I used to be the anonymous editor 184.108.40.206 (contribs) (talk), but I grew a name of my own.
Unanswerable questions that keep me up nights
- When exactly did Celeborn leave Middle-earth? (My speculation on the subject)
- What happened to Elladan and Elrohir?
- Did any Noldor remain in Middle-earth after the White Ship left? The Silmarillion suggests not, Appendix A hedges.
- If so, what about after the Last Ship?
- Who counts as a Noldo for this purpose? (The sons of Elrond? Noldor-blooded Galadhrim)?
- Did any Eldar choose to fade in Middle-earth rather than leave bodily (e.g. Thranduil)?
- Did any Elves build their own ships (cf. Legolas) after the "Last" Ship?
- Did any Silvans or Avari choose to go West?
- Did Avari have the grace to go West?
- If not, do Silvans count as Eldar?
- Which four of the Seven Rings were consumed by dragonfire? The only one we know for sure survived is the Ring of the Longbeards.
- Who were the Nine Nazgûl?
- Was the Witch-king truly of Númenórean descent? Tolkien's final word on the subject (which is buried as deeply as anything Tolkien-related could possibly be while still being available to the public) was literally "probably."
- Was "Khamûl" a nom de guerre that described only the Ringwraith, or did this name derive from his original "mortal" identity?
- Were all nine of the Men to whom Sauron gave a Ring in the Second Age serving as Nazgûl during the War of the Ring, or was there turnover?
- Who actually slew Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance? Gil-galad, Elendil, or Isildur?
- Why didn't Orodreth send Finduilas to Círdan for safekeeping at the same time as Gil-galad?
- What years were Finduilas and Gil-galad born?
|My speculation on the subject
|• We know Gil-galad was a child (less than 50 years old) when Minas Tirith fell to Sauron in F.A. 456, but Finduilas could have been an adult at that time, in which case she would have been less in need of such protective measures. If so, she may have already been betrothed to (or otherwise romantically involved with) Gwindor, which would give her a motive to remain on Tol Sirion while Dorthonion was being overrun.
|• We know that some of Angrod's people went to the Havens after the fall of Dorthonion in F.A. 455, so Orodreth's family would not be alone among the Noldor of the House of Finarfin (or even the House of Angrod) in forsaking Nargothrond.
|• The family could potentially have reunited after the Sons of Fëanor were expelled from Nargothrond in F.A. 465 and the Union of Maedhros cleansed Beleriand in preparation for the Nirnaeth Arnoediad in F.A. 472. It could be that they did not so in this period of safety because Gil-galad was still very young or because all the Elves would have known that this momentary peace was merely a prelude to another Great Battle. After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Morgoth had free rein in Beleriand and it was too dangerous for women and children to travel.
- Who is the elder: Elros or Elrond?
|My speculation on the subject
|• The Problem of Ros implies, without outright confirming, that it was Elros. This has two implications that concord with other elements of the Legendarium.
|• First, Elrond did not make any claim to the title High King of the Noldor after the death of Gil-galad. This is already adequately explained by the extinction of the House of Finwë in the male line in Middle-earth, so this is neither conclusive nor necessary. Even so, if Elrond were junior to Elros, then among the heirs of Finwë through female lines Elrond would be junior to Aragorn and therefore unable to press a claim.
|• It is unclear if Elros removed himself from the succession by choosing the Fate of Men, as there is no precedent for this. Dior Eluchil established precedent both for Peredhil and female-line descendants to inherit Elvish royal titles, but he chose the Fate of Elves and was a king of Sindar rather than Noldor. Both of these complicating factors make it difficult to judge the extent to which his example should inform the case of Elros.
|• Second, even if Elladan and/or Elrohir were to choose the Fate of Men, Elrond being junior to Elros would still make Aragorn the most senior dynast of the House of Eärendil in Middle-earth. This concords with Eldarion's implicit position as the ultimate inheritor of all royal bloodlines among the Eldar and Edain. However, neither Elladan nor Elrohir are known to have so chosen, so an elder Elrond would pose no difficulty if the twins departed with Celeborn.
- What was the true fate of Tuor and Idril?
- Does the Sleeper in the Tower of Pearl relate to them in any way?
- Tolkien was clear that the Sleeper was not Idril, but could they have been Tuor?
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