The Star of Eärendil, also known as Gil-Estel, or Rothinzil by the Edain, was a light created by the Silmaril carried into the sky by Eärendil the Mariner. It was particularly visible in the morning and evening, and was referred to as the Evening Star.


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"But on him mighty doom was laid, till Moon should fade, and orbéd star to pass, and tarry never more on Hither Shores where mortals are; for ever still a herald on an errand that should never rest to bear his shining lamp afar, the Flammifer of Westernesse."
Bilbo Baggins, reciting verses on Eärendil

The "Star" was one of the three Silmarils fashioned by Fëanor and stolen by Morgoth. It was the same jewel wrested from Morgoth's crown by Beren and Lúthien and later recovered by Elwing, Eärendil's wife. Fleeing from the sons of Fëanor and their pursuit of the Silmaril, and seeking the Valar's aid against Morgoth's forces, Eärendil and Elwing sailed to Valinor. The Silmaril was set on Eärendil's brow as he sat at the helm of his ship, Vingilot, and the light of the Silmaril guided him though the Shadowy Seas. Its light grew brighter as the ship approached Aman.

After facing the judgment of the Valar for defying their Ban, Eärendil passed the Door of Night and sailed into the Void. He briefly returned to fight in the War of Wrath, and then set off on an endless journey through the "starless voids," guarding the walls of Arda.[1]

As a Silmaril, the Star of Eärendil contained the light of the Two Trees, and was brighter than any star in the night sky such that no other star nearby could be seen. Its first light was observed across Arda, and the people of Middle-earth were encouraged by the sight of the star, naming it Gil-Estel, the "Star of High Hope." It was was recognized by Maedhros and Maglor as a Silmaril, and despite their oath to recover the gems, Maglor was gladdened that it was outside the circles of the world and thus beyond the reach of evil forces.[2]

The light of the star guided the Edain to Númenor in the early Second Age. In reference to this, one of the names that the Númenoreans gave to their land was Ellena, meaning "Starward."[3] Star motifs were thereafter closely associated with Númenor, and Elendil and the heirs to his kingdoms employed stars in their heraldry.

Eärendil's star was also of particular importance to the Elves by the time of the Third Age, and it became their "most beloved" star.[4] Galadriel set its light in her mirror, capturing some in the phial she gave to Frodo. When Frodo used the phial against Shelob, he unconsciously cried out an appeal to the Star of Eärendil, though its light was not effective in repelling the spider.[5] Sam later tried to use the phial in the Crack of Doom, but Sauron's power there dimmed even the light of Eärendil.


Foreign Language Translated name
Danish Rothinzil (Eärendils Stjerne)


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  3. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Ch. VII: "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  5. The Lord of the RingsThe Two Towers, Book Four, Ch. IV: "Shelob's Lair"
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