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Tulkas

Other Names:
Astaldo 'the Valiant'
the Strong

Location(s): Valinor

Race/Species: Ainur

Type/Kind: Vala

Title(s): a Lord of the Valar

Spouse: Nessa

Description:
Greatest in strength and deeds of prowess is Tulkas, who is surnamed Astaldo, the Valiant. He came last to Arda, to aid the Valar in the first battles with Melkor. He delights in wrestling and in contests of strength; and he rides no steed, for he can outrun all things that go on feet, and he is tireless. His hair and beard are golden, and his flesh ruddy; his weapons are his hands. He has little heed for either the past or the future, and is of no avail as a counsellor, but is a hardy friend. His spouse is Nessa, the sister of Oromë....

Oromë ... is less strong than Tulkas, [but] he is more dreadful in anger; whereas Tulkas laughs ever, in sport or in war, and even in the face of Melkor he laughed in battles before the Elves were born.

The Silmarillion, Valaquenta: Of the Valar

It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped...; and 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, hearing in the far heaven that there was battle in the Little Kingdom; and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter. So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age. And Tulkas remained and became one of the Valar of the Kingdom of Arda; but Melkor brooded in the outer darkness, and his hate was given to Tulkas for ever after.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days

Now it came to pass that while the Valar rested from their labours, and watched the growth and unfolding of the things that they had devised and begun, Manwë ordained a great feast; and the Valar and all their host came at his bidding. But Aulë and Tulkas were weary; for the craft of Aulë and the strength of Tulkas had been at the service of all without ceasing in the days of their labour. And Melkor knew of all that was done, for even then he had secret friends and spies among the Maiar whom he had converted to his cause.... Therefore he gathered to himself spirits out of the halls of that he had perverted to his service.... And seeing now his time he drew near again to Arda, and looked down upon it, and the beauty of the Earth in its Spring filled him the more with hate.

Now therefore the Valar were gathered upon Almaren, fearing no evil, and because of the light of Illuin they did not perceive the shadow in the north that was cast from afar by Melkor; for he was grown dark as the Night of the Void. And it is sung that in that feast of the Spring of Arda Tulkas espoused Nessa..., and she danced before the Valar upon the green grass of Almaren.

Then Tulkas slept, being weary and content, and Melkor deemed that his hour had come. And he passed therefore over the Walls of the Night with his host, and came to Middle-earth far in the north; and the Valar were not aware of him.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days

But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aulë had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 3, Of The Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

... it seemed to Manwë that the evil of Melkor was cured. ... But Ulmo was not deceived, and Tulkas clenched his hands whenever he saw Melkor his foe go by; for if Tulkas is slow to wrath he is slow also to forget. But they obeyed the judgement of Manwë....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 6, Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

Then the pursuit [of Melkor and Ungoliant] was begun; and the earth shook beneath the horses of the host of Oromë, and the fire that was stricken from the hooves of Nahar was the first light that returned to Valinor. But so soon as any came up with the Cloud of Ungoliant the riders of the Valar were blinded and dismayed, and they were scattered.... And Tulkas was as one caught in a black net at night, and he stood powerless and beat the air in vain. But when the Darkness had passed, it was too late: Melkor had gone whither he would, and his vengeance was achieved.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 8, Of The Darkening of Valinor

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 19Nov05

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