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The Immortal Dwarf?

Ancalagon

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It is said that Gimli ruled Aglarond for more than 100years, but after the death of Aragorn he joined Legolas and some say, travelled with him to The Undying Lands.

If this was so, would he have returned to the Mansions of Aule as some say or did he wander freely and so become immortal such as Legolas his friend?
 

Gamil Zirak

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I would think he returned to the Mansions of Aule, but I don't know that for a fact. Although, you would think the Dwarves would be given the same rights as the Elder Children of Ilúvatar because they are the only Children of Aulë. Tolkien doesn't really go in depth about the Dwarves like he does with men and elves. I wish he had though.
 

Lantarion

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Yes, where do Dwarves go when they die? The great big mountain in the sky? :)
I think Gimli could have been granted immortality, or at least prolonged life, as could all of the Fellowship, for their daring deeds in Middle-Earth. But this does not seem to be the case, because Tolkien does say somewhere that Frodo et al. die in Valinor.
So no, I don't think Gimli was granted immortality.
 

Ancalagon

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There's no creature which is immortal in fact,even elves would be killed or languish and die.
Hmmm, interesting; please elaborate.
 

Anarchist

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Stepping on the unduying lands does not give a person immortality. Only elves are immortal. Yes Tolkien doesn't mention a lot about the fate of the Dwarves. I believe they go to the mansions of Aule but that's not completely correct I guess because they weren't created by Eru. But I believe they would go near their creator after they died.
 

Ancalagon

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Surely the Valar could petition Eru and grant Gimli the same immortality that the Elves take for granted. Remember Eru has given Dwarves much in the past, quite possibly Gimli may have been shown favour for both his strong friendship with Legolas, his role in defeating Sauron and the fact that he is the only Dwarf to have ever set sail upon an Elven ship bound for The Undying Lands.
 

Elfarmari

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if the Dwarves go to the Mansion of Aule, does that mean they are still 'alive' in Valinor? Or is it a separate place, like Mandos? I always thought that Gimli lived a longer than normal life in Valinor, and then died like Frodo.
 

Strider97

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Somewhere in the Sil (I will update this when I get home) it states that Dwarves return to the earth and the metal from which they were formed. Since they were not created by Eru as Elves and Man were or evolved from one of those species such as the Hobbits it is doubtful that they were imbued with a soul.

Elves were immortal (in Tolkien's venacular) in that while on ME they did not age or suffer the frailities of old age. They could be killed but not resurrected. I am paraphrasing here but they could also fade from some malaise of the soul.

Anc, just saw your post. Tolkien in a letter addressed Frodo and immortality. I believe the same would hold true for a dwarf:

Quote- "Frodo was sent or allowed to pass over Sea to heal him - if that could be done, before he died. he would have enventually to 'pass away': no mortal could, or can, abide for ever on earth, or within Time. So he went both to a purgatory and to a reward, for a while: a period of reflection and peace and a gaining of a truer understanding of his position in littleness and in greatness, spent still in Time amid the natural beauty of 'Arda Unmarred', the Earth unspoiled by evil." [Letter #246]

and as a final point on Frodo, Sam, Bilbo's and Gimli and the immortality issue, here is another letter from Tolkien to a reader:

Quote: "But in this story it is supposed that there may be certain rare exceptions or accommodations (legitimately supposed? there always seem to be exceptions); and so certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus Frodo (by the express gift of Arwen) and Bilbo, and eventually Sam (as adumbrated by Frodo); and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as a friend of Legolas and 'servant' of Galadriel.

I have said nothing about it in this book, but the mythical idea underlying is that for mortals, since their 'kind' cannot be changed for ever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of suffering. They cannot abide for ever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will 'die' - of free will, and leave the world." [Letter #154]


Thanks, Strider97
 

Cian

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JRRT once penned, as seen in "The Later Quenta Silmarillion" anywho, the following on Dwarves:

"Aforetime the Noldor held that dying they returned unto the earth and the stone of which they were made; yet that is not their own belief. For they say that Aulë cares for them and gathers them in mandos in halls set apart for them, and there they wait, not in idelness but in the practice of crafts and the learning of yet deeper lore. And Aulë, they say, declared to their Fathers of old that Ilúvatar had accepted from him the work of his desire, and that Ilúvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End."
Compare to the published Silmarillion version in "Of Aulë And Yavanna": "Aforetime it was held among the Elves in Middle-earth ..." and etc.
 

Ancalagon

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And Aulë, they say, declared to their Fathers of old that Ilúvatar had accepted from him the work of his desire, and that Ilúvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End."
Which Children? First or Secondborn, cause who knows where the Secondborn go and what Eru had in store for them?
 

Turgon

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Though I don't believe, personally, that Gimli was granted immortality as a reward for his deeds in the War of the Rings. The idea of a mortal becoming immortal is not without precedent.

from 'Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin'

'In those days Tuor felt old age creep upon him, and ever a longing for the deeps of the Sea grew stronger in his heart. Therefore he built a great ship, and he named it Earrame, which is Sea-Wing; and with Idril Celebrindal he set sail into the sunset and the west, and came no more into any tale or song. But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men'
 
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HelplessModAddi

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My theory

Okay, here's what I think, and please don't yell at me if Tolkein contradicts this: There are at least three types of "deaths" in Tolkein's world, from which one may be subjected two:

1) Death by Slaying. This is the type of death to which even the Elves (mishap, death by grief, killed by another), possibly even the Valar, are subject to: the destruction of the physical body by an outside force. It only, however, refers to the BODY, and what happens to the mind is determined by kinship. This includes forces of nature, such as hunger, or large wind storms impaling your body upon a three-mile high pinnacle of ice. Gimli COULD have died this way in Valinor, but it is unlikely.

2) The Second Law of Thermodynamics. AKA entropy, the tendency of things to go from a more ordered state to a less ordered state. This is the death in which the body (and the mind) are decayed to a point of non-functionality; it is the death which we in the real world know of as OLD AGE, to which all creatures are subject. Elves CAN be destroyed this way if a sufficiently long period of time passes, but only in Middle Earth, and when they die, they don't leave the world, they simply go to Mandos, to eventually come back to the world of life. It is my belief that this function of time was actually CREATED in the beginning of Arda, when Melkor marred and destroyed everything the Valar tried to make, which leads me to believe that, since Valinor was never "marred," the function of time itself is different in the Undying Lands. This is the death which Dwarves (and possibly Hobbits) are subject to, which COULD NOT have claimed them in Aman.

3) The Gift and Doom of Men. THIS particular death is unique to Men, and indeed to Tolkein's world. It is the process whereby Men are compelled to leave the world of Arda, for it is not their home, and they do not belong there. If, indeed, Hobbits are just short Men, they would be subject to this form of Death, and could not have lived forever even in Eressea and Aman. Herein lies the folly of the Numenoreans; even had they the strength of body and mind to endure such blinding perfection in Aman, it would not have cured them of their inevitable departure from the world. Men (and Hobbits?) are the ONLY creatures in Arda to die this way. Dwarves do NOT leave the world, and are thus not compelled to die the way Men are.

In summary, Gimli would have immortality in Valinor, because his body would not decay as is the fashion of things in Middle Earth. Hobbits *might* share in this, depending on the nature of their kind. But this is only my theory, and I could be wrong. Actually, I couldn't, because its my Tolkein universe and I'll imagine it the way I want to. :D But you know, if Gimli did die in Eressea, he would just go to where he was already within a few days' travel of.
 
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