Of Eru, the Ainur, the Maiar, and the Valar
Eru, the Ainur, the Maiar, and the Valar are, for all intents and purposes, the gods of Middle Earth. They are its creators and play key roles in the ancient lore of the The Silmarillion. Eru created the Ainur and the Maiar. The Ainur were made mightier than the Maiar. The Maiar's purpose was to aid the Ainur in creating the world. Only some of the Ainur ever committed to the creation of Middle Earth, though, and they are known as the Valar.
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