- Ainu (Middle-earth)
J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasylegendarium, the Ainur (singular Ainu) are spirits who are direct representatives of Eru Ilúvatar("Eru" meaning 'The One', and "Ilúvatar" meaning 'Father of All' in the ancient Elvish languageof Quenya). "Ainur" means 'The Holy Ones'. These were the first of the creations of Eru, born of his thought. Citation
first = J.R.R. | last = Tolkien
author-link = J.R.R. Tolkien
title = The Silmarillion
place = NY, NY
publisher = Houghton Mifflin
year = 1977
isbn = 0-618-12698-8]
Before the creation of
Eä(the universe), Eru created the Ainur. The universe was created with Arda(the world) at its centre through the " Music of the Ainur" or Ainulindalë.
After the music was corrupted by the greatest Ainu, Melkor, several of the most powerful Ainur entered Arda. Eru declined to interfere with Arda in any way and as such the further shaping and governing of Arda was left to these Ainur. Melkor wanted to claim Arda for himself; in response,
Manwëand thirteen others of the most powerful decided to confront him, becoming known as the Valar, or The Powers. Much of the world was marred by the conflict between the Valar and Melkor. Eventually (with the aid of the Vala Tulkas, who entered Arda last) Melkor was temporarily overthrown, and the Valar continued shaping the world. Many lesser Ainur who entered Eä became known as the Maiar.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.