From Tolkien Gateway
"Manwe" by Anna Kulisz
Biographical Information
PronunciationQ, [ˈmanwe]
Other namesSúlimo (Q)
Mānawenūz (V)
Aran Einior (S)
Amân (A)
TitlesHigh King of Arda
Lord of the Breath of Arda
Viceregent of Eru
PositionKing of Arda
LocationIlmarin, Taniquetil
AffiliationEönwë, Olórin and the Eagles
Physical Description
Eye colorBlue[1]
GalleryImages of Manwë

Lo, Manwë Súlimo clad in sapphires, ruler of the airs and wind, is held lord of Gods and Elves and Men, and the greatest bulwark against the evil of Melko.

Manwë Súlimo was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, brother of the Dark Lord Melkor (Morgoth), and High King of Arda. The winds, airs and birds were his servants. He was the greatest of the Ainur in authority, but not in power. The Lord of the Breath of Arda, he was appointed as its Ruler, hence his most common title, the Elder King.


Manwë was the Ainu dearest to Eru, closest to his mind, and appointed his viceregent on Earth. He was king, lord of Arda, and ruler of everything that dwells therein. His spouse is Varda, and they are seldom parted. His attributes are air and the winds, from the Veil of Arda to the small breezes. He also commands the birds.[4] From the beginning, Ulmo has been his closest friend and ally. They come together when the vapors of the water become clouds high in the air. The two most faithfully served the purpose of Eru.[5]

He lived in his halls atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain of the world. Together with Varda he could see farther than all other eyes. All things that flew in the light were his servants and brought him news from the farthest and deepest places of the world; save dark places in the deep that were Ulmo's domain[4] or those hid by the black thought of powerful evil.

As the vicegerent of Eru on Earth, Manwë was a kind, compassionate ruler, unconcerned with his own power. Manwë dressed in blue robes and had blue eyes. He wielded a scepter of sapphire made for him by the Noldor. The Vanyar were his favorite Elves, and they lived with him and Varda on Mount Oiolosse, and he delighted in their songs and poetry.[1]


In the thought of Ilúvatar, Manwë was the brother of Melkor, but dearest to Ilúvatar and the one that best understood the will of Eru.[4] When Melkor created the discord in the second Song of the Ainur, Manwë took over leading the song, pondering about airs and winds.[5]

Manwë along with Aulë and Ulmo were the chief architects of Arda, and when it was formed, he denied to surrender it to Melkor. Many spirits, like Varda, came to his side from the deeps of Ea.[5]

He did not understand evil, even in the form of his own brother. He released Melkor from Mandos, thus allowing him to cause the distrust of Fëanor, the Poisoning of the Two Trees, the murder of Finwë, the theft of the Silmarils, and the revolt of the Noldor.

To hearten the Eldar, he had Aulë fashion the Sun and the Moon, for he knew the rising of the Atani was coming soon, and sent Thorondor and the Great Eagles to watch them.

After Morgoth's fall, Manwë cast him into the Void. In the Final Battle, when Melkor escapes, it is said that the Elder King and the Dark Lord will battle on the Plains of Valinor, but that they will not slay each other.


Manwë is intended to mean "Blessed One" in Quenya, from root MAN plus the male ending -wë. However it is said also to be a version of the Valarin name Mānawenūz, which was the original Valarin name for Manwë. It meant "Blessed One, One (closest) in accord with Eru".[6]

Other names

Súlimo was a Quenya epithet meaning "Lord of the Breath of Arda",[4] literally "Breather".[7] The Sindarin form was probably Thû.[8]

He bore the title of Elder King,[9] Aran Einior in Sindarin.[10] Similar titles were High King of Arda[11] or King of Arda.[12][13]

In Adûnaic, his name was Amân.[14]

From the same root, The Etymologies give another epithet, Kalamando ("Light Mando"), being the light counterpart of Morimando ("Dark Mando").[15]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Manwë is referred to as Wolcenfréa, consisting of wolcen ("sky"; cf. Modern English "welkin") + fréa ("ruler").[16]



Other versions of the legendarium

In an early manuscript called "Valar name-list", Manwë has the additional Qenya names Taimo (masculine form of Taime, "the sky") and Valtur ("King of the Valar").[17] Together with his wife, he was called Wanwavoisi.[18]

His Gnomish names were Man and Manweg.[19]


Compared to real mythologies, Manwë represents possibly a sky father like Zeus/Jupiter of the Greco-Roman mythology. Like Zeus, Manwë is both a sky "deity" and a leader of his pantheon and is associated with the eagle.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: The Last Chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion", p. 246
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman": §50, p. 75
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Valar"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur"
  6. 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'"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenya Noun Structure", in Parma Eldalamberon XXI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), p. 85
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 124
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", p. 358
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê, with the Third Version of The Fall of Númenor, and Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language", p. 376
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "MBAD"
  16. 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
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Early Qenya and The Valmaric Script", in Parma Eldalamberon XIV (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), p. 12
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, entry "Súlimo"
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, entry "Manwë"
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