From Tolkien Gateway

Kôr was the capital of the Gnomes in Valinor according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales. In this stage, the name Kôr referred to the city as well as the hill it was situated on.


When the Noldoli and the Teleri arrived in Valinor, they set to the making of their home. They found a low place in the mountains that sheltered Valinor. There, at the end of a long creek that stretched inland, was a single hill with no trees but a deep covering of grass, and harebells at its top. The Elves chose this as their dwelling place. The Valar named it Kôr for its roundness and smoothness, and Aulë scattered golden dust about the feet of the hill. The Elves built a city of white on top of the hill using stone and marble, and they lined the streets with dark trees. Inwë's house was at the very top, and it had a tall silver tower with a white lamp set in it. The Valar gave both Inwë and Nólemë shoots of each of the Two Trees of Valinor, and they grew and blossomed.[1]:122-3

Inwë was the king of all Eldar during the time the Elves dwelt in Kôr.[2]:16 Rúmil had dwelt there, and it was there that he learned from Aulë much of the language of the Valar.[3]:48

Upon the arrival of the Solosimpi to Valinor, there was much joy in Kôr, and its inhabitants fared out to welcome their long sundered kin. However, the Solosimpi chose to live on the shores rather than in Kôr with the Teleri and Noldoli.[1]:126 The wisdom of lore of the Gnomes increased in Kôr, and they, with the help of Aulë created ways to write language. Then many tales and runes were written on the walls of Kôr or carved into the stones. But Melko sowed seeds of dissent among the Gnomes, and in his anger brought a complaint against them to Manwë. Then an embassy of the Gnomes came and spoke against Melko and his lies. Manwë scolded both, sending Melko away to Mandos, and telling Aulë to find a new place for the Gnomes to dwell, lest their discontent spread among the others at Kôr. Great then was the sorrow of the Gnomes at leaving their home.[4]:141-3

As the feast of Double Mirth approached, all of the Elves travelled to the gates of Valmar, and great hosts came from Kôr along the road that had been laid for such a purpose. With the cities of the Elves emptied, Melko chose this time to travel to the dwelling place of the Gnomes and steal the Silmarils, slaying the guards there. At this time a great sadness and unrest came over Valinor. At the petitioning of Aulë, Manwë granted permission to the Gnomes to return to Kôr if they wished, and seek to rebuild their happiness. Many went back to Kôr, but Fëanor was angered. He spoke against the Valar, saying that it would be better for the Elves to leave Valinor.[4]:143-50

After the destruction of the Two Trees, Fëanor stood in the square at the top of Kôr and called for the Elves to come and listen to him. Most of those who came were of the Noldoli. Again Fëanor spoke angrily regarding the Valar, and persuaded his people to arm themselves and leave Valinor. Many of their youngest children remained behind, however, as did the Teleri.[5] There was sorrow in Valinor for a long while. However, following the creation of the Ships of Light and the Hiding of Valinor, those left in Kôr at last forgot their sorrows. Kôr became the fairest realm of Valinor, and although the trees of Nólemë were uprooted and lost, the trees given to Inwë still shone in his courtyard.[6]

Kôr was located near to the Cottage of the Children, which was reachable by some children of Men in their sleep via the Olórë Mallë, the Path of Dreams, until that was shut. Despite the efforts of the Eldar to guide them to the Cottage, some few of the children strayed to Kôr and, becoming captivated by its beauty, wished to remain forever.[2]:18-9

Kôr had been abandoned by the Gnomes long before Eriol came to Kortirion, which was built and named in its memory.[7]:25-6


The name of Kôr refers to its roundness: it is derived from Primitive Elvish name Guord from which came Qenya Qora and Gnomish Gwar.[8]

Other versions of the legendarium

The city originated in Tolkien's poetry from before he had even begun to work on the legendarium in earnest. Tolkien wrote a poem titled Kôr on 30 April of 1915. This title was later changed to The City of the Gods.

Much of the description of Kôr was preserved in the accounts of the later Tirion upon Túna.[9]

See also