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Who Was First?

Greymantle

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Presumably, "before" was intended to mean "in front of." The Ainur were the offspring of Iluvatar's thought, and their music for him was basically his own creation.
 

Lantarion

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Yeah, "before" probably means "under the surveillance of", or something like that.
Welcome, and congratulations! You are the first newbie who has spelt "Ilúvatar" the way it's supposed to, instead of "Illuvator", like he was the higher form of the Terminator. :D
 

Iluisa Olórin

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I've a respect for Tolkien's work that forces me to cite names properly :)

If Gandalf was the Maia of Manwë and Varda, the greatest of the Valar, why was he not acknowledged as the chief of the Istari, even though Saruman was said to be the eldest?

How is Tom Bombadil's recollection of the Men of Westernesse in Fog on the Barrow-downs in FotR significent? Are there other suggestions as to his origin, other than an Elf, a Maia, a Vala or a spirit?
 
O

Olaf

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The Book "Unfinished Tales" mentioned how when Manwe was sending the Istari to Middle-earth, Gandalf wasn't even present in the meeting when Manwe was asking for volunteers. The Istati had to clothe themselves in flesh, thereby becoming vulnerable when walking on the land of men and Elves. Gandalf offered the excuse that he was tired from his journey and that he was afraid of Sauron, so Manwe commanded him to go. (Gandalf was drafted). You have to remember that to go "in the flesh" more or less leveled the playing field amongest the spirit beings. Melkor and Sauron were powerful sprit beings but when they clothed themselves in flesh they were almost anniliated by the sheer numbers of Middle-earth denizens that went against them.
 

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