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im curious what happened to the valar in the time of the ring and why didn't the help aragorn or were they about to do something im confused if you would know and you would tell me id be happy any theory works if you have even the slightest idea please tell me not knowing is sad Very Sad Smilie
My thoughts are that they wanted the men to sort it out themselves, as the weak men attacked Valinor and believed Sauron's lies over them.
the Valar were not allowed to interfear...but they did three times or more....during the war of the ring they sent he Istar or Istari or whatever the plural is.
In the previous times the Valar interfered with the machinarions of the evil ones, they damaged middle earth so badly that they were no longer allowed to take an active part in the bringing down Sauron.

In the Valor's first battle, eastern Middle-earth was subjected to major damage with geograhical areas undergoing great changes: mountains moved and lakes shrank or enlarged, nothing was the same as before. In their second battle the western half of Middle-earth (Beleriand) was submerged beneath the waves. In the third battle Numenor was submerged beneath the waves. This couldn't go on, so instead they sent the five wizards: Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, and the two Blue Wizards to act as their proxies.
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the Valar were not allowed to interfear...but they did three times or more....during the war of the ring they sent he Istar or Istari or whatever the plural is.

The Valar were the masters of Arda. Nobody disallowed them anything, as they were given dominion over Arda by Ill˙vatar.

After the sinking of N˙menor, they merely chose to interfere indirectly by sending the Istari.
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In the third battle Numenor was submerged beneath the waves


The sinking of Numenor wasn't actually down to the Valar. When the Numenorian fleet invaded Aman, Manwe called upon Iluvatar and it was Iluvatar himself who sank Numenor and changed the shape of the world. I think going from a flat world to a round one was beyond even the powers of the Valar.

But yes, the Valar tended to stand aside from the later struggles because of the terrible destruction they could unleash when they did get involved. Personally I can buy this explaination where the likes of Aule and Ulmo are concerned, but why they could not have just send Eonwe or Tulkas across to sort the problem I'm not so sure. They could have just grabbed Sauron by the ear and dragged him home kicking and screaming. There again, the book would have been pretty short and boring, which is most likely the real reason JRR did not have the Valar interfering directly in the first place.

Sometimes when confronted with this sort of dilemna.... Why didn't the Valar/Iluvatar do something? ..... it is often best to remember JRR was writing a book. He had to make it interesting and tense, so having the Valar sort every problem just would not have worked.

thanks but something is still not clear who disclaimed the valar's actions and why Paranoid Smilie
Disclaim? Nobody disclaimed the Valar. The Valar just decided that they should leave ME to its fate for once, and not to interfere (as interferance usually came to very nasty results). But if anyone on ME thought that the Valar had deserted them or something they're wrong. Because the Valar were watching over them all the time, only they decided to test others' strength rather than trifle themselves with such troubles.
you know what? i have always thought that Eru said something to the Valar about interfearence but it might have just been Manwe for all i know....
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i have always thought that Eru said something to the Valar about interfearence but it might have just been Manwe for all i know....

Eru never said anything in the like. The Valar were the Powers of Arda, and therefor the rulers of anything therein.

Only once, the Valar laid down their dominion, when Ar-PhÔrazon set foot on Aman. Their love for the Children of Ill˙vatar was so great that they didn't want to destroy Ar-PhÔrazon and Co themselves, but left the decision to Ill˙vatar himself.

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The Valar just decided that they should leave ME to its fate for once, and not to interfere (as interferance usually came to very nasty results).

The Valar did, however, interfere, but only indirectly, by sending the Istari instead of an army.
Without the Istari, Sauron would not have been finally defeated by the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth.
thanks for the information sherlock Very Big Grin Smilie yeah now its all clear
Oh, and could it be the Valar were too fair to come themselves and depose Sauron? I mean, he was just a Maia, after all... They fought with Melkor cause he was their peer, but Sauron they left to his own brethren, the Maiar. Just my little perspective on the matter, that's all.

