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Melian

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Melian 4got 1
Melian the Maia image courtesy of Elena Kukanova, All Rights Reserved

Melian

Biographical information

Other names
Melyanna, Tóril
Titles
Date of birth
Before the creation of Arda
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Did not die being a Maia, returned to Valinor after the death of her husband Thingol
Realms ruled
Spouse
Weapon
Powers of the Ainur

Physical description

Race
Culture
Gender
Female
Height
Hair color
Dark
Eye color
Actor
Voice
Character

Melian (Sindarin IPA: [ˈmeljan]) was a Maia of the race of the Ainur, Queen of Doriath and mother of Lúthien Tinúviel.

BiographyEdit

Before she came to Middle-earth, Melian served both Vána and Estë, and dwelt in Lórien tending the trees that grew in the Gardens of Irmo. Among all of her people none were wiser, more beautiful, or more skilled in singing enchanting songs than Melian. She loved the deep shadows of the great trees. When the light of the Two Trees would mingle Melian would sing and the Valar would stop their work and listen. Nightingales went with her wherever she went, and she taught them their song. Of all the Valar she was most akin to Yavanna. When the elves awoke on the shore of Cuiviénen she departed from Valinor and went to Middle-earth, where she filled its silence with her singing and the singing of her birds.

The Woods of Nan Elmoth by WilderWein77

Melian encounters Elwë the woods of Nan Elmoth, by WilderWein77.

While in the forest of Nan Elmoth she met and fell in love with the Elven-king Elu Thingol, and later she ruled the kingdom of Doriath by his side. For thousands of years, she used her powers to guard and defend the city with a protection spell called the Girdle of Melian, but she predicted that one person would one day breach this defense. Melian was an extremely powerful Maia.  Her power was able to stay the entry of Ungoliant into Doriath.  At this time Ungoliant had grown great and terrible, so much so that even Morgoth feared her.  Indeed, Morgoth was only saved from Ungoliant's wrath by the whips of his Balrogs.  Melian's ability to stop Ungoliant at her peak is indicative of Melian' status as one of the greatest of the Maia in Middle Earth. Even more so since she did not directly confront Ungoliant, but stopped her only with the power of the Girdle. This may place Melian as a greater power than Morgoth, the greatest of the Valar, although diminished in power.  She and her husband had a child, a daughter named Lúthien, making her one of the two known Ainur said to have borne children, as Ungoliant is said to be a spirit (what else but a Maia) who had followed Melkor in rebellion, then turned to her own purposes. During her stay in Doriath she became a friend and mentor of Galadriel.

Melian's main line of descent is of the Half-elven, and through her daughter the Maian blood passed to both Elves and Men. When Beren arrived as foretold, she counseled Thingol against sending Beren for a Silmaril, a quest which would eventually lead to Doriath's ruin. A friend of Mankind, she also aided Húrin's family by hosting Túrin in Doriath and later helped Beleg Cúthalion in his search for Túrin by giving him Lembas. When Húrin came to Doriath old and carrying a great grief and misery on him, Melian helped him see through his ills. After Thingol's death she left Doriath, and went back to Valinor, musing upon her sorrows in the gardens of Lorien whence she came.[1]

Melian leaves Middle earth by WilderWein77

Melian leaving Middle-earth after the death of Thingol, by WilderWein77.

EtymologyEdit

Melian [Sindarin, from Quenya: Melyanna; mel (love) + anna (gift)] means "dear gift." An earlier version of Melian's name was Gwenethlin.[2] The title name Tóril means "Queen."

Ainur of Arda
Lords of the Valar Manwë | Aulë | Oromë | Irmo (Lórien) | Námo (Mandos) | Tulkas | Ulmo
Queens of the Valar (The Valier): 
Varda | Yavanna | Vána | Estë | Vairë | Nessa | Nienna
Lord of the Valar (The Enemy): 
Morgoth (a.k.a. Melkor)
Maiar
Eönwë | Ilmarë | Ossë | Uinen | Salmar | Melian | Arien | Tilion | Curumo (Saruman) | Olórin (Gandalf) | Aiwendil (Radagast) | Alatar (Morinehtar) | Pallando (Rómestámo)
Maiar (Enemies):  Sauron | Gothmog | Durin's Bane | Ungoliant | Curumo (Saruman)

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two

External linkEdit

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