The end of Arda: the final battle; the journey's end; a release from all things.
That was yet to come.
The end of Arda: he stood upon bare rock, far above the grinding ice and harsh seas. To go forward - impossible. To go back, he must remember how he came. (1)
How many yéni had he wandered, keeping the seas always to his right? One could not grieve for those who deserved death; one should not lament losses when others had lost more by a guilty hand. To forget, then, would suffice - surely, even an Elf could lose the thread of time.
Filling his mind with other thoughts and unknown wonders, with new memories that neither pained nor comforted him, he had almost forgotten his grief. He had made new songs in an unknown tongue that revealed itself as he gave it meaning and he had sung of white sands that scorched his feet, of forests thick with the eyes of Men, of ice floes groaning in an empty, white world. Walking by Tilion's light, he delighted in stars never before seen, and soon had known them all, and had given them names. He had seen birds painted in all the colours of Arda, and had learnt all their songs.
Now, he had no songs left to sing.
He could gaze into the horizon, into the West and his Doom, until brave mariners to come would not know him from the stone.
He could claim this place for his own, and live undisturbed for an Age or more; but the land seemed to want no master.
From his high perch, he could leap into the arms of Námo.
All such roads led only to delay, not destination.
He had seen that the world was no longer flat but round. This was not yet the end of Arda, for was it not in the nature of things round to go ever on? What had once been straight had become bent, the West become East, and though time would move forward, Maglor would not. (2)
Where his journey had begun waited a white ship with an ancient shipwright who would not refuse to bear him. Only by the bent way made straight could he find his journey's end. (3)
(1) The end of Arda: he stood upon bare rock, far above the grinding ice and harsh seas.
Based on Tolkien's fancy that Middle-earth is our ancient history, I've imagined that Maglor has reached Cape Horn. The geographical purist will allow for some conveniently-placed grinding ice, seeing as such things have existed during human history. The Cape is actually nearly inaccessible, even in modern times. (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, No 183 p 239 pub Houghton Mifflin)
(2) He had seen that the world was no longer flat but round.
Thus in after days, what by the voyages of ships, what by lore and star-craft, the kings of Men knew that the world was indeed made round... . (The Silmarillion, 'Akallabêth', p 338 pub Ballantine/Del Rey)
(3) Only by the bent way made straight could he find his journey's end.
The idea that Maglor eventually made it to Valinor is somewhat uncanonical: For Maglor was mighty among the singers of old, named only after Daeron of Doriath, but he never came back among the people of the Elves. (Ibid, 'Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath' p 305)
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