In the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, it is mentioned that Gimli goes with Legolas to the Undying Lands. Is he the only mortal non-ringbearer who was granted this privilege or do we have anyone else who has done this?

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    I like that you selected that picture of all options. Jan 18, 2017 at 23:34
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    – Himarm
    Jan 18, 2017 at 23:35

1 Answer 1



  • The obvious counter-example is Eärendil, who sailed to Aman to plead for the Valar to intervene in the war against Morgoth:

    Then Eärendil, first of living Men, landed on the immortal shores; and he spoke there to Elwing and to those that were with him, and they were three mariners who had sailed all the seas besides him: Falathar, Erellont, and Aerandir were their names. And Eärendil said to them: 'Here none but myself shall set foot, lest you fall under the wrath of the Valar. But that peril I will take on myself alone, for the sake of the Two Kindreds.'

    The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24: "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"

  • Ar-Pharazôn and his men, of course, sailed to the shores of Aman and besieged the Elven city of Tirion:

    [A]t last Ar-Pharazôn came even to Aman, the Blessed Realm, and the coasts of Valinor; and still all was silent, and doom hung by a thread. For Ar-Pharazôn wavered at the end, and almost he turned back. His heart misgave him when he looked upon the soundless shores and saw Taniquetil shining, whiter than snow, colder than death, silent, immutable, terrible as the shadow of the light of Ilúvatar. But pride was now his master, and at last he left his ship and strode upon the shore, claiming the land for his own, if none should do battle for it. And a host of the Númenóreans encamped in might about Túna, whence all the Eldar had fled.

    The Silmarillion IV Akallabêth

  • It's speculated in-universe that some Men, after the destruction of Númenor, stumbled upon the Straight Way and reached the shores:

    [T]ales and rumours arose along the shores of the sea concerning mariners and men forlorn upon the water who, by some fate or grace or favour of the Valar, had entered in upon the Straight Way and seen the face of the world sink below them, and so had come to the lamplit quays of Avallónë, or verily to the last beaches on the margin of Aman, and there had looked upon the White Mountain, dreadful and beautiful, before they died.

    The Silmarillion IV Akallabêth

    Though, of course, this is an in-universe theory with no explicit confirmation1.

Though, of course, none of them stayed there for very long.

Gimli is, however, the only (confirmed) non-ringbearing mortal confirmed to have lived in the Undying Lands for any significant period of time. It's speculated (in-universe) that Tuor, Eärendil's father, dwelt in Valinor after the Fall of Gondolin, but this is presented as a legend and is not confirmed; even if it is true, though, Tuor is held to have been granted immortality (of the same kind as the Elves), so it's not clear whether he counts for our purposes.

1 Though it does recall the abandoned (or believed abandoned) notions of Eriol and Ælfwine

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    I wonder why they called him the First of Living Men. His father was a Man. He grew up in a Man kingdom.
    – user40790
    Jan 18, 2017 at 16:25
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    @Terriblefan It's meant to be read "Eärendil was the first of living Men to land on the immortal shores" Jan 18, 2017 at 16:28
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    It is also only told as a story - at least in the text - that Gimli sailed west. "We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli Gloin's son with him..." (Unless Tolkien specifically said so in a letter?) If so that would be a great support for the answer. Jan 18, 2017 at 16:47
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    @MattGutting Letter 154: "so certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. [...] and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as friend of Legolas and 'servant' of Galadriel." Jan 18, 2017 at 16:49
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    I'm not sure that Eärendil is a good example of a mortal who went to the Undying Lands. He was half-elven, and the status of this rare type of being was not decided until after his voyage to Aman. The decision was that Eärendil's sons could choose to be either elf or man. One (Elros) chose to be a man, but the other (Elrond) chose to be an Elf. I see no reason why Eärendil (if he hadn't chosen to sail perpetually through the sky) would not have been given the option of remaining in Aman.
    – Blackwood
    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:20

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