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Admittance to the Uttermost West

Gandalf714

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This has always bothered me, maybe someone has an answer for me.
Frodo is given Arwen's place "A gift I will give you. For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him now when he departs to the Havens; for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter. But in my stead you shall go, Ring-bearer, when the time comes, and if you then desire it. If your hurts grieve you still and the memory of your burden is heavy, then you may pass into the West, until all your wounds and weariness are healed. "

Two questions;

Why does Bilbo get to go to the West, who's place does he take?

What happens to Frodo when " his wounds and weariness are healed"?
 

Snaga

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I don't read Arwen's statement as meaning she's got a ticket on Cirdan Cruises and she's signing it over to Frodo. I think that's too literal. I doubt the white ship was so crowded they had to repel boarders at the havens.

The other thing is that I am pretty convinced that Frodo will have been healed, lived long but eventually died. Why? Because going to the West does not confer immortality. The immortal live their, but they are immortal because they were created as such by Iluvatar. The suggestion that immortality can be had by any who come into the West is a lie that Sauron told to Ar-Pharazon that led to the downfall of Numenor.

There's stuff in Appendix A on this, and more in Silmarillion.:)
 

Gandalf714

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I wasn't thinking about space on the ship but rather entrance into Aman. No mortals may step foot on amen and so was Numenor destroyed when Ar-Pharazon attempted that feat.

It seems that Frodo was invited so it was OK, but when was Bilbo ' invited' ?

Your second point has a contradiction in appendix A.
The ' Ban of the Valar': they were forbidden to set foot on the Undying Lands.For though a long span of life had been granted to them they must remain mortal, since the Valar were not permitted to take from them the Gift of Men. This passage seems to make the assumption that being in the Undying Lands confers immortality. Otherwise how could they take the gift from them.

Two pages later it says Sauron lied to the King about everlasting life.
 

Tar-Palantir

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And as Ringbearers Bilbo, Frodo, and (eventually) Sam were granted special exemptions. I mean, having or using the Ring made them (for better or worse) like one of the immortals (Elves or Maia).....a little bit. I always pictured the Valar, Maiar, and Elves of Valinor sitting around and saying "Sheesh, all these little guys wanted to do was eat, drink, and have birthday parties; and look what we've gotten them into. Since they suffered the scars of bearing a weapon that one of us made, let's give them a little peace and healing before they die (although, how much trauma Sam suffered from his short time with the Ring, I don't think Tolkien ever addressed)."

BTW, I always thought Tolkien tied the bow a little too neatly by letting Gimli go across the pond.
 

Elanor2

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Well, as I said in another thread, I think that Aman was made for the Valars, so that they could live on the world and help Iluvatar's children. They invited the elves because they thought that they needed a place of healing and resting, since they cannot leave Arda alive of dead and ME was damaged by Melkor. The other races, when they die, are supposed to leave Arda to go somewhere else. Just the elves remain and need that special care.

The destiny of the other races is to live in ME, with their happiness and sorrows and then move on. This is the "Gift of Iluvatar" that the Valars cannot change unless Iluvatar gives them permission for exceptional cases (the only pure-blood human to have that changed was Tuor). Going to Aman will not help them at all to fulfill their destiny, so the Valars do not accept them there (with exceptions, like Gimli, and Frodo&Co.). Aman will only make the leaving harder and worse unless you are a special case.

my2cents. Elanor2
 

Tar-Elenion

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What JRRT said of Bilbo and Frodo etc. in Aman is:
"As for Frodo or other mortals, they could only dwell in Aman for a limited time - whether brief or long. The Valar had neither the power nor the right to confer 'immortality' upon them. Their sojourn was a 'purgatory', but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (die at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing."
Letter 325
 

Tyaronumen

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I remember being a little kid, and becoming very sad for a time when I finally realized that admittance into the utmost west did not grant immortality to a mortal.

