Reading Valaquenta! This was always one of my least favourite parts, but now I’ve got a much better idea of who all the Valar are there’s some really interesting tidbits. Some thoughts as I go along…
So Ulmo and Manwe grow apart after the creation of Arda. That seems sad, after last chapter has them delighting in the mutual creation of rain :( (also seems less prone to overreaction and stubbornness then Manwe, with the whole ‘never completely abandoning men and elves’ thing.)
Melkor and Aule were ‘most like each other in thoughts and in powers’ and Melkor was especially jealous of him. Given Sauron’s origins, I wonder if Melkor targeted him especially for that reason, or if Melkor’s similarities to his original Master - only without the breaks of common sense and morals - is what drew Sauron to him?
Yavanna - I love that she loves the ‘small and secret things in the mould’ as well as the tall trees!
Nienna goes to the halls of Mandos and brings ‘strength to the spirit and turns sorrows into wisdom.’ That’s making me picture her as a counsellor for the houseless elves - helping them to move beyond the personal pain of their sorrows, and understand them as part of interweaving between all elves. If Elves aren’t released from the Halls until all those they hurt can accept then again, I’d see another condition of release being that the dead understand and accept the consequences their actions have had on others, and be ready to seek forgiveness. (I am now imagining the ages long patient, immovable (on her side) battle of wills between Nienna and Feanor)
Tulkas is such a Thor expy :P But yeah, it sounds like he wasn’t one of the Ainur who had a great urge to bind themselves to Arda - sounds like he came for the fight/to help! Wonder if he regretted that impulse in the ages when he didn’t have part in the fight?
Vana - I read a really cool fanfic of Vana and ever since then I’ve been very fond of her :) (Probably because it links her to hobbits) (In defence of Vana the ever young, on AO3)
Osse and Uinen! My favourites. My headcanon is that they weren’t actually married/partnered during Osse’s flirting with the Dark Side. Aule has to beg her to restrain him, which seems odd - if they were close you’d think he wouldn’t have to. Before, Osse dismissed her as boring - after she pwned him he started acting like a puppy around bringing her interesting shells and seaweed and the scent of storm-washed sea air.
The implication seems to be that Uinen is second in power to Ulmo, with `Osse the third in their trio - when she puts forward the effort she restrains Osse with no trouble. (And she has her own rages, too…)
Finally Olorin!! This description of him always makes me cackle. ‘they did not know whence came the fair visions or the promptings of wisdom he put in their hearts’. Rather a different approach to dumping a pack of dwarves on some-hobbit and then bundling them off to face a dragon! I just love imagining Gandalf arriving back in Valinor with his pipeweed and meddling and zero patience for fools and everyone getting a bit of a shock.