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Old 03-28-2001, 03:03 AM   #1
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JRRT in /Letters/ indicates that the choice of the Avari in refusing the summons was irrevocable. However, we also know from HoME X that an Avarin fea was also summoned to Mandos when the Avar died.

When an elven fea was 'reincarnated' through a reconstruction of its hroa (without getting into the debate on *who* rebuilt the hroa), the rule appears to have been that the elf would remain in Valinor, Glorfindel being an exception. Does this mean that Avari who were re-incarnated also remained in Valinor? This would imply that death somehow cancelled the irrevocability of the Avarin choice. As I see it, there are several ways of looking at this question.

(1) You could say that the Avari were wrong to refuse the summons, and that this arose from a flaw in their character. Going by the &quot;Mandos-is-purgatory&quot; theory, it could be argued that a sufficiently long stay in Mandos would cure them of this flaw, only after which they would be reincarnated. The trouble with this argument is that it depends on the Valar having been 'right' in summoning the Quendi to Aman. The dialogue between Manwe and Eru indicates that this might not have been the case - Eru essentially chastises Manwe for not having had sufficient trust in Eru to realise that Eru would have protected his children, who should have been left to roam Middle Earth.

(2) The refusal of the summons by the Avari was not 'wrong' - they were free to refuse the summons if they so desired. This choice was ordinarily irrevocable; however, because a houseless Elven fea was such an abomination, an Avarin eligible for reincarnation would be granted an option to reverse its choice and reconstruct a hroa for itself in Valinor.

(3) Avarin fea were permitted to travel houseless to Middle Earth, where they could reconstruct hroa for themselves. Alternately, Avarin fea would be reincarnated in a special corner of Valinor, and would be put on the next boat to Middle Earth.

(4) Avarin fea were not permitted to reincarnate. This is the least satisfactory option, largely because all indications are that only seriously flawed fea remained in Mandos for a long time, and that too only till their flaw could be remedied (again, going by the &quot;Mandos-as-purgatory&quot; theory).

Any thoughts?

[This query has also been posted to rec.arts.books.tolkien]

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Old 03-28-2001, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

You have to put his comments about the Avari and their choices into context. You can't just take everything Tolkien wrote throughout his life and mix it together and say, &quot;Well, we have a conflict here, which is the right interpretation&quot;?

There is often no need for interpretation since there is usually only one position by Tolkien on any given matter at any point in his career.

A lot of the material in Morgoth's Ring is problematic because Christopher Tolkien was presenting different aspects of his father's work, both chronologically and creatively.

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Old 03-28-2001, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

I really didn't mean to imply a textual conflict, and I'm not too sure why you read my post that way! I actually don't see the texts conflicting - I just think they aren't clear about what happened to Avarin fear who wanted to reincarnate. What is your opinion on that question?

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Old 03-28-2001, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I really didn't mean to imply a textual conflict, and I'm not too sure why you read my post that way! I actually don't see the texts conflicting - I just think they aren't clear about what happened to Avarin fear who wanted to reincarnate. What is your opinion on that question?<hr></blockquote>

I didn't read your post as implying there was a textual conflict. I'm simply pointing out there is a textual conflict. There almost always is.

My feeling is that the Avari were eventually re-embodied. The question is where and when. Why should their souls be trapped in Mandos forever, if they have done nothing seriously wrong? Is refusing the summons of the Valar really that kind of a sin? I don't think so. It's not like the Elves were told they were required to go to Valinor. They were invited to go.

But the questions cannot be resolved because there is no mention of the Avari being reembodied. Tolkien obviously never carried the issue forward. The irrevocability factor, however, must be weighed against the fact that the authoritative text, The Lord of the Rings, has Elves of Avari descent (the Silvan Elves of Lorien) sailing over Sea. That hardly makes their choice irrevocable.

Tolkien would have had to deal with this issue had he lived long enough to work out all the details.

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Old 03-29-2001, 03:41 AM   #5
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

MM posted &quot;...The Lord of the Rings, has Elves
of Avari descent (the Silvan Elves of Lorien) sailing over Sea. That
hardly makes their choice irrevocable.&quot;

The lorien elves were def. Avari and not Nandor/daaians who did not go w/ Denethor ?

It is an interesting Q. Meneldil and i found myself asking it about a week ago <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

I think the boat theory is out <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

I think they would be given a choice to enter Valinor or not [ once therir purgatorial stint was over] and free tutorial in the language of their choice!

