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Eru Ilúvatar was the supreme deity of Arda. He was the single creator, above the Valar, but delegated almost all direct action within to the Ainur, including the shaping of the world.


Eru was transcendent, completely outside of and beyond the world. He first created a group of angelic beings, called in Elvish the "Ainur," and these holy spirits were co-actors in the creation of Arda through a holy music and chanting called the "Music of the Ainur." He is known also as "the All-Powerful", and he alone could create independent life, or reality, using the "Flame Imperishable".

The next thing he fashioned was Eä, the "World and All That Is", and Eä was in the Void (or "the Outside" as it was sometimes called). He then gave the Ainur the option to go into Eä and fashion it as they will. The Greatest Ainur who chose to do so were called the Valar, and they controlled the shaping of Arda. They could not make life, however, as Aulë proved, who was able to give only shape to the Dwarves, while consciousness was given to them by Eru. The Valar were accompanied by the Maiar, the lesser Ainur. Elves and mankind, however, came directly from Ilúvatar's thoughts, and are referred to in The Silmarillion as the "First" and "Second" Children of Ilúvatar (or Eruhini), respectively.

Eru is an important part of the stories of The Silmarillion but is not mentioned by name in Tolkien's most famous works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (He is alluded to as "the One" in a part of Appendix A that speaks of the downfall of Númenor).


Manwë also took counsel from Eru on several important matters, including the fate of deceased Elven Fëa, the Half-elven and the extension of the lifespans of the Númenóreans.[1]


Eru meant "The One" or "Alone", and the epithet Ilúvatar meant "Father of All" in the Quenya tongue. Sometimes, the name Ilúvatar is given alone.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ኢሩ ኢልቫታር
Arabic ىرو ىلوڢاتار
Armenian Երու Իլուվատար
Belarusian Cyrillic Эру Ілуватар
Bengali ইরু ইলুভাটার
Bulgarian Cyrillic Еру Илуватар
Chinese 一如稱伊露維塔
Georgian ერუ ილუვატარი
Greek Έρου Ιλούβαταρ
Gujarati ઇરુ ઇલુવતાર
Hebrew ארו אילובאטאר
Hindi एरु ईलुवतर
Japanese エル・イルーヴァタール
Kannada ಇರು ಇಲುವಾಟರ್
Kazakh Ерұ Ылұватар (Cyrillic) Eru Iluvatar (Latin)
Korean 에루 일루바타르
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Эру Илуватар
Macedonian Cyrillic Еру Илуватар
Marathi इरु इलुवतार
Mongolian Cyrillic Еру Илуватар
Nepalese एरु ईलुवतर
Pashto اییو الیوټار ?
Persian ارو ایلوواتار
Punjabi ਏਰੂ ਇੱਲਵੱਟਰ
Russian Эру Илуватар
Sanskrit एरु ईलुवतर्
Serbian Еру Илуватар (Cyrillic) Eru Iluvatar (Latin)
Sinhalese ඊරු ඉලුවාපත්ර්
Tajik Cyrillic Еру Илуватар
Tamil இரு எலுவாத்தர்
Telugu ఏరు ఇరువిలాటర్
Thai เอรู อิลูวาทาร์
Ukrainian Cyrillic Еру Ілуватар
Urdu ایرو الوواتر
Yiddish ערו ילווואַטאַר
  1. The Nature of Middle-earth, Chapter XI: "Lives of the Númenoreans"