This website contains archives of the Tolkien Discussion Group from 2009 to early 2013.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Of the Sun and Moon

Tolkien Discussion Group
September 29, 2010
Topic: Silmarillion Chapter 11: Of the Sun and Moon

EtierreFea Serenity
AelKennyr Rhiano
Shawn Daysleeper
Lihan Taifun

The Elves associated the Sun with Humans, and themselves preferred the Moon.
The Sun and Moon were created to restrain Melkor and his minions, who preferred darkness. Perhaps Melkor didn't make his creatures resistant to light because he didn't yet have experience what sunlight would do to them. Possibly Melkor hated/feared the Sun because it came from a fruit of Laurelin. Or because Arien, the Maia of the Sun had rejected his advances.
Ungoliant seems to be the closest Melkor came to finding a partner. Who were the fathers of Ungoliant's spider-children? It isn't clear whether they were other Ainur, or natural spiders.

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . We were waiting for you
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we should have Tilion for our expert on the Moon
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Shawn Daysleeper laughs
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think he may be at a conference
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oh dear
EtierreFea Serenity: . I am not sure what this is about so I didn't do anything or think, had a blonde week, as Teleri are apt to do. ya ha
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . The sun...the moon...the Melkor :)
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we were going to discuss Silmarillion Chapter .... whatever is "The Sun and the Moon"
EtierreFea Serenity: . ah,no, not prepared. maybe I'll learn something
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . heeee, so did anyone read the chapter?: I read it ... about 3 weeks ago
AelKennyr Rhiano shyly raises his hand
Shawn Daysleeper: . I read it a while back
EtierreFea Serenity: . I had not joined Haven't read in a long while, my biz keeps me busy

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so, the Trees have been destroyed, the Noldor have stomped off, and the Ainur are getting tired of sitting around in the dark
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . In the Silmarillion, the Sun was created by Aule....a vessel to hold the radiance of the last fruit of Laurelin, right?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and the last fruit was called Anar...? The Noldor called it Vasa, the Heart of Fire
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . well, "Anar" means "Sun", which is related to "Nar", meaning "Fire"
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . And in the Silmarillion, the sun heralded the awakening of the Atani, humans... I think the Vanyar named the sun Anar?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I think so
AelKennyr Rhiano smiles
Shawn Daysleeper smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . "Anar" might be something like "Firiest"
I know the elves regarded the sun as made in memory of humans, and they had a greater affinity for the moon. But how was the sun regarded by the Valar?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . hmmm. It seems like the Valar regarded Sun and Moon alike, as security lights to keep Melkor from getting out of control
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . So Arien and Tilion were actually like security guards?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . hmmm
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . watchdogs...err....watchMaiar?
EtierreFea Serenity: . smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Valar seemed to think light would interfere with Melkor
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . It certainly did with his creatures
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . although he spent so much time underground it may not have really made much difference
Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe he thought the sun and moon were like spying on his actions perhaps
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and his Orcs and Trolls feared the sun
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . orc sunburn?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahahaha The trolls would turn to stone if they were out in the sun.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that seems like a serious oversight.Although the trolls are older than the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . oversight?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . to make the susceptible to the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, since they came before the sun... oh you mean on Tolkien's part?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . no, I meant Melkor. Yeah, I suppose he just wasn't expecting the sun
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . that time, how could he had known the effects of the sun?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . true
Shawn Daysleeper: . the sun light came from Laurelin, perhaps that is why Melkor feared it, or hated it
AelKennyr Rhiano nods in agreement
EtierreFea Serenity: . nods also
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oh, good point
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and there is that story outside of the Silmarillion that He desired Arien and wanted her as his wife. She was forced to abandoned her body and "died," the Sun after this for a while left its course, burning a large part of Arda the world (apparently creating the deserts of Far Harad). So when things were set right again, you know she was one unhappy camper with Melkor.
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I remember that part
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Melkor has such bad luck romantically!
EtierreFea Serenity: . gee, I wonder why?
Shawn Daysleeper: . ✦✧HaHaHa✦✧
EtierreFea Serenity: . good for all that he did sometimes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, he was socially inept.... :)
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . wow, what if he had a partner who could work with him? !
AelKennyr Rhiano shudders. oh, that would be bad
Shawn Daysleeper: . ouch
EtierreFea Serenity: . uck
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Ungoliant was bad enough
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . did she think she would rise to power equal to his? I cannot remember
EtierreFea Serenity: . seems like implicitly, not sure if explicitly... have to read again
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I wonder if she even thought of "power" in the sense Melkor thought of it
EtierreFea Serenity: . my memory shortens after so many thousand years...
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . now she was always a mystery...she was "from before the world."
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, and I think you make a good point Lihan

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Melkor had promised Ungoliant that he would yield anything she wished in return for her aid, but betrayed this promise by attempting to withhold the Silmarils from her. This angered Ungoliant, who, having grown immensely powerful from ingesting the life force of the Two Trees, trapped Melkor in her webs. At this point he gave out a cry of such fear and intensity that it was heard in the depths of Angband, and the Balrogs rushed to the aid of their master, scourging Ungoliant with their whips of flame.

