View Single Post
Old 03-11-2003, 01:31 PM   #13
Itinerant Songster
littlemanpoet's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,072
littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

tifo_gcs: Welcome to the Downs. Enjoy your deadness. I also think that Tolkien's Elves are akin to angels, but for additional reasons beside the ones you pointed out. Check out the thread on Linguistic puns for more on that.

I do not think, however, that Elrond and Galadriel had special assignments, per se, from the Valar, to take care of Frodo and the Fellowship. Therein lies a great difference between angels and Tolkien's Elves: angels are strictly messengers of God, or those who have rebelled, etc. Elves, by contrast, are created to live in the world, as do humans, and are meant to interact, as davem says, with the natural world.

davem: I see your point about Elves being the most unnatural creatures.

(although even Elves age and eventually 'burn out', so to speak, according to the Tolkien mythos - by 'burn out' I man that their bodies are no longer sufficient to contain their spirits; this is something I have read in Tolkien, somewhere.)

Be that as it may, I must quibble on a minor point. This 'embalming' Tolkien speaks of, is, to the Fellowship of the Ring, an amazingly beautiful thing. Consider. Galadriel is the artist of this embalming, and being the exquisitely creative Elf that she is, she is able to not merely preserve the nature of Lorien, but (Tolkien represents it) as a thing of surpassing beauty that transcends itself in ways only Galadriel could do.

Regarding The Undying Lands, it must be remembered that Tolkien has presented a mythos. It is somewhat presumptuous of you, my friend, to label the Undying Lands as not natural because they don't follow the rules that govern nature in OUR world. Within the structure and organism that Tolkien created, the Undying Lands conform to a naturalness bequeathed to them by Eru and the Valar. It is a different nature, but a nature nonetheless. As I said, I quibble. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Maybe humans as a group don't have that same desire for the natural world as do the Elves, but I don't think Tolkien would have been capable of writing it into his mythos unless he himself had such a keen desire. I for one am rather convinced that through his mythos he engendered quite a powerful desire for the natural world in me.

What I'm getting at, though, is that Elves' spirits do outlive their bodies. They will not die. So it is with humans, if you accept certain faith statements. This prospect is just as difficult to comprehend as is its opposite, that which atheists must confront.
littlemanpoet is offline