11th of December 2017
In yesterday’s episode I described how The Dark Lord treacherously attacked Valinor and destroyed the Two Trees, which caused a great Darkness to fall upon the world.
When The Valar understood that The Trees can’t be saved, Yavanna sang a song over them. The final silver flower grew on Telperion’s branch, and the golden Laurelin gave the last fruit. Manwe blessed the fruit and the flower, and then passed to Aule, who made two vessels from them. Varda placed them in the sky, among the stars, and set the celestial paths they were to tread. The silver flower was called Isil, which means The Moon, and the golden fruit became Anar, The Sun. Two Maiar were chosen to steer and protect them, Tilion and Arien. Tilion assoicated with Oromë, the huntsman and Lord of the Woods, while Arien was a fire spirit, akin to Balrogs, the fire demons which decided to serve Morgoth.
But Tilion was wayward and uncertain in speed, and held not to his appointed path; and he sought to come near to Arien, being drawn by her splendour, though the flame of Anar scorched him, and the island of the Moon was darkened.
This description reminds me of a certain well-known legend from A Game of Thrones.
[A trader from Qarth] told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi,” the Lysene girl said. “Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return.”
* In mythology, the Sun is usually assoicated with a male character, and the moon with female, but in Tolkien’s Legendarium this is reversed, just like in The Norse Mythology, where the sun goddess is Sol (Sunna), and Mani is the lunar god.
** In one of the older versions of The Silmarillion, it is mentioned that Morgoth wanted to marry Arien by force, but when he ascended high to touch her, he was burned and cast down. It seems that this was a mythicised description of The Morningstar, Venus, which rises shortly before dawn and in many cultures is considered a ‘pretentend’, a ‘usurper’ of The Sun’s place. Morgoth is a fallen Morningstar character (lucifer in Latin). To learn more about The Morningstar/Evenstar, and myths and symblism connnected to it, see LML’s essay.
Still therefore, after the Long Night, the light of Valinor was greater and fairer than upon Middle-earth; for the Sun rested there, and the lights of heaven drew nearer to Earth in that region. But neither the Sun nor the Moon can recall the light that was of old, that came from the Trees before they were touched by the poison of Ungoliant That light lives now in the Silmarils alone.