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Reading the Silmarillion and need help!

GladrielElf1985

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New to the Silmarillion

I just started reading the Silmarillion and a few things are leaving me a bit confused. If you can answer my question it will be appreciated.

My main question is what is the difference between the Ainur and the Mair, and where do the Istari play into all of this???

And also in the creation myth it mentions something about a void, Is this where Middle Earth would eventually come to exsist, because I didnt quite understand the point of that.

Any additional backround info that will help me to have an easier time comprehending this work would be appreciated. Its not that it is impossible for me to understand this alone, but I figured while I have Tolkien- lore experts at my disposal I may as well take advantage of this. ;)

I have merged several similar threads on this topic to save space and answer questions more effeciently. If you have general questions about the Silmarillion... please ask them here.
Grond
 
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Curufinwe

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Answer's

Okay, the Ainur are called the "holy ones" they were created in the mind of Iluvater aka Eru. Some were stronger thoughts then other they were named the Valar , the were like gods. The maiar were lesser thoughts which werent as strong but still existed as if the were the same. when they came into Ea they usually served the Valar and learnt from them.

The Istari whom are the wizards were originally Maiar, they came into the middle- earth in i'm not sure but the second age? anyway they came into the world and took the shape of human's. Whether or not they are still considered maiar im noit sure but many people still regard them as such.

I can't really explain the void bit though. All I can say is that it was a place of practically nothingess except thought and there was only one being in there though im not sure if he took shape or not , Eru. Through his thought he created many creatures and the Ainur whom he showed a picture of a beautiful world and told them to create it and sent them into a place named Ea.

I'm not sure if this imformation is all correct though so I hope to be corrected by someone else.
 

GladrielElf1985

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thank you much. The bit about the Ainur creating Ea is correct becuase I just relooked over the first chapter of the Sil. Your help in the dif between Miar and Valar more appreciated than you know..........thank you. Just let me reiterate so I am sure.
Both Valar and Miar are types of Ainur (which are holy beings that are manifestations of Iluvatars mind). And The Valar are of a higher rank than the Miar.
Is this all right??
 

Atticus

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I am new here, so this is my hello and first post, a subject extremely of interest to me.

You know, it is kind of weird to think that Sauron was there at the beginning of all things, is it not? It is strange to think he was a Maia.

That has always been a fascinating thought to me. I hate to disturb this thread, but still, I wanted to express this.

Also, while we are on the subject of Eru, or Illuvitar as some call him, was there ever any hints or letters of the ends of Tolkien's world, the Last Battle or do you think he just let Arda's history flow on into our's. He speculated that if the stories were real, that we were nigh on the Sixth or seventh Age.

Anyway, I have heard that somewhere, or perhaps it is my hope that somehow these stories were not just a piece of his imagination, instead being some history he secretly stumbled upon and took under his name.
 

Dengen-Goroth

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The Final Battle is a piece of Tolkien Lore to which I attempt to gain as much knowledge as possible. Basically from all that I can peice together, Melkor shall escape or be released from the Voi, and in vulger terms, all hell breaks lose, because all are brought forth to battle him, THe Halls of Mandos shall empty, so we get to see all the old favourites, Feanor, Hurin, Turin (Men will also arise anew). The result will be a catastrophic "last battle" in which the world would be broken, and evil supposedly obliterated.

As for the void, it is past the doors of Night, and is an endles place of emptiness where Melkor, Morgoth Bauglir, is impirssoned till the Final Battle. ME and Valinor are not within the void, the void is on the "outside" you could say. It is basically dark, nothing is in it whatsoever. Melkor roamed there in his "early" days. Just think of it like space, except without stars and planets and the like.
 

Mlangley

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I'm going to read the Silmarillion for the first time

So for the first time in my life I'm going to reed the book any sugestion or opion... don't tell me anything the happend in the story..... just.......... opinions, i have read the Hobbit and the three books of the LORD OF THE RINGS......


and this is my first time in this forum as well ;)
 
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KevinLandwaster

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Another newbie - just read it.

Hi Mlangley.

I just joined this forum today after lurking for about 2 weeks.

I read the Silmarillion over the weekend and I loved it.

I'm looking foward to talking about it here!

<waves to all>


:)
 

Ancalagon

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Hello to you both and welcome. Yup, just read and enjoy, though take your time. Their are two trains of thought on The Sil.

1. Read from cover to cover.

2. Read in stages.

I would suggest reading in stages, and re-reading, along with a 'companion' guide to Middle_earth, to help get your bearings.

