Aulë was a smith and worker of the world, and as such he was among the Valar most similar in thought and powers to Melkor, in that they each glorified the fashioning of artful and original things. Both also had the desire and power to create beings of their own, albeit soulless ones. But while Aulë strove to be loyal to the original intent of the Ainulindalë, and submitted all his works to the will and judgment of Ilúvatar, Melkor dominate all things, and was jealous of the creations of others so that he would try to twist or destroy all that they made, such as when he created the orcs in mockery of the Elves. This comparison highlights the themes in LOTR of creation and sub-creation: Whereas Melkor desired to create things of his own, in defiance of Eru, the original and only true creator, Aulë desired to be a sub-creator, in that he desired to create things knew within the area Eru had designed for him. This is contrasted against Melkor's hubris, where believed himself equal to God, and capable of making things knew to even Eru. Predictably, there was long strife between Aulë and Melkor, because of their thoughts on Eru, creation and sub-creation, both before and after the creation of Arda. Aulë, however, often opposed attempts to fight Melkor, for fear of the damage that would be wrought to Arda, as he was one of the greatest help in its creation.
Desperate for students whom he could pass his knowledge onto, and growing impatient with the wait for the emergence of the Children of Ilúvatar, Aulë created his own race of beings: The Dwarves. However, he did not have a very clear idea of what the Children of Ilúvatar would be like, and because of the workings of Melkor (Spreading chaos, creating beasts, summoning phantoms, etc.), Aulë made the Dwarves strong and unyielding, and not willing to endure the domination of others. He also made them embody some of his values, desires and plans for Middle-earth and Arda (And possible even Eä) in general. The oldest of these was Durin the deathless. However, as Aulë did not possess the Flame Imperishable, which was within Eru alone, he could give his creations independent life, they could act only when his thought was on them.
Showing his meticulous care, when Aulë completed his work he began to instruct the Dwarves in the language he had made for them, which he named Khuzdul. Then Ilúvatar spoke to Aulë, asking why he would seek to exceed the bounds upon his power and authority by attempting to make new life. Aulë repented, responding that the drive to create was kindled in him by Eru himself, and that he only wished for other beings to love and teach, with whom to share in the beauty of the world, like the Children of Ilúvatar. He confessed that his impatience and unwillingness to wait for the Children of Ilúvatar had driven him to folly and submitted his creations to Ilúvatar's judgement. Thanking that they would be destroyed, he moved to smite the seven Fathers of the Dwarves he had made with his great hammer. As he raised the hammer to crush them the Dwarves shrank from the coming blow, but Ilúvatar stayed Aulë's hand. He showed that he had accepted Aulë's offer by gifting the Dwarves with spirits of their own, or else they could not have been afraid or shrunk from the blow.
Ilúvatar accepted the Dwarves as his adopted children, however, as it was ordained that the Elves were to be the first-born of all the races, Iluvatar set the Dwarves to sleep until after the Awakening of the Elves, and Aulë hid them in the earth. He told Aulë that while both were indeed his children, their creation was outside the scope of the Ainulindalë, and he foretold that strife would arise between the Dwarves and the Elves as the events of the world unfolded. The Dwarves believe that after they die their spirits move to halls that Aulë (Whom they name Mahal) has set aside for them alone, and that their role will be to rebuild Arda after the Final Battle, Dagor Dagroth.
When the Elves came to Valinor, the Ñoldor, who Aulë was most fond of among the Elves, became his students. Fëanor was his greatest pupil, and from him learned to make gems through methods of craftsmanship that are now forgotten. This would eventually lead to the much sought after Silmarils, the greatest creation of craftsmanship within Arda, and likely all of Ea: Magic gems which contain the light of the Two Trees. The Ñoldor who returned to Valinor under Finarfin, after the flight of Fëanor and Fingolfin. named themselves the Aulendur, followers of Aulë. Despite his lordly skill in craftsmanship, and his love of the earth, Aulë was humble and compassionate, and indeed the Dwarves survived only because Aulë submitted them to the will and judgment of Ilúvatar, as he was wont to do (See above). He was married to Yavanna, who was a spirit of life and nature, reflecting their duality.
