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Thread: Musings about the Ainur

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There are seven male Valar (Manwë, Aulë, Ulmo, Irmo, Tulkas, Námo, Oromë) and seven female Valar or Valier (Varda, Nienna, Yavanna, Vána, Estë, Nessa, Vairë). For the same, there are also male and female Maiar (named are Uinen, Ilmarë, Arien, Melian).

This became of course known to the Elven loremasters who wrote the Valaquenta because the female Ainur took up a female shape, whilst the male Ainur took up a male shape. Though there seems to be a problem here : since an Ainu can take up any shape he or she wants, a male Ainu could take up a female shape, and vice versa.

So, since the natural form of an Ainu – the form in which the Ainur originated – is a spirit, what then would be the definition of the gender of an Ainu ? How would one define the gender of a spirit ?

Obviously, one cannot say « a spirit is male/female because it once inhabited a male/female body » since the Ainur aren’t bound to one body.

But since all Ainur are offspring of Ilúvatar’s mind, I postulate that male Ainur originated from the « male » part of Ilúvatar’s mind, whilst the female Ainur originated from the « female » part of his mind (indeed, Ilúvatar is referred to as male, as Eru was apparently based on the biblical God who is male ; yet, imo, it is impossible to attribute a gender to Eru, as both male and female Ainur originate from him. Eru is Eru, neither male nor female, and male and female at the same time).

I won’t even begin to speculate what the difference is between the male and female part, as that is obviously only known to Ilúvatar. There’s the « yin & yang » philosophy, but that doesn’t apply here, imo, since JRRT mentions nowhere in his letters or elsewhere that he was influenced by Eastern philosophy.
You are right, Vir. The Ainur, like Eru, are in reality above gender. My understanding is that like the angels in his Catholic background, Tolkien had the Ainur take on gender in order to deal with the world they were entering.
I agree too, although i must admit i have never really thought that deeply about genders and the like, i view the Valar as Tolkien dipicted or chose them to be the seven male and seven female 'beings' so as to work with 'humans' (although i cant really say humans as there are elves and other beings living).

Although most 'main gods' are male i assumed that Eru would be male, as in the Catholic religion that Tolkien was a part of, the reference to God would be male as it represents power and strength that Gods have in the worlds they created but i agree Gods and the 'Holy Ones' would be above gender for the power that they possess.
Me three. If the Professor were present, I imagine he'd say the definitive statement is one many of us know well (and he certainly did) about how the Ainur don't have offspring so gender is superfluous.
I also figure the Ainur are naturally gender neutral, just like Neil Gaiman's angels. He has used "it" rather than "he" or "she", when speaking of one of them in Neverwhere and the Sandman series, and also, I believe, in Good Omens which he co-authored with Terry Pratchett.
Me four, I mean five. The Ainur can't have a gender, though they may have offspring, like Melian. But their offspring is, of course, produced by the form they take on, and not by their spiritual selves.
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The Ainur can't have a gender, though they may have offspring, like Melian. But their offspring is, of course, produced by the form they take on, and not by their spiritual selves.

But a part of their spirit would pass to their offspring. That's why Lúthien was such a powerful enchantress, able to subdue even Morgoth himself.
Maybe. But from the genetic point of view, Luthien would have the genes of Melian's hroa, which Melian made for herself so that she could come to ME. I do not think that a hroa wrought by Melian herself would have bad genes, so maybe Luthien's powers came from that powerful strain. Her spirit (like all others) is produced by either Eru himself or some other power that is deep beyond recognition. I do not think that the parents' spirit is imparted to their children. Some traits they might share, and some personalities of father and son may be very similar, but I think that came more from the influence the parents had on the offspring after birth. Imho, the baby is born with the spirit Eru gave to it, aka pure and living in the bliuss of ignorance.
No, that isn't quite true, Clover. My knowledge is at best fuzzy as I haven't read Morgoth's ring in quite a while. But elves poured much of their souls into their children. Just think about Feanor who drained his mother to such a degree that she died. Bad baby!
Amarië is right.

