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Old 09-03-2002, 09:58 AM   #1
Luinsewiel
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Tolkien Elros's Choice

Why did Elros choose to belong to the race of Men? It seems to me that being an elf has alot more going for it. Does it say anywhere in Tolkien's works and i've just missed it? I couldn't find any other topics on it here. Sorry if it's a stupid question but it's been bothering me for a month or so now and I'd really like to know. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-03-2002, 11:09 AM   #2
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Some just thought that Men were cooler than Elves. Earendil also wanted to be a man, but chose to be an elf because of his wife. Elros felt the same way; He liked Men better, and after all, he was the longest living Man ever, and became a great king, so it wasn't such a bad choice.
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:06 PM   #3
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If I had a choice, I would prefer to be an elf. Elrond was obvilusly the smarter child in the family.
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:48 PM   #4
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Maybe it was a choice of being the worst of the best or the best of the worst. Maybe he had a desire to be in charge. Maybe he wanted people to remember him. If he chose to be an elf, perhaps he thought that he would always just be in the sidelines. Are we sure that there was no girl involved as well? I don't remember.
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Old 09-03-2002, 01:31 PM   #5
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Sting

Surprisingly little is said about Elros' reasons for choosing the fate of Men. Certainly he didn't elect his fate because of a woman, but because it appealed to him more than the fate of the Elves. I don't see why people find this so difficult to understand: Men are not so bound to the world as the Eldar, being able to escape its confines after death; and they have the gift of free will, being able make their own destiny independently of the Music of the Ainur.
Perhaps Elros had no desire to exchange his freedom of action for long life; perhaps he was even curious about what lay beyond the world he knew, and realised that he would never know if he chose to be numbered among the Eldar. I doubt that he was worried about being the 'worst of the best', as he was descended from kings on either side of his family, and he stood to be an important Elf if he chose that path: we've seen what his brother achieved, and I can't imagine that Elros would have done any less. It's even possible that, knowing how the Firstborn were tied to fate, he believed that only Men could truly make a difference.

All of which speculation is purely academic unless someone can find an explanation somewhere in the convolutions of the Histories.

[ September 03, 2002: Message edited by: Squatter of Amon Rudh ]
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Old 09-07-2002, 10:38 PM   #6
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Even though there was another thread discussing Immortality here,
I will still put in my two cents if I may.
I know that it is hard to understand the need for peace (in the mind of a youth) because the young have not tasted life, they have not experienced the wonders of a complete life, they have not experienced all that is experiencable.
(Not that I am all that old, but I do understand mortality.)
I think with age, you will grasp why some folks like immortality and others don't.
Seeing it with Elros' eyes, I see the need for rest after tumult. Imagine a hard life - of battle and running and hardship. After a while, one feels the need for rest beyond sleep! When life has been so full of joy and experience, there can be an ending. An ending in peace, as a gift, of the choice to die when one wants, is very desirable, in my opinion. it is not said if Man will return to the bosom of Illuvitar. It is said that he will have...a gift...hmmm....!

Seeing it from Elrond's point of view:
He is warped, I think, by the use of his Ring. He desires to bring back what once was, to linger with those whom he loves, and to be with them forever. Note that Elrond's wife is departed! Note that he ever desires to hold Arwen to himself and not share her! I see in him a bitter man (please excuse the expression) who is holding the last remnants of a once bright cloth, now in tatters, but still there.
How sad the life of the Elves must be. But they are promised to be with Eru Illuvitar in the end (oops,) forever! actually, so why feel worried?

[ September 08, 2002: Message edited by: Tirned Tinnu ]
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:21 AM   #7
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Sting

But Elrond didn't have the ring then. So that wasn't a factor.

I think the reason behind their choices is simply Tokien needed leaders of Elves and Men, and two brothers seemed a good idea.

Sorry if I seem to be mocking here but it is realistic!
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:29 AM   #8
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Ah, yes, well, it can all be explained away as a plot device, surely.
But you make my mind click, and I remember something of the relationships there. Wasn't one of them devoted to heir father, and the other more devoted to his Uncle, if I remember correctly? One was a man the other an Elf, and that stands to reason - If you are used to being with men, you'd want to be a man. If you were used to hanging out with Elves, one might want to stay an Elf.
Irg....but that's a plot device too, *chortle* [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ September 12, 2002: Message edited by: Tirned Tinnu ]
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Old 09-12-2002, 08:09 AM   #9
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Silmaril

I cannot regard Elrond as bitter; his desire to keep his daughter is natural, for any parting will last beyond the ends of the earth...what parent could wish for that?
If he were truly bitter he would have forbidden the marriage...Elrond shares the "wisdom and sadness of the Elder Race" in a fuller measure than almost any other.
As for Elros...I agree with the Squatter, and can only say that immortality may come to be regarded as a curse.
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Old 09-12-2002, 01:52 PM   #10
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I give my contribution to this topic...
Think at this. If Elros liked mortals (men and other creatures...), what would you think he'd choose? Would you like to see all the things you love and like dissapear, die, knowing that you'll live for ever... for ever missing them?? Or you'd preffer to die as well, knowing that there's something beyond this...

