Quenta Eluwë - Chapter Four: The Journey to Valinor and the Establishment of Tirion and Alqualondë
Eönwë and some other of the Maiar stayed with us after the Battle of the Powers for a while. It was Olórin who had gone and returned to bring news to Cuiviénen for all the Eldar to hearken to. He told us of the trial of Melkor. It was told that Melkor was brought to Máhanaxar and thrown down at the feet of Manwë. There he sued for pardon which was promptly denied. Manwë then decreed that for three ages long, Melkor must abide in the Halls of Mandos, where no Vala, Elf, Demon, or Man can escape.
Further, he also told us that there had been a great debate amongst the Valar as to the matter of the Quendi in Middle-earth. Some wished for us to remain and live in this land of our birth so we could order it and heal all its wounds. Some others, however, feared for the Quendi amid the darkness and deceits that remained still and yet still, were also filled with love for the Quendi and wished for the Quendi to abide with them. Finally, it came to be that the Valar decided that the Quendi should be summoned to Valinor.
At this news, I was filled with new hope. I was still grievously wounded from Eluwën's death and the only hope of healing I could foresee was in the West of west that Oromë had spoken of. However, many of us feared the Valar for we had only seen them in their wrathful power in their war against Melkor. So Oromë came to us once again, our ambassador from the Valar.
It was Oromë who came into my dwelling and asked leave of me for Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë to travel to Valinor in stead for all Quendi as they were the sons of the three eldest of the Quendi. He also confided that he chose them for another reason.
"Hail, Eluwë, Lord of the Eldar. I come to ask your leave for your sons, Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë, to be ambassadors to come to Valinor to speak for all Quendi and to see the peace and beauty of Valinor so that they may perhaps convince other Quendi to come. As they are sons of the eldest Quendi: Imin, Tata, and Enel, it would be appropriate since they will in due time, become Lords of their people as is their due.
`They are also sons of Eluwë and the Valar put great stock in the fact that you are their father. That is a great credit. Now, what do you say, High King? Is my choice agreeable?" Oromë asked.
I replied, "Yes, my Lord! It would please me if my sons were your chosen ambassadors."
Oromë smiled knowingly. "Ah, Eluwë, I thought you would be pleased! I would also have you know that I chose your sons for other reasons. It was Ingwë who first approached me and beseeched, `O, let me come to Valinor!' So it was with your other sons, when they saw Ingwë approach me. Finally, it was Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë who all requested to journey to Valinor. They have such courage, your sons! And such faith in the Valar! I could not help but be swayed for love of your sons."
I could scarce hide my pleasure at Oromë's words. There was an element of longing in there however. I too wished to go, but chose not to for the sake of the Quendi. I was their High King as it was. I must not abandon them. Better to send princes who would be kings soon. Oromë saw this and spoke of it with me. He told me that he understood my choice, but he would have me go as well.
So it was that Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë journeyed to Valinor. There they stayed for the better part of a year while I stayed behind in Middle-earth, leading the Quendi and being busy with many matters. Yet I missed them sorely. Hardly a day passed that I did not think of them. Suddenly, one day, joyous news came to me from my sentinels: the long gone Lords had returned to Cuiviénen! I marked this curious word that my watchers used: Lords. And they used it with such reverence and awe.
I went out to meet them and indeed, they were Lords of the Quendi. So changed were they. Not merely princes of the Eldar anymore, but Kings! They had the light of Aman and the Trees in their eyes and faces as Oromë and the other Valar and Maiar did.
I came forth and cried, "Hail! Hail to Lord Ingwë, Lord Finwë, and Lord Elwë," and I bowed deeply. As I did, all other Quendi did. From that day forth, they were Kings, even if it was not officially so at that moment.
After much joy, my sons and I sequestered ourselves in our humble home and I spoke many greetings and honors to them as I gave refreshment to them. Finally, I knew that the moment had come for them to come into their own and receive their due as I looked at how glorious and wise they were. They were ready.
I spoke, "My sons, it is now time for change. I must lay down my kingship and bestow it upon you. You are now Calaquendi. You have the wisdom and light of Aman. Furthermore, you all are the sons of our first Kings: Imin, Tata, and Enel."
At first, they began to protest, for they loved and respected their father greatly, but I spoke and quieted them and told them that this was my final decision.
"Ingwë, you shall be the Lord of Imin's people: the Vanyar. Furthermore, you shall be High King of all the Eldar and revered by all.
