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Old 12-03-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
cellurdur
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Would the Half-Elven vanish if they wore an elven ring?

This is my first post on these boards and I have a number of questions. I would like to hear other people's opinions on these.

The first of them is we know that the great elven rings, forged by the smiths of Eregion made mortals vanish. The Witch King vanished as did Isildur men of high Nunmenorean descent. What about the Half-Elven though?

Would Earendil have vanished before he became immortal? What about Elwing and Dior? The Silmarils were supposed to be hallowed against mortal touch, but the Half-Elven (and Beren) could touch and use them. So would they too be able to use the great rings without vanishing. Then there is Elros, who is Elrond's twin. Elrond could use the great ring without vanishing, so shouldn't his brother likewise be able to do the same thing? Changing the fate of his fea should not have changed the innate power he had, which we would expect to be equal to Elrond's or close enough to it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
This is my first post on these boards and I have a number of questions.
Welcome.

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Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
The first of them is we know that the great elven rings, forged by the smiths of Eregion made mortals vanish. The Witch King vanished as did Isildur men of high Nunmenorean descent. What about the Half-Elven though?
The great Elven rings, the Three held by the Elves and the Seven of the Dwarves, did not cause anyone to vanish. There is no support to say that the Nine Rings Sauron gave to Men made them vanish either. They eventually passed into Wraithdom, but that doesn't mean they instantly vanished once they put them on.

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Would Earendil have vanished before he became immortal? What about Elwing and Dior?
We are only talking about the One Ring here, as that is the only one of the rings that caused anyone to vanish. As far as Earendil or Elwing putting on the One Ring, any answer would simply be conjecture. So your guess is as good as mine. Although I would like to think that Earendil would pass on putting on the One Ring.

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The Silmarils were supposed to be hallowed against mortal touch, but the Half-Elven (and Beren) could touch and use them. So would they too be able to use the great rings without vanishing.
Nowhere is it said that the Silmarils were hallowed against mortal touch. Why would they be? Mortals weren't even around when Feanor created the Silmarils, and the fact Beren held them without harm nullifies that argument; whereas Morgoth, Maedhros and Maglor all suffered from their touch. It has more to do with the worth and motives of the individual than race or mortality.

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Then there is Elros, who is Elrond's twin. Elrond could use the great ring without vanishing, so shouldn't his brother likewise be able to do the same thing? Changing the fate of his fea should not have changed the innate power he had, which we would expect to be equal to Elrond's or close enough to it.
Again, the Elven Ring Elrond wore did not confer invisibility.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Welcome.
Thank you for the welcome.
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The great Elven rings, the Three held by the Elves and the Seven of the Dwarves, did not cause anyone to vanish. There is no support to say that the Nine Rings Sauron gave to Men made them vanish either. They eventually passed into Wraithdom, but that doesn't mean they instantly vanished once they put them on.
The 3, the 9 and the 7 were all included in the Great Rings made by the elves. The dwarves did not vanish, because of their stubborn nature. Gandalf though does strongly imply ALL of the great rings caused mortals to turn invisible.

Here is the quote.

'A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades, he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.'

From this it is fair to assume all the Great Rings caused mortals to turn invisible. If this was not the case, then the One Ring granting Frodo invisibility would have been used as evidence of it being the One and not just another of the Great Rings.
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We are only talking about the One Ring here, as that is the only one of the rings that caused anyone to vanish. As far as Earendil or Elwing putting on the One Ring, any answer would simply be conjecture. So your guess is as good as mine. Although I would like to think that Earendil would pass on putting on the One Ring.
I have provided evidence to suggest all the Great Rings caused invisibility. Earendil wielded the full power of the Elessar and the Silmaril. He seems to have greater innate power than Elrond. I agree that any answer would be conjecture, but this does not mean the conjecture is not based on reasonable evidence.

I agree though, that Earendil would likely pass on using the One Ring.
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Nowhere is it said that the Silmarils were hallowed against mortal touch. Why would they be? Mortals weren't even around when Feanor created the Silmarils, and the fact Beren held them without harm nullifies that argument; whereas Morgoth, Maedhros and Maglor all suffered from their touch. It has more to do with the worth and motives of the individual than race or mortality.
The Silmarils were hallowed by Varda against mortal and evil. Beren's case is rare exception. Morgoth was evil and after the multiple kinslayings I think it judged Maedhros and Maglor evil too or at least they would fall under the unclean category.

The quote can be found in the Silmarillion.

And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so that therefore no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them, but it was scorched and withered;
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Again, the Elven Ring Elrond wore did not confer invisibility.
All the great rings confer invisibility. Gandalf tells us this and logically they would have to. Or else the Wise would be very foolish indeed not to realise than Bilbo had the One Ring.

