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Manwe vs. Morgorth? who would win?

jallan

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It would depend when the battle occurred.

In Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10), "Myths Transformed", VI and VII, Tolkien explains that Melkor gradually disseminated his power into the material substance of Arda in order to control it, and so became personally weaker in his own form, permanently incarnate, unable when he returned to Middle-earth with the Silmarils even to change the shape of his body.

From Tolkien's plans for a fuller writing of the Battle of the Valar in the first section I've noted:
The war against Utumno was only undertaken by the Valar with reluctance, and without hope of real victory, but rather as a covering action or diversion to enable them to get the Quendi out of his sphere of influence. But Melkor had already progressed some way towards becoming ‘the Morgoth, a tyrant (or central tryanny and will), + his agenets’.² Only the total contained the old power of the complete Melkor; so that if ‘the Morgoth’ could be reached or temporarily separated from his agents he was much more nearly controlable and on a power-level with the Valar. The Valar find that they can deal with his agents (sc. armies, Balrogs, etc.) piecemeal. So that they caome at last to Utumno itself and find ‘the Morgoth’ has no longer for the moment sufficient ‘force’ (in any sense) to shield himself from direct personal contact. Manwë at last faces Melkor again, as he has not done since he entered Arda. Both are amazed: Manwë to perceive the decrease in Melkor as a person; Melkor to perceive this also from his own point of view: he now has less personal force than Manwë, and can no longer daunt this gaze.
Either Manwë must tell him so or he must himself suddenly realize (or both) that this has happened: he is ‘dispersed’. But the lust to have creatures under him, dominated, has become habitual and necessary to Melkor, so that even if the process was reversible (possibly was by absolute and unfeigned self-abasement and repentence only) he cannot bring himself to do it.
 
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Snaga

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Great answer Jallan. You clearly know your stuff! Welcome.:)
 

redline2200

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I'm surprised that people left out Eonwe. I would say he would definitely be used as one of Manwe's lieutenants. After all, he was entrusted with the simarils after they were recovered so he must be important as well as powerful and trustworthy.
 

Gothmog

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Mod's Comment

I have merged the thread "Manwe vs. Morgoth? who would win?" with the thread pointed out by Nóm so that all the posts from that one can also be seen.
 

Confusticated

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Re: Mod's Comment

Originally posted by Gothmog
I have merged the thread "Manwe vs. Morgoth? who would win?" with the thread pointed out by Nóm so that all the posts from that one can also be seen.
As soon as Gothmog merged the threads I deleted the post where I provided the link to the other thread, as it became useless.
Anyhow, that is what Gothmog is refering to with "pointed out by Nom".
 

Grond

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Originally posted by redline2200
I'm surprised that people left out Eonwe. I would say he would definitely be used as one of Manwe's lieutenants. After all, he was entrusted with the simarils after they were recovered so he must be important as well as powerful and trustworthy.
I would say that Eonwe was one of the greatest of the Maia.
from The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, Of the Maiar
...Chief among the Maiar of Valinor whose names are remembered in the histories of the Elder Days are Ilmarë, the handmaid of Varda, and Eönwë the banner-bearer and herald of Manwë, whose might in arms is surpassed by none in Arda.
Eonwe sounds pretty tough to me. :D
 

Beleg

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I think we are forgetting Tulkas. Manwe with all due respect symbolizes as the lieutant of Illuvatar and is thus far greater in knowledge and wisdom then Morgoth. While, the same cannot be said about Physical Power, in which I deem that Morgoth Excels. And the symbol of Physical Power for Vala is Tulkas or Orome.
So i guess if it comes to a physical combat it would be between Tulkas and Morgoth.

And by the way, there was another such thread and someone provided a quote from Home 10, quoting something like When Morgoth is free again at the end of World, Tulkas fights him with Tùrin on one side and another Maia on the other side. Can someone provide me with that link?

And the work of Manwe is to maintain the ballance of the world, and fight off Melkor's tactics. He would surely not indulge in physical combat.
 

Ithrynluin

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Melkor would win at the beginning.
Manwë would win after Morgoth "spent" all his power.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Beleg_strongbow
...And by the way, there was another such thread and someone provided a quote from Home 10, quoting something like When Morgoth is free again at the end of World, Tulkas fights him with Tùrin on one side and another Maia on the other side. Can someone provide me with that link?
Ask and ye shall receive. Here is a thread where all of the different references to the Last Battle are summarzied.
 

