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Thread: Galadriel only to tol eressea?

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Hi, I heard that galadriel, because of the curse of the noldor, was just allowed to tol eressea. Is that the case? I think that would be sad, if she was not allowed to live in valinor permanently and just for visits. She deserves more. What do you think? I tried to search this subject, but didnīt found a search function. Sorry for my bad english.

Hi Arafinwe, welcome.

This is an interesting question. It is the case that in the text The Elessar, for instance, Galadriel perhaps notably asks Celebrimbor why she should be content with an Island in the Sea, where in Middle-earth she is mightier.

And it is the case that Galadriel was banned from the West for her leadership in the Rebellion of the Noldor (some might claim otherwise here, but I go with what JRRT himself published about this). But after the ban was lifted, was Galadriel allowed to Valinor?

That's a question that involves external textual considerations, and touches upon the incomplete nature of the Quenta Silmarillion -- especially the end. Now, there is a letter from JRRT that states that the Exiles were not allowed to dwell permanently in Valinor again.

 

'They were not to dwell permanently in Valinor again, but in the Lonely Isle of Eressea within sight of the Blessed Realm.' JRRT , letter 131 to Milton Waldman

 

But interestingly, when Tolkien wrote that letter -- explaining his mythology to a publisher -- that's not what the Silmarillion actually said!

Of course, again, the text The Elessar seems to reflect this. Another interesting thing is that most later texts do seem to 'focus', at least, on Tol Eressea being the home of Galadriel or the Exiles if they return, but I couldn't find anything else as specific as this letter (anything from the 1950s onward).

 

And the other question might be: what does 'permanently' mean to the long lived Elves? They can be away from Tol Eressea for... how long?

Thank you for your reply, very interesting but I´m still not sure where she was allowed to live. The textes say different things.

What do you personally believe? Was she allowed to dwell permanently in Valinor?

I can´t imagine that the valar would denie her that. Tolkien said she was greatest of elven women and she was not evil (didn´t swore the oath or kinslaying) and her father is the king of the noldor and she had a personal ban not the ban the other norlder had ( I believe there is a difference).

The text the elessar, maybe galadriel could have gone to eressea without asking for forgiveness but to go to valinor she had to ask and be judged by the valar? She didn´t want that end prefered to stay in ME but after the ring war she had not to ask for forgeivness and could anyway go to valinor? Does that make sense?

I refuse to believe that the noldor would be banned from valinor. I think many would prefer Eressea but could also go to valinor, if they wished, for they were again loved by Manwe and Varda and what kind of love would that be if they continued to be banned.

I don´t why Tolkien said that in this latter, maybe he refered to the noldor that participated in the kinslaying?

 

Tirion must be very empty if the noldor were not allowed back.

And what about celebrian, was she, as galadriels daughter, allowed to valinor or did she have to stay on eressea waiting there for elrond? That would really be cruel, first been through hell in ME and then not able to live with her grandparents.

Someone said in another forum that it is likely that the ringbearers Frodo, Bilbo, I guess Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel too? would be presented to the valar. Is that likely and if yes, then why?

 

My reality is what the silmarillion says, that all the noldor might even come back to valinor. Otherwise it would be very cruel for the noldor, especially for galadriel.

Quenta Silmarillion is interesting here (the Gnomes are the Noldor):

"And when they came into the West the Gnomes for the most part rehabited the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East; and that land became very fair, and so remains. But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed; and there the Gnomes were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest."

 

That's what the Silmarillion said when JRRT wrote his letter to Waldman! or 'still' said at least. Was Tolkien revising the tale in this letter? or did he think he had written something 'like that' but didn't really check or notice?

I must admit it looks like he had changed his mind in the letter, but he never altered the passage above. JRRT would later make some cursory changes to the end of the Silmarillion, but he left this passage like this, as it stood in the 1930s, before Galadriel had even entered the history of the Elder Days.

 

The edited 1977 Silmarillion reads:

"And when they came into the West the Elves of Beleriand dwelt upon Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle, that looks both west and east; whence they might come even to Valinor. They were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest."

 

So, similar to Tolkien's old version (very old by 1977!). Of course, Christopher Tolkien then added that Galadriel did not go West, noting that she alone remained of the leaders of the Exiled Noldor.

Once again, Christopher Tolkien was faced with the difficulty that the conclusion of the Silmarillion had basically been left (though not in all details) in the form it had taken in the mid to late 1930s! and in some cases, all the way back to 1930... thus well before Tolkien even started writing The Lord of the Rings, which took a long time.

And the text The Elessar has another twist (CJRT changed Finrod to Finarfin for Unfinished Tales, noting it there as well):

"How otherwise can it be for the Eldar, if they cling to Middle-earth?" said Celebrimbor. "Will you then pass over Sea?"

"Nay," she said, "Angrod is gone, and Aegnor is gone, and Felagund is no more. Of Finrod's [Finarfin's] children I am the last. But my heart is still proud. What wrong did the golden house of Finrod [Finarfin] do that I should ask the pardon of the Valar, or be content with an isle in the sea whose native land was Aman the blessed? Here I am mightier."

 

Not only isn't Orodreth mentioned (a different matter), but this text, even though written after The Lord of the Rings was published, first stated that Galadriel was 'unwilling' to forsake Middle-earth. However the sentence was changed by JRRT himself to read that she wasn't permitted yet to forsake Middle-earth.

So how much should a letter, which was never truly meant for public eyes in any case (from Tolkien's perspective), or even a very rough manuscript in the first stage of composition and bearing a few pencilled emendations (this describes The Elessar text) -- how much should such sources have a hand in describing the internal history of Middle-earth?

Christopher Tolkien certainly took his father's letters into account when editing the existing tales, but constructing a one volume version of The Silmarillion was no easy task. Tolkien had worked on updating the Silmarillion's earlier parts, and started revising certain long prose accounts like The Fall of Gondolin (early 1950s), but it's possible he awaited the writing and completion of the Great Tales in their long versions before he would get around to updating the end of the Silmarillion.

 

Anyway, I kind of like what the Silmarillion had to say. I understand that the Noldor were rebels, and Galadriel a leader (again as far as what had been published by JRRT himself)...

... but then again, if the Noldor were permitted to visit Valinor, and possibly for long periods of time (at least by mortal standards), then well, why not just let them live there. On the third hand it's hard to go against a quite specific statement from JRRT, even though in a letter -- which, in my opinion, need not hinder Tolkien at all from changing his mind, if he desired to.

So it's a bit difficult, but today I lean a bit toward the Quenta Silmarillion, even though 'old' in the external sense.

I might change my mind later though

Tolkien often changed his mind and later he drops the idea, maybe that was the case too. If I understand that the right way, he would have had enough time to change the silmarillion? Or did he have this idea shortly before he died? If for him that was the one true version, then why not publicize that?

Maybe he had just forgotten what he wrote or wanted to see the reaction of the recipient of the letter.

In one of his last letters? he wrote that Galadriel was "unstained", so would she actually have been affected by this changed version?

I believe, if he really thought that the noldor  just for a specific time could dwell in valinor then he would have publicized that, except he had not enough time.

And even if it was the case that the noldor had to make her homes on Tol Eressea would that be the same case for the noldor princess? I mean her father is the king, and she is by far not as guilty than many others.

I hope the valar had a heart. Cause all the other exils had their families on eressea but her family, the familiy of the king had their home in tirion, so she had to live alone there.

Tolkien often changed his mind and later he drops the idea, maybe that was the case too. If I understand that the right way, he would have had enough time to change the silmarillion?

