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Topic: How can somebody die in the Undying Lands?

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Tom Bombadil
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Posts: 1886
Date: Mar 8, 2009
How can somebody die in the Undying Lands?

While watching The LOTR this weekend, my husband made a comment that Bilbo was going to stay alive forever (since he went to the "Undying Lands"). What made the difference between the Elves immortality and Bilbo, Frodo, Gimli and Sam's mortality. Why would they stay or not stay alive in a place called the "Undying Lands?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Mar 8, 2009
The name is confusing. Even Elves can die in the Undying Lands. The name rather reflects that these lands are where 'immortals' live and dwell, or where the 'Undying' dwell, so to speak, not that one is granted immortality by living there.

Elves are not 'immortal' technically, say rather the Elvish limited immortality (though even their spirits cannot leave the World and its time until the history of the World is complete). Add of course the Valar and Maiar.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Mar 9, 2009
Bilbo, Gimli, Frodo and co were not granted everlasting life. They were permitted to Tol Eressea (don't think Valinor itself, someone can correct me on this if I am wrong) to 'heal their hurts', and then eventually die in peace in their due time.

Gimli was permitted there because of his friendship with Legolas which healed the old fued between Dwarves and Elves.

The only man ever granted everlasting life was Tuor, I believe. Beren was not permitted it even. There is one version of the Dagor Dagorath that tells of Turin returning and slaying Melkor and avenging his kin, and then it says he is 'named amoung the gods'. But there are several versions of this battle.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Mar 10, 2009
I don't know if this is against Forum rules but this is a quote from another sight
This is straight out of The Tolkien Gateway from a web search of "Tolkien Undying Lands".


"Undying Lands was a name for Aman, or at least that part of it inhabited by the Valar, Maiar and Elves. The island of Tol Eressëa is several times identified as the easternmost of the Undying Lands, and, at the least, Valinor must also be included.

"Undying Lands" seems to be a name that originated among Men. The Númenóreans, especially, envied the seemingly endless life of those who lived in these regions. From the first, the Valar placed a ban on the Men of Númenor, that they should not sail into the West from their island, or set foot on the shores of Aman.

Wise as the Valar were, though, they did not foresee the wiles of Sauron. The fallen Maia falsely persuaded the last King of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn, that the ruler of the Undying Lands would be undying himself. Believing Sauron, Ar-Pharazôn assembled a great navy and sailed westward to make hopeless war on the Valar for the imagined prize of endless life.

The Valar could not permit this: Manwë called upon Ilúvatar, and the land of Númenor was destroyed and lost forever. The Undying Lands, which until that time had been part of the World, were removed forever from the reach of mortal Men, though the Elves could still sail West and come there, if they would.

It is to the Undying Lands that the White Ship sails at the end of The Lord of the Rings. The Ring-bearers, Bilbo and Frodo, were among the very few mortal beings to set foot on the shores of the Undying Lands. Tolkien is careful to point out, though, that even in Aman mortals remain mortal."



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Mar 14, 2009
This quote seems fitting:

"'The Doom of the World,' they said, 'One alone can change who made it. And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast.'" The Silmarillion

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Mar 14, 2009
Glorfindel 1235,
That is sooo right on!  I think that answers the question perfectly.
Isn't the name "Undying Lands" a part of Sauron's deceit that leads to the fall of Numenor and the restructuring of Arda?
And that brings me to ask, what about the mortality of Gandalf?


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Tom Bombadil
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Posts: 1886
Date: Mar 14, 2009
Thank you guys, you are all awesome! I will get him over here and let him read it. It will be good for him to get a little bit of Tolkien Knowledge.

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Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Mar 16, 2009
Bear wrote:
Isn't the name "Undying Lands" a part of Sauron's deceit that leads to the fall of Numenor and the restructuring of Arda?
And that brings me to ask, what about the mortality of Gandalf?


Nope, 'Undying Lands' is just another name for Valinor and Tol-Eressea. I don't think it refers to the entire continent of Aman though (Valinor just being the part behind the Pelori, I think).

Gandalf is one of the Istari, the Wizards, which are Maiar in origin but were sent to Middle-earth clad as old men to try and inspire the Free Peoples to resist against Sauron. I think I am right in saying that they were stripped of alot of their memories of the previous life before being sent to Middle-earth.

If a Maiar does perish they are stripped of their current physical form and exist in their natural spirit form. But as the Istari are 'bound'a little more to mortality, the price they took for taking the quest, I'm not quite sure what would happen. Gandalf, at any rate, was 'sent back' by Iluvatar after he perished and was given extra power.

Sauron has his physical body slain twice. Once at the Drowning of Numenor and once when the Ring was cut from his hand. But each time he slowly remade his physical form, but after each 'death' he became weaker and weaker.

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