Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

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PalmettoMike
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Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by PalmettoMike » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:06 pm

So we know that most of the men & the Dwarves bury their dead in some fashion, but would PC's see a hobbit or elven graveyard? Any scholar out there wise in such matters?

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ThrorII
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by ThrorII » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:19 pm

Tolkien wrote that Dwarves entomb their dead (and I think he said they 'return to stone'), and Elves bodies quickly deteriorated.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:13 pm

ThrorII wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:19 pm
Tolkien wrote that Dwarves entomb their dead (and I think he said they 'return to stone'), and Elves bodies quickly deteriorated.
I don't think that Tolkien was being literal when he suggested that dead Dwarves 'return to stone'. At least not in the way that most Trolls are turned to stone by sunlight.

I suspect that Hobbits bury their dead, but not normally in mounds.

The burial customs of the Elves might vary a bit depending on if we are talking about East-elves, Mirkwood Elves, the Elves of Lothlórien, or High Elves. I don't think that the Eldar held their dead in very much reverence since the body was of much less significance than the soul (which might be reembodied in Valinor). Placing a cairn of stones over the grave of an Elf seems to have been a common practice.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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ThrorII
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by ThrorII » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:19 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:13 pm
ThrorII wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:19 pm
Tolkien wrote that Dwarves entomb their dead (and I think he said they 'return to stone'), and Elves bodies quickly deteriorated.
I don't think that Tolkien was being literal when he suggested that dead Dwarves 'return to stone'. At least not in the way that most Trolls are turned to stone by sunlight.

I suspect that Hobbits bury their dead, but not normally in mounds.

The burial customs of the Elves might vary a bit depending on if we are talking about East-elves, Mirkwood Elves, the Elves of Lothlórien, or High Elves. I don't think that the Eldar held their dead in very much reverence since the body was of much less significance than the soul (which might be reembodied in Valinor). Placing a cairn of stones over the grave of an Elf seems to have been a common practice.
Yeah, not *poof* like Trolls. I found the quote, from 'The Simirillian'. It was an Elvish belief that the Dwarves returned to stone (meaning they had no souls, and were only animated by Aule). The Dwarves, it says, didn't believe that. It is possible, given their creation story, that Dwarves don't decay like Men and Hobbits at death, and rather 'calicfy' or 'fossilize' . Just a conjecture. We know that at the end of the War of Dwarves and Orcs, in front of Moria, that the Dwarves burned their dead, for they were too many, but that it wasn't there preferred way. They could have dug graves (it isn't much harder, especially if you have several dead dwarves to a grave), but that is not there way. They entomb (leading to the conjecture that in some way they do 'return to stone').

It seemed that Elves turned to dust amazingly fast (days? weeks?) If that is the case, then possibly they just laid them on a 'burial slab' type bed, wreathed in flowers and such, and left them for a day or two.

Grimboldfrood
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by Grimboldfrood » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:14 am

In the Scouring of the Shire, it says that the hobbit dead were laid together in a a grave on the hillside, and later set up a stone and small garden. So, sounds like a standard burial.

BookBarbarian
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:05 pm

Grimboldfrood wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:14 am
In the Scouring of the Shire, it says that the hobbit dead were laid together in a a grave on the hillside, and later set up a stone and small garden. So, sounds like a standard burial.
If anything I imagine Hobbits would have had the most "Modern" burial customs. Meaning probably the most similar to what Tolkein himself grew up with.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:11 pm

Grimboldfrood wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:14 am
In the Scouring of the Shire, it says that the hobbit dead were laid together in a a grave on the hillside, and later set up a stone and small garden. So, sounds like a standard burial.
Burials, yes, but mass graves would not have been the norm; that was under exceptional circumstances.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Grimboldfrood
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by Grimboldfrood » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:08 pm

Not saying that mass burials were the norm - just that burial seems to be hobbit standard practice for their dead. I agree that mass burials are for exceptional circumstances, as we do that for major events such as disasters etc. I suppose that hobbits could be influenced by the barrows on their borders, and that important hobbits in the past may have burial mounds, but I do not recall any reference to that in LoTR or TH. Standard burial and memorial gardens seem to 'feel right' to me, so that is what I would use.

WellImBackHeSaid
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by WellImBackHeSaid » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:23 pm

PalmettoMike wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:06 pm
Dwarves bury their dead in some fashion
Such dealings with their dead seemed grievous to the Dwarves, for it was against their use; but to make such tombs as they were accustomed to build (since they will lay their dead only in stone not in earth) would have taken many years. To fire therefore they turned, rather than leave their kin to beast or bird or carrion-orc. But those who fell in Azanulbizar were honoured in memory, and to this day a Dwarf will say proudly of one of his sires: 'he was a burned Dwarf', and that is enough.

PalmettoMike
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Re: Hobbit dead/Elf Dead

Post by PalmettoMike » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:32 am

Again, thanks to all for detailed replies.
One follow-up if I may?
Did the orcs cannibalize their dead, or just simply leave them to rot? Would a great chieftain or warrior if their I'll be honored with a tomb?

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