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 Post subject: Question about Elves..
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Hello everyone. :) This is my first post and first thread on this discussion board. My name is Gilgaearel Baen and I warn you that English is not my first language as I'm an Elf after all.
I have a query about Elves attitude though, that I hope to be answered by the more wise of my kin.
And here is my question:
Why did the Elves feel so sad towards the option to move back to Valinor?
Valinor is presented as a beautiful place, a green land, safe from Orcs and others such creatures, where elves can live the rest of their immortal lives there without the danger to be slain, fade etc.
Noldor elves should be the ones that ought to be not only willing to move there but some how enthusiastic for being allowed to go back there, by the time that their exile on Middle Earth ended ( at the end of the third Age) but the rest of the Elves too, Sindar or Silvan etc. shouldn't have had any problem either, especially by the time that they could move back there whenever they liked.
But Tolkien presents their return to Valinor like a rather bitter and inevitable event that brings them sorrow, something that doesn't make that much sense to me no matter how many times I have read Tolkien's books.
So I would appreciate if someone could give me a good explanation about why the Elves were not that willing to move there and they didn't attempt to do that earlier, ( those that could and were asked to do after all) during the Second Age for instance.
What was their problem?!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:20 pm 
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Hi Gidgaearel, welcome to the Hall of Fire. I think the answer to your question is simply that the Elves have a deep love and connection with the land of Middle-earth and are loath to break that connection. At the same time, the world is changing and the age of Men rapidly approaching, and their passing into the West is a form of their fading. I'll be curious to see if others have any thoughts on this interesting subject.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Hi Voronwë.. Well... their deep love and connection doesn't make either any sense. Middle Earth was a place where they were continuously in trouble. They had to deal with Orcs, Dragons, Balrogs, Morgoth, Sauron, Mordor, Dwarves, spider, everything and anything was against them. Let alone that everything on Middle Earth grew old and died at some point. Middle Earth was in a state of continuous change, something that didn't match that well with the immortality of the Elves and something that troubled them further when they made the rings with the intention to retain everything at the immortal, unchanged state that they were in.
That was the reason they made the rings. In order to retain everything unchanged.
The normal would be to go back in Valinor, I least those who could do so. But they didn't. And when it came the time for all Elves to move back there, they didn't like the idea... :?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:35 pm 
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Well, I've developed a deep love for the land that I live in despite many hardships and much evil. And I have only been around for a scant 50+ years. The Elves spent thousands of years developing their connection with the mountains, rivers, trees, etc. Does it make logical sense that they would not be anxious to return to (or go to) the paradise of the Undying Lands? No, of course not. But Tolkien did not work only on the level of logic. And of course, it is not so simple as to say that they did not want to go. From my own namesake to Legolas Greenleaf, the Tales are full of examples of Elves in whom the sea-longing is awoken by little more than the sound of the cries of gulls, which is nothing more than the desire to find the Straight Path into the West.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:57 am 
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Hi, Gilgaerel, and welcome.

Voronwë is a lore master when it comes to Tolkien, and I have little to add to what he said. So let me ask you instead, why do you think Tolkien wrote it the way he did?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:18 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Well, I've developed a deep love for the land that I live in despite many hardships and much evil. And I have only been around for a scant 50+ years. The Elves spent thousands of years developing their connection with the mountains, rivers, trees, etc. Does it make logical sense that they would not be anxious to return to (or go to) the paradise of the Undying Lands? No, of course not. But Tolkien did not work only on the level of logic. And of course, it is not so simple as to say that they did not want to go. From my own namesake to Legolas Greenleaf, the Tales are full of examples of Elves in whom the sea-longing is awoken by little more than the sound of the cries of gulls, which is nothing more than the desire to find the Straight Path into the West.


They were connected but always in the concept of their immortality. For as long as they could retain their environment unchanged. Middle earth wasn't their "place" as all other species, men, dwarves, animals and the environment that they lived in, had limited lifespan. That becomes very clear in all of the books. All elves have some kind of sorrow, Tolkien describes all of his elf characters as fair, ageless, untouched by time and in a state of sorrow.
The other day I thought that, this was perhaps the reason why the Elves were mostly connected with the trees. Because trees live for hundreds and some for thousand years.

The sea-longing existed during the Second Age too, but the elves didn't leave either. They used their rings of power to retain their strongholds and places, and remained isolated in their own communities. The Noldors didn't have the right to go back, but what about the Sindars and the Silvans that were actually of Teleri origin?


Frelga wrote:
Voronwë is a lore master when it comes to Tolkien, and I have little to add to what he said. So let me ask you instead, why do you think Tolkien wrote it the way he did?


Hi Frelga. :)
Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but he didn't have any control on how his son edited his material for the Silmarillion. I think that if Tolkien himself had to edit the Silmarillion, by gathering and editing himself whatever he wrote for this book, he would have changed or adjusted probably some story lines in order not to contradict with what he wrote or he was suggesting that were happened on the other books.

Let me give you another example of how some stories have.... continuity errors! It is something that I noticed the other day while I was reading the Chronology part at the end of the Lord of the Rings.

Arwen was born at the year 241 of the Third Age.
And Aragorn was born at the year 2931 of the same Age.
So Arwen was 2690 year older than Aragorn, something that makes her... quite an old maid even for elven standards according to what Tolkien wrote in his Laws and Customs of the Eldar about the Elves that supposedly got married at a rather young for their standards age. So how did it happen and Arwen was unmarried ( such beautiful and high born lady!) for 2710 years, until she met Aragorn during his twenties?

The romantic element of her abandoning her immortality for Aragorn's love doesn't have the same impact if you realise that she had already lived for 2710 years. When he died after another 150 years she was already 2860 y.o. Not in her first youth, even for elven standards!

Details you are going to tell me, but then again it is the details that make the difference. :)


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