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The Wars of the Valar  by Fiondil

28: The Naming of Worlds

Note on the Names of the Planets: Throughout this story, Atháraphelun has been used to mean both the actual world which we call Earth as well as our solar system as a whole. This convention continues in this chapter but in subsequent chapters Atháraphelun will refer to the solar system only. To better understand this chapter I give the names of the planets as I have imagined they were called by the Ayanumuz, rather than placing them at the end with the usual translations.

While Tolkien provided us with Quenya names for the planets (except Pluto), these are the names given them by the Eldar. It stands to reason that the Ayanumuz and Máyar would have their own names for these planets, both in Valarin and later in Quenya when they first learned the language, only adopting the Eldarin versions after the Elves came to Aman.

Venus is included to complete the list. As it was not created until after the Elves settled in Aman, it only has a Quenya name, which is attested. Ceres, as the largest of the Asteroids in the Belt, is representative of all that remains of Námo and Vairë’s planet.

I also give the names of the Máyar who were originally assigned to keep watch over these planets, a nod to the classical/medieval notion that each planet, including our own, was ruled by a governing spirit.

Mercury: Urnambar (Oven-world), Azulezphelun (Aulë’s Dwelling) — Urion and Urwen.

Venus: Tancol (Signifer)

Earth: Ambarhíni (The Children’s world), Atháraphelun (Appointed Dwelling) — Eönwë and Ilmarë.

Mars: Erumëambar (Desert-world), Nasarphelun (Red Dwelling) — Ingil and Olóremmárië.

Ceres: Ezellambar (Green-world), Phanaiphelun (Bright Dwelling) — Ilinsor and Vanimeldë.

Jupiter: Mahalmambar (Throne-world): Manawenuzphelun (Manwë’s Dwelling) — Sáyandilmë and Nornoros.

Saturn: Cormambar (Ring-world), Ashkadphelun (Ring Dwelling) — Auros and Ravenni.

Neptune: Nendambar (Watery-world), Ullubozphelun (Ulmo’s Dwelling) — Amillo and Erintë.

Uranus: Láminambar (Echoing-world), Ulbankeluth (Blue Mirror) [both names are indicative of the fact Uranus is often considered a twin to Neptune] — Marilliën.

Pluto/Charon/Eris: Tirisambar (Watch-world, for it stands sentinel for the solar system, looking out into the depths of Eä): Aromezphelun (Oromë’s Dwelling) — Niéliqui and Lótessë.


At the founding of Atháraphelun, the Ayanumuz began to keep Time, measuring the orbit of Atháraphelun to determine how it would be calculated, for with the creation of the Children’s world, they knew it would not be long in the reckoning of Eternity before the Firstborn would appear. The orbits of all the other planets were watched over as well, tweaking them here and there where necessary. The Black Hole which was substituting for the primary that would eventually be brought into existence, exerted a different gravitational pull than would a normal star, and so Máyar were set to watch each of the planets and adjust their orbits as necessary. Manwë and Varda decided that their own Chief Máyar, Eönwë and Ilmarë, would be given the task of monitoring Atháraphelun itself. However the other Ayanumuz, following Námo and Vairë’s lead, assigned this duty to some of their lesser Maiar.

"They don’t always get a chance to shine," Námo explained to Varda when she asked why he and Vairë had chosen Iinsor and Vanimeldë, two of the youngest in Atar’s Thought, to share in the responsibility of keeping watch on their planet.

When the other Ayanumuz saw how awed and honored Ilinsor and Vanimeldë appeared to be upon being given their assignment, they decided that Námo and Vairë’s method of selection had merit. Thus the Ayanumuz held a Ceremony of Naming to inaugurate the creation of Atháraphelun, officially assigning Máyar to safeguard each of the planets. As they were all gathered over the innermost planet, Aulë stepped forth and announced: "For the warding of Urnambar, I grant this honor unto Urion and Urwen, brother and sister in Atar’s Thought. Bear it well, my children."

The two Máyar bowed low to their lord, their aurae indicating pride, joy and, on Urwen’s part, not a little fear at the awesome responsibility given them. Aulë smiled at the young Máya and gave her his benediction. "If I did not believe thou wert equal to the task, my daughter, I would never have named thee along with thy brother."

