O Elbereth, Gilthoniel!
- “O stars that in the Sunless Year With shining hand by her were sown, In Windy fields now bright and clear We see your silver blossom blown!“
- (Hymn to Elbereth)
Varda Elentári (Sindarin Elbereth Gilthoniel) was a Valië, wife of Manwë and Queen of the Valar. The Quendi revere her most of all the Valar, and they call upon her in their hours of deepest darkness.
Stars play a prominent role in Tolkien’s mythology. She created them in two phases: first, in the earliest ages of the creation of Arda, then, before the awakening of the Elves. She made the second group using light from the Silver Tree, Telperion. These were the brighter of the stars. This group included many of the prominent constellations, including Menelmacar (Orion), Remmirath ( the Pleiades) and the Valacirca (the Sickle of the Valar). In the standard mythology, the stars were created long before the Sun and the Moon. They thus contain the unsullied light of creation, and are therefore particularly sacred to the Elves.
Lotro has beautiful skies in the daylight, which turns into a starry canopy at night, looking up, players can see the millions of stars twinkling above their heads, as well as the course of the Moon, Looking more closely, the three major constellations can be identified among all the other stars
Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar
Valacirca was created by Varda before the Awakening of the Elves, as a warning to Melkor, forshadowing his future downfall. It was also known as the Seven Stars, the Sickle and the Wain (it is the Hobbit name). Today it is comparable to a section of Ursa Major, known as the Big Dipper. According to the Silmarillion, Valacirca was set in the Northern Sky. Together with Remmirath and Menelmacar, Valacirca is one of the few constellations which is mentioned in Tolkien’s works.
Remmirath the Netted stars
Remmirath, is a little cluster of seven stars, close together. It is located above and to the right of Menelmacar. It is the constellation known in the real world as Pleiades, the Stars of the Seven Sisters from Greek mythology. Remmirath’s origin is likely the same to that of other constellations: it was created by Varda to signal the Elves to Valinor. It can be seen in the eastern sky during the autumn.
Menelmacar the Swordsman of the Sky
Menelmacar, the Swordsman of the Sky is one of the constellations set in the heavens by Varda, gathered from among the ancient stars to enlighten the awakening of the Elves. It also is a premonition of the Last Battle which will happen at the End of Days. Three bright stars are close together in the middle, they are the belt of the swordsman. To the right of the three stars of the belt there are six small stars in a shallow crescent, they represent the starsword of Menelmacar. This constellation was called Telumehtar in Quenya, later it became Menelvagor (Sindarin). The red star Borgil (Betelgeuse in real world) is located on his right shoulder. The Swordsman is Orion in the real world
Last but not least, The Moon was created by the Valar Aulë. He made a vessel to hold the radiance of the last flower of Telperion, elder of the Two Trees of Valinor. The Maia Tilion was chosen to guide the vessel of the Moon. The first rising was right at the edge of a new age, Years of the Sun, First Age year 1.
The Moon has various names given by the Elves included Isil or The Sheen, a vanyarin name; Ithil in Sindarin, and Rána, or The Wayward, a Noldorin name and the oldest recorded name of the Moon was its Valarin name, Phanaikelūth. The Moon was valued higher than the Sun by the Elves, because it came from the Elder Tree, Telperion, and because it rose first. it was also made in memory of the Elves.
In the Book of Lost Tales the Moon was described in great detail as an immense island of crystal. It was also said there that the young Maia Tilion was secretly in love with Arien (Anar in the Silmarillion), the maiden of the Sun; because he steered the Moon too close to the Sun in an attempt to catch her the Moon was burned, causing the darker spots on its surface.
Another figure of interest is the Man in the Moon, found only in those writings, as being an old Elf named Uole Kuvion, who secretly hid on the island of the Moon because he wanted to take care of the Rose of Telperion, and built a minaret there. This is alluded to further in Tolkien’s Roverandom, where the Man in the Moon also lives in a minaret. The Man in the Moon is also mentioned by Frodo in the song he sung at the Prancing Pony, “The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late”. It is also mentioned in the book “Adventures of Tom Bombadil”.