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This article is about the universe. For the word, see Ea (verb), and for the games developer see EA.
"The kingdom of Arda, and that was but a small realm in the halls of Ea, whose life is Time, which flows ever from the first note to the last chord of Eru."
Annals of Aman[1]
Douglas Chaffee - Stars

(pronounced [ˈe.a]), the Created World,[2] is the Quenya name for the universe, as a realization of the vision of the Ainur. Thus, Eä is the World that Is, as distinguished from the Timeless Halls of Ilúvatar and the Void, that have no material form.

Ea was conceived in the Music of the Ainur and then visualized in the beautiful Vision that Ilúvatar showed to the Ainur to see for themselves what they sang. The Vision showed a World sustained inside the Void, but without being part of it, and developing life on its own. The Ainur desired all this was real, and Ilúvatar brought this into actuality by saying and He sent His Flame Imperishable into the Void to burn at the heart of the World and thus Ea was set amid the Void.[3]

Ea is described as being of "vast halls and spaces" burning with "wheeling fires" and histories unfolding amidst the "Deeps of Time", such as the waking of the Children of Ilúvatar and the Dominion of Men.[3] However its shape, duration, extent and size are not described. Of all Ea, only Arda, the world inhabited by the Children, is known.

Ea has vast regions beyond the thought of Elves and Men. When the Valar entered Ea they become part of it and can not leave it willingly or not, until the End.[3][4] At the beginning of Time Eä was dark and unshaped and the Ainur who entered it had to labor in the vast wastes for ages beyond knowledge or reckoning, to fulfill the Vision.[5] During their labors Varda created the stars[6] and Manwe, Aule and Ulmo chiefly worked for the formation of Arda at the beginning of its existence.[3][7][8] Other spirits wandered around Ea from which Melkor gathered some to his service.[7]

Ea is separated from the Void by the Walls of the World.[9] At the end of the First Age, the Valar threw Melkor to the Void through the Door of Night.[10]

[edit] Etymology

is the Quenya verb "to be", and was the word spoken by Eru Ilúvatar by which he created the universe.

[edit] Other versions of the Legendarium

In earlier works, the Qenya word Ilu is translated as "world"[11] in the sense of the "universe", from the root ILU "all, the whole".[12]

In the 1930s Ambarkanta, the World is described as a globe of air enclosed in Vaiya and the Ilurambar, the Walls of the World that separate Vaiya from nothingness and the Void.[13] The Ambarkanta maps schematics are labelled as "ILU".[14][15]

As the word Ilu doesn't make a distinction between the concepts of "Arda" and "Eä" of the later Silmarillion, the two seem to be mostly equated; in that context, all universe consists only of Ambar and the airs around it.

Eä first appeared in a later version of the Ainulindalë, which here introduced the new concept of Arda set within an indefinite vastness of the Creation.[16] Around the same time, Tolkien changed the conception of Ilurambar to Earambar.[17]

In the later Round World version of the Silmarillion, the text mentions that Eä is vast beyond measure with the stars belonging to other and remoter parts of its Great Tale. In the Beginning, the innumerable Ainur shaped Eä and labored amid remote stars and worlds; but we could know only those who followed Manwë to Arda, which is of central importance in the Great Tale of Eä.[18]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Fourth section of the Annals of Aman"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenya Noun Structure", in Parma Eldalamberon XXI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), p. 85
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Third section of the Annals of Aman"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Account of the Valar and Maiar According to the Lore of the Eldar"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: First section of the Annals of Aman"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 1. Of the Valar"
  9. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Walls of the World"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: [List of cosmological words]"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", entry IL
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Of the Fashion of the World"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Diagram I"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Diagram II"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part One. Ainulindalë: Commentary on the Ainulindalë text D"
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Commentary on the first section of the Annals of Aman"
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", "[Text] II"
Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See Also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void