This chapter mainly deals with the characterising the Valar and how they built their dwellings and shaped Valinor. It also touches upon some tasks of the Valar. Some key elments in the chapter regards brining light to the world by he use of two Lamps and later the Trees of Light.
Eriol asks Rúmil to be told more about the early history of the world. Rúmil suggests that Eriold should have breakfast and later in the day.By evening, Rúmil continue to tell Eriol and others gathered about the Valar and Valinor. An account of the Valar is presented and he also tells that Manwë hold a council concerning Melko, whom Mandos and Tulkas brought before Manwë. Malko told them he meant no harm and counseled the Valar that eaach should find places to live among things they loved. When the Valar searched the lands for places for their dwellings, they needed light and fashioned two lampposts, Ringil and Helkar placed in the north and south. Aulë fashioned the lamps filled with light gathered by Varda and Manwë and Melko built the pillars which he said would be lasting. However, they were made of ice and they melted and turned into lakes and pools of blazing water. It got oBnce darker, but they could not collect more light from the heaven to fashion a new lamp. Through the combined powers of the Valar new sources of light was fashioned. Ulmo gathered the water in cauldrons fashioned by Aüle and two pits where dug in the midmost vale. Two trees grew there, one of pale gold called Laurelin and one white, called Silpion. The trees shone and provided light and now the Valar could build their homes. Of this, Rúmil gave account and finished the tale. Lindo rose and the tale-telling was finished for the evening.
The Valar and their dwellings
- Manwë Sulimo – Ruler of Air and Wings. Husband of Varda. Dwells in Valinor at the peak Taniquetil.
- Varda – Queen of the stars. Wife of Manwë. Dwells in Valinor at the peak Taniquetil.
- Ulmo – Ruler of Water. Dwells in in the Outer Ocean (Vai) in this hall Ulmonan. Only visited Valinor as a gues of Manwë.
- Falman Ossë – Vassal of Ulmo. Husband of Ónen. Dweels in the ocean and also in a great house in Valmar.
- Ónen – Vassal of Ulmo. Wife of Ossë.
- Aulë – Power over all crafting. Husband of Palúrien. Dwells in a big courthouse by Valmar.
- Yavanna Palúrien – Kémi. Wife of Aulë. Queen over the richness and fruits of the earth.
- Oromë – Hunter, Aldaron king of forests. Son of Aulë and Palúrien. Husband of Vána. Dwells in Valmar. Spends a lot of time in his vast domain, the forests of Valinor.
- Vána Tuivána – Tári-Laisi, mistress of life. Called Vána the fair, happiest of all beings. Wife of Oromë.
- Tulkas Poldórëa – Most youthful, loves games, competitions and feasts. Husband of Nessa. Dwelt in Valmar.
- Nessa – Loves dance. Wife of Tulkas. Dwelt in Valmar but retired often to a place of fair lawns.
- Lórien Olofántur- Fantur of Dreams. Dwells in Murmuran upon the Shadowy Seas, in the south by the feet of the mountains of Valinor.
- Melko – Ruler of fire and extreme cold. Dwells in Utumna in the north.
- Vefántur Mandos – Fantur of Death. Husband of Nienna. Dwells in underground cavern halls with Nienna. He sat in the hall Vê known as Mandos.
- Fui Nienna – Qalmë-Tari, the mistress of Death. Wife of Mandos. Sat in the hall Fui.
- Salmar – Known as Noldorin, came with Ulmo. Haugthy, silent and aloof. Plays instruments. Dwelt in Valmar.
- Ómar-Amillo – Sang to Noldorin’s music. Brother of Salmar-Noldorin.
- Makar – God of war and weapons, sympathises with Melko. Brother of Meásse. Dwells with Meásse not far from Mandos in a hall upon the confines of the Outer Lands.
- Meássë – God of war and weapons, sympathises with Melko. Sister of Makar.
Features to note
- The Lamps – Ringil in the north and Helkar in the south.
- The Cauldrons – Kulullin and Silindrin. From which contents the Trees of light grew.
- The Trees of Light – Laurelin (also called Lindeloksë), a pale gold tree, and Silpion, a white tree.
Geography and Locations to note
- Valmar – The city/town of the Valar in Valinor.
- Outer Lands – The Twilit Islands, Eruman/Arvalin and Valinor in this chapter, that is the lands west of the Great Lands/Middle Earth.
- Eruman/Arvalin – The peak Taniquetil was fashioned by rocks and stones from Arvalin, creating a broad and leveled waste region, Eruman.
- The Three Airs – Vaitya, Ilwë and Vilna.
- Sorontur King of Eagles – Often visited Manwë at Taniquetil.
- Sprites of the trees and woods – fays, pixies, leprawns etc. In existence before the world.
- Mánir and Súruli – Vali and sylphs of the airs and of the winds. Attuned their music to Manwës.
I will not make this commentary long. First I just want to note that there are some differences between The Book of Lost Tales and The Silmarillion. The divisions and relations of the Valar are a bit different. Here all Ainur are considered Valar, rather than in The Silmarillion, where the lesser of the Ainur who came to the world are called “Maiar”. A few of the Valar listed here are not even present in The Silmarillion (Makar, Meássë and Ómar-Amillo).
One of the most interesting themes touched upon in this chapter is the fate of dead Elves and Men.
Elves – If they die they wait i the Halls of Mandos until the decision of Mandos that they will be reborn in their children.
Men – The fate of men varies, here are the possibilities:
- Some will dwell in Fui Nienna’s hall, Fui.
- Most boards a black ship called Mornië which ferries then down the coast past Arvalin to wander in dusk until the end of the world.
- Some are seized by Melko to endure evil days in Angamandi.
- A few get to dwell among the gods in Valinor.
Personally, for me it have been difficult to visualize the geography. Though there are very roughly sketched maps in the commentary, I think it is a good idea to cross-reference those with maps that you easily can find online of the Undying Lands, some placenames and locations are different but will be sufficient to provide and overall view.
Have you read this chapter? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part and if you have anything to add!