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What happened to the sons of Elrond? (Elladan & Elrohir)

After reading the thread, what is your opinion on the fate of the sons of Elrond?


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Cian

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No, Elladan "Elf-Númenórean" and Elrohir "Elf-knight" (loosely translated) were said to have long remained in Rivendell after Elronds departure :)
 

Strider97

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I first assume that you are asking if they get killed during the War of the Ring and the answer is no.

They return to Rivendell and remain their after their father Elrond leaves for the west. They are visited there by Celeborn who is also alone since Galadriel left w/Elrond for the west.

Tolkien says that there is no further information on the history of the two.

One train of thought is that by not leaving with their father they gave up their immortality and perished in the ME and that their spots were given to Sam and Bilbo.

Another train of thought is that they remained in ME for a while and eventually passed to the west.

I believe that they perished in ME like their sister. The choice of Elrond was sincee he choose the elves over man the choice to be able leave was given to him and his decendants to pass together into the west.
 
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Ardamir the Blessed

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I will now give seven additional theories of my own on whether Elladan and/or Elrohir received a mortal or immortal fate. They are ordered from weakest to strongest (in my opinion):


1) Elrond losing all his children, parents and brother to mortality is a theme.

It is a fact that Elrond loses his daughter and brother to mortality. It is an event made very significant that Arwen does not leave Middle-earth with Elrond, and becomes mortal. Neither do his sons; they probably became mortal as well. Whether Eärendil and Elwing chose mortality is another matter not to be discussed here, but it would go well with this theory.

Fate: MORTALITY for both


2) The names Eluréd and Elurín, Elros and Elrond, and Elladan and Elrohir

‘The Problem of ros’:
He [Dior] gave to his elder son the name Eluréd, that is said to have the same significance, but ended in the Bëorian word rêda 'heir'; to his second son he gave the name Elurín [note 8: 'Remembrance of Elu': containing Sindarin rîn from Common Eldarin rēnē < base REN 'recall, have in mind'.]
Her [Elwing’s] sons she named Elros and Elrond; and after the manner of her brothers the first ended in a Bëorian word, and the second in an Elvish.
The names Elros and Elrond that Elwing gave to her sons were held prophetic, as many mother-names among the Eldar.
Elros received a mortal fate; Elrond an immortal one, and their prophetic names reflect this: Elros is a ‘Man-name’ (having a Bëorian ending) and Elrond an ‘Elf-name’ (having an Elvish ending). Of the names of the sons of Dior, Eluréd is a ‘Man-name’ and Elurín an ‘Elf-name’, and it may be that if they had received the choice of mortality or immortality, Eluréd would have chosen mortality and Elurín immortality. Or, maybe Eluréd’s heart was with the kindred of Men and Elurín’s with the Elves, and thus they (maybe prophetically) received those names. But of course, they never got the chance to receive any choice:
Eluréd and Elurín, before they came to manhood, were both slain by the sons of Fëanor
And maybe they would not have received any choice even if they had lived, as it was perhaps only Eärendil and Elwing and their children with whom the choice was concerned, not the other Half-elves, if any such had lived.

If we then look at Elladan and Elrohir:

Letter #211:
Both [Elladan and Elrohir] signify elf+ man. Elrohir might be translated 'Elf-knight'; rohir being a later form of rochir 'horse-lord' from roch 'horse'+hir 'master': Prim. Elvish rokkō and khēr or kherū: High-elven rocco, hēr (hěru). Elladan might be translated 'Elf-Númenórean'. Adan (pl. Edain) was the Sindarin form of the name given to the 'fathers of men', the members of the Three Houses of Elf-friends, whose survivors afterwards became the Númenóreans, or Dúnedain.
But here, both names are wholly Elvish; none of them contain a Bëorian or Mannish ending. Does this mean that both chose immortality?

If we look at the actual meanings of the names, the quote from Letter #211 says that both signify elf+ man; does this mean that both of the brothers chose mortality?

Further on the quote says that Elrohir might be translated 'Elf-knight' and Elladan 'Elf-Númenórean'; does this mean that Elladan chose mortality? And is ‘knight’ a ‘Man-word’ or an ‘Elf-word’?

