Stars versus Sun and Moon

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
Listening to Episode 227 (trying to catch up again) Corey was interested in the difference between the stars and the Sun and Moon (and Eärendil’s star). The points raised all seemed quite cogent, but one difference that I think is significant didn’t get mentioned: The ‘fixed’ stars are the work of Varda alone and certain constellations were apparently created with particular messages intended. On the other hand, the Sun, Moon, and the Silmarils were either collaborations or derivative works of others based on the Trees which were collaborations (and plan B) and the messages being carried by these creations were somewhat less specific.
As Varda is able to hear all messages from Middle-earth when seated next to Manwë, perhaps this is another reason why Elrond’s benediction appears to focus on the stars.
 

Arnorion

Member
I think you make good points about both collaboration and derivative sub-creation. I think there is also a sort of lowering involved. Not only in the sense that the moon and sun are later creations drawing on more ancient power/excellence (in keeping with the idea the newer things in Arda are less powerful as the world clock winds down), but also in that they are nearer to the Children of Arda, closer than the more distant heavens where the stars were sown. Melkor supposedly once attacked the moon marring its surface, but the stars have always been beyond his reach.

It feels like the later/larger lights are somehow more accessible to us. And not just Mankind which is often associated with the sun but the Quendi, though they love the stars, are in latter days associated with the moon. New thought: the lights get progressively brighter (pale stars, then lamps for the isle of Almaren, then trees for the continent of Aman, then moon and un for the whole world. As darkness becomes problematic and people need more and more light, the Valar under Eru provide it.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
It feels like the later/larger lights are somehow more accessible to us. And not just Mankind which is often associated with the sun but the Quendi, though they love the stars, are in latter days associated with the moon. New thought: the lights get progressively brighter (pale stars, then lamps for the isle of Almaren, then trees for the continent of Aman, then moon and un for the whole world. As darkness becomes problematic and people need more and more light, the Valar under Eru provide it.
As elves sleep far less than humans and their sleep-wake cycle seems not to depend on a sun-day - they also have no problem living in caves and dark forests - they do seem at least partially nocturnal - which we see with Gildor's band's night feast - when it is "time fo merriment" in middle of the night. And while Eol is not an Avar his mistrust against the sun is something I would generally expect from the Avari too. Also we know that elves have excelent night vision as Legolas shoot the Nazgul at night - when the sky was described as "starry fields".

As such it makes sense for elves later being associated with the moon too, as it is mostly seen when the stars are - at night?
 
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