Genetics (nor thermo- and quantumchromodynamics) is not a part of Tolkien's mythology. The structure of DNA was unraveled in 1953 by Crick & Watson, hence the same year where LOTR came out.
I have always believed that the Valar did have gender, even though they could assume different forms. Men and women have different natures spiritually. We act and behave differently to each other, and I have always seen the Valar in a similar manner. If they did not have gender, why would most of them take a husband or wife? Those pairings would otherwise just be close buddies. Also,if they were all just sexless creations of Eru, why would Tolkien describe Nienna as being the sister of the Feanturi, Mandos and Lorien? To me, the fact he made some of them brothers and sisters implies the intention of having gender more than husband and wife. To me it implies their sex was predetermined, rather than the possibility that the Valar chose their own sex later when they chose their respective spouses.
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I think the valar had genders too, as Val says. The lack of children doesn't mean they are "its".
The valar had no reason to have children, they were there to do Eru's bidding, they each had a purpose. Breeding wasn't part of that purpose. Why would we suddenly need more valar? What would be their 'jobs'? Do we need another valar to love the trees and flowers? To polish stars or dig for diamonds? It was in the beginning they needed to be many, as they had a lot of work to do. Humans, elves and later dwarves were created to populate and enjoy what Eru and the Valar had created. The valar comes from Eru, and Eru has a lot of children for the valar to watch over and worry about.
But how exactly must the gender of a pure spirit (not tied to a body) be defined? It is not so simple. This is what this thread is about.

Since the Ainur are all offspring of Ilúvatar's mind (who is regarded as male in the Silmarillion) their genders must originate from Ilúvatar too, which made me postulate that Ilúvatar's mind consisted of a male and female part.
Nah, I don't think Eru is devided. Eru is neither man nor female, it is just we humans who need to devide things that way becuase that is what we are used to. Eru is male in the Silmarillion because God is male in the Bible. And he or she sounds more personal and understandale than "it". Even cars and boats becomes a "she" or "he" when people get fond of them.

Though Eru probably could have made non-gendered valars, I think he had the creation of the Children in mind and made the Valar more able to identify with them.

Also the genders seem to be there to create ballance. Aulë loved what was in the ground, Yavanna loved what grew up from the ground. That is quite oposite views if you think about it, and could cause lot of problems. But instead they are drawn to each other and form a union, closer than friendship, and leave room for a ballanced view of what to do with the ground. Varda doesn't yell at Manwë for blowing clouds across her pretty star covered sky, Nessa and Oromë (did I get those two right??) combine love and friendship with animals with hunting.

Boy + girl with simmular interests = peace and understanding.

Well those are my views. I am not good at explaing, so I hope it makes at least a liiiittle bit sense. Wink Smilie
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That is quite oposite views if you think about it, and could cause lot of problems. But instead they are drawn to each other and form a union, closer than friendship, and leave room for a ballanced view of what to do with the ground. Varda doesn't yell at Manwë for blowing clouds across her pretty star covered sky, Nessa and Oromë (did I get those two right??) combine love and friendship with animals with hunting.

Nessa and Oromë are siblings. Oromë's spouse is Vána, Yavanna's sister, whilst Nessa's spouse is Tulkas.

I thought about the balance thing too, but it doesn't work out, as some of the Valar live alone.

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And he or she sounds more personal and understandale than "it". Even cars and boats becomes a "she" or "he" when people get fond of them.

A gender can't be attributed to Eru, but that still doesn't mean that Eru's an object.

Anyway, the gender of a spirit must be some mystical attribute or property, known only to Ilúvatar, that defines it.

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Boy + girl with simmular interests = peace and understanding.

None of the Valar, safe the ones who originated from the same part of Ilúvatar's mind (and hence became siblings) have similar interests.

The Maiar Ossë and Uinen though, is an example.

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Though Eru probably could have made non-gendered valars, I think he had the creation of the Children in mind and made the Valar more able to identify with them.

Then, did Eru know which of his Ainur would descend into Arda?
Of course Eru knew.Ha Ha Ha Smilie I'm a poet. He was aware the entire time what would happen.
Ah, darn it, I did think about Tulkas first. Wink Smilie

Yes, I think Eru knew who would go there. They did sing his song, and they sang what was given to them, and they did come from his mind.

