"Love of the Elven Kind" by Ranger1

Anyone who enters the contested ground of Elven sexuality is faced with two problems: The Laws and Customs of the Eldar [LACE] and the fact that few believe LACE is true. The obstacle is that of believing sex could only be for bonding and procreation as LACE indicates. But this objection assumes that sex only consists of, to use the appropriate euphemism: ‘inserting tab A into slot B’. It also assumes two other sexual taboos common to present day society were universal. That same sex friends do not physically comfort each other and that bisexuality is forbidden. If we assume that Elves do permit both experimental bisexuality, open physical contact and making out between close friends, and sexual activity short of ‘insert tab’, we get the scene we have here.

It is based on Elves accepting the idea that lonely adults will take lovers, even of the same sex, but not as permanent partners. The physical love is intended to give emotional support and comfort to the lover. The love extends to helping the beloved find a partner for bonding, even if it ends the pair as lovers. In this example, the lover is called the goodfriend. As in many Mannish relationships, the love grows out of conflict.

LACE then becomes only half the story. It is a summary of formal rules of Elven courtship written by a Man. It did not include the informal rules.

All this is included to show what level of cultural understanding considering the background of The Silmarillion brings. The assumption that Elves are not pretty Men leads to a need to develop a full cultural background for them.



The two Elf princesses glared at each other.

Though Galadriel looked down on the other (she had too), she knew the other matched her because she felt the other looking down on her.

Though Luthien overawed other Elves with her physical vitality, she knew she was matched because she felt the other physically overawing her.

The Blonde Noldo and the Black-haired Sindar fluffed themselves up like two cats about to debate the ownership of a choice windowsill.

A few weeks later, they were sitting cross-legged on a log in the garden laughing at the antics of their relatives.

Galadriel looked confused. The surprise she felt at the kiss was less than that of realizing she had kissed back.

“You have not done this?” Luthien asked.

“Not so openly … not wrong but … private.”

“I do apologize; I … wanted the touch of another.”

“So do I.” Galadriel did not let her control break but she did respond passionately. “I had a goodfriend in Aman but she refused to leave. Luthien, I miss her, I did not know how much until…”

Luthien kissed again. “No one would be my partner. A Princess frightened them.”

“I do not frighten easily.”

“How was it Luthien?”

“She really must have had no touch in years. Go to her; know that she seeks the Bond, but that she also has the Hunger.”

“Yet cousin,” he said, “why do you tell me this? Will you not loose in the exchange?”

“I too seek Bonding to another, not a partner. I also seek the happiness of my best cousin. She may still be my goodfriend after.”

“How do you know what I do not myself know? That I desire her?”

A gentle hand touched Celeborn. “I need no Foresight to see true love.”

Excerpt from "The Dark of the Night" by Ellie

When the Rebels left Valinor and came to Middle-earth, they soon discovered just how much they had learned from the Valar compared to those elves who had never seen the Two Trees. The Calaquendi, they called themselves – the Light elves – for they had beheld the light of the Two Trees, but they condescendingly referred to the elves of Middle-earth as the Moriquendi - the Dark elves. Neither side often thought much complimentary of the other and a rivalry soon developed between them. In my horror story The Dark of Night, I present elves of the early Third Age with an ancient evil nemesis that requires the haughty Calaquendi to rely upon the Moriquendi for aide. The following excerpt describes this ages old rivalry.


elegon!” The elleth complained in frustration as the ellon stole another sweet kiss then escaped yet again.

“Silly Green elf,” he shot back as he danced away. “You will never catch a Noldo with your feet. You must use your wit and your charm, for you will never match us in speed.”

She found his taunts frustrating, yet endearing at the same time. He was the silly one, not she.

“Keep running, Noldo,” she egged him on. “For the trees speak to my kind where they have no care for yours.”

He turned and sped away.

Silencing her squeal of delight, she pursued her lover and his friends into the trees. It was a moonless midnight and the sky was lit with stars. How perfect, she thought as she sped unhindered through the dim wood. The trees whispered of their presence ahead and all too soon she spotted them. This nightly chase was becoming far too easy. Soon she would catch him, then his friends would foolishly tease before departing, leaving them alone in each other’s arms for the night.

