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Wisest of the Maiar was Olorin. He too dwelt in Lorien, but his ways took him often to the house of Nienna, and of her he learned pity and patience. Of Melian much is told in the Quenta Silmarillion. But of Olorin that tale does not speak; for though he loved the Elves, he walked among them unseen, or in form as one of them, and they did not know whence came the fair visions or the promptings of wisdom that he put into their hearts. In later days he was the friend of all the Children of lluvatar, and took pity on their sorrows; and those who listened to him awoke from despair and put away the imaginations of darkness.
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But that name he has forfeited; and the Noldor, who among the Elves suffered most from his malice, will not utter it, and they name him Morgoth, the Dark Enemy of the World. Great might was given to him by lluvatar, and he was coeval with Manwe. In the powers and knowledge of all the other Valar he had part, but he turned them to evil purposes, and squandered his strength in violence and tyranny.
For he coveted Arda and all that was in it, desiring the kingship of Manwe and dominion over the realms of his peers. From splendour he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself, a spirit wasteful and pitiless. Understanding he turned to subtlety in perverting to his own will all that he would use, until he became a liar without shame. He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not possess it for himself alone, he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into Darkness.
And darkness he used most in his evil works upon Arda, and filled it with fear for all living things. Yet so great was the power of his uprising that in ages forgotten he contended with Manwe and all the Valar, and through long years in Arda held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth. But he was not alone. For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts.
Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror. Among those of his servants that have names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel. In his beginning he was of the Maiar of Aule, and he remained mighty in the lore of that people.
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In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part, and was only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not himself. But in after years he rose like a shadow of Morgoth and a ghost of his malice, and walked behind him on the same ruinous path down into the Void. But in the midst of the war a spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar, hearing in the far heaven that there was battle in the Little Kingdom; and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter.
So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age. And Tulkas remained and became one of the Valar of the Kingdom of Arda; but Melkor brooded in the outer darkness, and his hate was given to Tulkas for ever after.
In that time the Valar brought order to the seas and the lands and the mountains, and Yavanna planted at last the seeds that she had long devised. And since, when the fires were subdued or buried beneath the primeval hills, there was need of light, Aule at the prayer of Yavanna wrought two mighty lamps for the lighting of the Middle-earth which he had built amid the encircling seas. Then Varda filled the lamps and Manwe hallowed them, and the Valar set them upon high pillars, more lofty far than are any mountains of the later days. One lamp they raised near to the north of Middle-earth, and it was named llluin; and the other was raised in the south, and it was named Ormal; and the light of the Lamps of the Valar flowed out over the Earth, so that all was lit as it were in a changeless day.
Then the seeds that Yavanna had sown began swiftly to sprout and to burgeon, and there arose a multitude of growing things great and small, mosses and grasses and great ferns, and trees whose tops were crowned with cloud as they were living mountains, but whose feet were wrapped in a green twilight. And beasts came forth and dwelt in the grassy plains, or in the rivers and the lakes, or walked in the shadows of the woods. As yet no flower had bloomed nor any bird had sung, for these things waited still their time in the bosom of Yavanna; but wealth there was of her imagining, and nowhere more rich than in the midmost parts of the Earth, where the light of both the Lamps met and blended.
And there upon the Isle of Almaren in the Great Lake was the first dwelling of the Valar when all things were young, and new-made green was yet a marvel in the eyes of the makers; and they were long content. Now it came to pass that while the Valar rested from their labours, and watched the growth and unfolding of the things that they had devised and begun, Manwe ordained a great feast; and the Valar and an their host came at his bidding.
But Aule and Tulkas were weary; for the craft of Aule and the strength of Tulkas had been at the service of an without ceasing fax the days of their labour. And Melkor knew of an that was done, for even then he had secret friends and spies among the Maiar whom he had converted to his cause; and far off in the darkness he was filled with hatred, being jealous of the work of his peers, whom he desired to make subject to himself.
Therefore he gathered to himself spirits out of the halls of Ea that he had perverted to his service, and he deemed himself strong. And seeing now his time he drew near again to Arda, and looked down upon it, and the beauty of the Earth in its Spring filled him the more with hate. Now therefore the Valar were gathered upon Almaren, fearing no evil, and because of the light of llluin they did not perceive the shadow in the north that was cast from afar by Melkor; for he was grown dark as the Night of the Void. And it is sung that in that feast of the Spring of Arda Tulkas espoused Nessa the sister of Orome, and she danced before the Valar upon the green grass of Almaren.
Then Tulkas slept, being weary and content, and Melkor deemed that his hour had come. And he passed therefore over the Walls of the Night with his host, and came to Middle-earth far in the north; and the Valar were not aware of him. Now Melkor began the delving and building of a vast fortress, deep under Earth, beneath dark mountains where the beams of llluin were cold and dim.
That stronghold was named Utumno. And though the Valar knew naught of it as yet, nonetheless the evil of Melkor and the blight of his hatred flowed out thence, and the Spring of Arda was marred. Green things fell sick and rotted, and rivers were choked with weeds and slime, and fens were made, rank and poisonous, the breeding place of flies; and forests grew dark and perilous, the haunts of fear; and beasts became monsters of horn and ivory and dyed the earth with blood.