To make it very general and undetailed, this is what I mean by having simmular interests. Varda and Manwë are air valar, Yavanna and Aulë earth valar, Mandos and Vairë keeps track of time (past present and future), Irmo and Estë are the sleep valar (dreams, visions, rest ). Nessa and Tulkas are quite physical; running, fighting, dancing. Oromë and Vána represent the love and use of nature, maybe they are the food valar? I suppose the Children would call for Oromë to chase some nice pray their way and for Vána to come look at their fields so the corn would grow or something. Ulmo and Nienna are too different to be a couple. He roams around and rarely goes up on land and she stays at home crying. But at least they both care for the Children. Are you sure they aren't married? Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
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Varda and Manwë are air valar, Yavanna and Aulë earth valar, Mandos and Vairë keeps track of time (past present and future), Irmo and Estë are the sleep valar (dreams, visions, rest ). Nessa and Tulkas are quite physical; running, fighting, dancing. Oromë and Vána represent the love and use of nature, maybe they are the food valar?

I don't quite understand your classification.

Irmo, Námo and Nienna are the Fëanturi, who deal with matters of the mind. Estë is a healer.

Oromë has a penchant for hunting, his sister seems to enjoy outrunning deer and dancing (how useful). Nessa's spouse seems quite Viking-like, with a big blond beard and enjoying a good wrestle now and then. Maybe they should be called the 'chill-out Valar'.

Mandos knows everything that is to happen, his spouse Vairë merely makes tapestries of everything that happens and hangs them on the walls of her husband's Halls, decorating that dreary place a bit.

Vána and Yavanna both have a penchant for nature, for they're siblings.

Manwë & Melkor are both what I call 'mini-Erus', with Melkor being the superior of the two as he shared in all gifts of his brethren, yet Manwë had most understanding of the Music, that's why he was granted dominion over the whole of Arda.

I wouldn't call Aulë specifically an earth vala, for all Valar did great labours when Arda was made. Aulë is a craftsman.

As for Varda, her dominion seems to be the firmament, not the air. Manwë not only controls the wind, but has dominion over the whole of Arda.
Varda & Manwë are together because Varda rejected Melkor and instead chose for Manwë, not for some ambivalent metaphysical reason. As for the other couples, who knows.

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Ulmo and Nienna are too different to be a couple. He roams around and rarely goes up on land and she stays at home crying.

That could explain why she's crying...

Imo, all Valar are quite different safe the ones who originated from the same part of Eru's mind. Really, similar interests is not an absolute necessity for being a couple.
Amarië's comparison of simple commonalities is good; Virumor was looking too deeply and may have missed her intent. I don't think she was thinking of similar interests that a human couple may have, but just the common denominator that Tolkien used to pair-up those Valar that he did.

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Ulmo and Nienna are too different to be a couple. He roams around and rarely goes up on land and she stays at home crying.

Their similar (common denominator) interest in this case is water: she makes it and he inhabits it.

I just don't think this 'common denominator' applies.

As for Nienna & Ulmo : they are not a couple. Besides, Nienna is not interested in the element water, she merely used it when she washed away Ungoliant's poison after the destruction of the Two Trees.
At least dear Grondy understands me.

I think Estë and Irmo are the "chill out Valar", they are all about sleeping and rest and dreaming. Nessa and Tulkas are more the "sports valar".

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I just don't think this 'common denominator' applies.

That's ok. We don't have to agree.

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Really, similar interests is not an absolute necessity for being a couple.

No, but it helps. Wink Smilie It seems to be important to the valar though. Yes, the valar who come from the same part of Eru's mind are the most simmular. But it seems that they are attracted to someone from a a different part of Eru's mind, whom they are compatible with and can combine and maybe enhance their powers. Varda and Manwë are the perfect example, as they can see and hear just about everything when they are together. Maybe genders and love was invented to help the valar work together and not just focus only on the parts concerning their part of Eru's mind.

