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Where do the elves go?

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Lori M

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I've been puzzling for some time over where exactly the elves sail to when they go to the Havens and pass over Sea. According to my Guide to Middle-Earth, Aman and Tol Eressea were removed from Arda, sometime in the second age, I think? So, where are the Undying Lands? Do they remain on Middle-Earth, and if so, why can't they come back? Also, in my understanding these lands don't actually confer immortality, so do Bilbo and Frodo die at some point? I'd always liked to believe that they became immortal, but perhaps this is not so.
 

Meklos

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Yes, the Undying Lands were removed from the circles of the world (the new shape that the world took on), but I'm pretty sure that it was still technically part of "the world".

Also, I also believe that the Elves cannot come back to Middle-Earth, that their life on Middle-Earth was kind of a one-time deal.

And you're right about Frodo and Bilbo not being immortal. Going to Valinor was kind of just a temporary rest for them. Hope that helps some.
 
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ReadWryt

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It's allways kind of creeped me out to think that Middle-earth used to be flat...I just thought I would share that. :)
 
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Lori M

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That always puzzled me too.....however it seems that Frodo and Bilbo would have died before Sam got there.....?
Oh. Now that is a sad thought. I'm sure you're probably right, come to think of it. So much for the long-anticipated, happy reunion. :(
 

Meklos

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Well, I could see Frodo still being around when Sam got there. But Bilbo probably would have had to be long gone by then.
 

Evenstar

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I understand why Blbo and Frodo go to Valinor with the elves seeing as their the ringbearers and all- but why would Sam go there as well? He would not miss Frodo there because he would die in the ME, right? Or am I just totally missing the meaning of what you all just said?:confused:
 

Bill the Pony

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Originally posted by Evenstar
I understand why Blbo and Frodo go to Valinor with the elves seeing as their the ringbearers and all- but why would Sam go there as well? He would not miss Frodo there because he would die in the ME, right? Or am I just totally missing the meaning of what you all just said?:confused:
Surely someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought Sam was allowed to go because he was a ringbearer too for a very short time when Frodo was caught by the Orcs in Mordor.
 

Grond

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Sam was given the chance to go to Aman for the same reason as Frodo and Bilbo, he too was the Ringbearer for a short time.

It makes it clear in HoMe, that the Eldar had the option and sometimes the mandate to return to Middle-earth. Glorfindel was killed in Gondolin in the First Age and was rehoused (given a new body) and sent back to help fight the War of the Third Age about the same time as the Istari came over.
 

Nimrodel

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Also, I also believe that the Elves cannot come back to Middle-Earth, that their life on Middle-Earth was kind of a one-time deal.
I don't mean to argue or correct you, Meklos, but rather to clear up my own confusion. I thought that the High Elves could go back and forth across the sea. The reason I think this is that High Elves by definition were a race of Elves superior to the Dark Elves (ie Galandriel, Elrond, Legolas etc.) because they had seen the light of the Valor in the Undying Lands. They were the first to heed the call and cross over. When the Hobbits first set out on their Quest, they come across a company of High Elves so they must have returned at some point to Middle Earth. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

Also, were those High Elves we see in the movie fighting in front with those awsome spear/sword weapons in The Last Alliance Between Men and Elves? My hubby says they are.:confused:
 

Elanor2

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Ok, let's see if I have understood the questions here and I can help.

Elves were born in ME originally. The Valars, knowing that the elves are linked to Arda, created a safe place for them to live. There are the lands of the Blessed Realm (Aman), where Valar and High Elves live, and the Halls of Mandos, where the spirits of the elves that are killed or have abandonned their bodies wait until the end or Arda. The Valars did not create a safe land for the humans (except Numenor, that was destroyed later on) because they are not linked to the destiny of Arda the same way as the elves: Humans leave Arda when they die.
Dwarves and Ents destiny is to continue the works of Aüle and Yavanna, and I think that when they die they also go to a waiting place (perhaps also in the Halls of Mandor).

Some Elves followed the request of the Valars to go to the Blessed Realm to live, but not all. Some remained in ME (the Elves of Darkness), but they can go to Aman when they want. In fact, the Valars hope they will do so, leaving ME and the problems there (caused by Morgoth). Some Elves from Aman (Noldors) whent back to ME during the War of the Silmarils, and were forbidden to go back to Aman until they were forgiven for their insults to the Valars. Then they could return to Aman again, if they wanted to.

Not all High Elves returned to Aman at the end of the war of the Silmarils. So there are still High Elves in ME. But more and more elves, High and Dark ones, are leaving now ME to go to Aman. They do not return, not because they cannot, but because they have realised finally that their time in ME is finished. Men have inherited ME. They are weary of living and only in Aman, under the care of the Valars, can they remain in happiness until the end of Arda.

That makes the lot of humans more palatable, doesn't it? At least we do not have to stay endlessly in Arda until the end of times !!!
 

Meklos

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Good explanation Elanor, that's basically what I was thinking, too.

Nimrodel, as to your question about the elves in the Last Alliance, I'm not really sure. I don't what kind of elves the movie was intending to portray them to be, but in the Last Alliance there was a mixture of High Elves and Sindar, as well as some Silvan (I think).

