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Topic: Men being born second

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Rohan peasant - Rank 2
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Posts: 40
Date: Feb 24, 2010
Men being born second

I have been thinking about why Tolkien might have had men be born second. Is it a curse or is it because Eru wanted to make sure everything in creation worked well before he awoke his beloved second children?

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Feb 24, 2010
The answer might be in "Music of the Ainur."

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Feb 27, 2010
All,
It certainly is possible to look at mortality as a curse.
As a man I certainly want to stretch life out as far as I can.
I'm hoping to play with grand babies some day.

But I work with folks who have had enough of life and would love to be released from it.

Tolkien believed in the Christian afterlife so he may have seen the second born as more blessed.

I would love to hear som
e opinions on this...

-- Edited by Bear on Saturday 27th of February 2010 06:14:48 AM

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Rohan peasant - Rank 2
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Posts: 40
Date: Mar 1, 2010
As a human I would love to live to see my children and grandchildren lives come to their total fruition. I would not want to live much past that.



The elves seemed sad to live forever. I am of the opinion that the elves did not want to become involved in the lives of men because they lived for such a short time.


The only thing I can reference in my life as to how the elves might feel is through the short lives of my pets. They are here for such a short time. I can see where the immortals would be sad to live until the end of time.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Mar 1, 2010

i agree with you Ves. To know that someone beloved like a pet or an elderly parent or grandparent is going to die is sad, often heartbreaking. When we are young mortality is something far off or even nonexisant. Those we love will never leave us. Parents live forever. Maturity and experience teaches us the reality. But not all Elves were sad at the prospect to living until the end of time. The Avari, or woodelves, wanted nothing other to live their lives on Arda. Living among the forests that they loves.

Even the Noldo were not sad about living forever, it was the changes that was going to come with the dominence of Men that made them leave Middle-earth for the Undying Lands. Men did not value the wisdom and experience of the Elder race. But since Eru had set the time of Men's comeing of Age they have no choice but to give over. Immortality may weigh heavy but most choose it no matter the sadness it brings.


-- Edited by Anorlas on Monday 1st of March 2010 02:37:35 AM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Mar 5, 2010
vestalmiss wrote:
I have been thinking about why Tolkien might have had men be born second. Is it a curse or is it because Eru wanted to make sure everything in creation worked well before he awoke his beloved second children?

Rather Men, who were introduced into the Music of the Ainur as the Second Theme Iluvatar created to challenge the Discord of Melkor, were the race ultimately fated to destroy both Melkor and later Sauron and claim the true dominion of Arda, even though they could not find the level of content therein as could the Firstborn (much to their confusion).

The hour that Beren wandered into Doriath was much more important than it appears at first sight. From this action came the introduction of an Elvish strain in the Edain, and caused the Line of Kings of later Ages, and the overthrow of Morgoth with Earendil. Alot of things were destined with that wandering of Beren into Doriath, and the fate that lay upon that trip was much too powerful for Melian's enchantment to resist.



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: May 19, 2011

Going along with Glorfindel's idea of Men being the product of the Second Theme, you could think of Men being a refinement of the Elves. The Elves were mighty and glorious, but they were also a rather crude idea. They were utterly tied to Arda forever, and so, while they were thus in spirit much like the Valar, they were also lesser. They represented the ultimate in skill and lore of the world, but they could never hope to move beyond it. Men, however, were given the Gift of mortality. This allowed them, after death, to move beyond the confines of Arda and (presumably) rejoin Eru, the maker of all things. This would give them the priceless ability to be of both the physical world, and the Ineffable firmament. Thus, while the Elves are most closely akin to the Ainur who entered Arda, Men are most closely akin to Eru himself and the Ainur who remained Outside. By experiencing both planes of existence, they will be the bridge (no pun intended for you musician types) in the Final Music of the Ainur. A very great fate indeed, and one higher than that of the Elves.



-- Edited by Samnite on Thursday 19th of May 2011 09:21:48 PM



-- Edited by Samnite on Thursday 19th of May 2011 09:22:35 PM

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 20, 2011
Samnite, what do you mean by the Elves being utterly to Arda forever? That is just not true. After the Third Age The last of the Eldar went across the Sea to the Blessed Realm. I would not call that "tied to Arda"

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: May 20, 2011

Am I using the term incorrectly? I didn't think so. "Arda" is the world which Eru created, and the Blessed Realm (Aman) is very much within it, in a physical sense. It's merely in the uttermost west of Arda.

They are certainly not tied to Middle Earth, but are, by their nature, tied forever to "the circles of the world" (Arda).  After death by slaying or wasting away, they merely go to the halls of Mandos, where they are eventually reincarnated.  They are tied to Arda until the end of the world, whereas Men are not.



-- Edited by Samnite on Friday 20th of May 2011 03:43:26 AM

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Date: May 20, 2011

I agree to Samnite, Arda contains Aman and the Uttermost West. A map (hosted on this website) can prove it:

http://www.tolkienforums.com/firstagemaps.htm

That after the fall of Numenor, Aman was removed from the world made round, so as to impede mortals to reach it, does not mean Aman was unmade. And since it was not unmade, it must have remained what always it had been: a physical land, which stretched for only that much in any direction.

Whereas the realm of Eru, outside of Ea, is a more abstract concept and cannot be defined in our terms, being divine in nature.

Tolkien wrote in the Ainulindale (and here I'm talking about original versions found in HoMe, not in the (slightly) edited version from 'The Silmarillion') that Men would join in the Second Music. But the fate of the Elves was not revealed.

To go back to the original question, death was not a curse and giving up life was not suicide, as proven by the first kings of Numenor. It is only through corruption of the spirit that Men began to fear death and wanted to live forever in Arda, which they had come to know and love after their own fashion. Tolkien makes it clear that death is not to be seen as a punishment in Eru's mind, through the indication of Elves becoming weary and gealous of Men's faith.

 

-----

EDIT: Fun fact (for me at least) - this is my 70th post (which takes me to the next level in the 'hieracrchy.')



-- Edited by John Wain on Friday 20th of May 2011 09:08:47 AM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Apr 23, 2012

amnite, what do you mean by the Elves being utterly to Arda forever? That is just not true. After the Third Age The last of the Eldar went across the Sea to the Blessed Realm. I would not call that "tied to Arda"

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Apr 25, 2012
jakehobby1 wrote:
amnite, what do you mean by the Elves being utterly to Arda forever? That is just not true. After the Third Age The last of the Eldar went across the Sea to the Blessed Realm. I would not call that "tied to Arda" _______________________________________________________________________

The elves were bound to Ea forever, I think is what's meant. They cannot escape the confines of 'The World' (as in the whole thing, Aman included), whereas Men are not bound to it when they die, and leave it to receive an unknown fate that Iluvatar has not revealed. 


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