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Old 08-06-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
Lollipop010900
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White Tree Discriminatory in Valinor?

Now, being me i have spent a lot of time wasting... time by reading quite a big chunk of the threads on this forum and i noticed that, from what i have read, no-one had mentioned or asked this question: Why weren't men allowed to go to Valinor?I am seriously curious about this and i thought it would be a good idea for my first thread. Why were only elves allowed to go to Valinor? Was it just the Valar favouring the First Born or was there a reason? If there was a reason it had better be a good one or else. If men were allowed to go over the sea, then the whole Aragorn-Arwen heartbreak thing would not have happened because they could have both gone over the sea. And then Elrond wouldn't get mad at Aragorn for 'stealing' his daughter. Also, Arwen would be happy because she could stay with her father AND Aragorn. Anyway, does anyone know the answer or at least have a guess.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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Well it's called the undying lands. Also elves will remain in Arda (world) til the end while men will pass beyond it's borders at death. They are called the visitors, and since their visit is so brief they aren't allowed to go to the undying lands. It was morgoth who instilled fear of death in man. It was a gift from illuvatar just like immortality was a gift to the elves. However because of Morgoth men envy the ever lasting elves, and Sauron pushed them over the edge making them sail towards Valinor. Which ****ed off god...
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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White Tree

Ah... now i get it! So its all Morgoth and Sauron's fault. As always. The story of Middle Earth (cut short); Morgoth annoys the Elves. Morgoth snuffs it. Sauron annoys the Elves and Men. Sauron snuffs it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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Not exactly. It is believed to be the fault of Morgoth and Sauron that Men regard the gift of men as a doom. But going Valinor would not make Men immortal. They would still die. They are the undying lands because those there are already immortal, they are not made immortal by going. So Aragorn going wouldn't work even if it were allowed. Frodo, Sam and Gimli would have all died.

The fates of men and elves are different. Elves are immortal in the sense that they last as long as the world but they do not know what if anything will happen to them after whereas men are not bound to the fate of the world.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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Yeah so one can imagine what a big honour it was for Bilbo, Frodo and Gimli to go there. As far as I know the only non elves who has been there.
EDIT: Must have been approved by god.

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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Yeah so one can imagine what a big honour it was for Bilbo, Frodo and Gimli to go there. As far as I know the only non elves who has been there.
EDIT: Must have been approved by god.
Well, the Gamgee family maintains that Samwise also took sail to the Undying Lands (after Rose died) since he had also been (albiet briefly) a ringbearer. And I think one of the big heroes of men got accorded the honor back in the first or second age. But I agree, it is rare.
You actually bring up a question that has been bugging me for quite a while; just what ARE the criterion to get that singular honor. Frodo and Bilbo, of course were Ringbearers (as was Sam) and one could argue that getting to spend thier final days healing in Tol Erresea was a sort of reward for all the pain they had gone through; . And of course, Arwen all but tells Frodo he can go in her stead (as if in giving up her Elvish immortality to marry Aragorn, she had left and empty berth on the boat to be filled). So all of them have some sort of "right" to take the trip (Not to mention that the ship that takes Frodo and Bilbo is also carrying Elrond, Galdriel, and Gandalf, probably the only three people with enough status and respect in Elfdom that thier word is all that is needed (i.e. "I say it's OK, so it's OK")
But Gimli is a bit more vauge; it almost seems like he gets in on a much lower standard. He is of course a member of the Fellowship, but if that is all that was needed, Merry and Pippin should have had the opportunity (I know Merry and Pippin were dead by the time Legolas set sail, but they could have been offered a berth on one of the earlier elven ships sailing out, as Sam presumably was if the Gamgee tradition was true.) He is of course Legolas's best friend, but that seems an awfully casual basis for getting such a great honor. I imagine that there were probably other elves who were close frieds with dwarves back in the fist and second ages (when Elf-Dwarf relationships were not so strained).You could argue that Gimli's great deed was healing some of the divide between elf and dwarf. And of course, Gimli has his deep love of Gladriel, but he can't be the only one whose ever fallen in love with her (Faramir's comments at the dinner at the falls seem to indicate that pretty much ANY mortal who gazes on Galadriel risks gettting caught in her beauty) I have no question Legolas had every right to invite Gimli to sail with him (it's his boat, he can sail with whomever he wants) but a part of me seems to think that Legolas may have been overstepping his perogative in his assumption that Gimi could get the same deal as Frodo and the other mortal sailors.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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That is a very good question. Why was Gimli allowed to go? Does anyone have the exact passage where it describes this?

Is it feasible that all of the Fellowship members could have gone over, had they so desired?

