Very long rant incoming! Feel free to skip over if you don't feel like reading an iffy ramble from me about Elrond's parents XD This is the first big word-post I've done (other than in the comments), so I'm sorry if I sound angry or harsh in some places! And, as always, I am open to more discussion in the comments
I had a thumbnail sketch of the first drawing in this three-stage piece, but it was done many months ago, and I kinda lost interest in fleshing it out. However, I recently went back to it and added two more thumbnails after seeing a drawing of Earendil.
All the fanart pieces that I've seen of Earendil are very beautifully done, don't get me wrong! Most of them depict him on his ship, looking carefree and and at ease. I admire the artists' work, and also their effort into painting whatever part of the ship that is shown, since I suck at drawing ships lol Most of you would know my opinion of Earendil and Elwing from my previous twins piece
, I think. I didn't go into much detail about Earendil, but I feel like I can't totally enjoy fanart of him nowadays. I'm still somewhat neutral, but it's gotten to the point where, whenever I see fanart of him where he's carefree and on a ship, I start to wonder, "Where are Elwing and the twins at this time? Has the Kinslaying already happened?"
I have a similar feeling with regards to fanfictions that I read. Just to be clear, I know they're all interpretations of the characters, and I think it's great that the fandom has so many ideas and opinions on characters' thoughts and feelings! But for me, fanfictions can easily affect how I feel about certain characters lol So I don't use them in discussions/debates; I just use the source material, which is what Tolkien wrote.
But the reason why I mention fanfictions here is because some interpretations have bothered me a bit, especially those concerning Elrond's reunion with his parents. He either forgives them right off the bat, or the day after, or maybe not at all cuz there's nothing to forgive. Now, I have nothing against Elrond forgiving them -- it can be hard to forgive, and also part of a healing process, so kudos to him! However, the part that bugs me the most is that, in most of what I've read, Earendil and Elwing are never called out for the consequences of their actions, namely the slaughter of their people and leaving their sons to the same fate. So far, I've only read two fanfics that actually do this, and Elrond does not forgive his parents immediately (or at all) in either. Remember, I'm not against him forgiving them, but it would make more sense to me (or feel more realistic, I think), if they actually discussed what happened, and if Earendil and Elwing felt genuine remorse about it.
This is where I sympathize more with Elwing than I do with Earendil, because Earendil was not there when his people were in need. He was off sailing, and this quote from the Silmarillion really makes me feel off:
"Yet Earendil could not rest, and his voyages about the shores of the Hither Lands eased not his unquiet. Two purposes grew in his heart, blended as one in longing for the wide Sea: he sought to sail thereon, seeking after Tuor and Idril who returned not; and he thought to find perhaps the Valar in the West, that should move their hearts to pity for the sorrows of Middle-Earth" (246)
This quote comes after that which mentions the twins' birth, so I think it's safe to say that he started sailing after Elwing bore their sons, and he's still sailing when the Feanorians arrive. I mean, such great timing :/ Like, I'm sure that Elwing had her handmaidens to help take care of the twins, but really, it's Earendil's responsibility to care for them too, AND for the people of Sirion, over whom he's lord! Also the way this quote reads really makes me feel that he just wanted to have his self-gratification, and the part about saving the world was just an afterthought. It even says that, "Elwing was not with him, and she sat in sorrow by the mouths of Sirion" (246). It's not mentioned how long he was away, but the way the Silmarillion puts it really makes me think that he was gone for a long, long time, what with all the adventures he had and Elwing missing him a lot.
And this also ties in to my thoughts on Elrond forgiving him. Based on the stuff above, I doubt that the twins spent a lot of time with their father, or hardly ever saw him. Sure, he could've come back to visit them once in a while, but regardless of how long they spent together, Elrond never sees him again for over 6,000 years. He experiences terrible stuff when he's a child, then he witnesses more terrible stuff when he's an adult, and loses some more members of his family. He gains wisdom and matures in mindset, and while he is a patient and strong lord, you could say that this is a very personal matter between a son and his parents. He essentially was not able to build an actual relationship with Earendil (and Elwing) over those 6,000 years, but after going to Valinor, he's able to forgive his parents right off the bat?? He hardly even knows them!
(I think I should point out at this point that this is with regards to the scenario where Elrond forgives them after he's arrived in Aman. There's also the scenario where he forgives them sometime during his life in Middle-earth, but I think that's a whole other discussion XD)
In my opinion, Earendil being a star in the sky that is visible to Elrond does not count. He's so far up there that the Silmaril, holding the light of the Two Trees, is just a speck of light in the sky like every other star. How the heck is Elrond going to form a bond with Earendil when he can't even see/talk to him? It also feels like it would be a mockery to Elrond -- like, Earendil's seen as a hero with the Silmaril on his brow, and he's flying over the world, but what was the cost? The deaths of his people and loss of his sons. I know it might seem like a small loss when you compare it to all the other wars, and the fact that Earendil succeeded in getting the Valar to get shit done, but honestly, no one deserves to go through a bloodbath.
(Then again, the people of Sirion were also morons cuz they also didn't want to give up the Silmaril, even though part of them were refugees from Doriath's Kinslaying, so I dunno what they were thinking. The Silmaril gives blessings? pfft)
So after all this, it would only make sense to me for Elrond to forgive them if they showed understanding of the consequences of their actions. And is it possible to make up for the deaths? I guess Earendil kinda did that with getting the Valar's help, but like, the people who died were probably still in the Halls of Mandos during that time, so they wouldn't have known ...
Eh, oh well, I guess. It's the fate of the Elves to be rebodied and live as long as Arda lives, so who cares if those Elves died, it's all foR tHE gReATeR GoOd!! :/
So that's my rant. Thank you for taking the time to read it, if you did
Once again, I'm sorry if I sounded too harsh or angry in some spots -- it wasn't my intention, but I've been thinking about this for a while now, and I wanted to get it off my chest. And I wanted Earendil to grovel a bit, so in the three-stage drawing, you can see that he's hugging Elrond, but Elrond isn't hugging him back. I'm leaving it up to your imagination on what happens next XDD
Also, here's the link to one of those two fanfictions that I mentioned: Fissure
The other one is between Elrond and Elwing (by a different author), but even in my eyes, it's a very ... strong interpretation/portrayal and I definitely don't imagine that that's what happened lol It's just the one fanfic that I've seen where Elrond calls Elwing out on the consequences, so if you're prepped for reading it, just let me know in the comments XD
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