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Avathar or Avaþar (Vanyarin Q, pron. [ˈaβaθar]) was the dark strip of land at the feet of the southern Pelóri Mountains in Aman. It was the home of Ungoliant before she went to Middle-earth with Melkor.[1]



The name "Avathar" has conflicting translations. In "The Later Quenta Silmarillion" section of Morgoth's Ring, Tolkien translates Avathar as "The Shadows" in "ancient" Quenya[2] (this translation also appears in The Silmarillion[3]). However, in the "Quendi and Eldar" section of The War of the Jewels, Tolkien states that Avathar has no Elvish translation, meaning that it must have been adapted from its Valarin name[4] (however, in the Index to this book it still says "The Shadows" in a short description[5]).

In the Quenya of the Noldor, the name must have become Avasar (pron. [ˈavasar]) because of the loss of þ/th in Noldorin Quenya.[source?]

Other versions of the legendarium

In early versions of The Silmarillion, the region where Ungoliant dwelt prior to the Darkening of Valinor was called Arvalin.[source?]

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Of the Darkening of Valinor", p. 284
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", Avathar
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language': Note on the 'Language of the Valar'", p. 404
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Index"