Short Description

The tongue spoken by the Valar and Maiar.


The Valar do not need a spoken language; they are angelic spirits and can easily communicate telepathically. But as the Ainulindalë tells, “the Valar took to themselves shape and hue” when they entered Eä at the beginning of Time. They became self-incarnate and, as Pengolodh the sage of Gondolin observed: “The making of a lambe [language] is the chief character of an Incarnate. The Valar, having arrayed them in this manner, would inevitably during their long sojourn in Arda have made a lambe for themselves.” There is no doubt that this was indeed the case, for there were references to the language of the Valar in the old lore of the Noldor.

When the Eldar arrived in Valinor, the Valar and the Maiar quickly adopted Quenya and sometimes even used it among themselves. Yet Valarin was by no means displaced by Quenya, and it could still be heard when the Valar were having their great debates. “The tongues and voices of the Valar are great and stern,” Rúmil of Tirion wrote, “and yet also swift and subtle in movement, making sounds that we find hard to counterfeit; and their words are mostly long and rapid, like the glitter of swords, like the rush of leaves in a great wind or the fall of stones in the mountains.” Pengolodh is less lyrical, and also less courteous: “Plainly, the effect of Valarin upon Elvish ears was not pleasing.” Valarin employed many sounds that were alien to the Eldarin languages.

Nonetheless, Quenya borrowed some words from Valarin, though they often had to be much changed to fit the restrictive phonology of High-Elven. From the old tales we remember the Ezellohar, the Green Mound, and Máhanaxar, the Ring of Doom. These are foreign words in Quenya, adopted and adapted from Valarin Ezellôchâr and Mâchananaškad. The names of the Valar Manwë, Aulë, Tulkas, Oromë and Ulmo were borrowed from Valarin Mânawenûz, Aûlêz, Tulukastâz, Arômêz and Ulubôz (or Ullubôz). So is the name of the Maia Ossë (Ošošai, Oššai). The names Eönwë and possibly Nessa also seem to be adopted from Valarin, though the original forms of the names are not recorded.


The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East Leonides02