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. Ilvatar 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 Enw, the Herald of Manw, the Wind Lord and Ilmar, the handmaid of Varda.

If you have ever visited the Grey Havens, you will know the name of Oss - 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 Vna and Est, 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 of Aul.

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. Aul 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 bright light.

Manw 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.

Now the 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 Ilvatar 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 Manw 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 Aul and Yavanna and how the Dwarves came to be.

Comments, suggestions and questions email to niya@goddess.dk