FAQ / What are the Undying Lands

The UndyingLands are the continent on which the Valar made their dwelling, very early in the history of Arda, after they retreated from Middle-earth in a war against Melkor (cf. The Silmarillion, Of the Beginning of Days). Originally it was comprised only by the great landmass of Aman, but when the island of TolEressëa was anchored by Ossë in the Bay of Eldamar (cf. The Silmarillion, Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië) it was considered to be a part of the Undying Lands.

In the continent of Aman there could be which the Valar actually dwelled was called Valinor, and was encircled by the great mountain chain of the Pelóri. To the north there was a deserted area named Araman, and to the south there was another deserted area named Avathar. The western shores of the continent were washed by the waters of the Outer Sea, the Ekkaia; the eastern shores faced the Great Western Ocean, Belegaer.

Valinor was the only area in Arda which was unblemished by Melkor’s malice, as can be read in the chapter Of the Beginning of Days:

In that guarded land the Valar gathered great store of light and all the fairest things that were saved from the ruin; and many others yet fairer were made anew, and Valinor became more beautiful even than Middle-earth in the Spring of Arda; and it was blessed, for the Deathless dwelt there and there naught faded nor withered, neither was there any stain upon flower or leaf in that land, nor any corruption or sickness in anything that lived; for the very stones and waters were hallowed.
The Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days

Although some sources claim that the name “UndyingLands” was given to the Lands of the Valar by the Númenóreans, the first recorded instance of this name in The Silmarillion was uttered by Námo (Mandos) in the judgment of Eärendil: “Shall mortal Man step living upon the undying lands, and yet live?” (Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath).

After the Downfall of Númenor, when the world was bent by Eru Ilúvatar and became round, The UndyingLands (Aman and TolEressëa) were withdrawn from the circles of the world. Thereafter, only the Elven ships could reach it – a Mannish ship would simply go around the circle of Arda and return to the same spot

Authored by TTFMember:Eriol


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