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Do all Elves Revere the Valar?

FĂ«anor_7

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It's obvious that the Calaquendi do (or at the very least the Vanyar do, as it seems all they want is to be near the Valar), but do the Elves of Middle-Earth also respect them? Do the Noldor who remain in Middle-Earth after the War of Wrath?
 

Narsere

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I think this is a great question, since I have doubts about all this as well. As far as I know, I don't think this topic has been made explicit anywhere (I might be wrong though, and I haven't read The History of Middle Earth books in ages), all we can do is speculate.

As you say, I would guess that the Eldar living in Aman do revere the Valar, or at least recognize their authority on some level. The word "revere" is such a tricky one though. Do they revere them as "gods"? Or do they just respect them as manifestations of the will of Eru? We have seen that they can swear on their name (like FĂ«anor did), but do they pray to them? But since they use of their names as words of power, I would say that this at least prove that they recognized them as higher beings, and as such, deserving of respect and devotion.

In the case of the Avari it gets even more complicated, since they have no direct contact with the Valar, apart the one the first generation of elves had in Cuiviénen with Oromë, and we are told that those elves that stayed behind distrusted the summoning and the Valar themselves. Even more, those who would later enter Beleriand are said to have mistrusted the Eldar and not wanting to blend with them (I believe in The War of the Jewels there is more information about tension between the different kind of elves). I would guess that if they mistrusted them so badly and wanted to remain their own, it is very unlikely that they would follow their any kind of believed or "religion". In Doriath and Falas though, despite being Umányar, I would think that they do revere the Valar, considering the direct influence of Ainu in the construction of their cultures (Ossë and Melian).

The Exiled Noldor are the trickiest ones. Is we assume that when they lived in Aman they did revere the Valar, what happened when they left for Middle Earth? Did they just stop revering them? If they indeed assumed them as higher beings worthy of revering, it is an incredible hybris manifestation, to cut ties with them in such a way. You can always argue that after the Darkening of Valinor, the Valar's flaws and limitations were brought onto the light, and so, the Noldor no longer feel the need to respect o show devotion to them.

My guess is that, in the case of the exiled Noldor, the level of respect and devotion would depend of how much they hope for forgiveness and the return to Aman. Galadriel didn't seemed t have any problems denying the summon to go back to Aman after the War of Warth, which tell us that she did not "revere" them, at least not in the sense of making their words a command. When we see Galadriel in LotR, though, she seems much more repentant, and do call upon the name of the Valar (especially Elbereh) as a word of power. So my guess would be that the amount of devotion to the Valar would depend of the elf in question. After all, I don't imagine a feanorian calling out a Valar's name :p


(Please excuse the incredibly long answer! This topic is so interesting I just couldn't stop myself)
 

FĂ«anor_7

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(Please excuse the incredibly long answer! This topic is so interesting I just couldn't stop myself)
No need for apologies, long answers are the best :)

Very interesting thoughts here, and I would agree that there is probably little respect for the Valar among the Avari, possibly comparable to the way the Edain (or most of them at least) respected elves a lot more than most other men.

An exception among the feanorians could be Maglor though, I don't believe it is ever said that he repents, but he was always more inclined to try than the rest of his immediate family, perhaps he would still hold some respect for them?
 

Narsere

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An exception among the feanorians could be Maglor though, I don't believe it is ever said that he repents, but he was always more inclined to try than the rest of his immediate family, perhaps he would still hold some respect for them?
Agreed! I think Maglor probably will be one of the more open to maintain their relationship with the Valar, specially after the Sinking of Beleriand.

Much if this debate depends of how much we think the elves really devote to the Valar. I mean, if they were divine on their own right, or if they were just some kind of "regents" in the name of Eru. I would think that in the case of many of the Exiled Noldor, the Valar being unable/unwilling to help directly after the Darkening of Valinor would certainly affect how the elves understood their relationship with the Valar and the respect they deserve.

Again, this is all just speculation! There is so much possibilities for interpretation that pretty much anything goes.
 

Galin

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Tidbit Alert :)

According to T-published sources, Galadriel was banned from returning West Over Sea at the end of the Wrath-war, though she did (at the time) proudly respond that she had no wish to return.

Source: The Road Goes Ever On, published by the great man himself.
 