`Finwë, son of Tata, you shall be Lord of his people: the Noldor. I foresee that you will beget many descendants who shall be renowned in song and story for many Ages.
`Lastly, Elwë Singollo, you shall rule the Teleri, the people of Enel. As they are a great people, I would hope that you would share lordship with Olwë, your brother."
So it was. My sons accepted their lordships as did the rest of the Quendi. They then went about the task of persuading their peoples to make the journey to Aman. They spoke of the splendor and beauty of the Trees and they wished very much to return so they went about their task with great fervor. It came to be that all the Vanyar and most of the Noldor and Teleri were persuaded and were willing to follow my sons to Valinor. However, some few loved the starlight so much that they did not want to leave Middle-earth for mere stories of the Light of the Trees. These came to be the Avari, the Unwilling, who were lost from the Eldar for many ages. I, myself, did not meet the Avari again until early in the Second Age.
We now prepared a great host for the March to the West. It was divided into three smaller hosts: the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri. The first to set forth was the Vanyar, led by Ingwë. In that host, I was. Before I was to set out, I went and said my farewells to Finwë and Elwë.
Both were emotional, but exceptionally so was my farewell to Elwë. As I held that son of mine in a tight embrace, I had a sudden flash of foresight. I felt that I would not see Elwë again until many Ages of Arda were passed, not in waking life. I do not know how or why I realized this, but it did come to be. As I held him, tears welled up in my eyes and I think Elwë felt the same because he held me all the tighter. We came to have many quick hard embraces and quick kisses on the cheeks. It was a long farewell and when we were done, Ingwë and Finwë came forward to embrace him.
Finally, after many farewells and tears, the Vanyar took up the march with Oromë on Nahar at their head. Our way was long and hard and slow. For a long time, as we marched, great black clouds still hovered in the North where the Battle had been and the stars were hidden. At this omen of darkness, not a few of the Eldalië repented of the Journey and turned back. They are forgotten now with the Avari.
Soon, we passed beyond that darkness and were in the great wilderness of Middle-earth. Long and uncounted were the leagues that our weary feet traveled. The ways were pathless and wild, and yet we were filled with wonder at all we saw so the way was slow. At times, Oromë would depart from the Host of the Eldar and we would tarry. In this way, the Noldor came to join us eventually. Yet the Teleri were always at the rear. I never did see Elwë nor Olwë and Elmo as well, even though Finwë did. I was already in a mild state of distress at this early stage at seeing my foresight coming true already.
Finally, we came to a great river and beyond it, a mountain range whose peaks seemed to rise up to the very stars. It would interest you, Eldarion, to know that this river was verily Anduin the Great whose course runs past this very city of Minas Tirith. The mountains we called the Hithaeglir, the Towers of Mist, which in later days would be called the Misty Mountains. Those mountains in those days were taller and more treacherous. They were raised by Melkor to hinder Oromë and the Valar.
Soon, Oromë led the Vanyar and Noldor through the Hithaeglir while the Teleri tarried on the east bank of Anduin and wished to abide there for a while. After Oromë had gone on forward, the Teleri grew afraid looking upon the high peaks of the Hithaeglir. Much later, I heard that one in the host of Olwë, named Lenwë, led a great number southwards down the great river. These would become the Nandor in later days.
Much later, after the Vanyar and Noldor had crossed the Hithaeglir and into Eriador, we came over the Ered Luin, which in later ages were called the Blue Mountains and came into Beleriand. Eventually we came to the shores of the Great Sea at the Firth of Drengist and the Bay of Balar. At the sight of the Great Sea, many of the Eldar grew afraid and retreated to the highlands of Beleriand.
Here, not even Ingwë and Finwë could urge their people on. The great waters affrighted them too much. After Oromë had much discussion with Ingwë, Finwë, and I, it was decided that he should depart us to seek the counsel of Manwë as to what he should do.
While we awaited Oromë's return, it came to be that Elwë urged the Teleri to cross the Hithaeglir and Eriador, even as we had with Oromë's guidance, to come into Beleriand to rejoin with his beloved brother, Finwë. As I have said, though Ingwë loved Finwë and Elwë greatly, he was always more aloof than his brothers and so Finwë and Elwë found much companionship in each other and forged a greater bond of love. He also loved greatly the Light of the Trees and wished very much to see them once again.
It came to be then that the great sundering between me and Elwë occured. The Vanyar were closest to the shores of the Great Sea, the greater part of the Noldor were in the highlands of Beleriand, and the Teleri were in East Beleriand, close to the Ered Luin; so it came to be that I never set sight on Elwë again, and neither did Ingwë. However, Elwë would make visit to Finwë regularly.
