Eru (Quenya Tengwar: `V7U; IPA: [ˈeru]; the One), also called Ilúvatar (full spelling `Bj~MyE1E6 or vowel-abbreviated spelling `BjUMy16; [iˈluːvatar]; the All High or the Father of All as defined in the index of name elements in The Silmarillion), is the supreme deity of Arda and Middle-earth. He is the single creator, above the Valar, but has delegated most direct action within Eä to the Ainur, including the shaping of the Earth (Arda) itself.
Eru is an important part of the stories of The Silmarillion but is not mentioned by name in Tolkien's most famous works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (he is alluded to as "the One" in the part of LotR's Appendix A that speaks of the downfall of Númenor).
Eru as the Creator GodEdit
Elves and Men were created by Eru directly, without delegation to the Ainur, and they are therefore called "Children of Ilúvatar" (Eruhini). The Dwarves were created by Aulë with the belated approval of Ilúvatar, though they would be second to the Children of Ilúvatar. Ents were also created by Eru under the demand of Yavanna learning that Dwarves would want to fell trees.
The first things that Ilúvatar created were the Ainur (from his thoughts). He then bade the Ainur to sing to him; this was called the Ainulindalë, or the music of the Ainur. Melkor created a discord to the music, and Iluvatar added three themes to the Ainulindale, which talked about the fate of Arda.
The next thing he made was Eä, the "World and All That Is", and Eä was in the Void (Melkor was drawn to the Void, and so at the beginning of Arda, he lay in the Void, or the Outside as it was sometimes called). He then gave the Ainur the option to go into Ea and fashion as they will. The most powerful Ainur who chose to do so were called the Valar, and they controlled the shaping of the Arda. They could not make life, however, as Aulë proves, who was able to give only shape to the dwarves, while consciousness was given to them by Eru. The Valar were accompanied by the Maiar. The elves and men, however, came directly from Ilúvatar's thoughts, and are referred to in The Silmarillion as The First Children of Ilúvatar and the Second Children of Ilúvatar, respectively, while the dwarves would be the Adopted Children.
One of the only times that Eru ever intervened in the world after creating it was in the downfall of Númenor when the Valar called for his aid. In a letter written by Tolkien, he stated that Eru again intervened, this time in the Third Age, causing Gollum to trip and fall into the fires of Mount Doom while still holding the One Ring, thus destroying it.
"Eru" meant "The One" or "Alone", and the epithet Ilúvatar meant "Father of All" in the Quenya tongue.
Behind the scenesEdit
While Tolkien had said he didn't like 'allegory' Eru was an allegorical portrayal of the Christian God, and many of the stories Tolkien wrote about him tied him into the Christianity. Tolkien himself worried it was becoming a 'parody of Christianity' in his own writings.