If I'm not mistaken, a total of 14 Valar, not including Melkor, are named in The Silmarillion. Are these the only Valar, or are there others who are not named/mentioned?

Bonus question: As I understand it, all the Ainur were either Valar or Maiar, and any Ainur who isn't a Vala is a Maia, and vice versa (the special case of Melkor notwithstanding). Is this correct?

  • 4
    There's also Morghulis and Dohaeris. :-)
    – user46271
    Jun 13 '15 at 7:26
  • I think many questions are closed as dupes because the information exists on the site. However, closing the questions that ask a specific question because the answer is inside some other question seems counter-productive if we are truly spending our time building an archive. I've searched for things to no avail, asked a question, and then been pointed to the answer buried in a different question. We need to keep the site reasonably searchable. I vote leave this open. If we are we truly building an archive we need to let more questions be "dupes" so it's possible to find the info. Apr 30 '16 at 22:59
  • @MeatTrademark - It's my question. I VTCed as a dupe of a similar but superior question.
    – Wad Cheber
    Apr 30 '16 at 23:30
  • I was originally posting to you but decided to leave the comment as general. I stand by what I said. Unless server space is an issue, I think too many good questions get hard to find answers. This question is very different from the other question, but yes, the answer is found there. If someone (especially a new user) searches the question you asked, will the [put on hold] question appear in the results? They would potentially ask the same question because it looks like it hasn't been asked/answered. This is probably a matter for Meta. I'm not upset or feeling too strongly, just seems weird. Apr 30 '16 at 23:54

Ainur were the "angelic" beings who existed with Iluvatar before the making of the world. The Valar were those of the Ainur who, being enamoured with the vision of Arda, descended into the World to be its guardians. Thus, many of the Ainur (perhaps hundreds, or thousands) remained with Iluvatar and "come not into this tale" as Tolkien liked to put it. The lesser of the Ainur who accompanied the great ones into the World are called Maiar. Whereas we don't know the number of the Maiar, all the Valar, along with Melkor, are named in the Silmarillion.

That said, in early versions of Tolkien's legendarium, there were a lot more of the Valar, which have subsequently been abandoned. For example, the "war gods" Makar and Meássë. http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/reference/characterofthemonth/makar-measse.php

  • Tolkien Gateway: "The Maiar were Ainur — technically, any Ainu that is not counted as a Vala is a Maia."
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 13 '15 at 19:21
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    I think that that quote is supposed to be understood as "any Ainu who dwells in Arda, and is not counted as a Vala, is a Maia." The part saying that the Maiar "were those spirits which descended to Arda to help the Valar shape the World" is the key one here. The Gateway article for "Ainur" specifies: "Many of the Ainur desired to descend into it [...] Fourteen of these great Ainur became the Valar, or Powers of Arda. The fifteenth, Melkor, turned aside from that path and became known as Morgoth, the Dark Enemy. The many lesser Ainur that accompanied the Valar into Arda are known as Maiar.
    – Maksim
    Jun 13 '15 at 20:11
  • Ah, now I understand
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 13 '15 at 20:13

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