Does Finarfin get killed?

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Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Xlranet » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:30 am

I know that when his brothers and his sons leave him for ME, he stays behind to rule the remaining Noldor in Arda. But at the end of the age when the host of the Valar battles with Morgoth, Tolkien only mentions in The Silmarillion that Finarfin leads the rest of the Noldor in the battle. It doesnt say if he survives the battle, or if he was killed.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby heliona » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:07 am

As there is no mention of it, we can presume that he is still alive in Valinor. :-)

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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:52 pm

I think there's a line in Quenta Silmarillion that Finrod walked with his father in Eldamar. If so, that said, there is no particular time referenced here. So when was he reunited with Finarfin? Before the War of Wrath began? The Rebel Noldor were still banned from physical return to Aman.

Did he walk with Finarfin after the Ban was lifted, or after Morgoth fell? But like Galadriel, Finrod was a leader of the Exiles, and arguably he should be especially banned like Galadriel, even after the fall of Morgoth.

But perhaps Finrod was an exception, and had been purged and restored to physical life even before the ban was lifted. In a late text Tolkien allowed that Glorfindel was -- although granted Glorfindel was no leader of the rebels (there were other reasons Tolkien noted for Glorfindel to return in this time period).

In conclusion: I don't know :?

But at some point Finrod and Finarfin walked in Eldamar; and even if Finarfin died in this war, as he was fighting in the hosts of the Valar he was arguably reincarnated relatively quickly.

Or something.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby ngaur » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:01 am

Living in deathless Aman Finarfin could only have been killed during the war of wrath. If he was I would think it had been metioned, or made into some kind of song, so we may safely infer that he never died.

The elves returning from death opens up a lot of tricky questions. Like did Fingolfin resume lordship over the Noldor if he returned? Probably not. I think as Galin suggested that unless Finrod was given special permission for some unknown purpose, or for his valour on the Isle of Werewolves, then Finarfin of all his children would first have been reunited with Galadriel. Though eventually since only Orodreth among them seems to have let pride draw disaster upon himself they could all have been reunited.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Lackluster » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:29 am

I am trying to see if Finrod should be classified as one of the leaders! The Road Goes Ever On (arguably the latest published source on the matter?) states this, about Galadriel:
'She was the last survivor of the princes and queens who had led the revolting Noldor to exile in Middle-earth. After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return...'. Does this mean that the ban applies to all Noldorin princes/princesses (Finwe's descendants I guess)? Or was it more specific?

On one hand, I feel that the word 'queens' is a tricky one here. 'Princes' may include some who were indeed the rebellion and exile leaders, and leave out others who were not. But plural 'queens' (not that there were any literal queens in the event but more than one princess) might indicate otherwise, that is, that the ban was a blanket thing - there was Aredhel also, never mentioned as a leader, but it looks like she would have been banned also had she lived (and probably had to stay in Mandos). Then Finrod too would be in the same category, just because he was a prince and went to exile.
But on the other hand, when the events following Feanor's speech and call for exile are described (in the Annals of Aman), Fingolfin and Turgon opposed Feanor, Inglor (latter named Finrod) was of a like mind with Turgon his friend, whereas Galadriel was eager to be gone. So that sort of sets her apart from her eldest brother. He didn't abandon the exile when his father did because of his friendship with Fingolfin's sons that still went on - he is not said, (unlike Galadriel), to want to rule his own realm. (Doesn't even seem that he was all that eager to be a king and to dominate the others. He lays down his crown when others wouldn't follow him and Beren).

Also about this ban, Maedhros and Maglor were urged to go to Valinor and receive judgement, as opposed to being banned.

According to RGEO, Galadriel's ban was lifted because of all she did to oppose Sauron (and for rejection of the One Ring); but Finrod opposed Sauron face to face!

As to reuniting of Finarfin with his children, wasn't it implied that Aegnor would never (want to) return?
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:11 am

I think RGEO reveals that the special ban refers to those who had led the Exiles, or in fancy colour emphasis: 'princes and queens who had led...'

Finrod's leadership is noted in Quenta Silmarillion after Feanor abandons the Noldor and the remaining Exiles determine to cross the Grinding Ice. The Shibboleth of Feanor reveals that Galadriel's desire for far lands and dominions to rule without tutelage was also shared by Finrod...