Then the Valar knew indeed that Melkor was at work again, and they sought for his hiding place. But Melkor, trusting in the strength of Utumno and the might of his servants, came forth suddenly to war, and struck the first blow, ere the Valar were prepared; and he assailed the lights of llluin and Ormal, and cast down their pillars and broke their lamps. In the overthrow of the mighty pillars lands were broken and seas arose in tumult; and when the lamps were spilled destroying flame was poured out over the Earth.
And the shape of Arda and the symmetry of its waters and its lands was marred in that time, so that the first designs of the Valar were never after restored. In the confusion and the darkness Melkor escaped, though fear fell upon him; for above the roaring of the seas he heard the voice of Manwe as a mighty wind, and the earth trembled beneath the feet of Tulkas.
But he came to Utumno ere Tulkas could overtake him; and there he lay hid. And the Valar could not at that time overcome him, for the greater part of their strength was needed to restrain the tumults of the Earth, and to save from ruin all that could be saved of their labour; and afterwards they feared to rend the Earth again, until they knew where the Children of lluvatar were dwelling, who were yet to come in a time that was hidden from the Valar.
Thus ended the Spring of Arda. The dwelling of the Valar upon Almaren was utterly destroyed, and they had no abiding place upon the face of the Earth. Therefore they departed from Middle-earth and went to the Land of Aman, the westernmost of all lands upon the borders of the world; for its west shores looked upon the Outer Sea, that is called by the Elves Ekkaia, encircling the Kingdom of Arda. How wide is that sea none know but the Valar; and beyond it are the Walls of the Night. But the east shores of Aman were the uttermost end of Belegaer, the Great Sea at the West; and since Melkor was returned to Middle-earth and they could not yet overcome him, the Valar fortified their dwelling, and upon the shores of the sea they raised the Pelori, the Mountains of Aman, highest upon Earth.
And above all the mountains of the Pelori was that height upon whose summit Manwe set his throne. Taniquetil the Elves name that holy mountain, and Oiolosse Everlasting Whiteness, and Elerrina Crowned with Stars, and many names beside; but the Sindar spoke of it in their later tongue as Amon Uilos. From their halls upon Taniquetil Manwe and Varda could look out across the Earth even into the furthest East.
Behind the walls of the Pelori the Valar established their domain in that region which is called Valinor, and there were their houses, their gardens, and their towers. In that guarded land the Valar gathered great store of light and an the fairest things that were saved from the ruin; and many others yet fairer they made anew, and Valinor became more beautiful even than Middle-earth in the Spring ofArda; and it was blessed, for the Deathless dwelt there, and there naught faded nor withered, neither was there any stain upon flower or leaf in that land, nor any corruption or sickness in anything that lived; for the very stones and waters were hallowed.
And when Valinor was full-wrought and the mansions of the Valar were established, in the midst of the plain beyond the mountains they built their city, Valmar of many bells. Before its western gate there was a green mound, Ezellohar, that is named also Corollaire; and Yavanna hallowed it, and she sat there long upon the green grass and sang a song of power, in which was set all her thought of things that grow in the earth. But Nienna thought in silence, and watered the mould with tears. In that time the Valar were gathered together to hear the song of Yavanna, and they sat silent upon their thrones of council in the Mahanaxar, the Ring of Doom near to the golden gates of Valmar, and Yavanna Kementari sang before them and they watched.
And as they watched, upon the mound there came forth two slender shoots; and silence was over all the world in that hour, nor was there any other sound save the chanting of Yavanna. Under her song the saplings grew and became fair and tail, and came to flower; and thus there awoke in the world the Two Trees of Valinor. Of all things which Yavanna made they have most renown, and about their fate all the tales of the Elder Days are woven. The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver, and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadow of his fluttering leaves.
The other bore leaves of a young green like the new-opened beech; their edges were of glittering gold. Flowers swung upon her branches in clusters of yellow flame, formed each to a glowing horn that spilled a golden rain upon the ground; and from the blossom of that tree there came forth warmth and a great light. Telperion the one was called in Valinor, and Silpion, and Ninquelote, and many other names; but Laurelin the other was, and Malinalda, and Culurien, and many names in song beside.
In seven hours the glory of each tree waxed to full and waned again to naught; and each awoke once more to life an hour before the other ceased to shine. Thus in Valinor twice every day there came a gentle hour of softer light when both trees were faint and their gold and silver beams were mingled. Telperion was the elder of the trees and came first to full stature and to bloom; and that first hour in which he shone, the white glimmer of a silver dawn, the Valar reckoned not into the tale of hours, but named it the Opening Hour, and counted from it the ages of their reign in Valinor.
Therefore at the sixth hour of the First Day, and of all the joyful days thereafter, until the Darkening of Valinor, Telperion ceased his time of flower; and at the twelfth hour Laurelin her blossoming. And each day of the Valar in Aman contained twelve hours, and ended with the second mingling of the lights, in which Laurelin was waning but Telperion was waxing.
