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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
the fallibility of the valar


Mar 11 2013, 11:33am

Post #1 of 4 (420 views)
the fallibility of the valar Can't Post

i've always wondered about the valar's original invitation/command to bring the eldar to valinor. middle earth had been made for the eldar and beings like them. to bring them to valinor and expect them to stay there seems not to be the best idea, in the long run.

did the valar have any thoughts to guiding the eldar back to middle earth, after a stay in valinor? the poor morquendi who didn't travel to aman, yet lived in middle earth as they were seemingly supposed to do. nobody but orome and ulmo paid much attention to them.

thoughts, on the fallibility of the valar?


Mar 11 2013, 11:57pm

Post #2 of 4 (247 views)
Plenty fallible [In reply to] Can't Post

A belated welcome to the Reading Room, Maciliel!

I should say, "Don't get me started on those Valar and their decisions!" But I'll restrain myself to your question and say that their decision was emotional, not rational, and sometimes emotion trumps reason, other times it's a mistake. The Elves seem like pets to the Valar, who've been waiting for playthings for millenia. Finally they appear, and they just have to take them home to play in the yard! Ulmo's counsel is more rational, but that's brushed aside.

One of the more rational arguments in favor of the Valar is that they knew the world was still a dangerous place and the Elves were still babes in the woods, incapable of contending with the evils left behind by Melkor, so it made sense to protect them in Valinor. They couldn't force anyone to go there, so if the Moriquendi stayed behind, that was their choice to live by.

While it seems reasonable to suggest that the Elves could have been taken to Valinor to be educated and toughened up, then sent back to populate and improve Arda, it seems that the Elves themselves had no desire to leave once they got there. Even the Teleri, who didn't want to leave the Sea, apparently never sent any of their ships back to Beleriand with tidings between Olwe and Elwe. Why not? It wasn't too hard for Feanor to take their ships and cross back to Beleriand, but they didn't choose that path themselves, and they don't appear to have been under any Valar orders not to go back. And could the Valar have evicted them "for their own good"? That doesn't seem right either.


Mar 12 2013, 1:25am

Post #3 of 4 (222 views)
mae govannen, curiousg [In reply to] Can't Post

your first sentence made me laugh. yes, the valar are confusing. i agree with your observations re the what ifs.

but, surely, could not the valar say at one point, "hey eldar... do you want to go back to middle earth? explore a little? we could arrange that. and you can come back whenever you want."

i also have issue with their abandonment of the morquendi. that seems a dereliction of duty, while they're loving it up with the caliquendi in amman.

to me it seems that the elves never really, never fully grow to their purpose in middle earth. a people sundered, kindreds sundered, families sundered.

mortals seem the main beneficiaries of the interference of the valar.


Mar 13 2013, 12:58am

Post #4 of 4 (255 views)
It would make sense to go back and play tourist [In reply to] Can't Post

If the Valar are going to create the Calacirya just so the Elves in Valinor can get a look at the stars, and if the Teleri remain in the twilight because they like it so much, you'd think they would want to make jaunts to Middle-earth, which is the land of their awakening--aren't they nostalgic? So, do you think the Valar forbade it, or didn't suggest it, or no one thought to ask? Were the Valar afraid that the Elves would leave and not come back? The last part is what I think. Maybe tricky Ulmo or Osse would get their boat stuck on the far shore again in another "accident" and leave them there.

The abandonment of the Moriquendi does seem a little hard to fathom since the Valar mostly stayed out of Middle-earth until they were ready to wrest it back from Melkor. Okay, it's been wrested, so why aren't they frolicking all over it? For that matter, why don't the Valar create a new Valinor in Middle-earth, and why do they stay on their island? There are empires where the ruler had multiple residences that they moved between periodically, so why not the Valar?

But other than where they live, one wonders how the Valar treated the Moriquendi. The Avari rejected their summons altogether, but the other groups just lagged behind and didn't do anything wrong. Does Orome visit them? Does anyone go to teach them? Are there other beings like Melian roaming the world that come across them and make them better? There don't seem to be, given how the Elves later come to Beleriand to find sanctuary from the wilderness. Why they are neglected is hard to figure out.

On the other hand, it was Ulmo who said none of the Elves should be brought to Valinor but should be left in M-E to make it better. But did they? Not by much, it seems to me, so he may have been proven wrong. Thranduil's realm was fine, but was it great? And Lorien wouldn't be as exalted as it was without a Noldorin ruler with a Noldorin Ring, so it seems the Moriquendi didn't do as much growing as the Valinor Elves did.


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