|First appearance||The Silmarillion (1977)|
|Created by||J. R. R. Tolkien|
High King of Arda
Manwë is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion. Manwë was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, was conceived in the thought of Iluvatar as a brother of Melkor, and King of Arda. He lived atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain of the world, in the halls of Ilmarin, in the realm of Valinor. The winds, airs and birds were his servants, and he was lord of air, wind, and clouds in Arda. He was the noblest and greatest in authority of the Valar, and less powerful only than Melkor.
Manwë was (with his brother Melkor, i.e. Morgoth) the greatest of the Ainur, and the one that best understood the will of Eru. When Melkor created the discord in the Music of the Ainur, Manwë took over leading the song. When Arda was formed, Manwë was appointed Ruler of Arda, hence his most common title, the Elder King. Manwë was a kind, compassionate ruler, unconcerned with his own power, but he did not understand evil, even in the form of his own brother. He released Melkor from Mandos, thus allowing him to cause the distrust of Fëanor, the Poisoning of the Two Trees, the murder of Finwë, the theft of the Silmarils, and the revolt of the Noldor. To hearten the Eldar, he had Aulë fashion the vessels to hold Sun and the Moon, for he knew the rising of the Atani was coming soon, and sent Thorondor and the Eagles to watch them. After Morgoth's fall at the end of the War of Wrath, Manwë cast him into the void. In the Final Battle, when Morgoth and his most powerful ally, Sauron, escape, it is said that the Elder King and the two Dark Lords will battle on the Plains of Valinor, but that they will not slay each other, as Morgoth is destined to die at the hands of Túrin Turambar.
Manwë appeared dressed in long blue robes, with blue eyes. He wielded a powerful staff coated in sapphire made for him by the Noldor. The Vanyar were his favourite Elves, and they lived with him and Varda on Mount Taniquetil.
Manwë means Blessed One, from "mān" meaning "good, blessed or unmarred". Súlimo means Lord of the Winds from 'sûl' – 'wind'. His titles include Elder King, High King of Arda, King of Arda, Lord of the Breath of Arda and Lord of the West. He was first mentioned in The Silmarillion on page 20 at the top in the sentence, 'But of the airs and winds Manwë most pondered...'