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Ulmo, Lord of the Waters, by John Howe.

Ulmo (from the Valarin Ulubôz, Ullubôz) is a Vala, and lord of the seas. Ulmo is a title, which means He who pours. He is also known as King of the Sea and Lord of Waters. He is known in the earlier writings by his Noldorin name Ylmir, among them Tuor's The Horns of Ylmir.

Ulmo was third in majesty of the Valar, after Manwë and Varda, he is in other words the third of the Aratar. He was very close in friendship to Manwë. Ulmo had always distrusted Melkor, and the Dark Lord feared him almost as much as he feared Varda because the sea cannot be tamed. Ulmo had no dwelling in Valinor, or any permanent dwelling on land. He prefered the deeps of the seas and the rivers to land. His palace, on the bottom of Vai, was called Ulmonan.

He seldom came to the Councils of Máhanaxar, and only when in great need. He preferred to stay in Arda, not by walking on the land, as his form would fill man or elf with great dread. All waters were under his government; bays, rivers and even the waters under the earth. It is through these that he kept in touch with Arda, and thus knew more of the goings on with the children of Ilúvatar than even Manwe, for it was said he lived in the very veins of the world.

He was said to be fearful to look upon to mortal eye, dressed like a giant wave in glittering green armour, blowing his great horn Ulumuri.

Ulmo's vassal Ossë, and Ossë's wife Uinen were, to the elves, the best known of the Maiar. Through them Ulmo would learn much of the elves.

Ulmo had always loved the Eldar and the Edain, even when the Valar forsook Middle-earth. He opposed Oromë's plan to bring the Elves to Aman, and anchored Tol Eressëa in the Bay of Eldamar, which he did at because he knew the minds of the Teleri. Ulmo was the Vala most responsible for the fall of Morgoth, by urging Turgon to build Gondolin and Finrod to build Nargothrond. He appeared before Tuor and urged him to to go to Gondolin as a messenger for Turgon, when he got there he eventually married Turgon's daughter Idril and fathered Eärendil; and saved Elwing from the sack of the Havens of Sirion, and thus she took the Silmaril to her husband Eärendil which allowed them to gain admittance to Valinor and plead for their mercy. Ulmo also defended them in the council from the potential wrath of Mandos.

See Also