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Old 10-04-2009, 09:40 AM   #41
Inziladun
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Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
I dunno, do you really think the books would have mentioned the attack on Celebrian's party had she not been captured and tortured, and as a result left Middle Earth? Sure, something this grave probably never happened to Arwen, but since the high pass over the Misty Mountains were by all account dangerous for many reasons, and the trip down to Lorien hardly a Sunday stroll either, I actually find it unlikely that Arwen could have made that journey so often without anything going wrong or ever being in danger.
The trek to Lórien was by no means a walk in the park, especially after Sauron formally arose and declared himself. Perhaps, though, Arwen's journeys weren't actually all that frequent, which could reduce the probability of anything happening. When she went to Lórien, she seems to have spent a good deal of time there each visit. When she and Aragorn first met in Rivendell, she explained the fact that he had not seen her before by saying she'd only just come back after spending 'many years' there. Aragorn was then about twenty and had never seen her, so there's a good fifteen or sixteen years for that visit.
She was in Lórien again some twenty-nine years later (T.A 2980) when she and Aragorn plighted their troth.
Also, The Tale of Years says this:

Quote:
3009 [T.A]- Elrond sends for Arwen, and she returns to Imladris; the Mountains and all lands eastward are becoming dangerous.
Looks to me as if she'd probably been there ever since her tryst with Aragorn.

Which leads me to what I think is the greatest argument against her being a hardened adventurer who had faced real peril: if Arwen ever had been in any real danger, Elrond would surely have stopped allowing her to leave long before 3009. There's no one so paranoid as a father with a daughter. This I know from personal experience.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:56 AM   #42
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It's been interesting to see the ways in which this thread has drifted since I started it. As always, BDers provide a lot of information and insight into all things Tolkien.

To add a bit further, to this discussion, I had originally wondered about the age and wisdom discrepancy between Arwen and Aragorn solely as a matter of years and accumulated knowledge rather than as a matter between races.

I know this tends to go back to a default of elves and men because elves have virtually ageless bodies and live thousands of years, but I thought this could apply to humans, as well. For example, some of the Numenoreans lived for centuries while "lesser men", who were still of the same race, lived only one century (at best). Perhaps even a common son of Numenor might often have looked at a Northwoman beauty and thought, "By Arda, but she is immature. Even at thirty."?

I often wax philosophical about the subject of immortality, seeing as how we humans are forever looking for it. I think it would ultimately be a demographic disaster for humanity to discover a practical way to physically regenerate our aging bodies. Moreover, I think our human minds aren't hard-wired to handle immortality.

To illustrate, I once wrote a series of short stories about a human male in a low-magic, early renaissance setting, who discovered that he never aged past thirty and had lived for over 900 years. Here is an excerpt I've pulled out of my computer's dustiest and most cobweb-filled archives:

Quote:
‘So, what is immortality like?’ you might ask. Foremost, I’ve learned over the centuries to be amused by the fools who practice alchemy and wizardry to seek immortality, as well as those who pay them to “find” it. I have no doubt that, if they did happen to discover some magic elixir, there would be no end to those who would take it without question, as long as it gave them everlasting life. The highest king to the grubbiest peasant would gulp a gallon at once without forethought of the consequences. In the end they would all regret it, for I have come to believe that human beings were never meant to live as long as I have, let alone forever.

I can barely begin to describe the boredom of immortality. Utter, complete, total, final, and absolute are words that come to mind, but despite the abundance of such adjectives, it’s still difficult to describe. Over the centuries this boredom pushed me to ever stranger, more deviant, and sordid ways of finding stimulus; anything to relieve the crushing monotony of immortality.
Thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #43
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thoughts on immortality... not quite Aragorn-Arwen

I think Elves have a different sort of immortality: they live, day after day, age after age, in the pursuit of Art, and if they get it, they seek to preserve it. It is in their nature to be artsy, even perfectionists, after all. I don't think they'd be bored... not even the hot-headed Feanor got bored; instead he sired seven sons and made endless jewels. Now one might argue that perhaps after the Silmarilli Feanor could have gotten bored of perfection, supposing things went well and Morgoth never happened... but I just don't see how Elves can get bored. I think they don't because the pursuit of perfection takes time (unless they're as terribly gifted as Feanor, but none have been); and when they do reach a certain level of perfection, like in Lothlorien perhaps, they tend to preserve, to freeze, that world of Art and are content within this space, living and wallowing in their glory.

Their notions of immortality are very different, from say Anne Rice's vampires, who don't really change but watch the world change, and thus lie their dilemmas. Rice's immortals are connected with the world; I think the Elves' forte is detachment from "worldly" concerns, especially seen after the Third Age. Like Galadriel, who though aids the Fellowship, laments the end of her perfect little world to which she has become attached.

