Though the Valar could not actually be overthrown by any army of Mortal Men, there was "real peril" insofar as "the Númenóreans directed by Sauron could have wrought ruin in Valinor itself". Even so, the Valar did not react quite as Sauron had expected. "The Valar had no real answer to this monstrous rebellion — for the Children of God [Elves and Men] were not under their ultimate jurisdiction: they were not allowed to destroy them, or coerce them with any 'divine' display of the powers they held over the physical world. They appealed to God; and a catastrophic 'change of plan' occurred."
In Tolkien's letters, the author noted that Sauron “was of course a 'divine' person (in the terms of this mythology; a lesser member of the race of Valar)”. Though less mighty than the chief Valar, he was more powerful than many of his fellow Maiar; Tolkien noted that he was of a "far higher order" than the Maiar who later came to Middle-earth as the Wizards Gandalf and Saruman.
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