Hope that helps some :)
 

Grond

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Elf History 101

Okay, since everyone seems interested, I will give you the history from the books. Elves (all elves) are Quendi. There are two subdivisions of elves. They are the Eldar (Elves of the great journey from Cuivienen) and the Avari (the unwilling who refused to make the journey)..

I. The Eldar are broken into three main divisions.

A. The first are the Vanyar who made the journey under the leadership of Ingwe who was King of the Vanyar and held to be High King of all the Eldar in Aman.

B. The second group of Eldar were the Noldor and were lead by their king, Finwe, father of Feanor.

C. The third group are the Teleri who were the "late comers" and were led by Olwe and Elwe. There were three divisions of the Teleri.

1. Those that went to Aman with Olwe as their King who was later King of Alqualonde.

2. Those that stayed behind looking for Elwe (King Thingol Greycloak) who became their King and were known as Sindarin Elves.

3. Those that left the march of the host before they reached the Misty Mountains were known as the Nandor and Laiquendi (green elves). Their King was Lenwe.

II The Avari -The Unwilling refused the great journey. From them came the Moriquendi or Elves of Darkness.

Interestingly, an Elf may belong to a number of these categories. King Thranduil was a Quendi, Eldar, Teleri, Sidarin elf and would have been considered a High-elf as would his son Legolas. Interestingly, many of the remaining green-elves chose Sindarin elves to be their Kings and leaders.

As far as I can tell, any elf that fell into the Eldar class would be considered a High-elf but I'm sure there is someone more learned in the lore than I am who can explain further. *whistles for Cian*:)
 

BluestEye

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The Undying Lands

Lori M, another thing that may help you understand where the Elves go and why others can't enter this place if it is located in ME...
The Undying Lands are not located in Middle-Earth, but the first part of the road to the Undying Lands starts in Middle-Earth. Explanation: the Undying Lands were physical lands in Middle-Earth untill the Humans of Numenor angried the Gods. So the Valar, as a punishment, tore these lands from the ocean and located them in a place far from the reach of men. Now it became an hidding place, a part Physical-Part Energetic place. To reach them, you've got to have an invitation, a permission from the Valar to reach the Undying Lands. In reality, when Humans sail Westwards they will see only great waters for weeks. But Elves or other creatures that have the persmission will soon see the beaches of the Undying Lands getting closer and closer.

Hope this helps a little bit,

BluestEye
 
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Evenstar

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Sam was given the chance to go to Aman for the same reason as Frodo and Bilbo, he too was the Ringbearer for a short time.
Yeah, I knew that, *hits self in head and says duh* but I just thought he carried it for too short a time to go to Valinor....

Anyway,
Bluest eye- thanks for that. I read the Sil but thanks for explaining that. I've always wondered about it.
 

Cian

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Re: Elf History 101

Originally posted by Grond
As far as I can tell, any elf that fell into the Eldar class would be considered a High-elf but I'm sure there is someone more learned in the lore than I am who can explain further. *whistles for Cian* :)
Hullo Grond. While not all quotes in this regard are clear here, there are quite a few that seem to draw distinction and point to the Exiles in Middle-earth, those Elves of Aman, or who had dwelt in Aman: I note that "High-elven" was used for ceremony, high matters of lore and song:

"... by the High Elves, who had returned in exile to Middle-earth at the end of the First Age." Appendix F

Some more examples:

"Most of the Eldar after a great March reached the Western Shore and passed over Sea; these were the High Elves, who became immenseley enhanced in powers and knowledge. But part of them in the event remained in the coast-lands of the North-west: these were the Sindar or Grey-elves." JRRT Letters

(Same Letter)
"The High Elves met in this book are Exiles, returned back over Sea to Middle-earth."

"But though Mithrellas was of the lesser Silvan Race (and not the High Elves or the Grey) it was ever held ..." UT

"... the Elves who were in or who had ever dwelt in Aman were called the High-elves (Tareldar)." Athrabeth related glossary HoMe
 
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Grond

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Cian, this would then indicate that Thingol Greycloak and his daughter Luthien were not High Elves. Neither then was Celeborn or Thranduil. Would those be correct statements? (I know that Luthien is daughter also of Melian and what effect would that have on the mix?)
 

Tyaronumen

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Originally posted by Grond
Cian, this would then indicate that Thingol Greycloak and his daughter Luthien were not High Elves. Neither then was Celeborn or Thranduil. Would those be correct statements? (I know that Luthien is daughter also of Melian and what effect would that have on the mix?)

Hmmm.. You are correct about Luthien, Celeborn and Thranduil of course... but Elu Thingol is a slightly different issue..

He certainly is of the Calaquendi (as opposed to the Moriquendi), having seen the light of Laurelin and Telperion when the world was yet young... but does this necessarily associate him with the "High-Elves"?

Personally, I have always associated the Calaquendi with the High Elves...
 

Cian

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Hmmm, as said Thingol went to Aman, and we all know about Melian ... but here's another example with the term "High Elves" to consider:

"There were only three unions of the High Elves and Men; Lúthien and Beren; Idril and Tuor; Arwen and Aragorn." Appendix A

As for Celeborn, Tolkien seems to have desired (for example, in one very late text) that Galadriel met the prince Celeborn (Teleporno) in Alqualondë. Celeborn, is in this conception, a Teler in Aman (but for this, see Christopher Tolkiens commentary on the history of Celeborn in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn Unfinished Tales
 

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