She fled to Beleriand and gave birth to the giant spiders...but who was the daddy?
Shawn Daysleeper: . good point
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and euuuuu
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, very good, yes, euuuuuuuuu, hate spiders
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . especially if Melkor was the daddy
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes euuuuu
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought she found some ordinary-creature spiders to be the daddy, making a canon example of ainur/creature breeding
EtierreFea Serenity: . that is even more gross
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I don't remember. I cannot find evidence of the daddy. Man, I would hate the DNA testing on that.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I found it "Other foul creatures of spider form had dwelt there since the days of the delving of Angband, and she mated with them, and devoured them." So they might have been other Ainur after all
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . talk about a bad first date. But where did they come from?
EtierreFea Serenity: . the depths?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I mean, who created them?
Shawn Daysleeper: . she met them in Nan Dungortheb I believe, but not sure where they originally came from
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I doesn't say much about where they came from
EtierreFea Serenity: . maybe he left them to be just 'be', and, after all, the book was not finished by JRR
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . but we love overanalyzing the tiny details!
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . heh heh
EtierreFea Serenity: . yes, we do! haha
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that's why we are geeks. Or, some of us are, at least
EtierreFea Serenity: . sorry I'm not much help, I only rejoined a couple days ago and did not know subject
Shawn Daysleeper: . I'm a geek lol
EtierreFea Serenity: . I"m a geek. Nerd. Girlie nerd. Elf
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I'm an elf geek

{a good deal more about geekiness}

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought it was interesting that Tolkien made the Sun female and the Moon male

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Should we call it a night while we are behind
EtierreFea Serenity: . it is a disease if you have too many Tolkien books?
Shawn Daysleeper: . nope
EtierreFea Serenity: . is there a 12 step pgm for that?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . no no
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought that just meant you had to buy bigger bookshelves

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Lihan, what shall we discuss next week? suggestions?
Shawn Daysleeper: . next is chapter 12 after sun and moon
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we had telepathy on the waiting list, and something else I can't remember
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . ooooooouuuu, yes, please, can we do that?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . do which?
EtierreFea Serenity: . I had telepathy on the brain.... OMG sorry, no sleep, am punchy
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . telepathy
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya telepathy is fine

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mandos and Vairë

Tolkien Discussion Group
September 8, 2010
Topic: Mandos and Vairë

Lihan Taifun
Shawn Daysleeper
AelKennyr Rhiano

Vairë is the historian of the Valar. However, very little is said about her.
Unlike the Norse Norns or the Greek Fates, there is no evidence that she influences future events or interferes with free will.
We don't understand how the "ranking" of the Valar was decided. What makes the Aratar more important than the other Valar? And the Aratar, the "most important" of the Valar, are 8 out of 14 -- over half, which is a strange division.
We can see why Namo, Irmo, Nienna, Vairë, and Estë are related; we can also imagine other ways of matching up the partners that would have worked as well.
Would Vairë be an unbiased historian? How would it affect her that she, as a Vala, knew something of the future?
How would the job change Vairë? Would she tend to burn out, or get bored or frustrated, hearing the same themes over and over again?
Vairë would have the "evidence" needed for Mandos to judge souls. We aren't sure how Mandos' judgment works, or how much he "decides" as opposed to simply informing a soul of its fate.

Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe it is just us three this week
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . it may is a short week for people in the US, and they may be playing catch up at work.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so do we have things to say about Vaire?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . she was a snazzy dresser? In Quenya her name was Wairë
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . in old Valinorian dialect, probably in Teleri, too
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . She wove the stories of the world
Shawn Daysleeper: . wow, there is only half a paragraph dedicated to her in the Silmarillion
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . late last week we were wondering whether she did any weaving of stories before they happen
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Vairë is counted among the Valier, the Queens of the Valar; though not as great in power or prestige as some. With the passage of time and its many ages, her woven tapestries are expanding and will cloth all of the walls of the Halls of the Dead.
Shawn Daysleeper: . She weaves all things that have ever been in Time into her storied webs. That's his wording. Sounds like past tense to me
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . to me, too
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Shawn Daysleeper: . so she is not quite like the 3 norns of norse mythology, which represent all three tenses
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . not quite. I think she has the flavor but not the entire embodiment
Shawn Daysleeper nods
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Norns seem to conflict with free will. They can override people's decisions
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . To an extent, indeed, they do.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I can imagine Tolkien being uncomfortable with that
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I find it interesting that Mandos was one of the Aratar, but Vaire was not
Shawn Daysleeper: . as I read this I gather that Vaire's role was quite small actually. She is more like a historian
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Manwe, Varda, Ulmo, Yavanna, Aule, Mandos, Nienna and Orome were all considered to be the greatest of the Valar, but why not Vaire? A historian should be very important, don't you think?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . you would think so
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya, true
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Orome outranks Tulkas, that wouldn't be obvious to me, either
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I agree. Why these eight, and Melkor once made the ninth?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I can see Vana and Nessa not making the top cut
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes I can see that. But, Irmo and Este? Tulkas? and Vaire
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . It seems somehow imbalanced.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and, 8 out of 14 is already over half of the Valar. That's like being in the top 90% of your class ...
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Although Manwe was high king, all eight seem to be held in the same esteem. Yes, why not all of them? Why would Ulmo be in that list and not others?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes, it doesn' t really make sense
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Why did Tolkien choose Vaire as a spouse for Mandos, of all the Valar?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . it makes some sense to me, to connect history and the dead
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, they both have powers that centre on the past
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . true
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes, I can see that. But she could have easily been the wife of Irmo
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and Este the wife of Namo
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes. I can totally see that
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . or Nienna married to one of them, and Vaire or Este the sister
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes to that as well. Although I think it may be very good sense to have her sister to both Namo and Irmo
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . because?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Compassion is a good companion to one who tends the spirits who have left the realm of the living. And it is also a good companion to one who is in charge of dreams and visions. But those two caretakers should not be completely taken over by must be tempered.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and Nienna is such a loner, she would be a terrible wife
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, would he not have rewritten Nienna's nature if she were a wife?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and then she would have been someone else
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes, actually, she would. But why do we have a Vala of stories? Why is that position important enough to have a Vala but not important enough to be one of the nine?
Shawn Daysleeper: . history was very important to Tolkein, maybe he thought there should have been a Vala with that role
AelKennyr Rhiano nods...I guess that is why it surprises me she is not more important, and also that the Vala is female. Begging Lihan's pardon.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Varda is powerful
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes. So why not Vaire?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . maybe she just never is relevant to the plot
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, yes...perhaps we are overthinking her.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we have so little information about her
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . maybe she is not important because the recorder of history is actually not supposed to be important, just what she chronicles?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and the stories we have are about (living) Noldor. If she is chronicling, is she having any influence on anyone? Who, besides the dead, see that history?
Shawn Daysleeper: . interesting point. No one living sees the history
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . the historian has a profound influence. We always see history through biased eyes. We can never see the events totally in their context...we know what happens next.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . would Vaire be biased? and if so, in what direction?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . How could she not? for she would know all stories that come next? She is a Vala, after all. Of course this begs a question....was she present when the Great Song was sung?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . how could she not be?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Precisely my thought.
Shawn Daysleeper: . I thought all Valar were present singing
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so she would know the general outlines of future history
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and so that could influence the recording of future histories
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . true. And yet, what use is history without context?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . no use whatsoever
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . it's not just what happened, but why it happened, and what resulted ... which is the "why" for the next events
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya, cause and effect
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . so, she is merely a device to remind us that history is woven into one's fate?
Shawn Daysleeper: . sorry I am not saying too much, I don't know much about Vaire
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . maybe
Shawn Daysleeper: . history woven into one's fate?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . think of all the greek heroes.Their "fatal flaw" was very much a part of their personal history. Achilles with his heel, that, in turn, determined his fate
Shawn Daysleeper: . ah yes

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . So...I would be a historian change Vaire over the passage of time?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I imagine she sees a lot of certain recurring themes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I bet
Shawn Daysleeper nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . She would be an interesting character to play in the 4th Age. Would she ever be Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . humans burn out when they keep seeing the same things over and over, especially if they can't do anything about it
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . right! or there is a constant state of crisis without resolution in sight
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes, or that, or would she feel, 'oh no, not more of the same old'?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . or would she be bored? Been there, seen that?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and we know what always happens next
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . men buy a new sports car...women in the South write a tell-all book?

