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Years of the Lamps

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History of Arda

Years of the Lamps
Years of the Trees
Years of the Sun

Ages of Arda

First Age
Second Age
Third Age
Fourth Age
Timeline of Arda
The Elder Days by Bmosig

The days of the Lamps of the Valar by Bmosig.

The Years of the Lamps was the first of the three great time-periods of Arda.This period was also called "The Spring of Arda". After the Valar entered Arda, they found it flat and lifeless with no distinct geographical features. The initial shape of Arda, chosen by the Valar, was of a symmetrical continent. Needing light, the Valar found and collected the misty light veiled on the barren ground. The Valar concentrated this light into two large lamps, Illuin and Ormal--then the Vala Aulë forged great towers: one in the north, Helcar, and another in the south, Ringol--and the world was lit by two lamps which were positioned in the north and south, one in the continents, the other in the oceans. The Valar dwelt in the middle of the world where the light of the lamps mingled, at the island of Almaren in the middle of a Great Lake. But Almaren was not the only kingdom built in this time. Far to the north, the evil Maia spirits gathered and Melkor entered Arda.

In secret, while the Valar rested from their labours, Melkor raised the vast Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin) and built his fortress Utumno. The era of the lamps came to an end when Melkor assailed and destroyed the Two Lamps and Arda was again darkened, and the lamps' fall spoiled the perfect symmetry of Arda's surface. Afterwards four main continents were created: Aman in the far West, Middle-earth in the middle, Land of the Sun in the far East, and the Dark Land in the far South. At the site where the northern lamp was later the inland Sea of Helcar, of which Cuiviénen was a bay. Afterwards, the Valar settled in Aman and created the Two Trees and the Years of the Trees began.

The time of the Lamps spanned a total of 1600 Valian Years, some 15 331.2 Years of the Sun.


Year Events
3400 Tulkas weds Nessa.

Melkor passes over the Walls of the Night.[1]


  1. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 10: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman

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