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Aman

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{{location
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{{location infobox
| image=[[Image:Ted Nasmith - The Shores of Valinor.jpg|300px]]
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| name=Aman
 
| name=Aman
| othernames=Frequently generalized as [[Valinor]]
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| image=[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Shores of Valinor.jpg|250px]]
| etymology=[[Q.]] "Blessed Realm" or "Free from Evil"
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| caption="The Shores of Valinor" by [[Ted Nasmith]]
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| pronun=
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| othernames="The West", Undying Lands, Blessed Realm, Uttermost West
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| location=West of [[Belegaer]], east of [[Ekkaia]]
 
| type=Continent
 
| type=Continent
| location=West of [[Belegaer]]
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| description=
| inhabitants=[[Valar]], [[Vanyar]], [[Noldor]], [[Teleri]]
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| regions=[[Valinor]], [[Araman]], [[Avathar]], [[Lórien (Valinor)|Lórien]]
| realms=
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| towns=[[Alqualondë]], [[Formenos]], [[Halls of Mandos]], [[Tirion]], [[Valmar]]
| description=Beautiful realm split by the [[Pelóri]]
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| inhabitants=[[Valar]], [[Maiar]], [[Vanyar]], [[Noldor]], [[Teleri]]
| events=[[Flight of the Noldor]], death of the [[Two Trees]]
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| created=
| references=''[[The Silmarillion]]''
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| destroyed=
|}}{{Pronounce|Aman.mp3|Ardamir}}
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| events=Death of the [[Two Trees]]<br/>[[Flight of the Noldor]]<br/>Destruction of [[Ar-Pharazôn]]
'''Aman''' ("Blessed Realm" or "Free from Evil" in [[Quenya]], pron. {{IPA|[ˈaman]}}) is a continent that lies to the west of [[Middle-earth]], across the great ocean [[Belegaer]]. It is the home of the [[Valar]], and three kindreds of [[Elves]]: the [[Vanyar]], some of the [[Noldor]], and some of the [[Teleri]].  The island of [[Tol Eressëa]] lies just off the eastern shore.
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}}
 
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{{Pronounce|Aman.mp3|Ardamir}}
Upon the destruction of [[Almaren]] in very ancient times, the Valar fled to Aman, and there established the realm of [[Valinor]].  
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'''Aman''', the '''Blessed Realm''', was a continent that lay to the west of [[Middle-earth]], across the great ocean [[Belegaer]]. It contained [[Valinor]], the home of the [[Valar]].
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==Description==
 
==Description==
Seeking to isolate themselves, they raised a great mountain fence, called the [[Pelóri]], on the eastern coast; the highest of them was [[Taniquetil]], on the peak of which was the throne of [[Manwe]] and [[Varda]]. They later set the [[Enchanted Isles]] in the ocean to prevent travelers by sea from reaching Aman.
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===Geography===
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The continent of Aman had great oceans on both sides, [[Ekkaia]] to the west and [[Belegaer]] to the east.  When the Valar chose this land for their dwelling they needed a defense against [[Melkor]] and thus upon Aman's [[Haerast|eastern coast]] they raised the [[Pelóri]], the highest mountains on earth, of which [[Taniquetil]] was the tallest of all.  Upon this peak were the thrones of [[Manwë]] and [[Varda]].
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Behind the mountain wall was established the domain of [[Valinor]] which became more beautiful than Middle-earth in the [[Spring of Arda]].
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Through the Pelóri was opened a pass, the [[Calacirya]], which brought light to the narrow coastland of [[Eldamar]] and the island of [[Tol Eressëa]].<ref name="Eldamar">{{S|Princes}}</ref>  Also beyond the mountain wall were two more regions of Aman: [[Araman]] to the northeast<ref name="Flight">{{S|Flight}}</ref> and [[Avathar]] to the southeast. [[Ungoliant]], a great spider of unknown origin, had managed to escape notice in Avathar.<ref>{{S|Darkening}}</ref>
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In the north Aman was separated from Middle-earth by the narrow straits of the [[Helcaraxë]].  These ice-filled straits served as a path for Melkor and later the host of [[Fingolfin]] to return to Middle-earth.<ref name="Flight"/>
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The Valar later set the [[Enchanted Isles]] in the ocean to prevent travelers by sea from reaching Aman.<ref name="Sun">{{S|Sun}}</ref>
  
