"...globes of crystal / by gleam undying
illumined, lit / by living splendour
and all hues' essence, / their eager flame -"
The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor 105-107
from The History of Middle-earth volume III, The Lays of Beleriand
Three Great Jewels made by Fëanor, greatest of the craftsmen of the Noldor. Long before the making of the Sun and Moon, he trapped the light of the Two Trees of Valinor within three brilliant jewels. The jewels, which were said to be spherical in shape, were created from a substance Fëanor had devised himself, silima, and from this they took their more common name, the Silmarils.
After the Two Trees were destroyed by Morgoth and Ungoliant, Fëanor's jewels held the last of their light. It was in the power of the Valar to use this to rekindle the Trees, but Fëanor's jewels would have been destroyed, and in his pride he refused to give them up. Nonetheless, they were lost to him: Morgoth stole them from the fortress of Formenos, and carried them back to Middle-earth.
Fëanor led his people in a desperate and deadly pursuit of Morgoth, and with his sons he took an unbreakable Oath to regain the Jewels from any who withheld them from their rightful owners. Through a course of bloodshed and betrayal, Fëanor and his seven sons returned to Middle-earth, and began a war against the Dark Lord - a war that is sometimes known, and with good reason, as the War of the Jewels.
Aman, Anfauglir, Angrist, Camlost, Carcharoth, Dark Enemy, Darkening of Valinor, Dírhavel, Eärendil, Eldar of Valinor, Erellont, Finwë, Gate of Angband, Great Echo, Great Jewels, [See the full list...]
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