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Foresight

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"This I say to you, lord, with the eyes of death: though we part here for ever, and I shall not look on your white walls again, from you and from me a new star will arise."
Huor's last words to Turgon.[1]

Foresight (Q. apacen[2]) is a gift or power apparently given to picked Elves and Men. Many elves appear to have varying amounts of foresight, while some of the more noble men (Númenóreans/Dúnedain) appear to have degrees of foresight on special occasions. In turn, the Númenóreans credited the Drúedain with a "strange foresight" .

Elven mothers would give their children a name, known as essi apacenye or just apacenye, having insight into the characters and abilities of their children, and many also had the gift of prophetic foresight.[3]

Before dying Gwindor had the foresight that if Túrin managed to save Finduilas, she would save him from the Curse of Morgoth. Túrin, however, came too late, and the loss of Finduilas enabled him to meet Níniel much later, and follow his dark fate.[4]

On Númenor the Drúedain were noted for their "strange foresight"; already since the time of Aldarion they felt the land "unstable under their feet", millennia before the Downfall of Númenor, and gradually abandoned it to return to Middle-earth. By the time of the Downfall, they all had left the island.[5]

Dírhael and his wife Ivorwen, grandparents of Aragorn, were gifted in foresight and had premonitions about Arathorn II who wanted to marry their daughter. These premonitions were a reason at first to oppose the marriage, but later to concede to it.[6]

There are several mentions of Seers or Prophets namely Amnon, Glirhuin and Malbeth. Foresight was also seen in dreams: Frodo Baggins saw prophetic dreams during his adventure,[7] and Boromir and Faramir saw a puzzling dream, prompting Boromir to travel to Rivendell to seek counsel.[8]

[edit] See also

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

Elrond, who has "the gift of foresight" tells to Arwen about her future with mortal Aragorn, that she will experience his death and also will lose her immortality, with references to The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen from Appendix A. Thus he persuades her to leave Middle-earth and join the Elves who leave for Valinor.
Eldarion in Arwen's vision in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

While Arwen is on her way to the Grey Havens to leave Middle-earth and Aragorn, she has a vision of her future son which persuades her to return to Rivendell. Then she asks her father, who has the gift of foresight to tell her what he saw about her; he replies he saw only death, but she replies that there is also life.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  2. The word is not attested directly by itself but extrapolated from apacenye and tercen. Cf. apacenya in Elfdict.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", Note on Mother-names, p. 339
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", p. 498
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"