This website contains archives of the Tolkien Discussion Group from 2009 to early 2013.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Immortality of Elves

September 30
Topic:  The Immortality of Elves
AelKennyr Rhiano
Bryster Shan
InyaRay Oktomica
Fifi Wickentower
Vixyn Felisimo
topaz Seriman
Artemis Yuhara
Lihan Taifun
Tuatha Shippe

Vixyn Felisimo smiles, shading her eyes against the glare and wondering if her eyes will adjust.
My Lord, looks we we are two of the luckiest elves in Arda to be in the presence of such beauty.
Vixyn Felisimo closes her eyes relying on sharp hearing instead, and thinks of the shadowed passages of the Underdark
Tonight's topic is the Immortality of Elves. People describe elves as "immortal", yet they can be killed (no comments yet?)
If I may... The mistake is in thinking that Elves are invulnerable. We are 'long-lived'.
Amortal, perhaps... immortal, no.
How do elves describe themselves?
Perhaps a definition of "immortal" would be in order.
But we seem 'immortal to such as Edan.
If I may be geeky a moment? The word the elves use for themselves is "ilfirin", which would be better translated "unfading", not affected by old age and, generally not by disease. Elves do not die of "natural causes"
But in the 3rd age did they not acknowledge that it was there powers that were fading?
They did
The inability to prevent Lorien from falling to the ravages of time.
Would that affect their own life span?
Good question.
and by the Third Age, many of the older elves were feeling "tired", though probably more in an emotional than physical sense, I would guess
After 3000 or more years.
Maybe more like "seriously bored"
They were willing to hand over middle earth and accept that the age of man had arrived.
Is there no place for the immortal among the mortal... ?
meaning ...?
perhaps they had to go...
because of the humans?

What do we know that can kill an elf?
Weapons certainly.
Being forced to watch the entire third season og Gilligan's Island? That would kill *anything*!
InyaRay Oktomica nods
Elves have thrown themselves into rivers as suicide
Someone's been reading The Children of Hurin.
I don't remember anything about Gilligan's Island in Children of Hurin
Thank goodness.
Though we don't really know evrything that happens in the dungeons of Utumno
What would make an elf want to commit suicide?
loss of the light that is their ultimate nourishment
as men encrouched more, the vibrations lowered
Speaking of light, I think I will turn the sky to nighttime. The Sun hasn't been invented yet. We can have proper starlight.
lovely idea
Vixyn Felisimo sighs with relief and opens her eyes to the welcomong Night
There you go, dear.
Feanor's mother died of depression, or exhaustion of spirit
Beautiful! ((the stars... not Feanor's mother dying, that is))
Soo...elven immortality.
With weapons ... I would guess that a wound that doesn't kill quickly won't be fatal at all?
That would depend, wouldn't it?
I don't think elves get infected wounds
Would depend on what?
Well...thinks... I guess if I were to think of another type of literature, the story of the "Fisher King"
go on
They would never die of sicknees or pestilance
He had a wound that never was not mortal...but I could see that were an elf to suffer such a wound, he or she may choose to end their lives rather than live for untold centuries, with such a wound that never heals.
Could spells kill elves?
I believe I once killed an elf with a vile curse...
There is I beleive no mention of 'spells'.
I am also mindful of when Elrond spoke to his daughter about choosing to love and live with the mortal remember?
But he only wared that Aragorn would die before she did.
And she would fated to life in a fading world.
yes....that is why I think an elf would not choose to live with a wound that would never heal
And she, being partly human herself, had the choice to take mortality, and the human path
Alone and without the company of her kin.
Nor would they choose life that was debilitating in any way.
Was it Maedhros, who lost a hand?
How so was Arwen partly human?
Her father, Elrond, was one of the "half-elven" brothers, grandsons of Luthien Tinuviel. Elrond chose the elven path, and his brother Elros chose to be human, and became the first king of Numenor. (which makes Arwen's father and Aragorn's ancestor brothers)
Thank you. I hadn't known that.
Who was the happier I wonder? in their time
Yes, the elves didn't seem to enjoy their immortality much
They were shocked as to how 'frail' humans appeared.
So if an elf does not choose to end his life or does not receive a mortal they live forever?
or at least an age?
Yes. They were to live until the end of the earth.
Noticing that should a plague appear humans died very quickly and by the time humans had beome knowledable in the ways of the Elves, they died.
But is that really true, ageless?
"Until the end of the earth" makes them still more finite than the Ainur
That was as Eru made them.
Or just the elves who were born at the waters of the awakening?
I thought all elves
By that, I mean to ask...elves do give birth to children, correct?
Yes they give birth.
Plenty of examples of elven children
Then they are not ageless.
and the children grow up
For their children do not spring from their parents, like Athena from Zeus. Elves do age
Or they would be born grown
AelKennyr Rhiano nods at Fifi
They don't wear out with age, like humans do
Yet how far can one age ?
If human reached their prime and stopped aging they would be about 30-35?
25.... 55... 105...
The human life span, it is believed, has a max of 125 years.
so with elves . . the same only they don't 'deteriorate
Aragorn was said to be 'long-lived', and yet he was not Elven.
He was of Numenorian ancestry, Dunadan. and he was a decendant of Elros
Bryster Shan nods.
If there was no decay then life would just go on
You speak as if long life was a curse forthe Elves.
I don't think it was.
It is said death was a gift to man... so one wonders
I think sometimes the elves envied humans
But I think....yes. I was about to say that.
Yes, I think they envied the humans and I think, in some ways the Ainu envied the elves
Besides the mysterios destiny after death for the humans
And the humans either envied all or were oblivious
well, humans!
Fifi Wickentower: makes a sound

So, when elves do die ... their spirits go the the Halls of Mandos in the Blessed Lands, and they say their spirits can return. I don't know of any examples of elves returning,though
If they returned, thougth, they would be someone new, right? So, how would we know they returned?
In a new race?
As elves, I would think
idk about that, but a new body and identity
Would they know they were elven ?
So elves reincarnate -- and to what purpose?
I guess for the same reason that people today believe in reincarnation.
Well, I guess there is some speculation that the Glorfindel of Elrond's house was the same Glorfindel of ... the hidden city, I forget what it is called ... Gondolin!

