Flowers spring up from the ground [[Vana]] walks upon. Click on her name to learn more. Ulmo - Lord of the Waters
One of the most powerful of the [[Valar]], Ulmo has chosen to remain alone instead of choosing a spouse or companion.
Yet, he cares greatly for the men and elves of Middle-Earth, and even when the other Valar keep their distance, Ulmo will travel through the oceans and rivers of the world to provide aid to those who will accept his help.
Although he cannot be everywhere at once, it is said that news of the world is carried to him through all the waterways of Arda. In this way, he can learn of the needs of many, and he can find those who seem lost or forgotten. (See the story of Tuor in chapter 23 of //The Silmarillion//).
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Return to [[Special Qualities or Skills]] or [[Power]]Varda - The Lady of the Stars
No character in all of Tolkien's mythology is described as more beautiful than Varda, but she is an important character for many other reasons.
Wise among the [[Valar]], she recognized the desire of [[Melkor]] for unrestrained power before others, and she rejected him. And thus, the light she gives to the stars is hateful to him, and precious to the elves.
Being the Lady of Light, Varda can see farther than any of the other Valar, which means she sees across oceans and distant lands. And when [[Manwe]], her spouse, stands with Varda on their tower, he is granted this same ability.
Varda has ever been hallowed by the elves. She reminds of them of a hope and a light they do not forget.
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Return to [[Special Qualities or Skills]] or [[Power]]Aule - Lord of the Earth
One of the most creative of the [[Valar]], Aule is known for his craftmanship, but his medium is the land itself. He can shape mountains, caves, and other land formations.
Aule's spouse is [[Yavanna]], who loves trees and plants. There was some conflict between Aule and Yavanna when Aule created the first dwarves of Middle-earth.
Instead of working with Yavanna on this project, he did it alone, but then he needed Iluvatar to bless his dwarves with life and a will of their own. Iluvatar granted his wish because Aule did not wish to rule over the dwarves for the sake of power, but he was eager to have students to teach and share skills with.
However, since Aule did not let Yavanna share in his labor to make the dwarves, the dwarves only shared Aule's love of caves and the desire to craft things. They cared nothing for trees except as fuel for their forges.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/mountain.jpg" >
Return to [[Special Qualities or Skills]] or [[Power]][[Aule]] is the Lord of the Earth and all its substances and forms. Click on his name to learn more.This Twine is an interactive guide to Tolkien's //Valaquenta// and the early parts of his //Silmarillion//.
Tolkien created thousands of characters in his writing, and it can be difficult to connect with them when there are so many to remember.
So the purpose of this Twine is to allow you to explore some of his characters by clicking through personal questions about you and your interests.
Currently, this guide is focused on a specific type of his characters. Rather than trying to cover his elves, dwarves, or hobbits at the present. This Twine is focused on his [[Valar]].
Click this link if you want more information [[about]] this Twine.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/sign.jpg" >
This Twine was created by Amanda Henry.
The Valar are powerful characters in Tolkien's mythology. They are primarily spiritual beings, who can take on physical form.
Although they are rarely mentioned in Tolkien's //Lord of the Rings//, they are a part of Tolkien's fantasy world and he certainly had them in mind when writing his more well-known works.
To learn more about the Valar in Tolkien's //Silmarillion//, choose one of the following topics.
Which of these do you value most?
[[Power]] - innate quality
[[Strength]] - physical talent
[[Wisdom]] - intellectual foresight
[[Special Qualities or Skills]] - miscellaneousThere is more to life than power and strength, and you see the value in wisdom.
Several of the Valar are known not for their might but for their wisdom. Although they could certainly display power if needed, they are recognized for their foresight or intellect.
But wisdom comes in different forms. Which matters more to you?
Wisdom as it relates to knowledge and understanding? Or wisdom as it relates to the heart and responses like empathy and hope?
[[Heart]]The Valar who is most recognized for this is [[Nienna]]. Click on her name to learn more. Nienna - Sister of the Feanturi (the Masters of Spirits - [[Mandos]] and [[Lorien]])
Nienna lives in the same region of Arda as many of the other Valar, but she dwells alone, having no spouse or companion. Although she is not recognized as a lady or queen of anything, she is noted to be a powerful Valar with an important influence and voice in the council of the Valar.
She has a great understanding of sorrow and grief. And she mourns because of how the evil of [[Melkor]] has marred the world. But she exchanges the sorrows of others for wisdom and strength, giving them hope despite the darkness.
One of Nienna's most notable deeds is her training of Olorin (who is known as Gandalf to hobbits in Middle-earth). It is said that Olorin spent many days with her before his coming to Middle-earth.
From her, he learned compassion and gained more patience for working with those less powerful (or less wise) than himself.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/nienna.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]].
Or return to [[Wisdom]] or [[Power]].So what can be understood with the mind more than the heart is significant to you. There are a couple of Valar that fall into this category. But you'll need to make some more choices first.
Which areas/subjects would you most want to gain knowledge about?
[[Death]]This is the area of expertise of [[Mandos]]. Click on his name to learn more.This is the area of expertise of [[Mandos]]. Click on his name to learn more.This is the area of expertise of [[Lorien]]. Click on his name to learn more.This is the area of expertise of [[Lorien]]. Click on his name to learn more.Mandos - The Doomsman of the Valar
Mandos is the keeper of the houses of the dead. The elves who die in Middle-earth must come to him. He is not the one who causes death, but he can see the fate that lies before all elves and men before it comes to them.
He knows much of will what happen in Arda, and he never forgets anything, so his knowlege is great indeed.
He is grim and rarely speaks. His spouse is Vaire, the Weaver, who puts the story of the past into her work.
Mandos is one of the Feanturi, Masters of Spirits, and the other is his younger brother [[Lorien]]. His sister is [[Nienna]].
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/darkhall.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Wisdom]].Lorien - The Master of Visions and Dreams
Lorien's gardens are the most beautiful of any in Arda. His understanding of dreams is great, and with his spouse, Este, his gardens can offer healing and peace to those seeking such things.
Lorien is one of the Feanturi, Masters of Spirits, and the other is his older brother [[Mandos]]. His sister is [[Nienna]].
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/garden.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Wisdom]].You value physical abilities! Great feats of strength and physical competition suit your interests.
Before you read about the Valar in this category, choose one of the following:
If you were faced with an enemy who wanted to challenge you, which would be your response?
[[Wrath]]When enemies dare to rise up, it stirs anger and outrage in you. In this, you would be like [[Orome]].
Click on his name to learn more.Even in moments of challenges, you laugh. It's not that you never feel anger, but maybe like [[Tulkas]], you are full of enthusiasm and high spirits most of the time.
Click on his name to learn more. Tulkas - the Valiant
Of all the [[Valar]], Tulkas is perhaps the most amusing and buoyant. He is not very helpful as a counselor, because he lacks a talent for wisdom. But he is a good friend - loyal and quick to give aid.
His spouse is [[Nessa]], and both of them are known for their speed, but Tulkas can outrun any living being. In terms of physical feats, Tulkas is the fastest and the strongest of the Valar.
Although Tulkas can grow silent when truly enraged, he often laughs in the midst of war due to his high spirits.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/tulkas.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Strength]].You have chosen raw power, which grants great authority. The Valar that follow are leaders and take up important roles in Tolkien's mythology.
To continue, you need to decide how that power should be used.
Should it be used for a higher good (with the needs of others first in mind) and only for the noblest of purposes?
Or would you use power to further your own interests and goals?
[[Own Interests]]Click one of the links below to return to one of the previous pages:
[[Valar]]The path you have chosen is leading you into darkness.
If instead of putting forth effort to produce your own work, you would take what others have made and corrupt (or destroy) it, click [[Melkor]].
If you do not wish to continue, click [[Go Back]].Melkor - He Who Arises in Might
Melkor was the most powerful and most gifted of the Valar, and he desired power to make himself great, even above his own maker, Iluvatar.
Before the beginning of the world, he began to create discord. His own abilities began to wane, and he was often jealous of [[Aule]]. When he could not shape greater things than Aule or Iluvatar, he began to turn his efforts to corrupting or destroying what had been made.
Melkor was given opportunities to change his ways after he was first defeated by the other Valar. But he continued to make plans in secret.
And when he unleashed his attack upon the Valar's home, he was given a new name, [[Morgoth]].
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Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Power]].Morgoth
After leading an attack upon the realm of the Valar and some of the elves, Morgoth was the first to shed blood in that sacred place when he killed an elven king who dared to stand against him.
This son of this elven leader cursed Melkor and named him Morgoth, which means enemy of the world.
From this point on, Morgoth no longer hid his dark endeavors upon the world, taking power where he could and enslaving any he could capture. He would also be responsible for the deaths of many elves and men in the wars that raged in Middle-earth.
When he was finally defeated, a new dark lord rose up from his ranks to terrorize Middle-earth. This was his follower, Sauron.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/ring.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Power]].So forget what other people may want, this is about you and your goals!
The Valar that follow have at least some inkling of preference for their own work and what they want to accomplish with it.
But how far are you willing to go with your interests? Choose one of the three below:
[[Teacher]] - You are willing to bend the rules to do what you want, but you still desire to use your power for good by teaching and guiding others.
[[Defender]] - You are a permission-seeker and a rule-follower, but you still want to defend your own work and not let others take advantage of you or what've you've made.
[[Commander]] - You want recognition for your own sake. This is not about your work or your actions. So power is only to be used for the noblest of purposes!
You seek the highest of the high among the Valar. These are ones who seek to honor Iluvatar and perhaps understand his purposes better than all the rest.
How do you prefer to work?
Do you seek companionship, valuing a certain kind of dependence on your partner?
Or do you prefer to work alone? Are you an independent force to be reckoned with?
[[Solo Act]]This describes [[Aule]]. Click on his name to learn more.This describes [[Yavanna]]. Click on her name to learn more.If you would seek power and authority for yourself, regardless of how it hurts others, click [[Continue]].
Otherwise [[Go Back]].So you're interested in the Valar that have a special role or ability that sets them apart.
Which of the following interests you more?
[[Beauty]]Enjoy your independence!
