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I believe she becomes mortal, but I'm not quite sure when & how. Was there some sort of magical transformation during or after the wedding vows were pledged? Or did she give it up much earlier, in some Elven secret ceremony before she left Rivendell for Minas Tirith? Or during her last farewell with Elrond? Or did it gradually fade away?

How does an Elf give up his/her immortality anyway? Or course, that lead to the question: Is a mortal Elf a human?

Anyone?
When marrying a mortal, an elf looses his immortality I guess. Arwen chose for that, and so did Luthien. But don't ask me how it actually works, cos I don't know. This is all I know really. About this... Elf Winking Smilie
And yet, Tuor, who was mortal but married and elf (Idril), was allowed into Eldamar so both of them finished up Immortal... Seems to me to be a case of, "if your face fits" where the Valar are concerned.
Good point there I guess. Tolkien again? Tongue Smilie
Say that again? She becomes mortal, but can still do elv-y things? Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
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Say that again? She becomes mortal, but can still do elv-y things? Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
What pray tell are elv-y things?--That question is asked of everyone, not just Lady of Legolas, and it wasn't meant to be sarcastic--Can elves do anything other than become skilled in many more things than humans due to their immortality? Do they have any racial endowed attributes that humans don't have, and don't tell me infravision, I don't buy into that? I will accept that Legolas could see farther with clarity, because Tolkien so wrote. Smile Smilie
I believe it was written though, that the elves could see as well in starlight as a man could by the light of day. Something to do with the Early ages of Middle Earth, when the elves awoke, having no light other than the stars. The light of the two trees did not light Middle Earth, and the sun did not rise until the Noldor returned at the start of the First Age.
Other than that they have a very light footfall, and because of that they are able to walk upon the snow while the others have to wade through it. Big Smile Smilie Right?
Yes both of you are right. Anymore?
They do not sleep like us hymans, but may repose their minds with eyes wide open while standing "as a young tree" (Legolas in TT) or even when running (Legolas again). They seem to be immune to sickness (Silmarillion), although they may be wounded and slain, and become "as aged among Men" as a consequence of long years of torment (Gwindor in Silmarillion).
Apart from being able to see well in dim light, they also have very keen vision in normal light (Legolas could see an eagle invisible to any other from the Company, and he could see the Riders of Rohan from far away whiile Aragorn and Giimli could still see nothing!).

[Edited on 19/9/2002 by Eryan]
Concerning Elvy-things, read what Galadriel said to Sam in Lothlorien, I can't quote it because I forgot the words and as always don't have the book...but the jist of it was that she did not know what he meant by 'elven magic' and said that they [hobbits and men] seem to use the same word for the deciets of the Enemy. She then shows them the Mirror, etc, and then says, 'This, if you will, is the magic of Galadriel.'
Uhuh. They can't do magic like wizards can, but they have their own strange magical things. Weird, but elvish, I guess... Elf Smilie
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btw Valedhelgwath what happened to the end of your sentence?
End of what sentence? Wink Smilie

Sloppy editing on my part to be honest. I wasn't happy with my original wording and had been doing a bit of cutting and pasting to make it read better. What you saw were a couple of none sensical sentences that had been left at the bottom with the intention of being removed. When I came to check the post, I just didn't notice they were still there and forgot to remove them.

Thanks for pointing them out, orange.
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I have always thought (since I read the Sil, that is)that they wouldn't just disapear They don't deserve it.
I don't know. They do get to live for a very, very, very long time without having to worry about ageing or getting sick. They get a pretty good deal really.

It's kind of like your reward being during your life or after your life really. The Elves shouldn't go getting sour grapes just because Men actually finish up getting a longer life than them after all. That was the Numenorian's reason for getting all bitter and twisted in the first place.
What I wrote was perhaps a little confusing, Orange.

