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Old 12-24-2002, 05:45 PM   #1
Melkor89
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Sting Did Arwen do the right thing?

Should Arwen have sacrificed her immortal life for Elessar (Aragorn,) or was she being irrational?
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Old 12-24-2002, 05:54 PM   #2
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who said love was a rational thing, she loved Aragorn so much that she would have done anyhting for him. I fshe left ME she would have lived out eternity lonely and miserable at least by staying she would have happiness for a little while
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Old 12-24-2002, 06:02 PM   #3
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She was in love and love doesn't normally make sense, so i suppose she thought it was the right thing to do.
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Old 12-24-2002, 06:16 PM   #4
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Well the question is, is it better to live one lifetime with the man you love or all the ages without him?
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Old 12-24-2002, 07:56 PM   #5
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Well the question is whether her immortality or love is more important. Obviously her love is more important than immortality. And is it really irrational to sacrifice anything at all for true love? Sometimes you have to sacrifice something important for love. This goes along with my point that Tolkien wanted to show; sometimes in order to gain something, you have to lose something. But I do not think it was irrational at all. I would have made the same decision, although it would be for a woman because I'm a man. Love is definately worth the sacrifice. To be lonely is one of the worst feelings in the world.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:38 AM   #6
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I do not think Arwen was being irrational. Because, forever is a long time to spend alone. And, also, you must keep in mind that perhaps they were together once they both passed. So, if Arwen hadn't done that, then, (because of her being an Elf and all) she wouldn't have died. So, they could never be together in death, also. At least with giving up her immortality she got to spend a little time on earth with him. And personally, I believe that in death they were together. So, this was acheived by her giving up her immortality.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:49 AM   #7
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And how would you feel if you betrayed your love? Would you be able to carry that pain for all the ages? Her life, and her heart, were hers to do with as she wished. Besides, Arwen Evenstar still shines on middle Earth long after her passing.
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Old 12-25-2002, 12:01 PM   #8
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The thing is there are lots of for and against arguments even if you don't consider her love.

For becoming mortal:

1) You become free, you can go against and beyond the Music of the Ainur and be your own person. Elves cannot.
2) You don't have to carry the guilt and memory of past friends on your conscious for eternity. Elves have to.
3) You are not bound the world, you can leave it and go beyond. Elves cannot leave for many many long years.
4) You never experience the fading, consuming feeling that elves feel over time due to the corruption of their Hroa by Morgoth.

Against becoming mortal:

1) You have the uncertainty and fear of death caused by the lies and corruption of Morgoth.
2) You don’t get to live forever, which is not necessarily a bad point, but many people would like to live longer.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that mortal = bad, immortal = good. Death was as much as much of a gift as immortality was, and in the long run probably a better one. This is what I hate about the TT, the fact that they gave the impression that death was a terrible thing to the elves, when in fact they eventually come to envy men for it.
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Old 12-25-2002, 07:23 PM   #9
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Silmaril

Who are we to judge? Love is a concious decision one must make. If Arwen was willing to sacrifice her immortal life because of her love for Aragorn, don't you think she'd realize what she was doing? She already had lived for a long time (Around 3000 years I think) so surely she had a vast amount of knowledge and insight.
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Old 12-26-2002, 02:18 AM   #10
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For Arwen, deciding to give up her immortality was a hard decision, even though she had lived a very long time, (If I am not mistaken) don't years for elves feel very short, so maybe she did not feel she had lived for a very long time. I think it was wonderful for her the years that she got to spend with Aragorn, but at the end of their story in the appendices, it does get very sad, when she is all alone in Loren.
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Old 12-26-2002, 04:11 AM   #11
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1420!

