Because of her creation of the stars, Varda was the dearest of the Valar to the elves, who called to her for aid from Middle-earth. The Valar are divine beings below a greater, more ultimate Creator, Ilúvatar. Thus some equate the Valar of Middle-earth with saints and angels; thus Varda, in her role as the most loved and prayed-to Vala, may be an equivalent of the Virgin Mary in Tolkien's own Catholic faith.
In Norse mythology, Rán (Old Norse "sea") is a sea goddess. According to Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, in his retelling of the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna, she is married to Ægir and they have nine daughters together. Snorri also reports that she had a net in which she tried to capture men who ventured out on the sea: