|All the tales of the Valar and the Elves are so knit together that one may scarce expound any one without needing to set forth the whole of their great history.|
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November, 12 2005
OK, folks-this is the general forum now for questions that don't seem to fit in any of the other threads. I'm going to sort some of the earlier posts into the appropriate forums, but it might take a while, so bear with me. I'll delete the ones that have already been reposted by their authors.
Haha, although this may look like a shot fired to revive the WWHNW debate, it's not directly intended as such.
Barbara, you voiced an opinion I've heard others express over the years, "it just breaks my heart whenever I read a story where the twins (or, worse yet, only one of them) don't sail and eventually die...."
And I guess that if you consider Elladan and Elrohir only as the brief sketches that Tolkien gave, I can appreciate that perspective, somewhat. But the characterizations that Isabeau has created for each twin challenge the notion that they are an inseparable unit whose fate is to always be together. Sure, they have been at each others' sides so far - but so much of their circumstance has been existing in the wise and benevolent shadows of their powerful father and grandparents. In the new world order that dawns with the Fourth Age, those circumstances are rather dramatically changed. Everything we've heard about Elrohir in Isabeau's stories suggests that he's not suited for sailing off to Valinor to strum a harp for eternity. I'm not saying that Hethlin has to be the answer for him, nor that he has to be the answer for her. But to make an argument against Heth being with Elrohir long-term because of a wish for Elladan & Elrohir to be an inviolate set because they're twins strikes me as ignoring the appealing, finely nuanced, philosophically interesting depiction of both Elladan and Elrohir in Isabeau's stories. Isabeau's world is a particular version of Middle Earth -- in other versions the twins might be convincingly construed as happily bound for Valinor. In such cases you'd hear no objections from me.
The ultimate question is this, I think: would Isabeau's Elladan wish for Isabeau's Elrohir to trudge reluctantly along to Valinor because he felt obliged to not disappoint his family (or the readers' wish to keep twins together)? I think not. But maybe that's just my reading of Isabeau's character depictions, colored by my own skepticism of the overall appeal of immortality in Valinor.
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