The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Elf--Tolkien--Physical Description

Pointed ears
In addition, there are no explicit references to pointed ears in The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion. We know that Tolkien's Elves did, in fact, have pointed ears only because of a letter Tolkien sent to illustrators for The Hobbit, which stated that Bilbo's ears should be shown as "only slightly pointed and 'elvish'", and a passage in the Etymologies, where Tolkien states that "the Quendian (Elvish) ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than Human." However, practical considerations, including a number of occasions where Men are mistaken for Elves suggest that the points must have been subtle, quite different from the large ears of Elfquest or the extremely long, narrow elf-ears in some anime.

Hair colours
Despite what some illustrations and adaptations might imply, Elven hair colour is actually quite varied and more complex than many people realize. In general, most Elves (including Noldor, sindar, Elrond, Arwen and Avari) had dark or even black hair, although the Vanyar were blond and some of the Teleri had silver hair. Lúthien Tinúviel and her remote descendant Arwen Undómiel, both described as the fairest of all Elves, were dark haired.

This is not the full picture, however: Finarfin, the youngest son of Finwë, and his descendants (such as Finrod Felagund) had blond hair on account of Finwë's second wife, Indis of the Vanyar. Idril, the daughter of Turgon, had golden hair inherited from her mother, Elenwë of the Vanyar. Even the sons of Fëanor, the eldest Noldorin prince, were not all dark-haired: Maedhros and the twins Amrod and Amras had auburn hair, from their mother Nerdanel and grandfather Mahtan.
Additionally, a silver hair colour existed in the royal houses of the Sindar, with Thingol
, Círdan, and Celeborn all described as having silver hair. As revealed in Unfinished Tales, Galadriel displayed an extremely rare hair colour nowhere else observed: "silver-golden" hair, said to be dazzlingly beautiful ("blending the light of the Two Trees, Telperion and Larelin"), which may have been a result of her unusual mixed Noldor-Vanyar-Teleri heritage (her mother was the niece of Thingol). Thranduil, father of Legolas and a Sindarin elf, is described as having blond hair in The Hobbit. Legolas' own hair colour is actually a bone of contention. The blond Glorfindel was a Noldorin elf of Gondolin.

Eye colours
When Tolkien describes Elven eyes, they tend to be grey. The idea for the grey eyes might have come from Tolkien's wife, Edith
, who had grey eyes herself. This is certainly true of Lúthien (and her descendants: Elrond, Arwen and her brothers, and Aragorn and the Númenóreans/Dúnedain). Voronwë, who guided the man Tuor to Gondolin, also had grey eyes. Perhaps the grey-eyed convention comes from the fact that in Medieval English literature, grey eyes were a sign of nobility.

Tolkien apparently describes all Elves in Appendix F of The Return of the King with the statement "They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finarfin"; however, this statement was meant to apply only to the Noldor.
Though he was half-Noldorin, Maeglin
is said to have dark eyes (possibly from his father Eöl, who was not of the Noldor), while Olwë (the brother of Lúthien's father Thingol, and a Telerin king) has blue eyes. The eye colour of most other elves is not mentioned, so it would be difficult to generalize.

Eärendil, the half-elven son of Idril and Tuor, was said to have blue eyes when he was born — as found in The Fall of Gondolin in The Book of Lost Tales. Tolkien could have changed his mind later, but in reality it is common for babies to be born with blue eyes, regardless of their final eye colour, so this statement does not really shed much light on his adult appearance.
A special thanks to Wikipedia, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Lord of the Rings Official Site

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