I just completed reading the lotr books for the 3rd time a couple of weeks back and this entire issue with Arwen and her immortality is bugging me way more than it should! I feel like I really need to get it off my chest.
So Arwen's marriage to Aragon is only the 3rd time in all of tolkien history in which an Elf has wed a Man, the other 2 being Luthien & Beren (married under extreme circumstances, more of a one-time basis) and Tuor & Idril (married without much difficulty with the approval of Idril's father, King Turgon). As you can see there is not much previous references to go on, which leads me to my first question:
- Could Arwen simply have married Aragon without having to give up her immortality? If not why couldn't she do so? (Idril married Tuor without giving it up)
I understand that being Half-Elven she had the choice to choose between being an Elf or a mortal , much like her father and Elros. But wouldn't she have solved a huge 'problem' by marrying Aragon whilst still 'choosing' to be an immortal Elf? I can't find any text that says she has to give up her immortality to marry Aragon. In fact I can't find any text that says an Elf must relinquish their immortality to marry a mortal (I'd be more than happy to be corrected on this point)
In the books, Arwen clearly loves her father dearly almost as much as she loves Aragon and she is torn between the two. Which makes me wonder for my 2nd question:
- Would it be possible for her to marry Aragon, live together as a happily married couple till his days on middle-earth is up before departing for the Undying Lands to rejoin her people and Elrond?
I say this because in the Tales Of Aragon And Arwen, even on his deathbed Aragon seems to confirm the fact that Arwen still had a choice
'"I speak no comfort to you, for there is no comfort for such pain within the circles of the world. The uttermost choice is before you: to repent and go to the Havens and bear away into the West the memory of our days together that shall there be evergreen but never more than memory; or else to abide the Doom of Men." Appendix A, RoTK
Correct me if I am interpretting it wrongly but it seems to me that Arwen still has the "uttermost choice" before her to sail to Valinor to reunite with her father. This would have been made even easier by the fact that upon learning of Aragon's death, Legolas built a ship and sailed to Valinor together with Gimli. I'm assuming that Arwen could have joined the both of them on this final journey?