Shawn Daysleeper: . I can see Mandos and Vaire making a good judgment team for the souls. Vaire certainly has evidence
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . she knows their stories , and he ...?
AelKennyr Rhiano thinks and slowly nods. You have a very good point, Shawn.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . she does have the evidence :)
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . she has the facts.
Shawn Daysleeper: . we discussed mandos as a judge last time
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . do they make judgments on souls?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I thought he was more a judge in the sense of pronouncing the sentence not deciding them?
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, elves are reborn eventually, eh? oh ok
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . what sentence is there to be decided? and based on what?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Not Feanor. Well, remember the Doom of Mandos? He was not allowed to return to the land of the living. Was Elu?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Doom of Mandos seemed to be a different function than whatever he does with the dead
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . true
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we only know of one or two elves who even might be returns. We never hear about all the rest of them
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . again, true
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . although, if they chose to go to Valimar, we probably wouldn't hear about them
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . it would not do much for the plot. lol
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I wonder what the decision is based on, whether to allow an elf to return, or when to return
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . My friends, I am afraid, I must be away on another matter. I apologize.

Shawn Daysleeper: . ya we had a problem deciding that last time, what determines when an elf returns
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and we haven't been told. Elven afterlife. How Tolkien would imagine an elven afterlife
Shawn Daysleeper: . true

Shawn Daysleeper: . we did stay mostly on topic tonight. Shawn Daysleeper smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . we did! Do we have a topic for next week?
Shawn Daysleeper: . I remember there were a few suggestions mentioned for future discussion. I do not remember what they were
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I remember Mandos, telepathy ...
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I suppose we could pick something. We left off at chapter 5 I believe
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so next is the Feanor soap opera.: I'm not as fascinated with the Noldor as some people
Shawn Daysleeper: . me either
Shawn Daysleeper: . I'd rather not discuss Feanor, but I will if others want to
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I'm not pushing to discuss Feanor
Shawn Daysleeper: . we discussed 10 recently, so maybe we could talk about ch 11
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that looks like a good one: the sun and the moon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mandos, The Halls of Waiting, part 1

Tolkien Discussion Group
September 1, 2010
Topic: Mandos

AelKennyr Rhiano
Lihan Taifun
Rosie Gray
Shawn Daysleeper
Odil Lumiere

There is some similarity between Mandos and the Catholic concept of Purgatory, as a temporary place for souls.
What purpose, exactly, is served by an elf's time in Mandos?
Tolkien seems to have been uneasy with the implications of elves being reincarnated, and perhaps never completely figured out how that was supposed to work.
Perhaps elves, who live for so long, need time to detach from their connections to the earth.
Are orcs still elf-like enough to go to Mandos? (Presumably in a different waiting room from the standard elves)
Would the various races perceive Mandos in the same way?
Does Mandos have to keep the Noldor and the Teleri separated?
Perhaps Tolkien believed, in principle, that an afterlife was important, but didn't have all the details worked out.
Do you think the Teleri killed in the Kinslaying have been allowed to go back to Alqualondë yet?

