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Wilwarin

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Wilwarin was one of the constellations of Arda.

Wilwarin was created by the Vala Varda. It was set in the heavens of Arda to welcome and give light to the Elves, who had just awoken in Cuiviénen.[1]

J.R.R. Tolkien gave no description of the constellation, nor any counterpart in our modern-day constellations, but Christopher Tolkien suggested 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.

Etymology

Wilwarin (wilwarind-, pl. wilwarindi) means "butterfly" in Quenya.[3]

Wilwarin comes from the same root (wil-, "fly, float in air") as the name for the Ring of Air, Vilya, and shares this common root with the Sindarin word gwilith, "air".[3]

Other versions of the legendarium

In early versions of Tolkien's notes, the name of the constellation is "Vilvarin".[4]

References

  1. The Silmarillion, Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
  2. The Silmarillion, Index of Names
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Etymologies
  4. Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, pp. 160, 166