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Old 09-10-2003, 03:46 PM   #41
Lush
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Sting

I am Eastern European, and I would like to point out that Evisse is right, but the desire to go on to a higher state is accepted by the Slavs when death becomes inevitable.

There is a saying in Russia "Dvum smertyam ne bivat' a odnoi ne minovat'" which translates as: "You can't die twice, but you must die once" which rings true throughout the culture.

The Eastern Europeans are therefore generally less squeamish about dying and death, but it is Ok to want to die once it is obvious your life is spent.

The same, I believe, goes for Numenor.
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:34 AM   #42
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Question

I enjoyed reading this fascinating discussion very much, and it has given me a lot of insight!
What bothers me is not so much Arwen's behaviour, but Aragorns. It's quite true, what Mr.Underhill wrote in his post (on 9.9.) about Aragorn not being sentimental. All the same, I always felt it was rather cruel of him to leave Arwen that way. I mean if he had been ill and hadto die, all these parting words of his would be fine. But he chose the moment to die . It must have been terrible for her, to be left like that! Couldn't they have made a sort compromise that he would stay a little longer and then lie down to die together side by side? (But then I guess I'm a hopeless romantic... This enigmatic,sad, yet not hopeless ending is of course much more suitable. Sigh. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] )
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:51 AM   #43
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No, he couldn't. It was his time to die, and he knew it. You don't have to see it as a punishment, but as a gift, as it is explained in the quote from the letters that Squatter has posted previously.

As Aragorn says to Arwen, they are to meet again, beyond the circles of the world:

Quote:
Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory, Farewell!"
Tale of Aragorn and Arwen; Appendix A
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Old 09-11-2003, 09:23 AM   #44
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Silmaril

I didn't say I saw it as a punishment! For Aragorn it seemed the right moment to go.(because he didn't want to " wither and fall from his high seat unmanned and witless" .) But if Arwen wasn't ready yet... couldn't he have taken a bit more consideration for his wife, who had given up everything for being together with him?

(btw, is this a kind of plea for suicide before one gets old and decrepit?!? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] )

[ September 11, 2003: Message edited by: Guinevere ]
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Old 09-11-2003, 09:40 AM   #45
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It was also Arwen's time to die, as Mr. Underhill has so brilliantly explained.

And of course, that is completely different to suicide. Suicide is done before your time to die arrives, and it is the result of pride and despair, as Gandalf says to Denethor:

Quote:
'And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death'[...]
'Come!' said Gandalf 'We are needed. There is much that you can yet do.'
The Pyre of Denethor; LotR
Denethor suicides when he still had things to do, in a moment of despair (of lack of hope). Compare this to Aragorn's death. Aragorn dies when his time has come, and full of Estel. In my opinion, this two deaths are completely different, I cannot see how Aragorn's death can be compared to suicide. Neither Arwen's.
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Old 09-07-2004, 06:36 PM   #46
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My thanks to Saucepan Man for the link to this most fascinating thread.
I wholeheartedly agree with Squatter’s view and don’t hope I’ll contribute much. Nevertheless here’s a couple of ideas.

Imho, Arwen’s decision was made for the sake of keeping an oath once given.
Quote:
I will cleave to you, Dunadan, and turn from the Twilight
That was Arwen’s choice on Cerin Amroth. So how could she remain after the man to whom she said this had been gone? Such a decision couldn’t be passive, she was following the path she had chosen.

Perhaps my following idea is too far-fetched and too human, but only after Aragorn’s death she understood the real bitterness of the Doom of Men she had chosen. When happy, we don’t tend to look far ahead. And in her elven past (three thousand years, right) she had got used to people living forever of dying ‘not forever’. And only losing her beloved did she fully realize what awaited her – or wasn’t able to realize, which made her more desperate. Could it be fear of the oncoming end as well, that quenched the light in her eyes? How long more would she last? In which way would she be reminded that the price must be paid? To my mind, Arwen’s seemingly hurried departure wasn’t passive submission to grief, but the second voluntary choice. She faced her doom with dignity, not playing for time or trying to get away. Btw, the book (I mean LotR) doesn’t mention anyone trying to stop her. Maybe her people were more understanding.
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
Yes, I don't see why not. But, having chosen mortality, she would remain mortal and so would eventually die in Valinor, just as Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and (presumably) Gimli did. I doubt that she would have been too keen to put her father and other relatives through the pain of separation a second time.
This makes sense, but just before the end, she has a strange conversation with Aragorn, where he asks her why doesn't she get on a ship and go West and she says it's too late, they've all gone. Am I missing something here about Arwen's mortality and her reasons for not going with Legolas and Gimli?
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:31 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Guinevere
But he chose the moment to die . It must have been terrible for her, to be left like that! Couldn't they have made a sort compromise that he would stay a little longer and then lie down to die together side by side? (But then I guess I'm a hopeless romantic... This enigmatic,sad, yet not hopeless ending is of course much more suitable. Sigh. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] )
As I vaguely recall, what he said was that either he went then, freely, or he'd just drop off the perch a little further on. He wanted to go with some dignity and he knew he'd lived as long as he could do that. And she might still have been hale and perky a little further on - are we talking a suicide pact here?
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