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The Elendil stone of Emyn Beraid was-

maintained and guarded by Cirdan and the Elves of Lindon

This stone had 'special abilities' in which it was not in accord with the other palantiri. And that it could view the master stone kept in Tol Eressea in Valinor.

[it] looked back with straight sight into the vanished west

It is possible that the elves which traveled to Lindon did so to use the Elendil Stone. (an example of this are the elves Frodo and Sam meet in Fellowship of the Ring who are returning from Lindon led by Gildor)

However my question is: did Cirdan use this Palantir to communicate with the West and possibly pass messages along to the Wise? It seemed the Valar did play some part in the affairs of Middle-earth (sending Gandalf back, gusts of wind to aide Aragorn's ship etc.) and who better to communicate with than the literally ancient and wise elf that Cirdan is?

  • 1
    The stone was guarded by Elves of Lindon, but it wasn't in Lindon. Like the other stones, they were located in the Kingdoms of Elendil. In this case it was the last stone of Arnor that had not been lost. The elves of Lindon guarded because Arnor no longer existed (in addition to its connection to the west). – suchiuomizu Jan 5 '17 at 4:52
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The short version is that we don't know; both are possible, but there's no evidence one way or the other.

Did Círdan look into the Stone of Elostirion?

Possibly. We know that other Elves did so on occasion, as Tolkien discusses in The Road Goes Ever On, as noted by Hammond and Scull in A Reader's Companion, regarding the company of Gildor Inglorion (met by Frodo et al on the way to Bree in Fellowship):

[S]ince they appear to have been going eastward, [they] were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantír of the Tower Hills. On such visits they were sometimes rewarded by a vision, clear but remote, of Elbereth, as a majestic figure, shining white, standing upon the mountain Oiolosse

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion Book I Chapter 3: "Three is Company"

Although we don't have direct confirmation that he ever did use the Stone, likewise we have no reason to believe he didn't. It could go either way.

Did Círdan use the Stone to communicate with the West?

Possibly, but we don't know. We do know that the palantíri weren't capable of communicating except with other palantíri; you couldn't use one to beam your thoughts into the head of a random schmuck:

The palantíri could not themselves survey men's minds, at unawares or unwilling; for the transference of thought depended on the wills of the user on either side, and thought (received as speech) was only transmittable by one Stone to another in accord.

Unfinished Tales Part 4 Chapter 3: "The Palantíri"

So it could only communicate with the Undying Lands if there were another Stone there; there is evidence for such a thing:

[I]t is believed that thus [Elendil] would at whiles see far away even the Tower of Avallónë upon Eressëa, where the Masterstone abode, and yet abides.

The Silmarillion V Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

But we don't know if the Master stone of Avallónë was capable of receiving messages or not; we certainly never hear of any being passed.

  • Would you recommend reading the "Reader's Companion"? Did you find it enhanced your reading of the trilogy in any way? – Edlothiad Jan 23 '17 at 23:56
  • @Edlothiad I find it a good reference; among other things, it references some works that are difficult to find otherwise (like some unpublished letters, and Nomenclature). It's not an inexpensive book (I paid $45, and the dust jacket says £30), but I'd say it's worth it if you're keen on that sort of thing – Jason Baker Jan 24 '17 at 2:01

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