Sex in Middle Earth

Discussion in 'Debates' started by havelockploz, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    :humper: Erm, Yeah.

    That's basically what this thread's about, really. The search for the answer to the eternal question: What do Middle Earth's inhabitants do when the sun has gone through the Doors of Night and the urge to procreate is upon them? Obviously something, as their little kiddies are living proof, but WHAT?

    I think we can assume that men (humans) and hobbits (probably a subspecies of men) have similar sex lives to humans nowadays, although they beg one question: Where are their gays, lesbians, homosexuals? Is there some pseudo-Sodom and Gomorrah and a Middle Earth Lesbos somewhere in the far East or South, where the inhabitants do their unholy thing inspired by Melkor (or, alternatively, they just go about their business, zhuzh-ing the shirts of passers-by, doing what they do, and that's fine because whatever turns you on is good and being gay is a perfectly natural thing ;) ) I'm not gay, BTW.

    Dwarves are a surprisingly easy species to study the sex life of, because of the amount of material on the subject, the most well known of which is Gimli's comment on the way to Helm's Deep in LoTR TT.
    "Dwarf women are, in fact, so alike in voice and appearance (to the men) that they are often mistaken for Dwarf men. This has given rise to the belief that there are no Dwarf women, and that Dwarves simply spring out of holes in the ground! Which is of course ridiculous..."
    This, basically, implies that Dwarves are born in the normal way (I assume you don't need a description) and that Dwarf women exist, but are very alike to the men, apart from the most important way.
    There are some other quotes on this subject that are relevant. They are not written by TOlkien, but obviously inspired by him. (Prize of a can of spam for anyone who can tell me where these are from :) )
    Quote 1: "The pronoun (he) is used by dwarves to indicate both sexes. All dwarves have beards and wear up to twelve layers of clothing. Gender is more or less optional."
    This one basically enforces Gimli's quote, although what Aragorn says in the movie about beards may contradict this. I didn't really get what he was saying, there. :(
    Quote 2: "'And you never see their women,' said Lady Sara Omnius. 'I find that very...suspicious. You know what they say about dwarves,' she added darkly. Vimes sighed. He was just about aware that you saw their women all the time, although they looked just like male dwarves. Surely EVERYONE knew that, who knew anything about dwarves?"
    Ditto.
    Quote 3: "Dwarvish courtship basically consisted of tactfully trying to find out what gender the other dwarf was."
    Priceless. Dwarvish courtship in a nutshell. Please feel free to disagree if you wish.

    Now we come to the hard races of Middle Earth. First come the elves, deceptively difficult. I know that calling out "Metrosexual!" Whenever Legolas enters the room made it into the top 50 inappropriate things to do in LoTR ROTK (Thanks to Witchking for that one ;) ) but what is the real answer? It seems simple until you consider that elves are immortal, and even the most miniscule birthrate (1 birth per mother per decade) would make a huge impact overall, and the population would skyrocket, because of the almost non-existant deathrate. What is going on there? Either only a small amount of Elves are capable of producile little elves/heterosexual or there has been some sort of mystical gift of contraceptives to the elves at the moment of their awakening at Cuivenien. What is it?

    Even harder are the Ents. Think about it. When the Entwives were around, how did they make Entings. Considering they are a sort of cross between a human and a tree, are we talking about some serious pollenation here, or what? Eeek! :eek:

    Orcs. Apparently they are immortal and 'bred like rats' in the abandoned Moria. Need I say anything more? :halo:

    And now we come to the totally unthinkable. Does Gandalf swing the way of actor Ian McKellen? Is it Gandalf the Gay? Of course, he is a Maia, a kind of angel. This leads on to the topic 'Is there sex in heaven?' which could be discussed somewhere else.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.


    Disclaimer: I realise that Tolkien probably never meant his work to be analysed in this way. I do not mean any offence to Tolkien or his masterpiece in this post. Remember, if you find this to vulgar, no-one is forcing you to read it!
     
  2. aini

    aini Elenya

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    Sorry ... what's a metrosexual????? (sooooo slow - it's my age!)

    ***
     
  3. Durthang

    Durthang Demon of Might

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    I think it's anybody who reads free newspapers on public transport ;)
     
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  4. celebrimor

    celebrimor Elven Jewel-smith

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    no metrosexual (from what i heard) is basiclly a guy who pampers him self...
     
