(very bad things can result from Men spending too much time in Valinor)
(src: this SFF answer)

Given the answer's poster prior history in , my assumption is that the quoted claim is correct.

But what are those "bad things" which can result?

  • 3
    This is funny, I was actually going to post the exact same question earlier after seeing the same bit of text. I think the bad things he's referring to is that men would get very bored in Valinor. Think of it as a really rainy weekend in Cornwall in half-term break.
    – John Bell
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:22
  • @JohnBell Probably no Netflix, either Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:29
  • 2
    @JasonBaker Arwen stayed in ME for Netflix and chill ;)
    – John Bell
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:45
  • @JohnBell Orange is the New Black is worth giving up immortality for Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:47
  • Men don't become immortal in Valinor. The worst that happened was the Nazgul.
    – user35971
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure exactly what Shamshiel meant in that answer, but this is discussed briefly in The Silmarillion (emphasis mine):

'The Doom of the World,' [the Elves] said, 'One alone can change who made it. And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast.'

The Silmaillion IV Akallabêth

Tolkien wrote more about this in an essay titled "Aman and Mortal Men":

[I]n Aman such a [mortal] creature would be a fleeting thing, the most swift-passing of all beasts. For his whole life would last little more than one half-year, and while all other living creatures would seem to him hardly to change, but to remain steadfast in life and joy with hope of endless years undimmed, he would rise and pass - even as upon Earth the grass may rise in spring and wither ere winter. Then he would become filled with envy, deeming himself a victim of injustice, being denied the graces given to all other things. He would not value what he had, but feeling that he was among the least and most despised of all creatures, he would grow soon to contemn his manhood, and hate those more richly endowed. He would not escape the fear and sorrow of his swift mortality that is his lot upon Earth, in Arda Marred, but would be burdened by it unbearably to the loss of all delight.

History of Middle-earth X Morgoth's Ring Part 5: "Myth's Transformed" Chapter XI "Aman and Mortal Men"

Essentially, their lives would appear shorter, because of the unchanging nature of everything around them; this would be rather psychologically distressing, as you can imagine, and it would eventually make them bitter, angry, and depressed. This is not a recipe for domestic bliss.

There are also more specific "Very Bad Things" that arise from having Ar-Pharazôn and his soldiers running around; that's dealt with a little more in Shamshiels's answer here, and my own answer here.

  • Unless I'm mis-interpreting the quote (being ESL, Silmarillion is hard to parse for me), this seems like the Bad Things merely are Bad for the individual in question, not to Arda as a whole. As such, punishing someone for coming to Valinor seems like Not Worth the bother and disproportionate? Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 14:56
  • @DVK Yeah, basically. The metaphor is one of moths being drawn to a flame; they think it's beautiful, and it is, but it kills them. I don't think the massive punishment was so much for daring to break the Ban, but rather for declaring war on Heaven Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:01
  • The undying lands are not heaven. To men the undying lands would be more like hell, especially if they were given immortality. Eru gave them the gift of death, something which the Elves (and often Valar/Maiar too) envy.
    – John Bell
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 15:27
  • 1
    @JasonBaker: I was thinking also of another quote in Morgoth's Ring, something about the fea dissolving into the hroar and men basically becoming beasts even if they somehow did obtain bodily immortality, which they would not be satisfied without once there.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    @b_jonas: It's a metaphorical light.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 18:51

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