2. Names and attributes of the Valar (alphabetically)
Estë: she heals hurt and weariness. She is clothed in grey, and sleeps by day on an island in the lake of Lórellin, in Lórien. Rest is her gift, and her spouse is Irmo.
Irmo: the younger of the two Fëanturi (masters of spirits), who has power over dreams, desires, and visions. He dwells in Lórien and is known mostly by that name; it is a land of gardens, the fairest in all the world. Estë is his spouse.
Lórien: see Irmo.
Mandos: see Námo.
Manwë: the second greatest of the Valar, after Melkor, who was similar in the thought of Ilúvatar. Of all the Valar, Ilúvatar holds him dearest and he best understands the thought of the One. But he does not understand evil, and thereby was deceived into unchaining Melkor after his first defeat. He is the King of Arda, and his greatest interest is in the air: winds, clouds, the airs of all heights. He has power over birds, especially. His spouse is Varda; they dwell together upon Oiolossë, the highest tower of Taniquetil, the tallest mountain in Valinor. When Varda is with him, he can see further than all other eyes. He is also called Súlimo, Lord of the Breath of Arda.
Melkor: he was coëval with Manwë, and very like him in the thought of Ilúvatar. He had something of the powers and knowledge of all the other Valar, but turned to evil purposes and squandered them, desiring power and dominion over both Arda and all who dwelt within it. His desire was first for the Light, but when he could not possess it entirely, he fell into Darkness, which he used in many of his evil works. Thus darkness became feared by all living things. He drew to himself many other spirits. With the theft of the Silmarils, Fëanor named him Morgoth, the Dark Enemy, and the Elves will not call him by any other name. His first great dwelling in the north of Middle-earth was Utumno, destroyed by the Valar in their first war against him; rebuilt, it was called Angband. At the end of the First Age Melkor was again defeated. He was bound in the chain Angainor and thrust through the Door of Night into the Timeless Void. His spirit, however, pervades the very substance of Arda.
Námo: the elder of the two Fëanturi (masters of spirits), who dwells in Mandos and is often called by the name of his dwelling. He keeps the Houses of the Dead and summons the spirits of the slain. He knows more than any other of the Valar what will be, for he forgets nothing, and serves as the Doomsman of the Valar; but he speaks his judgments and dooms only when bidden by Manwë. Only once has he been moved to pity, when Lúthien pleaded with him in song. His spouse is Vairë.
Nessa: she is fleetfooted, lithe, delighting in dancing on the lawns of Valimar. She loves the deer, and they follow her, but she can outrun them. Her spouse is Tulkas. Oromë is her brother.
Nienna: she is the sister of the Fëanturi, and dwells alone on the very western borders of the world. Nienna is the mourner, lamenting for every wound that has marred Arda, but she does not mourn for herself and those who listen to her learn pity and endurance in hope. She rarely goes to the city of Valimar, but frequents the halls of Mandos; the spirits that dwell there find that she brings them strength and turns their sorrows to wisdom. Her tears can heal, and through them the Two Trees brought forth their last blossom and fruit.
Oromë: he is a great lord and hunter, not as strong as Tulkas but greater and more dreadful in wrath. He loved the lands of Middle-earth and returned to Valinor only reluctantly. He hunted monsters and fell beasts there, and took delight in horses and hounds, and also trees: therefore he was called by the Elves Aldaron, the Lord of Forests, or Tauron in Sindarin. His horse is Nahar, white in sun and silver in the moonlight. His great horn is the Valaróma, which sounds like the rising of the sun or the lighting through clouds. His spouse is Vána, and he dwells in the woods of southern Valinor.
Tulkas: he is called Astaldo, the Valiant, and is the greatest in strength and prowess of all the Valar. He came to Arda late, in order to contend against Melkor in the first battles. He has golden hair and beard and a ruddy face; his hands are his weapons and he laughs as he fights. He is tireless on foot and uses no steed. He recks little of past or future and is no good counsellor, but is a good friend to have. His spouse is Nessa.
Ulmo: he is the Lord of Waters, dwelling nowhere long, and having no spouse. His power is second only to Manwë. He seldom visits Valinor, though he and Manwë were close friends before its creation, for he rarely clothes himself in a body. He loves Elves and Men both, and speaks to them mostly through the music of the waters. All waters are under his governance, and thus he gains news of all that happens in Arda. He taught the Teleri much music; his horns are called the Ulumúri.
Vairë: she is the Weaver, who takes all things that happen and weaves them into tapestries that adorn the halls of Mandos her spouse.
Vána: she is the Ever-young, younger sister of Yavanna. Birds sing when she draws near, and the flowers open. Her spouse is Oromë.
Varda: she is the Lady of the Stars, and light is her sphere of power and her joy. She created the stars, set the courses of Sun and Moon, and placed the star Eärendil in the sky. She is the most beautiful of all creatures, for the light of Ilúvatar lingers in her face. Her spouse is Manwë; they dwell together upon Oiolossë, the highest tower of Taniquetil, the tallest mountain in Valinor. When Manwë is with her, she can hear more clearly than any other. The Elves hold Varda in the greatest love and reverence of all the Valar, and call her Elbereth (Star-Queen), Elentári (Queen of the Stars), Tintallë (the Kindler), Gilthoniel, Fanuilos, and other names.
Yavanna: she is the Giver of Fruits, who loves all things that grow in the earth, though she has power over the kelvar (animals) as well as olvar (plants). Her greatest creation was the Two Trees, Telperion and Laurelin. The Elves hold her in reverence next only to Varda, and call her Kementári, the Queen of the Earth. She often takes the form of a tree, though when she takes the shape of a woman she is tall and robed in green. Her spouse is Aulë.
Humphrey Carpenter, ed., The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), esp. pp. 146-7.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, The Silmarillion, ed. Christopher Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), passim but esp. pp. 15-32.
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