I just finished reading The Silmarillion (prior to this, I'd read The Hobbit once and The Lord of the Rings a couple of times), but something bothered me about the ending: did the Valar themselves fight to defeat Morgoth in the War of Wrath? And if not, why not? Maybe I missed a mention of them, but it seems that the host of the Valar consisted only of elves.
This seems strange to me for a few reasons:
- I seem to remember them (the Valar) intervening directly in the affairs of the world on at least one occasion earlier in the story. Morgoth/Melkor was originally one of the Ainur like them, so wouldn't that make him their problem to deal with?
- I know it is a little presumptuous to second-guess Tolkien on literary matters, but it felt a little anti-climactic to me: the story begins with these demigods battling it out in epic warfare for control of creation, but when the time for the final battle arrives, the demigods send a small clan of elves to fight for them.
- Speaking of the elves, the army that is sent to assist in the fight against Morgoth consists of the Vanyar, who seem to come out of nowhere. If I understand correctly, they are the clan of elves that made the trip to Valinor (and stayed there) very early in the story, but then weren't really involved after that.
- The book describes how the conflict was so fierce that it actually resulted in the world being physically reshaped. Who or what caused this level of destruction? Morgoth and his allies (balrogs and dragons)? It just seems far-fetched that elves and orcs could cause it.
Although I'm familiar with his most popular books, I admit I'm not as well-versed in Tolkein's whole universe as some on this site are, so I suspect there are good answers to these points and I hope that someone can straighten me out. :)