The marring of men

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The marring of men

Post by chris63 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:47 am

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:51 am

I only ever read the first 4 Histroy of ME books. So this is new to me.

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Elthir on Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:04 am

Hmm, I actually responded (elsewhere) to part of this article in 2009. It went:

from the link: 'And indeed Elves are not truly immortal, since when the world eventually ends, they will die; and to Finrod it seems likely that this death will mean utter annihilation:'

"You see us...still in the first ages of being, and the end is far off.... But the end will come. That we all know. And then we must die; we must perish utterly, it seems, because we belong to Arda (in [body] and in [spirit]). And beyond that what? The going out to no return, as you say; the uttermost end, the irremediable loss?"

I realize this essay says 'it seems likely' to Finrod, but is this even so? [note 'fear' below is the plural of fea, an Elvish word roughly translated by 'spirit']

To my mind Finrod is raising a seeming possibility that must be entertained (at least) by the Eldar ('we'), but in the very next paragraph he says that beyond the day when the hunter shall blow the mort: '... we have no certainty, no knowledge. And no one speaks to us of hope.'

According to the Author's Commentary: 'It seemed clear to them that their hroar must then end, and therefore any kind of reincarnation would be impossible. All the Elves would then 'die' at the End of Arda. What this would mean they did not know.'

They did not know, but various Elves had various ideas. In any case the commentary then goes on to say that: 'The alternative: that their fear would also cease to exist at 'the End', seemed even more intolerable. Both absolute annihilation, and cessation of conscious identity, were wholly repugnant to thought and desire' -- and later that the Elves, in the last resort: '... were obliged to rest on 'naked estel' (and etc).

I would think Finrod's personal opinion would rather line up with this later estel-related section of the commentary, as to me it just seems out of character for him personally to hold such a view that the Elves would cease to exist at the Great End.

No one speaks to the Elves of hope, because (with emphasis on the last part of this sentence): 'Beyond the 'End of Arda' Elvish thought could not penetrate, and they were without any specific instruction.' (Commentary p. 331 Morgoth's Ring), but yet they were obliged to rest on estel, and trust in Eru.



I might have more to say here, but for now the more familiar title of the work under discussion is the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth published in Morgoth's Ring -- a conversation between Felagund and a mortal wise-woman who had fallen in love with one of Finrod's brothers.
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Re: The marring of men

Post by Lancebloke on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:41 pm

Does it not say somewhere that after the final battle, it is just the second lot of children of illuvatar that sing the second and greater song only? Does that assume then that the Elves will not form a part of anything further going forward? Or is there anything that suggests that they may possibly reside elsewhere?
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Re: The marring of men

Post by Elthir on Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:31 pm

The published Silmarillion notes...

'Death is their fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy. Yet, of old, the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it.'

But Morgoth's Ring has sections that speak more to the theoried fate of the Elves.


Part of the gift (considered a gift by Elves) is the release from the World compared to the life of the long-lived (a very long life in theory, as it extends to the End of the World), which can become a burden in ways. It has no necessary connection to annihilation at the ultimate death of Elves however.

Not that anyone here is suggesting this, but I have never agreed with the idea of a nihilistic fate of the Elves (the ultimate annihilation of even the spirits of Elves) especially as theoried to proceed from the Christian Tolkien. The Elves are Children of God and indeed we find traditions concerning them after the Great End, concering their participation within New Arda.

For example...
Laws And Customs Of The Eldar Notes, note iii: 'Fate of 'Immortal' Elves: ? to inhabit New Arda (or Arda Healed). Probably not, in a physical sense. (...) But New Arda or Arda Unmarred (Healed) would imply a continuance, beyond the End (or Completion). Of that nothing can be surmised. Unless it be this. Since the Elves (and Men) were made for Arda, the satisfaction of their nature will require Arda (without the malice of the Marrer): therefore before the Ending
the Marring will be wholly undone or healed (or absorbed into good, beauty, and joy). In that region of Time and Place the Elves will dwell as their home, but not be confined to it. (...) ' JRRT


Tolkien goes on to speak of another possibility, a New Arda 'rebuilt from the beginning without Malice' in which the Elves will take part. JRRT also goes into this in the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth and notes that both absolute annihilation and cessation of conscious identity were wholly repugnant to Elvish thought and desire, and the Elves were ultimately obliged to rest on naked estel, trusting in Eru 'that whatever He designed beyond the End would be recognized by each fea as wholly satisfying (at the least).'

