Jackson Elves and say "these ones here have big stupid ears, they must be Elves!"

    For such a hugely overstated and dramatic physical feature to be overlooked completely by Tolkien in all of his books would suggest to me that Elves at best have ever so slightly more pointy ears than humans. But not so much so that it is worth exaggerating the point. Their eyes, mannerisms and overall physical frame seem to be far more noticeable than their ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galin View Post
    "And we know that "Elves" in Tolkien's time were generally imagined with pointed ears,
    Hold the phone Galin! (I appreciate all of your well informed and interesting responses by the way) but this statement seems to be very important. Is this true? How do we know? Was it well accepted in the past that elves had pointy ears? I am very excited by this possibility - are there illustrations or writing to back it up?

    Oh and thank you to Athelas, Troelsfo and Rivvy for your erudite feedback, it is very generous of you - especially as this is the first time I have ever commented in this forum.

    Vampires have pointy Ears too? Could Jackson be trying to pollute our imaginations with false images of the Elves! Might it not be the case that Jackson is in diabolical communion with Melkor! And that soon an army of vampires will descend upon us! And because of Jackson's treachery we will all mistake them for Elves!

  13. Puddleglum19's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle Of Manwe View Post
    Might it not be the case that Jackson is in diabolical communion with Melkor! And that soon an army of vampires will descend upon us! And because of Jackson's treachery we will all mistake them for Elves!
    Only if those vampires start shooting hoards of ugly orcs with arrows while balancing on the heads of dwarves floating down a rushing forest river in barrels.
    Last edited by Puddleglum19; 25/Oct/2016 at 01:01 AM.

  14. Galin's Avatar
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    "Hold the phone Galin! (I appreciate all of your well informed and interesting responses by the way) but this statement seems to be very important. Is this true? How do we know? Was it well accepted in the past that elves had pointy ears? I am very excited by this possibility - are there illustrations or writing to back it up?"

    Well, I'm not an expert on the subject, but very generally speaking: when I say in Tolkien's day I'm not going back very far. In 1938 Tolkien wrote a letter to HMC (in America) and described Bilbo (or Hobbits in general) with "... ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'" [see letter 27]... I take this to mean that Tolkien knows what kind of image will spring to mind in America with 'elvish' ears.

    Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings in the 1950s... I was born in the 1960s (gasp) and as far as I remember of my childhood, the "general" image then of "Elves, Fairies, Pixies (and so on)" was largely as diminutive, often enough winged or pointy-eared beings, perhaps made popular through Victorian illustrations, or even from illustrators of the "Golden Age of Children's Book illustration" [turn of the 1900s, again generally speaking], like Arthur Rackham for example. Though granted, not all Rackham's fairies are pointy-eared, but many of the beings have hair covering their ears in any case.

    Not all images will be alike anyway, and I agree that it's rather sweepingly general to put it the way I did, but in my opinion Tolkien's dislike of the word Elves (at one point he wishes he had not used the word) is due to the "modern" associations with wings and diminutiveness... in Appendix F JRRT even rules out that the Quendi had wings... not that he had ever suggested they did, but I think he's working against very general perceptions here. The question becomes, if I'm correct here, was Tolkien against the perception of Elves having pointed ears, as well as smallness and wings?

    Hard to say. Not in the 1930s in my opinion, as I've said.

    Granted, I wasn't alive in the 1950s or earlier and couldn't go about asking Brits (in particular) to describe their image of "Elves", but I'm guessing that the Victorians and popular children's books had done enough to put the popular image into many peoples minds -- not necessarily those folks who knew anything about the literary (or artistic) history of beings some might call Elves, that is, not necessarily folks who could tell you what an Elf was according to Norse Mythology, versus what an Elf might be according to Anglo-saxon references, for example -- but again I'm referring to the "popular" image in the minds of everyday folk.

    Even in the 1960s I had an image of Santa and his little Elves, the "Keebler" type or similar. Tolkien knew better of course, but if I'm correct his letter to HMC is reflective of what he knew to be part of the popular image at the time.

    I had hoped that CS Lewis, in his book The Discarded Image, would delve into this matter, but if I recall correctly he delves into various things concerning the Long-lived folk (in general), and touches on the matter of height... but not ears? I read it years ago now and can't remember it fully. Still a recommended read though.

    Anyway, I wish I could speak on this matter with more authority -- like my line above seems to admittedly -- I did think about putting an "I think" before that, but even now I feel relatively safe in saying what I did, which obviously might not hold up within various cultures, but actually I was thinking primarily of Britain and the US, and a fairly general time frame.

    What do other folks think?

