The Aratar (‘The Exalted’) are known as the ‘High Ones of Arda.’ They are the eight most powerful and revered Valar. Counted among them are Manwë, their king, Varda, Ulmo, Aulë, Yavanna, Mandos, Nienna and Oromë.

Their powers surpass those of the other Valar and Maiar. There were originally nine most powerful Valar, but Melkor is no longer counted among them.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Ringhilwen