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User:Mord

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| • [[The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen]]: "[Arwen] went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent."
 
| • [[The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen]]: "[Arwen] went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent."
 
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|''Galadriel had "passed away" while Celeborn was "gone," suggesting the possibility that he had not yet left Middle-earth as of the first months of FoA 121.''
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|''Galadriel had "passed away" while Celeborn was "gone," suggesting the possibility that he had not yet left Middle-earth. This passage could refer to any time after 1 March FoA 120 and before the (nebulously defined) beginning of Spring FoA 121.''
 
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| • [[Note on the Shire Records]]: "There [in Rivendell], though Elrond had departed, his sons long remained, together with some of the High-elven folk. It is said that Celeborn went to dwell there after the departure of Galadriel; but there is no record of the day when at last he sought the Grey Havens, and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth."
 
| • [[Note on the Shire Records]]: "There [in Rivendell], though Elrond had departed, his sons long remained, together with some of the High-elven folk. It is said that Celeborn went to dwell there after the departure of Galadriel; but there is no record of the day when at last he sought the Grey Havens, and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth."
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|If Celeborn took "the last living memory of the Elder Days" with him and Círdan departed on the "last ship," the two would necessarily have left on the same ship, the last to leave Mithlond. This much is beyond any reasonable doubt. However, there are ambiguities that allow for the possibility that this was not the last ship to leave Middle-earth.
 
|If Celeborn took "the last living memory of the Elder Days" with him and Círdan departed on the "last ship," the two would necessarily have left on the same ship, the last to leave Mithlond. This much is beyond any reasonable doubt. However, there are ambiguities that allow for the possibility that this was not the last ship to leave Middle-earth.
 
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|The phrasing of the description of Lórien in FoA 120-121 ("Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone") may lend credence to Aragorn's belief that Mithlond was not abandoned as of FoA 120. Tolkien chose specifically to describe Galadriel and Celeborn's absences from the land differently, implying that they were qualitatively different in some way. Galadriel had gone into the West, so the most obvious possible difference would be that Celeborn had not yet done so. If it is taken as true that Celeborn had not yet left Middle-earth as of the death of Arwen, he must have lingered at least until the coming of Spring in FoA 121.
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|We have reason to doubt the literal truth of the statement that Celeborn took "the last living memory of the Elder Days" with him: as far as we have any reason to believe, Treebeard still lived, as did Bombadil. It is likely that the phrase is meant to be intepreted figuratively, as "the last living memory of the Elder Days ''among the Children of Ilúvatar''." Even if Treebeard and Bombadil are not considered to possess "living memories" for this purpose, there is no reasonable interpretation that allows Celeborn to leave Middle-earth while Círdan remains behind.
 
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|Setting an upper bound for the date of departure requires only that Findegil was not ignorant in his use of the past tense in FoA 171 to describe Celeborn's departure.  
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Similar figurative language may also apply regarding Círdan's "last ship." It is remarkable that Legolas would choose to build his own ship rather than depart from Mithlond. Perhaps Legolas' decision was influenced by his long life among the Elves east of the Misty Mountains, who maintained their own haven in Edhellond until TA 1981 and may have had their own traditions regarding departures.  
 
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|Thus, assuming minimal ignorance on the part of every character and that Tolkien's choice of language was deliberate in his description of the absences of Galadriel and Celeborn from Lórien, the lower and upper bounds of the date of Celeborn and Círdan's departure from Middle-earth are late Winter/early Spring of FoA 121 and FoA 171 respectively.
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|Implicitly, if Legolas could build his own ship, other Elves could do the same. One possibility is that Legolas' grey ship on the Anduin was the only one of its kind in the Fourth Age, and all the Elves who dwelled near the Anduin (in Ithilien, the Woodland Realm, East Lórien, and Lórien) who were of a mind to depart rather than fade in Middle-earth were aboard. If it is taken as literally true that Círdan did indeed leave on the last ship, and also taken as true that other Elves chose to build their own ships in the manner of Legolas, it is necessary that the last of these other Elves departed prior to Celeborn.
 
