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Where is the Void located in the Ardean(?) universe?

After thinking about it for a while, I see three different possibilities:

  1. Iluvatar's space [Arda (Void)]: The Void belongs to Arda, which are both located in Iluvatar's space.
  2. {Iluvatar's space [Arda] (Void)}: Arda and the Void are parallel spaces in Iluvatar's one.
  3. {Iluvatar's space [Arda]} (Void): The Void is outside of Iluvatar's space.

If Iluvatar's space isn't the name Tolkien chose:

It describes the space Iluvatar and all the Ainur who didn't go to Arda are staying.

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    "arid they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it." - Silmarillion
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:03
  • 1
    What exactly do you mean by "Iluvatar's space"? And are you keeping in mind that in the late 50s/early 60s Tolkien started rethinking what he might mean by Arda? (That is, by "Arda" do you mean "the Earth" or "the solar system"?) Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:04
  • "Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä." - Silmarillion
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:04
  • Ainur were in Timeless Halls, separate from Void, which was also separated from Ea by Walls of Night.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:06
  • @MattGutting iluvatar's space is the space iluvatar stays in. he has to be somewhere and he isn't involved with arda (at least directly). concerning arda: i don't know, what is considered canon?
    – Armin
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:07

2 Answers 2

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Tolkien drew a helpful map to help with his cosmology. As you can see, Arda (the Earth) is set among the Void (Kúma), which is itself split into two parts; Kúma and Ava-Kuma (the Outer Void).

enter image description here

This ties in nicely with his description in the Silmarillion

arid they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it.

and

Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä.

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  • so, the void is the shell and eä is the juicy fruit inside the shell? is that the right metaphor?
    – Armin
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 21:14
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    @Armin No; the Ilurambar is the shell. The void is the empty space around it -- a void.
    – user40790
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 22:34
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    Bear in mind that the map is from the 1930's "phase" of Tolkien's writing. (Two "phases" before LotR.) The actual cosmology somewhat changed since then.
    – ibid
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 0:44
  • What am I looking at? Please draw a red arrow pointing to said "void". Am I supposed to find it myself or something?
    – ibid
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 0:45
  • @ibid - The circle is Arda and its atmosphere. Everything outside the circle is the Kúma (The Void).
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 6:38
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The Void is "the state of Not-being, outside Creation", and "outside Time and Space".

In a late 1950s essay titled "Notes on the Motives in the Silmarillion", Tolkien discusses the concept of Morgoth being thrust into the void, and talks a bit about it what that would mean, and whether Morgoth was actually thrust there or if he just merely left the Arda. Tolkien defines the void as "outside Time and Space, outside Ëa altogether", and "a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Ea".

We read that he was then thrust out into the Void. That should mean that he was put outside Time and Space, outside Ëa 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.

* [footnote to the text] Since the minds of Men (and even of the Elves) were inclined to confuse the 'Void', as a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Ea, with the conception of vast spaces within Ëa, especially those conceived to lie all about the enisled 'Kingdom of Arda' (which we should probably call the Solar System).
Morgoth's Ring - "Myths Transformed"

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