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Old 12-29-2007, 10:51 AM   #1
Sauron the White
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There is now no ship...

In the year 1541 SR, several big events happen. Aragorn - King Elessar dies and Legolas builds a ship and takes Gimli with him down the Anduin and over the Sea. Elessar tells Arwen that she can repent and go into the West through the Grey Havens. But she tells him that "there is now no ship that would bear me hence".

This is causing me a bit of confusion. If Legolas can build a ship and take Gimli with him to the West, why cannot Arwen go with them? Does her choice prohibit that option? If Gimli would be admitted to Valinor, and it seems that he would, why would not Arwen be permitted to go? Was she not aware of the ship Legolas built? If she was, could she had used it?
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Notice the word 'would' no ship would because she was now a mortal maiden after she made her choice to stay in Middle Earth at the end of the third age.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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Silmaril

I love that quote. To me, it has so much meaning buried in it.

It is my opinion that she did not desire to leave. Aragorn, whom she cared for most was now gone. Perhaps she chose to stay in Middle-earth because it made her feel closer to him. Also, Middle-earth is the only land she knew, so this would make leaving hard. She probably didn't have the same longing to go as the others. Perhaps being mortal would lessen the desire to go to Valinor also.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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Arwen did not leave because even in Valinor she would find no healing from the separation of the death of Aragorn. Her release was that of mortal death. She knew when she sacrificed everything for her love of and for Aragorn that the price would be she would out live him by several years, and that her only release of the pain of his death and being separated from him would be mortal death. I suspect she would not actually find solace in going to Valinor. It’s a pretty human condition, once someone loses someone they love, a part of them dies and sometimes death is the sweet release they are longing for, not to live forever with the memories of what was and what was lost. This happens when people loose children, many times it destroys the life that is, yet many people can’t get passed it and are waiting for death. Theoden had Eowyn and Eomer to fight for, but he was ready to go to his join his fathers because he had lost his own son. Arwen did not leave because she had nothing left but memories, and she would eventually watch all her children and grandchildren die, and going to Valinor would not change that and could not heal it. Plus she had to seed her place on the last boat to Frodo, who had a chance to heal in Valinor. Arwen’s story is a tragic love story, she knew what she was doing when she decided to chose Aragorn and what the price was choosing him. There was no boat to bear her hence, she did not want a boat to bear her hence.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:29 AM   #5
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Two things:
1.Arwen was now a mortal woman. Mortals are not permitted to travel to the Undying Lands, with very few exceptions.

2.She had already given up her place on the ship to Frodo.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:01 AM   #6
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Yes, Arwen gave up her spot on the ship to Frodo. But many years later Legolas built a new ship that could have accomodated her. And since exceptions were made - for even a dwarf - could not one be made for the daughter of Elrond?

The ideas that ring most true with me are the ones that she simply did not want to leave Aragorn behind even in death.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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I am not sure that it was clear that Gimli was going to the Undying Lands. Or if he was, then it may have been more like a Purgatory, as it was for Frodo. Even Frodo did not apparently stay there, since it is not in the power of the Valar to convey immortality on any mortal.

As for Arwen, I am not sure that she did want to remain, at least once Aragorn died. In Appendix A, as Aragorn prepares to die, it is clear that she now fully realizes the bittnerness of her mortality
Quote:
...and thus she tasted the bitterness of mortality that she had taken upon her.
and she says
Quote:
...there is now no ship that would bear me hence, and I must indeed abide the Doom of Men, whether I will or I nill: the loss and the silence. But I say to you, King of the Numenoreans, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive.
And beyond this, she did not seem to cling willingly to her mortality, and in fact
Quote:
...Arwen went forth from the House, and the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star.
I don't read this as a case of Arwen willing so much to remain behind (at least once Aragorn died) as now realizing the full bitterness of her situation...
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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I do think that Arwen needed to die, not because I didn't like her, but because Arwen would find no healing in Valinor or happiness, once Aragorn died she had no desire to live... At least when Frodo went he still had Bilbo and maybe later Sam, and he was going to die so that means he would not need to cry, yes it is sad when someone you love dies or is seen no more(I have cried many times over my cat that has died and my other cat that was sent away) but I would think that once your true love dies it is different.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:37 PM   #9
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When Elrond left Middle-earth for the West, the time came for his childern to make their decisions as to which people they would have their fate joined to, Eldar or Men. The brothers Elladan and Elrohir seems to have been able to 'delay their decision' by staying for a time in Imladris with Celeborn. However, Arwen did not delay, she made her decision to join her fate with that of Men and marry Aragorn.

