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The Nature of Another - by Lóressar Erchamion

© 2002, A.M. Celaya. All invented words, names, and characters taken from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.


"We have heard Your call," Manwë said as he bowed before the throne of Eru Ilúvatar.

"What is Your will?" asked Varda beside him. Manwë and Varda, King and Queen of the Valar, had been called before the throne of Ilúvatar. They knew not why they were called, but all of Valinor had felt for quite some time that Ilúvatar was about to begin one of His greatest works, one that even the Valar themselves had never anticipated.

"Varda, Queen of the Stars," began Ilúvatar, "to illuminate what I am about to do, put a new star in the sky and place it near the center of Middle-earth. Make it brighter even than Ëarendil, that all may see it and be drawn to the place whereupon it shines."

"I will do as You say," Varda bowed in submission.

"Manwë, Lord of Valinor," said Ilúvatar, "assemble a host of the Maiar. On the night that Varda’s star appears in the sky, your host will appear to Men and sing My glory, that Men may know of My gift and embrace it."

"As You will, Ilúvatar."

"If it please You, Ilúvatar," said Varda, "tell us, what is this work that my star will illuminate and that Manwë’s host will declare? For I perceive that this is in that part of the Music of the Ainur that we have yet to understand in full."

"I will first tell you what should be known by all of the Valar but is known most by Mandos," said Ilúvatar. "Do you remember Lúthien Tinúviel, Idril Celebrindal, and Arwen Undómiel?" Manwë and Varda nodded, and Ilúvatar continued. "All three immortals chose life with one of the mortal race, but not without a change occurring in each couple. Lúthien took on mortality, as did Arwen. Idril’s mate was granted immortality. Even among your own people, Melian took on the nature of Elven-kind to become Elwë’s queen. So you see, for mortal and immortal to dwell together, one must take on the nature of another."

Manwë and Varda were still confused by this answer. Long ago had the Elves left Middle-earth. Besides, the marriages between the Eldar and the Edain had been wondrous indeed, but when had such an event warranted a new star and a chorus of Maiar? In their countless ages of life, even the King and Queen of the Valar still could not comprehend the infinite mind of Ilúvatar.

"As any father," Ilúvatar continued, "I love My children. As any artist, I love My creation. My children were created in My image, but that image has been destroyed. With this, My greatest work, I will renew the race of Mankind that I may dwell with them and they with Me."

"I still do not understand," said Manwë. "What is this gift that the Maiar must announce?"

"Teach them this song in the tongue of those to whom they will appear," Ilúvatar commanded.

Alacar an Eru Aratar, or Arda sérë ar manë an firyar.

Glory to Eru in the highest, and on Earth peace and good will toward men.

"Send also your herald Ëonwë bearing this message," said Ilúvatar.

Rucin lá, an cen, quentenyë elyë mara quettar úve alassë, ea an ilya nossar. An elyë nóna mí i osta Melda Saro, i Cilmenë, i Heru.

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of Melda the Savior, the Anointed, the Lord.

"Do you now know My plan?" Ilúvatar asked the Valar who before Him trembled with wonder and astonishment at this inconceivably awesome plan that was about to unfold. "For mortal and immortal to dwell together, one must take on the nature of another. To dwell with My children, I will take on their mortality that they may someday take on my immortality.

"On this day," said Ilúvatar, "I choose a mortal life."


"But this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men — and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused."

- J.R.R. Tolkien (On Fairy Stories)

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