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Thread: Which Valar Do You Admire Most

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My favorite amoungst the Valar is Yavanna. For me Yavanna seems to have had the hardest time preserving her creations not only against destruction from both Dark Lords, but also from Dwarves, Hobbits and of course Men. It must have been devastating for her to see the destruction of the massive forests which crossed Middle Earth, from coast to coast during the Elder days. I think Tree Beard summed this destruction up beautifully during his conversations with Merry & Pippin during their stay with him at the roots of the Mountain in his home deep in Fangorn. His quote that a Squirell could once hop from tree to tree from there the Old Forests starts (near The Shire) all the way to the top of Greenwood The Great and beyond makes me sad as this is happenning on an even larger scale all over our present day Earth. Yavanna, along with the other Valr must look down on us in utter despair and must indeed think that the dominion of Men has indeed been permeated by the evil of the Melkor in Ages gone by... Enough of my musings, who of the valar do you look up to and why?

I like this thread Brego, and |I feel the same way. I cannot say I admired all the Valar, I felt that some of them at times seemed selfish to me, arrogant somehow and yet I am sure that is not so. But with Her I felt such tenderness, love, compassion, intelligence, far seeing attributes. Yes I liked her very much.

Yes I agree Lee Lee they do sometimes look selfish. However I think that the professor wanted us to believe that no matter how good the intentions of any one that these Intensions may be seen as more selfish than selfless by those who spectate. I think in a strange way the Valar understood the children of Eru less than Melkor and Sauron. They knew how to use Dwarves, Men and Elves, corrupt them, it was easy for them because they were aware of their weekness's due to his study and spies. I think that eventually the Valar were simply not up to maintaining the free people's and they made some seemingly strange decisions in trying. But ultimately Eru had a plan and I like to think that the plan had as much to do with testing the Valar, as it was to create a world for his other creations. I think Ulmo was the closest to understanding Elves and Men for too many reasons to mension here, however he didn't seem to mind drowning more than and few of them!

Absolutely you are right. It in the end matters not what others thought or indeed think now, Eru was Creater. he made all things and knew all things and had a plan no one probably really understood and therefore he knew the ultimate end and while giving all peoples freedom to fall in with his plans or not, he alone in the end brought all things to their divine conclusion.

I remember there being a thread like this sometime ( or years?) ago. My choice hasn't changed though. My preferred Vala has always been Aule. I think this might be because he' the father of the dwarves and the hobbit was the first book I read so I have special love for them! Other than that he's a maker of extraordinary things but does not covet nor hoard which is why i like him too!

 

On another note, i think that the Valar are in a way responsible for the condition the world dominated by men have shaped up. If only they had helped and guided men in the way the did for the firstborn oratleast try to understand their hearts, being different to their own, the course of history might have changed! If the elves blame some of the forefather of Men for having marched with the Enemy, then are they really to blame as the only Vala they ever knew was Melkior. How were they to shape their  opinion if they knew nothing of the powers that be?

 

Strange are the ways of Eru, yet ever do they reveal his glory! Smile Smilie

How I missed you Thorin, especially on facebook. My account was hacked over and over and I finally gave up. I had Mellon and Sian and a few others, on my facebook and the loss was great, especially as the three of you do not visit Middle Earth often any more. Happy Holidays to you and mummy and I think you said another brother. And I hope you get to see your sister.

I can see why you chose the person you did and your reasoning is very touching.

Merry Christmas to you and your family too Leelee! You have a good memory! I'm really sorry about your facebook, its sad that people behave like that!

 

But on a brighter note you'll be seeing me more often as from the end of next January here Big Smile Smilie

Interesting thoughts Thorin.  Verily how different Middle Earth would have been if the Valar had listened to Ulmo when they had the chance.  Really there was no need to bring all of the Elves to the West.  The Elves had a better chance of withstanding Melkor than Men ever did and given time, I believe that the Elves would have been able if not to destroy the Dark Lord they at least have moved him on to perhaps a different region on Middle Earth.

I continue to be thrilled with this site!  That being said, I have often pondered the different outlooks that the Valar seemed to have about the Children of Illuvator and their roles with them.  It has always seemed to me those with noble spirits and good hearts have a habit of expecting good from others unconditionally.  I think this comes from the fact that they do not expect the ill will that they are sometimes subjected to because they do not have it in them and end up hurt or at least dismayed at the ill that so many others are full of.  I'm not sure why that came out, so pardon me.

