Hope rather that in the end even the least of your desires shall have fruit. The love of Arda was set in your hearts by Ilúvatar, and he does not plant to no purpose. Nonetheless, many ages of Men unborn may pass ere that purpose is made known; and to you it will be revealed and not to the Valar.’
These words, from Manwë’s messengers to the Dúnedain of Númenor, are both greatly comforting and extremely challenging.
First, they are comforting because they are a reassurance from a reliable source that something more than mere death is in store for Men. The logic is simple: Ilúvatar is no trickster. Your love of Arda, of creation, comes from Him, and He is not one given to sowing seed without the intent of harvest.
At the same time, the words are challenging because they require an abiding peace and trust even in the face of good things going bad. Because of Melkor’s malice, the peoples of Arda journey on a stormy sea, and what is right in front of them tends to command their attention more so than what is on the distant horizon.
Furthermore, not even the Valar, those closest to Ilúvatar, can say what it is He has in store for Men. “Yes, it’s nice to know there is something better in store and all, but as to what it is, that is quite vague. Meanwhile, I really hope I’ll see my loved ones again, or even glimpse the beautiful sea.” Death, for the Men of Arda, is the trustfall of all trustfalls, and even as the followers of Amandil and Elendil strive to embrace the ambiguously promised hope, there’s something in each of us that can sense the existential bind the Numenoreans must have felt.
Concerning “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”, from the founding of Lindon to the Last Alliance of Men and Elves…
Hey there fellow travelers! Welcome to The Tolkien Road, a long walk through the works and philosophy of J.R.R. Tolkien. On this episode, we begin a 2-part discussion of the last chapter in The Silmarillion, “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.” By the way, if you haven’t already, please leave The Tolkien Road a rating and feedback on iTunes. We’d love to know what you think of the podcast. Enjoy the show!
Continuing with “Akallabêth”, the chronicle of Númenór’s downfall…
Hey there fellow travelers! Welcome to The Tolkien Road, a long walk through the works and philosophy of J.R.R. Tolkien. On this episode, we conclude our look at “Akallabêth”, or “The Downfallen”, the story of Númenór’s rise and fall in the Second Age. By the way, if you haven’t already, please leave The Tolkien Road a rating and feedback on iTunes. We’d love to know what you think of the podcast. Enjoy the show!
Note from a Listener: more March 25th connections (2:30)