Henneth Annun Reseach Center

Things of Middle-earth


Type: Miscellaneous

Other Names: Nielluin 'Blue Bee' 'the Bee of Azure'

Description:Helluin is the Middle-Earth equivalent of our star, Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and is part of the constellation of Canis Major which is a companion constellation to Orion. Canis Major means ‘the great dog’ and Sirius is called ‘the dog star.’ Sirius can be found below and to the left of Orion. The name Sirius means ‘scorching.’

“It is said here that while some of the stars were guided by the Manir and the Suruli 'on mazy courses', others, including Morwinyon and Nielluin, 'abode where they hung and moved not'. Is the explanation of this that in the ancient myths of the Elves there was a time when the regular apparent movement of all the heavenly bodies from East to West had not yet begun? This movement is nowhere explained mythically in my father's cosmology.

Nielluin ('Blue Bee') is Sirius (in The Silmarillion called Helluin), and this star had a place in the legend of Telimektar son of Tulkas, though the story of his conversion into the constellation of Orion was never clearly told (cf. Telumehtar 'Orion' in The Lord of the Rings Appendix E, I). Nielluin was Inwe's son Ingil, who followed Telimektar 'in the likeness of a great bee bearing honey of flame' (see the Appendix on Names under Ingil and Telimektar).”

Commentary on the Tale of the Sun and the Moon, The Book of Lost Tales, Vol. 1

“Nielluin This name of the star Sirius is translated in the text (p. 203) as 'the Bee of Azure' (see Ingil). The first element is from the root NEHE, whence nekte 'honey',nier (< neier < nexier) 'honey-bee', nierwes 'hive'.The name of Sirius is given in QL as Niellune or Nier-ninwa; both ninwa and lune are Qenya words meaning 'blue'. In Gnomish the name of the star is Niothluimi, = Qenya Nielluin: nio, nios 'bee' and many related words, luim 'blue'.”

Appendix, Names in the lost Tales – Part I, The Book of Lost Tales, Vol. 1

“Not least did they love Morwinyon of the west, whose name meaneth the glint at dusk, and of his setting in the heavens much has been told; and of Nielluin too, who is the Bee of Azure, Nielluin whom still may all men see in autumn or in winter burning nigh the foot of Telimektar son of Tulkas whose tale is yet to tell.”

The Tale of the Sun and Moon, The Book of Lost Tales, Vol. 1

“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 Ilúvatar. By the starlit mere of Cuiviénen, Water of Awakening, they rose from the sleep of Ilúvatar; and while they dwelt yet silent by Cuiviénen their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of heaven. Therefore they have ever loved the starlight, and have revered Varda Elentári above all the Valar.”

Chapter Six, Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor, The Silmarillion

Contributors: Still Anonymous, 05/09/04

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