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Ossë

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Ossë
Maia
Kent Burles - Ossë.png
"Ossë" by Kent Burles
Biographical Information
Other namesYssion, Gaerys
AffiliationUlmo, formerly Melkor
Family
SpouseUinen
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Ossë

Ossë (Q, pron. [ˈosːe]) was a Maia of the Inner Seas associated with Ulmo.

Contents

[edit] Attributes

Ossë is a vassal of Ulmo, but he loves the winds and prefers the coasts and isles of Middle-earth[1] to the deeps of his master. There is some darkness and violence in his spirit, presumably after his seduction by Melkor, and still enjoys raging in storms despite the will of Ulmo; only his spouse, Uinen can restrain his wild urges. He is friend to mariners, but they don't trust his unpredictable temperament.[2]

[edit] History

In the early days of Arda, Ossë turned to Melkor for a time, but Uinen brought him back to the loyalty of Ulmo. However, Ossë's wild and wilful nature was still evident despite remaining loyal to Ulmo.[2]

During the Great March of the Eldar to Valinor, Ossë was sent to befriend the Lindar, the clan of the Eldar who lingered by the shores of Belegaer on their way, and he taught them sea-lore and sea-music. When Ulmo returned with the floating island for them to resume their trip to the west, Ossë (who loved the shores of Middle-earth) did not wish to part with his friends; he persuaded some, like Círdan, to remain there, at the Falas and the Bay of Balar. These afterwards became the Falathrim.[1]

As Ulmo ferried the floating island with Olwë and his Lindar to Eldamar, they heard Ossë's song and begged Ulmo to stop off the shore, which he did. Ossë fastened the island to the bottom, and it became Tol Eressëa, the lonely isle off the Bay of Eldamar. However soon the Falmari of the island longed for the splendour and Light of Valinor and wished to see their kindred there. Grieving, Ossë submitted to the will of the Valar and Ulmo, and taught them ship-building and offered them swans to draw them to Valinor.[1]

With his master, Ossë often visited Nevrast and the feet of Mount Taras in Middle-earth, and many Sindar were concentrated to that place.[3]

After the First Kinslaying, Olwë called upon Ossë against the Noldor, but he came not, as the Valar did not wish to hinder the Flight of the Noldor with violence.[4]

After the Valar pronounced the Doom of the Noldor, Ossë helped guard the shores of Beleriand to keep the ships of the Noldor from reaching Valinor. His storms had a part in wrecking all the ships that they sent, and only one Elf from among their crews survived, by the will of Ulmo: Voronwë.[5]

In the Second Age he rose the island of Elenna (Númenor) from the depths of the Sea.[6]

[edit] Genealogy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OSSË
 
Uinen
 
 


[edit] Etymology

At least two explanations exist for the name Ossë. In The Etymologies, it is understood as the Qenya word osse ("terror"), deriving from the root GOS ("dread").[7]

A later note pertaining to the name instead suggests it is a name of non-Elvish origin, deriving from Valarin Oš(o)šai ("spuming, foaming").[8] The same later note mentions that Ossë's Sindarin names were Gaerys (also containing the S. element gaer "dread")[9] and Yssion.[8]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In older versions of The Silmarillion as well as the Annals of Aman, Ossë and his spouse Uinen were Valar in their own right, and often opposed the will of Ulmo.

In Eriol's Old English translations, Ossë is referred to as Saefrea "Sea-ruler"[10] reflecting his status as a Vala (Fréa).

In that conception, Ossë is the source of the name Balar in place-names such as Cape Balar, Isle of Balar and Bay of Balar, which he often visited, and from which all Beleriand was named.[11][12]

Ossë was also the name of a Tengwa similar to Roman c, which apparently had the value o.[13] However elsewhere, this letter is named Elwë and has the value of e. In the Mode of Beleriand this letter instead has the value a.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Maiar"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 359
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", p. 400
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", gaer
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", entry BAL
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §2
  13. Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003 p.15