Last edited by cellurdur; 12-03-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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All the great rings confer invisibility. Gandalf tells us this and logically they would have to. Or else the Wise would be very foolish indeed not to realise than Bilbo had the One Ring.
No, they did not all confer invisibility. You are using a character in a book without complete knowledge of the subject to bolster your point. I prefer the author himself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #131
The Elves of Eregion made Three supremely beautiful and powerful rings, almost solely of their own imagination, and directed to the preservation of beauty: they did not confer invisibility.
If one considers that the Dwarves, too, were mortal and did not disappear, I would say Gandalf did not know what he's talking about. But that's okay, he makes false assumptions elsewhere in the book. He is not infallible. In any case, the Three Elven Rings were made solely by the Elves, and Sauron had no hand in their making; therefore, none of the powers conferred by Sauron were upon them.

The men who held the Nine Rings did not vanish instantly either. They could, if they wished, turn invisible, but they could remain visible wearing the Rings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silmarillion
"...those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth...They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men..."
In regards to Beren and his son, both of whom held a Silmaril unscathed, I would suggest Varda must not have been very good with spells.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: Silmarils

Beren was a very very very VERY special case. And Dior was not strictly mortal.

PS: welcome to the Downs, cellurdur!
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
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No, they did not all confer invisibility. You are using a character in a book without complete knowledge of the subject to bolster your point. I prefer the author himself:
I had not seen that letter from Tolkien. His word appears to be final and Gandalf was wrong. This makes sense, because unlike the other rings, the 3 were never touched by mortal hands.
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If one considers that the Dwarves, too, were mortal and did not disappear, I would say Gandalf did not know what he's talking about. But that's okay, he makes false assumptions elsewhere in the book. He is not infallible. In any case, the Three Elven Rings were made solely by the Elves, and Sauron had no hand in their making; therefore, none of the powers conferred by Sauron were upon them.
The dwarves are a special case. Aule made them very strong and sufficient. Nothing really worked on them. Really apart from greed and revenge, I don't think the dwarves were ever corrupted.

I agree Gandalf was fallible and he appears to be wrong. There was no difference between the 7 and the 9. The only distinction came in where they were hidden and to whom they were given by Sauron. It is even possible that some of the recovered 7 (the 3 Sauron had recovered were used by mortal servants of Sauron).

I think Gandalf is making a valid assumption. If the One ring conferred invisibility and the other 16 Great Rings did then he assumed so did the 3. Though a logical assumption, Tolkien confirms he was wrong.
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The men who held the Nine Rings did not vanish instantly either. They could, if they wished, turn invisible, but they could remain visible wearing the Rings:
The quote from the Silmarillion does not suggest they could turn off and on the invisibility when they wanted. It could just mean that when they CHOSE to wear the ring they turned invisible. Impossible to judge for certain.
Quote:
In regards to Beren and his son, both of whom held a Silmaril unscathed, I would suggest Varda must not have been very good with spells.
Beren was destined to obtain a Silmaril and was a special case. The Valar allowed it. Him being able to touch it is written as if it something noteworthy.

As he closed it in his hand, the radiance welled through his living flesh, and his hand became as a shining lamp; but the jewel suffered his touch and hurt him not.

As for Dior I am not convinced he was immortal. Until Earendil's voyage it seems the Valar were still unsure of what to do with the Half-Elven. It is only after Earendil enters Valinor do they make a decree. A similar situation appears to be the rehousing of elvish bodies. In Morgoth's ring Tolkien implies Manwe had yet no firm answer when the dark elves started dying and had to consult with Eru to find a solution. I would assume there was similar confusion about the Half-elven at that point.
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Beren was a very very very VERY special case. And Dior was not strictly mortal.

PS: welcome to the Downs, cellurdur!
Thanks for the welcome and agree with what you said Galadriel55.

I don't think there had yet been a ruling from the Valar/Eru about Dior when he was alive.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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I had not seen that letter from Tolkien. His word appears to be final and Gandalf was wrong. This makes sense, because unlike the other rings, the 3 were never touched by mortal hands.
Gandalf was wearing one of the Elven rings, Narya, the Ring of Fire, given to him by Círdan when Gandalf first came to Middle-earth. It didn’t make him automatically invisible. Another Elven ring was worn by Galadriel, who was not automatically made invisible by it. The third Elven ring was worn by Elrond, who also was not automatically made invisible by it. Nor are do any of these three apparently fear being eventually turned into wraiths because of wearing an Elven-ring.