But the light that was spilled from the trees endured long, ere it was taken up into the airs or sank down into the earth; and the dews of Telperion and the rain that fell from Laurelin Varda hoarded in great vats like shining lakes, that were to all the land of the Valar as wells of water and of light. But as the ages drew on to the hour appointed by lluvatar for the coming of the Firstborn, Middle-earth lay in a twilight beneath the stars that Varda had wrought in the ages forgotten of her labours in Ea.
And in the darkness Melkor dwelt, and still often walked abroad, in many shapes of power and fear, and he wielded cold and fire, from the tops of the mountains to the deep furnaces that are beneath them; and whatsoever was cruel or violent or deadly in those days is laid to his charge. From the beauty and bliss of Valinor the Valar came seldom over the mountains to Middle-earth, but gave to the land beyond the Pelori their care and their love. And in the midst of the Blessed Realm were the mansions of Aule, and there he laboured long.
For in the making of all things in that land he had the chief part, and he wrought there many beautiful and shapely works both openly and in secret. Of him comes the lore and knowledge of the Earth and of an things that it contains: whether the lore of those that make not, but seek only for the understanding of what is, or the lore of an craftsmen: the weaver, the shaper of wood, and the worker in metals; and the tiller and husbandman also, though these last and all that deal with things that grow and bear fruit must look also to the spouse of Aule, Yavanna Kementari.
Aule it is who is named the Friend of the Noldor, for of him they learned much in after days, and they are the most skilled of the Elves; and in their own fashion, according to the gifts which lluvatar gave to them, they added much to his teaching, delighting to tongues and in scripts, and in the figures of broidery, of drawing, and of carving. The Noldor also it was who first achieved the making of gems; and the fairest of an gems were the Silmarils, and they are lost.
But Manwe Sulimo, highest and holiest of the Valar, sat upon the borders of Aman, forsaking not in his thought the Outer Lands. For his throne was set in majesty upon the pinnacle of Taniquetil, the highest of the mountains of the world, standing upon the margin of the sea. Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world.
Thus they brought word to him of well nigh all that passed in Arda; yet some things were hidden even from the eyes of Manwe and the servants of Manwe, for where Melkor sat in his dark thought impenetrable shadows lay. Manwe has no thought for his own honour, and is not jealous of his power, but rules all to peace.
The Vanyar he loved best of all the Elves, and of him they received song and poetry; for poetry is the delight of Manwe, and the song of words is his music. His raiment is blue, and blue is the fire of his eyes, and his sceptre is of sapphire, which the Noldor wrought for him; and he was appointed to be the vicegerent of lluvatar, King of the world of Valar and Elves and Men, and the chief defence against the evil of Melkor. With Manwe dwelt Varda the most beautiful, she who in the Sindarin tongue is named Elbereth, Queen of the Valar, maker of the stars; and with than were a great host of spirits in blessedness.
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But Ulmo was alone, and he abode not in Valinor, nor ever came thither unless there were need for a great council; he dwelt from the beginning of Arda in the Outer Ocean, and still he dwells there. Thence he governs the flowing of all waters, and the ebbing, the courses of an rivers and the replenishment of Springs, the distilling of all dews and rain in every land beneath the sky.
In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echo of that music runs through all the veins of the world in sorrow and in joy; for it joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth. The Teleri learned much of Ulmo, and for this reason their music has both sadness and enchantment. Salmar came with him to Arda, he who made the horns of Ulmo that none may ever forget who once has heard them; and Osse and Uinen also, to whom he gave the government of the waves and the movements of the Inner Seas, and many other spirits beside.
And thus it was by the power of Ulmo that even under the darkness of Melkor life coursed still through many secret lodes, and the Earth did not die; and to all who were lost in that darkness or wandered far from the light of the Valar the ear of Ulmo was ever open; nor has he ever forsaken Middle-earth, and whatsoever may since have befallen of ruin or of change he has not ceased to take thought for it, and will not until the end of days.
And in that time of dark Yavanna also was unwilling utterly to forsake the Outer Lands; for all things teat grow are dear to her, and she mourned for the works that she had begun in Middle-earth but Melkor had marred. Therefore leaving the house of Aule and the flowering meads of Valinor she would come at times and heal the hurts of Melkor; and returning she would ever urge the Valar to that war with his evil dominion that they must surely wage ere the coming of die Firstborn.
And Orome tamer of beasts would ride too at whiles in the darkness of the unlit forests; as a mighty hunter he came with spear and bow, pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor, and his white horse Nahar shone like silver in the shadows. Then the sleeping earth trembled at the beat of his golden hooves, and in the twilight of the world Orome would sound the Valaroma his great horn upon the plains of Arda; whereat the mountains echoed, and the shadows of evil fled away, and Melkor himself quailed in Utumno, foreboding the wrath to come. But even as Orome passed the servants of Melkor would gather again; and the lands were filled with shadows and deceit.
