Eru and the Ainur
Eru and the Ainur:
Eru, the One, existed. Space, time, and other beings
did not. In Arda, he would also be called Iluvatar.
Eru created the Ainur, beings of spirit, offsprings
of his thought. Material
form came much later, with Ainur clothing themselves in bodies
to their nature and need at the time. Only Eru could create life with
part of him called the Flame Imperishable.
Eru spoke to the Ainur, suggesting themes of music.
sang to him, pleasing him. But they sang alone or few together while
others listened, for they understood only that part of Eru's mind from
they came. Their understanding of their brethren came slowly, but
as they listened so that unison and harmony both improved. Eru made
regions for the Ainur called the Timeless Halls, outside of which were
places of the Void.
The Themes of Music:
Then Eru declared a theme with a beginning and
ending so glorious that
the Ainur bowed and fell silent in amazement. Eru then told them to
the theme he had given and together make in harmony a Great Music, each
the the theme with his own thoughts and devices. And Eru listened, glad
hear that through them great beauty awakened into song. And the music
so great that it passed beyond hearing in its heights and depths, the
and its echo filled even the Void so that it was not void. No music
this ever came again, but:
"a greater (music) still shall be made before Iluvatar by
choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar after the end of days.
the themes of Iluvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the
of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in
part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Iluvatar shall
to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased."
But that time is not yet. Eru must develop his
instruments for the time
of that great Song. The first Song would lead to the creation of the
set of instruments, the Children, and aid the comprehension of the
the Ainur. Still does the beginning lead to the great result.
-Silmarillion, "Ainulindale", "The Music of the Ainur"
As this First Theme progressed, Eru heard the
discords creep in from
Melkor straying from the theme of Iluvatar, many near him faltering in
thought, and others attuning to his rather than their first thought.
These discords had crept into the mind of Melkor. He
was the greatest of the Ainur, having the most power and knowledge,
a share of all the gifts of his brethren. But he did not comprehend the
of Eru. Melkor wished to also bring into Being, give life, to creations
his own. So he searched for the missing tool, the Imperishable Flame,
the void places, but that he could not find for it was of Eru. Melkor
impatient of what he perceived as the emptiness of the Void and
Eru took no thought for it. So he separated from the others in his
quest, and his thoughts became ever more divergent.
So the discord of the music came and multiplied
the sound was like endless raging waves warring upon each other all
Then Eru rose and the Ainur saw him smile as he
up his left hand. A Second Theme appeared amid the storm,
power and new beauty, and Manwe was the chief instrument of Eru.
Melkor's discord uproared and fought it, bringing
violence until many Ainur in their dismay sang no longer, leaving the
Then Eru rose again, his face stern, and lifted his
hand. Then began the Third Theme, and it grew amid the confusion. It
soft and sweet at first, unquenchable, and took to itself power and
deep, wide, filled with its chief beauty, immeasurable sorrow.
The warring part finally achieved a unity on its
loud, vain, endlessly repeated with little harmony, many trumpets in
braying only a few notes. It tried to drown out the Third Theme in
yet the most triumphant moments were taken over and woven within it.
Then Eru rose a third time, face terrible to behold,
hands raised. In one chord using the highest and lowest, the Music
Then Eru told the Ainur he would show them what they
wrought, that they would know that though the Ainur and Melkor were
Eru was mightier, and all their efforts worked together to devise
more wonderful than they could imagine as he intended in the end.
felt shame, feeding a secret anger. Eru left the fair regions of the
and went into the Void, and the Ainur followed him.
And Eru said, "Behold your Music!"
Within the Void where there had been only hearing,
gave to them sight, and they beheld their Music.There they saw a new
as a globe within and yet not of the Void. Before them, the world moved
unfolded its history. Within were included the ideas which each of the
devised or added. Even the secret thoughts of Melkor were but a part of
glory. And they saw the Music had far more purpose than its beauty, for
had created a habitation for the Children of Iluvatar, Elves and Men,
were conceived by Eru alone within the Third Theme.
