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Fëanorian lamps

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Ted Nasmith - Tuor, Gelmir, and Arminas.jpg
Fëanorean lamps
Derivation of NameFëanor, Prince of the Noldor
LocationValinor, later Middle-earth
Owned byNoldor
MakerFëanor (inventor)
AppearanceBlue flame in a white crystal
"...they were made of old in Valinor, and neither wind nor water could quench them, and when they were unhooded they sent forth a clear blue light from a flame imprisoned in white crystal."
Unfinished Tales, Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin

Fëanorian lamps were lamps which emitted a blue light from a flame from within a white crystal. They are described as "crystals hung in a fine chain net, the crystals being ever shining with an inner blue radiance". The lamps were created in Valinor and the flame could not be extinguished by wind or water The Noldor were famous for the flames, but unfortunately the craft was lost with them. Gelmir possessed one of these lamps when he met Tuor.[1]

Some of the Noldor who had been captured by Morgoth and put to work in his mines had Fëanorian lamps with them. Gwindor was one of these enslaved Elves; when he escaped he took with him one of these lamps.[2]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

The lamps were part of the legendarium, but Christopher Tolkien did not include any such reference in the published Silmarillion. For example, in one version of the story Túrin Turambar recognised the face Beleg whom he had slain by the light Gwindor's lamp;[3] yet in the version included in the Silmarillion, it was lightning which revealed Beleg's face to Túrin.[2]

The scene of Gwindor of Nargothrond, escaped from Angband and found by Beleg Strongbow in the forest of Taur-nu-Fuin with one of these lamps, was painted by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (1979), no. 37.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Beleg"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", note 2