Creeping closer, she saw the glow of their Calaquendi fëar, betraying their location. These descendants of the elves of Valinor whose eyes and fëar still reflected the light of the now extinct Two Trees must learn to go hooded and cloaked if they wish to hide in the dark. But she was never going to tell them that and spoil all of her fun!

"Prized" by Noliel

One hazy summer afternoon whilst pondering on what to write for a sonnet, I was hit with an idea that had fascinated me for quite some time: Feanor and Fingolfin’s rivalry over Finwe. That was it! I grabbed my pencil in a flurry and wrote. Wrote, and bit my lips and pencil for over half an hour and at last had something… that wasn’t a sonnet. But it was a poem. One that was subconsciously, er, inspired by a passage from the Silmarillion dealing with the confrontation Feanor and Fingolfin had, and a rather annoying thread in a Tolkien forum I wandered across.

But really, I wrote this because, besides my interest in the topic and my love of poetry, I wanted to put a different spin to Feanor's exile from Tirion. Something other than, “Haha, the bastard deserved it” which seems to be a recurring statement in regards to Feanor. Because being a Feanor fan, that statement ticks me off immensely, and I do think--my opinion personally, even if I am not crazy about Fingolfin all that much--that either of them wouldn’t have given one whit about how important their place among the Noldor was if their place in Finwe’s heart was any less.


he streets rustled with talk in fair Tirion
of Nolofinwe, and Fëanáro Finwion,
the two eldest sons of Finwë Noldoran.

They spoke of how was broken the peace of Aman
by Feanaro, the elder, who drew sword when he heard
Nolofinwe speak of him with ill-sounding words,
and earned thus his exile. Yet not alone did he go,
for his seven loyal sons went with him also.

As well entered into banishment his father, Finwë, saying,
"While the Ban lasts upon Fëanáro my son, I hold myself unkinged."
This said, he left as regent his second-eldest.

The whispers in the fair streets of Tirion went on,
"The proud son of Míriel deemed the king's right hand place his own,
and yet, by his own jealousy, Nolofinwe ascends the throne!
Surely none now regrets his actions worse
than he himself who acted thus first."

Fëanáro heard of the whispers, yet grudged his half-brother not.
"Let Nolofinwe take and keep that blasted throne," he thought,
looking at his father with a contented smile.

He knew whose lot had been more worthwhile.

Excerpt from "Written in the Starlight" by Rhapsody and Robinka

Within The Silmarillion there is much rivalry between groups of elves, houses and even within the families. A family that hosts a group of characters with different temperaments and goals is most certainly can be found within the house of Fëanor. Our story, “Written in the Starlight”, takes place years after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears and in order to function as a group, the dynamics has changed drastically: all faced failure, betrayal and profound loss. Still underneath, conflict and rivalry remains.

In the world that once collapsed and among the debris, there can be no trust, one can say. After years of wandering, the sons of Fëanor come to realize that there must be another way to reclaim what they have always wanted. And they meet the people who can be of help, but the help, even though within their reach, seems to be a tough task to accomplish. Old rifts emerge, old scars remind of the difficult past. Nothing will be easy.

Where would a story be without conflict and strife? For us as writers of this story, we considered it to be a challenge to change two fundamental things: Have Beleg Cúthalion survive the foray into Forest under Nightshade, and instead of having the Fëanorians invade the Doriath realm, we envisioned how it could be if one of the brothers could withstand the most outspoken one: Celegorm. Yet, still in this story rivalry remains on many levels: rivalry amongst kin, rivalry between races.

And the tension between those that can possibly be allies, because in truth they all have one purpose: to defeat Morgoth, yet the ways to attain their goal are totally different. Some of them just want to survive and go on with their routine. Others want to fight and challenge everyone that stand on their path, be they friends or foes.

When we started to explore this idea, we were both struck as in how much alike we were in how to write this story. Before we knew it, we were busy writing scenes after scenes, and in a co-joint adventure this story was born. Where our characters dealt with the theme of this day, we as writers performed as a great team, strengthening the other in our words and thoughts.


aranthir cursed quietly. The group came to a full stop. Curufin’s stallion started to rear as the tension of the moment peaked roughly, awaking Maeglin from his slumber. The three brothers without an extra rider prepared their bows rapidly. Maedhros and Maglor exchanged a tense glance.

