mortal or immortal?

ithil
Posts: 1427

mortal or immortal?

Post#1 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:55 am

men are often tempted to think immortality is something great and don't like the fact they'll die one day. but the elves always saw mortality as a special gift for men, and some of them might prefer being mortal. they seem to get very melancholy the older they get. it's a fact that really amazes me, when I was younger I also used to think that being immortal must be so much better than dying. but I changed my mind in the meantime.
I'm very interested in that topic, so what do you think about mortality and immortality?

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dwarflord
Posts: 66

mortal or immortal?

Post#2 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:00 am

A very importatnt question: is death a Gift to Men or the Doom of Men?
I think I'll leave the answer to philosophers and such...

This is a good place to ask my question...
Luthien and Arwen chose to be mortal. I wonder if every Elf could make that decision. We know that after Elrond, Galadriel and the others set sail for Valinor, some Elves still lingered in Middle Earth. Does that mean that they chose mortality or stayed a while and eventually returned West.
Does any one know for sure?

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lord_aragorn86
Posts: 2241

mortal or immortal?

Post#3 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:22 am

No. Not all elves could choose whether they could be mortal or immortals. This special "gift" to choose their destiny was given only to Earendil, who represented both the Elves and the Men when pleading to the Valar, and his offsprings starting with Elrond and Elros. Out of which Elrond chose to be of the Elven-kind and Elros chose mortality and hence became the first of the Numenorean Kings. They were also known as the Half-Elven due to their lineage extending among both Elves as well as Men.

As for Tinuviel, she was immortal and Beren was not, but due to the pain born by Beren due to the Silmarils and the love of Tinuviel for him, the hearts of the Valar melted and they granted them both another life as mortals. So she didn't "choose" as such.
I am nobody.....and nobody is perfect.......therefore I am perfect.

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Lemaly Orangeflower
Posts: 695

mortal or immortal?

Post#4 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:51 am

I know that Arwen was given the choice whether or not to be mortal or not because Elrond was only half-elven, and his children were given the choice as well as him and his brother Elros and his children. And Lúthien chose to become mortal after the Quest for the Silmaril and Beren died. The Silmarillion said she chose it in this way:
But the spirit of Lúthien fell down into darkness, and at the last it fled, and her body lay like a flower that is suddenly cut off and lies for a while unwithered on the grass.
Then a winter, as it were the hoar age of mortal Men, fell upon Thingol. But Lúthien came to the halls of Mandos, where are the appointed places of the Eldaië, beyond the mansions of the West upon the confines of the world. There those that wait sit in the shadow of their thought. But her beauty was more than their beauty, and her sorrow deeper than their sorrows; and she knelt before Mandos and sang to him.
The song of Lúthien before Mandos was the song most fair that ever in words was woven, and the song most sorrowful that ever the world shall hear. Unchanged, imperishable, it is sung still in Valinor beyond the hearing of the world, and listening the Valar are grieved. For Lúthien wove two themes of words, of the sorrow of the Eldar and the grief of Men, of the Two Kindreds that were made by Ilúvatar to dwell in Arda, the Kingdom of Earth amid the innumerable stars. And as she knelt before him her tears fell upon his feet like rain upon the stones; and Mandos was moved to pity, who never before was so moved, nor has been since.
Therefore he summoned Beren, and even as Lúthien had spoken in the hour of his death they met again beyond the Western Sea. But Mandos had no power to withhold the spirits of Men that were dead within the confines of the world, after their time of waiting; nor could he change the fates of the Children of Ilúvatar. He went therefore to Manwë, Lord of the Valar, who governed the world under the hand of Ilúvatar; and Manwë sought counsel with his inmost thought, where the will of Ilúvatar was revealed.
These were the choices that he gave to Lúthien. Because of her labours and her sorrow, she should be released from Mandos, and go to Valimar, there to dwell until the world's end among the Valar, forgetting all griefs that her life had known. Thither Beren could not come. For it was not permitted to the Valar to withhold Death from him, which is the gift of Ilúvatar to Men. But the other choice was this: that she might return to MIddle-earth, and take with her Beren, there to dwell again, but without certitude of life or joy. Then she would become mortal, and subject to a second death, even as he; and ere long she would leave the world for ever, and her beauty become only a memory in song.
This doom she chose, forsaking the Blessed Realm, and putting aside all claim to kinship with those that dwell there; that thus whatever grief might lie in wait, the fates of Beren and Lúthien might be joined, and their paths lead together beyond the confines of the world.