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . did everyone get my notecard on Mandos, last week?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . It's hard to know where to start to talk about Mandos.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . he's kind of like the keeper of limbo, or so it seems to me
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . why limbo?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . well, because of the souls going to him
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Are the Halls of Mandos a temporary rest stop, as limbo is? wait, limbo is not temporary, is it?
Shawn Daysleeper: . the limbo may be similar to purgatory, in tolkeins world
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . I thought that limbo was between heaven and hell
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . limbo is between heaven and hell. It is a place where souls are forever denied the face of God for Christians
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I'm not Catholic, so I know nothing about that
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . so that would be somewhere between heaven and hell, I would think
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Purgatory is more like serving a prison sentence. Once you have done your time there, you can move
onto heaven.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . it sounds like where Mandos dwells
Shawn Daysleeper: . (in Roman Catholic doctrine) purgatory : a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins before going to heaven.
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I was brought up Southern Bapitist.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . I was brought up Nazarene
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . sounds like bad theology to me ...
Shawn Daysleeper: . wasn't Tolkein Catholic?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . yes
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . true, he was, so he would be influenced by that thinking
Shawn Daysleeper: . it makes sense
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes, he was...CS Lewis was Anglican.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . what sounds like bad theology Lihan?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . sitting around "expiating sins"
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, I think you get off for "good behavior.", and if people pray for your soul.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . what does "expiating" mean, anyway?
Shawn Daysleeper: . atone for (guilt or sin).When I first read the Silmarillion (many years ago) and I read the section on Mandos, I instantly thought purgatory
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . but that begs the question of what are the elves atoning for?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and, for that matter, what were the elves doing in Mandos? What purpose did thir time in Mandos serve?
Shawn Daysleeper: . good questions
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . exactly
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, Mandos (the halls) sounds like purgatory
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Oh, I can see that, Shawn. I just wondered at the purpose.
Shawn Daysleeper: . I know
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . apparently, once the elves were done, they could at least possibly "return" to living lands
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . reincarnate? AelKennyr Rhiano whispers: wow, that would be radical for Tolkien
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yeah
Shawn Daysleeper: . they come for the final battle? which again parallels christanity, in the final battle with satan -- angels and hosts of heaven -- battle
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . ahhh
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I read somewhere, long ago, that Tolkien had trouble with the reincarnation part, and he wasn't sure they would be born as baby elves, or maybe just reappear as full-grown elves, Either way has logical problems
Shawn Daysleeper: . Tolkein never clarifies whether they would be reborn as full grown, maybe he couldn't figure it out
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . Tolkien would have had trouble with reincarnation I would think
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I think you are right, Shawn, he didn't figure out how that ought to work
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . If he were a traditional Roman Catholic, which appears to be the case, perhaps.
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes, which is why he left it unanswered or unexplained
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . it's as though he wanted to explore other ways of religion, but didn't want to go the whole way
Shawn Daysleeper nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . However, he also loved and delved into several world mythologies in creating his world, so who can truly say?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . oh yes that's true. He was obviously an intellectual
Odil Lumiere: . . . . . . . may I say something pleas?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . just jump right in Odil
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . please do
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . oh, Please, do :)
Shawn Daysleeper: . please :)
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Don't ask...jump in ! :))
Odil Lumiere: . . . . . . . It is possible that the reason is that everyone has to work out their own salvation, even the elves
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . ouuuu....good point.
Rosie Gray nods
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . how would that work out?
Odil Lumiere: . . . . . . . and purgatory sometimes not what any one religion describes but what we send ourserves in
Shawn Daysleeper: . the elves are tied to the earth, not sure what they are saving themselves from
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I was wondering that myself, Shawn
Odil Lumiere: . . . . . . . from too much pride in they earthly heritage?
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya could be
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . well that's all a bit too deep for me lol
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . or it could be a place where they go through the process of detaching from earthly things.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the two elves we know have never come back are Feanor, and his mother Miriel
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . The elves are long lived, and so over the course of centuries would become bound to the earth.
Shawn Daysleeper: . which is why they go to mandos when their bodies are slain, instead of escaping the circles of the world, which the humans experience
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . so that is back to the kind of limbo place
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . because humans have less time to become earthbound?
Shawn Daysleeper: . interesting Ael, could be
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . I don't know
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . because Tolkien didn't want to make human destiny incompatible with his own religion?
Shawn Daysleeper: . what if a baby elf is killed
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . it seems to me that no matter how long your earthly life is, you would feel bound to the earth because of it -- time being relative
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . so why does Mandos oversee the elves who have died? He's certainly no Satan.
Odil Lumiere: . . . . . . . I am sorry I must go, there is a bad storm over my country


Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Vala Mandos seems to be more a caretaker for the souls
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . like a kindly but remote uncle
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . keep them from hurting themselves? He seems to be strict, but maybe that is more in his other role of speaking prophecy, especially unpleasant prophecy
Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe to separate the different earthbound races?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . it does seem like the different races have different waiting rooms. Although, since most of what is written is from the elves perspective, we don't know much for sure about the other races
Shawn Daysleeper: . if they go to mandos when they die? or are separated?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the dwarves claim that they go to Mandos, in a separate area. And Beren apparently was over in the human sector of Mandos, and waiting for Luthien, instead of travelling on
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . sounds like a tenement!
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . but the Vala Mandos had to bring Beren to Luthien, otherwise she wouldn't have found him
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . it must be a lot of souls there
Shawn Daysleeper: . was Beren's experience in mandos an experience of salvation?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . it sounded more like he was just waiting
Shawn Daysleeper: . ok
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . he didn't even get offered a choice. The Valar said they HAD to send him on, eventually. They couldn't interfere with his human destiny. Luthien had the choice
Shawn Daysleeper: . right, ok.Mandos in a way becomes more removed from the world as events unfold, when the world was made round
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . how is he more removed?
Shawn Daysleeper: . not the Vala, the halls
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oh, ok
Shawn Daysleeper: . more removed from the mortal world
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . but would that affect spirits?
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, perhaps the mortals image of death would change
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . like the Humans?
Shawn Daysleeper: . hmm, it was just a thought. I have no evidence
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . it's not a bad thought.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . ㋡
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . There is a lot of room for speculation.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . there certainly is
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . indeed
Shawn Daysleeper had some espresso before coming to this meeting. Shawn Daysleeper is somewhat hyper
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahahah
Rosie Gray probably needed some espresso before coming to this meeting
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . then there is Inya's favorite question, what happens to dead orcs? Are they still elf-like enough to come to Mandos?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and it is a good question
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . oh yes the orc-question
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, they were once elves, and stll would be if they not been tampered by dark powers
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . And would the Orcs, elves and dwarves perceive Mandos the same way?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . oooh, good point, they might not. You would think that even dark powers couldn't actually remove a soul
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . looking at it, it seems that in a way the orcs would have more ties to Mandos than the dwarves
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I could not see Tolkien wanting to put forth that possibility.
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes, so I think they would have the same fate when it comes to souls
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya maybe Tolkein was having difficulty figuring it out, so he didn't clarify
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I can imagine keeping the orcs separate from the elves, though
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . or just didn't have time to figure out all the nuances
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . orcs would take A LOT of rehabilitation
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . lol
Shawn Daysleeper: . oh ya. Shawn Daysleeper laughs
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yeah, I think the orcs would complain to management otherwise.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I would think the elves would complain to management, too
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . they would need individual probation officers!
Shawn Daysleeper: . lol
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahahaha Mandos: "Oh, Smif the orc, I am putting on parole, but whatever you do...don't go to the 12th floor...the elves think they are the only ones here."
Shawn Daysleeper: . I hope the pay is good
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . yes ㋡
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Ainur get paid?
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya Irmo charges a flat rate per dream
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . rofl
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahaha He should get base + commission.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . + hazard pay
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I'm sure the elves think they are the only ones there
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . nod nod nod
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . yes they would think that
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yeah and we keep wondering why room service is so lousy.
Shawn Daysleeper: . probation officers may need workman's comp in the orc wing
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . lol
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that would be Este's job
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . they definitely would. Este could sooth their rumpled souls some
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the orcs, or the parole officers?
Shawn Daysleeper: . orcs

