Of Aulë and Yavanna

Early in the history of the world, Aulë made the Dwarves beneath the mountains of Middle-earth, desiring greatly the company of the Children of Ilúvatar, to whom he hoped to teach his knowledge and skills. The Dwarves were made steadfast and hardy in hopes that they would withstand the evil of Melkor that plagued that land.

Aulë—sensing that the other Valar would not approve—wrought the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in secret, but as soon as they were made, Ilúvatar spoke to him of his disapproval that Aulë should exceed his authority by attempting something that by rights belonged to Ilúvatar alone. Rebuked, Aulë made to smite the Dwarves, but they lifted their hands and begged for mercy, and Ilúvatar stopped him, as the Dwarves now had life and voices of their own.

It was told by Ilúvatar, though, that the Dwarves could not awaken before the Elves, and so the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves were put into a sleep beneath the mountain.

Aulë revealed to his wife Yavanna what he had done, and she was grieved because—without her influence—she feared that the Dwarves would ever be at odds with her own creations, the olvar (plants) and kelvar (animals).

Yavanna sought the counsel of Manwë, asking if her creations would ever be free of dominion by others. She feared most for the trees, which could not fight and escape, as could animals, and the wood of which would lead the other creatures to cut them down without regard. Yavanna recalled the Music of the Ainur, then, and a strain of music in which some of the trees lifted their branches and sang to Ilúvatar.

It was then said that, when the Firstborn (Elves) awoke, spirits also would come down into certain of the plants and animals in the form of the great Eagles and the Shepherds of the Trees (Ents). Aulë and Yavanna, however, and the “children” of each, would often be in conflict in the ages to come.

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