... which I think fits well with the earlier tale of their leadership, which was employed for the constructed Silmarillion.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby ngaur » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:27 pm

Finrod was in any case without question one of the leaders of the rebellion. Especially leading the third host of the Noldor on, after his father, their rightful lord chose to turn back.

I don't recall the details but I wonder if not all the Noldor in ME, leaders included, were offered a pardon after Morgoths overthrow, if only they would return to Valinor and face judgement. For those that refused, such as Galadriel the ban was still in play, as they were then still in rebellion.

I don't what effect this, if any, had on those that had already died in ME and were in the keeping of Mandos.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:05 pm

Well, the indication (in my opinion) is that Galadriel's reply to the ban -- thus after finding out she was banned while for the rest of the Noldor the earlier, general ban was lifted -- was a proud reply that she had no wish to return in any case. At this time.

'After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return, and she had replied proudly that she had no wish to do so.' JRRT, The Road Goes Ever On

Close to the time this was published, a letter of 1967 explained...

'The Exiles were allowed to return – save for a few chief actors in the rebellion, of whom at the time of The Lord of the Rings only Galadriel remained. At the time of her Lament in Lórien she believed this to be perennial, as long as the Earth endured. Hence she concludes her lament with a wish or prayer that Frodo may as a special grace be granted a purgatorial (but not penal) sojourn in Eressea, the solitary isle in sight of Aman, though for her the way is closed. Her prayer was granted – but also her personal ban was lifted, in reward for her services against Sauron, and above all for her rejection of the temptation to take the Ring when offered to her. So at the end we see her taking ship.' JRRT, Letters

While this letter obviously was not published by JRRT, it arguably explains the same idea.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Lackluster » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:56 pm

I actually wanted to post on a different subject altogether and now this thread wouldn't let go of me. LOL.

One thing occurring to me is that 'The Exiles were allowed to return - save for a few chief actors in the rebellion of whom at the time of the L.R. only Galadriel remained' is a very peculiar sentence (that's the draft letter 297 towards the end). How were those 'chief actors' defined? And the ban was imposed at the end of the First Age - already by then no one of the exiled Noldorin princes/princesses was alive except Galadriel. Maglor might have been, in some traditions, but he was explicitly asked to return, to be judged - in view of which Galadriel's ban is quite surprising (admittedly mixing the versions here). Is 'return' to be understood in a wider sense (not only from Middle-earth but also from Mandos)? Hard to tell because the letter seems to refer to the journey of Earendil, who came by sailing (and violated two bans at once).

Another thing is also that each fea, once in Mandos, seems to be judged individually. The restoration of the bodily form is delayed due to evil deeds of which the fëa is unrepentant or if it still harbors malice against any of the living. And as to the ban against the Noldor's return (imposed by Manwe), it is said that Manwe was not bound by his own ordinances and could set them aside when he saw fit (very convenient). In the case of Glorfindel, a few things justifying his early return are listed, among which is that his deeds including his self sacrifice were vital to the designs of the Valar. Surely everyone can compare Glorfindel and Finrod and see that Finrod's early return would be easy to justify. He is even called 'noblest of all the Noldor in the tales of Beleriand'.

One might also wonder about the timing of that additional special ban against the 'rebellion leaders'. Finrod died and could have received judgement way before the ban has become differential with respect to the 'leaders'.

But frankly speaking this special ban thing looks more like a literary device (that causes issues like the one being discussed) because Galadriel didn't do anything particularly evil or even notable at all in the First Age and although she wanted a realm to rule she didn't have it.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:45 pm

I think the special ban really goes for living Elves, and thus Galadriel gets singled out.

As noted, an Ef must be purged in Mandos before returning to physical life anyway; while this is not a ban it still speaks to something like what Galadriel had to overcome as a living Elf. A self reflective, spiritual life in Mandos is arguably notably different that the physical life of the living, and her special ban makes it so that she cannot return into the West without a changed heart and mind.

In my opinion the 'leadership aspect' is how the chief actors (in the letter) were defined.

So the way I see it (ahem so far today)...

general ban on the Noldorin Exiles lifted after Fall of Morgoth. Any Exiles who died before this were normally not allowed physically in Aman in any case, but after the Ban was lifted, those who were 'purged' (and all that) in Mandos could return, in general. Could a purged Finrod return before the ban was lifted? Possibly. Tolkien seems to allow Glorfindel as an exception.*

special ban on leaders Galadriel happens to be a leader who lived. Again I think this ban really only served the living, as any living leader could have returned to Aman without a change of heart. As noted, already dead leaders had the constraints of bodily restoration on them in any case -- they must repent and so on.

