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Topic: Lost history and speculative fun

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Nov 10, 2013
RE: Lost history and speculative fun

"The fuller context reads: '(...) The view is that the Half-elven have a power of (irrevocable) choice, which may be delayed but not permanently...'"

It is important to first clarify what this "not permanently" means. The upper limit is apparently the time of Arda's destruction. They seemingly have until then to decide, because (if I am not mistaken) Elves keep leaving Middle-earth even to these days. So there is no strict deadline.

As I said, should Elladan and/or Elrohir die by accident while still in Middle-earth, they should be treated as mortals, since the choice of immortality has to be an active one. Also if either of them gets married to a mortal woman that would surely convert the corresponding brother to a mortal. Not that there is any hint of that.

"What do others think of Inziladun's interpretation here I wonder?"

We have the T4 draft against the Letter 153 (the impression from which is that they delay still even after Elrond has left - and so I would disagree with that member of BD), and run into the non-identifiability problem. We can sure vote...

"I also wonder about this part: 'His children -- with a renewed Elvish strain, since their mother was Celebrían dtr. of Galadriel -- have to make their choices.'

Is Tolkien simply digressing here that the children of Elrond have a renewed Elvish strain? Or is he rather explaining (in brief or in part even) why the children of Elrond get a choice?"

I don't think they are given choices separately from the original Half-Elven choice. They are quite good and positive and stuff but I never got an impression that they did anything extraordinary. Celebrian's input doesn't seem all that relevant.


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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Also, Laurelin and I are wondering if the Half-Elven choice extends forever, especially to Valinor-born children, should there be any?

And I am curious what people think of the following: who would Elrond be eager to visit in Valinor, after he reunites with Celebrian of course (and tells her Arwen's sad story and all the rest)?

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Lórellinë

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I guess I found the best solution for Elladan and Elrohir, on the assumption that they would like to have both what Men are envious about and what Elves might want but cannot have (and also assuming that I may be wrong concerning their mortal fate in case of accidental death).

They should delay their choice for as long as possible, and then at the first signs of Arda's destruction they should choose mortal fate and jump ship, to happily go to some other worlds...



-- Edited by Lorelline on Tuesday 12th of November 2013 05:05:17 AM

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Lórellinë

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That seems like the way to go Lorelline! wink

And are you sure that Elrond would want to see his wife? She might give him a piece of her mind for leaving their only daughter in ME married to a MORTAL!



-- Edited by Laurelin on Wednesday 13th of November 2013 11:37:00 PM

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Indeed a good point, Laurelin! She may be greeting him with a dough roller for all I know.

But seriously... Celebrian never attracted my attention before, but now somehow she reminded me of Miriel. Celebrian is said to be healed in body but to have lost all delight in Middle-earth after her torment... and that is the reason to drop everything and everyone - her husband, kids, her heroic mother and less heroic father.

(As a side note, for sure everyone looks non-remarkable compared to Galadriel, unless it be her eldest brother who nonetheless is not named as "greatest" while being far greater than his sister, in my opinion).

Celebrian surely doesn't take much after her mother, let alone the uncle. She simply gets bored and leaves, and Elrond has to deal with the kids (and with the in-laws) all alone. Nice fate, to be abandoned first by his parents, then by his wife, later by the kids... And we are not told that he whines too much, neither does he make unnecessary fuss like Thingol did. That's the results of the proper upbringing. I am still not exactly clear whether it was Maglor, Maedhros, or both who took care of him and Elros, since different versions say differently; but whoever it was, a good job was done.

Back to Celebrian and Valinor, I think she shouldn't be too upset that the kids didn't come, or if she is, she should explain to the Valar the necessity of going back to Middle-earth, get a travel permit and go try to bring back at least Elladan and Elrohir - if she can catch either of them.

Or perhaps she doesn't care...

And Elrond would go to Nerdanel his step-grandmother, and he would be the first to tell her nice not nasty things about her sons for a change.


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Lórellinë

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Hello my friends,

Looks like this thread has grown to some length. I will give here a breakdown of the topics thus far:

How the Gondolin swords came in trolls' possession
Who/what is Beorn
Why Turgon joined Nirnaeth Arnoediad
The Arkenstone as a Silmaril
The Pukel-men/Druedain - who are they?
Is Goldberry Nienor or Nienor's daughter?
Do the Silmarils have their own will?
Can the Silmarils be changed, how, and by whom?
Was Glorfindel reincarnated?
How is reincarnation achieved? Practical issues of reincarnation
Half-Elven and their choices, how they know, asymmetry of Elrond's vs Elros's offspring's choices
What did Elladan and Elrohir choose?
Elrond's family woes and how he is welcomed in Undying Lands...

just in case any of you forgot a point you had wished to make in past.


 

Game on!!! 

(Thank you Lorelline for the suggestion)

 

 



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Monday 18th of November 2013 01:32:27 AM

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Wow, thanks Jaido!

I especially like "How is reincarnation achieved? Practical issues of reincarnation"

It sounds like a title to someone's thesis. Anyone want to get a PhD in this?



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Laurelin,
No, not a PhD thesis but a grant proposal to the NIH. More profitable, you know. But they will say it is unethical (not to mention unscientific). The Valar had very different views. You may laugh but at some point I was thinking of this 'seriously' - not the proposal but the thing itself. The body might be recreated eventually by these cloning techniques (at least theoretically) but how about the personality and memory? No problem for the Elves as they have an indestructible fëar with virtually unlimited memory. Ok it gets too complicated for me even to speculate on the nature of a fea. I am sure Flame Imperishable is no regular fire...

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Lórellinë

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I actually heard of Tolkien Scholars (not sure if its a name given to oneself or not) but that would be something. There was a guy who was so proficient on the Elvish languages that Peter Jackson actually took him away from his sealed mint condition Star Trek figurines to hire him as a consultant. Lucky SOB. And his mom said his fascination would never lead to anything.....ha! Jokes on her...

Just though I'd comment on that.....





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"No problem for the Elves as they have an indestructible fëar with virtually unlimited memory."

There's a lot of theology and science in that , Lorelline. I wonder if Tolkien was thinking in that direction? Not that cloning was on his radar. But the indestructibleness of the soul (indestructableness???). For Tolkien, I believe this was a major theme in his life.

But, if Glorfindel could be reincarnated as the same Glorfindel, doesn't that mean all the elves that were killed could be reincarnated? Who's choice is it? Did Eru or Manwe tell Glorfindel his work wasn't done and to get back in the game? Or perhaps Glor said he wasn't ready for death yet? Or, could it be a punishment?

Were there any other reincarnated beings in ME? You folks who know more about the Sil or own the History of ME might be able to answer that.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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I would generally say that all Elves in potential can be reincarnated, but there are factors to consider, such as being deemed ready for incarnate life again after a period in Mandos, for example. 

Tolkien even wrote about some Elven spirits who refused the summons to Mandos and remained in Middle-earth as spirits. To simplify things there, but that's an example.



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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What I recall (I am on travel and those books are not with me) is that the Elves can be reincarnated, and the fëar of those that did something bad (evil deeds and stuff) have to be 'healed' first, so they need to repent. Such fëar are likely to spend more time in Mandos. I would hypothesize that those who had much physical damage also might stay in Mandos for longer (so that their memory could be 'healed' or corrected and then the undamaged body could be restored... pure speculation - but Ecthelion then would have to spend more time in Mandos, after all those wounds and burns and drowning in the fountain, than Glorfindel who 'simply fell').

They should also be willing to return (somehow I seem to recall that Aegnor was unwilling to come back because Andreth wouldn't be there). Reincarnation and travel back to ME were by no means a punishment to Glorfindel (what for? And the Valar by the time already knew better than to tell the Elves what to do - they could at most suggest). And why should it be his job to continue fight the evil?

If I am not mistaken, the fëar that refused to go to Mandos would be very likely captured by Morgoth (in case he was around). We are not told, however, if he too could reincarnate Elves or anybody. Maybe not, without Eru's consent.

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Lórellinë

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"travel back to ME were by no means a punishment to Glorfindel (what for?)"

Well, I guess in my mind it would be punishment. I mean, life in beauty of Valinor or life in plain ol' ME. No choice for me, that.

 

"What I recall (I am on travel and those books are not with me) is that the Elves can be reincarnated, and the fëar of those that did something bad (evil deeds and stuff) have to be 'healed' first, so they need to repent. Such fëar are likely to spend more time in Mandos. "

It was a kind of purgatory then? I remember hearing JRRT say in an interview the the books were very Catholic, though not allegory. Perhaps this is one of the instances?



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"...life in beauty of Valinor or life in plain ol' ME. No choice for me, that."

Don't you think he could even have got bored by all the bliss? Although it is hard to tell - he was from Gondolin, which was the likeness of Tirion. Yet this also doesn't necessarily mean that he was totally happy in the hidden city.

He in fact knew relatively little of Middle-earth, and nothing of the regions he came to upon his return. So he technically didn't 'return', all was new to him.

"It was a kind of purgatory then? I remember hearing JRRT say in an interview the the books were very Catholic, though not allegory. Perhaps this is one of the instances?"

What I recall was that the fea (or the person) after 'healing' would only vaguely, if at all, remember the healing process. I felt it a bit puzzling. It was not clear to me (admittedly I may have missed it) whether they would remember their evil deeds but not the healing (isn't that counterintuitive?) Or not even what they did wrong? But others, still living, may remember that and hold them responsible, no matter healed or not.

I realize this is not an adequate response to your question. Unfortunately, both religious and allegorical implications are something that I cannot sensibly comment on. But I loved Tolkien's statements that hobbits are no more allegorical than are pygmies of Africa and that to ask whether the Orcs are communists makes as much sense as to ask if communists are Orcs.




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Lórellinë

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Friends,
Certainly "healing" transcends more than just the body.

Fea too, may be healed  ... and Tolkien makes this point over and over ... from Thorin Oakenshield, the sons of Feanor, Galadriel, and even in the failing of this fea transition played out in the Smeagol/Gollum subplot. Manipulation and psychological delusion plays out in Glaurung's evil spells and the tragic result ... 

The human "psyche" or "soul" can and is healed ... not always ... but surely the healing in the halls of Mandos are for more than just the hroa. As to the length of time in the hall ... some recover from mental illness quickly ... some never recover ... and some must draw supportive therapy the rest of their lives ... Tolkien saw this over and over again in his life ... from post traumatic stress disorder, several incidents of addiction ...senile dementia ... and all sorts of other mental disorders.

The hobbits are NOT pygmies and indeed represent a lifestyle and value system that Tolkien expressed in many ways ... including his comment;"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.' or the hobbit Sam Gamgee's realization in the Two Towers; "There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for."

The hobbit attitudes became important elements in the counter cultural revolution which swept over America and Europe in the 60's and 70's ... indeed Tolkien's creativity led to further definition of archetypes of warrior, king, magician, shield maiden ... and was reflective of ecological values through the hobbits.( the Party Tree, Sandyman's new mill, Galadriels gift to Sam, the Ents and hobbits friendship."

Tolkien may deny that his intent was allegorical ... that does not mean that his result isn't allegorical. Who can say that the destruction of Sauron and the felling of the Party tree are not allegorical?
And in several commentaries reveals that his religion did in fact influence his writing.

So I see the value in this speculation from many of the postings here ... each expresses a point of few ... all valued and respected.





-- Edited by Bear on Thursday 12th of December 2013 06:25:16 AM

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Bear states:
"Tolkien may deny that his intent was not allegorical ... that does not mean that his result isn't allegorical."

and to me, that sounds like something Tolkien himself might say about his writings. I believe that is true. Maybe it (The works of Arda) has become unintentionally allegorical. It was bound to shift and change with the fans over time (the hallmarks of a true classic).
He wrote this masterpiece and gave it to the world and we've been batting it around like a beach ball at a professional baseball game ever since.

This particular ball does not deflate nor does it stop bouncing from hand to hand, through the generations. Sites like this one and its members are what make this thing grow and if Tolkien or even his descendants could be a fly on the wall they would know what a monumental entity it has become despite the unfortunate robberies the Tolkien Estate has had to endure.

Tolkien would probably agree that the dealings with greasy sweaty monies only serves to cheapen something as grand. But I guess that's easy for a yayhoo like me to say with no investment besides the unadulterated fervor I have for the labor Pro. Tolkien undertook.

LIKE
LIKE
LIKE



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Like, Like, Like!



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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In any case, Tolkien made a distinction between allegory and applicability, as the former resides in the intent of the author. That Tolkien's religion, or aspects of Northern myth for instance, influenced his work does not make his work allegorical, at least from his perspective.

 

'I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history true or feigned with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.'

 

Please excuse my annoying pedantry on this matter, but Tolkien protested so much about this, and we could employ applicability maybe.



