Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the moon of Middle-earth was created by the Vala AulŽ. A vessel was made, by him and his people, to hold the radiance of the last flower of Telperion, the elder of the Two Trees of Valinor. The Maia Tilion was chosen to guide the vessel of the Moon.
- "Isil was first wrought and made ready, and first rose into the realm of the stars, and was the elder of the new lights, as was Telperion of the Trees."
Names of the Moon amongst the Elves included Isil or The Sheen, a name given to it by the Vanyar; Ithil, the common name for the Moon in Sindarin, as seen in Minas Ithil (later Minas Morgul) and the Gondorian province of Ithilien; and RŠna, or The Wayward, a name given to the Moon by the —oldor.
A poetic name for the Moon was The Silver Flower, and Gollum referred to it as The White Face.
The Moon was valued as higher than the Sun by the Elves, both because it came from the Elder Tree, and because it rose first: it was made in memory of the Elves. The Sun on the other hand was made in memory of Men.
Other versions of the legendarium
In the early versions of The Silmarillion as described in The Book of Lost Tales I, a part of the History of Middle-earth series, the Moon was described in great detail as an immense island of crystal. It was also said there that the youth Tilion was said to secretly be in love with Arien, the maiden who guided the Sun, and that because he steered the Moon too close to the Sun the Moon was burned, causing the darker spots on the Moon which in reality are caused by the great basalt plains known as Lunar maria.
The Man in the Moon is even described in those writings, as being an old Elf who secretly hid on the island of the Moon, and built his minaret there. This is alluded to further in Tolkien's Roverandom, where the Man in the Moon also lives in a Minaret.
In writings which are older than the material from which the publised Silmarillion was drawn, the Moon was described at one point rather as being created by Morgoth as a mockery of Arda the world, but this notion was abandoned.
In the Round World version of the legendarium, the Sun and the Moon were not the fruit of the Two Trees, but actually preceded the creation of the Trees. Instead, the Trees preserved the light of the Sun before it was tainted by Melkor when he ravished Arien.
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