View Full Version : Powers of the Maia and Valar?

21-03-2011, 11:32
Greetings everyone.

My knowledge on the maia and valar is a little hazy but from what I know they are immortal, have divine powers and abilities but can't create, only Eru can.

Know I'm curious what kind of powers could they have?

-The Istari, though restricted when sent to middle-earth had divine powers
I.e, gandalf's fire and light, saruman's voice, Radagast's communication of beasts and the like.

-Ulmo had power over the sea I know that.

-Melkor threw discord and mockery on Eru's creations, i.e orcs, balrogs, trolls etc.

-The valar gave additional life to the numenorians.

What other powers could the maia and valar have I wonder?

-Powers i.e: Healing, Lightning summon, enhanced physical strength and speed, earth shattering, telekinesis, flight, continental shifting, cursing, necromancy etc.


21-03-2011, 16:31
I think another of Gandalf's powers was to raise the spirits and resolve of those he moved among. I'm pretty sure it's mentioned in the section on the Maia in the Silmarillion (although it refers to him by his Maia name, Olorin).

22-03-2011, 15:16
Yep, this is pretty much answered in the Valaquenta, the second part of The Silmarillion. It lists the name and powers of all the Valar and selected Maiar too.

*toddles off to find link*


23-03-2011, 05:21
I think the Akallabeth also has some hints of Manwe's powers. Though it is not specifically stated, I assumed that in trying to warn the Numenoreans against invading Aman, these warnings escalated to the point where lightning fell from eagle-shaped clouds and struck down some of their people. So yes, my guess is that at least one of the Valar can indeed summon lightning.

My interpretation is that they are 'elemental', something like the personification of natural forces and some other things which I am not sure how to classify... personification of ideas/emotions? Like Tulkas and Orome (war?) and Mandos (grief?).

So rather than the Valar having powers, my impression is that it is just a part of them, like Manwe is air and shapes things of the air, Ulmo is the oceans, forms the oceans and takes shape as a giant in water. So their powers are anything they can do in their domains. Only Melkor 'had a share in all the gifts' (quoted from the 'Ainulindale'), so he had the power to corrupt everything.

I really like the way things like dread (like that which the Nazgul puts into warriors) and courage(like that of the light from the phial of Galadriel) can play a big role in how the heroes and villains conduct themselves. It's not all about the strength of one's arm or the power of fireballs alone that decides the fate of Arda.