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Doom of Mandos

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"The Curse of Mandos" by Lourdes Velez

The Doom of Mandos, also called the Doom of the Noldor, the Curse of Mandos, and the Prophecy of the North, was the judgement of the Valar (believed to have been spoken personally by Mandos) pronounced on the Noldorin Elves who carried out the Kinslaying at Alqualondë in Eldamar. It was given to the Noldor in the lands of Araman north of Valinor as a warning of the woe that would come upon them if they continued in their rebellion against the Valar and did not repent of their killing of the innocent Falmarin Elves.

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The Doom goes as follows:

Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in , 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. The Valar have spoken.
Of the Flight of the Noldor

The pronunciation of this Doom was the immediate cause for the full repentance of Finarfin (already reluctant to proceed) and his followers, and their return to Tirion. There they asked and received the forgiveness of the Valar.[1]

Jenny Dolfen - A Tapestry of Sorrows

However, nine-tenths of the Noldor (as well as the Vanya Elenwë who accompanied her Noldorin spouse) continued on their way to Beleriand to fight Morgoth, and the disastrous wars they waged there fulfilled the prophetic Doom.

Most would not survive, and none who died in exile save two (Finrod and Glorfindel) would be re-embodied before the War of Wrath that would finally end the First Age. Forgiveness and pardon for most would not come until then. For some, it did not come even then, such as for the prideful Galadriel who would only at last prove her necessary penitence at the very end of the Third Age.

Fëanor and his sons would remain unpardoned for other reasons, namely their unfulfillable Oath. This would make it impossible for the survivor Maglor to return until the Silmarils do.

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References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"