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Who are the real first born: Elves, Balrogs or Dwarves?

Who are the real first born? Why?

  • Elves

    Votes: 26 51.0%
  • Dwarves

    Votes: 13 25.5%
  • Balrogs

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • Others

    Votes: 6 11.8%

  • Total voters
    51

Beren Erchanion

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Ok Ok I already know that elves are "The first born" so don't panic Ijust want to specify something. There was a war before the first children of Ilùvatar came on Arda. A war between Melkor and his balrogs and the Valars and Maïars. Dwarves were created by Aulë when Melkor was really powerful in the pre-elven world and they were breathing and moving, they were alive ( just for a few moment of course!) when the Elves were still "sleeping". So in my heart Elves are the first born but I vote for Balrogs cuz Melkor was able to do anything include being faster than Eru by bringing his own creatures before him. So what do you think about it?
 

Mr. Underhill

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... also when Aule created the Dwarves they may have had "life" but lacked freewill. They were like little robots that could only do specifically what Aule instructed (they had no "souls"). Eru took pity on Aule for wanting to have little followers (and he was honest about it and didn't try to hide them) so he agreed to give them freewill but only after the Elves awoke. That's why I voted for the Elves.
 

Grond

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Check out the Ainulindale

It is clear that by the will of Iluvator, the Firstborn are the Elves, Quoting from the Ainulindale, "...And they saw with amazement the coming of the Children of Iluvator, and the habitation that was prepared for them; and they perceived that they themselves in the labour of their music had been busy with the preparation of this dwelling, and yet knew not that it had any purpose beyond its beauty... Now the Children of Iluvator are Elves and men, the Firstborn and the Followers..."

As has already been stated, the Balrogs are corrupted Maia and were never born but were in the beginning. Dwarves were created soley by Aule but were tansformed into something more by Iluvator. But they too were made to rest and wait until the coming of the Firstborn.
 

Beren Erchanion

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I don't think that balrogs are corrupted maia, where do you get it I probably missed a part...So you're telling me that the balrog who "killed" Gandalf in the moria was a Maia (so the equal of Sauron)? I don't think so... If Aulë can create stuff like Dwarves imagine waht Melkor can create and perhaps Melkor sign his own song before the creation. Aulë couldn't take care of his Dwarves because he had something else to do like taking care of his element (the stones and the metals etc.). But melkor don't have a "job" like other Ainurs so he can create "robots" and do wath he want whit it. If Aulë got the idea to do it so melkor can have an even better one. Well one thing is sure, an Orc is not an Elf right? but it seems that Orcs are corrupted Elfs like Balrogs are corrupted Maiars. So a Balrog is a totally diferrent creature than a Maia it's a Melkor's child. I always knew that Elves were supposed to be there first on Arda but Balrog were "enjoying" Arda before them and Aulë was in Arda when he creates the Dwarves but he didn't knew what elves were looking like because they didn't have a body yet so Dwarves get their body before Elves so my real question would be more like : If elves are the first human the second wich rank are balrogs and dwarves? Cuz whit what you said it seems that they all got a reason to be called the firstborn for me(My stricly personal conviction). Balrogs corrupted Maiar I can't fix it in my mind I thoght they were in Melkor's song like Dragons and giant spider (do you really think that Eru would have bring creature like that by Himself on arda? I don't!) do you think I'm wrong or I'm right...?
 

Mr. Underhill

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Well ... if you're asking for my opinion ... I think you may have a few details messed up a little.
 

Gothmog

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First of all Balrogs are Maiar who were drawn to Melkor at the hight of his power and Majesty and then were corrupted by him. Not all Maiar are of the same power. Sauron was the most powerful Maia of Aule (and probably one of the most powerful of all the Maiar) before being corrupted by Melkor. Probably the only Balrog to come near to Sauron in power was Gothmog.

I voted for Dwarves, as the seven Fathers of the Dwarves were born before the Elves and Eru gave to them freedom and a place in his plan. However, Eru would not allow them to come before the Children of his Choice and therefore they were put to sleep until the comming of the First Born of Eru's Children of Choice. This is only a technicality as the Fathers of the Dwarves were not awake for long before being hidden away to await the coming of the Elves.
 