And throughout the books, there are few encounters between Valar and Men, since Men were easily overwhelmed by the Powers' presence. Imagine the army of the Gods riding through Middle-earth in the Third Age, with people fleeing in horror and dread all over the place. Not a pretty sight, me thinks...
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Imagine the army of the Gods riding through Middle-earth in the Third Age, with people fleeing in horror and dread all over the place.

Yes, those Hell's Angels can really give one a fright.
It does seem that the Valar and Eru had somewhat of a 'hands off' policy in the third age, especially when it comes to the affairs of men and women. It may have something to do with the strange gifts Eru gave to Men: if I remember aright it was not merely death, which seems to be the overshadowing element, but something that is bound up together with it: freedom of a certain sort, different from elves, to whom the song of the Valar was 'as fate'. Men were granted the power to take their fate into their own hands, so to speak -- to direct it, in a limited manner, but direct it nonetheless. Tied together with the gift of their choices affecting their fate (and the fates of others), they were not fettered to Arda, as it seems the elves were -- they would upon death NOT go to the halls of Mandos, but to some end or beginning or waiting/watching Eru knows where or when. So also, death was granted to all of them that they might be taken out of Arda. Perhaps they have some other purpose after being born on Arda, of which their life of struggle and of learning to move fate as they decide is only preparation (my speculation entirely).

Anyways it seems that Istari (Wizards) were sent as recruiters and organizers, helpers but not heroes, so to speak. If Gandalf's words to Denethor are any indication, their job was stewardship.
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they would upon death NOT go to the halls of Mandos, but to some end or beginning or waiting/watching Eru knows where or when. So also, death was granted to all of them that they might be taken out of Arda. Perhaps they have some other purpose after being born on Arda, of which their life of struggle and of learning to move fate as they decide is only preparation (my speculation entirely).

Souls of Atani do go to the Halls of Mandos after death, they just don't stay there. Soon after their arrival at Mandos, they pass to somewhere else.
Note that in the Halls of Mandos, Beren and L˙thien were reunited; and from the Halls of Mandos they were sent back to Beleriand.

The souls of Atani pass to Eru's Halls, where they stay on his side until the Second Music of the Ainur, when Arda would be remade and dominion over Arda would be bestowed to them.
Right..... I knew I had the details mixed up a bit. It should have read

"they would upon death NOT stay in the halls of Mandos, but continue on to some other...."

However I don't remember any mention of "Eru's Halls" -- just that the details of men's whereabouts after death and before the second song was unknown to Elves, Men still living, and Valar.... where does he mention 'eru's halls'?
JRRT mentions the "Timeless Halls of Eru" right in the beginning of the AinulindalŰ.
For those who don't know, the 'AinulindalŰ' is the creation story at the beginning of The Silmarillion. Read Smilie
At the end of the second age, when Ar pharazon of numenor landed on tol erresae and then over to Valinor itself and Manwe cried from the peak of Taniquetil for Eru' interferance, Eru past Aman into the realm of hidden things forever out of the reach of men. Only Elves were allowed back to Valinor from the rest of arda. The Valar then watched over middle-earth during the third age and when they could see that Saurons ressurection so to speak was immenent (long before people of middle-earth realised) they sent the Istari (maiar), the five wizards over there to guide them through the time ahead. Only Olorin, which is Gandalf succeded in this task. Saruman was swayed to Saurons will by means of the palantir of orthanc, the seeing stone from numenor and there from erreasea. Radagast was too enamored with the birds and beasts of middle-earth to go back to Valinor or fight against Sauron. Nothing good i think comes of the other two wizards, the blue wizards so only gandalf succeded. This was the valars only interferance with middle-earth over that time.
Havint just posted to the thread about the Eagles (entitled aburning question needs an answer, or some such thing), it is occuring to me that the Eagles may be part of the Valar's help during this time as well.

