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What’s in a name?

Much like Elrond, the company behind Maiar browser that is also building the Elrond blockchain, Maiar takes its name from Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings universe.

Elrond was Lord of Rivendell, one of the Elven leaders that remained in Middle-earth in its Third Age.

Elrond was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and a great-grandson of Lúthien, born in Beleriand in the First Age, making him well over 6,000 years old by the time of the events described in The Lord of the Rings. Elrond’s twin brother was Elros Tar-Minyatur, the first High King of Númenor.

Elrond was considered half-elven. Through Lúthien, daughter of Melian the Maia, he and his brother Elros were also descended from the angelic Maiar. Elrond, along with his parents, his brother, and his children, were granted a choice between Elven or human fates by the godlike Valar. Elrond chose to live as an immortal Elf, while his twin Elros chose the mortality of Men.

The Maiar (singular: Maia) are among a class of beings from J. R. R. Tolkien‘s high fantasy legendarium. Supernatural and angelic, they are “lesser Ainur” who entered “” in the beginning of time. The name Maiar is in the Quenya tongue (one of several constructed languages) that comes from the Elvish root maya- “excellent, admirable”. Maiar sometimes refers to all the Ainur who entered Eä, the “Creation“, but more often to the lesser powers among them: “Maia is the name of the Kin of the Valar, but especially of those of lesser power than the 9 great rulers” wrote Tolkien.

Being of divine origin and possessing great power, the Maiar can wander the world unseen or shape themselves in fashion of Elves or other creatures; these “veils”, called fanar in Quenya, could be destroyed, but their true-being could not. Rarely did the Maiar adopt their visible forms to elves and man, and for that reason, very few of the Maiar have names in their tongues, and the elves do not know how many of the Maiar exist.

In about T.A. 1100, the Valar sent several Maiar to Middle-earth to help contest the evil of Sauron. They had great skills of hand and mind but were cloaked in the guise of men, seemingly old but of great vigour. Their mission was to guide elves and men by gaining trust and spreading knowledge, not by ruling them with fear and force. They were known as the Istari, or Wizards, and included Gandalf the Grey (Olórin or Mithrandir; later Gandalf the White), Saruman the White (Curumo or Curunír; he later called himself Saruman of Many Colours), Radagast the Brown (Aiwendil), and two Blue Wizards (Alatar and Pallando) who are mentioned in passing but do not appear in Tolkien’s narratives.

elrondlord of the ringslotrmaiarnameTolkien

Lucian Todea

Co-founder of Maiar. Technology entrepreneur and angel investor. Ironman.

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