Keep in mind that a fair # of the Avari were of 'Noldorin' or more properly speaking the 2nd clan. And if they were anything like their more 'refined' Valinorean kinsman some of them were in for a long wait!

I actually wish JRRT had kept the Eol, laiquendi as 2nd clan conception it fits very well esp. w/ the character Turin chases in Doriath [saeros?].






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Old 03-29-2001, 10:50 AM   #6
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> us cw Lindil:
The lorien elves were def. Avari and not Nandor/daaians who did not go w/ Denethor ?<hr></blockquote>

I was wondering about that as well - however, the thought of wading through the morass of changing Elven clan lines in HoME is rather frightening. I think I'll take Comrade Martinez at his word!

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> us cw Lindil:
I think they would be given a choice to enter Valinor or not [ once therir purgatorial stint was over] and free tutorial in the language of their choice!<hr></blockquote>

I lean towards that view too. The only problem is that it seems to indicate that their stint in purgatory would only end if they agreed that Valinor was the place for them - which again indicates that they must admit that they erred in their original choice. This means I'll have to change my view about whether the Avari actually were wrong to stay back :-(

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> us cw Lindil:
Keep in mind that a fair # of the Avari were of 'Noldorin' or more properly speaking the 2nd clan. And if they were anything like their more 'refined' Valinorean kinsman some of them were in for a long wait!<hr></blockquote>

Tatyarin? The little we see of them in Quendi and Eldar indicates that they probably were as bad, and not as well educated...

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Old 03-29-2001, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> MM posted &quot;...The Lord of the Rings, has Elves
of Avari descent (the Silvan Elves of Lorien) sailing over Sea. That hardly makes their choice irrevocable.&quot;

The lorien elves were def. Avari and not Nandor/daaians who did not go w/ Denethor ?<hr></blockquote>

The Avari, technically, are post-LOTR Elves. But since they were introduced before the Second Edition was published, it's convenient to identify the Avari with the East-elves of The Lord of the Rings.

The Elves of LoTR are divided into two major groups: west-elves (Eldar) and east-elves (Silvan Elves). Since the Avari of The Silmarillion are distinct from the Eldar, and the Eldar include the Nandor, there is no way to reconcile the texts without looking beyond LoTR and The Silmarillion. The War of the Jewels provides the answer in &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;, which says that the Avari mingled with the Nandor.

So, the Silvan Elves were a mixture of Avari and Nandor, specifically Avari from the third clan, the Nelyar, from whom came the Teleri and therefore the Nandor. All Silvan Elves are therefore technically Nelyarin Elves.

And since the Silvan Elves were sailing over Sea in the Third Age, clearly the Avari were not being excluded from Valinor...in The Lord of the Rings. And Eonwe is said to have travelled through Middle-earth at the end of the First Age, summoning all Elves t Valinor once again. So the ban on the Avari was lifted, in some versions of the mythology.

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Old 03-30-2001, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

Excellent summation Michael.
Meneldil , I think there are only 2 major sources that speak on this [although I trust I will be corrected if wrong]
1] UT 'History of Galadriel and Celeborn'
2]The 'Quendi and Eldar' essay in WotJ
there are of course many smaller references scattered throughout most the books.





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Old 03-30-2001, 06:01 PM   #9
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

Ah, something that Michael and I agree on. <img src=smile.gif ALT="">
A couple of other notes might be in order.
'Quendi and Eldar' mentions that in Beleriand &quot;any individual Avari who joined with or was admitted among the Sindar (it rarely happened) became a Calben&quot;. Calben is defined as 'all elves other than the Avari, and it included the Sindar. It was the equivalent of Eldar'.
Also, Mithrellas the handmaiden of Nimrodel was in all likelyhood a Silvan Elf who it seems intended to go West before being takn to wife by Imrazor the Numenorean. I am misremembering but was Nimrodel Sinda or Silvan, (I seem to recall JRRT changed his mind on this at some point).

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Old 03-31-2001, 10:15 AM   #10
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> 3) Avarin fea were permitted to travel houseless to Middle Earth, where they could reconstruct hroa for themselves.<hr></blockquote>

I'll retreat a bit and return to methods of reincarnation. this one seems to me most fitting, since, as I always figured it out, there were precedents of such a way, meaning Beren and Luthien, who, after their death and resurrection were never seen travelling back to Hither Lands (which, must be assumed, was the way with Eldar, and, presumably, in Glorfindel case, though there is no evidence, og\f course), from which may be concluded that they were rehoused in Middle Earth

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Old 04-17-2001, 08:12 AM   #11
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

All Elves went to Mandos when they died physically. Nowhere is there mention of any exclusion of Dark Elves. It is something that all Elves do. It is not complicated.