Olorgando

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I have two very hypothetical thoughts about this. For the first, what popped up in my mind was the scene with the Hobbits at Tom Bombadil's house, when Frodo very reluctantly gives the One Ring to Tom, who puts it on and - nothing happens. The One Ring had exactly zero, zilch, nada power over Tom. My "train of thought" is that Melkor would have had exactly the same effect on Manwë. Construing ever more wildly, Manwë comes to Angband, right up to the doors above which Thangorodrim was raised, and asks Melko (as he might likely still address the über-baddie) "what do you think you were doing?" Melkor unleashes all of his fury at this "impertinence"; when the dust settles, Manwë does not even have to flick the smallest dust speck from his raiment, sighs, and says "you still didn't answer my question. The dust came from the pulverization of Angband which Melkor, in his insane rage, did not even notice he had effected with it. Melkor has a very severe "I hate my life" emotional attack (kinda sums up much of the early Silmarillion).

Second wild flight of fancy: think of Númenor. Yes, the original question (I think) says Melkor versus Manwë one-on-one. But by the time of the physical creation of Arda, there was not the slightest doubt about whom Eru thought, between the two, to be the sane ruler to keep this Arda business on track, and who the insane hooligan. So my guess would be that the one to get plucked up and given a massive thrashing on the backside - will definitely not be Manwë ...
 

Lotrguy

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Melkor would win at the beginning.
Manwë would win after Morgoth "spent" all his power.
What is your reasoning for your conclusion?

Eru could definitely see more in Manwe, but not for power. Manwe was supposed to organize and watch over the Valar, but that doesn't mean he is the strongest. I'm pretty sure Manwe would just direct Tulkas into defeating or scaring away Melkor, and that's what gives Manwe power. If its a one on one, Melkor would overcome Manwe, as his power is mainly lost.
 

Olorgando

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I think we are - we are probably by our nature unable to do else - focusing too much on the "embodied" forms of the Valar / Maiar (though for both Morgoth and Sauron this became a serious issue near their respective ends and finite powers as embodied beings in Arda, as each had dissipated so much of his native powers, each in his own way, by then). I'm certain that none of the Ainur, taking this term to mean the disembodied form of those that chose to enter Arda and become embodied, could "do" anything to one another. The only times the Valar / Maiar "did" anything against the embodied form of Melkor / Morgoth was at the end of the war against Morgoth upon the awakening of the Elves (by Tulkas), and at the end of the War of Wrath (presumably by Eonwë). The rest of the time, JRRT shows almost a PJ-ish streak of constantly stacking the deck in favor of the baddies, as they all don't give squat about any of Eru's prohibitions, while the good side abides by them to a point of near-masochism. There is also his wallowing back and forth on the enormous (excessive) original power of Melkor between the BoLT stage, then the stage that basically ended up in the Silmarillion, and back again in the "Mannish tradition" fixation that he showed in what Christopher wrote about in "Myths Transformed" in HoMe volume 10 "Morgoth's Ring".
In letter #131 in Humphrey Carpenter's 1981 book "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien", an enormously long one covering almost 19 pages of the book, probably written late in 1951 to Milton Waldman of the publisher Collins (Harper would be added years later), for a short while looking to be the publisher of LoTR, JRRT states:
"(since the Númenóreans directed by Sauron could have wrought ruin in Valinor itself)"
To me, this statement is a definite title contender for the single most horrific failure of the imagination that JRRT ever committed to writing. Instead of totally laying down their rule over Arda, the Valar could also have asked Eru to lift his ban against direct actions by the Valar against the Eruhini, at least for these specific ones, as their were products of Sauron's, and thus ultimately Melkor's, malice.
Item 1: Ossë, using a bit of wind from Manwë, could have reduced the whole fleet of Ar-Pharazôn's to splinters in nothing flat and drowned the whole lot.
Item 2: even allowing Ar-Pharazôn's armament to land on the shores of Valinor, it would have taken Tulkas, perhaps with a little help from Oromë and Eonwë, about five minutes to mop the floor with the lot. Any attempted interference from Sauron would have been dealt with by Tulkas with a back-handed slap that would have sent Sauron flying back to the eastern gates of flat Arda like a meteorite streaking through the atmosphere.
But probably, the whole make-the-world-round event was already part of that Music of the Ainur … 🤨
 

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