Creation of the Ainur

From Tolkien Gateway
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Šárka Škorpíková - Eru Iluvatar (and the Ainur).jpg
Creation of the Ainur
LocationThe Timeless Halls
ResultThe existence of the Ainur
Part ofEru's creations

The creation of the Ainur was a great event prior to the creation of , in which Eru Ilúvatar created the Ainur ("Holy Ones"), his servants.

History[edit | edit source]

Ilúvatar made the Ainur "in the beginning",[1] before the creation of Time, in the Timeless Halls that he had prepared for them.[2] As offspring of his thought, at first each one only "comprehended that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he came". After this, He propounded to them themes of music, which later would initiate the Music of the Ainur and the Creation of the World.

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In the first version of the story, it is specified that Ilúvatar "sang into being the Ainur" and thereafter he made their dwellings in the void.[3]

Inspiration[edit | edit source]

The creation of a spiritual hierarchy resembles the creation of angels by the Judeo-Chistian God. However, it also implies ideas previous to Christianity, as Verlyn Flieger explains:

The concept of offspring from One suggests a sort of Pythagorean divisibility of a unity into component parts without disminution of the whole. The Ainur are powers or principalities emanating directly from the godhead and are developed in the text as aspects of his nature.[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: [Introduction]"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur", "...he went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "II. The Music of the Ainur", The Music of the Ainur, p. 52
  4. Verlyn Flieger, Splintered Light (Revised Edition), "Splintered Light and Splintered Being", p. 51