Valinor was created when Melkor destroyed the lands of the world the first time around. The Valar built it as their home and fortified it against Melkor's evil in the East. I think it is possible that the few non-elves who were allowed to live there, including Gimli, were allowed to do so because of their great role in defending Middle-earth against Melkor's, and then Sauron's, evil.

The Valar wanted to protect the First Born from the evil that Melkor created, so they brought them to live in Valinor. As they were going to be around until the world ended, the Valar wanted them to have the beauty and harmony that they saw in Iluvatar's vision, not the destruction of Melkor. Men, able to leave the world, had no need of such protection, because their souls could fine solace anywhere they wanted after death.

Although Melkor was thrown from the world, the Valar are still willing to bring the First Born over to Aman. So we must assume that they considered Sauron's threat to the First Born to be just as potent as Melkor's was.

Therefore, I argue that any being, including hobbits and dwarves, that were directly and hugely tormented by Sauron's evil, would have been accorded a place in Aman for the rest of their time remaining. Their souls would have been tortured in such a way that even upon death they would find no solace, unless they could first be healed in Aman.

Gimli could not have been tormented nearly so much as the ring-bearers. But he was part of the Fellowship, and around the ring for a long time while Frodo bore it, and he spent time away from his people, fighting with Men for the msot part to rid Sauron's evil from the world. I think that simply being a willing volunteer, under no oath, in the Fellowship to destroy evil once and for all, accords him the honor of Valinor.

Why didn't Merry and Pippin go? I think they were young enough and resilient enough that they did not need the healing of the Valar. I think they were perfectly contented to live out their lives in the idyllic peace of the Shire.

I think Gimli was changed enough from his experience, more so than probably any other of his people, and so he was accorded this special honor.

Another argument: The Dwarves were never really given a destiny in Iluvatar's plans. Perhaps it was deemed time, by the Valar and Iluvater, to bring an emissary over to Aman to represent his race in judgement, to see what would become of their spirits after the ending of the world.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #8
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Why didn't Merry and Pippin go? I think they were young enough and resilient enough that they did not need the healing of the Valar. I think they were perfectly contented to live out their lives in the idyllic peace of the Shire.

I think Gimli was changed enough from his experience, more so than probably any other of his people, and so he was accorded this special honor.

Possilbly, though they'd have to be REALLY resilient. Next to Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin probably had the most traumatic experiances during the war. Merry almost died from his attempt to kill the Witch King. And, thanks to the Palantir, Pippin may be the only Hobbit (besides Frodo, assuming the eye he saw in Gladriel's pool was Sauron's actual eye) in history to ever looked Sauron directly in the face ; that would probably have haunted him for the rest of his days. Actually if one was going by trauma alone, Gimli was probably the bottom man on the totem pole; even Legolas would have had to deal with what he saw behind him on the Paths of the Dead.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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It isn't quite presented as fact in the Appendices.I don't know if further mention is made in HoME to clarify.

In the tale of years in LOTR it says 1541SR Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien, and sailed...over Sea. And with him it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf". However there is a note at the end of "of Durin's folk which purports to be a late note in the Red Book.
"We have hear tell that Legolas took Gimli ....if this is true then it is strange indeed that a Dwarf should be willing to leave Middle Earth ..or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also ...to see ..Galadriel and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him. More cannot be said of this matter".

So the "translator conceit" allows Tolkien not to give a definitive answer. The note on sources in the Prologue increases vagueness. The Red book was copied annotated and what became the appendices gathered from various sources long after the event (the time of Peregrin's great grandson). I think Gimli would have been 262 when Aragorn died which is a good age for a dwarf - he may have returned to Erebor to die or it may be that the grace was granted him because he had so little time left.

Other than Tuor who is a special case and Amandil whose fate isn't known, Frodo is the only mortal with much natural life span remaining who was admitted to the Undying lands and he was a special case. He had pretty much died after the Morgul attack in the sense of living fully in the world of Middle Earth. Remember Gandalf's thought about him becoming like a glass full of clear light and noticing a transparency about him in Riendell? Which itself was soon after explaining why Glorfindel became a shining figure as he faced the NAzgul - that he has dwellt in the Blessed Realm and lives at once on both sides. Tolkien's decision/realisation that Glorfindel of Gondolin and Glorfindel of Rivendell were the same means that Rivendell Glorfindel had died and been sent back to aid the struggle against Sauron. Another exceptional situation and the juxtaposition maybe not a coincidence.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #10
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Elves sailed to the Undying Lands in order to find peace. Their immortality can be seen as something of a burden. In their immortal state, they inevitably become quite old (but without the rapid signs of mortal aging), so they desire to embalm (or preserve) the world around them. Unfortunately the world changes faster than they would like, and they are left feeling out of place. The Undying Lands, being the home of the immortal Ainur (Valar/Maiar), are much more conducive to the elves.