um, yes, reincarnation
All the children are new elven spirits?
For all intents and purposes . . if elves live longer thanany one else in the 'world' they would seem to be ageless, especially if they did not visibly grow old
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
such a fascinating thing ... time..
And if that is what they know ie: those around them - family etc stayed in their prime (once reached), then would they not live their lives as if

What do you think, Lihan? Do you think tolkien's elves reincarnated?
You don't hear about many who did. I wonder whether they chose their next lives in the Blessed Lands, though. Then we wouldn't hear about it. And, how many elves would want to go back to Middle Earth? Especially the Noldor, who mostly realized that leaving had been a mistake.
How do the Teleri feel?
All those deaths in the Kinslaying? Would they want to come back?
Tolkien says little about the Teleri after the kinslaying.
The focus of the story moves to Middle Earth after that. You are off camera
So we have to extrapolate. I can see, though, given the Teleri love of the seas, their history of travelling, that they would grow curious about the world about them, in time, and perhaps may explore once more
That makes sense, Ael. Curious elves must expand and explore.
So I think, if any elven race explored middle earth in later ages, it may well be the Teleri.
The Halls of Mandos must get very boring after a while.
They do not sound incredibly appealing..
That was my thought too . . .it is the sea that connects . . . the common boundary
So I think that the Teleri would fade last of all the elves.
And the Teleri probably didn'thave as many bad experiences as the elves in Middle Earth, so you might still be "fresher", less burnt-out.
AelKennyr Rhiano smiles....
Because they are close to the sea and air. Tthe inland elves were losing their lands to men
Watching the humans lose or destroy what they had built.
heart breaking
such wayward children.. the humans
I do think their hearts were broken
yes . . and the vibrational quality suffered . . if the elves were to survive they had to match the lower vibration, which was toxic, or leave . .as the quality of life became denser.
not life for them i would think
And knowing their own part in the troubles of the world didn't cheer them up any
To give way is heroic, in such a case
Yes! To know when to step back is a gift
and make room for the next generation
InyaRay Oktomica imagines the sail of the last Teleri ship... in the mist
evolution or, erm elfolution *ducks*
I have been posting our discussions, so you can catch up on what you miss

So, Lihan, after humans come to middle earth, do you see any of the elven races interacting with them?
There was a lot of interaction, in the first 3 ages. At least "detectable interaction". Plenty of humans in the Silmarillion. By the beginning of the 4th age, most of the elves had left. But, as you said, who knows what Teleri sailors might find on their explorations?

wb Lihan
Did you solve everything while I was gone?
yes... but then we forgot the question.
The air is sweet
Well, there will be a gap in the transcript, so the anwers will be lost.
Aas. And we ended world hungry...poverty...
Well, that's a good start :-) Feed them all starlight. Very nurishing
Let them eat starlight
Is that like 'let them eat cake?"
Well, it works for elves :-(
Only an Ainur would prefer it to a real hardy meal.

Do you want to continue this discussion next week?or another topic?
Do we still have the link to "everything Tolkien wrote about sex"? mariage customs of the elves
I like anything with enthusiasm...take your pick
I am not an Elf, mind you.
Nor am I, but feel oddly comfortable lol
Perhaps the differences between the different elves?
That's good - differences between elves :D
I'm terribly curious
I think my husband should hear this
Fifi Wickentower: *seems to hear more with floppy ears.
My ears are not floppy.
But mine are lol
The hair . . . tried to hide but
Are you looking at my ears??
Would I do that?
I saw you
Does it ever actually say that elves have pointy ears? I mean, everyone knows they do ...but, does it ever say?
I like them either way, really
I have only seen it in descriptions in folklore tales
Of course we do...wiggles his ears.
One has to have some other kind of ear to compare to . . round ears or square
Bunny ears, or teddy bear ears
No-one ever says men have round ears
But men say elves have pointy ones
And . . of course, Ainu only have ears when they want to lol
Puma's are kinda pointy.
So are mine
Depending on the form they choose at the moment
Me too
Perky ears!
Trying to model ourselves after elves
Probably as many differences as there are in noses
Elves are always considered beautiful, though
AelKennyr Rhiano smiles a little
A luminious, etheric beauty
Faery have pointy ears too..but small ones. wanna see?
well i'll have to poof my hair...i'll show you later

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ainur part 2

Tolkien Discussion Group
September 23, 2009

Topic:  Ainur (continued)

topaz Seriman
BelenosStormchaser Magic
Lihan Taifun
Khyathtu Fell
Fifi Wickentower
Veovis Nightfire
Bryster Shan
AelKennyr Rhiano

Lihan Taifun: perhaps someone can review what we know about Ainur, while I go afk for a bit?  please? someone who was paying attention last week?
now that is a big assumption.. grins.. we were supposed to be paying attention?
the Ainur are the holy Ones, created by Eru, the One
Were they not the first to be created?
created before this universe
and therefore imortal.
it was the song of the Ainur who brought Arda into being
The singers of the great song.....if that is the correct phrse.
each had their own part, and when Illuvatar called them together to sing together for the first time . . Arda was the result
You know, the concept of "singing" creation into being is not new...not something Tolkien invented.
he had a strong Catholic background
I'm not surprised. he derived a lot of his ideas from elsewhere.
as most writers do
in the beginning was the word ie: sound
eastern is Om or Aum
But wasn't that a chord rather than a sound?
And people do forgetis not a chord a sound?
a tone - and when a group chants the tone - each has their own timbre
No. A sound is a single thing.
A Chord is a group of sounds harmonoius and such is sound, though
a note then
It is volcalized.
is a single sound
erm... are we getting a little.... off track here?
and thus Tolkien added his own vision
Tolkien often added his own adaptation to the ideas he borrowed, as good writers do

