From Tolkien Gateway
"Lady of the Sea" by Elena Kukanova
Biographical Information
Other namesThe Lady of the Seas
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Uinen

Uinen was Ossë's wife. A Maia of Ulmo, she was known as the Lady of the Seas.


Uinen loved and protected all creatures and weeds that live in the sea and brought calm seas. She could calm the tumultous waves of her husband Ossë and for this she was loved by mariners. She was revered among the Ainur by the Númenoreans.[1]

It is said that her hair spread through all the surface of water.[1]


Early in the history of Arda, Ossë was corrupted by Morgoth but Aulë pleaded Uinen to persuade him to return to the service of Ulmo.[1]

The Teleri of Olwë had much love for Uinen, as she and Ossë had befriended them at the river Sirion during the Great March.[2]

Uinen wept for the Teleri mariners after the kinslaying at Alqualondë and rose a storm that sunk many Noldor on the stolen Swan-ships.[3]

Considered a protector and bringer of calm seas by the mariners of Númenor, they would cry to her for help, while their respect for the Valar endured.[1] The Guild of Venturers were also known as Uinendili.[4]


Two explanations exist for the name Uinen. In The Etymologies, the first element came from a root UY-. Several other words under this lemma mean "seaweed", though the name Uinen itself is not explained.[5] A later note pertaining to the name instead suggests it is a name of non-Elvish (Valarin) origin of unknown meaning.[6]

Christopher Tolkien has noted that Uinen contains the element nen ("water").[7] It is unknown if he had access to unpublished manuscripts by his father to corroborate this suggestion or if he speculated on the matter.



Other versions of the legendarium

In the Annals of Aman, Uinen and Ossë were originally counted among the Valar.

In early versions of the legendarium, the character was also named Ónen, Solórë, or Ui (among other names), and was given the title "Queen of Mermaids".[8][9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Maiar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", root UY-
  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'", p. 404
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entry nen
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, p. 263
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenyaqetsa: The Qenya Phonology and Lexicon", in Parma Eldalamberon XII (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 97
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