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Ilmarë's name may come from the Elvish word for "Starlight".

She was chief among the Maiar and the handmaiden to Varda. She is only mentioned briefly in the Valaquenta, where she is described as one of the chiefs of the Maiar.

In The Book of Lost Tales it is implied that she was supposed to be the daughter of Manwë and Varda, but Tolkien appears to have changed this in The Silmarillion and most readers accept that she was simply created by Ilúvatar like the Valar.