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . But seriously, what is Mandos' true role?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes, Mandos true role ..
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . I think Mandos is supposed to be an aspect of god. In fact, I think all the Vala are like parts of a christian god
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . He is not Hades ruling an underworld, or a fallen angel, like Lucifer..
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . no no, but he is like the old man in the sky bit, drawing people to him
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . in some respects he does seem like Hades
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . how like Hades?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . well, "in charge of keeping the dead dead", and collecting them all, the good and the bad, regardless
Shawn Daysleeper: . no, I see the halls of Mandos like a hall of heroes, like a place of chivalry
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . oh you do Shawn? interesting
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes, a place of honour, bright
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . really? hmmm I don't see it as bright at all. I see it as a kind of misty, unreal place, a bit gloomy
Shawn Daysleeper: . well, I would hate to be an elf killed in say the first age, my soul hanging out in misty place for thousands of years
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . ㋡
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . some of them seem to have been released. I suppose they lived in the Undying Lands, since we hear of very few returning to Middle Earth
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . how do we know?
Shawn Daysleeper: . we don't
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . there is some uncertainty whether the Glorfindel of Rivendell was the same person as the Glorfindel of Gondolin
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . nods
Shawn Daysleeper: . oh ya I wondered that myself
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . another point Tolkien never clarified, or maybe never decided
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . sometimes we think more on the logistics of the world a writer created than the writer themself do
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . :D
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . lol oh yes
Shawn Daysleeper nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . so maybe we are over-analyzing?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . writing the stories is a lot harder than picking them apart
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . and look what a huge body of work it is. Imagine trying to remember every single detail
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Perhaps Mandos is meant to be part Valar, part Judge, Part Seer?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . as judge, what is his role, still? what difference does his decision make?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . For the Noldor, a lot
Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe he judges when the elves are reborn? based on their actions?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . judges pronounce sentences, decisions...
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . or based on whether they have learned better, sitting around in Mandos thinking
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . the facts are weighed according to a standard...and the judge pronounces the consequence of when someone violates the law... As Mandos did with the Noldor, so perhaps he is Illuvatar's "mouthpiece" for the elves.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes, so that suggests he has some control over consequences
Shawn Daysleeper: . interesting
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . to a limited degree, he can choose to defy Illuvatar. But we don't see him do that.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I meant, his decisions would affect the dead elves, in some way
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . absolutely
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . he decided when, or whether, they can be reborn (or return, or whatever)?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . that's a lot of power
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . that then makes the fact he is married to Vaire mean more.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . how so?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . If that is Mandos' role.....consider her role...she weaves the stories of all beings, yes? So she is akin to the Greek Fates? between her and Mandos you have a representation of the job of the Fates....
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I pictured her more as recording their stories
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . to spin out the thread of a person's live, to measure it's length, and to cut it at the proper time.
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . yes I thought it was as a recorder, like making great tapestries that tell stories
Shawn Daysleeper: . I see her role more like the role of the Norse fates Verthandi, Urd, Skuld
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . But recording the stories, isn't she also, in a way, though not directly, "measuring" the length? yes, that is another way to look at her.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . whereas the Fates, Norse or Greek, are influencing history themselves
Shawn Daysleeper: . one represents the past, one present, one future, but all in one being in Vaire. Tolkein was influenced by Norse mythology
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . good point Shawn, very much so
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . took a lot of names from them
Shawn Daysleeper: . so the Norse Fates could be Vaires role, same job, lol
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . excellent point
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so Vaire might be influencing the living?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think that is something that can be explored
Shawn Daysleeper: . maybe not to the extent as the Norns, Fates
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Shawn, you do present a good case :)
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the Norns were a pretty strong influence
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya,they were strong
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . But females tend to take a weaker position to males in Tolkien. So we can't forget that.
Shawn Daysleeper nods
Rosie Gray nods too
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so we have to try to reconstruct the "pre-Tolkien" version?
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . good lord, there's not enough of Tolkien that we have to reconstruct before him!
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . lol You know, the "pre Tolkien version of the stories, before the women got written out of it"
Rosie Gray: . . . . . . . . oh hehe yes the Dan Brown version
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . omg....hahahahah
Rosie Gray winks
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Ainur and Balrogs instead of Angels and Demons?

