Tolkien Gateway

Old Hope

"These things are beyond the compass of the wisdom of the Eldar, or of the Valar maybe."
Finrod in Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth

The Old Hope was a belief hold by a group of Edain in the First Age. They believed Eru will enter into Arda and heal the Marring caused by Morgoth.

[edit] History

The group were few, but their number had increased after the coming of the Edain into Beleriand, as in the war of the Eldar they saw that Morgoth could indeed be defied, as they thought. However, their hope was not grounded on any of the peoples of Arda, but on the One who created and was beyond it:

They say that the One will himself come into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end. This they say also, or they feign, is a rumour that has come down through years uncounted, even from the days of our undoing.

During the famous debate between the Wise-woman Andreth and King Finrod, she mentioned those of the "Old Hope" after dealing with Estel ("hope"). She denied to be one of them, declaring her incredulity against this belief, but Finrod showed himself more open to it: "If Eru wished to do this, I do not doubt that He would find a way.[1]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In the previous draft of the Athrabeth, the concept is called "the Great Hope", and Andreth declares herself one of the group, while it is Finrod who answers with incredulity.[2]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Four. Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: 'The Debate of Finrod and Andreth'", pp. 321-323
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Four. Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: [Draft material]", pp. 351-352