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Exil Noldor-to Aman or to Tol Eressea?
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Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 10 2012, 4:28pm

Post #1 of 55 (1339 views)
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Exil Noldor-to Aman or to Tol Eressea? Can't Post

I always assumed that after their pardon they could choose where to life, if in Valinor or Tol Eressea, but many people in different communities think that the exil Noldor (Galadriel too??) are restricted to Tol Eressea and could only visit the main land. What do you think about that, that doesn´t sound very forgiving.


elevorn
Lorien


Dec 10 2012, 5:38pm

Post #2 of 55 (528 views)
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Good question [In reply to] Can't Post

My understanding was that Tol Eressea was the Island left from the land barge and that many elves had indeed settled on it anyway. I'm not sure if the ban prohibited settlement in Valinor once they were allowed to return, however it is my understanding that non-elves, (Bilbo/Frodo) were confined to the Lonely Isle. I could be wrong however.



"clever hobbits to climb so high!"
Check out my writing www.jdstudios.wordpress.com


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 11 2012, 4:10pm

Post #3 of 55 (496 views)
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Letters or the Tale [In reply to] Can't Post

Outside of whether or not such a decision would be truly fair, from an external perspective the 'answer' to this question might depend upon how much weight one gives to a letter, as opposed to the last version of The Silmarillion that Tolkien ever wrote, that concerns this section I mean.

The famed Waldman letter notes of the returning Exiles: 'They were not to dwell permanently in Valinor again, but in the Lonely Isle of Eressea within sight of the Blessed Realm.' JRRT , letter 131 to Milton Waldman

Here Tolkien is [partly] explaining to Waldman about the Silmarillion, but the Silmarillion as it stood rather said:


Quote
"And when they came into the West the Gnomes for the most part rehabited the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East; and that land became very fair, and so remains. But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed; and there the Gnomes were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest."




The 1977 Silmarillion reads a bit differently, and not just with respect to Gnomes for Noldor. And from The Elessar text:


Quote

"How otherwise can it be for the Eldar, if they cling to Middle-earth?" said Celebrimbor. "Will you then pass over Sea?"

"Nay," she said, "Angrod is gone, and Aegnor is gone, and Felagund is no more. Of Finrod's [Finarfin's] children I am the last. But my heart is still proud. What wrong did the golden house of Finrod [Finarfin] do that I should ask the pardon of the Valar, or be content with an isle in the sea whose native land was Aman the blessed? Here I am mightier."




Depending upon how this is interpreted, one might take this in support of the Waldman letter, although I agree in advance that that would be only one interpretation.

There are plenty of other citations that could be raised here [and that's why external chronology becomes important], but I'm not sure there is anything later which is certainly definitive with respect to whether or not Tolkien had ultimately decided upon the 'Waldman idea' or the idea as expressed earlier [earlier in the external chronology, not earlier in my post] in Quenta Silmarillion.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 11 2012, 4:19pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 11 2012, 7:25pm

Post #4 of 55 (471 views)
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Not a fan of the idea [In reply to] Can't Post

That they're trapped in Tol Eressea. It just doesn't really make sense to me. What point really is there then in returning if you're not allowed into the Blessed Realm? I much prefer the earlier version where they are pardoned, forgiven, and accepted back into Aman.

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 11 2012, 8:18pm

Post #5 of 55 (467 views)
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Visiting Valinor? [In reply to] Can't Post

      
I think Tolkien's use of 'permanently' is a bit odd here: if the Exiled Noldor can step foot off of Tol Eressea for 'a given time' -- and we know Elves have a lot of time to live their lives, so what is a 'short visit' to an Elf -- then to me it seems to undercut the idea a bit, the idea that they are still paying, in some measure, for the Rebellion.

Although I guess the very notion of not being able to permanently dwell somewhere that you would rather dwell (if a given Elf or Elves would rather dwell in Valinor) is still a payment of sorts.

Not that Tol Eressea isn't a very nice place to live in any case. I'm sure it is Smile

Unless there is another way to read the Waldman letter with respect to not dwelling 'permanently' in Valinor, I guess.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 11 2012, 8:21pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Dec 11 2012, 9:07pm

Post #6 of 55 (444 views)
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Like being stuck looking over the fence at the party [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, and oddly enough, I would disagree with Tolkien (in my own stubborn mind) if he said otherwise. It doesn't seem satisfying in any sense for the Noldor to be stuck on Tol Eressea. And odd if the Teleri can leave Middle-earth and go all the way to Valinor, but the Noldor are forced to get off the boat early. It would be a lot more meaningful for the Noldor to go back to Tuna after all they've done, and very humbling for them, I think, which would fulfill Tolkien's sense of the need for their redemption.

