Quenya 



Námo (1) noun "Judge", name of a Vala, normally called Mandos, properly the place where he dwells (WJ:402)


person, somebody

námo (2) noun "a person, somebody" (PM:340 writers may prefer the synonym quén to avoid confusion with # 1)


masculine name. Judge, Ordainer

Vala of fate and keeper of the Houses of the Dead, spouse of Vairë, usually referred to by the name of his realm Mandos (S/28). His name is variously translated as “Judgement” (MR/150), “Judge” (WJ/402) or “Ordainer” (PE21/85). It is probably a translation of his (unknown) Valarin name (WJ/402).

Possible Etymology: The final element of this name is probably the agental suffix -mo, as with the name Irmo. Its initial element is most likely related to namna “statute” (MR/258) and the noun/verb pair námië “judgement” and nam- “to judge” (VT41/13).

If the sense “Ordainer” is the most accurate translation, the initial element of Námo may instead be the verb ná- “to be”. Along these lines, the word námo is elsewhere given as a general word for an unspecified person, probably originally meaning “being” (PM/340).

As the translation of a Valarin name, Námo may be related to the element Anamo in the name †Rithil-Anamo “Doom Ring”, a translation of Valarin Māχananaškād (WJ/401), elsewhere adapted phonetically into Quenya as Q. Máhanaxar (S/38). This supports the possibility that nam- “judge” is the basis for the name Námo.

Conceptual Development: In the earliest Lost Tales, his true name was ᴱQ. (LT1/66, QL/58). Only the name ᴹQ. Mandos appeared in Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, both as his true name and the name of his hall, though he was also known by the sobriquet ᴹQ. Nurufantur (LR/205). In Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s, his true name re-emerged, first as Núr, soon changed to Námo (MR/150).

In some notes from the late 1960s, Tolkien considered revising this name to Návo, along with a new verb for “judge”: nav- (PE22/154 note #53). This change did not appear in the narratives, but does lend weight to the idea that Námo is related to nam-.

Quenya [MR/150; MRI/Námo; MRI/Núr; PE21/85; PE22/154; S/028; SI/Námo; UT/397; UTI/Námo; WJ/402; WJI/Námo] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. judge
Quenya [WJ/402] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. person, somebody (unnamed)
Quenya [PM/340] Group: Eldamo. Published by


of doom

Anamo noun in genitive "of doom" in Rithil-Anamo "Ring of Doom" (q.v.) Since the reference is to a place (a circle) where judgement was passed, this seems to be "doom" in the sense of "juridical decision" or "(legal) justice". The nominative "doom" may be *anan, with stem anam- (since the root would be NAM as in nam- "to judge", námo* noun "judge"). Alternatively, but less probably, the nominative may be anama**.



#nam- vb. "judge", attested in the 1st person aorist: namin "I judge" (VT41:13). Compare Námo.



#ham- (2) vb. "judge", attested in the aorist form hamil "you judge". (VT42:33; notice the pronominal ending -l "you". See nemë. The verb #ham- with the meaning "judge" may seem to be an ephemeral form in Tolkien's conception.)



#nav- vb. "judge" (cited in the form navë, apparently the 3rd person aorist). Also given with pronominal suffixes: navin *"I judge" (Tolkien's free translation: "I think"), navilwë "we judge" (VT42:33, 4, VT48:11)



[#nem- vb. "judge", attested as endingless aorist nemë, changed by Tolkien to hamë and finally to navë "in all but one case" (Bill Welden). Forms like námo "judge" and namna "statute" point rather to #nam- (q.v.) as a verb "to judge" (VT42:34); the verb namin "I judge" is even listed in Etym.]


person, an individual

nassë (1) "a person, an individual" (VT49:30). Also translated "true-being" (pl. nasser is attested), the inner "true" being of a person. With a pronominal suffix in the form nassentar "their true-being" (PE17:175, cf. -nta #2), in the source referring to the "true" spiritual nature of the Valar, as hidden within their visible shapes. The word nassentar would seem to be plural, *"their true-beings". Not to be confused with the verb nassë/násë "he/she is"; see #1.


castle of custody

Mandos (Mandost-) noun "Castle of Custody" (the approximate meaning, according to MR:350). Used as the name of a Vala, properly the place where he dwells (the Halls of Mandos), whereas his real name is Námo_ (WJ:402). _In Tolkiens mythology, the "Halls of Mandos" are the abode of the dead, where their spirits remain until they are released from this world (in the case of mortals) or rebodied (in the case of Elves except for those who are refused or themselves refuse further incarnate life, and so remain in Mandos indefinitely). In the Etymologies, Mandos (also Mandossë) is interpreted somewhat differently, "Dread Imprisoner" (MBAD (MANAD),VT45:32) or in a deleted version "Dread Doom" (VT45:33, where Mandos was asigned the stem Mandosse-). The interpretation "Dread Imprisoner" would suggest that Tolkien at the time thought of Mandos as being also properly the name of a person, the Vala Námo, not the name of a place. See also Mando.


person, somebody

-o (2), also -ó, "a person, somebody", pronominal suffix (PM:340)


pronoun. person, somebody (unnamed)
Quenya [PM/340] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. person, individual, man or woman, one, somebody
Quenya [PE19/093; WJ/361; WJ/372; WJ/393; WJ/407] Group: Eldamo. Published by



- a suffix occurring in many personal names, generally but not exclusively masculine (Elenwë is the sole certain example of a fem. name with this ending); it is derived from a stem simply meaning "person" (PM:340, WJ:399). In Etym, - is simply defined as an element that is frequent in masculine names, and it is there derived from a stem (WEG) having to do with "(manly) vigour".