What Are the Undying Lands in Lord of the Rings?

Come sail away.

by J.R. Waugh

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The mythology of Middle-earth is vast, with thousands of years passing with it, along with powerful kingdoms rising and falling during these times. If you watched the Lord of the Rings films or read the books, you might be familiar with the Undying Lands, the place to which the elves return along with Gandalf, Bilbo, and Frodo at the saga’s end. This mysterious world is really only mentioned in passing for the casual viewer but is a vital piece of Tolkien’s world to a great number of individuals in his published works. What Are the Undying Lands in Lord of the Rings? Read on to find out!

What Are the Undying Lands in Lord of the Rings

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The Undying Lands is a realm known by multiple names, including ‘The Land Across the Seas,’ and ‘Valinor.’ The realm is part of the Aman continent, itself west across the ocean Belegaer from the continent of Middle-earth. The Undying Lands is the ancestral home of the Valar, the beings who shaped Arda (essentially Earth) along with the elves and ring-bearers. The elves particularly go here to live in eternal bliss, where they can preserve their immortality. Valinor was eventually made inaccessible to travelers from the kingdoms of Men, separated from the physical world once known as Arda, with only Middle-earth remaining after the destruction of Númenor.

At the end of The Return of the King, when Frodo and Bilbo join Gandalf, they are granted permission to do so as they were once ring-bearers, burdened with the One Ring. They were able to go thanks to the elven ships they rode, taking an invisible path called the Straight Road, which left the curvature of the world, going through space to reach Aman. Samwise Gamgee would go there too, having carried the Ring briefly, along with Legolas and Gimli, after the passing of Aragorn.

In some ways, people have attempted to draw parallels between this realm and Heaven, which is understandable given J.R.R. Tolkien’s personal beliefs, but it has strong elements in common with Valhalla or Asgard, as well. It is a place inaccessible by normal means, inhabited by primordial beings who helped shape the world, and is essentially paradise. In how it appears to be teased in promo images for The Rings of Power, this gorgeous realm appears as pristine as one might imagine, although how it plays into the story is unknown so far.

This concludes our guide on The Undying Lands in Lord of the RingsBe sure to read up on our content so far for The Rings of Power when it premieres on Amazon Prime Video! And for other stories like this, check out our entertainment column!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on September 1, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2022

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