COTW - the Valaquenta

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Gregory Hernandez

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Nov 3, 2005, 9:33:07 PM11/3/05
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This account of the Valar, like the Ainulindale before it, owes quite a bit
to the Bible, specifically the book of Genesis. The first paragraph of the
Valaquenta, in fact, retells the story of the Ainulindale. As in the book
of Genesis, the Valaquenta begins with the words "in the beginning".
Tolkien being who he is, he immediately begins a digression into names. So
we are informed that the One is known as both Eru and Illuvatar, the secret
fire at the heart of the world was called Ea, and Arda was the name of the
kingdom of Earth.

The Ainu are broken down into further classifications, with the greatest of
these angel-like beings given names and called the Valar. The Valar
basically correspond to archangels in Judeo-Christian cosmology. As in the
story of the angels, there is one among them who is the greatest and who is
the first to fall. In the case of Tolkien's middle-earth, the Ainu's name
is Melkor.

Because of Tolkien's Christian faith, many writers go on to find many
parallels with the Judeo-Christian cosmology, but the truth is that the
Valaquenta echoes many other faiths and mythologies as well. We have echoes
of Greek and Roman myths, not to mention correspondences with stories in the
Hindu Vedas and Egyptian mystics.

So for example we have Varda the Valar lady of the Stars corresponding to
Roman Sophia, Ulmo as an analogue for Poseidon/Neptune, and Oiolossė the
tallest mountain paralleling Mount Olympus, home of the Gods, etc.

The Valar are named in the Valaquenta and they are seven in number: Manwe
lord of the lord of the breezes, and the air, and all creatures that take
wing, and lord of the Valar. Next comes Ulmo, lord of the waters. Aulė,
master of crafts and craftmanship. Namo, summoner of the spirits of the
slain. Irmo, master of visions and dreams. Tulkas, who delights in
wrestling and contests of strength. And lastly there is Oromė, who has a
dreadful temperament and whose parvenu is the lands of Middle Earth.

In addition to the Valar, there are also the Valier, the queens of the Ainu.
The greatest of these queens is Varda, who is most often spoken of in the
Lord of the Rings as Elbereth. She is, as noted above, the Lady of the
stars. She is the spouse of Manwė and they are seldom apart. Yavanna is
called the giver of fruits and corresponds to the earth mother archetype.
She is called the spouse of the craftsman Aulė. Vairė the Weaver, who
corresponds to the goddess Fate, is the spouse of the Pluto-esque Valar
Namo. Estė the healer of hurts and weariness, is coupled with Irmo, the
giver of dreams and visions. These last two couplings, IMHO, are truly
inspired. The lord of the waters is said to dwell alone, and in order to
keep the significant number seven for both lords and ladies, Tolkien came up
with a Valier who also dwells alone. She is Nienna, sister of Namo and Irmo
(the three together referred to as the Fėanturi, the masters of spirits).
During the music of the making of the music of the Ainu, when Melkor began
weaving his discordant themes into the music, it was she whose song turned
to sorrow and lamentation. She is grieves for the wounds of the earth, the
disharmony in the choir of the Ainu and its subsequent coming to pass in the
realm of Arda. With Tulkas, the Apollonian/Mercury hybrid, goes Nessa, who
seems to be his exact female counterpart. To Oromė the dark Ainu of earth
and wrath is espoused the Valier Vana, who is the epitome of Spring.

Now as has been pointed out, there are seven Valar and seven Valier.
Nowhere among these great powers of the world has Melkor been named. He
arose before there was a world. He is left until last. His original name,
it is told, meant "he who arises in might", but it is not by this name that
he is written about in the legends of the elves and of men. There he is
referred to as Morgoth, the Dark Enemy. He is, as has been seen in the
previous book, the Ainulindalė, as powerful as - and in many ways
corresponding to - Manwė, the leader of the Valar. Because of his lust,
envy, and malice, Melkor has squandered much of what was inherently
available to him due to the grace of Eru. A line from the Valaquenta I'll
quote here, since it seems most appropriate in describing Melkor: "From
splendour he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself
[becoming] a spirit wasteful and pitiless".

Along with the Valar/Valier, the Valaquenta also tells of the spirits akin
to them but less powerful. These are the Maiar. The Maiar are unnumbered
and go mostly unnamed, except for five: Ilmarė, handmaid of Varda and
Eonwė; Ossė, vassal of Ulmo; Uinen, his spouse; Melian, servant of Vana and
Estė (of whom more is said in the Simarillion proper), and Olorin. Although
little is said in the early legends of this latter Maiar, he is perhaps
because of activities in Third Age, where he was known by a different name:
Gandalf.


Conrad Dunkerson

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Nov 6, 2005, 6:37:07 PM11/6/05
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Gregory Hernandez wrote:
> The first paragraph of the Valaquenta, in fact, retells the story of the
> Ainulindale.

Valaquenta was originally the first chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion,
which was written separately from Ainulindale. This is likely the reason
for the slight repetition here.

> So we are informed that the One is known as both Eru and Illuvatar, the secret
> fire at the heart of the world was called Ea, and Arda was the name of the
> kingdom of Earth.

I think the "...; and it was called Ea" is referring back to "gave to
their vision Being" rather than the Secret Fire. We know from other
texts that 'Ea' means 'let it be'.

> The Ainu are broken down into further classifications, with the greatest of
> these angel-like beings given names and called the Valar. The Valar
> basically correspond to archangels in Judeo-Christian cosmology. As in the
> story of the angels, there is one among them who is the greatest and who is
> the first to fall. In the case of Tolkien's middle-earth, the Ainu's name
> is Melkor.

This is, of course, deliberate and Tolkien directly equates Melkor with
'Satan' in letters. In the early texts there are also clear connections
to Christian concepts of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

That said, as you note, the Valar are also compared to pagan gods.
Indeed, Tolkien drew direct connections between some of them and deities
of actual historical myths. It is sometimes interesting to speculate on
which Valar correspond to which gods / archangels.

The connections I can recall JRRT having stated at some point are;

Melkor ? Lucifer
Manwe Odin ?
Tulkas Thor ?
? Tyr ?

CT described the name of the Ainu connected to 'Tyr' as indecipherable.

Chris Kern

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Nov 6, 2005, 8:28:44 PM11/6/05
to

The Valaquenta was originally Chapter 1 of the QS, and remained so
until 1958 when JRRT split it off into its own work (the Darkening of
Valinor was the only other chapter reworked heavily in this period of
revision, and it also received its own title with no chapter number).
It is unknown why he did this. But it was only in this revision that
some important concepts like Maiar entered the tradition.

CT is unusually descriptive about his editorial changes to this
chapter; for those who don't have Morgoth's Ring, here is a rundown of
the most important ones:

- "Namo the elder dwells in Mandos, which is westward in Valinor" --
JRRT's text read "northward", this change was based on a faulty
understanding of the geography of Valinor by CT which he explains in
HoME I.

- "Aldaron" should not have been printed as a name of Orome; this was
rejected by JRRT. "..by the Sindar Tauron" should read "Tauron he is
called in Middle-Earth."

- After the words "for the pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor", a
sentence was accidentally omitted in the published Silm: "But the
Valaroma is not blown, and Nahar runs no more upon the Middle-earth
since the change of the world and the waning of the Elves, whom he
loved."

- The statement about Eonwe ("whose might in arms is surpassed by none
in Arda") was an editorial addition of CT's. He did this because
originally Eonwe was Fionwe, the son of Manwe, and one of the most
powerful of the "children of the Gods" -- when Fionwe was changed to
Eonwe, the herald of Manwe, the final story of Fionwe leading the
hosts of the Valar to attack Melkor was not changed. CT felt uneasy
about this, and added the sentence here (and removed some references
to Fionwe in the Akallabeth).

- A sentence about Olorin was wrongly omitted ("He was humble in the
Land of the Blessed; and in Middle-earth he sought no renown. His
triumph was in the uprising of the fallen, and his joy was in the
renewal of hope.")

- The Valaquenta as JRRT wrote it ended with a passage that CT placed
at the end of the QS ("Here ends The Valaquenta. If it has passed
from the high and beautiful...")

CT also says at the end of this section of MR that the tenses of the
descriptions changed from past to present and back during the Vq, and
he smoothed over this difficulty, but he regrets doing so.

-Chris

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 3:23:08 AM11/7/05
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Conrad Dunkerson <conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> Gregory Hernandez wrote:
>> The first paragraph of the Valaquenta, in fact, retells the story of
>> the Ainulindale.
>
> Valaquenta was originally the first chapter of the Quenta
> Silmarillion, which was written separately from Ainulindale. This is
> likely the reason for the slight repetition here.
>
>> So we are informed that the One is known as both Eru and Illuvatar,
>> the secret fire at the heart of the world was called Ea, and Arda
>> was the name of the kingdom of Earth.
>
> I think the "...; and it was called Ea" is referring back to "gave to
> their vision Being" rather than the Secret Fire. We know from other
> texts that 'Ea' means 'let it be'.

Possibly the semi-colon separating the clause about Ea from the clause
about the Secret Fire, makes it clearer:

"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the
Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World;
and it was called Ea."

So the "it was called Ea" bit is offset from the rest of the sentence by
the semi-colon. It is related to the sentence, but not as directly
related as the clauses separated only by commas. So the 'it' probably
refers to the main subject of the pre-colonic clause "Therefore [...]
World", and the subject of that clause is not the Secret Fire, but is
the 'it' in "set it amid", which refers back to the "vision" that had
been given Being.

In the Ainulindale we read:

"Therefore I say: Ea! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into
the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the
World, and the World shall Be [...] Iluvatar had made a new thing: Eä,
the World that Is.""