Finrod describes his vision of Arda remade with the Eldar completed but not ended, abiding in the present forever, '... and there walk, maybe, with the Children of Men, their deliverers' Deliverers in what sense?

Tolkien also wrote that the Elves '... still believe that Eru's healing of all the griefs of Arda will come now by or through Men; but the Elve's part in the healing or restoration of the love of Arda, to which their memory of the Past and understanding of what might have been will contribute. Arda they say, will be destroyed by Wicked Men (or the wickedness in Men); but healed through the goodness in Men. The wickedness, the domineering lovelessness, the Elves will offset (...).'

Of course Tolkien himself did not publish this (nor his ultimate Silmarillion of course). Anyway, it is stated that the Valar say Men shall join in the Second Music, but Manwe alone knows what God has purposed for the Elves after the End (not that there is no purpose, but it is not stated), and that Men indeed die and leave 'that which they have made or marred'.

In the constructed Silmarillion there is also a passage stating that the Valar have not seen with sight concerning the End. An interesting part of a letter concering Elves and Men and ultimate destiny...
'It is in any case neither side was fully informed about the ultimate destiny of the other (...) But what the 'end of the world' portended for it or for themselves they did not know (though they no doubt had theories). Neither had they, of course any special information concerning what 'Death' portended for Men. They believed that it meant 'liberation from the Circles of the world', and was in that respect to them enviable. And they would point out to Men who envied them that a dread of ultimate loss, though it may be indefinitely remote, is not necessarily the easier to bear if it is in the end ineluctably certain: a burden may become heavier the longer it is born.' JRRT 1963 Letters


Note the 'dread of ultimate loss' exists for both the Children. Both need estel, both need to trust in Eru regarding life after death (in the case of the Elves, 'death' at the World's End here).
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Re: The marring of men

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Great lore as always Elthir- nothing to add to it really just wanted to say great read. (And if Mrs Figg would share her emoticons in a handy fashion I'd use the 'good work' one here!)

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:21 pm

Allora! I told you, tell me how and I will, I post them from photobucket.is that the problem?

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:39 pm

Well I would tell you exactly how to make the available for everyone Mrs Figg only, em, its all far to technical to explain, yes thats it! I dont want to upset your delicate female brain wih a lot of useless male information about technical things. {{{Phew got out of tht one!}}}

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Re: The marring of men

Post by halfwise on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:50 pm

{{{ I'm just going to sit back and watch this one happen. }}}

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:10 pm




I hope Ferguson can hold your popcorn bucket for any lengths of time Halfwise, this could get ugly.

Anyway If I can annoy you with dancing carrots surely it can't be that difficult? Suspect

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Re: The marring of men

Post by Elthir on Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:21 am

I should add... or maybe I shouldn't because I'm going on memory here... that I think JRRT notes that some Elves did believe they would, or might, cease to exist at the Great End, but this goes along with other theories of course, and what I mean above is that I would find it hard to believe that Tolkien would ever make the Elves ceasing to exist a 'fact'...

... if he were to go beyond the opinion of the internal characters of course, which I don't think he would do in any case, considering the topic. In past discussion about this I have had the feeling that some think it is unfair for the Elves to be both long-lived and continue to exist after the Great End (perhaps helping shape the opinion that the Elves cease to exist)...

... but I think this is a mortal perspective Wink


Well, Tolkien was mortal too but he notes in On Fairy Stories:

'And lastly there is the oldest and deepest desire, the Great Escape: the Escape from Death. Fairy-stories provide many examples and modes of this (...) Fairy-stories are made by men not by fairies. The Human-stories of the elves are doubtless full of the Escape from Deathlessness.'

JRRT

Luthien escaped!
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Re: The marring of men

Post by Orwell on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:03 am

Carrot and Luthien in the same thread. Wonderful.  Very Happy 

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