- 1 Jewellery
- 2 Weapons and armour
- 3 Food and drink
- 4 Miscellanea
- 5 References
A wondrous large white gem sought by Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit. It was discovered beneath Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) by Thorin's ancestor, Thráin the Old, and shaped by the Dwarves. The Arkenstone became the family heirloom of Durin's line, but was lost when the dragon Smaug captured the mountain from the Dwarves (T.A. 2770). The Arkenstone shone of its own inner light, but having been cut and fashioned by the Dwarves, it also reflected and multiplied any light glancing upon its surface with marvellous beauty. It was also called the Heart of the Mountain, and as Thorin describes to Bilbo: "It shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like snow under the stars, like rain upon the moon..."
When Bilbo Baggins found it on Smaug's golden bed deep inside the Lonely Mountain (T.A. 2941), he pocketed it, having learned how much Thorin valued it. While the Dwarves with Thorin sorted the treasure, Thorin sought only the Arkenstone, unaware that Bilbo was hiding it in his pillow. When the Dwarves refused to share any of the treasure with Bard (who had killed Smaug) and King Thranduil, Bilbo crept out of the Dwarves' fort inside the Mountain, and gave them the Arkenstone; Bard, Thranduil, and Gandalf then tried to trade it for Bilbo's fourteenth share of Smaug's hoard. The dispute was interrupted by goblins and wargs from the Grey Mountains, the Battle of Five Armies ensued, and Thorin was killed. When Thorin was buried deep under Erebor, Bard placed the Arkenstone on Thorin's breast.
Tolkien took the name from Old English earcanstān (also spelled eorcanstān, eorcnanstān, etc.) or Old Norse jarknasteinn, meaning "precious stone". The word appears in several Old English poems; for example, "The Ruin" tells how a warrior long ago seah on sinc, on sylfor, on searogimmas, on ead, on æht, on eorcanstan—"gazed on treasure, silver, precious gems, wealth, possessions, a precious stone."
Crown of Gondor
The chief token of royalty of Gondor. It is also referred as the Winged Crown, the Silver or White Crown, and the Crown of Elendil.
Tolkien describes the crown in The Lord of the Rings thus:
It was shaped like the helms of the Guards of the Citadel, save that it was loftier, and it was all white, and the wings at either side were wrought of pearl and silver in the likeness of the wings of a sea-bird, for it was the emblem of kings who came over the Sea; and seven gems of adamant were set in the circlet, and upon its summit was set a single jewel the light of which went up like a flame.
In a letter Tolkien describes the crown as "very tall, like that of Egypt, but with wings attached, not set straight back but at an angle." He also made a sketch of the crown, reproduced in J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator.
Later during the reign of King Atanatar II Alcarin (T.A. 1149–1226), a new crown was made of silver and jewels. This Crown was worn by all the subsequent Kings of Gondor. Traditionally, a father passed the Crown to his heir before he died. If the heir was not present when the King died, the Crown was set in the King's tomb and his heir would later go alone to the Hallows to retrieve it.
In 2050, the Lord of the Nazgûl challenged King Eärnur to single-combat. Eärnur left the Crown on the tomb of his father Eärnil II and he went to Minas Morgul and was never seen again. From that time on, the Stewards ruled Gondor in the absence of a King. The Crown remained in the Hallows, and the Stewards bore a white rod as the token of their office.
Before the coronation of Aragorn, King Elessar, the Steward Faramir went to the Hallows and retrieved the Crown from Eärnil's tomb. The Crown was placed in a casket of black lebethron wood bound with silver and was carried to the Great Gate of Minas Tirith by four Guards of the Citadel. Aragorn lifted the Crown and, quoting Elendil as he arrived at Middle-earth, said:
"Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!"
("Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.")
Then at Aragorn's request, Frodo Baggins brought the Crown forward and gave it to Gandalf, who set it upon Aragorn's head. As King, Aragorn bore both the Crown of Gondor and the Sceptre of Annúminas that was the chief token of royalty of Arnor, and the two Kingdoms were reunited under his reign. Before his death in the year 120 of the Fourth Age, Aragorn passed the Crown and Sceptre to his son and heir Eldarion.
- This stone I gave to Celebrían my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. In this hour take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!
Tolkien also calls it the Elessar or the Stone of Eärendil and describes it as being set in an eagle-shaped silver brooch.