Now all is said concerning the manner of the Earth and its rulers in the beginning of days, and ere the world became such as the Children of lluvatar have known it. For Elves and Men are the Children of lluvatar; and since they understood not fully that theme by which the Children entered into the Music, none of the Ainur dared to add anything to their fashion. For which reason the Valar are to these kindreds rather their elders and their chieftains than their masters; and if ever in their dealings with Elves and Men the Ainur have endeavoured to force them when they would not be guided, seldom has this turned to good, howsoever good the intent.
The dealings of the Ainur have indeed been mostly with the Elves, for lluvatar made them more like in nature to the Ainur, though less in might and stature; whereas to Men he gave strange gifts. For it is said that after the departure of the Valar there was silence, and for an age lluvatar sat alone in thought. Then he spoke and said: 'Behold I love the Earth, which shall be a mansion for the Quendi and the Atani! But the Quendi shall be the fairest of all earthly creatures, and they shall have and shall conceive and bring forth more beauty than all my Children; and they shall have the greater bliss in this world.
But to the Atani I will give a new gift. But liuvatar knew that Men, being set amid the turmoils of the powers of the world, would stray often, and would not use their gifts in harmony; and he said: "These too in their time shall find that all that they do redounds at the end only to the glory of my work.
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It is one with this gift of freedom that the children of Men dwell only a short space in the world alive, and are not bound to it, and depart soon whither the Elves know not. Whereas the Elves remain until the end of days, and their love of the Earth and all the world is more single and more poignant therefore, and as the years lengthen ever more sorrowful. For the Elves die not till tile world dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief and to both these seeming deaths they are subject ; neither does age subdue their strength, unless one grow weary often thousand centuries; and dying they are gathered to the halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence they may in time return.
But the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers. Death is their fate, the gift of liuvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy. But Melkor has cast his shadow upon it, and confounded it with darkness, and brought forth evil out of good, and fear out of hope.
Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas liuvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it. Chapter 2 Of Aule and Yavanna It is told that in their beginning the Dwarves were made by Aule in the darkness of Middle-earth; for so greatly did Aule desire the coming of the Children, to have learners to whom he could teach his lore and his crafts, that he was unwilling to await the fulfilment of the designs of lluvatar. And Aule made the Dwarves even as they still are, because the forms of the Children who were to come were unclear to his mind, and because the power of Melkor was yet over the Earth; and he wished therefore that they should be strong and unyielding.
But fearing that the other Valar might blame his work, he wrought in secret: and he made first the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in a hall under the mountains in Middle-earth. Now lluvatar knew what was done, and in the very hour that Aule's work was complete, and he was pleased, and began to instruct the Dwarves in the speech that he had devised for them, lluvatar spoke to him; and Aule heard his voice and was silent. And the voice of lluvatar said to him: 'Why hast thou done this?
Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority? For thou hast from me as a gift thy own bring only, and no more; and therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them, and if thy thought be elsewhere, standing idle. Is that thy desire? I desired things other than I am, to love and to teach them, so that they too might perceive the beauty of Ea, which thou hast caused to be.
For it seemed to me that there is great room in Arda for many things that might rejoice in it, yet it is for the most part empty still, and dumb. And in my impatience I have fallen into folly. Yet the making of thing is in my heart from my own making by thee; and the child of little understanding that makes a play of the deeds of his father may do so without thought of mockery, but because he is the son of his father.
But what shall I do now, so that thou be not angry with me for ever? As a child to his father, I offer to thee these things, the work of the hands which thou hast made. Do with them what thou wilt. But should I not rather destroy the work of my presumption? But lluvatar had compassion upon Aule and his desire, because of his humility; and the Dwarves shrank from the hammer and wore afraid, and they bowed down their heads and begged for mercy.
And the voice of lluvatar said to Aule: 'Thy offer I accepted even as it was made. Dost thou not see that these things have now a life of their own, and speak with their own voices? Else they would not have flinched from thy blow, nor from any command of thy will. But I will not suffer this: that these should come before the Firstborn of my design, nor that thy impatience should be rewarded. They shall sleep now in the darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth; and until that time thou and they shall wait, though long it seem.
But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice. Since they were to come in the days of the power of Melkor, Aule made the Dwarves strong to endure. Therefore they are stone-hard, stubborn, fast in friendship and in enmity, and they suffer toil and hanger and hurt of body more hardily than all other speaking peoples; and they live long, far beyond the span of Men, yet not for ever. Aforetime it was held among the Elves in Middle-earth that dying the Dwarves returned to the earth and the stone of which they were made; yet that is not their own belief.
For they say that Aule the Maker, whom they call Mahal, cares for them, and gathers them to Mandos in halls set apart; and that he declared to their Fathers of old that lluvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End. Then their part shall be to serve Aule and to aid him in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle. They say also that the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves return to live again in their own kin and to bear once more their ancient names: of whom Durin was the most renowned in after ages, father of that kindred most friendly to the Elves, whose mansions were at Khazad-dum.
