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The Beginning of All Things (Part 1 of 2)

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Before the beginning, there was Illuvatar, the All-Father, who created the Ainur the Holy Ones, the offspring of his thoughts. Then he told unto them themes of music, and they sang before him, and he was pleased. For a time they sang alone, a few together, for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Iluvatar. Yet as they listened they began to understand, and began to sing in unison and harmony.

Then Iluvatar told to the Ainur to make harmony together a Great Music. He said t them, "Since i have kindled you with the Fame Imperishable, ye hall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.

Then the voices of the Ainur began to fashion the theme of Iluvatar to a great music. A sound arose of endless interchanging melodies, woven in harmony, which passed beyond hearing. The echo of the music went out into the void and it was not void. Never since have had the Ainur made any music like to this. Fr in the Eyes of Iluvatar, this music had no flaws, because in his vision, it was good.

As the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to weave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the great theme; for he sought to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to him. Melkor had been given the greatest gift of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all gifts of his brethren; and he had gone often alone into the void places searching for the Imperishable Flame. He desired to bring into being things of his own.

As the singing continued, the harmonies clashed, for Melkor had added to the theme. But Iluvatar sat and hearkened, until it seemed there was a raging storm. Then Iluvatar arose, he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty. Melkor arose in uproar, and again a war of sound, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and played no longer. Then again Iluvatar arose, lifted his right hand, and behold, a third theme grew amid the confusion. This music was unlike the others, for it seemed at first soft and sweet, quenched, and it grew, and it took to itself power and profundity. The music clashed and made disaccord.

In the midst of this strife, the Walls of the One shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved. Iluvatar rose a third time; his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the abyss, higher than the Heavens, more glorious than the sun, piercing as the light of the eye of Iluvatar, the music stopped. Then he said unto the Ainur, "Mighty are the Ainur, mightiest Melkor, but that he and ye all know, that I am Iluvatar! Melkor, ye shall see that no theme may be played that has not its uttermost source in me."

Then the Ainur were afraid, and they could not yet understand what he said, and Melkor was filled with shame. Iluvatar arose in splendor and let the Ainur into the void and said, "Behold your music!" He showed them a vision, giving them sight; and they saw a new world, and it was globed amid the void. "Behold. This is your minstrelsy; each of you had your part, and your part unfolded, in the design that I set before you."