.... so, the Ainur sang the Song.  Anything else we know about them?
They were spirit beings, but could take on fleshly forms if they choose to
but the bodies they may take on are not
They have special powers
They are more observers, aides, teachers to the mortal races.
What I know is this... Its no secret the idealism conveyed in Tolkein Mythology is Biblical inspired. whcih gives the RP alot of its foundation. almost

making it somewhat controversal .
I detect another night's whole topic of discussion there :-)
sometime when Khy can make it again
Actually...I could submit that is a very narrow view of Tolkien.
but we enjoy the fiction, I know I do and the play...and all we can contribute to it. Ainu are the highly ones with all this angelic like presence. but

actually the fun is in the other character portrayals
Which is why the Silmarillion reads somewhat like a bible.
And very ethnocentric.
thus as i said controversal :)
I would submit it is a weaving of several mythologies.
yes i agree

a question that came up last week: how much are the Ainur like, say, the Roman gods and godesses?
interesting question.
Depends on the Ainu?
thats thought provoking
first, how much are the Ainur, as a race, like them?
The Romans were more aware of their 'Gods'. Lived their lives to please the gods.
well, they didn't go around making babies with a lot of random mortals like zeus did, did they?.. *grins*
well, only melian did. ;)
and not at radnom.
Melian *did*.  Proving it is physically possible
yes, with one she married... but like zeus who seemed to like any pretty maiden.. :)
but remember the culture of the writer...The place and time in which Tolkien wrote his work.
for Tolkien, the Ainur had very idealized love lives.  And the Elvish standards of marriage were very idealized, also.  His concept of "idealized", of

which would reflect his culture and the times in which he lived.
Nor did they seem on a whole to be easily corrupted as the roman gods did. The roman gods seemed much more 'human' in their weaknesses
But the Roman and Greek Gods tormented the humans
There is a true similarity because like romans they didnt belive in monootheism, and ainur are in essese several gods, or godlike/angel like. Roman Gods are

tied into Badda mythology and Greek when speaking of Roman gods, alot is covered
tormented on purpose?
I think so.
Indeed Bryster.. they seemed to take arbitrary deligt in it
sometimes, yes. but mostly because the humans did something or other to offend them.
or make them jealous
many similarities and differences.
They challenge each other to task the humans.
Yes Roman gods seeme to befall the imperfections of men.. jealousy, envy
the roman gods were like immortal children.  and we were like their playthings.
good anology
which is different than in norse mythologies.
the Ainur have Eru as a reference point
That is true.. the roman gods did not have someone higher to refer to or to answer to
Quite so.
well they had jupiter, but he was bad if not worse.
As was Zeus
so funny that i just watched The Robe the other day...grins
whereas the the Norse ....? you were saying
If you think of the Norse...they lived harsh lives in a harsh environment. Their gods were hard, too, but often much more fair than the Romans.
The Norse were a warrior race.
Remember...they had a hall for their heroes.
as were the romans.
yes...but they also honored certain traits...not just prowess in battle.
Bravery, courage.
Honour itself.
but also writing. songs art as well as Loyalty, bravery, honor.
Rome adorned itself within its own greatness , and those without royal blood were deemed unworthy. I can see a slight similarity with that in tolkein Myth.

it certainly seems like the only characters of note are royalty in tolkien, that's for sure. until you get to hobbits.
but i think Tolkein took out the slave factor. unless I am incorrect...
No he didn't take out the slave factor.  In The Children of Hurin there were those who were almost slaves to local 'Barons'.
oh ok
I forgetthe word he uses.
you are talking about a feudal type system.
Ones who were permanently endebted to the local 'headman'.
which is not the same thing, quite.
so, some humans have slaves, or peons
The factor remains though.
serious economic oppression
As a child, Tolkien was deeply affected by war.
Damned if I can remeber the word.
i should imagine so, living through WWI.
I am not sure if he used the word "thrall" but that is what he is describing.
yes . . . LOTR came out of his war torn childhood
i think that is the word he used. sounds familiar.
Thrall!!!!! Yes.  Thankyou 
A "thrall" is not a slave.
Not in the literal sense I agree, but you see the resemblance.
Althought we would think of him as such.  He owed his lord lifelong service. yes.
an indentured servant, then.  He was, really, bound to the land.
Huron's wife was enthrall to the Headman of a village....forced to be as his wife.
the impression conveyed is that Tolkien words mirrors reality, and mirrors aspects of christanity and Various mythologies. its a well designed mythology in

my opinion :)
umm.. can I be rude here and interject? While it IS fascinating talking about his sources of inspriation etc.. we could spend months doing that alone.. I

believe tonight we were to be discussing the Ainur?
eep. she is right.
Good point Belenos
yes, ok, back to Ainur

Sorry to be so abrupt.. but i came all keyed up to learn about Ainur.. grins.. and my brain was hurting in anticipation..
we have branched off into origin discussion and roman connections. But I think the Ainu are all connected to the themes
anything in particular about Ainur, Belanos?
yes.. their abilities.. their status in the stories in general and how they interacted with the mortal races.. for instance if an ainu were to have their

mortal body killed, how long before they could assume another?
or how they don't interact, in many cases
If I recall, they rarely interacted.
certainly never with humans.
some didn't, some did.
i'll have to go back and read again.
a few gave advice to a human, in special cases
and we learned last time, that was not so, Veovis.
BelenosStormchaser Magic nods.. so if one were role playing an ainu, there would be limited scope?
Eonwe did.
in Lord of the Rings .... thousands of years later, the Elves are always talking about Elbereth. And there is no evidence Elbereth ever does ANYTHING

i guess that depends on the rp circumstances, bel.
el mentioned once that one had to 'read between the lines' to see the interaction of the Ainur with Elves or other
as great as the ainur are, they seem to be aloof as to the happening of the scope of things. they are powerful, but they dont seem omnipotent or at least

paying attention. butI think its cleveryly written to enhance the mythology..sorry to interject :)
good point, khy.
as is the case with the fall of the trees.
Bryster Shan gasps

I was looking at the notecard... down at the bottom it says that ents, troll and canonical dragons were not ainur.. what were they then?
some Ainur are winds, some other areas
Ents - Elvish stories tell how when Varda rekinled the stars and the elves awoke, the Ents also awoke.
well, if you have powerful beings who keep meddling in the story, it messes up the storytelling
very true
but only if they overpower the story, yes?
you can't have a dramatic story about the tragedies of the elves, or the humans, if the Ainur keep stepping in and fixing everything when half an hour is up
perhaps one could think of them the way Hawaiians have demi'gods
In a way the Ainur are similar also to the Native Indian Gods. governing in thier realm
and if they kept stepping in they woudl be taking away the free will of the mortals
a wind might work with another type of ainu
But if I can go back to the Greek gods for a moment....?
rewinds tape
Have any of you read the Odyssey?
years ago
im familar with it
erm.. vaguely.. I seemed to have focussed more on the sirens.. *grins*
Do you remember when ...if is Artemis who takes human form and walks with Odysseus?  Do I have that right?
Athena, yes
well, sometimes, the greek gods were advisors, councillors, teachers...secret agents.  I see the Ainu sometimes acting that role
artemis and diana are both the same - godess of the hunt