 

Right, JRRT had time to change the old conclusion of the Silmarillion. Of course he was busy with The Lord of the Rings for a long time, and obviously other projects, and life in general too.

What happened was (well the short version): JRRT wanted The Silmarillion published in the 1950s with The Lord of the Rings, and we see a good measure of activity in the early 1950s in updating and revising the tales of the Elder Days (Galadriel had not appeared in the earlier Silmarillion for example, or the Ents).

In the letter to Waldman (from which I quoted), Tolkien was trying to show that the Silmarillion should be published with The Lord of the Rings -- but this deal fell through in any case, and he went back to Allen and Unwin who agreed (at this point) to publish The Lord of the Rings but not Silmarillion.

Of course there was still time to work on the Silmarillion after 1954, 1955, but for several reasons, JRRT never even achieved a true post-1950s update for the conclusion to Quenta Silmarillion. So the idea that appears at the end of the 1977 Silmarillion is an edited version from the 1930s, Christopher Tolkien editing in Galadriel here for example.

Maybe he had just forgotten what he wrote or wanted to see the reaction of the recipient of the letter.

 

Possible, yes. As I say it seems like a revision but who really knows. We do have the comment from The Elessar (written after this letter), and other later texts that appear to focus on Tol Eressea, but nothing (that I know of anyway) that is so certainly stated as the Waldman letter.

In one of his last letters? he wrote that Galadriel was "unstained", so would she actually have been affected by this changed version?

 

Yes this is a very late letter, and appears to reflect a late idea that Galadriel was not part of the Rebellion! in this version however (published in Unfinished Tales), she fights at Swanhaven against the other Noldor (an idea that had arisen earlier, but not in the early 1950s, in which she was not present at Alqualonde).

This text however, is very suspect in my opinion. It was so unfinished that Christopher Tolkien paraphrased it in Unfinished Tales, and it contains more than one idea that conflicts with already published text, with no indication that Tolkien even remembered he was stepping on already published statements.

 

There was plenty about Galadriel that Tolkien could have written without revising her published history, but the ban for her leadership of the Exiled Noldor appeared in 1967, in The Road Goes Ever On. So Tolkien readers already believed this much to be true, and CJRT's chosen history for the Silmarillion basically agrees with this.

And even if it was the case that the noldor had to make her homes on Tol Eressea would that be the same case for the noldor princess? I mean her father is the king, and she is by far not as guilty than many others. 

 

Good question! Galadriel is special in any case. And incidentally, it seems odd to me, well a little bit odd at least, that when Tolkien thought Galadriel should be removed from the Rebellion he still had her fight in the Kinslaying -- in some manner at least, and on the side of the Teleri of course, but still. Did Galadriel herself kill any Noldor?

 

When Tolkien first entered Galadriel into the Elder Days -- back in the early 1950s (during this period I referred to above, after The Lord of the Rings was 'finished' but not yet published) -- she was not present at the Kinslaying. This is the story chosen for the 1977 Silmarillion, and I think Christopher Tolkien was correct to choose it. So yes, Galadriel was not guilty of the Kinslaying, but did have a special role as a leader of the Rebellion.

 

All this external stuff is a bit confusing I know, but JRRT changed his mind often enough. What I like to remind is that what Tolkien himself published isn't as confusing, at least.

What about that letter:

 

Letter 325 1971: The immortals who were permitted to leave ME and seek Aman - the undying lands of Valinor and Eressea, an Island assigned to the eldar - set sail in ships

 

For me it states that they could reach both places not just in particular eressea...and the letter is wrote after the "waldman" letter. But maybe I don´t get the part ...an island assigned to the eldar. One  could think he meant that this island was given the exils or noldor but then why not write ...an Island assigned to the exil noldor?

 

I read it that way that Eressea was not part of the originan Aman, but the Teleri loves this Island, so  the valar assigned that to the teleri, for they at the beginning lived there. But not in relation to the exil noldor.

For me this letter is the proof that the exils had not to stay on eressea.

 

And this tolkien wrote about galadriel:

In the event it proved that it was Galadriel's abnegation of pride 
and trust in her own powers, and her absolute refusal of any unlawful 
enhancement of them, that provided the ship to bear her back to her home.
 (HME 12:320-21, n.15 to p.299)

He wrote that 1969 and for me back to her home refers to Valinor and not 
eressea, for ereseea never being her home. Or am I too niggling?

What about that letter: Letter 325 1971: The immortals who were permitted to leave ME and seek Aman - the undying lands of Valinor and Eressea, an Island assigned to the eldar - set sail in ships

For  me it states that they could reach both places not just in particular eressea...and the letter is wrote after the "waldman" letter. But maybe I don´t get the part ...an island assigned to the eldar. One  could think he meant that this island was given the exils or noldor but then why not write ...an Island assigned to the exil noldor?

 

I agree this (very) late letter is somewhat confusing here. There's another statement in Morgoth's Ring (HB, HMC edition p. 341) that appears to say the passing oversea to Eressea (here an Island within sight of Aman) was permitted to, and indeed urged upon, 'all' Elves remaining in Middle-earth after the downfall of Morgoth.

All Elves to Eressea? I think this might be loose wording on Tolkien's part. And I'm not sure about the 1971 letter myself, having thought about it before concerning Galadriel and the Exiles.

 And this tolkien wrote about galadriel: In the event it proved that it was Galadriel's abnegation of pride and trust in her own powers, and her absolute refusal of any unlawful enhancement of them, that provided the ship to bear her back to her home. (HME 12:320-21, n.15 to p.299)

He wrote that 1969 and for me back to her home refers to Valinor and not eressea, for ereseea never being her home. Or am I too niggling?

 

This is from Of Dwarves And Men, a late text as you note, and I can't think of this ever being raised before in any discussion of this topic (that I've seen or recall). Great find!

Is it too niggling to bring up? Certainly not; but -- and not that you said it was 'proof' because you certainly didn't say that, and even asked if others thought it too niggling -- but I'll ask anyway: is it necessarily proof that Galadriel was allowed to dwell permanently in Valinor, in opposition to the pesky Waldman letter? 

I'm not sure everyone would agree about that; but technically her home had not been Eressea, as you say. Again, excellent notice!

 Sometimes it seems rare enough that everyone agrees about something on the internet anyway 

On the one hand the valar are obviously worried and even urged the elves, but why limiting them to eressea? If they are so worried, and this would be a sign of love why should they segregate them? For me it´s more like an offer, a argeement or a middle ground, that they don´t have to return to Valinor but could, if they would like stay on eressea. It is near to ME and I believe for some Exil Noldor and the Sindar more bearable .

Regarding Galadriel, I made my decision, cause of the notes and that he even declared her as „unstained“, I´m sure he wanted Galadriel in Valinor in her „home“. And it was that naturally for him that he didn´t mention it separately. (But he probably even intended all the noldor at some time without limitations in Valinor, except Feanors house)

He stated that she was „mighty among the eldar “ and for me it doesn´t sound like anybody who is exiled from the main land and forced to dwell on eressea. She was after all influential enough to bring Gimli at least to eressea.

Another point Tolkien wrote that the Valar gave her pardon and honor. Honor for me isn´t if galadriel would be forced to dwell permanently on eressea.

Furthermore tolkien stated that galadriel was greatest of elven women (I assume he meant after Luthien) and I think in the eyes of the valar Galadriel was too special to bann her on eressea, cause she, and that is the most important, never had done something evil (except going to ME against the wish of the valar, but I even think it isn´t so bad, she never did this to disobey the valar, it was just her wish and they should know that. Sometimes I believe, Ok, that isn´t the topic, the valar just don´t understand the children of eru and their dreams but as time passes, I think they should be more empathetic. They even understood Feanor, so why not Galadriel?)