Really, though -- Mightn't Ill˙vitar have even brought the race of Hobbits into existence in order to help defeat Sauron? They are supposedly one of the surprises, one of the 'new' things unlooked for, no one knows for sure their origin; they are not Men or Elves or Dwarves or Ents or Eagles or Tom Bombadils or Goldberrys..... The Valar may be giving a chance for everyone in ME to play a part in fighting evil; what is to prevent any person in ME from being a line in the song that the Valar and Eru have sung, and, thus, being the "help" in the fight against evil.

After all -- you can say that the Valar sent the Istari, and without that indirect help, Sauron would not have been defeated. You might just as well say that Sauron would not have been defeated without Aragorn, without Frodo, without Sam, without Galadriel, without Merry, without Pippin, without Elrond, without Arwen, without EŰarendil, without ╦owyn, without Faramir, without Gollum/Smeagol, without, indeed, the lowly rope-making elves in Lorien (if elves can be called lowly).
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After all -- you can say that the Valar sent the Istari, and without that indirect help, Sauron would not have been defeated. You might just as well say that Sauron would not have been defeated without Aragorn, without Frodo, without Sam, without Galadriel, without Merry, without Pippin, without Elrond, without Arwen, without EŰarendil, without ╦owyn, without Faramir, without Gollum/Smeagol, without, indeed, the lowly rope-making elves in Lorien (if elves can be called lowly).

Sauron would not have been defeated if he had not forged the One Ring, and if the One Ring had not left Gollum and went over to Bilbo.

The One Ring gave the free peoples of Middle-earth one last desperate chance to defeat Sauron; without this chance, their cause would have been hopeless without any direct help from the West.
The hobbits were a strain of men I believe it states in The hobbit though i cannot completely remeber where i read it.
You have the right thought, lord. I believe Tolkien said hobbits were closer to men, that they had more in common with men than with elves, etc. This doesn't mean they are a kind of men, or some lost tribe, but it seems he wanted them somehow related. Because they were supposed to be closer to us, Tolkien can make the characters of our hero hobbits more comprehensible, more easily understood because their motivations are not unlike ours. The journey to Mount Doom by an elf or a dwarf would have been far different, I think.

But of course Illuvatar would have foreseen Sauron's return and no doubt provided for those people who would need to be in place in order for the work of the Istari to be accomplished. So no matter how great and mighty and deceitful and all-encompassing the power of Sauron was, it never fell outside what Eru had already provided for in his song. It is true, things would have turned out differently, with a far stranger plot, if Sauron had never made the Ring. But then, Sauron made the Ring to dominate ME. So if Tolkien had written that Sauron had wanted to dominate it through some other medium, the heroes would have still to resist him. There would still have to be good people there willing to resist evil, and there would still be those guardian spirits sent to assist them in the cause. And the outcome would have been the same. To posit anything drastically different would have taken an author far different from Tolkien.
So Eru is Sovereign.

Eru provided/does provide what help is needed -- it's just not always the same kind of help. (That, after all, would get boring, no?) Valar once; along with elves... the next time round, -- hobbits! Wink Smilie And Men.....
What was Eru doing during the timespan on Middle-earth? Was he just a couch potato lounging around, eating popcorn and watching the history unfold? Were there other creations of his playing out at the same time?
It does seem Eru was largely a spectator of his own creation. It's back to the same old thing: if he creates a world where every facet of every moment is micromanaged, where's the fun?

Meanwhile, someone suggested I reread UT last night (which I'd only done once, when it was released) and it covers this whole issue pretty well in the section on the Istari. I'm not going to try transcribing the whole thing, but what stuck in my mind was the note to the effect the Istari came in the form they did due to the bad experiences the Valar had with the Eldar in the Elder Days. Not only were they forbidden direct interference, but deliberately had their true overwhelming natures concealed to prevent intimidation, deliberate or otherwise. UT notes this had several Unintended Consequences, the most significant of which would appear at first glance vulnerability to death, but ultimately the most damaging was the fact that taking on true flesh meant taking on the less visible frailties such as greed and lust for power (e.g. Saruman. )
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UT notes this had several Unintended Consequences, the most significant of which would appear at first glance vulnerability to death, but ultimately the most damaging was the fact that taking on true flesh meant taking on the less visible frailties such as greed and lust for power (e.g. Saruman. )


