HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

The Two Trees

Type: Plants

Other Names: Telperion was also called "Silpion, and Ninquelótë, and many other names" (including The White Tree and Eldest of Trees).
Laurelin was also called "Malinalda, and Culúrien, and many names in song beside."

Description:Telperion "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."

Laurelin "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."

Their creation:
As the Valar watched "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."

Their cycle:
"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. Thus began the Days of the Bliss of Valinor; and thus began also the Count of Time."

All the above quotes from The Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of the Beginning of Days

The Two Trees were destroyed by Melkor and Ungoliant.

The Silmarils "Fëanor made of the blended light of the Trees of Valinor, which lives in them yet, though the Trees have long withered and shine no more."

The Silmarillion, Ch 7 Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

After a last effort by "Yavanna and Nienna to put forth all their powers of growth and healing ... Telperion bore at last upon a leafless bough one great flower of silver, and Laurelin a single fruit of gold."

The radiance of these was preserved as the Sun and the Moon.

The Silmarillion, Ch 11, Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor

Contributors: Lyllyn 2.1.04; added "White Tree": Elena TIriel 28May04; added "Eldest": ET 29Jul04; added link: ET 17Nov04

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