Ch:Of the Beginning of Days
|Of the Beginning of Days|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter begins what is known as Quenta Silmarillion and tells how Middle-earth and all of Arda were made by the Valar, and how Melkor sought to take over the world and remake it to his own desires.
 Plot Summary
The First War took place before Arda was complete and before there were inhabitants upon the earth. Melkor had summoned many spirits to his alliance, and he had the advantage for a long time, until Tulkas the Strong arrived, and with his laughter alone, the forces of Melkor retreated to the darkness of the outskirts, and he hated Tulkas forever since. Tulkas then joined his brethren as a Vala.
 The Spring of Arda
The chaos over the world that came from Melkor's interference in the creation of Arda was laid away, and the Valar finished in constructing the Kingdom of Arda. The fires that had scourged the land were put out and buried beneath the earth. Yavanna planted the first seeds of life. Aulë created two lamps to light the earth. He raised one in the north, and it was called Illuin. He raised the other in the south, and it was called Ormal. They gleamed across Arda, creating perpetual daylight. All forest and plant life blossomed. Creatures came forth and lived in the new wilderness. On the Isle of Almaren in the middle of the Great Lake, where the two lights of the lamps mixed, the Valar set up their home. They had grown tired, especially Aulë and Tulkas, who had worked incessantly. Melkor knew of this, for he had many spies and allies. Seeing the beauty of their feats, Melkor was filled with hate.
 Melkor Returns
When the Valar were settled, Tulkas slept. At this moment, Melkor seized his chance. He struck from the north, his darkness unseen amidst the light of Illuin. From his underground stronghold, Utumno, his evil spread, making forests into swamps, creatures into monsters, and other toxic transformations. With invading power, Melkor's forces destroyed the two lamps of light. Cataclysm struck Arda from casting down the lamps and the pillars that sustained them. The flames of the lamps spilled and engulfed the land. Fearful of Manwë and Tulkas, Melkor fled back into Utumno and hid. The Valar could not find or stop him, and they had to use what strength they had into rebuilding Arda. So ended the Spring.
 Valinor and Arda
Their home on Almaren was ruined, so the Valar settled in the westernmost lands of Middle-earth, Aman. They raised the Pelóri, the Mountains of Aman, and upon the highest mountain, they set Manwë's throne. From that position, they could gaze upon the farthest east of the Earth and see all. Behind the Pelóri, the Valar created their region of Valinor. It is so holy a place, that nothing may ever grow old or sick within it, and its beauty surpassed that of the Spring of Arda. On a hallowed mound near the western gate, Yavanna and Nienna used their powers to grow the Two Trees of Valinor, Telperion and Laurelin. Telperion shone with silver light, and Laurelin with golden light. Their light waxed and waned apart from each other, but as one tree had an hour left before going out, the other lit up, creating a soft glow of the mingling beams of silver and gold. The cycles of lighting and fading began the Count of Time of the world.
The rest of Arda lay in Twilight, and Melkor roamed about freely, causing all hurts and pains. The Valar gave little attention to the rest of Middle-earth. Aulë worked in his underground lairs and created many things. Bird messengers gave Manwë word of underground evils that he could not see. Ulmo remained mostly in the Outer Ocean upon the edge of Arda and still does. He governs all the waters of the earth. By the power of Ulmo, life remained upon the Earth, in spite of Melkor. Oromë traveled Middle-earth as a hunter and slew many evil beasts of Melkor. The time of the Children of Ilúvatar was yet to come.
But Ilúvatar thought for an age and at last spoke out that he loved the earth, and he declared his gifts for the races of Elves and Men. The Elves would be the fairest of the two, and they would live forever until the world ended, unless slain or wasted by grief, never growing elderly. To Men, he gave odd gifts. He gave them mortality and the sense of freedom to control their destiny and never find satisfaction as they grew and expanded.