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Old 01-05-2005, 11:53 PM   #1
Eothain Elfwine
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Silmaril Favorite Vala and Maia

I am fascinated by the Valar and Maiar, and naturally, I have my favorites, the ones who attract me the most. I think it probably says a lot about one's personality, the kind of Vala one is drawn to. Who are your favorites?
I have two favorite Valar: Varda and Ulmo. Varda is greatest in beauty of the Valar, and it was she who created the stars, the first things the Elves saw when they awoke in Middle-earth and the things they love best.
Then she began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda. She took the dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the Firstborn; wherefore she whose name out of the deeps of time and the labours of Ea was Tintalle, the Kindler, was called after by the Elves, Elentari, Queen of the Stars.
It was also she who gave the Sun and Moon the power to move through the skies. I love her because I love the stars and the moon above almost all things in God's creation.
Ulmo is the Lord of the Waters, second most beloved thing to the Elves, and to me as well. He alone among the Valar never abandoned Elves and Men but loves them and has often given help to them.
The Elves say that the spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world. Thus news comes to Ulmo, evenin the deeps, of all the needs and griefs of Arda, which othewise would be hidden from Manwe.
I love the tale of how he appeared to Tuor.
Of the Maiar, my favorite is Olorin. I suppose that is natural because he is Gandalf, but I also love him because he is Olorin, "wisest of the Maiar." Wisdom is very attractive to me, and also compassion, his two greatest traits:
His ways took him often to the house of Nienna, and of her he learned pity and patience.
It was this learning from the sad, compassionate Nienna that caused him to be the great leader in Middle-earth that he was in the Third Age.
In later days he was the friend of all the Children of Iluvatar, and took pity on their sorrows; and those who listened to him awoke from despair and put away the imaginations of darkness.
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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Threads on Favourites are more suited for the Novices & Newcomers as they are generally not complicated - even novices and newcomers can pitch in their opinions without having to load up on quotes to back them up.

This thread will continue in that forum...
...take counsel with thyself, and remember who and what thou art.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:21 PM   #3
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My favorite Vala is Aule, since he created my favorite race, the dwarves.

As for maia maybe Aiwendil (Radagast on Middle-earth) because it's such a good name.
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:55 PM   #4
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I posted this over a year ago on another board:

Ulmo, because of his great might, wisdom, somewhat detached personality, dedication to the children of Eru, and magnificence. I think he gets the best characterization attention of the Valar from Tolkien (and some of the best imagery). The first two selections are from the published Silmarillion; the second is from Unfinished Tales. The UT version of 'Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin' has some powerful writing in it - it's a shame that it was never finished.

Ulmo is the Lord of Waters. He is alone. He dwells nowhere long, but moves as he will in all the deep waters about the Earth or under the Earth. He is next in might to Manwë, and before Valinor was made he was closest to him in friendship; but thereafter he went seldom to the councils of the Valar, unless great matters were in debate. For he kept all Arda in thought, and he has no need of any resting-place. Moreover he does not love to walk upon land, and will seldom clothe himself in a body after the manner of his peers. If the Children of Eru beheld him they were filled with a great dread; for the arising of the King of the Sea was terrible, as a mounting wave that strides to the land, with dark helm foam-crested and raiment of mail shimmering from silver down into shadows of green. The trumpets of Manwë are loud, but Ulmo's voice is deep as the deeps of the ocean which he only has seen.
Nonetheless Ulmo loves both Elves and Men, and never abandoned them, not even when they lay under the wrath of the Valar. At times he win come unseen to the shores of Middle-earth, or pass far inland up firths of the sea, and there make music upon his great horns, the Ulumúri, that are wrought of white shell; and those to whom that music comes hear it ever after in their hearts, and longing for the sea never leaves them again. But mostly Ulmo speaks to those who dwell in Middle-earth with voices that are heard only as the music of water. For all seas, lakes, rivers, fountains and springs are in his government; so that the Elves say that the spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world. Thus news comes to Ulmo, even in the deeps, of all the needs and griefs of Arda, which otherwise would be hidden from Manwë.
But Ulmo was alone, and he abode not in Valinor, nor ever came thither unless there were need for a great council; he dwelt from the beginning of Arda in the Outer Ocean, and still he dwells there. Thence he governs the flowing of all waters, and the ebbing, the courses of an rivers and the replenishment of Springs, the distilling of all dews and rain in every land beneath the sky. In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echo of that music runs through all the veins of the world in sorrow and in joy; for it joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth. The Teleri learned much of Ulmo, and for this reason their music has both sadness and enchantment. Salmar came with him to Arda, he who made the horns of Ulmo that none may ever forget who once has heard them; and Ossë and Uinen also, to whom he gave the government of the waves and the movements of the Inner Seas, and many other spirits beside. And thus it was by the power of Ulmo that even under the darkness of Melkor life coursed still through many secret lodes, and the Earth did not die; and to all who were lost in that darkness or wandered far from the light of the Valar the ear of Ulmo was ever open; nor has he ever forsaken Middle-earth, and whatsoever may since have befallen of ruin or of change he has not ceased to take thought for it, and will not until the end of days.
Now Tuor felt his feet drawn to the sea-strand, and he went down by long stairs to a wide shore upon the north side of Taras-ness; and as he went he saw that the sun was sinking low into a great black cloud that came up over the rim of the darkening sea; and it grew cold, and there was a stirring and murmur as of a storm to come. And Tuor stood upon the shore, and the sun was like a smoky fire behind the menace of the sky; and it seemed to him that a great wave rose far off and rolled towards the land, but wonder held him, and he remained there unmoved. And the wave came towards him, and upon it lay a mist of shadow. Then suddenly as it drew near it curled, and broke, and rushed forward in long arms of foam; but where it had broken there stood dark against the rising storm a living shape of great height and majesty.