Now when Aule laboured in the making of the Dwarves he kept this work hidden from the other Valar; but at last he opened his mind to Yavanna and told her of all that had come to pass. Then Yavanna said to him: 'Em is merciful. Now I see that thy heart rejoiceth, as indeed it may; for thou hast received not only forgiveness but bounty. Yet because thou hiddest this thought from me until its achievement, thy children will have little love for the things of my love.
They will love first the things made by their own hands, as doth their father. They will delve in the earth, and the things that grow and live upon the earth they will not heed. Many a tree shall feel the bite of their iron without pity. And though the things of thy realm have worth in themselves, and would have worth if no Children were to come, yet Eru will give them dominion, and they shall use all that they find in Arda: though not, by the purpose of Eru, without respect or without gratitude. And she was not appeased, but grieved in heart, fearing what might be done upon Middle-earth in days to come.
Therefore she went before Manwe, and she did not betray the counsel of Aule, but she said: 'King of Arda, is it true, as Aule hath said to me, that the Children when they come shall have dominion over all the things of my labour, to do as they will therewith? And she answered: 'Because my heart is anxious, thinking of the days to come. All my works are dear to me. Is it not enough that Melkor should have marred so many?
Shall nothing that I have devised be free from the dominion of others? But the kelvar can flee or defend themselves, whereas the olvar that grow cannot. And among these I hold trees dear. Long in the growing, swift shall they be in the felling, and unless they pay toll with fruit upon bough little mourned in their passing. So I see in my thought.
Would that the trees might speak on behalf of all things that have roots, and punish those that wrong them! Then it seemed to Manwe that the Song rose once more about him, and he heeded now many things therein that though he had heard them he had not heeded before. And at last the Vision was renewed, but it was not now remote, for he was himself within it, and yet he saw that all was upheld by the hand of lluvatar; and the hand entered in, and from it came forth many wonders that had until then been hidden from him in the hearts of the Ainur. Then Manwe awoke, and he went down to Yavanna upon Ezellohar, and he sat beside her beneath the Two Trees.
And Manwe said: 'O Kementari, Eru hath spoken, saying: "Do then any of the Valar suppose that I did not hear all the Song, even the least sound of the least voice? When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence, and their just anger shall be feared.
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For a time: while the Firstborn are in their power, and while the Secondborn are young. Did not thy thought and mine meet also, so that we took wing together like great birds that soar above the clouds? That also shall come to be by the heed of lluvatar, and before the Children awake there shall go forth with wings like the wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West. In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us.
But in the forests shall walk the Shepherds of the Trees. For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril. The Mountains of Aman, but all Middle- earth lay in a twilight under the stars. While the Lamps had shone, growth began there which now was checked, because all was again dark. But already the oldest living things had arisen: in the seas the great weeds, and on earth the shadow of great trees; and in the valleys of the night-clad hills there were dark creatures old and strong.
To those lands and forests the Valar seldom came, save only Yavanna and Orome; and Yavanna would walk there in the shadows, grieving because the growth and promise of the Spring of Arda was stayed. And she set a sleep upon many things that had arisen in the Spring, so that they should not age, but should wait for a time of awakening that yet should be.
But in the north Melkor built his strength, and he slept not, but watched, and laboured; and the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread. And in Utumno he gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame.
Balrogs they were named in Middle-earth in later days. And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world; and his realm spread now ever southward over Middle-earth. And Melkor made also a fortress and armoury not far from the north-western shores of the sea, to resist any assault that might come from Aman. That stronghold was commanded by Sauron, lieutenant of Melkor; and it was named Angband. It came to pass that the Valar held council, for they became troubled by the tidings that Yavanna and Orome brought from the Outer Lands; and Yavanna spoke before the Valar, saying: 'Ye mighty of Arda, the Vision of lluvatar was brief and soon taken away, so that maybe we cannot guess within a narrow count of days the hour appointed.
Yet be sure of this: the hour approaches, and within this age our hope shall be revealed, and the Children shall awake. Shall we then leave the lands of their dwelling desolate and full of evil? Shall they walk in darkness while we have light? Shall they call Melkor lord while Manwe sits upon Taniquetil? Let us make war swiftly! Have we not rested from strife overlong, and is not our strength now renewed? Shall one alone contest with us for ever? Moreover it is doom that the Firstborn shall come in the darkness, and shall look first upon the stars. Great light shall be for their waning.
To Varda ever shall they call at need. Then she began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda. She took the silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the Firstborn; wherefore she whose name out of the deeps of time and the labours of Ea was Tintalle, the Kindler, was called after by the Elves Elentari, Queen of the Stars.
Carnil and Luinil, Nenarand Lumbar, Alcarinque and Elemmire she wrought in that time, and many other of the ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the heavens of Arda: Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronume, and Anarhma; and Menelmacar with his shining belt, that forebodes the Last Battle that shall be at the end of days.
And high in the north as a challenge to Melkor she set the crown of seven mighty stars to swing, Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar and sign of doom. It is told that even as Varda ended her labours, and they were long, when first Menelmacar strode up the sky and the blue fire of Helluin flickered in the mists above the borders of the world, in that hour the Children of the Earth awoke, the Firstborn of lluvatar.