I haven't been able to find it, but somewhere I think it says in The Silmarillion that when the Eldar leave Middle-earth, they first come to Tol Eressa, but "in time" can go to Valinor. Tolkien may have different opinions on the matter in different writings, just as his published Galadriel was part of Feanor's rebellion, but his planned revision notes had her leave Valinor before the rebellion so she wasn't tainted by it. In our own minds, we have to settle on one image of her or the other, despite existing evidence for both.


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 11 2012, 9:34pm

Post #7 of 55 (445 views)
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edited version [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you are thinking of the edited version [edited by Christopher Tolkien] of the passage I quoted above about the Gnomes.

Maybe you're thinking of [Tolkien's version in The History of Middle-Earth]:

"And when they came into the West the Gnomes for the most part rehabited the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East; and that land became very fair, and so remains. But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed; and there the Gnomes were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest."


Or that is, the edited 1977 Silmarillion version:

"And when they came into the West the Elves of Beleriand dwelt upon Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle, that looks both west and east; whence they might come even to Valinor. They were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest."




(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 11 2012, 9:41pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 11 2012, 9:37pm

Post #8 of 55 (429 views)
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That´s [In reply to] Can't Post

really interesting. I´m not very fond of the idea that they have to stop on Tol Eressea too. I interpret the Elessar text that she had to ask pardon to enter Valinor otherwise she has to stay in eressea.


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They were admitted again to the love of Manwe and the pardon of the Valar

It would be a limited love if they weren´t allowed to Aman itself.


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Letter 325 1971: The immortals who were permitted to leave ME and seek Aman - the undying lands of Valinor and Eressea, an Island assigned to the eldar - set sail in ships

That is a rather late note and indicates that they are free to chose where they would life, I think.


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"for by the mercy of the Valar the Firstborn could still follow the Straight Road and return, if they would, to their kindred in Eressëa and Valinor beyond the encircling seas."


I choose to ignore what he wrote in the waldmen letter, it makes no sense, several times he implies that they are free to dwell where they want.


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 11 2012, 9:50pm

Post #9 of 55 (436 views)
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later citations [In reply to] Can't Post

Later citations (later than the Waldman letter) might imply all were free to go to Valinor, or could be interpreted that way. I don't recall anything definitive and specific however.

You haven't dated your second citation as well (a given description could be before the letter, for example). And Tolkien is arguably here speaking very generally of the Firstborn in any case; in other words, he might not be considering the Exiles here. If one 'plugs in' the Waldman letter, one might interpret this citation as very general for that reason too...

... and if you toss out the Waldman letter, we hardly need more that Quenta Silmarillion in any case. No? Smile


PhantomS
Rohan


Dec 15 2012, 12:29am

Post #10 of 55 (407 views)
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it shouldn't be illegal. [In reply to] Can't Post

Galadriel is still 'mighty among the Eldar' and of course was born in Valinor itself, so telling her to sit on the island would be a bit strange, especially since she took extended exile on purpose. The Valar brought the other Noldor home after Beleriand was destroyed, and traditionally the Noldor lived in Valinor and not Eressea, where the Teleri sailed their ships. It makes sense that ships would land there since there is a harbor, but there are also one in Alqualonde on the mainland. The letters and Silmarillion say that the Teleri actually are the majority on Eressea- if they didn't forgive, letting the Noldor live on their island would be strange.

Ironically, Galadriel might like living on Eressea or the coast since that's where her mum is from and she lived there prior to Feanor's rebellion.With her father still ruling the Noldor (We don't know if Fingolfin is still in Mandos). she would get a free pass, certainly.


Finwe
Lorien


Dec 17 2012, 8:53pm

Post #11 of 55 (437 views)
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I've pondered this myself [In reply to] Can't Post

In fact, I asked a similar question several months back. For me, it opens up a fun, Would You Rather question. If the Noldor were allowed to return only as far as Tol Eressea and not return to Valinor, were the Noldor killed in the First Age better off long term than those, like Galadriel, who survived but can never completely return? I was thinking specifically of Galadriel, since The Sil makes mention of how Finrod now spends his days walking with Finarfin in Tirion, while she would never again be permitted to do so. Not that Tol Eressea is a dump or anything, but it's not home for the Noldor either. Suppose Galadriel finally tired of Tol Eressea and longed to live with her parents and brothers again. Would she be better off committing suicide, serving her time in Mandos, then joining them in Tirion? For these reasons, I like to think that the Exiles do indeed get to return to Tirion

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


Aule
Registered User

Dec 20 2012, 5:42pm

Post #12 of 55 (381 views)
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Finrod walks with finarfin in eldamar [In reply to] Can't Post

The noldor are free to go west into amen, not just tol erresea. My proof or evenidence, if nobody else has pointed this pit. But on pg 177, chapter 19 of the silmarillion (beren and luthien), is stated after finrod felagund passes away, that "they buried the body of felagund upon the hill-top of his own isle...but finrod walks with finarfin his father beneath the trees in eldamar."

