They are the ones who molded it in their designs and all, but in many aspects they often seem like they weren't really concerned about the events of the Middle-Earth:

  1. The Awakening of Men

    They did not even attempt to search for them and protect them from Morgoth who had recently returned to Middle Earth.

  2. The Doom of Mandos

    After the death of his father, Feanor sought revenge against Morgoth and pursued him, The Valar instead of trying to understand his agony and mindset they banish him and those who followed him from ever returning to Valinor and create a barrier around Aman.

  3. The War of Wrath

    Hundreds of years of fighting Morgoth the Elves had suffered fatal losses including: The fall of Gondolin, Nargothrond, Hithlum and Doriath. Elves also lost many of their Leaders and Lords (Feanor, Fingolfin, Fingon, Finrod, Thingol and Turgon). It wasn't until Earendil the Mariner came to Valinor with the Silmaril and pleaded on behalf of peoples of Middle earth that the Valar finally decided to intervene and Defeat Morgoth and cast him outside Arda.

  4. The Downfall of Numenor

    For the latter part of the Second Age the Numenoreans faithful to the Valar were being executed and burned alive for being Elf-friends and being Loyal to the Valar, yet the Valar didn't do anything to help the people that didn't worship Morgoth and stayed loyal through many Centuries of Oppression wrought on them by the Kingsmen. When Ar-Pharazon convinced that the Valar were withholding immortality from him and his people he built up a great fleet to invade, and what do the Valar do? they strike lightning down upon Numenor killing many in the process only fuelling Evil Numenoreans to attack Valinor.

Did the Valar actually care about Middle Earth?

  • 3
    Where did you get the bit about the Valar striking lightning on Numenor? That's not what happened; they laid down their guardianship and Eru turned the world round, drowning Numenor in the process. – Daniel Roseman Aug 30 '16 at 8:03
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    Just a point of hilarity: I just read a Darth Vader question above this one and misread this as asking if Vader actually cared about Middle Earth. I had to click the question for the sheer WTF-itude. – Broklynite Aug 30 '16 at 11:00
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    @DanielRoseman ''Pharazôn's attempt to reach Valinor and his previous preparations for war with the Eldar raised the anger of Manwë who sent his eagle-shaped storm clouds to Númenor. Lightning struck the land, including the temple of Melkor, where human sacrifices were made. Because Sauron himself stood in their path and was not hurt by them, the Númenóreans were deceived even more into thinking he was their rightful god.''- Akallabeth, Silmarillion – Fingolfin Aug 30 '16 at 11:36
  • Yes, but that doesn't "kill many in the process", not that we're told anyways. – Matt Gutting Aug 30 '16 at 20:01

Yes, of course they did

I think this is how the Professor himself would respond to your criticisms:

[I]f we dare to attempt to enter the mind of the Elder King, assigning motives and finding faults, there are things to remember before we deliver a judgement. Manwë was the spirit of greatest wisdom and prudence in Arda. He is represented as having had the greatest knowledge of the Music, as a whole, possessed by any one finite mind; and he alone of all persons or minds in that time is represented as having the power of direct recourse to and communication with Eru. He must have grasped with great clarity what even we may perceive dimly: that it was the essential mode of the process of 'history' in Arda that evil should constantly arise, and that out of it new good should constantly come.

History of Middle-earth X Morgoth's Ring Part 5: "Myths Transformed" Chapter VII "Notes on motives in the Silmarillion"

It seems a mistake to apply our notions of right action to characters who

  1. Were written decades ago, when Tolkien's views on morality need not mesh with our modern ones
  2. Are celestial beings with an element of precognitive ability

But with regard to your specific accusations:

The Valar didn't try to find or protect Men

How? Bringing them to Aman would have caused more problems than it solved, and open war against Morgoth would have been intensely destructive; even the earliest wars caused untold destruction on the world.

With both of the Children now awake, conflict on that scale is too risky.

And, in fact, the Valar did take action to protect men; that was their prime motivation for creating the Sun and the Moon:

[I]t is said indeed that, even as the Valar made war upon Melkor for the sake of the Quendi1, so now for that time they forbore for the sake of the Hildor, the Aftercomers, the younger Children of Ilúvatar. For so grievous had been the hurts of Middle-earth in the war upon Utumno that the Valar feared lest even worse should now befall; whereas the Hildor should be mortal, and weaker than the Quendi to withstand fear and tumult. Moreover it was not revealed to Manwë where the beginning of Men should be, north, south, or east. Therefore the Valar sent forth light

The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 11: "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"

The Valar were quite unfair to poor Fëanor

This is one of those situations where my two points above really come to bear:

  • From the perspective of the Valar, they were doing the right thing:

    The closing of Valinor against the rebel Noldor (who left it voluntarily and after warning) was in itself just.

    History of Middle-earth X Morgoth's Ring Part 5: "Myths Transformed" Chapter VII "Notes on motives in the Silmarillion"

  • It was important for future events

It's also worth noting that the Ban only came after the rebel Noldor had been given several chances to return and talk things out, and after they slew untold number of the Teleri. Any parent will tell you that there's a time to be compassionate, and a time to be firm; genocide seems like one of the times to be firm.

The Valar let Middle-earth suffer during the War of the Jewels

You said "War of Wrath", but I'm pretty sure this is what you actually meant; the conflict between the Noldor and Morgoth that was the main subject of The Silmarillion2. The Valar had their reasons for allowing this conflict, which I elaborate in my answer here.

The Valar didn't help the Faithful of Númenor

This is simply untrue.

The Valar exacerbated the rebellion of Ar-Pharazôn

As Shamshiel pointed out in an answer to one of your questions, the lightning-warning from the Valar was only one in a series of warnings sent by the Valar to the unruly Númenóreans; they didn't decide to deal with the uppity mortals by chucking lightning at them3, they tried several lighter forms of dissuasion before going Old Testament on them.

And, of course, you have to give Sauron some credit for the PR move.


1 For clarity: this is referring to the War between the Valar and Melkor that took place before the awakening of Elves, which resulted in Melkor being chained and Utumno destroyed.

2 The War of Wrath was a different thing; the conflict between Morgoth and the Host of Valinor that ended the First Age

3 What do you think this is, Greek mythology?

  • 1
    dagnabit. There isn't anything left for me to add. :-( – Matt Gutting Aug 30 '16 at 14:04
  • Well maybe there's something left for you to add. One thing I would have said is that we don't know the Valar were doing nothing (other than creating the Sun and Moon). The scope of the Valar's activity can be cosmic, or it can be subatomic - or it can be purely spiritual with no obvious physical consequence. It's entirely possible the Valar were working very hard indeed to protect humans, but in a realm where it's not obvious to us what the cause/effect relationship was. – Matt Gutting Aug 30 '16 at 14:08

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