Nessa, for example, would be of little use together with Mandos. "History? History can wait, I have to run around a bit and look at flowers to make them bloom. See ya!" While Vairë listens and "records" what he knows about the past into her tapestries and make his halls not only a hall for the dead and judgement, but also a place of history. Making tapestries of Aulë's swords, mines and findings would be less interesting for others to see. Nessa and Vairë may not seem like the most useful valar (after they help create the world), but they make good company for their husbands and make things prettier with flowers and tapestries.
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Yes, the valar who come from the same part of Eru's mind are the most simmular. But it seems that they are attracted to someone from a a different part of Eru's mind, whom they are compatible with and can combine and maybe enhance their powers.

Aren't you saying now that the couples consist of Valar with different interests?!

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I think Estë and Irmo are the "chill out Valar", they are all about sleeping and rest and dreaming.

To my knowledge, it's mentioned nowhere that Estë & Irmo do that.

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"History? History can wait, I have to run around a bit and look at flowers to make them bloom. See ya!"

Wasn't it Vána that made the flowers bloom? But anyway, I don't know. The light-hearted Nessa would be perfect for lightening up Mandos.

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Nessa and Vairë may not seem like the most useful valar (after they help create the world), but they make good company for their husbands and make things prettier with flowers and tapestries.

Flowers & tapestries??! Yes, cute... *shivers* I'm sure they like that a lot. And I'm sure Ulmo is laughing his watery arse off thinking of that, whilst he's spending some quality time with sirens and najads.. ;-)
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Aren't you saying now that the couples consist of Valar with different interests?!
I say that their intersts are simmular. Not oposite, not identical. But simmular.

Gandalf became the greatest wizard because he had learned from more than one master. He could se that there were more than one side to things. When the valar forms couples, they are introduced to parts of Eru's mind which they were not familiar with. What they had in common to begin with, that which brought them together, lead to more knowledge and insight and maybe to interests the two alone share.

And when a girl moves in with you Vir, you may find that having curtains and a plant or two in your home is not so horrible after all. Wink Smilie
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When the valar forms couples, they are introduced to parts of Eru's mind which they were not familiar with. What they had in common to begin with, that which brought them together, lead to more knowledge and insight and maybe to interests the two alone share.

I do not think they were brought together because of 'similar interests', as that would mean that for instance Manwë & Yavanna would have formed a couple :
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But dost them not now remember, Kementári, that thy thought sang not always alone? Did not thy thought and mine meet also, so that we took wing together like great birds that soar above the clouds? That also shall come to be by the heed of Ilúvatar, and before the Children awake there shall go forth with wings like the wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West.

(Manwë speaking to Yavanna, chapter Of Aulë & Yavanna, Quenta Silmarillion)

I do not think there's any reasoning behind the Valar forming couples. What use is reason against the power of love? Love can't be explained away.

I think that the Valar learnt from each other what each had thought in the Music, both whilst they were labouring in Arda and during their various counsels in the Ring of Mahanaxar. They needn't form couples to come to this understanding.
For instance, Manwë & Ulmo formed an alliance early on :
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Then Ulmo answered: 'Truly, Water is become now fairer than my heart imagined, neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain. I will seek Manwë, that he and I may make melodies for ever to my delight!' And Manwë and Ulmo have from the beginning been allied, and in all things have served most faithfully the purpose of Ilъvatar.
(Ainulindalë)

About Manwë & Varda there's only this :
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Out of the deeps of Eä she came to the aid of Manwë; for Melkor she knew from before the making of the Music and rejected him, and he hated her, and feared her more than all others whom Eru made.
(Valaquenta)

Anyway, I'd like to draw a line under this. It's not really on-topic.

Back to the gender-issue. There's this quote in the Ainulindalë, which seems like a wrap :
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But when they desire to clothe themselves the Valar take upon them forms some as of male and some as of female; for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by the choice, even as with us male and female may be shown by the raiment but is not made thereby. But the shapes wherein the Great Ones array themselves are not at all times like to the shapes of the kings and queens of the Children of Ilúvatar; for at times they may clothe themselves in their own thought, made visible in forms of majesty and dread.

Hence, the difference between male & female spirits is in temper, hence a property granted to them by Eru.

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And when a girl moves in with you Vir, you may find that having curtains and a plant or two in your home is not so horrible after all.

