The One Wiki to Rule Them All
The One Wiki to Rule Them All

Nienna (Quenya; IPA [niˈenna] or [niˈjenna] - "Weeping" or "She Who Weeps") was an Ainu, one of the Aratar and a Vala who was responsible for the mercy and grief spread across Arda. She was the sister of Mandos and Irmo and had no spouse. Her part in the Music of the Ainur was one of deep sadness, from which grief entered the world at its beginning.[1] She had dominion over the Halls of Nienna, which were on the western edge of Valinor, looking over the sea.


Nienna and the Masters of the Souls, by Jenny Dolfen

Nienna was concerned with mourning, and she pitied the suffering of others, especially the Marring of Arda by Melkor. Yet the lesson of Nienna is not of endless grief, but rather of pity, hope, and the endurance of the spirit.

Nienna dwelt in far western Valinor near Mandos, and she seldom came to Valimar. Her windows looked out beyond the Walls of the Night.[2]

During the creation of the Two Trees, she watered the mound with her tears.[3]

The pity of Nienna is most clearly seen in her support for Melkor when he sued for the pardon of the Valar. Though she spent her time in the world mourning for the destruction he had wreaked in Arda, when he sued for release after his three ages of Captivity, Nienna spoke on his behalf.[4]

After the Flight of the Ñoldor, Nienna mourned for the destruction of the Two Trees, and her tears brought healing, but could not heal the mortal wounds. Thus, the trees brought forth their last flower and fruit, and made into the Sun and Moon.[5]

Gandalf was Nienna's greatest pupil among all the others who dwelt in the Halls of Nienna. She taught him pity and many other things before he was chosen as the second wizard sent to lead the people of Middle-earth into standing against Sauron.[6]

All that is known about her appearance is that she wore a grey hood.[7] Given that Gandalf was her greatest student, his being clothed in grey may have been a mark of respect to his teacher.


Nienna means weeping or she who weeps in Quenya and comes from the root nei ("tear").[8]

Other versions of the legendarium

In earlier writings, Nienna was the sister of Manwë and Melkor, and was called "queen of shadow".[9]

In The Book of Lost Tales Part One, a character similar to Nienna was called Fui (“night”), the Death-Goddess. In Gnomish she was Fuil, the Queen of the Dark. She dwelt in halls that bore her name, and had a roof of bats' wings. As Fui, she was the spouse of Vefantur (Mandos in Tolkien's later writings) and dwelt in his halls of Ve. She judged the humans while Vefantur judged the elves.[10]

Nienna, the Compassionate

Heskil (Winter One) and Núri (One who Sighs) were her names as well. She was additionally called Qalme-Tari (Mistress of Death).[11]

List of names and pronunciation:

  • Nyenna [ˈɲenːa]
  • Fui (Quenya; IPA [fuɪ] - "Night")
  • Heskil Quenya; IPA [ˈheskil] - "Winter One")
  • Núri (Quenya; IPA [ˈnuːri] - "Sighing One")
  • Qalmë-Tári (Quenya; IPA [ˌkʷalmeˈtaːri] - "Mistress of Death")


Nienna by Edarlein.jpg
Nienna by Edarlein
Nienna by Alice Falto.jpg
Nienna, by Alice Falto
Nienna's Grief.jpg
Nienna's Grief
Nienna is looking at the sky.gif
Nienna is looking at the sky
Nienna the Weeping.jpg
Nienna the Weeping


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ኚአንና
Arabic تِسْعَة
Armenian Նիեննա
Belarusian Cyrillic Ніенна
Bengali ণিএন্না
Bosnian Niena
Bulgarian Cyrillic Ниенна
Chinese 妮娜
Danish Nienna (Vala og Barmhjertighedens Dronning)
Georgian ნიენა
Greek Νιέννα
Gujarati ણિએન્ન
Hindi णिएन्ना
Japanese ニエンナ
Kazakh Ниенна (Cyrillic) Nïenna (Latin)
Korean 니엔나
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Ниэнна
Lao ນິເນນະ
Macedonian Cyrillic Ниенна
Marathi निएन्ना
Mongolian Cyrillic Ниенна
Nepalese नियना
Pashto نیېڼا
Persian نیهننا
Polish Niënna
Punjabi ਨੀਨੀਨਾ ?
Russian Ниэнна
Sanskrit णिएन्न​
Serbian Нијена (Cyrillic) Nijena (Latin)
Sinhalese ණිඑන්න​
Tajik Cyrillic Ниенна
Tamil ணிஎண​
Telugu ణిఎన్న​
Ukrainian Cyrillic Ніенна
Uzbek Ниенна (Cyrillic) Nienna (Latin)
Yiddish ניעננאַ


  1. The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Valar"
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Valinor"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter I: "Of the Beginning of Days"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter VI: "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  5. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XI: "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  6. The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Maiar"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  8. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  9. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman
  10. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, The First Phase, "Of the Valar"
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. I: The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I