The Tale of When Time Began
(Summary of The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion: 1 - Of the Beginning of Days)
Ah, you have returned to hear more, I see! Very well :) Last
time, I told you about the creation of Arda and about the Valar and their work.
Today, I will start with telling you about the Maiar - and then about the
beginning of time, as we know it.
For you see, the Valar were not alone
in the beginning. Ilúvatar sent down a great number of spirits to help the Valar
in the work with shaping the world. Those spirits are called Maiar and they are
servant of the Valar. Mightiest of the Maiar are Eönwë, the Herald of Manwë, the
Wind Lord and Ilmarë, the handmaid of Varda.
If you have ever visited
the Grey Havens, you will know the name of Ossë - maybe quenched your thirst
from the mighty well, which is found in Harlond, named in honor of him. He is
the servant of Ulmo the Ocean Lord together with his spouse, Uinen - the Lady of
the Seas and Calm. You might also know the story about Melian, who was the
servant Maiar of both Vána and Estë, but who later came to Middle-Earth and
married one of the Firstborn. But we will return to that story some other day.
About Melkor I can tell that he enchanted many Maiar to come to him and
serve him instead of the other Valar. He managed to corrupt many and draw them
to him with lies and gifts of treachery. The perhaps most feared (even today) of
these corrupted Maiar are the Valaraukar - the Balrogs, demons of fire and
terror. Later, I will tell you more about those too. The greatest of his
servants however, was Gorthaur the Cruel, whom we know as Sauron - once the Maia
That is what I will tell for now about the Maiar. Now to the
Beginning of Days... In the beginning before any creature or plant was put to
life, Melkor had great power on Arda - he ruled almost un-approached and did
whatever he wished without interference, destroying and corrupting the work of
the other Valar. Then a great spirit came to Arda to aid the Valar. He is called
Tulkas the Strong and his greatness and anger made Melkor flee from Arda and
into the void in fear and with great hatred.
Freed from Melkor's
mischievousness, the Valar now began the work of bringing order, life and light
to Arda. Yavanna planted the seeds of growth, which brought fauna and beasts to
Middle-Earth. Aulë made two great lamps and put them upon high pillars - one in
the south named Ormal and one in the north named Illuin. And Arda was lit with
Manwë then held a great feast, where all the Valar and
their servants attended and celebrated their work. Melkor, who had been in the
void, becoming just a dark shadow of hate and jealousy, was told about this by
his servants. So while the Valar feasted and relaxed, he returned unseen to Arda
and began building himself a fortress deep inside the Earth under a dark
mountain with the help of his servants, marring the beasts, rivers and plants in
a wide range about the mountain. This fortress he named Utumno.
Valar realized that Melkor had returned, seeing the fauna turn into dark rotten
moulds and beasts becoming frightening monsters, but Melkor was quick and
assaulted the Valar and destroyed Illuin and Ormal, the lamps of the south and
north, which resulted in fire poured over Earth, destroying much of the hard
work and reshaping the waters, lands and mountains. And in the sudden darkness,
Melkor succeeded in escaping back to Utumno and hide while the Valar fought to
control the turmoil and destruction.
This is said to be the first war of
Arda, happening even before the Children of Ilúvatar had set foot on it.
Despaired by the destruction of their work and unable to overthrow
Melkor, the Valar retreated to the westernmost part of the World, Aman, where
they could look out over the Great sea, which Elves know as Ekkaia. There, they
built their dwelling and raised the Mountains of Aman, whereupon Manwë set his
throne. Behind these fortified mountains, they built Valinor where they lived
together and they made it an image of how they had wanted Arda to be from the
very beginning. They created their city, Valimar, there - beautiful and peaceful
it was, safe from Melkor's terror and corruption.
Before the gates of
Valinor, there was a green mound, on which Yavanna sat down and sang a song of
power and thoughts of growth. The song made the other Valar come and listen and
Nienna wept upon the mound and two plants emerged from the soil, growing under
the song of Yavanna and tears of Nienna, becoming two tall flowering trees - The
Two Trees of Valinor: Telperion and Laurelin they were called - one with dark
green leaves with silver dew and the other of young green leaves with golden
edges and fruits.
The two trees each waxed to full for seven hours and
then faded to naught, then awakening again when the other faded and therefore,
twice a day Valinor would be lit by faint light, and the count of time began.
This was the tale for today, listeners :) I hope you have enjoyed. Next
time we meet, I will tell you more about the Firstborn and about Aulë and
Yavanna and how the Dwarves came to be.
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