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Thread: Luthien, Idril & Arwen

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Ungoliant began this thread with the following post.

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In Silm, Luthien & Idril married men, and Arwen did likewise in LoTR. However, Arwen made 'the choice of Luthien' in order to marry Aragorn, but Idril retained her immortality when she wedded Tuor. Why?

On a similiar issue, Legolas remarked that the Prince of Dol Amroth had Elven blood. Am I right in assuming that there were other 'mixed' marriages that were not mentioned in Silm or LoTR? If not, does anyone know who his Elven ancestor was?


She later posted

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Ok, I found a passage that said for the matter of the Halfelven (or 5/8 Elvens ), the Valar allowed them to choose whether to remain with the Firstborn, or become mortal like Men. How does marrying a mortal affect this choice?

Lets se if I got this right:

1) Luthien had to become mortal because she exchanged her immortality in order to bring back Beren from the house of the dead. Some sort of funnny deal struck with Mandos.

2) Idril remain Elven because Tuor got promoted to Firstborn

3) Earendil & Elwing were given the choice, both chose to be of the Firstborn, even though Earendil preferred Men (a bit henpecked, I think).

4) Arwen had to become mortal...why? Dunno that one.

5) The Sindar who married Men all had human, not Elven or Halfelven children (they weren't given any other options).


Grondmaster replied

I am just speculating here, but how about if:

4) Aragorn was the King of the Combined Kingdom. In order for one of his progeny to inherit the kingdom in the Fourth Age, 'The Age of Men', they couldn't be of mixed species (I realize it is a racist thing, but Tolkien was after all, the product of South Africa).

4) More likely Arwen merely chose to grow old with her one love, Aragorn, rather than to watch him die and then have to live for a couple thousand more years without him: Love is a peculiar state and true love more so.
Tolkien was a racist? hm.. i didn't know that.
My english teacher's from south africa..
he always goes on about how he escaped through the underground to escape the oppressive regime, racism, etc.
ok, this is totally off the topic. so will get back to the topic. whatever it ws. right. Arwen, Aragorn. nice names, hope those kids settle down and live happily ever after. Big Smile Smilie[Edited on 17/1/2002 by Rosie]
I'm not saying he was a racist, just that it was in his background, way back, and might have had some minor influence, if my first speculation on 4) was correct. Besides that 'specist' might be a more suitable word in this day of political correctness.
It's not the first time that the accusation of Racism has been levelled at JRR. All the black numenoreans, and black lords, and dark men from the east who are all evil and ride Elephants (in case you hadn't worked out the connections already) have been the subject of hot debate for many years.
Though he didn't spend long enough in South Africa for it to have a huge effect on him, I don't think. Otherwise he'd have been a right b*stard I'd imagine. I think the black was all metaphorical, and not intended as a racist slur. Plus you have to remember the times it was written in, when this way of thinking was common place, especially in middle England. And right after SA as well.......
3) Elros chose to be the first king of the numenor and elrond chose to be Firstborn

all the offspring of Earendill got the gift to choose their doom?[Edited on 24/1/2002 by Boring]
I always though Tolkien was a little inconsistent here.

Okay, we start with Elrond and Elros (twin brothers right?). They are given the right to choose their race and do so accordingly....My question is how come none of Elros' children have to make any choices but Elrond's children do?

Sure, maybe Arwen made the unusual choice that was available to all elves if they wished, but why does Elrond then talk about a doom? Does it have something to do with the fact that although Elrond has chosen to be an elf, he has not left for the Undying Lands?

Still don't see why his children have to make a choice if they are not planning to marry a human. They should have the same options as normal elves shouldn't they?
Well Elros always felt closer to the human race and so he raised his children as humans and their childern hwere also raised as human etc and maybe they loved being human and did not ant to be of elvenrace, adn if te generations afterwards are content being human maybe it was forgotten out of knowledge that they had a choice..

As for Elrond he had to choose and his children are second in line on the generation map so probably they didn't forget they could choose (also Elrond was a history frantic and record like almost everything ever happened)

the doom of humans is to have a short lifespan and die very easely (sickness etc) and when humans die they will leave Middle Earth unlike the elves whom go to the halls of mandos awaiting their reincarnation. And after she had chosen she couldn't change back to elfs and she would never see her kin again.