Bryster Shan: If I may interrput..?
Khyathtu Fell: I must exit. Such a great discussion, please continue it fruitfully. Real life becons.
Bryster Shan: I must away also ,but before I go I should like to recommend a book. 'Character from Tolkien - A Bestiary by David Day.
I have that book.I love it
oooo, i have that. good stuff.
It explains in great detail all the characters.
sounds good
Thank you for the information, Bryster
I was given it as a gift. It is a treasured posection.
library por moi
*digs out my refernce books*.. no, I don't have that one.. although I do have the Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster

so, roleplaying the Ainur, we can be advisors ....
certainly.....aulë taught us everything we know.
do we have the world's most boring parts?
I don't think so.
Romantic partners?
Lihan Taifun giggles
are there a limited number of Ainu? Are there others who are not named in the books?
plenty who aren't named in the books
there's probably many not named.
in fact, it says there are many more than the ones mentioned
an entire creation of the ainur race
just as all humans are not named in history
or elves
The Ainur are shapeshifters
Because you are closer to Eru...and you sang the song of creation, you see more of the great to elves and other races, you are also "prophets?"

of a sort
so Do I gather they work with nature more than anything? Sometimes overseeing mortals and guiding them
most work with nature.  Then there is Este, the healer, Irmo the master of Visions, Vaire, the weaver who records history
mandos, tha vala of death
but that is not, strictly, nature based.
so they could suggest the wisdom of goign into battle, perhaps, but not participate.. and commisserate at the loss or celebrate the win if they had an

interest in a particular race ?
I wonder if they would even get involved with "the wisdom of going into battle"
so other than meilan marrying a mortal, just how did they interact with mortals?
they taught, they gave advice in certain dire situations
Osse, Ulmo, and Unien became very fond of the Teleri.
in the early days, they evacuated the elves to the Blessed Lands
So they really are rather limited if one is role playing them?
yavanna and aulë were most closely associated with the noldor, and manwë with the vanyar.
as the Ocean Wind, Ael said that Ainu would perhaps interact by blowing favorably (or not) on the need of the Teleri, as an example
would they? or is that just Teleri superstition? :-)
lol  those elves :))
you know the ainur love th elves
Of course it would be the Ocean Wind.
most of them did, yes.
so that is one way they interact, through the elements of nature.  The land was barren until yavanna walked through
and of course ainur battle the evil ainur/demons
I don't think rp for an Ainu is necessarily restrictive. But I do think to do it well, it has to be played with forethought. I think it is not as easy as

rping an elf, honestly.
can you give us an example?
an elf can do lots of things.. marry.. rule...fight in battle.. sit around a campfire.. get sick.. get well.  become dragon dinner.. grins
But an elf cannot know the song that called the world into creation.
Think a moment of the Trojan war...would it have been as dramatic, as tense, as riveting without Cassandra?  Would it have started without the contest for

the apple between two "goddesses?
but that's just it.. in the era we are playing, the world is already created... the races already exist
not all.
we Ainur have heard the song, more of it than has happened in the world, so we know at least the outlines of future history but we don't know details.  And

of course human and elvish free will is a wild card.  The story is changing as it goes along
the ainu know nothing of Arda - so they come to explore and learn
also they can better know the Creator
An Ainu can be a "cassandra" far more creditably than a Teleri.
Does not the Ainu have free will, too?
and what of dragons?
dragons are ainu
and dragon free will, of course :-)
they are?
or descended from Ainu.
and yes - ainu have free will - tha's how morgoth came to be
erm... and the remark on the bottom of the notecard about the canon dragons?
i never saw that anywhere....i'll have to pay closer attention when lost tales starts mentining them.
Belanos's dragons have decided they are descended from Ainur in dragon form
actually it was arth karas who told me that we were maiar.. as morgoth cannot create a new creature as such, but only twist an existing one to be something

he wanted
true. that's where the balrogs caem from.  twisted maiar.
and dragons became er 'dragonny
Sounds like a rock group: Twisted Maiar.
is that related to Twisted Tea?
Belanos's ancestors are reformed dragons
Yes.. ones who rebelled against the evil of morgoth..

where were we? the ainur have some prophetic vision
is it safe to say that, in RP, we don't get involved in battles among the created races? maybe the lesser ainur -- like fae -- might. not the major ainur
To answer that, I'd have to ask how did the ainur usually communicate with the mortals?
often not directly
Ulmo speaks in the music of water
in the Blessed Lands, the elves can talk directly to the Ainur. I can just put on a body and walk into Alqualonde, for example.  But it would be incredibly

rare for me to go to Middle Earth
So the elves can talk to the Ainur? Ahhh, if you put on a mortal body.
and they ainur sometimes walk cloaked as the ppl of the land
you are thinking of the wizards? or, it is likely Tom Bombadil was an Ainu

did we all fall asleep?
No, I am musing over all this.
I was just looking up that book I mentioned earlier... it poses that tom was a maia
I think if an ainu became involved in the conflicts, of mortal, it would be circumspective.
he was pretty oblivious to "history" going on around him
Well, that would be another way of playing Ainu...
hehe.. being oblivious to what was going on around you?
as being more focused on the "cosmic" picture, so somwhat unaware of mortal current events.  yes
works for me
probably some ainur are like that :-)
pretty much like my rl, lol
maybe it was fan-fiction I was reading ... but the premise was that the Valar were so upset by the way the Noldor episode turned out that they were afraid

to take to strong a hand in mortal affairs for fear of making things even worse
the kin-slayng?
that and the rebellion.
But....It may be that ainu descended beings, like the dragons... especially good dragons...looking at Belenos....they may decide to become involved in the

world again.  return to the shining lands and befriend elves
dragons came before the firast age
BelenosStormchaser Magic polishes halo
Having escaped the bad influence of Morgoth, I would imagine that is what we would do. No point rebelling against bad if one then does nothing to oppose it
many dragons are still healing from that
retaining from that long ago Ainu ancestor...a deeper vision of the Song of Eru...and perhaps a feeling of affection for mortal races like the elves.
a thought .
you only want us to like you so we don't eat you.. :P ((joking))
ummm...yes. actually
but seriously, if the dragons are maiar who were twisted and corrupted by morgoth, there would be the chance that their original nature could surface and

overcome the 'training' from morgoth, yes?
yes - that is redemption

My friends, do we wish to discuss Ainu again next week? or a different topic?
have we discussed ainur to death?
no, they are immortal
i never tire of Ainur talk lol
we still have "immortality of the elves" on the list, too
AelKennyr Rhiano perks up
that's almost as important
and yes.. the immortality of the elves, does that mean he lives through it if I eat him ?
Can I ask about the difference between ainur and maiar? I gather there is quite some difference in them and what they did.. can we talk about that?
maiar, as i understand it, are simply lesser ainur.but were more involved with the mortals if I understand correctly?
as an angel is a 'lesser' angel to, say archangel?