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Here's a piece of Speculation for ya:

Do you think that we will see the White Council take on the Necromancer in Dol Guldur in The Hobbit; Desolation of Smaug? Or do you think we will only see Gandalf and Radagast assaulting the Ruins within the Mirkwood Forest. I was hoping to see Galadriel, Elrond, Radagast, Saruman and Gandalf get in there and tear things up like the Angus McBride painting: tolkiengateway.net/wiki/File:Angus_McBride_-_Dol_Guldur.jpg...

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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I thought that was the whole reason for them making 3 parts to the Hobbit. They'd better do it since that's the only reason I'm going to see this next one!



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Did any of the Hobbits have jobs? I know Sam did. But what about Pippin, Merry, and Lotho? I am guessing Bilbo didn't work since he had his treasure, same with Frodo. But, what did Bilbo do before his adventure? He wasn't a farmer or was he a trust fund baby?



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Ha! Trust fund baby! Possibly. I think his primary wealth was in Bag End at the time. A very prime location and most likely the apple of Hobbiton's eye. But as for how being a homeowner paid for groceries and what have you...a mystery. I think Prof. Tolkien could have given them all duties or jobs but would sully the Hobbit's place in the world so he specifically kept issues of money alone. Although he did mention Bilbo was a "well-to-do Hobbit". I dunno but good one Laurelin. I would figure Bilbo what be a Cartographer (if there was a demand for that amongst Hobbits) or even a mailman. The Shire was pretty big after all (with its many districts and all this).



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Tuesday 17th of December 2013 03:08:09 PM

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Another question that someone may be able to answer for me is why was Gildor's company wandering around ME? I had always thought they belonged to the Rivendell crew and were on their way to the Havens when Frodo met them. Am I right, wrong or what? If I'm wrong, were there just companies of wandering elves around? I don't quite get it.

Thanks people :)



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Interesting! I'll look into that for sure, but I was under the impression that if the elves were wandering at all they were wandering toward the Grey Haven's to make their way to the Undying Lands. Unless these particular Elves were just like an escort securing the passage of groups of Elves that were "flying the coop" so to speak....



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Interesting that Frodo says that the Elves seem to be going the same way as the Hobbits [after meeting Gildor], yet earlier [before speaking to the Elves] Frodo had said that one can sometimes meet Elves in the Woody End: 'They don't live in the Shire, but they wander into it in spring and autumn, out of their own lands away beyond the Tower Hills.'  So this at least suggests to me, that these High Elves are from Lindon, walking now east to Woody End.

 

But in The Road Goes Ever On, published by JRRT himself in the 1960s, it's said that Gildor and his companions appear to have been going eastward, and were Elves '...living in or near Rivendell' returning from the Tower Hills.

 



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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So perhaps they had been on vacation. But, if they were heading to Rivendell, why wouldn't they have taken the Hobbits with them?



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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I think Galin is right ...
Here is a brief quote from The Lord of the Rings ~

"I am Gildor,' answered their leader, the Elf who had first hailed him. 'Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod. We are Exiles, and most of our kindred have long ago departed and we too are now only tarrying here a while, ere we return over the Great Sea. But some of our kinsfolk dwell still in peace in Rivendell."

(The Lord Of The Rings,The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter III ~ "Three is Company", pg 80)

As for why they didn't escort the three hobbits to Rivendell was because Frodo still had to go to Crickhollow which was not the path of the Elves ... or perhaps because ... 

"The hobbits sat in shadow by the wayside. Before long the Elves came down the lane towards the valley. They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes. They bore no lights, yet as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about their feet. They were now silent, and as the last Elf passed he turned and looked towards the hobbits and laughed.

'Hail, Frodo!' he cried. 'You are abroad late. Or are you perhaps lost?' Then he called aloud to the others, and all the company stopped and gathered round.

'This is indeed wonderful!' they said. 'Three hobbits in a wood at night! We have not seen such a thing since Bilbo went away. What is the meaning of it?'

'The meaning of it, fair people,' said Frodo, 'is simply that we seem to be going the same way as you are. I like walking under the stars. But I would welcome your company.'

But we have no need of other company, and hobbits are so dull,' they laughed. 'And how do you know that we go the same way as you, for you do not know whither we are going?"