Well since I won the 'most fruity' award, I reckon I'm supposed to kick out my girl and move in with a boy... :-P

Bring on the satin drapes!
Clover, you home wrecker! See what trouble your awards cause in peoples lives? Bad plant! Bad! Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie Wink Smilie

If they come from the same part of Eru's mind, they are siblings. If female-tempered (making up words as we go) and a male-tempered valar find their like each others company, they are man and wife. While two males would be allies. No fruitiness here. All is nice and proper, as it had to be in Tolkiens days.

The siblings were close from the very start, the couples seemed to form by themselves later on, I suppose we can say they fell in love. While alliances like Ulmo and Manwë needed a little nudge.
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Mandos knows everything that is to happen,

Save for the end. Eru did not reveal that to anyone. That's why Tolkien dropped it from the Silmarillion. It had not yet happened, and it was not foreseen. The only thing that he didn't completely get rid of were certain prophecies, which he still didn't put in there.

The Valar had no gender in thesense that it is most commonly used, it was more of the state of mind that each had, and the part of the mind of Eru that they came from. Upon coming to Arda, they took upon themselves physical forms, sorta clad themselves in raiment as the Children to come would look, only far more majestic and awe-inspiring. But that was not their true form, just an appearance that they took according to their interests and presence of mind.
For example, Ulmo would not work out right as a female, he is the Lord of the Seas and Waters, he needs to have a frighteningly majestic look about him, which he just could not have as a female (no offense to the ladies). What I'm trying to point out is better explained by C.S. Louis in the Space Trilogy, particularly in Perelandra, towards the end. For those of you who have read it, specificaly, when the Woman finds the King, and they meet Ransom on the mountain, with Venus and Mars present.
That is right, I should have added the entire quote :
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He forgets nothing; and he knows all things that shall be, save only those that lie still in the freedom of Ilúvatar.

Lucky we still have our nitpickers lurking in the shadows, to correct us.

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That's why Tolkien dropped it from the Silmarillion.

Not JRRT, Christopher Tolkien & Guy Kay. It appeared after JRRT's death, you know.

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The Valar had no gender in thesense that it is most commonly used, it was more of the state of mind that each had, and the part of the mind of Eru that they came from. Upon coming to Arda, they took upon themselves physical forms, sorta clad themselves in raiment as the Children to come would look, only far more majestic and awe-inspiring. But that was not their true form, just an appearance that they took according to their interests and presence of mind.

Yes, this information has already been posted above. No need to repeat it.

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For example, Ulmo would not work out right as a female, he is the Lord of the Seas and Waters, he needs to have a frighteningly majestic look about him, which he just could not have as a female

Would a female be unable to have a frighteningly majestic look? Wouldn't Varda or Yavanna look majestic if you had the chance to see her? I am sorry, but I fail to see your point.

You're right though, it wouldn't be exactly right for a "Lord" to look female. I agree with that. Mostly though, Ulmo's form is just water, as he rarely visits his brethren, not even four counsels.

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(no offense to the ladies)

My friend, they'll be all over you. But he who seeds the wind shall harvest the storm, or something in the like.

*waits for Vee and Amarië to unleash their fury*
What a strange thing to say, Fionwë. Apparently Ulmo looks like a gigantic roaring wave with foam-covered, glittering armour. That is what would scare you, not the gender.
Any of the Great Ones would inspire awe and reverence when one of the Children of Ilúvatar would meet them, that goes without saying.
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Any of the Great Ones would inspire awe and reverence when one of the Children of Ilúvatar would meet them, that goes without saying.
Until the Children have lived in their vicinity for a few centuries, at which time they got bored with the Great Ones and used any excuse the could find to get away. Excuses like: 'But he killed my father and stole my pretty-pretties.' and also 'I vant to be Fearless Leader in a country of mine own'.
Ah yes, the Unrest of the Noldor. Do not underestimate the lies that Melkor sowed in their hearts, for that is the primary reason for why they listened to that foul-tempered anti-hero, Fëanor. For the darkness that Galadriel perceived in his heart, was in her heart also.

Do not forget that the Vanyar and Teleri, who never listened to Melkor, never left the Great Ones' side, nor lost their respect for them.
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...a gigantic roaring wave with foam-covered, glittering armour. That is what would scare you, not the gender.

