Long before the First Age, as the world was still young, the Valar – powerful spirits who came to Arda in order to guide the World and help it battle against Melkor’s evil – founded a place of light and peace. Valinor it was named by Men, and the Elvish folk called it Valannor. This place was graced by the bliss of immortality, and it reached the height of its glory when Yavanna, a Vala also named Queen of the Earth, created two holy trees that brought light into the land. Telperion, the Eldest of Trees, made of silver, and Laurelin, the Golden Tree, they were.

Now, these two wonderful creations were later destroyed by Melkor and Ungoliant but, as it is known, the Valar made their last flower and fruit the Moon and the Sun, and the light of the Trees of Silver and of Gold was locked by Fëanor into three Silmarils. However, another creation resulted of the participation of the Two Trees, which is seldom talked about and known only to a few people today. And yet, it is also a creation of great importance and significance, of poetry and beauty – namely, the conception of a secret Ring by Elbereth.


In the Second Age, it came that the Valar removed Valinor from the World because of the Númenóreans’ treachery. However, they remained somehow always deeply attached to the land and the races that they had cherished and helped for many long years, and still kept a discrete eye on Arda. Therefore, during the Third Age, when Morgoth (or Sauron, as he is often called on Middle-earth) supervised the forging of the nineteen Rings of Power and made one of his own to rule them all, the Valar perceived that great Evil was at work in Mordor. They then held a council and decided collectively that they could not and would not give any help to Middle-earth anymore – they had no more role to play in the protection of this World created by them long ago, which had now to stand on his own. Nevertheless, Varda, Queen of the Stars, called Elbereth by the Elvish folk, felt pity for the Elves, Dwarves and especially Men, who succumbed so easily to Morgoth’s treacherous manoeuvres. She, the fairest of all Vala, who created the stars at the beginning of time and was since many Ages praised by the immortal folk, could not stand letting the Children of Ilúvatar fight alone against he who was once Melkor’s servant. However, she would not willingly disobey to the decision made by the Valar, and decided therefore not to help directly, but subtly.

It is so, that she created in secret another Ring. She freed starlight coming from herself and combined it with a tiny part of the delicate and shimmering dew once dripping from the Holy Trees – which she had preserved secretly in the stars for many long years, knowing that it would one day have a crucial purpose. The light of the Golden Tree and of the stars melted together to give the Ring its golden colour, and the Silver Tree’s light was made into silver inscriptions carved into the smooth surface. It was in appearance exactly like to the One Ring of Power, even in respect of the writings in the ancient Elvish tongue of Mordor, in order to symbolize the absolute opposition existing between the two jewels, the two sides, Good and Evil; and yet also to mark the strong bond uniting both of these sides, for they must since the beginning of Time cohabit together in the same World, although they are constantly in conflict.

Varda gave it the name Andanéya, which means in the ancient Elvish tongue “once upon a time” or “long ago”, because it was created in order to preserve and protect the memory of a once peaceful, prosper and fair past. Many other names it wore also. Most of the Elves called it in the Ancient Tongue Elvëa and Almië, which correspond in the Mannish language to Starlike and Blessedness; the common Elvish appellations Edraith and Alfirin (translated as Salvation and Immortal) were also of use; it was known by the Dwarves in their secret tongue as Gabil (great); and in Rohirric and Adûnaic it was named Léoma and Azar, Star.

Now, this Ring was not to be compared with the Rings of Power used by Sauron, for it had a very different power. Indeed, unlike Morgoth’s treacherous Rings, used to enslave by offering a terrible and attractive might to its owner, Andanéya did not corrupt the thoughts and hearts, nor would it make one mad and desperate. It had, yes, an existence and a will of its own, and could as well influence the mind and change people – however, its only purpose was ever directed towards the well-being of its owner, not of itself.
Whenever someone wore it (fortunately, it is believed that only good creatures did so and that no evil being ever tried to touch it), the Ring would bring along merriness, courage and strength. The people or creatures having set eyes upon it were mesmerised, and yet felt at once a peace of heart and of spirit flow through them in a river of bliss. They would sense all weariness, sickness and pain leave them, and a golden and silver dawn would rise on their soul, taking away all the darkness choking it.

The Ring shone of a brightness as dazzling as the sun and sparkled in the night like a light of its own, enchanting as a spell. It was fairer than the most precious jewel – fairer even than the Silmarils and the Nauglamír – but, still, did not cause any possessiveness or sick desire, for it could induce no Evil.

It developed a special and unique relationship whith each of its owners and would always be subconsciously present in the person’s mind, making them see a light of hope in time of despair; guiding subtly their decisions for the best; causing their qualities to show and to be rightly utilized when needed. It became a part of its bearer and made itself one with them.

It is said that Glorfindel of Imladris was its only bearer during the Third Age. The faith of this noble Elf, believed by some to be a re-embodiment of a Gondolian slain during the First Age, is unsure – but it is known that Glorfindel at some time gave Andanéya to Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond’s sons, who had chosen to stay together on Middle-earth and to die there as Mortals. After this, the course taken by the Ring is uncertain. There are, however, rumors murmuring that it might have been taken by Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry for a long, long time – until Middle-earth, which had existed for many beautiful years, changed and turned into what we now know as our world: Planet Earth.

Today, no one knows for certain what has in the end happened to Andanéya – or if the Ring still exists at all, for that matter. Perhaps it is out of reach, vanished or thoroughly destroyed; perhaps it is hidden but close to Humans unaware of its presence or even of its existence; or perhaps it is also in the posession of a Mannish bearer. Yet, that does not have any importance – for no matter what has become of the Ring, the World has not lost the good and the beautiful which have been induced by Andanéya’s making. Middle-earth’s magic has faded through time, but the Ring’s spell, on its side, remains forever. It has influenced our past, affects our present and will determine our future.

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