An Elfs lifecycle? (Shortened from wikipedia from Tolkiens books)

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An Elfs lifecycle? (Shortened from wikipedia from Tolkiens books)

Post  Markiel on Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:55 am

Early life

Elves are born about one year from their conception. The day of their conception is celebrated, not the actual birthday itself. Their minds develop quicker than their bodies; by their first year, they can speak, walk and even dance, and their quicker onset of mental maturity makes young Elves seem, to Men, older than they really are. Physical puberty comes in around their fiftieth to one hundredth year (by age fifty they reach their adult height), and by their first hundred years of life outside the womb all Elves are fully grown. Elven bodies eventually stop ageing physically, while human bodies do not.

Marriage, and parenthood

Elves marry freely and for love early in life. Monogamy is practised and adultery is unthinkable; they only marry once (Finw, first High King of the Noldor, was an exception, as he remarried after his first wife died). Elves have few children, as a rule (Fanor and Nerdanel were an exception, conceiving seven sons), and there are relatively sizeable intervals between each child (but see below for notes on Elvish birth rates in Middle-earth versus in Aman). They take great delight in the union of love, and they cherish the days of bearing and raising children as the happiest days of their lives.

Later life

Eventually, if they do not die in battle or from some other cause, the Elves of Middle-earth grow weary of it and desire to go to Valinor, where the Valar originally sheltered their kind. Those who wish to leave for the Undying Lands go by boats provided at the Grey Havens, where Crdan the Shipwright dwells with his folk.

Death

Elves are naturally immortal. In addition to their immortality, and (at least due to their extended knowledge of herbs and medicines) they can recover from wounds which would normally kill a mortal Man. However, Elves can be slain, or die of grief and weariness. In this way they are not truly immortal, at least not in a literal sense, but have indefinite lifespans (they will not die of age, but can be killed in battle). Even so, this idea is collectively called immortality.

Elves who die or are killed go to the Halls of Mandos in Valinor. After a certain period of time and rest that serves as "cleansing", their spirits (fa) are clothed in bodies (hra) identical to their old ones. They almost never go back to Middle-earth, however.

Frigga Asynjur, an Elf
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Markiel
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