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Last week, Eärendil and Elwing arrived at Valinor, the one place Eärendil has always wanted to go. This week, Eärendil gets his one wish.
Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24 part 4
When Eärendil leaves his ship to step foot on Valinor, he does so alone. While his faithful wife wants to follow him, he doesn’t want her or the rest of the crew to incur the Valar’s wrath. After all, no mortal has ever sailed up to their doorstep before, and who knows if they like visitors.
After taking that one small step for Man, he ventures onto Valinor. To his surprise, he finds it seemingly abandoned. Absolutely no one is around, and no matter what language he calls out in, no one replies. It’s eerie and, understandably, he worries that perhaps this whole venture has been for naught. Maybe something terrible has happened to Valinor and that’s why no one ever seemed to care about the plight of Elves and Men in Middle-earth.
Just as he gives up and starts back towards his ship, he receives an unexpected surprise. A voice calls him. It’s none other than Eönwë, Manwë’s herald.
(Since it’s been a while since Manwë has been mentioned, he’s essentially the leader of the Valar. More on him is available here.)
Little does Eärendil know that his coming wasn’t unforeseen. In fact, Eönwë greets him:
Hail Eärendil, of mariners most renowned, the looked for that cometh unawares, the longed for that cometh beyond hope! Hail Eärendil, bearer of light before the Sun and Moon! Spendor of the Children of Earth, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the morning! (Tolkien 298)
Then Eärendil is told to head over to Valimar. They’re in the middle of a festival and everyone’s waiting for him.
So that’s exactly what Eärendil does. He heads over to Valimar, where he’s able to plead his case with the Valar. He asks for the Noldor to be forgiven for their mistakes (at the beginning of the “Quenta Silmarillion”) and for mercy for Men and Elves.
After listening, the Valar decide to grant his request.
But there’s a catch.
Now that Eärendil has been in Valinor, Mandos (the Vala who keeps the houses of the dead) says that he can’t leave. He’s descended of the Noldor, even if he is mortal, and he can’t be allowed to go. Ulmo completely disagrees. Eärendil was born for this mission and should be allowed to return home. Manwë has the final say on the situation but doesn’t fully reveal his thoughts yet.
Next week, Eärendil and Elwing are the first to make a major decision that will change the course of Middle-earth.