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Were the Ainur the First to Spring from the Thought of Eru?

Were the Ainur the First Offspring of the Thought of Eru?

  • Yes

    Votes: 28 90.3%
  • No

    Votes: 3 9.7%

  • Total voters
    31

Grond

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Were the Ainur the First Offspring from the Thought of Eru?

In the LotR, The Two Towers, Chapter The White Rider, Gandalf makes the following statement when addressing Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli concerning his confrontation with the Balrog,

"...Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, and I will bring no report to darken the light of day..."

This indicates to me that there are things older than the Ainur that must have sprung from the thought of Eru before the Vala and Maia. Since all was void, they must have resided in the void and maybe some came to Middle-earth after it was created.

What do you think??? Gandalf is not infallible but his statement is pretty clear. He thinks there are living things which are older than Sauron (and himself). Would this not be a plausible explanation for both Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil, who seem to defy standard explanation?
 
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baraka

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Answering your question:
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.
I think this first passage of the AINULINDALË seems to me that the Ainur were the first offspring in Eru´s mind.
Having said that, i think that we should not rule out that there could be other beings in the void before Eru made the ainur.
 

Eonwe

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thought about this a lot.

I have little to offer except a weak analysis:

1) If they are older than Sauron, in the truest sense, then they have to have been in Ea before the Ainur sprang from Illuvatar's thought. Pretty much impossible.

2) There is often in LoTR and the Sil. references to how old things are. Eldest I am = Bombadil. The oldest living thing under the Sun = Treebeard. I think if you go back before the Sun and the Moon many of these references are clouded. What I mean is, there is a time when the Valar first come to Ea and create the lamps and the Spring of Arda starts. Is this when time in Ea really begins, or is it when the two trees flower and mingle their light for the first time? For instance could it be possible that Sauron came down to Melkor in the early time of the Spring of Arda, that is he was completely corrupted then (but probably already made music with Melkor in front of Illuvatar, and was still a "good" Maia for Aule before this)? It isn't clear exactly when each Vala/Maia came into the world, and like Tulkas some came later.

So what I am saying with #2 is, perhaps these nameless things were in Ea as soon as it was created (or nearly thereafter) or perhaps they were created at the very start of the Spring of Arda, and thereafter Sauron came to Arda from the outside and was corrupted by Melkor.

Never really had a good answer for Gandalf's statement...
 

Camille

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I agree with Eonwe, there are a lot of contradictions in the LOTR and in the Sil (treebear-BombaldiL) about who is the eldest and things like that I also think that maybe those creatures that sauron did not know are the beast that orome used to hunt at the time when arda was young and melkor corrupted many things at the time before time.
 

Hama

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One could interpret Gandalf's words in a number of ways. I think that these things have been around since before a) Sauron became evil. b)Sauron came to middle earth c) Sauron's spirit came back to inhabit middle earth. I do not think this meant the creation of Sauron along with the other Ainur. The origins of Tom Bombadil are as discussed on numerous other threads, an enigma that JRRT never explained. Concerning Ents, they were definitely some of the oldest inhabitants of Middle Earth, but doesn't it say somewhere that they were awoken by the Elves? Someone help me out please. In which case would you consider the Elves to be older? Obviously these big creatures had big egos to go with them.
 

Camille

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hama you are right, in the chapter were aule create the Dwarves Yavana went to manwe!! and there he remebered that the ents are going to wake up when the elves will wake
 

Beleg Strongbow

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Originally posted by baraka
Answering your question:

I think this first passage of the AINULINDALË seems to me that the Ainur were the first offspring in Eru´s mind.
Having said that, i think that we should not rule out that there could be other beings in the void before Eru made the ainur.


Yes. But i think it was the ainur. But the thought of Eru is the Ainur.
 

Grond

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After rereading the opening statement in the Ainulindale again, I guess I'll have to do another poll on whether the Ainur were the only beings to spring from the thought of Eru. It appears that the Silmarillion states that the Ainur were first, could others have come later? Again, if others came later that were not Ainur, would that not explain the enigmas of Bombadil and Ungoliant and the other creatures that came to Middle-earth at the invite of Melkor perhaps.
 

Elfarmari

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maybe we could resolve this debate by saying that the Valar were created, then the 'nameless things',etc, and then the rest of the Ainur, including Sauron. . .;)
 

Grond

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Unfortunately, Nienor, The Ainulindale makes it pretty clear that the Ainur were all created first and at the same time by Eru and the Ainur included both the Vala and the Maia... hence the problem with my theory. :(
 
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O

Orome

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That it was mentioned possibly it is how the time line is measured which makes a difference. Sauron may have still singing and through the themes of Melkor been coming up with a few of these things so they had bodies before Sauron did. They would not be as old as measured in time of living in spirit but older in have life in body. Kind of splitting hairs I know. Those weird themes Melkor came up with would explain some of those bizarre creatures I saw when hunting which never were in Angband, especially those tall funny looking ones who said ecki-ecki-ecki-pitang-someingorother that kept repeating this one strange word which sent my puppy into absolute delirium. I will not repeat the word. It is of ill omen to do so. These things had physical form such as they were before those of us who were first in the mind of Illuvitar. I do think the Aunir were first by all I know, but Eru knows best.
 

Gothmog

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If the 'namless things' of Gandalf's quote are older than Sauron and The Ainur were the first to spring from the thought of Eru, then we are left with the possibility that these things are not of the Thought of Eru.

Question. Where did Eru come from?

Perhaps the nameless things existed before the Ainur and were the same age as Eru. This could also apply to Ungoliant who descended into Arda from the Void. Maybe they were the creepy-crawlies of the void such as our spiders, worms and insects.
 
L

LeggoMyLegolas

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its long but read it

i have Sim with me and it says :clears throat:
"but for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Iluvatar from which he came, and in understanding of the brethren grew slowly"

what i got out of it was that like humans there only know what is taught to them by eru wishes even the point where yavanna goes to manwe and to ask about her works being free from dominion and manwe unfolded the thought in his heart and it grew and was beheld by no other than iluvatar and manwe "heeded many things that he heard them but had not heeded before" which goes back to the comprehension thing

sauron was and is a maiar but it says that they are helpers of the valar so if time is a part of this eru has to make a second body(the maiar) after the first body(the Valar/ainur) is created there for in the thought of eru there is a very good possibility of there being something before sauron besides the valar. and their purpose you ask well eru knows but it goes back to knowing only what you need to know going back to the sauron knows them not. i dont know if thats legitimate or just mindless jibber jabber but give comments please?
 
L

LeggoMyLegolas

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eru made ainur then unspeakables then maiar and sauron does not know them becuase eru did not let him know that
 

Hama

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Can't say I wholly agree with you, LmL. The Ainur are the order of being created before Ea and include the Maiar and Valar. The Maiar were created side-by-side with the Valar, but the latter were of greater power and stature. I agree with Grond that there were other things put into place by Eru, possibly after the creation of the Ainur that they have no idea about (Bombadil, Shelob, et al) I also think that the Ainulinde has more weightage than Gandalf's words, and because of this contradiction we must try and find a new, more parsimonious meaning for these words, as I have suggested in a previous post (look above).
 

Bucky

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I think the explanation is that Ainur are Ainur, not Maiar or Valar & the unnamed creatures came with the creation of the world, before those spirits that were Valar & Maiar had entered earth & became 'bound' to it until the end.

Or, Sauron came later than some did, just like Tulkas.


>>>The
origins of Tom Bombadil are as discussed on numerous other threads, an
enigma that JRRT never explained.

Tom Bomdadil is not an enigma. Tolkien states in letter 144 (I think - it's late) that Tom was 'the spirit of the (vanishing) Oxford countryside.'
So, he represents 'natural' conditions or the physical manifestation of ME.
When Tolkien states in a later letter that Tom is an enigma, he isn't expecting his son would publish all those letters, including the one where Tom is described as that 'spirit of the (vanishing) countryside.
 

Grond

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Tom

Originally posted by Bucky
I think the explanation is that Ainur are Ainur, not Maiar or Valar & the unnamed creatures came with the creation of the world, before those spirits that were Valar & Maiar had entered earth & became 'bound' to it until the end.

Or, Sauron came later than some did, just like Tulkas.


>>>The origins of Tom Bombadil are as discussed on numerous other threads, an enigma that JRRT never explained.

Tom Bomdadil is not an enigma. Tolkien states in letter 144 (I think - it's late) that Tom was 'the spirit of the (vanishing) Oxford countryside.'
So, he represents 'natural' conditions or the physical manifestation of ME.
When Tolkien states in a later letter that Tom is an enigma, he isn't expecting his son would publish all those letters, including the one where Tom is described as that 'spirit of the (vanishing) countryside.
Bucky, I've cited the letter that JRRT wrote, in which he explained that TB was indeed an enigma, several times. You have referred to Letter 144 numerous times on the issue and I have read it and reread it and don't find the quote of which you speak. It is a really, really long letter. Could you please direct me to exactly where in the letter it is written? I do not question it is there, I just can't find it and would like to see in what context it was written. Thanks.
 

UngattTrunn475

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Let me quote from the first chapted in the Quenta Silmarillion:

It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped, and ere yet there was anything that grew or walked upon earth; and for long Melkor had the upper hand. But in the midst of the war a spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar, hearing in the far heaventhat there was battle in the Little Kingdom, and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter. So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age. And Tulkas remained and became one of the Valar of the Kingdom of Arda; but Melkor brooded in the outer darkness, and his hate was given to Tulkas for ever after.

Do you suppose that there were other creatures from what it calls "The Far Heavens" that wandered into Arda, and stayed there?
 

Gothmog

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I thought that I would bump this thread up to see if there were any fresh insights to be given by the membership now. :)
 

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