Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> In Tolkien's later writings, the term Half-elven is _only_ applied
> to people such as Elros and Elrond, Dior, and Earendil who were
> the result of Elf/_Mortal Man_ unions, and there is no evidence
> to suggest that it was ever applied to the result of other
> combinations (if these even occurred). In other words, _Peredhil,
> Pereldar_ do refer specifically to those who were half elf, half
> Edain, and to nothing else.
I think that we can even call Lúthien as _Peredhel_. She was _half-
Elven_, and though the word was originally used to express the
mergence of an Elf and a Man, I think it is possible to apply it to
children of an Elf and a Maia.
What do you think?
[On the basis of later writings, the answer to this is clearly "no".
In "The Problem of _Ros_", Dior (son of Beren and Lúthien) is
quoted as saying, "I am the first of the _Peredhil_ (Half-elven);
but I am also the heir of King Elwë, the _Eluchíl_." (XII:369) If
Dior was the FIRST of the _Peredhil_, then obviously this term did
not include his mother Lúthien (born of the union of Elf and Maia)
but must instead have referred to Dior as the offspring of an Elf
and a _Mortal Man_. This identification of Dior as the first of the
Half-elven also occurs in "The Shibboleth of Feanor": Eärendil
(son of Idril and Tuor) "was thus the second of the Pereldar
(Half-elven), the elder being Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien
I don't recall Lúthien ever being referred to by any special term
describing her as of "mixed" Elven/Maian (!?) parentage -- she
always seems to be regarded as unquestionably of Elven race.
Tolkien explicitly classifies Lúthien as simply one of the Eldar
in Appendix A, §I "The Númenorean Kings": "There were three
unions of the Eldar and the Edain: Lúthien and Beren", etc.
This is probably because the Elves were much closer _in kind_
to the Maiar than they were to Men -- both Maiar and Elves
were immortal beings whose spirits were forever bound within
the confines of the World until its ending; but Men were mortal,
and after death their spirits passed beyond the World. The union
of an Elf and Maia thus presented few, if any, "theological"
problems. The union of an Elf and a Mortal was another matter,
however, for the ultimate fates of the spirits of Elves and of Men
were wholly and irreconcilably different. Thus the offspring of
an Elf/Mortal union required a new classification and a new
term to describe it: _Peredhil, Pereldar_. -- PHW]