The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Created more than three Ages before the first rising of the Sun
Forming a shoulder of the constellation Menelvagor, the Swordsman of the Sky (that is, Orion)
Made by Varda from the dews of Telperion
'Red star'
Other names
The Elvish name for the star Betelgeuse


About this entry:

  • Updated 18 October 2015
  • This entry is complete


The constant red star of Menelvagor

"...slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire."
The Fellowship of the Ring I 3
Three is Company

A red star of the winter skies with a name deriving from Sindarin words with the sense of 'star glowing with the colour of red heat'. It is not specifically identified, but clearly appears in the same part of the sky as Remmirath (the Pleiades) and Menelvagor (Orion).

Borgil may have been the orange star now known as Aldebaran in Taurus, but this seems unlikely: Aldebaran is near the Pleiades in the sky, but (according to our sole description) the Netted Stars of Remmirath were high in the sky while Borgil only showed above the mists. A more plausible candidate is probably Betelgeuse, a prominent red star that forms a northern shoulder of Orion (we're told that, when the mists parted, Menelvagor or Orion became visible on the horizon, which also suggests a connection with Betelgeuse).

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