You're coming across a basic point of theology here, which is why understanding Tolkien requires a fair understanding of basic Christian theological concepts. God/Illuvatar exists outside of time, and the Creation/Conception of the world has little to do with our concept of it. All that was, is, and ever shall be has already been created.cfelch wrote:Seems to contradict with:Finally Illuvatar halted the music and a final music which was only his own ended the creation, and this final music was the creation of Elves and Men, the children of Illuvatar. It would fall to them to complete creation, and their destinies are unknown to any of the Valar or Maiar.
Was man created second, or at the same time?Mankind isn't alien to Middle-Earth, per se, but they are not linked to the fate of the world like the Elves are. They are called the second-born, the aftercomers, and also the visitors by the elves. Here's a quote from the Tolkien Gateway (an excellent resource site) that might help clear things up a little.
"It was said among the Elves that after they died, the fëar of Men were gathered in the Halls of Mandos, and then departed from the World for a destination unknown even to the Valar. Whereas all other beings in Arda, including the Valar themselves, were bound to the World and its fate, the Gift freed Men from this destiny, allowing them to shape their own lives as they wished. For this reason, the Elves, who must live as long as Arda exists and become burdened with its sorrows, often envy the Gift given to Men, and it is said that even the Valar shall do so as well."
By this timeline I would have to assume that dwarves were created first.
Elves are supposedly with an unknown destiny as well, yet their destiny seems to be foregone.
The Halls of Mandos exporting the fears of man almost sound like a spaceship analogy.
Best to just read the Silmarillion, but there is an argument for the Dwarves having been 'created' 'first,' but that doesn't make them the Firstborn.