But that's just my interpretation.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:06 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
Also, didn't Galadriel (according to UT) live in Lindon for most of the Third Age? Arwen probably came to visit there too, and crossing Eriador was surely not without its risks. But like I said, it's futile really discussing Arwen's life and personality since we know next to nothing about it.
Unfinished Tales is characteristically and distressingly unfinished as to where Celeborn and Galadriel lived in the Third Age prior to returning to Lórien. It suggests, though, that after leaving Imladris in the Second Age, they went, not to Lindon, but to Edhellond in Belfalas--the haven Amroth sailed from much later.

I quote the pertinent passage:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The History of Galadriel and Celeborn
But some time later [there is no indication of the date] Galadriel and Celborn together with Celebrían departed from Imladris and went to the little-inhabited lands between the mouth of the Gwathló and Ethir Anduin. There they dwelt in Belfalas, and the place that was afterwards called Dol Amroth; there Amroth their son at timse visted them, and their company was swelled by Nandorin Elves from Lórinand. It was not until far on in the Third Age, when Amroth was lost and Lórinand was in peril, that Galadriel returned there, in the year 1981. Here the text, 'Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn' comes to an end.
The only clear thing I can glean out of this is that Galadriel and Celeborn did not return to Lórien until after the death of Amroth. I would assume they did not spend this whole time in Edhellond, though; if only because Celebrían needs to meet back up with Elrond in the early Third Age and get married, and because I can't see them still having a residence in Edhellond when Amroth comes through. My impression is that all the few remaining Elves in Edhellond were on that last ship, and Celeborn and Galadriel cannot have been there if that was the case.

However... also from Unfinished Tales, and at variance with 'Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn' is this excerpt from 'Amroth and Nimrodel':

Quote:
Originally Posted by The History of Galadriel and Celeborn
It is not made clear in the late accounts where Galadriel and Celeborn passed the long years of the Second Age after the defeat of Sauron in Eriador; there are at any rate no further mentions of their agelong sojourn in Belfalas (p.310).
The discussion of Amroth continues:
But during the Third Age Galadriel became filled with foreboding, and with Celeborn she journeyed to Lórien and stayed there long with Amroth, being especially concerned to learn all news and rumours of the growing shadow in Mirkwood and the dark stornghold in Dol Guldur. But his people were content with Amroth; he was valiant and wise, and his little kingdom was yet prosperous and beautiful. Therefore after long journeys of enquiry in Rhovanion, from Gondor and the borders of Mordor to Thranduil in the north, Celeborn and Galadriel passed over the mountains to Imladris, and there dwelt for many years; for Elrond was their kinsman, since he had early in the Third Age [in the year 109, according to the Tale of the Years] wedded their daughter Celebrían.

After the disaster in Moria [in the year 1980] and the sorrows of Lórien, which was now left without a ruler (for Amroth was drowned in the sea in the Bay of Belfalas and left no heir), Celeborn and Galadriel returned to Lórien, and were welcomed by the people. There they dwelt while the Third Age lasted, but they took no title of King or Queen; for they said that they were only guardians of this small but fair realm, the last eastward outpost of the Elves.
Elsewhere there is one other reference to their movements during those years:
To Lórien Celeborn and Galadriel returned twice before the Last Alliance and the end of the Second Age; and in the Third Age, when the shadow of Sauron's recovery arose, they dwelt there again for a long time. In her wisdom Galadriel saw that Lórien would be a stronghold and point of power to prevent the Shadow from crossing the Anduin in the war that must inevitably come before it was gain defeated (if that were possible); but that it needed a rule of greater strength and wisdom than the Silvan folk possessed. Nevertheless, it was not until the disaster in Moria, when by means beyond the foresight of Galadriel Sauron's power actually crossed the Anduin and Lórien was in great peril, its king lost, its people fleeing and likely to leave it deserted to be permanently occupied by Orcs, that Galadriel and Celeborn took up their permanent abode in Lórien, and its government. But they took no title of King or Queen, and were guardians that in the event brought it unviolated through the War of the Ring.
All of which is to say... for Arwen to go visiting grandparents during the Third Age would have been at least a bit of an adventure... unless they were staying in Imladris. The texts are pretty unclear on it...