By the starlit mere of Cuivienen, Water of Awakening, they rose from the sleep of lluvatar; and while they dwelt yet silent by Cuivienen their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of heaven. Therefore they have ever loved the starlight, and have revered Varda Elentari above all the Valar. In the changes of the world the shapes of lands and of seas have been broken and remade; rivers have not kept their courses, neither have mountains remained steadfast; and to Cuivienen there is no returning.
But it is said among the Elves that it lay far off in the east of Middle-earth, and northward, and it was a bay in the Inland Sea of Helcar; and that sea stood where aforetime the roots of the mountain of llluin had been before Melkor overthrew it Many waters flowed down thither from heights in the east, and the first sound that was heard by the Elves was the sound of water flowing, and the sound of water falling over stone. Long they dwelt in their first home by the water under stars, and they walked the Earth in wonder; and they began to make speech and to give names to all things that they perceived.
Themselves they named the Quendi, signifying those that speak with voices; for as yet they had met no other living things that spoke or sang. And on a time it chanced that Orome rode eastward in his hunting, and he turned north by the shores of Helcar and passed under the shadows of the Orocarni, the Mountains of the East.
Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Orome wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing. Thus it was that the Valar found at last, as it were by chance, those whom they had so long awaited. And Orome looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder, as though they were beings sudden and marvellous and unforeseen; for so it shall ever be with the Valar.
From without the World, though all things may be forethought in music or foreshown in vision from afar, to those who enter verily into Ea each in its time shall be met at unawares as something new and unforetold. In the beginning the Elder Children of lluvatar were stronger and greater than they have since become; but not more fair, for though the beauty of the Quendi in the days of their youth was beyond all other beauty that lluvatar has caused to be, it has not perished, but lives in the West, and sorrow and wisdom have enriched it.
And Orome loved the Quendi, and named them in their own tongue Eldar, the people of the stars; but that name was after borne only by those who followed him upon the westward road. Yet many of the Quendi were filled with dread at his coming; and this was the doing of Melkor. For by after- knowledge the wise declare that Melkor, ever watchful, was first aware of the awakening of the Quendi, and sent shadows and evil spirits to spy upon them and waylay them.
So it came to pass, some years ere the coming of Orome, that if any of the Elves strayed far abroad, alone or few together, they would often vanish, and never return; and the Quendi said that the Hunter had caught them, and they were afraid. And indeed the most ancient songs of the Elves, of which echoes are remembered still in the West, tell of the shadow-shapes that walked in the hills above Cuivienen, or would pass suddenly over the stars; and of the dark Rider upon his wild horse that pursued those that wandered to take them and devour them.
Now Melkor greatly hated and feared the riding of Orome, and either he sent indeed his dark servants as riders, or he set lying whispers abroad, for the purpose that the Quendi should shun Orome, if ever they should meet. Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Orome indeed came among them, some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But those that had courage, and stayed, perceived swiftly that the Great Rider was no shape out of darkness; for the light of Aman was in his face, and all the noblest of the Elves were drawn towards it.
But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Ores in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes.
For the Ores had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of lluvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise. And deep in their dark hearts the Ores loathed the Master whom they served in fear, the maker only of their misery. This it may be was the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful to lluvatar.
Orome tarried a while among the Quendi, and then swiftly he rode back over land and sea to Valinor and brought the tidings to Valmar; and he spoke of the shadows that troubled Cuivienen. Then the Valar rejoiced, and yet they were in doubt amid their joy; and they debated long what counsel it were best to take for the guarding of the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor. But Orome returned at once to Middle-earth and abode with the Elves. Manwe sat long in thought upon Taniquetil, and he sought the counsel of lluvatar.
Then Manwe said to the Valar: This is the counsel of lluvatar in my heart: that we should take up again the mastery of Arda, at whatsoever cost, and deliver the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor. But the Valar made ready and came forth from Aman in strength of war, resolving to assault the fortresses of Melkor and make an end. Never did Melkor forget that this war was made for the sake of the Elves, and that they were the cause of his downfall. Yet they had no part in those deeds, and they know little of the riding of the might of the West against the North in the beginning of their days.
Melkor met the onset of the Valar in the North-west of Middle-earth, and all that region was much broken.
See a Problem?
But the first victory of the hosts of the West was swift, and the servants of Melkor fled before them to Utumno. Then the Valar passed over Middle-earth, and they set a guard over Cuivienen; and thereafter the Quendi knew nothing of the great Battle of the Powers, save that the Earth shook and groaned beneath them, and the waters were moved, and in the north there were lights as of mighty fires. Long and grievous was the siege of Utumno, and many battles were fought before its gates of which naught but the rumour is known to the Elves.