After that, I had to turn back to Oz for the whole 'live forever' perk. :)
 

Galadhwen

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What I still don't get is why Galadriel didn't give Aragorn her blessing, like she did Gimli, so that her grandson in law (who also has elven blood!) could catch a ship headed to the West. Aragorn could have abdicated so his son could become king and Arwen wouldn't have to suffer a lonley death in faded Lothlorien (praps she wanted to avoid an 'I told you so' conflict with Elrond after their last argument :D ).
Considering what Aragorn did in the War of the Ring compared to Gimli you'd have thought he'd be let across!
 

Maeglin

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Aragorn was a mortal man, where as Gimli and the Hobbits were mortal, but of other races. I think that since Aragorn belonged to the race of men, he was forbidden by the laws of the Valar to ever set foot on Aman, as Aragorn was of Numenorean blood, and it was the Numenoreans who were originally forbidden but decided to be disloyal to the Valar and tried to go to Aman anyway. So, you see, the punishment (as the Numenoreans saw it), or gift of men lasts as long as Middle-earth, so there is no way Aragorn would ever be allowed to depart from Middle-earth, and I don't think he would have wanted to anyway.
Now, Gimli was a dwarf while Frodo, Bilbo, Sam were hobbits. They did not have the same fate placed upon them as the Numenoreans. They had no part in what the kings of Numenor did, so were completely innocent and would be allowed to pass into Aman.
 

Galadhwen

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Ok I get your point bout Aragorn but what of Eru's decree that Elves and Dwarves would never entirley get on so to speak- I know at times they were friends as Galadriel/ Gimli shows but it always seems to end in tears,Thingol was killed by them after all!- what would the Western Elves make of a Dwarf setting foot on their land- especially Thingol's relatives? Although I can imagine Aule jumping for joy!
 

Maeglin

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Well the majority of the elves that lived in the undying lands had never left them after they arrived there in the first age, so they never saw the existence of elves, and therefore had no reason to dislike them. I would imagine that they were quite fascinated when they first saw Gimli. As for the elves that had known about dwarves and perhaps not gotten along well with them....well they probably just don't hold a grudge, and the choice wasn't there's anyway. Gimli was not one of the dwarves of the first age that had killed Thingol, and he had committed no crime against any elves, so he was completely innocent. Add on to that the fact that Gimli was best friends with Legolas and had done great things in the War of the Ring, they were all probably quite friendly towards him.
And for those who didn't like him, well there was one good thing for them, that being that Gimli would eventually die even though he was allowed into Aman, as only the elves were given the gift of immortality.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Gandalf714 said:
Why does Bilbo get to go to the West, who's place does he take?

What happens to Frodo when " his wounds and weariness are healed"?
He goes to the West as a gift of love and pity from Arwen, because of the incredible physical and spiritual trauma inflicted upon Frodo by undergoing the Quest of the Ring. This dovetails into her decision to stay with Aragorn, therebye losing her immortality.

When he becomes healed, he will die at peace, because he isn't immortal. But to be in the West is to be in a place where there is absolute peace, quiet, calm, and love. His soul, spirit and psyche can heal as well as his body.

Barley
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Galadhwen said:
What I still don't get is why Galadriel didn't give Aragorn her blessing, like she did Gimli, so that her grandson in law (who also has elven blood!) could catch a ship headed to the West. Aragorn could have abdicated so his son could become king and Arwen wouldn't have to suffer a lonley death in faded Lothlorien (praps she wanted to avoid an 'I told you so' conflict with Elrond after their last argument :D ).
Considering what Aragorn did in the War of the Ring compared to Gimli you'd have thought he'd be let across!
It's good logic, but you must remember that it's a story after all, and Tolkien wrote it the way he wanted it to be, for reasons of his own.:)

Barley
 

Galadhwen

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It's good logic, but you must remember that it's a story after all, and Tolkien wrote it the way he wanted it to be, for reasons of his own.
True enough, I suppose it also gives it a more tragic Celtic feeling too...

Cheers Maeglin- I'd forgotten that most of the elves wouldn't have seen the dwarves! :eek: And a good character reference from Galadriel and Legolas has got to get you somewhere!
 

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