There are a variety of stories about the jewel's origin in Unfinished Tales:
- There was in Gondolin a jewel-smith named Enerdhil, and he was the greatest of that craft among the Noldor after the death of Fëanor...it came into his heart to make a jewel within which the clear light of the sun should be imprisoned, but the jewel should be green as leaves. And he made this thing, and even the Noldor marvelled at it. For it is said that those who looked through this stone saw things that were withered or burned healed again or as they were in the grace of their youth, and that the hands of one who held it brought to all that they touched healing from hurt.
Here the "Enerdhil-story" diverges into two versions:
- Gandalf brings back the jewel from Valinor and gives it to Galadriel, as a token from Yavanna that the Valar have not forsaken Middle-earth. In this version Gandalf also remarks prophetically to Galadriel that she will only hold it for a little while, before she passes it to another, who will also be called Elessar.
- Galadriel is pained at the state of Middle-earth and wants something to help heal its wounds. Celebrimbor, who is in love with Galadriel, remakes the jewel at her behest. It is interesting to note that Celebrimbor was also in Gondolin in the time of Enerdhil and learned much from him. Although we are more familiar with Celebrimbor (and his Rings of Power), he was actually overshadowed by the superior skill of Enerdhil, who was second only to Fëanor.
There is also a third version that differs greatly from the first two. In that there is no mention of Enerdhil and instead it was Celebrimbor himself who in Gondolin made the original jewel. Eärendil takes this jewel to Valinor forever and in the Second Age Galadriel asks Celebrimbor to make the jewel again.
Another version states that the Elfstone was created by Fëanor, who gave it to his eldest son Maedhros as he died. Maedhros then gave it to Fingon as a token of friendship, but the whereabouts of the gem thereafter are not known. The dragon-helm of Azaghâl probably replaced the Elfstone as Maedhros's gift to Fingon.
All versions end with the jewel in Galadriel's possession. She then gives it to her daughter Celebrían, who in turn gives it to Arwen. It nonetheless is in Galadriel's keeping in Lothlórien before she passes it on to Aragorn. According to Tolkien, this also held the function of a wedding gift from the family of the bride to the groom.
Another point of note is that earlier in The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn urged Bilbo Baggins to include a green jewel in a poem about Eärendil he was composing, possibly anticipating the symbolic importance that the gem would have in his life. Bilbo, obeying Aragorn but seemingly unaware of the Elfstone's story, included an inaccurate reference to an emerald.
The Nauglamír was a gift from the dwarves to Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond. From the ruins of Nargothrond, Húrin brought the Nauglamir to Doriath and gave it to Thingol as payment for the care Húrin's family had received while Húrin was imprisoned by Morgoth. Thingol had the Nauglamir reforged by the Dwarves of Belegost to hold and enhance a Silmaril which Beren and Lúthien had retrieved from Morgoth's crown (and the great wolf Carcharoth's maw). The Dwarves had been invited to Menegroth by Thingol to create jewelry out of the immense treasure, and the Nauglamír was their best work.
Thingol prized it above everything else in his treasury, save the Silmaril of Lúthien and Beren. After the Nauglamír had been reforged he asked the Dwarves of Nogrod to set the Silmaril in it, which they did. Together it became jewelry more beautiful than anything ever before seen in Arda. The Dwarves were enthralled by it as well, and greedily demanded it from Thingol, claiming it as just payment for their labours (and that Húrin and Thingol had no right to appropriate the Dwarves' gift to Finrod). Thingol realized they wished to gain the Silmaril, and after insulting the dwarves as uncouth, stunted people, ordered them to depart from Doriath without any payment. In response the dwarves slew him, which eventually led to the withdrawal of the Girdle of Melian from Doriath and the Sack of Doriath by the Dwarves of Nogrod.
Word of the Dwarves' treachery reached Beren, and he, with an army of the Laiquendi, waylaid the dwarves enroute to Nogrod as they passed Sarn Athrad. The Dwarves were slain, and those who attempted to escape were destroyed by the Ents. Their treasure was cast into the river Ascar, but Beren kept the Nauglamír and took it with him to Lúthien.
After Beren and Lúthien's final deaths, the Necklace went to their son Dior in Doriath, and became the cause of the Second Kinslaying when the Sons of Fëanor attacked Doriath in an attempt to claim the Silmaril. Dior's daughter Elwing fled with the Nauglamír to the Mouths of Sirion.
In the Third Kinslaying, the Sons of Fëanor attacked the Mouths of Sirion, claiming the Nauglamír because it held the Silmaril; but Elwing cast herself into the sea with it. The Nauglamír was lost, but Elwing and the Silmaril were saved by Ulmo.