Valinorean

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Originally posted by Beren Erchanion
like Dragons and giant spider (do you really think that Eru would have bring creature like that by Himself on arda? I don't!) do you think I'm wrong or I'm right...?
It is not for the Valar, or the elves, or humans, or dwarves - to fully comprehend the plan of Eru. Everything - good and evil - comes from Eru for a reason.

When Melkor caused a discord in The Music, Eru was not enraged. He didn't even seem surprised. He simply let a new part of his plan unfold, and began a new theme in The Music.
 

Beren Erchanion

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Originally posted by Gothmog
First of all Balrogs are Maiar who were drawn to Melkor at the hight of his power and Majesty and then were corrupted by him.

So if Balrogs are Maiar, Orcs are Elves!

My opinion is they were Maiar (I check in my Sil book thank to correct me everybody) ;) but they are no more a Maiar like gandalf is not a maiar but Olorìn is one (well it's a little bit more difficult to explain (see Gandalf the white? Help! Thread for more details)) . An orc was an elf but it's no more an elf... everybody agree I hope :rolleyes: I don't know if Tolkien wright it somewhere but I don't think taht Balrogs can come back from death nor can return into maiar form, otherwise Melkor had succeed a long time before the Ring. When Melkor corrupt some peoples they are no more what they were, they are what Melkor wanted them to be: a totally diferrent creature reborn in something else than they are supposed to...a Melkor's child... So Melkor put the creatures he wanted on Arda before Eru bring the Firstborn that's what I meant by saying the Balrogs were born first. Ok they were already born as Maiar But if the Valar had lost the "War before the Elves" it's not a Maiar who had welcome the Elves at Cuìviénen lake But probably Gothmog. Tolkien keep a lot of mystery in his work and it's not easy to "fill the holes" but it's pleasant.
 

Gothmog

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Beren.

When you compare the Ainur who came to Arda with the people who were Born into Arda you run into a problem. The Ainur when they decended into Arda became the Valar and the Maiar according to their level of power. They were not bound to the bodies that they created themselves but just used them in the same way as we use clothes. The Balrogs did not Die but the phyical form they were then using was destroyed, as Maiar they could not Die. As for them not returning after the destruction of their bodies, I started a thread on this very subject in The Hall of Fire called Balrogs Again!!

The people who were Born into Arda were bound to their physical form and when that form was destroyed then in the case of the Elves they went to Mandos and later back to Arda (in most cases at least). For men, they went to Mandos and then left Arda completely. In the case of the Dwarves, it is not known what really happens.

As for Elves being turned to Orcs by Melkor, this is in the books as a supposition of the Elves when they first saw them but it is not comfirmed.

But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into the pits of Utumno. or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumnp was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruekty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes.
The Silmarillion: Of the coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor: page 58

Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, thinking them perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in teh wild; in which they gussed all too near, it is said.
the Silmarillion:Of the Sindar : page 110

With Men, those that Melkor corrupted remained Men even though they had turned to Evil.
 

Grond

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***You may ignore my post if you desire. Gothmog answered this before my nimble fingers could compose my post. His post addresses all of the issues I was trying to cover.***

Beren, I don't think you're wrong.... I know you're wrong. We have the words of Mr. J. R. R. Tolkien which I will quote to you from the Silmarillion out of the Valaquenta, chapter Of The Enemies, page 31 in my Sil, "Yet so great was the power of his uprising that in ages forgotten he contended with Manwe and all the Valar, and through long years in Arda held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth. But he was not alone. For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror."

Tolkien's description states that they were corrupted Maiar and not created. Also, Sauron, Gandalf, Saruman, and Balrogs were all Maiar. Doesn't it make sense that Gandalf would have been vanquished by someone of equal stature, although, that isn't necessary. (After all, Ecthelion of the Fountain, a mere Elda, did vanquish Gothmog, a very powerful Maia.)

I find many of your statements of fact to be unsupported by the works of the Author. I say this with no disrespect, but before you post you might want to check the validity of your statements in the books.
 
