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Mandos Namo
Mandos Master of Doom


Biographical information

Other names
Doomsman of the Valar, Fëanturi, Keeper of the Houses of the Dead, Ruler of the Dead
Date of birth
Before the creation of Arda
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Powers of the Valar

Physical description

Hair color
Eye color

Mandos (Quenya; IPA: [ˈmandos] - "Prison-Fortress") is 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 (cf. Valhalla).

His wife is Vairë the Weaver.


Jenny Dolfen - Masters of Souls

The Masters of Souls, by Jenny Dolfen

Mandos is the brother of Irmo (Lórien) and Nienna in the mind of Eru Ilúvatar. He and his brother Lórien are the Fëanturi, the Masters of Spirits. Mandos is the sixth greatest of the Lords of the Valar and fifth greatest Aratar.[1]

He was involved in Manwë's Doom concerning the espousals of the Eldar on YT 1172, when Finwë asked counsel for a second marriage, after the death of his wife's passing to the Halls of Mandos.[2]

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.[3] Melkor spent three Ages in the duress of Mandos thereafter,[4] guarded by his hound Gorgumoth in Lumbi.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]


Mandos, upon appearing before the Ñoldor, was described to be a dark figure with a loud voice, solemn and terrible.[6]

Mandos was described as being stern and 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", and his real name Námo means "Ordainer" or "Judge" in Quenya.

In Tolkien's earlier work, Mandos was named Vefantur.[8]

Other NamesEdit

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").[9]

Ainur of Arda
Lords of the Valar (of Valinor):  Manwë (Súlimo) | Ulmo (Ulubôz) | Aulë (Návatar) | Oromë (Aldaron) | Námo (Mandos) | Irmo (Lórien) | Tulkas (Astaldo)
Queens of the Valar (of Valinor): 
Varda (Elentári) | Yavanna (Kementári) | Nienna | Estë | Vairë | Vána | Nessa
Maiar (of Valinor): 
Eönwë | Ilmarë | Ossë | Uinen | Salmar | Melian | Arien | Tilion | Curumo (Saruman) | Olórin (Gandalf) | Aiwendil (Radagast) | Alatar (Morinehtar) | Pallando (Rómestámo)
Lords of the Valar (The Enemy): 
Morgoth (Melkor)
Maiar (The Enemy):  Sauron (Mairon) | Gothmog | Durin's Bane | Ungoliant | Shelob | Curumo (Saruman)


  1. The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Valar"
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 10: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, The Second Phase, II: "The Earliest Version of the Story of Finwë and Míriel"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter III: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter VI: "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  5. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, VI: "The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
  8. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 1: The Book of Lost Tales Part One, IV: "The Chaining of Melko"
  9. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 4: The Shaping of Middle-earth, III: "The Quenta", Appendix 1: Translation of Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English

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