The three opening chapters are concerned with how Eru (Iluvatar) created the Ainur (Holy Ones) from his thought, and with their aid created Ea, the earth and heavens. Under Eru's guidance, the Ainur created a Great Music from which the world was born. Many of the Ainur then left their homes in the Timeless Halls and entered the world, becoming the Valar and the Maiar.
These opening chapters tell how these spirits built the world, and how it was created to be a home to the Children of Eru, the Firstborn (elves) and the Followers (Men). One of the Valar, Melkor, desired to dominate and bend this world to his own will, however, and these chapters tell of his battles with the other Valar.
These chapters also give some insight into the Valar themselves, showing them to be like aspects of nature, and describing the domain over which their powers lay. In this, Tolkien appears to have amalgamated Christian beliefs of One God with the Pagan beliefs of many nature deities.
Names and Places
Eru (Iluvatar) The One God.
Ainur The Holy Ones, created from the thought of Eru with the Flame Imperishable.
Valar The greater of the Ainur who entered Ea.
Maiar The lesser of the Ainur who entered Ea.
Aratar A term for the eight most powerful Valar.
[u]The Aratar [/u]
Manwe. King of the Valar, Husband of Varda, Brother of Melkor. Domain, Air, sky, wind, weather, sight, wisdom.
Varda (Elbereth). Queen of the Valar, wife of Manwe. Domain, Light, stars, insight.
Ulmo. King of the Sea. Domain, Water, sea, rain, streams.
Aule (Mahal). The Smith, Master of the Earth, Husband of Yavanna. Domain, Non-living earth, crafts.
Yavanna (Kementari) Mistress of the earth, Giver of Fruits, Wife of Aule. Domain, Living earth, plants.
Namo (Mandos) Keeper of the Dead, Lord of the Halls of Awaiting, Brother of Nienna and Irmo. Domain, Spirits, death, passing.
Nienna. The Weeper, Sister of Namo and Irmo. Domain, Conscience, grief, pity, suffering.
Orome (Aldaron) The Huntsman, Master of the Wild, Husband of Vana, Brother of Nessa. Domain, Nature, forests, wild animals.
[u]The Lesser Valar [/u]
Vana. The Ever-young, Mistress of Flowers, Wife of Orome, Sister of Yavanna. Domain, Youth, birth, renewal, flowers, song.
Tulkas. Champion of the Valar, Husband of Nessa. Domain, Valor, laughter, loyalty, hardiness.
Nessa. Mistress of Celebrations, Wife of Tulkas, Sister of Orome. Domain, Joy, celebration, happiness.
Irmo (Lorien) Dream Master, Lord of Visions, Husband of Este, Brother of Namo and Nienna. Domain, Spirits, dreams, desires, love, peace.
Este. The Healer, Mistress of the Fountains of Renewal, Wife of Irmo. Domain, Renewal, healing, rest, peace.
Vaire. The Weaver, Wife of Namo. Domain, Time, fate, tales, memory.
[u]The Enemy [/u]
Melkor (Morgoth) The Unmaker, the Nameless, the Great Enemy, Brother of Manwe. Domain, Fire, cold, crafts, materiality.
[u]Maiar of note [/u]
Ilmarie the handmaiden of Varda.
Eonwe the Herald of the Valar and Captain of the Host.
Osse the servant of Ulmo.
Uinen servant of Ulmo, wife of Osse.
Melian servant of Vana and Este. Wife of Elwe (Thingol)
Olorin servant of Irmo and Nienna. Said to be the wisest of the maiar, he later became the Istari, Gandalf.
Sauron servant of Aule, he was corrupted by Melkor.
The Valaraukar corrupted spirits of fire that became the Balrogs.
[u]Places of Note [/u]
Ea The World, includes Arda and the Heavens.
Arda The Earth. This is composed of the continents Middle Earth (Endor) and Aman, which are separated by the Belegaer Sea. The Encircling Sea surrounds all this. There are other continents too, but they have no part in this story at the moment.
Middle Earth This is the land in which the Hobbit and LotR is set. At this time it also extends West beyond the Blue Mountains into Beleriand.
Aman These are the Undying Lands. Valinor (the home of the Valar) occupies much of Aman, and the two names are often interchanged, although there are parts of Aman outside of Valinor.
Halls of Mandos These are the Halls where Mandos gathers the spirits of the dead, and leaves them to sit in quiet contemplation. They are situated in the far west of Valinor.
nn[Edited on 11/11/2002 by Valedhelgwath]