The lamps were destroyed by an assault by Melkor. Their fall was cataclysmic: The symmetry of Arda was destroyed as the weight of the lamps broke continents and their fire burned the land, such that the original design of the Valar, including Almaren, was undone forever. The Valar did what they could to hinder the damage as Melkor their Enemy and his hosts fled back to Utumno. As they didn't know when or where the Children of Eru would come into the world, they were afraid to rend the Earth again.
Almaren was also destroyed, and after repairing some of the damage done by the resulting tumult, the Valar left Middle-earth for Valinor. There the Valar created the Two Trees, which were also a pair of gold and silver light, as the Two Lamps before them.
Other versions of the legendarium
According to older writings not used in the published The Silmarillion, the Valar wanted peace with Melkor, and decided to ask his assistance: they wished to fix the lamps upon Arda's ground. Melkor, black with hate and envy of the rest of the Valar, agreed to help. He gave Aulë a substance which was both sturdy and strong: ice, which was unknown to the Valar. Melkor bided his time and allowed the Valar to do as they wished until the fateful day when the Lamps' light and heat melted the ice and crashed upon Arda, flooding it with water and darkness.
The one remaining influence from the older version of the story was that the fall of the towers created inland seas, a vestige of the notion that the towers had been made of ice that melted.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
- "of the Valar ", Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 27 March 2020)
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor": "Notes and Commentary", p. 87
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed"
|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 · Eä · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void|