I really don't know the backround on Arwen that well, do forgive me if I'm wrong. If she had been alone for 3000 years or whatever, that's a long time to be alone. And she knows how depressing it feels to be alone for that long. I think that love is what she needed. I think she felt she lived alone long enough. It might be going through hell for her to live an eternity alone. Dying instead of fading. Dying might be a blessing for her, while fading would be torture. Well I just thought of somethings that are off topic, so I gotta make a new thread(s). Oh yeah, Merry Christmas, well, it's actually over now.
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Old 12-26-2002, 05:33 AM   #12
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She wouldn't have faded. There are two types of Fading for the elves, one is the metaphorical sense that the elves are fading, in that there are less of them and they are leaving. There is also the literal Fading of the elves, where their spirits consume them after many long ages (but that's way past the Third age, into the umpteenth age probably), but this doesn't seem to happen in Aman, where the corruption of Morgoth is stayed.

The thing you have to accept was that Death was not a great evil, not untainted. Even the great Valar envied passing on in peace and glory, the death Aragorn experienced. The ability to be unbound to the earth, to learn about and love new things beyond the spares of Eä is a wonderful thing that the Elves never experienced. Their immortality was not a thing as such, merely the lack of the gift to leave the world: men had something the elves did not. The only time when men began to envy the elves was when the curses and corruption of the Dark Powers began to effect them, when the gift of Eru was shrouded in fear of uncertainty, fear of leaving the world they know and love. Remember Elros choose to be mortal because he felt inside he was a man, and that it was not his destiny to live forever among the Elves. Arwen had a difficult choice even if Aragorn was discounted, and the fact that she would have Aragorn to pass away with topped the scales. So yeah I think she made the right choice.
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Old 12-26-2002, 10:31 AM   #13
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Sting

I think Arwen was doing the right thing. The fact that see loved him so much, is why she did it. It made me mad that in TTT, Aragorn tried to give back the Evenstar that she gave him. I found that incredably sad. Made me cry. Anyways, I think Arwen was doing that right thing. Besides living forever wouldn't be fun at all. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 12-26-2002, 02:32 PM   #14
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So then why did Elrond try to persuade her to pass over the sea? You can't very well propose that he didn't know all these things also. Perhaps he didn't understand how much she loved Aragorn, or was being slightly selfish and didn't want to spend all the ages of the world without the daughter that he loved? Perhaps he also wanted her to be reunited with her mother again.
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Old 12-26-2002, 03:46 PM   #15
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Sting

He didn't! Dammit that was injected into the film by PJ, it wasn't a JRRT original. He did, however, forbid her to marry him unless he suceded on his quest, but that was just to stop him giving up I think. More for his sake than hers.
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Old 12-26-2002, 03:49 PM   #16
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Sting

hey now people! this is love and love itself is totally irrational. you cannot ask a question about this she followed her heart and that was that. she had no choice for she could never be happy in Valinor without Aragon
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Old 12-26-2002, 03:54 PM   #17
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I believe she made the right choice because as she said she would rather spend one lifetime with him than all the ages of the world alone...it was love and love wasn't meant to be rational *~Eleyende~*
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Old 12-26-2002, 04:59 PM   #18
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Here's another interesting question (though probably belongs in Novices rather than books but ah well):

Would you be an Elf or a Man? Not in Arwen's situation, say in Elwing's situation, or just any arbitrary time. With no outside influences effecting your decision would you choose immortality or death?
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Old 12-27-2002, 08:08 AM   #19
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Galorme, that question strays too far from the topic of this thread. Please stay with the subject being discussed - thank you!
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Old 01-10-2003, 05:49 AM   #20
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I think "the right thing" is largely subjective. Many mortals that would regard immortality, and the opportunity to live in bliss (though Aragornless) in Valinor, as the ultimate prize, might think that Arwen did not do the right thing. That she threw away a great gift. I realise mortality is "Eru's gift to Men", but isn't that just a marketing gimmick? I can see how immortality could have some advantages.

From Elrond's point of view I don't believe Arwen did the right thing. Sure, Aragorn's a great guy, and by marrying him she introduces Elven blood back into the rulers of Gondor. But Elrond probably thought she should have gone with her father, and he could find her a nice Elf guy in Valinor.