But hey, that's just me.
 

Courtney

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Welcome to the forum, both of you.
I've only read the Sil. twice, but I actually liked it better than the Lord of the Rings. I liked the first few chapters the best, very interesting.
 
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KevinLandwaster

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Hi GladrielElf1985.


I just read the Silmarillion this weekend so a lot of it is still fresh in my mind.

Since I've only read it once, I'm sure there are finer points I have yet to pick up on, but here is my understanding of these things:

Eru (Illuvatar) is the One God, and was all alone and created the Ainur, each of whom are god-like (lesser gods?). Each of them has a different perspective on the mind of Illuvatar, some knowing more than others. At this point in the story, there is nothing else in the universe yet.

Then Illuvatar shows the Ainur a musical theme and they start singing it, and Melkor decides he wants to do his own thing and that's where all the trouble starts...but I digress.

Eventually, Eru causes Ea to be created in the void, in which Arda is placed, as an incarnation of the themes that the Ainur had merely been "singing". A group of the Ainur are allowed to go then to Arda and become part of it, and thus "bound" to it forever (until the end of time anyway.) The Ainur that went to Arda were classified as either Valar or Maia. The Valar are the "greater" gods, and the Maia are the "lesser gods." There are uncounted numbers of the Ainur who to Arda; some become the Valar, and of the Valar 16 of them become the "rulers" of Arda with Manwe as their king (the 8 Vala and the 8 Valier plus the unamed Melkor). Ok - hazy memory here, but I also believe there are many *other* Vala who are not in the "ruling" class but are still "around" and are just never named specifically.

There are also uncounted other Ainur that go to Arda and become the Maia, of which a handful become described in the Silmarillion. Note that there are still uncounted numbers of Ainur who did not go to Arda and are presumably hanging around with Eru doing whatever they do....they don't come into the story - but they are still Ainur and not Valar or Maia.

Also, there are uncounted numbers of Maia, probably hundreds, if not thousands. I say this because I recall during the several wars with Melkor, especially at the end of the 2nd age, the book talks about how the Valar assembled their hosts for battle, and I got the feeling there were thousands of Valar and Maia battling the Orcs and Melkor. Also, we know a number of Maia were corrupted and became servants of Melkor, including Sauron and the Balrogs, and unamed others as well, so there must be as many if not more "good Maia" working for the other Vala.

Anyway, in the 3rd age, the Valar wanted to lend some help to Middle-Earth because they felt they had screwed up the last two attempts to help, so they sent 5 of the Maia to Middle-Earth, who became as flesh&blood creatures in the form of old men, and these 5 were called the Istari, and one of which we know his Maia name (Gandalf - but I can't recall it exactly right now...Olomin? )


Anyway, that's what I remember anyway!


:rolleyes:
 

Grond

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Welcome KevinLandWaster. Hail and well met.

Gandalf's name in Aman was Olorin. And the Valar did not help Middle-earth at the end of the Second Age. That was when Sauron was overthrown by Elendil and Gil-galad. You are thinking of the two battles against Morgoth in the First Age.

The first battle is summarized in the Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves" and describes the Valar making war on Melkor. The Elves are not yet across the sea to the Blessed Realm and still reside in Cuivienen. The Sil is pretty clear that only the Valar by themselves make war on Melkor, although I'm sure that Manwe had his herald Eonwe and there were other Maia in the train.

The second battle occurred at the end of the First Age and was brought about by the appeal of Earendil (Elrond's father). The Vala indeed had a host that fought against Melkor/Morgoth that day. This included Vala, Maia, Elves, Man and possibly Dwarves on one side and Melkor, Sauron, Balrogs, Dragons, Werewolves and Orcs on the other.

I'm really tired as it is late..... but I think this is correct. I'll look more into the references on the morrow. Right now..... it's bed time!!!:)
 
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KevinLandwaster

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Hail Grond!

Thanks for your reply.

One thing I am fuzzy about is the defining milestones for each "age". I am pretty sure that I know the third age *ends* after the War of the Ring, and thus begins the fourth age.

But when the other ages start/stop I'm not clear on. I remember that the first significant event was when they captured Melkor and put him in Mandos for 3 ages (not to be confused with the other use of the term "age") and during this time was the golden age of Valinor and the Eldar...there are a couple of terms rolling around in my head...I think one is "the noontime of Valinor", that describe this period. I don't know if this was considered the First age, or age zero, or what.

But I thought that the second age started after Melkor and Ungoliant killed the two trees, stole the Silmarills, killed Finwe, and then Feanor made his oath and the exiles left Valinor.