The first half of the Milton Waldmam letter appears in the “Preface to the Second Edition” in all printings of The Silmarillion since 1999 and so is easily found. It says, in part:
And finally they [the rings partly created by Sauron] had other powers, more directly derived from Sauron (‘the Necromancer’: so he is called as he cast a fleeting shadow and presage on the pages of The Hobbit): such a rendering invisible the material body, and making things of the invisible world visible
Gandalf must be imagined to have well known about the powers of the Elven rings compared to those Rings of Power in which Sauron had a hand. That Gandalf appears to confuse the two types of rings in his explication to Frodo appears to me to be likely a confusion introduced by Tolkien who does not properly distinguish them in the words he puts into Gandàlf’s mouth. Tolkien has Gandalf claim that he believes no case of a bearer of a Great Ring of Power who freely gave up the ring to another is known, yet Gandalf himself is secretly wearing Narya at the time which was given up freely to Gandalf by Cíirdan.

Quote:
As for Dior I am not convinced he was immortal. Until Earendil's voyage it seems the Valar were still unsure of what to do with the Half-Elven. It is only after Earendil enters Valinor do they make a decree.
When Dior was slain his spirit would have been summoned to Mandos and would either be placed among the other Elves there or be placed among Men to be sent out of the world. That would have been the point where the Valar would have had to decide whether Dior was a mortal Man or an immortal Elf. But Tolkien does not say.

Quote:
A similar situation appears to be the rehousing of elvish bodies. In Morgoth's ring Tolkien implies Manwe had yet no firm answer when the dark elves started dying and had to consult with Eru to find a solution.
I don’t recall this. Please cite the page where this is found. Note that in the published Silmarillion some Elves had already been taken by Melkor before the existence of the Elves was known to any of the Valar.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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Gandalf was wearing one of the Elven rings, Narya, the Ring of Fire, given to him by Círdan when Gandalf first came to Middle-earth. It didn’t make him automatically invisible. Another Elven ring was worn by Galadriel, who was not automatically made invisible by it. The third Elven ring was worn by Elrond, who also was not automatically made invisible by it. Nor are do any of these three apparently fear being eventually turned into wraiths because of wearing an Elven-ring.

The first half of the Milton Waldmam letter appears in the “Preface to the Second Edition” in all printings of The Silmarillion since 1999 and so is easily found. It says, in part:
And finally they [the rings partly created by Sauron] had other powers, more directly derived from Sauron (‘the Necromancer’: so he is called as he cast a fleeting shadow and presage on the pages of The Hobbit): such a rendering invisible the material body, and making things of the invisible world visible
Gandalf must be imagined to have well known about the powers of the Elven rings compared to those Rings of Power in which Sauron had a hand. That Gandalf appears to confuse the two types of rings in his explication to Frodo appears to me to be likely a confusion introduced by Tolkien who does not properly distinguish them in the words he puts into Gandàlf’s mouth. Tolkien has Gandalf claim that he believes no case of a bearer of a Great Ring of Power who freely gave up the ring to another is known, yet Gandalf himself is secretly wearing Narya at the time which was given up freely to Gandalf by Cíirdan.
Galadriel, Cirdan, Gandalf and even Elrond at the time were all immortals. Only mortals turn invisible when they wear a great ring and even then the quote has been provided showing that the 3 were alone did not confer invisibility. No mortal hands ever touched the 3. The 3 alone were different from the other 16. If the 16 Sauron stole bestowed invisibility to immortals and the One in addition, then it's understandable why Gandalf may have thought the 3 would too.
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When Dior was slain his spirit would have been summoned to Mandos and would either be placed among the other Elves there or be placed among Men to be sent out of the world. That would have been the point where the Valar would have had to decide whether Dior was a mortal Man or an immortal Elf. But Tolkien does not say.
Yes, but it does not mean a decision had been made whilst he was alive and holding the Silmaril. Only when Earendil arrives does the debate begins about whether he is an Elf or Man.
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I don’t recall this. Please cite the page where this is found. Note that in the published Silmarillion some Elves had already been taken by Melkor before the existence of the Elves was known to any of the Valar.
Taken by Melkor does not mean they have been killed yet. It was the case of Miriel, which really brought the topic to a head. This conversation is written after Laws and Customs. It can be found in Morgoth's ring page 361.

Here is a quote form the start.

Be hold an evil appears in Arda that we did not look for: the First born Children, whom you Thou madest immortal suffer now severance of spirit and body.


After this conversation they basically conclude that elves should have a new body created for them. Prior to Miriel it seems no elf had ever been brought back from the halls of Mandos.

