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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » How long elves stays in mandos (Page 1)
Author Topic: How long elves stays in mandos
Tar-Aldarion
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How long has the elves to be in mandos befor they can return.
and must fëanor stay there longer than the others?

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For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest.

— Fëanor, from the Quenta Silmarillion.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Great question!

I do not believe that there is any set time limit that a fea must remain in Mandos awaiting rebirth. I believe that the length of time between death and rebirth depends upon the way that particular elf lived and died. I think some people have even compared the Halls of Mandos with the Catholic idea of purgatory. Glorfindel probably came back fairly quickly, as he lived a model life and died facing the balrog over Gondolin, trying to save the people of the city. Feanor was not reincarnated. His Rebellion was too much, and I believe that he showed no remorse.

I apologize that I don’t have particular quotes handy. But I know that you just bought HoME X. I think Laws and Customs among the Eldar and Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth should have some good information. They are not easy essays, but are very, very good. If no one else beats me to it, I’ll be back when I have some spare time with quotes.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Here are some quotes that may help.

quote:
It was not lawful for the Valar to force a fea to return; but they could impose conditions, and judge whether return should be permitted at all, and if so, in what way or after how long. [Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, Morgoth’s Ring]
quote:
The length of time that they dwelt in Waiting was partly at the will of Namo the Judge, lord of Mandos, partly at their own will. The happiest fortune, they deemed, was after the Waiting to be reborn, for so the evil and grief that they had suffered in the curtailment of their natural course might be redressed. [Of Death and the Severance of Fea and Hröa, Morgoth’s Ring]
quote:
Not all who died suffered innocently. Moreover, some fear in grief or weariness gave up hope, and turning away from life relinquished their bodies, even though these might have been healed or were indeed unhurt. Few of these latter desired to be re-born, not at least until they had been long in ‘waiting’; some never returned. Of the others, the wrong-doers, many were held long in ‘waiting’, and some were not permitted to take up their lives again. [Of Re-birth and Other Dooms of Those that Go to Mandos, Morgoth’s Ring]
quote:
But if they were slain or wasted with griefm they died not from the earth, and their spirits went back to the halls of Mandos, and there waited, days or years, even a thousand, according to the will of Mandos and their deserts. [A note on certain conceptions in the story of Finwe and Miriel, Morgoth’s Ring

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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The only example I know is Glorfindel, who perished in the Fall of Gondolin in I 510, and was afterward first mentioned in the Battle of Fornost, III 1975.

So we have the following interrim period where he may have been at Mandos:

First age: 510-583= 73 years;
Second Age: 3441 years;
Third age: 1975 years.

Thus, he would have stayed in Mandos for a maximum of 5489 years.

Note that this is just a Maximum; in TPOME (HOME XII), Tolkien implies that Glorfindel returned to Middle-Earth in the mid-second ge (c. II 1700), or as a companion to the Istari in the first age (c. III 1000).

This would leave a maximum of 4514 years, and possibly much less.

[ 04-03-2006, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Ulairë Gordis
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As far as I remember, Tolkien was undecided when Glorfindel returned to ME.
He had two ideas: in the middle of the Second Age - via Numenor, or in the Third Age, together with the Istari. I think, he was more inclined to the former. It must be somewhere in Unfinished Tales.

Edit: No, it is not there it seems...Where did I read it then? []

[ 04-03-2006, 05:50 PM: Message edited by: Ulairë Gordis ]

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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As I wrote, "TPOME: HOME XII--" which is "The Peoples of Middle-earth-- History of Middle Earth volume 12."
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Ulairë Gordis
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Ok, so I did remember it correctly, then, just forgot the source. [] .

Perhaps Glorfindel just stayed in Valinor, but not in Mandos, for some time after being refleshed/reborn. It is impossible to give an estimate of time he spent in the Halls.

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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But we can fix a maximum time-- that's a start.
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Tar-Aldarion
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thanks a lot for finding this out.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest.

— Fëanor, from the Quenta Silmarillion.

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Arorë Silvertongue
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Very interesting. Good question, good answers and an interesting read. (nice and short but very informative)

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
~J.R.R. Tolkien


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Q
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Some elves wouldn't have to go there at all...they just live on in Valinor.

The walls of Mandos are suppose to be too strong for forms such as spirits to get out of. But Melkor was pardoned. It's my theory that Melkor's was a special case in which forces beyond his own control gave him leave of it's depths. Feanor was just an elf, but if he were victorious over Morgoth in his last bout with him, his soul might have been freed from Mandos as Glorfindel's was. The Valar would have to give him a second chance, since he would have corrected a mistake of theirs (which was consenting to Melkor's freedom). Normally the Valar are the ones who have to correct the mistakes of mortals, or help them to realize them, as Mandos' sister does through the power of pity and tears on their behalf.

Elves weren't made to die anyways, so that would mean that they had the freedom to petition for release from Mandos.

