Quenya 



Menel noun "heavens" (Markirya, SA), "the heavens, the firmament" (SD:401), "the apparent dome in the sky" (MR:387). Menel Cemenyë ("k") "Heaven and Earth" (VT47:30). Found in names like Meneldil "Heaven-friend" = astronomer (Appendix A; Letters:386), Meneldur masc. name, "Heaven-servant" (Appendix A, Tar-Menelduras a Númenórean King, UT:210); menelluin "sky-blue", used as noun = "cornflower" (J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator p. 193). Menelmacar "Swordsman of the Sky", the Orion constellation (also called Telumehtar, Appendix E, first footnote); the older name was Menelmacil "Heaven-sword" (WJ:411); Meneltarma "Pillar of Heaven", name of the great central mountain of Númenor (SA:tar, VT42:21).Menelya fifth day of the Eldarin six-day week, dedicated to the heavens (Appendix D) Locative meneldë "in heaven"; abandoned forms menellë, menelzë (VT43:12, 16). Adj. meneldëa "(being) in heaven", evidently based on a locative form meneldë "in heaven"; abandoned forms menelzëa, menellëa, menelessëa (VT43:13, VT44:16; the last of these forms would suggest the locative form #menelessë).


noun. the heavens, firmament, sky

A word for the firmament or “the heavens” (but not “Heaven”), derived from the root √MENEL of the same meaning (PE17/24, 152; PE21/84), possibly √MEN + √EL “✱direction of the stars” (RGEO/64). It was often used in contrasted to cemen, “earth”, “the earth” (but not “Earth”), as the surface of the world versus its (apparent) “roof”. Tolkien clarified that “these were ‘pictorial’ words, as the lore of the Eldar and the Numenoreans knew much astronomy” (PE17/24), so that menel as the dome over the world was metaphorical rather than actual.

At one point in the Legendarium there was an actual dome of heaven created by Varda, but over Aman rather than the entire world:

> Later, when the Valar took refuge from Melkor, and the imminent ruin of Arda, and built and fortified Valinor in Aman, it was Varda who made the great dome above Valinor, to keep out any spirits or spies of Melkor. It was made as a simulacrum of the true firmament (Tar-menel), and the patterns were therein repeated, but with apparent stars (or “sparks”: tinwi) of greater relative size to the total visible area. So that the lesser firmament of Valinor (Nur-menel) was very brilliant (PE17/22; MR/388).

This notion was not mentioned in The Silmarillion as published, however.

Conceptual Development: At various points in his work on the Legendarium Tolkien considered having a literal firmament or “upper airs”, ᴱQ. Vaitya (QL/100) >> ᴹQ. Vaiya. See for examples, his diagrams of the world in the Ambarkanta (SM/243, 245). How literal this notion was depended on whether Tolkien was considering the Legendarium as a cycle of myth or as an actual description of the world. In earlier documents the term for the firmament or “outermost airs” was often ᴱQ. Vaitya >> ᴹQ. Vaiya (QL/100; SM/241-245) or Q. Ilmen (SM/241-245, LR/12 etc.), the last term surviving into The Silmarillion as published (S/99).

The term menel appeared in the 1940s, mentioned as “heaven” in an early draft of Lord of the Rings Book I (RC/671) and also appearing in The Notion Club Papers and related document of the 1940s where it was a cognate of Ad. minil or minal and derived from the ancient Elvish root ᴹ√MENEL (SD/241, 414). In these document it was distinctly “the heavens, the firmament” (SD/401), but in the 1950s Quenya prayer Átaremma, Tolkien used menel = “Heaven” a number of times (VT43/8-12), though in the final draft of the prayer he used the term Eruman for “Heaven” (VT43/12). For the most part, though, Tolkien used menel for “the heavens” rather than “Heaven” in later writings.


  • S. menel “the heavens, firmament, region of the stars” ✧ PE17/024; MR/387


  • menel “heaven, sky”
    • MENEL “heavens, firmament, heavens, firmament, [ᴹ√] sky”

Element in


  • Menel ✧ MC/222; MR/071; NM/281; UTI/Menel; VT47/11; WJ/411; WJI/Menel
Quenya [MC/222; MR/071; MR/387; MR/471; NM/281; PE17/024; PE17/030; PE17/152; RC/774; SA/kemen; SA/menel; UTI/Menel; VT43/13; VT43/16; VT44/16; VT47/11; WJ/411; WJI/Menel] Group: Eldamo. Published by


the sky

Taimë, Taimië noun "the sky" (LT1:268; rather menel in LotR-style Quenya)



hellë noun "sky" (3EL; a distinct word hellë "frost" was struck out, see KHEL.)


place name. Heaven

The Quenya name for Heaven in the final draft of Átaremma, Tolkien’s translation of the Lord’s Prayer (VT43/12), attested only in the assimilated locative form Erumande. Its initial element is Eru “God” and its final element is probably related to the root √MAN “good, blessed, unmarred” also seen in the names Aman and Manwë, as suggested by Patrick Wynne, Arden Smith and Carl Hostetter (VT43/16).

Conceptual Development: In earlier versions of Tolkien’s legendarium, the name ᴱQ/ᴹQ. Eruman was used for the wasteland north of Valinor (LT1/91, Ety/ERE), but in the materials used for the published version of The Silmarillion, that name was changed to Q. Araman (MR/123). This freed Tolkien to use the name Eruman for “Heaven”, as suggested by Patrick Wynne, Arden Smith and Carl Hostetter (VT43/16-17).

In earlier versions of the Átaremma prayer, Tolkien used menel for “Heaven”, but it was rejected and elsewhere Tolkien said that menel referred only to “the heavens, firmament” where the stars reside (MR/387, PE17/152). In writings from the 1940s, Tolkien used ᴹQ. ilúve for “Heaven” (MR/355, SD/401), but later ilúvë meant “the whole, the all”, and was equated to “the Universe” (WJ/402, Ety/IL).

Element in


Eru“The One, God”
MAN“good (morally), blessed, holy, unmarred, free from evil, good (morally), blessed, holy, unmarred, free from evil; [ᴹ√] holy spirit”



mectar _("k")_noun"Swordsman". In Telimectar ("k"). (LT1:268; in LotR-style Quenya mehtar, also macar)



macar ("k") (1) noun "swordsman" (VT39:11). In Menelmacar (see menel). According to VT41:10, macar is literally "forger" (derived from maca-, q.v.), "often used in later use of a warrior".


sky, heavens

ilwë noun "sky, heavens" (LT1:255), "the middle air among the stars" (LT1:273). VT49:51, 53 also mentions an obscure prononominal element ilwë.



The word is understood as men "towards" + el "star" meaning "the Direction of the Stars". The loremaster Quennar is attributed as having devised the word Menel ("heavens, firmament").

Quenya [Tolkien Gateway] Published by