“Celegorm hold your tongue!” Maglor warned his brother. Too much depended on this moment. In a serious tone, he ordered Beleg, “Lead the way to your king, chief of the march-wardens.”

“You know what we agreed upon,” Beleg answered cautiously.

"We will hold to our promises, Cúthalion,” Maglor stated calmly. “Amrod, Amras, Celegorm… please lower your bows and gather all our arms.”

“Maglor, are you out of your mind!” Celegorm whirled his horse in anger.

With a fluent motion, Beleg dismounted, retrieving his bow and an arrow from the quiver at the same time. Taking a few steps backward he pulled the bowstring, ready to release the arrow, aiming at the sons of Fëanor while slightly turning from side to side.

"Do as I say! Gather our weapons and place them on the ground over there where our hosts can see them,” Maglor continued and silently pleaded for his order to work.

“Maglor!” The twins joined Celegorm in his protest.

“Do as you are told!” Maedhros voice boomed over the path. “We will enter the realm of the Sindar unarmed. Unless they are afraid of our words.”

“Well, well, I do not think I agreed upon anything with any of you,” Mablung shouted, once again moving his hand. “You will stay here, because I have no intention of letting you in. Do I make myself clear?”

One of the arrows whizzed a hairsbreadth from Caranthir’s helmet.

“It was a mere warning,” Mablung called out.

"The Gift" by Elleth

The Silmarillion and the History of Middle-earth both take note of more than one occurence fitting today's topic, and being historical accounts of Arda, they are necessarily biased in some way or another, and thus open for further exploration. One such case: The conflicts between Fëanor and Fingolfin have many stories written about them, but it is easy to forget that there are other sides as well. They may remain unseen or unspoken-of, but in some cases trying to pin them down may bring a wholly different level (or levels) to the story - what, for example, about their wives?


elperion is waning when he walks into the bedroom, with his back held too straight and his eyes too bright. If that happens, she has learned, there is news from Tirion that he dislikes. He can never keep it a secret for long, so she waits while he undresses and washes and comes into bed.

"Anairë gave birth to a daughter today. They mean to name her Irissë."

Her back is turned to him, and she is painfully aware that his voice comes from a distance. It hovers over the space between them, that cold space in the middle of the bed that she so loathes. And yet, each night she moves closer to the egde. She has her reasons; a quick movement and a tumble to the floor have spared her his attentions many times.

"I will draft a message of congratulations come morning," she replies. "And make a gift." She knows he loathes that task and the admission that his brother has accomplished something he could not. Fëanáro keeps his silence, but he is not asleep. "In fact... I will start now."

She rises and puts on a dressing gown, and walks downstairs into her studio.

Laurelin is waning when she finishes her work, with her head bowed and her eyes red and tired. There are two statuettes on the table in her studio now: One a perfect likeness of Anairë in white marble, cradling a girlchild swaddled in soft cloths - a dainty thing that will fit well into their house in Tirion. The other is less delicate - unpolished brown soapstone that bears Nerdanel's face with a look of deep envy and empty arms. It is standing too close to the edge of the table, and when Nerdanel stumbles against it, the statuette topples to the floor.

"It is no matter," she says to Anairë and Irissë. "We were given seven children."
Her voice rings hollow in her own ears.

Excerpt from Another Man's Cage by Dawn Felagund

Rivalry is an interesting topic because, while it can be as dark and dire as War and Betrayal, it can also be amiable or playful. As such, rivalry is a lot of fun for me to write, and my stories are full of it. Brothers compete against brothers, and apprentices strive for their masters' attention. Children aim to master skills before their peers do and catch the eyes of their parents. Lords bicker in court and jockey for the favor of the King. In myriad small ways, rivalry abounds.