Before I went on that massive quoting ramble, I meant to comment though about travel across Eriador, by referencing the Wandering Companies--such as Gildor Inglorion's, that Frodo et al met in the Shire. Granted, we are seeing them from a particularly Hobbit perspective, but one does not get the impression that the Elves would have been in much danger at any point in their wanderings--so Arwen traipsing across Eriador to reinforce her High Elven heritage among the remnants of the old Kingdom of Lindon doesn't look too dangerous--or is this just an illusion?
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:24 PM   #45
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The journeys of Arwen between Rivendell and Lorien would have undoubtedly been of some risk given the routes available and what had happened to her own mother on one of these routes. I don't doubt Elrond would have sought to keep them to a minimum - aside from Arwen being a much loved daughter, she would provide a powerful 'prize' for any miscreants who caught her. You'd imagine they would be carried out with all measures of security and secrecy that could be mustered.

So, there may well have been peril and there were ways of limiting the risk. But even so, just the fact of her having done some travelling does not make her an 'adventurer'. I'd rather hope to think that the wisdom she had gained through her years in Rivendell and Lorien was from observing the counsels of her father and grandparents, learning about the troubles in Middle-earth, and the history. Maybe this is part of what she saw in Aragorn? Knowing about his heritage?

Now as for the Elves and their Art, I think that it was during the Third Age in particular that they entered a static state. This was after the misadventures with forging the Rings of Power, and after the Last Alliance. It was far too risky to attempt anything on the scale of the Rings again, and the Elves had to retrench and secure their borders. They became isolated and insular - you could say their brilliance faded. Art to the Elves in the Third Age would be centred around perfecting what they already had, not creating new and potentially dangerous concepts.

There's also something essentially different about the creative impulses of Men and Elves. The former are mortal and one of the major impulses for them was to seek immortality in some way, either through deeds, arts or even literally. Men would ahve a drive to do these things knowing their time was limited. Elves on the other hand did not have this impetus. I think their focus was more on preserving the world around them in Middle-earth, which was alien to their nature, which also decayed like Men do.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip spence
(...) Also, didn't Galadriel (according to UT) live in Lindon for most of the Third Age? Arwen probably came to visit there too, and crossing Eriador was surely not without its risks. But like I said, it's futile really discussing Arwen's life and personality since we know next to nothing about it.

Not for most of the Third Age I would say, but in my opinion Tolkien had replaced Belfalas with Lindon, so (if so) they were arguably in Lindon at the beginning of the Third Age before Galadriel 'became filled with foreboding' (and so forth, as already posted above).

This would fit nicely with Celeborn's fief in Harlindon too.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:42 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Galin View Post
Not for most of the Third Age I would say, but in my opinion Tolkien had replaced Belfalas with Lindon, so (if so) they were arguably in Lindon at the beginning of the Third Age before Galadriel 'became filled with foreboding' (and so forth, as already posted above).

This would fit nicely with Celeborn's fief in Harlindon too.
I don't recall anything about Galadriel living in Lindon in the 3rd Age. I see in the UT the reference to Appendix B of LOTR where it is stated that Celeborn lived for a while in Lindon, but nothing about the Third Age. Later in the Unfinished Tales we see another version, in which after the rejection of the offer to return to the Undying Lands, Galadriel and Celeborn cross over the mountains into Eriador, living near Lake Evendim. This is in the Second Age. Later they make their way to Eregion and eventually to Lothlorien...
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:13 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by CSteefel
I don't recall anything about Galadriel living in Lindon in the 3rd Age. I see in the UT the reference to Appendix B of LOTR where it is stated that Celeborn lived for a while in Lindon, but nothing about the Third Age.
The idea is based on a strand at least, a short text published in Unfinished Tales and noted by Christopher Tolkien in his commentary to Amroth and Nimrodel (itself dated 1969 or later). According to this account, when Sauron withdrew to Mordor Celeborn (who had himself gone to Lórien at first) 'rejoined Galadriel in Lindon'. A contemporary writing is variant from this in that both Celeborn and Galadriel went to Lórien, but in this brief alternative there is no mention of where they went after Sauron withdrew and was concerned with conquest in the East.

Thus, to my mind anyway, the 'latest' mention of any destination at this time appears to be Lindon; and Tolkien had also written ('in a note in unpublished material' according to note two of The History of Galadriel and Celeborn) the detail of Celeborn's rule in Harlindon, as well as connecting Celeborn more to Lindon (although admittedly vaguely) in the revised Lord of the Rings of the 1960s.

