Although the text presents knowledge on the Ainur as derived from the Eldar, it is not written by their own first-hand point of view. There are also some references that are out of context, like the Númenóreans, which indicate that the text was written during or after the Second Age.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Of the Valar[edit | edit source]
Valar (the "Powers of Arda") is the name given to the chief Ainur following their descent to Arda. The Ainur were angelic spirits created by the supreme deity, Ilúvatar. The most powerful of the Valar was Melkor, who became corrupt, and ceased to follow the will of Ilúvatar. The fourteen remaining Valar continued in Ilúvatar's will.
The Ainur had either male or female forms, some were couples, while some were siblings in Ilúvatar's mind. Thus, there were seven male Valar, and seven female (Valier). Of the fourteen, those eight with the greatest might (called Aratar) were responsible for some attribute of life in Arda (e.g., crafts, mining, agriculture, etc.). The king of the Valar, and of all Arda was Manwë.
Of the Maiar[edit | edit source]
On their descent to Arda, the Valar, were followed by Ainur of lesser might, the Maiar, who were their subjects, students and assistants in governing Arda. The Valar had the ability to change their physical appearance, or to bear no shape at all.
Of the Enemies[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
History of composition[edit | edit source]
Although sequential descriptions of the Valar go back to The Book of Lost Tales Part One, the earliest writing that resembles the Valaquenta is found in the text called Quenta Noldorinwa. It then became Chapter 1 of the Quenta Silmarillion (entitled Of the Valar). In revisions to the Quenta Silmarillion done in 1958, the section was split off into a separately titled work. There is nothing to indicate why Tolkien felt that the piece should stand alone. While it is not a narrative, neither is the chapter Of Beleriand and its Realms, and Tolkien never seems to have considered removing that section.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", val-
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: The Valaquenta"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Note on the Shire Records"