I read in The Silmarillion that the Valar forbade the Númenóreans going to the Undying Lands. Was this rule made by Eru himself and did he love Elves more than Men? Both Elves and Men were the Children of Ilúvatar.

I found it hard to explain to people that God abandoned Men in Middle-earth by removing Aman from Arda and the fact that Valar did not go to Middle-earth to destroy Sauron like they did to Morgoth.

Edit: I found some evidence that Mandos really hated Men in the Undying Lands, when Eärendil went to the Undying Lands for the Valar's help against Morgoth:

It is told among the Elves that after Eärendil had departed, seeking Elwing his wife, Mandos spoke concerning his fate; and he said: 'Shall mortal Man step living upon the undying lands and yet live?' But Ulmo said:' For this he was born into the world. And say unto me: whether is he Eärendil Tuor's son of the line of Hador, or the son of Idril, Turgon's daughter, of the Elven-house of Finwë? And Mandos answered: 'Equally the Noldor, who went wilfully into exile, may not return hither.'

  • I am about to talk about lotr in local web programme. I don't know how to explain to people that there are God in the lotr world. And there are the Valar who sit behind in Valinor and almost did nothing to the War of the Ring. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 7:55
  • You should read again the part when the Valar are retiring in Undying Lands
    – Yohann V.
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:16
  • You mean after they defeated Morgoth, evil Men still walked Middle Earth and the Valar thought "I am going to leave this as it is" ? Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:31
  • Do elves have been corrupted or manipulated?
    – Yohann V.
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:35
  • related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/79336/…
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 13:08

3 Answers 3


For a start, we have no evidence of any rules laid down by Eru, or indeed of any communication between Eru and the Valar apart from when the Valar "laid down their stewardship" and Eru made the world round. There is certainly nothing to indicate that the Ban was commanded by Eru; it seems plain it is a rule of the Valar only.

Secondly, I don't know why you think the Ban means the Valar "abandoned" Men. That's not implied at all. The Valar, like the Elves, are bound to the world until the End. But Men leave the world when they die, which - from the point of view of the others - means that they are getting a Gift. The Valar know not to interfere with that. It's the opposite of abandoning them.

And finally, it's not true that the Valar did nothing to defeat Sauron. They send the Istari (Wizards), and it was mainly thanks to Gandalf that Sauron was defeated.

  • The Valar could have do more than sending the Istari. It is true the one ring was destroy with the help of Gandalf, but it was also the hobbits who carried it to the Mount of Doom themselves. If the Valar were not so afraid of meddling with the plan of Eru, Tulkas could have go there and destroy Sauron once and for all. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:28
  • As you said there were no rules by Eru himself that Men could not go to the Undying Land, I don't see any reason why the Valar would refuse the children of Ilúvatar and said "no". It was just like what Sauron said to Ah-Pharazon that the Valar were holding the Undying land for themselves. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:34
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    Technically, we do have a few more evidence of communication between Eru and the Valar. Specifically, Eru has talked to Aule about creating the dwarves, and Eru was involved in casting Morgoth out from Arda.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:46
  • Yes, Valar and Eru were there protecting people on Arda, but after Númenóreans waged war against Valar, the case is different. Arda was made round and there were only Middle Earth left facing the menace of Sauron and the Valar were not there. They might all die. Still, the Noldor could leave Middle Earth as they wish and safe from Sauron. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:58
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    @lamwaiman1988 "Númenóreans went wrong way" long before they were influenced by Sauron - they stopped to listen to elves and started to want to be immortal and act like Sauron without even meeting him - if they were in Aman their power and their fall could be even greater. In 4th Age there was no Sauron in Middle-Earth and I don't think everyone was saint
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 16:10

There is no evidence of Eru specifically saying that men were not allowed into the Undying lands. But the name "Undying lands" is in itself very suggestive. We do know however that a select few mortals did in fact go to Aman (Eärendil, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and Gimli) so it is not that they physically couldn't.

EDIT: As for your quote from Mandos the Noldor were not to return because of the "Doom of the Noldor/Mandos"

"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also.

Again, Mandos objections to Eärendil are on the grounds that he came to Aman after it had been hidden from the world. Ulmo says that he is half Noldor, half Edain to which Mandos replies that the Noldor are banished from Aman as well.

  • By the time Eärendil went to Aman, I think Aman was not hidden? Wasn't Aman was removed only after Akallabêth? Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:37
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    @lamwaiman1988 It wasn't removed, but was hidden, without Silmaril Earendil wouln't got there. Seems like you should read Silmarillion again...
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:45
  • I read Silmarillion when I was a child. To me it was a really long story and there were many complex names and term which I couldn't tell from each other. I would read Silmarillion again. But I want an answer now, about the atttitude of the Valar towards Men in Middle Earth. Could you tell me which chapter said Aman was hide from Men? Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:34
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    @lamwaiman1988 Aman was hidden from the world after the Noldor left for Middle-Earth when Morgoth stole the Silmarils. It was part of the Prophecy of Mandos.
    – Conor O'D
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:42
  • Aman was removed from the world only after the destruction of numenor.
    – user46509
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 10:26

An important thing to keep in mind is that the Valar had, by this time, realized the mistake they had made by attempting to protect the Elves by secreting them away to a guarded paradise. Some of the Valar had already predicted, or objected, to inviting the three kindreds of Elves to Valinor, saying that it was indeed Eru's plan for them to inherit Middle-earth and learn to survive there. They were outweighed by the fear that the destruction of Utumno ("Hell"), Melkor's original fortress under the Earth, would accidentally kill the Elves before they awakened. Once imprisoned and then released, Melkor deceived the Elves into rebelling against their helicopter parents, the Valar.

Fëanor unwittingly repeated Morgoth's lies, arguing in his famous speech that the Elves were indeed meant to inherit Middle-earth and rule over men, but that the Valar were jealous of the gift of Elves (even as it is argued by others they were of the Gift of Men) to live out their lives independently of the will of Eru, and that the Elves had been brought to Valinor in an effort to keep them in their place. Using this rhetoric Fëanor led the first Kinslaying on the shores of the Undying Lands, and Mandos knew what else was prophesied to happen. Not wanting to make the same mistake again, the Valar were understandably reluctant to let anyone else into the Undying Lands, lest they covet what they could not have.

  • It does look like they fled the error of over-protectiveness to the error of doing so very little that believing they did nothing is a forgivable error. If the Children of Iluvatar are to be left to manage their own affairs, then putting Sauron out of business should have been done early Second Age, and not at the culmination of the third age.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 22:16

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