20 Apr 04 8:39 AM
Reply To: 23715
Even as Finrod speaks of death, he moves on to offer words of hope (P 319):
‘For ever as we spoke of death being a division of the united, I thought in my heart of a death that is not so: but he ending together of both. For that is what lies before us, so far as our reason could see: the completion of Arda and its end, and therefore also of us children of Arda; the end when all the long lives of the Elves shall be wholly in the past.
‘And then suddenly I beheld as a vision Arda remade; and there the Eldar completed but not ended could abide in the present forever, and there walk, maybe, with the Children of Men, their deliverers, and sing to them such songs as, even in the Bliss beyond bliss, should make the green valleys ring and the everlasting mountain-tops to throb like harps.’
And this from the commentary (P 332):
“Therefore in the last resort the Elves were obliged to rest on ‘naked estel
’ (as they said): the trust in Eru, that whatever He designed beyond the End would be recognized by each fëa
as wholly satisfying (at the least). Probably it would contain joys unforeseeable. But they remained in the belief that it would remain in intelligible relation with their present nature and desires, proceed from them and include them.”
So, even though the Elves could not reason
their way to any likelihood of life beyond the End, still, they held to hope
– and trusted in Eru’s goodness that their lives would not end along with Arda marred.
Now this seemed to pertain to the Noldor who had walked and talked with the Valar in Aman – how much this would apply to the other kindreds of Elves is another question.