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Thursday, 16 April 2015

AtoZChallenge2015 - N is for Nienna

Fictional Deities and Demons - AtoZ 2015
Hello and welcome to day 14 of the AtoZChallenge 2015.

Nienna is a character from J.R.R.Tolkien's legendarium (his collective works of Middle-earth). She appears in The Silmarillion and she is a Queen of the Valar and one of the Artar - the Holy Ones of Arda.

Her name contains the Quenya word nie, which means 'tear' and her name means "Weeping" or "She Who Weeps". She grieves for all the suffering in the world and is responsible for the mercy and grief spread across Arda. Her gift to the Music of Ainur was a deep sadness, from which grief entered the world at its creation.

However, her message is not really about eternal grief, it is about pity and endurance and those who listen to her learn these gifts. Her greatest student will be very familiar to all Tolkien fans: Gandalf.

She helped create The Two Trees, the original light for Arda, but watering them with her tears. Then when they were destroyed she mourned their destruction and her tears brought healing, allowing the trees to bring forth their last flowers to create the sun and the moon.

I've always thought that so much of Tolkien's work is wonderful, but sad and Nienna seems to echo this so very well.

Sources: Wikipedia | Tolkien Gateway | Tolkien Wiki

Are you a Tolkien fan? I have to admit I love his stories, but sometimes I feel very bogged down with the prose - especially all the singing :).

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53 comments:

  1. My brother had that book and I remember trying to read it. I can't remember my age, but I was young and all the names made it hard for me to read.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. I can imagine they would - those are some complicated names. Not exactly young concepts being explored either.

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  2. I have yet to read the Simarillion, but Nienna sounds sad, yet important. I like creation stories, and it sounds like hers is that.

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    1. Yes. I have to admit I've never gotten through the Silmarillion, I just liked her story.

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  3. I'm a heathen. I haven't read any of his books . , , yet.

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    1. Haha - we'll forgive you :) I have to admit I haven't read the Silmarillion - I tried, but never got into it. When I was looking up fictional deities I like Nienna's story.

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  4. Hi Tasha - I'm glad others struggle with Tolkein ... we had his books when I was too young I think .. it was when he was beginning to become very popular ... How interesting to know that Nienna guided Gandalf towards his wisdom about life ..

    Yours and Sophie's note on the Witchcraft Museum last year at some stage, I think! ... has really resonated with desires to visit by many of the commenters! Cheers Hilary

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    1. I think The Hobbit fools people into thinking Tolkien is for children, when his other books are so, so not :) The Witchcraft Museum was a great visit - very disconcerting.

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  5. You had to pick the worst possable book there. It was a hash up written by the son from his notes. Utter rubbish that I gave up with a quater way through.
    Check my blog here and you will see his grave.
    http://graveplace.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/wolvercote-cemetery.html

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    1. I was after the deity, not the book :) I've never got through that book either, but I liked her story.

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  6. I haven't read any of these books, I have so many I need to catch up on... some of the characters are sometimes more interesting than the read itself. I need s reference book break down, kind of what you had done here.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. We all have our TBR lists :) My problem is I love going back to the books I remember and so have even less time for new ones!

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  7. I've not ready many of Tolkien books. The ones I have were good.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the ones you have read :)

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  8. Interesting theme! I love Tolkien, but I admit that I have never made it through the Silmarillion. Thanks for sharing that one because her story sounds fascinating!
    Jetgirl visiting via Forty, c'est Fantastique

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    1. That's what I thought when I hit Google :) I have to admit to never having made it through that books either :)

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  9. I think I would like Nienna; I could relate to her grieving about the world.

    betty

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  10. I haven't read this one yet, but it sounds like a neat story. Will I need a hanky for tears?

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    1. Um, I have to admit I haven't ever made it through the book, so I don't know :) I just liked her story when I was Googling.

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  11. I won't try to read that because I have friends who have and say it isn't worth the amazing effort it takes to get through it. It's not like the Trilogy or The Hobbit. Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. I think I've picked it up a few times and then promptly put it down again :) It's not the easiest thing to read.

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  12. How absolutely beautiful. I've not read the Silmarillion--I might have to give it a go now. :)

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    1. I have to say I haven't either :) - I've tried a couple of times and failed, but I liked Nienna's story when I was Googling.

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  13. Ag Tolkein, you still write some of the very best ladies.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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    1. I always think, great ideas, not always perfect execution, but I am sure some Tolkien enthusiasts would jump on me from a great height for that :)

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  14. I have a first edition of the Silmarillion. A few years ago I worked at a bookstore and Guy Gavriel Kay was coming in to do a signing and I really wanted him to autograph it (as a young man he was the research assistant to Tolkien on the book), but I ended up being sick that day and I missed him. Still kicking myself for that one (plus I really would have liked to meat Kay).

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    1. It's such a shame that you missed it. Being sick sucks anyway, but missing something you really wanted had to have been very frustrating.

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  15. The story of the Trees is one of the most beauthiful Tolkien ever told, in my opinion.

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  16. Tolkien is so full of eternal angst. :D I loved it as a teenager, and I still think it is beautiful, but I'm probably past my fangirl phase.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. Yep, angst everywhere - especially in appendices :)

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  17. Beautiful! And not a thread I remembered from Tolkein.

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  18. I think I'm more of a fan of Tolkein's impressive linguistic skills. And his world building is just legendary.

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    1. I just can't forgive him for the big build up to Aragorn's battle with his ghost army and then reporting it in 2 pages to rescued hobbits ;)

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  19. I never got round to reading the Silmarillion although I love The Hobbit and LOTR. It seems very dense, but that story is lovely.

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    1. I find that many of us have read the The Hobbit and LotR, but not the Silmarillion - I've tried a couple of times and never made it.

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  20. As with all his other books Silmarillion was purchased as a gift for my husband who is a devoted Tolkein fan. I tried, truly I did...to get into all of the books, but I have to admit to being a fan of the movies...all of them. I enjoyed learning about Nienna, and will now watch for her to make it to the movies.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. I'm not even sure Peter Jackson is man enough to try for the Silmarillion, is he? I love the LotR movies, but have to admit, found the first Hobbit movie deadly boring - beautiful, but not enough plot for me.

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  21. Such a sad, but beautiful story. I haven't read this work, and I'm wondering why the hell not! I really enjoyed your summary of Nienna and will look forward to learning more about her :-D

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    1. Hope you enjoy the book if you pick it up :)

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  22. I've seen the movies, but not read the books. However, I have made sure my kids read them.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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    1. I've read LotR and the Hobbit, but have to confess I've never made it through the Silmarillion.

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  23. Must have read The Silmarillion at the right moment as finished it. It isn't in the same league or even style of Tolkien's other work but I suspect that it was always going to be a sum of parts. An unfinished collection that added to the world-building, and had some beautiful stories. But my Tolkien journey started with his academic writing. Is that sad?

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    1. No, definitely not :) We all find our own paths!

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  24. I still haven't read The Simarillion. I need to get on that... it's my mom's favorite book.

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    1. I should try again - maybe I'll get into it this time :)

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  25. Although I read some Tolkien as a kid, it didn't stick. I like the idea of Nienna's "healing tears".

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  26. Although I read some Tolkien as a kid, it didn't stick. I like the idea of Nienna's "healing tears".

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