Laws and customs of Eldaron families

Lately, I’ve had such an insight reading the text Laws and Customs among the Eldar  that I wanted to share that here! So cool! Tolkien wrote more details about elvish marriage, birth, childhood and even divorce! Check below!

Source: The History Of Middle-Earth Volume X: Morgoth’s Ring p.209 ff

Elvish Marriage & Wedding

The Eldar wedded once only in life, for love and free will. Marriage was the natural course of life for all the Eldar (save ill chances or strange fates). Those who would become wedded, usually chose their partner early in youth, even as children; but the betrothal awaited the judgement of the parents of either party.

At a meeting of the two houses involved, the betrothal was announced and silver rings were exchanged between the betrothed. This betrothal was bound to last 1 year (during it could be revoked by the returning of silver rings, but it rarely happened) and after that period, the betrothed appointed the day of the wedding, when a feast would take place shared by the two houses. Then the mother of the bride and the father of the bridegroom joined the hands of the pair and blessed them. Varda was invoked as witness by the bride’s mother and Manwë, by the bridegroom’s father. There was a solemn form in which the name of Eru was spoken, then the silver rings were given back to each other, and they exchanged a golden ring worn upon the index of the right hand!

Elvish childhood

The Eldar grew in bodily form slower than Men, but in mind more swiftly. They learned to speak before they were one 1 year old; and in the same time they learned to walk and to dance, for their wills came soon to the mastery of their bodies. Nonetheless, there was less difference between the Two Kindreds, Elves and Men, in early youth.

An elf child playing can be easily confounded by a child of Men. But their skill of words and grace in motion showed that they were too short and young for such abilities. At the end of the third year, mortal children began to outstrip the Elves, hastening on to a full stature while Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood.

While Children of Men might reach their full stature (adulthood), elves of the same age might look like mortals of no more than 7 years old. Not until the 50th year, elves would reach their full stature and endure the shape in which they would live until the end of Arda. Soon after the 50th year, elves usually would get married (as talked about above)


To be continued…

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