Mandos (Quenya; IPA: [ˈmandos] - "Prison-Fortress") was an Ainu, one of the Aratar and a Vala who was responsible for the judgement of the dead. He was originally called Námo (Quenya; IPA: "Ordainer" or "Judge") and was given this new name in honor of the Halls of Mandos, over which he presides, where Elves go after they are slain.
When Melkor began marring Arda before the coming of the Elves, Tulkas arrived and wanted to make war swiftly. At the bidding of Manwë, Mandos pronounced the doom of the Firstborn. After the captivity of Melkor, Mandos had once again pronounced the Doom. Melkor spent three Ages in the duress of Mandos thereafter, guarded by his hound Gorgumoth in Lumbi. Mandos judged Fëanor to leave Tirion for twelve years after Fëanor's drawing of sword against Fingolfin. After the destruction of the Two Trees, Yavanna asked for the light of the Silmarils, which Fëanor denied and he shall be slain, the first in Aman; but Mandos had spoken and revealed that Finwë was the first, having been slain at the steps of Formenos by Melkor. When the Ñoldor revolted against the Valar, Mandos appeared before them and pronounced the Doom of the Ñoldor.
Only once has he been moved to pity, when Lúthien sang of the grief she and her lover Beren had experienced in Beleriand. Then, with the Elder King's approval, he released them to Middle-earth to begin their second life there.
When Eärendil arrived in Aman to beg for assistance from the Valar, Mandos considered Eärendil and Elwing's fate as Half-elven and gave them and their descendants a choice: either to be counted among Elves or Men.
Mandos, upon appearing before the Ñoldor, was referred to be a dark figure with a loud voice, solemn and terrible.
He was described as being stern, dispassionate and never forgetting a thing. He was the Vala who cursed the Ñoldor leaving Aman, and counselled against allowing them to return (almost to the point of vindictiveness). But unlike Morgoth, his Dooms are not cruel or vindictive by his own design. They are simply the will of Eru, and he will not speak them unless he is commanded to do so by Manwë.
His common name Mandos means "Prison-fortress". It stems from Mandost ("castle of custody") or mbando ("custody") and osto ("fortified building or place").
His real name Námo means "Ordainer" or "Judge" in Quenya.
The Old English translation for Mandos is Nefrea "Corpse-ruler" from neo ("corpse") and frea ("lord"). His title is Neoaerna hlaford ("Master of the houses of the dead"). He was also called Morimando, the "Dark Mando", as opposed to Manwë's Kalamando, the "Light Mando".
In Tolkien's earlier work, Mandos was named Vefantur.
Other versions of the legendariumEdit
As Vefantur, his wife was Fui Nienna and together they were called the "Gods of Death". Their halls were located beneath the roots of the Mountains of Valinor.
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||曼督斯|
|Uzbek||Мандос (Cyrillic) Mandos (Latinised)|
|Manwë (Súlimo) • Ulmo (Ulubôz) • Aulë (Návatar) • Oromë (Aldaron) • Námo (Mandos) • Irmo (Lórien) • Tulkas (Astaldo)|
|Varda (Elentári) • Yavanna (Kementári) • Nienna • Estë • Vairë • Vána • Nessa|
|Eönwë • Ilmarë • Ossë • Uinen • Salmar • Melian • Arien • Tilion • Curumo (Saruman) • Olórin (Gandalf) • Aiwendil (Radagast) • Alatar (Morinehtar) • Pallando (Rómestámo)|
|Sauron (Mairon) • Gothmog • Durin's Bane • Ungoliant • Shelob • Curumo (Saruman)|