Posted 14 March 2005 - 11:30 PM
Well, in regards to the question about the types of armor that the elves wore, I don't see any place where it says that the elves could not have wore plate. Elves did not have access to chainmail for much of their history, for the Sindar only knew of its existance it after they met the Naugrim of Belegost during the second age of the Chaining of Melkor, and probably did not themselves use it until the third age of the Captivity, when Thingol "took thought for arms, which before his people had not needed" and had the dwarves craft arms and armor for him. Indeed it wasn't until then that elves first learned to make chainmail, for it was then that the Sindar first learned smithcraft under the tutelage of the dwarves.
As for the Noldor, naturally they did not make, let alone know of, chainmail until after their arrival in Middle-earth. And yet before then they had forged arms and armor around the time when Melkor walked among them to sew the seeds of dissent, such that Feanor is described at one point as being "fully armed". Thus the Noldor did forge some type of armor before they knew of chainmail, and while Tolkien does not say what kind it was, be it plate or otherwise, it leaves it open to possibility, though it's fairly clear that after chain was available to both Noldorin and Telerin elves, it became the preferred for both.
As for the Tawarwaith at Dagorlad. . . historically they were "light-armed", probably in the manner of the non-Doriathrim Teleri, who are described at Alqualonde as having only slender bows. While none of the Laiquendi participated at Dagorlad (as after the death of Denethor they never marched openly to war), it's more than likely that the Tawarwaith that did not pass across the Hithaeglir and who followed Amdir and Oropher came from the same martial tradition (or more specifically, the lack thereof), and thus they were "ill equipped with armour and weapons in comparison with the Eldar of the West" (UT) when they marched off to Dagorlad. Thus most likely they were for the most part armed with bows, and probably wore nothing heavier than leather armor.
Eugene [ a.k.a. shinsengumi ]
Consultant, Essayist, The Last Alliance
Retired Galadhrim Local Admin, ElendorMUSH
Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.