For reasons unknown, the Valar left two lands outside the wall of the Pelóri: [[Araman]] to the northeast and [[Avathar]] to the southeast. [[Ungoliant]], a great spider of unknown origin, had managed to escape notice in Avathar.
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===Flora and fauna===
  
Aman was connected to the north with Middle-earth via the narrow straits of the [[Helcaraxe]], a road that was taken by Melkor and later [[Fëanor]] when leaving for [[Beleriand]].  
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The ''[[olvar]]'' (plants) and ''[[kelvar]]'' (animals) in Aman were sometimes different from those of Middle-earth, though they were in essence "ordinary beasts and plants with usual conditions of mortality".<ref>{{ER|R2}}, p. 150</ref>
  
==History==
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==Etymology==
The [[Elves]] who arrived to Aman in the Years of the Trees were called Amanyar or [[Calaquendi]] because they saw the light of the Two Trees. The Valar opened a cleft between the Pelóri, the [[Calacirya]], so that the Light reached the Elves in their lands and cities, [[Eldamar]], [[Tirion]], [[Alqualondë]] and [[Tol Eressëa]].
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The [[Quenya]] name ''Aman'' is glossed as "Blessed Land",<ref name=VT49>{{VT|49a}}, pp. 26-7</ref> or "blessed, free from evil"<ref>{{WJ|P4}}, p. 399</ref> or "The Unmarred State".<Ref>{{LT1|IIIn}}</ref>
  
After the Exile of Feanor, the [[Noldor]] were not allowed to return to Valinor, and it was hidden from the Mortal lands. The Valar raised the Pelóri more, fortified Calacirya and raised the Enchanted Isles in the [[Shadowy Seas]]. There have been many attempts to reach the Undying Lands from Beleriand by ships, of which only [[Voronwë of Gondolin|Voronwë]] Aranwion survived; it is told that maybe [[Tuor]] was, alone of the mortals, allowed to find Aman before his son [[Eärendil the Mariner|Eärendil]].
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The etymology of the name ''Aman'' changed over time in [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]'s writings. In early linguistic writings, ''Aman'' was intended to be a "native [[Quenya]] form", derived from the root MAN ("good"). However, in later writings (such as ''[[Quendi and Eldar]]''), the name is said to derive from a [[Valarin]] word.<ref name=VT49/>
  
Eärendil was the first known navigator to succeed in passing the [[Isles of Enchantment]], guided by the light of the [[Silmaril]], who came to Valinor to seek the aid of the Valar against Melkor, now called ''Morgoth''. His quest was successful, the Valar went to war again, and also decided to remove the Isles.
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==Other names==
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Aman was also called the Ancient West,{{fact}} Blessed Realm{{fact}} and the Undying Lands<ref>{{App|Numenor}}</ref> or just [[Valinor]]. In [[Adûnaic]] it was called ''Amatthāni''.<ref>{{SD|Footnotes}}, p. 435</ref> In ''[[The Hobbit]]'' Tolkien also calls this continent "Faerie in the West".<ref>{{H|Flies}}</ref>
  
After the [[War of Wrath]] and the destruction of Beleriand, Aman was no more connected to Middle-earth by the Helcaraxë but could be reached by the ships of the Elves.
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==Immortality==
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[[Robert Foster]] said in his foreword to ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]'' that he did not provide death dates for protagonists who sailed in the West "''for they still live''". Steuard Jensen, while noting that Tolkien "''seems to have been initially unsure''" if the "''mortals who sailed to the West would remain mortal''", comments that are strong arguments in favour of the opposite view, citing from two letters by Tolkien:<ref>{{webcite|author=Steuard Jensen|articleurl=http://tolkien.slimy.com/faq/History.html#MortalsWest|articlename=Did Frodo and the other mortals who passed over the Sea eventually die?|dated=|website=FAQ|accessed=25 March 2012}}</ref>
  