I believe the indeed pesky  waldman letter had nothing to do in respect with galadriel, I guess he didn´t saw her as the „standart“ exil, so it would have been to easy for him to throw her in one pot with the other noldor. Just my opinion. She was special in his thought and who knows what we could have learned of her, if he lived longer.

He obviously was impressed by his own character and do you really think , just intuitionally, that he had in mind for her to stay banned on eressea? Maybe she even chose to live there, no problem, it is after all a beautiefull Island, but not forced.
 

Another question, what would the valar do if one noldor, who has of course permanently to dwell on eressea, after 500 years visiting his familiy in Tirion , is not in the mood for returning to eressea? Would they punish him or her or send him/her back to ME or would that elf die? For me the content of the waldmen letter doesn´t make sense. If there would really be such law in aman, it just has the potential for more trouble. Why not prefering to be at peace at all without reduction.

I believe that the permanent dwelling thing was just a sudden inspiration of tolkien, not important enough to leave a clear notice for his son to including it in the over worked version of the silmarillion.

Generally speaking I'm a fan of your conclusion -- I think it makes sense for Galadriel to be allowed permanently in Aman if she desires, despite the Waldman letter or other examples.

I wouldn't see the need for the Halsbury letter however, as a necessary part of the argument I mean, because this seems (in my opinion) connected with the very late text where Galadriel is removed from the Rebellion. That, I think, appears to be the context of her being referred to as 'unstained' -- but again, this conflicts with my internal history (the Tolkien-published account), and so the Halsbury letter is also quite problematic for me.

The penitent Galadriel is the much better story in my opinion -- and moreover, to my mind not less Christian than the unstained version (not that anyone said it was). Galadriel still had to pass a difficult test, and it came when Frodo offered her the One. This Galadriel makes the passing of this test all the more meaningful to me.

And the late story has more than one problem I think: not only had it been published that Galadriel was a leader in the Rebellion, but Celeborn had already been published as a Sinda (not a Teler of Aman as in the late text). And here JRRT made Galadriel and Celeborn first cousins, which at least seems questionable if not contradictory with something already in print.

Something else: in the book Celeborn did not sail when Galadriel did. Thus, if he was from Aman why not sail with her? Celeborn even makes a comment to Aragorn about this in the published tale. Surely Tolkien could contrive some answer, but I'm not convinced he even remembered this either. I don't think he always wrote with his own sources in front of him, and there was quite a lot of text both published or written by the early 1970s.

But this late text and letter is a side point. Sorry I got off track!

Oh I see it the same way, I think the abnegation of the ring has more significance in consideration of galadriels rebellious past. I just wonder if the ring would have not come to lorien would she anyway have been forgiven? I mean then there would be no test, or would there be another test or was is predetermined  that  Frodo would come to lorien  by illuvatar?

I always think it is moving that Gladriel thought the valar had given up on the people of ME and her and then she recieves the elessar from Yavanna (in one version). Alone the fact that Yavanna cared for her... or did she have other purposes in mind? Hm, OK it´s not the topic but I have another question, not the topic too, in anothehr forum I read that Elwing, in HOME, was described second in beauty after luthien. Means the second most beautifull beeing ever.

I don´t have the books. Is that really stated?

The Elessar text has some nice ideas, but it too carries some questionable statements in my opinion (I'll leave that for another thread, but consider, just for starters, that Galadriel can use Nenya in the Third Age when Gandalf arrives with the jewel).

At the moment I don't remember that description of Elwing. The History of Middle-Earth series is large enough, but as she isn't mentioned all that much in HME 10, 11, or 12, using the index I checked -- wherever her name appears at least -- and I couldn't find this statement.

I can't recall if it's in another source maybe. If in an earlier volume of HME it would likely be 'pre-Galadriel' in any case (if that's why you're wondering). Anyone else remember this?

In general I don't always trust what I read on the web -- although I just said all this on the web 

A question to one letter more specific a section, that I until know never read:

But the promise made to the eldar (the high elves – not to other varieties, they had log before made their irrevocable choice, preferring ME to paradise) for their sufferings in the struggle with the prime dark lord had still to be fullifield: that they should always be able to leave M E, if they wished and pass over sea to the true west, by the straight road and so come to eressea.

So does it mean that just the high elves= Noldor? could flee from sauron but not the sindar or avari? And what about celeborn? At the time, Tolkien wrote that, was he Teleri from aman? Cause we know celeborn went over the see, but if he was sindar, he would not have been able to.

Is that confusing, I believe tolkien was confused too.surprise I wish I never had read that letters, than life would be easy ;-)

But the promise made to the eldar (the high elves – not to other varieties, they had log before made their irrevocable choice, preferring ME to paradise) for their sufferings in the struggle with the prime dark lord had still to be fullifield: that they should always be able to leave M E, if they wished and pass over sea to the true west, by the straight road and so come to eressea.

So does it mean that just the high elves= Noldor? could flee from sauron but not the sindar or avari?

 

Another good question Arafinwe. Technically 'High Elves' should be a translation of Tareldar not Eldar, but in some places (as here in my opinion) Tolkien seems to use High Elves to refer to the Eldar. 

And what about celeborn? At the time, Tolkien wrote that, was he Teleri from aman? Cause we know celeborn went over the see, but if he was sindar, he would not have been able to.

 

The earliest I can date the notion that Celeborn was a Telerin Elf from Aman is 1968, which is well after this letter anyway. But with respect to your question, again I don't think JRRT was excluding Celeborn here, I think it's just that he meant High Elves as in Eldar, thus including the Sindar.

In my opinion Tolkien can't really exclude even the Silvan Elves of Lorien from passing Oversea for example, because he would publish (generally anyway, and in The Lord of the Rings at least) that most of the Elves of Lothlorien were East-elves and 'not Eldarin' -- and describe that Silvan Elves fleeing Lorien had sailed Oversea from the South.

But the promise made to the eldar (the high elves – not to other varieties, they had log before made their irrevocable choice, preferring ME to paradise) for their sufferings in the struggle with the prime dark lord had still to be fullifield: that they should always be able to leave M E, if they wished and pass over sea to the true west, by the straight road and so come to eressea.

 

So in this letter tolkien tried to make clear that the avari never would have the chance to go to the undying lands? But I assume he soon abandoned that, cause of nimrodel and amroth they at last went to aman, Ok, they tried.

Tolkiens change of galadriels history, did he really forgot what he wrote about her (I mean how can you forgot that, it is after all not some little detail) or was he convinced that that is the final version.

Hm, it´s really odd that he had her in his last version fighting against the noldor, would that in the eyes of the valar be honored? It is said that galadriel was guilty that she didn´t hinder the slaying, I believe Tolkien wrote that, but now I wonder how should she have been able too stop that? Here is the quote from tolkien:

Galadriel herself was not involved in the kinslaying. However, she was tainted by association, because she was the niece of Feanor and especially because she had Telerian blood in her through her mother Earwen, the daughter of Olwe Lord of the Teleri. Thus, in The Silmarillion, Galadriel's "sin" is primarily one of omission.

I understand it that way, that she is even to some degree to blame for the slaying, just because she is the nice of feanor and half teleri? The valar really have some strange vision of law. No surprise she wanted to forsake Valinor, the valar, with their role, were totally overstrained.

 

To return the topic, do you know some discussion regarding this topic and where I can find them. I already googled that, but I´m still not satisfied.  I would like to read the thoughts of others, but it´s not so easy to find someone who gives response to you.