what is your specialty, fifi?  as a Maia?
my name is Linfea Nensule.  it means the Spirit of the Song of Water and Air, and I am of the House of Manwe
lol, so you are the expert on sailors and winds ;) IS it a superstition?
breezes, winds and air and water
or might by be induced to help out sailors?
that is not for me to say :)  perhaps induced . . or perhaps of a curious turn of mind, capricious and steady at the same time, full of contractions
I hear Osse, of the Ocean, has quite a temper
yes, quite......he is often at odds with ulmo.
well . . it might seem so, there is, one might say, a dynamic tension :)
but it blows over....
and those of the World would experience on a diferent level
his wife, Uinen, likes to take credit for calming him down
yes - the nature of air
as she should . . . but calm to an Ainur might be tempest to an elf
good point

did we decide what to discuss next week?
not yet - immortality of elves?
seems like we went off on another tangent..
we often do
but not really, as these are all Ainu.
immortality of elves works for me
that should be interesting.
i may come in elven form so as to better understand
and I am always happy to test elven immortality.. grins
can elves reicarnate? and if so, why don't we see it?  and will Ael survive being eaten?
i've seen it written in lost tales, at the very least, that they were believed to live on in their children.

Sére ar alasse  (Peace and joy) ar saila, mâlon!  (and wisdom, friend!)
thank you all, bye for now
"Lótesse i cala of ngolwe,ngóle,saila" hirta,tulya" le"  (May the light of wisdom guide you)
Goodnight all..
Fair winds and safe journeys to all
Good night, all
namaarie, il'er.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

History of the Lands of Arador


There is a hill in the Blessed Land called Corollaire, the Green Mound. This hill is also called Coron Oiolairë, the Mound of Eversummer. It is upon this mound that the Two Trees of Valinor stand. To the west of this mound lie lush lands that magically never know the touch of winter. These lands are called Oiolairë, the land of Eversummer.

For long years during the troubles no one lived in Oiolairë. There are signs of ancient occupants but their fate is long lost in the mists of time.  No one knows who used to own the lands and they have grown wild and lush, slowly eradicating most signs that any had ever lived there.

It is no surprise then that these fair lands caught the eyes of Ithilia as she and Morchaint returned to Arda from their long years of exile. Seeking a sanctuary from the Dark Lord Morgoth, Ithilia landed and claimed the lands as her own, as is the way of such a large and ancient black dragoness. She could sense the magic in the land that kept it ever green, never experiencing the cold. She knew that the magic she sensed would likewise protect all who lived there from the gaze of Morgoth, finally offering a safe haven from fear of being recaptured by him.

Upon recovering from their long journey, it was realised that two things were urgently needed. The first was to make an alliance of peace with the High King Manwe, so that all in his lands would know that the dragons among them came in peace, as allies. The second was to send out word to the lost dragons who had fled Morgoth's command that at last there was a safe haven.

In time all this occured. Ithilia and Morchaint invited the High King to their lands and declared a peace between his lands and theirs, gifting to him the Dragon Star of Peace, a unique gem wrought by Ithilia with dragon magic, which incorporated some of her own dragon essence. So long as  High King of Arda holds the Dragon Star of Peace the dragons of Oiolairë are honour bound by their spirit to live in peace with his people. In return, the people of the HIgh King accept and respect the dragons who now live among them, opening their hearts and their lands to welcome us.

Since that day no small few of the ancient dragons and their companions have found their way to Oiolairë. They come from many distant lands, and have lived through many adventures. Some are wear and now only seek a life of peace in the sun of their land of Eversummer. Others are determined to protect the life they have now found at Oiolairë under the gentle hand of Ithilia the Peace Seeker. Others still are determined to actively fight against the Dark One now they are out of his clutches, determined to avenge the abuse and misuse of our kind through the ages.


Thunder rumbled across the winter skies. Lightning flashed and cracked throughout the long dark night. When morning came, Ithilia was nowhere to be found in Oiolairë. No one knew where the great black dragon had gone. For long weeks the dragons of Oiolairë waited with no sight or word from her.

At last, the wind brought word. She was returning. But, there was more.  The winds of change were blowing. What mysteries had kept her away from her beloved lands for so long? What changes were now bringing her home?

But Oiolairë was home no longer.  Driven by a mysterious call on that dark and stormy night, Ithilia had winged her way westward, ever westward towards the sunset, until at last reaching a strange land set in a jewel bright sea - Arador.  Exhausted from her long journey, she sought refreshment and rest on that fair Isle. Furling her aching wings she drank long and deep from the crystal clear waters that sprang from the hidden spring in the high cliffs and contemplated what had drawn her here. For here was where she had been meant to come.  She knew that in the very marrow of her bones.  At last, her mind whirling with questions, she slept.

And while she slept, she dreamed.

'You are no longer safe at Oiolairë, daughter' the voice said.
Raising her head she looked about her, squinting her eyes against the brightness of the golden light that seemed to surround her.
'Who are you?' she called, her voice rumbling sleepily as she fought to wake from sleep. 'What do you mean, i am not safe?'
'Who I am is not important,' the voice said, not unkindly. What IS important is that I bring you warning'.  Ithilia rose to her feet, shaking herself to clear her head, her wings flapping heavily against her bright obsidian-coloured scales as she did so. 
'What warning?' she asked, tilting her head as she tried to peer past the bright light and see the speaker.
'The spirit that guards Oiolairë is weakening, daughter.' the voice continued. 'The sanctuary it has given you until now, hiding you from Morgoth's gaze, is past. Soon he shall know you are living right beneath his nose and send forth to capture you and Morchaint.  You are no longer safe in Oiolairë. Nor is any dragon who lives there.'

