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Old 11-02-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
TheLostPilgrim
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The Maiar

I have a question:

Maiar are Ainur, correct? I've never understood the distinction between the Valar and the Maiar--I thought they were all the same sort of "being." What sets the Valar from the Maiar?

Also, were the Maiar present at the Ainulindalë, were all the Ainur created at the same time? Did the Maiar help shape Arda? Or were the Maiar created later?

I just wonder at it, because it's interesting to think of the idea that Sauron, Saruman and Gandalf, would've in their own small way helped literally shape Middle Earth.

This leads me to a secondary set of questions:

1) Would Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, etc--Those Maiar who were sent to Middle Earth--have any memories of their prior selves, of the Beginning? Of themselves before they were "Wizards"? Would they still retain the memory or knowledge of their true selves, the extent of what they truly were, and where they came from? Would Saruman, by the time of his Fall, have forgotten that he was a Maiar, who shaped the history of Middle Earth in a small way, that he was ultimately a servant or creation of Eru?

2) Would Gandalf still have been Gandalf? What I mean is, once he returned to the West, would he still have retained his personality, emotions and his memories of Middle Earth, of Frodo, etc? Would his spirit, his nature, still be recognizable as "Gandalf" in his natural form as Olorin? I don't mean who Gandalf was physically; I mean who he was in terms of his personality, his traits, etc?

3) Have we ever gotten any indication of what the Istari, or Maiar in general, look like in their "true" forms? I've read the Istari were simply "clothed" in the bodies of old men...I wonder what their true forms looked like.

4) Will all the Ainur--including Gandalf--exist until "The End"?

5) Of the Ainur in general--the Ainur are said to be the offspring of Eru's thought; Essentially, almost sort of parts of Eru. Would Eru's power or force or whatever you'd want to call it be reduced when say, the spirits of Morgoth or Sauron or Saruman are extinguished? Would those parts of Eru simply cease to exist, or is Eru unchanging and would retain the fullness of his spirit?

Getting a bit religious, but, since the Ainur were the pure offspring of Eru's thought, could it be that the actions of some of his Ainur (Sauron, Saruman) were ultimately part of Eru's "Grand Plan" for Middle Earth? Ultimately, what he intended, that in doing what they did, they played a part in Eru's theme--without even consciously knowing they were doing so?

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLostPilgrim View Post
Maiar are Ainur, correct?[
Yes.

Quote:
I've never understood the distinction between the Valar and the Maiar--I thought they were all the same sort of "being." What sets the Valar from the Maiar?
From the “Valaquenta” in the published Silmarillion, the beginning of the section “Of the Valar”:
The Great among the spirits [the Ainur] the Elves name the Valar, the Powers of Arda, and Men have often called them gods. The Lords of the Valar are seven; and the Valier, the Queens of the Valar are seven also.
The names of the fourteen Valar follow. Both Valar and Maiar are Ainur and of the same kind. But the Valar are significantly more powerful than the Ainur and have more authority. Melkor was originally more powerful than any of the Valar.

Quote:
Also, were the Maiar present at the Ainulindalë, were all the Ainur created at the same time?
No. It is mentioned in the “Valaquenta” that the Valar Mandos (more rightly called Námo) and Lórien (more rightly called Irmo) were brethern and Mandos was the elder of the two and Lórien was the younger.

Quote:
Did the Maiar help shape Arda? Or were the Maiar created later?
Presumably the Ainur helped shape Arda. There is no indication that the Maiar were created after the Valar. At least the Vala Tulkas entered Arda some time after the other Valar and it is possible also that the Maiar also came into Arda at different times.

