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Wilwarin is one of the constellations created by the Vala Varda (for which she was known as Tintallë, the Kindler) which was set in the heavens of Arda to welcome and give light to the Elves, the Firstborn.[1]

Wilwarin is only mentioned briefly in The Silmarillion in the chapter "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor", but we are told by Christopher Tolkien that the name means "butterfly" in Quenya. [2]

As there's no description of the constellation, so we can be unsure which - if any - of our modern-day constellation correspond to Wilwarin, but Christopher suggests that it could be the commonly-known constellation Cassiopeia.[2] Cassiopeia is a plausible candidate for being Wilwarin as its "W"-shape is a reasonable match to that of a butterfly.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Christopher Tolkien, The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tolkien, op. cit., "Index of Names"