I rest my case...
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Old 09-12-2002, 02:03 PM   #11
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I think that Elros saw the grief that comes with immortality. He passed on and never saw the evil of the days of the end of the Third Age. He never had to endure the death of his great great great great great grand children...
Immortality sounds great to us mortals.. but I think living forever can also be a curse. Remember that the only way outside of being killed for an Elf to die was to die of grief. What a horrible way to die!
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Old 09-13-2002, 01:18 PM   #12
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i agree completely with you, elengil... That's exactly my point of view... Even though i like very much the elves, I think is better to be a mortal (in some point of view...). And, I think Elros took the right decision for him, though this meant he'll never meet his brother again...

Now... If I think better, this reminds me about Elladan and Elrohir... What do you think they choosed... To be mortal (like their sister and uncle), or to pass to Valinor (like their father)? Or they took different decisions?

Thinking at this... If you were Elros, what would you choose?
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Old 09-13-2002, 01:39 PM   #13
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OOOOooooo.. mortality for me, thank you. I deserve a vacation from life every now and then!
I would go mad being an immortal. Too many memories! Too many troubles, and too many good times that can never be recaptured! So much easier to live long and well, and die well. I certainly wouldn't like to be consumed from within. Sounds horribly uncomfortable, if you ask me.
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:45 PM   #14
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Elladan and Elrohir...

I dont think they were given the choice as Elrond and Elros were, since both of their parents were Elves.

Arwen forsook the immortal life, but so did Luthien, and I dont think it had anything to do with whether their parents were Elves but by their choice of Husbands. (conversly I think if an Elf married a Human wife he could choose to forsake his immortality then too) but not really a clear "choose now which you will be".
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Old 09-15-2002, 04:12 AM   #15
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I am not particularily wise person, but I’d prefer long life over short and mortality over immortality. I do not prefer mortality over immortality because of fear that years would become unbearable however. I think Elros got the best deal.

Strangely a worn out quotation suits splendidly this question and ESPECIALLY Tolkiens approach to it: ”It is better to burn out then to fade away.”

It is difficult to say whether mortality gives a passionate incentive, reserve of power so to say or whether immortality blocks it. When the kingdoms of eleves fall during the first age, the mighty eleven nobles fell back step by step and build ever new weaker and weaker walls to protect their havens and kingdoms... perhaps Elros even foresaw this going on to the end of the third age... perhaps not. What did the humans do as their kingdoms fell? Beren Fought as guerilla in the Ered Gorgoroth till all his comerades were dead and then went on fighting befriending animals. Men like Turin made somewhat similar choises in their paths. There is some kind of fundamental difference between a serie of mens fierce battles to the bitter end and falling of one hidden eleven kingdom after another, is there not? I have this sort of emotional impression from parts of Silmarillion, though the impression may not be substantiated.

Perhaps Elros thought he was rejecting stagnation and stability in immortality and was instead buying into something dynamic, growing, changeable, volatile, passionate...

Is it ”worthy” task and true ”greatness” after all to maintain for some seven millenia a half-secret haven known by slight minority of the worlds living creatures, gathering wisdom endless, coming out of this sanctuary every once in a few millenia to take part in a great battle? Or is it possible to see as something more worthy role to have set to motion all the histories of Numenor, Gondor, Arnor, Arthedain, Cardolan, Umbar, etc. with all their numerous deeds, battles, lifes... good and evil?

Janne Harju
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Elladan and Elrohir... I dont think they were given the choice as Elrond and Elros were, since both of their parents were Elves.
Actually, they *were* given a choice. Arwen, obviously, chose the fate of Men. The fate of Elladan and Elrohir is not told. They were *supposed* to choose when their father left Middle-earth. The original deal was, when papa leaves, either you leave or, by default, choose the fate of Men. However, they are said to have "delayed" their choice and remained in Middle-earth for some time after Elrond left (Letters of JRRT). In the Appendix of LotR, it even mentions Celeborn moving in with E & E up in Rivendell after Galadriel left.