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1) Would Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, etc--Those Maiar who were sent to Middle Earth--have any memories of their prior selves, of the Beginning? Of themselves before they were "Wizards"? Would they still retain the memory or knowledge of their true selves, the extent of what they truly were, and where they came from? Would Saruman, by the time of his Fall, have forgotten that he was a Maiar, who shaped the history of Middle Earth in a small way, that he was ultimately a servant or creation of Eru?
Mostly unknown. Tolkien indicates in his article “The Istari” in Unfinished Tales:
For it is said indeed that being embodied the Istari had need to learn much anew by slow experience, and though they knew whence they came the memory of the Blessed Realm was to them a vision from afar off, for which (so long as they remained true to their mission) they yearned exceedingly).
Quote:
2) Would Gandalf still have been Gandalf? What I mean is, once he returned to the West, would he still have retained his personality, emotions and his memories of Middle Earth, of Frodo, etc? Would his spirit, his nature, still be recognizable as "Gandalf" in his natural form as Olorin? I don't mean who Gandalf was physically; I mean who he was in terms of his personality, his traits, etc?
Presumably so, for the most part. In the Two Towers when the resurrected Gandalf meets again Strider, Legloas, and Gimli, Gandalf for a short time appears preoccupied and to not fully recall his former life in Middle-earth, but this vagueness soon departs from his mind.

Quote:
3) Have we ever gotten any indication of what the Istari, or Maiar in general, look like in their "true" forms? I've read the Istari were simply "clothed" in the bodies of old men...I wonder what their true forms looked like.
In their innate forms the Ainur were unclothed spirits and thus presumably invisible and intangible. Tolkien only mentions in the “Valaquenta”:
But fair and noble as were the forms in which they [the Valar and the Valier] were manifest to the Children of Ilúvatar, they were but a veil upon their beauty and their power.
This implies that in their unveiled power the Valar were not manifest to the Children of Ilúvatar.

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4) Will all the Ainur--including Gandalf--exist until "The End"?
Presumably most of them.
Quote:
5) Of the Ainur in general--the Ainur are said to be the offspring of Eru's thought; Essentially, almost sort of parts of Eru. Would Eru's power or force or whatever you'd want to call it be reduced when say, the spirits of Morgoth or Sauron or Saruman are extinguished? Would those parts of Eru simply cease to exist, or is Eru unchanging and would retain the fullness of his spirit?
By common Christian theology Eru would be reduced by nothing he created.

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Getting a bit religious, but, since the Ainur were the pure offspring of Eru's thought, could it be that the actions of some of his Ainur (Sauron, Saruman) were ultimately part of Eru's "Grand Plan" for Middle Earth? Ultimately, what he intended, that in doing what they did, they played a part in Eru's theme--without even consciously knowing they were doing so?
That is Tolkien’s intended thought.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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[*]
Getting a bit religious, but, since the Ainur were the pure offspring of Eru's thought, could it be that the actions of some of his Ainur (Sauron, Saruman) were ultimately part of Eru's "Grand Plan" for Middle Earth? Ultimately, what he intended, that in doing what they did, they played a part in Eru's theme--without even consciously knowing they were doing so?
[*]That is Tolkien’s intended thought.
Melkor's discords were part of the Music, and it may well be that all treasons great and small including Saruman's sprang therefrom.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TheLostPilgrim View Post

1) Would Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, etc--Those Maiar who were sent to Middle Earth--have any memories of their prior selves, of the Beginning?
Yes, difficult to say. I suspect the answer is yes, but perhaps with less clarity given their Valar-imposed restrictions. On returning to Aman, I would, however, suppose that their natural beings were/would be restored, including all the knowledge of their years.

Quote:
2) Would Gandalf still have been Gandalf?
Yes, the continuity in personality indicated by the writing on Olorin and his time as Gandalf strongly suggest complete continuity of personality. Further Cirdan saw to his spirit, which is unchanged since coming out of the west. Cirdan acted based on that insight, suggesting he felt it a sure guarantee of 'Gandalf's' nature.

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4) Will all the Ainur--including Gandalf--exist until "The End"?
Presumably yes, but some ie Sauron, not in a terribly good condition!

Quote:
5) Of the Ainur in general--the Ainur are said to be the offspring of Eru's thought; Essentially, almost sort of parts of Eru. Would Eru's power or force or whatever you'd want to call it be reduced when say, the spirits of Morgoth or Sauron or Saruman are extinguished? Would those parts of Eru simply cease to exist, or is Eru unchanging and would retain the fullness of his spirit?
Indeed Eru is not bound by any restrictions or limitation of power. Further all things that come to pass are by his will.

Quote:
Getting a bit religious, but, since the Ainur were the pure offspring of Eru's thought, could it be that the actions of some of his Ainur (Sauron, Saruman) were ultimately part of Eru's "Grand Plan" for Middle Earth? Ultimately, what he intended, that in doing what they did, they played a part in Eru's theme--without even consciously knowing they were doing so?
I'll let Iluvatar speak for himself:

"Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor; but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Iluvatar, those things that ye have sung, I will show them forth, that ye may see what ye have done. And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."

Eru doesn't will anything ugly or evil into the world, thus he does not intend evil to befall men or elves. BUT when evil arises Eru takes it all and 'reverts it' to the path he desires.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Draugohtar View Post
Presumably yes, but some ie Sauron, not in a terribly good condition!
From Morgoth’s Ring (HoME 10), page 376:
But the Sun is feminine, and it is better that the Vala should be Áren, a maiden whom Melkor endeavoured to make his spouse (or ravished); she went up in a flame of wrath and anguish and her spirit was released from Eä, …
Tolkien repeats this on page 381:
Melkor did not heed her warning, but cried in his wrath: ‘The gift which is withheld I take!’ and he ravished Árië, desiring to abase her and to take unto himself her powers. Then the spirit of Árië went up like a flame of anguish and wrath, and departed for ever from Arda;* and the Sun was bereft of the Light of Varda, and was stained by the assault of Melkor.

*[marginal note] Indeed some would say that it was released from Eä.
This tale is from material that Tolkien decided not to include in his Silmarillion, part of an attempt to rework his past history to make it congruent with scientific knowledge of the history of the universe and the solar system.

Tolkien later decided that the Silmarillion material should be considered Elvish tales mixed with Mannish legend which allowed him to continue to include non-scientific material such a early ages of Earth with plants and animals but not sun or moon and the late creation of the Sun and Moon from the last fruits of the Two Trees. But rather than causing such material to be considered false in connection with Tolkien’s tales of Middle-earth, it may mean that they are now to be considered closer to the truth.

In any case it shows Tolkien considered at least one possible exception to his general rule that all the Ainur who descended into Eä would remain there until the End.

Tolkien also considers that this may be true of Morgoth. On page 403 he writes:
He [Morgoth] was judged, and eventually taken out of the Blessed Realm and executed: that is killed like one of the incarnates. … When that body was destroyed he was weak and utterly ‘houseless’, and for that time at a loss and ‘unanchored’ as it were. We read that he was thrust out into the Void. That should mean that he was put outside Time and Space, outside Eä altogether, but if that were so this would imply a direct intervention of Eru (with or without supplication of the Valar). It may however refer inaccurately to the extrusion or flight of his spirit from Arda.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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What I have always wondering, is Sauron's opinion about fate of the world.
I mean, he witnessed twice Morgoth defeat by the Valars, he was defeated in Numenor, he vas even defeated by the aliance of man and elf.

So, what he would expect if he would succeed to conquer the whole Middle Earth?
That the Valars (or Eru) would leave him to rule it forever? I don't think so.

I know Tolkien explained that Morgot (or in this case Sauron) were so evil that they were never understand sympathy for elfs and men from the Valars, but I understand this for Morgot who still got chanse to improve himself, but not for the Sauron, who, as I said already have witnessed so many defeats by the Valars, and curse of Feanor, and everything that shows that Eru's intentions can't be denied.

If I (simple human) understand that, how come that Sauron (from angelic nature) didn't get it?
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
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If I (simple human) understand that, how come that Sauron (from angelic nature) didn't get it?
Because Tolkien is expressing the existence of absolute evil.

Evil that self-deludes to the point where it utterly believes the lies it tells of itself to others.

Thus Melkor came to believe he could indeed defy Eru and the might of the combined Ainur. Further even when it was clear to him, in the beginning, that Illuvatar's power was inviolate, he still chose Lucifer's option: Better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven.

Sauron was simply following that lead. He was utterly corrupted, and clearly believed that he could indeed be victorious.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Put another way it can be phrased in a simple question (the "question" is simple, the implications of the "answer" are anything but in human experience) ...
What do you do when you desire to be the final arbiter of your own life - but you find yourself in a universe where their is an all-powerful being (i.e. God - with a capital G --- in this case called "Eru" or "Illuvatar") who demands you acknowledge HIS lordship over your life.
I think this is part of what Tolkien is exploring. Sauron (and Melkor, etc) can have no uncertainty in their factual knowledge about Eru but they are also unwilling to submit.

What can one do in such a situation?

If you won't submit, how else do you resolve the dilemma except by willing self delusion (i.e. that Eru will "let" you be your own master, or even that he isn't "really" all-powerful so you have a chance of setting up on your own apart from him?
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheLostPilgrim View Post
I have a question:

Maiar are Ainur, correct? I've never understood the distinction between the Valar and the Maiar--I thought they were all the same sort of "being." What sets the Valar from the Maiar?
As it was mentioned by jallanite, they are the same in nature (Ainur) but are different in potency. Valar are spirits that control elements. They can shape continents, mountains, etc. In terms of their material powers Maiar can alter a particular landscape, probably locally arrange weather. Silmarillion says that some of Maiar were almost as powerful as Valar while others wielded much less power. Sauron was named the most powerful of them and Olorin belonged to this cohort.

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Also, were the Maiar present at the Ainulindalë, were all the Ainur created at the same time? Did the Maiar help shape Arda? Or were the Maiar created later?
They are all Ainur and we don't know much about the sequence in their creation.

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Old 11-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheLostPilgrim View Post
1) Would Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, etc--Those Maiar who were sent to Middle Earth--have any memories of their prior selves, of the Beginning? Of themselves before they were "Wizards"? Would they still retain the memory or knowledge of their true selves, the extent of what they truly were, and where they came from? Would Saruman, by the time of his Fall, have forgotten that he was a Maiar, who shaped the history of Middle Earth in a small way, that he was ultimately a servant or creation of Eru?
I would agree with others that Istari did not forget their true self, otherwise how could they stay aware of their mission in ME? But the relevance of their experience could dramatically change with time and Gandalf seems to be the only one capable of retaining his dedication (did the elven Ring help him to some extent?).

On the other hand, it happens to some people that they develop a peculiar idea-fix and stick to it even on the verge of death; the more critical the situation becomes, the more stubbornly such a person would try to achieve some particular goal even if it were totally counter-productive. I tend to think this is the case for Melkor, Sauron and Saruman.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #11
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I would agree with others that Istari did not forget their true self, otherwise how could they stay aware of their mission in ME? But the relevance of their experience could dramatically change with time and Gandalf seems to be the only one capable of retaining his dedication (did the elven Ring help him to some extent?).
The Unfinished Tales essay The Istari indicates that they did indeed remember their true nature while in Middle-earth.

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....and though [The Istari] knew whence they came the memory of the Blessed Realm was to them a vision from afar off, for which, (so long as they remained true to their mission) they yearned exceedingly.
It doesn't seem that possession of Narya played a part in Gandalf's faithfulness, though it certainly was an aid. Círdan's words upon surrendering it to him tell of the Ring's power:

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'Take now this Ring,' he said; 'for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill.
The Silmarillion Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

That suggests that Narya's main effect was to arrest weariness, I would say physical and spiritual, that could hamper Gandalf's efforts.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
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It doesn't seem that possession of Narya played a part in Gandalf's faithfulness, though it certainly was an aid. [...] Narya's main effect was to arrest weariness, I would say physical and spiritual, that could hamper Gandalf's efforts.
That could indeed as it happened to Radagast, which resulted in him abandoning his mission. I think Narya could give some help in this respect.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #13
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2) Would Gandalf still have been Gandalf? What I mean is, once he returned to the West, would he still have retained his personality, emotions and his memories of Middle Earth, of Frodo, etc? Would his spirit, his nature, still be recognizable as "Gandalf" in his natural form as Olorin? I don't mean who Gandalf was physically; I mean who he was in terms of his personality, his traits, etc?
I think the memories and the experience were going to stay with Gandalf, though he could obtain a different view on them. I believe, he would cease to be explosive and impatient; that feature was the way to make him more human and reasonably 'imperfect'. It probably was also accelerated by the fact that he often had to adjust his enormous wisdom to the silly ways of ME dwellers such as Pippin for instance.

On the other hand, I think, Gandalf's powerful sense of humour was something Olorin had not had initially. It looks to me highly likely that he developed this talent in ME and would retain it after returning to the West.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:24 PM   #14
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The Ainur were the Powers great and small who worked "to fulfilled the vision which they had seen" [Sil, p. 17] which was Ea. The Maiar were "spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree" [p. 23] and "the Valar drew unto them many companions, some less, some well nigh as great as themselves, and they laboured together in the ordering of the Earth" [p. 12]. So with the Valar, to whom they are "servants and helpers" [p. 23] they saw the vision of Earth and entered in it to bring order.

1 - The Istari or Wizards knew who they were, "though they knew whence they came the memory of the Blessed Realm was to them a vision from afar off, for which (so long as they remained true to their mission) they yearned exceedingly." [UT, p. 407]

2 - Olorin was Gandalf. It is said of Olorin in Valinor, "Wisest of the Maiar was Olorin… his ways took him often to the house of Nienna, and of her he learned pity and patience… he loved the Elves, he walked among them unseen, or in form as one of them, and they did not know whence came the fair visions or the promptings of wisdom that he put into their hearts. In later days he was the friend of all the Children of Illuvatar, and took pity on their sorrows" [Sil, pp. 24-25]. In the downfall of Sauron and evil, "these things were achieved for the most part by the counsel and vigilance of Mithrandir" [p. 378]. He had some of the same qualities as Gandalf and Olorin, counseling the free people with his wisdom and having pity on them. As Gandalf he, "was closest in friendship with the Eldar" just like he used to walk among them as Olorin.

3 - They clad themselves in raiment similar to the Children of Illuvatar or "they may clothe themselves in their own thought, made visible in forms of majesty and dread" [p. 12] and its said of them, "the Valar may walk, if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot clearly perceive them, though they be present." [Sil, p. 11]

4 - Like the Elves they are bound to Arda. "But this condition Illuvatar made, or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should thenceforward be contained and bounded in the World, to be within it for ever, until it is complete, so that they are its life and it is theirs." [p. 10]

5 - The only diminishment I see is when the Powers put forth their will in the domination of others like Melkor and Sauron. The theme can be changed like when Aule made the Dwarves.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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I 5) Of the Ainur in general--the Ainur are said to be the offspring of Eru's thought; Essentially, almost sort of parts of Eru. Would Eru's power or force or whatever you'd want to call it be reduced when say, the spirits of Morgoth or Sauron or Saruman are extinguished? Would those parts of Eru simply cease to exist, or is Eru unchanging and would retain the fullness of his spirit?
I think, I've got nothing to add to jallanite's answers to questions 3 and 4, so let me deal with this one. According to the view I tend to share, Eru is a transcendent creator, similar to the Christian, Muslim or Jewish God in that respect. Transcendent means existing beyond the universe. This 'beyond' means not larger or older. Eru, in fact, cannot be measured with the units of space and time, because space and time are also created by Eru and exist inside his mind.

