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Gods

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The '''gods''' is a name wrongly given by [[Men]] to the [[Valar]]. While [[Tolkien]] states that Men have 'often' called the Valar gods, in fact the term is very rare in his later books; it is most prominently used at the debate of Estolad, where the Men newly arrived in [[Beleriand]] dispute whether or not to remain. This is natural, of course; they had not at this point been tutored by the [[Elves]] in such high matters.
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The '''gods''' is a name wrongly given by [[Men]] to the [[Valar]]. When the first [[Edain]] newly arrived in [[Beleriand]] and disputed whether or not to remain, they referred to the Valar as gods in the [[West]].<ref>{{S|Men}}</ref> They had not at this point been tutored by the [[Elves]] in such high matters.
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==Other versions of the legendarium==
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[[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]] states that Men have 'often' called the Valar gods, in fact the term is very rare in his later books. This is more prominent in the earliest version of the legendarium where the Ainur display more common characteristics to mythological deities, such as having offspring. The word ''Aino'' is glossed as "god"<ref>{{PE|15}}, p. 72</ref>, whereas in the earlier [[Qenya Lexicon]], the words ''ainu'' (m.) and ''aini'' (f.) are glossed as "a pagan god" and "goddess". Note however that in published [[Appendix E]] the word ''ainu'' is glossed as "angelic power".
  
It is tempting to suppose that 'Men have often called them gods' refers to the years after the end of the [[Third Age]], and might even suggest equivalences between the Valar and mythological gods of later times, such as those of the Greeks or Vikings. This cannot be correct, however; the [[Valaquenta]] represents a very ancient text within the context of [[The Silmarillion]], probably dating from the mid to late [[First Age]], and therefore can only refer to the Men of those times.
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Another example are [[Aelfwine]]'s translations into [[Old English]]; he referred to the Valar as ''[[Wiktionary:frea|frēan]]'' "lords" or ''[[Wiktionary:os#Old_English|ēse]]'' "gods".<ref>{{SM|QA1}}</ref>
  
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It is tempting to suppose that the term "gods" suggests equivalences between the Valar and mythological gods of later times.
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{{references}}
 
[[Category: Valar]]
 
[[Category: Valar]]

Revision as of 23:44, 26 April 2013

The gods is a name wrongly given by Men to the Valar. When the first Edain newly arrived in Beleriand and disputed whether or not to remain, they referred to the Valar as gods in the West.[1] They had not at this point been tutored by the Elves in such high matters.

Other versions of the legendarium

Tolkien states that Men have 'often' called the Valar gods, in fact the term is very rare in his later books. This is more prominent in the earliest version of the legendarium where the Ainur display more common characteristics to mythological deities, such as having offspring. The word Aino is glossed as "god"[2], whereas in the earlier Qenya Lexicon, the words ainu (m.) and aini (f.) are glossed as "a pagan god" and "goddess". Note however that in published Appendix E the word ainu is glossed as "angelic power".

Another example are Aelfwine's translations into Old English; he referred to the Valar as frēan "lords" or ēse "gods".[3]

It is tempting to suppose that the term "gods" suggests equivalences between the Valar and mythological gods of later times.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Men"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Sí Qente Feanor and Other Elvish Writings", in Parma Eldalamberon XV (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), p. 72
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names"