Greetings, and today we are going to discuss a theory of what mortal lives in Valinor would consist of. So last time, I gave an overview on Valinor and finished off with how the Hobbits went there.
Today we will be going in depth of what that would entail, and the resulting aftermaths. Please don’t take it at face value – it will be just more of a personal take on what mortal lives in Valinor would look like.
Did Tolkien ever write a story about mortal lives in Valinor?
Tolkien originally wanted a story, The New Shadow, to be written for the post-LOTR world. However, he quickly abandoned it after 13 pages, thus, he decided against publishing this sequel. However, it was mainly concerning the peoples and the events of Middle-earth.
In The Silmarillion, however, we know that Valinor was open in the First Age, and then was later closed to anyone except the Elves after the end of the Spring of Arda.
While there’s no exact moment as mentioned when mortals die in Valinor, there are many theories and we will be discussing a possible one.
Frodo goes to Valinor with Bilbo. The exact time spent in Valinor is unknown. Sam joins them after the passing of his wife Rosie. Or was he able to? Were they still around by then?
What would happen to the hobbits in Valinor once they got there?
Once they get there, Bilbo had just passed the Old Took, turning 131 shortly beforehand. Thus, he may not have been expected to live much longer – give or take about 10 to 20 years.
Since Bilbo had bore the ring, without really knowing that it was the One Ring for a while – he still would’ve been able to use the healing that was to be achieved in Valinor. Additionally, as evident in the beginning of the Lord of the Rings, he had grown attached to the Ring and the special abilities such as his youthful appearance and the ability to disappear. And not to mention being worn out from the Ring as well. Thus, he would be headed to Valinor for some much needed spiritual healing.
Frodo, who went with his cousin Bilbo, had some lasting wounds to mend in Valinor. First, he had suffered a wound at the end of Book I of the Fellowship, as the Riders pursued him. Additionally, Sam bore the ring for a day because he didn’t know if Frodo was ever going to be saved by Shelob at the end of The Two Towers. He had a finger bit by Gollum who tried to take the ring as well, who eventually went down Mount Doom with the Ring.
We now know (personally) that they remain in Eressëa for most of the time, which was told by Tolkien in the footnote in letter # 297.
So assuming they stay in Eressëa, After the passing of his wife Rosie, Sam went and joined Bilbo and Frodo. All in all, he had a devoted connection to Frodo. Thus, he would’ve possibly been able to reunite with Frodo in the Grey Havens when he went. He could’ve gone in order to be with Frodo in the Grey Havens. Or could he?
After all, since they went to the quest, and Sam seemed to have gone mainly to follow Frodo. Frodo would’ve been 114 when Sam finally arrived, but would he still be there when that comes?
While Letter 297 seems to suggest that they go to Eressëa, there doesn’t seem to be a reason why they weren’t allowed to enter Valinor, and thus, explore it. After all, since Bilbo says at the end of the books and movies – “I think I’m ready for another adventure.” This sort of hints that there would be an adventure involved. While there definitely will be other characters – this will mainly focus on the mortal lives in Valinor, particularly the hobbits who went – Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam.
They will have to go to each of the Valar – for personal exploration at first, and then (- but wait! Are they even allowed in Manwe’s region?)
This was after he had ‘failed’ in his quest, which was not at any fault of his own – since by then, the temptation had been at its maximum which was impossible. He had done all he could to this point, and few others would’ve been able to go so far.
Towards the end, we see that he was also wounded by a knife sting, tooth, and a long burden – which Arwen was the first to notice.
While many wounds were able to be healed physically, he still had some to mend in Valinor, especially the mental and physical wounds incurred in Mount Doom.
Sam bore the ring for one day, and he had a hard time noticing the weight of the ring. However, after Frodo got captured by Shelob, Sam bore the ring for one day. This could be after achieving a sense of pity or mercy – both of which could be the same – or it could not.
I’ve always thought of mercy being an action taken by a sense of pity – interesting. Corey Olson mentioned that pity didn’t always have the negative connotations it had today.
After all, Psalm 72:13 describes pity in the sense of compassion:
This seems to describe pity along the lines with mercy. Mercy might just be achieved in more of a physical sense, while pity is more about thinking, “gee, I really feel for what so-and-so is going through,” and mercy would be something that is acted upon, which may or may not be influenced by pity.
This made him start to perceive the evil of Sauron, and realized he didn’t have the strength to keep it for an extended period of time.
Similarly, when they had gone to Valinor, they went as a “purgatory” for healing – but this was in simpler terms.