I think that from her own point of view though, Arwen did do the right thing. Ah, true love.
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Old 01-10-2003, 03:23 PM   #21
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What normal father, no matter how wise and far-seeing, wouldn't be upset at losing his only daughter?

At the same time, Elrond's views on Arwen's choice probably shouldn't count. Why not? Think about it in this terms: Tolkien was a Christian. In Christian doctorine the union of marriage is sacred. This is a heavy-handed interpretation, but I think the basic message of that particular aspect of the book is that Arwen's choice was ultimately right, regardless of how Elrond, or anyone else of her kin felt about it.
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Old 01-10-2003, 04:52 PM   #22
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Sting

It's hard for a mortal like me to judge Arwen's decision of giving away something I will never have. But probably she new what she was doing - 3000 years old is mature enough to make weighted decisions. And she had half a century (from the time she first saw Aragorn to her wedding) to test her feelings and her decision.

By the way, Arwen's brothers weren't going to leave for Valinor either. I know it's not related to this thread, but IMO it just shows that Undying Lands weren't so much appealing for the younger generation of elves - or it felt like this for Elrond's children only?
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:58 PM   #23
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1420!

Excellent point, Akhtene. I didn't realise that Elrohir and Elladan also stayed behind. Maybe the children of Elrond were more tied up in the fate of Middle-Earth, and came to love it. Elladan and Elrohir by all accounts spent a lot of time in the wilderness, roaming around being heroes and such, and maybe they just really liked it there. And Arwen had her love for Aragorn to keep her in Middle-Earth - for her the Undying Lands was only a promise, and not yet real since she had never been there.

Lothlorien faded after the One Ring perished, so Galadriel had little reason to stay. She and Elrond must have had many friends in the Undying Lands as well, unlike the younger Elves. Maybe the sea-longing hadn't hit the children of Elrond, either.
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Old 01-12-2004, 03:13 PM   #24
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Silmaril

I think that Arwen made the "right" choice for two reasons.

First of all, if she had gone to the Undrying Lands to live an immortal life without Aragorn, she would have been miserable and resentful. The Butthole Surfers said, it's better to regret something you did than something you didn't do!

Secondly, and more often forgotten than the first point, is the extra incentive that her choice gave to Aragorn. Taking up the kingship would have been much less desirable without Arwen! I'm sure the thought of her kept him focussed through all the long journeys and relentless exertion that he had to put into his quest for the throne. She was there behind him all the way, encouraging him constantly. Beautiful.
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Old 01-12-2004, 06:44 PM   #25
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Sting

We don't technically know if Elladan and Elrohir did indeed remain behind forever, in Middle-earth, or set sail long after Elrond left. Granted, it is a common assumption that they chose to be mortal, but is there a quote that said that if they chose to be Elves, that they would have to leave with Elrond? I believe that Tolkien states that they had to choose when Elrond was about to leave, they didn't have to go with him.

I think the Aragorn/Arwen love story is one of the most beautiful sub-plots in Lord of the Rings. It tells us what love should truly be, a form of inspiration, egging us on to succeed, and without it, we would fail. Aragorn was supremely lucky to have Arwen's whole-hearted support behind him, to shore up his strength when it began to wane, and to give him the inspiration and courage to take up his rightful throne. If that love and inspiration wasn't there, Aragorn wouldn't have succeeded, and Sauron would have won. Arwen definitely did the right thing in staying by Aragorn.
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Old 01-12-2004, 10:48 PM   #26
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Sting

I don't think there is a right or a wrong answer to this question--how you answer really just tells us something about the individual who answered it. It's like that old bit where you're in a burning building with the last copy of all of Shakespeare's plays and a random person whom you do not know. You can only save one of them. Which do you save? I don't know that there is a universally right answer, but how you answer reveals your character.

Same is true of the Arwen question. It all depends on what you value more--life or love.

Oh and BTW . . . the person, and yes, Arwen made the right choice. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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