In that time the shape of Middle-earth was changed, and the Great Sea that sundered it from Aman grew wide and deep; and it broke in upon the coasts and made a deep gulf to the southward. Many lesser bays were made between the Great Gulf and Helcaraxe far in the north, where Middle-earth and Aman came nigh together. Of these the Bay of Balar was the chief; and into it the mighty river Sirion flowed down from the new-raised highlands northwards: Dorthonion, and the mountains about Hithlum. The lands of the far north were all made desolate in those days; for there Utumno was delved exceeding deep, and its pits were filled with fires and with great hosts of the servants of Melkor.
But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aule had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age. Nonetheless the Valar did not discover all the mighty vaults and caverns hidden with deceit far under the fortresses of Angband and Utumno.
Many evil things still lingered there, and others were dispersed and fled into the dark and roamed in the waste places of the world, awaiting a more evil hour; and Sauron they did not find. But when the Battle was ended and from the ruin of the North great clouds arose and hid the stars, the Valar drew Melkor back to Valinor, bound hand and foot, and blindfold; and he was brought to the Ring of Doom. There he lay upon his face before the feet of Manwe and sued for pardon; but his prayer was denied, and he was cast into prison in the fastness of Mandos, whence none can escape, neither Vala, nor Elf, nor mortal Man.
Vast and strong are those halls, and they were built in the west of the land of Aman. There was Melkor doomed to abide for three ages long, before his cause should be tried anew, or he should plead again for pardon. Then again the Valar were gathered in council, and they were divided in debate. For some, and of those Ulmo was the chief, held that the Quendi should be left free to walk as they would in Middle-earth, and with their gifts of skill to order all the lands and heal their hurts.
But the most part feared for the Quendi in the dangerous world amid the deceits of the starlit dusk; and they were filled moreover with the love of the beauty of the Elves and desired their fellowship. At the last, therefore, the Valar summoned the Quendi to Valinor, there to be gathered at the knees of the Powers in the light of the Trees for ever; and Mandos broke his silence, saying: 'So it is doomed.
But the Elves were at first unwilling to hearken to the summons, for they had as yet seen the Valar only in their wrath as they went to war, save Orome alone; and they were filled with dread. Therefore Orome was sent again to them, and he chose from among them ambassadors who should go to Valinor and speak for their people; and these were Ingwe, Finwe and Elwe, who afterwards were kings.
And coming they were filled with awe by the glory and majesty of the Valar, and desired greatly the light and splendour of the Trees. Then Orome brought them back to Cuivienen, and they spoke before their people, and counselled them to heed the summons of the Valar and remove into the West Then befell the first sundering of the Elves. For the kindred of Ingwe, and the most part of the kindreds of Finwe and Elwe, were swayed by the words of their lords, and were willing to depart and follow Orome; and these were known ever after as the Eldar, by the name that Orome gave to the Elves in the beginning, in their own tongue.
But many refused the summons, preferring the starlight and the wide spaces of Middle-earth to the rumour of the Trees; and these are the Avari, the Unwilling, and they were sundered in that time from the Eldar, and met never again until many ages were past. The Eldar prepared now a great march from their first homes in the east; and they were arrayed in three hosts.
The smallest host and the first to set forth was led by Ingwe, the most high lord of all the Elvish race. He entered into Valinor and sits at the feet of the Powers, and all Elves revere his name; but he came never back, nor looked again upon Middle-earth. The Vanyar were his people; they are the Fair Elves, the beloved of Manwe and Varda, and few among Men have spoken with them. Next came the Noldor, a name of wisdom, the people of Finwe. They are the Deep Elves, the friends of Aule; and they are renowned in song, for they fought and laboured long and grievously in the northern lands of old.
The greatest host came last, and they are named the Teleri, for they tarried on the road, and were not wholly of a mind to pass from the dusk to the light of Valinor. In water they had great delight, and those that came at last to the western shores were enamoured of the sea. The Sea-elves therefore they became in the land of Aman, the Falmari, for they made music beside the breaking waves. Two lords they had, for their numbers were great: Elwe Singollo which signifies Greymantle and Olwe his brother.
These were the three kindreds of the Eldalie, who passing at length into the uttermost West in the days of the Trees are called the Calaquendi, Elves of the Light. But others of the Eldar there were who set out indeed upon the westward march, but became lost upon the long road, or turned aside, or lingered on the shores of Middle-earth; and these were for the most part of the kindred of the Teleri, as is told hereafter.
They dwelt by the sea or wandered in the woods and mountains of the world, yet their hearts were turned towards the West. Those Elves the Calaquendi call the Umanyar, since they came never to the land of Aman and the Blessed Realm; but the Umanyar and the Avari alike they call the Moriquendi, Elves of the Darkness, for they never beheld the Light that was before the Sun and Moon. It is told that when the hosts of the Eldalie departed from Cuivienen Orome rode at their head upon Nahar, his white horse shod with gold; and passing northward about the Sea of Helcar they turned towards the west.
