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Immortality: A gift or a curse?

Gil-Galad

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A gift or a curse?

I was thinking about elves and their immortal life ,when I wondered is it a gift or a curse?
I thought:"Elves will live forever if they're not killed or languished.They will feel all pain of Earth.
I felt that their immortal life is not a gift ,but a curse.I'm wondering what do you think ?
 

Melian

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It depends on how you spend the time you are given.Sometimes a short moment of love is more precious than an eternity of loneliness.
 

Turgon

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I think in the Silmarillion it say that Eru gave to man the 'gift of death' but Melkor (and I suppose later Sauron too) played upon the fears of man and made this gift seem like a curse... who wants to live for ever?
 

Gothmog

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The Eldar, you say are unpunished, and even those who rebelled do not die. Yet that is to them neither reward nor punishment, but the fulfilment of their being. They cannot escape, and are bound to this world, never to leave it so long as it lasts, for its life is theirs,
From the Silmarillion: AKALLABÊTH

So the imortallity of the Elves is neither a Curse nor a Blessing it just is. However, after many years it could become a great burden knowing that it will not end. Personally, I would rather just live for as long as I can enjoy life.
 
R

Rohansangel

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It would be tough knowing that you'll live forever, and it's a pretty scary concept. I think if I was an elf I'd hate it because it would, like, never end.
 

Anarchist

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This has been brought up before and has been discussed long. I think this depends on the life of the person. Immortality would be a gift for Beren so he could live with Luthien forever. But it was indeed a gift for Gollum who suffered for a really long time and died holding his "precious".
 

shadowfax_g

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I quote from Appendix A:
Elros was the first King of Numenor, and was afterwards known by the High-elven name Tar-Minyatur. His descendants were long-lived but mortal. Later when they became powerful they begrudged the choice of their forfather, desiring the immortality within the life of the world that was the fate of the Eldar, and murmuring against the Ban. In this way began their rebellion which, under the evil teaching of Sauron, brought about the Downfall of Numenor and the ruin of the ancient world, as told in the Akallabêth.
Those who have power and prosperity would wish lives everlasting. But who had been guaranteed eternal power ever? Even Galadriel decided to diminish. I think the mortal envy immortality because they don't have it, but elves don't think it as a gift.
 

Niniel

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This was discussed just a short while ago actually, and then I said this about it:

'In the Silmarillion, Death is referred to by the Elves both as 'The Doom of Men' and 'The Gift of Men', and more often as the latter. The Elves fear death, because they do not know it, but at the same time, they envy Men, because they can escape from this world by death. For Elves the world grows boring after all these Ages they have lived in it. In the beginning, when the Elves were young, they were curious about everything and wanted to know the language of beasts and birds, so that they could talk to them about everything they wanted to know, but in the third Age, the Elves have grown weary of the world and do not concern themselves in its affairs (note Gildor's words on this).'

I still think of it the same really.
 

Ingwë

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Hey, yesterday I make similar thread in another forum :)

; Immortality is not a gift. It is really a curse! The Elves must wait the end of the World, they must see death, kills, blood, warsthey suffer from their destiny. The elves didn't die but they have terrible life. What about Hurin? He killed himself but if he was an Elf? He must see everything till the End of the World. The men have a short life but they can live it as they want. They enjoy their life because they know that it will end after awhile. I would like to be mortal. The elves have too heavy burden.
 

Beorn

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I think this thread is viewed too much from the human perspective. People eventually die, and we've come to accept that. We think we'd get bored after so many years. However, take a look at how Aragorn took advantage of his extended stay. He did a lot of stuff.

In a world where too much free time isn't considered a burden, I think immortality would be a blessing. You can do a lot more, become a lot more significant because you've more time to do so.

There is no deadline on life. (pun intended ;))
 

Ingwë

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Yes, Mike, but it depends. You didn't watch Live 8 show. It was great concert but it aslo show the life in Africa. They eat clay! It is horrible! I don't want a life like that. We have fun but they suffer from starvation and they die. I don't think they want to be immortal. :(
 

Berserker

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Melian said:
It depends on how you spend the time you are given.Sometimes a short moment of love is more precious than an eternity of loneliness.
Exactly. Even in reality and normal life, the great moments last forever, while a non productive life pass slower and leaves nothing.

Mozart, Alexander the Great, Hendrix, etc, they all died very young, but their lives were so productive, that they became immortal.
I prefer a short but creative and deep life than a loooooooong mediocre one.
 

Alatar

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But the elves live fooooooooreeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvveeeeeeer, imagine how bored you'd get! In fact, you just might take a army over into ME, for a hopeless war, just to have somthing to do.
Or you might by a rubix cube, whatever.
 

Arlina

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I think that immortality could be a blessing, but it depends on the person. Some would use their immortality to help change the world for the better, where as some would just sit around and pounder about what to do today. However, some mortals do that these days anyway...
 

Astran

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Niniel said:
This was discussed just a short while ago actually, and then I said this about it:

'In the Silmarillion, Death is referred to by the Elves both as 'The Doom of Men' and 'The Gift of Men', and more often as the latter. The Elves fear death, because they do not know it, but at the same time, they envy Men, because they can escape from this world by death. For Elves the world grows boring after all these Ages they have lived in it. In the beginning, when the Elves were young, they were curious about everything and wanted to know the language of beasts and birds, so that they could talk to them about everything they wanted to know, but in the third Age, the Elves have grown weary of the world and do not concern themselves in its affairs (note Gildor's words on this).'

I still think of it the same really.
I agree with you, but one thing isnt correct. Elves don't know death, but they also don't fear it. They just don't understand it. Legolas wasn't afraid of going into that mountain with aragorn (srry.. dont know english name :s), because there was nothing but death, and death isn't scary..
 

ingolmo

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It depends on how it is looked at. If you would have to live with all the pain the world goes through, and fade when the world fades, that could be a very bad and lonely life, or very good, because of immortality, it all depends on how you take the situation. If you're an optimist, :), if you're a pessimist, :mad: .
 

clashoftheash

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Who'd want to live forever. Its not natural and i'd pity anyone who'd have to go through it. After the first few hundred years what would be left of you ? Only a shell of a person who can't appreciate anything anymore because you've seen it all already.

Life's greatest gift is death.
 

Narsil

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Ingwë said:
The men have a short life but they can live it as they want. They enjoy their life because they know that it will end after awhile. I would like to be mortal. The elves have too heavy burden.
The words of a young person. ;) Wait 30 years and see if you change your mind. I would like to be immortal. IMO immortality is a gift.

I think the Elves have a problem with watching the mortal world die around them but once they pass into the West this ceases to become a problem as nothing dies in Aman. :)
 

ingolmo

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Even though the elves were immortal, they had to suffer the pain of the Middle-earth with it, and fade in the suffering. You wouldn't like that would you? Anyway, if we all were immortal like elves, we'd all be fading... fast. Look at the state we've made this Earth in. :(
 

Inderjit S

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Immortality for men, who are certainly mortal by nature, is certainly a curse, and no gift, I certainly don't wish to live forever, as I don't know how I would deal with the changes which take place, how I would deal with sadness and tragic events over thousands of years or what I would do for 10,000 years.
 

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