Back to Dior I would imagine a similar situation had arisen. There was no definite answer as to whether Dior was mortal or not. Only with the arrival of Earendil was the matter settled.

That being said, since there was no law set out, I find it hard and unlikely that Dior would not have been given a choice. He spent all his life with the elves, married an elf and ruled an elvish kingdom. To condemn him to eternal seperation from his family, without forewarning seems unduly harsh.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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Back to Dior I would imagine a similar situation had arisen. There was no definite answer as to whether Dior was mortal or not. Only with the arrival of Earendil was the matter settled.
I'm not so sure there was question about Dior. I would suggest it worked out this way (tho little was made explicit):
  • Beren and Luthien shose to be mortal, so their son Dior was mortal.
  • Dior (a mortal) married Nimloth of Doriath (kinswoman of Celeborn), a full Elf, so their daughtor Elwing was a Half-Elf.
  • Tuor, a mortal, married Idril, a full Elf, so their son Earendil was a Half-Elf.
  • Then Earendil, a Half-Elf, married Elwing, a Half-Elf --- and that really muddied the waters .
  • Thus Eros & Elrond were sons of Half-Elves - on both sides.
So when two Half-Elves show up in Valinor - the Valar were in a quandry and have to decide what to do and Manwe rendered his decision to give them (and their children) the choice.

Nothing was said about Dior. And I think that was because nothing *needed* to be decided - he was a mortal, just like both of his parents - q.e.d.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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My only disagreement with you here, Puddleglum, is that though Luthien chose to be mortal, in my eyes she never became a (wo)Man. Half-Elven can chose between Elves and Men because they have the blood of both. Luthien is a Half Elf... Half Maia. So in my opinion she was allowed to leave the circles of the world with Beren, but she could never be one of the Edain.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:47 AM   #11
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That does make some sense, especially how it applies to later generations i.e. that it seems as if, when an elf (or half elf) chooses mortality that applies not only to themselves, but all thier descendents. I am thinking here of Elros. When he chooses the mortal life (i.e. to become Tar-Minyutar, first king of Numenor) all of his descendents also become fully mortal. Elrond's line keep the choice, Elros's loses it. So the system is sort of skewed in favor of choosing mortal (each individual who makes the choice is equally free to make either, but a choice of mortality also takes the right to choose away from any children you may have, while choosing immortal doesn't) I may be wrong (after all we are looking at a very small number of examples, so the results may be a little biased) but at least that is how it seems to me (and if the argument is that Elros's children don't get the choice becuse they are 3/4 mortal, I would argue that by that logic, Elrond's should also not have gotten it; as 3/4 elf, they should have HAD to be immortal)
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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That does make some sense, especially how it applies to later generations i.e. that it seems as if, when an elf (or half elf) chooses mortality that applies not only to themselves, but all thier descendents. I am thinking here of Elros. When he chooses the mortal life (i.e. to become Tar-Minyutar, first king of Numenor) all of his descendents also become fully mortal. Elrond's line keep the choice, Elros's loses it. So the system is sort of skewed in favor of choosing mortal (each individual who makes the choice is equally free to make either, but a choice of mortality also takes the right to choose away from any children you may have, while choosing immortal doesn't) I may be wrong (after all we are looking at a very small number of examples, so the results may be a little biased) but at least that is how it seems to me (and if the argument is that Elros's children don't get the choice becuse they are 3/4 mortal, I would argue that by that logic, Elrond's should also not have gotten it; as 3/4 elf, they should have HAD to be immortal)
Perhaps he was only fractionally invisible, like a baby toe or pinky finger.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #13
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We do not have to extract the rules from the view examples we have. Tolkien reported the decision about the half-elves very accurately [The history of Middle-earth; volume V: The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend before The Lord of the Rings; part two:Valinor and Middle-Earth before The Lord of the Rings; chapter VI: Quenta Silmarillion; sub-chapter: The conclusion of the Quenta Silmarillion; paragraph 9]:
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Then Manwe gave judgement and he said: 'To Earendel I remit the ban, and the peril that he took upon himself out of love for the Two Kindreds shall not fall on him; neither shall it fall upon Elwing who entered into peril for love of Earendel: save only in this: they shall not ever walk again among Elves or Men in the Outer Lands. Now all those who have the blood of mortal Men, in whatever part, great or small, are mortal, unless other doom be granted to them; but in this matter the power of doom is given to me. This is my decree: to Earendel and to Elwing and to their sons shall be given leave each to choose freely under which kindred they shall be judged.'
The children of Elrond would have had no choice if it would not have been granted to them by Manwe. It is an interesting question how they and their family did get that information, but it is reported by Elrond to Aragorn in the case of Arwen, so they did know.

