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The Tale of the Sun and Moon is the eighth chapter of The Book of Lost Tales Part One, in Christopher Tolkien's series The History of Middle-earth. It gives J.R.R. Tolkien's earliest and most detailed account of the making of the Sun and Moon in Arda, long preceding the corresponding chapter of The Silmarillion.

The chapter follows "The Flight of the Noldoli", and is followed by "The Hiding of Valinor".

Chapter synopsisEdit

Gilfanon is a new guest to the Cottage of Lost Play. He and Ælfwine request that Lindo continue telling tales, and so Lindo narrates of the Gods' creation of the celestial bodies.

The taleEdit

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.

When the tale finishes, Lindo, tired of story-telling for the moment, asks Vairë to then tell Ælfwine of the Hiding of Valinor.

Editor's commentaryEdit

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".

Translations around the worldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die Verhaal van die Son en die Maan
Albanian Tregimi i Diellit dhe Hënës
Amharic የፀሀይ እና ጨረቃ ታሪክ
Arabic حكاية الشمس والقمر
Armenian Արեւի եւ Լուսնի հեքիաթը
Azerbaijani Günəş və Ayın nağılları
Basque Eguzkia eta Ilargiaren istorioa
Belarusian Cyrillic Казка пра Сонца і Месяц
Bengali দ্য সূর্য ও চন্দ্রের কাহিনী
Bosnian Priča o suncu i mjesecu
Bulgarian Cyrillic Приказката за слънцето и Луната
Cambodian រឿងនិទាននៃព្រះអាទិត្យនិងព្រះច័ន្ទ
Catalan La història del Sol i de la Lluna
Cebuano Ang sugilanon sa adlaw ug bulan
Chinese 太阳和月亮的故事
Corsican A storia di u Sole è di a Luna
Croatian Priča o Suncu i Mjesecu
Czech Příběh Slunce a Měsíce
Danish Historien om Solen og Månen
Dutch Het Verhaal van de Zon en de Maan
Esperanto La rakonto pri la Suno kaj Luno
Estonian Päike ja kuu lugu
Filipino Ang Kuwento ng ang Araw at Buwan
Finnish Tarina aurinko ja kuu
French Le Conte du Soleil et de la Lune
Galician O conto do Sol e da Lúa
Georgian ამბავი მზისა და მთვარისა
German Die Geschichte von Sonne und Mond
Greek Η ιστορία του ήλιου και της Σελήνης
Gujarati સૂર્ય અને ચંદ્રની વાર્તા
Hawaiian Ka moʻolelo o ka Lā a me ka mahina
Hebrew סיפורו של השמש והירח
Hindi द सूर्य और चंद्रमा की कहानी
Hmong Lub taleas ntawm lub hnub thiab lub hli
Hungarian A Nap és a Hold meséje
Icelandic Saga sólar og Tungls
Indonesian Kisah Matahari dan Bulan
Irish Gaelic Scéal na Gréine agus na Gealaí
Italian Il racconto del Sole e della Luna
Japanese 太陽と月の物語
Kannada ದಿ ಸೂರ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಚಂದ್ರನ ಕಥೆ
Kazakh Күн мен Ай туралы ертегі (Cyrillic) Kün men Ay twralı ertegi (Latin)
Korean 태양과 달의 이야기
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Күндө, айда жомогу
Laotian ເລື່ອງຂອງດວງອາທິດແລະດວງຈັນ
Latin In fabula est Solis et Lunae perscrutandis
Latvian Stāsts par sauli un mēness
Lithuanian Pasakojimas apie saulę ir Mėnulį
Luxembourgish D'Geschicht vun der Sonn an de Mound
Macedonian Cyrillic Приказната за Сонцето и Месечината
Malagasy Ny tantaran'ny masoandro sy ny volana
Malayalam സൂര്യന്റെയും ചന്ദ്രന്റെയും കഥ
Malaysian Kisah Matahari dan Bulan
Maltese Il-storja Tax-xemx u Qamar
Marathi द सूर्य आणि चंद्र यांच्या कथा
Mongolian Cyrillic Нар ба сарны түүх
Nepalese द सूर्य र चन्द्रको कथा
Norwegian Fortellingen om Solen og Månen
Pashto د لمر او چاند تاریخ
Persian داستان خورشید و ماه
Polish Opowieść o Słońcu i Księżycu
Portuguese O conto do Sol e da Lua
Punjabi ਦ ਸੂਰਜ ਅਤੇ ਚੰਦ ਦੀ ਕਹਾਣੀ
Romanian Povestea soarelui și a lunii
Russian История Солнца и Луны
Samoan Le tala o le la Ma le Masina
Scottish Gaelic Sgeulachd na grèine agus na gealaich
Serbian Прича о сунцу и мјесецу (Cyrillic) Priča o suncu i mjesecu (Latin)
Sindhi سج ۽ چنڊ جو داستان
Sinhalese සූර්යයාගේ හා චන්ද්‍රයාගේ කතාව
Slovak Príbeh Slnka a Mesiaca
Slovenian Zgodba o Soncu in Luni
Somalian Qorraxda iyo dayaxa sheekada
Spanish El cuento del Sol y de la Luna
Swahili Hadithi ya Jua na Mwezi
Swedish Sagan om Solen och Månen
Tajik Cyrillic Ҳикояи офтоб ва моҳ
Tamil சூரியன் மற்றும் சந்திரனின் கதை
Telugu సూర్యుడు మరియు చంద్రుల కథ
Thai เรื่องราวของดวงอาทิตย์และดวงจันทร์
Turkish Güneş ve ay masalı
Ukrainian Cyrillic Казка про Сонце і Місяць
Urdu سورج اور چاند کی داستان
Uzbek Қуёш ва Ойнинг ҳикояси (Cyrillic) Quyosh va Oyning hikoyasi (Latin)
Vietnamese Câu chuyện của mặt trời và Mặt Trăng
Welsh Hanes yr Haul a'r Lleuad
Yiddish די מייַסע פון די זון און לבנה
Yoruba Awọn Itan ti Sun ati Oṣupa
Yucatec Maya Le jajal t'aana' le k'iino' yéetel le ujo'
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