Aman

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Aman is a fictional place in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world. Frequently referred to as the "Undying Lands," "the "Blessed Realm," or simply "West," Aman is home to the Valar and the three kindred of elves. Aman is separate from the Tolkien world of Middle-earth where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place. The history of Aman is detailed in the Silmarillion.

History

The continent Aman was created as a home for the Valar after the destruction of Almaren by Melkor.[1] The Valar raised a mountain range, known as the Pelóri, in the East to isolate Aman from the rest of the world. Enchanted islands were placed as a barrier to prevent travelers from reaching the continent from Middle Earth. After the Númenóreans attempted to reach Aman and attain immortality, Eru Ilúvatar removed the continent from the face of the earth so that few could reach it. Travel into the west was made impossible except for those that know the way.

Aman was home to the Two Trees of Valinor before Ungoliant destroyed them with the help of Melkor.

Inhabitants

Aman is home to the Valar and the three hosts of elves: The Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri.

Valar
The Valar, literally "Powers of Arda," are angelic beings created by Eru to assist in making the world. The Valar assisted Eru in singing the song of creation and carrying out the themes after the world was created. During the ages of elves, the Valar served as protectors. There are many Valar with the most well known being Manwë, Oromë, Varda, and Melkor.

Vanyar
The Vanyar, literally "the fair," are the most noble of the high elves and were the first to journey to Aman. Little is known of the Vanyar as they never left Aman after arriving.

Noldor
The Noldor, literally "those with knowledge," are the second of the high elf clans. They are sometimes referred to as the "Deep Elves" due to their vast knowledge and thirst for evermore knowledge. There were renowned for their skills. After the slaying of Finwë, the bulk of the Noldor swore to avenge his death. The first kinslaying, the murder of one elf by another, and the migration to Middle-Earth occurred. For this the Valar banished the Noldor who had left. This banishment was pardoned at the end of the First Age though some refused.

Teleri
The Teleri, literally "those who came last" are the third of the high elf clans to arrive in Aman. The Teleri settled outside of the Pelóri and became seamen, earning them the nickname "sea elves". After the slaying of Finwë, many Teleri were killed in the first kinslaying by the Noldor.

Others
Special dispensations were made for others to travel to Aman. Gandalf, Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and Gimli were among those were allowed to travel to the Undying Lands due to their deeds.

References

  1. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-25730-1

See also