Note that this information is taken from Letter #211 which was written in 1958; the information about Eluréd, Elurín, Elros and Elrond is taken from ‘The Problem of ros, written in 1968 or later. In Letter #211 JRRT still described the ending –ros as Eldarin:
*rossē meant 'dew, spray (of fall or fountain)'
Thus he changed -ros from being Sindarin to Bëorian in ‘The Problem of ros, and also made -wing and -réd Bëorian, but unfortunately the essay was abandoned; JRRT was forced to accept that -ros is Sindarin and wrote ‘most of this fails’; but if he had somehow found a way for it to work and completed the essay, maybe he would have made -rohir (adan seems the less likely alternative) Bëorian, and thus completed the system of naming of all the three brethren Eluréd and Elurín, Elros and Elrond, and Elrohir and Elladan?

Fate: MORTALITY for Elrohir, IMMORTALITY for Elladan


3) The fate of Eluréd and Elurín = the fate of Elladan and Elrohir or the fate of Elros and Elrond = the fate of Elladan and Elrohir

Compare Elwing, Eluréd and Elurín to Arwen, Elladan and Elrohir; one sister and two brothers. It is a fact that Arwen chose mortality, but whether Elwing did or not might not matter that much, as she was still in any case very much sundered from her kin. What is more relevant is the fate of Eluréd and Elurín:

‘The Problem of ros’:
Eluréd and Elurín, before they came to manhood, were both slain by the sons of Fëanor
Thus they died at an early stage. It is tempting to think that also Elladan and Elrohir died: because they chose mortality.

But if you compare Elros and Elrond to Elladan and Elrohir instead, though Elros and Elrond had no sister, it looks like either Elladan or Elhorir chose mortality and the other immortality.

Fate: MORTALITY for both, or MORTALITY for one and IMMORTALITY for the other.


4) No-one dwelt in Rivendell in Fourth Age 120

‘The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen’:
the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we [Aragorn and Arwen] met under the white birches in the garden of Elrond where none now walk
I suppose that this is to be taken to mean that no-one lived in Rivendell in Fourth Age 120 anymore. This means that Celeborn had passed over the Sea, and taken the sons of Elrond with him – or they had already died before. When Arwen comes to Lórien after the death of Elessar both Galadriel and Celeborn are gone – but maybe this line means that Celeborn also had passed over the Sea and not just gone to dwell in Imladris:
Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.
One must remember that the children of Elrond, once they remained behind in Middle-earth when their father left, might have started to age in the same way as the Númenóreans (and thus Aragorn) did:

‘The Line of Elros – Kings of Númenor’, note 1:
Thus (as the Eldar) they [the Númenóreans] grew at much the same rate as other Men, but when they had achieved "full-growth" they then aged, or "wore out," very much more slowly. The first approach of "world-weariness" was indeed for them a sign that their period of vigour was nearing its end.
Thus the children of Elrond, even though their father left, might have just continued to live without losing their vigour, and maybe this created a chance for them to still pass over the Sea and avoid mortality, if they just left before the first approach of “world-weariness”. But it would be a bit strange if they became Númenóreans physically after their father left, because they had never gone to Númenor and thus not received the gift of long life-span. But then again, JRRT seems to have changed the reason that the Númenóreans had a long life-span:
It is further expounded that the increase in the Númenórean span was brought about by assimilation of their mode of life to that of the Eldar
There is also another line in ‘The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen’ that needs consideration:
As Queen of Elves and Men she [Arwen] dwelt with Aragorn for six-score years in great glory and bliss
Why was Arwen a Queen of Elves? Were these the Elves of Greenwood that Legolas brought to Ithilien, which was a part of Gondor? Or was she a Queen of all Elves remaining in the North-West of Middle-earth (except perhaps those of Greenwood), which would mean that the sons of Elrond had passed over the Sea, because if they had not, then the elder of them should have the right to inherit the Elven kingdoms before Arwen, as the brothers were older than her.

