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Old 12-21-2005, 06:36 PM   #1
Captain Grishnahk
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The Eye Middle Earth "afterlife"

Like in this world we live in, there is a Heaven and a Hell. And in Middle Earth, i think the thing that represents Heaven is the Halls of Mandos (or somthing like that, i haven't read the Silmarilion yet). I was wondering, is there a Middle Earth Hell-like place? I hope i'm not offending anyone. But when an Easterling dies, where would he go?

Another question, if an orc dies, does it go to some place like an evil man would, or because it has been made does it just die like a dog, and not go anywhere... it's just the end.

For the longest time i thought it was like the void or somthing, or the aybss. But i'm not wholy sure.

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Old 12-21-2005, 06:47 PM   #2
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you're not quite right.

ELVES (good and bad) go to the halls of mandos. No-one (possibly not even the valar) know where peiple go. As you're newer (weaker in convincing people) then me, I won't argue real-world theology with you.
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:03 PM   #3
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As Bergil says all elves goes to the halls of Mandos, unless they chose mortalety.They are not decribet as good or bad place to be, infact I beliv if you have been "good" you might get reincarnated. I see it more as a neutral place. . .
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:07 PM   #4
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Mandos is really just a place of waiting. It's more like purgatory than heaven or hell. There is no 'heaven and hell' for elves. Not until the end of the world, anyway. As long as Arda exists, they remain inside.

Elves cannot 'choose mortality.' They can be slain, and die from grief. That is all.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:18 AM   #5
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Elves cannot 'choose mortality.' They can be slain, and die from grief. That is all.
Actually they can. Take Luthien for example! She chose to become mortal and live her last years together with Beren. It was more complex than just choosing mortality, but that was the outcome of it. Because of her "labours and her sorrow" Iluvatar himself (through Manwe) gave her the choice to go back to ME as a mortal. It had never been granted before and haven't since, but it is possible to become mortal.

Elros and Arwen also chose mortality, but as there's Man-blood in their veins they might be a special case.

I think Captain Grishnahk offers us an interesting question concerning orcs, a question I've wondered about myself. If we go by the corrupted-elf theory, should they go to the halls of Mandos? I can't imagin filthy orcs in the halls were all the waiting elves dwells... But do they leave the confines of the world, like men? The unknown fate of the men was considered a gift, so why would the orcs be granted such a gift? I think I've heard a theory that stated that the orcs came to the Halls of Mandos, but to a part separated from the elven halls, but I don't know if it was based on any real information from Tolkien.

And what happens to the dogs? And cows and horses and cats and.... Do they just disappear? And what about Ents and Eagles, both inhabited by "spirits from afar", do they go to Valinor when they're physical body die? There's much to discuss in this topic...

If we assume that animals just disappear, that should been htat they are considered soul-less, or am I wrong? But what about a horse like Shadowfax, can he be considered nothing more than a transport from point A to point B? I think not.

Someone of the Masters in Lore of Tolkien on the site, please help me out here!
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:47 AM   #6
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Someone of the Masters in Lore of Tolkien on the site, please help me out here!
Well, if you're done disputing with him, Legolas might help you out.

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Elves cannot 'choose mortality.'
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Actually they can.
I believe that Legolas' point was that Elves are not themselves able to choose between mortality and immortality. They are immortal by default. The choice was granted only to a select few (none of whom were of pure Elvish blood), by the grace of Eru Iluvatar.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:03 AM   #7
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I know that it's not the afterlife, but according to this Elvish translator, 'Hell' is translated as 'Angband'.

I don't know about Elves, but I seem to remember that when Saruman died, he tried to return to the West, but was denied. I would assume that he was cast into the Void. Ergo, I would make the assumption that the Void is the 'Hell' of Arda and is reserved for the evil Maiar and Valar.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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Well, as much as I cannot say that Eru is G'd, I shan't say that there actually IS a heaven or hell. Valinor is probably as close to heaven as it gets in Arda. A perfect land in which nothing ever decays and where the gods (Valar) live. I guess the notion of hell is shown both in evil on earth (Hell being translated to Angband) and the void. We should note that the void is not exactly a place of punishment, besides that whoever is in the void cannot go back to Arda and so all the power and everything the 'voidee' has done in Middle Earth is lost for him.

I guess it is more of a psychological punishment (you can't go back even though you want to) than a fiery hell.

That's my point of view, although I might be mistaken in the notion of hell as I must say I don't believe in it.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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Would 'heaven' not be wherever Eru is? In that case, does Eru live within or without the world and heavens that he created? I think that Eru may exist in the Void himself, and if he does then this may be the location of the 'heaven' where Men go when they die. Whether or not it is a tangible place I could not say. Maybe things only have physical presence once they have left the Void, which may explain why it was a suitable place for Melkor to be sent to; he may have been unable to do harm there.

