From Tolkien Gateway
"Tulkas" by Steamey
Biographical Information
Other namesTulukhastāz (V)
Astaldo (Q)
Tolchas (N)
The Valiant
The Strong
PositionChampion of the Valar
LanguageValarin, Quenya
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden (hair and beard)[1]
WeaponryHis hands
GalleryImages of Tulkas

So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it

Tulkas was a Vala. He was the most warlike of the Valar and the spouse of Nessa.


Tulkas was so strong and quick that he needed no weapon or steed. He delighted in deeds of prowess and strength such as wrestling and fighting. But he was not dreadful; he laughed loudly in sport and war and his anger dispelled darkness and clouds.[1][2]

He was a hardy friend and slow to wrath, but also slow to forgive. He was however mindless and did not learn from the past; always quick in action, he was not good in counselling.[1][3]:206

His flesh was ruddy and his hair and beard golden.[1]


Tulkas was created by Eru with the other Ainur and sang in the Song of the Ainur, and chose to enter . His spirit was wandering Ea and did not participate in the formation of Arda with the other Valar: He heard of their First War with Melkor 1500 Valian Years after their arrival, and descended to them from the far heavens. The Dark Lord might have defeated the Valar by himself, but hearing the sound of Tulkas' laughter and beholding his wrath, Melkor fled before him.[2]

Thanks to him, the Valar now continued their work in peace, and the Spring of Arda was begun. After the Two Lamps were erected and the Valar had made their first dwelling at Almaren, Tulkas wedded Nessa in a great feast. Being weary and content he slept, and Melkor decided his hour to retaliate had come, and ruined the Lamps, causing a cataclysm.[2]

Tulkas by Antonio Vinci

After the cataclysm, the Valar and their people went to Valinor. Anticipating the Awakening of the Elves he urged the other Valar to wage war against Melkor.

But when Oromë announced that the first Children of Ilúvatar did awake, Manwë called a council at the Ring of Doom and announced the will of Eru that, for the sake of the Elves, the Valar should regain guardianship of the world from Melkor. Tulkas was glad of this decision. In the Battle of the Powers, after a long siege at Utumno, it was Tulkas who wrestled with Melkor and cast him upon his face. Tulkas chained Melkor with the enchanted chain Angainor, forged by Aulë. For a while the world was free from Melkor's influence.[4]

When his sentence was fulfilled, Melkor repented of his actions and was pardoned by Manwë; Tulkas was disappointed with this decision, ever distrustful. But having fought Melkor in the name of authority, he could not rebel himself, and accepted Manwë's decision.[5]

After the lies spread by Melkor were known, Tulkas and Oromë seached him in the north of Aman, but he was already escaped south. And when Melkor and Ungoliant caused the Darkening of Valinor, Tulkas and Oromë searched in vain for them, unable to penetrate the unlight cast by Ungoliant.[6] Shortly after, Tulkas hurried Fëanor to take a decision about surrendering the Silmarils.[7]

It is said that in the Dagor Dagorath, Tulkas will once more oppose Melkor, and will directly fight him in the battle. The victor is unknown, But probably Melkor, For it will be Turin who will slay Melkor.[3]:333


The name Tulkas means in Quenya "steady, firm".[8] Tulukhastāz ("the golden-haired")[note 1] was the original Valarin name for Tulkas.[9]

Other names

He was also called Astaldo (Q: "the Valiant").[1] Astaldo replaced the earlier name Poldórëa.[10][11][12][13]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Tulkas is referred as Afodfrea "Strength-ruler".[14]

In an early manuscript, Tolkien suggested a surname of Tulkas: Ender.[15]



Other versions of the legendarium

In some versions it is said that Tulkas was of the spirits who didn't come into . In other versions, it is said that Tulkas was one of the spirits who entered the vast regions of Eä, until he came to Arda to help Manwë.[16]

In The Book of Lost Tales he did not come last and he was young but not the youngest of the great Valar (Ómar Amillo was).[12] Telimektar was his son.[17]

In Noldorin, his name was Tolchas.[8]


  1. Tulukhastāz is said to consist of the Valarin elements tulukha(n) ("yellow") and (a)šata- ("hair of head").


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "TULUK"
  9. 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
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The History of Middle-earth Index, p. 361
  11. 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. 181 (forms: Poldórea, Poldor, Poldomo)
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, entry "Poldórëa"
  14. 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"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part One" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003, p. 11
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: First section of the Annals of Aman", p. 52, §13
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales"
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