BobMoCo Middle-earth Glossary

Note on Ancestry

The differences between how long Elves and Men live / stay in Middle-earth makes for confusing time-scales. Aragorn's ancestry is important to his claim to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor, and his marriage to Arwen re-unites ancient noble lines. Making a family tree is difficult. The number of generations from Arwen's oldest named Elven ancestor (Finwë) to Arwen herself is a mere 5.   However, Aragorn is the 37th Great-grandson of Elendil, founder of Arnor. That's a span of 40 generations without including Elendil's ancestors, which makes for a very lop-sided "tree" !

As the tables in The Noldor and Elven Trees show, Arwen's ancestry can be reckoned using the lines:
Finwë  -->  Finarfin  -->  Galadriel  -->  Celebrían  -->  Arwen
Olwë  -->  Eärwen  -->  Galadriel  -->  Celebrían  -->  Arwen
Elwë  -->  Lúthien  -->  Dior  -->  Elwing  -->  Elrond  -->  Arwen
Finwë  -->  Fingolfin  -->  Turgon  -->  Idril  -->  Eärendil  -->  Elrond  -->  Arwen
Although the Eldar were supposed not to marry close relatives, the manner in which they did inter-marry among themselves and with the Edain throws up some curious relationships.   Arwen's uncle is Elrond's long-dead mortal twin brother, Elros. Aragorn's ancestry reaches back through Elendil, Valandil and ... Elros.   Hence her comment that "we are kin from afar".
Using a Family Tree Program for the Inhabitants of Middle-earth
A Family Tree program designed for European-type names and details can be used, but may need to be fooled into accepting Middle-earth names. The Hobbits' family names can be a particular problem$ Once set up such a program makes it a lot easier to see who is related to who, and to produce selective printouts of parts of trees and bloodlines.
  1. The program should have automatic surname / family-name insertion disabled.
  2. Alternatively use a work-around, such as calling all Elves 'Elf' and not displaying this name.
  3. Decide in advance whether you need or wish to have single ancestors for Men and Elves, or perhaps use Tribal names (eg: Noldor, Teleri, Beor, Hador etc), so as to produce satisfactory printouts.
  4. Decide which versions of names you will use. (eg: Aragorn or Elessar. Ereinion or Gil-Galad). And how alternatives will be included.
  5. The names for Elvish trees are fairly complete here. There are, however, gaps in the Line of Elros. You may find other sites will provide additional names based upon information from the History of Middle-earth volumes.
  6. Beware of confusing - or allowing the program to confuse - the same names for different individuals. (eg: The Stewards of Gondor used the names of famous Men and Elves).

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