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Telperion

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The name White Tree refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see White Tree (disambiguation).

Telperion (Q pron. [telˈperi.on]) was the elder of the Two Trees of Valinor, called the White Tree, which shed silver light on the domain of the Valar. His leaves were of dark green, shining silver beneath, and his boughs were decked with brilliant flowers that shed a rain of silver dew.

Contents

History

Telperion endured throughout the Years of the Trees, but came to an end in the dreadful event known as the Darkening of Valinor. Even though the elder tree did not survive, he was not the last of the White Trees. Yavanna had made an image of him in Tirion, called Galathilion, from whom the White Trees of Númenor and later of Minas Tirith were descended. More importantly, one of Telperion's flowers survived the Darkening, and was set aloft by the Valar; this was the light we call the Moon.

Etymology

Telperion comes from telepi "silver". The exact etymology of the ending -rion is not entirely clear, but it can mean something like "great wreathed one" (Cf. ría, rielle).

The Quenya form was actually Tyelperion but Quenya adopted telpë from Telerin.[1]

Names

Another name for Telperion was Silpion,[2] meaning "Shining Lights" in Quenya (from silip- = "shine" and -ion = genitive plural ending).

Ninquelótë was a Quenya title of Telperion. Ninquelótë means "White Flower" or (perhaps more likely in this context) "White Blossom". The Sindarin equivalent of this Quenya name was Nimloth, and indeed that name was inherited by the White Tree that grew in the King's Court of Númenor.

Ibrīniðilpathānezel was the name in Valarin of Telperion.[3]

In early writings of Tolkien Telperion's names were Silpion, Bansil and Belthil.[4]

Genealogy

Telperion
Destroyed Y.T. 1495
 
 
 
 
Galathilion
Made in the image of Telperion
 
 
 
 
 
Celeborn
 
 
 
 
 
Nimloth
Destroyed after S.A. 3262
 
 
 
 
 
First tree of Gondor
c. S.A. 3320 -S.A. 3429
 
 
 
 
 
Second tree of Gondor
T.A. 2 - T.A. 1636
 
 
 
 
 
Third tree of Gondor
T.A. 1640 - T.A. 2852
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth tree of Gondor
15 June T.A. 3019 - unknown


References

  1. Unfinished Tales p. 266
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Commentary on the first section of the Annals of Aman", p. 59 (commentary to §5)
  3. 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. 401
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The History of Middle-earth, passim