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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Did Men's Spirits go to Halls of Mandos or straight to the Timeless Halls?
Author Topic: Did Men's Spirits go to Halls of Mandos or straight to the Timeless Halls?
Soldier of Gondor
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Did Men's Spirits go to Halls of Mandos or straight to the Timeless Halls?

[ 07-25-2011, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: Calenlassiel ]

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The published Silmarillion: 'Some say that they too go to the halls of Mandos... and Mandos under Ilúvatar alone save Manwe knows wither they go after the time of recollection in those silent halls beside the Outer Sea.' [] 'But the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers.'

From the author's commentary on Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth 7) 'Since Men die, without accident, and whether they will to do so or not, their fear must have a different relation to Time. The Elves believed, though they had no certain information, that the fear of Men, if disembodied, left Time (sooner or later), and never returned. (Author's note *4 ...)' *note 4: 'Sooner or later. Because the Elves believed that the fear of dead Men also went to Mandos (...). There they waited until they were surrendered to Eru. The truth of this is not asserted ...' JRRT

Interesting to compare this commentary (note 4) with the Silmarillion statement above.

A couple of letters...

'The Doom (or the Gift) of Men is mortality, freedom from the circles of the world (...) ... mortality is not explained mythically: it is a mystery of God of which no more is known than that 'what God has purposed for Men is hidden.' [] '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.' JRRT

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Numenorean Sword Trainer
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Original post:
Did Men's Spirits go to Halls of Mandos or straight to the Timeless Halls?
They are the same place; men go there for a time, and then depart over the Outer Sea forever.

As Felagund says to Beren:

In the pits of Sauron Beren and Felagund lay, and all their companions were now dead; but Sauron purposed to keep Felagund to the last, for he perceived that he was a Noldo of great might and wisdom, and he deemed that in him lay the secret of their errand. But when the wolf came for Beren, Felagund put forth all his power, and burst his bonds; and he wrestled with the werewolf, and slew it with his hands and teeth; yet he himself was wounded to the death. Then he spoke to Beren, saying: 'I go now to my long rest in the timeless halls beyond the seas and the Mountains of Aman. It will be long ere I am seen among the Noldor again; and it may be that we shall not meet a second time in death or life , for the fates of our kindreds are apart. Farewell!' He died then in the dark, in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, whose great tower he himself had built. Thus King Finrod Felagund, fairest and most beloved of the house of Finwë, redeemed his oath; but Beren mourned beside him in despair.

Silmarillion, "Of Beren and Luthien

Here Felagund refers to Mandos as "the timeless halls," and so Men don't go there beyond a time of waiting (below).
Notice that Felagund also says that "we may not meet again," meaning that Felagund could return while Beren was still alive; but that if Beren died before that, then they would never meet again.


At the feet of Hírilorn the great beech Lúthien met them walking slow, and some bore torches beside the bier. There she set her arms about Beren, and kissed him bidding him await her beyond the Western Sea; and he looked upon her eyes ere the spirit left him. But the starlight was quenched and darkness had fallen even upon Lúthien Tinúviel. Thus ended the Quest of the Silmaril; but the Lay of Leithian, Release form Bondage does not end.
For the spirit of Beren at her bidding tarried in the halls of Mandos, unwilling to leave the world, until Lúthien came to say her last farewell upon the dim shores of the Outer Sea, whence Men that die set out never to return. But the spirit of Lúthien fell down into darkness, and at the last it fled, and her body lay like a flower that is suddenly cut off and lies for a while unwithered on the grass.


This indicates that the spirits of Men do go to Mandos, and then leave the world over the Outer Sea.

Thereafter is written:

But Mandos had no power to withhold the spirits of Men that were dead within the confines of the world, after their time of waiting; nor could he change the fates of the Children of Ilúvatar.
- Ibid.

So here it seems that Men not only go to Mandos, but they also have a "time of waiting" at Mandos before they leave the confines of the world; but they don't interact with the spirits of the Elves while there, as Felagund indicates by saying that he might not ever see Beren again in life or death. Otherwise if Beren died before Felagund returned, then they would meet in death.

So to answer the question: Men do go to Mandos for a time of waiting, but they don't see the Elves while there; then they depart the world over the Outer Sea, never to return.
Therefore (speculation) the Halls of Mandos must have separate halls for the spirits of men and elves.

[ 08-05-2011, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: Numenorean Sword Trainer ]

From: The Island Previously Known as Numenor | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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