The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Many, many millennia ago, even predating the Years of the Trees
Location
The Great Lake in the central regions of Middle-earth
Origins
Founded by the Valar
Race
Pronunciation
a'lmahren
Meaning
'Blessed (place)'1

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 July 1999
  • This entry is complete

Almaren

The ancient home of the Valar

Before the time of the Two Trees of Valinor, and even before the Valar came to Valinor, they dwelt on the green island of Almaren in the Great Lake. In the mists of time, long before the awakening of Elves or Men, the Valar dwelt east of the Sea in Middle-earth. This was a time called the Spring of Arda, when the Earth was lit by the two Lamps of the Valar, and Almaren lay in the central regions of the World, where the light of the two Lamps mingled.

Of the details of Almaren we know little - there was green grass on the island, and the Valar had a 'dwelling' there, which presumably constituted a city, or at least a town. In the history of the Valar, Almaren was known as the place where Tulkas wed Nessa.

Of much greater importance, though, is the fact that Almaren was the site of the Valar's first major defeat at the hands of Melkor: he loosed his forces secretly from his northern fortress of Utumno (then newly delved). Both the Lamps of the Valar were thrown down and destroyed, and Almaren lay in ruins. Tulkas gave chase, but Melkor escaped into the dungeons of Utumno.

After this, the Valar left Middle-earth and seldom returned. They founded a new land far away to the west, in Aman, that they called Valinor; a land lit by the fabled light of the Two Trees.


Notes

1

...or '(place) of the Blessed', from a root wood almare, 'blessedness'. (According to The Etymologies in The History of Middle-earth Volume 5, The Lost Road and Other Writings III)

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