The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 28 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

Evening Star

The shining light in the skies of the West

A name for the brilliant white light that shines low on the horizon after sunset at certain times. In the tradition of the Elves, this was one of the three Silmarils, a Jewel that shone with the Light of the Two Trees, borne into the sky by Eärendil aboard his vessel Vingilot. It was seen as a reminder that the Powers of the Blessed Realm watched over Middle-earth, and as a symbol of hope (indeed one of its names was Gil-Estel, the 'Star of High Hope').

The fact that the Evening Star was most visible at the end of the day, as the Sun sank below the horizon, also carried a symbolic message. The idea of a shining light of hope appearing as the day came to its end is reflected in the name Undómiel, 'Evenstar', given to Elrond's daughter Arwen. Arwen was seen as last gleam of hope for the Elves, born into a time when they were fading from Middle-earth, just as the Evening Star shone out as night began to fall.

The Evening Star had more than a symbolic effect on the history of Middle-earth; it also played a very practical part in the events at the end of the Third Age. Galadriel was able to capture some of its shining light in a Phial, which she granted to Frodo the Ring-bearer as a gift. It was only through the brilliant light of this Star-glass that Frodo was later able to escape Shelob's Lair and continue his Quest, so without the light of the Evening Star, Sauron's Ruling Ring may never have been destroyed.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 28 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Find the best personality matches for any role in seconds with Discus' Candidate Match feature.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Menu
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry