The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The first Mortal Men awoke I 1, at the time of the first rising of the Moon and Sun
Location
Men first awoke in the eastern land of Hildórien, and spread from there across Middle-earth
Origins
One of the gifts given by Ilúvatar to Men
Race
Meaning
'Doom' is used here in the sense of 'fate' or 'destiny', but it came to be used in a negative sense (as opposed to being seen as the 'Gift of Men' as was originally intended)
Other names
A name for death, otherwise known as the Gift of Men

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About this entry:

  • Updated 21 June 2022
  • This entry is complete

Doom of Men

The later name for the Gift of Men

"...I must indeed abide the Doom of Men, whether I will or I nill: the loss and the silence."
Words of Arwen
from The Lord of the Rings Appendix A I (v)
The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen

In their origins, Elves and Men were given two separate and different fates: the Elves were 'immortal', or at least they remained in the world for the long millennia until its end. Men, though, were made mortal, and after a few short decades they would leave the world and pass out of the knowledge of Valar and Elves alike. This was not at first seen as a fearful thing, and the idea of death was referred to as the Gift of Men, to be accepted freely by each at the proper time.

As the shadow of Morgoth spread darkness throughout Middle-earth, so Men came to see death not as a Gift, but as a thing to be feared or even - if it were possible - escaped. After this time, it became known as the Doom of Men. The Númenóreans, despite their long lives, showed a particular fear of their fate, clinging to life until its last moments, and housing their preserved dead in great tombs. At last, driven on by Sauron, King Ar-Pharazôn led an immense army in an attempt to wrest the Undying Lands from the Valar, and achieve their unending life for himself. His hopeless quest for immortality brought its opposite to his people: Númenor was utterly destroyed, and the Doom of Men was visited upon all its inhabitants.


See also...

Doom

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 21 June 2022
  • This entry is complete

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