It was on one of these journeys that Elwë Singollo was lost. In later days, it came to be known in Valinor that he had chanced upon the beautiful Maia, Melian, in Nan Elmoth and was enchanted by her beauty. As the story goes, he was entranced by her singing and was drawn to her. He came to her and was filled with love for her and took her hand. There they stood for years beneath the immortal stars staring silent into each other's eyes until the trees grew tall and dark over them.
As is known, the Teleri searched long for their Lord, but years upon years passed, so Olwë took up the Lordship and departed for Valinor with a great many of the Teleri. Elwë Singollo never did return to Valinor as long as he lived and neither did Melian while she was at his side. In later days, the spell was lessened upon him so he and Melian came forth from Nan Elmoth and were discovered by the Úmanyar, remnants of the Teleri that stayed behind and did not forsake their Lord. He became King Greymantle, surnamed Elu Thingol. He became the Lord of all Beleriand and his people were the Sindar, Elves of the Twilight. He was greater than all his subjects however, because he was Calaquendi and alone had seen the Light of the Trees. However, his greatest legacy was a child born of the love of Elwë and Melian, fairest of the Children of Ilúvatar that was and will ever be. Of this child, there would come into the lines of Elves and Men, a touch of the Ainur who sang before the World.
In this period of waiting, it came to be that Finwë and a nissë named Míriel Serindë grew enamored of each other and came to love each other. I was greatly pleased by this match. Míriel had a great wisdom and grace beyond her years and her works of craft with thread! Simply beautiful! She could sew great tapestries with our stories and bring them to life as if they were living and breathing and moving.
It came to be that these two were wedded and there was great love between them. There was also great joy in the hearts of the Quendi at the union of Finwë and Míriel. It was a very happy time for all the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri.
Ulmo, it was, who came finally at the urging of Manwë to bring us to Valinor. He had words with the Quendi and made great music on his horns wrought of white shell, the Ulumúri. With that great music, Ulmo turned the hearts of the Quendi from fear to longing for the Sea. Once that was done, Ulmo and his servants uprooted a great island, that later we learned was from the roots of Illuin ere it fell to Melkor, and brought it to the Bay of Balar and anchored it as if it were a great ship.
Then the Vanyar and Noldor boarded that great ship of soil and grass and trees and set off for Valinor. As we set off slowly westwards, I looked to the east, where Elwë remained and there was a great sadness and unquiet in my heart. Again, I felt that I would not see Elwë ere many ages were passed and gone. I know Ingwë and Finwë sensed my pain for they drew close to me and stood, facing eastwards in a last solemn farewell to Elwë. As we looked east, there was a great shuddering of the island and the eastern part of the island broke off from the main and was hereafter called the Isle of Balar.
Soon it came to be that the Vanyar and Noldor came verily to Aman and even as the Pelóri rose tall and threatening before us, we were filled with a deep joy to come to this protected place. Even in the shadow of those tall mountains that made the Hithaeglir look as hills, the Eldar could see the radiance of Telperion and Laurelin about the crowns of the Pelóri.
After a short period of time encamped upon the long white shores of Aman, Oromë came and led us over the Pelóri and into the light and bliss of Valinor. There the Vanyar and Noldor dwelt long in peace and happiness in the gardens of Valinor lit by the Trees. Eventually, it came to be, however, that the Eldar missed the light of the stars of Varda, so Aulë himself came and leveled a gap through the Mountains of Defence. This was the Calacirya, the Pass of Light. In that pass, the Eldar raised the fair green hill of Túna.
Upon the crown of Túna, we built the White City of Tirion. There were many walls and terraces and towers. The tallest of these towers was Mindon Eldaliéva, the Tower of Ingwë in which I dwelt as well as the High King. For Ages, its silver lamp has shone, sending a thin beam of light out upon the sea. Very few are the ships of Men that have seen its slender beam. In those years of the Trees, Telperion the Elder came to be much loved of the Eldar so Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits, made a lesser image of Telperion surnamed Galathilion in later ages by the Sindar. In everything it was like to Telperion, save that it did not give light of its own. Of this tree, many seedlings came and it was the source of Celeborn in Tol Eressëa and Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor.
Now, care must be given to the Teleri, left behind in Middle-earth. As has been told and found out in later Ages, Elwë was lost. For him, the Teleri searched long in East Beleriand far from the sea and so they did not hear the summons of Ulmo ere it was too late. In time, they came to the shores of Middle-earth and took Olwë as their king; there they sang long laments of their friends who had departed the shores of Beleriand.