And there you have it....a long explanation, but it's all there. Lúthien chose to be with Beren after dying, and only because Manwë gave her the choice because of the deeds and works that she had done.
So really, she didn't just choose...she got to choose, because of what she did in life. :) I hope that clears things up a little bit Dwarflord! ciao!

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dwarflord
Posts: 66

mortal or immortal?

Post#5 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:02 am

Wow, now that's what I call a full answer

Thanks a lot, Lemaly orangeflower
How could I forget, that Elrond's children all got the right to chose. As for Luthien, thanks for the quote. :wink:

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maydmarion
Posts: 1727

mortal or immortal?

Post#6 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:49 am

Oh this is tway too heavy to think about - I'm glad I don't have the choice - I wouldn't know if I wanted to be mortal or imortal.

I know I don't want to leave my family but knowing that I'm going to my God is a comfort, but of course it's my faith here coz there's no proof of heaven but I'm scared at the thought of dying or am I scared of leaving my family or is it the unknown!!!! As I said waaay tooo heavy :lookar:

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Lemaly Orangeflower
Posts: 695

mortal or immortal?

Post#7 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:03 pm

Some say that being afraid of death is what makes people human. Robots aren't scared of death...so i guess it just means that being scared of the inevitable makes us who we are.

And Dwrflord, no problem...I just finished reading that part and LOVED IT! So it was not a big deal...i like helping people out! :) Oh, and the Elves that stayed in Middle-earth, I think they lived for a long time after, but slowly died like Men. But I think there was something that said they lived 2 maybe 3 times longer than the Men before they died. I don't know...it's in the appendices at the end of ROTK.

As for me...I think i might choose to be immortal. I don't know why...I guess I just love this world way to much. And I don't much like the thought of dying...too painful and unnecessary. Maybe that's why I dream of being an elf all the time? Plus I think the pain of my dying would hurt a lot of people, and I don't want to put them through that....Too many tears. Anywho...again, no problem, and great idea for the thread! :)

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miruvor
Posts: 849

mortal or immortal?

Post#8 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:07 pm

Oh, and the Elves that stayed in Middle-earth, I think they lived for a long time after, but slowly died like Men. But I think there was something that said they lived 2 maybe 3 times longer than the Men before they died. I don't know...it's in the appendices at the end of ROTK.

That is incorrect. Elves are immortal, hence never die. This applies for all the Quendi. They can only die by grief or getting killed.

Elves in other fantasy books though, are often not immortal. But not Tolkien's elves.

As for me...I think i might choose to be immortal. I don't know why...I guess I just love this world way to much. And I don't much like the thought of dying...too painful and unnecessary.

Absolute immortality is impossible, as Arda will be destroyed after the Dagor Dagorath and then the time of the Elves has ended, as they are not included in the Second Music of the Ainur.

And no matter what, the soul is immortal, and this applies for both Elves and Men. I prefer mortality, as it grants Men a place in the halls of Eru after death, and a place in the second music of the Ainur; it also means freedom, as it doesn't make one bound to Arda.

Luthien and Arwen chose to be mortal. I wonder if every Elf could make that decision.

They can all choose to die, by throwing themselves off a cliff (or riding themselves off a cliff on a Warg), but their soul will never leave Arda and always get stuck in the Halls of Mandos. They can even choose to return then.

Mortals though, never come back, although Dr Frankenstein might disagree there.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

mortal or immortal?

Post#9 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:19 pm

Most people would choose to live forever while they're still in their prime or just over the hill, but there comes a time after all their friends have passed on, when their bodies are worn out; their minds have grown tired; and they're subjected to much physical pain. At this time they may start considering Death as a welcome friend. Death is a gift when it doesn't come too soon.

However, until we let old rocking chair get us, we should keep picking ourselves up by our bootstraps, laughing in the faces of dispair, hardship, and adversity; and never ever give up. To 'live long and prosper' is a nice goal, but to never let the b******ds grind you down is a better way of dealing with life.

:smoke:
'Share and enjoy'

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Lemaly Orangeflower
Posts: 695

mortal or immortal?

Post#10 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:52 pm

Thanks Miruvor,
I'm glad that I know that now. I couldn't find my books to know for sure. Thanks for clearing it up. And Grondmaster, good theory. I like that. :)

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