What I was trying to get at, before I started rambling on there, is how some of the Valar and Maia seemed somewhat naive to Melkor and the discord that he sowed. 

 I also love Yavanna because of her wondrous creations.  I have often lain beside a campfire looking up at the stars through the cypress trees and Spanish moss listening to her voice on the wind and dreamed of Elvish company.  I can only imagine how beautiful our world was before modern Man began its rape of the forests and land.

I was born on the bayou and have been drawn to the water since childhood so I have to say that Ulmo is my favorite Vala.  For me the way he continually exerted influence on the happenings of MiddleEarth and never gave up on either race is why I feel this way.  One of my reasons is the way he influenced Turgon and Finrod to build their strongholds.  Another is the prophecy he led Tour to fulfill.  What a journey that must have been!

I will end there for now and respectfully watch and learn.

 

 

Yay Thorin, you are coming back, Iam absolutely thrilled. I miss that sound reasoning and the way you challenge us to think deeply and look at things in a different way. Fabulous.

Finrod that was captivating and romantic, i could read that description a hundred times and not tire of it. And Brego has become such a stolid and dependable prescence I automatically look for your name each day. Thankyou for your comments.

Thank you for the kind words, Leelee.  I am thoroughly enjoying PT.  But I do have a question, How do I go about getting my hands on some of the titles and letters I have been seeing in some of your posts?  I have a Nook from Barnes & Noble but the Unfinished Tales are the only two volumes available, and unfortunately the only ones that I've read.  I would greatly appreciate some guidance in locating and reading the History of MiddleEarth and some of the Letters to which ya'll have referred.

If you as you say have access to a Barnes and Noble or any other Bookstore of any size you can ask them to look up the title of the book you want and they can see if it is available to order in for you. The letters are from the book by Tolkien  The Letters by JRR Tolkien, put together and such by Humphrey Carpenter. I suppose this might be a little hard to order but certainly not impossible

What I was talking about Leelee is a Nook, which is Barnes & Noble's version of a Kindle.  Sorry about the ambiguity.  If a bookstore was available I would have already been bugging them!  Thank you for the advice though.  I gathered from what you implied is that most of the titles I've seen on PT are still in print so the next time I'm in a city I will look in some bookstores.

I must seem thick but the truth is I just joined the information age and at the age of 39 bought my first laptop so I am still learning the ins & outs of the internet.  Please bear with me because I'm learning more every day.

 

 

Beautiful words Findod. I myself have just returned from a weekend at a friends house in Victoria Australia. It's a 1 hour drive from where I live and I feel the purity which Vavanna's creations add to the very air we breath as I drive further from the City of Melbourne. My friend has an old stringy bark eucalyptus on his propert of 20 acres which we estimate is around 300 years old and he looks like Tree Beard, my Favorite of all of Tolkiens creations. I spend hours looking and talking to him everytime I visit. It is deeply moving and wondrous. Each morning and twilight we are visited by Kangaroos, cockatoos and many other creatures. Those who have learned to appreciate nature can truly understand all that Tolkien was on about. Wonderful Lee Lee you truly have an Elvish heart. May the Valar always protect you.

Greetings friends,

My favorite of the Valar would be either Ulmo or Yavanna.  I love Yavanna's ideas and personality, also I love trees. Ulmo on the other hand, is commanding, powerful, yet loves both elves and men.

if I had the time i would go on and on. But I don't.

Wen

I can really empathize with our Yavannah, because i have fought hard for preserving the trees, flowers and protecting the animals here. it is a never ending work. i remember feeling like i was dying in side when one of our ancient heritage trees, normally fiercely protected by city laws was torn down in our front yard. We installed new plumbing and the toilet upstairs did not work. Upon examination it was found that the roots of the tree, well over a hundred years old had spread her roots so far they went right through the pipes.So she was cut down ,then the earth was ripped up and the roots dug out. What a horrible thing it was to me. And the worst of it was no one else on the street could care less, And when i started noticing that there were a great number of feral kittens and cats all about, starving , my family and i left out bowls of food and drink and pretty soon the number of skinny cats swelled to about fifty. We practically had to take out a loan to keep feeding them. One particular  kitten I tried to catch was alone since a few weeks and was so terrified and would not let me get her without her killing me. So i called her Olivia and every day i would call her and see her hiding. i would put out a whole can of food and she would sneak up and eat it. Then after that every single time i would open the door there would be Olivia waiting for food. It broke my heart. When all the cats became well fed, we used a huge bear cage that captures young bears that have been orphaned and put food inside and starting catching the cats one at a time and taking them to the animal shelter. most were adopted. i cannot believe the way flora and fauna can be neglected or treated in a cruel manner. I think if Yavannah saw this now in this time she would have to be sedated.

