The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Established c.34,000 years before the first rising of the Sun; stood for c.19,000 years before its destruction by Melkor1
Stood above the southern parts of Middle-earth
The Valar dwelt in Almaren at the time Ormal was made
Uncertain, but probably something close to 'golden height'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 March 2017
  • Updates planned: 1


The southern Lamp of the Valar

The great lights of Arda

One of the two Lamps of the Valar, set up by Aulë in the south of the world while the Valar still dwelt on Almaren. It was destroyed by Melkor at least five ages before the beginning of the First Age.



The dating shown here are taken from The Annals of Aman in volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth, but note that there is some uncertainty over the precise values. For a detailed discussion, see note 1 to the entry for the Lamps of the Valar.


The name Ormal is not explained, but it seems to combine the Elvish prefix or- (indicating a high, rising or prominent thing) with mal 'gold'. Or can also mean 'day', but this connection seems very unlikely to apply to Ormal. The etymological roots of or as 'day' lie in the rising of the Sun, which did not exist in the time that the light of Ormal shone on the World.

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