Soon after this, the great island of [[Númenor]] was raised out of Belegaer, close to the shores of Aman, and the Three Houses of the [[Edain]] were brought to live thereHenceforth, they were called the [[Dúnedain]], and were blessed with many gifts by the Valar and the Elves of Tol Eressëa. The Valar feared—rightly—that the [[Númenóreans]] would seek to enter Aman to gain immortality (even though a mortal in Aman remains mortal), so they forbade them from sailing west of the westernmost promontory of Númenor.  In time, and not without some corrupting help from [[Sauron]], the Númenóreans violated the [[Ban of the Valar]], and sailed to Aman with a great army under the command of [[Ar-Pharazôn]] the Golden. The Valar collapsed a part of the Pelóri on this army, trapping it but not killing it. It is said that the army still lives underneath the pile of rock.
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{{blockquote|...certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome...I have said nothing about it in this book [''The Lord of the Rings''], but the mythical idea underlying is that for mortals, since their 'kind' cannot be changed for ever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of sufferingThey cannot abide for ever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will 'die' - of free will, and leave the world.|[[Letter 154]]}}
  
In light of this new development, the Valar decided to again isolate themselves from the other lands by a decisive method. The flat [[Arda]] was cloven in two, and made the rest round, so that a mariner sailing west along Eärendil's route would simply emerge in the far east.  For the Elves, however, they crafted a [[Straight Road]] that peels away from the curvature of the earth and passes to Aman. A very few non-Elves are known to have passed along this road, including [[Frodo Baggins]], [[Bilbo Baggins]], and possibly [[Samwise Gamgee]] and [[Gimli]].
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{{blockquote|Frodo was sent or allowed to pass over Sea to heal him - if that could be done, before he died. He would have eventually to 'pass away': no mortal could, or can, abide for ever on earth, or within Time.|[[Letter 246]]}}
  
==Etymology==
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Other important arguments against the immortality of the mortals who sailed to Aman can be found in another letter and in a passage from ''[[The Akallabêth]]'':
Aman derives from the [[sundocarmë]] A-[[MAN]] through the Intensification of its [[sundóma]]. From the same root also comes the name ''[[Manwë]]''.
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Aman was also called the Ancient West, Blessed Realm and the Undying Lands or just [[Valinor]]. In [[Adûnaic]] it was called ''Thâni anAmân'' or ''[[Amatthâni]]''.
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{{blockquote|As for ''Frodo'' or other mortals, they could only dwell in ''Aman'' for a limited time - whether brief or long.  The ''Valar'' had neither the power nor the right to confer 'immortality' upon them. Their sojourn was a 'purgatory', but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (''die'' at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing."|[[Letter 325]]}}
  
==Immortality==
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{{blockquote|The Eldar reported these words to the Valar, and Manwë was grieved, seeing a cloud gather on the noontide of Númenor. And he sent messengers to the Dúnedain, who spoke earnestly to the King, and to all who would listen, concerning the fate and fashion of the world.<br/><br/>‘The Doom of the World,’ they said, ‘One alone can change who made it. And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast.’|{{S|Akallabeth}}}}
There has been some debate whether the protagonists who sailed in the West became immortal or not. [[Robert Foster]] in his foreword to ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]'' says that he did not provide death dates for those characters "for they still live". In reality, the Undying Lands were called like that because immortals dwelled in them, not because they granted immortality, something which becomes clear in the ''[[Akallabêth]]''.
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The Undying Lands were likely thus called like that because immortals dwelled in them, not because they granted immortality.
  
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}
  
==External links==
 
*[http://tolkien.slimy.com/faq/History.html#MortalsWest Did Frodo and the other mortals who passed over the Sea eventually die?]
 
 
[[Category:Aman| ]]
 
[[Category:Aman| ]]
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[[Category:Regions]]
 
[[Category:Quenya locations]]
 
[[Category:Quenya locations]]
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[[de:Aman]]
 
[[de:Aman]]
 
[[fi:Aman]]
 
[[fi:Aman]]
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[[fr:encyclo/geographie/regions/aman]]

Latest revision as of 20:05, 4 March 2018

Aman
Continent
Ted Nasmith - The Shores of Valinor.jpg
"The Shores of Valinor" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
Other names"The West", Undying Lands, Blessed Realm, Uttermost West
LocationWest of Belegaer, east of Ekkaia
TypeContinent
RegionsValinor, Araman, Avathar, Lórien
Major townsAlqualondë, Formenos, Halls of Mandos, Tirion, Valmar
People and History
InhabitantsValar, Maiar, Vanyar, Noldor, Teleri
EventsDeath of the Two Trees
Flight of the Noldor
Destruction of Ar-Pharazôn
GalleryImages of Aman

Aman, the Blessed Realm, was a continent that lay to the west of Middle-earth, across the great ocean Belegaer. It contained Valinor, the home of the Valar.

