Chapter synopsis Edit
The tale Edit
After the Kinslaying, the destruction of the Two Trees by Ungoliant, and the dangerous egress of the Noldoli from the Great Lands, the Valar hold an unsuccessful hunt for Melko (Melkor). They and the Maiar are of bitter heart. Lórien and Vána try to revive the Two Trees with song and magic substances, but fail. The Valar become set on providing a new light for the Earth, and so by sole use of the remaining "silver light" from Silindrin, Aulë undertakes the immense task of contriving the Sun, as a floating spherical ship, with the help of Varda. Its course, specifically determined by Manwë, is set among the skies.
- "Then did the Gods name that ship, and they called her Sári which is the Sun, but the Elves Ûr which is fire; but many other names does she bear in legend and in poesy. The Lamp of Vána is she named among the Gods in memory of Vána's tears and her sweet tresses that she gave; and the Gnomes call her Galmir the gold-gleamer and Glorvent the ship of gold, and Bráglorin the blazing vessel, and many a name beside; and her names among Men no man has counted them."
- —page 187 (1984 Houghton Mifflin publication)
The Moon is also put in the skies, a crystalline "island" shaped after a rose from withered Silpion, and ridden by Tilion. An explanation is given for the cycles of the Moon's radiance. Urwendi (later Arien), Tolion's lover, seeks likewise to pilot the Sun, and is allowed to.
Editor's commentary Edit
Christopher Tolkien gives extensive notes and commentary on changes to plot-points, concepts in the tale, and names, and also presents his father's 1923 poem "Why the Man in the Moon came down too soon".