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Spirits (creatures)

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The name Spirit refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Spirit (disambiguation).

Spirits refers to beings whose nature in essence were of non-corporeality.

Groups

The Ainur

Before , Eru created the spirits known as the Ainur, the Holy Ones. The greater were called Valar and the lesser Maiar.[1]

Some of the spirits were associated with a certain element, or physical phenomenon:

  • Air spirits: Spirits shaped like hawks and eagles delivered messages to Manwë as he sat in his throne in Ilmarin upon Taniquetil.[2]
  • Fire spirits: The Maia Arien is said to have been "from the beginning a spirit of fire".[3] Melkor seduced some of the fire spirits, which became known as the Balrogs.[4]
  • Water spirits: A host of spirits followed Ulmo to maintain the waters of Arda, of whom the Maiar Ossë and Uinen were the greatest.[5] Perhaps Salmar, and Goldberry and the River-woman were such water spirits.
  • Shadow spirits: It is told that Morgoth sent "spirits of shadow" against Tilion, as he hated the light of the Sun and Moon.[3]

Evil spirits

All Ainur originally adhered to Eru, but the Vala Melkor became corrupted and fell from the grace of Eru.[1] Melkor "gathered to himself spirits out of the voids of Eä that he had perverted to his service", and these became known as the Úmaiar or demons.[6]

In the late Third Age, spirits of "evil vigilance" are said to have abode in the Two Watchers.[7] The Barrow-wights are furthermore said to be evil spirits who had entered into deserted mounds, stirring the bones of the dead.[8]

Names

In Quenya, a collective name for the spirits were ëalar.[9]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Account of the Valar and Maiar According to the Lore of the Eldar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Enemies"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days" ("Salmar came with [Ulmo] to Arda, [...] and Ossë and Uinen also, to whom he gave the government of the waves and the movements of the Inner Seas, and many other spirits beside.")
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman", pp. 53 (§17), 79 (commentary to §30)
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 3. Of the Coming of the Elves", p. 165 (commentary on §18)