RE: Denethor's beard? (Was RE: Tolkien on Elf beards)
- I was searching for something else when I stumbled on this
interesting old post, but I can't find that there was ever any follow-
up on one small point, by Michael Martinez or anyone else:
"...Denethor sports a long white beard..."
Was Denethor bearded? I didn't know that, and I can't find a
reference to it in The Lord of the Rings. Does anyone have a
I know of a website that purports to list the eye and hair colors
(including beards) of all the characters in LotR, The Hobbit, The
Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales:
but even if that site is completely accurate, merely not listing a
beard color for Denethor doesn't mean there is no beard, only that
its color is not given in the text of those books.
Is Denethor described as having a beard elsewhere? In LotR drafts,
I did read an interesting short essay on Denethor about a year ago
that noted that his face is described in more detail than most other
characters in LotR:
Nothing there about a beard (or lack of one), however.
>>--- Mysthoc message #6263discussion through the years. Happily, it can all be resolved with a
>>--- On Aug 7, 2002 6:17 pm, "michael_martinez2" <michael@...> wrote:
>>This whole "bearded Elves" issue has caused a great deal of
few citations....which I am unable to provide, because I'm about to
leave work and don't know when my Internet access at home will be
restored. Still, here is what I can recall on my own. Treat it as a
rough summation of the facts, subject to correction at a later time.
>>The passage in UNFINISHED TALES is found in the chapter onGaladriel and Celeborn and is in one of the appendices. It concerns
Prince Imrahil's Elvish ancestry, and Christopher Tolkien paraphrases
some late-life essay of his father's. Many readers have taken this
as the final word in Elf beards.
>>But it's not. A couple of issues back, VINYAR TENGWAR publishedsome additional material for "The Shibboleth of Feanor". In one of
the notes associated with this material, JRRT writes that Nerdanel's
father was remarkable for having grown a beard in the Second Cycle
(of his life).
>>The reader is left to infer that all male Elves normally growbeards when they reach their Third Cycle (no clues, yet, as to what
defines a cycle of life). Cirdan, by inference (rather than
implication, since the note does not mention him), must have long
since reached his Third Cycle by the end of the Third Age.
>>Since Denethor sports a long white beard, and since the statue ofthe Gondorian king by the crossroads (where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum
watch the army from Minas Morgul pass by) has a beard, it must be
accepted that Dunadan men DID grow beards, but perhaps because of
their Elvish ancestry (THE PEOPLES OF MIDDLE-EARTH says that the
Stewards were "ultimately of royal origin"), some of the Dunedain did
not grow beards until THEIR Third Cycle (or some Dunadan/half-elf
equivalent of the full Elvish Third Cycle).
- --- In email@example.com, "Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@...>
> I did read an interesting short essay on Denethor about a year
> that noted that his face is described in more detail than mostother
> characters in LotR:In the absence of other evidence, I would apply ejusdem generis
here and say he was (probably) beardless. Of course that says
nothing about his genetics, just his razor.
Take MM with a grain of salt- he does tend to extrapolate
"facts" where there are only possibilities. The "true" answer is
dormitat Homerus: Tolkien really wasn't paying attention when he
stuck beards on Cirdan and the ancient statue. Convincing as
Tolkien is, there isn't actually an underlying reality to be