Their ability of chosing was a gift to Earendill whom in the name of elf and men asked for the aid of the Vala to destroy the evil dark lord Morgoth

at least these are my thoughts about it, I would like to read somebody elses thoughts on it[Edited on 25/1/2002 by Boring]
I agree with Boring's point of view - after all, the Silm mentioned that Earendil left the chioce to his wife, and she chose to be numbered amongst the Elves even though he preferred the race of his father. Maybe Elros was more like his father & Elrond leaned more towards his mother?

What I still don't get is Arwen would have to make the choice to be 'human' in order to marry Aragorn. After all, she can just marry him and then go West after he died. Seems that she had 2 choices - go into the West *or* marry Aragorn & become human. Why? After all, she didn't have to leave for the west immediately - Celeborn & some other Elves (Legolas comes into mind here) left ME long after that, if I'm not mistaken, and the 'last ship' wasn't the one that took Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo & Galadriel into the West, was it?
It's all explained somewhere, can't for the life of me remember where, but I think it's in the appendices again, or maybe the silm, ah crap I can't remember.
Hmm. It's not in Silm, so it must be in the appendices then. Boo. I don't have the book. Sad Smilie
Really!?! No Rotk with appendices? Blimey!!!! :o
No RotK, period. Sad Smilie

Until the 31st, that is. 3 more days, 3 more days!
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What I still don't get is Arwen would have to make the choice to be 'human' in order to marry Aragorn. After all, she can just marry him and then go West after he died. Seems that she had 2 choices - go into the West *or* marry Aragorn & become human. Why? After all, she didn't have to leave for the west immediately - Celeborn & some other Elves (Legolas comes into mind here) left ME long after that, if I'm not mistaken, and the 'last ship' wasn't the one that took Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo & Galadriel into the West, was it?


That's the question I was trying to ask. Why does Arwen (and her brothers) have to choose between immortalitiy and middle-earth, when Elrond chose to be an Elf? they should get the same options as other elves shouldn't they?ie: they cans stay in ME if they want to and fade or go to the undying lands.

I don't know about it being a matter of remembering. Elrond seems to have had some kind of communication from the Valar on the subject - the "Doom" as he puts it.
I always assumed the "Doom" was just the old "choice of Luthien" that all mixed blood elves got.
Doom = potential choice of Luthien

Hmmmm, you could be right, but Elrond seems to be speaking about his family specifically when he says

"....that so long as I abide here, she shall live with the youth of the eldar...and when I depart she shall go with me, if she so chooses."

Maybe the valar or God just too it into their heads to make an exception in their case for some undisclosed reason. Maybe, Arwen eeded to become mortal to fullfill some other higher purpose or whatever. I suppose if you are God or a Vala, you can make your own rules...and alter them to suit you. Big Smile Smilie
Just read an idea somewhere about the "choice" to become mortal.

What I thought was a new slant on the question was to think of death as being a special "gift" from Iluvatar. Elrond's children, having substantial human ancestry, were alowed to accept the gift. Elros' decendants already had it. Apparently there are no returns on gifts from God.
Hello
I keep reading the contents of the forum from some time already but so far I was unable to post a reply! This time perhaps it wil work?
Alyssa is right, death is a gift of Iluvatar to humans. Elves are not really immortal - they are bound to Arda and will have to perish when (some day) Arda will cease to exist.
But humans leave Arda and go to some other place. It is told somewhere in th Silm or in the Unfinished Tales (I'm not sure) that Arda is "not their real home". Humans are in a way as caterpillars which only start their existence in Arda, and then have to die to go elsewhere, "beyond the circles of the world" (and, hopefully, "to live there happily ever after"). In "Unfinished Tales" Hurin held captive by Morgoth in Angband tells so to Morgoth. It's something like "Beyond the circles of the world you cannot pursue those that defy you".
Humans should trust that death is the gift of Iluvator and, consequently, do not fear death overmuch. A "good death" (such as the death of Boromir or Theoden) is actually a happy end . In ROTK Gandalf refuses the terms of the Mouth of Sauron because death of the Defenders of the West and, consequently. the fall of Gondor are a better option than slavery (and, very likely, corruption).
In the Appendix to ROTK Aragorn very clearly tells Arwen that their incoming death is only "the last test". If Arwen has courage enough to die with him, they will go to their "real home" and be together ever after. It's only a sort of jumping head first into unknown, possibly (?) as a proof of confiance and obedience to Iluvatar...
What is really very, very sad in Tolkien's world is that after their death Men are definitely separated from Elves. It makes me sad somehow to think that Turin Turambar and Finduilas will never meet again...
I didn't read all the replies to this topic so maybe what I'm saying's already been said in that case excuse me... Smile Smilie

Lúthien Tinúviel died out of sorrow for Beren. In the halls of Mandos she then sang a song so beautiful that Mandos could not resist her bid. Thus she was given one mortal life which she would spend with Beren on the island of Tol Galen.

Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon of Gondolin brother to Fingon and Aredhel and son of Fingolfin High King of Noldor. She was of Noldor and Sindar blood and did not have the choice Arwen as halfelf did and thus remaind elf. Tuor was of the House of Haldor and always remaind human but he did sail west with Idril (but did not turn imortal, just lived longer than other mortals).

As I previously mention Arwen as the daughter of Elrond the halfelf (Eärendil (human) and Elwing's (elf) son) and Celebrían (daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel) was an elf with human blood rather than the opposite (human with elf-blood) but still had the choice of halfelves either to remain imortal or turn human.

Arwen chose a mortal life because she didn't want to live forever when her beloved Aragorn Elessar would die "soon" from an eldar perspective.

[Edited on 11/3/2002 by iago]
Welcome to the forum Iago. Smile Smilie

Thanks for the half-elves choice information.
Always happy to clear things up Smile Smilie
However it'd seem I tend to do the opposite... :]
Ok, I think in the movie Arwen gives up her immortality to both Aragorn and Frodo. First she gives Frodo it "what grace has given me, let it pass to him." or something like that. She gave up her spot on the ship that sailed from the grey havens. Then she gives Aragorn her immortality too. I think she still was immortal, but she gave up her immortality so she could die in Middle-earth because she couldn't leave becuz the thingy w/ Frodo. This makes more sense than the book.Smile Smilie
I'm not so sure, Jade. I think she was just giving him her blessing, and a little of her strength so that he would live long enough to be healed by Elrond. Otherwise, why wouldn't she just have done so earlier? She was already in love with Aragorn and had promised to marry him. And I dont think it was possible to accept the gift of death so easily.

Arwen chose a mortal life, so that when she died she could follow Aragorn to whatever fate awaited mankind. she made the 'choice of Luthien', that is: to marry a mortal and share his fate. Since there was now a spare seat on the ringbearers ship, she argued that there was room for Frodo, so that he might gain true healing.Smile Smilie
Although it obviously didn't occur in the book, I agree with Jade that in the film version, Arwen did appear to give Frodo the Gift of Life. It may be that she was only giving him a blessing or some of her strength, but each time I watch it I feel she is giving more. I believe she has already made her choice to become mortal and live with Aragorn, and gives "what grace was given her" to Frodo.

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On a similiar issue, Legolas remarked that the Prince of Dol Amroth had Elven blood. Am I right in assuming that there were other 'mixed' marriages that were not mentioned in Silm or LoTR? If not, does anyone know who his Elven ancestor was?

Hi Ungoliant. In answer to your question, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth did have elven blood although it was weak. He was the 22nd direct descendant of Imrazor the Numenorian. Imrazor's wife, Mithrellas, was an elf maiden and it is from her that the line had elven blood.
Incidentally, Imrahil's sister, Finduilas, married Denethor II and so both Boromir and Faramir also had elven blood in their veins.
Dol Amroth was originally an elven port (It was Galadriel who built the White Tower there). Also close by was the elven haven of Edhellond. With the close proximity the elves and Numenorians had with each other it is perhaps likely there were other mixed marriages too.
A nice point about Faramir & Boromir having elven nlood in their veins, just as much as Imrahil!
Poor Boromir is however, so un-elvish...
As to Elrond saying about the ''Doom of his kin'' don't forget he is related to Beren and Luthien. Dior was his grand father.
I have to agree with Allyssa on this one Jade182. To me it seems like Arwen gives some strenght to Frodo so that he will live long enough to be healed by Elrond. But it was not a bad suggestion, don`t get me wrongSmile Smilie

Very sad that Arwen gave up her immortality, but also a beautiful thing to do..she`ll do anything to live with the man she loves..I actually cried a bit at the end of the book...so sad Sad Smilie

I feel that Arwens "what grace has given.." was just a a sort of prayer and a "cliffhanger" in the movie, so to speak, and has nothing to do with a place on the ship. Frodo and Bilbo got to leave on a ship beacuse they had carried the One Ring, Sam got to leave later avfter his wife Rosie died because he had carried the One Ring for a while too. And Gimli hiched a ride with his yummy buddy Legolas. Noone had to give up their seats and become mortals to let them go to Valinor! Arwen didn't want to live forever without Aragorn, she wanted to go with him where-ever that would take her.

