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  • Updated 9 May 2016
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Third Theme

The theme of the Children of Ilúvatar

"...deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came."
Description of the Third Theme
From Ainulindalë

In the Music of the Ainur that came before the making of the World, there were three themes. For each of the first two, Melkor introduced new themes of his own that led to discord and confusion, but when Ilúvatar lifted his right hand, a Third Theme emerged. This was a soft theme filled with sadness, that ran alongside the blaring notes introduced by Melkor and his followers until it lifted into a great chord that brought the Music to an end.

Though the Ainur had not understood it at the time they made their Music, this Third Theme was the one through which Ilúvatar wove his Children into the creation of the World. Thus both Elves and Men were destined to emerge after the Music was made real, but none of the Ainur knew when or where this would take place. Melkor, who had been making his own music to challenge the Third Theme, understood the least about the Children of Ilúvatar, but the discordant notes he introduced into the Music of the Ainur prefigured his own long war against Elves and Men.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 9 May 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

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