Star of Eärendil

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The name Eärendil refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Eärendil (disambiguation).
Star of Eärendil
"Gil-Estel" by Alan Lee
Other namesGil-Estel (S)
Azrubêl (A)
LocationCircling the heavens
AppearanceRadiant star in the heavens
F.A. 542
GalleryImages of the Star of Eärendil

Aiya Eärendil elenion ancalima!

The Star of Eärendil is the light that shines in the horizon both in the morning and the evening. It consists in a boat raised by the Valar and led by Eärendil, who carries a shining Silmaril while watching the Doors of Night.


After Beren and Lúthien rescued a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown, this was later given to their descendant Elwing, wife of Eärendil. Both took it to Aman, and the Valar decided to rise it as a new star. In a vessel appointed by Elbereth, Eärendil rose in the horizon as a sign of hope for Elves and Men.

Now fair and marvellous was that vessel made, and it was filled with a wavering flame, pure and bright; and Eärendil the Mariner sat at the helm, glistening with dust of elven-gems, and the Silmaril was bound upon his brow. Far he journeyed in that ship, even into the starless voids; but most often was he seen at morning or at evening, glimmering in sunrise or sunset, as he came back to Valinor from voyages beyond the confines of the world.
. . .
Now when first Vingilot was set to sail in the seas of heaven, it rose unlooked for, glittering and bright; and the people of Middle-earth beheld it from afar and wondered, and they took it for a sign, and called it Gil-Estel, the Star of High Hope.

As it first rose in the West, it was recognised by the Noldo-lord Maedhros as the jewel of his father that he had sought for so long, now placed out of his reach beyond the Circles of the World.

It was Eärendil and the light of his star that led the Edain to Númenor in the early Second Age, and at that time the light of the Star was so brilliant that it hid all the other stars in the sky. From its guiding light came the Númenóreans' name for their land, Elenna, meaning "Starwards".

The light of Eärendil's Star played a crucial role much later in history as well. It was light from this star that was gathered in Frodo's phial, his gift from Galadriel, which helped him survive his journey into Mordor. Even today the star still shines — the story of Eärendil and his Silmaril was the Elvish account of the "star" we know today as the planet Venus.

Other versions of the legendarium

Earlier forms of the name Gil-Estel were Gil-Orestel, Gil-Amdir and Gil-Orrain.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: The Last Chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion", p. 246
Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void