The Void is not a place where solely evil things are banished to, as beings have entered Arda from the Void, e.g. Ungoliant, who is not evil to begin with. Possibly Tom Bombadil (but I won't be opening cans of worms tonight).

Does hell exist in Ea? I'm not so sure that it does. To take the example of the Elves, even the most wicked of Elves are still allowed to enter the Halls of Mandos. They may not be permitted to become incarnate again, but neither are they denied entry to this place. And as an aside, I don't equate Valinor with Heaven, firstly as the Elves simply are not dead, secondly as it reminds me more of lost land of heroes, unreachable by mere mortals.

What happened to Saruman? I think that when he was rejected as his Hroa died, he was simply denied entrance to Valinor, maybe he was even denied by Eru. This would surely be as much Hell to an inhabitant of Ea as anything, denial by Eru himself, being left to find a way in the world without him.

Now as to the Orcs, I think that there is an Orcish equivalent of the Halls of Mandos. The Orcs may have been corrupted or bred from Elves, but surely their essential nature as deathless beings would not have been able to be altered? They could not have been immortal and then be made to be mortal, as surely this 'gift' would be in the hands of Eru alone? That the Witch King threatens Eowyn with 'The Halls of Lamentation' may suggest something of what happens to a slain Orc. Melkor was the most powerful of the Valar, and Sauron possibly most powerful of the Maiar; it could be possible that they could make a mockery of the Halls of Mandos. But unlike the Elves, the Orcs may simply be reborn and sent right back into Middle-earth (would solve the problem of how they are 'bred' at any rate ). It's an idea worth looking at' though most of us would veer towards addressing and studying the workings of the side of Light rather than the workings of Darkness.

Perhaps for Men in Middle-earth there is no Hell at all apart from what they make for themselves or what they are enslaved into. Even those Men who do go over to Sauron's side in the War of the Ring are forgiven by Aragorn, perhaps Eru would also forgive them?
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:19 PM   #10
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Would 'heaven' not be wherever Eru is? In that case, does Eru live within or without the world and heavens that he created? I think that Eru may exist in the Void himself, and if he does then this may be the location of the 'heaven' where Men go when they die. Whether or not it is a tangible place I could not say. Maybe things only have physical presence once they have left the Void, which may explain why it was a suitable place for Melkor to be sent to; he may have been unable to do harm there.
I have allways seen Eru as All Pressent. Meaning that he is not restrictet to one place in particular, but is everywhere at once and therefor all knowing.
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:44 PM   #11
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I have allways seen Eru as All Pressent. Meaning that he is not restrictet to one place in particular, but is everywhere at once and therefor all knowing.
I've considered this one myself, but came to the conclusion that Eru may be more likely to be a 'remote' God, rather than a God who infuses every part of his creation - simply because in the Silmarillion, Eru is seen to 'show' the Ainur what has been created, and they must consciously decide to 'enter' Ea. However, I think it could also be said that Eru is indeed embodied in his own creation; this seems to hang on the nature of the Secret Fire for me - is it the 'root' of life in Ea? If that makes sense.
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:58 PM   #12
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I've considered this one myself, but came to the conclusion that Eru may be more likely to be a 'remote' God, rather than a God who infuses every part of his creation - simply because in the Silmarillion, Eru is seen to 'show' the Ainur what has been created, and they must consciously decide to 'enter' Ea. However, I think it could also be said that Eru is indeed embodied in his own creation; this seems to hang on the nature of the Secret Fire for me - is it the 'root' of life in Ea? If that makes sense.
I guess that by remote god you mean a god like the one in the new testament who has greatet the world and kind of lean back to see it unfold, opposit to the one in the old testament who directly interfeer with the people of earth.

Even if Eru was this remote god, he could still be pressent with out interfeering. The thing that makes me think that he is not in one place is that I see him as not beeing carnatet.

