Aulë was most like Melkor and both had the same desire to create life, independent of Ilúvatar.

Melkor was jealous of him, for Aulë was most like himself in thought and in powers. [...] Both, also, desired to make things of their own that should be new and unthought of by others, and delighted in the praise of their skill.

This and subsequent quotes taken from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

In the creation of the Dwarves, Aulë is the only Valar who we know has the capacity to disobey Ilúvatar. We know that Melkor's skill was in manipulating small weaknesses and doubts between allies, and

others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts.

Aulë was upset when reproached by Ilúvatar for the creation of the Dwarves. It fits with everything we know about Melkor that he would seize upon any seed of disobedience and manipulate it. His unique understanding of the mind of Aulë would have given a way in. Not only that, but

[...] he had secret friends and spies among the Maiar whom he had converted to his cause; [...]

The most important of whom was Sauron, who was of the people of Aulë. Melkor knew the mind of Aulë and had a spy embedded within his camp, would he not have tried to manipulate him into defection?

  • 2
    Sorry, but it still looks like speculation. How about "Did Tolkien's published writing address the question of whether Aulë might have been corruptible by Melkor?" You'll probably just get the answer "no", but it's a question that can be answered without opinion-based speculaton.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 7:13
  • 2
    The body is asking a different question to the title. The title essentially asks "Was Aulë corruptible?", but the body assumes he is corruptible and asks "Why didn't Melkor try?", which is still, I think, opinion-based. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:41
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    I find it unclear as to what you're really asking. You ask one thing in the title and another in the body...
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 9:11

2 Answers 2


First, I agree with the comments - your question is very speculative. Why didn't Melkor do things differently? Could he have succeeded in corrupting Aulë? Only Tolkien knows for sure.

We do have a big hint however, in the form of the Ainulindale. The Music of the Ainur is the blueprint for everything that happens later in the physical world. It is at this point that Melkor starts spreading his corruption:

Some of these thoughts he [Melkor] now wove into his music, and straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard at first foundered in a sea of turbulent sound.

Since it is not mentioned that Aulë was among those that were corrupted by Melkor's disturbed music (like Sauron or the Balrogs), we can assume that he was not affected (much). Otherwise, that would have obviously been too big a plot point to not mention it at all.

And since the Music mirrors the World, we can infer that Aulë was incorruptible in the latter one as well.

Indeed, it is described how Aulë's personality is radically different from Melkor's, despite sharing the same skills and areas of interest:

Of the fabric of Earth had Aulë thought, to whom Ilúvatar had given skill and knowledge scarce less than to Melkor; but the delight and pride of Aulë was in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery; wherefore he gives and hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work.

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    This is the answer I wanted to write up for the past 3 months, darn you for being so quick!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 13:10

Firstly, Aule did not make dwarves to disobey Eru Illuvitar, he made them in his service, also he was very excited to create children so that he could teach them his arts. But Melkor did not have the same intentions when he created balrogs or dragons etc! Melkor had spies but the spies of the order of Maiar were Balrogs and these did not live in Valinor surely. Also when Aule had created the dwarves, Sauron had already become a servant of Melkor and dwelled in Angband. Also, even if Sauron would have lived in Valinor when still in Melkor's service, he had not the power to manipulate Aule. So, Aule is incorruptible by the means you have mentioned.

The most important thing is that Melkor would have never tried or rather never even thought of manipulating any of the Valar, because if he had the ability to dominate them he would have done it during the Music of Ainur only!

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