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Forum:Theory on Maia

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I've been searching around about Maia and a few things don't quite add up.I suddenly had a "eureka!" moment and came up with this theory:

When Tolkien said "the Maia were sent by the Valar, perhaps he didn't mean "sent" as in their bodies included. Perhaps he meant their souls alone were sent. Kinda like how Christianity says the "spirit of Jesus came to Earth as a man". In that example, Jesus had mortal parents, yet was the son of God. Thus, his body was the son of his parents, but his soul was the son of God. Perhaps is kinda the same with Maia (though most probably didn't have parents). For example:

-Gandalf and the other Istari were Maia, but they were also men.

-Likewise, perhaps Galadriel was also a Maia, yet sent in the form of an elf.

-Just like Durin, who was possibly also a Maia, but sent as one of the seven Fathers of the Dwarves.

-Then there's the Balrogs. Tolkien first tells us that there were thousands of them, but later changes this to "between three and seven". Perhaps there were thousands of ordinary Balrogs, but only seven or so were Maia - these would be the most powerful, such as the one fought by Galdalf in Moria (Durin's Bane).

-Then there's the ents. Tolkien only mentions six or so, yet there are clearly much more, as seen in Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps these six or so ents (such as Treebeard) were also Maia!

-Finally, I once read a book (Tolkien's World - witch I now believe to be mostly fanon) witch said that Sauron was a Maia in the form of an elf (o0). Whether or not this is true or not still remains a mystery to me.

So, perhaps there are still Maia spirits by the side of the Valar, waiting to be sent in some or other physical form. Perhaps a baby could be born and the soul of that baby could be a Maia. Who knows. If only Tolkien still lived, we would have been able to ask him of this. But since he is no longer capable of answering, what do you think of my theory? -- Explorer of Arda 08:36, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Nice that you are thinking about the works of Tolkien but I think this theory can't be true.

- Gandalf was a maia was sended in a human body (he wasn't an men, it was said he looked more like a elf inside)
- The Children of Ilúvatar were made by Eru Ilúvator alone, not by the Valar.
- Eru Ilúvatar gave the Dwarves a soul, Aulë hadn't the power to do that.
- The Balrogs' numbers were just changed by Tolkien. that were thousand is just non-canon information.
- Tolkien named 6, but there were many more described at the Entmoot.
- the thing in your book, isnt true. It has no grounds.

It is however said by Tolkien that the first Eagles, first Dragons, Huan and Vampires were Maiar. --Amroth 15:04, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

- Ah. So Galdalf was more like some sort of half-elf than a human?
- I know the Children of Ilúvatar were made by Eru alone, but what of their decendants? I don't think Tolkien ever said that Ilúvatar/Eru made a soul for every single individual ever to exist, so perhaps some of their souls could have been made by other Valar.
- That I know. Eru "adopted" the dwarves and put them to sleep, placing each somewhere within the numerous mountain ranges. How does this discount my theory?
- I know. Tolkien originally states that there were thousands, but later changes it to somewhere between 6 and twelve. I simply noted that perhaps there were thousands, but only 6 to twelve were Maia.
- Perhaps the named ents were named because they were of higher importance? Perhaps these named ents (though they all probably had names) were named by Tolkien because they were Maia. Who knows?
- It's highly likely that the book at hand was lying. Ederchill has allready proven that much of what is mentioned inside is fanon.
- Yes. My theory is partly based on that. Perhaps all first beings were Maia. Again, who knows? Tolkien never really elaborated on this, so perhaps it's safe to say that there's room for speculation. -- Explorer of Arda 11:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
- He had the body of a human given, but was a maiar. But he was more like one of the elves while in Endor.
- None of the Valar had the ability to give somebody a soul, otherwise they could have make their own races, but it was only Eru who could do that. They could change the Hroär (body) but not the Fëa (soul).
- The maiar existed already at the begining, and Durin was made thousand years after the Valar and maiar entered
- I think tolkien some where stated that all Balrogs were Maiar.
- No, they were named because something happened with them. Quickbeam because he meeted the Hobbits, some other one because he was burned, and the others because they were leaders.
- How the hell did that publisher ever got it one the market?
- I'm sure that the first Dwarves, Elves and Humans were not Maiar. About the most other races you are rigth.
--Amroth 13:15, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Gresham’s Law works for books as well ... — Mithrennaith 04:44, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see. So my theory is pretty much debunked, right? -- Explorer of Arda 06:39, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that this theory is right. First - Maia had nothing similar to Jesus, because they were not born in middle-earth, they were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth by a ship. Second - there could not be that the part of Balrogs of Ents are Maia and the others not! how can it be? If so, what are the other Balrogs and Ents? And also, Gandalf and Saruman are not a human, nor a elves, they were something between them, they took a form of old wizards when came from Valinor. And, as I sayed, the Maia were not born, they were sent to Middle-earth, but Galadriel, and Ents also, have parents. Maybe Sauron was some time in a shape of elf, because mostly the Maia were able to change forms, but for some reason the Istari did not change shapes. Unsigned comment by SarumanTheWhite (talk • contribs). 08:08, 28 April 2010

The status of the Istari is unclear. They were no longer really Maiar, but they weren't really Men either. The process of their incarnation was clearly different from the usual kind of self-arraying of the Ainur that Tolkien describes in Ósanwe-kenta, but apart from making a vague statement to the fact that the Istari appear to occupy some kind of middle-space beetween Maiar and Men, we cannot say with any confidence what exactly they were.

With the original Ents, you have a better case. It is stated explicitly in Of Aulë and Yavanna that the Ents were created when "spirits from afar" took up dwelling in the trees, animating them. The only known source of such spirits would be the Ainur - ‘whether of the Valar and the Maiar, or of any other order that Ilúvatar has sent into Eä.’ (The Valaquenta - the last line of the section ‘Of the Valar’).

The primary distinction in the taxonomy of free-willed creatures of rational intelligence in Tolkien's sub-creation is that between the Ainur, created before Eä and in origin discarnate spirits, and the Eruhíni (including the Dwarves, Ilúvatar's Children by adoption), who were always incarnate and were not in existence (though they were bethought and sung of before Eä) until after the creation of Eä. The chief distinction here is between spirits that were in origin and in Eru's intention discarnate and then the Incarnates which were, in origin and in Eru's intention, the combination of soul and body. Durin and Galadriel were definitely incarnates, and the Balrogs were definitely Ainur.

Sauron was, as you say, a Maia. There can, in my opinion, be little doubt that the shape he wore when he went among the Mírdain in Eregion was that of an Elf. Later, after the downfall of Númenórë, he could no longer assume a pleasing shape, and the only description we get of his shape as a Dark Lord is from letter #246, where Tolkien wrote that ‘The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic.’ At a guess, the book you are referring to is Tolkien's World: Mythological Sources of “The Lord of the Rings” by David Day; if so, Day does have a reputation for . . . shall we just say ‘extrapolating’ a bit from Tolkien's writings: see for instance Steuard Jensen's comments at [Notes on David Day's Tolkien Books].

Amroth mentions that Tolkien did consider whether the original Eagles along with Huan the Hound were actually Maiar. The context of this is his considerations published in the ‘Myths Transformed’ section of Morgoth's Ring, in texts where Tolkien was actually trying to work out the nature of the Orcs and their inheritable evil. One of the solutions that Tolkien considered was that a part of the original corruption was to introduce a divine strain by making some of the lesser Maiar take Orc shape, and part of his argumentation was to point to Huan and the Eagles as probably being Maiar. Troelsfo 11:45, 28 April 2010 (UTC)