>> The Ainu are broken down into further classifications, with the
>> greatest of these angel-like beings given names and called the
>> Valar. The Valar basically correspond to archangels in
>> Judeo-Christian cosmology. As in the story of the angels, there is
>> one among them who is the greatest and who is the first to fall. In
>> the case of Tolkien's middle-earth, the Ainu's name
>> is Melkor.
>
> This is, of course, deliberate and Tolkien directly equates Melkor
> with 'Satan' in letters. In the early texts there are also clear
> connections to Christian concepts of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

By early texts, you mean not the published Silmarillion? Or did traces
of this heaven, hell and purgatory make it into the published
Silmarillion?

> That said, as you note, the Valar are also compared to pagan gods.
> Indeed, Tolkien drew direct connections between some of them and
> deities of actual historical myths. It is sometimes interesting to
> speculate on which Valar correspond to which gods / archangels.
>
> The connections I can recall JRRT having stated at some point are;

Are the question marks because you can't recall whether JRRT definitely
made these statements? I'm just going to add what I know (very little)
about the gods you've named. Maybe others can add to this?

> Melkor ? Lucifer

Did he use the word Lucifer or Satan. The word Lucifer can mean other
things, IIRC. Something to do with Venus? In any case, Lucifer is in
origin an arch-angel of the Judeo-Christian tradition, or does the name
date back further than that?

> Manwe Odin ?

Odin was the chief of the Norse gods. Seems appropriate for the chief of
the Valar. And Tolkien also called Gandalf an Odinic wanderer, didn't
he? Which may make some connection with Manwe.

> Tulkas Thor ?

Thor is a Norse god, he of the famous hammer and drinking the oceans
dry, and many other stories. Very war-like and plays much the same role
(big strongman) that we see Tulkas play. Though there are more stories
about Thor than about Tulkas.

> ? Tyr ?
>
> CT described the name of the Ainu connected to 'Tyr' as
> indecipherable.

May I ask, who is Tyr? Maybe we can speculate which Ainu would be most
likely connected to Tyr??

http://www.unc.edu/~reddeer/god_dess_es/norse.html

"TYR God of battle, the only god with the strength and courage to bind
Fenris. Warriors marked their swords with a T to gain the god's
protection. Tyr was originally was Tiwaz, retained in a later pantheon
but overshadowed by Odin and Thor."

Oh. Seems like the question becomes a bit irrelevant. Unless Tolkien had
something in mind for Tyr/? other than being overshadowed by Odin/Manwe
and Tulkas/Thor? I used to think that Orome was overshadowed a bit by
Tulkas, but then Orome gets to be one of the Aratar, unlike Tulkas. So
Orome is actually overshadowing Tulkas.

Or maybe the point at which comparing pagan gods to the Valar becomes
meaningless is reached sooner, rather than later?

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 3:58:06 AM11/7/05
to
Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The Valaquenta was originally Chapter 1 of the QS, and remained so
> until 1958 when JRRT split it off into its own work (the Darkening of
> Valinor was the only other chapter reworked heavily in this period of
> revision, and it also received its own title with no chapter number).
> It is unknown why he did this. But it was only in this revision that
> some important concepts like Maiar entered the tradition.

Are you saying that the Maiar were worked backwards into 'The
Silmarillion' after the writing of LotR? What had Melian, Osse, Uinen
and Olorin (Gandalf) been called before this? Were they called Maiar or
something different? Or are you saying that he only conceived of the
Maiar after writing the earlier forms of Valaquenta, and didn't get
around to updating the Valaquenta ("the tradition") until 1958?

> CT is unusually descriptive about his editorial changes to this
> chapter; for those who don't have Morgoth's Ring, here is a rundown of
> the most important ones:
>
> - "Namo the elder dwells in Mandos, which is westward in Valinor" --
> JRRT's text read "northward", this change was based on a faulty
> understanding of the geography of Valinor by CT which he explains in
> HoME I.

Hmm. I've just been reading about the way that Hammond and Scull
suggested changes/corrections to LotR, and the standards they had for
accepting or rejecting changes (under Christopher Tolkien's
supervision). It got me thinking about whether anything similar could be
done for 'The Silmarillion' (ie. an Annotated Silmarillion). Then I
realised that HoME _is_ largely an annotated Silmarillion!

But I guess a list of the simpler changes might be possible. Maybe this
is similar to what Steuard was suggesting in the Wikipedia thread?

> - "Aldaron" should not have been printed as a name of Orome; this was
> rejected by JRRT. "..by the Sindar Tauron" should read "Tauron he is
> called in Middle-Earth."

Do you mean "for which reason he is called Aldaron, and by the Sindar
Tauron, the Lord of Forests." should be replaced by "Tauron he is called
in Middle-Earth."? Just changing the "...by the Sindar Tauron" bit
leaves the Aldaron bit unchanged.

> - After the words "for the pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor", a
> sentence was accidentally omitted in the published Silm: "But the
> Valaroma is not blown, and Nahar runs no more upon the Middle-earth
> since the change of the world and the waning of the Elves, whom he
> loved."

Oh, that is a lovely sentence! It does speak a bit more too to the way
the Valar become more distant and removed from Middle-earth as the ages
pass.

> - The statement about Eonwe ("whose might in arms is surpassed by none
> in Arda") was an editorial addition of CT's. He did this because
> originally Eonwe was Fionwe, the son of Manwe, and one of the most
> powerful of the "children of the Gods" -- when Fionwe was changed to
> Eonwe, the herald of Manwe, the final story of Fionwe leading the
> hosts of the Valar to attack Melkor was not changed. CT felt uneasy
> about this, and added the sentence here (and removed some references
> to Fionwe in the Akallabeth).

What was the sytory behind JRRT moving away from the concept of the
Valar having "children". Were they ever conceived of having real
"children", or was this relationship of parent to child something
different for them? In the published Silmarillion, the only real
reference to relationships between the Ainur are where they are called
"brethren", and of course the fact that they were all the "offspring of
[Iluvatar's] thought".

> - A sentence about Olorin was wrongly omitted ("He was humble in the
> Land of the Blessed; and in Middle-earth he sought no renown. His
> triumph was in the uprising of the fallen, and his joy was in the
> renewal of hope.")

Where precisely should that sentence be inserted? It is also a lovely
sentence, and I vaguely seem to recall that it should go after the bit
about Olorin learning patience and pity from Nienna, and before the bit
about Olorin not being mentioned in Quenta Silmarillion.

> - The Valaquenta as JRRT wrote it ended with a passage that CT placed
> at the end of the QS ("Here ends The Valaquenta. If it has passed
> from the high and beautiful...")

What?!?! :-)

_Christopher_ Tolkien placed that passage at the end of QS? It fits so
nicely there that I would never have thought that this was an example of
editorial tweaking.

> CT also says at the end of this section of MR that the tenses of the
> descriptions changed from past to present and back during the Vq, and
> he smoothed over this difficulty, but he regrets doing so.

I seem to recall thinking that the tense changes a lot at the beginning
of 'The Silmarillion', but can't recall whether I thought this for
Ainulindale, the Valaquenta, or 'Of the Beginning of Days'? Where does
this change of tense remain in the published Silmarillion (assuming I'm
not imagining it)? I suppose that this would reinforce the sense of the
texts being amalgamated from several different sources and traditions?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 4:09:36 AM11/7/05
to
Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:

<snip>

> Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
> begins a digression into names.

Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?

> So we are informed that the One is
> known as both Eru and Illuvatar

Apologies for picking up on this, but for many years I spelt Iluvatar as
Illuvatar. I was shocked to discover that it was one 'l' and not two.
Has anyone else made this mistake?

<snip>

> Because of Tolkien's Christian faith, many writers go on to find many
> parallels with the Judeo-Christian cosmology, but the truth is that
> the Valaquenta echoes many other faiths and mythologies as well. We
> have echoes of Greek and Roman myths, not to mention correspondences
> with stories in the Hindu Vedas and Egyptian mystics.

And with the Norse mythologies as well. What connections do you see with
the Hindu and Egyptian mythologies?

> So for example we have Varda the Valar lady of the Stars
> corresponding to Roman Sophia, Ulmo as an analogue for

> Poseidon/Neptune, and Oiolossë the tallest mountain paralleling Mount


> Olympus, home of the Gods, etc.

The parallels I've seen, are Manwe=Zeus, Ulmo=Poseidon, and
Aule=Hades/Vulcan. Plus Mandos=Hades. And Melkor=Vulcan as well!

A better fit seems to come from the quartet of Air, Water, Earth, Fire
(the classical Greek elements), as fitting Manwe, Ulmo, Aule, Melkor.

Other than that, I've found that the matches between Valar and other
gods don't really work, or I don't know enough to make such comparisons.
The Tulkas/Thor connection is one I should have made, but didn't.

<snip>

More later. You didn't mention the Aratar. What do you think of this
subset within the Valar, eight of greatest power?

Mästerkatten

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Nov 7, 2005, 6:19:17 AM11/7/05
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:M9Ebf.2380$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:

> "TYR God of battle, the only god with the strength and courage to bind
> Fenris. Warriors marked their swords with a T to gain the god's
> protection. Tyr was originally was Tiwaz, retained in a later pantheon
> but overshadowed by Odin and Thor."

I recall I heard that the following philological relationship exists
(Thinko caveat: it was more than a decade ago I heard this):

Tyr - Tiwaz - Dyaus (cf. Teos, Dios) Pitar (cf. Jupiter) - Zeus

The Swedish weekday "tisdag" is named after Tyr. Maybe
the same is true about "Tuesday", the English name for the same day?

