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Daniel Govar - Arien.jpg
Biographical Information
PositionGuiding the Sun
AffiliationVarda, formally Estë and Vána
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Arien
"Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendor."
― "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"

Arien (Q, pron. [ˈari.en], stem Ariend-) was a Maia who guided the Sun.



After the destruction of the Two Trees, Arien, a Maia was chosen by the Valar to guide a vessel made by Aulë which held the last fruit of Laurelin above the airs of Arda. This vessel was of course the Sun. In the days of the Two Trees Arien had tended Laurelin and was a spirit of fire, not unlike Balrogs before their downfall due to Melkor. She was therefore able to stand the heats of the Sun. It is said that she was mightier than Tilion, the Maia chosen to guide the Moon, who loved her and followed her through the night sky sometimes catching up to her and becoming burned and blackened by her heat.[1]

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In other writings, Morgoth wanted to claim Arien as a wife,[2] and ravished her, upon which she abandoned her body and "died", leaving the Sun to travel through the skies uncontrollably and burning parts of Arda the world. As well, it is stated in other abandoned writings that she was a Maia of Varda. It is not clear if it was Tolkien's intent to keep these elements in The Silmarillion tradition, had he lived long enough to publish it.


Arien means "Maiden of Sunlight" in Quenya. It is derived from the root as-, seen also in árë "sunlight"[3] and -ien feminine suffix.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", p. 405
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", arien

Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See Also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void