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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 4:07PM Mr Angry said

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This section is almost a must read for me now, i think these are great. I love the way Tolkien's world is open to interpretation and there are still mysteries in terms of how things came to pass, it really helps give a sense of depth, way beyond just The Hobbit.

Contrast that to some more modern IP's used for gaming, and you can see, the originals are still the best :)

Where there any other Maiar in the books, I had read that Tom or even Goldberry might have been? Hopefully others will contribute here too!

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 11:46PM Jesspiper said

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I'm pretty sure tom Bombadil was never explained. AFAIK he is a true, unsolved mystery left unexplained by Tolkien on purpose.

Considering Tom picks up and puts on the One Ring with it having no effect on him whatsoever and just treats it like a trinket, he is extremely powerful indeed, more so than Gandalf or other Maiar/Istari who would have been corrupted by it or been impacted by it in some sense.






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Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 4:26PM (Unverified) said

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Other Maia in the books would be Sauron and the Balrog.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 10:36PM (Unverified) said

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Wow, nice history lesson.
I've always thought that Gandalf was a human-wizard kinda person.

So this makes him immortal or semi immortal I presume.


Posted: Feb 4th 2009 1:57AM Jesspiper said

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My (rough) understanding is that while he was a Maia (spirit), the Gandalf the Grey of Middle-earth wasn't immortal; the Balrog did kill him (and he the Balrog, of course). I don't know if he became mortal (albeit a very powerful and long-lived mortal but killable nonetheless ) upon arriving in Middle-earth, or maybe it's just that the Maiar can kill eachother (The Balrog was one, after all). Either way he WAS killed and brought back to life by Eru Il├║vatar. It was the one time (that I know of) where "God" intervened in the events of Midde-earth. Up until then it was only the Valar who occcasionaly intervened in the affairs of Middle-eath (see the "War of Wrath").

So while I suppose he was an immortal being, he could be slain in Middle-earth under the guise of a Wizard, as was demonstrated in Moria.





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Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 11:50PM Jesspiper said

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Great article. While many LOTRO players may indeed not have much interest in the specifics of the Valar, I would put forth that many players would indeed appreciate that knowledge because in the end, it's really the wars of the Valar that they are still fighting.

Sauron is Melkor's apprentice, and all the fighting, evil and corruption in middle-earth is because of Melkor. Sauron just didn't appear and become evil, it's all about Melkor/Morgoth. It's the whole reason evil exists in Middle-earth. Defeating him and his legacy (Sauron) is the core of the War of the Ring and thus LOTRO itself.

Posted: Feb 4th 2009 4:32AM (Unverified) said

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Agreed. I love reading these articles.

Posted: Feb 4th 2009 11:03AM (Unverified) said

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Good article, always look forward to these.

Some comments if I may.
Firstly, it's important to note that the previous articles are not about the creations of the Valar. Elves and Men are The Children of Iluvatar. Orcs would appear to be corrupted elves. Dwarves were originally creations of Aule but were given life by Iluvatar, being mere puppets before his intervention.

Other Maiar in the books are indeed Balrogs and Sauron. It is also possible that both Ungoliant (the original giant spider) and Glaurung (the original giant worm) are both the physical forms of Maiar spirits.

Previous commenter's are correct in stating that Tolkien left Tom Bombadil an unsolved mystery. Bombadil himself is almost certainly not Maia, although his wife Golberry could well be.

Gandalf is immortal, and always was, regardless of colour. His physical body is destroyed in battle with the Balrog. His spirit returns to Mandos from whence he is sent back to Middle-Earth.

Posted: Feb 4th 2009 1:20PM Evy said

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Heck, I don't even play LotRO and I enjoy these articles. I enjoyed the books, I enjoy online gaming, and I enjoy seeing how they're translating Tolkien's lore into the game.

Posted: Feb 4th 2009 1:47PM ReijMan said

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What stops you from playing LOTRO? http://www.trylotro.com
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Posted: Feb 4th 2009 6:45PM Evy said

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Nothing specific. I beta tested LotRO and found it highly enjoyable. But all my friends are in WoW and at this time I only have time for one MMORPG. If I didn't work so much, maybe I'd play both. ;)
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Posted: Feb 7th 2009 4:28AM (Unverified) said

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I like the idea of Arien, the Maiar who guides the sun. She's described as "Being from teh beginning a spirit of fire, whom Melkor had not deceived nor drawn to his service." Which implies that she is similar to a balrog (except a spirit of fire and light instead of fire and darkness).

In response to Jess, it doesn't take a Maiar to kill a Maiar. Glorfindel (an elf) killed a Balrog in the first age.

And the list of valar above includes Mandos. That valar's correct name was Namo, although he's refered to himself as Mandos a lot in the Silmarillion.

To my mind, there's no reason that Tom Bombadil couldn't be a Maiar. Obviously like people say it's not explained one way or the other, but it's really the only thing he could be.

(also Maiar aren't Valar, but Maiar and Valar are both Ainur)
[/nerdy]

Posted: Feb 16th 2009 7:33AM Smokekills said

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This is a very good information source section about Tolkien world. There is two characters I would like to know more and this is my suggestion for one or two future Articles: Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. Once again thanks for all the info you gave us (Tolkien fanatics) every week.

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