In Tolkien's lore, they are many very old beings. Is there any indication that some or even one would have been truly immortal and survived into what we would call "our" history or Age? Galadriel, Cirdan, Ingwe, Bombadil, Ungoliant, or any Maia or Ainur? Anyone or anything? Seems there must be some kind of carry-over seeing as how "man" existed in this time.

  • Probably a duplicate I didn't find... Worth a try. Aug 1, 2014 at 10:40
  • I dont think so. An interesting question
    – The Fallen
    Aug 1, 2014 at 10:52
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    Didn't you already ask this question before? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/58828/… If this question aims to be more specific about people, at least link to the original and be clear about the differences between them, to avoid duplicate answers. Aug 1, 2014 at 14:04
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    I had forgotten that question. Embarrassing. I guess the difference here is I'm asking only about living beings. Also, I got better answers now than then. Apologies. (I knew the question sounded familiar.) Aug 1, 2014 at 15:37
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    As mentioned on that question, we had Hobbits pretty recently. Mar 26, 2015 at 9:00

4 Answers 4


Tolkien does better than hint. In the beginning of The Hobbit he states that hobbits may continue to exist now and that we don't notice because they keep out of our way. This is from the opening page:

I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves.

He may well have gone back on this suggestion at some point, but it might be worth looking out for them next time you're in the English countryside. You'll have to be quiet though because:

There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants.

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    That's autobiographical in context isn't it? Bilbo wrote that, didn't he? As opposed to more recent times? Aug 1, 2014 at 11:10
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    There seems to be some conceit that the books were written by Bilbo and Frodo, but this clearly doesn't make any sense here since they were both hobbits and hence wouldn't need to define what hobbits were, nor to refer to themselves as "large stupid folk like you and me." It's clear that the narrator is "one of us" (namely Tolkien) and hence located in our historical present. If Tolkien states hobbits still exist, we must take that as canon.
    – Cugel
    Aug 1, 2014 at 11:15
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    The books were written by Frodo and Bilbo, but the introduction and appendices were added separately, partly by the scribes of Gondor, and partly by the modern "translator", ie Tolkien. Aug 1, 2014 at 11:22
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    Bilbo's book's title is also different than the real book. I always had the impression that Bilbo, Frodo and Sam wrote books but the ones we read aren't the same ones.
    – George T
    Aug 1, 2014 at 12:00
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    True, although the title of the question and the use of "anyone or anything" invites answers that might exceed the opening sentence.
    – Cugel
    Aug 1, 2014 at 12:23

All the immortal beings - elves, Ainu, etc - are still around.

Tolkien is quite clear that the Elves at least are "bound to the circles of the World" and will endure as long as it does. They may not be present in Middle-Earth itself, but they are certainly still alive somewhere.

The Vala and Maia also, when they descended into Arda, committed themselves to existing for as long as it does, and cannot leave before the end.

  • Nice. I've not accepted it as "the answer" yet, but I've got a feeling I will. It's precise and poignant. +1 for now. Thanks. Can you add any quote(s) to back up this answer? Aug 1, 2014 at 11:31
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    What end? When the sun becomes a red giant? Aug 1, 2014 at 18:37
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    @user973810 End of the world was defined in the last chord of The Song sung by the Ainur. Wheter this is the Sun becoming a Red Giant or not is unknown even for the most wise.
    – Envite
    Aug 4, 2014 at 11:14

Eru Ilúvatar: He is The One, he was since ever and will be forever, but he is not "here" on Earth.

The Ainur (not Valar/Maiar): They are with Eru, also out of this world.

The Valar and the Maiar: They are eternal as well, and they are on Arda until the end of the world, but they are on Valinor, which is now removed from the world as we know it.

Elves: Those who were on Valinor continue there as the Valar and Maiar. Those who were on Middle Earth (either after return (Noldor) or those who never went to Valinor) left Middle Earth through the "straight path" towards Valinor. They'll be there, either live or dead on Mandos' "forever hotel", until the end of the world.

Dwarfs, hobbits: not immortals. Species may be still around, but no individuals. Ringbearers, however, are in Valinor.

Men: not immortals, by definition. Well, Duncan McLeod...

Orcs: Let's hope they were all killed.

Ents: It is unknown if they are truly immortal. If they are like trees, they are not, but they live way long. Some of the forests in Central Europe may have Treebeard still around.

Tom Bombadil: As we do not know who he really is, we can not know. But it is a good bet to say he is still in his small realm, probably around central France.

Note: Central Europe and Central France locations move a lot depending on the equivalences you do between northwestern Middle Earth and modern Europe.

EDIT: I forget about Arien and Tillion, who drive the Sun and the Moon, respectively. They are undoubtedly still performing their work.

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    The ringbearers must have died on Valinor long ago. I don't recall them ever becoming immortal.
    – George T
    Aug 1, 2014 at 12:58
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    Their lives were only extended by the Ring. A mortal in Valinor actually has a reduced lifespan than if they stayed in Middle Earth.
    – OrangeDog
    Aug 1, 2014 at 14:16
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    "For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast." — The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
    – OrangeDog
    Aug 1, 2014 at 14:54
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    It was speculated in the LOTR that Tom is Maia or Vala (can't remember which), which would make him immortal, similar to Mithrandir. Whether he still dwells in the Middle Earth is not known, as he has no interest in the affairs of other beings (except the river daughter of course).
    – jwenting
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:21
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    @ApproachingDarknessFish with that, I meant that the species of dwarfs and hobbits may be still around our world, (It is implied that at least hobbits are), but no individual from those mentioned in the books may be alive (except ringbearers). In short: there are hobbits, but no Merry or Pippin out there.
    – Envite
    Jan 12, 2015 at 13:47

To add to the excellent previous answers, Galadriel herself says that some of the Elves may have lingered in Middle-earth, even into our own times.

"Yet if you succeed, then our power is diminished, and Lothlórien will fade, and the tides of Time will sweep it away. We must depart into the West, or dwindle to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and to be forgotten."
-The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 7: "The Mirror of Galadriel"

From Wikipedia:

After the destruction of the One Ring, the power of the Three Rings of the Elves would also end and the Age of Men would begin. Elves that remained in Middle-earth were doomed to a slow decline until, in the words of Galadriel, they faded and became a "rustic folk of dell and cave," and were greatly diminished from their ancient power and nobility. While the power of the remaining Noldor would be immediately lessened, the "fading" of all Elvenkind was a phenomenon that would play out over hundreds and even thousands of years; until, in fact, our own times, when occasional glimpses of rustic Elves would fuel our folktales and fantasies.

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