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Menel was an Elvish (both Quenya and Sindarin) name for the regions of air above Arda, a name which is generally meant as "firmament, heaven" or "the heavens".[1] Sometimes the word is simply synonymous with the sky, but in other uses it is meant as a more sublime reference to the domain of the stars and heavenly bodies.

Menel is a physical place, although arguably a sacred one as it is the location of the stars.



The word is understood as men "towards" + el "star" meaning "the Direction of the Stars".[2]


Menel is seen in numerous personal and place-names, including Meneltarma (the "Pillar of Heaven"), Meneldil, Tar-Meneldur, Armenelos and Meneldor.

It also appears in A Elbereth Gilthoniel "o menel aglar elenath" ("from the glories of the star-host of heaven").[3]

Sam used it in his invocation from Cirith Ungol: "o menel palan-diriel" ("from heaven gazing afar").[4]


It already existed in Avarin[source?], and survived as such in Adûnaic minal.

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", menel
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "A Elbereth Gilthoniel", p. 72
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Choices of Master Samwise"
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