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