so in LOTR’s appendices it says that legolas eventually builds a boat and takes gimli across the seas and into the west, the gray havens. you know, the place arwen isn’t allowed to go because she’s in love with a human dude bUT LEGOLAS (AKA ‘YOU LITTLE SHIT’) JUST SAYS “FUCK IT” AND SNEAKS GIMLI INTO THE GODDAMN UNDYING LANDS LIKE CONTRABAND TWIZZLERS INTO A MOVIE THEATER
best literary analysis ever
For the record Arwen was never “not allowed” to go to the Grey Havens. She was part human (remember, Elrond is a half elf) and thus able to CHOOSE to give up her immortality and live as a human woman with Aragorn, then leave…well, the cosmology of Middle Earth is complicated.
It’s important to remember that what we call Middle Earth is actually a continent on the planet Arda, and that Valinor (where the Grey Havens are) is actually just another continent, though it’s a really beautiful and special one because of the presence of the Valar (who are like archangels). When elves go to the Havens, they are literally just sailing across the ocean. But if a human were to set sail at the exact same time, from the exact same place as an elf, they’d simply get lost at sea, because of an enchantment or something (Tolkien describes Valinor as “having been removed from the circles of the earth,” so maybe it’s in a pocket dimension or something). When elves die, they go to the halls of Mandos on the western shore of Valinor, to await the return of the Creator and the end of the world. So if you’re an elf, it doesn’t matter if you get stabbed by an orc or sail away in a silver ship, you’re going to Valinor. You may not get to have as much fun there if you go by stabbing, but you’re still going. You don’t really have a choice in the matter.
But humans don’t go to Valinor. Their souls go somewhere else, possibly straight back to the Creator? Nobody knows. This USED to be considered a special gift of Man (the elves really aren’t all that keen on spending thousands of years hanging around Mandos and a bunch of people who all died violently) until Sauron poisoned the minds of the Numenorean kings, Aragorn’s ancestors. The fate of dwarf and hobbit souls are also a mystery, though dwarves believe that their father, the Valar Aule gathers them together and will give them a special role of their own in the end of the world and the remaking that follows. Some elves think dwarves don’t actually have souls at all, because some elves are real dicks.
So when Arwen had to choose between marrying Aragorn or sailing to Valinor, she was literally choosing between untold millenia in Valinor (because nobody knows when the Creator will return) or death and mysterious afterlife with him. She chose to stay with him, through mortal life AND INTO DEATH AFTERWARDS.
THAT’S WHY HER CHOICE WAS SUCH A BIG DEAL. THAT’S WHY SHE DIES LIKE SIX MONTHS AFTER HE DOES.
It was a never a question of Arwen “not being allowed” because she loved a mortal man. It was Arwen loving that mortal man SO MUCH that she gave up eons of bliss JUST TO STAY WITH HIM.
Also this is why Legolas taking Gimli with him is such a big deal, because he KNOWS all these stories. XD He tried to imagine life without Gimli, said nope fuck that, and took him along. This is also a really big deal from Gimli’s POV, cause like I said dwarves believe that when they die they go to be with their ancestors. GIMLI GAVE UP HIS AFTERLIFE TO STAY WITH LEGOLAS.
Like do you understand what a big deal that is???? CAUSE IT’S A REALLY REALLY BIG DEAL. AND THAT’S WHY BOTH PAIRINGS ARE MY FOREVER OTPS.
oh my god i had never thought about that aspect with gimli/legolas