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|If Aragorn was correct in his belief that Círdan had not yet left as of 1 March FoA 120, it is odd that Legolas would choose to build his own ship rather than depart from Mithlond. Perhaps Legolas' decision was influenced by his long life among the Elves east of the Misty Mountains, who maintained their own haven in Edhellond until TA 1981 and may have had their own traditions regarding departures.  
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|Another possibility is that Legolas' grey ship was ''not'' the only one of its kind, and Círdan's "last ship" was meant as the "last ship ''from Mithlond''." His description of his mission as given in the ''The Silmarillion'' explicitly refers to "grey shores" that could be Mithlond (literally "Grey Haven"), which gives slight credence to this interpetation. However, the account of the end of the Third Age in the ''The Silmarillion'' contradicts that of ''The Lord of the Rings'', so too much weight cannot be placed on it.*
 
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|The phrasing of the description of Lórien in FoA 120-121 ("Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone") may lend credence to Aragorn's belief that Mithlond was not abandoned as of FoA 120. Tolkien chose specifically to describe Galadriel and Celeborn's absences from the land differently, implying that they were qualitatively different in some way. Galadriel had gone into the West by this time, so the most obvious possible difference would be that Celeborn had not yet done so. If it is taken as true that Celeborn had not yet left Middle-earth as of the death of Arwen, he must have lingered in Rivendell or Mithlond at least until March of FoA 120 (perhaps as late as the coming of Spring in FoA 121).
|Implicitly, if Legolas could build his own ship, other Elves could do the same. One possibility is that Legolas' grey ship on the Anduin was the only one of its kind in the Fourth Age, and all the Elves who dwelled near the Anduin (in Ithilien, the Woodland Realm, East Lórien, and Lórien) who were of a mind to depart rather than fade in Middle-earth were aboard.
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|Another possibility is that Legolas' grey ship was ''not'' the only one of its kind, and Círdan's "last ship" was meant as the "last ship ''from Mithlond''." His phrasing in the ''The Silmarillion'' gives credence to this interpetation, though the account of the end of the Third Age in the ''The Silmarillion'' contradicts that of ''The Lord of the Rings''.*
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|Perhaps Aragorn was incorrect and Mithlond was already abandoned at the time of his death. This is unlikely, because there are few who would have better reason to be informed of goings-on in Mithlond than the King of Arnor in the midst of an attempt to repopulate the nearby cities of Annúminas and Fornost. (Mithlond, once abandoned by the Elves, could become an incredibly valuable port for commerce between Gondor and a renascent Arnor.) However, if Mithlond ''were'' abandoned at that time, Círdan could not possibly have departed on the literal "last ship," because Legolas had yet to depart.
 
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|If it is necessary that Círdan did indeed leave on the literal last ship, and also taken as true that other Elves chose to build their own ships in the manner of Legolas, it is also necessary that the last of these other Elves departed prior to Celeborn.
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|If it is not necessary that Círdan left on the literal last ship (and undue emphasis is not placed on Tolkien's phrasing as earlier), Celeborn may well have left Middle-earth at any time following the departure of the White Ship, allowing at a minimum "a few years" for him to grow weary of his realm in East Lórien and make a brief stop in Rivendell to bid farewell to his grandsons. Depending on whose ignorance is assumed, the earliest possible date of Círdan's departure can be reckoned at several points. If Aragorn is incorrect but Pippin is not, Círdan could not have left before FoA 63. If Aragorn is correct, Círdan could not have left before FoA 120. If Findegil is incorrect, Círdan may not have left even as of FoA 171.
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|Perhaps Aragorn was incorrect and Mithlond was already abandoned at the time of his death. This is unlikely, because there are few who would have better reason to be informed of goings-on in Mithlond than the King of Arnor in the midst of an attempt to repopulate the nearby cities of Annúminas and Fornost. (Mithlond, once abandoned by the Elves, could become an incredibly valuable port for commerce between Gondor and a renascent Arnor.) However, if Mithlond ''were'' abandoned at that time, Círdan could not possibly have departed on the literal "last ship," because Legolas had yet to depart.
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|We know that it is not literally true that Celeborn took "the last living memory of the Elder Days" with him; Treebeard still lived, as did Bombadil. It is possible that what was meant was merely "the last living memory of the Elder Days ''among the Children of Ilúvatar''." Similar figurative language may also apply regarding Círdan's "last ship."
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|Setting an upper bound for the date of departure requires that Findegil was correct in his use of the past tense in FoA 171. The description of the ship that nearly bore away Amroth - "No tidings of it were ever heard in Middle-earth" - sets a precedent for Elven ships departing without those who remain in Middle-earth seeing them go. Amroth's ship left no witnesses because it bore away the last residents of Edhellond; perhaps Celeborn's ship left no witnesses because it bore away the last residents of Mithlond.
 
