24 Nov 2009

Telperion and Laurelin

While my adventures in Lord of the Rings Online (the game) continues, I've been sitting here thinking about trees. Professor Tolkien loved trees and nature , and this passion is very well represented in the history of Middle-earth. He once said:

"I was born in 1892 and lived for my early years in 'the Shire' in a pre-mechanical age. I like gardens, trees and unmechanised farmland."

With this in mind, I was trying to find some inspiration for a little story I may write, so I went back to the history of Arda....

(Age of the Lamps by Ted Nasmith)

Yavanna, Queen of the Earth sung a beautiful song and the the Age of the Lamps did arise, and the trees of the Great Forests covered the land. Many of the trees we know, some which do not exist any longer. After the evil Melkor destroyed the Lamps, Illuin, the silver one to the north and Ormal, the golden one to the south, the Valar went to Valinor. Yavanna sung again and created the Two Trees, silver Telperion and golden Laurelin. One silver and one gold, the two Trees of Valinor were the source of light. Each of them would take turn and give light for seven hours then slowly let the other shine. At 'dusk' and 'dawn' it would be the only times when the two trees would shine together for a few minutes, and golden and silver would merge into beautiful light. Melkor did not like the trees, in fact he hated them so much he decided to sent the spider Ungoliant ( an ancestor of Shelob) to destroy the Trees of Light. Melkor succeeded , both trees and their beautiful light were no more! Yavanna failed to re-create them by singing a song - all that was left was one last flower from Telperion (the moon) and Laurelin 's last fruit (the sun). However the true light of the Trees did not dissaper completely , before Ungoliant came onto them , the light was stored in the Silmarils, three gems of immense power and beauty created the elf prince Fëanor.

During the First Age many do desire to possess the Silmarils, which contain the only remaining unsullied light of the Trees.In the Second and Third Ages, the White Trees of Númenor and of Gondor, are direct descendants of Telperion. They stand both as symbols of the kingdoms of Gondor and Númenor, and also as reminders of the ancient alliance between the Dúnedain and the Elves.

So complex and beautiful, Tolkien's world is also pure and uncomplicated at the same time .The Two Trees at first, then the Shire are under threat. Melkor and then Sauron do relies on machines, they destroy and torn down forests. The victory of the 'heart' against the 'machine' reaches new highs when Treebeard, chief of the Tree People (Ents) leads the trees in battle and destroy Isengard. After reading once more about the Two Trees of Valinor, I did find the inspiration I was looking for, thank you Professor Tolkien :)