Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Alternative to Rivalry Between the Elves and the Dwarves

When we discussed alternative endings in class, I thought that it was interesting when people had ideas about the the elves and the dwarves getting along earlier in the story, and how that would affect their infamous rivalry. Before reading The Silmarillion, the backstory between this rivalry was unclear to me, but Tolkien's myth behind it gives it more logic and makes it more believable. Being rudely awakened that your species is not the only on the planet seems like a good reason to dislike the other species. If they had ended up getting along, though, perhaps in the Lord of the Rings, during the many battles with opportunities to ally between them, the largest fights would have ended faster. However, this takes away form the adventure of the story, and it seems like Tolkien really enjoyed writing that part of his myth. On the other hand, this may have led to a separate journey with both the elves and the dwarves, and this could have added more detail or adventure to the story, so I'm curious to see if other people had thought about that.

1 comment:

Nessa said...

I actually think that if the elves and dwarves were allied it would have made less of an impact on The Lord of the Rings than we would often like to think. Really, the elves and the dwarves are allies by need at the end of the book, but there was no way for either group to help the other. The dwarves were being besieged in their mountain halls while the elves were fighting in the fields or sailing to the Undying Lands. Personally, I do not think that an alliance between elves and dwarves would make much of a difference at all in The Lord of the Rings except, perhaps, to divide their strength and thus increase their chances of faltering before Frodo could make it to Mount Doom.

However, it might make more of a difference in The Hobbit. If elves were more friendly toward dwarves back then, would Elrond's people have gone through the mountains with the dwarves? If they had, perhaps other hands would have first found the Ring. Later on, would Thranduil have supplied aid rather than imprisoning them? Many things would have gone differently had they been friends.

As far as author's purpose, however, I like that he put these two "good guys" at odds with each other. It reflects Norse mythology, Greek mythology, and life. Sometimes people just don't like people, and wars are started over trivialities, and that is just life. I like that Tolkien includes some real life there.