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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Aulë and Yavanna

AelKennyr Rhiano      
Belenos    (BelenosStormchaser Magic)
Shawn Daysleeper  
Rhûn Darkmoon     


Ael put forth the information that this World, fashioned from his ideas and expressed as the Music of Ilúvatar, was refined by thoughtful interpretations by the Ainur, who then created their own themes based on each unique comprehension. No one Ainu understood all of the themes that sprang from Ilúvatar. Instead, each elaborated individual themes, singing of mountains and subterranean regions, say, from themes for metals and stones. The themes of Ilúvatar's music were elaborated, and the Ainur added creative touches to blend with the themes of other Ainur.

Hearing this, Belenos put forth the thought that where it was said that no one Ainu understood all of the themes, but instead each elaborated individual themes then that would be like they each had a 'trade', an area they specialised in, and they worked together. She likened this to how a jeweler would work with a swordsmith to make a gem-encrusted weapon.

Rhun agreed that is was like each with their own skills and understanding and together making the whole.

Ael went on to explain that during the creation of Arda, Aulë was most involved in building the continents and mountains. He constructed Angainor, the chain of Melkor, and the vessels of the Sun and Moon. He was also the third most powerful of the male Valar. 

Aulë was unwilling to wait for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar for he was impatient and desired to have someone to teach his lore and his crafts, therefore he made the first Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in secret in a hall somewhere in Middle Earth, from whom all other Dwarves are descended.Aulë though, did not have the divine power to grant independent life to any creation; Aulë repented and confessed to Ilúvatar and promised to keep them; the voice of Ilúvatar though spoke to Aulë and agreed to grant them true life, and include them in His plan for Arda. Ilúvatar granted the Dwarves life, and therefore they are known as the Adopted Children of Ilúvatar. He made the Dwarves to sleep, and they were to awake after the Awakening of the Elves.

As Aulë is a smith, he is the Vala most similar in thought and powers to Melkor, in that they each gloried in the fashioning of artful and original things. Both also came to create beings of their own. But while Aulë strove to be true to the original intent of the Music of the Ainur, and submitted all that he did to the will of Ilúvatar, Melkor wished to control and subvert all things, and was jealous of the creations of others so that he would try to twist or destroy all that they made. There was long strife between Aulë and Melkor both before and after the creation of Arda. Aulë, however, traditionally opposed attempts to fight Melkor, for fear of the damage that would be wrought to Arda.

Yavanna means "Giver of Fruits" in Quenya. The name is a compound of yáve and anna. Her epithet Kementári means "Queen of the Earth". She was second greatest of the female Vala next to Varda. She was usually portrayed as a tall woman robed in green when she took physical form.

After Eru allowed Aulë's creations, the Dwarves, to survive, Yavanna feared that they would cut down all the trees in Middle-earth. Aulë, in reply, told her that even Elves and Men, the true Children of Ilúvatar would have need of her trees as well. Yavanna lamented to Manwë, questioning whether anything she had made would be free from the dominion of others. Manwë brought her concerns before Ilúvatar in prayer, and Eru did indeed have pity upon Yavanna: He answered her plea by creating the Ents to protect the trees.

In the beginning of days Yavanna was one of the Valar who contended with Morgoth. After his expulsion from Arda she planted the seeds that she had long devised and life came to Middle-earth, although in the beginning no flowers bloomed

After the destruction of the Two Trees Yavanna examined their remains and told the other Valar that if she could use the light of the Silmarils she could heal them. This light she was denied by the will of Fëanor. So, with Yavanna singing, and Nienna's tears, they managed to bring forth one silver flower from Telperion and one golden fruit from Laurelin. She gave these to her husband Aulë, who fashioned vessels for them and thus creating the Moon and the Sun.

In the ensuing discussion it was noted that despite the seemily arbitrary matching of Aulë and Yavanna as spouses, their interest and skills complement each other. Aulë is often perceived as 'the Smith', associated with forges, stone and of course the Dwarves, while Yavanna is perceived as the 'Queen of the Earth' and 'Giver of fruits'.  At first glance it would seem they would not have much in common.  However, Aulë built the lands, while Yavanna landscaped them with living things. They would have worked very closely together in the building of the world.  

Often, the episode of Aulë's remark about the dwarves, elves and even men would have need of her trees implies a conflict of interest between them, and perhaps a little callousness on Aulë's part. It was suggested however he may have simply been trying to be realistic and save Yavanna from future unexpected distress when her beloved trees were used.  It was agreed during the discussion that Aulë's motives were open to personal interpretation.  

However, as evidenced by the creation of the Moon and the Sun, Aulë and Yavanna did work together.  Very like humans though, they had their own personalities and sometimes conflicts.  Both however were protective of their creations, with Aulë reluctant to combat Melkor for fear of the harm that may be done to his creation and Yavanna upset her creations would always be under the dominion and use of others. So while at first glance, Aulë and Yavanna may seem and odd couple, after this discussion it was agreed that all now had a greater understanding of the two, and they were indeed well-suited. 

(Note: Full chat logs from the discussions will no longer be posted)