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Later in the Unfinished Tales we see another version, in which after the rejection of the offer to return to the Undying Lands, Galadriel and Celeborn cross over the mountains into Eriador, living near Lake Evendim. This is in the Second Age. Later they make their way to Eregion and eventually to Lothlorien...
You likely mean 'later' in the book, but I'll add that this version is not later than the statement regarding Lindon in Appendix B. This account is from Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn which appears to predate the second edition of The Lord of the Rings, and also appears to contain a number of ideas that (IMO) were revised.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
The idea is based on a strand at least, a short text published in Unfinished Tales and noted by Christopher Tolkien in his commentary to Amroth and Nimrodel (itself dated 1969 or later). According to this account, when Sauron withdrew to Mordor Celeborn (who had himself gone to Lórien at first) 'rejoined Galadriel in Lindon'. A contemporary writing is variant from this in that both Celeborn and Galadriel went to Lórien, but in this brief alternative there is no mention of where they went after Sauron withdrew and was concerned with conquest in the East.

Thus, to my mind anyway, the 'latest' mention of any destination at this time appears to be Lindon; and Tolkien had also written ('in a note in unpublished material' according to note two of The History of Galadriel and Celeborn) the detail of Celeborn's rule in Harlindon, as well as connecting Celeborn more to Lindon (although admittedly vaguely) in the revised Lord of the Rings of the 1960s.



You likely mean 'later' in the book, but I'll add that this version is not later than the statement regarding Lindon in Appendix B. This account is from Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn which appears to predate the second edition of The Lord of the Rings, and also appears to contain a number of ideas that (IMO) were revised.
But I read this in the Unfinished Tales last night. Somewhere I saw that some of Tolkien's comments on Galadriel came in 1967, shortly before he died. This was part of what I read last night (I didn't make it to the Amroth section), so I am not sure that Amroth is latest. I don't have my copy of the book(s) here, but will check again tonight.

Anyway, if you read the Unfinished Tales Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, there are abundant references to Celeborn having left Lindon in the 2nd century of the Second Age, and 1) either moving to Eriador, as I mentioned above, or 2) going to Eregion and/or Lothlorien. So the question becomes which of these comments is the latest from Tolkien...
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:13 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSteefel
But I read this in the Unfinished Tales last night. Somewhere I saw that some of Tolkien's comments on Galadriel came in 1967, shortly before he died. This was part of what I read last night (I didn't make it to the Amroth section), so I am not sure that Amroth is latest. I don't have my copy of the book(s) here, but will check again tonight.
There are some late Galadriel texts, yes, but nothing in them (that I remember at the moment anyway) that contradicts a return to Lindon sometime after the fall of Eregion. Concerning Celeborn And Galadriel is not thought to be a late 60s text -- and is: 'a short and hasty outline, very roughly composed' incidentally.

Quote:
Anyway, if you read the Unfinished Tales Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, there are abundant references to Celeborn having left Lindon in the 2nd century of the Second Age, and 1) either moving to Eriador, as I mentioned above, or 2) going to Eregion and/or Lothlorien. So the question becomes which of these comments is the latest from Tolkien...'
OK, for clarity perhaps, I'm proposing that Celeborn and Galadriel left Lindon (as you note) for Eregion, and ended up back in Lindon according to the text I noted above (instead of Belfalas). For myself, I also factor in what Tolkien himself published, giving this great weight, and The Road Goes Ever On is not only later than Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn but was also published by JRRT himself.

'She passed over the mountains of Eredluin with her husband Celeborn (one of the Sindar) and went to Eregion.' RGEO

Now granted, this may be a very shortened account that simply doesn't mention any sojourn about Lake Nenuial -- or on the other hand perhaps this trip to Evendim was abandoned (as I tend to lean). In the older text it is noted that Amroth was born to Galadriel at this time near Nenuial, but later Tolkien revised the notion that Amroth was Galadriel's son, in any case.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:45 PM   #51
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Yes, I see now the passage about joining Gil-Galad in Lindon, which does seem to be the last (1969).

There seem to be 3-4 versions of the Galadriel and Celeborn story--I personally like the version in which they hung out in Nenuial in the Second Age. But also interesting is the late addition in the Unfinished Tales about the Third Age and the "long journeys of enquiry in Rhovanion, from Gondor and the borders of Mordor to Thranduil in the north...", after which "Celeborn and Galadriel passed over the mountains to Imladris, and there dwelt for many years..."

But I note in the Unfinished Tales that
Quote:
To Lorien Celeborn and Galadriel returned twice before the Last Alliance and the end of the Second Age; and in the Third Age, awhen the shadow of Sauron's recovery arose, they dwelt there again for a long time.
There is specific mention in 1980 of the Third Age, where
Quote:
it was not until the disaster in Moria, when by means beyond the foresight of Galadriel Sauron's power actually crossed the Anduin and Lorien was in great peril...
which makes an interesting link between the Balrog (Durin's Bane) and Sauron (or is it just that Sauron's orcs now begin to populate Moria??). In this regard, I am still a little surprised that Galadriel did not know what Durin's Bane actually was...
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