The story of the Nauglamír was never finished by Tolkien himself, except in the very early version found in the Book of Lost Tales, and it presents one of the most difficult parts of the whole legendarium. In the published Silmarillion, the Nauglamír is said to have been forged by Dwarves for Finrod Felagund, and is the only piece of the treasure of Nargothrond that Húrin takes to Doriath. This version, however, was constructed by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay, and has no basis in the elder Tolkien's own writings.
In earlier versions of the Silmarillion tradition, the Nauglamír, then called Nauglafring, more directly causes the death of Thingol as it gets caught behind a tree branch when Thingol is riding outside the Girdle of Melian and is attacked by the Dwarves. Thingol, unhorsed, is slain, after which Melian's protection is lifted and Doriath is sacked.
Considering how Tolkien was inspired by and drew much inspiration from Norse and Germanic mythology and lore, it is possible that the Nauglamír may have been inspired by Brísingamen, a necklace made by dwarves and worn by the Norse goddess Freyja.
Necklace of Girion
A valuable pearl which appears in The Silmarillion.
It was given by Thingol to the Dwarves from Belegost as a reward for building Menegroth. It was probably fished from Belegaer by Círdan's folk, who gave it to the King of Doriath as a gift. The pearl was said to be as big as a dove's egg.
Phial of Galadriel
It was also known as the Star-glass, because it held a little fragment of the light of the Evening Star Eärendil, which was one of the Silmarils, contained within the waters of Galadriel's Mirror. It is thus a reflection of a reflection of the light of the Two Trees of Valinor.
While travelling to Mordor via Cirith Ungol, both Frodo and Samwise Gamgee used the light of the Phial to fend off attacks from the monstrous arachnid Shelob in Torech Ungol. Sam also used it to overcome the will of the Two Watchers at the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Once they reached Mount Doom, however, the light from the glass faded because they were in the heart of Sauron's domain where its power could not reach.
Ring of Barahir
A ring given to Barahir by the Elven Lord Finrod Felagund, in reward for saving his life in Dagor Bragollach. It was a sign of eternal friendship between Finrod and the House of Barahir. Barahir's hand and ring were taken by the orcs that killed him, but were retrieved by his son Beren when he avenged his father. Beren laid the hand to rest with the rest of his father's body, but kept and wore the ring.
- 'Death you can give me earned or unearned, but names I will not take from you of baseborn, nor spy, nor thrall. By the ring of Felagund, that he gave to Barahir my father on the battlefield of the North, my house has not earned such names from any Elf, be he king or no.' Thus spoke Beren Erchamion in the halls of mighty Thingol as he held aloft the ring, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house. (The Silmarillion, Chapter 19: 'Of Beren and Lúthien')
Beren later used it as a token when he sought Finrod's help in the quest for the Silmaril.
The ring was passed from Beren in direct line to Dior, then his daughter Elwing and her son Elros, who brought it to Númenor during the Second Age. It was an heirloom of the kings of Númenor until Tar-Elendil gave the ring to his eldest daughter Silmariën, who was not allowed to succeed him on the throne. She in turn gave the ring to her son Valandil, first Lord of Andúnië. It was handed down to succeeding Lords of Andúnië to the last one, Amandil, father of Elendil, and so was saved from the Númenor catastrophe.
In the Third Age the ring was again passed in direct line from Elendil to Isildur to the Kings of Arnor, and then Kings of Arthedain. The last King of Arthedain, Arvedui, gave the ring to the Lossoth of Forochel, thankful for the help he received from them. It was later ransomed from the Snowmen by the Dúnedain of the North, and it was kept safe at Rivendell.
Eventually, it was given by Elrond to Aragorn son of Arathorn, when he was told of his true name and lineage, together with the shards of Narsil. In the year 2980 of the Third Age, in Lothlórien Aragorn gave the ring to Arwen Undómiel, and thus they were betrothed.
Nothing is said of the fate of the ring in the Fourth Age, but it was most likely either again passed to the Kings of Gondor and Arnor, descendants of Aragorn and Arwen, or it went with Arwen to her grave in Cerin Amroth.
It was one of the older artifacts to exist in Middle-earth (it may have been the oldest), for it had been forged by Finrod in Valinor before the Exile of the Noldor.
The ring is noticeably seen on the hand of Aragorn in Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Two Towers when he extends his hand toward Gríma Wormtongue in a gesture of reconciliation (which is not accepted). In the extended version of the movie, the ring is described in more detail, and it is the sign by which Saruman identifies Aragorn from Grima's account. The ring is described as "Two serpents with emerald eyes. One devouring, the other crowned with golden flowers."
