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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
If the King's men never came into power

Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Dec 25 2017, 11:37pm

Post #1 of 7 (1578 views)
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If the King's men never came into power Can't Post

If they never ruined Numenor, do you think the Valar would grant the numenorean immortal life, access to Valinor or even longer lifespan(1000-2000 years)


squire
Half-elven


Dec 26 2017, 12:16am

Post #2 of 7 (1568 views)
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That was never part of the deal [In reply to] Can't Post

The ruin of Numenor was a falling away from the original grant by the Valar: three times a normal Man's lifespan, and a blessed island providing every resource needed for a happy and prosperous life.

I have to say I can't see any of the things happening that you asked about, within the terms of the story we've been told:

A. The Valar were forbidden to make the Men immortal (in the sense that the Elves were - not actually immortal, but as long-lived as the world itself, whose end was many thousands of years still in the future).

B. But the ban on travel to Valinor goes with that, because the people of Valinor have that immortality, and for mortals, even blessed mortals like the Numenoreans, to go there would violate the law of the Valar. The law's purpose was that no mortals should bring the sadness of their 'gift' to trouble the Elves in a land where nothing dies.

C. A longer lifespan would be possible, one supposes, but such and extension of the 'gift' would be 1) not really any better than the current extended one, and 2) not warranted by any 'good behavior', i.e. not rebelling.

The Numenor story is a version of the 'original sin' story of Man and Woman in the Garden of Eden, and their Fall into Sin and Mortality. But a host of folk tales have the same kind of structure: a blessing is bestowed, with one unbreakable rule whose violation causes the blessing to be withdrawn. Think of Cinderella, having to be home by midnight; or Icarus, flying too close to the sun. It's the nature of gifts in myths of the Fall that there must be a catch, or chance to sin, so that the gifted one can show his or her worth by staying faithful out of free will. One doesn't get rewarded for staying faithful; one already has that reward!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Dec 26 2017, 1:20am

Post #3 of 7 (1559 views)
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Longer lifespan. [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, I agree with your points about the ban of Valar, but I do feel the Valar would give them a little reward of a longer lifespan. Numenorean during that time could live up to 500 years. If this was extended to 1000, I think the dissatifaction of not being immortal would be less. A 1000 years is a veeeeeeeeery long time.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 26 2017, 6:26am

Post #4 of 7 (1542 views)
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Only Elros lived to be 500. [In reply to] Can't Post

His descendants lived to be about 400 before they began to turn away from the Valar.

And I don't think the Numenoreans wold be satisfied with living 1,000 years anymore than they were satisfied with living 210 or 400.

"Ten thousand years wasn't enough ... no lifetime was enough, unless you lived it in such a way as to make it enough." -- Larry Niven, "Cautionary Tales" (1978).

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InTheChair
Rivendell

Dec 26 2017, 11:06am

Post #5 of 7 (1511 views)
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Maybe we're giving the Valar too much power. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not absolutely certain, but I don't think that the Valar could exted the Numenoreans lives just like that. The gift of the Valar to the Numenoreans was the island. Presumably their longer life came from that and other traditions they brought from the Elves of Beleriand and Valinor. Traditions can't be changed by snapping your finger though. Even had the Valar tried to do something to extend the lives of men, it is unlikely that the Numenoreans had believed them at that time.

To them, the secret of longer life lay with the land, and in Valinor they knew the Elves lived forever, as it seemed. So far as I know, only Eru could have lengthened the lifespan of Ar-Pharazon, if he had been so minded, or possibly Sauron could have preserved him through necromancy like he did with the ringwraiths, but it is not known how long that would last, or if Ar-Pharazon would have been interested.

Of course the Numenoreans as a people could themselves have lengthened their lifespans by interbreeding with elves, if the elves would have been up for it, but that would not have benefitted Ar-Pharazon who was at the end of his time.


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Dec 26 2017, 11:16pm

Post #6 of 7 (1432 views)
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Maybe the Valar should have let Numenor visit Valinor? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not staying there permantly, high ranking officers or kings could be allowed to visit Valinor. And I do think the Valar has the power to extend the numenorean lifespan. Or maybe the Valar can promise them some sort of afterlife after death?


squire
Half-elven


Dec 26 2017, 11:34pm

Post #7 of 7 (1430 views)
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If the Gods have to make concessions to Man to prevent his Fall, Man has fallen already. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think we are supposed to brainstorm how the Valar could have prevented the Fall of Numenor. If anything, we should be contemplating how the Men of Numenor could have prevented themselves from being corrupted. It's pretty clear that Sauron merely took advantage of trends that were already present in the society.

The question Tolkien presents is: is Man always doomed to fall? Will we ever learn to use the brains, ability to love, and simple good sense that we have been given, for more than the brief span of a mythical Golden Age some time in the past?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

 
 

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