The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 28 June 2012
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Children of Earth

The Two Kindreds of Elves and Men

A name for the 'Children of Ilúvatar', Elves the Firstborn and Men the Secondborn. These were the two races fated to be born into the World in the Music of the Ainur before the beginning of Arda. Together they are more usually known as the Children of Ilúvatar (Elvish Eruhíni) because they were part of Ilúvatar's Vision from which was created.

Though generally 'Children of Earth' seems to be equivalent to 'Children of Ilúvatar', there is one reference in The Silmarillion that may raise an exception. In a comment specifically describing the awakening of the first Elves, we're told: ' that hour the Children of the Earth awoke, the Firstborn of Ilúvatar.'1 In this (unique) case, the natural reading would be that the 'Children of the Earth' refers to the Firstborn alone (the appearance of Men still being far in the future). All other references are clearly to both Elves and Men, however, and so this passage is probably intended to mean something like ' that hour the [first Kindred of the] Children of the Earth awoke...'



Quenta Silmarillion 3, Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

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