Ch:Of the Darkening of Valinor
|Of the Darkening of Valinor|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter tells of how Melkor and Ungoliant came into Valinor and stole the light of Laurelin and Telperion and how their light was ended.
The Valar perceived that Melkor would have fled back to his fortress of Angband in the north, but no trace of Melkor could be found by the Helcaraxë or anywhere in the north. He actually went far south, to a region known as Avathar. There, very little light ever came, and the light that did was consumed by Ungoliant, a terrible being who took the form of a great spider, consuming light and spinning webs of darkness. He came to her in the form of a dark lord, as when he ruled Middle-earth, and he forever remained in that forrm. Melkor bargained with her to come with him to sack the light of Valinor. He promised her that she could have any prize afterward, and she agreed.
Ungoliant traveled with Melkor, spinning a cloud of darkness to hide them. It was no ordinary darkness, not a shadow of things, but darkness that shone as if it were light itself. It was the time for a festival in Valinor, and all the residents, Vala and Elda alike, were feasting in praise of Eru. Although Melkor's escape hardly proved celebratory, Manwë sought to restore union among the Noldor. The Vanyar and the Noldor attended, but not the Teleri. They remained by the shores at the Bay of Eldamar. Fëanor came as well, but without his father or his sons, he alone. He met his brother Fingolfin, who fulfilled his promise to release his brother from the banishment. He then swore eternal loyalty to Fëanor, who accepted. As they stood before Manwë and made their powerful oath, the mingling lights of the Two Trees shone into Valmar.
At that moment, Melkor and Ungoliant arrived before the Two Trees. With his black spear, Melkor lanced deep wounds into both trees. Sap poured out like blood to the ground. Ungoliant sucked the spilled sap and that sucked all life of the tree from their wounds, and her venom filled the trees and killed them. Then she went to the Wells of Varda and drank them dry. She belched black vapors, and then she grew larger and more terrible, so much that Melkor was fearful. The Light failed, and Valinor was plunged into night. Music ceased, along with every other joyous sound. From the heights of Taniquetil, Manwë saw the darkness within the dark, the shroud that Ungoliant formed around her and Melkor. It was moving northward. Oromë and Tulkas tried to hunt him down, but they were blind in the shroud of darkness and could not see until their enemies had passed and fled far away. Thus, Melkor had had his revenge, and he began his return to his fortress of Angband.