Anyhow this does not say anything about Dior. But I agree with Puddleglum. Dior was the son of Beren and Luthien while both were mortals, so he was a mortal. That he might not have been happy with that is clear, but to marry an elven woman was his choice as is it was the choice of Imrazor who married Mithrelas. Neither of these couples could change the doom of separation as long as Ea my last or even longer (practically for ever).

About Gandalf confusing the 3 with the other great Rings in his explanation to Frodo: Is it at this point necessary for Gandalf to be absolutely precise about this feature? I don't think so. He is to explain Frodo which of the great rings the one Fordo has is. The 3 are accounted for, but he is not permitted to speak about them. And Gandalf and Frod do know that Frodos ring did make the wearer (at least a mortal) invisible. The important point is to warn Frodo about the 'side'-effect of using the ring often (fading to permanent invisibility). It would be completely useless to tell Frodo that he would not be in that danger would his ring be one of the 3.
Since the 3 are accounted for, the effect that the ring did confer invisibility to Fordo and Bilbo is an evidence that it is one of the great and that is a farther point why Gandalf does mention it here. After giving farther evidence Gandalf doe then make the final test and proves the identity of Fordos ring. So it is at this point (and also later at the council of Elrond) unnecessary to explicit explain the whereabouts and exact properties of all the other 18 great rings. (BTW this is a petty, as I would have like a full account of where and when the 4 dwarven rings that Sauron had not collected were destroyed and how the Wise did know.)

Back to the original question: Would Half-Elves become invisible wearing one of the Rings that conferred invisibility?
I think it depends. Elrond: No. When he had a chance to lay hand on one of these rings he had already chosen to be an elf. So by all means he was.
Arwen: I think her choice was made effective when she married Aragorn. Otherwise Elrond delaying of the marriage would be useless. So I would say up to that point she had the life and vigor of the Elves and therefore would not become invisible. (If Elrond would have allowed her marriage earlier, I would think she would have become invisible wearing one of the rings in question, but that chance never came.)
Elladan and Elrohir: Since we know very little about the doom spoken about them we can only guess by the similarity with Arwen. So I think they wouldn't become invisible, since we are told in one of the letters that they probably delayed their choice even after Elrond had left Middle-Earth. So as long as the rings were functional they still had the life and vigor of the elves.
Earendil and Elwing: They did not have any chance to get hold of one of the rings at all. (But if there would have been a chance, I think they would not become invisible.)
(If we ignore for the sake of speculation the time line: Elwing, Earendil, Elrond and Elros before their choice: Difficult, but I would again go with the similarity of Arwen => as long as the doom is unclear the life and vigor of the elves is granted and so no invisibility.
Elros after his choice: See again the similarity with Arwen. Once he was a mortal he would become invisible wearing one of the rings in question.)

Respectfuly
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
cellurdur
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Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
I'm not so sure there was question about Dior. I would suggest it worked out this way (tho little was made explicit):
  • Beren and Luthien shose to be mortal, so their son Dior was mortal.
  • Dior (a mortal) married Nimloth of Doriath (kinswoman of Celeborn), a full Elf, so their daughtor Elwing was a Half-Elf.
  • Tuor, a mortal, married Idril, a full Elf, so their son Earendil was a Half-Elf.
  • Then Earendil, a Half-Elf, married Elwing, a Half-Elf --- and that really muddied the waters .
  • Thus Eros & Elrond were sons of Half-Elves - on both sides.
So when two Half-Elves show up in Valinor - the Valar were in a quandry and have to decide what to do and Manwe rendered his decision to give them (and their children) the choice.

Nothing was said about Dior. And I think that was because nothing *needed* to be decided - he was a mortal, just like both of his parents - q.e.d.
Firstly even if you discount Dior as being halfelven it still leaves his sons: Elurid and Elruin. So the problem the Valar had with deciding the fate of the Half-elven was an issue quite a few years before Earendil turned up.

Secondly Dior was the fist of the Half-elven by his own declaration and the the text calls him of three races. Having an Elvish or Manish fea means more than just being immortal or mortal. Humans cannot use magic and have to rely on sorcery. The descendants of the Luthien retain the ability to use magic and spells from their own innate power. Luthien's great power would still pass on to her son.

Dior's situation as I said is very different from Mithrelas. With Dior there had been no warning given. There was no precedent that was going to be followed. Mithrelas KNEW what she was getting into. Dior did not.

