The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power focuses heavily on the stories of some of the most powerful Elves during the Second Age. Of course, we know for a fact that the Elves that the earlier portion of the series focuses on include the likes of Galadriel, Elrond, and Arondir. But wherever they went, they weren’t received well by the people because it became commonplace for people to hate Elves. So, why does everyone hate Elves in The Rings of Power?
The Men of the Southlands hate the Elves due to being on the opposite ends during the First Age. Númenoreans hate Elves because they have grown jealous of their immortality and superior physiology. And the Dwarves hate the Elves because of a past battle between the two races during the First Age.
There are a lot of reasons why there is animosity between the Elves and the other races of Middle-earth, and each race has its own reason for not being too fond of the Elves. Of course, some reasons are more understandable than others, while others tend to be petty. In that regard, let’s look at the deeper reasons behind why everyone hates the Elves in The Rings of Power.
Why Do The Men Of The Southland Hate The Elves?
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has allowed us to have a more focused lens on the Elves that were quite prominent during the Second Age. We know that Galadriel and Elrond both have their stories, but Arondir is one of the original characters that were never in the writings of Tolkien. And it was through his story that we got to see the relationship between the Elves and the Men of the Southlands.
From the moment Arondir was introduced, it was already clear that the Men of the Southlands were not particularly fond of the Elves. Arondir and his companion weren’t quite welcome in the town of Tirharad in the Southlands, as the Men there had their gazes on them. When Arondir entered the tavern, the people clearly didn’t want him around. So, why do the Men of the Southlands hate the Elves?
It all boils down to the history between the Elves and the Men of the Southlands. During the First Age, there were two factions of Men. The first fought alongside the Elves against Morgoth, while the second fought on the side of the dark lord. These men that fought for Morgoth were the ones that settled in the Southlands after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age.
In that regard, the Elves were wary of these Men to the point that even the watch warden of the watchtower in the Southlands told Arondir to be careful about these Men as they had the blood of the Men that stood with Morgoth flowing in their veins. These were the descendants of the very same Men that fought the Elves during the First Age, and that meant that they were on opposing sides of history.
While the Elves do have a point in not wanting to trust the Men of the Southlands, as some of them were clearly still loyal to Morgoth and Sauron, as seen near the end of episode 4, there were still those who hated the fact that the Elves kept a watchful eye on them. Some of them didn’t like the fact that the Elves treated them like they were evil just because they were the descendants of the Men that stood with Morgoth centuries ago. And this was made clear when one of the younger Men in the tavern was angry enough to ask Arondir when they were going to let the past go.
Why Do The Men Of Númenor Hate The Elves?
We already know that the Men of the Southlands had every reason to hate the Elves because the Elves themselves didn’t trust them enough to leave them alone to live their lives away from their prying eyes. However, Galadriel herself wasn’t quite sure why the Men of Númenor weren’t too welcoming of her when she got there and why they cut off all communication with the Elves many years ago.
In the past, the Men of Númenor and the Elves had a great relationship because they fought alongside one another against Morgoth. It was the fact that these men fought against Morgoth that made the Valar reward them with their own island, which ultimately became Númenor. And with Elrond’s brother Elros ruling the Númenoreans as their first king, they had a great relationship with the Elves.
Nevertheless, as Galadriel said, the Númenoreans suddenly cut off all ties and communication with the Elves years ago. And the reasoning behind this was unclear on the part of the Elves, but what was clear was that the Númenoreans weren’t quite fond of them when they didn’t treat Galadriel properly.
History would say that the Númenoreans hated the Elves due to the fact that they resented their immortality. There was a point in the past when the Númenoreans accepted their mortality as a gift but grew to fear death, and that was the reason why they grew to become jealous of the fact that the Elves were immortal and had bodies that didn’t require rest or sleep. As the angry mob in episode 4 showed, the Men of Númenor didn’t want the Elves around because they were taking away their livelihood simply because they had superior physical capabilities.
It was this hatred for the Elves that allowed two factions to rise. The first one was the mainstream faction that hated the Elves, while the second one was the Faithful, composed of a few Númenoreans (Elendil and his family included) that were loyal to the Valar and were friends of the Elves.
In The Rings of Power, Queen Míriel suggested that the people of Númenor hated the Elves because of some sort of a prophecy related to the Fall of Númenor. She said that Galadriel’s arrival was what was supposed to signal the beginning of the Fall of Númenor, and that was one of the reasons why the Númenoreans cut off their ties with the Elves.
Of course, it was due to the fact that the Númenoreans grew to hate the Elves and resent the Valar that led to their destruction in Tolkien’s writings. Wishing to become immortal, the Númenoreans broke the Ban of the Valar by invading Valinor. That was when Eru Ilúvatar sank Númenor to the bottom of the ocean, as only the Faithful were able to survive by making it to Middle-earth, where they established the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.
Why Do The Dwarves Hate The Elves?
On top of the fact that the Men of both the Southlands and of Númenor hated the Elves, one of the themes that have always been common in The Lord of the Rings and its related stories is the fact that the Elves and Dwarves weren’t exactly chummy with one another. We saw this in The Lord of the Rings when Legolas and Gimli started off on the wrong foot (but became best friends) and in The Hobbit when Thorin and Thranduil had a deep disdain for one another. While Elrond and Durin IV are exceptions, it was still clear in The Rings of Power that the Elves and the Dwarves weren’t exactly the best of friends.
However, the relationship between the Elves and the Dwarves isn’t something that’s exactly full of animosity as it was something similar to a rivalry instead of an all-out racial war between the two races. And the roots of this rivalry can be traced all the way back to the First Age.
During the First Age, King Thingol of the Teleri Elves made an alliance with the Dwarves. He desired the Silmarils so much that he was able to ask the Dwarves to craft a piece of jewelry that could contain one of the Silmarils.
The Dwarves did indeed craft a piece of jewelry for Thingol, but they ended up loving it so much that they decided to keep it instead of giving it to the Elven king. This led to an all-out battle between them, as there even came the point where the Dwarves assassinated King Thingol.
Since then, the two races have been at odds with one another to the point that not all of the Elves and the Dwarves could actually say the reason why they weren’t too fond of one another. It came to a point where it simply became natural for the Dwarves to dislike and distrust the Elves and for the Elves to have a not-so-welcoming attitude towards the Dwarves. Of course, it also turned into a rivalry where the Dwarves often tried their best to one-up the Elves, as seen from the way Durin initially treated Elrond and how Gimli always tried his best to have the advantage over Legolas in The Lord of the Rings.