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After re-reading The Atlas of Middle Earth (excellent read recommend it to anyone) I noticed that north of the Pelori in Aman, there was a tower marked as "The Tower of Elwing". I cannot for the life of me remember anything about this tower in the Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales (but its been a while).

Thinking out of the box, I would guess that Elwing retains the ability to transform into the Bird form in which she flew to Vingilot and Earendil after the third Kinslaying, and likes to live by the sea, however this is pure guesswork from me.

Does anyone have any more info on this tower? or at least tell me where I may be able to find more info.


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up vote 11 down vote accepted

At the end of the Quenta Silmarillion it is mentioned that Elwing and Earendil were accepted to live in Aman after the War of Wrath. Earendil would spend his time pretending to be a star, while Elwing would wait for him in her tower:

Therefore there was built for her a white tower northward upon the borders of the Sundering Seas; and thither at times all the sea-birds of the earth repaired. And it is said that Elwing learned the tongues of birds, who herself had once worn their shape; and they taught her the craft of flight, and her wings were of white and silver-grey. And at times, when Eärendil returning drew near again to Arda, she would fly to meet him, even as she had flown long ago, when she was rescued from the sea. Then the far-sighted among the Elves that dwelt in the Lonely Isle would see her like a white bird, shining, rose-stained in the sunset, as she soared in joy to greet the coming of Vingilot to haven.

(Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 24: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath)

So your guess is almost correct. She didn't keep her bird-form, but the birds taught her to fly (and grow wings, apparently), and she would sit in her tower and wait for Earendil to return from his star-shining duties, and fly out to meet him.

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Ah yes I remember that passage now! thanks. This seems to me to be one of those ideas of Tolkiens that was not quite reconciled with the rest of the Mythos, But it is still a great idea. By this I mean that if Elves could be taught the gift of flight, then why wouldnt Thorondor teach some elves of Gondolin for a better ability to scout and patrol the borders? Or was it a specific Eru/Manwe related gift? – Steven Wood Feb 27 '14 at 10:12
Because Tolkien's world wasn't a rationalistic "If X can do Y, he can teach Y to everyone and rule to world" kind of place. Elwing could be taught to fly because she was Elwing, not because birds possessed the objective capability of teaching flight. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Feb 27 '14 at 10:21
Eärendil would spend his time pretending to be a rock star. – Dunebro Feb 27 '14 at 12:56

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