I have always had a liking towards Ulmo.  His passion and willingness to come to the aid of the elves of Middle Earth who were in crisis and alerting them well beforehand in their time of peace to take action against the coming doom tells me that even in their greatest  need he never abandoned them even when his messages was not heeded to.  He also provided shelter and safe passage for the elves to reach their destination.  A Valar who loved the Noldor and Edain dearly and petioned the council on behalf of the Noldor but  was denied.

The same petition I believe was taken up by Earendil and it was granted.  To me Ulmo seems to standout from the rest of the Valar perhaps it is because of his passionate nature of helping others in need.

I don't remember that much detailed information about Yavanna, but I think she is my favorite from all Valar.

I've always loved nature and all things concerning it, and well, I was always fascinated about her doings and appearances in The Silmarillion.

So, Yavanna it is.

PS. A bit nerdy to admit, but when I still used to play World of Warcraft, I named some of my in-game characters after Tolkienish names, and Yavanna was one of those. Smile Smilie

Ulmo is a fascinating character, somehow though I always seen him as a cross between a body builder and a life guard and very sure of himself and somewhat aloof and intimidating. I also see him as someone who , once he has fixed upon a mortal or elf or whoever as a favorite will go to amazing lengths to protect him or her and help that one reach the destination ordained.

Hi! I'm reading The Silmarillion actually and I can say for the first half of the book that I love it! My favourite Valar is Yavanna. She is so fond of every creature she makes, caring of them, worrying about them.. like a Mother. Wonderful! However, with the one I feel more identified is Nienna. I felt something in common with her as soon as I read the first sentences about her. I always have pity of everybody and even if I keep the tears inside, I do want to cry most of the times, not only for mercy but for happiness. There are so many things in this world that can touch the deepest emotions we have! If just for only one day we let these feelings go out... it would be a great day!

Hey everyone, excellent insight, thoroughly enjoyed. I would have to choose Ulmo. Personally I feel that he cares very much for all folk who dwell in Middle-Earth, Elves, Men and Dwarves, including birds and beasts. However, the waters of Ulmo flow into the most remote areas of Middle-Earth and into the very depths of the dark lords realms, where it becomes a poison to those that drink it. Keeping the waters clean would be of great concern of course. Guiding the folk who dwell in Middle-Earth for his own purposes, for the protection of the waters ways.  A victory for those that care for such things is indeed a victory for Ulmo. Also, Ulmo is mefrciful, forgiving Osse for his treason when he joined with Morgoth Bauglir for awhile,  being promised the power of Ulmo. That's a pretty serious crime. One of the Valier I admire most is Nienna. If not for her teachings, Olorin or more commonly known, Gandalf, would not have learned pity or patience, two characteristics which of course played a huge roll during the Third Age.

If only the other Valar had listened to Ulmo, the whole shape of Arda would be very different than today, Having said that perhaps its better that the trials and torments of the Noldor needed to happen for Earth to become ready for the younger children of Illuvatar...Still I would have loved to have seen an Earth filled with Elves early on.  I suspect that they would have prevented Melkor getting such a foot hold of power and also prevented Sauron taking over his kingdome.

I really like Orome, especially 'cause he kept returning to Middle-earth even when the rest of the Valar had left. And because he found the Elves. I just found that too cool.

And Ulmo as well, because he never stopped helping the Elves.

But I don't really like Manwe. He's just a bit too goody-goody. I just found his weeping for Feanor a bit pathetic. And the fact that he just sat there while his brother Melkor wrought havoc upon Endor.

I like Ulmo the most of the Valar, and Yavanna most of the Valie (popular opinion here, it seems!). Ulmo's solitude, his depth and the fact that he represents the sea, something so vast and impenetrable, gives him an element of mystery that other Valar (except maybe Mandos) do not have. 