(The Lord Of The Rings,The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter III ~ "Three is Company", pg 80)

Until one reads the Silmarillion the Exile of the Elves is just plain mystery.



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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I understand the reluctance of the Elves to take in Hobbits, but once they heard they were being pursued I would have thought that they would have escorted them to Rivendell IF they were headed in that direction, which is what the man himself says.

The Elves in Exile weren't doomed to walk in the wild though. Or were they? It's been a while since I read through the Sil completely.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Good quote Bear. That too [to my mind] indicates that Tolkien, in the 'final' version as printed at least, might have imagined Gildor and Company to be High Elves from Lindon. That guessed, I'm going to check the drafts here, to see what I can find out about any earlier versions.

 

If Tolkien did think Gildor and his High Elves were from Lindon [again I think the published text of The Lord of the Rings as it stands at least implies this], we could have a case of Tolkien re-inventing [or perhaps forgetting what he had published maybe] Gildor for the much later Road Goes Ever On, in which case they would be ultimately returning to Rivendell [or near it] not Lindon, generally speaking.

Hmm. What do the drafts tell me here, if anything...

 

 



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"The Elves in Exile weren't doomed to walk in the wild though. Or were they?"

After the Exiles were pardoned by the Valar, they were permitted to return to the Undying Lands. Not all went back at once though; and those Exiles that stayed, as mentioned in 'The Road goes ever on', from time to time visited Lindon with the purpose of looking into the Palantir of the Tower Hills, to 'look afar at Eressea... and the Shores of Valinor'. Sometimes they could see a vision of Elbereth herself upon the mountain of Oiolosse. So at least some of the Wandering companies had that purpose for their journeys.

This would hardly apply to Gildor and his company if they lived in Lindon anyway. The matter is somewhat confusing, as Gildor was also among the Elves coming with Elrond and all the others to the Grey Heavens from Rivendell...

"...once they heard they were being pursued I would have thought that they would have escorted them to Rivendell..." - I would find it natural too, even if originally they were headed in whatever direction.

However, Gildor's company chooses not to accompany the hobbits, claiming that they have their own business and rarely engage in the affairs of others; to the point that Gildor even thinks that he said too much - gave too much advice. In the published version Gildor doesn't know that Frodo has the Ring, but in 'The return of the shadow' (a draft version of the beginning parts of the LOTR) Gildor knows about that, and is slightly more forthcoming in advising Bingo (that's how Frodo was then called) not to use it to hide from Black Riders, and not to answer their questions or name himself. Yet even then Gildor says to Bingo, 'In our meeting perhaps there is more than accident, yet I do not feel sure that I ought to interfere'.

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Not to take away from the flow of things here friends, just thought this would be an interesting read for any of you who might be interested.

As most of you might know; Tolkien never completed a version of the Final Battle of Arda in the days when Melkor might return to the world and all of Arda destroyed only to be renewed.  Old legends come from out of the annals of time and Manwe himself comes down from his high seat to fight.  Tulkas strives with Melkor etc.  It is a compiled rendering of the Dagor Dagorath. Using Tolkien's notes and other excerpts of when he actually mentioned the final Battle of Arda. The Speculation thread was a good place to put this little gem I felt.

Enjoy....

atolkienistperspective.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/the-tale-of-the-dagor-dagorath/



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Tuesday 4th of February 2014 05:08:40 PM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Jaido,
Wow! Enjoyed reading this little hypothesis ... a perfect match with this thread by the way ... I like the way the article tried to keep update with the names ... there is all sorts of room for other stories and speculations to spin off from ... liked it a lot!



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Glad you liked it Bear. According to that Blog (or whatever it is) all of those compiled notes were official notes from Tolkien (I hope that is accurate). Cool stuff!

And Lorelline,

Are you saying that these particular Elves are on some sort of Pilgrimage to look upon Eressea? And does a Palantir exist there in Lindon (according to the books)?

And if the story actually states that Gildor and fellow travelers came from Rivendell perhaps they were (as well as making their sojourn to Lindon and back like some kind of escort or patrol) gathering information from the remaining Dunedain about news of the Shirelings that were about to start their journey?



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"Are you saying that these particular Elves are on some sort of Pilgrimage to look upon Eressea? And does a Palantir exist there in Lindon (according to the books)?"