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Maybe we can talk about Vaire next time?
Shawn Daysleeper: . so was Mando's role more influential on the dead than Vaire's on the living?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Good question
Shawn Daysleeper tries to wrap his brain around that
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . should we stop here for tonight, then?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . next week Mandos and Vaire?

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . maybe Tolkien just had the feeling it ought to be important what happens to dead spirits
Shawn Daysleeper nods
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . well, it is, especially to fallen heroes?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . certainly those. That very human sense that the good should prosper and the evil suffer, and if it doesn't happen during life it ought to happen after death
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . the feeling of justice
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and that is universal across all cultures
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . which maybe requires some kind of afterlife
Shawn Daysleeper nods
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . even though he doesn't seem to have given a huge amount of thought to the details
Shawn Daysleeper: . it is still amazing what details he does provide
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I agree
Shawn Daysleeper: . it must have been very difficult keeping all of this straight, the stories, well, as straight as he could lol
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . hmm, probably so
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I'm sure Christopher has some comments about how well he kept them straight
AelKennyr Rhiano nods

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . maybe all those Teleri from the Kinslaying have been allowed to go home by now
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . to be reincarnated?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yeah
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . or go back as adults, however that finally worked
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I wonder if Mandos and Vaire had to keep the Noldor and Teleri separated, at least at first
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think that would have been wise
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I don't think anyone would have been released until they could get along
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Until they learned their lesson?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes What would they be waiting for, if not to learn?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Where do the balrogs and such go when they die?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . aren't they ainur?
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya I thought so
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Did they stay ainu?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . so they would become disembodied spirits, unless they eventually make new bodies
Shawn Daysleeper: . ya like what happened to saruman
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . exactly like that
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes, they just lose their body
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . the dark ones seem to have more trouble recreating bodies
Shawn Daysleeper: . yes, the balrogs population count does go down with time

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think I made my brain hurt with all this tonight. lol
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I certainly didn't follow everything that was said tonight
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I don't thinks any of us followed it all.
Shawn Daysleeper: . followed what?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . the discussion

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Should we continue this next week? maybe discuss
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yes, I think we were headed that way

Mandos -- Reading Material

Mandos - The Halls of Waiting

The Fëanturi, masters of spirits, are brethren, and they are called most often Mandos and Lórien. Yet these are rightly the names of the places of their dwelling, and their true names are Námo and Irmo.
Námo the elder dwells in Mandos, which is westward in Valinor. He is the keeper of the Houses of the Dead, and the summoner of the spirits of the slain.
Vairë the Weaver is his spouse, who weaves all things that have ever been in Time into her storied webs, and the halls of Mandos that ever widen as they ages pass are clothed with them.
... Nienna, sister of the Fëanturi. She dwells alone. She is aquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor. ... But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. ... She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom.
Silmarillion, Valaquenta

It is one with this gift [by Ilúvatar] of freedom that the children of Men dwell only a short space in the world alive, and are not bound to it, and depart soon whither the Elves know not. Whereas the Elves remain until the end of days.... For the Elves die not till the world dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief (and to both these seeming deaths they are subject); neither does age subdue their strength ... and dying they are gathered into the halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence they may in time return. But the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world.... Death is their fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy. ... Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it.
Silmarillion, "Of the Beginning of Days"

What may befall [Human] spirits after death the Elves know not. Some say that they too go to the halls of Mandos; but their place of waiting there is not that of the Elves, and Mandos under Ilúvatar alone save Manwë knows wither they go after the time of recollection in those silent halls beside the Outer Sea. None has ever come back from the mansions of the dead, save only Beren son of Barahir, whose hand had touched a Silmaril; but he never spoke afterward to mortal Men. The fate of Men after death, maybe, is not in the hands of the Valar, nor was all foretold in the Music of the Ainur..
Silmarillion, "Of Men"
[I *think* he means "of all beings lower than Ilúvatar, only Mandos and Manwë know ...".]

