During the Years of the Trees, Valinor was lit for many thousands of years by the light of the Two Trees, Telperion the Silver and Laurelin the Gold. When these were destroyed by Melkor and Ungoliant, Arda was plunged into darkness. Through the power of Nienna and Yavanna, though, Laurelin produced a single fiery fruit before it died. This golden fire was set in a vessel made by Aulë and his people, and steered into the sky by the Maia Arien.
Valinor was in the West of the World, and so the first sunrise was in the west, not the east. Originally, Arien was to have steered Anar ceaselessly from west to east and back again, always remaining in the sky, but the Valar changed this counsel, so that each evening Anar would descend into the distant western seas, and re-emerge each morning in the east.
The Sun was seen by the Elves as a sign for the awakening of Men, and they valued the Moon higher. Morgoth's creatures, the Orcs, feared the Sun, and with the exception of the Uruk-hai, they did not travel while it was in the sky.
Names of the Sun
Names of the Sun amongst the Elves included
- Anar (derived from the root ANÁR) or The Fire-golden, a name given to it by the Vanyar.
- Anor (derived from the root ANÁR), the common name for the Sun in Sindarin, as seen in Minas Anor, the Gondorian province of Anórien, and elanor ("Sun-star").
- Vása ("the Consumer"), or Heart of Fire, a name given to the Sun by the Noldor as it marked the waning of the Elves.
A poetic name for the Sun was The Daystar, and Gollum referred to it as The Yellow Face.
Other versions of the legendarium
In the early versions of The Silmarillion as described in The Book of Lost Tales Part One, a part of the History of Middle-earth series, the Sun was described in great detail as an immense island of fire. It was also said there that the youth Tilion, who guided the Moon, was said to secretly be in love with Arien, and that because he steered the Moon too close to the Sun the Moon was burned.
In writings not included in the Silmarillion tradition, Morgoth at one point was infatuated with Arien, and wanted to claim her as his wife: he is at one point even described as ravishing her, so she abandoned her body and 'died': the Sun after this for a while left its course, burning a large part of Arda the world (apparently creating the deserts of Far Harad). It is not clear if this would have been included in the Silmarillion had Tolkien lived to publish it himself.
In the Round World version of the legendarium, the Sun and the Moon were not the fruit of the Two Trees, but actually preceded the creation of the Trees. Instead, the Trees preserved the light of the Sun before it was tainted by Melkor when he ravished Arien.
Tolkien stated that "Elves (and Hobbits) always refer to the Sun as She",[note 1] and Yvette L. Kisor has remarked that the reference to the Sun as a female entity in the legendarium derived from Old Norse mythology and language.
- See also Moon: Inspirations
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South": "...the Sun rode up from the East."
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Lothlórien": "...the sun sank behind the westward heights"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", p. 348
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", "Text V: Sun The Trees Silmarils", pp. 389-90
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony", footnote
- ↑ Yvette L. Kisor, "'Elves (and Hobbits) always refer to the Sun as She': Some Notes on a Note in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings", in Tolkien Studies, Vol. IV (eds. Douglas A. Anderson, Michael D.C. Drout, Verlyn Flieger)
|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 · Eä · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void|