  5. Elvenblademaster

    Elvenblademaster New Member

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    Ok guess what havelock, tolkien didn't write down all that sstuff, because he didn't care, and I don't either, the only the I remember about the elves is something like, "there is rarely lust between them..." something along those lines. But there were no homosexuals in ME. Tolkien was catholic, he would burn his books before writing that....
     
  6. Asgath

    Asgath Heavy-metal dwarf

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  7. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Tolkien was in the military, I'm sure he was aware of homosexuality. And there are gays in the Catholic church too.

    He probably didn't write about homosexual Elves because they didn't ask for equal rights. Maybe he was hoping that they would all just go away....;)
     
  8. Sindarking01

    Sindarking01 Lord Of the Grey Elves

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    Not to mention perverted priests touching litle boys
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Welll.. the only "scene" I know of in Tolkiens books is the one between Turin and Niniel. It is very short, something like "and they slept together" but we can conclude that they do it actually modern human stile, though on positions may be speculated. Talkin about your strange relationships: they were brother and sister.
     
  10. theoden

    theoden 1st Marshal of the Mark

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    Ok guys, lets drop politics here for a second. Homosexuality is NEVER addressed by Tolkein, this mean one of a few things. A. there is no homosexuality in ME. B. there is and it is simply not written about, C. he never really considered the topic much. Considering his staunch Catholic beliefs and use of medieval ideals for setting up ME I think A is the most likely.
    As for elves, we can rest assured they reproduce the ame way humans do because we know that humans and elves interbred on more than one occasion. In addition we know that elves can have many kids if they want, I.E. Feanor and his seven sons, Elrond had three kids, and Arwen had a son and "several daughters". Most likely elves somehow control it becaus of a near zero death rate and their tendency toward equilibrium.
    Orcs we know almost nothing about, other than that they are "bred" or "spawn" who knows what that means.
    As for Gandalf, well he is a maiar, and most likely essentialy a-sexual, despite being decidedly male.
     
  11. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Hormones a-raging, Havelock?? :eek:

    From Tolkien's descriptions, I never really expected the elves to look like Legolas did in the movie. They may be described as a fair race, but never did I imagine the guys looked more feminine than many of them women. lol Gil-Galad at the Last Alliance is more what I pictured elves to look like.

    Far as population control, in both the Sil and BoLT, it is explained that there is a limited number of elves. Something like 'their number grows or minishes not'. I quoted the reference in another debate and can do so again if you wish. Elves when they die are reborn into another body. The death-rate is probably higher than you think, given the amount of wars in ME. Large amounts of elves frequently die, such as the Seige of Gondolin. So, I guess nobody gets pregnant until another elf dies. And being such an advanced race, I'm sure they have Elvish methods of birth control better than the asprin method. hehe

    No, please don't.

    I'd imagine it'd look something like this. ;)
     

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  12. Durthang

    Durthang Demon of Might

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    Watching The Two Towers will never be quite the same again ;)
     
  13. asap

    asap New Member

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    Heheheheh... Great post, havelockploz :D It should really stand as an independent short-essay ;)

    Now, I don't see anything unnatural in raising a discussion about such matters just like we discuss any other less-known aspects of life in Middle-earth.

    Hmm... I'll return to this when I'm less tired and have something sensible to add, right now the first thought that crossed my mind when you mentioned Ents was "Splinters." ;)

    "Dwarvish courtship basically consisted of tactfully trying to find out what gender the other dwarf was."
    Now that quote is definetly worth its weight in gold :D (Yep, recognised it ;))
     
  14. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    How do Ents do it?