I'm almost at the end of the Silmarilion and I must say Ulmo is the one who cares most of the folk in Middle-Earth. I have a particular opinion about Ulmo and Manwe. Ulmo is like a protective father, you know, warning and helping. On the other hand is Manwe, who seems colder but however, I think is like more permissive. I mean, "here you are, you have your lives, you want freedom, go and do as you please". He is as a father that suffers for his children but let them make mistakes and learn about them.

Elves decided to go to Middle-Earth, now it's in their doom is in their hands for bad or good.

That's a really good point.

But I just think that if Manwe was a father figure, then perhaps he would be slightly more of the irresponsible figure. I mean, everyone was really fighting against the Doom, but Manwe just let the Doom destroy them, whereas Ulmo, who understood that the Doom would triumph, still tried to help out the Elves in their time of need. Manwe just let them suffer needlessly.

Yes good points re Doom and the Noldor.  However if the other Valar had listened to Ulmo and had left the Elves (albeit with protection) in Cuivienen the Doom of the Noldor might never have happened.  I believe that Illuvatar instructed Manwe to bring the Elves to the West to enable Evil to seep into the Noldors being, and perhap teach all Elves that Evil exists and it is totally uncontrollable once it takes hold.  This is kind of Elven evolution in a way.

What Brego said.

I like this thread a lot. That's the reason on coming back to it, Yavanna is my favourite Valier but I must give a brief explanation about  "me" (hahaha). Elbereth or Varda is the lady of the Stars. I think the night and darkness make us feel vulnerable and also give us inspiration due to the appearance of the unknown, our eyes don't reach to see everything as they do at daylight (we lose the control of every single thing around us) and we usually feel uncomfortable; however Varda made the stars and so we can find light and hope to those fears. Every dawn is a gift, every day is one more day in our lives. Sincerely, I use light as a synonym of hope. Light is also Life.

Here's what Tolkien said about the design of Eru and the invitation of the Elves...

 

'*This is said because the invitation given to the Eldar to remove to Valinor and live unendangered by Melkor was not in fact according to the design of Eru. It arose from anxiety, and it might be said from failure in trust of Eru, from anxiety and fear of Melkor, and the decision of the Eldar to accept the invitation was due to the overwhelming effect of their contact, while still in their inexperienced youth, with the bliss of Aman and the beauty and majesty of the Valar. (...)'

 

JRRT, footnote, entry PHAN, Words, Phrases And Passages, seemingly (and generally) dated to the mid 1960s, Parma Eldalamberon 17

 

Just in case anyone might be interested

Very much so Galin, thank you for the quote. 

I now can feel the frustration when reading the chapters regarding the great migration to the West (probably simply from knowing the eventual outcome).  I was watching that terrible remake of Clash of the Titan the other night and there is a scene during which the God in Olympus are discussing the fate of Argos and, its visually beautiful, terribly edited and scripted, but still reminded me of the ring of doom somehow.

I wouldn't say that some of the Valar seemed selfish, I'd rather describe their behaviours as "distant". They all were saints after all, it rules out the selfishness, doesn't it? It was said, that each one of them had a part in the process of creating Arda, but they have difficulties understanding the parts of the others - that probably made some of them "distant" in various events.

I was thinking about who would I choose as my favourite Valar and it wasn't an easy choice. mainly because I see them as an entirety - all of them have their roles, their domains, their privileges and duties. I love Yavanna's duties (because nature is very important to me), I admire Manwe's majesty and I adore Ulmo's attitude towards Middle Earth. Aule's capability to work so hardly and  persistently and create/repair Arda is astonishing in my opinion.

So I was thinking about it for so long and suddenly I realized that the most natural choice for me would be Nienna. My favourite quote from Silmarillion was about her and her role in Ainulindalë - I still remember how it touched me when I read it for the first time, and to be honest - it still make my eyes water.

"So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began."

I love her character, her ungrateful (I hope I chose the right word) task, her impact on all living creatures on Arda. It's like - how the history of Middle Earth would look if there was no sympathy, no empathy, no pity? She's like the heart of Valar entirety in my eyes.

Oh Indis. Thank you for reminding us of that wonderful quote. Simply glorious and deep and sad from our wonderful professor. Nienna's tears washing away the venom of Ungoliant from the wounds of the blessed trees also broke my heart.