It is easier to answer about the Palantir, so I will start from that. Yes, there was one upon the Tower Hills. It was, unlike other palantiri, 'made... to look out only west over the Sea'. This is mentioned in Appendix A (one of the footnotes to the section iii) as well as in 'The Road goes ever on' and Unfinished Tales. Eventually the Palantir of Lindon was brought by Cirdan aboard Elrond's ship and apparently was taken back over the Sea.

Pilgrimage seems to me a correct description of what High Elves did at intervals; but concerning Gildor's company in particular, it is not very clear. Interestingly, in 'The Road goes ever on' it is said, "No doubt Gildor and his companions... were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantir of the Tower Hills". This 'no doubt' part is interesting, as it makes the statement look like a logical conclusion rather than direct knowledge that Tolkien as the creator should possess. As others have pointed out, the way Gildor talks about himself implies he is not from Rivendell. He mentions he saw Bilbo only twice after Bilbo left the Shire...

Therefore, I am not sure how to answer the second question. Gildor informed both Tom Bombadil and Aragorn about Frodo's flight from home, but was there more? Gildor says that "The Elves... are little concerned with the ways of hobbits...".

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Date: Feb 6, 2014
"The Elves... are little concerned with the ways of hobbits...".

I can see that being the general consensus of Elves about such a peaceful and unobtrusive lot such as Hobbits. But if Gandalf were to give a warning to Aragorn about the Hobbits leaving to seek out Rivendell and the advice of Elrond, would that not concern both Elves and Dunadain.

Gandalf came from the libraries of Minas Tirith confirming the lore of Isildur's Bane. He tested it in the Hearth at Bag End..."...that only fire can tell...etc." From there he said: "keep it secret, keep it safe" and made is way directly to Orthanc? Did he not meet with anyone on the road? He tells Frodo to meet him at the "Inn of the Prancing Pony". How did Aragorn know to meet the Hobbits there when Gandalf was delayed? He must of met up with him at least once before riding to Orthanc.

Remember Gandalf was gone from the Shire for years and in that time he and Aragorn hunted for Gollum and caught him. He left Gollum with the Elves. From there Aragorn bee lines to the Inn of the Prancing pony or does he report back to the border watch of his Dunadain brothers? Along the way would he not know where to find Elves for information?

I know these are a lot of questions and I'm probably just confusing myself at this point. But there is something interesting here....who can weigh in with the chronology as well as the missing pieces to this puzzle...I'll start digging around....


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Feb 6, 2014

I know we have moved on a bit, but here are some findings from the drafts for The Lord of the Rings:

 

Phase I 

Bingo says of Elves: 'They don't really live here, though; but they often come across the river in spring and autumn.'

The Elves say [in part]: 'But we have no need of other company, and Hobbits are so dull,' they laughed. 'Come along now, tell us about it! We see you are simply swelling with secrets we should like to hear. Though some we know, of course, and some we guess. Many Happy Returns of yesterday -- we have heard all about that, of course, from the Rivendell people.' (note 17)

Gildor says: 'We are Wise-elves, and the elves of Rivendell are our kinsfolk* (note 18). But I note Christopher Tolkien's, commentary: 'The striking out of Gildor's words 'for the matter is outside the concern of such Elves as we' (note 27) is interesting. At first, I think, my father thought of these Elves as 'Dark Elves'; but he now decided that they (and also the Elves of Rivendell) were indeed 'High Elves of the West', and he added in Gildor's words to Bingo...'

So I would guess, at this point, not Elves from Rivendell, if still from 'across the river'.

Phase II

the Elves arrive: 'out of their own lands far beyond the river'

Phase III

same as phase II

Phase IV

I could find no mention of any pertinent revision to this chapter, but with respect to another chapter, Christopher Tolkien comments: 'Here the text breaks off. That Glorfindel should have set out after Gandalf reached Rivendell is at variance with the time-schemes (p. 14) and this brief draft must have preceded them. Abandoned in mid-sentence, it was replaced by another very close to what Glorfindel says in FR: he had left Rivendell nine days before; Gandalf had not then come; and Elrond had sent out from Rivendell not on account of Gandalf but because he had had news from Gildor's people -- 'some of our kindred journeying beyond the Branduin (which you turned into Brandywine)'.

This too was revised a bit for the published account it seems, as Glorfindel says: 'Elrond received news that troubled him. Some of my kindred, journeying in your land beyond the Baranduin, learned that things were amiss, and sent messages as swiftly as they could.'

