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29 votes
Accepted

Are the Valar vulnerable to the One Ring?

Tolkien tells us that the power of the Ring is Sauron's power. Now the Elves made many rings; but secretly Sauron made One Ring to rule all the others, and their power was bound up with it, to ...
Blackwood's user avatar
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21 votes

Are the Valar vulnerable to the One Ring?

They wouldn't be tempted in the first place. All the Valar have decided to abandon Middle Earth in its entirety to live in the Undying Lands, while the Ring tempts people with visions of power over ...
Forrest Venable's user avatar
21 votes

What do the family relations between the Valar mean?

Siblinghood and marriage among the Valar come about because Eru Ilúvatar intends it. From The Silmarillion, toward the beginning of The Valaquenta: Manwë and Melkor were brethren in the thought of ...
Lesser son's user avatar
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16 votes

How could Tulkas defeat Morgoth if he was the most powerful Valar?

TL;DR I would argue that while Melkor is indeed more powerful than Tulkas, we are speaking of both (overall) power vs. individual strength and focus. Melkor could contest all other Valar because his ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
15 votes

How could Tulkas defeat Morgoth if he was the most powerful Valar?

Tulkas did fight with Melkor alone in the War of Powers and was victorious. Sure, that was somewhat later, but still before Melkor's captivity. I think that voids arguments along the lines that Tulkas ...
Darth Angelus's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Do Ainur (generally) need to return to the halls of Mandos to reincarnate?

In general, only elves were reincarnated in Mandos Reincarnation occurring from the halls of Mandos seems to be a thing only for elves, and the single exceptional case of Beren (exceptions like this ...
wyvern's user avatar
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13 votes
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What do the family relations between the Valar mean?

You ask, has Tolkien ever explained these family relations? Well… In early versions of Tolkien’s mythology (namely The Book of Lost Tales), the family relations were entirely literal. Valar married ...
Tim Pederick's user avatar
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12 votes
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How many of the Ainur were unable to change their physical form?

In principle, we can assume that any Maiar that can be "killed" is stuck in their particular form; otherwise, what would be the point in destroying their bodies? This makes things somewhat ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
10 votes
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How could Tulkas defeat Morgoth if he was the most powerful Valar?

He was not alone It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped, and ere yet there was any thing that grew or walked upon earth; and for long Melkor had the upper hand....
Adamant's user avatar
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10 votes
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What we we know about the source of the light in the Two Trees of Valinor?

It is not specifically stated that the Trees used the light of the Lamps. The Valar Yavanna sung them into existence, their light source was their own, with no mention of usage of the lamps existing ...
Cearon O'Flynn's user avatar
10 votes

Are the Valar vulnerable to the One Ring?

No, they are not vulnerable to The One Ring I'll approach this answer from 2 sides. Why they wouldn't be tempted by the Ring Why the Ring would never be in question Finally, I'll add in some ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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9 votes
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What did the Valar think of Eru Ilúvatar sending Gandalf back to Middle-earth?

Tolkien deliberately did not put this in the published Lord of the Rings, but we can get some hints of the shape of this thought from other writings. In his Letter 156 (to Robert Murray, an unsent ...
agent seven's user avatar
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8 votes

In the absence of the Doom of the Noldor, would Feanor and co. have had a chance against Morgoth?

No I think you've mostly answered your own question here. The only example I can think of to suggest that they might have been able to win is Fingolfin's ability to wound Melkor: ...and he wounded ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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8 votes

How tall were the Valar in their physical raiment?

As tall as they wanted to be, which was usually very tall The fanar[= visible form] of the great Valar were said by the Eldar who had dwelt in Valinor usually to have had a stature far greater than ...
ibid's user avatar
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6 votes

Why did the Valar abandon the Moriquendi and Men?

It was done out anxiety and fear, and was contrary to the design of Eru In a long linguistic note (circa 1967) about the elvish root √PHAN "cover, screen, veil", Tolkien digresses a bit to ...
ibid's user avatar
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6 votes
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First contact between Oromë and the Elves

Yes and No Just to be clear, we have other information from an earlier version of the story. In the earlier account of his initial encounter with the Eldar, Oromë doesn't talk to them, he only hears ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.4k
6 votes

Do Ainur (generally) need to return to the halls of Mandos to reincarnate?

There's a lot to be said for @sumelic's answer, but I believe that it generalizes too much from too little data. First, Men and Elves (and maybe the Dwarves) go to Mandos when they die. Men's spirits ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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5 votes

Are the Valar vulnerable to the One Ring?

The Valar have such vast power that the Ring, containing a portion of the power of a Maia would be nothing to them and so they would have no reason to wear it. The visions of power the Ring can ...
chx's user avatar
  • 1,308
5 votes

What we we know about the source of the light in the Two Trees of Valinor?

While there is no direct indication in the published Silmarillion as to where the light of the Two Trees originated from, we have a description in The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien's first "version&...
Maksim's user avatar
  • 4,446
5 votes

How could Tulkas defeat Morgoth if he was the most powerful Valar?

Tulkas was victorious over Melkor at the Battle of Powers because at that point Melkor had already spent a sheer amount of himself in: Fighting all the other Valar by himself in the first war of Arda....
Ossiriand's user avatar
4 votes
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Would the weakened Ainur and Maiar regain their strength after the ending of the world?

Probably In the Ainulindalë, Tolkien writes of the Valar and Maiar (emphasis mine): Thus it came to pass that of the Ainur some abode still with Ilúvatar beyond the confines of the World; but others, ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
3 votes

Why did the Valar abandon the Moriquendi and Men?

There is another source of help that the Valar provided to Middle-earth that people have neglected to mention. After the two trees die, the Valar take the last two fruits from the tree (the sun and ...
Redaxe's user avatar
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2 votes
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In the absence of the Doom of the Noldor, would Feanor and co. have had a chance against Morgoth?

What is described in the Prophecy is fundamental to the history of the Noldor. If you remove that, then they're not Noldor anymore and I don't think they'd accomplish anything, much like the Vanyar ...
isanae's user avatar
  • 11k
2 votes

First contact between Oromë and the Elves

There is some additional information about the interactions between Oromë and the early elves, but most of it is not about the first contact. Oromë spent several decades visiting and living with the ...
ibid's user avatar
  • 94.6k
2 votes

First contact between Oromë and the Elves

I have found a relevant bit of information in Note on the 'Language of the Valar', located in Appendix D of the essay Quendi and Eldar (published in The War of the Jewels, HoME XI) Here it is ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
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2 votes
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How many of the Ainur did not descend into Eä

We don't know Tolkien wrote extremely little about the Timeless Halls in general, and most of what he did write only concerns the spirits who would go on to have interactions with Elves and Men. We ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
1 vote

Why did it take the Valar years to realize that the Elves had awoken?

It took the valar several hundred years to find the elves, because they never knew the exact time and place that the elves would awake, and because they didn't keep a careful watch. First of all, 35 ...
ibid's user avatar
  • 94.6k
1 vote

The Valar and their power to create

The Valar could endue things with life, but not independent minds. They could also shape new things out of erma (prime matter) that Eru had created. The Valar had power to endue things that they ...
ibid's user avatar
  • 94.6k
1 vote

The Valar and their power to create

It appears as if certain Valar can shape (as Aulë did with dwarves and Yavanna with ents) or reshape (as Melkor/Morgoth did when transforming elves into orcs and ents into trolls) the corporeal forms ...
Darth Angelus's user avatar

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