Galadriel only to tol eressea?

arafinwe
Posts: 10

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#1 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:48 am

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 didn´t found a search function.

Sorry for my bad english.

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galin
Posts: 1369

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#2 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:26 pm


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?



arafinwe
Posts: 10

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#3 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:36 am


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.



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galin
Posts: 1369

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#4 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:10 am


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



arafinwe
Posts: 10

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#5 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:49 pm


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.



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galin
Posts: 1369

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#6 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:39 pm



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.



arafinwe
Posts: 10

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#7 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:19 am


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?

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galin
Posts: 1369

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#8 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:19 am



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 



arafinwe
Posts: 10

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#9 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:08 pm


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.



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galin
Posts: 1369

Galadriel only to tol eressea?

Post#10 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:17 pm


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!



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