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Varda

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Kimberly - Varda Elentari.jpg
Varda
Vala
Biographical Information
Other namesSee Names and epithets
TitlesQueen of the Valar, Lady of the Stars
PositionThe stars
LocationIlmarin, Taniquetil
AffiliationIlmarë and Olórin
Family
SpouseManwë
Physical Description
GenderFemale
"O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In Windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
"
Hymn to Elbereth

Varda Elentári (Q, pron. N [ˈvarda ˌelenˈtaːri], V [ˈβarda ˌelenˈtaːri]), known in Sindarin as Elbereth Gilthoniel (pron. [ˈelbereθ ɡilˈθonjel]), was a Valië, one of the Aratar, the wife of Manwë and Queen of the Valar. Elves love and revere her most of all the Valar, and they call upon her in their hours of deepest darkness.[1] Her handmaiden is Ilmare, a Chief of the Maiar.[2]

Varda knows all the regions of Ea. She rejoices in light and was said to be too beautiful for words. Within her face radiated the light of Ilúvatar.[1] She appeared in shining white fana in visions to the Elves of Middle-earth, and thus was called Fanuilos (Snow-white).[3]

Contents

[edit] History

Ted Nasmith - Varda and Manwë in Valinor

When Melkor first began to create his discord, Varda saw his mind, and despised him. Melkor feared and hated Varda the most out of the Valar. When Manwe contested with him for Arda, Varda came from the deeps of Ea to his side.[1]

During the Spring of Arda, she filled the Two Lamps with light.[4]

She resided with Manwë in Ilmarin and aids him in the rule of Arda. With her, Manwe sees beyond all eyes, through mist and darkness, and with him, Varda can hear all voices from every corner of the world.[1] In Valinor she kept the dews of the Two Trees in the Wells of Varda. She created the newer stars with the dews from the vats of Telperion, the first of the Two Trees, in preparation for Awakening of the Elves. For this, Varda is the Vala most loved and revered by the Elves.[5][1]

She also hallowed the Silmarils of Feanor when he created them.[6] She established the courses of the Sun and Moon.[7] At the end of the First Age, she placed Earendil as a star in the sky.[8]

In Middle-earth, she was revered by the Elves who called her name and sung hymns to her (such as the Elven Hymn to Elbereth) and perhaps answered to prayers, even to Samwise Gamgee.[9]

[edit] Etymology

Varda is a Quenya name,[10] meaning "sublime" or "lofty", from Primitive Quendian baradâ, merged with barathî.[source?]

In Telerin she was called Baradis, and in Sindarin Elbereth.

All these come from the Root BARÁD/BARATH.[11]

In Adûnaic, her name was adapted rather than translated; it became Avradî.

Some older forms were Baráda, Bridhil, Timbridhil and Tinwetári.

Elbereth derives from elen-bereth meaning "star-queen". It represents evolution of Primitive Quendian *elen-barathî (the final -i umlauted the word to berethi) > elemberethi > elbereth.[12]

[edit] Names and epithets

She was also known as Elentári "Star-queen", Tintallë "Star-kindler". Another title for Varda was Airë Tári, the "holy queen".[13]

In Sindarin she is also known as Gilthoniel (Starkindler), Fanuilos (Ever-white).

In Adûnaic she was also called Gimilnitîr "starkindler".

She is also referred to by the epithets The Kindler, Lady of the Stars, Queen of the Stars, Snow-white. They are translations of her Elvish names.

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In Tolkien's early Qenya, Vard- was a root referring to royalty. Related words were vardar "king" and vardo "prince"; they do not appear in the later inception of Quenya.

[edit] Inspiration

The Valar, being divine beings below the ultimate Creator, Ilúvatar, are thought of as being the Middle-earth equivalent of saints and angels; it has therefore been suggested that Varda, in her role as the most loved and prayed-to Vala, may be an equivalent of the Virgin Mary in Tolkien's own Catholic faith. Another suggestion is the goddess of wisdom, Sophia, also associated with the stars.[14]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Valar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Maiar"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "A Elbereth Gilthoniel", p. 74
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Shelob's Lair"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenya Noun Structure", in Parma Eldalamberon XXI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), p. 82
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 351
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien and Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "A Elbereth Gilthoniel"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", pp. 363-4 (note 45)
  14. Rose Thomas, "Is Varda the Wisdom of Eru?", in Amon Hen 245, pp. 15-6


Ainur
Valar
Lords:  Manwë · Ulmo · Aulë · Oromë · Mandos · Irmo · Tulkas
Queens:  Varda · Yavanna · Nienna · Estë · Vairë · Vána · Nessa
Former:  Melkor
Associated Maiar
Manwë Eönwë · Olórin Varda Ilmarë · Olórin · Arien
Ulmo Ossë · Uinen · Salmar Yavanna Aiwendil
Aulë Mairon · Curumo Estë Melian
Oromë Tilion · Alatar · Pallando Vána
Other Maiar
Balrogs Gothmog · Durin's Bane · Lungorthin
Wizards Saruman · Gandalf · Radagast · Blue Wizards (Rómestámo · Morinehtar)
Topics
Music · Valarin · Almaren · Valinor · Valmar · Second Music