So this is an account of what happens to an elf of the noldor who was bound by the oath of feanor and this account is not in old notes or unfinished works. This is in the silmarillion. Which although it is a compressed version, it is a cleaner more accurate version compared to the 12 volumes of "the history of middle earth. In which the noldor are called gnomes and the elves of the vanyar are called teleri, while the actual teleri are called by a name that slips my mind.

I think this clearly shows that all elves including the noldor get to verture west and not just tol erresea. If there is any exception to any elves coming to aman, to me it would possibly be feanor himself, but the valar lifted melkors imprisonment, why would they not release feanor from the halls of mandos?

And as others have stated, if the valar only allowed the noldor to dwell in tol erresea, then that would be kind of messed up since, tol erresea is really only populated by the teleri, whom the noldor stole the white ships from when the left valinor. The valar not allowing them in aman, is like them not forgiving them. that I can understand, but not really and even if I can understand, it would seem odd that the valar limit the noldor by punishing the teleri, who never did anything wrong.

And the last thing I will point out is that the quote I mention above says "under the trees of eldamar" so it is possible that the noldor were not permitted into [valinor but had leave to go anywhere else in aman.

I would gladly like to hear input and see what you think. Are their holes in my story? Have I covered all the bases? I hope so, cause I hope the noldor aren't locked out of aman. quote]

In Reply To


(This post was edited by Altaira on Dec 20 2012, 6:40pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 5:49pm

Post #13 of 55 (357 views)
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Interesting point... [In reply to] Can't Post

So in the published Silmarillion, Finrod is free to return to Aman. Personally, I like the idea better than being bound to Tol Eressea.

But I don't think your argument (using the Silmarillion) is exactly foolproof. I'm not sure if you've read The History of Middle-earth series, but it's laid out pretty clearly that the published Silmarillion is just a compilation of the various works of HoME. So basically Christopher edited it together from whatever he thought was the fitting. I'm not sure of exactly why he chose certain passages over others, but it all comes down to him in the end, not JRR Tolkien.

If you want to take the published Silmarillion as the be all end all, that's completely fine. But there are others, like myself, who don't see it as the perfect authority, and would rather comb though HoME to find out "what really happened."

Oh, and can you edit out the f-word, please?

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


Aule
Registered User

Dec 20 2012, 6:11pm

Post #14 of 55 (360 views)
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You're trippin [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I do think the silmarillion is the final authority. Although it is condensed, it is the HoME, just cleaned up and corrected. How are you gonna trust those books more then the silmarillion when the vanyar are called teleri and the noldor called gnomes and many other things that don't add up anymore. The history of middle earth, although more detailed and fun to read are inaccurate and incorrect. Tolkein makes not of many of these things in his notes. Christopher tolkein did not write the silmarillion, he only edited it. He edited things his father had established as concrete. Like the noldor instead of gnomes. And the vanyer having their proper title along with the teleri. Basically the HoME is like the old testament while the silmarillion is the new testament. And just cause the silmarillion is condensed doesn't make it invalid.

And please tell me why you'd prefer the noldor to be stuck on tol erresea and how their punishment wouldn't be a punishment on the teleri themselves? Who did nothing wrong? Why would the valar and illuvetar place the burden on the teleri who suffered more from the noldor then any others? If you can't answer how the teleri wouldn't be burdened with this and if you can explain how manwe and the valar were able to release melkor of his setence, then why would they never release the noldor of there doom? And no offense, I really don't see you giving me any good answer as to these questions. And if you can't then, I cannot in any way, believe otherwise of the noldor being pardoned. The clearest and most recent up to date evidence is my quote above of finrod walking in eldamar. It is written, more recently then HoME, not really sure how you can over look that or act as if it doesn't count case tolkein son, chose how to edit these stories not actually write them himself. What is in the silmarillion was written by jrr himself.