But as the only mortals who got to go there, would they live forever or just much much longer and happier?
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But as the only mortals who got to go there, would they live forever or just much much longer and happier?
IMHO: Frodo will only live long enough for his hurts to be healed; Sam will follow directly after Frodo dies unless they go together holding hands. I think Gimli will just live a normal lifespan with Legolas tending to his needs as he grows old.
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Death is there fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy. But Melkor has cast his shadow upon it, and confounded it with darkness, and brought forth evil out of good, and fear out of hope. Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it. - from Quenta Silmarillion, the final paragraph of Chapter 1.
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IMHO: Frodo will only live long enough for his hurts to be healed; Sam will follow directly after Frodo dies unless they go together holding hands. I think Gimli will just live a normal lifespan with Legolas tending to his needs as he grows old.

I'm not quite sure I understand. Do you mean that Fodo goes to Valinor, get his hurt healed and dies before Sam gets there or that he gets healed and live a normal hobbit-lifetime? The first one doesn't make any sence, 'cause why would Sam want go there if Frodo was dead, when he could have stayed with his children? Unless he had to go because of the Ringbearar-stuff. And I can't recall why Bilbo left, didn't want to leave his friends? And who/what is IMHO? There is so much i don't know.. Such an encouraging thought to begin the schoolday with Wink Smilie


(Grondy merely corrected the quote symbols.) Smile Smilie

[Edited on 2/10/2002 by Grondmaster]
Okey cokey... IMHO stands for "In my humble opinion", I think Grondy meant that Sam would die shortly after Frodo did, rather than go to Valinor after Frodo's death. Bilbo went because he wanted to stay with Elrond and the other elfy types. And the answer to life the unoiverse and everything is 42.
Does that help at all Amarie?
It helped a lot! Thanx Squirrel!

Well, then Grondy and I agrees. That's niceSmile Smilie
Arwen decided to pass out of the realm of the living as she couldn't cope without Aragorn. the princes of Dol-Amroth got there elfven blood from the hand maiden of Nimrodel.
The last boat wasn't the one carrying Gandalf, Bilbo and Frodo. Don't forget Sam as one of the ringbearer's also went to the Undying Lands.
Has anybody heard of male elves married to human maidens? I haven't! How come? Were only the female elves capable of seeing the beauty within? Straaaange Wink Smilie
At least one human maiden was beautiful as an elf - Morven Eledhven, the wife of Hurin... but she loved a Mortal Man!
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And the 'last ship' wasn't the one that took Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo & Galadriel into the West, was it?

Actually the last ship of Círdan the Shipwright yes,but not the last to attempt to travel to Aman. Legolas built his own shipto sail into the west with Gimli and let´s not forget about Sam....he made his ship and sailed into the west too...although you never get to find out if he made it to Aman... Sad Smilie
The dilema of arwen was between Tol eressesa of eternity and Middle Earth with Elessar's humanity .Cauz when Esessar died there wasn't any ship and any Elf in Middle earth!
Luthien choose humanity for beren

Prince of Dol-Amroth he hadn't the chance to choose cauz only Earendil's and Elguing's offspring's had this gift!Why is a human ?

Aiya Earendil Elenion Ankalima
You're wrong : Legolas still lived in Ithilien, only after Elessar died he left Middle-Earth. Wood-Elves still lived in Mirkwood after Elessar died for a long time. And there was still Cirdan of course, waiting until the last Elf parted for the Grey Havens.

And did you mean Elwing with Elguing ? Wink Smilie
All I know is this: Tolkien, while being the best author on the face of the earth, lived and wrote his books by his own rules. That is all I know. But, I'm kinda stupid, so I don't suggest really listening to me.