Fate: IMMORTALITY for both, or MORTALITY for both
 

Ardamir the Blessed

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5) The sons of Elrond played an active role in the War of the Ring.

‘The Passing of the Grey Company’:
That is all of our kindred that could be gathered in haste; but the brethren Elladan and Elrohir have ridden with us, desiring to go to the war.
The fact that none of the inhabitants of Rivendell but Elladan and Elrohir went to the actual war could be taken to mean that only these two thought that it was their duty to partake. The war was mostly for Men to fight, and therefore, the sons of Elrond might have already chosen a mortal fate, though they did not become physically mortal yet, and thus they knew that they were going to live in Middle-earth for the rest of their lives, and so they felt that it was their duty to actively try to save it. Maybe you can compare their participation in the War of the Ring to the doom that was appointed to Arwen (though she did not become physically mortal yet) when she first saw Aragorn after a long time, before they plighted their troth upon Cerin Amroth:

‘The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen’:
And thus it was that Arwen first beheld him again after their long parting; and as he came walking towards her under the trees of Caras Galadhon laden with flowers of gold, her choice was made and her doom appointed.
Something that speaks against this theory is the fact that Elrond was after all ready to send people from his household to set out with the Fellowship on the Quest:

'There remain two more to be found,' said Elrond. "These I will consider. Of my household I may find some that it seems good to me to send.'
But the two last places seem very suitable for Elladan and Elrohir, and maybe Elrond was indeed thinking about them, and indeed at one stage of writing (see TI, ‘The Ring Goes South’), Erestor, being a Half-elf at that point, was to go in Pippin’s or Merry’s stead and represent the Half-elves (Legolas was to represent the Elves). The sons of Elrond had not yet emerged.

Though at an even earlier stage of writing JRRT did have Glorfindel, an extremely powerful High Elf-lord as one of the members of the Fellowship:

RS, ‘In the House of Elrond’:
Who shall go with him? Gandalf. Trotter. Sam. Odo. Folco. Merry. Glorfindel and Frar [written beneath: Burin] son of Balin.
That is five. And Glorfindel, if he will come and lend us the wisdom of the Elves: we shall need it. That is six.'
Then at one point he dismisses Glorfindel quite resolutely:
Alter this. Hobbits only, including Trotter. Gandalf as [?guide] in early stages. Gandalf says he will go all way? No Glorfindel.
But here it seems that he wanted only Hobbits to go plus Gandalf. Glorfindel did not return to the composition of the Nine Walkers after this, though, and it may be that JRRT intentionally left any Elf of Rivendell out of the Fellowship and kept Legolas in.

Fate: MORTALITY for both


6) The sons of Elrond spent much time with Men. This is related to theory #5.

The sons of Elrond seem to be very much associated with Men: Dúnedain, mostly the Rangers of the North (their chieftains especially) but also the knights of Dol Amroth. This might be a sign of them being received into the company of Men, and thus they chose mortality. The first explicit mention of them being active is:

Appendix A:
In 2509 Celebrían wife of Elrond was journeying to Lórien when she was waylaid in the Redhorn Pass, and her escort being scattered by the sudden assault of the Orcs, she was seized and carried off. She was pursued and rescued by Elladan and Elrohir
But here, the Rangers are not mentioned, but it may be that the brothers received help from them, because from this time henceforth, when the brethren were afield, there always seems to be explcit mention of the Rangers being with them, and in ‘Many Meetings’ the Rangers are mentioned in relation to Celebrían being taken captive:

But her [Arwen’s] brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, were out upon errantry: for they rode often far afield with the Rangers of the North, forgetting never their mother's torment in the dens of the orcs.
But the sons of Elrond were most likely part of the force under Glorfindel that was sent out of Rivendell at the end of the Battle of Fornost in 1975:

Appendix A:
At the same time [as the cavalry of Gondor overtook Witch-king] a force under Glorfindel the Elf-lord came up out of Rivendell.
This is actually the only time in the Third Age that a force of Rivendell was used in combat.

