Manwë (Quenya; IPA: [ˈmanʷe] - "Blessed One") was the leader of the Ainur, one of the Aratar, King of the Valar, husband of Varda, brother of the Dark Lord Melkor, and King of Arda. He was also known as Súlimo, Mânawenûz or Valahiru, and lived atop Mount Taniquetil in Valinor, the highest mountain of the world. The winds and airs were his servants.
He was the greatest in authority, but not power, of all the Valar, Melkor being more powerful. He was, however, the greatest of the Aratar, among whom Melkor was not. It is said that he was the only Vala who took council from Eru from time to time.
Manwë was (with Melkor) the eldest of the Ainur, and the one that best understood the will of Eru. When Melkor created the discord in the Music of the Ainur, the Second Theme of Eru that rose to counter the discord used Manwë as its chief instrument. When Arda was formed, Manwë was appointed Ruler of Arda, hence his most common title, the Elder King. Manwë was a kind, compassionate ruler, unconcerned with his own power. He oversaw all of the Valar's early attempts to order Arda, but was unable to stop Melkor's rampages until the Vala Tulkas came to Arda to assist his brethren.
Afterwards, the Valar under Manwë made an abode on Middle-earth in the Isle of Almaren and constructed the two Lamps of the Valar to provide light to the world. But Melkor destroyed the lamps, and the Valar retreated to the continent of Aman, which they heavily fortified. Eventually, the Elves awoke in Middle-earth, and Manwë at last went with the other Valar to subdue Melkor. They succeeded, and Melkor was imprisoned in the Halls of Mandos. He extended an invitation to the Elves to journey to Aman and live there amongst the Valar. For the three Ages of Melkor's imprisonment, the Valar and the Elves lived in peace and happiness. But eventually Melkor was allowed to plead for pardon before Manwë again.
As Manwë was completely free of evil, he was unable to comprehend it, leading him to believe Melkor's lies concerning his reformation. He released Melkor from Mandos, whereupon Melkor began plotting the downfall of the Elves and the ruin of Aman's bliss. He began to cleverly spread lies amongst the Ñoldor, who soon grew to resent the Valar because of said lies. Eventually, due to the rebellious actions of the Ñoldorin prince Fëanor, Melkor's lies were uncovered, but he escaped before he could be recaptured. Soon thereafter, Melkor recruited the great spider Ungoliant and poisoned the Two Trees. He then murdered the High King of the Ñoldor, Finwë, stole the Silmarils, and incited Fëanor's leaving Aman with most of the Ñoldor in rebellion.
Soon thereafter, Manwë learned that the rebellious Ñoldor had attacked and slaughtered many of the Teleri. As such, he forbade the Ñoldor from returning to Valinor once they left, and stated also that the Elves would receive no help from the Valar in their war against Morgoth. He then caused Valinor to be hidden by way of the Shadowy Seas and the Enchanted Isles to prevent the Ñoldor from returning.
To hearten the Eldar, he had Aulë fashion the Sun and the Moon, for he knew the rising of the Atani was coming soon, and sent Thorondor and the Eagles to watch them. After Morgoth's fall, Manwë cast him into the void. Manwë dressed in blue robes and had blue eyes. He wielded a scepter of sapphire made for him by the Ñoldor. The Vanyar were his favorite Elves, and they lived with him and Varda on Mount Taniquetil.
Maiar of Manwë
- Eönwë, Manwë's banner-bearer and herald. In earlier conceptions of the legendarium, Eönwë, then called Fionwë Úrion, was envisioned as the son of Manwë and brother of Erinti, renamed as Ilmarë, Varda's handmaiden.
- Olórin (Gandalf), the second-in-command (and later leader) of the Wizards sent to Middle-earth to fight against Sauron, Manwë comforted him when Olórin showed uneasiness and fear of Sauron's powers.
His Sindarin name was Aran Einior, the "Elder King".
- Elder King
- King of Arda
- Lord of the Breath of Arda
- King of the Valar
- Lord of the West
- Manwë shares many characteristics with the pantheon chief gods of world mythologies, particularly the Greek Zeus and the Norse Odin in the sense of being the associated with wisdom and the skies, and with St. Michael Archangel of the Christian religions in the sense of being second only to Illúvatar in righteousness and authority after Melkor's fall from grace.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Манве (Manwë)
Манве Сулимо (Manwë Sulimo)
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||曼威 (Manwë)
曼威·甦利繆 (Manwë Súlimo)
მანუე სულიმო (Manwë Súlimo)
Μάνγουε Σούλιμο (Manwë Súlimo)
マンウェ ・スーリモ (Manwë Súlimo)
|Kazakh||Мэнве (Cyrillic) Ménve (Latin)|
만웨 술리모 (Manwë Súlimo)
(Manwë Súlimo) مانوه سولیمو
|Serbian||Манве (Cyrillic) Manve (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Манwе (Cyrillic) Manwe (Latin)|
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, Part Four: Quendi and Eldar
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter I: "Of the Beginning of Days"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. I: The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I
- The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"