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[page 4] In response to the question:"Who were the Valar?" I received this explanation from Radagst. 'The Valar occur in Tolkien's works as the masters of the undying lands. Now, it is well known that Tolkien was greatly influenced in his writings by the north people (i.e. The Scandanavians) and by their stories and their myths. Ishould @I should@ like to offer here a theory on the origin of the Valar-- both in Tolkien's stories and in logical associations with Norse mythology. Before going any further, however, I must introduce my subject in a little more detail as we all know, greatest mention of the Valar in Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_ is made particularly in the appendicies. We find that at one time the Valarwere @Valar were@ not here (neither was anything elsein @else in@ Middle Earth, for it did not exist). Later, it seems, the Valar came and created the Undying Lands- apparently all alone.. Later they began to create living beings (elves being one of the first). Eventually, the entire Middle Earth world was created and Valar were in charge of the whole mess. Now, the Valar weren't holy angels going around lovingly bestowing grace on everything they saw. They toohad @too had@ criminals, in fact there was a sort of a waramong @war among@ them. After this I'm sure I'd be wasting space to quote "scripture" about the Valar-- we know that after this is when the history of our real story began. But at any rate from this we can form a picture of what they were 'really' like playful yet svere @severe@, all powerful yet endowed with emotions _and_ susceptible to vice. I ask you, where in history do we find any "people" like this- with similar qualities & history? There are a number of answers that immedaitely @immediately@ come to mind- for example, the Olympians or the Norse Gods. Of these the Norse Gods bear the greatest resemblence tb @to@ the Valar -not in attributes but in culture, climate, and linguistic development.. Examine some of the Norse Gods names- Loki, Thor, do these sound not like some of the names in the _Lord of the Rings_ ? The Norse Gods lived in the cold northern lands, similar to the Valars' subjective ruling place. The Norse Gods had great power and could destiny (oops , thats' @that's@ DESTROY) or create at will- the Valar created; the Valar destroyed a @graet@ continent*, Further similarities exist, I could go on for a much greater space than this- but I spare you, gentle reader. (Phwe @Phew@, the typist thanks you, Rdagast) Please continue through my summary. I have shown what @tha@ Valar were and what the Norse Gods were. I have Compared the Two and shown that great similaritiesexist @similarities exist@ between the two. Now I should like to make a conclusive statement drawn from the evidence at hand: The Valar were Demi-Gods. Just as were the Norse Mythologies' Gods, demi-gods. This means that in the story by Tolkien, the Valr @Valar@ take on the role as chess players and the board is middle earth, we cannot tell if the valar were created by greater gods**, or not, however this remains a possible explanation for _their_ existance. I hope this article will trigger some kind of reaction from those who read it, there are other theories as yet unexplored on this topic... Radagast the Brown.... (* Two.. númenor but also ) ( &&** When the Númenoreans under Ar-Pharazon landed on Valinor- it is said (III p392) "The Valar laid down their guardianship and called upon the ONE,)" and so"Númenor @so"Númenor@ and the " Undying lands were removed forever from the circles of the world." Ed. )