The Sons of Elrond

The lineage of the Half-elven was high and ancient, combining the bloodlines of the Eldar and the Edain of Beleriand in the First Age of Middle-age. Two Half-elven lines were begun in those days: one by the Man Beren and the Elf-maid Lúthien and the other by the Man Tuor and the Elf-maid Idril. Of those unions were born sons: Dior and Eärendil, respectively. Dior wed the Elf-maid Nimloth and sired a daughter, Elwing, who in time wed Eärendil, thus uniting the two Half-elven lines. But the intermarrying of mortal Men and immortal Elves caused the fates of parents and children alike to be cast in doubt; Lúthien accepted mortality and died and went with her husband beyond the circles of Arda, while Tuor was welcomed among the Eldar and was allowed to accompany his wife to Valinor. When Eärendil made his legendary voyage of repentance and supplication to the West, and came at last thence with Elwing, the choice was laid upon them whether to be counted among immortal Elves or among mortal Men. Elwing chose to be counted among the Elves, and for her sake Eärendil chose likewise. Upon their sons, the twins Elrond and Elros, the same choice was laid. The line of the Half-elven was sundered then, for Elros chose mortality and became the first king of Númenor, but Elrond chose to be numbered among the Firstborn. In their turn, Elrond’s daughter Arwen and his twin sons Elladan and Elrohir also had a special fate.

Elladan and Elrohir, like their father, were dark-haired and grey-eyed. They were so alike in appearance that only those who knew them well could tell them apart. The brothers ranged far and wide from Rivendell, for they often hunted Orcs in vengeance for the capture and torture of Celebrían their mother. Here, Elladan (or is it Elrohir?) patrols the borders of Rivendell. Late in the year of IIIA 3018 the brothers were tasked with scouting the wilds and preparing the way for the Ringbearer’s company on its southward journey. Later, clad in silvery mail, the twins rode with the Grey Company and fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields with stars bound upon their brows. After the close of the War of the Ring, they returned to Rivendell and dwelled long in their father’s house, remaining there even after Elrond had departed Middle-earth.

For some reason I’m kind of fascinated by Elladan and Elrohir. Not much is known about them, and that always seems to spark my interest. It’s always the bits around the edges in Tolkien that provide that sense of depth, the sense that there’s always something new to learn and uncover. Another thing that intrigues me about Elladan and Elrohir (and of course Arwen as well) are their fates as Elrond’s children. It’s a misconception (I think due at least in part to the New Line films’ simplification of the matter) that, like their father, Elrond’s children had the explicit and direct choice of kindreds — mortal or immortal. But the choice for them wasn’t so direct. In “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen”, Elrond tells that “so long as I abide here [in Middle-earth], [they] shall live with the youth of the Eldar [...] And when I depart, [they] shall go with me, if [they] so [choose].” Elrond’s eventual departure from Middle-earth was a given, and the time of his departure was thus the time of his children’s indirect choice, to accompany him to Valinor and continue to live with the life of the Eldar, or to remain in Middle-earth and eventually die and go beyond the circles of the world, sundered from their kin for ever. Like their sister, Elladan and Elrohir chose to remain in Middle-earth after Elrond departed, and thus their fate was that of mortal Men.

When I first saw the Riders of Rohan light quest reward shoulders, with their pale green stripe, they reminded me of the Cloak of the West-tower, with its similar border at the hem of the hood. I wanted to pair them for this portrait, which could be Elladan or Elrohir (who can tell?), and I tried to blend Elvish pieces (the chest and leggings) and Mannish pieces (to my mind, all the other pieces), as well as the colours (the silvery and pale green to suggest Elvishness and the brown to suggest Mannishness) to point to the twins’ mixed lineage.

  • Shoulders: Cíllan’s Thanks (quest reward — East Rohan [76] Down Payment), default
  • Back: Ceremonial Cloak of the West-tower (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Annúminas cosmetic clothing), umber
  • Chest: Elven Steel Armour (crafted — metalsmith T3; or looted — world drop/general; or purchased — Rivendell heavy armour vendor), washed
  • Hands: Eastemnet Battle Gauntlets (crafted — tailor T8), default
  • Legs: Elven Steel Leggings  (crafted — metalsmith T3; or looted — world drop/general; or purchased — Rivendell heavy armour vendor), olive
  • Feet: Refugee’s Ragged Shoes (quest reward — East Rohan [76] War Comes to Rohan), default

Tips: Non-ceremonial versions of the Cloak of the West-tower (at equip levels 50, 55, and 60) can be traded for marks and medallions from the classic vendor at skirmish camps (the level 65 version cannot be dyed). The quest reward items from East Rohan all share the same appearance by armour weight (that is light, medium, or heavy), so any light shoulders and shoes you receive as quest rewards in East Rohan will have the same appearance as the pieces I’ve used in this outfit. The light armour Hytbold sets have the same appearance as well.

