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Thread: A question about Glorfindel

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Tolkien wrote that glorfindel intercepted the hobbits and strider while they were en route to rivendell, but also wrote that glorfindel did battle with a balrog and died in the silmarillion.
please explain
Glorfindel from Gondolin and Glorfindel from Rivendell are one and the same person. This is possible because Elven spirits go to the halls of Mandos when slain, and after a while are able to return to the land of the living.

After returning from the halls of Mandos, Glorfindel apparently returned to Middle-Earth in the 2nd Age to assist Gil-Galad and Elrond in their struggle with Sauron.
We have a Glorfindel thread here, well worth a look . Allyssas quote on page 2 explains a lot. Smile Smilie
hi i think glorifindel is an awesome caracter!!
Actually I thought that when elves came back into the living after dieing, couldn't they like come back in their kids or something? Just what I heard not to sure
~Celebrimbor
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Actually I thought that when elves came back into the living after dieing, couldn't they like come back in their kids or something? Just what I heard not to sure


I think the main reason why the Silmarillion did not go into much detail on the subject of Elven reincarnation was because JRR appeared a little undecided on just how it should happen. In Morgoth's Ring he does mention that Elves could return from the Halls of Mandos into new born children, but this then presented him with a dilemna that the new born child would have the mind and spirit of another elf, and in effect rob the proud parents of creating a new entity of their own. He toyed with the idea also of creating a union between such a reincarnated elf and new born spirit which would eventually meld into one. To me it seemed that the harder he tried to solve this dilemna, the deeper he dug himself into trouble. I think in the end he chose to just leave it to the imagination of the reader, hence only brief clues as to the fate of dead elves in the Silmarillion.
Well, I just assumed Glorfindel and Glorfindel were two different elves bearing the sae name. I had no idea there was reincarnation afoot. You learn something everyday! Thanks! And I shall go to the Glorfindel thread right now.
Tolkien had this thing about Elves' names: apparently, there couldn't have been two of them bearing the same name; smth to do with the character and the significance of the name!
It's also mentioned somewhere in Morgoth's Ring that, if an Elf would die, but his hroa (body) was not irreversably harmed, he could, after spending his due time in the Halls of Mandos, get back into the natural union of fea and hroa. That explains why Glorfindel could have his body back!
I'm interested, are there any other elves who have been reincarnated? (Apart from Glorfindel),
and can Elves reincarnate with a different name?
Probably Finrod, as it's mentioned in the Sil "he walks again with his father", or something. But i don't call this reincarnation as they don't exactly get born again - their soul just enters a new body and that's it. It's more resurrection instead of reincarnation.

When elves resurrect, what happens to the original spirit of the elven baby? Does it join with the reincarnated elf or does it disappear?
This thread is going down very similar lines to one in the History Of section called Are Elves Immortal. I attempted to answer this question earlier this week in that thread, so rather than continuing this subject in this thread, I'll move this question over there.

The link to the Elven immortality thread is Are Elves Immortal
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Tolkien had this thing about Elves' names: apparently, there couldn't have been two of them bearing the same name; smth to do with the character and the significance of the name!


There could be more than one Elf with the same name, but Tolkien thought the repetition of the name Glorfindel specifically, though possible, would not be credible (for reasons I'll leave alone).

Concerning the Chosen-names of the Noldor, these were said to be regarded by the Noldor as part of their personal property. And with respect to repetition of names in general Tolkien noted, for example: '... but the name [Galdor] is of a more simple and usual form [than Glorfindel] and might be repeated.' or, the Sindarin form Argon '... was often given as a name by Noldor and Sindar in memory of his valour.' PME

Also there appears (at least) to be two Elves named Rmil according to The Lord of the Rings.
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but the name [Galdor] is of a more simple and usual form


... interestingly there were 2 Galdor in Tolkien. And in similar circumstances as Glorfindel. A Galdor is mentionned as a mighty Lord of Gondolin in BoLT2 "The fall of Gondolin" - not mentionned in the Sil though. If my memory serves my right he is the only one Lord of Gondolin that escaped the sack and reach the mouse of Sirion - cannot remember if he survived 1st age or was killed there. Galdor is also mentioned as a high elf of Rivendell in LOTR - just like Glorfindel - but there is no clue whether it is the same character. Note that the "Fall of Gondolin" from BoLT2 is highly uncanonical - there is even one Legolas in it !
I refered to the book you stated. Indeed in Bolt 2 there is a Galdor who is one of the lords of Gondolin. I however, think, not certain, that Tolkien later changed this Galdor into a man - who appears many times in The Silmarillion where he is called father of Hurin. Just like in early HOME Beren was an Elf.
I just think the idear of Galdor being a Gondolin Elf was pretty early and soon changed. Thus if I am correct, though I haven't looked into it much, Galdor in Rivendell is not a version of reincarnated Galdor of Gondolin, who never existed as he was changed to a Man.
In a late text Tolkien noted that unless Galdor was said to be slain '... he can reasonably be supposed to be the same person, one of the Noldor who escaped from the siege and destruction...' (Galdor was not indeed slain in the old Fall of Gondolin).

See also note three to Last Writings, including Christopher's added explanation that, in any case, there is no reason to suppose that when JRRT wrote The Council of Elrond he associated Galdor of the Havens with Galdor of Gondolin.
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... there is even one Legolas in it!


Incidentally this name for Legolas (the Gnome) was said to be a confusion of two Gnomish names, Laigolas Legolast.

'Note: Laigolas = green-leaf (...) But perhaps both were his names, as the Gnomes delighted to give two similar sounding names of dissimilar meaning, as Laigolas Legolast, Turin Turambar, etc. Legolas the ordinary form is a confusion of the two.' JRRT The Book of Lost Tales
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Glorfindel from Gondolin and Glorfindel from Rivendell are one and the same person. This is possible because Elven spirits go to the halls of Mandos when slain, and after a while are able to return to the land of the living.


perhaps.. but i can't believe that the valar would let him return to middle earth... Indeed if this was possible why don't we see Fanor returned?
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... but i can't believe that the valar would let him return to middle earth... Indeed if this was possible why don't we see Fanor returned?


The first question, it seems, concerns Glorfindel returning in bodily form to the Blessed Realm itself, because he was an Exile and a Noldorin rebel.

Tolkien notes that the restoration of the Elvish body could be delayed by Manwe if the fea while alive had done evil deeds and refused to repent of them, or still harboured any malice against any other person among the living -- adding that Feanor's restoration was one of the gravest cases, and that his reincarnation could not only be delayed, but withheld, and his case referred to Eru.

In the Annals of Aman the rebel Noldor hear the Prophecy of the North and the Doom of the Noldor, which included: '... come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you.' And according to the Grey Annals, with respect to Feanor: '... neither has his spirit left the realm of Mandos.'

However Glorfindel was not Feanor of course, and Manwe not bound by his own ordinances in any case. Glorfindel was noted as an Elda of high and noble spirit, a reluctant rebel who took no part in the kinslaying, and had sacrificed his life defending the fugitives of Gondolin (said to be a deed of vital importance to the designs of the Valar). After his purging of any guilt incurred in the rebellion, he was released from Mandos and restored to incarnate life by Manwe.

He remained in the Blessed Realm by choice at first; Gondolin was no more and all his kin had perished and were still in the Halls of Waiting. It is also said that he became a friend and follower of 'Gandalf' before returning to Middle-earth.