It is written that Elves and Men were given two totally different fates. Elves were tied and bound to the fate of Ea, whereas Men were not. Effectively this means that whatever happens to Ea will also happen to the Elves, but Men are capable of transcending beyond Ea to take part in the Second Great Music (ie. Heaven)

The End of the First Great Music is said to result in the culmination of Ea. This is not so much a termination as a celebration of the perfect realisation of the Ainulindale. There will be a final last battle in which evil will be defeated, Arda will be healed of its wounds, and the Day of Doom will occur. It is unclear what happens to Ea on this day, but having finally reached its moment of perfection, I cannot see it then sadly slowly decaying, nor remaining forever static at this point (and it obviously cannot continue improving beyond perfection). In my opinion, it reaches its perfect conclusion, and then like a good film, it ends. The Elves being tied to Ea, will share this fate too.

On this Day of Doom, the Men in the Halls of Mandos will be released and their spirits will join with Eru and the Ainur and create the Second Great Music. This Second Music is said to be greater than the First Music, although not even the Ainur know what form it will take.

If you are an elf, though, I wouldn't worry too much. The End is likely to be a long time in the future, and it does appear to be a happy ending for them, even if it is an ending.



[Edited on 28/11/2002 by Valedhelgwath]
It's not quite on the topic but -
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So while the elves get immortality until the end of the world, and then they disappear totally, Man gets a short lifespan, but time infinite in Heaven.


Disappear? How come? Eru lit Flame Imperishable in them. Then how can they disapear? Have I missed or mistaken something?
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I thought it was so sad, because she died because she could not imagine going on with out him. She mourned herself to death.
One sees that often happening in real life too, after a member of an old couple who have lived for each other dies, the other follows within a year of the other, life without their other no longer has any meaning for them. It is sad both in a romantic and humanitarian way. I Love You Smilie Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie Cool Elf Smilie
I thought it was so sad, because she died because she could not imagine going on with out him. She mourned herself to death.
Yeah, She died soon after Aragorn did.
Arwen and Aragorn did not get 'married' until after the War of the Ring, when he recieved the crown of Gondor. They married in the city of Kings. They were together for six-score years, until Aragorn becausem old and laid down to die. (He actually chose to die while he was still in good favor and view of his people, whether he had the ability to just choose to die or somehow commited suicide I don't know.) During the pre-death conversation, he mentions that he had been blessed with a life span three times that of the Men of Middle-earth, but also "the grace to go at my will, and give back the gift."

This is a part that I'm not sure I fully understand:

"I speak no comfort to you, for there is no comfort for such pain within the cirlces of the world. The uttermost choice is before you: to repent and go to the Havens and bear away into the West the memory of our days together that shall there be evergreen but never more than a memory; or else to abide the Doom of Men."

Doom of Men is obviously death. But what baffles me, is the first part. Does this mean that she could have joined the elves in the Haven, and regained her immortality? Meaning that she never really gave it up?

Just late night thinking. =)

Gilraen
Hi Gilraen, and welcome to Planet Tolkien.

That is an interesting question that you have raised. Reading fully the chapter it has come from, I believe Aragorn believed that Arwen could indeed repent her decision and go into the West, regaining her immortality. In the next paragraph, however, Arwen tells him that this is no longer possible because there are no longer any boats that could take her.

When Arwen says this, I think she is refering to the boats in a symbolic way because there were still boats going into the West (Legolas took one with Gimli after the death of Aragorn). I think Arwen knew she had forsaken her immortality and even if the wharves of the Havens were still crammed with boats, she would be unable to go with them.

The Doom of Man, while obviously meaning death, means more than death too. Originally the Gift of Man, it was Man's fate to be free from the constraints of Ea, independant of it in a way that the elves never were, and their fate went beyond Ea. At the end of time when Ea is no more and the elves etc are no more, it is Man's fate to join with Eru in the Second Great Music (ie. Heaven). So while the elves get immortality until the end of the world, and then they disappear totally, Man gets a short lifespan, but time infinite in Heaven.