It was then Irmo and Estë’s turn, for it had been decided to leave Atháraphelun itself for last. Irmo stepped forth: "For the warding of Erumëambar, we grant this honor unto Ingil and Olóremmárië. Bear it well, children."

Námo and Vairë came forward after that. It was Námo who spoke. "For the warding of Ezellambar, we grant this honor unto Ilinsor and Vanimeldë. Bear it well, children."

Manwë and Varda then stepped forth as they all gathered above the largest of the gas giants. It was Varda who spoke. "For the warding of Mahalmambar, we grant this honor unto Sáyandilmë and Nornoros. Bear it well, children."

Yavanna came next with Nessa, as they all gathered along the rings. "For the warding of Cormambar," Yavana intoned, "we grant this honor unto Auros and Ravenni. Bear it well, children."

Ulmo stepped forth after that. "For the warding of Nendambar, I grant this honor unto Amillo and Erintë, brother and sister in Atar’s Thought. Bear it well, my children."

When they came to Nienna’s world, she gave them all a sardonic look. "For the warding of Láminambar..." — Everyone laughed at that — "I grant this honor unto Marilliën and to no other. Bear it well, my daughter."

They all watched with amusement as Marilliën’s aura went several shades towards the infrared in mingled pride and embarrassment.

*Typical of Nienna, to be so contrary,* Námo opined with mock disgust, sending a silent message not only to his brother but to Vairë as well. Both Ayanumuz sent back silent indications of agreement, though Irmo’s was more amused than disgusted.

Then it was Oromë’s turn. It was something of a surprise to many (though not to Námo or Vairë) when Vána stepped forward with the future Lord of the Hunt, who was the one who spoke. "For the warding of Tirisambar we grant this honor unto Niéliqui and Lótessë. Bear it well, daughters."

Then they all gathered again around the Jewel of the Heavens as Manwë and Varda called forth their Chief Máyar. "For the warding of Ambarhíni," Manwë intoned, "we grant this honor unto Eönwë and Ilmarë, brother and sister in Atar’s Thought. Bear it well, children." Then he addressed all the Máyar who had been selected to safeguard the planets of Atháraphelun. "Ye ward more than just another world, my children, ye ward the future of Eä itself, for herein will be the dwelling place of the Children. Be vigilant in your duties and we will be well pleased, as will Atar."

And so the planets were named, though, true to form, many of them were rarely called by the name given them by their creator. Urnambar was almost always referred to as Azulezphelun, while Erumëambar was generally called Nasarphelun. Námo and Vairë, between themselves, very often referred to their own world as Phanaiphelun. Mahalmambar was also called Manawenuzphelun, particularly among the Máyar. Ashkadphelun was never called anything but that while Ulmo’s world was often called just that: Ullubozphelun. Láminambar was sometimes referred to as Ulbankeluth, instead, because it was almost a mirror-copy of Ulmo’s world. Tirisambar was usually called Aromezphelun.

The Ayanumuz began to make a distinction early on between Ambarhíni and Atháraphelun. The former referred exclusively to the world wherein the Children would come forth while the latter term was used for the entire system as a whole. Later, when they learned Quenya, the Ayanumuz often referred to the entire star system as the Rest’ Atarmirëo, for they saw Ambarhíni as the Jewel of Atar’s Creation, where the central drama of the Themes which governed Eä would be worked out, for good or for ill.

Once the wards were established, the Ayanumuz set out with the help of the Máyar to tame the fires of Ambarhíni, for, unlike the other planets, this one was yet unformed. Manwë had decided that only with the system firmly established would they begin the task of moulding the world wherein the Children would dwell. They took the flat Atháraphelun as a model of how the land masses and seas would look and set out to build what the Children themselves would someday call Ambarendya. It was not an easy task but they all entered into it with joy. It was for this reason they had come into Eä, forsaking the Timeless Halls of Eruman. None of them regretted their decision to leave their brethren, knowing that some day they would all be reunited again. In the meantime, they sang paeans to Atar as they worked, rejoicing in the privilege of helping to bring about the very Themes that had been sung before even Deep Time had begun.

For long and long they labored and they had almost reached completion when Melkor struck without any warning.


Rest’ Atarmirëo: The Field of Atar’s Jewel.

Ambarendya: Middle-earth; an attested name, though the usual term was Endórë.

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