In the excerpt below, from my novel Another Man's Cage, the long-running rivalry between Celegorm and Fingon--cousins close in age--comes to a head. Throughout the novel, these two strive against each other for attention, for academic mastery, and in athletic prowess. At times, their rivalry takes a familiar turn into resentment and violence, but here it proceeds differently, and from this rivalry comes a new respect for the other, and maybe even friendship.


he children dance down the path in front of me. “Let us play Animals!” says Tyelkormo, eagerly, upon arriving at the lawn. Standing straight with the pride of the eldest and most powerful of the children, he points his sword and assigns roles. “I shall be a leopard. Carnistir, you are a snake. And Findekáno …” the point of his sword drifts in his young cousin’s direction and he smirks, “you shall be a mule.”

Before I can even open my mouth to speak, Findekáno’s brow wrinkles and he spits, “I shall not be a mule,” and Tyelkormo--not used to be challenged by someone a good six inches shorter than he--recoils briefly. “I shall be a Great Eagle, for they are my favorite of the animals.”

The children start their game, swinging their practice swords at each other as they mimic the animals that they play at being. Tyelkormo and Findekáno quickly dominate the game--their animal mimicry deserted--and the sound of wood colliding with wood chases the birds from the trees in an angry, alarmed flurry of wings.

I should stop the children, but I do not. I am curious.

Findekáno seems to know Tyelkormo’s next move before Tyelkormo himself does. Tyelkormo grows frustrated and ceases to rely on the powers of his mind, using brute strength and risky lunges to try to pin my tiny, darting cousin, whose face is pinched and grave but whose eyes glow with pride.

As Tyelkormo’s wooden sword comes down on Findekáno’s defenseless shoulder, he thrusts his own sword into Tyelkormo’s unprotected abdomen, and both cry out at the same time and fall aside. I wait for tears to well, but neither makes a sound. Findekáno speaks first. “Well, it is a draw then,” he says, and Tyelkormo shifts and then nods. “Sure. A draw.”

Excerpt from "The last words" by Rhapsody the Bard

This story came into being when I was writing my NaNoWriMo novel, work title Bard Rising, where Maglor remembered that his mother and father had a quarrel before they went to Formenos, being banned from court. I decided not to elaborate on it in the novel, but marked it as a side story. Writing this novel felt as a journey, having never done the NaNoWriMo before, it was so tempting to weave in this memory in the story. Afterwards, I am glad I ignored my muse and gave it a story of its own. For long have I pondered on Nerdanel’s hardship and despite that she must have known the consequences of being married to a smith and the irregularities in work hours. To me it must have felt like sheer agony to see your husband being ensnared to his own work. The Silmarillion says that:

For Fëanor began to love the Silmarils with a greedy love, and grudged the sight of them to all save to his father and his seven sons; he seldom remembered now that the light within them was not his own.
Chapter 7: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

With the piece, I tried to bring across how Nerdanel reacted to this fight for her husband’s heart, sharing the love of her husband with these jewels and in the end the two of them became estranged. This first and final meeting of Nerdanel and the three jewels and the rivalry between them is the result of it. The novel Bard Rising is however still awaiting further editing.


here was not much time left before her husband would come and step in between them. She must hurry this task! Envy washed over her and she quickly closed the distance to where the box sat. Patiently and in silence. It seemed to beckon her. Goading...

Hesitating at first, then swallowing her fear, she opened it and the brilliance of the three jewels enveloped her in a rainbow of shimmering light, sparkling faceted reflections in her face as they waxed and waned in their power. Seemingly as if she had awakened them, she spoke. “You have broken my heart, you three, and, even though I am not certain if you shall destroy or heal me, I shall do as I must.” Fighting down the temptation to feel enamoured by their dangerous beauty, Nerdanel continued and the glow of the jewels seemed to soothe her.

Her voice was soft now and, if the gems were actual beings, only they would hear her speak. It appeared to be so logical, to converse with them as if they could understand her. “It is not easy, you know. He will drain all of your energy, and you will need to hold on to your tact. At this moment, he just means everything to you, but know this: the feeling shall pass. And then...Oh may Nienna hear my words... Then, you will have to give all that you are to keep his love, and, in the blink of an eye, your allure will be gone. It will be a test. A test that I failed miserably, even after giving him seven sons and enduring all that I have. Is it so impossible to see that it is not easy with that man? Oh! I do hope that you shall fail!”