Morgoth has crushed all of the Noldorin princes one by one. Doriath, and Thingol and Melian, are no longer a threat. All that remains of his opponents are a few stragglers at the Mouth of Sirion. Morgoth’s battle-hardened armies range freely throughout Beleriand, slaughtering at will.
Now, enter the Valinorean Expeditionary Force. Granted, you’ve got some divine heavy-hitters like Eonwe, but then you’ve got the Vanyar. The Vanyar, who are obedient elves who never took up arms and violence like the Noldor, and who mostly sat around Valinor singing songs. So how the heck did they, an untrained bunch of singers, kick Morgoth’s battle-hardened armies?
I couldn’t find it upon re-reading the War of Wrath, but one of the reasons the Noldor prevailed against Morgoth in the beginning of the Wars was that they were newly arrived from Valinor, and their eyes burned bright with the righteous wrath of the place. And some of the Host which arrived in Beleriand at the end of the First Age were Noldor, who were just as well-equipped and well-trained (or lack thereof) as those who made the journey back to Endor in the first place.
(Now pointing out that they had an army of both Maiar and Valar: the Aratar were not the only Valar ::::coughTomBombadilcough::::
Your questions revolves around how the elves (a.k.a. The Eldar) and in particular among them Vanyar. As has been already suggested in the post, the other two types of Eldar, the Noldor and the Teleri knew what was up when it came to throwing down. (Man this is making my spell checker go crazy.)
First of all, the Valar discovered the Eldar by way of Oromë, who was one of the Valar and was in fact one of the Aratar or “one of the eight great Valar.” Now Oromë liked to hunt and was found of journeying outside Aman where he found the newly awakened elves at Cuiviénen, the proverbial “waters of awakening.” Oromë basically taught them everything they knew in the beginning with the exception of the rudiments of what was to become Elf-Speak.
Imagine, if you will, that when you were born, instead of your parents raising you your crazy redneck uncle who likes guns and dresses in camouflage was in charge of the parenting. What then? I bet you would know a thing or two about skinning shit. I bet you would know a thing or two about shooting things as well. As frequent American wars have proven, rednecks can often parley their shootin’ skills in to killin’ other people in a jiffy.
So merely exchange the gun for a bow or sword and you can see why the Eldar, with the Vanyar being amongst them, knowing a thing or two about how to fight.
P.S. I feel very guilty about talking about fanciful things
Good point. I suppose all of the Cuivienen-era elves know a thing or two about hunting, at least, and are probably pretty good with a bow. And all of the arrived elves are fresh from Aman, and righteous and holy etc. I guess Tolkien would probably mention that, during their several-thousand-year-stay, Eonwe and Tulkas and a few other of the “military” Ainur taught them a thing or two about throwing down with the bad guys.
Thanks, right–forgot about those no-good kinslayers …
Yeah–which makes me wonder how tough those Maiar really were, if the army STILL almost lost…