The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Created and destroyed at least three ages before the beginning of the First Age
Illuin stood in the far north of Middle-earth, and Ormal in the far south.


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 March 2014
  • Updates planned: 2

Lamps of the Valar

The first illumination of the World

Illuin and Ormal, the two great lamps made by Aulë to give light to the World in the ancient days when the Valar still dwelt in Almaren. They were overthrown and destroyed by Melkor.

Illuin The northern Lamp, whose beams shone southward (though not explicitly stated, Illuin's name implies that it shone with a blue light). Even further to the north than Illuin, Melkor founded his fortress of Utumno, choosing the distant north because Illuin's light was faint in those far regions, and it was from Utumno that he would eventually issue to bring down both the Lamps of the Valar. After Illuin's destruction, in the place where its roots had been, the Inland Sea of Helcar was formed.
Ormal The southern Lamp, whose light shone out northward to meet the beams of Illuin and illuminate Middle-earth. The name Ormal suggests a golden light, so Illuin and Ormal together perhaps prefigure the Trees of Silver and Gold, Telperion and Laurelin. When Melkor invaded the World from the north and threw down Illuin, he also broke the pillar of Ormal, causing it to fall to its destruction and spill flame across the World.

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