So in this letter tolkien tried to make clear that the avari never would have the chance to go to the undying lands?

 

I think he meant the Avari at least, yes. Perhaps 'varieties' of Avari?

But I assume he soon abandoned that, cause of nimrodel and amroth they at last went to aman, Ok, they tried.

 

Concerning these characters anyway, in later writing Amroth was Sindarin; and Nimrodel would not necessarily be Avarin according to the seeming 'definition' of Eldar as noted in The Lord of the Rings at least, but simply 'non-Eldarin'.

Tolkiens change of galadriels history, did he really forgot what he wrote about her (I mean how can you forgot that, it is after all not some little detail) or was he convinced that that is the final version.

 

I wonder about this too, but Christopher Tolkien does speak about Tolkien's memory becoming a factor, especially with respect to very late texts (as is the one in which Galadriel is not part of the Rebellion).

The matter of memory is difficult, but in this late tale Tolkien doesn't even appear to deal with what he had published in The Road Goes Ever On or The Lord of the Rings (concerning Celeborn). At least with the very late writing about Glorfindel we see JRRT considering that he can't go against what was implied in The Lord of the Rings --  although there he raises a question concerning whether or not he remembered what he had written (but not published) about the population of Gondolin, for example. 

That said, it may be that Tolkien did remember Galadriel had been banned and so on (or he checked his own books), and possibly that's why this late text never got beyond an 'adumbrated' state (though obviously other reasons are just as possible). I mean, maybe he remembered that Galadriel was already part of the Rebellion and said something (to himself) like 'this fails' and just stopped.

It's possible that JRRT remembered and didn't care -- at least for the moment -- what had already been published. Or that he intended to ignore what had been published, since RGEO perhaps wasn't going to be read as much as The Lord of the Rings.

I find these last two possibilities a bit unlikely myself. Tolkien will sometimes try to solve a seeming inconsistency with some sort of explanation, and here he was raising no less than (in my opinion) four questionable or problematic points, without speaking to any of them as if they were problematic.

Hm, it´s really odd that he had her in his last version fighting against the noldor, would that in the eyes of the valar be honored? It is said that galadriel was guilty that she didn´t hinder the slaying, I believe Tolkien wrote that, but now I wonder how should she have been able too stop that? Here is the quote from tolkien:

Galadriel herself was not involved in the kinslaying. However, she was tainted by association, because she was the niece of Feanor and especially because she had Telerian blood in her through her mother Earwen, the daughter of Olwe Lord of the Teleri. Thus, in The Silmarillion, Galadriel's "sin" is primarily one of omission.

 

Did JRRT himself write this? I don't remember it at the moment.

To return the topic, do you know some discussion regarding this topic and where I can find them. I already googled that, but I´m still not satisfied. 

 

I've been chatting on the web about Tolkien for a number of years, but right now I can't think of any (I seem to remember this being discussed before, somewhere).

Maybe my memory is sometimes suspect

Galadriel herself was not involved in the kinslaying. However, she was tainted by association, because she was the niece of Feanor and especially because she had Telerian blood in her through her mother Earwen, the daughter of Olwe Lord of the Teleri. Thus, in The Silmarillion, Galadriel's "sin" is primarily one of omission.

Oh that was my fault, that was stated by the author of the article, not by tolkien.

And I think tolkien remembered what he earlier stated about galadriel, here in the letter:

Also I may send you ere long some copies of things which I have written to clarify my mind and imagination on such things as the relations of elves and the longeval and men that short lived – but which you need not let trouble you, not even to return. I meant right away to deal with galadriel, and with the question of elvish child bearing – to both of which I have given much thought. But I must not delay longer to send you this letter of gratitute...
Galadriel was „unstained“....


To me, what he wrote seems well - thought -out, I mean he had "given much thought". Maybe he just thought that was the better story about her.

He self was not the one who published that, it was his son, right?

I'm sure Tolkien did give much thought to Galadriel, but if the 'much' in this letter means 'much recently' then I still wonder if he recalled what had been printed in 1967, or written in 1971 in a letter. Christopher Tolkien noted in his introduction to the late essays on Glorfindel (Last Writings):

'There are clear evidences of confusion [as he said at one point, 'my memory is no longer retentive'], but there are elements in them that are of much interest and should be recorded.'

 

Although Tolkien did alter some already published text, CJRT generally notes his father's 'intense concern to avoid discrepancy and inconsistency' (note 8 to Of Dwarves And Men) -- and if Tolkien was generally concerned with consistency (as seems natural enough), yet with this late 'unstained' tale, he had raised:

A an inconsistent history of Galadriel (not in accord with already published text) B an inconsistent history concerning Celeborn (not in accord with already published text) C Galadriel and Celeborn as first cousins (at least nothing about Elves marrying first cousins had been published however) D especially raised the question of why Celeborn -- if from Aman -- did not sail with Galadriel at the end of The Lord of the Rings.

Concerning D: if Celeborn is somehow not Sindarin but from Aman rather, and noting too his desire (Many Partings) that Aragorn's doom be other than his, and his treasure remain with him to the end, why did he also not desire to go with Galadriel (at this time) to the land of his former bliss?

As to the question of why Celeborn did not sail with Galadriel, Hammond and Scull reveal:

'(...) These comments imply that Celeborn could have left Middle-earth with Galadriel if he had wished, and Tolkien's replies to queries from readers seem to confirm this. In his unpublished letter to Eileen Elgar, begun 22 September 1963 he comments that Celeborn and Galadriel were of different kin: Celeborn was of that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth that they had refused the call of the Valar to go to Valinor; he had never seen the Blessed Realm. Now he remained until he had seen the coming of the Dominion of Men. But to an immortal Elf, for whom time was not as it is to mortals, the period in which he was parted from Galadriel would seem brief.'

 

So here we see that when JRRT was certainly considering the matter, Celeborn was not from Aman.

In The Peoples of Middle-Earth Christopher Tolkien refers to three essays written during his father's last years, and some brief writings 'that appear to derive from the last years of his life' primarily concerned with or arising from the Glorfindel question. He writes...

'These late writings are notable for the many wholly new elements that entered the 'legendarium'; and also for the number of departures from earlier work on the Matter of the Elder Days. It may be suggested that whereas my father set great store by consistency at all points with The Lord of the Rings and the Appendices, so little concerning the First Age had appeared in print that he was under far less constraint. I am inclined to think, however, that the primary explanation of these differences lies rather in his writing largely from memory. The histories of the First Age would always remain in a somewhat fluid state so long as they were not fixed in published work; and he certainly did not have all the relevant manuscripts clearly arranged and set out before him. But it remains in any case an open question, whether (to give a single example) in the essay Of Dwarves and Men he had definitely rejected the greatly elaborated account of the houses of the Edain that had entered the Quenta Silmarillion in about 1958, or whether it had passed from his mind.' Christopher Tolkien, Foreword, The Peoples of Middle-Earth


Of course I am emphasizing certain points, but anyway I think that with a world as realistic and complicated as Middle-earth, it is not so much poor memory but simply not having the detailed descriptions at hand -- not only to remind Tolkien of particular phrasing or details, but also for reminding him just what had been published versus what had merely been written.

For another example: in January of 1971 Tolkien wrote (letter 320) that despite the comparison to Mary, Galadriel was a penitent, a leader in the Rebellion -- but he adds that she had proudly refused forgiveness or permission to return at the end of the First Age -- however she had not been given permission to return according to what JRRT had published back in 1967.

Revision or memory? who can say, but why revise only this detail if Galadriel is still a leader of the Rebellion?