Then there was a gradual growth and success of the Elves until they were finally pretty much crushed by Melkor, then after all hope is lost half-elf boy (sorry, foget his name) goes to Valinor to beg for help, and then the hosts of Valinor cross over the ice bridge and kick some Melkor ass, destroying his mountain, which pretty much floods all of Berialand, thus ending the 2nd age.

Then the third age starts , with Numenor being established, rising, and falling, with a migration of Men back to Gondor and Arnor, until they too fall into decline, thus setting the stage for the return of Sauron and the War of the Ring.

But like I said, the start/end milestones for the various "ages" are a bit fuzzy in my mind.
 

BluestEye

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More information about the Istari

Dear GladrielElf,

As it has been said, the Istari were 5 wizards who came from the west. They arrived in middle-earth around the year 1,000 of the second age as a combined power of five old-looking-men to push back the evil power of Sauron. Sauron himself was Morgoth's favourite captain in his evil army against the Valar and the Elves.
The Istari wore robes painted in different colors. Gandalf wore Grey. Radagast wore Brown. Saruman, the head-council of the Istari, wore White. The other 2 wizards wore Blue robes, both of them, and they are never mentioned in the Lord Of The Rings because when they arrived to middle-earth they followed Sauron to the East and learnt from him to use the Evil power. They became malignant and disappeared from all knowledge. People say that they traveled far away to the East and there established the first roots of what we call today the Satan-Cult and other cults of the same sort.

Yours for other information,
BluestEye
 

Telchar

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About the Blue Istari...

The other 2 wizards wore Blue robes, both of them, and they are never mentioned in the Lord Of The Rings because when they arrived to middle-earth they followed Sauron to the East and learnt from him to use the Evil power. They became malignant and disappeared from all knowledge. People say that they traveled far away to the East and there established the first roots of what we call today the Satan-Cult and other cults of the same sort.
In Unfinished Tales this is said;
Unfinished Tales p. 504
Of the Blue Wizard little was known in the West and they had no names save Ithryn Luin "The Blue Wizards"; for they passed into the East with Curunir, but they never returned, and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servant , is not now known.
But in The Peoples of Middle Earth more is said;
HoME XII The People of Middle Earth p. 384-385
The 'other two' two came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age. Glorfindel was sent to aid Elrond and was (though not yet said) pre-eminent in the war in Eriador. But the other two Istari were sent for a different purpose. Morinehtar and Roómesámo. Darkness-slayer and East-helper. Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir rebellion.. and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in whitch they failed) and to cause [?dissension and dissaray] among the dark East... They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and dissaraying the forces of East ... who would have both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West.
 

BluestEye

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The Misterious Blue-Wizards

Mmmmmm.... interesting....
Well, I guess we'll find many contrary tales and match-tales in the collected works of Christopher Tolkien, because he is NOT J.R.R. himself and will never know what was in his mind for future-finished tales that he meant to write. So I guess we'll never truly know the true deeds and fortunes of the misterious Blue-Wizards...

BluestEye
 

Grond

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Ahhh. With my HoMe edition in hand turned to The Peoples of Middle-earth, Chapter XIII, Last Writings, The Five Wizards........Telchar beats me to the punch.

Hail and Well met BluestEye. I find also that you mistyped in your entry. The Blue Wizards went East with Curunir (Saruman) and not Sauron. Other than that, your thoughts were correct but Tolkien elaborated more on the subject in the HoMe.
 

Grond

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Whoa there BluestEye. The HoMe are the writings of none other than JRRT. All CT has done is organized and edited the works. The quote Telchar cited was a direct quote from the author and not edited commentary of CT. As a matter of fact, The Silmarillion is the same. Published in 1977 some five years after the author's death. So we do indeed know the author's feelings on the matter.
 

Telchar

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Re: The Misterious Blue-Wizards

Originally posted by BluestEye
Mmmmmm.... interesting....
Well, I guess we'll find many contrary tales and match-tales in the collected works of Christopher Tolkien, because he is NOT J.R.R. himself and will never know what was in his mind for future-finished tales that he meant to write. So I guess we'll never truly know the true deeds and fortunes of the misterious Blue-Wizards...
BluestEye
Collected works of Christopher Tolkien? Never heard of them..
The History of Middle Earth is a series of 12 books containing writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and coments and notes by Christopher Tolkien.. ..as Grond said..
 
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Curufinwe

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History Of Middle Earth

Is people of middle earth the best on of the series for I always here people referring to that one particularly?
 

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