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Mandos

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This article is about the Vala. For the dwelling, see Halls of Mandos.
Ted Nasmith - Lúthien's Lament Before Mandos.jpg
Mandos
Vala
Biographical Information
Other namesNámo, Bannoth, Badhron, The Judge, The Just
PositionRuler of the Dead
LocationHalls of Mandos
Family
SiblingsIrmo and Nienna
SpouseVairë
Physical Description
GenderMale

Mandos was the Doomsman of the Valar and keeper of the slain in his Halls in the west of Valinor. Vairë the Weaver is his wife. His actual — less common — name was Námo, "Mandos" being the name of his dwelling place.


Contents

[edit] History

Mandos was the brother of the Vala Irmo (also called Lórien). Together, Mandos and Irmo are called the Fëanturi (Q: "Masters of Spirits"). Their sister is Nienna.

Mandos is said to be the grimmest of the Valar. However, this in no way implies that Mandos is dark or evil. His grimness is wholly part of his nature, coming (one must assume) from that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he was created. Neither is Mandos willful or malevolent in declaring the fates of Arda. Only at the bidding of Manwë will Mandos ever pronounce his dooms. Mandos and Manwë have always been allied since their entering into , and together they understand most clearly the Vision of Ilúvatar more than any of the other Valar. Mandos knew nearly all of what was to come within the realm of Arda, though not all. Only Ilúvatar knew with full certainty what the full doom of Arda will be, and he will not reveal it all, even to Mandos or Manwë.

The Halls of Mandos were ever expanding as the history of Arda progressed and the spirits of the slain Eldar were recalled there. The walls were covered with the webs of Vairë, who wove all events of history into her tapestries.

[edit] Etymology

Námo (pron. [ˈnaːmo]) in Quenya means "Judge" or "Ordainer",[1] from root NAM. The Sindarin equivalent is Badhron ([ˈbaðron]).[source?]

Mandos ([ˈmandos]) is a Quenya name meaning "Prison-fortress".[source?] It derived from the early Elvish Mandostŏ.[2] The Sindarin name for Mandos is Bannoth ([ˈbanːoθ]).[source?]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Mandos is referred as Nefrea "Corpse-ruler" and neoaerna hlaford "master of the houses of the dead".[3]

[edit] Other names

  • Doomsman of the Valar, an epithet given to Mandos, since he was given the power to pronounce judgement in matters of fate.

[edit] Inspiration

Mandos is comparable to gods of the dead of real world mythologies, like Hades or Hel. The instance of Lúthien singing to him in order to release her beloved, is reminiscent of similar ancient tales, such as Orpheus singing to Hades to release Eurydice, or Hermod who asks Hel to release Baldur. [4] Another similarity shared between Mandos and the two mythological figures, is that they bear the name of their realms.

The story of Orpheus has been retold in English literature as Sir Orfeo.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenya Noun Structure", in Parma Eldalamberon XXI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), p. 85
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "From Quendi and Eldar, Appendix D" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 39, July 1998, p. 6
  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"
  4. Dawn Felagund, "Námo Mandos" , Silmarillion Writers Guild (accessed 23 July 2014)


Ainur
Valar
Lords:  Manwë · Ulmo · Aulë · Oromë · Mandos · Irmo · Tulkas
Queens:  Varda · Yavanna · Nienna · Estë · Vairë · Vána · Nessa
Former:  Melkor
Associated Maiar
Manwë Eönwë · Olórin Varda Ilmarë · Olórin · Arien
Ulmo Ossë · Uinen · Salmar Yavanna Aiwendil
Aulë Mairon · Curumo Estë Melian
Oromë Tilion · Alatar · Pallando Vána
Other Maiar
Balrogs Gothmog · Durin's Bane · Lungorthin
Wizards Saruman · Gandalf · Radagast · Blue Wizards (Rómestámo · Morinehtar)
Topics
Music · Valarin · Almaren · Valinor · Valmar · Second Music