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Old 04-19-2001, 02:45 PM   #12
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Reincarnation of the Avari

us cw Pengolodh:
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> All Elves went to Mandos when they died physically. Nowhere is there mention of any exclusion of Dark Elves. It is something that all Elves do. It is not complicated.<hr></blockquote>

Not entirely. The fear of all Elves (including Avari) are *summoned* to Mandos when they die. Not all go. Secondly, the mere fact that an Avar fea travels to Mandos does not mean that the fea will, on reincarnation, be permitted to dwell in Valinor - whilst Mandos is geographically within Valinor, I don't the fear in Mandos would be numbered amongst the residents of Valinor. I think the &quot;rehousing in Middle Earth&quot; theory is probably the most likely mode by which Avari would be reincarnated - leaving, of course, the issue of whether the Avarin choice was revocable open.

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Old 04-20-2001, 03:57 AM   #13
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

Good point about some dark elves actually refusing to leave middle-earth and fade away there, although the longing for the West was always in their heart as we learn.

"In those days the Noldor still roamed the Hither Lands, Mightiest among the Children of Iluvatar, fair and tall and their beautiful voices were still heard by mere mortals"</p>
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Old 04-20-2001, 12:21 PM   #14
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

I don't recally much about Tolkien's unpublished writings on Nimrodel. I did write about Mithrellas in a recent Suite101 column. As far as I know, her kindred is only said to be Silvan Elf.

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Old 04-21-2001, 06:18 AM   #15
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Reincarnation of the Avari

us cw Pengolodh:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Good point about some dark elves actually refusing to leave middle-earth and fade away there, although the longing for the West was always in their heart as we learn<hr></blockquote>
I do not recall reading about the Avari having a longing for the West. Could you please give me your source for that, so I can read it up? It seems to run contrary to what I have read about the nature of the Great Debate, and the bitterness which the Tatyarin Elves are reported as having felt for the Noldor.

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Old 04-22-2001, 12:06 AM   #16
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

Pengolodh may be thinking of a passage in a LOTR appendix which says the sea-longing slumbered in the hearts of the Sindar.

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Old 04-22-2001, 07:37 PM   #17
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Re: Reincarnation of the Avari

Not really on topic, but I had read your new article last week, MM, and it was very good. Of course many of them are.

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Old 04-23-2001, 02:41 AM   #18
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.....

Meneldil

It is mentioned specifically as far as I can recall in UT, the section about the Woodelves and their language, or the Sindarin princes among the wood elves.

It is also mentioned in APP. B., as already given by MM, although this concerns the Sindar.

It is also noted by Legolas in LoTR, who says that the West is in the hearts of all the Elves.

I have to say I always thought it was in their hearts (the Dark Elves included) and I a still do, but after thinking about this, I feel more questions coming. It makes sense, also considering the fact that Galadriel warns Legolas not to come to close to the Sea.

Cheers <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000097>Pengolod h</A> at: 4/23/01 8:13:12 am
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Old 05-14-2001, 03:55 PM   #19
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Re: .....

us cw Pengolodh:
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> It is also noted by Legolas in LoTR, who says that the West is in the hearts of all the Elves.<hr></blockquote>

I've been meaning to check the sources before responding, but haven't had the time to make a trip down to the library. Anyway, to clarify my initial query - I do not dispute that those of the Quendi who set out on the Great Journey initially have a latent longing for the sea and the west. My impression is, however, that the Avari do not have such a longing.

From memory, the UT says that the Silvan Elves were descended from the Teleri who lingered in the Vale of Anduin because they were daunted by the Misty Mountains. IIRC, it mentions that they were in origin those who set out on the march, and they remembered this. This would distinguish them from the Avari, who were from the beginning disinclined to go west.

Re Legolas' statement - we don't know which of the many words for Elves he used - but my guess would be that he used 'Edhil' which only applied to the Sindar and the others who entered Beleriand as opposed to 'Eledhrim' (which would include the Avari) - IIRC, /Quendi &amp; Eldar/ mentions the distinction between these usages.

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Old 05-27-2001, 08:44 PM   #20
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Re: .....

In Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10), &quot;Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth&quot;, Note 3 there is a discussion of the fate of those fa who obeyed the summons:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ****They 'normally remained in Aman'. Simply because they were, when rehoused, again in actual physcial bodies, and return to Middle-earth was therefore very difficult and perilous. Also during the period of the Exile of the Noldor the Valar had for the time being cut all communications (by physical means) between Aman and Middle-earth. The Valar could of course have arranged for the transference, if there was sufficiently grave reason. Bereavement of friends and kin was, apparently, not considered a sufficient reason. Probably under instruction of Eru.<hr></blockquote>This, of course, refers to the period of the War of the Jewels, but there must have been Avari who died during that period and 'normally remained in Aman'.

If the same rules applied in later days, then presumably any Elves who wished might have returned to Middle-earth if they wished to dare the perils of the Sea, which might not then have been over-great. They do not seem feared by those who go West from the Havens. Yet the only Elf recorded to have probably returned is Glorfindel.

But the situation has changed. The time of the dominion of Men is approaching, and Enw at the end of the First Age had summoned all Elves, Eldar and Avari alike, to come to the West. The Valar may have been wrong originally to invite all the Elves to Valinor so soon after their awakening, but now Elves must either go West and retain their full vigor and power or remain and fade, eventually becoming wraiths. In this new situation it is quite likely that a trip to Aman, whether by the high road or low road, would be one way, for Eldar or for Avari.

It would not make sense to normally re-embody Avari in Aman and then send them back to Middle-earth to either fade under the Dominion of Men or return again to Aman, perhaps immediately. (Of course, possibly, a few might choose to return, if it were allowed them, being in love with Middle-earth or some part of it.)

In some ways Valinor has become the Elvish Heaven, but Elves have a choice on how to get there. They can go by ship alive, or they can die and answer the summons, which means spending some time in Mandos. If it is indeed normally a one-way trip (possibly especially so since the Changing of the World), one can see why many Elves linger in Middle-earth. They can always go later, alive by ship, or by the low road if they meet a violent death or death by grief. And when they do go it is expected to be irrevocable; they willl never return to Middle-earth. So while they are happy in Middle-earth there is no reason to rush into the journey. Aman always awaits.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000212>jallanit e</A> at: 5/27/01 10:59:00 pm
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Old 05-30-2001, 10:04 AM   #21
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Re: .....

It became a particularly one-way trip after the Fall of Numenor and the Change of the World. In Letters, JRRT suggests that a &quot;resident&quot; of Aman could return to Middle Earth only with the assistance of the Valar (the Istari, being Ainur themselves, could accomplish the trip through their own abilities). Thus the Straight Road became one way.

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Old 06-04-2001, 04:48 AM   #22
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Reincarnation of the Avari

us cw Jallanite:
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Enw at the end of the First Age had summoned all Elves, Eldar and Avari alike, to come to the West. The Valar may have been wrong originally to invite all the Elves to Valinor so soon after their awakening, but now Elves must either go West and retain their full vigor and power or remain and fade, eventually becoming wraiths. <hr></blockquote>

I do not think it is so clear that Enw's summons applied to all the Avari. Although the earlier versions of the mythology did make that explicit, in the final versions Enw only summoned the Elves of Beleriand, which in the context in which it occurred could well be read to refer to the Sindar and the exiled Noldor.

On another point, I've earlier argued on another forum that the fading of the Elves in Middle Earth is not necessarily negative, and can be viewed as a transition to a more spiritual state, which would enable their fear to transcend the corruption that touched their hroar. Consequently, staying in Middle Earth may still be a better option for the Avari.

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Old 12-14-2001, 06:05 AM   #23
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Just wondering...
All elvish fear are 'summond' to Mandos - is it totally out of the question that those Avari fear that refused the summons were allowed to create a hroa for themselves in ME without ever going to Mandos???
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Old 12-14-2001, 01:42 PM   #24
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JRRT appears to waver between two positions concerning rebuilding a hroa (body). I don't have the books available to me so I don't know which is more recent. He sometimes suggested that the Valar built the hroa. At other times, it seems like the elf does it. I think his latest conception was that elves, unlike men, have fear and hroar which are closely intertwined and that, in the event of an "unnatural" sundering of fea and hroa, the fea retains a "memory" of the hroa from which the body could be reformed. I suspect that assistance of the Valar is required so that one of the unwilling Avari could not re-incarnate in Middle Earth without assistance.
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