Cottage of Lost Play

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This article is about a location. For the chapter in The Book of Lost Tales Part One, see The Cottage of Lost Play.
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Cottage of Lost Play by Amani Warrington

The Cottage of Lost Play, also known as "Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva", formerly known as the Cottage of the Children and Cottage of the Play of Sleep, was a house upon Tol Eressëa in the city of Kortirion, where Lindo and his wife Vairë dwelt, and where Eriol learnt stories of old. In old times, this building was built by the Eldar, and was guarded "secretly and jealously by the Eldar so that no harm came nigh it, and that yet might the children playing therein in freedom know of no guardship." Later on, Lindo and his wife devised a plan to take under their care the children (the remainder of those who found Kôr and remained with the Eldar for ever).

The Cottage of Lost Play was located on the western slope of a little hill at the very centre of the island and was down a long winding lane. It was described as a "tiny dwelling, whose many small windows were curtained snugly, yet only so that a most warm and delicious light, as of hearts content within, looked forth." The cottage itself was white and had a thicket of white lilac on one side, and a mighty yew tree on the other. Inside the cottage was of great spaciousness and great delight. In the great hall there were three great fires, one located at the far end of the dining table, and one on either side. Far off in the Hall of Play Regained was a gong named Tombo, the Gong of the Children, which rang once when the children of the cottage were summoned to eat, and three times when they were summoned to the Room of Logs. In the Room of Logs was the Tale-fire blazing, which was a magic fire that burned year-round and because of its magic aided storytellers.[1]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The Cottage of Lost Play appears only in the earliest version of the legendarium known as The Book of Lost Tales, which Tolkien wrote in the 1910's and contains many ideas which were later abandoned.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The name Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva is Qenya (the oldest form of Quenya) and consists of mar ("dwelling"),[2] vanwa ("gone, on the road, past, over, lost")[3] and tyalie[4] + adjectival ending -va.[5]

In a later text from the early 1950's, the name Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva is given as an alternative name of Rivendell and interpreted as "House of Past (or Departed) Mirth". The word Tyaliéva is here translated as tyalie "mirth" + the possessive case ending -va.[6]