  15. Rivvy Elf's Avatar
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    Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters were compiled from 1920 to the 1940's. Were there any mention on the physical appearance of Santa's assistants?
    Last edited by Rivvy Elf; 25/Oct/2016 at 02:02 AM.
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  16. Only if those vampires start shooting hoards of ugly orcs with arrows while balancing on the heads of dwarves floating down a rushing forest river in barrels.
    I couldn't watch that scene - I couldn't watch most of it - but that scene was probably the most absurd - How did that ridiculous man Jackson get from Bilbo gently bobbing down stream with Dwarves silently sealed in barrels - to - ostentatious Vulcans and testosterone filled mad max dwarves fighting gigantic hellish demons on a whitewater rapids Disney adventure ride?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Let’s really try to nail this to the floor.
    So far we can say the following:- That Dwarves are probably Jews. - Spanish people are unlikely to be elves. - The Elvish word for Ear was almost certainly influenced by British folklore concerning the earwig. - Ancient Brits probably had ears shaped like corn. - Peter Jackson is responsible for delivering devastating blows to Western culture and if not caught and brought to swift justice will probably play a part in the complete destruction of the English speaking peoples ( Can you imagine if Jackson gets his hands on the movie rights for the Silmarrilion? It doesn’t bear thinking about!). - Peter Jackson is almost certainly in league with Melkor and may even be physically possessed by Sauron. Vampires have pointy ears.

    In all seriousness though Elves do not have big pointy donkey ears - it's a fact - they have ears like Anne Hathaway.

    All sane people know this, but I'm sure it is possible to find some kind of concrete evidence to convince the insane people.

    I think, from having a quick search about and also asking my, British, family members, that most 20th century Brits saw Elves as being similar to what Galin has described, the same as Fairies, tiny winged creatures - like Tinker bell that lived at the bottom of the garden in hedgerows and forests. The flappy-ear'd human sized elf didn't become wide spread until well into the 70's. Most working class brits, I guess from quizzing people, got their first real visual encounter with LOTR because of the 1978 cartoon movie (did they have pointy ears in that movie?). Big pointy ears were the features more attributed to demonic type creatures. As for pre-Victorian Brits idea of elves? A very interesting question.

    I know that Icelandic people have a very clear image of what an elf is and an old well kept mythology concerning them. There are a few documentaries explaining this. Again it seems to be all about little people, almost like elemental beings connected with forces of nature.

    I wonder what the symbolic subconscious meaning behind Spock ears is? A sign of heightened senses, refinement and intelligence?

    I would be interested in finding out a chronological order of illustrations connected with Tolkien's work. I have a feeling that the Fennec Fox style Elf appeared in the 50's and 60's. It would be interesting to pin down the origin of this character and why it appeared.

    I also believe that Tolkien used his work as a way of preserving or re-interpreting the central mythology-philosophy-religion of the ancient west and that his elves are actually an ancient and mysterious race - different from the fiary/elf idea.
    Last edited by Eagle Of Manwe; 25/Oct/2016 at 04:33 PM.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by Rivvy Elf View Post
    Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters were compiled from 1920 to the 1940's. Were there any mention on the physical appearance of Santa's assistants?
    I couldn't find any mention of what Santa's Elves look like in the letters, I found 8 pictures that have elves in them -again the figures are too small to see facial features - but no discernible ears.

  18. Hanasian's Avatar
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    #18

    Elves Ears & Taur na Fuin

    Quote Originally Posted by Athelas_H View Post
    In my opinion Elves don't have pointy ears; I often draw them without pointy ears and I know of others who do the same e.g. Catherine Karina Chmiel. Noelle Stevenson sometimes draws them with pointy ears but other times doesn't. It's all about personal taste; if you think they have pointy ears then they have pointy ears. Freedom resides in the reader, sound familiar? Thanks for asking the question :)
    I agree with Athelas. I have always envisioned the elves of Middle Earth as having somewhat normal ears, maybe with some slight pointedness to them, but not much. Too many times I've seen fine artwork done of Middle Earth elves that is ruined in my eyes with these swords sticking out from their heads in various directions. But that is just me, and it is the way I see the elves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galin View Post
    Tolkien did draw Beleg... painted in July 1928 however, for his The Book of Ishness.

    "It was originally called Taur-na-Fuin, or Beleg finds Flinding in Taur-na-Fuin. It depicts the moment when Beleg an elf from Thingol’s court, finds Flinding, [later called Gwindor], an elf of Nargothrond who has escaped from captivity in Morgoth’s stronghold."
    JRR Tolkien Artist and Illustrator "Taur-na-Fuin found it’s way into The Hobbit, redrawn in ink, as Mirkwood. Still later, it was published in the JRR Tolkien Calendar 1974 with Tolkien’s consent as Fangorn Forest."
    On my 1973 Ballantine paperback of Two Towers, a cropped copy of this is on the cover with the title being 'Fangorn' on the copyright page. I did come across the 'Taur-na-Fuin titled full illustration a few years later.... not sure where though. Maybe something to do with the Silmarillion when it was released.
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  19. geordie's Avatar
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    #19
    This is an interesting picture; originally one just like it appeared in the 1st and 2nd printings of TH, in 1937 under the name 'Mirkwood'. It was dropped during the war years. Then JRR redrew it and coloured it, and it was used in the 1974 calendar (which was printed in 1973), titled 'Fangorn forest', though in rhis incarnation its title is 'Beleg finds Gwindor in Taur-na-Fuin'.
    Last edited by geordie; 07/Nov/2016 at 08:15 AM.
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  20. I believe that the slow Japanese take over of Christmas decoration production (Japan becoming a supplier of Christmas decorations for the west starting from about 1900) is responsible for the introduction of pointy ears on elves - in the west, before 1900, pointy ears always represented malevolent characters - I can't find any illustrations or writing that would denote pointy ears on fairies or elves before 1920. This research was done entirely using Google so it is probably wrong.

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