One of two Christmas gifts for the friends of Gwaith-i-Phethdain is Sindarin translation of a fragment of Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth or ‘The Debate of. That is not the voice that the Wise hear out of the darkness and from beyond it. Nay, lord, the Wise among Men say: “We were not made. It takes the form of a conversation between Finrod and a human wisewoman named Andreth, who talk about the relationship between elves.

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I finros that Tolkien afhrabeth had no clear answers to the questions he is raising in this debate. It may be that death was a gift to Mankind after the marring of Arda, so that they may be released from the world until the the next was remade.

Archive This website contains archives of the Tolkien Discussion Group from to early The discussion group continues to meet in Second Life in Alqualonde the Swanhaven. JRRT envisioned this as part of the Silmarillionand Christopher does not explain why it was not included in the published Silmarillion. A conversation between Finrod and the Human loremaster Andreth who happens to be Beren’s great-aunt, although that isn’t important.

It occurs 3 Human generations maybe years after Elves and Humans first met. That we are brittle and brief, and ye are strong and lasting. Do not your own people believe this too?

Yet among my people, from Wise unto Wise out of the darkness comes the voice saying that Men are not now as they were, nor as their true nature was in the beginning They finror plainly that Men are not by nature short lived, but have become so through the malice of the Lord of Darkness whom they do not name. Death was imposed upon us.

Athrabeth finrod ah andreth : tolkienfans

Who imposed death upon you? Melkor it is plain you would say For you speak of death and his shadow, as if to escape from the Shadow was to escape also from Death. So I deem, or death would not be found at all in this world which he did not design but Another.


Nay, death is but the name that we give to something that he has tainted, and it sounds therefore evil; but untainted its name would be good?

Finrod answers that Elves know they will live only as long as Arda, and is it better to spend millenia watching inevitable annihilation creep up on you?

But never even in the night have we believed that he could prevail against the Children of Eru. This one he might cozen, or that one he might corrupt; but to change the doom of a whole people of the Children, to rob them of their inheritance: None could have done this to you save the One. Therefore I say to you, Andreth, what did ye do, ye Men, long ago in the dark? How did ye anger Eru?

For otherwise all your tales are but dark dreams devised in a Dark Mind. Finnrod looked up and her eyes darkened. How should I know, or any Man? Your Valar do not trouble us either with care or with instruction. They sent no summons to us. Or even that ye, the Children of Men, were not a matter that they could govern? For ye were too great. Yeah, I mean this, and do not only flatter your pride: Sole masters of yourselves within Athrabetth, under the hand of the One.

We considered only dying and not-dying. Of life as long as the world but no longer we had not heard; indeed not until now had it entered my mind.

Tolkien Discussion Group: “The Debate of Finrod and Andreth” – part 1 (Reading Material)

And by that, my lord, we meant: How shall I say it? To me the difference seems like that between one who visits a strange country, and abides there a while but need notand one who has lived in that land always and must. To the former all things athrabetn he sees qh new and strange, and in that degree lovable.


To the other all things are familiar, the only things that are, his own, and in that degree precious. Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?

Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth

Whence them comes this memory that ye have with you, even before ye began to learn? For if your claim is true, then lo! Then this must surely follow: I have conversed with the Valar who were present at the making of the Music ere the being of the World began.

And now I wonder: Did they hear the end of the Music? Was there not something in or beyond the final chords of Eru which, being overwhelmed thereby, they did not perceive?


Beyond that point we cannot see or know, until by our own roads we come there, Valar or Eldar or Men. Tolkien, in his commentary on the Athrabeth, says: That a people in possession of such a legend or tradition should have later been deluded by Sauron is sad but, in view of human history generally, not incredible. Indeed if fish had fish-lore and Wise-fish, it is probable that the business of anglers would be very little hindered.

Already it is if inevitably too like a parody of Christianity. Any legend of the Fall would make it completely so?

So Andreth may be mistaken in saying that Humans were once immortal. Posted by Lihan at 8: Lihan January 20, at 2: Antonio David Loo Phun January 3, at 5: Lihan January 4, at Hannah May 6, at 1: Ruru Ghoshal July 15, at Lorenzo Carrera April athrabethh, at 4: Newer Post Older Post Home.