I don't mean to imply JRRT had some sort of problem here. One doesn't have to be 'old' to forget something written years ago, especially considering the great amount of text Tolkien had written by the 1970s. The late tale could well be a purposed alteration with respect to already published work, but again, if so, I would have expected at least a slight notation from JRRT in recognition that he was stepping on ideas and history his readership already believed to be true.

Even with the change omentielmo (first edition) to omentielvo (second edition), Tolkien tried to come up with something to explain the inconsistency -- granted, he didn't attempt to explain all cases of revision in any event -- but still, here with Galadriel we have an important character and a notable possible revision (among other concerns).

I just find it more likely that Tolkien wrote this text mistakenly thinking that this part of Galadriel's history was written but not already in print, and thus could easily be altered in this radical way.
 

Hi, I have another question about galadriel andI´m a little confused, I believed all the time that her test was given by the valar. But now I read that that is not the case and it was just coincidence that rodo offered her the ring. What is true? Isn´t there somewhere a letter that states the the test was set up by the valar?

Another question is about her pardon. I read that Gandalf did represented the valar (this I understand, for he was send back by eru) and that actually he decided that she could go west, so that the valar wouldn´t know that she would return? (I actually think that this would be a little too bold) Did he really had so much power to act in such a way?

How did she realized that she was pardoned? One possibility would be gandalf, who told her, that is the most probable. But then they had to contact Gandalf, but how, except he indeed decided in place of the valar. But maybe they just send a herald?

 

Oh, and merry Christmas everyone :-)

Hmm, there might be a reference somewhere (Letters or Unfinished Tales maybe), or something about fate perhaps -- I just don't recall one at the moment.

I do know that it was said (RGEO):

'In the event, after the fall of Sauron, in reward for all that she had done to opppose him, but above all for her rejection of the Ring when it came within her power, the ban was lifted, and she returned over the Sea, as is told at the end of The Lord of the Rings.' 

 

As to how Galadriel became aware her ban was lifted: I once mused -- to try and explain Galadriel's line in The Lord of the Rings when she says she will pass into the West -- that her pardon was delivered to her heart and mind directly after she rejected the One...

... but directly at this point didn't work, not simply because of the implication in RGEO, but because her lament follows this statement in the book, and the explanation of her lament does not easily allow for this theory. This would seem to indicate that I couldn't find any actual explanation from Tolkien -- yet again (speaking about memory!) that was some time ago now and who knows if I even checked the many sources at the time.

At one point Cirdan was said to have received:

'... in his heart a message, which he knew to come from the Valar, though in his mind it was remembered as a voice speaking in his own tongue.'

JRRT, Last Writings, Cirdan

 

Perhaps Galadriel too? And as you bring up Gandalf, elsewhere in a letter he is noted as no doubt the authority who accepted Arwen's plea for Frodo sailing West, Tolkien noting that Gandalf was a Valarin emissary 'and virtually their plenipotentiary in accomplishing the plan against Sauron. He was also in special accord with Cirdan the Ship-master...'

 

I would like to be clearer here, but without going diligently through a number of sources or letters I can only state my feeling at the moment (and I don't really have the time right now to go over all the possibly relevant sources): seems like two things I might remember! but yet I can't be sure enough to give you a sweeping answer.

 

Anyway I know there are more people here that might respond. Hello out there!

 was specifically se

Incidentally (Finwe) Arafinwe (are you still around?), at another forum I just injected the quote about Galadriel from Of Dwarves And Men -- in a thread about the Exiles passing to Eressea, or Valinor.

Since I read HME I had read the note at one point, but I didn't remember it when this question arose. So again, great find, and possibly you are the first to bring it to the 'collective internet table', so to speak (concerning this question anyway)...

 

... but now I'm using it 

@ galin, firstly I´m arafinwe, ( just noting to avoid confusion ;-) ) I don´t know why my name changed to Nerwen, we had the discussion already further, I think I found another proof but later...

 

And, I´m a little too late but still around and I think it´s cool that you use the passage I found and I believe I found another proof, that I so far didn´t knew, that Galadriel was allowed to go to valinor and not just tol eressea. OK, but maybe this quote is already known..

 

"When and Where Galadriel would see Celeborn again, if under the trees of eldamar or on the piers of Avallone is not kown..."

 

I had to translate this from german but it should be correct.  And for me it sounds as if galadriel was free to choose where to life. First I wasn´t sure where exactly Eldamar lies, but I believe it is a part of Valinor and avallone is on eressea. So Tolkien had not the intention to tie galadriel up to Tol Eressea :-)

I believe Tolkien said this in the appendix in one of the tree books, but I´m not sure.. Maybe somebody does know the quote and can be more accurate.

Hello again... Nerwen

"When and Where Galadriel would see Celeborn again, if under the trees of eldamar or on the piers of Avallone is not kown..." 

 

I can't find this quote so far. If the words Eldamar and Avallone appear in the passage, using the index might help, but the index to my most recent edition (with index compiled by Hammond and Scull) suggests that the word Avallone does not appear in The Lord of the Rings, including the Appendices.

It seems that you found this on the internet (or else you could note the source easily), so we've got to find it in the books before we can say anything about it.

I remember spending months carefully reading the appendices until I felt I was losing touch with our world. And I remember being amazed at myself in that I was able to read different things that seemed to contradict other things and then two versions of Galadriel and somehow I was able to just go along with both. That is not in my nature whatsoever , and that just testifies to me the sheer 'magic' and by this I mean astounding power of the man to bring one so deeply into his realm that he became king and I a loyal vassal ready to believe just anything he said.

That's a good point Leelee. I think most readers (if not all) might agree that Tolkien was an amazing world-builder, and this is something JRRT thought very important as part of the art of creating 'fantasy' or mythic tale telling.

But is this part of Tolkien's art being undermined in some measure?

The story of Galadriel and Celeborn is knotty and confused, yes, but I would add (again) that it's not nearly as confused as Tolkien himself thought it was -- simply because he did not treat his drafts as if they were all 'internal variations' -- that is, different versions of the story that actually appeared in the Red Book.

They were drafts rather, results of a creative imagination trying to 'find out' what really happened, and so variations are not unexpected. And some of the drafts were written late in life when even Tolkien states that he had memory issues. They were not intended to be competing internal variations but have simply become known to the public through Christopher Tolkien.

 

For example, I can make Feanor's story quite confusing if I simply treat everything Tolkien wrote about Feanor as internally true. But should I? Would that be fair to Tolkien the world-builder?

Well said Galin. How do you know that is how the professor thought, where did you get that. That does make everything quite simple then, I did not know it.

I can't read Tolkien's mind of course, but my opinion is based on the texts of The History of Middle-Earth.

Tolkien changed his mind a lot over the decades! and generally speaking, building a very believable secondary world requires minding consistency -- some measure of inconsistency is fine, and a measure of intended variation can actually lend credibility -- but that measure is Tolkien's to decide.

To raise a somewhat silly example: no one thinks 'Trotter the Hobbit' (from draft text) is really an alternate version of Strider the Dunadan! Trotter doesn't exist, and he doesn't even exist as part of the Red Book, even if 'incorrect' compared to the real Strider.

On the other hand, Bilbo's slightly 'incorrect' version of how he came by the One Ring does exist in the Red Book, noting that JRRT was quite aware of the inconsistency he had created (externally), and that he explained it internally. Why explain it? I would say to strengthen the foundations that this inconsistency might undermine. Both tales could not be true, but Tolkien provides a way to explain the false one, and why it existed.