Further more looking at Manwe's ruling it is wrong to say that Elro's children loses the choice. The decision was made that all descendants of mortals no matter how small would be mortal, UNLESS a choice would be given. It is correct to say Manwe interferes and gives the children of Elrond a choice. He could have done the same with Dior and his sons. Considering the situation at the time this seems likely to have occurred. Manwe does retain the ability to make exceptions.

Back on the topic. If Aragorn several generations removed from his elvish ancestors still maintained the ability to use magic, how much more so did his more powerful ancestors? Earendil wields the Elessar on the same level if not greater than Galadriel.

As we can see in the case of dwarves, the invisibility conferred by the ring is not just a matter of being mortal or immortal. It has more to do with the inherent 'magical' powers that mortals and immortals have. In the case of Half-elven, there fea was probably strong enough to use the Great Rings without fading in my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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My only disagreement with you here, Puddleglum, is that though Luthien chose to be mortal, in my eyes she never became a (wo)Man. Half-Elven can chose between Elves and Men because they have the blood of both. Luthien is a Half Elf... Half Maia. So in my opinion she was allowed to leave the circles of the world with Beren, but she could never be one of the Edain.
I wonder if this is only a semantic difference (my apologies if I am misunderstanding your meaning, it's not intentional). Silmarillion seems clear that she become mortal "Then she would become mortal, and subject to a second death". Whether than means she became specifically Edain (or did you mean to say Atani?) or not seems less important to the question of whether her fate as being part of the larger classification of "mortal" (having the gift of Illuvatar vis-a-vis departing Ea forever) had implications for her child, Dior.

The general rule that seemed to be followed was that, if both parents were Mortal (had the gift to depart), then their children would have that gift as well. If one or both parents did NOT have that gift, the matter was uncertain (at least until Manwe made his ruling).

Elwing's brothers are, indeed (I think) a case we are never told about. Maybe, since they came to Valinor via death (ie, straight to Mandos), Mandos treated them as having the gift and they departed without the matter coming to Manwe.

In Elwing's case, she had broken the Ban of the Valar by coming, in the flesh, to the Blessed realm (with Earendil). That sort of forced the issue and Manwe had to make a decision both formal and public.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
I wonder if this is only a semantic difference (my apologies if I am misunderstanding your meaning, it's not intentional). Silmarillion seems clear that she become mortal "Then she would become mortal, and subject to a second death". Whether than means she became specifically Edain (or did you mean to say Atani?) or not seems less important to the question of whether her fate as being part of the larger classification of "mortal" (having the gift of Illuvatar vis-a-vis departing Ea forever) had implications for her child, Dior.
Luthien remained an Elf. Humans cannot use the kind of magic Luthien throws around. She alone became a mortal elf. Luthien would not suddenly start getting sick, be unable to walk on snow, lose her eyesight etc because she was mortal. The only change was inwhat her fea would do after death.
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The general rule that seemed to be followed was that, if both parents were Mortal (had the gift to depart), then their children would have that gift as well. If one or both parents did NOT have that gift, the matter was uncertain (at least until Manwe made his ruling).
No there was no general rule. It had not been decided what to do with the Half-elven until Manwe made his ruling. Then it was decided that ALL people with a drop of mortal blood would be mortal, unless an exception was made.
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Elwing's brothers are, indeed (I think) a case we are never told about. Maybe, since they came to Valinor via death (ie, straight to Mandos), Mandos treated them as having the gift and they departed without the matter coming to Manwe.

In Elwing's case, she had broken the Ban of the Valar by coming, in the flesh, to the Blessed realm (with Earendil). That sort of forced the issue and Manwe had to make a decision both formal and public.
Mandos is not going to let such an important decision go without discussing it with Manwe. In the case of Earendil he was in a bad place, because as Noldor or as a man of the HOuse of Hador he had broke the ban either way. So Earendil coming to Valinor did not really force their hand to decide, because they both punished and rewarded him either way.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
About Gandalf confusing the 3 with the other great Rings in his explanation to Frodo: Is it at this point necessary for Gandalf to be absolutely precise about this feature? I don't think so. He is to explain Frodo which of the great rings the one Fordo has is. The 3 are accounted for, but he is not permitted to speak about them. And Gandalf and Frod do know that Frodos ring did make the wearer (at least a mortal) invisible. The important point is to warn Frodo about the 'side'-effect of using the ring often (fading to permanent invisibility). It would be completely useless to tell Frodo that he would not be in that danger would his ring be one of the 3.
Since the 3 are accounted for, the effect that the ring did confer invisibility to Fordo and Bilbo is an evidence that it is one of the great and that is a farther point why Gandalf does mention it here. After giving farther evidence Gandalf doe then make the final test and proves the identity of Fordos ring. So it is at this point (and also later at the council of Elrond) unnecessary to explicit explain the whereabouts and exact properties of all the other 18 great rings. (BTW this is a petty, as I would have like a full account of where and when the 4 dwarven rings that Sauron had not collected were destroyed and how the Wise did know.)