Aule
Registered User

Dec 20 2012, 6:18pm

Post #15 of 55 (342 views)
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Chill [In reply to] Can't Post

Um not sure how to edit my old post, but it's not that big of a deal. I doubt there are too many kids on hear reading our opinions. Anybody who is, is probably old enough. And besides that, it's not a big deal. Lol


CuriousG
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 6:23pm

Post #16 of 55 (346 views)
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I thought of the same thing after reading Finwe's post... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that Finrod was reincarnated and reunited with Finarfin. I suppose one could say that he redeemed himself by sacrificing his life to save Beren, and that he's an exception, but I don't think so. If he made it to Tuna, then they all did. Though I think it says somewhere in The Silmarillion that Feanor is stuck in the Halls of Mandos, I just can't remember where.

Welcome to the Reading Room! And, please note that everyone is welcome here, but we treat each other with great respect when we disagree. It would help if you could write with a friendlier tone in your future posts.


Aule
Registered User

Dec 20 2012, 6:33pm

Post #17 of 55 (342 views)
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Tone [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes it could be because finrod helped beren, but then what is finarfin doing in eldamar? And yes it is stated in silmarillion when talking about the silmarils that none will know what they be made of until the end of time whe. Feanor is free from the halls of mandos. So yes as I've stated, feanor might be the only one not permitted. And I'm sorry about my tone. I will try better but keep in mind, I am not writing to upset anybody and the way my tone is being interpreted doesn't mean the interpretation is accurate.i will try to have a good tone, but if me focusing on my tone takes away from my point or my train of thought, them I'm going to sacrifice tone. Cause no argument I've made, no matter what tone, is not confrontational. This is a discussion that is it. Lol


CuriousG
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 6:45pm

Post #18 of 55 (339 views)
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Finarfin [In reply to] Can't Post

Finarfin is in Valinor because, after Mandos threatened the Noldor with a miserable future in exile while they were in northern Aman, Finarfin led some of them back home, was pardoned by the Valar, and was set as ruler of the non-rebellious Noldor. So he never left, and never died. The only one besides Galadriel among Finwe's children and grandchildren who didn't die, in fact.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 6:51pm

Post #19 of 55 (331 views)
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Like I said [In reply to] Can't Post

It's completely fine if you want to take the Silmarillion as the final authority. But for me, it is not. Our very own Voronwe_the_faithful published a book called Arda Reconstructed: the Creation of the Published Silmarillion. It's an excellent read. It goes sentence by sentence, and often word by word, through the Silmarillion and shows where Christopher got that line, sentence, word from. So yes, the published Silmarillion is as much Christopher's work as it is his father's.

You're right that in the beginning of HoME, which was first written beginning in 1916, Tolkien used names differently than he later would, but that's just the nature of writing. Names, concepts, and even whole plots get edited and changed along the way. To utterly disregard these earlier works is a mistake, IMO. One reason is because the majority of the end of the Silmarillion, from the death of Turin to the end of the book, was never fully revised or rewritten. So Christopher had to do something to complete the book satisfactorily. The Tale of the Nauglamir he completely rewrote himself, and the tales of Tuor and Earendil he used the very old Qenta Noldorinwa (which was only partially revised later in the 1930s).

The point is that Christopher picked and chose what he thought was best to put into the book, but not all of it was necessarily his father's final wish, and that is a fact.

ETA - if you'll read my posts above, you'll see that I never said the Noldor should be stuff on Tol Eressea. I've actually argued for the opposite.

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!

(This post was edited by Ardamírë on Dec 20 2012, 6:52pm)


Aule
Registered User

Dec 20 2012, 7:19pm

Post #20 of 55 (353 views)
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Beren and luthien only edited by Christopher. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yea read that wrong, you clearly stated that you'd prefer the noldor to not be locked I to tol erresea. But I don't totally diqualify HoME, I'm just pointing out, that since many things were back then, that aren't now, then you can't just take something said in HoME as full concrete, cause much of that material has been changed. And the chapter of beren and luthien are not the chapters of tuor or earnendil. Beren and luthien isn't the part that Christopher had to rewrite. So the beren a luthien is more jrr's then Christopher's. So what is stated about felagund to me is pretty concrete. It is the latest info on what happens to the noldor, from a story that was only edited my Christopher, not rewritten.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 8:14pm

Post #21 of 55 (331 views)
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I looked in Voronwe's book [In reply to] Can't Post

And it appears that the text in question regarding Finrod actually comes from the rewritten poem - The Lay of Leithian. Unless I'm mistaken, this was rewritten sometime around 1965, so I'd say it's a fairly late idea, and one that I actually agree with.

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


CuriousG
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 8:31pm

Post #22 of 55 (330 views)
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A bigger question--what about the others? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Silmarillion only mentions Finrod's reincarnation in Valinor. Does anyone who knows the HoME series happen to know if any of the other prominent Noldor are mentioned as being reincarnated there also? Glorfindel wound up back in Middle-earth. Fingon, Fingolfin, Finwe, Turgon: they all seemed to redeem themselves in some way before dying, especially Fingolfin's heroic dual with Morgoth. Are they stuck in Mandos, or frolicking around Tuna?