Melkor, however, twisted Men's hearts and made them fear this Gift. It became their Doom. In the same passage, Aragorn says to Arwen
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And on that hill in Cerin Amroth when we forsook the both the Shadow and the Twilight this doom we accepted.
The Shadow is the fear of dying that Melkor gave to Man and the Twilight is the dwindling of the elven people in Middle Earth at this time. What Aragorn is effectively saying is, he forsook the fear of death and would accept it when his time came, and Arwen forsook the Twilight of her elven blood to join him in willingly accepting her own death.

Finally, he also says to her,
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"In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory, Farewell! "
He believes in the Gift, and that his life does not cease with his death. In my opinion, he also believes that should Arwen remain mortal with him, they will be together eventually forever... Not just the memory she would take into the West.
Cute, isn't it. What a wonderful thought... But if they are both mortal, then eventually they will both die, you say. And when does Arwen die then, actually?

Hullo Gilraen! Waving Hello Smilie
After the death of Aragorn, Arwen said a farewell to her children and left Minas Tirith. She then went to Lothlorien, which by then all the other elves had left, and she dwelt there alone until Winter came. As the leaves began to fall from the Mallorn trees, she laid herself to rest on Cerin Amros where she had first fallen in love with Aragorn, and died.
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And when does Arwen die then, actually?
According to ROTK Appendix B and Val's rendition of Arwen's passing per Appendix A, that would have occurred in S.R. 1541 (F.A. 120).
Well, I just felt a bit shocked. I have always thought (since I read the Sil, that is)that they wouldn't just disapear Very Sad Smilie They don't deserve it.
btw Valedhelgwath what happened to the end of your sentence?
There is still one thing: Mortal Men had only hope and not certainty of immortality in another world. They still needed courage to accept death.
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Mortal Men had only hope and not certainty of immortality in another world. They still needed courage to accept death.
True, but until Melkor (the devil, or the evil one) poisoned men's minds and made us afraid of death it was just an event on the way to another state of being. Once we had been poisoned with the fear of death, then we needed courage to face up to it.
I'm sorry Valedhelgwath for rising such trivial objections... Sad Smilie

Elves did have their heaven on Earth.
Just one more minor uncertainty. After downfall of Numenor Aman was removed forever from the Circles of the World (or something like that). Was it removed from Ea? And what about the souls of elves then?
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Just one more minor uncertainty. After downfall of Numenor Aman was removed forever from the Circles of the World (or something like that). Was it removed from Ea?
After the Numenorian's landed on the forbidden shores, Eru did indeed remove Aman from Ea. That was not all. Up until then the world had been flat. Once he removed Aman and sank Numenore, he made Ea round. Quite how anything in Middle Earth survived this process I'm not certain.
Elf Confused Smilie Did the sinking of Numenor occur at the same time that Beleriand sank beneath the seas or was that event about 3000 years earlier at the end of the First Age? If the latter, can we expect an even greater submergance at the end of the Forth Age if we don't clean up our act? (I know the Biblical rainbow story says this won't happen ever again; however, we all know Tolkien's story isn't real, so could it happen in Middle-earth?)
Let us not be afraid, if I am not mistaken, there was no submergence at the end of Third Age!!! (?????????) Big Smile Smilie
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Did the sinking of Numenor occur at the same time that Beleriand sank beneath the seas or was that event about 3000 years earlier at the end of the First Age?
Beleriand sank at the end of the First Age during the Great Battle.
A new question: It seems to me there is a dearth of natural wildlife in The Lord of the Rings. Other than the two rabbits Gollum procured for Sam's stew, I don't remember encountering anything larger than insects and mollusks, and no actual birds. Am I wrong? Is this just one more thing to look for in yet another re-read of Tolkien's epic adventure?
I'd assume they were there, just not really mentioned. Radagast was described as a friend to birds and animals, so I'd guess there were things other than insects and mollusks for him to be friends with.
So, when elves die they just die, but when men die, they go to heaven????? I really am iggnorant!
I can't be sure about this, but I think the elves undergo the reincarnation process while men undergo the die and go to hell/heaven process. However, I also kinda speculated about the second music and thought that all the children of Illuvatar will get to "sing" the second music and even if they don't would Men be cruel enough to leave out their dwarf and elf friends? More importantly will Illuvatar leave the rest of his children, elves and dwarves out?
When Elves die, they are taken to the Mansions of ManwŽ and Varda, where their souls abide for a while. Later, they are reincarnated in the same body and some choose to return to Middle Earth. As for Men, they just die, but they have an advantage in life because they're not bound to the history woven by the music of the Ainur. Everything Elves do is controlled by fate; Men have no such restraints.
Yeah, but I read that Eru decided to adopt the Dwarves as his own and thus they will given the ability of thought. However, is it really true that the elves are controlled by fate and men are not?
Illuvatar gave Elves and Men each a separate "gift". The gift of the Elves was immortality, and thus the wisdom of the ages, but everything they did was pre-ordained in the Music of the Ainur. To Men, He gave a shorter lifespan, not restricted by fate or any other such factors. However no Man could do anything that seriously ruined Illuvatar's eventual plans for a perfect world; their lives were free within reason.
My view on what has been asked in the above posts.