 

Of course it's not so black and white when we really consider the matter more closely. There are some instances where details were intended to conflict, and some variations could be intended even if not hinted at. Each example is different, but the simple existence of arguably conflicting ideas is (in my opinion) even more questionable where already published text is involved.

In any case I think a notable number of changes over the decades simply reflect the external process of a writer changing his mind as his world takes shape in his imagination -- that is, when Tolkien changes X to Y, then X is no longer part of the imagined Red Book (like the idea of Trotter the hobbit) but simply an abandoned idea that still exists on paper. 

I have seen some suggest that since Primary World mythologies have various and conflicting versions so can Tolkien's legendarium. With this I generally agree, but how far can we, the readers, take this concept?

There's no indication that Qenta Noldorinwa, the 'Silmarillion' of 1930 for instance, was ever intended wholly as a variant account compared to any post-Lord of the Rings version. It rather became an old, abandoned version, essentially needing updating, especially after new characters (like Galadriel herself) and new ideas arose in the 1940s and early 1950s.

I'm not against variant traditions. In my opinion the fall of Numenor is the better for it actually (an example that can be argued to exist in at least two intentionally conflicting versions). And maybe a text like the Awakening of the Quendi, in which the Sun exists before the Elves awaken, includes an intended variation on the Numenorean model of the Sun and Moon hailing from the Two Trees.  

But all variations great and small, especially over such a large span of time, don't become internal, or intended, just because they exist on paper -- even if 'all' is arguably (or admittedly) unfair to try and make the point here (and not that anyone here said they all did become internal in any case).

I think I might have found another "proof" that all the noldor could come back to Valinor.

HoMe XII, pg 31:
"When at last that war ( War of the Jewels ) was ended, most of the exiled Noldor returned over the Sea to Valinor or to the land of Eresseä that lies near."

I think that is something new in that discussion, but maybe I just missed it. Dunno. So, what has more weight in your opinion, that  Waldmen letter or the HoME? I don´t know, did Tolkien wrote the HoMe himself, or his son or someone else?

Hi Nerwen and all. Part of the joy of reading and re reading HOME is the fact that really you are reading the professors actual working notes. One can see the workings of Tolkien's mind in a way as his trajectory changes in the re telling/writing. I find it intriguing as these notes pre date computers by in some cases up to 80 years. Hand written and edited. The effect of hand writing means that changes to story are traceable and intriguing. I believe ( in my readings) that all Elves were welcomed back to Valinor to receive the Pardon and were then allowed to dwell wherever they were comfortable. Even the last two Sons of Feanor were asked to return, albeit in shame.

I think I might have found another "proof" that all the noldor could come back to Valinor. HoMe XII, pg 31: "When at last that war ( War of the Jewels ) was ended, most of the exiled Noldor returned over the Sea to Valinor or to the land of Eresseä that lies near."

 

You have a sharp eye Nerwen (you're back!), but this statement comes from a draft version for Appendix F, with the published revision rather noting that the Eldar passed West Over Sea.

 

 

I think that is something new in that discussion, but maybe I just missed it. Dunno. So, what has more weight in your opinion, that Waldmen letter or the HoME? I don't know, did Tolkien wrote the HoMe himself, or his son or someone else? 

 

 

Very briefly put, The History of Middle-Earth series looks at the external evolution of JRR Tolkien's tales and poetry, presented (with commentary) by Christopher Tolkien. There is some editing in the sense that Christopher Tolkien could not produce everything his father wrote, but part of the point with respect to the Silmarillion papers was to show notable stories, various versions and notes, all in their more pure form as written by JRRT over the course of his lifetime.

 

Thus we have a complete 'Silmarillion' in 1930 for example, with no Galadriel however! And when we get to the later volumes of HME we can see much (but not all) of the texts that Christopher Tolkien used to construct the 1977 Silmarillion. The 1977 Silmarillion was the result of a different kind, or measure, of editing, with Christopher Tolkien in search of a self-consistent, one volume version for readers (as opposed to the more scholarly presentation of HME).

 

The History of Middle-Earth also delves into the external history of The Lord of the Rings, and again, that's what you've quoted above: a draft version of a section of Appendix F that was revised at some later point and made more vague (whatever Tolkien was thinking at the time) for the published text in 1955.

I believe (in my readings) that all Elves were welcomed back to Valinor to receive the Pardon and were then allowed to dwell wherever they were comfortable. Even the last two Sons of Feanor were asked to return, albeit in shame. 

 

 

Hmm, but there's a bit more to this request I think: '... and to Valinor must Maedhros and Maglor return, and there abide the judgement of the Valar, by whose decree alone would Eonwe yield the jewels from his charge.'

I don't think this would have occurred on Tol Eressea anyway (even if it could have), and I'm not sure this much necessarily speaks to allowing these Elves to abide wherever they wanted.

 

 

Also, when this was written the Noldor in general were certainly allowed to Valinor in any case, and Galadriel did not exist: 'But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed; and there the Gnomes [Noldor] were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar...' (Quenta Silmarillion, mid to later 1930s, The Lost Road And Other Writings).

 

But why doesn't Christopher Tolkien use this wording for the 1977 Silmarillion? Why 'water it down' a bit for the published version, to the Elves of Beleriand dwelling in Tol Eressea: 'whence they might come even to Valinor' (assuming Christopher Tolkien altered this, but he doesn't note this as a change hailing from his father anyway).

 

 

I think the Waldman letter is behind this, where the Exiles: '... were not to dwell permanently in Valinor again, but in the Lonely Isle of Eressea...' coupled with a statement in The Elessar (Unfinished Tales) where Galadriel says: 'What wrong did the golden house of Finarfin do that I should ask the pardon of the Valar, or be content with an Isle in the sea whose native land was Aman the Blessed?'

 

It seems to me that, roughly ten-ish or more years after having the Gnomes sail back to Valinor if they liked, Tolkien gets tougher on the Noldor, and I can't recall any later text (published so far) that explicitly denies the rather straightforward remark from the Waldman letter...

 

... although (in my opinion) Nerwen/Arafinwe has found some nice quotes here, and brought up some good points along with them.  

That's all true Galin, however the "request" by the Valar for the remaing Elves to return, or for that matter travel to the West for the first time, was offered to the Elves as a matter of protection and finality rather thn a threat of further punishment. All Elves fought on the side of the West in the final battle with Melkor and I believe that this act sealed forgiveness and the lifting of the curse. As we know Manwe took the judgement from Mandos and under Iluvatar, withdrew the ban. Eonwe held the Silmarils only until the last surviving Sons of Feanor stole them and in my mind therefor sealed their own fate to remain and die in the East. Eonwe could easily have overcome the brothers, secured the Silmarils and dragged them back to Valinor for judgement, however he didn't. I think that these two Noldo were allowed to fulfill their sworn promise and end up with a Sil each to prove to all Elves that no matter what their actions Iluvatar knows best and his Doom cannot be altered via any actions by Valar, Maia, Elf or Man. If punishment for the Noldor included exclusion of freedom within the Undying Lands it would seem strange to me because I don't believe that the Valar or Iluvatar hold grudges. If they did Melkor would never have been freed after his first chaining. So I guess what I'm saying is that all Elves and for that matter fallen Maia would find total forgiveness in the West and would therefor be free to live out their eternal lives wherever they liked. Valinor or Tol Eresea.

Brego wrote: '(...) If punishment for the Noldor included exclusion of freedom within the Undying Lands it would seem strange to me because I don't believe that the Valar or Iluvatar hold grudges. If they did Melkor would never have been freed after his first chaining. So I guess what I'm saying is that all Elves and for that matter fallen Maia would find total forgiveness in the West and would therefor be free to live out their eternal lives wherever they liked. Valinor or Tol Eresea.'  