Narsere

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Galadriel was banned from returning West Over Sea at the end of the Wrath-war, though she did (at the time) proudly respond that she had no wish to return.
Thank you Galin! That was exactly what I was talking about, but I couldn't find the source :oops: Certainly Galadriel doesn't seem very reverent of the Valar in this scene :p
 

Ithilethiel

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Tidbit Alert :)

According to T-published sources, Galadriel was banned from returning West Over Sea at the end of the Wrath-war, though she did (at the time) proudly respond that she had no wish to return.

Source: The Road Goes Ever On, published by the great man himself.
When I first saw this post I thought, "Now where is Galin chiming in?" Perfect timing :)
 

Inziladun

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I think it is different for each Elf, even those dwelling in Valinor, perhaps it would have been better for the Valar to let them be and evolve naturally. I believe that's where the rift between men and elves was truly formed, one race was raised by the Gods, while the other crawled through the darkness seeking light.
 

Miguel

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IIRC, all of them (Avari included) revered Varda. At one point it's mentioned that some end up serving MbelekĂ´ro, though not out of admiration.

he commanded the Orcs to take alive any of them that they could and bring them bound to Angband; and some he so daunted by the terror of his eyes that they needed no chains more, but walked ever in fear of him, doing his will wherever they might be.
 

Elaini

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There's something different in the religion of elves compared to that of many humans: certainty. At least the Eldar had met the Valar several times and lived in the same places as them.

Thus many of elves have no reason not to believe, but whether they all choose to worship any of them, that's another question.
 

Miguel

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I think Varda was particularly important for all of them not only because of them stars, but also during the Great Darkness before Sun and Moon. Even though Melko was imprisoned, the climate everywhere else outside Aman was still his, suitable for evil beings. So around those times you could be walking around in either Beleriand or the East and probably hear voices singing to Varda the same way you'll hear a vehicle in the far distance. Now when you imagine this scenario depicted in a modern era movie style you already get the picture, but if you think about the real thing it's a very haunting thing to think about.
 

Inziladun

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I think Varda was particularly important for all of them not only because of them stars, but also during the Great Darkness before Sun and Moon. Even though Melko was imprisoned, the climate everywhere else outside Aman was still his, suitable for evil beings. So around those times you could be walking around in either Beleriand or the East and probably hear voices singing to Varda the same way you'll hear a vehicle in the far distance. Now when you imagine this scenario depicted in a modern era movie style you already get the picture, but if you think about the real thing it's a very haunting thing to think about.
Well, Melkor made the climate suitable for all beings. Each Vala had a part in that, Melkor needed to be there for the races of Arda to exist. He could have easily destroyed Men, Elves, and Dwarves as they arose from their slumber, and why not? There was part of him still true to the Great Theme, that was his purpose, is it 'evil' then? When the pain and suffering created a world where the inhabitants now understand those things and prevent them.
 

CirdanLinweilin

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Well, Melkor made the climate suitable for all beings. Each Vala had a part in that, Melkor needed to be there for the races of Arda to exist. He could have easily destroyed Men, Elves, and Dwarves as they arose from their slumber, and why not? There was part of him still true to the Great Theme, that was his purpose, is it 'evil' then? When the pain and suffering created a world where the inhabitants now understand those things and prevent them.
Nah, more like Eru making good on his statement that he'll bring good out of Melkor's evil.


CL
 

Inziladun

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Nah, more like Eru making good on his statement that he'll bring good out of Melkor's evil.


CL
So you are saying Eru made Melkor evil to bring good out of it?

I think Eru knows what could be, and takes risks, and Melkor's evil just happened to be what should be.
 
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Inziladun

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I just find it frustrating how society 'learns from past evils' yet continually condemns them. In fantasy and reality. One can only truly understand if they can forgive; forgive and remember, things were different a year ago and 1,000 years ago, change is necessary and so is acceptance of change.
 

CirdanLinweilin

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I just find it frustrating how society 'learns from past evils' yet continually condemns them. In fantasy and reality. One can only truly understand if they can forgive; forgive and remember, things were different a year ago and 1,000 years ago, change is necessary and so is acceptance of change.
Gotcha, that is understandable.


CL
 

Inziladun

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I apologize, I didn't intend to ruin the topic of discussion. I have to agree with Miguel that Varda was loved by both the dark elves and those that saw the light, the Star Kindler, her signs gave hope to the hopeless. I believe the Valar cared deeply for the race of Men especially, but did it in ways that would not reveal themselves.
 

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