But does that seem feminine to you? That is what I was trying to get at.
"Run! Ulmo's PMSing! RUUUUUUN!!!" Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
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But does that seem feminine to you? That is what I was trying to get at.

Any Ainu can take on such a form, so it could be feminine. Uinen, for instance, undoubtedly took up such a form now and then.
The Romans looked at certain things as being feminine, and others as masculine, and yet others as neither one, but neutral. Terra for instance, the latin word for earth or ground, is feminine, as is sylvia, forest. That actually goes way back before the time of the Romans, the Egyptians looked on things as having gender as well.
But, could you imagine a female Vala smithying, or prophecying and foretelling dooms and deaths? Certain things have become associated specifically with the masculine gender, while others have become associated specifically with the feminine gender.
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Certain things have become associated specifically with the masculine gender, while others have become associated specifically with the feminine gender.

Yes, but that differs from culture to culture. And I wouldn't specifically attribute 'water' as female.

For instance, Poseidon, the Greek god of water, was male (who was also Neptune, the Roman god of water). But then the Carthaginians' deity of water, Tanit, was female.

One would also be inclined to attribute 'war' as male and 'love' as female, but that doesn't always apply as well : Astarte was a Semitic goddess of both war and love, for instance. The ancient Hebrews had Anath as both a fertility goddess and goddess of war; and then the ancient Egyptians had Neith as a war goddess.

As for love, the Greeks did not only have Aphrodite, but there were also Eros and Priapus, who were male.

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But, could you imagine a female Vala smithying, or prophecying and foretelling dooms and deaths?

Sure I can. The female Valar've been coming out of the kitchen, ye know?
Heresy! Everyone knows Water and Air are FEMALE flows, even if some men can be strong with them anyway, and Fire and Earth are male. If most women tried to draw as much Fire as a man she'd blaze like a torch! ;-p

More seriously, I'd understood it to be an axiom that men are biologically geared for greater upper body and women lower body strength, so I'd expect a male smith to be more effective than a female one, pound for pound. It all evens out though; men suck at bearing children. ;-p

Were it not for the quote about the Ainur having gender before they ever put on physical form I'd be inclined to say it wasnt innate, and in fact I still am, but it certainly seems to be more fundamental than mere physical attributes. I take it as something they adopted to define themselves from the beginning, anticipating its larger dimension, and when the time came for physical forms they naturally chose one consistent with their earlier choice. No doubt Eru had been arbitrarily enforcing unfair gender roles on them, too.

"Sigh. Aule, why is it every time I come to visit you're playing with dolls?" ;-p
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More seriously, I'd understood it to be an axiom that men are biologically geared for greater upper body and women lower body strength, so I'd expect a male smith to be more effective than a female one, pound for pound. It all evens out though; men suck at bearing children. ;-p

That be true for humans, but here we are talking about gods, or at least, great spirits. They take on any form they want, after all.

The Norse god Loki for instance, was the mother of Sleipnir, and the father of Fenrir, Jörmungand and Hel.

And one of the incarnations of Vishnu was a woman, if I'm not mistaken. And again I give the example of Astarte as a war goddess.

That's why I can imagine a mighty Valië kicking some butt.

PS: it is not an axiom that "men are physically stronger than women", "men are generally physically stronger than women" is. I'd not like to arm wrestle with G.I. Jane, for instance.
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I'd not like to arm wrestle with G.I. Jane, for instance.
Morambar would; he'd even volunteer to mud wrestle with Éowyn. Elk Grinning Smilie
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Morambar would; he'd even volunteer to mud wrestle with Éowyn.

Wait til Faramir hears about this!
G. I. Jane's a little freaky for me, even if she is still hot, particularly given she's not in her twenties anymore. I still like her to play Lanfear, but that's a different thread. And besides, she's not blonde (and no, I still don't really have a pick for Greandal; maybe Jennifer O'Dell? Does she have the acting chops?)