Ithilia's tail swished angrily at the thought of her beloved Morchaint falling into Morgoth's hands again after all this time. 'But we have fought so hard to stay free. Shall we never be safe from his shadow?' she asked in frustration.
'It is why i called you here, daughter.' the voice went on. 'To lead you and the dragons who come to you, to safety.  Your fight against all that Morgoth wanted you to be has been seen and noted, daughter.  Such courage shown by you, and by those who come to you shall not be in vain. These lands hae been blessed by the hand of Eru himself. They are my gift to you.'

Ithilia blinked, taken aback completely by the great gift that was to be hers and then shook her head sadly.
'I cannot accept your gift, Great One, for Great One you must be to have power of such a gift.' she said. 'I cannot leave the lands of Arda to fight alone against the shadow of Morgoth.  No matter what the cost, I have pledged my allegiance to the High King. I cannot break my word.'
'I never thought you would, daughter.' the voice spoke with a hint of amusement and pride. 'I do not mean you to abandon those who rely on you. I simply give to you a safe place from which to continue your fight.  But you can fight better when your own homeland is safe, when you have somewhere to come to that Morgoth cannot touch, as he can now touch you at Oiolairë. Take this gift, daughter. Bring Morchaint and your dragons here. And continue to fight the fight against the shadow and evil in Arda knowing those you love are safe. It is my last gift to you, my beloved daughter.'

It was only then that Ithilia realised what it was about the voice that had tickled at the back of her mind throughout the conversation.
'Mother?' she whispered, but already the golden light was dissipating to be replaced by the darkness of night.
'Mother? ' she said, louder this time.
'Mother!'  this time almost a shout, a shout that brought her full out of sleep, fully out of the dream. She looked around at the silent dark night. No glowing golden light. Just the strange stars glowing in this western sky, stars so different to those that shone over Oiolairë.
A dream, she thought. Just a dream. It was then that a soft breeze sprang up, swirling around her gently, almost in a caress. 'My last gift.. High Tari of Arador' it whispered before disappearing again, leaving the night as still and silent as before.

A dream. But a dream with a purpose, she realised.

And so it was the next morning found her high above the cliffs of Arador, her nose turned toward the sunrise. On and on she flew until at last Oiolairë loomed on the horizon.

'Come!' she called to the dragons. 'Come! Make haste!' and swiftly she gathered them and led them to Arador, carrying Morchaint with her as they travelled. To Arador, the Royal Dragon Lands, safe haven of all who would flee evil and resist the shadow of Morgoth, all who would escape his grasp and would fight his rule. And it is from Arador the dragons wing forth and return to Arda, to honour their allegiance to that realm, to stand side by side, in battle and in peace as together they fight for what they believe in - for Ithilia the Peace Seeker well knows that sometimes, in order to have peace, first one must fight.

So come all those who would seek peace, come those who would seek sanctuary and come those who would seek honour - Arador welcomes you.

And the dragons come. Still, they come.

Now, now their story continues...

Ainur part 1

Tolkien Discussion Group
now meeting weekly, in Second Life

Septemeber 16, 2009
Circle of Thrones, Valarindë
Announced Topic:  Ainur
AelKennyr Rhiano
Lihan Taifun
BelenosStormchaser Magic
Artemis Yuhara
Fifi Wickentower
Natasha Umbarundu

I see our one elf is outnumbered
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
AelKennyr Rhiano blushes...but I hope I can still remain in this circle of charming Ainur tonight?

Are dragon Ainur? I've heard a lot of ponderings about what we actually are?
That is a good question
the shape shifting part ?
I'm pretty sure that in the books, dragons were bred by Melkor
but YOU aren't evil dragons
BelenosStormchaser Magic: well, they say that we were 'made' by morgoth.. but he didn't create from nothing.. he 'made' us by twisting and corrupting what we already were, so I've been told;  no, my dragons have rebelled and escaped..
BelenosStormchaser Magic grins
"rebelled" back to the good side!

Lihan Taifun: it looks like everyone is familiar with the Ainur?
a little.. :)
Can you brief us a little, Lihan?
"There was Eru, the One,
  who in Arda is called Ilúvatar;
and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones,
 that were the offspring of his thought,
 and they were with him before aught else was made."
That is the opening lines of the Silmarillion. So, the Ainur are spirit-beings, older than this world
"Then Ilúvatar said to them: 'Of the theme that I have declared to you,
 I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music.
And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable,
 ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme,
 each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will.
But I will sit and hearken,
 and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'
Ilúvatar said to them: 'Behold your Music!'
And he showed them a vision,
 giving to them sight where before was only hearing;
and they saw a new World made visible before them.
And as they looked and wondered
 this new World began to unfold its history."
Lihan, are the Ainur gods?
that sounds good to me :)
more durable than this universe
so under natural circumstances they would never die.. but can they be killed?
their physical bodies can be killed
but, we wear physical bodies the same way the created races wear clothes, a convenience, but not "who we are"
so you can lose one physical body and take on another?
and change shapes
generally, we take on a shape that reflects our personality
easier to walk among arda in a shape compatible with the ppl, too
yes, easier to communicate
and to work in this world
and what work do you do?
but, sea-dwelling ainur would take a form adapted to living in the sea.  And the guardians of the stars, the sun, the moon would take forms that were practical for those jobs.  Arien, the guide of the sun, generally just takes a form of pure fire.
And evil ainur can take "nice" forms if it suits them, at least temporarily

evil ainur..could you elaborate?

