Tolkien Gateway

Talk:Years of the Lamps

Is the use of "Ringil" correct here? The link from Ringil shows this as the name of Fingolfin's sword (which is correct), but there is no reference to the use of this term as the name for a tower of a Lamp. Which entry requires revision - the Years of the Lamps entry to correct "Ringil" or the revision of the "Ringil" entry to add this second (and earlier) use of the name? Plant doc 08:57, 8 September 2007 (EDT)

The Encyclopedia of Arda mentions in its article on the Inland Sea of Helcar in a footnote "Interestingly, though it isn't mentioned in The Silmarillion, there seems to have been a corresponding southern sea, the Sea of Ringil, which was perhaps associated with the roots of Illuin's mate Ormal." A source for this information isn't given, though. ~ Earendilyon 17:45, 8 September 2007 (EDT)

[edit] Canonicity of term

Can anyone give a reference to a primary source using the actual term 'Years of the Lamps'? I can't find it being used in HoMe, so I'm suspecting it is non-canon, maybe invented by David Day.

This is not to say that the concept is non-canon, certainly not. Just that this does not seem to be the term that Tolkien uses for it. His term seems to be "Days before days" [AAm:10]. -- Mithrennaith 21:11, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

I heard about this issue, and like others I could not find any reference to 'Years of the Lamps' in Tolkien's works. "Days before days" indeed is the canonical term, and since nobody here has disagreed with this point since 2008, it seems proper to change the term in this article and elsewhere. Fellun 13:16, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I too saw a certain comment on Reddit (that didn't canvas or anything like that) and came here to see the issue. I do support the move though, it's a canonicity vs familiarity issue, but I think canonicity wins in this case. Unfortunately only autoconfirmed users can move pages, and alas, I've done all my editing anonymously up until this point. Brightgalrs 17:26, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Here, I'll do this properly. And make a new section. Brightgalrs 17:36, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

[edit] Requested move

As "Years of the Lamps" seems to be a fan created term, I propose that the article be moved to Days before days. The first sentence of the article should also be changed to (something like):

The Days before days (also known as the Years of the Lamps) began shortly after the creation of Arda by the Valar.

Oh and a redirect should be left after the move, so Years of the Lamps redirects to Days before days. Brightgalrs 17:36, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

If the term isn't actually in Tolkien works, I think the article shouldn't me moved but merged with Spring of Arda (basically, delete the fanon term). --LorenzoCB 17:39, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Which term are you talking about? "Days before days" appears in the Annals of Aman, even with a capital 'D':
It is computed by the lore-masters that the Valar came to the realm of Arda, which is the Earth, five thousand Valian Years ere the first rising of the Moon [...]. Of these, three thousand and five hundred [...] passed ere the measurement of time first known to the Eldar began with the flowering of the Trees. Those were the Days before days. Thereafter one thousand and four hundred and five and ninety Valian Years [...] followed during which the Light of the Trees shone in Valinor. Those were the Days of Bliss. In those days [...] the Elves awoke in Kuiviénen and the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar began.
I've bolded the term. This is paragraph 10. Brightgalrs 17:55, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I strongly support the move to Days before days. That is the term used in Annals of Aman; the Lamps were lit only 1900 Valian years after the Valar arrived in Arda, and the count of Valian years continues in Annals of Aman to the year 3500 and the beginning of the Years of the Trees. I suppose it was David Day who coined the extremely non-canon term "Years of the Lamps". There is no reason to retain it. In any case the first 1900 Valian years were by no means "Years of Lamps", and the actual "years of Lamps", the last 1600 years of the Days before days are nowhere counted as "years of the Lamps" 1-1600. --Tik 18:36, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I meant "Years of the Lamps" was fanon, or at least that's what you say. The content of this article is the same as Spring of Arda, which is a more known term and covers the same period of time. We can include "Days before days" there. --LorenzoCB 18:58, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
What about the years before the Spring of Arda, which is just a part of the 3500 V.y. period from the arrival to the Trees? Tulkas arrived to Arda 1500 Valian years after the beginning and the Spring of Arda only begun after Melkor was banished with his help. --Tik 19:38, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Well, that should be told in the Valian years article. We are talking about the "Years of the Lamps", which covers the same period of time as the Spring of Arda, if I'm not mistaken. --LorenzoCB 19:44, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
In my opinion, the Valian years article should mostly describe the length of the Valian year, how it is calculated, when it was used, and how many solar years it lasted. Just like articles "Solar year" and "Lunar year" would be about astronomy and such, and articles "Common Era (CE)" and "Before the Common Era (BCE)" would be about periods. To be precise, the years of the Lamps and the Spring of Arda were brought to end 3450 Valian years after the first year of Arda (wnen Melkor destroyed the Lamps), but the Years of the Trees only begun 50 Valian years (equivalent of about 479 solar years) after that, when the Valar had moved to Aman, built Valinor and Valmar, raised the Ezellohar and let Yavanna and Nienna conjure the Trees from its soil. I'm actually not quite sure if the Spring of Arda only begun after the Lamps were lit or before that, when Yavanna sowed her seeds. The Lamps were lit 1900 Valian years after the beginning, but Melkor was driven out from Arda already 400 years before that. Once again, I don't know any other canonical name for the entire period from the year 1 to the year 3500 before the Years of the Trees than "Days before days", mostly because of the existence of the Annals of Aman. --Tik 20:34, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Ah, I understand better the thing with the Valian years. Still, it is easy to see in the Annals of Aman that Valian years are counted until the creation of the Trees. I don't have any particular problem with creating "Days before days", but IMO instead of creating another article, it would be easier to include a short summary of the events happening during their use; after all, there are whole articles dealing with those events: First War, Spring of Arda and Two Trees. Yes, the Spring of Arda clearly begins with the lit of the Lamps (Yavanna's seeds "spring" then), so anycase "Years of the Lamps" should be merged with "Spring of Arda". --LorenzoCB 08:37, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
Actually, Valian years were not counted until the creation of the Trees, they were counted after that; their length was derived from the blossoming cycle of the Trees. For the events before the Trees this system was used because there existed none (at least known to others but the Valar) before the Trees. The Silmarillion: "Thus began the Days of the Bliss of Valinor; and thus began also the Count of Time." --Tik 11:09, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
Aaah, I see that point now! Ok, I agree with creating the "Days before days" article. But you were quite wrong moving "Valian Years" to "Valian years": all throughtout Morgoth's Ring the term is capitalized, only once is not (it is also notable that Christopher prefered "Years of the Valar" in the book Index, although it is less used). --LorenzoCB 11:43, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
Ok! V.y. > V.Y. my mistake. --Tik 12:13, 25 February 2021 (UTC)