And I was VERY careful not make the blanket statement that "men have more upper body strength than women" only that they're biologically inclined to have such. Under the same conditions and with the same kind of strength building few women would surpass many men in upper body strength, just as few men would surpass many women in lower body strength. Most of the time it tends to even out, I think, such as when hauling a full military pack twenty miles, for example. ;-p
I think deities should be referred to by their names. A lot of misconception arises with the use of 'He' in particular.

Human embryos are female. Females, like Mother Earth, create life. God(s) create. Ergo god, if anything, is female.... and all females are gods. Males, with their upper body strength, provide protection and a safe and secure environment for the female and young. Well, that's the theory.... doesn't always work in practice.

The Ainur were not created male and female although they each had differences which eventually would decide for them. So Aule in a dress would be a sort of Dame Edna Everage? If they changed gender it would be like wearing a disguise for them, no more. In spirit they would still be male/female? Did some have children while in 'disguise'? Without getting into a discussion about sex that seems more like a gay man, married with kids.

So, yes, I agree with lots of others. Eru is neither male nor female but a contains everything needed to produce male/female offspring. The Ainur did not choose their own gender. That was decided by Eru's DNA.

As for female not being scary enough for the big stuff - you are attributing gender to the job rather than the person. Galadriel showed she could be scary *if* she were a Dark Queen. Just look at the Valkyries, Amazons, Bodicea... and GI Jane of course. (also starring Viggo!).

I didn't realize Viggo was in that; huh. As to the rest, I suppose an argument could be made for deity as above gender generally. "Strong right arm of the Lord," you know. Gender has very little relevance without the ability to procreate.
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Human embryos are female.

I don't know if you're serious, but human embryos are either male or female. As half of the DNA of the embryo comes from the father and the other half of the mother, the embryo gets always an X gender chromosome from the mother, and either an X or an Y gender chromosome from the father. So it is in fact the male part that determines the gender, but it takes both to create.

As for female gods creating, some do, but so do male gods. In Norse mythology the Nine Worlds (and Man) were created by Odin and his brothers, Vili and Ve, out of the corpse of the primordial giant Ymir.

In Greek mythology everything was created out of the union of Gaia (goddess of earth) and Uranus (god of space) who fathered the Titans, of whom the final couple of Titans, Rhëa and Kronos, fathered the gods Zeus, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, Hades and Demeter. But humans were created by Zeus himself.

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The Ainur were not created male and female although they each had differences which eventually would decide for them.

Yes, they were. Read the quote again :
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But when they desire to clothe themselves the Valar take upon them forms some as of male and some as of female; for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by the choice, even as with us male and female may be shown by the raiment but is not made thereby.

The difference of temper which distinguished them into male & female Ainur, was given them by Eru for he created them.

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If they changed gender it would be like wearing a disguise for them, no more. In spirit they would still be male/female? Did some have children while in 'disguise'? Without getting into a discussion about sex that seems more like a gay man, married with kids

They cannot change gender, for it is a property of their spirit, it is a difference in temper. Not physical.

But yes, Melian -albeit she is a female Ainu- would be able to build herself a male body and impregnate one of the Quendi.
Like I already posted above, it is quite common in mythology for gods to change gender and both be father and mother (like Loki).
1. It was tongue in cheek, the reasoning being that if Y = male and X = female and the X is already present then the gender must be mostly female to start with and only becomes male if a Y is added.

2. I did read the quote and my comment was merely selfish reiteration.

3. Maybe I phrased that ambiguously. I meant changing the appearance of gender, like a costume, just the outer appearance. Would the spirit inside still be whatever gender they had been assigned regardless of gender abilities, rather like a drag artist? You say yes, and I agree but would it have an effect, if any, on offspring?



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1. It was tongue in cheek, the reasoning being that if Y = male and X = female and the X is already present then the gender must be mostly female to start with and only becomes male if a Y is added.

I still don't get it. Not Y = male, XY is. Not X = female, XX is.
I bet you're fun at parties.
Only if jokes actually make sense. Or were you implying you have Turner's syndrome? My bad.
It was tongue in cheek, not a joke as such. And I am pretty sure you understood. You are just being pedantic which is what often kills humour.
You Brits, your humour is so dry, that it would blow away even in the midst of a rainstorm. Elf Winking Smilie Of course mine is so obscure that no one understands it. Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
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