Glorfindel was reincarnated: a Noldo who died in Beleriand in the First Age, and was sent back after spending some time in Mandos' Halls in some state of grace. In the Third Age he resided with Elrond in Rivendell, and helped drive the Nazgûl away from Frodo as he fled across the Bruinen.

Did Tolkien ever say whether Glorfindel communicated his experiences in Mandos' Halls? E.g., "Fëanor says to say 'My bad. Sorry I was such a jerk,'" or "Dang, the food there is awful!" or anything else about the place?

  • 16
    “I just came back from the Halls of Mandos, and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” Aug 22, 2022 at 21:38
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    Probably just didn't want to report that what Feanor actually said was "I regret nothing and have nothing to apologize for" because it would just piss everyone off
    – Alarion
    Aug 22, 2022 at 23:13
  • @SethMMorton “I just came back from the Halls of Mandos, and all I got was this stupid same old body” :-) Aug 23, 2022 at 19:13

1 Answer 1



Tolkien's thoughts about the nature of Glorfindel's reincarnation come from two short essays written in the final year of his life. These can be found in The Peoples of Middle-earth under chapter thirteen "Last Writings".

In here Tolkien ponders why Glorfindel was reincarnated, who he was friends with in Valinor, and when he traveled back to Middle-earth. Tolkien however does not discuss whether or not Glorfindel shared his experiences with anyone.

The closest Tolkien gets is saying he was very close to Gandalf.

For long years he remained in Valinor, in reunion with the Eldar who had not rebelled, and in the companionship of the Maiar. To these he had now become almost an equal, for though he was an incarnate (to whom a bodily form not made or chosen by himself was necessary) his spiritual power had been greatly enhanced by his self-sacrifice. At some time, probably early in his sojourn in Valinor, he became a follower, and a friend, of Olórin (Gandalf), who as is said in The Silmarillion had an especial love and concern for the Children of Eru.
The Peoples of Middle-earth - Chapter XII Last Writings - "Glorfindel II"

Tolkien doesn't say what they spent their thousands of years together discussing though.

  • Oh, wow! Did he return before or after (or when?) the Istari were sent? Perhaps his decision to return was to aid his friend. Aug 23, 2022 at 13:30
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    @MichaelRichardson I recall hearing about some writing that suggested he came back in the mid-Second Age and that same writing altered the Istari into essentially two separate groups, the Blue Wizards coming with him. Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast still arriving in TA 1000. Aug 23, 2022 at 14:36
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    @MichaelRichardson - According to the "Last Writings" material (which can be found here in HoMe#12 and also a bit in NoMe), Glorfindel and the two Blue Wizards arrived together in the Second Age, somewhere between the year 1200 and 1600.
    – ibid
    Aug 23, 2022 at 16:10

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