Findegil
It is genrally accepted that the 4 other dwarven rings were melted by Dragon fire (usually when the dwarf wearing them was eaten by said dragon) As for how the Wise might know, Gandalf isn't exactly on bad terms with the Dwarves (he's not exactly on good terms either, but they certainly don't hate him. Since each dwarf who posessed a ring wound up becoming very rich and powerful, accounts of thier passing would presumably have been kept by the dwarves (not to mentioned that "so-and-so was devoured by a dragon" is certianly the kind of story that would be passed on. The Dwarves may have kept records of who recived the rings (given how resistant they were to the corrupting influences of the rings, I do not know if dwaves who had one would have made a point of hiding the fact). If nothing else, whatever descendenct each of those dwarves had would presumably know thier family had one, and that after the dragon had done what it did, the ring was not there (given how valuable they are, I would not put it past a decendent to attempt to dig the ring out of the stomach (if the dragon in question was slain after eating the given relative, or checking it's "leavings" (if it left any))
What I find odd about Gandalf's speech is that it seems to contain information he probably couldn't know. Gandalf mentions that starting from good intentions delays the effect of the rings corruption. How does he know that? The Dwarves are practically uncorrupted anyway, so not from them, The One has been lost for ages, and Bilbo/Frodo quite simply havent had the ring long enough for the full effect to have take hold (unless in the hands of someone evil the transformation is truly rapid, to the point where they in fact reach this weary of life at a time that would in fact fall within thier normal lifespan (i.e. they do not in fact gain ANYTHING from the ring) so he must be referring to the Nazgul, and insinuating that some of them were not "evil" people before they took the ring. How has he found that out? By the time the Ishtari arrive, all of the Nazgul have become thoroughly "wraith-ified" so it's not like Gandalf could have ever known any of them before. How could any of them. The elves did not have all that much contact with men (with a few notable exceptions) and men seem to have been far more secretive about thier ring posession. About the only method I can think of is that someone from Numenor (where Sauron handed out the last 3 rings knew someone who took one, and chronicled what happened to him (or I suppose, even a record from one of the holders themselves, when they were young and stll not taken over) and that those records made it to either the Gondor Archives (where Saruman or Gandalf could have read them) or to an elf ear (given that it was sort of his brother's kingdom, I can imagine Elrond would at least listen to the goings on of Numenor when someone had a tale to tell, estrangement or no.)
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #18
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Luthien remained an Elf. Humans cannot use the kind of magic Luthien throws around. She alone became a mortal elf. Luthien would not suddenly start getting sick, be unable to walk on snow, lose her eyesight etc because she was mortal. The only change was inwhat her fea would do after death.
What magic did Luthien "throw around" after returning from Mandos? They returned to Doriath, said good bye, and went to Ossiriand. Thereafter about all said is that she had the Silmaril until she and Beren died.

About all I can think of is the statement that she "healed the winter of Thingol with the touch of her hand." But it's only speculation she "used magic" (or even elvish art) to do so. The winter is described as "Then a winter, as it were the hoar age of mortal Men, fell upon Thingol." That could mean little more than that Thingol was so distraught by the death of Luthien that he began to waste away, grow haggard and agunt, unable to walk, losing his vigor, on his way to dieing himself (from grief, perhaps). And, if so, the touch of her hand was just that - a simple act of love and compassion that showed Thingol his daughter was alive and with him again - and that healed his winter.

On what do you base your claims about her not getting sick, or not walking on snow, or eyesight or etc after her return?

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No there was no general rule. It had not been decided what to do with the Half-elven until Manwe made his ruling.
My apologies, I was not clear. I was describing (generalizing) what Tolkien seemed to have decided in those cases where he "did" record the fates of the Eruhini - not a rule that the Valar had established which, as you point out, was only formalized by Manwe in regards to the Earendil matter.

And I did specify that this generalization dealt with "until Manwe made his ruling"

So, in the pre-Ruling period I said of the half-elven "the matter was uncertain" and you said "It had not been decided". I think we are in agreement on that point.

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Mandos is not going to let such an important decision go without discussing it with Manwe.
Well, that is a speculation. Maybe true, but each Vala had his area and mission and if Ulmo (in the case of Tuor) can "seem to gainsay his bretheren, the Lords of the West" (including Manwe), it's at least a possibility that Mandos might consider the matter in his hands for those who were already in his halls.

