tehta: (stained glass tree)
[personal profile] tehta
So basically I am thinking: Australia.

Not Australia NOW, of course. That is a lovely place.

Anyway. It appears that, for parts of this Age, Elves could potentially make the journey from Valinor to M-e. Well, we know that some went to Numenor from Tol Eressea -- according to even just the Silm, they brought "flowers and fountains"* -- even if Men were forbidden to make the Westward journey. And the possibility of travel between Numenor and Middle-earth is clearly there for Elves, especially after the Men build their own ships. (I suppose that one could assume that the Valar interfered as usual and placed some restrictions on such travel. Or, indeed, on travel between Valinor and Tol Eressea. But it's not said that they did.)

And this, of course, makes one wonder why we don't hear more about Elves heading all the way East. To look for relatives, perhaps, or to see new lands. (Revisiting old lands in a fit of nostalgia is not really feasible, given what happened to Belierand.) Plenty of them seemed happy enough to head over in the First Age; curiosity and ambition are mentioned as motivating some of the Exiles. I guess this did not work out all THAT well for them, but surely that was Morgoth's doing? And then, in fandom, there is a general feeling that Valinor would be BORING; a gilded cage, at best.

But the only Elf known to have made the journey (in one version of the canon) is, of course, Glorfindel (of the second Glorfindel essay).

So why was this trip so unpopular? I am imagining that, after the First Age, Middle-earth ended up with a really terrible reputation, as a dangerous, unforgiving place "where exiled criminals get sent", with barely any civilization to speak of and little entertainment beyond orc slaying. One might have relatives there, but one would always think of them with faint pity, and hope they regain their senses and return home, where Art and Science actually exist and Life isn't such a struggle. (And we know that some of the Elves in M-e agree, what with the way they speak of the West, but then many do seem to like it -- love it, even -- and choose to stay.)

So here is what I am getting from all this:
-- Valinor is not seen as boring by most of those who live there.
-- Many people would have thought Glorfindel was very eccentric to go back. To say the least. (Ha!)
-- And yet, it seems that any other Elf with an equally good motivation to head there could have done so, independently of any heroic mission, at least for several centuries. (Plot-bunnies! And reverse plot-bunnies, since it means random Elves have less reason to join a specific expedition to M-e.)

Anyway, this is just a potential headcanon. Not claiming that it is CORRECT, of course. Nor that it is original. (One does see fics where Elves of Valinor think of those in Middle-earth with longing, and regret that they have been sundered, without making the timeline entirely clear.

* I just noticed something about that particular combination. Related to my last fic, in a way.
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