 

 

Except that Tolkien, in the Waldman letter at least, disagrees with you concerning the Exiled Noldor; nor were the 'chief actors' in the Rebellion allowed to return Oversea with the rest of the Exiles even after Morgoth was overthrown -- including Galadriel -- who in The Elessar appears to say that she would have to be content with Tol Eressea not Aman. 

You don't appear to give Tolkien's statement in the letter, for example, any consideration here.

This entire discussion is rather academic.

Grey Elves did not travel beyond Tol Eresseä (though some might have settled in AqualondëWink Smilie because even though the call of the sea eventually overwhelmed them, they always kept a strong bond towards Middle-earth.

Galadriel was the last of the leaders (or rather, major figures) of the Noldor Rebellion in Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, and highly likely the very last Noldo born in Tirion, but in any case whether she had permission to travel beyond Tol Eresseä, she would likely remain where Celeborn would choose to reside and that would be either Tol Eresseä or the city of Aqualondë.

In any case, it is highly unlikely that the Valar would forbid Galadriel to visit her Noldor family in Tirion.

I have read the letters you note Galin and I've read many written after and before. It seems that Tolkien's story changed and Evolved in the telling. And I for one are happy with the brief outcomes as written in the Sil. The only fault I see in the Sil is that it's too brief and short. The basic frame work is there and I guess it's up to us to fill in the gaps by mining Tolkien's other writings. Virumor I agree with your synopsis. Honestly, whether I agree or disagree with what you post, you have the knack ( not sure if you know what "knack" is ) of saying a heap in very few words. Beautiful.

Virumor wrote: This entire discussion is rather academic. Grey Elves did not travel beyond Tol Eresseä (though some might have settled in Aqualonde..)...

The Grey Elves did not travel beyond Tol Eressea... but some 'might' have?

... because even though the call of the sea eventually overwhelmed them, they always kept a strong bond towards Middle-earth.

 

Can you refresh my memory please, what is this based on? Did JRRT write or imply somewhere that the Sindar did not pass beyond Tol Eressea because of a bond with Middle-earth? If he did I don't recall it at the moment.

  

 

Brego wrote: I have read the letters you note Galin and I've read many written after and before. It seems that Tolkien's story changed and Evolved in the telling. And I for one are happy with the brief outcomes as written in the Sil. The only fault I see in the Sil is that it's too brief and short. The basic frame work is there and I guess it's up to us to fill in the gaps by mining Tolkien's other writings.

 

 

My point was that your last post doesn’t appear to consider the letter -- meaning you posted your interpretation without even mentioning a letter that specifically disagrees with it. And here, if the Waldman letter is included in these other writings, how have you arrived at your interpretation above?

 

Do you mean you simply like the older Silmarillion notion better?

No Galin. I choose to pic and choose which info from JRRT's many and often contradictory letters I believe to be (at least in my mind) accepted canon. Also by doing this I don't then have to feel that the Sil is in anyway incorrect in facts as remembered by the Elves. Having read the minefield of written materials I can see why the Sil was difficult to edit and as you know I believe that other than being too brief, the Sil is another masterpiece from the Proff. But to each their own. I know there are avid studiers, like yourself, who love to obsess on facts from letters and notes, however I destinguish between letters/essays and actual published works so I don't end up with a headache and can lose myself in Tolkiens world.

No Galin. I choose to pic and choose which info from JRRT's many and often contradictory letters I believe to be (at least in my mind) accepted canon. Also by doing this I don't then have to feel that the Sil is in anyway incorrect in facts as remembered by the Elves. 

 

OK you seem to be saying that you don't accept the Waldman letter as canon because you feel it contradicts the constructed Silmarillion as edited and published by Christopher Tolkien. 

 

Having read the minefield of written materials I can see why the Sil was difficult to edit and as you know I believe that other than being too brief, the Sil is another masterpiece from the Proff. But to each their own. I know there are avid studiers, like yourself, who love to obsess on facts from letters and notes, however I destinguish between letters/essays and actual published works so I don't end up with a headache and can lose myself in Tolkiens world. 

 

For myself, I distinguish between works published by the author of Middle-earth and everything else, and the 1977 Silmarillion is just as actually published as everything in The History of Middle-Earth series, for example, or everything in Letters. If you want to consider the constructed Silmarilion as canon that's up to you of course; you're not alone in that certainly, in any case.

 

But for the record I do not 'obsess' over facts from letters and notes. And not that you said otherwise, but I'll just add that it is not a slight in any way toward Christopher Tolkien's Silmarillion (which actually contains at least one thing from one of Tolkien's letters incidentally), to acknowledge that JRRT is the creator of Middle-earth, and that his Silmarillion was sadly never finished, and evolving right up to his last days.  

 

And I too can lose myself in Tolkien's world, and without getting a headache

From what I gather, the exiled Noldor were only allowed as far as Tol Erresea. That includes Galadriel. In fact, all the elves (and their guests like Bilbo and Frodo) setting sail West come only to Tol Erresea.

Well, that´s one version, I guess you believe what you like to believe and I like to believe that Galadriel could decide where she wanted to life, for the other Noldor I don´t care, Ok, that´s rude, but with Galadriel and her special status and ban, I don´t think it´s so easy to say.  The published version is that all Noldor could come back to Valinor, later he wrote in a letter that they may not life permanently there but I think the published version has more weight. And regarding Galadriel, especially in his later life she became more and more innocent,  would he then, in his mind, have a reason to stuck her up in Eressea? And my favourite quote: ...provided the ship to bear her back to her home. Her home was never Eressea. But that´s jut my opinion.

Too true Nerwen. Good pick up re "her home".

I'm sorry, but it's told quite clear in Tolkien's writings: Tol Eressea is the Elvenhome and the destination of all that set sail West from Middle-Earth. Galadriel ended up there, and even Elrond ended up there. Only Gandalf would pass further into Valinor, because he is a Maia.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tol_Eress%C3%ABa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avall%C3%B3n%C3%AB#Avall.C3.B3n.C3.AB

I'm sorry, but it's told quite clear in Tolkien's writings: Tol Eressea is the Elvenhome and the destination of all that set sail West from Middle-Earth. Galadriel ended up there, and even Elrond ended up there. Only Gandalf would pass further into Valinor, because he is a Maia. 

 

Wildespace, I'm not suggesting you don't have citations from the books, but for myself I would rather see the actual text rather than links to Wikipedia pages.

Also I still await Virumor's response to my question above, as far his claim being necessarily supported by something from the books.

And sometimes even a citation from an actual Tolkien source doesn't necessarily solve a given question (at least easily), as this thread itself can already illustrate.

Quote:
Can you refresh my memory please, what is this based on? Did JRRT write or imply somewhere that the Sindar did not pass beyond Tol Eressea because of a bond with Middle-earth? If he did I don't recall it at the moment.

I cannot find where I read about the Sindar, but I always thought that once they went West, they either settled on Tol Eressea or the in the Teleri cities in Calacirian, east of the Pelori mountains. I don't think it was their bond with Middle Earth that kept them there, but their kin-ship with the Teleri (who had not traveled west of the Pelori mountains themselves), and their love of the sea. The Teleri, themselves, had originally stayed on Tol Eressea because Osse had begged Ulmo not to take the elves away from his realm. He had later, however, taught them how to build ships, after which most of the Teleri had sailed to the Calacirian area of Valinor and built the city of Alqualonde. At the end of the first age, many of the Eldar out of Beleriand settled on Tol Eressea and built the city of Avallone. During the second age, these elves frequently visited Numenore.