When both Elves and Men die, they both go to the Halls of Mandos. Their fate is not the same, however. After a time, Elves may be released from these Halls, and then there are two schools of thought on what occurs to them.

1) They are reincarnated within their old body and allowed to live their lives as before.
2) They return to Aman in spirit form only where they can interact with the spirits and elves living there.

I personally follow this second option, believing the two Glorfindels were indeed two different Glorfindels, and Finrod walking beneath the trees with his father was a metaphore, meaning Finrod was out of the Halls and reunited with Finarfin.

Men, on the other hand, remain within the Halls of Mandos until the End. This is the point where the First Great Music of the Ainur ends and the Second Great Music begins.

In this second music, which is said to be greater than the first music, Men are said to join with the Ainur in the singing. The roles of Elves and Dwarves, however, is unclear. Nowhere specifically does it say that either of these two latter races will take part.

I personally don't think Elves take part in this Second Music. It was the Gift of Man to die and leave Ea. This would not be much of a gift if the elves were Gifted with immortality and still allowed to take part in the Second music. The way I interpret this is that the Elves, who are tied to the fate of Ea, live and die as part of Ea, so that when the End comes, it is the end of the Elves too.

Men, on the other hand, who are not tied to fate of Ea, live only short lives, but after the end of Ea, then get to sing in the Second Music, which is essentially Heaven.

Obviously these are only my own interpretations of subjects Tolkien was rather vague about.
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This would not be much of a gift if the elves were Gifted with immortality and still allowed to take part in the Second music. The way I interpret this is that the Elves, who are tied to the fate of Ea, live and die as part of Ea, so that when the End comes, it is the end of the Elves too.


I have encountered this before but must disagree. Part of the gift (considered a gift by Elves) is the release from the World compared to the life of the long-lived (a very long life indeed in theory, as it extends to the End of the World), which can become a burden in ways. It has no necessary connection to annihilation at the ultimate death of Elves however.

I can't agree with the idea of a nihilistic fate of the Elves (the ultimate annihilation of even the spirits of Elves) especially as theoried to proceed from the Christian Tolkien. The Elves are Children of God and indeed we find traditions concerning them after the Great End, concering their participation within New Arda (see Morgoth's Ring). For example...

