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Elfstone

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'''Elfstone''', also known as the '''Elessar''' or the '''Stone of [[Eärendil]]''', is a famous green jewel that [[Galadriel]] gives as a gift to [[Aragorn II|Aragorn]] just before the [[Fellowship of the Ring]] leaves the wood of [[Lothlórien]]. This stone, worn by Aragorn, later causes him to also be given the name of Elessar by the people of [[Minas Tirith in Gondor|Minas Tirith]].
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[[File:John Howe - Elessar (Elfstone).jpg|thumb|''Elessar'' by [[John Howe]]]]
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The '''Elessar''', translated as '''Elfstone''' in [[Westron]], also known as '''Stone of [[Eärendil]]''', was one, or possibly two, fabulous green gem(s) whose legends of creation are conflicting and complex.
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==History==
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The Elessar, or at least the first of them, was made in [[Gondolin]] during the [[First Age]]. Some name [[Enerdhil]] the jewelsmith as its maker, but others say it was his pupil, [[Celebrimbor]] son of [[Curufin]].<ref name="CG">{{UT|6}}</ref> The Elessar was green as the leaves but had the light of the [[Sun]] trapped within it; it was marveled by the [[Noldor]], and those who looked through it were said to see the withered or aged as whole and young again. It was even claimed to grant some power of healing to its wearer.<ref name="CG"/>
  
There are a variety of stories about the jewel's origin in the ''[[Unfinished Tales]]'':
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This Elessar was saved from the [[Fall of Gondolin]] by [[Idril]], who gave it to her son [[Eärendil]], and with Eärendil it was carried across the Sea to the [[Blessed Realm]].<ref name="CG"/>
{{quote|There was in [[Gondolin]] a jewel-smith named [[Enerdhil]], and he was the greatest of that craft among the [[Noldor]] after the death of [[Fëanor]]... it came into his heart to make a jewel which the clear light of the sun should be imprisoned, but the jewel should be green as leaves. And he made this thing, and even the Noldor marvelled at it. For it is said that those who looked through this stone saw things that were withered or burned healed again or as they were in the grace of their youth, and that the hands of one who held it brought to all that they touched healing from hurt.|''[[Unfinished Tales]]'', "The Elessar"}}
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The gem was then given to [[Idril]] the fairest in Gondolin and she in turn gave it to her son Eärendil and he takes it to [[Valinor]] and never returns.  
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A legend says that Celebrimbor, who was in love with [[Galadriel]], remade another version of the lost jewel with less power than the original, in the [[Second Age]]. It was made as her behest, pained at the state of [[Middle-earth]].<ref name="CG"/>
  
Here the story diverges into two versions:
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However another legend says that when the [[Wizards]] were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth in the [[Third Age]], [[Gandalf|Olórin]] brought back Earendil's jewel as a token from [[Yavanna]] that the [[Valar]] had not forsaken them; as [[Gandalf]], he gave it to Galadriel, and remarked prophetically that she would only hold it for a little while, before she passed it to another, who will also [[Aragorn|be called Elessar]].<ref name="CG"/>
# [[Gandalf]] brings back the jewel from Valinor and gives it to [[Galadriel]], as a token from [[Yavanna]] that the [[Valar]] have not forsaken Middle-earth. In this version Gandalf also remarks prophetically to Galadriel that she will only hold it for a little while, before she passes it to another, who will also be called Elessar.
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# Galadriel is pained at the state of Middle-earth and wants something to help heal its wounds. [[Celebrimbor]], who is in love with Galadriel, remakes the jewel as her behest. It is interesting to note that Celebrimbor was also in Gondolin in the time of [[Enerdhil]] and learned much from him. Although we are more familiar with Celebrimbor (and his [[Rings of Power]]), he was actually overshadowed by the superior skill of Enerdhil, who was second only to Fëanor.  
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There is also a third version that differs greatly from the first two. In that there is no mention of Enerdhil and instead it was Celebrimbor himself who in Gondolin made the original jewel. Eärendil takes this jewel to Valinor forever and in the [[Second Age]] Galadriel asks Celebrimbor to remake the jewel again.  
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===The Elessar of the Third Age===
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Whatever the origins of Galadriel's Elfstone were, she gave it to her daughter [[Celebrían]], who in turn gave it to [[Arwen]]. <ref name="CG"/>
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[[File:Gift.jpg|thumb|Galadriel giving the Elessar to Aragorn]]
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However by the time the [[Fellowship of the Ring]] visited the wood of [[Lothlórien]] it was again under Galadriel's possession. When the Fellowship departed and Galadriel offered them [[gifts of Galadriel|her gifts]], the Elessar was the gift for [[Aragorn]]<Ref>{{FR|II8}}</ref>. This giving held the function of a wedding gift from the family of the bride to the groom, foretelling his marriage to Arwen.<ref>{{HM|MR}}, [[Laws and Customs among the Eldar]]</ref>
  