In my humble opinion, the best way to approach the relationships between Eru and the created universe is to think about an author and a story (novel, script, poem etc.) A storyline and characters exist in an author's mind. Let's take Tolkien himself as an example. His ideas on Boromir's character and destiny, for instance, are parts of his vision of his legendary universe. However, the death of Boromir doesn't mean that some part of Tolkien's mind had also got lost. Boromir dies but he still exists in the author's mind, virtually every moment of Boromir's life remains existing in the story. I dare say that in the similar way every thing, every moment and every being of Ea, including Melkor, Sauron and Saruman, Boromir, Frodo and Gollum, remains preserved in Eru's thought.

No doubt, there is some difference between Tolkien and Eru Tolkien's mind works according to the time pattern, paying more attention to one or the other thing at a particular moment. Eru's ideal almighty mind is unable to forget and is beyond time which means, that he 'sees' everything 'simultaneously', as 'one shiny moment of clarity'. Honestly, we have no words to express an un-timed perception of Being. If you'd like to find out more, please check the 'Confession' by St Augustin, he dedicates some chapters closer to the end to the analysis of 'inner' time.

Another feature of Eru's mind is that it doesn't make mistakes. That means everything that is in Eru's mind goes real. That's how pain, trouble, suffering, discord and evil exist - while Eru is aware of such things, they are real and he cannot unmake them. It's not his choice how to wright the story, Eru's mind contains all of them

I hope, all this would make an answer to your question. I don't pretend my point of view is true, so please correct me wherever you feel it makes sense.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:58 PM   #16
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I wrote a thread a decade ago (!) here that might be helpful. With tongue firmly in cheek, I titled it uh.. wots a maiar ???/ because of a trend at the time of new members wanting to use "Maia" to classify every powerful being that wasn't obviously any other familiar race (human/elf/dwarf/etc.).

The beings known as the Ainur existed before and outside of Ea (Ea = creation, the physical universe, etc.). When Eru spoke it into existence, he allowed those that were interested to enter.

The greatest fourteen of those that entered Arda were called the Valar, and the rest, being their servants, were the Maiar. Each Maia is associated with a specific Vala or two.

For example, Olórin (Gandalf) was of Manwë's people and also spent much time with Nienna. You can see the influence or common ground they shared in Olórin's actions as Gandalf. Like Manwë, Olórin was called wisest of the Maiar, and as Gandalf, he was diplomatic and concerned with good above all else. From his time with Nienna, he learned the "pity, and endurance in hope" (from Valaquenta) that are on display throughout the story.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:05 PM   #17
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I would agree with others that Istari did not forget their true self, otherwise how could they stay aware of their mission in ME? But the relevance of their experience could dramatically change with time and Gandalf seems to be the only one capable of retaining his dedication (did the elven Ring help him to some extent?)...
Regarding Gandalf Faramir quotes him as saying:
"...Olorin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten..."

This indicates that he at least remembers his name, but it is unclear whether "the West that is forgotten" is refering to his own memory or that of lesser races.

Regarding Radagast I see no reason to think he had forgotten his task. Was caring for 'herbs, beasts and birds' not a worthy task? Certainly Treebeard made it a point of honour in describing Gandalf as "the only wizard that really cares about trees." I used to think it odd that Radagast did not reckon in Treebeard's esteem, but then herblore was not the concern of Ents but of Entwives, so perhaps the latter held Radagast in the same esteem as the eagles did? One of the Valar (at least) must have sung the herbs into being.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:54 AM   #18
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One of the Valar (at least) must have sung the herbs into being.
That would have been Yavanna, Valier of all that grows; and it was in fact she who both made the request that led to the Ents coming into being, and who included Radagast among the Istari.

