by Eonwë-(Valar)
April 18, 2004
Powers > Lost Valar > Maiar > Nornorë > Nornorë  

            Nornorë was the herald of the gods (Valar) in The Book of Lost Tales, while Eonwë was still Fionwë son of Manwë.  However, he does not seem to have made it past the tales given in these two books. 

            In The Chaining of Melko, a great council concerning Melko (Melkor) was held between the Two Trees at the mingling of the lights.  The Valar decided that Melko must be brought to judgment, and Aulë set to making a great chain.  It was named Angaino.  As he smithied the gods arrayed themselves for war, though little it pleased Makar.  When all had been made ready, Manwë climbed into his blue chariot.  Fionwë stood behind him and Nornorë ran in front of him.  They rode to the sea, and there Falman-Ossë drew them across on a mighty raft.  They at last came to the gates of Utumna (Utumno) and Melko shut the gates in their faces.  Tulkas smote them but to no avail.  Oromë blew his horn with such a blast that they fled open, and Manwë raised his voice and bade Melko come forth.  Melko would not come, but sent his servant Langon to the Valar.  His servant said that Melko rejoiced and was in wonder that the gods came to his gates.  He feigned poverty, saying he could entertain but two, and begged neither was Manwë or Tulkas, for the one merited and the other demanded great hospitality.  If that did not suit the gods, then Melko was happy to hearken to Manwë’s herald and learn why they came. 

            The gods were angered, and they barely withheld Tulkas from going down to Melkor himself.  Aulë counseled that they devise a way for Manwë and Tulkas to come upon Melko at unawares.  Manwë agreed, and told the others “Only by pride is Melko assailable.”  They sent Nornorë down to speak to Melko cunning words made to sound as if they came from Manwë himself.  Nornorë said that the gods sought pardon, seeing Melko’s anger and wondering why he was displeased, and that they desired him to live amongst them in Valinor.  Further he fed Melko’s pride, saying Tulkas would not assent, so he was bound and constrained with violence.  Melko’s pride overwhelmed his cunning, and he told Nornorë to tell the gods that they must come and do homage to him, but Tulkas he would not see, and would throw him out of Valinor if Melko came there.  The gods answered that Tulkas would come down in chains and be given to Melko’s power and pleasure.  Melko accepted, and so the gods came down into Utumna with Tulkas bound by Angaino.  However, Melko would not stop there, and demanded that the gods kneel before him, and that Tulkas should kiss his foot.  The thought of Manwë doing homage to Melko was too much for Tulkas, and as Manwë began to kneel Tulkas sprang upon Melko, with Aulë and Oromë close behind.  Thus was Melko bound and brought to judgment in Valinor.

            In The Coming of the Elves, Oromë discovered that the Elves had awakened, and Nornorë was sent to bring back a few to meet with Manwë so that he could learn of their coming and of their desires.  Three Elves chose to go with Nornorë to Valinor: Isil Inwë (Ingwë), Finwë Nolemë (Finwë), and Tinwë Linto (Elwë).  After the meeting, Nornorë took the Elves back to their people.  Inwë spoke to the others, and many desired to go to Valinor.  Nornorë told the Valar that many Elves were coming, and they began preparations for the Elves.

            Nornorë is first mentioned in The Coming of the Valar.  Here he is given the task of ferrying certain men from the halls of the dead to Valmar:

“Few are they and happy indeed for whom at a season doth Nornorë the herald of the Gods set out.  Then they ride with him in chariots or upon good horses down into the vale of Valinor and feast in the halls of Valmar, dwelling in the houses of the Gods until the Great End come.”
(The Coming of the Valar, BoLT 1)

        At this point in the mythology, the fate of Men after death was to go to the Halls of Fui (Nienna, The Halls of Fui were part of Mandos) to hear their doom.  Some were kept there, others were driven forth “beyond the hills” where Melko took them to Angamandi (Angband).  Others still there were that went upon the black ship Mornië and were taken to the plains of Arvalin to remain until the Great End.

“There do they wander in the dusk, camping as they may, yet are they not utterly without song, and they can see the stars, and wait patiently till the Great End come.” (The Coming of the Valar, BoLT 1)

             Nornorë is classified in BoLT as a Vala.  Evidence of this can be found in The Coming of the Elves:

“But Nornorë stood upon a hill and was amazed for the beauty of that folk, and because he was a Vala they seemed to him marvelously small and delicate and their faces wistful and tender.”

         It is important to realize that in BoLT there was no such classification of the Ainur as “Maiar,” so the terms “Ainur” and “Valar” were almost interchangeable.  Also of note is that “Valar” does not imply “Aratar,” the nine highest Valar in the Silmarillion; however, the “Great Valar” in BoLT were numbered only four in the beginning.

        Nornorë did not make it out of BoLT.  His position as herald of Manwë and of the Valar did reappear, however in the Silmarillion, when it was given to Fionwë, who had become Eonwë and a Maia rather than Vala after the abandonment of the Children of the Valar idea.

Notes on Names:
Nornorë, Nornoros: “herald of the Gods”  noro-“run, ride, spin” nor-“run, roll”  norn- wheel”  nur-“smooth, rolling free” verb nornoro-“run on, run smoothly”
Drondor, Dronurin: “messenger of the Gods”  drond-“race, course, track” dro- “wheeltrack, rut”


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