“And Arien Morgoth feared with a great fear, but dared not come nigh her, having indeed no longer the power…”The Silmarillion
We are taking a break from the regularly scheduled programming of the Silmarils. These next few chapters dive into creation and the coming of Men, which end up being critical to the story but it isn’t as action-packed as the last few chapters.
Of the Sun and Moon and The Hiding of Valinor begins with the Valar in contemplation and grieving. With the banishment of Feanor, the Noldor leaving, and the Two Trees vanquished, hearts are heavy. Yavanna and Nienna harvest what is left of the Two Trees. Laurelin gives off one gold fruit and Telperion gives its last leaf of silver. Manwe and Aule forge them into the sun and moon. I always find that this section is very reminiscent of Norse and Greek Mythology, particularly Norse mythology. In Norse mythology, the sun (Sol) is female and the moon (Mani) is male. Now, the Valar are hoping that this light would hinder Morgoth. (Melkor) To keep the sun and moon rising, Tilian becomes the guardian of the moon and Arien the guardian of the sun. Morgoth gets a little brave and TRIES to go after Tilian and fails. But does not dare go after Arien. Throughout the Silmarillion, this will not be the only female that terrifies Morgoth and I am here for it. The women in Tolkien’s works are fierce and it is very clear that they are essential to the story.
Continuing on… The Valar want Valinor protected from Morgoth and great mountains were created.
Chapter 12, is called Of Men. The creation of the sun means that the time of the Awakening of Men is coming. This chapter is extremely brief and reads like an archeologist deciphering this period with what little information they have. The Men awakened in the East, in Hildorien. Men are different than the elves. They are mortal and they fear the Valar, rather than love them. Their mortality proves difficult in the beginning as they combine forces with the Elves and go against Melkor. The Elves and Men were defeated and from that moment, Elves and Men are estranged.
I love these chapters because while they aren’t action-packed, as I said earlier. It is clear that this historical background is building up to something. We have the Elves, Dwarves, and now the Men. Plus, Melkor has connected himself to the land, taking shelter in the shadows with his spirits.