Edit: Okey dokey. I found some concrete evidence in the books. Well, Telchar found it for me. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Here it is:
Quote:
Elrond, who had remained unwed through all his long years, now took to wife Celebrian, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn of Lorien. His children were the twin brethren, Elladan and Elrohir, and Arwen Undomiel, the fairest of all the maidens of the Third Age, in whom the likeness of Luthien her foremother returned to Middle-earth. These children were three parts of Elven-race, but the doom spoken at their birth was that they should live even as the Elves so long as their father remained in Middle-earth; but if he departed they should have then the choice either to pass over the Sea with him, or to become mortal, if they remained behind. -HoME XII
[ September 15, 2002: Message edited by: red ]
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Old 01-01-2003, 03:02 AM   #17
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I'd like to add that the immortality/mortality issue was probably not the only influencing factor. Possibly Destiny was at work as well. It seems that either Elrond or Elros needed to choose to be mortal, in order to become the first King of Numenor and ensure that the Numenoreans became more powerful by being descended from Elves. Maybe they even flipped a coin over it, or played Paper-Scissors-Rock. If they had scissors. Certainly, the Numenoreans came in handy later on for the Elves. If Elros had not sacrificed immortality in order to lead the Numenoreans, then surely they would not have been as powerful as they were. Good on him.
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Old 01-01-2003, 04:29 AM   #18
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If I remember right, I had a big book all about Lord of the Rings. Just thumbing through one day I came across the two brothers, and when I read it(if my brain isn't playing tricks on me... never can be too sure... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img])I found that they chose to mortal as well. Hmmm... I think I'd choose to be immortal, I have thought about it for a long time, and I am almsot positive I would. AS I am an adventurous person, I would probably get myself killed in the first several thousand years anyways... [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 01-03-2003, 01:08 PM   #19
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About the choice of the half-elven, some of you should read what Tolkien has to say about it and see whom the choice was given and why. A few of you seem to be cloudy on your understanding of the matter.
http://www.barrowdowns.com/faq_halfelves.asp


Elwing, Earendil, Elros, Elrond, Elrohir, Elladan, and Arwen were given the choice.

Elwing, Earendil, and Elrond chose immortality.
Elros and Arwen chose mortality.
Tolkien never recorded the decisions of Elladan and Elrohir.

Elrond's children were given a choice because they had a renewed Elvish strain from their mother, Celebrian, daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel.
Elros' children lacked that Elvish strain. Subsequently, they were given no choice.

[ January 03, 2003: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 01-03-2003, 01:44 PM   #20
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Btw, why isn't there any mention of that choice given to the children of Imrazor the Numenorean and Mithrellas the Silvan-Elf(hope the names were right)? Their children were half-elven too.

EDIT: Ok, I can never remember that name..

[ January 03, 2003: Message edited by: Afrodal Fenyar ]

[ January 04, 2003: Message edited by: Afrodal Fenyar ]
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Old 01-03-2003, 11:40 PM   #21
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Silvan elves were not counted among the Eldar.

Edit: Her name was Mithrellas.

[ January 04, 2003: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 01-04-2003, 01:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Btw, why isn't there any mention of that choice given to the children of Imrazor the Numenorean and Minnael the Silvan-Elf(hope the names were right)? Their children were half-elven too.
Quote:
Silvan elves were not counted among the Eldar.
They were actually counted among the Eldar, the Elves who set out from Cuivienen on the Great Journey. I think you mean they were not Calaquendi, Elves who had been to Aman. True, but in Unfinished Tales it is said that the Valar expanded the range of their offer, and allowed any of the Eldar to take ship to Valinor. The Elf Haven near Dol Amroth would have been almost exclusively used by Silvan Elves, such as Legolas.

There aren't many tales at all of the Half-Elves of Amroth. Maybe one of them was like Elros and chose to be a man, removing the choice from all his/her children. Is that right? It seems like if you choose to be an Elf, then your kids can choose to be Elf or Man, but if you choose to be a Man, that's the last decision?

...oh. Thanks for the link, Legalos. I didn't realise you were quoting directly from the Letter in your post.
Quote:
The view is that the Half-elven have a power of (irrevocable) choice, which may be delayed but not permanently, which kin's fate they will share. Elros chose to be a King and 'longaevus' but mortal, so all his descendants are mortal, and of a specially noble race, but with dwindling longevity: so Aragorn (who, however, has a greater life-span than his contemporaries, double, though not the original Nmenrean treble, that of Men). Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children - with a renewed Elvish strain, since their mother was Celebran dtr. of Galadriel - have to make their choices (Letter No. 153).
[ January 04, 2003: Message edited by: doug*platypus ]
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Old 01-04-2003, 06:24 PM   #23
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Thank you everyone for all of your replies! I certainly wasn't expecting for this thread to go on for so long. I guess I understand Elros a little better now, but now I'm not so sure what I'd be [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] Oh well, I'm off to ponder more strange things now, like why Peter Jackson killed Haldir [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] Oh, and I've always wondered why Elros' children did get to trun into elves if they wanted to, it didn't seem fair, But I think I get that now to! Thanks again,
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