This weekend, Hall of Fire returns to discussing the Silmarillion. Chapter 12 — Of Men — begins with the Valar withdrawing more and more from Middle-earth and its inhabitants, both elves and Men. Why is Ulmo — perhaps the one least suited to the task — the only one who seems to care? Does this seem like a wise move? If the Valar were at all interested in the Children of Ilúvatar, why do they they turn away and leave them to Morgoth?

Could it be that the Valar themselves are weakening, and less capable of intervening in Middle Earth except as allies? Or having been burnt in trying to befriend the Elves, are they simply wary of the greater pitfalls that may await if they are to meddle with the fate of the more mysterious Second Children? [More]