> Oh. Seems like the question becomes a bit irrelevant. Unless Tolkien
> had something in mind for Tyr/? other than being overshadowed by
> Odin/Manwe and Tulkas/Thor? I used to think that Orome was
> overshadowed a bit by Tulkas, but then Orome gets to be one of the
> Aratar, unlike Tulkas. So Orome is actually overshadowing Tulkas.
>
> Or maybe the point at which comparing pagan gods to the Valar becomes
> meaningless is reached sooner, rather than later?

IIRC, Tyr is the chief god of an older pantheon, that was incorporated
into, and subordinated by, the asa gods (Oden, Tor, Balder and others).
Thus he may have played roles that coincide with what later was
attributed to one or more of the asa gods.

--
Mästerkatten

Stan Brown

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Nov 7, 2005, 7:33:55 AM11/7/05
to
Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:58:06 GMT from Christopher Kreuzer
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk>:

> Hmm. I've just been reading about the way that Hammond and Scull
> suggested changes/corrections to LotR, and the standards they had for
> accepting or rejecting changes (under Christopher Tolkien's
> supervision). It got me thinking about whether anything similar could be
> done for 'The Silmarillion' (ie. an Annotated Silmarillion). Then I
> realised that HoME _is_ largely an annotated Silmarillion!
>
> But I guess a list of the simpler changes might be possible. Maybe this
> is similar to what Steuard was suggesting in the Wikipedia thread?

Why didn't CRT incorporate the known changes in the soi-disant Second
Edition of /The Silmarillion/? (Or did he, and I'm just confused?)

By the time that "Second Edtion" came out, he knew he had made a few
mistakes visible by hindsight, and most of them would have been very
simple textual changed -- the numbering of Ar-Pharazon, for instance.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/faqget.htm

conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:06:04 AM11/7/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote;

> By early texts, you mean not the published Silmarillion? Or did traces
> of this heaven, hell and purgatory make it into the published
> Silmarillion?

Traces certainly survived into Silm, but in the earlier 'Lost Tales'
drafts the connections were much more clearly drawn. In Silm we learn
that 'Utumno' means 'hell', but in earlier drafts there is reference to
Melkor dragging off spirits to eternal torment in Utumno. Silm has
reference to spirits waiting in the Halls of Mandos, but in earlier
forms this is more clearly drawn as a Purgatory.

> Are the question marks because you can't recall whether JRRT definitely
> made these statements?

Sorry, might have helped if I included column headings;

Tolkien Norse Christian

So, Tolkien definitely connected Manwe with Odin, but not to my
recollection with any Christian figure. Melkor was definitely
connected to Satan, but not to any Norse figure. Et cetera.

> Did he use the word Lucifer or Satan. The word Lucifer can mean other
> things, IIRC. Something to do with Venus?

Yes, it's an old name for Venus - which is also connected to Tolkien;

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt.fan.tolkien/msg/e56244819928be9b

As to Tolkien's usage... Lucifer was my word choice, Tolkien described
Morgoth as "Satan" and "Diabolus". I can't recall Tolkien calling him
"Lucifer" offhand.

> In any case, Lucifer is in origin an arch-angel of the Judeo-Christian
> tradition, or does the name date back further than that?

As per the link, the name Lucifer had nothing to do with Jewish
mythology. It was just the name of the planet Venus in Latin...
referencing the fact that Venus is visible shining brightly on the
horizon just before dawn. Hence 'light bringer'. Lucifer entered into
Christian tradition because it was used (incorrectly) to translate the
phrase 'son of the morning'... which was actually a title taken by a
mortal king. This was later linked to the concept of Satan as an evil
force and thus 'Lucifer' became a name of the devil.

> Odin was the chief of the Norse gods. Seems appropriate for the chief of
> the Valar. And Tolkien also called Gandalf an Odinic wanderer, didn't
> he? Which may make some connection with Manwe.

Odin and Manwe were also both connected with the weather. The 'Odinic
wanderer' bit refers to legends that Odin would wander about the
countryside in the guise of an old man. He would ask for shelter and
reward those who treated him well / punish those who treated him badly.
Gandalf may have been one of the Maiar of Manwe and in UT there is
even a suggestion (seemingly intended to be an incorrect assumption of
Men) that Gandalf WAS Manwe.

> May I ask, who is Tyr?

The most notable thing about Tyr is likely that he had his hand bitten
off by the greatest wolf that ever lived, as the result of keeping an
oath... making an obvious similarity to Beren. Tyr (like Beren) was
also supposed to be killed by the wolf Fenris, at Ragnarok. CT wrote
that he couldn't make out what name his father connected to Tyr, but
that it didn't look similar to the names of any of the great Valar.
I'd be curious to see whether it might be Beren rather than a Vala (of
the current count) at all.

conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:09:43 AM11/7/05
to
Mästerkatten wrote;

> Tyr - Tiwaz - Dyaus (cf. Teos, Dios) Pitar (cf. Jupiter) - Zeus

> The Swedish weekday "tisdag" is named after Tyr. Maybe
> the same is true about "Tuesday", the English name for the same day?

The origin of the English weekday names is;

Sun Day
Moon Day
Tiws Day
Wodens Day
Thors Day
Freyrs Day
Saturns Day

So yes, Tuesday is named after Tiw / Tyr, Wednesday after Odin, et
cetera.

Chris Kern

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:27:41 AM11/7/05
to
On Mon, 7 Nov 2005 07:33:55 -0500, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> posted the following:

>Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:58:06 GMT from Christopher Kreuzer
><spam...@blueyonder.co.uk>:
>> Hmm. I've just been reading about the way that Hammond and Scull
>> suggested changes/corrections to LotR, and the standards they had for
>> accepting or rejecting changes (under Christopher Tolkien's
>> supervision). It got me thinking about whether anything similar could be
>> done for 'The Silmarillion' (ie. an Annotated Silmarillion). Then I
>> realised that HoME _is_ largely an annotated Silmarillion!
>>
>> But I guess a list of the simpler changes might be possible. Maybe this
>> is similar to what Steuard was suggesting in the Wikipedia thread?
>
>Why didn't CRT incorporate the known changes in the soi-disant Second
>Edition of /The Silmarillion/? (Or did he, and I'm just confused?)
>
>By the time that "Second Edtion" came out, he knew he had made a few
>mistakes visible by hindsight, and most of them would have been very
>simple textual changed -- the numbering of Ar-Pharazon, for instance.

This is a very good question. The only thing I can think of is that
he's old and tired after doing HoME, and he figures if anyone really
cares about a correct Silmarillion they'll just read HoME, and if
they're not so picky they'll be content with the published Silm
despite its defects.

-Chris

Chris Kern

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:32:45 AM11/7/05
to
On Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:58:06 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> posted the following:

>Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Valaquenta was originally Chapter 1 of the QS, and remained so
>> until 1958 when JRRT split it off into its own work (the Darkening of
>> Valinor was the only other chapter reworked heavily in this period of
>> revision, and it also received its own title with no chapter number).
>> It is unknown why he did this. But it was only in this revision that
>> some important concepts like Maiar entered the tradition.
>
>Are you saying that the Maiar were worked backwards into 'The
>Silmarillion' after the writing of LotR? What had Melian, Osse, Uinen
>and Olorin (Gandalf) been called before this? Were they called Maiar or
>something different?

I don't believe they had a name. Osse was once a Valar, but there was
no name for the non-Valar Ainur.

>> - "Aldaron" should not have been printed as a name of Orome; this was
>> rejected by JRRT. "..by the Sindar Tauron" should read "Tauron he is
>> called in Middle-Earth."
>
>Do you mean "for which reason he is called Aldaron, and by the Sindar
>Tauron, the Lord of Forests." should be replaced by "Tauron he is called
>in Middle-Earth."? Just changing the "...by the Sindar Tauron" bit
>leaves the Aldaron bit unchanged.

I'm not entirely sure.

>> - The statement about Eonwe ("whose might in arms is surpassed by none
>> in Arda") was an editorial addition of CT's. He did this because
>> originally Eonwe was Fionwe, the son of Manwe, and one of the most
>> powerful of the "children of the Gods" -- when Fionwe was changed to
>> Eonwe, the herald of Manwe, the final story of Fionwe leading the
>> hosts of the Valar to attack Melkor was not changed. CT felt uneasy
>> about this, and added the sentence here (and removed some references
>> to Fionwe in the Akallabeth).
>
>What was the sytory behind JRRT moving away from the concept of the
>Valar having "children". Were they ever conceived of having real
>"children", or was this relationship of parent to child something
>different for them?

I believe that Tolkien intended for them to be real children. This
came from the semi-pagan roots of his concept of the "gods", which he
then brought in line with Christianity in some aspects. The removal
of the Children of the Gods was another relatively late change -- even
in 1951 in a typescript of the Annals of Aman we find "There are also
those whom we call the Valarindi, who are the Children of the Valar,
begotten of their love after their entry into Ea...they have power and
rank below that of the Valar only."

>> - A sentence about Olorin was wrongly omitted ("He was humble in the
>> Land of the Blessed; and in Middle-earth he sought no renown. His
>> triumph was in the uprising of the fallen, and his joy was in the
>> renewal of hope.")
>
>Where precisely should that sentence be inserted?

"At the end", according to CT; I can't be any more specific than that
unfortunately.

>> - The Valaquenta as JRRT wrote it ended with a passage that CT placed
>> at the end of the QS ("Here ends The Valaquenta. If it has passed
>> from the high and beautiful...")
>
>What?!?! :-)
>
>_Christopher_ Tolkien placed that passage at the end of QS? It fits so
>nicely there that I would never have thought that this was an example of
>editorial tweaking.

It does seem to fit better at the end of the QS than at the end of the
Valaquenta.

