Ainulindalë

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Ainulindalë (Quenya, "Music of the Ainur" or, more literally, "Singing of the Holy") is the first section and chapter of The Silmarillion. In Tolkien's legendarium, the Ainur are Middle-earth's divine beings. In Heaven, before Time, they compose a Great Music. This Music is revealed to be the template, or blueprint, commensurable with the entire history of Middle-earth (beginning to end). The Music of the Ainur is later made manifest by a single-word command of Ilúvatar's.

Pronounced [ˌainuˈlindalɛ], the final 'e' bears the diacritical mark ¨, which is not used like the Germanic umlaut, but only to show that the vowel is not silent (in Quenya, 'e', when written without acute accent, is always short, as in English pet).

Contents

Preface

Note on Comparisons

A critical part of Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, Ainulindalë plays the role of Middle-earth's cosmogony, or creation myth. Its characters and their actions are exclusively divine (the story takes place for the most part in an abstract "heaven", before Time), and it deals entirely with the nature of the beginning of the World. This internal story of Middle-earth's origins also speaks to the questions of 'Fate' and the Natural Order in the non-mythical Middle-earth of later characters like Frodo Baggins.

As a creation myth formulated in a Western mind, it is possible to compare Ainulindalë to other cosmogonies - especially those of Indo-European origin. Tolkien himself admitted to being heavily affected by Norse/Germanic, Finnish, Greek and Roman myths. Despite similarities, most Tolkien 'authorities' are wary of drawing analogies between his fictional works and the historical narratives they so strongly resemble.[1][2]

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