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War for Sake of the Elves

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"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Previous war: First War with Melkor
Next war: Wars of Beleriand
War for Sake of the Elves
Beginning: VY 1090End: VY 1100
Place: North of Aman, northwest Middle Earth
Outcome: Decisive victory for the Valar, Downfall and Chaining of Melkor
Major battles: Battle of the Powers,Siege of Utumno
Valarian forces of AmanMelkor and his servants
35px Oromë Måns Björkman - Morgoth design.pngMorgoth
  • Sauron
  • The War for Sake of the Elves was fought by the Valar, under orders from Manwë, the Elder King, against Melkor to liberate the newly-awakened Elves from his influence. It culminated in the near-apocalyptic Siege of Utumno, where Melkor was captured, enchained, and imprisoned for three ages of the world.



    After the Fall of the Two Lamps, the Valar held council among themselves and spoke of the message they had received from Eru Ilúvatar of his coming children, the Elves. Yavanna noted that the time of their arrival is unknown and they shouldn't leave the lands of their future dwelling unpretected. Tulkas likewise agreed with the necessity of immediate action.[1]

    File:Varda pablodores lycos.jpg
    Varda by Pablo Dores
    Manwë bid Mandos to speak, and he replied that the Children shall come in this age, and the Firstborn will wak under the stars. Varda then created other stars to help to light Middle Earth for the coming of the Elves. Using silver dews from Telperion, she created many new stars, including Wilwarin, Telemendil, and others. As a challenge to Melkor, high in the north, she hung the seven stars that make up the Sickle of the Valar. After Varda's long effort, the Elves, the Firstborn Children of Ilúvatar awoke in the starlight by the shores of Cuiviénen, the Water of Awakening.[1]
    Orome discovers the Quendi

    While Oromë conducted his hunting trips on his great steed Nahar, he heard the newly-born Elves singing. He met them and spent time among them, and yet perceived the influence of Melkor anong them, as they were afraid of him. Oromë reported these findings to the Elder King, who once again called a gathering of all the Valar, even the far-off Ulmo. He then proclaimed that they "should take up again the mastery of Arda at whatever cost, and deliver the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor".

    The War Begins: The Battle of the Powers

    File:Silmarillion malcolm mcclinton.jpg
    Silmarillion by Malcolm Mcclinton.

    The titanic conflict between the Valar and Melkor now began in earnest, with the Host of the West (Valar) confronting the Host of the North (Melkor). Melkor would ever remember that this war was begun for the Elves' sake, and it would be burned in his memory. The hosts first clashed in the North-west of Middle Earth, and that region was battered and broken by this collision. The Valar quickly prevailed, driving Melkor off.

    The Elves heard little of the details of the battle. They could feel the earth creaking and groaning under them, and saw bright lights in the North, like those of great fires.[1]

    The Siege of Utumno

    Melkor retreated to his great underground fortress of Utumno. There the Valar besieged him for years, and fought many battles before its gates. It was during this time that the contour of Middle Earth was changed, with the Great Sea being widened. The Bay of Balar was carved out, and the great river Sirion came into being. The northern highlands of Hithlum and Dorthonion, sources of Sirion, were raised up as new mountain ranges. The far north was laid waste, as the Valars' power descended into the deep pits of Utumno. In the end, the pits and halls were unroofed, and Tulkas wrestled Melkor and cast him down, and bound him with a powerful chain.


    Melkor chained by Roger Garland

    The Valar, while very powerful, were not omniscient. They failed to find some of the deepest chambers under Utumno and Angband, and Morgoth's lieutenant Sauron was never captured. Some Balrogs and other evil creatures hid there, and others dispersed to the far edges of the earth, the Valar's strength too depleted from the lengthy siege to pursue and destroy them. The Valar dragged Melkor back to Valinor for judgment before Manwë, in the Ring of Doom.

    In the Ring of Doom, Melkor laid upon his face and begged for mercy from Manwë, but his prayers were denied. He was cast into the prison of Mandos for three ages, after which he would be brought before Manwë once more. The Valar gathered in council once again, and it was decided, after some debate, to summon the Quendi (Elves) to Valinor to preserve them from evil influence. Oromë chose ambassadors among the Eldar, Ingwë, Finwë, and Olwë to accompany him back to Valinor, where they beheld the glory of the Two Trees. They then returned to their people, and the Great Journey began with Ingwë's people in the vanguard, the Vanyar. They were followed by the Noldor under Finwë, and then the Teleri under Olwë and Elwë, the most numerous host.[1]


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"