Olórë Mallë

From Tolkien Gateway

Olórë Mallë, also known as the Path of Dreams, was a path between Valinor and the Great Lands, according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.

History[edit | edit source]

The Olórë Mallë was made by Lórien at the bidding of Manwë, who looked with sorrow upon the hiding of Valinor. It was a road by which the children of Men would at times come to Valinor in their sleep. It was a lane of deep banks and great overhanging hedges, beyond which stood many tall trees wherein a perpetual whisper seemed to live. Great glow-worms crept about its grassy borders. At the end of the lane stood a high gate of lattice-work that shone golden in the dusk. The gate opened up to winding paths leading into the fairest of all the gardens, and amidmost of the garden stood a white cottage, The Cottage of the Children or The Cottage of the Play of Sleep.[1] It was used by Elves before the fall of Gondolin to travel from the Great Lands, as it is said by Ailios[2] and Vëannë.[3]

Christopher Tolkien notes that some of this is a very early version, and that "the conception of the coming of mortal children in sleep to the gardens of Valinor was soon to be abandoned in its entirety, and in the developed mythology there would be no place for it -- still less for the idea that in some possible future day 'the roads through Arvalin to Valinor shall be thronged with the sons and daughters of Men'."[4]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Olórë Mallë is Qenya, from olórë ("dream") and mallë ("street").[5] Gnomish cognates were Malmaurien or Maurelant.[6]