or do you mean that he has made Arda and has left it to the valar as their playground. A playground where he does not know what is happening, unless ManwŰ asks for his asistance?
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:42 PM   #13
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Mandos is not seen as heaven or hell. Like Hades in Greek mythology, there is no 'good or bad' as long as you recognize the gods, so there is no good or bad place to go.
And for the 'if an orc dies', what happens when a tree dies? Orcs are not considered for there own actions, 'free will' may be debatable in this, as they have a choice to kill their buddy or not, but they do not have a choice between good and evil. Orcs should be considered as animals, and not because of their ferocity, but because they are not Children. Dwarves for instance have no proof of what happens to them excpt: The theory of them going back the ground which they sprung from,' which we know they have wemon like every other normal race, and that they think they have a specail place in Mandos for when they help Aule in the rebuilding of Arda. Since neither Aule, Mandos, or Eru said anything of the dwarves afterlife, and they said nothing about Ents or cows anyway, we make the 'afterlife' connection that dwarves are not Children. (We know that anyway) The dwarves are special ina way that they have the Flame Imperishable. I dont see how orcs with the lack of the Flame would have any afterlife to go to, since without the Flame you can not be considered for your well being and actions unto others.
Since we can say nothing about Men's life after death, other than it is good because Eru granted them it, we can not say anything about how a mans life affectes his 'afterlife'.
So what? What i say is this: Without the Flame Imperishable, there is no afterlife for that race because it would be pointless. Wouldnt all orcs go to ha 'hell'? They cant help it because they have no control. And wouldnt all plants go to a heaven? No.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:41 AM   #14
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Orcs being a mutilated form of Elves given, they do possess the Flame Imperishable, meaning that they must experience some sort of afterlife. Whether they would go to Mandos or not is debatable. One of the strongest criticisms of Tolkien is the clear distinction between good and evil, and the inability of the orcs to repent. Born evil, would they be destined to punishment simply for existing? A merciful Eru would surely simply destroy them, though we are now venturing into personal opinion.

As for the Eagles, Mearas, etc, they are inhabited by Maiar and would simply return to Valinor if the Hroa were killed.

One of the things that appeals to me a lot in LotR is the mystery surrounding the afterlife. However much we debate, that's not going to be solved.
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:37 AM   #15
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As for the Eagles, Mearas, etc, they are inhabited by Maiar and would simply return to Valinor if the Hroa were killed.
Are the Eagles really Maiar of Valinor? They are "spirits from afar" sent by Eru to inhabit the creations of Manwe (and Yavanna: the Ents). Look at the quote provided in
this post concerning a different topic... Now, if the spirits are from some place outside the world (that's the way I interpret the text but i might be wrong), why would they then go to Valinor, why not leave the world and go back to wherever they came from?

And the Mearas, are they Maiar? I can't remember reading that anywhere, but as with everything else there's a possibility that I'm wrong...

Just to clear things up: I'm not questioning if Maiar with origin in Valinor go there when they're body dies, but rather the origin of spirits in for example Eagles, Ents and Mearas.
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:09 PM   #16
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Actually they can. Take Luthien for example!
Er...the only example?

Luthien did not "give up" her immortality. She died. She was permitted to come back, and given a choice between immortality and mortality because of her great deeds. Not because she was an elf.

Elros and Arwen are half-elves. Half-elves are mortal by default - Manwe had previously made a decree that any being with any mortal blood was mortal. Elrond and Elros were granted a special choice because of, once again, the great deads of their parents, Earendil and Elwin.

Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir were given the choice again because Elrond (half-elf) wed Celebrian (an elf), thereby renewing their 'elvish' strain. After their generation, their family's choice would be finished.

Special choices were granted to these, and these alone.

It is easy to be fooled though, given the way the movie potrays the situation and the way Lord of the Rings never really spells out the issue.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:14 AM   #17
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OK Legolas, it's a question of what one mean by "choose mortality". I agree that it's not something every elf can do or are allowed to do, all I meant was that there are exceptions where it has happpened. So one can say yes, sometimes under very special conditions elves can choose mortality. Or one can say no, elves (as in ordinary/most elves) can not choose mortality. Let's leave it with that...

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Half-elves are mortal by default - Manwe had previously made a decree that any being with any mortal blood was mortal
Shouldn't that mean that for example Elwing was mortal? Beren was 100% man and Luthien half-elven, half-maia and became mortal, so their son Dior should be half-elven. He married Nimloth (100 % elf) and that would make Elwing 1/4 man (of course she was 100% woman, but you know what I mean ) and by that mortal blood she would become mortal. I've always considered her an elf!
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:37 AM   #18
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One of the strongest criticisms of Tolkien is the clear distinction between good and evil, and the inability of the orcs to repent. Born evil, would they be destined to punishment simply for existing?
This could be said of many humans in Middle Earth, as well as many in our own time. But existence is not the evil the orcs do; that is a gift they abuse. Their inability to repent is akin to their inability to see their own evil as evil.
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:25 PM   #19
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I still hold that Luthien's single, exceptional case doesn't warrant mentioning that - no more than Tuor's conversion in the oppisite direction. It's still misleading that one would say 'elves can sometimes choose mortality' - with the direct action of Eru, any beings' fundamental kind can be changed. You're right though, we can leave it at that.

Dior and his children were definitely half-elves. This is part of the significance of Elwing and Earendil's union, and their family. Dior, Elured, and Elurin were slain in Ruin of Doriath, leaving Elwing as the only descendent of Luthien and Beren. Elwing and Earendil were both half-elven, and given a choice after their great contributions in the War of Wrath, Elwing chose to be an elf, and Earendil followed as he did not want them to be separated.