 

But here I think that neither phrasing necessarily need mean that Glorfindel's kin had journeyed beyond the Brandywine from Rivendell [or near it], as they could simply mean that Elrond received news from other High Elves who happened to be journeying beyond the Brandywine.

 

In any case, looking at the four phases I can't tell exactly when this was revised to: 'out of their own lands away beyond the Tower Hills' as in the final, published version.

I suppose the 'river' could mean a river other than the Brandywine, but I gave up searching for clues about that, as to my mind the implication of this last revision is that these Elves, while High Elves and kin to those of Rivendell, were not actually from, or living near, Rivendell. Okay, 'implication' at least.

 

So what about The Road Goes Ever On?

Perhaps Tolkien...

A) ... forgot what he had arguably implied in this early chapter in the published text, and so [in a sense] he re-characterized Gildor and Company to be on a journey from [or near] Rivendell. RGEO was written much later than The Fellowship of the Ring, but who knows.

B) ... did not forget what he had published, but felt that Frodo could still be correct even if the Elves he was now meeting turned out to be High Elves from Rivendell. How could Frodo really know for certain, after all, at the point when he makes this comment.

C) as noted, perhaps Tolkien's 'no doubt' means that he thinks so as translator, but not as author.

 

As Lorelline already noted, Gildor, if from near or in Rivendell, doesn't seem to have seen Bilbo much in any event: Bilbo said farewell to Gildor on the spot where Frodo and Gildor later converse, for instance, and: 'But I saw him once again, far from here.' And as already noted by Lorelline as well, Gildor arrives with Elrond and Galadriel, on the way West, in the chapter The Grey Havens.

Hmm. I suppose Gildor could have simply been in Rivendell at the start of this journey, or even planned it that way. On the other hand I suppose Gildor could be talking of his own company when he says: '(...) But some of our kinsfolk dwell still in peace in Rivendell.'

 

Heheh, another question that seems to have more than one answer. Despite Frodo's comment [and he being a character in the book of course] about the Tower Hills, perhaps the 'most definitive' for me so far would be the description from The Road Goes Ever On, as at least it looks at the question rather directly, and 'no doubt' is strong enough phrasing in another sense, despite C) above.

 

And then again, if JRRT simply forgot Frodo's arguable suggestion in the chapter where the reader actually meets these Elves, he might more easily say 'no doubt' in RGEO!

 

smile



-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 6th of February 2014 04:16:48 PM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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"B) ... did not forget what he had published, but felt that Frodo could still be correct even if the Elves he was now meeting turned out to be High Elves from Rivendell. How could Frodo really know for certain, after all, at the point when he makes this comment."

I would think that Frodo's words are indeed not the main argument as he seemingly was speaking of Elves in general. I wonder if Gildor could have been intentionally elliptical, making it complicated to understand where he was from? The fact that he is coming together with Elrond from Rivendell to the Havens seems to imply to me that his main residence was there, if only based on the assumption that he would want to take some belongings with him. Pure speculation of course; Exiles (and those of Finarfin/Finrod's House especially; Gildor is from that House) did take things with them to Middle-earth, and might have wanted to take something from M-e back over the Sea as well. And even the Palantir of Emyn Beraid goes back, as apparently the remaining Elves, who are not Exiles, don't care to look upon the Undying Lands... Interesting.


"C) as noted, perhaps Tolkien's 'no doubt' means that he thinks so as translator, but not as author."

What a thought, I was wondering how he could have written it that way but the translator's point of view didn't occur to me. Perhaps he did it habitually, as 'The Road goes ever on' is not presented as a story book but just as comments (music score aside) - still translator's comments? I was looking into Transmission and Authorship thread but this book is not covered there, unfortunately.

"Heheh, another question that seems to have more than one answer. "

Good if there could be a consensus on at least one answer. I too am leaning towards Rivendell hypothesis.


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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Feb 14, 2014
I was trying to address JD7's question on how the information was transmitted, and what the chronology of Gandalf's and Aragorn's movements was, and am still not done. Yet in the process I came across a statement that might help resolve a contradiction (if a contradiction it was) between what Frodo said of Elves, as posted by Galin previously:

'They don't live in the Shire, but they wander into it in spring and autumn, out of their own lands away beyond the Tower Hills.'

and what 'The Road goes ever on' tells. In fact, after hearing the song of the Elves, Frodo says:
'These are High Elves! They spoke the name of Elbereth! ... Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire [as opposed to 'One can meet them sometimes...' as in the previous citation]... This is indeed a strange chance!'