More quotes:

Appendix A:
And later in the days of Arassuil [2745], Orcs, multiplying again in the Misty Mountains, begin to ravage the lands, and the Dúnedain and the sons of Elrond fought with them.
But Aragorn was only two years old when Arathorn went riding against the Orcs with the sons of Elrond
But when Estel was only twenty years of age, it chanced that he returned to Rivendell after great deeds in the company of the sons of Elrond
‘The Houses of Healing’: And he [Aragorn] commanded that his banner should be furled; and he did off the Star of the North Kingdom and gave it to the keeping of the sons of Elrond.
‘The Last Debate’:
another company of five hundred horse there should be, among which should ride the sons of Elrond with the Dúnedain and the knights of Dol Amroth
‘The Black Gate Opens’:
But in the front towards Mordor where the first bitter assault would come there stood the sons of Elrond on the left with the Dúnedain about them, and on the right the Prince Imrahil with the men of Dol Amroth tall and fair, and picked men of the Tower of Guard.
Fate: MORTALITY for both


7) The sons of Elrond did not have any children.

‘The Shibboleth of Fëanor’:
When in later days he [Elrond] wedded Celebrían, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn, the two lines of descent from Finwë, from Fingolfin and Finarfin, were united and continued in Arwen their daughter.
This line says that the lines of Fingolfin and Finarfin were continued in Arwen – it does not mention Elladan and Elrohir. This means that Elladan and Elrohir never had any children – which means that they probably chose mortality and died childless, as they quite surely would have had children had they chosen immortality.

Fate: MORTALITY for both
 

Link 2

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Replaying to someone's earlier post:

The sons of Elrond did not "give up their spots to Bilbo and Sam".


Bilbo and Sam were allowed into Aman because they were ring-bearers, along with Frodo.
 

HLGStrider

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Not necessarily, Link. Frodo's place, for instance, is secured by Arwen as much as by the Ring. It is her gift that helps him gain entrance.


This line says that the lines of Fingolfin and Finarfin were continued in Arwen – it does not mention Elladan and Elrohir. This means that Elladan and Elrohir never had any children – which means that they probably chose mortality and died childless, as they quite surely would have had children had they chosen immortality.
I'd like to point out, this is not necessarily so. Not all who had children gain them a mention. Merry, for instance. I always assumed he had children. They are not in the family trees, but he married, and there is no reason to believe his line ended.

Also, if no history of them is known, it is possible that they did and the children just aren't mentioned. . .possibly because the children were born within the undying lands and out of mortal knowledge.

I'm undecided. There's a lot to be said on both sides, but I have a hard time believing that his sons would all take a choice that would deprive their father of any of his children in the Eldar Lands. Arwen's main hesitation upon taking her course is "she loved her father dearly." I would not assume the boys held any less love. Without the tie of love to a woman to hold them, wouldn't the tie of love to a sire be enough?

I also think they loved their mother dearly and would owe her some devotion. After all, they spent time revenging her hurts. I think they would like to see her healed again.
 

Hobbit-GalRosie

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I always thought personally that it was more likely they passed over the sea after a time, but it's possible I might have thought that because of some mistaken impression I got from perhaps a quote saying that there were only three marriages between Elves and Men and remembering it as being that only three people of Elven blood chose mortality. I guess that would have been Lúthien, Elros, and Arwen to my self-deceived mind. Of course we'll never know the truth with any certainty, but I now have a lot more food for thought; I've rarely seen so much in-depth information on one subject posted in one place, including all the different implications it could have, and that makes things a lot easier. Muchas gracias Ardamir! (That means thag you very buch, I think)
 

King Aragorn

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Yes, muchas gracias does mean thank you very much.