There are some choices that do not allow for one to recant or change. This was one of them, in making her choice to join with Man she closed the door to the West. The same decision (with the same result) was made by Elros and he was in a better position to recant his choise and travel to The Undying Lands He was almost in sight of them. This is why There is now no ship that would bear Arwen into the West. She was no longer allowed to go.

As for Gimli, we are not certain that he did go into the West as this is only what the Hobbits heard after Legolas left. However, even if he did do so, we do not know the reason why he would be allowed even as far as 'The Lonely Isle'. The only ones we know of for certain are Bilbo and Frodo, both of whom were allowed into the West to have a chance to heal in sprit before dying and leaving Arda.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lord Gothmog View Post
The same decision (with the same result) was made by Elros and he was in a better position to recant his choise and travel to The Undying Lands He was almost in sight of them. .
Where was this stated Lord Gothmog? In one of the latter HoMEs, or the Letters?

Arwen chose to be mortal, and even if she did go to the West she's already mortal. And she'll die. The mortals who went to Aman, they don't lose their mortality. But they get healed, pretty way better than in ME anyway. But for a lovesick elf-turned-mortal much like Luthien was, I think no amount of beauty or bliss can heal that.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:49 PM   #11
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It is stated in the published Silmarillion and in Letters.

From the Silmarillion: Chapter 24: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

Quote:
It is told among the Elves that after Eärendil had departed, seeking Elwing his wife, Mandos spoke concerning his fate; and he said: 'Shall mortal man step living upon the undying lands, and yet live?' But Ulmo said: 'For this he was born into the world. And say unto me; whether is he Eärendil Tuor's son of the line of Hador, or the son of Idril, Turgon's daughter, of the Elven-house of Finwë?' And Mandos answered: 'Equally the Noldor, who went wilfully into exile, may not return hither.'
But when all was spoken, Manwë gave judgement, and he said: 'In this matter the power of doom is given to me. The peril that he ventured for love of the Two Kindreds shall not fall upon Eärendil, nor shall it fall upon Elwing his wife who entered into peril for love of him; but they shall not walk again ever among Elves or Men in the Outer Lands. And this is my decree concerning them: to Eärendil and to Elwing, and to their sons, shall be given leave each to choose freely to which kindred their fates shall be joined, and under which kindred they shall be judged.'
This shows that Mortal Man was not allowed to go to the Undying Lands. When Elros and Elrond made their choices Elros became numbered among Men and therefore was no longer permitted entry to Aman or even The Lonely Isle. Arwen made the same decision to be numbered among Men and therefore could not go to Aman, she would have been refused entry and this she knew.

From Tolkien's Letters:
297 Drafts for a letter to 'Mr Rang'

Quote:
(The attempt of Eärendil to cross Ëar was against the Ban of the Valar prohibiting all Men to attempt to set foot on Aman, and against the later special ban prohibiting the Exiled Elves, followers of the rebellious Fëanor, from return:
325 From a letter to Roger Lancelyn Green 17 July 1971

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The Elves who took this road and those few 'mortals' who by special grace went with them, had abandoned the 'History of the world' and could play no further part in it.
So unless they were given special permission, Mortals were not permitted to set foot on the Undying Lands.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:36 PM   #12
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from Lord Gothmog

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The only ones we know of for certain are Bilbo and Frodo, both of whom were allowed into the West to have a chance to heal in sprit before dying and leaving Arda.
What about Sam? At the end of Appendix B, Year 1482 it talks about the death of Rosie his wife and says

"Among the tradition is handed dwon from Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers, and went to the Grey Havens, and passed over the Sea, last of the Ringbearers."

By my count that would mean that a majority - five out of nine - of the Fellowship went over the Sea..... Frodo, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, and Sam. Thats a good deal of exceptions to the rule.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:52 PM   #13
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Gandalf and Legolas are hardly 'exceptions.'
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:58 PM   #14
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Sauron the White

As I said, the only ones we know of for certain are Frodo and Bilbo. In your own quote it states:

"Among the tradition is handed dwon from Elanor"

This is not certainanty but simply rumour that has been given authority.

Personaly I would like to think that Sam at the least was allowed to go and see Frodo before he died. But we are not told this definately.

Quote:
By my count that would mean that a majority - five out of nine - of the Fellowship went over the Sea..... Frodo, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, and Sam. Thats a good deal of exceptions to the rule.
If we allow that all Mortals who were Said to have travled to the West did so we have Tuor, Bilbo, Frodo, Gimli and Sam. Gandalf was a Maia and therefore entitled to go, Legolas was an Elf and similarly entitled to go. So throughout the history of Middle-earth we have a total of Five. Not that many exceptions to the rule.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:53 PM   #15
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Arwen was the exception. Just on the other side. Going to Valinor would not change her situation at all. It would not heal her or change her pain.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:15 PM   #16
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On Legola's Sailing

On a somewhat related note there are two questions which have bugged me ofr quite a while. (if the answers to both of these are covered somewhere in the canon and I missed it my apoliges for wasting everyones time.)

Firstly, how could a ship bulit by Legolas get to the Undying Lands? Access to the Undying Lands in the Third Age was restricted exclsively to ships of the Falathrim elves. Legolas was an elf but he was Sindar not Falathrim. As an elf he would be entitled to enter the Undying Lands, but a ship built by him would not seem to be able to get there.

Secondly did the Falathrim ships and crews actually act like Charon for passegers. That is to say did Falathrimm ships and crews return from the Undying Lands to the Grey Havens,sans passengers, or was each trip for a ship one way with any Falathrim crew also never coming back? and as a subnote were there always Falatrim ships available for the jounery or did weary eleves have to sometimes wait in the Grey Havens for a shipworth of elves to arrive?
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:02 PM   #17
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"The Elves who took this road and those few 'mortals' who by special grace went with them, had abandoned the 'History of the world' and could play no further part in it."

I think this is important to understanding why Arwen had to stay (and die). As a result of her decision to marry Aragorn, Arwen became inextricably bound to Middle-earth and the human race as a whole. To leave Middle-earth would involve abandoning the "history of the world" in a way that was no longer an option for her. Also, her death is part and parcel to the sacrifice she made in choosing to remain with Aragorn in Middle-earth. Had she sailed with Legolas, or even alone, it would be cheating. Her sacrifice would be incomplete.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:11 AM   #18
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Firstly, how could a ship bulit by Legolas get to the Undying Lands? Access to the Undying Lands in the Third Age was restricted exclsively to ships of the Falathrim elves.
Where in the world do you get this notion? Not only is it nowhere stated, but it's also a datum that (1) Legolas did it; and (2) many Nandor successfully sailed from Edhellond.

Moreover, 'Falathrim' was a meaningless term in the Third Age.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:50 PM   #19
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My apologies, I read it somewhere in the A-Z of tolkein nad must have misinterpreted the wording. That still leave the second question did Grey Haven Elves return from the Undying Lands (after dropping of those who were leaving middle earth) or was each trip one way for the crew as well (most of the leaving parties seem to be to small to entertain the possibilty that those leaving middle earth crewed their own ships, professional sailor must have been needed sometimes, or did elven ships sail themselves?)
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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So throughout the history of Middle-earth we have a total of Five. Not that many exceptions to the rule.
Not quite. There were a lot of Numenoreans from Ar-Pharazon's armada that tread the hallowed ground of Tol Eressea and Valinor.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:28 AM   #21
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Not quite. There were a lot of Numenoreans from Ar-Pharazon's armada that tread the hallowed ground of Tol Eressea and Valinor.
Hardly, no Numenorean ever set foot on Tol Eressea. As for Ar-pharazon's army I would not really consider being trapped in the Caves of the Forgotten (those that did not sink with the ships) as treading the hallowed ground of Valinor.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #22
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Hardly, no Numenorean ever set foot on Tol Eressea. As for Ar-pharazon's army I would not really consider being trapped in the Caves of the Forgotten (those that did not sink with the ships) as treading the hallowed ground of Valinor.
My hazy recollection may be wrong but didn't they camp somewhere in Aman, so they did tread and most likely slept on the hallowed ground.
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