|Tolkien's legendarium character|
An artist's rendition of Varda Elentári, Queen of the Stars
|Book(s)||The Silmarillion (1977)|
Varda Elentári [ˈvarda elenˈtaːri] is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. She appears in Tolkien's Silmarillion as an Archangelic "Power" to whom the hymn A Elbereth Gilthoniel is directed.
Varda was one of the Valar, a group of heavenly beings similar to Archangels. Also known as "Queen of the stars", she was said to be too beautiful for words; within her face radiated the light of Eru Ilúvatar, the "One All-Father" God. She resided with her husband Manwë, with whom she shared a complementary power. When they were together, Manwë "sees further than all other eyes, through mist, and through darkness, and over the leagues of the sea" and Varda "hears more clearly than all other ears the sound of voices that cry from east to west". Varda created the stars before the Valar descended into the world, and later with the dews from the vats of Telperion she made the constellations, most significantly the Valacirca, The Sickle of the Valar (The Big Dipper).
When the evil Vala Melkor first began to create his discord, Varda saw his true nature and rejected him. Melkor feared and hated Varda the most out of the Valar because he greatly desired to possess light, that which she created. He failed in this task, however.
Like most of the legendarium's characters, Varda has a different name in each of Tolkien's invented languages. Her Quenya name Varda means "sublime" or "lofty", and her epithet Elentári means "Star-queen". Another epithet of her is Tintallë, which means "Star-kindler".
In Sindarin, she was also known as Elbereth ("Star-queen"), Gilthoniel ("Starkindler") and Fanuilos ("Ever-white"). In Primitive Quenya she was called Barathī, in Telerin she is called Baradis, and in Adûnaic her name was Avradî.
She was also referred to by the epithets The Kindler, Lady of the Stars, Queen of the Stars, Snow-white. They are translations of her Elvish names.
- In the computer game NetHack, the player can ward off most monsters by engraving the name "Elbereth" into the ground.
- In the PlayStation 1 video game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the Ring of Varda is dropped by Paranthropus. Its description is: "Golden ring to rule over all!"
- The song "Wishmaster" on the eponymous album by the Finnish metal band Nightwish mentions her (using the name Elbereth).
- The album The Gates of Oblivion by Spanish power metal band Dark Moor features a song called "Starsmaker (Elbereth)".
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