To be honest, I've actually never thought about what happened to Elladan and Elrohir. I knew that they were sons of Elrond, but I never thought about their fate, and what they chose. I'm enjoying reading the insights of others, while I ponder this question. :)
 

Ardamir the Blessed

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

HLGStrider posted:
Also, if no history of them [Elladan and Elrohir] is known, it is possible that they did and the children just aren't mentioned. . .possibly because the children were born within the undying lands and out of mortal knowledge.
I believe that 'The Shibboleth of Fëanor' is "commentary" by Tolkien, in which he explains and adds to his own stories; almost like Letters. It was not written story-internally. The first line in the essay reveals this:
The history of the Eldar is now fixed and the adoption of Sindarin by the Exiled Ñoldor cannot be altered.
Tolkien is talking about his own literary creation here. So no mortal in Middle-earth wrote this just because he/she only knew that Arwen had children since she stayed in Middle-earth but not Elladan and Elrohir. So why does the line not mention Elladan and Elrohir? Why does it not say for example:
When in later days he [Elrond] wedded Celebrían, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn, the two lines of descent from Finwë, from Fingolfin and Finarfin, were united and continued in their children.
But Tolkien perhaps wrote the line from a Middle-earth perspective after all, or he did not care if the sons had children or not; maybe the fact that the line continued in Arwen was the important thing for him.


HLGStrider posted:
After all, they [Elladan and Elrohir] spent time revenging her [Celebrían's] hurts. I think they would like to see her healed again.
This is a good point.


Concerning theory #2: Arwen is a wholly Elvish name, so that spoils the theory, because following the lines of the theory -wen should probably have been Bëorian. Unless Tolkien somehow could have made it so, like he did with -wing in Elwing.
 

Ardamir the Blessed

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Apart from the fact that wing and perhaps also ros were Bëorian, I have only found this about the language:

'The Problem of ros':
The Adûnaic of Númenor was mainly derived from that [the language] of the most powerful and numerous people of 'the House of Hador'. This was related to the speech of Bëor's people who first entered Beleriand (probably about as nearly as Ñoldorin Quenya to Telerin of Valinor): communication between the two peoples was possible but imperfect, mainly because of phonetic changes in the Bëorian dialect.
The folk of Bëor continued to speak their own tongue among themselves with fair purity, though many Sindarin words were borrowed and adapted by them. [note 5: Not necessarily confined to names of things that had not before [been] known. In the nomenclature of later generations assimilation to the Eldarin modes, and the use of some elements frequent in Eldarin names, can be observed.]
 

Snaga

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Ardamir, I congratulate you on your efforts. To have accumulated seven theories is tremendous. However, some look stronger than others. The final one holds no water at all for example, since both men and elves can choose to have children or not to have children. So even if we are sure both are childless, we can infer nothing from it.

I'm also skeptical that we can infer mortality or immortality from names. Names may often be prophetic, but by the same token some are not. There are many cases of names being used by both elves and men, and so it seems a weak basis from which to argue from. Of course, it could be seen as indicative and a reason to prefer one idea over another.

My own instinct on this has always been that they left Middle Earth at the same time as Celeborn. Opting for mortality is rare. It has been done only for love or for the foundation of Numenor. It seems to me unlikely that they would choose mortality for no high purpose, having lived as immortals for so long.
 

Ronaldinho

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Mina Pitcher said:
do elladan and elrohir get killed?
Following Elronds departure they remainded in Rivendell where eventually Celeborn of Lorien came to dwell with them. Its possibly that they eventually passed over the sea to the undying lands.
 

Ithrynluin

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Elladan and Elrohir

Excellent analysis, Ardamir. And good points Elgee and Snaga. I personally found myself torn from theory to theory, though I was not particularly supportive of #3, nor would I place #7 at the very top of the certainty scale, as the theory itself is full of uncertainty. Numbers 5 and 6 are those that really swayed me more into the mortality 'court'. All those quotes in 5 and 6 remind us of just how much time the brothers were spending with Men - which was a lot! A person reading all those quotes might easily forget the fact that Elladan and Elrohir were half elves! Doubtless, that is far from being any kind of definitive answer, but it is the one that seems most likely to me.

I'll add a poll to this, since we have pretty much all the evidence conveniently laid out before us, and can make our choice with a fair amount of confidence.
 

jimmyboy

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Hey all...

