Posted on January 8, 2013


Added “Valinor” to the Members Gallery this morning. I’ve also posted a free 1024 x 1024 iPad version on Reddit.

If you read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” you will see references made to the long history of the Middle Earth. This history is laid out in a book called “The Silmarillion”.

Here’s the short version:

The first beings were the “Valar“, and were analagous to the demi-gods of Earth mythology. They walked under dark skies without Sun or Moon however.

Iluvatar (the Supreme Being) and the Valar made many attempts to illuminate the world, but these were opposed by Melkor (who was the forebearer of Sauron). The first light was made by two massive lamps on either end of the world, but these were cast down and destroyed by Melkor.

The second attempt came in the form of two brilliant trees which shone over the Valinor. The silver tree was called “Telperion” and seeds taken from it eventually grew into the White Tree of Gondor. The gold tree was called Laurelin. A shining dew fell from the each tree which the Valar collected in wells.

The light of the Two Trees was captured in three brilliant jewels called “Silmarils” which afterwards became the source of much fighting and discord. Frodo is given the Phial of Galadriel , which contains the captured light of a Silmaril (and by extenstion the Trees).

The Two Trees were eventually poisoned and destroyed by Melkor with the help of a massive spider (an ancestor of Shelob). The Sun and Moon were the last attempt and were set in the sky beyond the reach of evil. The Silmarillion describes the trees each waxing and waning in brightness over their own 7 hour period:

In seven hours the glory of each tree waxed to full and waned again to naught; and each awoke once more to life an hour before the other ceased to shine. Thus in Valinor twice every day there came a gentle hour of softer light when both trees were faint and their gold and silver beams were mingled.

This first render depicts the “gentle hour” above. My final goal is to render each hour in the cycle and folks can then use “ChronoWall” to set their desktop to a day in Valinor…

The Two Trees have always captured my imagination and I’ve been meaning to render this scene for a long time. I’m glad to finally get it started!

As always, I took quite a few liberties with this piece but I hope it is enjoyable even if you aren’t familiar with the history of Middle-Earth.