Is there a limit to how many ainur there are?
There are lots and lots of ainur. 14 "big names",those are the Valar.  And an uncountable number of lesser ainur, who are the Maiar
some of the Maiar are very powerful
hey, that's the fox.. he's a Maiar.. :)
yes, Fox is :-)
and some are more like fae
is that by choice, their powers? or just how they are 'born'
that is how they are "born", "created", however you describe it
some are more powerful beings than others, and some have more interest in interacting with the created races

but Lihan, are the Ainur gods, as some claim? or more like angelic beings?
Tolkien thought of them as "angelic", in the sense that they are lesser than Eru Iluvatar, the One; and are Eru's representatives on this plane.  And Tolkien himself was a firm Christian, and wasn't comfortable with the idea of many gods
So do the 'evil' or 'fallen' go into the category of angels too ?
of fallen angels, which is to say, demons,  followers of the fallen Vala, Melkor = Morgoth
he did the same with fallen elves - orcs

are all orcs evil?
about the orcs, as far as I know they are all evil
they are a mortal race
they were corrupted, yes?
what about the drow?
they chose the 'wrong' path, as elves
aren't drow elves who stayed in Middle Earth, instead of evacutating to the Blessed Lands?  so the drow aren't as "civilized" as some other races of elves
i know little of drow
night creatures?
Tolkien doesn't say much about them, since they aren't in the stories he is telling
well, that's why, then

Some compare the Vala to the Roman gods and goddesses.
hehe.. the vala aren't nearly as licentious are they?  as the roman gods
I had a handout listing some of the Ainur, and that will get back to the comparison with the Roman gods and godesses  Before I hand that out,I wanted to ask, how many Ainur appear in Lord of the Rings?  (trivia question of the evening)
I know of one
cannot remember
erm.. one I know for sure
two, I can count.
I was thinking Galdalf
one point for Belanos
and Saroman?
one point for Fifi!
two points for Fifi!
those are the major characters who are Ainur
I did not remember Sauroman was an Ainu until Fifi mentioned it.
he also was a wizard, the same as Gandalf.  Also Radagast, who had a bit part in the book
also, the balrog
the balrog are ainu?
oh yes!  fallen, rather far
become to their form as the elves become orcs
balrogs are an excellent example of "fallen Ainur".  And Sauron himself, who used to be a flunky of Morgoth's
Natasha Umbarundu shutters at teh mention of the Balrog
a dupe
(and who, incidentally, is not mentioned at Morgoth's final battle)  Makes you wonder why he wasn't around to go down with the Boss
rats fleeing the sinking ship
maybe a thought of later evil returning in new writings, that never came to be rp...the Ainu guides us mortial creatures.

did we answer if Dragons are aniu?
erm.. not quite.. we danced all around it, I think
are they?
would we be ainu or maiar?
well Maiar are Ainu
ainu is the race
like the Vala...yes
what about the shape-sifting aspct of Ainu
yes, that is true, so having a mating between teh dragon and the fox is not so odd, as we are both of the same race under it all.. :D
it's a love story :D
No, it would not be odd at all...remember an Ainu fell in love with an elf.
there is a famous example of an Ainu who married an elf, and -- who had a child with the elf
the world is full of immortals choosing love/mortality
we were just debating then if we had established that dragons are ainu

I had a long talk with an Ainu the other night, who instead that Ainu should be played as gods and goddesses

you deflated him.  Elves break if you poke them too hard
such delicate creatures
and, unlike ainur, the elves won't grow back
they are long lived though, yes?
elves are "immortal" in the sense that they don't die of natural causes, but they can be *killed*
Tolkien elves, that is
I have seen an elf die............and be resurrected
 and clearly so can dragons.. if we are ainur, yet for example Ancalagon was killed......or was that just his mortal body?
They can lose the will to live, too.
do they not lose longevity if they leave their realm, and choose to live with mortals?
ohhh, interesting question about Ancalagon, and Gandalf's balrog
the immortality of elves -- Ael, can we make that another night's discussion?  that could be a long one
yes, please, let's do that.
I am curious to know about ancalagon seeing as my rp character claims him as her sire

how do the elves see the Ainu, ingeneral?
the elves who spent time in the Blessed Lands see the Ainur as wise teachers and leaders
the Ainu love the elves
but then the elves stomped off under rather unfortunate circumstances, so the relationship was a bit strained in later history
BelenosStormchaser Magic giggles at 'elves stomping off'
weellll . . .
I remember a lot of stomping, actually. Morgoth had been spreading rumors, of course
AelKennyr Rhiano mutters, "we don't 'stomp off.' We kinda walked loudly."
*you* didn't stomp anywhere. Feanor did
it is humans, who have never met the ainur in person who tend to see us as "gods and godesses"
That makes more sense to me.
stories of distant and powerful beings.  But, the "distant" part of that -- we hardly ever interfere in human events.  After the business with Feanor, we hardly even intervene in elven events
But Osse taught shipmaking to the Teleri.
true,  and Ulmo gives some advice now and then
And we have a relationship with Ulmo and with Osse's wife, Unien.
as did the Numenorian sailors
but when you think of, say, the Trojan War, with all the gods and goddesses taking sides, and helping their favorite heroes, ainur aren't so hands-on in history
I think, though, that ....yes...blushes...I was going there, myself.  You give aid and advice but we are allowed to exercise our free will
and I don't know how much "aid" we give, more advice
do they elves call on the Ainu for aid . . say wind for sailing?
Well, Ulmo aided the Teleri in their sea journey, for example.