Although the elves from Beleriand settled on Tol Eressea, I don't think they were barred from Valinor..

From the Silmarillion

Quote:
And when they came into the West the Elves of Beleriand dwelt upon Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East; whence they might come even to Valinor. They were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valor; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest.

That sentence, "whence they might come even to Valinor," implies to me that the choice was theirs to return to Valinor should they wish.

That sentence, "whence they might come even to Valinor," implies to me that the choice was theirs to return to Valinor should they wish. 

 

And here 'they' refers to the 'Elves of Beleriand' according to the edited version by Christopher Tolkien.

 

Were the Sindar (as part of the Elves of Beleriand) '... admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar [and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest]? ?

Keep in mind, the actual passage from JRRT concerned the Noldor...

"And when they came into the West the Gnomes for the most part rehabited the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East; and that land became very fair, and so remains. But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed; and there the Gnomes were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest." 

JRRT, Quenta Silmarillion

 

... it is (not surprisingly) the Noldor who are admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar, not the Elves of Beleriand in general, and this description is even more explicit, in my opinion, about the Exiles being able to return to Valinor. To add to the confusion, Galadriel, the Exiled Noldo, had not yet existed in Tolkien's mind when this passage was written.

 

And as this thread illustrates, that's not the end of the story: the first post in the thread is in reaction to a letter written after this passage about the Gnomes (Noldor) in the Silmarillion, in which JRRT then states concerning the Exiled Noldor...

 

'They were not to dwell permanently in Valinor again, but in the Lonely Isle of Eressea within sight of the Blessed Realm.' JRRT , letter 131 to Milton Waldman

 

And around we go 

 

When Tolkien wrote this letter Galadriel existed, having been introduced during the writing of The Lord of the Rings --  and the letter was arguably written before Tolkien imagined Galadriel as being especially banned for her role in the rebellion too, or so it would seem according to Christopher Tolkien -- with (in any case) this special ban, which included Galadriel, being actually published later by JRRT himself in the 1960s, in The Road Goes Ever On.

 

To try and sum up only part of the tale, internal and external.

"I'm sorry, but it's told quite clear in Tolkien's writings: Tol Eressea is the Elvenhome and the destination of all that set sail West from Middle-Earth. Galadriel ended up there, and even Elrond ended up there. Only Gandalf would pass further into Valinor, because he is a Maia."

 @Wildespace So what´s with Glorfindel? He was send by the Valar to return to ME, that would be, in your logic,  his rule too.

No, I think it´s safe to assume that Glorfindel of course was allowed to go to Valinor. And what would be the difference between Glorfindel and Galadriel? He was send back to ME to help, Galadriel stood in ME to help, both were rebells. The only difference is that he was reborn but does that count so much?

I stay with my opinion, the only source which indicates that the exils are not allowed permanently in Valinor is that letter and I don´t know why we should take that as canon, then we should take the last written material on Galadriel as canon too, what the fewest people do.

IMHO that the exils are not wholly welcome in Valinor was one idea he had at this time but maybe nothing more. In his earliest conceptions the island would not even exist, cause it would become part of our world, that of course is no proof.

Like I said, some prefer the stern version of the whereabouts of the Noldor, some the softer version. I like the softer version, life is hard enough, especially for the poor elves so there should be no other reason to be sad. But then maybe I love Galadriel too much and I don´t want her to be sad even in Valinor. I stop before it will become a Galadriel ramble.

Agreed Nerwen.  I find it repellent that the Valar would hold such a grudge.  The same Valar who forgave Melkor for his hideous destructive actions very early on and let him free (within Valinor ) to mix with the children of Illuvatar.  The action of banning the Noldor simply doesn’t make sense to me.

And what would be the difference between Glorfindel and Galadriel? He was send back to ME to help, Galadriel stood in ME to help, both were rebells. The only difference is that he was reborn but does that count so much?

Well Glorfindel was under the original ban and could not return in bodily form to the Blessed Realm. But Manwe (Tolkien notes) was not bound by his own ordinances and could set them aside when he saw fit, and...

'... it can be assumed that, though he left Valinor in the host of Turgon, and so incurred the ban, he did so reluctantly because of kinship with Turgon and allegiance to him, and had no part in the kinslaying of Alqualonde.'

JRRT, Glorfindel II

 

 

On the other hand Galadriel was a leader in the Rebellion, and ultimately Tolkien gave here 'some part' in the Kinslaying as well -- I actually like the earlier version better (the version taken up by CJRT into the 1977 Silmarillion), where she had no part in the Kinslaying whatsoever. The later wording might imply that she took life, no matter in defense of the Teleri.

 

Tolkien goes on:

More important: Glorfindel had sacrificed his life in defending the fugitives from the wreck of Gondolin against a Demon out of Thangorodrim, and so enabling Tuor and Idril (...) After his purging of any guilt that he had incurred in the rebellion, he was released from Mandos, and Manwe restored him. He then became again a living incarnate person, but was permitted to dwell in the Blessed Realm; for he had regained the primitive innocence and grace of the Eldar. '

 

So Glorfindel was expressly permitted due to all this. Now, one may argue Galadriel's case too, especially after she rejected the One... as you have argued Nerwen... but the problem is that we still lack equally explicit text (if comparing to Glorfindel).

 

I stay with my opinion, the only source which indicates that the exils are not allowed permanently in Valinor is that letter and I don´t know why we should take that as canon, then we should take the last written material on Galadriel as canon too, what the fewest people do. 

But it's not the only source, with another being Galadriel's statement in The Elessar in my opinion, as least as it concerns her anyway (The Elessar is not exactly that high on the 'canon shelf' as far as I'm concerned, but it's still evidence to be considered). And the reason why some, including myself, do not actually count Tolkien's last written account concerning Galadriel is that her removal from the Rebellion is expressly denied by author-published text...

... there is no author-published text that certainly denies the statement in the Waldman letter however, so 'canon' is arguably trickier here by comparison I think. 

Galadriels statement in "The Elessar" I always interpreted differently. Her "What wrong did the golden house of Finarfin do that I should ask the pardon of the valar, or be content with an isle in the sea whose native land was aman the blessed? Here I am mightier."

I see it this way, that she has a choice, either ask pardon and life in Valinor or do not ask pardon and life only on eressea. So she was able to go west, but only as far as eressea without apologizing.

But either way that was before she passed the test and after that that was a different situation.  Power is not important to her anymore and being mighty was a main reason she stayed according to the elessar text.

I see it this way, that she has a choice, either ask pardon and life in Valinor or do not ask pardon and life only on eressea. So she was able to go west, but only as far as eressea without apologizing.

 

Well that's a possible interpretation, along with another that might go more hand in hand with the Waldman letter, I think, but that is why I add 'in my opinion' and that this statement is something to be considered at least, as opposed to merely stating that the Waldman letter is the only source (with no mention of the Elessar comment).

Granted we (you and I) likely already went over this already and so you probably felt you didn't need to raise the quote yet again (especially as in your opinion the letter is the only source due to your interpretation of the quote in question)... 

... but it has been my experience that some people, even though participating in a revived thread, do not always read every post that has come before, so I thought the Elessar quote should be raised again, given its possible interpretations.

 

Of course (just to add for clarity), The Elessar was later revised, and Galadriel's ban introduced. And this is all before Galadriel's rejection of the One in any case, as you say, but still I think this statement deserves mention when the Waldman letter is considered.

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