    Ve-e-e-e-ery slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-owly. Wouldn't want to start a bush fire, would we? :eek:
     
  15. Winterine

    Winterine Ranger-Bard

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    *lol*

    Sorry I haven't got more input here, but Sky... *lol@post* :D
     
  16. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    And I even put in a disclaimer... :(

    I wondered how long it would be before someone looked across and saw the age. ;)
    It's amazing what they teach kids these days... :D
    BTW, Aspirin Method? Please explain... :halo:
    Hmmm, those ents... The images will stay with me forever! Aaaaargh :eek:

    Thanks asap. My english teacher would be surprised if I handed it in as my semester essay :D
    Thought you might recognise it. Here's your spam: :spam:
    BTW, why have you deserted the Discworld thread? :(

    Ouch! splinters... :eek:

    More seriously, if the elves 'have no lust' this bega a few questions. Many anthropologists and zoologists believe that having sex for fun is the mark of an intelligent species. Only the three (arguably) most intelligent species on Earth do it for fun. They are us, dolphins and bonobos (a type of chimp) Are elves dumb or what?
     
  17. Elvenblademaster

    Elvenblademaster New Member

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    No when tolkien says 'lust' he means like the envy of anothers wife, like in the silmarillion when Maeglin lusted for Luthien. Or when Morgoth lusted for the silmarills, or when Isildur lusted for the one ring, as did Saruman, for tolkien he spoke of lust as an evil thing. Unless he specificly used it to desrcibe something good, as in lusting for victory over mordor or something.
     
  18. Aragorn Elessar

    Aragorn Elessar Envinyatar

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    I don't think there's much to talk about homosexuals etc in ME... in Tolkien's time, people don't talk about these matter at all. There's no such thing as equal rights for people who were different (sexual orientation, skin colour etc), these ideas were not as on the surface as they are these days, I don't suppose any people (other than the gays themselves) actually THINK about these things at all, let alone talk about it or put it in books, Catholics or not. These were simply not things that people think about or would put any thought into.

    But if we really want to discuss things like homosexuality in ME, I suppose that since ME is sort of a pre-history to Ancient Europe, and seeing that there were so many homosexual royalties and nobels, and the crossbredding among nobel families, I suppose they exist? Brothers and sisters sleeping together isn't such a big problem for them, and nor was mother-son or any other variety you can think of (and that's the reason that led to the ill health of Europe's royal families in some time in the past few centuries, forgot which, been a long time since those history lessons).

    But I suppose even the elves have sex? If not it'd be kinda strange. Just imagine: Elron and Elros were half-elves. If elves can't have sex, then how did half-elves pop out? Another example: Arwen's an elf, but after she abandons her immortality, she'll have a kid with Elessar. If their physiology were not compatible, then it'd mean that Arwen's body was physically transformed when she decides to be a mortal... (like somethings pop up on her body her somethings vanishes... hm...). So I guess that elves have sex (or at least make babies) the exact same way that humans do (think about it, even the human sperms can fertilize an elven egg).
     
  19. Aragorn Elessar

    Aragorn Elessar Envinyatar

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    Oh an another thing, which is quite off-topic, really: but "beg the question" is not supposed to be used this way. Notcriticizing you though havelockploz. It's being used this way so widely now people just supposes that it's the correct way to use it (like in TV ads etc)

    Beg the question is a critical thinking/philosophical term which means that when someone is trying to explain something, he or she is basically referring back to the question itself as an answer. Some obvious example would be like this:

    Q: Do you trust what the president is saying?
    A: I believe the president is telling the truth because he says he's telling the truth.

    This of course is an example of begging a question in the simplist form, but I hope this helps in understanding the meaning and usuage of "begging the questions", 'coz there're so many people using it wrong these days I just feel the urge to point it out.

    Here's a more elaborate example, I hope I'm not boring anyone, or just skid this post in the thread :)

    Q: Prove that God exist.
    A: The Scriptures say very clearly that God must exist.
    Q: Why should we believe what the Scriptures say?
    A: The Scriptures are divinely inspired by God himself, so it must be true.

    In the above example, the claim at issue, namely that God exist, becomes a very important premise that the argument is based on, and that's a big problem, and that's what is called that it's begging the question.

    OK rant over.
     
  20. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Very simple, proven method. ;) Hold an asprin between your knees and don't let go. Works best for women. hehe

    That was my plan. Muwhahaha :devilspin

    Interesting topic to bring up, Havelock. I'm sure this thread will have the momentum to go on for awhile.

    I am going to assume Elf/Human physiology is very similar. If it isn't there will be alot of disappointed LOTR fans out there. You pervy elf fanciers know who you are. ;)

    I always thought the term for this was "circular reasoning". oh well. Live and learn. :)
     
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