Much more did Eru speak. And thus the Ainur, from
memory of his words, and the part each played in the creation, and
they took together, did they know much of what was, is, and is to come,
little is left unseen by them. But to none but himself did Eru reveal
and in every age are new things that did not precede from the past, so
When the Ainur saw the Children, they loved them.
were other than themselves, strange and free, teaching them more of the
of Iluvatar. Many of the mightiest of the Ainur bent all their thought
desire towards the place, Melkor chief among them. Even to himself,
claimed to wish to aid the children, controlling the turmoils of heat
cold that had passed through him. But he really envied the Children for
gifts Eru promised them and wished to dominate them and hear them call
Lord, rather than Eru.
But the other Ainur rejoiced in the marvels of the
Chiefly they praised the water, for it held more of the echo of the
of the Music than any other part. This theme is heard by many of the
unsated, who know not to what they listen.
But the world was not physical. And Eru saw that the
wished the world to be real even as they were. So he said, "Ea! Let
things Be!" And he place the Flame Imperishable at the heart of the
that it might exist. Thus came about Ea, the World that Is.
Of the Ainur, some yet stayed with Eru beyond the confines of
World. Others, including the greatest and most fair, went to the World.
a necessity of their love, their power was then contained within the
until it is complete. They are its life, and it is theirs. For this
these Ainur were called the Valar, the Powers of the World. But when
Valar entered the world, they discovered it had not yet begun, only
to begin, dark and unshaped. The vision had been only that and they
now achieve it, starting at the beginning of Time..
The Shaping of Arda:
The Valar labored mightily for uncounted ages until
had created the habitation for the Children of Iluvatar, Arda, the
The chief part was taken by Manwe, Aule, and Ulmo. Melkor meddled in
that was done, trying to turn it to his purposes, and kindled great
He told the other Valar that he would make Arda, this flaming world,
This was the point at which the Second Theme came
into the world. Manwe stepped in. He was, in the mind of Iluvatar, the
brother to Melkor, noblest of the Ainur. Manwe called many spirits,
greater and lesser,
into the fields of Arda to aid him, lest Melkor wither the earth before
And Manwe told Melkor he could not have Arda as his
others labored there no less than he. Strife came between Melkor and
the other Valar,
until Melkor withdrew to other regions, doing what he wished, but still
lordship of Arda.
The Valar took physical shape, wearing bodies as if
were clothing, choosing those from their knowledge of the vision of the
rather than from the World. But they did not always wear bodies and
walk unseen, not even clearly perceived by the Eldar. But when they
to clothe themselves in bodies, they chose male or female from their
of temper they had from the beginning. Yet sometimes they also chose
of their thought, visible in forms of majesty or dread.
At this time, the Valar drew many companions from
Arda, even as Manwe had, some lesser, some well-nigh as great. The
are the helpers of the Valar, of the same order although lesser degree.
they brought order to the Earth, stilling its tumults, and the earth
as a garden.
Melkor saw what they had done and his envy grew
In the days of his greatness, he drew Maiar in with his splendor and
remained in allegience down into his darkness. Afterwards, he corrupted
to his service with lies and gifts. Among these were the Valaraukar,
also the Balrogs. The greatest of those corrupted was once a Maia of
known later to the Eldar as Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel.
Melkor too, made a physical form, but his mood and
caused that form to be dark and terrible. He descended on Arda showing
power and majesty than the other Valar:
"as a mountain that wades in the sea and
its head above the clouds and is clad in ice and crowned with smoke and
and the light of the eyes of Melkor was like a flame that withers with
and pierces with a deadly cold."
And Melkor did battle with the Valar. The Valar
to ready the world for the Firstborn, despite Melkor. They built lands;
destroyed them with reversals. The Valar would make a valley and Melkor
raise it. They made mountains and he threw them down. Nothing had peace
Yet, although nothing was completely as the Valar
intended, Arda, the Earth, was fashioned and the habitation of the
was at last established "in the Deeps of Time amidst the innumerable
References: Silmarillion: "Ainulindale", "Valaquenta"
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