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  • Updated 17 June 2021
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Eldest of Trees

A title for the White Tree Telperion

Of the Two Trees of Valinor, it was White Telperion that first grew to full stature and began the shed its silver light across the realm of the Valar. Telperion was thus given the epithet 'Eldest of Trees', though the second Tree, Laurelin, was very nearly as ancient. Within just six hours, Telperion began to fade as the golden light of Laurelin kindled, and within twelve hours the White Tree had faded to darkness as Laurelin grew to its full brightness, before the cycle began again.

The moment of the coming to life of Telperion was so important to the Valar that they gave it a name: the Opening Hour. From that moment, they calculated the passage of time in their land, measuring out the centuries and millennia. The cycling lights of Telperion and Laurelin would continue across thousands of years, only coming to an end with the Darkening of Valinor at the hands of Melkor.

Telperion Eldest of Trees was especially beloved of the Eldar in Valinor, and Yavanna made them a gift of an image of the White Tree. This was Galathilion, the Tree of Tirion, and from Galathilion came a line of White Trees whose descendants could still be found growing in Middle-earth until at least the beginning of the Fourth Age.


It should be noted that Telperion was not by any means the eldest of all trees. We know, for example, that Yavanna had already created forests full of trees while the Valar dwelt in Middle-earth under their Lamps, long before they removed to Valinor. Telperion's title, then, refers specifically to the fact that it was the elder of the Two Trees of Valinor.


See also...

Two Trees of Valinor

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 June 2021
  • Updates planned: 2

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