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Beren Erchanion

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Ok everybody Iwill defend my idea with this :(
I re-re-re-check my unfinished tales of the third Age and it's written:" The Valar send members of their own Great Concil to the ME and they were wearing human bodies (not just appearance) so they can suffert pain starving and even death(...)so they can understand how peoples are suffering..." so Saruman is a Maiar but he finnaly died like a poor mortal because the Valar change him that way. If the valar can change a maiar that much Iwonder what the Dark Prince can do with them. If Balrogs just lose their body but not their soul so I believe that Melkor is more stupid than I expected...(what would surprise me) but I will continue my search of the truth because you didn't convince me yet!:rolleyes:

Whit this poll I just wanted to create confusion and if this poll wasn't mine I'd vote for Elves because it's the true answer I just wanted A good debate about the Firstborn concept and it's seems to go much further... thank for your collaboration guys!;)
 

telperion

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the answer is all in the book of lost tales ...
when you only read the silmarillion i can understand that you get confused because christopher had to comprise a bible.
and i see nowhere a discussion of the cottage of lost play , in my mind the most mindboggling setting of telling the history of the very beginning of the beginning of time?,,,,,,,,,...........
 

Telchar

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Hi & Welcome to the Tolkien Forum! :)

The Cottage of Lost Play in UT, or in HoME? I don't know if there is one in UT, haven't read that book yet, but there is one in HoME..
 

telperion

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I've bought the book of lost tales some years ago now and i recently puchased the book of lost tales two and the lays of beleriand and the shaping of middle earth which deals more of the quenta, and that name was not used for the eldar in the beginning , but in all of these books an explanation is added by the son of the author ,christopher, with a detailed report on how he found the work , in which state , and the chronology and methinks he did a swell job . often the chrono goes a bit beyond me but i'm from holland and the understanding of some passages in old english is sometimes hard to comprehend.
The books are of Unwin paperbacks but it is a hard cover.....
i'm glad to see so many to the likings of professor Tolkien.................:) :) :)
 

telperion

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no not in unfinished tales , but in the book of lost tales volume 1 where Eriol the man set out to find the island that he saw in his dreams ,awakened by the stories of his fathers father who ventured too far as a child while playing at the cottage of play (that wasn't lost then) and heard the Solosimpi pipe their pipes(the shore elves -later the teleri)
Also very confusing is the usage of the word gnome for the people who never left palisor.......
 

Cian

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Hullo Telperion and welcome.

Right, "gnome" was an early designation for those Elves called the Noldoli, (literary precursors of the later Noldor), compare Greek gnóme 'thought, intelligence'.

Generally pointing out: that the Lost Tales, the Mythology for England, is a very early one, and not necessarilly always conceptually in tune with later "Silmarillion" traditions. I love it, Tevildo included.
 
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Beren Erchanion

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Ok guys watch my new thread cause everybody are against my idea and it's too difficult for me to debate about such lost details of Tolkien's world in a foreign language, even if I understand everything you said but it seems that peoples don't really understand what I truly want to say.


P.S.I know now that Balrogs were maia but you didn't bring a Tolkien wrighting that tell they are still Maia and I still believe that orc are not elves anymore.
 

Ancalagon

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Alrighty, lets not lose sight of the original poll.

'Who were the real firstborn; Elves, Balrogs or Dwarves?'

Okay, this is my opinion, always up for debate and I will deal with Balrogs first.

Being Maiar, as Gothmog and Grond both pointed out is a good starting point for solving this debate.

I will quote to you from the Silmarillion out of the Valaquenta, chapter Of The Enemies, page 31 in my Sil, "Yet so great was the power of his uprising that in ages forgotten he contended with Manwe and all the Valar, and through long years in Arda held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth. But he was not alone. For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror."
In the Silmarillion we know that the Ainur (The 'Holy Ones') were the offspring of the thought of Eru (Iluvatar) and they were with him before aught else was made. They were without shape or form at this time within The Timeless Halls. The Maiar were a multitude of lesser Ainur, servants to the greatest, known as the Valar, who numbered fifteen. They are not known as the firstborn, because that had been a design known only to Iluvatar himself, possibly even before the Music of the Ainur. So these entities were simply extensions of Iluvatars own mind, yet given freedom to craft according to their own will, after the fashion in which they were created.