Then Tuor bowed in reverence, for it seemed to him that he beheld a mighty king. A tall crown he wore like silver, from which his long hair fell down as foam glimmering in the dusk and as he cast back the grey mantle that hung about him like a mist, behold! he was clad in a gleaming coat, close-fitted as the mail of mighty fish, and in a kirtle of deep green that flashed and flickered with sea-fire as he strode slowly towards the land. In this manner the Dweller of the Deep, whom the Noldor name Ulmo, Lord of Waters, showed himself to Tuor son of Huor of the House of Hador beneath Vinyamar.

He set no foot upon the shore, but standing knee-deep in the shadowy sea he spoke to Tuor, and then for the light of his eyes and for the sound of his deep voice that came as it seemed from the foundations of the world, fear fell upon Tuor and he cast himself down upon the sand.
I love the the rest of the passage as well, which continues in this manner.
...take counsel with thyself, and remember who and what thou art.
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:46 AM   #5
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Olorin, obviously, is where it's at. But Arien is amazing, too, and her resistance of Melkor has always been one of my favorite stories. If I'm not mistaken, the best version of it is in the Annals of Aman, in...War of the Jewels? I can't remember!!
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:13 PM   #6
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White Tree

Nice thread topic, Eothain.

My favourite Valar are Yavanna and Nienna. I think this may be because they, together, created the Trees; and, of course, the Trees are very spiffy.

Before [Valmar's] western gate there was a green mound, Ezellohar, that is named also Corolaire; and Yavanna hallowed it, and she sat there long upon the green grass and sang a song of power, in which was set all her thought of things that grow in the earth. But Nienna thought in silence, and watered the mould with tears.
...upon the mound there came forth two slender shoots; and silence was over all the world in that hour, nor was there any other sound save the chanting of Yavanna. Under her song the saplings gree and became fair and tall, and came to flower; and thus there awoke in the worl the Two Trees of Valinor. Of all things which Yavanna made they have most renown, and about their fate all the tales of the Elder Days are woven.
Conversly, I am rather intrigued by Melkor, who ruined the Trees. Make of that what you will.

Of the Maiar, I think my favourite would have to be Arien.

Arien [...] was chosen because she had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them, being from the beginning a spirit of fire, whom Melkor had not deceived nor drawn to his service. Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendour.
Abedithon le,

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Old 01-07-2005, 04:04 PM   #7
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Vala - Melkor. What can I say, he's the most powerful of the Valar and I always like to root for Tolkien's villains.

Maia - Melian. Not only was she beautiful and wise, but she was also powerful enough to protect Doriath for a very long time. As an added bonus, Luthien was her daughter and those two together comprise my list of favorite female characters.
Thousands of years of loyal service and I'm still only a Captain

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Old 01-08-2005, 12:18 AM   #8
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I have to say, I'm a little torn between two Valar. Ulmo never forsook his attention to Middle Earth (remember the water that Frodo and Sam found in Mordor?) There is a depth (no pun intended) to his character that is lacking in most of the other powers of Arda.

My other favorite is Aule. It seems to me that he could have just as easily become Morgoth, or something like him. He created the dwarves because of his impatience with Eru's timing, waiting for The Children. There is a darkness to him, in addition to his goodness and creativity, that lends a complexity to him that you don't see in Manwe, or even Yavanna. Mandos and Manwe seem more aloof to me, like the ancient greek gods. So does Yavanna. Aule seems almost human.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:46 PM   #9
Linnahiril Tinnufinwen
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I would have to say that my two favorite Vala are Irmo (or Lorien) and Este. Irmo has beautiful gardens and is the "...master of visions and dreams," which I think is really unique. And Este is a wonderful gentle healer. As it says in the Silmarillion, it would be "refreshing" to be around these Valar.

My favorite Maia is Olorin, for he was the wisest of all the Maiar, and it could be argued, that out of all the Valar and Maiar he helped out the creatures of Middle Earth most.
The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page
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Old 01-12-2005, 03:12 PM   #10
Snorri Swifthammer
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I'd have to say I'm torn between Aule (for creating my favorite race the dwarves) and Tulkas (who as far as I can tell had the chief hobby of smacking around Melkor).
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:59 AM   #11
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My fav vala is Elbereth, no doubt of that. Why? Because I love stars.
Maia.. well, that's more difficult... But, I say Melian.
And she was the child of stars, bearing their light on her forehead. Wisdom lies in her eyes and love in her heart.
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