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Old 09-22-2017, 12:37 AM   #1
Rhun charioteer
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Evil men in Mandos

So when men die in Arda they go a separate hall than they elves and are basically processed and leave quickly going beyond the world. I'm curious what would happen in Mandos to evil men or men with evil cultures such as Melkor worship basically an easterling. Do they receive any sort of judgement? Or do the Valar simply pass men in and out of their doors without examining their moral and spiritual situation as they do elves?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:43 AM   #2
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I could be wrong, but I don't think there's anything about judgement in the Halls of Mandos. In any event, I don't think it was the role of the Valar to judge them.

It's worth remembering that Arda is meant to be the real world, and therefore by Professor Tolkien's own theological standards pre-salvation (which would not occur until the time of Christ). As such, what happens to one's soul after death is, in that mythical time, not determined, at least as far as I understand it.

I think it is all in the hands of Eru. Of course, I could have overlooked something.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:41 AM   #3
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It's worth remembering that Arda is meant to be the real world, and therefore by Professor Tolkien's own theological standards pre-salvation (which would not occur until the time of Christ). As such, what happens to one's soul after death is, in that mythical time, not determined, at least as far as I understand it.
The Doom of Men as presented in The Silmarillion indeed is a total mystery to the Children of Ilűvatar, but there are hints that the Valar do know. Certainly Manwë and Mandos would, but they aren't talking.

Perhaps the evil Men were subject to endless torment in the form of mental images of Gandalf 'uncloaking'.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:32 AM   #4
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I could be wrong, but I don't think there's anything about judgement in the Halls of Mandos. In any event, I don't think it was the role of the Valar to judge them.
The best glimpse of the fate of Men's spirits seems to be in The Silmarillion, dealing with Beren after his death.

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For the spirit of Beren at [Lúthien's] bidding tarried in the halls of Mandos, unwilling to leave the world, until Lúthien came to say her last farewell upon the shores of the Outer Sea, whence Men that die set out never to return.
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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.
From that, it looks like Men just wait for a time in Mandos until they leave Arda. What they wait for is unknown. An opportunity to reflect on their life? Do they lose all memory then when they leave forever? No way to know. But at any rate there's no mention of any manner of judgement at Mandos; and, as Zigűr said, I wouldn't think it was the place of the Valar, as fellow created beings of Ilúvatar, to have done so.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
The best glimpse of the fate of Men's spirits seems to be in The Silmarillion, dealing with Beren after his death.





From that, it looks like Men just wait for a time in Mandos until they leave Arda. What they wait for is unknown. An opportunity to reflect on their life? Do they lose all memory then when they leave forever? No way to know. But at any rate there's no mention of any manner of judgement at Mandos; and, as Zigűr said, I wouldn't think it was the place of the Valar, as fellow created beings of Ilúvatar, to have done so.
Great quotes Inziladun. I'm reminded, again, that every return to the narrative, there's a heart-revival or new wisdom of the heart to hear from the mythology. I had never encoded deeply that sentiment and it implies a parting of Beren and Luthien in a 'forever' way. That is indeed a very different nostalgia of emphasis than the Choice of the Pereldar, who seem to have a permission to access either path.

In the ways of Parting as they are an agony as reflected in the parting of Arwen and Elrond (with less known about his heart and Elladan and Elrohir), it seems then, that Elrond's choice to stand with the Eldar parted him from Elros -- forever -- and then from all of his children. No solace for him for his choice to stand with the Eldar with any of his family. Separated, also from his foster-son who was his brother's descendant as well.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:47 PM   #6
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Sooner or later: because the Elves believed that the fear of dead Men also went to Mandos (without choice in the matter: their free will with regard to death was taken away). There they waited until they were surrendered to Eru. The truth of this is not asserted. No living Man was allowed to go to Aman. No fea of a dead man ever returned to life in Middle-earth. To all such statements and decrees there are always some exceptions (because of the "freedom of Eru"). Earendil reached Aman, even in the time of the Ban; but he bore the Silmaril recovered by his ancestress Luthien, and he was "half-elven". He was not allowed to return to Middle-earth. Beren retrned to actual life, for a short time; but he was not actually seen again by living Men."

JRRT, note 4, Author's notes on the Commentary, Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, Morgoth's Ring, my bookshelf, my house, near some great tall trees.
Does this put the "Men go to Mandos first" idea as an internal belief, wiggling into the tale of Beren perhaps, in any event?

Or am I readin' it wrong?
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:01 PM   #7
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Interesting, Galin. I wish I had that particularHOME.

I would say that the thought of Men's destination to Mandos was indeed probably internal.

If no mortal fea ever returned after death though, I wonder about a couple of things.

After Gorlim (in The Silmarillion) was slain by Sauron, Beren had a dream in which a "wraith of Gorlim" came to him in a dream to confess his treachery and to warn Beren. Granted, it is stated explicitly to be a dream, but how could Gorlim's consciousness remain to give the warning in any form?

Also, when Túrin returns to the men of Brethil after slaying Glaurung, they initially are frightened, "thinking that it was his unquiet spirit".

So why, if Men's spirits could not return, was the idea of it in existence among Men?
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