In this scattershot series, we’ll be delving “too greedily and too deep,” prying gems out of the glorious rough that is the extended legendarium of Tolkien’s world. This includes drawing on The Lord of the Rings itself, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, and the History of Middle-earth (or HoME) books.
Elf-kids these days! They’re so soft. They don’t know how good they’ve got it. Just Sauron, not Morgoth, is their big bad, and they can just hop on a boat at any time to escape the troubles of Middle-earth. That wasn’t an option for their parents. But then, war, love, and family have always been part of the Elven condition in Arda Marred—from the Elder Days to The Lord of the Rings days.
In the book Morgoth’s Ring, in the more-delightful-than-it-sounds section called “Laws and Customs among the Eldar,” the first thing Tolkien talks about is Elf-children. Which should immediately make us say: Wait! Why do we never read about them? Like, any of them. Are there any Eldar tykes in Middle-earth at the time of The Lord of the Rings? Might young Estel, a.k.a. Aragorn, have had one or two immortal playmates in Rivendell? Well, as with many things in his legendarium, Tolkien just doesn’t say. But we can infer some things based on Elven culture and reproductive conventions.