Here they stayed long and Ossë and Uinen came before them and befriended the Teleri. Ossë, it was who taught them of much sea-lore and sea-music. Ever since, the Teleri have been enamored of water and always dwell by the Sea even in Valinor.
It came to be that even in the bliss of Valinor, Finwë and the Noldor did not forget Elwë and the Teleri. Therefore, Finwë came to Ulmo and prayed that the Teleri be brought to Valinor so that the houses of Finwë and Elwë may be reunited. Ulmo did indeed hearken to these prayers and came forth to Middle-earth.
At the coming of Ulmo, the Teleri were now more than willing to depart Middle-earth for Aman. However, Ossë was greatly grieved that the Teleri should depart from Middle-earth forever and that their voices should be heard no more in his domain. So he set about trying to persuade some to remain and some did remain indeed. These were the Falathrim, Eldar of the Falas in the Hither Lands. These were the first mariners and ship-builders in Middle-earth and Círdan the Shipwright was their lord. In later days, Círdan gave much assistance to the Cause of the Exiles against Thangorodrim and later, Barad-dûr. It was only recently, after the Fall of that Dark Tower that he finally departed for the Undying Lands.
It was that the kin and friends of Elwë, including Elmo, still remained in East Beleriand searching still for Elwë Singollo and once again, heard the summons of the Lord of Waters too late and were left behind by Olwë and his people. They named themselves the Eglath, the Forsaken People. They dwelt far from the Sea and amid the forests and plains of Beleriand, even as they had a longing for Aman in their hearts forever. It came to be that eventually, Elwë did awake from his trance in the beauty of Melian and they came forth from Nan Elmoth among the Eglath, who would become the Sindar, Elves of the Twilight under Elwë. He appeared as a Lord of the Maiar, with hair of silver, even as mine appears before you, and in the face of Melian, they could behold the light of Valinor unclouded so they were content.
Now it came to be that even as the Teleri traveled to Aman, Ossë still pursued them. As they drew into the Bay of Eldamar, he called to Olwë and his people. Hearing his cry, the Teleri begged Ulmo to stay the path of the island. Ulmo hearkened to their pleading and bid that Ossë should make fast the island to the bottom of the Sea and anchor it. Ulmo was glad to do this for he understood the hearts of the Teleri and that they were not of a whole mind to come to Aman. However, Manwë and the Valar were ill pleased at this news and Finwë, when he heard that the Teleri were not coming to Tirion and that Elwë remained still in Middle-earth, he wept for he knew that he should never see Elwë Singollo again unless it were in the Halls of Mandos and so it was. I recall that I also grieved heavily at the news in the high tower of Mindon Eldaliéva and would often go to the very highest room where that silver lamp cast its light from to look out over the dark Sea back towards Middle-earth where I knew Elwë still dwelt.
I know that Ingwë also grieved as well for often, I would come upon him sitting upon his throne glassy eyed in memory staring East even as I would. And once, I came upon him on a high pass in the Calacirya standing tall before the dark East whispering, "O, Elwë, my brother. When shall you come to Finwë and I again? When shall we be able to rejoin our fëa in communion again? O, I would have you come to Taniquetil and look out upon Arda with me and speak with me of its beauty and horror which I have not experienced from my high seat!"
Now, the Teleri dwelt long on Tol Erresëa, the Lonely Isle in the Bay of Eldamar that is Elvenhome. Here the Light of the Trees came forth and lit the waters round the Isle silver and gold through the Calacirya. The Light touched the green land of the Lonely Isle and here it was that the first flowers bloomed east of Aman.
However, the hearts of the Teleri came to be drawn to the Light that streamed forth from the Calacirya. Manwë knew this and spoke once again with Ulmo, who finally submitted to the Elder King's will and bade Ossë to go to the Teleri and even while grieving, teach them the craft of ship building. When this was done and their White Ships were built, Ossë brought many swans to them as a gift and so they finally came upon Aman, drawn by the swans to Eldamar. Here they dwelt in Eldamar, and even though they could come to Valimar and Tirion upon Túna, they still loved the Sea and so stayed where they had landed. Here they built their city of Alqualondë, the Haven of the Swans. There, the mansions of Olwë were constructed of pearl by the Noldor and gifts too the Noldor made to the Teleri of many gems which caught the light of the stars and gave light to Alqualondë in the darkness of the stars, north of the Calacirya.