Rings of Power
- Main article: Rings of Power
Sceptre of Annúminas
The chief emblem of royal authority in the northern kingdom of Arnor.
The sceptre originally was the staff borne by the Lords of Andúnië in Númenor, a silver rod patterned after the sceptre of the Kings of Númenor. The sceptre of the Kings was lost with Ar-Pharazôn in the downfall of Númenor in S.A. 3319. But Elendil, son of the last Lord of Andúnië, took his father's staff with him when he escaped to Middle-earth and founded the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. While the Kings of Gondor wore a crown, the Kings of Arnor bore the sceptre. As the Kings of Arnor ruled for several centuries from the city of Annúminas, the sceptre became known as Sceptre of Annúminas.
When the North-kingdom was divided in T.A. 861, the sceptre passed to the Kings of Arthedain. After Arthedain ceased to exist in T.A. 1974, the sceptre, along with the other heirlooms of the House of Isildur, was kept at Rivendell, in the house of Elrond.
By the end of the Third Age, the Sceptre of Annúminas was over 5,000 years old and was accounted the oldest surviving artifact in Middle-earth made by Men. On Midsummer's Eve of 3019, Elrond brought the Sceptre of Annúminas to Minas Tirith and presented it to Aragorn, King Elessar, symbolising his kingship over Arnor as well as Gondor.
- Main article: Silmaril
Three brilliant, holy star-like jewels which contained the unmarred light of the Two Trees created by the Vala Yavanna, the mother of all trees and herbs.
The Silmarils (Quenya pl. Silmarilli, radiance of pure light) were made out of the crystalline substance silima by Fëanor, a Noldorin Elf, in Valinor during the Years of the Trees. The composition of silima was known only to Fëanor; the secret died with him, not to be rediscovered until Fëanor's resurrection at the Last Battle.
They are pivotal in Tolkien's fictional history of the Elves. Their theft by Melkor provokes Fëanor and his sons to pursue him into Middle-earth with a large host to reclaim them.
Star of Elendil
Along with the Sceptre of Annúminas, the Star of Elendil was the chief symbol of the royal line of Arnor. The original jewel was fashioned of "elvish crystal" by the Noldor and affixed to a fillet of mithril, to be worn in the custom of Númenor on the brow in place of a crown. This was worn by Silmariën of Númenor and passed to her descendants, the Lords of Andúnië, and eventually to Elendil. Elendil and Isildur wore it as a token of royalty in the North Kingdom, but it was lost in the Anduin when Isildur was slain by orcs at the Gladden Fields. A replacement was fashioned by elves in Rivendell for Isildur's son Valandil, and this second jewel was borne by the subsequent thirty-nine kings and chieftains of Arnor, up to and including Aragorn.
The Star of Elendil was also called the Elendilmir ("Jewel of Elendil"), the Star of the North, and the Star of the North Kingdom. The original was rediscovered by Saruman's agents searching for the One Ring, and King Elessar later recovered it from Saruman's treasure in Isengard after the War of the Ring. Elessar held both Elendilmirs in reverence; the first because of its ancient origins, the second because of its lineage from thirty-nine forebears. The King wore the replica when he spent time in the restored North Kingdom.
In Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth the Elendilmir is identified with the Star of the Dúnedain which was given to Samwise Gamgee, but according to Christopher Tolkien Foster was clearly mistaken.
Star of the Dúnedain
The Dúnedain Rangers who came to Aragorn at Dunharrow wore these on their clothing, specifically to fasten to their cloaks on their left shoulder. It served as part of their identity, and the only ornamentation the Rangers ever wore in their journeys. The Star was also considered a badge of honour, and after the events of the War of the Ring Aragorn gave this insignia to Samwise Gamgee, then Mayor of the Shire.
Weapons and armour
- Main article: List of Middle-earth weapons and armour
Tolkien's fantasy writings contain several named weapons like Sting, Glamdring, Narsil, Orcrist, and Gurthang. Two prominent examples of armour in Tolkien's writings is the Helm of Hador, also known as the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, and Bilbo and Frodo's mithril mail-shirt.