-Chris

Mästerkatten

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Nov 7, 2005, 9:59:56 AM11/7/05
to
"conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net" <conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net>
wrote in news:1131368983.0...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

Swedish-English names:

måndag - Monday
tisdag - Tuesday
onsdag - Wednesday
torsdag - Thursday
fredag - Friday
lördag - Saturday
söndag - Sunday

The correspondence is total, with the exception of
lördag (lögardagen) - Saturday

Note: That difference must be due to the importance of hygiene in the old
Nordic society. The meaning of "lördag" was "the day when people wash
themselves". In the anglo-saxon culture, *Saturn* must have been more
important. :-P
Then the meaning of "lördag" became "the day when people get drunk like
apes". Recently it became "the day when people pack their kids in the car
and drive to the mall".

--
Mästerkatten

Tar-Elenion

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Nov 7, 2005, 10:46:18 AM11/7/05
to
In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

> Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
> > begins a digression into names.
>
> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?

According to Quendi and Eldar, the names of the Valar "are not right
names but titles, referring to some function or character", except for
Orome. They do not reveal their true names.

Manwe=Blessed One, One closest in accord with Eru
Tulkas=Golden-haired
Ulmo=Pourer
Orome=Horn-blower, Horn-blowing
This is what it signifies among the Eldar, what it means in Valarin is
unknown.
Varda=the Sublime, the Exalted, The Lofty
Namo=Judge
Irmo=Desirer
Este=Repose
Yavanna=Giver of Fruits
Nessa=Young
Vaire=Ever-weaving
Vana=Fair
Melkor=He who arises in might
Aule=Invention
Nienna=Tear

Taken from The Silmarillion, HoME 5 (Etymologies), HoME 11 (Quendi and
Eldar), and VT 39 and 45.

--
Tar-Elenion

He is a warrior, and a spirit of wrath. In every
stroke that he deals he sees the Enemy who long
ago did thee this hurt.

Jens Kilian

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Nov 7, 2005, 12:18:52 PM11/7/05
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:
> > Melkor ? Lucifer
>
> Did he use the word Lucifer or Satan. The word Lucifer can mean other
> things, IIRC. Something to do with Venus? In any case, Lucifer is in
> origin an arch-angel of the Judeo-Christian tradition, or does the name
> date back further than that?

"Lucifer" is Latin and means "light-bringer" or "light-bearer".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

"Lucifer was played by Viggo Mortensen (to Christopher Walken's
Archangel Gabriel) in The Prophecy."

;-)
Jens.

Oh, and "lucifers" are matches...
--
mailto:j...@acm.org As the air to a bird, or the sea to a fish,
http://www.bawue.de/~jjk/ so is contempt to the contemptible. [Blake]
http://del.icio.us/jjk

darkside

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Nov 7, 2005, 1:32:31 PM11/7/05
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:

>> Manwe Odin ?
>
> Odin was the chief of the Norse gods. Seems appropriate for the chief of
> the Valar. And Tolkien also called Gandalf an Odinic wanderer, didn't
> he? Which may make some connection with Manwe.

Hmmm... Odin seems a much shrewder God than Manwe. Odin was deceitful at times
and bordered on evil at others - a very "ends justify the means" sort of deity.
So, while he fits the role ("chief of the Gods") he doesn't seem like that
great a match to me.

>> Tulkas Thor ?
>
> Thor is a Norse god, he of the famous hammer and drinking the oceans
> dry, and many other stories. Very war-like and plays much the same role
> (big strongman) that we see Tulkas play. Though there are more stories
> about Thor than about Tulkas.

And don't forget Thor's status as the "friend of Man," always willing to aid
any who call on him. I don't remember Tulkas' character all that well: does he
fit this description?


--
darksidex at charter dot net

Stan Brown

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Nov 7, 2005, 2:14:13 PM11/7/05
to
Sun, 06 Nov 2005 20:28:44 -0500 from Chris Kern <chriskern99
@gmail.com>:

> - The Valaquenta as JRRT wrote it ended with a passage that CT placed
> at the end of the QS ("Here ends The Valaquenta. If it has passed
> from the high and beautiful...")

And IMHO it works _much_ better as an ending at the end of QS.

Stan Brown

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Nov 7, 2005, 2:20:14 PM11/7/05
to
Mon, 07 Nov 2005 09:09:36 GMT from Christopher Kreuzer
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk>:

> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?

Strictly speaking I don't think we know their actual names; the
"names" recorded in /Silm/ are essentially nicknames given by the
Elves. Somewhere, maybe in HoME XI, there's an essay on the language
of the Valar that goes into this.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 4:41:31 PM11/7/05
to
Mästerkatten <nop...@nospam.com> wrote:

[Tyr and the Valaquenta]

<snip>

> IIRC, Tyr is the chief god of an older pantheon, that was incorporated
> into, and subordinated by, the asa gods (Oden, Tor, Balder and
> others). Thus he may have played roles that coincide with what later
> was attributed to one or more of the asa gods.

By asa gods, do you mean what I have heard named the Aesir?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 4:54:56 PM11/7/05
to
conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote;

<snip>

>> May I ask, who is Tyr?
>
> The most notable thing about Tyr is likely that he had his hand bitten
> off by the greatest wolf that ever lived, as the result of keeping an
> oath... making an obvious similarity to Beren. Tyr (like Beren) was
> also supposed to be killed by the wolf Fenris, at Ragnarok. CT wrote
> that he couldn't make out what name his father connected to Tyr, but
> that it didn't look similar to the names of any of the great Valar.
> I'd be curious to see whether it might be Beren rather than a Vala (of
> the current count) at all.

The mention of Fenris and Ragnarok reminds me of the Last Battle stories
in the Silmarillion mythology, where Turin(?) returns and battles
Morgoth. Is it at all possible that Tyr would be identified with Turin
in this scenario? Or some combination of aspects of Turin and Beren?

Though the 'Turin slays Morgoth at the Last Battle' scenario also
reminds me of the Greek legend where Hercules/Heracles fights and
defeats the Giants, and similar stories in Norse mythology. Of course,
at this point, I think, Hercules is now a demi-god, which brings us back
to the idea of Turin being resurrected(?) to fight in the Last Battle
and the idea of the Children of the Gods (Fionwe etc.), as Hercules was
one of many sons of Zeus.

Mästerkatten

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Nov 7, 2005, 5:05:16 PM11/7/05
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:fSPbf.2876$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:

I'm afraid that I'm only aquainted with the Swedish terminology in the
field. Apologise for not checking up the proper English words before
posting. Yes, "asarna" or "asagudarna" is the same thing as the Aesir.

A bit of googling on the topic shows that my recollection that Tyr was
not one of the aesir, but one of the vanir (a possibly older Nordic
pantheon), seems to be wrong. Still it is possible that he's an older
deity than Oden/Odin/Wotan and Tor/Thor. His name simply means God, and
is etymologically identical with Zeus.

(The availability of all the information on Internet tends to kill the
possibility of a casual online chat about things like this. We can just
google it, do or homework and shut up...)

--
Mästerkatten

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2005, 5:35:54 PM11/7/05
to
Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
>> Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>> Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
>>> begins a digression into names.
>>
>> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?
>
> According to Quendi and Eldar, the names of the Valar "are not right
> names but titles, referring to some function or character", except for
> Orome. They do not reveal their true names.

I wonder why Orome is an exception. Would it be because he was the first
Vala that the Elves encountered? And they heard his horn echoing "down
the leagues of the starlight"?

Thanks for the list!

I'm slightly confused though as to what language the names are in. Are
these names of the Valar all in Valarin, the language of the Valar? Or
are they in Quenya? Or are they in both? ie. if they are Valarin, do we
see the origins of words of Quenya in some of these titles for the
Valar?

And what about the names of the Maiar (Melian, Olorin, Osse, Eonwe,
Sauron, Uinen, Ilmare)? What language and what do they mean?

I've added to the list some of the 'surnames' of the Valar, and further
information from the index to 'The Silmarillion', which mostly tallies
with what you posted from elsewhere, but uses slightly different words.

There may also be other epithets, names, titles, and suchlike in the
main text of the Silmarillion. Tolkien seems to be forever coming up
with new epithets and variants for his characters!

> Manwe=Blessed One, One closest in accord with Eru

Sulimo - the Breather

> Tulkas=Golden-haired

Astaldo - the Valiant

> Ulmo=Pourer

Doesn't seem to have any other names, though is also called the Lord of
Waters and King of the Sea.

> Orome=Horn-blower, Horn-blowing
> This is what it signifies among the Eldar, what it means in Valarin is
> unknown.

Index: "Aldaron 'Lord of Trees', a Quenya name of the Vala Orome; cf.
Tauron." (Tauron = the Forester or Lord of Forests)

> Varda=the Sublime, the Exalted, The Lofty

The Lady of the Stars.
Other names: Elbereth, Elentari, Tintalle.

> Namo=Judge

Also described as 'Ordainer' (index). Also called 'The Doomsman of the
Valar' (in the main text).

> Irmo=Desirer

Or 'Master of Desire'.

> Este=Repose

"Her name means 'Rest'" (index).

> Yavanna=Giver of Fruits

Kementari - Queen of the Earth.

> Nessa=Young

Hmm. Nothing more for Nessa.

> Vaire=Ever-weaving

'The Weaver'

> Vana=Fair

'The Ever-young'

> Melkor=He who arises in might

A little tidbit from the index (not, I believe, mentioned anywhere
else): "the Sindarin form was Belegur, but it was never used, save in a
deliberately altered form Belegurth 'Great Death'."

> Aule=Invention

Also called 'The Maker' and, by the Dwarves, Mahal.

> Nienna=Tear

'Lady of pity and mourning' (index)

> Taken from The Silmarillion, HoME 5 (Etymologies), HoME 11
> (Quendi and Eldar), and VT 39 and 45.

It's interesting to see that some bits are in the index and that some
bits didn't make it into the index, for whatever reason.

ste...@nomail.com

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Nov 7, 2005, 5:46:38 PM11/7/05
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
>> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
>>> Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>
>>> <snip>
>>>
>>>> Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
>>>> begins a digression into names.
>>>
>>> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?
>>
>> According to Quendi and Eldar, the names of the Valar "are not right
>> names but titles, referring to some function or character", except for
>> Orome. They do not reveal their true names.

> I wonder why Orome is an exception. Would it be because he was the first
> Vala that the Elves encountered? And they heard his horn echoing "down
> the leagues of the starlight"?

> Thanks for the list!

> I'm slightly confused though as to what language the names are in. Are
> these names of the Valar all in Valarin, the language of the Valar? Or
> are they in Quenya? Or are they in both? ie. if they are Valarin, do we
> see the origins of words of Quenya in some of these titles for the
> Valar?

From "Quendi and Eldar" in "War of the Jewels":
"'The Eldar,' he [Pengolodh], 'now take the name to signify
"horn-blowing" or "horn-blower"; but to the Valar it had
no such meaning. Now the names that we have for the Valar
or the Maiar, whether adapted from the Valarin or
translated, are not right names but titles, referring to
some function or character of the person; for though the
Valar have right names, they do not reveal them. Save
only in the case of Orome. For it is said in the
histories of the most ancient days of the Quendi that,
when Orome appeared among them, and at length some
dared to approach him, they asked him his name, and
he answered: 'Orome'. Then they asked him what it
signified, and again he answered: 'Orome. To me only
is it given: for I am Orome.' Yet the titles that
he bore were many and glorious; but he withheld them
at that time, that the Quendi should not be afraid.'"

Stephen


Conrad Dunkerson

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Nov 7, 2005, 6:17:44 PM11/7/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> The mention of Fenris and Ragnarok reminds me of the Last Battle stories
> in the Silmarillion mythology, where Turin(?) returns and battles
> Morgoth. Is it at all possible that Tyr would be identified with Turin
> in this scenario?

Hmmm, well I can't think of any strong similarities. Turin was directly
modelled on Kullervo from the Finnish Kalevala, so any connection to Tyr
would perforce be secondary.

> Or some combination of aspects of Turin and Beren?

Interestingly, in Tolkien's final version both Turin AND Beren return
for the Last Battle.

Conrad Dunkerson

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Nov 7, 2005, 6:24:28 PM11/7/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> Apologies for picking up on this, but for many years I spelt Iluvatar as
> Illuvatar. I was shocked to discover that it was one 'l' and not two.
> Has anyone else made this mistake?

Yes, I've done that. It's a fairly common error until you become aware
of it.

Tar-Elenion

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Nov 7, 2005, 6:50:10 PM11/7/05
to
In article <eFQbf.2922$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

> Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> > spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
<snip>

> >> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?
> >
> > According to Quendi and Eldar, the names of the Valar "are not right
> > names but titles, referring to some function or character", except for
> > Orome. They do not reveal their true names.
>
> I wonder why Orome is an exception. Would it be because he was the first
> Vala that the Elves encountered? And they heard his horn echoing "down
> the leagues of the starlight"?

"'...For it is said in the histories of the most ancient days of the

Quendi that, when Orome appeared among them, and at length some dared to

approach him, they asked him his name, and he answered: Orome. Then they
asked him what that signified, and again he answered: Orome. To me only

is it given; for I am Orome. Yet the titles that he bore were many and
glorious; but he withheld them at that time, that the Quendi should not
be afraid.'"

WotJ, Q&E

>
> Thanks for the list!
>
> I'm slightly confused though as to what language the names are in. Are
> these names of the Valar all in Valarin, the language of the Valar? Or
> are they in Quenya? Or are they in both? ie. if they are Valarin, do we
> see the origins of words of Quenya in some of these titles for the
> Valar?

Most are a 'Quenyarized' form of the Valarin (which the Eldar found
'unpleasing') eg Manwe from Manawenuz, Aule from A3ulez (the 3 is
intentional), Orome from ArQmez (the 'Q' is a vowel), Ulmo from
Ul(l)uboz.

>
> And what about the names of the Maiar (Melian, Olorin, Osse, Eonwe,
> Sauron, Uinen, Ilmare)? What language and what do they mean?

Maiar=The Beautiful
Melian, Melyanna= Love, Dear-gift (Quenya (I think Melian is a
Sindarized form of Melyanna))
Osse=Spuming, Foaming (V.-Os(o)sai)
Olorin= related to olos= dream, vision, phantasy (see UT, The Istari)
Sauron=The Abhorred (Quenya)
Ilmare=Starlight (Quenya)
Eonwe= adapted Valarin, unknown etymology
Uinen= adapted Valarin, -NEN=water UY- seaweed, long trailing plant

The Sindarin form 'idh'=rest, but synonomous.

>
> > Yavanna=Giver of Fruits
>
> Kementari - Queen of the Earth.
>
> > Nessa=Young
>
> Hmm. Nothing more for Nessa.
>
> > Vaire=Ever-weaving
>
> 'The Weaver'
>
> > Vana=Fair
>
> 'The Ever-young'

As an epithet yes, but not a translation.

>
> > Melkor=He who arises in might
>
> A little tidbit from the index (not, I believe, mentioned anywhere
> else): "the Sindarin form was Belegur, but it was never used, save in a
> deliberately altered form Belegurth 'Great Death'."
>
> > Aule=Invention
>
> Also called 'The Maker' and, by the Dwarves, Mahal.
>
> > Nienna=Tear
>
> 'Lady of pity and mourning' (index)
>
> > Taken from The Silmarillion, HoME 5 (Etymologies), HoME 11
> > (Quendi and Eldar), and VT 39 and 45.
>
> It's interesting to see that some bits are in the index and that some
> bits didn't make it into the index, for whatever reason.

Heh, Make the index as long as the book by detailing all the different
ways JRRT 'translated' a name.

Conrad Dunkerson

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:00:43 PM11/7/05
to
Valaquenta differs from Ainulindale in that there were many more
revisions and a very linear progression;

+LT-CV > S > Q > +QS-0? > QS > QS:t > +LQ-0 > LQ1 > LQ > LQ2 > Vq1 > Vq2

The published Silmarillion was derived very closely from Vq2, with minor
editorial changes as listed previously by Chris Kern.

Most of these abbreviations follow CT's usage. Those with a '+' indicate
that I created a new identifier to fill out the list.

Abbrev Title Start End Location
+LT-CV The Coming of the Valar 1918.11 1920.06 BLT1 III: 64-79
S Sketch of the Mythology 1926 1930 SoME II: 11-41
Q Quenta Noldorinwa 1930 1930 SoME III: 77-135
+QS-0 Quenta intermediary 1930 1937.11.15 Unavailable
QS Quenta Silmarillion 1930 1937.11.15 LROW 2.VI:201-289
QS:t Eldanyare/QS Typescript 1937.12 1938.02.03 LROW 2.VI:201-225
+LQ-0 Later Quenta Drafts 1951~ 1951.05.10+ Unavailable
LQ1 Later Quenta 1 1951~ 1952~ MR 3: 144-199
LQ Later Quenta rewrite 1951~ 1952~ MR 3: 184-205
LQ2 Later Quenta 2 1957.12.07 1958~ MR 3: 148-197
Vq1 Valaquenta 1959.01 1959.01+ MR 3: 200-205
Vq2 Valaquenta 1959.01 1959.01+ MR 3: 200-205

The 'start' and 'end' dates are estimated dates between which the text
was written - based on CT's analysis. Most of the titles are per JRRT or
CT, but a few have been made up when no specific title is given.

The '+QS-0' texts show a '?' because these are hypothetical 'missing
drafts' of work between Q and QS. CT deduces that such must have
existed based on the way that his father sometimes skipped passages in
QS, as if intending some unknown source to remain unchanged, but was not
able to locate any such texts prior to the development of the story of
Beren & Luthien. The '+LQ-0' text were JRRT's notes written over the
original text of QS and QS:t.

All of these texts except the first (+LT-CV) and last (Vq1 & Vq2)
covered a large period of the mythological history. In all of the longer
texts the 'Valaquenta' material can be found in the first 'chapter' /
'section'.

Chris Kern

unread,
Nov 7, 2005, 8:20:12 PM11/7/05
to
On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 01:00:43 GMT, Conrad Dunkerson
<conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net> posted the following:

>The '+QS-0' texts show a '?' because these are hypothetical 'missing
>drafts' of work between Q and QS. CT deduces that such must have
>existed based on the way that his father sometimes skipped passages in
>QS, as if intending some unknown source to remain unchanged,

I thought that the primary reasons for CT's belief in the existence of
the "proto-QS" were two: (a) that it is unlikely Tolkien could have
developed Q->QS without any intermediate drafts given the manner in
which he normally worked, and (b) "words necessary to the sense were
missed out and then put in above the line" (so that "it appears...that
he was copying"). Also perhaps because for Beren and Luthien primary
drafts do occur.

-Chris

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 7, 2005, 8:42:00 PM11/7/05
to
7 Nov 2005 22:05:16 GMT from Mästerkatten <nop...@nospam.com>:

> I'm afraid that I'm only aquainted with the Swedish terminology in the
> field. Apologise for not checking up the proper English words before
> posting. Yes, "asarna" or "asagudarna" is the same thing as the Aesir.

