HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Lamps of the Valar

Type: Miscellaneous

Other Names:
Lamps of the North and South
Illuin (the northern Lamp)
Ormal (the southern Lamp)

Description:

Two great lamps made by the Valar to illuminate Middle-earth in its early years, until they were destroyed by Melkor.
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, Aulë 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 Manwë 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 Illuin; 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... nowhere more rich than in the midmost parts of the Earth, where the light of both the Lamps met and blended.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days

But Melkor... assailed the lights of Illuin 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.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days

Through long ages... 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.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 3, Of The Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

"Behold," said Manwë, "this is now the third essay of the Gods to bring light into dark places, and both the Lamps of the North and South, and the Trees of the plain, Melko hath brought to ruin. Now in the air only hath Melko no power for ill....

The Book of Lost Tales 1, HoME Vol 1, Ch 8, The Tale of the Sun and the Moon

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 19Nov05, 22Oct07

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