Stars of Middle-earth
“Mandos spoke, and he said: ‘In this age the Children of Ilúvatar shall come indeed, but they cannot come yet. Moreover it is the doom that the Firstborne shall come in the darkness, and shall look first upon the stars. Great light shall be for their waning. To Varda ever shall they call at need.’
Then Varda went forth from the council, and she looked out from the height of Taniquetil, and beheld the darkness of Middle-earth beneath the innumerable stars, faint and far. Then she began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming to Arda.”
Varda fashioned new stars from the dew of Telperion, the White Tree of Valinor, in preparation for the coming of the Firstborne. These included Carnil, Luinil, Nénar, Lumbar, Alcarinquë, and Elemmíre. Along with these the stars Morwinyon, Borgil, Helluin, and Eärendil were forged. Varda gathered other stars together and arranged them as signs named Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronúme, Anarríma, Menelmacar, and Valacirca. A final sign, though minor in size, was Remmirath. All were given their own place in the sky to commemorate the coming of the Firstborne.
Valacirca, the sickle of the Valar, was one of the great signs of the heavens, and was the only sign Varda had not created herself. The labours of Aulë gave rise to this sign, though Varda did have a secondary role in its establishment. The seven stars began their existence when Aulë was crafting a silver sickle. Aulë’s forging was interrupted when Melkor revealed a lie involving Yavanna, leaving him so distraught that he destroyed the sickle with a single blow. This blow produced seven sparks that leap high in the heavens which were swiftly caught by Varda who set them high in the north in the shape of a sickle as a challenge to Melkor.
The glint at dusk, Morwinyon, was created as a result of Varda’s haste. As she was setting the seven stars of the Valacirca, provided by Aulë, a drop of Telperion escaped her care. The glistening bead came to rest in the west to appear as if it dripped off the handle of the silver sickle, and there it remained and was no less loved than if it had been set there by Varda herself.
Menelmacar, the swordsman of the sky, was set with a shining belt in the heavens by Varda to forebode the Last Battle that came at the end of days. Many considered the swordsman to bear a likeness to Telimektar, the son of Tulkas. The diamonds displayed on his sword sheath became red when he drew his sword at the Great End, but until then his stars served as a reminder that he was always on watch. He roamed the sky and warded off evil along with Ingil who followed him like a great blue bee. The blue light from the star Helluin shined with a likeness to Ingil, Inwë’s son, who bared a blue flame as he followed at the foot of Telimektar as they warded off the evils of Melkor.
Melkor was hunted by both Ingil and Telimektar when he stalked high in the heavens, ever looking for a way to do it harm. From time to time he was able to prevent the light of the sun and moon from casting a shadow for a short time. He also searched for stars he was able to loose from their place in the sky and cast them down to earth in a streak of light. These were immediately replaced by Varda, preventing him from lessening the splendor of the heavens.
Wilwarin traversed the northern heavens in the likeness of a great butterfly, displaying its open wings for all to admire. The eagle of the west, Soronúme, mimicked Wilwarin in that it too soared in the sky with great outstretched wings, though it was set out in the west.
Anarríma’s circlet of stars hung above the mighty Menelmacar, its sparkling wreathe set to mirror that of the sun. Telumendil was set as another companion to the swordsman of the sky. Telumendil, the friend of the sky, rested above Menelmacar until the end of days.
Remmirath was diminutive in size but no less wondrous than its larger rival signs set by Varda. These netted stars were the first sign of the coming of Menelmacar. The second sign was the star Borgil, whose light was akin to a jewel of fire. Together they served as a warning that the great hunter Menelmacar was about to begin his watch over the world.
Varda positioned many shimmering stars amid the heavens. Of these stars Alcarinquë, the glorious, was the most impressive. Alcarinquë was not set without rivals, however, and among them were Luinil, Carnil, and Nénar. Lumbar, the home of shadow, and Elemmíre, the star jewel, also wandered the heavens.
Eärendil was one of the final stars to add its light to the sky. This star was not one originally set for the coming of the Firstborne, but it was placed by Varda. Eärendil became a silver flame who was radiant in the morning and became the jewel in the sunset. With the light of the Silmaril, the light of Eärendil outshone all previous labours of Varda, making Eärendil the most beloved star in the heavens.
“It is told that even as Varda ended her labours, and they were long, when Menelmacar strode up the sky and the blue fire of Helluin flickered in the mists above the borders of the world, in that hour the Children of Earth awoke, the Firstborne of Ilúvatar. By the starlit mere of Cuivénen, Water of Awakening, they rose from the sleep of Ilúvatar; and while they dwelt yet silent by Cuiviénen their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of heaven.”
Research by Remmirath
The Book of Lost Tales I
The Book of Lost Tales II
The Fellowship of the Ring