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 (East Rohan quest reward), default
- Back: Ceremonial Cloak of the West-tower (medallion barter reward), umber
- Chest: Elven Steel Jacket (crafted, world drop, or Rivendell heavy armour vendor), washed
- Hands: Eastemnet War Gauntlets (crafted), default
- Legs: Elven Steel Leggings (crafted, world drop, or Rivendell heavy armour vendor), olive
- Feet: Refugee’s Rugged Shoes (East Rohan quest reward), 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.
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