Contents

[edit] Description

[edit] Geography

The continent of Aman had great oceans on both sides, Ekkaia to the west and Belegaer to the east. When the Valar chose this land for their dwelling they needed a defense against Melkor and thus upon Aman's eastern coast they raised the Pelóri, the highest mountains on earth, of which Taniquetil was the tallest of all. Upon this peak were the thrones of Manwë and Varda.

Behind the mountain wall was established the domain of Valinor which became more beautiful than Middle-earth in the Spring of Arda.

Through the Pelóri was opened a pass, the Calacirya, which brought light to the narrow coastland of Eldamar and the island of Tol Eressëa.[1] Also beyond the mountain wall were two more regions of Aman: Araman to the northeast[2] and Avathar to the southeast. Ungoliant, a great spider of unknown origin, had managed to escape notice in Avathar.[3]

In the north Aman was separated from Middle-earth by the narrow straits of the Helcaraxë. These ice-filled straits served as a path for Melkor and later the host of Fingolfin to return to Middle-earth.[2]

The Valar later set the Enchanted Isles in the ocean to prevent travelers by sea from reaching Aman.[4]

[edit] Flora and fauna

The olvar (plants) and kelvar (animals) in Aman were sometimes different from those of Middle-earth, though they were in essence "ordinary beasts and plants with usual conditions of mortality".[5]

[edit] Etymology

The Quenya name Aman is glossed as "Blessed Land",[6] or "blessed, free from evil"[7] or "The Unmarred State".[8]

The etymology of the name Aman changed over time in Tolkien's writings. In early linguistic writings, Aman was intended to be a "native Quenya form", derived from the root MAN ("good"). However, in later writings (such as Quendi and Eldar), the name is said to derive from a Valarin word.[6]

[edit] Other names

Aman was also called the Ancient West,[source?] Blessed Realm[source?] and the Undying Lands[9] or just Valinor. In Adûnaic it was called Amatthāni.[10] In The Hobbit Tolkien also calls this continent "Faerie in the West".[11]

[edit] Immortality

Robert Foster said in his foreword to The Complete Guide to Middle-earth that he did not provide death dates for protagonists who sailed in the West "for they still live". Steuard Jensen, while noting that Tolkien "seems to have been initially unsure" if the "mortals who sailed to the West would remain mortal", comments that are strong arguments in favour of the opposite view, citing from two letters by Tolkien:[12]

...certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome...I have said nothing about it in this book [The Lord of the Rings], but the mythical idea underlying is that for mortals, since their 'kind' cannot be changed for ever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of suffering. They cannot abide for ever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will 'die' - of free will, and leave the world.
Letter 154
Frodo was sent or allowed to pass over Sea to heal him - if that could be done, before he died. He would have eventually to 'pass away': no mortal could, or can, abide for ever on earth, or within Time.
Letter 246

Other important arguments against the immortality of the mortals who sailed to Aman can be found in another letter and in a passage from The Akallabêth:

As for Frodo or other mortals, they could only dwell in Aman for a limited time - whether brief or long. The Valar had neither the power nor the right to confer 'immortality' upon them. Their sojourn was a 'purgatory', but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (die at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing."
Letter 325
The Eldar reported these words to the Valar, and Manwë was grieved, seeing a cloud gather on the noontide of Númenor. And he sent messengers to the Dúnedain, who spoke earnestly to the King, and to all who would listen, concerning the fate and fashion of the world.

‘The Doom of the World,’ they said, ‘One alone can change who made it. And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast.’

J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"

The Undying Lands were likely thus called like that because immortals dwelled in them, not because they granted immortality.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Númenórean Catastrophe & End of ‘Physical’ Arda" (edited by Michaël Devaux with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien and Carl F. Hostetter), in J.R.R. Tolkien, l'effigie des Elfes, La Feuille de la Compagnie, Nr. 3, p. 150
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Three" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 49, June 2007, pp. 26-7
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", p. 399
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor": "Notes and Commentary"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê: (vi) Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language: [Author's Footnotes]", p. 435
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
  12. Steuard Jensen, "Did Frodo and the other mortals who passed over the Sea eventually die?", Tolkien Meta-FAQ (accessed 25 March 2012)