Ainulindalë (Lost Road)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Ainulindalë refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Ainulindalë (disambiguation).
The Lost Road and Other Writings chapters
Part One
  1. The Early History of the Legend
  2. The Fall of Númenor
  3. The Lost Road
Part Two
  1. The Texts and Their Relations
  2. The Later Annals of Valinor
  3. The Later Annals of Beleriand
  4. Ainulindalë
  5. The Lhammas
  6. Quenta Silmarillion
Part Three
The Etymologies

The Ainulindalë is the fourth chapter of the second section of The Lost Road and Other Writings. It contains the first version of the Ainulindalë (Rúmil's work) written in the 1930s after the "The Music of the Ainur", published in The Book of Lost Tales Part One.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

See synopsis given in "The Music of the Ainur"

The narrative differences with the previous version are limited to the framework. Now Rúmil of Tol Eressëa is Rúmil of Tûn, and Eriol is named by his English name Ælfwine. Rúmil is still the one who told the story to Eriol, but it is written down as a proper work.

Commentary[edit | edit source]

This text follows directly the cosmological myth given in The Book of Lost Tales, but now as an independent work. Both the Sketch of the Mythology and The Quenta ommited the creation of the world, but Tolkien did not abandone it, but composed this new version with the Lost Tale in front of him, rephrasing most of it but without summarizing, unlike the rest of the mythology.[1]:155

Of this version, Tolkien made two manuscripts, which Christopher Tolkien names Ainulindalë A and Ainulindalë B. The first is extremely rough, full of changes at the moment of composition concerning the removal of the Lost Tales context. This only has the title The Music of the Ainur added later. The Ainulindalë B was probably made right after the previous one, being a handsome manuscript with just a few stilistic changes in the narrative. It includes the Elvish title Ainulindalë and the authorship of Rúmil, relating it with "The Gnomes Material" like The Ambarkanta and The Lhammas.[1]:154-5

Although every sentence was rewritten, the only remarkable difference with the Ainulindalë of The Silmarillion is still the absence of the Vision of Ilúvatar and the creative word.[1]:166

Many years later, Tolkien wrote a new version in 1946, of which only a torn page survives.

In late 1940s, Tolkien lent manuscript B to Mrs. Katharine Farrer (cf. Letter 115), which he dubbed "Flat World Version" (along with a "Round World Version"). From these derive other versions of the Ainulindalë, explained and published in Morgoth's Ring.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, IV. Ainulindalë (Lost Road)"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part One. Ainulindalë", p. 6