Eru Ilúvatar [‘eh-roo ih-‘loo-vah-tar] – the Creator; ‘God’ in Tolkien’s world; created the Ainur, Elves, and Men; created the world; caused the drowning of Númenor and removing of the Undying Lands (Valinor) beyond the spheres of earthly existence; he alone could create independent life, which he granted to Aulë’s Dwarves.

Ainur [‘eye-noor] – holy spirits, offspring of Eru’s thought; they may choose to be disembodied or to assume a body of their choice; they include the Valar and the Maiar, and possibly other spirits.



Valar [‘vah-lahr] (singular Vala) – 7 male (Valar) and 7 female (Valier, singular Valië) angelic spirits that entered the world and completed its material development; Melkor (Morgoth) is not counted among them anymore although he is also a Vala; created out of the thought of Eru; their most famous residence is Valinor (Undying Lands, Aman); they created all sources of illumination in the world- the Two Lamps, the Two Trees, the stars, the Sun and the Moon.
When the Elves awakened in Middle-earth, the Valar invited them to dwell in Valinor. Only two Valar still visited Middle-earth by this time- Ulmo and Oromë. Later on the Valar closed Valinor to those Elves who left for Middle-earth. They lifted the ban for the exiled Elves after the defeat of Melkor.
In the Second Age, the Valar gifted the island of Númenor to Men. By this time, they seem to have stopped visiting Middle-earth, although they possibly have messengers there (Great Eagles).
Also called: the Powers of Arda
You know them from: the peoples of Middle-earth call to them for protection and spiritual help (Ithilien Rangers facing oliphaunts). It is also possible that the “crowns of the seven kings” in Saruman’s speech refer to the male Valar. (TTT)


Manwë [‘mahn-weh] – King of the Valar and of the world; Lord of air, wind and clouds; noblest of the Ainur and greatest in authority; brother of Melkor (Morgoth); married to Varda.
Among his servants are: the Great Eagles, Eönwë, possibly Olórin (Gandalf).
Also called: The Elder King; Súlimo
You know him from: Bilbo mentions him as the Elder King in his song of Eärendil in Rivendell.

Ulmo [‘ool-maw] -Lord of the Waters; frequent visitor to Middle-earth seas throughout the First Age; loves Men and Elves and often worked against the Doom of Mandos to help them; unmarried.
Among his servants are: Ossë, Uinen.

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Aulë [‘ow-leh] -Lord of the matter of Arda and master of all crafts that shaped it; a great smith; created the Dwarves who worshiped him; counted among his many works are the Two Lamps, and the vessels for the Sun and the Moon; married to Yavanna.
Among his servants were: the balrogs, Sauron, and Curumo (Saruman), before they turned to evil.

Oromë [‘or-om-eh] – The Huntsman of the Valar; rode a great white horse and bore a great horn; hunted monsters and demons in Middle-earth during the First Age; loves horses and hounds; found the newly awoken Elves in Middle-earth and led them to Valinor; married to Vána.
You know him from: Théoden was likened to him when the Rohirrim charged at Pelennor Fields. (RotK) The Horn of Gondor comes from the descendants of his kine.

Mandos (Námo) [‘mahn-doss ‘naa-maw] – Judge of the Valar; knows both the past and the future; also summons the spirits of the dead and keeps most of them in his Halls; named Mandos after his Halls; pronounced the doom of the Noldor (known as the Doom of Mandos) when they left Valinor; married to Vairë.

Lórien (Irmo) [‘law-ree-ehn ‘eer-maw] – Master of visions and dreams; named Lórien after his gardens that offer respite and peace; married to Estë.

Tulkas [‘tool-kahs] – Champion of the Valar; an outstanding runner and wrestler who uses no weapon but his hands; married to Nessa.

Melkor (Morgoth) [‘mehl-korr ‘mor-goth] – the First Dark Lord; initially the most powerful of the Ainur; the only Vala to live in Middle-Earth permanently; became corrupted by his own desire to rule the world; incapable of love; creator of Orcs and dragons; destroyer of others’ works; his most famous residence is the fortress of Angband in Middle-earth; brother of Manwë. Among his worst deeds are counted the destruction of the Two Trees, the creation of Orcs out of Elves, and the theft of the silmarils. Defeated twice: imprisoned and released after feigning repentance the first time, cast out of the world into the Void the second time.
His strive to gain dominion of Middle-Earth and its inhabitants’ desperate fight against him is the main theme of the Quenta Silmarillion.
Among his servants are: balrogs, werewolves, wolves, dragons, Sauron, orcs, trolls
Also called: the Black Enemy of the World (translation of the name Morgoth)
You know him from: the balrog of Moria is identified as a ‘balrog of Morgoth’. When Aragorn tells the tale of Lúthien on Weathertop, he refers to Morgoth as the Great Enemy. (FotR)


Varda Elentári [‘vahr-dah eh-lehn-‘taa-rih] – Queen of the Stars; the greatest of the Valier; the fairest and most beloved of the Valar by the Elves; creator of the stars; hated and feared by Morgoth and dark creatures; married to Manwë with whom she lives on the Holy Mountain (Taniquetil).
Also called: Elbereth Gilthoniel, the Star-kindler
You know her from: her name is often uttered by Elves and Elf-friends in distress, wonder, or when wishing for protection: by Frodo on Weathertop, by Sam when facing Shelob, or by Gildor when wishing the hobbits a safe journey. She appears in songs- Gildor’s company and Rivendell elves sing of her, as well as Galadriel in her Lament. Bilbo mentions her in his song of Eärendil. Her name breaks the will of the Silent Watchers in Cirith Ungol, and disturbs the Witch King on Weathertop.

Yavanna Kementári [‘yah-vahn-nah keh-mehn-‘taa-rih] – Queen of the Earth; creator of plants and animals, of the Two Trees that illuminated Valinor of old, and of the Sun and the Moon; married to Aulë.
Among her servants are: possibly Radagast the Brown Wizard, and the Ents.

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