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"Valinor as explained was the home of the Valar, Tolkien's term for the gods of Middle-earth."

As I understand it, Tolkien did not consider the Valar gods: only Illuvatar was a god. The Valar were more like Archangels, with the Maiar a category of lesser angels. I'm not sure how I would rephrase the quoted statement, though. --Ted C 14:22, 30 October 2006 (EST)

Correct. Tolkien remarked on numerous occasions that Men mistakenly thought of them as gods. While they are similar to the Norse gods, they are in truth more like archangels with a larger role. Rephrase the statement to: "Valinor is explained as the home of the Valar, those spirits placed by Eru to govern Arda (often mistakenly called gods)." --Narfil Palùrfalas 16:42, 30 October 2006 (EST)

After some thought, I removed the line entirely; it was redundant because Valinor is described as the home of the Valar in the opening paragraph. I replaced "god" with "Vala" where it occurs in other places in the article. The whole thing could probably use a thorough review, since the geography is hard to follow and the tense isn't consistent. --Ted C 16:55, 30 October 2006 (EST)
While I agree that Tolkien regarded the Valar as angels rather than gods, he often refers to them as such, e.g. in Letters # 131, 151, 153, though, to be correct often in the form 'gods'. --Earendilyon 17:15, 30 October 2006 (EST)

[edit] Valinor/Aman

Do we really need two content articles for Aman and Valinor (the articles look already the same)? While this article says "Aman refers to the whole continent, while Valinor properly refers to the inhabited lands by Valar and the Elves" (unreferenced), Tolkien himself writes "Valinor, which was synonymous with Aman" (PE17, p. 107). Is there some passage in the Silm which clearly makes a distinction between Valinor and Aman? Otherwise I suggest a merge, and possibly a short article for either of them.--Morgan 18:58, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

In The Silmarillion, Chapt. 1 "Of the Beginning of Days", on page 37 (in the Houghton Mifflin edition) it says: "Therefore they [the Valar] departed from Middle-earth and went to the Land of Aman, the westernmost of all lands upon the borders of the world." Next, in order to keep out Melkor, "the Valar fortified their dwelling, and upon the shores of the sea they raised the Pelóri..." Finally, "Behind the walls of the Pelóri the Valar established their domain in that region which is called Valinor." In the Index Aman is "the name of the land in the West, beyond the Great Sea, in which the Valar dwelt" while Valinor is "The land of the Valar in Aman, beyond the mountains of the Pelóri." So, there is a difference, but that doesn't mean we couldn't have a big article, say Aman, with a little article for Valinor stating that it was the region of the Valar in Aman and pointing to the larger article. --Gamling 04:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)