"..in majesty they are peers, surpassing beyond compare all others, whether of the Valar
and the Maiar
, or of any other order..."
Of the Valar
in The Silmarillion
A title of the eight most powerful of the Valar, a translation of the Elvish word Aratar (which literally means 'High Ones'). They were ruled by Manwë the Elder King, and their number included four other Lords of the Valar (Ulmo, Aulë, Mandos and Oromë) as well as three of the Valier or Queens of the Valar (Varda, Yavanna and Nienna).
In terms of inherent power, Melkor would also have belonged to the High Ones, and indeed he is said to have once been counted among the Aratar. Because of his rebellion and wars against the other Valar, he was no longer considered part of the order, so that the noble Aratar of Valinor numbered eight, rather than the original nine.
||The High King of Arda, and greatest of all the Valar
||The Kindler of the stars, and spouse to Manwë, with whom she dwells on Taniquetil. Varda is more commonly known as Elbereth in Middle-earth.
||Lord of the seas of Arda, Ulmo dwells apart from the other Valar in the depths of the Outer Sea.
||Called the Giver of Fruits, the guardian of all growing things.
||The great Smith of the Valar and master of stone and metal, Aulë was the maker of the race of Dwarves.
||The Doomsman of the Valar, who keeps the spirits of the dead in his Halls in the west of Aman.
||The mistress of mourning, who weeps for Arda and the fate of its peoples in her halls on the western edge of the World.
||The Huntsman of the Valar, who travelled most often to Middle-earth, and who discovered the Elves there soon after they had awakened.
The eight Aratar, or High Ones of Arda. Originally, Melkor was also numbered among these powerful beings.
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