Guide to the Ainur
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 AinurHouse of Varda:
Olórin (Gandalf): originally in Manwë's household. He also spent time with Irmo, Estë, and Nienna .
Ilmarë: handmaid of Varda, a guardian of the stars. In battle, her weapon is lightningHouse of Ulmo:
Ossë: Lord of the Coastal SeasHouse of Aulë:
Uinen: Lady of the Seas
Salmar: maker of Ulmo's horn
Curumo (Saruman): leader of the group of five wizardsHouse of Yavanna:
Sauron: originally from the Aulë's household, before he took up with Melkor/Morgoth
Aiwendil (Radagast): one of the five wizardsHouse of Estë:
Melian: who married Elwë, King of the SIndar Elves, and became the mother of Lúthien TinúvielHouse of Vána:
Arien: Guide of the SunHouse of Oromë
Tilion: Guide of the MoonHouse of Melkor:
Alatar and Pallando: two more of the wizards
Gothmog: High-captain of Angband, Lord of Balrogs. All balrogs are Maiar.
Thuringwethil: messenger of Morgoth, bat-shape changer