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Menelvagor was the Sindarin name of the constellation Orion, called Menelmacar (q.v.) in Quenya.

History[edit | edit source]

Frodo and his companions were spending their night with the Elves in the woods of the Shire; the Elves burst into song as Menelvagor, the Swordsman of the Sky, climbed in the sky, and started the time for dinner, speech and merriment.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The name is a direct calque of the constellation's Quenya name Menelmacar, "Swordsman of the Sky".[2]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The constellation entered into the story only in the latest phases of its composition. In earlier versions of the manuscript of The Lord of the Rings the Elves begun to sing as 'the yellow moon rose',[3] and in a later revision 'in the East the thin silver rind of the New Moon appeared'[4] due to Tolkien's calculations considering the phases of the Moon;[5] still there was a fault: the Moon would not have risen from the East at that time of the year;[6] thus the Moon was finally changed to the apparition of Menelvagor and other stars.