The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Dated as Valian Year 1400; that is, roughly 960 years before the first rising of the Moon and Sun
Location
Before the gates of Valmar in Valinor
Race
Division
Pronunciation
Melkor is pronounced 'me'lkorr'
Meaning
Melkor means 'He who arises in might'

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  • Updated 28 March 2016
  • This entry is complete

Unchaining of Melkor

The release of the first Dark Lord

At the time of the awakening of the Eldar, the dark power of Melkor dominated Middle-earth from his northern fortress of Utumno. Seeing that the newly awakened Children of Ilúvatar were in danger, Valar set out from Aman to protect them, and in the ensuing Battle of the Powers they defeated Melkor utterly. Bound with the chain Angainor, he was imprisoned within the Halls of Mandos, and there he remained for three ages.1

At the end of that time, Melkor was brought to trial before the Valar. He asked for mercy, and swore to submit himself to the commands of Manwë and aid the people of Valinor. Manwë, believing Melkor to have truly repented his evils, agreed to free him, and the chain Angainor was removed.

Manwë was wrong: at first Melkor worked subtly to undermine the peace of Valinor, but when his subterfuges were revealed he fled the land. Conspiring with the great spider Ungoliant, he brought about the Darkening of Valinor, and after stealing the Silmarils he fled out of Valinor and returned to the North of Middle-earth. Fëanor led the Noldor in pursuit, and so began the long Wars of Beleriand that would continue to the end of the First Age.


Notes

1

According to The Annals of Aman in volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth, Melkor was captured in Valian Year 1090, and released in VY 1400. Converting Valian Years to solar years, Melkor was therefore imprisoned for a little under 3,000 years.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 28 March 2016
  • This entry is complete

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