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14 Responses to The Sons of Elrond

  1. shipwreck says:

    I love it!!

    I also have felt that odd intrigue with the Sons of Elrond: there is something fascinating about twins in general that lends well to a fantasy setting. The LOTR card game I posted about no long ago has great cards for Elladan and Elrohir. As long as you have them both in play, they each get a huge attack/defense bonus each from the other. It’s quite cool and I built a good deck around them.

  2. I love the blending you’ve done with the mail and the browns.
    Is that third picture sword salute?

  3. Nathrien says:

    I absolutely adore this outfit :) It captures the nobility of their heritage while keeping an air of duty and humility…very fitting for the sons of Elrond! Starry, I also enjoy learning a bit of the genealogy of the Elves, Half-elves, and Men in relation to some of the largest characters in Tolkien’s legendarium. It’s a shame my Tolkien class didn’t cover the “family trees” of Middle-Earth as we rushed through the Silmarillion at the end of the semester…but at least I have a chance, as always, to revisit content that slipped though my fingers : )

    • Yay, thank you for the kind comment Nathrien! :) Definitely too bad your Silmarillion coverage was rushed, as I always feel like the Silmarillion should be savoured slowly. But you’re right, at least it can be revisted time and time again. Have you checked out any of the Tolkien Professor and/or Mythgard stuff? They’re truly fantastic!

      • Nathrien says:

        This is the first i’m hearing about this! Definitely going to check out YouTube and the Mythgard site tomorrow. Soooooooooo excited :D

        • So glad I’m able to point you to this then! Prof. Olsen is a really great teacher. The podcast stuff is free and you can do the Mythgard stuff for credit towards a Master’s degree or you can audit it. I’ve been an auditor and it is excellent!

  4. cennwyn says:

    Loved this outfit, and of course I always enjoy the backstory :) I had been having a LOT of trouble coming up with an outfit for my Elven huntress; it all looked so boring. Then I read this was was inspired–the idea of colors being representative of different races really made me think. So thanks for this post!

  5. shipwreck says:

    I’m re-reading The Lord of the Rings (that time of year, innit?), and noticed something in the descriptions of Elladan and Elrohir that I’d never paid close attention to. When they are described along with the Grey Company, it says: “and two tall men [lower case], neither young nor old”.

    Furthermore, as they pass the Paths of the Dead it says: “there was not a heart among them that did not quail, unless it were the heart of Legolas of the Elves…”. No mention of the brethren there!

    But later, once they have passed, Elladan confirms that “the dead ride” along with Legolas.

    Obviously the issue was already clear to you, but having read your write up beforehand the text was newly illuminated to me! I’d always just assumed they were Elves, but there you have it! Evidence that they had not yet been forced to make their choice, so they bear qualities of both Elves and Men and so remain Half-elven, not counted fully among the Elves (and so excluded in that line about Legolas).

    • It’s so awesome and flattering to hear that my post added something to your reading of the text, Shipwreck, thank you! :D

      Indeed I think it was Elrond’s decision to stay in Middle-earth subsequent to his choice to be counted among the Elves that complicated the fate of his children. If Elrond had just gone to Valinor at the end of the Second Age, no doubt any children of his born there simply would have been counted among the Elves, just as Elros’s descendants (being in Middle-earth where they “belonged”) though long-lived were unquestionably mortal, and likewise so would be Arwen and Aragorn’s children. Once Elrond did go to Valinor and Arwen’s choice was irrevocably made, all the Half-elven and their (future) descendants would now be living in the “correct” place according their kind.

      And yes, it’s totally the time of year to revisit The Lord of the Rings. This year I’m listening to the amazing audiobook during my commute. I have mad respect for Rob Inglis!!

  6. Pingback: Rider’s Armour « Cithryth's Blog

  7. Pingback: Elladan & Elrohir | Master of Lore

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