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The Moon in a Decipher Card image

The Moon of the world of Arda was created by the Vala Aulë. He and his people made a vessel, to hold the radiance of the last flower of Telperion, the elder of the Two Trees of Valinor. The Maia Tilion, a hunter of the company of the Vala Oromë, was chosen to guide the vessel of the Moon. The moon's first rising was right at the edge of a new age, Years of the Sun, FA 1.

"Isil was first wrought and made ready and first rose into the realm of the stars, and was the elder of the new lights, as was Telperion of the Trees."

Names of the Moon among the Elves included Isil or The Sheen, a name given to it by the Vanyar; Ithil, the common name for the Moon in Sindarin, as seen in Minas Ithil (later Minas Morgul) and Ithilien; and Rána, or The Wayward, a name given to the Moon by the Ñoldor.

A poetic name for the Moon was The Silver Flower, and Gollum referred to it as The White Face.

The Moon was valued as higher than the Sun by the Elves, both because it came from the Elder Tree, and because it rose first: it was made in memory of the Elves. The Sun on the other hand was made in memory of Men.

Other versions of the legendarium

In the earlier tales of the First Age, given in The Book of Lost Tales Part One (a part of The History of Middle-earth series), the Moon was described in great detail as an immense island of crystal, designed after a rose from the ruined tree Silpion. It was also said there that the youth Tilion was secretly be in love with Urwendi (Arien), the maiden who guided the Sun, and that because he steered the Moon too close to the Sun the Moon was burned, causing the darker spots on the Moon.[1]

The "Man in the Moon" is even described in those writings, as being an old Elf who secretly hid and built his minaret there. This is alluded to further in Tolkien's Roverandom, where the Man in the Moon also lives in a Minaret.

In the Round World version of the legendarium, the Sun and the Moon were not the fruit of the Two Trees, but actually preceded the creation of the Trees. Instead, the Trees preserved the light of the Sun before Melkor tainted it when he ravished Arien.[citation needed]


Isil is the Quenya word for 'moon'. After Telperion, Ungoliant killed the silver Tree of Valinor, Yavanna took its last flower and Aulë made a vessel to hold it. Then, with Tilion to guide it, Isil the Sheen was sent into the sky to bring light to Arda.

Its counterpart, Anar the Fire-golden, was a fruit of Laurelin and became the Sun.

Translations around the world

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Maan
Albanian Hëna
Amharic ጨረቃ
Aramaic ܣܗܪܐ
Armenian Լուսին
Arabic القمر
Aromanian Lunâ
Azerbaijani Ay
Basque Ilargia
Belarusian Cyrillic Месяц
Bengali চাঁদ
Bosnian Mjesec
Breton Loar
Bulgarian Cyrillic Луна
Cambodian ព្រះចន្ទ
Catalan Lluna
Chechen Бутт
Cheyenne Taa'é-eše'he
Cornish Loor
Cree ᑎᐱᔅᑳᐅᐲᓯᒻ
Croatian Mjesec
Czech Měsíc
Danish Månen
Davehi ހަނދު
Dutch Maan
Estonian Kuu
Finnish Kuu
French Lune
Galician Lúa
Georgian მთვარე
German Mond
Greek Σελήνη
Gujarati ચંદ્ર
Hausa Wata
Hawaiian Mahina
Hebrew הירח
Hindi चन्द्रमा
Hungarian Hold
Icelandic Tunglið
Indonesian Bulan
Inuktitut ᑕᖅᑭᖅ
Irish Gaelic An Ghealach
Italian Luna
Kabardian Мазэ
Kannada ಚಂದ್ರನ
Kazakh Cyrillic Ай
Kurdish مانگ
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Ай
Latvian Mēness
Lao ດວງຈັນ
Lithuanian Mėnulis
Luxembourgish Äerdmound
Macedonian Cyrillic Месечина
Malagasy Volana
Maltese Qamar
Malay Bulan
Manx Yn Eayst
Marathi चंद्र
Mongolian Cyrillic Сар
Nāhuatl (Aztec) Metztli
Navajo Ooljééʼ
Nepalese चन्द्रमा
Old English Mōna
Pashto سپوږمۍ
Persian ماه
Polish Księżyc
Portuguese Lua
Punjabi ਚੰਦਰਮਾ
Querétaro Otomi Zänä
Romanian Lună
Romani Chhon
Romansh Glina
Russian Луна
Sanskrit चन्द्रः
Scottish Gaelic Gealach
Serbian Месец (Cyrillic) Mesec (Latin)
Serbo Croatian Mjesec
Sinhalese චන්ද්‍රයා
Slovak Mesiac
Slovenian Luna
Somali Bilaha
Spanish Luna
Sundanese Bulan
Swahili Mwezi
Swedish Månen
Tagalog Buwan
Tamil நிலா
Tatar Ай
Thai ดวงจันทร์
Tibetan ཟླ་བ།
Tajik Cyrillic Моҳтоб
Telugu చంద్రుడు
Turkish Ay
Urdu چاند
Ukrainian Cyrillic Місяць
Uzbek Ой (Cyrillic) Oy (Latin)
Vietnamese Mặt Trăng
Welsh Lleuad
Yiddish לבנה
Yucatec Maya Ujo'