TOLKIEN READING DAY 2016 – Life, Death and Immortality 1.


The passing of Frodo, Bilbo and Sam (and Gimli?) over Sea – Into the West.

  • Frodo and Bilbo sailed over Sea with The Three Keepers (of the rings) in 1421 SR.
  • After Rosie’s death, Samwise Gamgee rode to The Havens and took ship over Sea, in 1482 SR.
  • In 1541 SR after the passing of King Elessar, Legolas built a grey ship and sailed over Sea. It is said Gimli the Dwarf went with him.

The Question arises, what was the fate of these mortals who sailed into The West to Aman, The Blessed Realm, home of the Valar.?

“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 forever on earth or within Time. So he went both to a purgatory and to a reward, for a while: a period of reflection and peace and a gaining of a truer understanding of his position in littleness and in greatness, spent in Time amid the natural beauty of ‘Arda Unmarred’, the Earth unspoiled by evil.

Bilbo went too. No doubt as a completion of the plan due to Gandalf himself … His companionship was really necessary for Frodo’s sake – it is difficult to imagine a hobbit, even one who had been through Frodo’s experiences, being really happy even in an earthly paradise without a companion of his own kind, and Bilbo was the person that Frodo most loved …”      The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien:  Letter No. 246

“It was in any case a special grace. An Opportunity for dying according to the original plan for the unfallen: they went to  a state in which they could acquire greater knowledge and peace of mind, and being healed of all hurts both of mind and body, could at last surrender themselves: die of free will, even of desire in estel. A thing Aragorn achieved without any such aid.”  Morgoth’s Ring,  Part 4, Note 4, p 341.

(Note: SR is the numbering of years according to Shire Reckoning – The Ring was destroyed March 25, 3019, which was 1419 SR)

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