From Tolkien Gateway
"Aulë" by Alice Falto
Biographical Information
Pronunciation(Q, [ˈa͡ʊle])
Other namesAȝūlēz (V)
Mahal (K)
TitlesThe Great Smith, Smith, Maker, Friend of the Noldor
PositionRocks and metals
LocationMansions of Aulë
AffiliationMairon and Curumo
LanguageValarin; also devised Khuzdul for the Dwarves
BirthCreation of the Ainur
Notable forcreating the Dwarves
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Aulë

But the delight and pride of Aulë is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery.

Aulë was a Vala and one of the Aratar, also known as the Smith and Smith of the Valar, concerned with rock, metal, nature of substances and works of craft.


Aulë governed the substances of the Ambar and he delighted in all works and crafts all of which he was master, from small works of skin to the forging of all lands and mountains and basins of the sea. He made the rocks, the gems and all minerals.[1]

He enjoyed devising and making new things, and being praised. In these thoughts and powers he was like Melkor, as Ilúvatar gave him scarce less skill and knowledge. Aulë had always been faithful to Eru and submitted all his creations to His will. He was never jealous of others' creations, but sought and gave counsel. He enjoyed the things he has created and in act of making itself and passed ever to some new work, without hoarding or possessing. For this, there was much strife between him and Melkor who envied him; Melkor always marred his work and Aulë always sought to repair them.[1][2]

He was the third most powerful of the Aratar. He was husband to Yavanna, with whom he dwelt in central Valinor.

Several Maiar are associated with Aulë: Mairon, before being corrupted by Melkor and becoming Sauron; and Curumo, who later went to Middle-earth as an Istar to combat the darkness, only to be swayed by the willpower of Sauron.


In the Song of the Ainur Aulë thought most of the fabric of the Earth.[2] During the creation of Arda, Aulë worked much with Manwë and Ulmo;[2] Aulë fashioned the substances that composed Ambar, and was most involved in building the continents and mountains. As he is much like Melkor, there was strife between them and he grew weary repairing the tumults and disorders caused by Melkor on his work.[1] One of his Maiar, Mairon, would be ensnared by his enemy in those early strifes.[3]

When Ossë was also seduced by Melkor, Aulë pleaded with Uinen to calm and restrain him, and so the Maia returned to his master Ulmo.[4]

Aulë Prepares to Destroy His Children by Ted Nasmith

He constructed Angainor, the chain of Melkor, the lamps Illuin and Ormal and the vessels of the Sun and Moon.

Aulë created his own race of beings, the Dwarves, because he was unwilling to wait for the Children of Ilúvatar to appear. Ilúvatar knew of this and even as Aulë was instructing them He chastened Aulë. Aulë humbly repented, offering his children to the will of Ilúvatar, whom He accepted as His adopted children. Since Ilúvatar had decided that the Elves were to be the first-born race, He put the Dwarves to sleep until the Elves woke on Arda.

When the Elves came to Valinor, the Noldor became the students of Aulë and his friends.[1] Fëanor was his greatest pupil, and from him learned the craft to make the Silmarils.


Aulë is said to derive from Valarin Aȝūlēz.[5]

In the earlier Etymologies, the name apparently means "invention" in Quenya, from root GAWA.[6]

Other names

In Khuzdul, his name is Mahal ("The Maker").[7]

Sometimes he was called Návatar,[8] probably meaning "Dwarf-father" in Quenya.[9]

In earlier Noldorin, his name is Gaul, usually called Belegol ("great Aulë") or Barthan ("World-artificer").[6]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Aule is referred to as Craeftfrea ("Craft-ruler").[10]



Other versions of the legendarium

In the early Gnomish Lexicon, the Gnomish version of Aulë is Óli.[11] He is also given the title Talka Marda ("Smith of the World") during the text.[12]

Portrayal in adaptations

2017: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Aulë is frequently invoked by the dwarves, although due to the game not having the license to the Silmarillion, he is referred to simply as "The First Crafter".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Valar"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Enemies"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Maiar"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language': Note on the 'Language of the Valar'", p. 399
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "GAWA"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XIII. Last Writings", "Notes", p. 391, note 22
  9. Paul Strack, "Q. Návatar m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 2 February 2023)
  10. 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", p. 208
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, pp. 249-250
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "VIII. The Tale of the Sun and Moon", pp. 180, 186
Valar Lords Manwë · Ulmo · Aulë · Oromë · Mandos · Irmo · Tulkas · Melkor
Valier Varda · Yavanna · Nienna · Estë · Vairë · Vána · Nessa
Maiar Arien · Blue Wizards · Eönwë · Gandalf · Ilmarë · Melian · Ossë · Radagast · Salmar · Saruman · Tilion · Uinen
Úmaiar Sauron · Balrogs (Gothmog · Durin's Bane) · Boldogs
Concepts and locations Almaren · Aratar (indicated in italics) · Creation of the Ainur · Fana · Máhanaxar · Ainulindalë · Order of Wizards (indicated in bold) · Second Music of the Ainur · Timeless Halls · Valarin · Valinor · Valimar