Of Aulë and Yavanna: II (Eagles and Ents)

The Silmarillion, Chapter 2: Of Aulë and Yavanna
         Aulë greatly desired the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar, and because of his impatience he made in secret the first of the dwarves. But Ilúvatar knew what was done, and was displeased, for the dwarves had not free will and were servants to Aulë's thought. 
        But Aulë was humble and desired no lordship, wishing only for children to love and teach. Seeing this, Ilúvatar gave the dwarves wills of their own. But he would not allow the dwarves to walk in Arda before his own children, so they were put to sleep to wait.

       All this was secret from the other Vala, but Aulë finally told Yavanna (his spouse). He also told her that the Children, when they came, would have dominion over her works. Fearing for the things she had made, she went to speak with Manwë.                           

       Eru then spoke to Manwë, explaining that great spirits would come to dwell among the things of Yavanna's making. Their anger would be feared, and they would help protect her work from wanton destruction and disrespect, though the Children of Ilúvatar would still have need of wood and meat. 


Continued from AULË: All of this remained secret from the rest of the Valar, but Aulë at last told Yavanna who said "Eru is merciful. Now I see that thy heart rejoiceth, as indeed it may; for thou hast received not only forgiveness but bounty. Yet because thou hiddest this thought from me until its achievement, thy children will have little love for the things of my love [...] Many a tree shall feel the bite of their iron without pity."

"But Aulë answered: 'That shall also be true of the Children of Ilúvatar; for they will eat and they will build. And though the things of thy realm have worth in themselves, and would have worth if no Children were to come, yet Eru will give them dominion, and they shall use all that they find in Arda: though not, by the purpose of Eru, without respect or without gratitude.'"

But Yavanna knew that Melkor would twist some and was not content, "fearing what might be done upon Middle-earth in days to come." So she went to Manwë and learned from him that it was as Aulë had said. Manwë the asked what she love most in all her realm. "'All have their worth,' said Yavanna, 'and each contributes to the worth of the others. But the kelvar can flee or defend themselves, whereas the olvar that grow cannot. And among these I hold trees dear. Long in growing, swift shall they be in the felling, and unless they pay toll with fruit upon bough little mourned in their passing." 

She then expressed her desire that the trees would speak and defend themselves and other living things.

"'This is a strange thought,' said Manwë. 'Yet it was in the Song,' said Yavanna. 'For while thou wert in the heavens and with Ulmo built the clouds and poured out the rains, I lifted up the branches of the great trees to receive them, and some sang to Ilúvatar amid the wind and the rain.'"

Manwë is then shown many things by Ilúvatar that he had not before know, and he went to Yavanna saying "'O Kementári, Eru hath spoken, saying: "....Behold! When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence, and their just anger shall be feared." 

Manwë then said "But dost thou not now remember, Kementári, that thy thought sang not always alone? Did not thy thought and mine meet also, so that we took wing together like great birds that soar above the clouds. That also shall come to be [and] there shall go forth with wings like the wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West.'"

Then Yavanna was glad and declared that the eagles should dwell in her trees, but Manwë said "only the trees of Aulë will be tall enough. In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us. But in the forests shall walk the Shepherds of the Trees.'"

Then Yavanna went to Aulë and said "'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'" "'Nonetheless they will have need of wood,' said Aulë, and he went on to his smith work."


  • We see here the origins of the Eagles and the Ents (shepherds of the trees). 
  • Of all the Valar, I feel the worst about Yavanna. She delights in all beautiful things, but most of in living things, which are the most fragile. She is constantly watching that which she loves being destroyed and trampled upon. Constantly rebuilding and trying to heal the wounds. Even the good guys harm her domain. I believe that Tolkien felt the same way about her. He had a deep love of all living things (SAM!) and specifically of horses and trees. He hated the harm that was done to the natural world by EVERYTHING, good and bad. And he saw (even in his day) the inevitable destruction of nature. 
  • It is interesting that the realms of Aulë and Yavanna can seem so different, and yet they are not so very far from each other. The mountains, stone, and earth (as in the dirt, not the planet) of the former are all, in their own way, living, and deeply connected to plants and animals of the latter. I have heard people say that they think the union between Aulë and Yavanna strange, but it makes perfect sense. As does that of Manwë and Varda.

See also: 

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(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

'Yavanna, Giver of Fruits" by Jenny Dolfen: https://goldseven.wordpress.com/
"Manwë" by Anna Kulisz: http://rysowania.deviantart.com/?rnrd=145729

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