It's my opinion that the sons of Elrond chose mortality. I cannot remember why at this moment, but I remember that at one point I had a good reason for believing so. One thing that inclines me in this direction is that they seemed to have a special affinity for the noble Men, the Dunedain, and in particular their cousins, the children of Elros. They spent so much time with them over the centuries that I think they may have chosen, in the end, to remain with them and be counted among them.

This scenario appeals to my sense of friendship and loyalty, so I would be happier to think that Elladan and Elrohir chose to remain and be counted among Men. :) (Maybe that was why I was inclined to believe this... :confused: )
 

Alcuin

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Lovely old thread. It deserves to be released from the grip of Mandos.

In Letter 144 (dated 25 April 1954 to Naomi Mitchison), Tolkien writes,
Hobbit-children were delightful, but I am afraid that the only glimpses of them in this book are found at the beginning of vol. I. An epilogue giving a further glimpse (thought if a rather exceptional family) has been so universally condemned that I shall not inter it. One must stop somewhere.
That epilogue may be found in Sauron Defeated, and is entitled, simply enough, “The Epilogue”. Anyone interested in Tolkien’s intended ending for the Lord of the Rings would do well to read it: it is even more poignant than the published version, which lacks this little glimpse into the life of Samwise Gamgee and his family, 18 years after the destruction of the Ring and 15 years following the departure of Frodo with Elrond &c. In the second (more finished) version of the chapter, Sam tells his daughter Elanor that when Aragorn and Arwen come to visit Arnor, a visit which Sam and his family have been commanded to attend, he expects to see “Elladan and Elrohir, who still live in Rivendell”.

In Letter 153 (Sept 1954, to a Mr. Peter Hastings), Tolkien touches upon the subject:
Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children … have to make their choices. … The end of his sons, Elladan and Elrohir, is not told: they delay their choice, and remain for a while.
Ardamir’s scholarship on this eclipses mine: he has clearly thought about this longer and more carefully than I, despite my (it seemed to me) long consideration of the subject before I saw this thread. I will venture only this as a personal opinion and humbly offered, for I have nothing to back it up except my own preferences and inclinations. Literary balance and textual analysis might argue that one remained while the other departed for the Uttermost West; but I hope that both Elladan and Elrohir remained in Middle-earth and married into the Northern Dúnedain, strengthening the northern community of the Númenóreans, which was slowly dwindling toward extinction. I hope that their attachment to the Númenóreans of Arnor, their devotion to one another, and their love of their sister Arwen would incline them to stay behind and help renew the remaining Dúnedain.
 

Ingwë

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children … have to make their choices. … The end of his sons, Elladan and Elrohir, is not told: they delay their choice, and remain for a while.
Very interesting! I think both choose immortality. Remain for a while... Maybe they depatred over the sea after a while? They stay in Rivendell for a long - they keep the refuge of their father with other elves who still stay in the Middle earth. Celeborn also stayed in Middle earth after the departure of his wife - Galadriel but maybe he set sail over the sea in after years. Hm, I would say the brothers of Arwen Evenstar were waiting for her death. :( After her death they set sail over the sea.
I agree: they helped the Dúnedain while they were living in the Middle earth. But they loved their mother and I would say they went to Valinor to see the beauty again.
 

Gil-Galad

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

It took me some time to read all those different theories-great efforts Ardamir.

My opinion is probably closest to Snaga's one.Yes we do have some examples for prophetic names,but as a whole their amoung is not significant.

I doubt about chosing mortality,they were not bound to Middle-earth with anything more special.There was no extraodinary reason for chosing mortal life like Elros or Arwen for example.Ok,they spent lots of time with mortals,but we have pretty much examples for elves doing this in the past.

What is more,if that was a fact,it would not have been an insignificant one,but one to be mentioned by Tolkien.After all we are talking about half-elven chosing mortal life....
 

Erestor Arcamen

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Re: Elladan and Elrohir

Not necessarily, Link. Frodo's place, for instance, is secured by Arwen as much as by the Ring. It is her gift that helps him gain entrance.
So could this maybe mean that maybe Frodo had gained Arwen's immortal life and lived in Valinor forever as well? Maybe the same happened to Sam and Bilbo for Elrond's son's immortality...
 
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