*Glorfindel restored before the general ban was lifted

I feel like I'm missing something here. Glorfindel died relatively late in the First Age... yes Tolkien desired that he be Glorfindel of Imladris, but that doesn't mean he had to be restored in the body before the general ban was lifted.

In other words, why did JRRT feel the need to explain Glorfindel as an exception before the ban was lifted, when the lifting of the general ban was coming 'soon enough', especially as Glorfindel had plenty of time to get back to Middle-earth if he simply awaited his bodily restoration.

Or is there something right in front of me that I'm not seeing? Have I already posted about this before? Hmm. Maybe the Eressean question (the question of whether or not the Exiles were allowed to dwell 'permanently' in Valinor after the general ban was lifted) is involved? But still Glorfindel could have been restored upon Eressea after the ban was lifted, and sailed back to Middle-earth in plenty of time to do the things he is said to do in the already published tale or Appendices.

Or :?
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby ngaur » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:46 pm

It's also not entirely clear what the purpose of sending Glorfindel back to Middle-Earth was. One might think that as Gandalf and the Istari were sent against Sauron, Glorfindel was sent against the Ulairi, which might explain his doings at Angmar, though he didn't destroy the Witch-king himself and though he remained in Middle-Earth (for how long?) he doesn't seem to have taken any part in the major flash points after Carn Dum.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:26 am

In the late Glorfindel essays Tolkien gives a few hints. In Glorfindel I it seems Glorfindel came back as a companion to Gandalf, as he had become a follower and friend of Olorin in Aman. That seems simple enough but it appears Tolkien revised this...

... as in Glorfindel II Glorfindel arrives much earlier, and: 'His return must have been for the purpose of strengthening Gil-galad and Elrond, when the growing evil of the intentions of Sauron were at last perceived by them.'

Of course strengthening in what sense? While powerful he is still one Elf, but I would argue that such a famed Elf returned would give folks hope and so on -- that is, strengthening in more ways than just physical.

JRRT was also going to add something about Glorfindel's history, it seems, as when he appears to have changed his mind about when Glorfindel returned, Tolkien also noted: 'it seems far more likely that he was sent in the crisis of the Second Age, when Sauron invaded Eriador, to assist Elrond, and that though not (yet) mentioned in the annals recording Sauron's defeat he played a notable and heroic part in the war.'
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby ngaur » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:55 am

JRRT was also going to add something about Glorfindel's history, it seems, as when he appears to have changed his mind about when Glorfindel returned, Tolkien also noted: 'it seems far more likely that he was sent in the crisis of the Second Age, when Sauron invaded Eriador, to assist Elrond, and that though not (yet) mentioned in the annals recording Sauron's defeat he played a notable and heroic part in the war.'


This seems to make it more difficult then, because if that was his mission and accomplished then why did he also aid against Angmar in the Third age but not against Sauron at its end? He has a free will of course which could explain it all, or if viewed as a messenger like the istari he might be considered to (in the long run) have failed as many of them did.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Galin » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:46 am

I think assisting Elrond works here. Glorfindel did so when Sauron himself came with war into the North of Eriador, and the Witch-king of Angmar was a later, northern threat. By Frodo's time there was not enough Elven folk to send to the War in the south, as, like Lorien, Rivendell would need warriors to protect its folk -- Gandalf believed Rivendell and Lorien were in danger of attack, according to text in Unfinished Tales.

Yes Elrond's half-elven sons, who were arguably close with the Dunedain, went south to war, but no Elves besides Legolas. Glorfindel remains to assist Elrond still.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Lackluster » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:50 pm

Finarfin seems to be utterly forgotten. Serves him right, for all his obedience.

Isn't it said that the willingness of the fëa to return also plays a role? The fëa has not only to be 'purged' but also willing to become incarnate again. Of course why Glorfindel in particular would be willing to return as soon as possible wouldn't be clear. On the other hand, why Finrod would want to come back (or why Aegnor wouldn't) is easier to see.

Glorfindel somehow never leaves an impression of a failure, from whatever is written about him.
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Re: Does Finarfin get killed?

Postby Xlranet » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:04 pm

When I started this topic, I thought that Finarfin was the wisest of the 3 brothers (For deciding not to go to ME).

But now I think he just wanted the quiet life. Maybe he regretted turning back from his brothers. Oh well.
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