Ainulindalë (Rúmil's work)

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

The Ainulindalë was the creation story of Arda, as written by Rúmil the Loremaster. Like with most of the work of Rúmil, Pengoloð the Sage expanded it with his words.


The Ainulindalë or The Music of the Ainur was written by Rúmil of Túna in the Elder Days, and was later spoken to Ælfwine by Pengoloð in Tol Eressëa, in an imprecise context.[1] Pengoloð recited to him the Ainulindalë as Rúmil wrote it, in which it is narrated the Creation of the Ainur, their Great Music, the Vision of Ilúvatar, the Creation of Ëa, the entry of the Valar into Arda and the First War with Melkor. When Pengoloð finished, he paused for a while, until Ælfwine asked him about the Valar and their ancient wars before the coming of the Elves. Thus, Pengoloð adds to Rúmil's work what he has heard among the loremasters of the Noldor.[2] He tells him about the coming of Tulkas, the Spring of Arda, the destruction of the Two Lamps, the creation of Valinor and Utumno, and the descriptions of the main Valar.

Real world history

The development of the Ainulindalë from the earlier version to the published in The Silmarillion differs very much from the other writings of the legendarium, as Christopher Tolkien explains: is notable that in this case only and in contrast to the development of the rest of the mythology there is a direct tradition, manuscript to manuscript, from the earliest draft to the final version: each text is directly based on the one preceding. Moreover, and most remarkably, the earliest version, written when my father was 27 or 28 and embedded still in the context of the Cottage of Lost Play, was so evolved in its conception that it underwent little change of any essential kind. There were indeed very many changes, which can be followed stage by stage through the successive texts, and much new matter came in; but the fall of original sentences can continually be recognized in the last version of the Ainulindalë, written more than thirty years later, and even many phrases survived.[3]

Through the volumes of The History of Middle-earth there are mentioned nine different manuscripts of the Creation myth, some of them being simple copies or drafts. Here are listed the main texts given by Christopher. The details about their composition can be read within each article:

As can be seen, in all versions both the tale and the narrative frame are essentially the same: the author is Rúmil, and the tale is told to the human Eriol/Ælfwine, who is visiting Tol Eressëa. However, for his edition of The Silmarillion, Christopher decided to remove the fictional autorship from all the texts, including the Ainulindalë. For an explanation of his edition see Ainulindalë#History of composition.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part One. Ainulindalë: Ainulindalë D", p. 30
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part One. Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur and the Coming of the Valar [Version C]", p. 17
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "II. The Music of the Ainur", Commentary on The Music of the Ainur, pp. 61-62