From the outside looking in, the Akallabêth can be read as a compelling, tragic story. It's also part of a larger narrative where evil is allowed to endure and reach a critical point where someone must resist it, again for the sake of a good story. This cycle also makes sense thematically and theologically in Tolkien's world. But looked at from the inside, the Valar really fumbled the ball, both by letting Melkor and Sauron to grow as strong as they did and more specifically in the way they handle Númenor.
A better philosopher than me may be able to work out a decent theodicy to justify their actions, but personally, all I can manage here is a bit of indignation on the behalf of the esser beings who have to mop up the mess the Valar didn't fix. Story-internally, it strikes me as the epitome of cowardice. The opposite – doing what a situation requires, because it's required, even when it's very difficult – would probably be a kind of courage. I therefore chose to explore this situation for the "courage" prompt in BMEM 2013.
Thanks to Kaylee Arafinwiel and Linda Hoyland for the beta assistance. All remaining typos and canon mistakes are mine.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.