[Lúthien] set her arms around Beren, and kissed him, bidding him await her beyond the Western Sea....
The spirit of Beren at her bidding tarried in the halls of Mandos, unwilling to leave the world, until Lúthien came to say her last farewell upon the dim shores of the Outer Sea, whence Men that die set out never to return. But the spirit of Lúthien fell down into darkness, and at the last it fled, and her body lay like a flower that is suddenly cut off and lies for a while unwithered on the grass
... But Lúthien came to the halls of Mandos, where are the appointed places of the Eldalië, beyond the mansions of the West upon the confines of the world. There those that wait sit in the shadow of their thought. ... and she knelt before Mandos and sang to him ... and Mandos was moved to pity, who never before was so moved, nor has been since.
Therefore he summoned Beren, and even as Lúthien had spoken in the hour of his death they met again beyond the Western Sea. 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 should he change the fates of the Children of Ilúvatar.
These were the choices that he gave to Lúthien. Because of her labours and her sorrow, she should be released from Mandos, and go to Valimar, there to dwell until the world's ending among the Valar, forgetting all griefs that her life had known. Thither Beren could not come. For it was not permitted to the Valar to withhold Death from him, which is the gift of Ilúvatar to Men.
But the other choice was this: that she might return to Middle-earth, and take with her Beren, there to dwell again, but without certitude of life or joy. Then she would become mortal, and subject to a second death, even as he; and ere long she would leave the world for ever.
Silmarillion, "Of Beren and Lúthien"

Lúthien went to Menegroth and healed the winter of Thingol with the touch of her hand. But Melian looked in her eyes and read the doom that was written there, and turned away; for she knew that a parting beyond the end of the world had come between them, and no grief of loss has ever been heavier than the grief of Melian the Maia in that hour.
Silmarillion, "Of the Fifth Battle"

[to the rebelling Noldor:]
'... For though Eru appointed to you to not die in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after.'
Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"

It is indeed unhappy,' said Míriel, 'and I would weep, if I were not so weary.' ... She went then to the gardens of Lórien and lay down to sleep; but though she seemed to sleep, her spirit indeed departed from her body, and passed in silence to the halls of Mandos.
Silmarillion, "Of Fëanor"

[Finwë] knew that he should not see [Elwë] again, unless it were in the halls of Mandos.
Silmarillion, "Of Eldamar"

[Fëanor's] likeness has never again appeared in Arda, nor has his spirit left the halls of Mandos.
Silmarillion, "Of the Return of the Noldor"

[on the accidental death of an Elf with whom he had recently quarreled:]
'I did not will it, but I do not mourn it,' said Túrin. 'May Mandos judge him justly; and if ever he return to the lands of the living, may he prove wiser.'
Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hnîn Húrin"

Aforetimes it was held among the Elves in Middle-earth that dying the Dwarves returned to the earth and the stone of which they were made; yet this is not their own belief. For they say that Aulë the Maker, whom they call Mahal, cares for them, and gathers them to Mandos into halls set apart; and that he declared to their Fathers of old that Ilúvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End. Then their part shall be to serve Aulë and to aid him in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle. They say also that the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves return to live among their own kin and to bear again their ancient names: of whom Durin was the most renowned in after ages.
Silmarillion, "Of Aulë and Yavanna"

But when the Battle was ended ... the Valar drew Melkor back to Valinor, bound hand and foot, and blindfolded.... And he was cast into prison in the fastness of Mandos, whence none can escape, neither Vala, nor Elf, nor mortal Man. Vast and strong are those halls, and they were built in the west of the land of Aman. There was Melkor doomed to abide for three ages long, before his cause should be tried anew, or he should plead again for pardon.
Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves"

Geography notes:
Going west from Middle-earth, you encounter the Western (or Inner) Sea.
Crossing that (perhaps with a stopover in Númenor), you come to the continent of Aman, which is the Far West and the Undying Lands.
Moving west across the continent, you pass the Pelóri Mountains, the plain of Valinor which contains the city of Valimar and the homes of the Ainur, and come to the shores of the Outer Sea. The halls of Mandos are on this farthest shore, looking out toward the Void.