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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 121: What dreams may come

1st May 2014 (12:48)

Tolkien went through several different ideas on how Elvish death and immortality worked, but this is the one that made most sense to me. The basis is the short piece 'The Converse of Manwë and Eru' in 'Morgoth's Ring'.

Also, in 'Laws and Customs of the Eldar' it says, "Only those return whom, after Mandos has spoken the doom of release, Manwë and Varda bless". It's not clear whether Manwë and Varda possess this authority jointly or severally, though. Or maybe Manwë does the men and Varda does the women, or vice-versa.

Part 121: What dreams may come

Next time: Part 122: Judge of the Dead

Chibis by tektek.org
Original story by and copyright to J R R Tolkien, ed. C Tolkien: Primarily based on the Silmarillion, but incorporating ideas from the 12-volume History of Middle Earth series.
Questions and comments welcome!

PS: Yes, it's canon that God is slightly snarky about the Valar summoning the Elves to Valinor. Tolkien's actual text is,

Manwë said: "Is it Thy will that we should attempt these things? For we fear to meddle with Thy Children."

Eru answered: "Have I not given to the Valar the rule of Arda, and power over all the substance thereof, to shape it at their will under My will? Ye have not been backward in these things. As for my First-born, have ye not removed great numbers of them to Aman from the Middle-earth in which I set them?"


Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 1st May 2014 21:34 (UTC)
Feanorian penguins

What are the ethics of that, beyond pure 'might makes right'?

I think, perhaps, the Great Creator JRRT didn't always think things through exactly. Or he did, but left a variety of notes in which he pondered different possibilities in his waste bin, and under his bed, and as bookmarks, alongside his to-do list for his next lecture tour and a shopping list, and they somehow all turned into a book edited by Christopher...

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