Were these unintended, though? I think the Valar wanted the Istari to understand the weaknesses of the flesh so that they could be better guides. If someone is immortal, would they advise decisions that could lead to the deaths of thousands without giving it that second thought. If they did not suffer temptation themselves, would they really understand the potential danger. With regard to this latter one, I don't think it was just because Saruman had taken flesh that he craved the Ring. I think that would have happened anyway, even if he had kept his maian form. Maiar, were not, after all, uncorruptable (eg. Sauron for instance).

I cannot see these events having been unforseen by the Valar either. Although he generally kept his own council, Mandos knew the whole future of Middle Earth, because it was said he had listened to the whole of the music, rather than just to the parts he had participated in (as most of the others had done). He, at least would have known how Saruman failed, although it would have not been in his power to prevent. He knew the future, but he couldn't change it (maybe why he seldom shared his council).
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he generally kept his own council, Mandos knew the whole future of Middle Earth, because it was said he had listened to the whole of the music, rather than just to the parts he had participated in (as most of the others had done).

I don't think he knew 'the' future (as that would imply everything is predestined), I think he knew all possible futures. After all, choice is free and every choice of every being in Middle-earth leads to a different future.

There were of course certain key events predestined (Isildur cutting the Ring of Sauron's Hand, Frodo at Mt Doom,... called a nexus) but the choice of the ppl involved at these key moments wasn't.

Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction, but I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you - they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm!
That's probably the better of the two analogies, and it doesn't seem possible Manwe knew EVERYTHING, both for the reason you suggested and for the practical reason that just because he heard all the music doesn't mean he remembered it all. Else why would he need a Doomsayer in Mandos (who seems to remember MORE of the Ainulindale than anyone, unless I'm much mistaken.) The Valar, alone or collectively, aren't omniscient or Morgoth would still be in chains in Valinor and the Two Trees flourishing. For similar reasons, while I agree with Val the Istaris mortal aspects were likely intended to create empathy as well, I don't think they knew Saruman would fall, else why send him? To be honest, I can't really remember much that Saruman did to contribute to the cause even before he fell; even the White Council was Galadriels idea. If the Valar know even all possible paths (and on a different topic I agree with you there Vir, and on it's not being predestination, though that's a subtle distinction many don't appreciate) then they drag Sauron back to Valinor at the end of the Elder Days, so much grief is averted and glory sustained.
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and it doesn't seem possible Manwe knew EVERYTHING, both for the reason you suggested and for the practical reason that just because he heard all the music doesn't mean he remembered it all. Else why would he need a Doomsayer in Mandos (who seems to remember MORE of the Ainulindale than anyone, unless I'm much mistaken.)


I think you will find it was Mandos, not Manwe, whom I was referring to in my post.
My bad; shouldn't post whem I'm tired. The rest of the logic seems sound though, unless everything in Middle-earth was predestined; a whole lot of horrible things occurred of which there was no need if Mandos knew of them beforehand. Including at least three cataclysms to shame Lews Therin Telamon, and those are just the ones of which we know, to say nothing of the time before time when the world was being formed and Morgoth rent it as fast as the Valar could make it.
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If the Valar know even all possible paths (and on a different topic I agree with you there Vir, and on it's not being predestination, though that's a subtle distinction many don't appreciate) then they drag Sauron back to Valinor at the end of the Elder Days, so much grief is averted and glory sustained.

Ah, but not the Valar know all possible paths, only Mandos does and he keeps quiet about it (probably on Eru's command?). That is why Sauron was left alone at the end of the First Age : Mandos just didn't tell OromŰ/Tulkas/╦onwŰ to apprehend his Evilness #2.