My favourites had also been Ulmo and Yavanna, but I was a little surprised that most other people who have posted here had a similar preference. Maybe Tolkien made them more "human" than the others. Pretty much has everyone has mentioned, Ulmo for his devotion to Middle Earth and the people who remained there, and Yavanna for her trees and gentleness.

Someone mentioned that the Valar seemed naive to Melkor. I think that is because in a way they themselves were like children - very powerful children, but nevertheless children. They were brought into being by Eru and were in awe of everything he did. All of them seemed very focused within their element (Ulmo-water, Manwe-sky, Aule-earth etc) and did not really understand much beyond their realm. They understood love and altruism etc, because that was their nature, but at first the duplicity and evil of Morgoth was not something they really comprehended.

 

Brego wrote

Quote:
Yes good points re Doom and the Noldor.  However if the other Valar had listened to Ulmo and had left the Elves (albeit with protection) in Cuivienen the Doom of the Noldor might never have happened.  I believe that Illuvatar instructed Manwe to bring the Elves to the West to enable Evil to seep into the Noldors being, and perhap teach all Elves that Evil exists and it is totally uncontrollable once it takes hold.  This is kind of Elven evolution in a way.

Sorry, Brego, but I am not sure I agree with this. As soon as he was aware of the First-born Morgoth sought them out because he wanted to dominate them. He encountered them before Orome found them and was already capturing, torturing and trying to change them. Prior to this he had already destroyed much of the land by knocking down the two lamps, so the Valar guided them to the West where they could better protect them from him in a land that Morgoth had not yet marred. In their naivity, however, they let Morgoth back into their midst where he was again able to corrupt them. In this Morgoth was good because he understood better than the other Valar, the Noldor's greatest weakness - their pride, If left unguarded in Middle Earth, Morgoth would have destroyed or enslaved them. At least in Valinor he had to be more subtle.

I'm new to the forum; this is my first posting. I agree that Nienna is a good choice, but for me the most fascinating Vala is Mandos. I think he often is equated with Hades, and considered grim, given his association with death. But I find him to be a far more sympathetic and positive force. Mandos is burdened with the gift of foresight, but he understands the need to permit the denizens of Middle Earth - Elf, Man and Vala - to make mistakes. I recall how he sat quietly when the decision was made to call the Elves to Valinor- he must have known the danger in that decision, but he did not try to overrule it. His sympathy to Luthien is very touching. I think, next to Ulmo, he was far more concerned with the ongoing, daily pains and burdens of Elves and Men than any of the other Valar. Perhaps this is reading more into Mandos than wise, but I see him as a tender, nurturing force, caring for the souls of the elves as they rest between incarnations and serving as the guide for the souls of men as they leave the circles of the world. 

My favourites had also been Ulmo and Yavanna, but I was a little surprised that most other people who have posted here had a similar preference. Maybe Tolkien made them more "human" than the others.

Yes, and maybe it's because Ulmo and Yavanna had some "perceptible" tasks. Their domains are also known to everyone. It's easier to identify with Ulmo or Yavanna if you love water or trees - I can't say the same about Estë for example. Plus both of those popular choices had significant role in helping in various events.

They were brought into being by Eru and were in awe of everything he did.

Ialso  got that vibe reading the book. There is some amount of amazement in their behaviour. And as you mentioned - each one of them is aware that their knowledge of Eru's plans is limited - so their actions are very carefull most of the time - they seem to always think twice.

I'm new to the forum; this is my first posting. I agree that Nienna is a good choice, but for me the most fascinating Vala is Mandos.

First of all - hello, Balaratar, nice to meet you. Smile Smilie I agree about Mandos - he is fascinating. There is something mysterious and hard to define in his character. It's like he knows all the consequences of every action made by Elves, Men, Vala, Maia etc. I see him as Eru's conscience - he is able to judge the actions of the others with an absolute justice given by Eru (if that makes sense to you).

 

Orome, the great hunter of evil beasts: Orome was most likely a great warrior if he was a hunter. He carried a spear and a bow. Him and Tulkas(more of Tulkas),  and Eonwe probably led the army of Valinor. He was wise and stern lord, but he was a Vala of steel will, and he loved Middle earth, maybe the most besides Ulmo and Yavanna, he brought the Elves from their place of creation. he must of known Arda better than any other creature that has walked the earth. Ever.