Food and drink
- Main article: List of Middle-earth food and drink
Little else is said of the chain in The Silmarillion. Tolkien describes it more fully in its first appearance in The Book of Lost Tales (which may or may not be applicable to later conceptions). Here its name is Angaino:
- "Behold, Aulë now gathered six metals, copper, silver, tin, lead, iron and gold, and taking a portion of each made with his magic a seventh which he named therefore tilkal, and this had all the properties of the six and many of its own. Its colour was bright green or red in varying lights and it could not be broken, and Aulë alone could forge it. Thereafter he forged a mighty chain, making it of all seven metals welded with spells to a substance of uttermost hardness and brightness and smoothness..."
It is also said later in the same book that after Tulkas and Aulë had grappled with Melko (as Melkor was then spelled), "straight was he wrapped thirty times in the fathoms of Angaino".
Book of Mazarbul
A record of Balin's failed expedition to re-colonize the mines of Moria, which ended in his party's destruction by Orcs. Mazarbul means "records" in the Dwarf-language Khuzdul, and the chamber where it was kept was similarly named. It appears in The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Book of Mazarbul covered five years. It was written in many different hands using the runes of Moria and Dale as well as Elvish letters. The last entry was written shortly before the final Orc attack which finished the Dwarves off: "They are coming." When the Fellowship came to the Chamber of Mazarbul in Moria years later, Gandalf discovered the battered Book of Mazarbul. It was given to Gimli to be passed on to Dáin.
For the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien created a few pages of the book for real (read aloud by Gandalf in the story), but these proved impractical to include. Some later editions do include them.
Cloaks given to the Fellowship of the Ring by Galadriel and Celeborn. They appeared to be grey or green, changing with the light. They served to camouflage their wearers. Tolkien stated the grey cloaks to have originated in Beleriand made by the Elves of Mithrim.
Magical lamps that gave blue radiance from a flame trapped within a white crystal. Their light could not be quenched by wind or water.
These lamps were made in Valinor and used by Noldor, named after their inventor Fëanor. Even though Noldor in Middle-earth were famous for these lamps, their secret was later lost to them. Gelmir of Finarfin's people had one of these lamps in his possession when he met Tuor. A similar appearance of these lamps can be found in the same story when Tuor and Voronwë encounter Elemmakil and his guards at Gondolin.
Another instance when this lamp makes an appearance is in Tolkien's earlier writings, in the story of Narn i Chîn Húrin where Gwindor of Nargothrond, an elf who escaped Angband, had possession of one such lamp. This lamp helped Beleg to identify Gwindor in the forest of Taur-nu-Fuin. This is illustrated in a painting by Tolkien himself. When Beleg Cúthalion was slain, it was the light from this lamp that revealed to Túrin, he had slain his friend. But in the published version of The Silmarillion there is no occurrence of Fëanorian lamps.
A jet black metal (probably an alloy) devised by the Dark Elf Eöl after he became greatly skilled in metalwork after learning the craft from the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost. The unique metal was as strong as the steel of the Dwarves, extremely malleable, and resistant to injury by metal weapons. Its only known use is in Eöl's armour, which he wore whenever he left his forest residence.
Eöl taught all his secrets to his son Maeglin, who later fled to Gondolin. So it is possible that the Elf-smiths of Gondolin also learned how to make galvorn armour. In the story 'Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin' in Unfinished Tales Tuor sees the Guards of the City wearing armour of a strange black metal. This may be galvorn.
Horn of Gondor
An heirloom of the Stewards of Gondor, also called the Great Horn.
The horn was made by Vorondil the Hunter in the Third Age. Vorondil hunted oxen all the way to the Sea of Rhûn and fashioned the horn out of one of the oxen's horns. (Tolkien calls the beast one of the "Kine of Araw") It was passed down through the line of the Stewards of Gondor.
During the War of the Ring, Boromir, son of Denethor, possessed the Horn of Gondor, just as it had been borne by the eldest son of the Lord Steward of Gondor for centuries. Boromir claimed that if the horn was heard anywhere within its borders, Gondor would come to the owner's aid.
When Boromir was slain early in The Two Towers, the Horn of Gondor was cut in two by Orcs. The horn later washed up upon the banks of the Anduin, where it was discovered by his brother, Faramir. Thus Denethor learned of his son's death.
- Main article: Mithril
A silvery metal, stronger than steel but much lighter in weight. Tolkien first wrote of it in The Lord of the Rings, and it was retrospectively mentioned in the second, revised edition of The Hobbit in 1966. In the first 1937 edition, the mail shirt given to Bilbo was described as being made of "silvered steel".
In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien writes that mithril was found only in Khazad-dûm (Moria) in Middle-earth, where it was mined by the Dwarves. However, in Unfinished Tales he writes that it was also found in Númenor.
