Raven Blackwell said:
The King said:
There is something like this in the short story "The frost-giant's daughter" from Howard where Conan travels between myth, dream and reality.
I always suspected that Atali drew Conan's soul out of his body at the begining of that story and he was traveling in a dream realm between Life and Death.
It is the way humans perceive it because they are mortal. This is also the viking myth of the Valkyrie.
There is some hints in Tolkien words about this when he wrote that the Elves of Middle Eath grow weary when they stay too long among the mortals because this (our) world is always in movement brought by the rapid cycles of life, death and rebirth that can be best represented by the 4 seasons.
The elves however never know such things and Rivendell and Lorien and Mirkwook (before being corrupted by Sauron) stay the same and unchanging, i.e. trees don't loose their leaves.
That is also why the elves and all the others immortal races of the legends are lured in this ever changing world.
And this is also why there is some much passion in men, Conan being the greatest example.
But the Frost-giant's daughter is also like the myth of the sirens luring mariners to their doom. At least so we say. Who knows? Perhaps these are lucky guys welcomed in the realm of immortality.
In fact we don't have much legends where mortals enter this wonder realm and come back again in the mortal realm but there is an excellent book on the subject: "The King of Elfland's Daughter" by Lord Dusany (who also was active during World War I).