The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
On the western shores of Aman, overlooking the Outer Sea
Mandos is pronounced 'ma'ndos'
Mandos means 'prison fortress'
Other names


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  • Updated 3 March 2013
  • This entry is complete

Halls of Mandos

The Houses of the Dead

Map of the Halls of Mandos
This highly speculative map follows various textual descriptions that place the Halls of Mandos to the north of Valinor, on the shores of the Outer Sea.

The dwellings of the Doomsman of the Valar, who was properly called Námo, though he was more often given the name Mandos from his own halls. The name comes from two Elvish words meaning 'prison' and 'fortress', and the Halls stood on the western shores of Valinor, looking out across the Encircling Sea. They were said to grow in size as the World aged, and their walls were hung with the tapestries of Námo's spouse Vairë, depicting all the events of unfolding history.

It was to the Halls of Mandos that the spirits of Elves and Men were gathered to await their different fates, and so Mandos was given its common name of the Halls of Waiting. After a time, the near-immortal Elves could be re-embodied, and return from the Halls to their kin in Aman. Men had a different fate, a fate which, even among the Lords of Valinor, only Mandos and Manwë truly understood.

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