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Steamey - Tulkas.jpg
"Tulkas" by Steamey
Biographical Information
Other namesTulukhastāz (V)
Astaldo, Tulcus, The Valiant, The Strong
PositionChampion of the Valar
LanguageValarin, Quenya
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden (hair and beard)[1]
GalleryImages of Tulkas

Tulkas was a Vala. He was the most warlike of the Valar and the spouse of Nessa.



Tulkas was so strong and quick that he needed no weapon or steed. He delighted in deeds of prowess and strength such as wrestling and fighting. But he was not dreadful; he laughed loudly in sport and war and his anger dispelled darkness and clouds.[2][3]

He was a hardy friend and slow to wrath, but also slow to forgive. He was however mindless and did not learn from the past; always quick in action, he was not good in counselling.[2][4]

His flesh was ruddy and his hair and beard golden.[2]


Tulkas was the last of the Ainur to descend into Arda, 1499 Valian Years after the arrival of the other Ainur. He heard of their First War with Melkor and came to them from the far heavens. But for his arrival, the Dark Lord might have defeated the Valar. [5] Hearing the sound of Tulkas' laughter and beholding his wrath, Melkor fled before him, and the Spring of Arda was begun.[3]

After the Two Lamps were erected and the Valar had made their first dwelling at Almaren, Tulkas wedded Nessa in a great feast. Being weary and content he slept, and Melkor decided his hour to retaliate had come.[3]

Antonio Vinci - Tulkas

Tulkas also tended to be impatient; before the Awakening of the Elves he urged the other Valar to wage war against Melkor.

But when Orome announced that the first Children of Ilúvatar did awoke, Manwe called a council at the Ring of Doom and announced the will of Eru that, for the sake of the Elves, the Valar should regain guardianship of the world from Melkor. Tulkas was glad of this decision. In the War for the Sake of the Elves, after a long siege at Utumno, it was Tulkas who wrestled with Melkor and cast him upon his face. Tulkas bound Melkor with the enchanted chain Angainor, forged by Aulë. For a while the world was free from Melkor's influence.[6]

After the Chaining of Melkor, he repented of his actions and was pardoned by Manwë; Tulkas was disappointed with this decision, ever distrustful. But having fought Melkor in the name of authority, he could not rebel himself, and accepted Manwë's decision.

After the Darkening of Valinor he also hurried Fëanor to take a decision about surrendering the Silmarils. Tulkas and Oromë searched in vain for Melkor, unable to penetrate the unlight cast by Ungoliant.

It is said that in the Dagor Dagorath, Tulkas will once more oppose Melkor, and will directly fight him in the battle and play a large role in his defeat. The victor is unknown, as it will be supposedly by the hand of Túrin that Melkor is slain once and for all.[7]


The name Tulkas (pron. [ˈtulkas]) means in Quenya "strong, steadfast".[8] Tulukhastāz ("the golden-haired")[note 1] was the original Valarin name for Tulkas.[9]

In Noldorin, his name is Tulcus ([ˈtulkus]).[8]

Other names

He was also called Astaldo (Q: "the Valiant", pron. [asˈtaldo]).[1] Astaldo replaced the earlier name Poldórëa.[10][11]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Tulkas is referred as Afodfrea "Strength-ruler".[12]

In an early manuscript, Tolkien suggested a surname of Tulkas: Ender.[13]



Other Versions of the Legendarium

In some versions it is said that Tulkas was of the spirits who didn't come into . In other versions, it is said that Tulkas was one of the spirits who entered the vast regions of Eä, until he came to Arda to help Manwë.[14]


  1. Tulukhastāz is said to consist of the Valarin elements tulukha(n) ("yellow") and (a)šata- ("hair of head").


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Account of the Valar and Maiar According to the Lore of the Eldar"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Valar"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 206 §7
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: The History of the Silmarils"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 333
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part One, p. 270
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language': Note on the 'Language of the Valar'", p. 399
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The History of Middle-earth Index, p. 361
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 181 (forms: Poldórea, Poldor, Poldomo)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part One" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003, p. 11
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: First section of the Annals of Aman"