Before them great clouds hung still black in the North above the ruins of war, and the stars in that region were hidden. Then not a few grew afraid and repented, and turned back, and are forgotten. Long and slow was the march of the Eldar into the west, for the leagues of Middle-earth were uncounted, and weary and pathless. Nor did the Eldar desire to hasten, for they were filled with wonder at all that they saw, and by many lands and rivers they wished to abide; and though all were yet willing to wander, many feared rather their journey's end than hoped for it Therefore whenever Orome departed, having at times other matters to heed, they halted and went forward no more, until he returned to guide them.
And it came to pass after many years of journeying in this manner that the Eldar took their course through a forest, and they came to a great river, wider than any they had yet seen; and beyond it were mountains whose sharp horns seemed to pierce the realm of the stars. This river, it is said, was even the river which was after called Anduin the Great, and was ever the frontier of the west-lands of Middle-earth.
But the mountains were the Hithaeglir, the Towers of Mist upon the borders of Eriador; yet they were taller and more terrible in those days, and were reared by Melkorto hinder the riding of Orome. Now the Teleri abode long on the east bank of that river and wished to remain there, but the Vanyar and me Noldor passed over it, and Orome led them into the passes of the mountains. And when Orome was gone forward the Teleri looked upon the shadowy heights and were afraid. Then one arose in the host of Olwe, which was ever the hindmost on the road; Lenwe he was called.
He forsook the westward march, and led away a numerous people, southwards down the great river, and they passed out of the knowledge of their kin until long years were past. Those were the Nandor; and they became a people apart, unlike their kin, save that they loved water, and dwelt most beside falls and running streams.
Greater knowledge they had of living things, tree and herb, bird and beast, than all other Elves. In after years Denethor, son of Lenwe, turned again west at last, and led a part of that people over the mountains into Beleriand ere the rising of the Moon. At length the Vanyar and the Noldor came over Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains, between Eriador and the westernmost land of Middle-earth, which the Elves after named Beleriand; and the foremost companies passed over the Vale of Sirion and came down to the shores of the Great Sea between Drengist and the Bay of Balar. But when they beheld it great fear came upon them, and many withdrew into the woods and highlands of Beleriand.
Then Orome departed, and returned to Valinor to seek the counsel of Manwe, and left them. And the host of the Teleri passed over the Misty Mountains, and crossed the wide lands of Eriador, being urged on by Elwe Singollo, for he was eager to return to Valinor and the Light that he had beheld; and he wished not to be sundered from the Noldor, for he had great friendship with Finwe their lord. But it includes the creation of Tolkien's invented pantheons of angelic beings under Eru Iluvatar, also known as God; how they sang the world into being; the creation of Elves, Men, and Dwarves; the legendary love story of Beren and Luthien, a mortal Man and an Elf maiden who gives up her immortality for the man she loves; the demonic Morgoth and Sauron; Elves of just about any kind - bad, mad, dangerous, good, sweet, brave, and so forth; the creation of the many Rings of Power - and the One Ring of Sauron; the Two Trees that made the sun and moon; and finally the quest of the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins.
Many old favorites will pop up over the course of the book, such as Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, and so on. Fans of Elves will find plenty to feed their hunger; fans of Hobbits or Dwarves will not find as much here. It will also answer some questions that "Hobbit" and LOTR may raise, when references to long-ago incidents and people are made - what is Numenor? Who are the Valar? This includes those things, and much more. Needless to say, this is necessary as a more in-depth approach would have taken centuries to write, let alone perfect.
If readers can bypass the automatic dislike of more formal prose, they will find enchanting stories and a less evocative but very intriguing writing style. This style strongly leans on the Eddas, collections of story and song that were unearthed and translated long ago. Though obviously not as well-known as LOTR, it is clear that these collections helped influence the Silmarillion. It's clear to see, while reading this, the extent of Tolkien's passion for his invented history.
Someone who had a lack of enthusiasm could not have spent much of his adult life writing, revising, and polishing a history that never was. It's also almost frighteningly imaginative and real: It isn't too hard to imagine that these things could actually have happened. In a genre clogged with shallow sword'n'sorcery, Tolkien's coherent, carefully-written backstory is truly unique. If you can take the formal prose and mythical style, this is a treasure, and a must-read for anyone who loved LOTR or "Hobbit. This is NOT an easy read, and can seem a bit like a list of names or the old testament at times.
You have to study this book - work at it, with the Return of the King's appendix and this books appendix at hand to constantly be refered to. It took me several attempts to get through it the first time, but now I honestly enjoy dusting this off at least as much as the lord of the rings.
It's now impossible for me to read one without the other. And the more you read it the more I like it, the more I understand it the less I understand how one author was able to create it. The sense of history, depth and grandeur that's apparent in the lord of the rings is so MUCH more convincing than any other fantasy novel for a reason. That history has been written. It's real if you follow me! Tolkien created a series of languages, a world, all of its history, all of it's peoples, all of its geography, its gods, its conception, its weather, its plants, its trees, its animals, its seasons, its calendars etc etc.
He created everything. The lord of the rings is not just a little fantasy story flung against some backdrop reminescent of medieval europe. Sadly most "epic fantasy" stories are just that. However, the lord of the rings is really just a side track, and one that tolkien was loathe to take himself. As a story it's epic enough.