so then, at the risk of pursuing a point, but as one myself I'd kinda like to know.. are dragons ainur? and if so are we supposed to be more distant to events between elves and humans etc?
well, you could be ainur,or descended from ainur.  Melian had a child, the ordinary way, so why couldn't dragon-form ainur?
BelenosStormchaser Magic nods.. that makes sense
if ainu take on a form according to the 'element' their gift is in, perhaps that is the evolution
dragons are water, fire, ice . . many kinds
and there is circumstantial evidence of ainur "going native" in Middle Earth
so for authenticity in our role play it is acceptable for us to be 'invovled' in the world more than ainu usually are.
'going native'??
Radagast, the wizard, seemed to be doing that.  And, Tolkien never really explained where Tom Bombadil came from
many races were created, not all elf or man
that's right!
there is a common idea that he and perhaps Goldberry, were ainur, ainur who had settled into Middle Earth, and were perhaps forgetting their ainur backgrounds
so dragons . . . . please continue
*I* don't have a problem with having a line of dragons, descended from ainur in dragon form, who spend their time doing dragon things, and interact with elves and humans if it suits them
I really like the idea
I like the idea as well
and I think it fits with the Tolkien universe
That is the thing. I am trying to keep the dragons tolkien and avoid slipping into the dungeons and dragons type of dragon
are ainu welcome in dragon lands?  Arador
well, of course.. all in arda are welcome.. smiles
we are just this week reestablishing our role play group since the move and it is our wish to establish some formal alliances with the people of the lands of arda
and what would Tolkien dragons do distinctive?
For instance our behaviour is not dictated by our colour
there are dragons who escaped from the dark mtn
if i were a D&D dragon I would be evil in the extreme, simply because I am black
D&D kinda limits far as behavior and character, doesn't it?
you know, Belanos, your dragons would be in a unique situation, as ainur
how so?
since you don't belong the the household of any of the Valar.  Your ancestors would have been in Morgoth's household
BelenosStormchaser Magic grins.. that is true.. we realy are loose cannons, yes?
but then you left
yes, we did.
quite an unusual situation
nothing quite like throwing a spanner in the smooth workings of things.. :D
so Belenos' dragons are descended from the Ainu?
not that we want you to go back to Morgoth !!!!
the evolved dragons you are
no, no no noooo
oh goodness me no.. we are dead set against him
dragons are doing much to save eggs, the future
well, the dragons of Uhre are working on that.. we have yet to decide if we wish to fall in with their storyline.. we are still establishing our own lands and our own history as yet
different stories for different dragon lineages then ?
why not?
as far as I know Artemis, Uhre are not tolkien in their role play.. but yes, when i established our dragon lands, and established us as rebels against Morgoth, i wrote it so that there are 'many' who feld Morgoth, and then over time separated and went our own ways, so that any who come to arda can still fit in with the tolkien story, yet still have their own history which they would have developed since the great escape from morgoth
it makes sense
it does
BelenosStormchaser Magic gave you History of the Lands of Arador.
I have even used a tolkien based 'story' to explain our move from Oiolaire to Arador.. so we still fit in well with the role play of arda and yet explain our great migration

AelKennyr Rhiano: My friends, may I ask practical questions of you? I wanted to ask if we want the discussion group to meet every week? or how often?
I would like once a week
weekly is fine with me
that will work for me I think
also me as well
sure, if we can think of enough topics
Well, I think we could talk about ainu again next week, it sounds like.
as your time permits :)
in all Ael's spare time O.O
and yours :D
I appreciate this
It is so nice to meet together and actually discuss Tolkien in a casual way.
yes.. it helps me learn and clarify
Lihan, would you moderate this group for us each week?
I suppose I could
so here again next week?
I would like that, if you guys do.
so, next week more ainur? or the immortality of elves?
first one, then the other?
i'm excited!
me, too!
Thank you
also Ael for holding these
Lihan did all the work.
I enjoyed tonight greatly.
yes it was very informative and delightful

Guide to the Ainur

Guide to the Ainur
(class handout)

from Ainulindalë ("Music of the Ainur) and Valaquenta ("Account of the Valar"), in the Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

"There was Eru, the One,
     who in Arda is called Ilúvatar;
and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones,
     that were the offspring of his thought,
     and they were with him before aught else was made."


"Then Ilúvatar said to them:  'Of the theme that I have declared to you,
     I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music.
And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable,
     ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme,
     each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will.
But I will sit and hearken,
     and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'
Ilúvatar said to them:  'Behold your Music!'
And he showed them a vision,
     giving to them sight where before was only hearing;
and they saw a new World made visible before them.
And as they looked and wondered
     this new World began to unfold its history."


The Ainur (singular: Ainu) include all the immortal spirit-being who helped Eru  Ilúvatar to create the universe, and who have entered this universe to guide and protect it.

The Valar (singular:  Vala) are the 14 "Major" Ainur.  All the other Ainur are knows as Maiar (singular: Maia)

*****     THE VALAR:     *****
Manwë Súlimo :  "Lord of the Breath of Arda", Lord of the Airs, High King
Varda Elbereth:  Lady of the Stars

Ulmo:  Lord of the Waters

Aulë:  Lord of "the substance of which Arda is made", Master Craftsman, creator of the Dwarves
Yavanna: "Giver of Fruits", Lady of Growing Things

Námo:  Lord of Destiny, Keeper of the Houses of the Dead
               (The Halls of the Dead, Námo's estate, are named Mandos, and Námo himself is sometimes called "Mandos".)
Vairë:  "The Weaver", Lady of History

Irmo:  Lord of Dreams/Vision/Prophecy
Estë:  Lady of Healing
          (Irmo and Estë's estate is named Lórien, and Irmo himself is sometimes called "Lórien".)
Nienna:  Lady of Compassion
          (Námo and Irmo are brothers, the Fëanturi "Masters of Spirits", and Nienna is their sister.)
Tulkas Astaldo:  "The Valiant",  "He delights in wrestling and in contests of strength"
Nessa:  Lady of Dance, friend of the wild animals, sister of Oromë

Oromë  Aldaron:  Lord of Hunting, "Lord of Forests", brother of Nessa
Vána:  "The Ever Young", Lady of Spring, younger sister of Yavanna


Melkor:  "He Who Arises In Might"
The Elves call him Morgoth, "The Dark Enemy"

*****     THE MAIAR    *****
"With the Valar came other spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree.  These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers.  Their number is not known to the Elves, and few have names in any of the tongues of the Children of Ilúvatar."
House of Manwë:
Eönwë:  herald and banner-bearer of Manwë, and leader of the army of the Ainur
Olórin (Gandalf):  originally in Manwë's household.  He also spent time with Irmo, Estë, and Nienna .
House of Varda:
Ilmarë:  handmaid of Varda, a guardian of the stars.  In battle, her weapon is lightning
House of Ulmo:
Ossë:  Lord of the Coastal Seas
Uinen:  Lady of the Seas
Salmar:  maker of Ulmo's horn
House of Aulë:
Curumo (Saruman):  leader of the group of five wizards
Sauron:  originally from the Aulë's household, before he took up with Melkor/Morgoth
House of Yavanna:
Aiwendil (Radagast):  one of the five wizards
House of Estë:
Melian:  who married Elwë, King of the SIndar Elves, and became the mother of Lúthien Tinúviel
House of Vána:
Arien:  Guide of the Sun
House of Oromë
Tilion:  Guide of the Moon
Alatar and Pallando:  two more of the wizards
House of Melkor:
Gothmog:  High-captain of Angband, Lord of Balrogs.  All balrogs are Maiar.
Thuringwethil:  messenger of Morgoth, bat-shape changer