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Thread: Valar

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Faramir began this thread with the following post.

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I could not help but think in the Unfinished tales that the Valar are somewaht larger in stature than the rest of the inhabitants of Valinor. If anyone else shares this oppinion please say so because it is a question that has long bothered me.


Sammwisegamgee replied

That is an interesting question Faramir. I am reading the Unfinished Tales right now, could you please tell me where exactly you thought the Valar were larger in stature? I suppose I never really thought about it before, perhaps when it says 'larger' or 'greater' it means in power.

The Valar tended to wear their appearence in a similar manner to how people wear their clothes. They modelled themselves on how they imagined the Children of Eru would look like, but this appearence for them was just like another set of clothes. They were able to appear pretty much how they wanted, large, small, or without form altogether.

Ulmo is pretty large when he meets Tuor, appearing as a great man-shaped wave breaking on the shore. He casts Tuor a lappet from his own garment and this clothes Tuor as a great cloak, indicating he is much larger than Tuor. likewise, with Melkor, his weapon Grond, was creating great pits in the ground when he fought Fingolfin. To me, this indicates he was pretty large too.
Its the same for all the Ainur, Gandalf constantly changes in size when his temper gets going!
Yes, the Valar could be any size they wished to be for their outward appearance was not subject to the limitations of the physical world.
There is no place in the books where it says that they are bigger that I know of, I only assumed it but I meant stature as in size.
If you have not yet read the Silmarillion - you would get a greater understanding of the nature and appearance of the Valar from there. I, myself am reading it for the first time and am finding it very interesting and informative.
Oh, oh... I'm so excited: I just reached the status of Friend - at last! Yipppeeeeee.
*sorry I know this is off topic but I couldn't help myself.
The Silmarillion is so good, I read it after I read Lord Of The Rings and it just increases your knowledge of Middle-Earth and it totally preludes LOTR with Of THe Rings Or Power And The Third Age.
I completely agree with that. I read the Silmarillion recently and it increased my knowledge somewhat but since I had read the unfinished tales before it did not teach me much. But I imagine that if it was read before the Unfinished Tales that it would probably be a much easier and more productiuve read.
I also think the silmarillion was a great book, but, going back to the begining I have a question that is bothering me, why is so hard for Souron to get his form, he is a Maia, and as all Maiar the body is like cloth for them (corret me if I'm wrong), is it for the ring?
I believe it is the ring Namo. Welcome to our forum. Sauron put so much of himself into the ring that without it, he is reduced in power. Also, after the downfall of Númenor The Silmarillion says that"he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men". With the passage of time he also lost power just keeping his minions organized, doing his will.
Thanks Grondmaster, but, something more about Sauron, when he gave the rings of power to the kings of men, they were seduced and became the Nazgul, did he gave the rings one by one or all at once, I know that in The Lord Of The Rings they say that one by one they fell into darkness, so I think he gave the rings one by one, but how is it that all the Nazgul are kings of men and they didn`t realize what was hapening to the other ones, was it just foolish of men? (I don't know if you get the question)
Their "stature" may mean otherwise. Demeanor, anyone?
In response to Namo's question: Sauron gave the rings to the kings of men all at once, but:
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One by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thraldom of the One, which was Sauron's. From The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Ok, but if the nine rings were given to the kings of men all at once, from which kingdoms exacly where these men? If I'm not mistaken in that time the only kingdoms of men were Arnor (Which wasn't separated yet) and Gondor.
At that time Namo, Middle Earth was a bit like feudal England. Although they were perhaps no more than the Lords of powerful cities or areas of land, many powerful lords and chieftains would be known to their local populace as a king. It is from these people that Sauron selected the men who eventually became his Nazgul.

Several of these are most probably Numenorians who at this time had many realms around the coast of Middle Earth. The witch-king of Angmar was almost certainly a Numenorian sorceror/priest, while the second in command of the Nazgul, Khamul the Easterling, was most likely an Easterling.

Due to this profussion of powerful lords, each acting as a king, and perhaps competing for power against their neighbours, Sauron would have been able to hand out his nine gifts without any of them seeing the dangers until it was too late.
There was a multitude of kingdoms at the time the rings of power were given out there were the black numenorians of Umbar, easterlings and harad(both seperated in to many kingdoms and chieftainages), the Rhovanion also most likely the dale was flourishing back then. Plus other civillisations that were not named.
I just have another question about the Valar.

You know how some of them are brothers or sisters, and some of them are wedded to each other? There seems to be a whole family tree of Valar (and the Maia fit somewhere in there, too, for Melian was supposed to be kin of Yavanna). But if the Ainur all sprang from Iluvatar's mind, then how can they be distinguished like this?

Or is there a Yavanna senior who also gave birth to Vana, and a Namo senior who also fathered Irmo?

What is up there in the uppermost parts of the Ainur family tree?
Valar that are siblings means that they originated from the same facet of Ilúvatar's mind.

E.g. Nessa & Oromë are both concerned with "hunting", Vána & Yavanna both with "nature", the Fëanturi are all concerned with matters of the spirit, etc.

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(and the Maia fit somewhere in there, too, for Melian was supposed to be kin of Yavanna)

She was a Maia of Yavanna, hence a 'servant'.
In regard to Ainur 'families'... The term 'spouse' (Manwe/Varda, Orome/Vana, Aule/Yavanna etc)in this case, means nothing more than an 'association' - Tolkien's own words. He originally played round with the idear of Ainur having offspring, such as Fionwe being Manwe and Varda's son, for example. Yet he later abandoned this idear, and in his place Eonwe became 'Banner-bearer' of Manwe.
The idear that Melkor was Manwe's brother, Nienna was sister of the Feanturi etc was kept but I believe was decreased in significance. It means only 'Brother in the mind of Iluvatar', rather than some important family-like connection.

Basically the Ainur became less like the Children of Iluvatar, and retained more of a 'Powers of the World' status.
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Basically the Ainur became less like the Children of Iluvatar, and retained more of a 'Powers of the World' status.
You mean sort of like C.S. Lewis's Eldila ?
After having a look at the definition of what the 'Eldila' are, perhaps one could make a connection between them.

Indeed in Morgoth's Ring Christopher Tolkien explains that Ea, the Universe, which is great beyond count, could have had many planets and solar systems, similar to our own Universe. Melkor gathered spirits out of the Halls of Ea (spirits residing in other worlds perhaps), and there has to be a more definate origin for Ungoliant for instance.
However Arda was the point of central significance, where the Great War took place.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away......
If you're going to draw lines between Eldila and Valar, I thi it would run more like

Eldila = Ainur
Oyarsa = Valar
(except, I've forgotten the plural of "Oyarsa" at the moment. Oyersu? Oyeresu?)

Tolkien would probably turn over in his grave if he knew we were drawing such lines, though.
I know nothing about Narnia so I can be excused if he is turning Big Smile Smilie
Elanorraine is correct with her hierarchy comparison "Oyarsa = Valar and Eldila = Ainur" between C.S. Lewis's and Tolkien's angel-like entities.

Rather than from The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis's are from his Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.
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I wonder why none of the Valar chose to take up the job of representing Love.

Nienna did, in a way.

That's why she continually wept; she felt the pains and sorrows of all those star-crossed lovers having nothing better to do than wailing and pining away.