Uinen (Sindarin; IPA: [ˈuɪnen]) was a Maia spirit known as The Lady of the Sea and the wife of the Maia Ossë. She was a matron to all mariners. Uinen was third greatest and most powerful of all the Maiar.
Before the Sun and the Moon
Uinen loves all creatures that lived in the saltwater streams of the world and the weeds that grew in them. Her love calmed the violent tidal waves and storms created by Ossë her husband by keeping him in line and not going too far. Her hair spread throughout waters and lies on their surfaces. During the early days Arda, Ossë rebelled against his Lord Ulmo (Lord of All Waters) and served Melkor instead, being carried away by the false promises that Melkor gave to him. From then on, for a while, there rose great tumults in the sea that wrought great ruins to the lands. At that point, and also because of the prayers of Aulë who created those lands, Uinen helped bring Ossë back to the allegiance of their lord Ulmo by restraining her husand and bringing him before Ulmo. Following that, Uinen's husband was pardoned and gave his allegiance back to the Valar remaining thereafter faithful then ever to them. To the Maiar Uinen and Ossë, Ulmo their lord gave them the task of the governing of the waves and the movements of the Inner Seas. Plus ever afterwards, Uinen was the one who restrained her Spouse's violence in the seas and on the coasts.
Later on, the Teleri remained long on the coast of the western seas, awaiting still for Ulmo to take them to Aman. Likewise, Uinen and Ossë came among the Teleri at the coasts and befriended them. In addition, the Teleri had much love for Uinen and her spouse, for Uinen and Ossë continued being friends with the Teleri who then dwelt by the mouths of the great river Sirion of Beleriand which flowed into the sea. Ultimately, the Teleri with their King Olwë at last reached Aman where they built their dwelling as a city-haven named 'Alqualondë' on the shores of Eldamar in Aman. However later on, the 'Kinslaying at Alqualondë' took place at the Swanhaven of the Teleri where Fëanor, eldest son of King Finwë of the Ñoldor, and his host of exiled Ñoldor attacked the Teleri and forcefully stole their white ships for their voyage to Middle-earth. Notwithstanding though, Uinen wept for the many of the Telerin mariners who had been wickedly slain and tossed into the sea. What's more, the sea then rose in great wrath by Uinen against the Noldorin slayers in that so many of the Telerin ships were wrecked and those of the Ñoldor in them were drowned.
When the Hiding of Valinor took place, Ossë raised the enchanted Isles. Then next, Uinen enchanted those who ever managed to reach the Isles by weaving them in her hair before Irmo (Master of Dreams & Desires) put them to age-long sleep.
In the Second Age, the mariners of Númenór would cry to Uinen for help, because she was the only one capable of calming Ossë who loved to create tumults in the seas. And the Númenóreans lived under her protection while their respect for the Valar endured. Therefore, the Númenóreans held the Maia Uinen in reverence as equal to the Valar.
Other versions of the legendarium
In the original story of the Sun and the Moon, it was Uinen herself who wove the sails for the ship of the Moon. Uinen had made them as white mists and foam and some were spread like glittering scales of silver fish while others were threaded with tiny stars looking like points of light.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Kazakh||Уиньен (Cyrillic) Wïnen (Latin)|
|Serbian||Уинен (Cyrillic) Uinen (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Уинен (Cyrillic) Uinen (Latin)|
- The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Maiar"
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch. I: "Of the Beginning of Days".
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter I: "Of the Beginning of Days"
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. I: The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Hiding of Valinor"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. I: The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Tale of the Sun and Moon"