The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Location
In the gardens of Lórien, and the Halls of Mandos, in Valinor
Origins
Entered Arda at its beginning
Race
Division
Other names
Title of
The Valar Námo and Irmo, better known as Mandos and Lórien

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  • Updated 30 June 2007
  • This entry is complete

Masters of Spirits

Mandos and Lórien, the two Fëanturi

The Fëanturi; a title given to the brothers Mandos and Lórien. Each of these dealt with the fëar, or spirits, of the Children of Eru.

In life, Lórien spoke to the fëar in dreams, and possibly even brought them to Valinor during sleep1. In death, Mandos summoned each fëa to the Halls of Waiting in the west of Valinor, to await their final fate. For Elves, after a time in the Halls, this would usually involve a sort of 'resurrection' (more specifically, a re-embodiment of the fëa). In some cases, though, the fëa was not permitted to return, and remained in Mandos' Halls until the end of Arda. The most famous of these disembodied fëar was that of Fëanor2 himself. The fate of the spirits of Men is shadowed in mystery, and even the Valar did not clearly understand it. From the Halls of Mandos, they left the World altogether, though their ultimate destiny was mysterious; besides Eru himself, only Manwë and Mandos knew anything of their final fate.


Notes

1

In Tolkien's earliest work, spirits literally passed over to the Blessed Realm in their dreams, following the Olórë Mallë, or 'Path of Dreams' across the Great Sea. This idea seems to have faded in his later work, though it is never explicitly rejected. So, while Lórien's connection with dreams is certain, it's never made clear exactly what role he played, especially in the later developments of the mythos. It may be that he still summoned sleeping fëar along the Path of Dreams to the gardens that shared his name, or his role may shifted to something more subtle, such as sending the meaningful dreams that certain characters experience in Tolkien's tales.

2

Fëanor's name actually contains the word fëa, 'spirit', as one of its elements: its usual translation is 'Spirit of Fire'.

See also...

Fëanturi, Nurufantur

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