Friday, April 12, 2013
Mandos = Valhalla?
In class, we discussed the idea of "the gift of death" which is granted to Men. I understand the problems which come with being immortal, but I find it problematic that the Elves are so unhappy with their everlasting life. Unless the halls of Mandos are similar to the realm of Hades in Greek mythology, it seems to be a decently happy place. On the other hand, if the halls of Mandos are similar to Valhalla in Norse myth, why don't we see more of a warrior culture, welcoming death in battle as a valiant end? This would release Elves from their "curse" of immortality since their bodies will never perish due to natural causes. Tolkien was obviously well versed in Norse myth, so I wonder if this was a conscious choice to move away from such a violent, death seeking culture. Thoughts?