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"...and Anar the Fire-golden, fruit of Laurelin, they named the Sun. But the Noldor named [it] Vása, the Heart of Fire, that awakens and consumes; for the Sun was set as a sign for the awakening of Men and the waning of the Elves"
—Of the Sun

The Sun of Arda was created by the Vala Aulë; he and his people made a vessel to hold the radiance of the last fruit of Laurelin. The vessel of the sun was guided by Arien, a Maia of Vána.



The first rising of the Sun

The Sun's first rising was what started the Years of the Sun, year 1. The Sun was seen by the Elves as the rising of the Men, but they valued the Moon higher. It was first seen rising in the West but the Valar changed this and from then on, Arien would descend the vessel of light into western sky and then ascend it into eastern sky.

Morgoth's evil and corrupt creatures never being able to stand light feared it. The Orcs feared the Sun and were weakened by it and rarely travelled under it. The Uruk-hai were the exception to this and were not weakened by it and could travel while it was in the sky. The Trolls feared the Sun even more, and with great reason: they turned to stone under its light. Only the later trolls known as the Olog-hai were able to move under the Sun.[1]

Other namesEdit

Anar is Quenya for the Sun. After Laurelin, the golden Tree of Valinor, was killed by Ungoliant, Yavanna took its last fruit and Aulë made a vessel to hold it. Then, with Arien to guide it, Anar the Fire-golden was sent into the sky to bring light to Arda.

Its counterpart Isil the Sheen was a flower of Telperion and became the Moon.

Behind the scenesEdit

The Sun appears in the The Silmarillion, described in The Book of Lost Tales 1, a part of the History of Middle-earth series. There it was described in great detail as an immense island of fire. It also says that the youth Tilion, who guided the Moon, was said to secretly be in love with Arien, and that because he steered the Moon too close to the Sun, the Moon was burned.

In writings not included in The Silmarillion tradition, Morgoth at one point was infatuated with Arien, and wanted to claim her as his wife: he is at one point even described as ravishing her, so she abandoned her body and 'died': the Sun after this for a while left its course, burning a large part of Arda—apparently creating the deserts of Far Harad. It is not clear if this would have been included in the Silmarillion had Tolkien lived to publish it himself.

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.

In some of the Germanic languages that have grammatical gender (such as Old English), the word "Sun" is masculine. The Silmarillion's story serves as a myth to explain this fact.


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XI: "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"

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