The name mithril comes from two words in Sindarin — mith, meaning "grey", and ril meaning "glitter". The metal's Quenya name is mistarille. Mithril was also called "true-silver" or "Moria-silver"; the Dwarves had their own secret name for it.
Mirror of Galadriel
A basin filled with water in which one may see visions of the past, present and future, appearing in The Lord of the Rings. Galadriel, an Elf ruler of Lothlórien, invites the story's hero, Frodo Baggins, to look into it. Galadriel cannot predict what the mirror will show and does not guarantee that its visions will come to pass.
Samwise Gamgee was also allowed a vision, which forced a choice between returning to the Shire to prevent its destruction by technology or to continue on the quest with his master to prevent Sauron from destroying all of Middle-earth.
- Main article: Palantír
Stone globes which function somewhat like crystal balls or communication devices. The singular form of their name, palantír, means "Farsighted" or "One that Sees from Afar". They were made in Aman by Fëanor. Elendil brought seven of them with him out of the wreck of Númenor. An eighth "Master-stone" remained in the tower of Avallónë in Eressëa. In The Lord of the Rings, Sauron, Saruman, Denethor and Aragorn all used various palantíri.
Seat of Seeing
On February 25, T. A. 3019, while running away from Boromir, who had attempted to seize the Ring of Power, Frodo Baggins reached the summit of Amon Hen. He clambered onto the Seat of Seeing and suddenly was able to see for hundreds of miles in all directions. The powers of the Seat were apparently enhanced by the One Ring; when Aragorn took the seat a few minutes later, his vision was not similarly enhanced.
A counterpart, the Seat of Hearing, was built on top of Amon Lhaw, on the opposite bank of Anduin.
Stone of Erech
Also called the Black Stone, it was brought to Middle-earth from Númenor by Isildur and set at the top of the Hill of Erech. It is described in The Lord of the Rings: "round as a great globe, the height of a man, though its half was buried in the ground. Unearthly it looked, as though it had fallen from the sky". Upon it the local tribes swore allegiance to Isildur, but proved treacherous and became the Dead Men of Dunharrow.
Illuin (Sky-blue) and Ormal (high gold) were great lamps which stood respectively at the northern and southern ends of Arda during the Years of the Lamps.
After the Valar entered the world, there was a misty light veiling the barren ground. The Valar concentrated this light into two large lamps, Illuin and Ormal. Aulë forged great towers, one in the furthest north, Helcar (also spelt Helkar), and another in the deepest south, Ringil. Illuin was set upon Helcar and Ormal upon Ringil. In the middle of Arda, where the light of the lamps mingled, lay the Great Lake with the island Almaren, where the Valar dwelt.
The lamps were destroyed in an assault by Melkor, and the Valar fled Middle-earth for Valinor. At the site where Illuin fell, the inland Sea of Helkar was formed, of which Cuiviénen was a bay. According to the earlier writings of Tolkien, there was also the Sea of Ringil to the south, perhaps associated with the roots of Ormal.
Guided by the light of a Silmaril, Eärendil navigated Vingilótë through the Shadowy Seas to the Blessed Realm of Aman, the first Mortal to do so. He was not allowed, however, to return to Middle-earth, except to join the host of the Valar in the War of Wrath against Morgoth.
After the War of Wrath, Eärendil, with the Silmaril upon his brow, sailed Vingilótë into the sky where the jewel shines forever as a morning star (the equivalent to Venus).
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "Farewell to Lórien", ISBN 0-395-08254-4
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "Many Meetings", ISBN 0-395-08254-4
- Tolkien, Christopher (1981). The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-826005-3.
- The Silmarillion, p. 364.
- The Silmarillion, p. 67.
- Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", p. 277, 278, 284.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), The Bridge of Khazad-dûm, ISBN 0-395-08254-4
- Template:ME-ref/CARPENTER See Pictures by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Treason of Isengard and J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1994), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The War of the Jewels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, QUENDI AND ELDAR p.411, ISBN 0-395-71041-3 , ... the Mithrim had an art of weaving a grey cloth that made its wearers almost invisible..."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales(1980), Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin, Paragraph 27
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales (1980), Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin, Paragraph 136
- Pictures by J. R. R. Tolkien, 1979, no. 37
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales (1980), Narn I Hîn Húrin, Appendix
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (1977), Chapter 21
- Unfinished Tales, p.460 (index listing)
- The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", p. 301
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