Similarly, Men would be completely out of place in the immortal lands of Aman. Men were intended to remain in Arda (incl. Middle-earth), to populate and rule it.

This was part of the Divine Plan from the beginning, which is actually a major theme of Lord of the Rings: the mortal races were always intended to take over from the immortal Elves. The mortal involvement in the War of the Ring is a 'passing of the torch,' so to speak, as the immortal beings take a backseat. Elves are a limited and fading force throughout the story while the wizards are immortal Maiar disguised and constrained by the bodies of old men, sent to inspire the people - not to fight the battle for them.

Towards the end of Return of the King, Gandalf explains as much. First to Aragorn:
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And Gandalf said: 'This is your realm, and the heart of the greater realm that shall be. The Third Age of the world is ended, and the new age is begun; and it is your task to order its beginning and to preserve what may be preserved. For though much has been saved, much must now pass away; and the power of the Three Rings also is ended. And all the lands that you see, and those that lie abou them, shall be dwellings of Men. For the time comes of the Dominion of Men, and the Elder Kindred shall fade or depart.'

'I know it well, dear friend,' said Aragorn; 'but I would still have your counsel.'

'Not for long now,' said Gandalf. 'The Third Age was my age. I was the Enemy of Sauron; and my work is finished. I shall go soon. The burden must lie now upon you and your kindred.'
Then to the Hobbits:
Quote:
I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. Grown indeed very high; among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.
This is also why Gandalf went so far to include hobbits. He had deep affection for their kind, and wanted to see them grow in stature, able to stick up for themselves - and they do at the end of the story.
______

Tolkien confirms that Gimli made the trip as he addresses the nature of it in the published Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. I think he meant the 'hearsay' bit in the book to be taken as trustworthy - for him, it was a matter of how the authors of the Red Book of Westmarch wouldn't have known firsthand.

From Letter #154, Gimli's entry was by virtue of his special relationship with Legolas and Galadriel:

Quote:
But in this story it is supposed that there may be certain rare exceptions or accommodations (legitimately supposed? there always seem to be exceptions); and so certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus Frodo (by the express gift of Arwen) and Bilbo, and eventually Sam (as adumbrated by Frodo); and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as friend of Legolas and 'servant' of Galadriel.

I have said nothing about it in this book, but the mythical idea underlying is that for mortals, since their 'kind' cannot be changed for ever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of suffering. They cannot abide for ever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will 'die' of free will, and leave the world.
The whole letter is worth reading; it is one of the better ones in the book!
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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I'd say it's either an outright racist reason(anti-Human paranoia) or it's a kind of literalist Creationism reason; IE; Humans are the Third Kind, the Third Race to be created. But created in the Middle-earth continent.

They're not native to Valinor, therefore don't deserve to move to it. And of course until the dawning of the Fourth Age, Man needs to be allowed to learn his own ways, make mistakes, etc. In preparation for the Dominion of Man.

So I'd say those are the two(3?) main reasons why.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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I'd say it's either an outright racist reason(anti-Human paranoia) or it's a kikd of literalist Creationism reason; IE; Humans are the Third Kind, the Third Race to be created. But created in the Middle-earth continent.

They're not native to Valinor, therefore don't deserve to move to it. And of course until the dawning of the Fourth Age, Man needs to be allowed to learn his own ways, make mistakes, etc. In preparation for the Dominion of Man.

So I'd say those are the two(3?) main reasons why.
The Elves weren't native to Valinor either. They were moved there from Cuivienen. Many elves stopped along the march and never made it to the Blessed Realm. The Sindar and the Nandor, for instance.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #13
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And has there ever been a Human minority community in Valinor? No?

Overall my reason(s) still stand.

Of course it's speculative, but whatever...
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:26 AM   #14
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I'd say it's either an outright racist reason(anti-Human paranoia) or it's a kind of literalist Creationism reason; IE; Humans are the Third Kind, the Third Race to be created. But created in the Middle-earth continent.

They're not native to Valinor, therefore don't deserve to move to it. And of course until the dawning of the Fourth Age, Man needs to be allowed to learn his own ways, make mistakes, etc. In preparation for the Dominion of Man.

So I'd say those are the two(3?) main reasons why.
There is a critical difference between Middle-earth and the Undying Lands. The latter are, well, undying. Men are mortal. Mortals do not belong in an immortal environment, at least not for long periods of time.
The Valar were concerned that the Númenóreans, if allowed to taste immortality, would desire it that much more, which would lead to chronic discontentment, and then to evil. Of course, that happened anyway, though Sauron was a prime mover in that.

