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Last Ship

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"At the Grey Havens dwelt Círdan the Shipwright, and some say he dwells there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West."
The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

The Last Ship was the last ship, built by Círdan, that sailed from the Grey Havens into the Uttermost West carrying the last Elves from Middle-earth.

Círdan maintained the haven at least into the Fourth Age (for the last mentioning the Grey Havens was Samwise Gamgee's departure West in Fo.A. 61),[1] but it was recognized that eventually, its purpose would reach an end when no more Elves wished to cross the Sea. At that time, Círdan would abandon the Grey Havens and finally travel the Straight Road himself.

At some unknown date,[note 1][2][3] Celeborn eventually sought the Grey Havens, taking with him the last memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth. Since Círdan and Celeborn are among the only known Elves of the Elder Days in Middle-earth, they would have taken the Last Ship together.[3]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. The Last Ship might have sailed before Fo.A. 120 based on Aragorn's final words to Arwen. Aragorn suggests Arwen might still sail into the West, and one of the reasons she gives that this is impossible is that "There is now no ship that would bear me hence...". This might imply that the Last Ship had already sailed by Fo.A. 120, the year in which this conversation took place. Alternatively, it could be interpreted as Arwen, having lost her immortality and her place on the White Ship to Frodo, thought that she had forfeited the right to live in the Undying Lands. If so, the Last Ship would have sailed after Fo.A. 120. The words "and some say [Círdan] dwells there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West" derive from the Red Book of Westmarch, and not from the original Red Book, which has not been preserved, but from a copy of it, the first of them being the Thain's Book, copied in Fo.A. 171. Thus, the speculation about Círdan still dwelling in Mithlond cannot be exactly dated to a period before Elessar's and Arwen's death even if Arwen's words might refer to the fact that Círdan had already left Middle-earth. This means that the Last Ship would have sailed at some unknown date after Fo.A. 171.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Note on the Shire Records"