On the other hand, Radagast seems to have been more concerned with animals rather than plants; Treebeard says that Gandalf was "the only Wizard who really cares about trees."
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:25 AM   #19
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About Question I 5) I would like to add the following thought to Sarumanias very good answer: No Ainur (nor any fea of Erus children) could be extinguished by any means. The might to do that would only Eru have. And it would be as if you would try to force an idea you once had have to be as if never thought. If we are (as is Christian believe) build as lesser images of the Creator, then this special act would be very dificult even for an almighty God!

Anyhow, Tolkien makes it clear that in his sub-created world Ainur could not be extinguished.
That means Morgoth personally was cast out of Arda (probably also out of Ea), but that did not eliminate the Melkor content in Arda. The main problem of all these bad-guys was that by dominating their surrounding they distribute their own might, were by they reduce their personal being. Morgoth did that with the whole world ('Arda was Morgoth Ring'). Sauron with the Rings of Power and especially with the One Ring. With Saruman we are not that sure, but his trials in Ring-making are indications. Morgoth was removed as a person, but his sinister influence remained. Sauron was reduced personally to a ghost not able to make his hatred against the world effective. And the same seems to be true for Saruman.

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Old 01-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #20
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Morgoth did that with the whole world ('Arda was Morgoth Ring').
Which, for me, adds an extra "flavor" to a tale of the prophecy of the Dagorath that it was only at the end of Time (i.e. the end of the sotry of Ea "whos life is time") that Melkor would receive "his death and final end".

Sauron could not be finally reduced to irrecoverable impotence (at least to a point from which HE could not recover himself) until his Ring was destroyed. So Melkor could not be finally so reduced until *HIS* Ring (all of Middle Earth) was destroyed.
He could be cast out (through the door of night) and a watch set on the ramparts of the sky against his return, but the watch was only needed be cause, otherwise, it was possible FOR him to return. Once Time ended and his Ring (Arda) was ended, then he himself could, finally, be dealt his final end.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #21
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Sauron could not be finally reduced to irrecoverable impotence (at least to a point from which HE could not recover himself) until his Ring was destroyed. So Melkor could not be finally so reduced until *HIS* Ring (all of Middle Earth) was destroyed.
That's how I've always interpreted the idea of 'Morgoth's Ring' as well.

The analogy with Sauron's Ring is also interesting if you consider the effect that the Ring had on its bearers. If the One Ring tended to corrupt one who wore it, or even possessed it, then Arda itself must, through its 'Melkorian Element' have a tendency to corrupt those who dwell in it.

It is perhaps taking the analogy too far to wonder whether, since the One Ring could only be unmade in the fires of Mt. Doom, where it was forged, can Arda only be unmade through the power of the Flame Imperishable with which Iluvatar brought it into being?
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:40 PM   #22
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It is perhaps taking the analogy too far to wonder whether, since the One Ring could only be unmade in the fires of Mt. Doom, where it was forged, can Arda only be unmade through the power of the Flame Imperishable with which Iluvatar brought it into being?
That's sensible to me. Since creation had its beginning in Eru, utter destruction must be of him as well.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:32 AM   #23
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That's sensible to me. Since creation had its beginning in Eru, utter destruction must be of him as well.
There is an interesting (tho short) commentary on "The End" (of Middle Earth) in UT "Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin". Ulmo, when he spoke to Tuor, spoke of a rift in the armor of fate and a breach in the walls of Doom "until the full-making, which ye call the End."

I think that harkens back to Tolkien's description of the History of Arda as a Great Drama: like Eru is writing a living play; And "the End" is simply the completion of the Play - the "Full Making". But, of course, if the story of Arda is simply a Play, that implies something greater and more "real" outside the Playhouse. And that can be intriguing - even if it is not essential to enjoy the story itself.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:41 AM   #24
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That the End comes from Eru himself is seen Ainulindale, where it is Eru that ends the play.

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