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 9:15pm

Post #23 of 55 (332 views)
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Reincarnation [In reply to] Can't Post

In the Glorfindel text in The Peoples of Middle-earth, Tolkien wrote


Quote
When Glorfindel of Gondolin was slain his spirit would according to the laws established by the One be obliged at once to return to the land of the Valar. Then he would go to Mandos and be judged, and would then remain in the 'Halls of Waiting' until Manwë granted him release. ... It was therefore the duty of the Valar, by command of the One, to restore them to incarnate life, if they desired it. But this 'restoration' could be delayed by Manwë, if the fëa while alive had done evil deeds and refused to repent of them, or still harboured any malice against any other person among the living.


So basically, their return from the Halls of Mandos to bodily life was conditioned upon what they had done prior, and whether they repented or not. Christopher notes that this text was written in the late months of 1972, so it would be one of the last (if not the last) texts on the subject. But Christopher also notes that his father's memory had begun to get confused, and that not everything in this (and other similar texts) was entirely consistent with previously established ideas. Of course, no one but Tolkien could say whether differences to prior texts was intentional or accidental. With that said, I take this text to be Tolkien's intention. I'm not going to take the time to dig through all of Laws and Customs or similar texts, but I'm fairly certain this idea is consistent with his earlier (though not earliest) ideas.

Once again, ramble, ramble... Hope you got the idea of what I was saying Angelic

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


CuriousG
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 9:46pm

Post #24 of 55 (307 views)
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That had to be a long line of people waiting to be judged after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad [In reply to] Can't Post

Manwe must have had his calendar booked for months processing each one.

Thanks for citing that passage!

Do you wonder about Miriel re: "to restore them to incarnate life, if they desired it." She was the only one to die in Valinor (long before Melkor killed Finwe) and had done nothing wrong to repent of. Her comment to Finwe, while fading away in Lorien, was "hold me blameless in this and what is to follow," which made me wonder if she had foresight into all the troubles that her sons and grandsons would cause, and if that grief contributed as much to her death as Feanor did by sucking the life out of her. Do you suppose she never desired to come back to the world out of some motherly guilt? It seems like she would have been given the opportunity to.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 20 2012, 10:49pm

Post #25 of 55 (322 views)
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Desire [In reply to] Can't Post

In the case of Míriel, it's explicitly stated that it was her desire to remain in Mandos. In the earliest version of the story of Finwë and Míriel, she says to Mandos, "I came hither to escape from the body, and I do not desire ever to return to it." It is stated later that "she yearned for release from the labour of living." Much later, in The Shibboleth of Feanor, Míriel's refusal to return is even more adamant: "Each time that she was approached she became more fixed in her determination, until at last she would listen no more, saying only: 'I desire peace. Leave me in peace here! I will not return. That is my will.'"

It's also important to note that the case of Míriel is a strange one because her husband wished to be wed again when she did not return. But if she should then return from the dead, Finwë would have two wives, which was not acceptable to the Elves. So the marriage has to be ended and the dead spouse forced to remain in Mandos forever. Laws and Customs speaks to this and states "the ending of will must proceed from the Dead, for the Living may not for their own purposes compel the Dead to remain thus, nor deny to them re-birth, if they desire it."

Later in Laws and Customs during a council of the Valar, Vairë spoke of Míriel's fëa saying "it is strong; proud and obdurate. It is of that sort who having said: this I will do, make their words a doom irrevocable unto themselves. She will not return to life..." So even were she given the opportunity, she would not have done it; she did not desire to return. But contrast this with the law put in place by the Valar. Once Finwë was remarried, Míriel could not return, for "if Míriel were rehoused, she would be again among the Living, and Finwë would have two spouses alive in Aman. Thus would the Statute be contravened, and my Doom set at naught." So she would never be given the opportunity because of the Doom she chose to remain among the Dead forever.

But after the death of Finwë, it appears he advocated for her release rather than his own (since only one could return). But Vairë thought Mandos would not let Míriel's Doom be revoked. But he relented "accepting the abnegation of Finwë as her ransom." She then returned to her body and entered the House of Vairë "although in that House none of the Living dwelt nor have others ever entered into it in the body." Thereafter, she used her skills in broidery to weave tapestries recounting the history of the Noldor.

This seems to be the last word on the subject, so I would guess it must be taken as is. It's how I like to take it anyway. Quite a beautiful story, I think.

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!

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