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Laws And Customs Of The Eldar Notes, note iii: 'Fate of 'Immortal' Elves: ? to inhabit New Arda (or Arda Healed). Probably not, in a physical sense. (...) But New Arda or Arda Unmarred (Healed) would imply a continuance, beyond the End (or Completion). Of that nothing can be surmised. Unless it be this. Since the Elves (and Men) were made for Arda, the satisfaction of their nature will require Arda (without the malice of the Marrer): therefore before the Ending the Marring will be wholly undone or healed (or absorbed into good, beauty, and joy). In that region of Time and Place the Elves will dwell as their home, but not be confined to it. (...) ' JRRT


Tolkien goes on to speak of another possibility, a New Arda 'rebuilt from the beginning without Malice' in which the Elves will take part.

JRRT also goes into this in the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth and notes that both absolute annihilation and cessation of conscious identity were wholly repugnant to Elvish thought and desire, and the Elves were ultimately obliged to rest on naked estel, trusting in Eru 'that whatever He designed beyond the End would be recognized by each fea as wholly satisfying (at the least).'

Finrod describes his vision of Arda remade with the Eldar completed but not ended, abiding in the present forever, '... and there walk, maybe, with the Children of Men, their deliverers'

Deliverers in what sense? Tolkien also wrote that the Elves '... still believe that Eru's healing of all the griefs of Arda will come now by or through Men; but the Elve's part in the healing or restoration of the love of Arda, to which their memory of the Past and understanding of what might have been will contribute. Arda they say, will be destroyed by Wicked Men (or the wickedness in Men); but healed through the goodness in Men. The wickedness, the domineering lovelessness, the Elves will offset (...).'

Of course Tolkien himself did not publish this (nor his ultimate Silmarillion of course). Anyway, it is stated that the Valar say Men shall join in the Second Music, but Manwe alone knows what God has purposed for the Elves after the End (not that there is no purpose, but it is not stated), and that Men indeed die and leave 'that which they have made or marred'. In the constructed Silmarillion there is also a passage stating that the Valar have not seen with sight concerning the End.

An interesting part of a letter concering Elves and Men and ultimate destiny...

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'It is in any case neither side was fully informed about the ultimate destiny of the other (...) But what the 'end of the world' portended for it or for themselves they did not know (though they no doubt had theories). Neither had they, of course any special information concerning what 'Death' portended for Men. They believed that it meant 'liberation from the Circles of the world', and was in that respect to them enviable. And they would point out to Men who envied them that a dread of ultimate loss, though it may be indefinitely remote, is not necessarily the easier to bear if it is in the end ineluctably certain: a burden may become heavier the longer it is born.' JRRT 1963 Letters


Note the 'dread of ultimate loss' exists for both the Children. Both need estel, both need to trust in Eru regarding life after death (in the case of the Elves, 'death' at the World's End here).
I know that this is completely offtopic but i have no idea where the proper place to ask this is so if its wrong, please transfer it.
my question is this:
Is it true that Tolkien based Lord of the Rings off of Norse mythology???cuz my friend and i found several similarities but i'm not sure if i believe him.
Tolkien was inspired by Norse mythology. Just take a look at this translation of the Norse poem VoluspŚ from the Elder Edda, and I think you will be convinced. And maybe a little shocked too. You will find all the dwarves and Galdalf too. The Seeress's Prophecy

Happy Elf Smilie
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Is it true that Tolkien based Lord of the Rings off of Norse mythology???

He borrowed some names and concepts, that's all.
Yes, other than a few names, the stories, history, and geography were all Tolkien's.
Regarding the names from Voluspa, Tolkien lifted them for The Hobbit, and later got creative about it, once he felt they wouldn't do with respect to the linguistic situation...

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'When my father wrote The Hobbit he had of course no notion that the Old Norse names of the Dwarves required any explanation, within the terms of the story: those were their names and that was all there was to it... But now this inescapable Norse element had to be accounted for; and from that 'rabble of Eddaic-named dwarves' out of Voluspa the conception emerged that the Dwarves had outer names derived from the tongues of Men with whom they had dealings...' Christopher Tolkien, Peoples of Middle-Earth
alright, thank you everyone, that helped clear things up a looot! Dunce Smilie Orc Grinning Smilie