Interesting facts:

English Aesir is explained in my dictionary as "Old Norse, plural of
ass" (long a). I suspect the word passed into English in the 900s
when Denmark ruled England.

Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 7, 2005, 11:44:41 PM11/7/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>>Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
>>begins a digression into names.
>
>
> Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?
>
>
>>So we are informed that the One is
>>known as both Eru and Illuvatar
>
>
> Apologies for picking up on this, but for many years I spelt Iluvatar as
> Illuvatar. I was shocked to discover that it was one 'l' and not two.
> Has anyone else made this mistake?
>
> <snip>
>
>>Because of Tolkien's Christian faith, many writers go on to find many
>>parallels with the Judeo-Christian cosmology, but the truth is that
>>the Valaquenta echoes many other faiths and mythologies as well. We
>>have echoes of Greek and Roman myths, not to mention correspondences
>>with stories in the Hindu Vedas and Egyptian mystics.

I would say only to the extent that all mythologies echo one another.
Tolkien has a specifically "Christian" take: the gods of the "pagans"
are really angels who serve the One and it was man's sinfulness and
misunderstanding that took them for gods and told false stories about
them. Tolkien has "restored" this take on the pagan gods (not the only
current in ancient and medieval Christianity, but a common one). Yes,
there are echoes of other things there, but then the Judaeo-Christian
mythology echoes them as well and we have to ask whether Tolkien's echo
is because he is himself imitating an Indo-European Judaeo-Christian
tradition, or whether he is directly related to these other mythologies.
I think the former.

Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 12:18:45 AM11/8/05
to

Not exactly--see Genesis 6

Conrad Dunkerson

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 4:57:43 AM11/8/05
to
Chris Kern wrote:

> I thought that the primary reasons for CT's belief in the existence of
> the "proto-QS" were two: (a) that it is unlikely Tolkien could have
> developed Q->QS without any intermediate drafts given the manner in
> which he normally worked, and (b) "words necessary to the sense were
> missed out and then put in above the line" (so that "it appears...that
> he was copying"). Also perhaps because for Beren and Luthien primary
> drafts do occur.

I was remembering 'b' above, though it might be taken to indicate that
individual words were left out and then put back rather than sections of
several words together as I had thought.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:08:06 PM11/8/05
to
ste...@nomail.com <ste...@nomail.com> wrote:

<snip>

Thanks for this quote.

> From "Quendi and Eldar" in "War of the Jewels":

<snip>

> when Orome appeared among them, and at length some
> dared to approach him, they asked him his name, and
> he answered: 'Orome'. Then they asked him what it
> signified, and again he answered: 'Orome. To me only
> is it given: for I am Orome.'

<snip>

This comes across as very much like a 'first contact', with the Quendi
and Orome not quite understanding each other and failing to comprehend
the nature of the other. The way Orome speaks, avoiding the simple reply
"my name is Orome", and referring to 'Oromer' as 'it'. There may be some
profound point being made here (maybe about the concept of 'right names'
as opposed to any old name, epithet or title), but it is probably best
if I read the whole essay to get the context.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:09:51 PM11/8/05
to
Conrad Dunkerson <conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>> The mention of Fenris and Ragnarok reminds me of the Last Battle
>> stories in the Silmarillion mythology, where Turin(?) returns and
>> battles Morgoth. Is it at all possible that Tyr would be identified
>> with Turin in this scenario?
>
> Hmmm, well I can't think of any strong similarities. Turin was
> directly modelled on Kullervo from the Finnish Kalevala, so any
> connection to Tyr would perforce be secondary.

I was thinking of Tyr -> Tur, but that just shows my paucity of
linguistic skills!

>> Or some combination of aspects of Turin and Beren?
>
> Interestingly, in Tolkien's final version both Turin AND Beren return
> for the Last Battle.

Does Beren lose his _other_ hand? :-)


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:13:08 PM11/8/05
to

I think it is the capital 'I' next to an 'l': Ilu... It looks like two
l's. That and reading too fast. That is the most common explanation for
my various mispronunciations and mis-spellings, mostly laboriously
unlearnt when I reached the bit at the end of 'The Silmarillion'.
Reading fast so that I just scan over a word and some (wrong)
sound-shape or pattern fixes in my brain.


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:31:49 PM11/8/05
to
Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> In article <eFQbf.2922$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
>> Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>> In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
>>> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

<snip>

>> I'm slightly confused though as to what language the names are in.


>> Are these names of the Valar all in Valarin, the language of the
>> Valar? Or are they in Quenya? Or are they in both? ie. if they are
>> Valarin, do we see the origins of words of Quenya in some of these
>> titles for the Valar?
>
> Most are a 'Quenyarized' form of the Valarin (which the Eldar found
> 'unpleasing') eg Manwe from Manawenuz, Aule from A3ulez (the 3 is
> intentional), Orome from ArQmez (the 'Q' is a vowel), Ulmo from
> Ul(l)uboz.

I thought I'd briefly looked at some of the passages in HoME about
Valarin. It seems I missed these 'exciting' uses of '3' and 'Q as a
vowel'. I have to say that I agree with the Eldar, those Valarin or
un-Quenyarized forms of the names are 'unpleasing'! Did Tolkien provide
a pronunciation guide for Valarin?

>> And what about the names of the Maiar (Melian, Olorin, Osse, Eonwe,
>> Sauron, Uinen, Ilmare)? What language and what do they mean?
>
> Maiar=The Beautiful
> Melian, Melyanna= Love, Dear-gift (Quenya (I think Melian is a
> Sindarized form of Melyanna))
> Osse=Spuming, Foaming (V.-Os(o)sai)
> Olorin= related to olos= dream, vision, phantasy (see UT, The Istari)
> Sauron=The Abhorred (Quenya)
> Ilmare=Starlight (Quenya)
> Eonwe= adapted Valarin, unknown etymology
> Uinen= adapted Valarin, -NEN=water UY- seaweed, long trailing plant
>>
>> I've added to the list some of the 'surnames' of the Valar, and
>> further information from the index to 'The Silmarillion', which
>> mostly tallies with what you posted from elsewhere, but uses
>> slightly different words.
>>
>> There may also be other epithets, names, titles, and suchlike in the
>> main text of the Silmarillion. Tolkien seems to be forever coming up
>> with new epithets and variants for his characters!

Manwe - The Elder King
Manwe - The Lord of the Valar
Varda - The Queen of the Valar
Melkor - The Foe of the Valar

<snip>

> Heh, Make the index as long as the book by detailing all the different
> ways JRRT 'translated' a name.

I can't resist interjecting a brief comment here from the preface to 'A
Reader's Companion':

"Dr Richard E. Blackwelder once counted in 'The Lord of the Rings' 632
named individuals (of which 314 are in the Appendices), a number which
soars to 1,648 when one adds titles, nicknames and descriptive epithets
(Sauron alone has 103) - to say nothing of place-names, battle names,
etc." ('The Lord of the Rings - A Reader's Companion' - Hammond and
Scull, 2005)

And Tolkien would have agonised over every single name, of course. I am
having trouble thinking of all 103 of Sauron's names, titles, nicknames
and epithets. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were that many.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:37:09 PM11/8/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:

<snip>

> Tolkien has a specifically "Christian" take: the gods of the "pagans"
> are really angels who serve the One and it was man's sinfulness and
> misunderstanding that took them for gods and told false stories about
> them. Tolkien has "restored" this take on the pagan gods (not the
> only current in ancient and medieval Christianity, but a common one).
> Yes, there are echoes of other things there, but then the
> Judaeo-Christian mythology echoes them as well and we have to ask
> whether Tolkien's echo is because he is himself imitating an
> Indo-European Judaeo-Christian tradition, or whether he is directly
> related to these other mythologies. I think the former.

I agree. But it would be nice if there was a quote somewhere where
Tolkien specifically says this (back in the 1920s or something). I know
he talks in Letters about the Valar being angelic gods (or something),
but was this the _original_ conception? Did it evolve from something
similar to a pagan pantheon into something more Christian, or did
Tolkien always have it in mind for these 'polytheistic elements' to be
just a misunderstanding of the situation by Men?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:38:01 PM11/8/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:
> Chris Kern wrote:
>> On Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:58:06 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
>> <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> posted the following:

<snip>

>>> What was the sytory behind JRRT moving away from the concept of the
>>> Valar having "children". Were they ever conceived of having real
>>> "children", or was this relationship of parent to child something
>>> different for them?
>>
>> I believe that Tolkien intended for them to be real children. This
>> came from the semi-pagan roots of his concept of the "gods", which he
>> then brought in line with Christianity in some aspects.
>
> Not exactly--see Genesis 6

I seem to have mislaid my copy of the Bible.

Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 3:57:58 PM11/8/05
to

AH, sorry. In Genesis 6 some angels are described as finding the
daughters of men attractive and having sex with them, producing
offspring who were "giants", if I recall correctly the Biblical text
says "sons of God" for the angels. In the Bible this is presented as an
evil thing and one of the things that leads to the Flood.

Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 4:11:30 PM11/8/05
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> 7 Nov 2005 22:05:16 GMT from Mästerkatten <nop...@nospam.com>:
>
>>I'm afraid that I'm only aquainted with the Swedish terminology in the
>>field. Apologise for not checking up the proper English words before
>>posting. Yes, "asarna" or "asagudarna" is the same thing as the Aesir.
>
>
> Interesting facts:
>
> English Aesir is explained in my dictionary as "Old Norse, plural of
> ass" (long a). I suspect the word passed into English in the 900s
> when Denmark ruled England.
>


HMMM, technically, "Aesir" isn't English, but simply the Old Norse name
used for the Old Norse gods. As far as I've been able to discover there
is no Old English use of the precise term.