Which seems to indicate that these are a different kind of Elves from those mentioned by Frodo before, and 'lands away beyond the Tower Hills' do not necessarily apply.

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Lórellinë

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Date: Feb 14, 2014
Frodo did make his statement: "They don't live in the Shire, but they wander into it in spring and autumn, out of their own lands away beyond the Tower Hills...", before he actually spoke to them. Perhaps he was just generalizing (not having a very keen knowledge of their sects or tribes, if you will). But once Gildor speaks to them, they (the Elves) pretty much clarify that they hail from Rivendell and frequently make the journey to the Grey Havens or Tower Hills.

I'm still looking into Aragorn's movements from when he left Gollum in Mirkwood. According to a very unofficial source, it is said that they met in Sarn Ford in May 1st 3017, two months after he delivers Gollum to Mirkwood. But then Gandalf goes from there and does not return to the Shire for nearly a Year and shows up again at Bag End in 3018 April, if memory serves. More digging is required here unless someone has some info....

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Feb 14, 2014

I agree with the suggestion when comparing the two statements Lorelline, but then, if so, in the ultimate scenario who are the Elves from Lindon? Appendix B notes:

'In the beginning of this Age [The Second Age] many of the High Elves still remained. Most of these dwelt in Lindon west of the Ered Luin; but before the building of the Barad-dur many of the Sindar passed eastward, and some established realms in the forest far away, where their people were mostly Silvan Elves. Thranduil, King in the north of Greenwood the Great, was one of these. In Lindon north of the Lune dwelt Gil-galad, last heir of the kings of the Noldor in exile.'

First Edition version: 'In the beginning of this Age many of the High Elves still remained. The Exiled Noldor dwelt in Lindon, but many of the Sindar passed eastward and established realms in the forest far away.'

 

Granted, later 'some' of the Noldor went to Eregion for Mithril, and then we have the subsequent history of war and so on, and so the question arises with respect to who [what 'kind' of Elf] lives beyond the Tower Hills in the Third Age. But in any event it is here where High Elves seems to include the Sindar...

... which notion is arguably supported by Tolkien's implication that the name Elbereth is what revealed these Elves as 'High' to Frodo, which is not only Sindarin but would seem to be a name the Sindar would use for Varda [again Elbereth had been 'Noldorin' in the old linguistic scenario].

Add the further complication that if we resolve the notion of the name Elbereth as the revealing evidence to Frodo of 'High Elves' here, then Frodo would be suggesting that not many of the High Elves as in Noldor and Sindar now remain in Middle-earth! I suppose that could be possible if we compared their number to Silvan and Avarin Elves, but...

 

... anyway, if we really want to distinguish the [admittedly] seeming extra surprise of these 'High Elves' from those wandering into the Shire sometimes [Elves from beyond the Tower Hills], are we to imagine the latter as Nandor from Eriador, who live among High Elves in Lindon? Or is this getting a bit thin?

 

smile

 

With respect to the Third Age, while Tolkien himself did not publish Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age, if it reveals anything of his mind at some point, he wrote: 'In Eriador Imladris was the chief dwelling of the High Elves; but at the Grey Havens of Lindon there abode also a remnant of the people of Gil-galad the Elvenking. At times they would wander into the lands of Eriador, but for the most part they dwelt near the shores of the sea, building and tending the elven-ships wherein those of the Firstborn who grew weary of the world set sail into the uttermost West. Cirdan the Shipwright was lord of the Havens and mighty among the Wise.'

 

And in RGEO Tolkien did publish that there were High Elves in the Havens, or at least that is how I interpret the following anyway: 'The High-Elves (such as did not dwell in or near the Havens) journeyed to the Tower Hills at intervals to look afar at Eressea...' And in Appendix A, (iii) Eriador, Arnor, And The Heirs Of Isildur: 'At its greatest Arnor included all Eriador, except the regions beyond the Lune (...) In the days of the Kings most of the High Elves that still lingered in Middle-earth dwelt with Cirdan or in the Seaward lands of Lindon. If any now remain they are few.'



-- Edited by Galin on Friday 14th of February 2014 06:25:51 PM

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