elven hall Picture

A hall of woodelves, as it would have been in the ageless dark, under the stars of varda. I was naturally thinking of the nandor elves in ossiriand, but really, as is usually the case with the nandor, most of my ideas concerning their lifestyle, dress and architecture would apply outside of their tribe as well, and a structure like this is one I can imagine existing just about anywhere the dark elves dwelt in the ancient forests of middle-earth.

There was a notion, common to the mythologies of many ancient peoples, that the Sun and Moon - the "great lights" which modulate our seasons, give us our days and nights, and really our sense of time - are pre-dated by the earth and even by some of its inhabitants; that they came into being later, the work of the "new gods," bringing light - and by it, order and reason - into the primordial chaos, banishing the timeless dark that had existed before and, significantly, paving the way for the awakening of our kind, Humanity. before us and before the 'great lights' the world existed in a state of timeless, unchanging night under the stars. In Tolkien's Middle-Earth, as in the ancient myths that inspired him, this was the state of the world as it was first known to the immortal "fair folk," humanity's predecessors, the Elves. Theirs was an Eden-like world in perpetual nocturnal stasis, without hours, days or years, and in which (we are lead to believe) nature itself, the plants and animals, did not age and die as they do after the rising of the moon and sun, a change which seems to impose on the world the passage of time; everything becomes more fleeting and mortal, and with the great lights - the ever dying and renewing celestial bodies - come their appropriate children, mortal men; swift and fleeting by design, visitors in the world, destined to die and depart beyond it's circles to a fate unknown. We humans are tied to the great lights, they signaled our coming into and eventally inheriting the world, and the daylight in particular we hold as our ally, facilitating our agriculture, and strengthening our hearts against fear. It's easy to see why the dark elves would have such names for us as "the children of the sun" or "the night-fearers;" the world which they knew and loved for uncounted eons would have been one entirely un-realteable to human sensibilities; unlike us they have no fear of the night, having known the dark - as Tom Bombadil puts it - "when it was fearless," before the shadows of evil poisoned it and made it fearful by association.

a note on the hall itself; the long-house seems to be the default structure for many archaic cultures; native americans, pacific islanders and ancient europeans (especially ancient germanic peoples) all built them, and seem to have used them similarly, as communal meeting houses for the gatherings of clans, feasting, and remembrance of days long past through songs and tales. It is easy to picture the nandor or myriad tribes of avarin elves, who do not otherwise have much need of architecture, building such structures to feast in and sing the stories of their people by firelight. the great tree here is a composite of many photos taken during my time wandering enraptured throught the temperate rainforrests of the pacific northwest, which may very well BE ossiriand of old. what a world the world of the dark elves must have been, flighting on bare feet, sure as squirrels, across the moss carpeted limbs of great trees in the high canopy of their enchanted woods, in the timeless starlit night. It seems reasonable enough to believe that, for their part, the "day star" is something many among the eldar never quite get used to.
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