Powers and Stats
Tier: At least 4-A, likely 3-B | At least High 3-A, likely Low 2-C
Origin: The Silmarilion
Age: As old as the universe
Classification: Ainu, Vala, Aratar, father of the Dwarves
Powers and Abilities: Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Regeneration (Low-Godly), Immortality (Types 1 and 3), Shapeshifting, Size Alteration, Elemental Manipulation, Earth Manipulation, Fire Manipulation, Empathic Manipulation (The lords of the Ainur can create joy), Creation (He created the Dwarves, though he could not give them true souls), Telekinesis, Transmutation, Precognition, Invulnerability (The Ainur are immune from harm via conventional weaponry, as seen when, upon unlocking more of his divine power, Gandalf became invulnerable), Resistance to Death Manipulation (In Lord of the Rings the land of the dead is a real tangible place, Mandos, and can be affected and exited. Ainur don't go there upon death, rather becoming spirits until the regenerate. The only way to keep them there is if they are physically brought there and held by physical might), Intangibility and Non-Corporeality (At the very least in spirit form) | Intangibility and Non-Corporeality, Reality Warping, Conceptual Manipulation (All of the Ainur created or altered certain concepts, the Valar especially. Aulë either created or has conceptual-level control over the earth and its materials)
Attack Potency: At least Multi-Solar System level (Comparable to Varda), likely Multi-Galaxy level (Helped build the physical universe) | At least High Universe level, likely Universe level+ (One of the 14 Valar, all of whom control aspects of the universe, and are second only to Eru Ilúvatar. He should be at least somewhat comparable to Melkor, who was capable of effecting the Themes of the Ainulindalë, of which the third created the universe, with his very thoughts. All Valar are incomparably superior to their Maia counterparts)
Speed: Unknown. Massively FTL+ combat speed and reactions (Doubtless superior to Ancalagon the Black) | Immeasurable (Existed in the Timeless Halls, a place that transcended linear time and is best likened to a higher temporal dimension)
Striking Strength: At least Multi-Solar System Class, likely Multi-Galactic | At least High Universal, likely Universal+
Durability: At least Multi-Solar System level, likely Multi-Galaxy level | At least High Universe level, likely Universe level+
Stamina: Extremely high | Limitless
Standard Equipment: None notable, aside from perhaps his hammer
Intelligence: Extremely high (As one of the Valar, he has unfathomable knowledge of the universe)
Weaknesses: None notable
Notable Attacks/Techniques: Like all Ainur, Aulë has access to a wide range of dangerous powers, mostly related to the elements.
Creation: Aulë was most like Melkor in that he desired to create new things, that had never before been made. Yet he instead of defying Eru and seek to create something new, he rather attempted sub-creation, honoring Eru and surrendering all his work to him. He showed this power many times; bringing new things from the earth, such as the Two Lamps and the Sun and Moon. He can also create life (Soulless life, albeit life nonetheless), in the form of the Dwarves.
Powers of the Ainur: As a Vala, Aulë has access to wide variety of potent and devastating supernatural abilities, for the Ainur (The Valar specifically) were created as elemental spirits, and each have divine authority and absolute control over a certain aspect of nature. Each and every one of the Ainur is also able to manipulate magical energies and reality to serve their needs, and take any form they wish, even intangible and non-corporeal spiritual forms. Given she is a Vala, above any of the Maiar, there is no doubt he can use all of the basic Ainur powers.
- Elemental manipulation: Aulë was a spirit of the earth first and foremost, having control over its elements and nature. He raised the Two Lamps and shaped the continents of Arda in its beginning, and was one of the chief reasons for its current shape, rather than it's first unformed appearance.
- Foresight/Hindsight: The Ainur can see the past and the future (Though the latter is fallible). Aulë would find some use in this power, if at least in menial proposes (I.e. Telling when a mine might cave in). However, like most other Ainur, he has no cases of using it.
- Empathy: The Ainur are surrounded by an a powerful aura, which can affect those around them, bringing joy and presumably sorrow to those near them: "In Beleriand King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar, whose power is at rest, whose joy is as an air that they breathe in all their days, whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps."
- Shapeshifting: As one of the Ainur, it is highly likely that Aulë possessed the famous Ainur ability to transform and reshape the form of one's body, appearing in whatever form she desired. They can also appear as inanimate objects, such as when Yavanna appeared as a tree.
- Spirit form: As one of the Valar, it was highly likely that Aulë had the typical Ainur ability to cast off her physical form like a snake shedding its skin, and take on an intangible and non-corporeal spiritual form. In this spiritual state, the Ainur can travel forward and backward in time (Though they are unable to affect the future or the past, only see it). Of the Ainur's spirit forms and precognitive powers this was said:
|“||They could move backward or forward in thought, and return again so swiftly that to those who were in their presence they did not appear to have moved.||„|
Key: Manifestation | True form