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I just finished up the Silmarillion and an idea that confused me was that the heirs of Earendil could choose their race, as when Arwen chooses to be mortal for Aragorn, but the Numenorean king, descended from Elros, attempts to sail to Aman to gain immortality, but doesn't that imply that the heirs of Elros didn't have the same choice?

marked as duplicate by Jason Baker, Ward, Null, Often Right, Möoz Nov 10 '15 at 4:41

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    The short version is that you can't revoke the mortal choice. Elros chose Men, so his descendants were locked into that path; Elrond chose Elves, so his kids still got to choose – Jason Baker Nov 10 '15 at 3:03
  • You can't get any more answers now that the question has been closed - would you like to accept my answer (green checkmark on the left), or were you looking for more info? :-) – Rand al'Thor Nov 11 '15 at 13:06
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The choice of mortality is permanent.

Once you choose the Gift of Men, you are mortal and all your descendants will be mortal. Only if you remain immortal can your descendants have the choice to be mortal or immortal.

In the words of the man himself:

"The view is that the Half-elven have a power of (irrevocable) choice, which may be delayed but not permanently, which kin's fate they will share. Elros chose to be a King and 'longaevus' but mortal, so all his descendants are mortal, and of a specially noble race, but with dwindling longevity: so Aragorn (who, however, has a greater life-span than his contemporaries, double, though not the original Númenórean treble, that of Men). Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children - with a renewed Elvish strain, since their mother was Celebrían dtr. of Galadriel - have to make their choices."
-- Tolkien, Letter No. 153

  • Good to see a quote that the choice was, indeed, inherited. I was starting to wonder if Elrond's children really were fully Elven, and that Arwen chose mortality in the same manner the Luthien did. – chepner Sep 11 at 20:11

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