I suppose one could argue that the mortal members of the Fellowship suffered no adverse effects in Lórien. However, they were there only a short period, and Galadriel's version of the Blessed Realm was in the end just a copy, and had to have been somewhat different from the real thing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rhod the Red View Post
Overall my reason(s) still stand.
Your reason does not stand (imho).

There's a brief part in Akalabeth on this subject.
I think it should answer all your questions:

Quote:
And some there were who said: ‘Why should we not go even to
Aman, and taste there, were it but for a day, the bliss of the Powers? Have
we not become mighty among the people of Arda?’
The Eldar reported these words to the Valar, and Manwë was
grieved, seeing a cloud gather on the noontide of Númenor. And he sent
- 240 -
messengers to the Dúnedain, who spoke earnestly to the King, and to all
who would listen, concerning the fate and fashion of the world.
‘The Doom of the World,’ they said, ‘One alone can change who
made it. And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares
you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you.
For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the
Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would
but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and
steadfast.’

But the King said: ‘And does not Eärendil, my forefather, live? Or
is he not in the land of Aman?’
To which they answered: ‘You know that he has a fate apart, and
was adjudged to the Firstborn who die not; yet this also is his doom that
he can never return again to mortal lands. Whereas you and your people
are not of the Firstborn, but are mortal Men as Ilúvatar made you. Yet it
seems that you desire now to have the good of both kindreds, to sail to
Valinor when you will, and to return when you please to your homes. That
cannot be. Nor can the Valar take away the gifts of Ilúvatar. The Eldar, you
say, are unpunished, and even those who rebelled do not die. Yet that is
to them neither reward nor punishment, but the fulfilment of their being.
They cannot escape, and are bound to this world, never to leave it so long
as it lasts, for its life is theirs. And you are punished for the rebellion of
Men, you say, in which you had small part, and so it is that you die. But
that was not at first appointed for a punishment. Thus you escape, and
leave the world, and are not bound to it, in hope or in weariness. Which
of us therefore should envy the others?”
And the Númenóreans answered: ‘Why should we not envy the
Valar, or even the least of the Deathless? For of us is required a blind
trust, and a hope without assurance, knowing not what lies before us in a
little while. And yet we also love the Earth and would not lose it.’
Then the Messengers said: ‘Indeed the mind of Ilúvatar concerning
you is not known to the Valar, and he has not revealed all things that are
to come. But this we hold to be true, that your home is not here, neither
in the Land of Aman nor anywhere within the Circles of the World. And
the Doom of Men, that they should depart, was at first a gift of Ilúvatar. It
became a grief to them only because coming under the shadow of Morgoth
it seemed to them that they were surrounded by a great darkness, of
which they were afraid; and some grew wilful and proud and would not
yield, until life was reft from them. We who bear the ever-mounting burden
of the years do not clearly understand this; but if that grief has returned
to trouble you, as you say, then we fear that the Shadow arises once more
and grows again in your hearts. Therefore, though you be the Dúnedain,
- 241 -
fairest of Men, who escaped from the Shadow of old and fought valiantly
against it, we say to you: Beware! The will of Eru may not be gainsaid;
and the Valar bid you earnestly not to withhold the trust to which you are
called, lest soon it become again a bond by which you are constrained.
Hope rather that in the end even the least of your desires shall have fruit.
The love of Arda was set in your hearts by Ilúvatar, and he does not plant
to no purpose. Nonetheless, many ages of Men unborn may pass ere that
purpose is made known; and to you it will be revealed and not to the
Valar.’
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Also it ignores the fact that that the Undying Lands are thus because of those who dwell there (immortal ainur and elves) the lands themselves don't have the inherent property to make mortals immortal. Mortals can't become immortal simply by landing there anymore than jumping in the sea is going to to turn me into a fish.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:55 PM   #17
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Valinor is the place best suited to the Elves. We see how the fading in M-E affects them. In fact the reason Sauron was able to ensnare the Gwaith-i-Mirdain into the making of Rings of Power was because of this desire to almost stop time and to create Valinor in M-E. We can see it in the use that Galadriel and Elrond put their Rings to. When the power of the 3 was broken those lands faded. Is it discriminatory, sure. I, however, am not one who thinks different people are suited to have what everyone else has and have no problem with a land for the Elves. Just as Numenor was a realm for the higher Men. When I use discrimate I use it as "a distinction", not in it's pejorative connotation.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
Is it discriminatory, sure.
I like to say: All the creatures have the equal rights to live, but they are not all equal.
Same for the real world of middle earth, or fictional humanized spheroidal earth.
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