The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr is the fifth chapter of The Book of Lost Tales Part One, of Christopher Tolkien's series The History of Middle-earth. It covers the original tale (of the same title) written by J.R.R. Tolkien around 1920 that tells of the coming of Elves into Aman and the building of the city of Kôr. This tale would later change, and become the events of the Quenta Silmarillion chapter "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor".

The chapter is preceded by "The Chaining of Melko" and followed by "The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor".

Chapter synopsis

In Tolkien's source manuscripts, the tale of the Coming of the Elves immediately follows the story of Melko's chaining and imprisonment by the Valar, as narrated by the character Meril-i-Turinqi to the mariner Ælfwine.

The tale

To the expectancy and great excitement of most of the Valar, the Eldar (Elves) approach the lands of Valinor at the end of their Great Journey from far in the East. Melko (Melkor) is released from prison prematurely, though still bound by fetters, and the Valar confer and debate with each other concerning the freedom and rightful place of the Elves. Melko first begins to deceive the Noldoli (the Noldor) against the Valar that he alone had spoken in favor of the Elves' freedom. Ulmo and Ossë erect the island of Tol Eressëa for the Elves, ferrying them thither across parts of the Sea. On the mainland of Valinor, a chief hill is named "Kôr", and by the Elves it is made into a city. The Noldoli craft many gems and precious stones there, and adorn the facades of the city with them. This beauty satiates the desires of the Valar, and gems are even given as gifts to all of the Valar except Melko. At this time, Valmar, the isles of Valinor, and surrounding parts of the Great Lands were at their utmost bliss and majesty.

Editor's commentary

Following Meril's narration of this, Christopher Tolkien lists and explains the changes his father made to names, plot-points, and other themes. His father's poem "Kôr - In a City Lost and Dead" is given, as well as another, "A Song of Aryador", from 1915. The combined notes and commentary are ten pages long.

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