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Author Topic: Quick LOTR questions  (Read 372 times)

Aglondir

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Quick LOTR questions
« on: December 31, 2020, 09:14:26 pm »
Is there any reference in Tolkien's works as to:

1. Elves having pointy ears?
2. Elves having darkvision?
3. Dwarves having darkvision?
4. Any race having infravision?

I think the answer to of those questions is No, but it's been some time since I read the books. 
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Mistwell

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 09:32:51 pm »
Answering to a question on Hobbit ears, Tolkien wrote that these were "only slightly pointed and 'elvish'.

In the Etymologies is stated that "the Quendian ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than Human."




Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2020, 10:39:23 pm »
Elves have keener senses than Men, and many of them are able to see into the spirit world as well, so I suspect between the two they would appear able to see in darkness. Dwarves aren't attributed with this same ability, but logic suggests a race which preferred to live underground would be able to adjust to low light conditions faster and more effectively. No race in the Tolkien legendarium, however, is ever described as being able to see heat or infrared specifically that I know of.
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Aglondir

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 03:06:31 am »
Answering to a question on Hobbit ears, Tolkien wrote that these were "only slightly pointed and 'elvish'.

In the Etymologies is stated that "the Quendian ears were more pointed and leaf-shaped than Human."

Thanks! That solves question 1.
And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Aglondir

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 03:14:37 am »
Elves have keener senses than Men, and many of them are able to see into the spirit world as well, so I suspect between the two they would appear able to see in darkness.
I thought I read somewhere where they could see under a starlit sky, but I might be confused.

Quote
Dwarves aren't attributed with this same ability, but logic suggests a race which preferred to live underground would be able to adjust to low light conditions faster and more effectively.
That makes sense. But I was wondering if there was any explicit mention. How about in the descriptions of Moria-- any torches or lanterns lying around? Torch sconces, maybe? I don't recall any.

Quote
No race in the Tolkien legendarium, however, is ever described as being able to see heat or infrared specifically that I know of.
That solves 3 and 4. Where did Gygax get infravision from? The 1970's Westworld movie (LOL)?
And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

danskmacabre

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 03:16:49 am »
There's never been any mention specifically of Dark vision or Infravision for Elves or Dwarves that I'm aware of and I've read many of the Tolkien books.

Elves certainly have superior vision than other races though (Keener vision or some such comment, amongst other comments). That is mentioned several times in LOTR.
Also Bilbo was noted as having better vision than the Dwarves in "The Hobbit". but dunno if that is specific to Bilbo.

Would think Dwarves being more accustomed to being underground and used to the environment is more an explanation than Dark vision.

 
 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 03:18:21 am by danskmacabre »

Pat

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 08:51:39 am »
Gygax read a lot of science fiction, the thermal vision may have come from trying to overrationalize something that's supposed to be magic.

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Re: Quick LOTR questions
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 10:15:30 am »
D&D elves and dwarves are more Poul Anderson than Tolkien IIRC. But yeah, I think the "thermal vision" stuff is a D&Dism.

There are some specific "game" elements too, such as NPCs losing infravision if they join the PCs.
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