of the valar

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Silm Posters → Valar →  Manwë Súlimo

He was appointed to be, in the fullness of time, the first of all Kings: lord of the realm of Arda and ruler of all that dwell therein. In Arda, his delight is in the winds and the clouds, and in all the regions of the air, from the heights to the depths, from the utmost borders of the Veil of Arda to the breezes that blow in the grass. Súlimo he is surnamed, Lord of the Breath of Arda. All swift birds, strong of wind, he loves, and they come and go at his bidding. 

It amuses me that the Istari were specifically handpicked by the Valar to go to Middle Earth and defend it against Sauron.  They were essentially the Wizard Avengers.  They had one job to do.

But ffs two of them just wander off for no reason; they just disappear and no one knows where they went or what happened to them.

Radagast just sits around in his forests, only chipping in when Gandalf asks him for help.

Saruman turns on everyone and becomes Sauron’s lackey.

So what I’m saying is, Gandalf is that one guy in the group project that does all the work because everyone is either absent, lazy, or picking fights with the rest of the group.  So yeah I don’t blame Gandalf for being so goddamn grumpy all the time.

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the valar | requested by @existentialposer

The Great among these spirits the Elves name the Valar, the Powers of Arda, and Men have often called them gods. The Lords of the Valar are seven; and the Valier, the Queens of the Valar, are seven also. These were their names in the Elvish tongue as it was spoken in Valinor, though they have other names in the speech of the Elves in Middle-earth, and their names among Men are manifold. The names of the Lords in due order are: Manwe, Ulmo, Aule, Orome, Mandos, Lorien, and Tulkas; and the names of the Queens are: Varda, Yavanna, Nienna, Este, Vaire, Vana, and Nessa. Melkor is counted no longer among the Valar, and his name is not spoken upon Earth.

The spouse of Aule is Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits. She is the lover of all things that grow in the earth, and all their countless forms she holds in her mind, from the trees like towers in forests long ago to the moss upon stones or the small and secret things in the mould. In reverence Yavanna is next to Varda among the Queens of the Valar.

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Here is a kind of “master post” with the full Silmarillion Comic’s first chapter : Ainulindalë ! Again, thanks to all of you guys for the support, I’ll soon be working on how to continue this comic project, and to start next chapter !! :D


My main art blog : Sora Niizu !

Iconography of the Ainur

It’s pretty common for deities or saints to have certain symbols attached to them for artistic or teaching purposes, especially in preliterate societies or places with low literacy. So it seems a pretty reasonable idea that the Ainur had their own symbols developed by the elves and later adopted and modified by the Edain.  (The dwarves have no such parallel system. Language and writing have such a sacred character to them that calligraphic inscriptions serve this purpose.)

The pre-sundering elves of Cuivienen created the oldest symbols, and those continue to be used among the Moriquendi and the elves of Middle-earth. From these ancient symbols, the Amanyar elves developed a complex system to help identify the subject of an image in their art, such as the number and placement of figures, their gestures, setting and objects that appear with them. 

The Valar have a particularly standardized set of iconography associated with them. When the image is an Ainur’s humanoid form, they have a nimbus of radience or a crown of stars surrounding their head. The icon can take the place of the Vala it represents, or simply be a sign of influence or presence. The most common symbol type is animal.

  • Manwë - an eagle, a cloud, or a wind. Eönwë is specifically represented as a falcon, and other maiar as other birds of prey active during the day.
  • Varda - stars, of course, but occasionally an owl, a noctural bird of prey to match her husband’s eagle, or rarely a bat (Amanyar only, used only during the Years of the Trees). Ilmarë and her other handmaidens use a cat, ocelot, or leopard.
  • Aulë - an anvil or a smith’s hammer, raw crystals; his only animal symbols are corvids like crows or ravens
  • Yavanna - It would be inappropriate to represent Yavanna with any animal, since they feed on her plants. Instead elven artists use ripened wheat or fair trees with straight trunks. Some pollinators, like bees may be used. Yavanna’s maiar are animals that eat only nuts or fruits, the rationale being that they are helping the tree disperse its seeds.
  • Ulmo - Use of an animal symbol for Ulmo is unusual; most commonly he is a tall, foam-crested wave. But when an animal is used, large predatory fish, squid or octopus are common. No animal that must surface to breathe can be used. Ossë’s symbol is a Killer Whale, an Uinen has dolphins & porpoises. For his other maiar, various water-going animals that cannot breathe in the water are used, like whales, seals, or sea turtles.
  • Namo/Mandos - Using any living thing to represent the Vala of death is taboo. A pair of scales, an animal skull, or an hourglass are his symbols. For his maiar, the elves created a race of special mythological creatures: black coated, predatory animals with bare skulls as their heads and ghost lights in place of eyes. 
  • Vairë - Her symbol has quite the history. Her ancient, original symbol is the spider and spiderweb, but those fell out of use among the Amanyar and Sindar thanks to Ungoliant and her spawn. The Avari, Nandor and their Silvan descendents continued to use it until spiders began to plague Mirkwood. The spider was replaced by symbols of weaving like the loom, shuttle, and spindle.
  • Irmo/Lórien - He has several. The butterfly or moth, because they are animals that metamorphose from one form to another, and the Gardens of Lórien are filled with them. Colorful frogs, especially poisonous ones. Peacocks, for the ‘eyes’ on their feathers. Poppy flower, for its narcotic properties.
  • Estë - the serpent, for her role as healer. The turtle or lotus as representations of her island where she sleeps.
  • Melian - nightingale 
  • Nienna - a teardrop or tear tracks. White or grey doves. For the Amanyar, elephants, because they can cry and feel grief for a lost family member.
  • Oromë - a horse or a hound. He is a rare case of a repeated symbol; a falcon or hawk is also used, but it must be hooded or jessed as when used in falconry. Oromë’s maiar are most often represented by animals that hunt in packs, like wolves or lions, sometimes solitary predators. They are always predators.
  • Vána - flowers or songbirds, and hummingbirds who drink from flowers.
  • Tulkas - the boar, bull, or ram. Implements of war may be used, but since Tulkas is famous as a wrestler, are less common.
  • Nessa - a doe, hare, or gazelle. Among the Edain, she gained the symbol of the Horned Doe, a doe with a buck’s horns.
  • Tilion and Arien have special symbolic markings of their own. Tilion is always crowned with the moon (which moon phase varies), as Arien is crowned with the sun.
  • Melkor: We do not speak his name, we do not write his mark
  • Mairon/Sauron: too many Eyes