With the deaths of Dior and his sons, Elwing and Earendil represented to the two remaining strains of elf + man, and by joining, these two special cases were narrowed down to one lineage which directly allowed Numenor to happen, and eventually Elendil and Gondor, and finally Aragorn who was able to hold off the attack of Sauron and usher in the 'Age of Man.'

Tolkien mentions this intentional significance (and the first point as well) in Letter #153.

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Immortality and Mortality being the special gifts of God to the Eruhini (in whose conception and creation the Valar had no part at all) it must be assumed that no alteration of their fundamental kind could be effected by the Valar even in one case: the cases of L˙thien (and T˙or) and the position of their descendants was a direct act of God. The entering into Men of the Elven-strain is indeed represented as part of a Divine Plan for the ennoblement of the Human Race, from the beginning destined to replace the Elves.
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:56 AM   #20
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As an addendum, to build on and clarify what Legolas just said regarding the choice of Elwing and Earendil: it was not a seperate choice from that of their sons, Elrond and Elros, but a choice put to the entire family at that time.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:22 AM   #21
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Pipe Hell as psychological punishment.

(Many thanks to Farael for the idea.)

I think Hell in Eń is any place where a being cannot fulfil his proper state. For example, the Nazgűl and the Dead Men of Dunharrow were denied their gift to escape the world; thus their continued existence on Arda is hellish to them. (Although LalwendŰ pointed out that the Dead Men were allowed to depart after some tasks . . . hmmm . . . Purgatory, then?) Saruman, denied entry to the West from which he came (and to which he expected to return), is considered in Hell. Now, to the rest of those living in ME, they won't consider ME Hell, but to these people, ME is Hell, just because they aren't supposed to be there.

Speaking of Nazgűl, Lal pointed out the Halls of Lamentation mentioned during the Witch-King's debate with ╔owyn. Perhaps it is not an actual place, but a state of existence similar to them. (Does he have more of that Morgul blade thing, then?)

About Orcs . . . well, maybe I'll come back to the topic later, when I've purged the thoughts of Sai and Naruto battling from my mind.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:22 PM   #22
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Perhaps this thread should split into an 'Orc Afterlife thread' and a Half elven thread, because i might be a bit confusing overlapping these topics
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Old 01-01-2006, 01:30 PM   #23
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Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlˇmien has passed beneath the Argonath.
Actually about dwarf afterlife it is said (where, I don't remember) that they themselves believe that after their deaths they will go to AulŰ and at the end they will be treated as the Children. WARNING: Don't consider this a fact, because I'm not sure, especially about the later part.
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Old 01-01-2006, 02:05 PM   #24
Legolas
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You're right. They believed they had their own section in Mandos, and after the final battle and destruction of Arda, they would help Aule rebuild the world.
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Old 01-01-2006, 06:17 PM   #25
The 1,000 Reader
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Someone mentioned earlier that orcs were like animals. Well, seeing as how animals don't exist after death, is it possible that orcs don't exist after death? They are too far gone to return to elves, so is it possible that Eru just got rid of them completely?
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:20 PM   #26
Lindolirian
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I think Heren-Istarion can help you with your questions about Orcs.
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Old 01-01-2006, 11:51 PM   #27
Farael
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I'm with Nilpaurion Felagund .... I would believe that 'hell' in middle earth is a situation in which a spirit is trapped irreversibly somewhere it does not belong.

Melkor we see had grown more attached to Middle Earth as he had spent so much of his power in controlling living things and having a physical shape and so his 'hell' was to be cast out in the void, as his soul was linked to ME.

Saruman went into Middle Earth after being a Maiar in Valinor. His stay in ME was only temporal but his spirit -belonged- to Valinor.... and thus he was rejected.

So what was Sauron's punishment? he is still confined in Middle Earth, but I would not expect him to want to go to Valinor.... perhaps he would have liked going to the void, to return to Melkor's side? As far as I know (and I reckon I don't know as much as others in here, feel free to correct me) Sauron was continuing Melkor's work.... and maybe he wanted to go back to his Master's side.

Does anyone know a little more about the Melkor-Sauron relationship? specially, if Sauron ever wanted to take Melkor's place before The War of Wrath... if I'm not mistaken, Sauron was Melkor's second in command and he (sauron) was not trying to back-stab his Master.

Conversely, perhaps, heaven is to be somewhere they do belong... and no, Mando's rooms would not be heaven. If I'm not mistaken (and I might be) the soul of the elves who have been really good in life can be re-bodied.... and we know that the elves 'belong' in Arda so perhaps being given a new body is heaven for an elf?

For men we do not know as their souls just leave the picture and it is not told where they go... nor I know about Dwarves.

But I think Nilpaurion Felagund is on to something.
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