In any event, I said "maybe". I.e. this is just a speculation since we really don't know squat about the fates of Elured and Elurin after they were abandoned in the forest. All we know is that "about their fates, no tale tells".

So, "maybe" Mandos DID discuss it with Manwe and Manwe made a decision. But, because it was "in-the-family", so to speak (i.e. a matter really only known about by the Valar) there was no need to make the decision formal.

When Earendil & Elwing showed up, however, the Eldar of Valinor knew they were there and, knowing (also) the Ban that the Valar had put in place which had been broken, the Valar pretty much had to formalize what they were going to do.

They no longer had the option to keep it quiet (as in the cases of Elwing's brothers). That's what I meant by having their hands forced.

Last edited by Puddleglum; 12-06-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
What magic did Luthien "throw around" after returning from Mandos? They returned to Doriath, said good bye, and went to Ossiriand. Thereafter about all said is that she had the Silmaril until she and Beren died.

About all I can think of is the statement that she "healed the winter of Thingol with the touch of her hand." But it's only speculation she "used magic" (or even elvish art) to do so. The winter is described as "Then a winter, as it were the hoar age of mortal Men, fell upon Thingol." That could mean little more than that Thingol was so distraught by the death of Luthien that he began to waste away, grow haggard and agunt, unable to walk, losing his vigor, on his way to dieing himself (from grief, perhaps). And, if so, the touch of her hand was just that - a simple act of love and compassion that showed Thingol his daughter was alive and with him again - and that healed his winter.

On what do you base your claims about her not getting sick, or not walking on snow, or eyesight or etc after her return?
The 'touch of her hand' that healed Thingol to me seemed more than just compassion. In the Lay of Luthien she not only heals Thingol, but all of Doriath too. There is definitely magic at work and not just compassion.

That apart she transforms Tol Galen into a vision of Valinor and the fairest ever dwelling place in Middle Earth.

'Anyway, a difference in the use of 'magic' in this story is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such. Aragorn's 'healing' might be regarded as 'magical', or at least a blend of magic with pharmacy and 'hypnotic' processes. But it is (in theory) reported by hobbits who have very little notions of philosophy and science; while A. is not a pure 'Man', but at long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'

If Aragorn possessed magical ability 66 generations removed from Luthien, how much more so did her great grandson Elros?

As for why Luthien would not get sick etc we need to only look at what Tolkien said about Elros and Elrond.

In this account, only Elros was granted a peculiar longevity, and it is said here that he and his brother Elrond were not differently endowed in the physical potential of life, but that since Elros elected to remain among the kindred of Men he retained the chief characteristic of Men as opposed to the Quendi: the “seeking else-whither,” as the Eldar called it, the “weariness” or desire to depart from the world


Elros and Elrond did not differ in the innate power they were born with. Everything Elrond could do so could Elros. The only difference is the weariness that would come upon Elros.
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My apologies, I was not clear. I was describing (generalizing) what Tolkien seemed to have decided in those cases where he "did" record the fates of the Eruhini - not a rule that the Valar had established which, as you point out, was only formalized by Manwe in regards to the Earendil matter.

And I did specify that this generalization dealt with "until Manwe made his ruling"

So, in the pre-Ruling period I said of the half-elven "the matter was uncertain" and you said "It had not been decided". I think we are in agreement on that point.
Yes we are in agreement.
Quote:
Well, that is a speculation. Maybe true, but each Vala had his area and mission and if Ulmo (in the case of Tuor) can "seem to gainsay his bretheren, the Lords of the West" (including Manwe), it's at least a possibility that Mandos might consider the matter in his hands for those who were already in his halls.

In any event, I said "maybe". I.e. this is just a speculation since we really don't know squat about the fates of Elured and Elurin after they were abandoned in the forest. All we know is that "about their fates, no tale tells".

So, "maybe" Mandos DID discuss it with Manwe and Manwe made a decision. But, because it was "in-the-family", so to speak (i.e. a matter really only known about by the Valar) there was no need to make the decision formal.

When Earendil & Elwing showed up, however, the Eldar of Valinor knew they were there and, knowing (also) the Ban that the Valar had put in place which had been broken, the Valar pretty much had to formalize what they were going to do.

They no longer had the option to keep it quiet (as in the cases of Elwing's brothers). That's what I meant by having their hands forced.
Manwe discussed the nature of the Half-elven with Eru, the mortality of Luthien and possibly the immortality of Tuor. When it came to the Children of Illuvatar, Manwe was hesitant to make any changes to their fates without understanding the will of Eru. So I believe ultimately Eru would decide their fate.
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