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Minas Tirith Forums » History of Middle-earth » Did Tolkien change his perception of Elves' lifespans? (Page 2)
Author Topic: Did Tolkien change his perception of Elves' lifespans?
The White Hand
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Varna
quote:
The Bible (the last two chapters of Revelation) talks about a new Heaven and a new Earth, saying that God will dwell with Men in the Holy City in the new Earth.
Arda is something like that, but Melkor, Sauron and all the others will be there as well, except it'll turn out better this time since they did all their beta-testing in Arda 1.0; LotR and the Silm were simply a list of the main "features" (techie-speak for "bugs").
In Judeo-Christian literature it's more horrendous, what with casting all the bad people and creatures into the lake of fire and what not-- which is somewhat disturbed, since I sure couldn't go on living in Heaven diddling my harp while knowing about all that suffering going on down there, it's like the New World denizens living high on the hog obvlivious to the suffering in the slave-pits... oh yeah, they called themselves "Christians" too.
I think that's why Arda is different, i.e. it involves a more complex and forward-thinking philosophy, like Christianity was supposed to be before the Romans got their stoic hooks into it.

[ 12-11-2010, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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In yet another thread a citizen who has left now, says
quote:
New Arda (Arda Envinyanta) will be what Arda should have been (Arda Alahasta), without the Melkor-ingredient, but even more beautiful. Actually, it is something beyond our imagination.

It's significant that Tolkien only talks about his equivalent of the Biblical New Earth, and doesn't mention Hell at all - I would say not even Heaven.

The closest he gets to a current Hell (as of Arda 1.0, Arda Marred) would be the Void, where Melkor is cast out, to be released at the end of Time / of Arda Marred. According to the 2nd Prophecy of Mandos (said to be a Numenorean legend) this is when Melkor will be conquered.

Arda Envinyanta will be without the Morgoth, without the Enemy - but will that be because Melkor is then finally, eternally, confined to the Void, or because he has been reformed and will now sing in the Second Music without any discord?

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
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quote:
It's significant that Tolkien only talks about his equivalent of the Biblical New Earth, and doesn't mention Hell at all - I would say not even Heaven.
The sky is called "over-Heaven," but there's also Aman which was removed from the world. The idea of Hell is punitive, which obviously Tolkien saw as counterintutive with regard to redemption and forgiveness, and therefore was expunged from his mythology that was based on Catholicism. Indeed, Hell is derived from the concept of exile into the scorching Middle-eastern deserts, just as people today think of Paradise (literally meaning for "anti-suffering") as a tropical garden; so perhaps Tolkien thought it best that both concepts be revised altogether as Old Testament dinosaurs in favor of something more in line with benevolent Catholicism.

quote:
The closest he gets to a current Hell (as of Arda 1.0, Arda Marred) would be the Void, where Melkor is cast out, to be released at the end of Time / of Arda Marred. According to the 2nd Prophecy of Mandos (said to be a Numenorean legend) this is when Melkor will be conquered.
Again, anything that's not expressly published is mere dicta, and not reliable; why would all but Morgoth be restored unmarred?
The Void was always something that Melkor found most alluring, spending most of his time there before coming to Earth. Likewise, Eärendil also sails the Void in order to keep watch against Morgoth's returning.
Analyzing, however, this comes to the idea of the Redemption, i.e. the time in which Free Will triumphs over evil; for Tuor is the one who is legended to defeat Morgoth, and he is likewise the quintessential hero personifying the tragic "flaw" of human freedom-- which made Melkor fear men more than anything, being the highest essence of the Flame Imperishable that he sought to control.

quote:
Arda Envinyanta will be without the Morgoth, without the Enemy - but will that be because Melkor is then finally, eternally, confined to the Void, or because he has been reformed and will now sing in the Second Music without any discord?
I'd say that that's a "quantum paradox," in which he does both; for the potential for discord is the essence of Free Will, but actual discord is the essence of evil.
So how can he have the potential to choose it, but not do so?
Therein lies the triumph, I deem; for without Free Will life cannot exist; maybe he's just learned healthy coping-skills and protocols.

[ 12-15-2010, 04:56 AM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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The triumph, in the Redemption, and in the Healing.

Finrod says that there's a difference between Arda Unmarred and Arda Healed - the new Arda won't go back to being Unmarred, it will now be Healed, which is something even greater.

So perhaps as you say even Melkor is healed, then, and chooses not to choose discord.

It's probably not orthodox catholisism, but this is only Tolkien's version anyway. And he hadn't finalized his theories about it either.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
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It's the antithesis of saying "without evil there can be no good, so it must be good to be evil" etc.
Of course this is an oxymoron; so Arda Marred would be the phase which utilizes evil for Free Will, while Arda Unmarred will have free will without evil.
This also seems slightly similar to the moral parodied by Monty Python in "Time Bandits," where the Supreme Being created evil for the purposes of Free Will, and then he destroys it for use in completing his plan for the universe.

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