On the other hand, there is a common Germanic root, As in Old Norse, Os
in Old English, the plural seems preserved by Jordanes, Anses, for
example meaning "god", and while not the most common word in Old English
it is very common in names: Oswin, Oswald, Osborn etc.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 5:23:31 PM11/8/05
to
In message <news:J08cf.3614$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> I seem to have mislaid my copy of the Bible.

<http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10>

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <t.forch(a)email.dk>

"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent
whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into
teaching?"
- /Mort/ (Terry Pratchett)

Tar-Elenion

unread,
Nov 8, 2005, 6:13:48 PM11/8/05
to
In article <VW7cf.3605$Lw5....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
> Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > In article <eFQbf.2922$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> > spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
> >> Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>> In article <kREbf.2416$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> >>> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
>
> <snip>
>
> >> I'm slightly confused though as to what language the names are in.
> >> Are these names of the Valar all in Valarin, the language of the
> >> Valar? Or are they in Quenya? Or are they in both? ie. if they are
> >> Valarin, do we see the origins of words of Quenya in some of these
> >> titles for the Valar?
> >
> > Most are a 'Quenyarized' form of the Valarin (which the Eldar found
> > 'unpleasing') eg Manwe from Manawenuz, Aule from A3ulez (the 3 is
> > intentional), Orome from ArQmez (the 'Q' is a vowel), Ulmo from
> > Ul(l)uboz.
>
> I thought I'd briefly looked at some of the passages in HoME about
> Valarin. It seems I missed these 'exciting' uses of '3' and 'Q as a
> vowel'.

WoTJ, Q&E, Notes on the 'Language of the Valar'.
The 'Q' (in the cited work) (an uppercase version of the letter, but
done in the size of the lower case 'o', it also has an
'-' over it) is to be "open /a/-like" (the 'a' is in /italics/).
I am having difficulty remebering what sound the '3' represents, a
fricative 'gh', I think.

> I have to say that I agree with the Eldar, those Valarin or
> un-Quenyarized forms of the names are 'unpleasing'! Did Tolkien provide
> a pronunciation guide for Valarin?

"...like the glitter of swords, like the rush of leaves in a great wind
or the fall of stones in the mountains."

Steve Morrison

unread,
Nov 9, 2005, 12:03:15 AM11/9/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

(snip)


>
> This comes across as very much like a 'first contact', with the Quendi
> and Orome not quite understanding each other and failing to comprehend
> the nature of the other. The way Orome speaks, avoiding the simple reply
> "my name is Orome", and referring to 'Oromer' as 'it'. There may be some
> profound point being made here (maybe about the concept of 'right names'
> as opposed to any old name, epithet or title), but it is probably best
> if I read the whole essay to get the context.

It's also reminiscent of Gandalf's self-introduction in /The Hobbit/:
"And you do know my name, though you don't remember that I
belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!"

Steve Morrison

unread,
Nov 9, 2005, 12:04:11 AM11/9/05
to
Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> In message <news:J08cf.3614$Lw5...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
> >
>
> <snip>
>
> > I seem to have mislaid my copy of the Bible.
>
> <http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10>
>

Or, of course, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/kjv/gen006.htm

Steve Morrison

unread,
Nov 9, 2005, 12:05:48 AM11/9/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

(snip)


>
> I thought I'd briefly looked at some of the passages in HoME about
> Valarin. It seems I missed these 'exciting' uses of '3' and 'Q as a
> vowel'. I have to say that I agree with the Eldar, those Valarin or
> un-Quenyarized forms of the names are 'unpleasing'! Did Tolkien provide
> a pronunciation guide for Valarin?
>

The final "z" in so many of the names reminded me of the older forms
of the names of some of the Norse gods (e.g. /Tiwaz/ rather than
/Tiw/). And the names of the (other) runes.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 9, 2005, 3:57:18 AM11/9/05
to

Wow! That is _exactly_ like the Orome comment! I am also reminded of
this 'Ainu attitude to names' by Gandalf's comment when he returns as
Gandalf the White:

"'Gandalf,' the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long
disused word. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' [...] 'Yes, you
may still call me Gandalf'..." (The White Rider)

Plus of course Gandalf's recitation (quoted by Faramir to Sam and Frodo)
of the many names Gandalf was known by. Plus the many titles and
epithets he accrued.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 9, 2005, 4:11:50 AM11/9/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Steve Morrison <Geir...@aol.com> wrote:
>> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> (snip)
>>>
>>> This comes across as very much like a 'first contact', with the
>>> Quendi and Orome not quite understanding each other and failing to
>>> comprehend the nature of the other. The way Orome speaks, avoiding
>>> the simple reply "my name is Orome", and referring to 'Oromer' as
>>> 'it'. There may be some profound point being made here (maybe about
>>> the concept of 'right names' as opposed to any old name, epithet or
>>> title), but it is probably best if I read the whole essay to get the
>>> context.
>>
>> It's also reminiscent of Gandalf's self-introduction in /The Hobbit/:
>> "And you do know my name, though you don't remember that I
>> belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!"
>
> Wow! That is _exactly_ like the Orome comment!

Plus of course Goldberry's comment on Tom: "he is". And Tom's comments
earlier: "Don't you know my name yet? That's the only answer. Tell me,
who are you, alone, yourself and nameless? "


JimboCat

unread,
Nov 10, 2005, 12:42:06 PM11/10/05
to
On Mon, 07 Nov 2005 09:09:36 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>Gregory Hernandez <greg...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>> Tolkien being who he is, he immediately
>> begins a digression into names.
>
>Do the names of the Valar translate as anything?
>
>> So we are informed that the One is
>> known as both Eru and Illuvatar
>

>Apologies for picking up on this, but for many years I spelt Iluvatar as
>Illuvatar. I was shocked to discover that it was one 'l' and not two.
>Has anyone else made this mistake?

I, too, am shocked. One "l"???

Google search "Iluvatar" - 213,000 hits
Google search "Illuvatar" - 36,700 hits, and it asks "Did you mean
"Iluvatar"?

There is, however, a www.Illuvatar.com. Perhaps they can get away with
that because it is misspelled? <g>

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
"If we can't be free, at least we can be cheap" - Frank Zappa

Conrad Dunkerson

unread,
Nov 12, 2005, 7:05:01 PM11/12/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> I agree. But it would be nice if there was a quote somewhere where
> Tolkien specifically says this (back in the 1920s or something). I know
> he talks in Letters about the Valar being angelic gods (or something),
> but was this the _original_ conception? Did it evolve from something
> similar to a pagan pantheon into something more Christian, or did
> Tolkien always have it in mind for these 'polytheistic elements' to be
> just a misunderstanding of the situation by Men?

Well, the term 'angel' doesn't appear in any of the earlier texts, but
the 'Music of the Ainur' does... where it is clear that the Ainur are
divine servants of a single creator god. Too, in the earlier texts the
Christian connections are, if anything, MORE strongly drawn;

"This poem, and this entry in the word-list, offer a rare and very
suggestive glimpse of the mythic conception in its earliest phase; for
here ideas that are drawn from Christian theology are explicitly
present. For in the tale there is an account of the fates of dead Men
after judgement in the black hall of Fui Nienna. Some ('and these are
the many') are ferried by the death-ship to (Habbanan) Eruman, where
they wander in the dusk and wait in patience till the Great End; some
are seized by Melko and tormented in Angamandi 'the Hells of Iron'; and
some few go to dwell with the Gods in Valinor. Taken with the poem and
the evidence of the early 'dictionaries', can this be other than a
reflection of Purgatory, Hell, and Heaven?"
BoLT, The Coming of the Valar (pg 92)

The poem and etymology in question can be found on the same page. The
etymology refers to 'manimuine' as the elven for 'Purgatory' and the
poem specifically mentions "God".

Chris Kern

unread,
Nov 12, 2005, 11:26:02 PM11/12/05
to
On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 20:37:09 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> posted the following:

>I agree. But it would be nice if there was a quote somewhere where


>Tolkien specifically says this (back in the 1920s or something). I know
>he talks in Letters about the Valar being angelic gods (or something),
>but was this the _original_ conception? Did it evolve from something
>similar to a pagan pantheon into something more Christian, or did
>Tolkien always have it in mind for these 'polytheistic elements' to be
>just a misunderstanding of the situation by Men?

The available evidence suggests to me that at first, Tolkien was not
attempting to conform to any specific mythological tradition but
instead was drawing ideas from various places (the benevolent
all-creator of Christianity, the pagan gods, etc.)

It doesn't seem to be until somewhere in the mid-40's that he began to
concern himself with removing the overtly non-Christian elements and
squaring the mythology with known scientific truths.

One major change that was never fully realized in the actual texts was
to Melkor. In the early myths, and perhaps even in the published
Silmarillion (I don't remember clearly), he is co-equal with Manwe in
power. Later he becomes the strongest of the Valar. In sketched
revisions, however, he becomes not only the strongest of the Valar,
but stronger than all the Valar combined. In addition, he becomes the
source of all corruption and evil in Arda rather than just being a
powerful evil creature as he was in the early myths. This, however,
seems to have come from Tolkien's own invention -- I don't know of
anything either from the Bible or from Catholic tradition that makes
Satan that powerful.

-Chris

Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 13, 2005, 1:02:26 AM11/13/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>>Tolkien has a specifically "Christian" take: the gods of the "pagans"
>>are really angels who serve the One and it was man's sinfulness and
>>misunderstanding that took them for gods and told false stories about
>>them. Tolkien has "restored" this take on the pagan gods (not the
>>only current in ancient and medieval Christianity, but a common one).
>>Yes, there are echoes of other things there, but then the
>>Judaeo-Christian mythology echoes them as well and we have to ask
>>whether Tolkien's echo is because he is himself imitating an
>>Indo-European Judaeo-Christian tradition, or whether he is directly
>> related to these other mythologies. I think the former.
>
>
> I agree. But it would be nice if there was a quote somewhere where
> Tolkien specifically says this (back in the 1920s or something). I know
> he talks in Letters about the Valar being angelic gods (or something),
> but was this the _original_ conception?