The Valar that follow do not choose companions or spouses. They may have followers or servants, but they are free agents. And they still hold great power and are highly influential.
So how would you choose to spend your independence as a powerful being?
Would you observe the world from a distance? Or would you travel across it constantly, going where you want when you want?
[[Constant Traveler]]This describes [[Ulmo]]. Click on his name to learn more.This describes [[Nienna]]. Click on her name to learn more.Almost all of the Valar have a connection to the natural world.
So which part of the natural world are you most interested in?
[[Wind and the Sky]]
[[Animals]]Good! You like to work with others, and this can mean one gains new skills that one doesn't have on his/her own.
But if we were to separate these Valar who tend to work together, one of them would have the ability to see across any distance. And the other has the ability to hear someone no matter how far away they are.
Which would you prefer to be able to do?
[[Hear]]This is the special ability [[Manwe]] possesses. Click on his name to learn more.This is the special ability [[Varda]] possesses. Click on her name to learn more.Choose one of the following categories:
Woodland Animals [[Nessa]]
Dogs [[Orome]]You have chosen the speciality of [[Aule]]. Click on his name to learn more.[[Yavanna]] is the Queen of the Earth and all that grows in it. Click on her name to learn more.Vana - The Ever-Young
Vana is the younger sister of [[Yavanna]]. Flowers spring up from the ground she walks upon. Spring follows wherever she goes.
Although all of the Valar are immortal, Vana is described as particularly youthful, and thus, her connection to spring. She is the spouse of [[Orome]].
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/flowers.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Nature]].Yavanna - Queen of the Earth
Although she is not the queen of the [[Valar]], for that is Varda, Yavanna reigns over all trees and plants. The elves hold her in high regard for they greatly love trees, and they often make their homes in the shelter of forests.
Yavanna's spouse is [[Aule]], and although they usually work well together, Yavanna became distressed when Aule created the dwarves without consulting her. She knew that without her influence in their making, they would not have any respect for her trees.
Fearing that the dwarves would cause too much destruction to her forests, she sought help from the higher authority of Iluvatar and Manwe. She looked for a way to have her work protected, and it was revealed that servants of her own work would arise to defend her trees. These would be the Ents (Shepherds of the Trees). Tree-like beings that would not be overly fond of dwarves.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/tree.jpg" >
Return to [[Special Qualities or Skills]] or [[Power]]Orome - A Mighty Hunter
Aside from [[Ulmo]], Orome has spent the most time in Middle-earth riding through the forests on his horse, Nahar. He loves hounds as well as horses.
With them, he hunts the monsters and fell creatures of [[Melkor]] that would otherwise prey upon the elves and men of Middle-earth. He also teaches those he meets how to face the monsters and defeat them.
Although he is like [[Tulkas]] in that he is quick to go to battle, his wrath is more severe. Where Tulkas laughs, Orome approaches war with gravity and anger.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/horse.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]].
Or return to [[Strength]] or [[Special Qualities or Skills]].[[Varda]] is the Lady of the Stars. Click on her name to learn more.[[Manwe]] is the Lord of the Breath of Arda. Click on his name to learn more. [[Ulmo]] is the Lord of Waters. Click on his name to learn more.Nessa - The Dancer
Nessa is the spouse of [[Tulkas]] and the sister of [[Orome]].
She is swift of foot, and she loves to run with deer in the forests of Middle-earth. Dancing is also a favorite pastime of Nessa's.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/deer.jpg" >
Return to the first passage about the [[Valar]] or return to [[Nature]].Manwe - Lord of the Breath of Arda
Manwe is the king of the [[Valar]], and he is second only to Iluvatar, the creator of all life. He most clearly knows the mind of Iluvatar, and thus, he acts as a judge with high authority over all.
He loves the winds and heights of Arda. When [[Varda]], his spouse, stands with him on their tower, she can hear even faraway voices in Middle-Earth, because Manwe's winds carry the sound over the seas. And so he is able to grant this ability to her.
Eagles are his messengers and servants. They have often been referenced as a criticism of Tolkien's narrative in that they provide too simple of a solution for some problems his characters have. But the eagles are just a sign that Manwe has not abandoned Middle-Earth. He is often willing to send help if only elves or men will ask for it. (See the story of Fingon and Maedhros in chapter 13 of //The Silmarillion//).
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/eagle.jpg" >
Return to [[Special Qualities or Skills]] or [[Power]]My hope for this Twine would be to use it in my fantasy literature course. We have so little time to explore who some of the characters are in a way that will make it memorable to students.
So this would be a fun way to help them learn more about certain characters. We could have conversations about which characters students were led to their use of the Twine.
As we go through books in the course, we can discuss how what was learned through the Twine about characters changes the way they read the texts. I could also let students create something like this for just a few other characters. Or they could add to this existing Twine to help build a larger record of different characters.
<img src="http://www.henryprofessor.com/images/book.jpg" >
Return to [[Guide to Tolkien's Mythology]]
<a href="http://www.henryprofessor.com/">Amanda Henry Website</a>Among the Valar, [[Varda]] is the most beautiful. Click on her name to learn more.