This is an interesting addendum I’d like to make about all my new findings while reading Morgoth’s Ring. Once again, it involves the fëa (spirit) of the elves and its severance from the hroa (body).
as you may know, elves are immortal within Arda according to their right nature. They’re made of a fëa indwelling a hroa. Elves don’t die of old age or of sickness, but they can be slain or fade with time. Why that happens if they’re supposed to be “immortal”?
Easy: it happens because the fëa cannot be destroyed but the hroa can. When a body is mutilated, for instance, the fëa cannot abide in it anymore, so it became unhoused (what Men usually call Death). Noteworthy to say is that the fëa still lives and will continue to live until the end of Arda itself! That’s the true meaning of immortality.
Anyway, Men are different. Their fëa is made of a different nature, they’re weaker and they don’t keep alive after Death. Elvish fëa is so much stronger than Men, that as ages goes by, the fëa starts to “increase” and consumes the hroa, that’s exactly what we call fading! At the end of the process, the body becomes just a memory of the fëa and it cannot be seen anymore nor be used as habitation of the fëa.
But what happens to a houseless fëa?
AHA! Here comes the part about exorcism and stuff….As soon as a fëa is disbodied, it is summoned to leave the places of its life and death and go to the Halls Of Waiting in Mandos, the realm of the Valar. IF the fëa obeyed, many opportunities would lay before it. Firstly, it would be judged according to its deeds and wait there until the time of being re-born (depending on the judgement of course). IF the fëa didn’t obey to the summons, (an unjust act as Mandos had authority to do so), it would never be re-born again, nor judged, nor comforted, nor corrected. Usually, fëar which didn’t heed to the call were already committed to the darkness and if not, it would pass into the Dominion of the Dark Lord.
They would wander houseless in the world, unwilling to leave it, unable to inhabit, haunting tress or springs or hidden places that once they knew.
That’s why it’s foolish, perilous and a forbidden thing to the Living trying to commune with the Unbodied as they’re mostly full of bitterness, grievance, envy and under the dominion of the Dark Lord. They don’t speak the truth nor wisdom. To call on them is folly. All those practices are evil and are of Morgoth, and the necromancers are the host of Sauron his servant.
So the danger of communing with them, it’s not only the peril of being deluded by trickey, falsehood and evil fantasies, BUT the peril also of destruction as the Unbodied may try to eject the fëa out of his host and enslave the new body to his will and his own purposes.
Source: The History Of Middle-Earth Volume X: Morgoth’s Ring p.218 ff.
Man…..tell me ay or nay: Isn’t Tolkien brilliant? By these explanations, I will NEVER watch an horror movie with the same eyes! I’ll spot unbodied fëa of elves everywhere! 😀
Wow…truly indeed, magnificently WOW!