I don't know of a specific citation, but I would expect that it would be
something close to it. Considering that when he began all this he was
still quite young, still under the influence of FatherX whose name
escapes me, and probably as Catholic as he would ever be.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 13, 2005, 5:21:15 AM11/13/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>> Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>> Tolkien has a specifically "Christian" take: the gods of the
>>> "pagans" are really angels who serve the One and it was man's
>>> sinfulness and misunderstanding that took them for gods and told
>>> false stories about them. Tolkien has "restored" this take on the
>>> pagan gods (not the only current in ancient and medieval
>>> Christianity, but a common one). Yes, there are echoes of other
>>> things there, but then the Judaeo-Christian mythology echoes them
>>> as well and we have to ask whether Tolkien's echo is because he is
>>> himself imitating an Indo-European Judaeo-Christian tradition, or
>>> whether he is directly related to these other mythologies. I think
>>> the former.
>>
>>
>> I agree. But it would be nice if there was a quote somewhere where
>> Tolkien specifically says this (back in the 1920s or something). I
>> know he talks in Letters about the Valar being angelic gods (or
>> something), but was this the _original_ conception?
>
> I don't know of a specific citation, but I would expect that it would
> be something close to it. Considering that when he began all this he
> was still quite young, still under the influence of FatherX whose name
> escapes me, and probably as Catholic as he would ever be.

Father Francis Morgan.

I am not too sure about your "as Catholic as he ever would be". Isn't it
rather that as he got _older_ that he tended to bring his religion
overtly into his writings? I agree that you can argue that his religion
was always [whatever the opposite of overtly is] in his stories, but
whether it was consciously so is never that clear. Tolkien says
something in a Letter about the religion being there "consciously so in
the revision".

And conversely, can't you argue that when he was young, just out of
school where he studied classical texts, and studying Classics in his
first year at Oxford University, that he was as Classically-minded as he
would ever be, and that this might speak to having a pantheon of gods?

>> Did it evolve from something
>> similar to a pagan pantheon into something more Christian, or did
>> Tolkien always have it in mind for these 'polytheistic elements' to
>> be just a misunderstanding of the situation by Men?

Maybe we can't answer this without a specific quote from Tolkien on the
matter. If such a quote exists.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 13, 2005, 6:03:37 AM11/13/05
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Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

> One major change that was never fully realized in the actual texts was
> to Melkor. In the early myths, and perhaps even in the published
> Silmarillion (I don't remember clearly), he is co-equal with Manwe in
> power.

"...many of the most mighty among them [the Ainur] bent all their
thought and their desire towards that place [Arda]. And of these Melkor
was the chief, even as he was in the beginning the greatest of the Ainur
who took part in the Music..." (Ainulindale)

"...he descended upon Arda in power and majesty greater than any other
of the Valar..." (Ainulindale)

"Manwe and Melkor were brethren in the thought of Iluvatar. The
mightiest of those Ainur who came into the World was in his beginning
Melkor..." (Valaquenta)

"Great might was given to him by Iluvatar, and he was coeval with
Manwe." (Valaquenta)

> Later he becomes the strongest of the Valar. In sketched
> revisions, however, he becomes not only the strongest of the Valar,
> but stronger than all the Valar combined. In addition, he becomes the
> source of all corruption and evil in Arda rather than just being a
> powerful evil creature as he was in the early myths.

So this "stronger than all the Valar" and "source of all evil" appears
in the published Silmarillion? Or by "never realised in the actual
texts" do you mean that Tolkien intended to do this, but never fully
carried it through? And did he keep the bit about Melkor losing power
and becoming diminished, and his power passing into his slaves and
armies, and most of all, being used up in the Marring of Arda. A
'Morgoth essense' passing into the material of the world? Or is this
what is meant by "source of all corruption and evil"?

Maybe hints are found in:

"In the powers and knowledge of all the other Valar he had part..." and
"as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo it or
corrupt it" and "there was strife between Melkor and the other Valar;
and for that time Melkor withdrew" (it seems he is biding his time, and
gathering his strength, not that he is overmatched).

The first descriptions of Melkor truly battling the Valar seem to depict
him as a lone, powerful force, and the Valar scurrying around clearing
up his mess:

"...he descended upon Arda in power and majesty greater than any other
of the Valar, as a mountain that wades in the sea and has its head above
the clouds and is clad in ice and crowned with smoke and fire; and the
light of the eyes of Melkor was like a flame that withers with heat and
pierces with a deadly cold." [...] "the Valar endeavoured ever, in
despite of Melkor" [...] "naught might have peace or come to lasting
growth, for as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo
it or corrupt it." (Ainulindale)

And this is also seen in Valaquenta:

"...so great was the power of his uprising that in ages forgotten he
contended with Manwe and all the Valar, and through long years in Arda
held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth." (Valaquenta, though
note the bit that immediately follows: "But he was not alone.")

The other descriptions in Valaquenta depict Melkor as merely one, if
still the most powerful, of the Aratar (though he was later removed).
And in the descriptions in 'Of the Beginning of Days' he does seem to
become just an evil creature with an army of minions and helpers. We do
see the initial lone power description, but his power is countered by
Tulkas:

"for long Melkor had the upper hand. But in the midst of the war a
spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar" (Of
the Beginning of Days)

If this is indeed a different battle to the one where Melkor descended
on Arda in "power and majesty" (the mountain-metaphor given above), then
maybe this is an intentional downgrading of Melkor, as part of his slide
into an all-consuming darkness, as given in Valaquenta: "From splendour
he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself, a
spirit wasteful and pitiless [...] he descended through fire and wrath
into a great burning, down into Darkness."

And when Melkor returns after fleeing Tulkas, he is definitely not a
lone and powerful power. He returns having "gathered to himself spirits
out of the halls of Ea" and passes "over the Walls of the Night with his
host". When he and his host attack, it is not clear whether he alone
fells the Lamps of the Valar, or whether he needed aid to do so (much as
he later needed the aid of Ungoliant to assail the Two Trees).

> This, however,
> seems to have come from Tolkien's own invention -- I don't know of
> anything either from the Bible or from Catholic tradition that makes
> Satan that powerful.

But maybe these 'total power' and/or 'ultimate evil' ideas are seen in
other philosophies and religions? Satan was described as having helpers,
wasn't he? And does Tolkien ever show signs of depicting the Satan seen
in Milton's Paradise Lost?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 13, 2005, 8:13:42 AM11/13/05
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Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

> CT also says at the end of this section of MR that the tenses of the
> descriptions changed from past to present and back during the Vq, and
> he smoothed over this difficulty, but he regrets doing so.

Is this similar to what he says in the Foreword?

"In the case of the Valaquenta, for instance, we have to assume that
while it contains much that must go back to the earliest days of the
Eldar in Valinor, it was remodelled in later times; and thus explain its
continual shifting of tense and viewpoint, so that the divine powers
seem now present and active in the world, now remote, a vanished order
known only to memory." (Foreword to the 1977 Silmarillion)

This seems to imply that he _didn't_ smooth over these changes in tense.
Or is Christopher Tolkien talking in Morgoth's Ring about _later_
changes he made??

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 13, 2005, 8:37:20 AM11/13/05
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Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:

[Valaquenta]

<snip>

> - After the words "for the pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor", a
> sentence was accidentally omitted in the published Silm: "But the
> Valaroma is not blown, and Nahar runs no more upon the Middle-earth
> since the change of the world and the waning of the Elves, whom he
> loved."

[Is it Nahar or Orome or both who loved the Elves?]

This bit reminded me of this bit:

"In Beleriand still at times rode Orome the great, passing like a wind
over the mountains, and the sound of his horn came down the leagues of
the starlight... [...] when the Valaroma echoed in the hills, they knew
well that all evil things were fled far away." (Of the Sindar)

Chris Kern

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Nov 13, 2005, 8:59:56 AM11/13/05
to
On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 11:03:37 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> posted the following:

>Chris Kern <chris...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Later he becomes the strongest of the Valar. In sketched
>> revisions, however, he becomes not only the strongest of the Valar,
>> but stronger than all the Valar combined. In addition, he becomes the
>> source of all corruption and evil in Arda rather than just being a
>> powerful evil creature as he was in the early myths.
>
>So this "stronger than all the Valar" and "source of all evil" appears
>in the published Silmarillion?

No.

> Or by "never realised in the actual
>texts" do you mean that Tolkien intended to do this, but never fully
>carried it through?

Yes, that's what I mean. In the sketched revisions, for instance, the
Valar were not able to capture Melkor at Utumno. They went to capture
him knowing that they would fail, to distract him from the Elves (who
had just awoken). But Melkor saw a chance to infiltrate Valinor and
allowed himself to be captured. However, apparently even at this
point Melkor had weakened considerably, and Manwe notices it.

>And did he keep the bit about Melkor losing power
>and becoming diminished, and his power passing into his slaves and
>armies, and most of all, being used up in the Marring of Arda. A
>'Morgoth essense' passing into the material of the world? Or is this
>what is meant by "source of all corruption and evil"?

I think this was a part of the story in the published Silm, even if
not explicit.

>The other descriptions in Valaquenta

I believe that all the texts of the Valaquenta predate the texts where
Tolkien lays out the ideas I talked about above.

-Chris

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 13, 2005, 9:39:39 AM11/13/05