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|If it is not necessary that Círdan left on the literal last ship (and undue emphasis is not placed on Tolkien's phrasing as earlier), Celeborn may well have left Middle-earth at any time following the departure of the White Ship, allowing at a minimum "a few years" for him to grow weary of his realm in East Lórien and make a brief stop in Rivendell to bid farewell to his grandsons. Depending on whose ignorance is assumed, the earliest possible date of Círdan's departure can be reckoned at several points. If ignorance on Aragorn's part but not Pippin's is assumed, Círdan could not have left before FoA 63. If there is no assumption of ignorance on Aragorn's part, Círdan could not have left before FoA 120. If ignorance on Findegil's part is assumed, Círdan may not have left even as of FoA 171.
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|The lower and upper bounds of the date of Celeborn and Círdan's departure from Middle-earth can be set with the following assumptions: both Aragorn and Pippin were correct about the state of settlement in Mithlond at their respective times, Tolkien's choice of language was deliberate in his description of the absences of Galadriel and Celeborn from Lórien, and the narrative parallels between the ''Note on the Shire Records'' and ''Unfinished Tales'' are deliberate. Under these assumptions, Celeborn left Middle-earth at some time between FoA 120 and FoA 171.
 
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|*  ''The Silmarillion'' implies that Círdan's "last ship" was identical with the White Ship and states that when the bearers of the Three Rings departed on it, "an end was come for the Eldar of story and of song." In ''The Lord of the Rings'', Círdan did not take the White Ship. For both accounts to be true, either Círdan is not counted among "the Eldar of story and of song" (unlikely) or Tolkien changed his mind.
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|*  The Silmarillion ''implies that Círdan's "last ship" was identical with the White Ship and states that when the bearers of the Three Rings departed on it, "an end was come for the Eldar of story and of song." In ''The Lord of the Rings'', Círdan did not take the White Ship. For both accounts to be true, Círdan must not be counted among "the Eldar of story and of song," which is highly unlikely. Tolkien must have changed his mind in this matter.''
 
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*What happened to Elladan and Elrohir?
 
*What happened to Elladan and Elrohir?

Revision as of 07:01, 14 June 2021

I used to be the anonymous editor 75.118.149.152 (contribs) (talk), but I grew a name of my own.

Contents

Unanswerable questions that keep me up nights

Fourth Age

  • When exactly did Celeborn leave Middle-earth?
Similar figurative language may also apply regarding Círdan's "last ship." It is remarkable that Legolas would choose to build his own ship rather than depart from Mithlond. Perhaps Legolas' decision was influenced by his long life among the Elves east of the Misty Mountains, who maintained their own haven in Edhellond until TA 1981 and may have had their own traditions regarding departures.
  • What happened to Elladan and Elrohir?
  • Did any Noldor remain in Middle-earth after the White Ship left? The Silmarillion suggests not, Appendix A hedges.
    • If so, what about after the Last Ship?
      • Who counts as a Noldo for this purpose (e.g. the sons of Elrond, Noldor-blooded Galadhrim of Lórien)?
    • Did any Eldar choose to fade in Middle-earth rather than leave bodily (e.g. Thranduil)?
    • Did any Elves build their own ships (cf. Legolas) after the "Last" Ship?
    • Did any Silvans or Avari choose to go West?
      • Did Avari have the grace to go West?
      • If not, do Silvans count as Eldar or Avari?

Third Age

  • Which four of the Seven Rings were consumed by dragonfire? The only one we know for sure survived is the Ring of the Longbeards.
  • Who were the Nine Nazgûl?
    • Was the Witch-king truly of Númenórean descent? Tolkien's final word on the subject (which is buried as deeply as anything Tolkien-related could possibly be while still being available to the public) was literally "probably."
    • Was "Khamûl" a nom de guerre that described only the Ringwraith, or did this name derive from his original "mortal" identity?
    • Were all nine of the Men to whom Sauron gave a Ring in the Second Age Nazgûl during the War of the Ring, or was there turnover?

Second Age

  • Who slew Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance?

First Age

  • Why didn't Orodreth send Finduilas to Círdan for safekeeping at the same time as Gil-galad?
    • Related: what years were Finduilas and Gil-galad born?
  • Who is the elder: Elros or Elrond?

Things I like

  • FAQ of the Rings – Mostly great information and some interesting speculation about the Rings of Power.
  • The Last Ringbearer – The very best fan fiction ever written, and possibly the only work of fan fiction with genuine literary merit.
  • My favorite characters in the Legendarium: Círdan, Celeborn, Elmo. I like the ones who don't get a lot of attention but whose efforts in the background were nonetheless essential.
  • Reference templates