In The Lord of the Rings, we can deduce a strict quota and ticketing system applies for the Elven-ships retreating from the Grey Havens to the Elven homeland - ie if your name isn't on the list, you don't get aboard. Thus for three Elves who choose to renounce their immortality and live mortal lives, three places are generated for the Hobbit Ringbearers. ("This gift I give to you, Ringbearer, for I will not now be crossing the Sea...")
Perhaps Valhalla applies a similar policy: for every Ronald Saveloy who gets in on a technicality, a genuine warrior such as Old Vincent loses his place, in much the same way Arwen Undomiel's cruise ticket was re-allocated to Frodo... well, there are only a limited number of seats at Table and the catering management has to be fairly precise, vegetarian options notwithstanding... (Unsigned comment by AgProv at 13:28, 15 May 2007)
- A few corrections to your Tolkien facts (if only for the benefit of readers to come, who should not learn false things):
- 1) Getting to go to Valinor is not like you just described; there is no switch-and-barter quota system. Tuor, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, and Gimli being allowed to go to Aman does not stem from another person "giving up a right" to go. Ever since the Noldor have been allowed back again, all Elves can come as they please. On the other hand, Mortals are not allowed to set foot on Aman. The mortals mentioned above were independently graced with the permission to come and live out the rest of their lives in Aman. Well, except for Tuor, who came to be counted among the Eldar, just the opposite of Lúthien, who was the only Elf to be counted among Men and die. (And no, this was not a necessary cosmic switch either. Both were dealt their fates separately.)
- 2) You (and sadly too many others) get whole immortality/mortality business wrong. Tolkien Elves cannot renounce, give up, or otherwise lose their immortality and become mortal(s). Elves are naturally immortal, Men naturally mortal, and if they die they have an entirely different fate: the souls of Men irrevocably leave the physical world/universe after their death, while Elven spirits remain inside.
- 2.2) "But Arwen became mortal and was an elf!" you say. Yes, she did, and no, she is not. Not exactly at least, and that is the important detail. Arwen, her brothers, their father Elrond, and grandparents are the Half-elves, which is not used as a generic half-breed term, but specifically referring to their family. The grandparents Elwing and Eärendil were the only surviving descendants of the two elf/human inter-marriages in the First Age (Lúthien and Beren, and Idril and Tuor, respectively). For reasons I won't go into detail for, there arose the cosmic-level confusion as to which race and its fate they belonged to, and so the grand idea was born to let them choose it themselves. Arwen in the end, and before her her uncle Elros, chose to be Men, the others chose to be Elves. But because of that choice Arwen was technically cosmically human, died a human death, and her spirit left this world. Elves not from that bloodline do not have that choice. ... There is only one exception: the aforementioned Lúthien was an elf but died a mortal death and left this world. But that was the result of an Epic Once-Only Divine Cosmic Intervention exception. Which happened after she had actually already died an Elven death. But she and her human husband were sent back to live for a short time, after which they both died a mortal death so they would not be parted and their spirits both left the world together. --- a Tolkiendil 13:25, 31 July 2009 (UTC)