[ 04-07-2006, 04:54 AM: Message edited by: MANDOS ]

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Thingol of Doriath
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quote:
Feanor was just an elf, but if he were victorious over Morgoth in his last bout with him, his soul might have been freed from Mandos as Glorfindel's was.
You've got to be kidding... what about the Kinslaying, the Oath, the burning of the ships? I don't think beating Morgoth would have erased all of his crimes that simply.
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Arorë Silvertongue
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Not at all. It might atone for them, but not nullify them. It wouldn't grant him any special privlages, only make it so he wouldn't suffer for all eternity for his crimes/mistakes.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
~J.R.R. Tolkien


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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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quote:
It was not lawful for the Valar to force a fea to return
Thorin, could you clarify this please? The Valar were not allowed to force a fea to return to Middle-earth or to the Halls of Mandos?
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Q
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Arore,

Who said anything about suffering eternally? The halls of Mandos were only a place meant for the storage of souls. There is no fire or torture mentioned, only a dark place to contemplate your deeds done in ME. Again, Melkor's was a special case in this arena too, as darkness would only serve as a strategic place to contemplate his future overthrow of the Valar. Nothing in existence could "gently" cause him to contemplate his own faults, so only an inundation of horrifying stimulation could knock his mind free from the burden of planning an escape from an unescapable place.

[ 04-07-2006, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: MANDOS ]

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Arorë Silvertongue
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No, Feanor might not suffer as we consider suffering, but my opinion is that he would not be happy in the Halls of Mandos for he could not continue his quest to recover his beloved Silmarili.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
~J.R.R. Tolkien


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The Witch-King of Angmar
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quote:
Not at all. It might atone for them, but not nullify them. It wouldn't grant him any special privlages, only make it so he wouldn't suffer for all eternity for his crimes/mistakes.

quote:
No, Fëanor might not suffer as we consider suffering, but my opinion is that he would not be happy in the Halls of Mandos for he could not continue his quest to recover his beloved Silmarili.

What makes you think that there's a Hell in Arda, or other place of punishment? It's my understanding that the Halls of Waiting are a place of learning and healing, rather than punishment:

quote:
Mightier than Estë is Nienna, sister of the Fëanturi; she dwells alone. She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor. So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began. But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. Her halls are west of West, upon the borders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom. The windows of her house look outward from the walls of the world.
True, Fëanor never seemed to return from Mandos in the story, therefore he didn't recover by the time of the War of the Ring, as far as we know; however that's 7045 years. That's not a long time by Elves' reckonings in the Undying Lands. It's not forever.

But then again, we don't really know; Gandalf wouldn't speak of events outside of Middle-Earth, and he only said of the palantíri that "Fëanor himself, maybe, wrought them, in days so long ago that the time cannot be measured in years."

(Although we're not sure Fëanor made them; the text only states that "crystals he made also, wherein things far away could be seen small but clear, as with the eyes of the eagles of Manwë." But this could simply mean some type of telescope).

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Tar-Aldarion
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seem too remember gandalf speaking too himself about how he would wish too see fëanor again and look at him working.
i guess he was just remembering backwards too before they left aman.
but maybe has come back too valinor at that time.

think it was on the horseback with pippin after he had looked in too the palantir.
don´t have the book here now but im gonna check it up when i come home

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest.

— Fëanor, from the Quenta Silmarillion.

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Tar-Aldarion
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quote:
Even now my heart desires to test my will upon it, to see if I could not wrench it from him and turn it where I would-to look across the wide seas of water and of time to Tirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Fëanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!' He sighed and fell silent.
yup... he´s thinking about the good old days.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest.

— Fëanor, from the Quenta Silmarillion.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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I would think it appropriate that Feanor would have to stay until the consequences of his works finally perished. So that would probably be when the Ring was destroyed at the end of the third age.
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The Witch-King of Angmar
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What did Fëanor have to do with the Rings of Power? As for his works, I believe it's written that Eärendil would sail the Outer Void with the Last Silmaril until Melkor returned at the Final Battle in the Second Music, and Túrin would return to destroy him once and for all.
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Eluchil
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Wiki :
quote:
The only example I know is Glorfindel,
I guess you meant example of Elves coming back from Mandos. In this case, we know two other examples : Míriel and Finrod. But we have no date for their returns.

Silmah :
quote:
Thorin, could you clarify this please? The Valar were not allowed to force a fea to return to Middle-earth or to the Halls of Mandos?
Neither : "to return" means "to return to the life in the body".

Which brings me to this : Thorin's quotes still illustrate the old idea of Elvish incarnation : through rebirth.
However, Tolkien changed his mind on this, and finally concluded that Elves could be reincarnated ("rehoused") in their former body reconstituted by the Valar (see the discussion following The Converse of Manwë and Eru in HoMe X).

On Fëanor's return : according to the Second Prophecy of Mandos, Fëanor will not return from the Halls of Mandos before the end of time. However, it should not be forgotten that this Prophecy is a Númenórean legend and is probably not very reliable.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Well, Witch-king, Feanor was the person who was largely responasble for the Noldor leaving Valinor, which did not have einterely good consequences, so it would be appropriate that he would stay in the Halls of Mandos until the Noldor returned. I.E at the end of the Third age. Also as that was the last event which the Noldor was a part of in Middle-Earth maybe the Gods thought that was a decent time for Feanor to come back. Another question. When did Feanor's father Finwe return to Valinor?
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Eluchil
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According to Laws and Customs, Finwë never returned from the halls of Mandos, as a consequence of the "Statute of Finwë and Míriel" : Indis lives, and Míriel returned to the life in the body after the death of Finwë. His two wives being "alive and awake", Finwë can't be permited to leave Mandos.

[ 11-15-2006, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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That seems a bit harsh. Poor Finwe never swore any evil oath or slew his own kin. It wasn't his fault the deeds of Feanor.
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