All versions end with the jewel in Galadriel's possession. She then gives it to her daughter [[Celebrían]], who in turn gives it to [[Arwen]]. It nonetheless is in Galadriel's keeping in Lothlórien before she passes it on to Aragorn. According to J.R.R. Tolkien, this also held the function of a wedding gift from the family of the bride to the groom.
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The Elfstone was worn by Aragorn ever after, and this causes him to also be given the name of '''King Elessar''' by the people of [[Minas Tirith]].
  
Another point of note, is that Aragorn urged [[Bilbo Baggins]] to include a green jewel in his poem about Eärendil, possibly anticipating the symbolic importance that the gem would have in his life. Bilbo Baggins, obeying Aragorn but seemingly unaware of the Elfstone's story, included an inaccurate reference to an emerald.
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==In lore==
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[[Bilbo Baggins]], during his stay in [[Rivendell]], was urged by Aragorn to include a green jewel in his [[Song of Eärendil]], possibly anticipating the symbolic importance that the gem would have in his life. Bilbo Baggins, obeying Aragorn but seemingly unaware of the Elfstone's story, included an inaccurate reference to an emerald.<Ref>{{FR|II1}}</ref>
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{{References}}
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{{Giftsofgaladriel}}
  
 
[[Category:Rings and Jewels]]
 
[[Category:Rings and Jewels]]
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[[de:Elessar (Edelstein)]]
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[[fr:encyclo/artefacts/bijoux/elessar]]
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[[fi:Elessar (jalokivi)]]

Revision as of 19:42, 9 June 2012

Elessar by John Howe

The Elessar, translated as Elfstone in Westron, also known as Stone of Eärendil, was one, or possibly two, fabulous green gem(s) whose legends of creation are conflicting and complex.

Contents

History

The Elessar, or at least the first of them, was made in Gondolin during the First Age. Some name Enerdhil the jewelsmith as its maker, but others say it was his pupil, Celebrimbor son of Curufin.[1] The Elessar was green as the leaves but had the light of the Sun trapped within it; it was marveled by the Noldor, and those who looked through it were said to see the withered or aged as whole and young again. It was even claimed to grant some power of healing to its wearer.[1]

This Elessar was saved from the Fall of Gondolin by Idril, who gave it to her son Eärendil, and with Eärendil it was carried across the Sea to the Blessed Realm.[1]

A legend says that Celebrimbor, who was in love with Galadriel, remade another version of the lost jewel with less power than the original, in the Second Age. It was made as her behest, pained at the state of Middle-earth.[1]

However another legend says that when the Wizards were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth in the Third Age, Olórin brought back Earendil's jewel as a token from Yavanna that the Valar had not forsaken them; as Gandalf, he gave it to Galadriel, and remarked prophetically that she would only hold it for a little while, before she passed it to another, who will also be called Elessar.[1]

The Elessar of the Third Age

Whatever the origins of Galadriel's Elfstone were, she gave it to her daughter Celebrían, who in turn gave it to Arwen. [1]

File:Gift.jpg
Galadriel giving the Elessar to Aragorn

However by the time the Fellowship of the Ring visited the wood of Lothlórien it was again under Galadriel's possession. When the Fellowship departed and Galadriel offered them her gifts, the Elessar was the gift for Aragorn[2]. This giving held the function of a wedding gift from the family of the bride to the groom, foretelling his marriage to Arwen.[3]

The Elfstone was worn by Aragorn ever after, and this causes him to also be given the name of King Elessar by the people of Minas Tirith.

In lore

Bilbo Baggins, during his stay in Rivendell, was urged by Aragorn to include a green jewel in his Song of Eärendil, possibly anticipating the symbolic importance that the gem would have in his life. Bilbo Baggins, obeying Aragorn but seemingly unaware of the Elfstone's story, included an inaccurate reference to an emerald.[4]


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Farewell to Lórien"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, Laws and Customs among the Eldar
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
Gifts of Galadriel
Andúril's sheath Elfstone Boromir's belt
Merry and Pippin's belts Sam's garden box Hair of Galadriel
Bow of the Galadhrim Phial of Galadriel