Balrogs were simply an embodiment of their own spirit in a fashion they thought would make a mockery of all that was beautiful in the eyes of those who had created Arda and its content. As the servants of Melkor, they fashioned themselves after him, not as many of those who were faithful to Iluvatar had made themselves beautiful or majestic. Remember; ‘Melkor saw what was done, and that the Valar walked on Earth as powers visible , clad in the raiment of the World, and were lovely and glorious to see, and blissful, and that the Earth was becoming a garden for their delight, for its turmoils were subdued. His envy grew then the greater within him; and he also took visible form, but because of his mood and the malice that burned in him that form was dark and terrible.’ (Sil. Ainulindale 23)

So we can understand from this and many other numerous quotes, the reason for his servants clothing themselves in the raiment of both shadow and fire. We also know that they were not creations of Melkor, for they travelled to Middle-Earth with him; ‘Then Tulkas slept, being weary and content, and Melkor deemed that his hour had come. And he passed therefroeover the Walls of Night with his host, and came to Middle-Earth far in the North; and the Valar were not aware of him.’ (Sil. Of the Beginning of Days 40/41).

More importantly; ‘ And in Utumno he (Melkor) gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness and terror went before them: they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named in middle-earth in later days’.

Hence we know that from these passages, Balrogs were Maiar, they were clad in raiment of dark and fire and that they travelled from the Undying Lands. Melkor corrupted not all, they had chosen this path for that was their own desire, in awe of the glory of Melkor, but not necessarily corrupted. So that counts them out as being the Firstborn.

Dwarves: Aule created these, long before the coming of both Elves and Men. They were not made in mockery of the Firstborn, as Melkor did with Orcs after the coming of the firstborn. Aule, the greatest craftsman, created them in his eagerness to teach his lore and crafts. Though because he was unsure of the mind of Iluvatar and because of the destruction of Melkor, he created a hardy and unyielding race as children. Therefore, he made the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in a hall under the mountains in Middle-Earth.

Iluvatar knew of this, and even as Aule began to instruct them in speech that he had devised, spoke to him; ‘Why dost thou attempt a thing which is beyond thy power and thy authority?’ (Sil. Of Aule and Yavanna 49)

However, Aule pleaded his case for his creation, to the point where he was prepared to smite them with a great hammer. Most importantly, IMHO, the Dwarves were afraid, and bowed their heads begging for mercy. Iluvatar took pity on Aule for he understood and knew his humility. But Iluvatar spoke;

First saying; ‘ Thy offer I accepted even as it was made. Dost thou not see that these things now have a life of their own, and speak with their own voices? Else they would not have flinched from thy blow, nor from any command of thy will.’

Secondly;

‘Even as I gave being to the thoughts of the Ainur at the beginning of the World, so now I have taken up thy desire and given it a place therein; but in no other way shall I amend thy handiwork, and as thou hast made it, so it shall be. But I will not suffer this; that these should come before the Firstborn of my design, nor that thy impatience should be rewarded. They shall sleep now in darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth.’

This I believe explains that Dwarves were not as robots, but actual living, breathing beings, which knew fear and understood compassion. Iluvatar himself accepts that they had life, and he would not alter their creation in any way; only deny their rising as the first beings on middle-earth. Here I can only agree with Gothmog.

Elves; I will not harp on about Elves for the tale is to numerous to translate. However, all must agree that Elves were the actual creation of Iluvatar himself. His thought gave them life, which is why he called them the firstborn.

‘It is told that even as Varda ended her labours, and they were long, when first Menelmacar strode up to the sky and the blue fire of Helluin flickered in the mists above the borders of the world, in that hour the Children of the Earth awoke, the Firstborn of Iluvatar.’ (Sil. Of the Coming of the Elves 56)

Therefore, I surmise the following based on the original question; 'who were the real firstborn; Elves, Balrogs or Dwarves?'

1.Elves were the Firstborn, the Children of Iluvatar, and the actual design of the creator himself.

2.Dwarves were the first to be born, but not in the image that Iluvatar had himself moulded for his own children. They did however come first as I have shown earlier.

3.Balrogs were not creations of Melkor, they were not born of this earth, but extensions of the (possible darker side of the) thoughts of Iluvatar. They were lesser Ainur, known as Maiar and spirits allied to Melkor. Their fate after death is still unknown, though I am a believer in the fact that Mandos (or Namo) is the keeper of all the spirits of the dead, no matter whom that spirit may belong to. For all the Maiar are spirits, even though many had taken bodily form. ‘He is the doomsman of the Valar; but he pronounces his dooms and his judgements only at the bidding of Manwe’. (Sil. Valaquenta 30)


That will do me for now.
 

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