There are many conundrums in Tolkien’s realm, a number of which remain unanswered while others have been partially answered but still need more knowledge. The Undying Lands, the mythical home of the Ainur and the Eldar, are the subject of at least one of these enigmas.
Though inaccessible to the majority of Middle- earth’s peoples, the Undying Lands have been a hotly contested subject of discussion amongst readers who wonder whether visiting the region would bestow everlasting youth and what transpires if a mortal does so.
Tolkien verified this in his writings; if a being isn’t already perpetual, entering the Undying Lands won’t make him immortal or make him live longer than he would have otherwise. But what exactly are Undying Lands? let’s find out.
Aman and Tol Eressa, two islands to the west of Middle-earth, make up the region known as the Undying Lands. Undying Lands, or Valinor, is home to the Valar, Maia, and Elves, all of whom are eternal.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes several references to the Undying Lands. It is to these realms that the Elves take Bilbo and Frodo at the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King. Tolkien’s other books provide additional information on the Undying Lands. Sam and Gimli’s participation in the ring quest also merits an invitation to the Undying Lands. In the future, they went there with Legolas leading the way.
When the Undying Lands were first discovered, humans were permitted to trade with Valainorians there, but they were banned to go west of Numenor. But in the Second Age, Mordor tricked Ar-Pharazôn, Emperor of Numenor, into believing that he will be given everlasting youth, and wisdom if he becomes the king of Undying Lands.
Rather than risk an attack from the king, Ilvatar sank Numenor under the waves and made the Undying Lands inaccessible to earthly Mankind. In spite of this restriction, most elves nonetheless made the trip across the ocean to the Undying Lands.
The Ainur, which includes the Valar as well as the Maiar, is a kind of divinity chiefly renowned for making the universe, and their primary home is in the Undying Lands. The Ainur welcome other immortals, like the Elves, to share their world. Only a select few mortals, including the ringbearers, are allowed passage to Aman via sea. Many of the Valar are good, whereas Melkor, often referred to as Morgoth, stands for evil.
Melkor purposefully ruined what the other Valar had worked to make beautiful and balanced. When the Valar first arrived in Arda, they chose to make their home on the island of Almaren. Ultimately, the continued struggle with Melkor led to its destruction. Because of this, the Valar relocated to the world of Aman and set about building a new abode for themselves therein.
Even though it wasn’t written in his works, Tolkien acknowledged that mortals can’t achieve immortality in the Undying lands. While it’s true that the One Ring may theoretically grant its wearer eternal life, this is not the kind of immortality we’re talking about.
This means that the Undying Lands don’t really confer immortality; rather, those who are already immortal continue to be such, while those who are mortal do not change at all. All the human heroes that ventured to the Undying Lands eventually perished there, proving without a reasonable doubt that the Undying Lands don’t really bestow eternal life.
“As for Frodo or other mortals, they could only dwell in Aman for a limited time — whether brief or long. The Valar had neither the power nor the right to confer ‘immortality’ upon them. Their sojourn was a ‘purgatory’, but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (die at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing.”
Despite some of their obscurity, the Undying Lands have always been an integral element of The Lord of the Rings canon. Bilbo, Frodo, as well as Gandalf traveled with the Elves to Valinor at the conclusion of The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien’s Valinor represents the last destination for the Eldar when they have completed their purpose in Middle-earth. In the pilot episode of the Rings of Powers, the audience is met with a vessel full of Elves who’re traveling to the Undying Lands but, their fate was never revealed.