Minas Tirith Forums Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic
profile | register |
search | faq | avatars | citizens
donate | about | library
 
Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » The 'Door of Night' and related things
Author Topic: The 'Door of Night' and related things
The Laurenendôrian
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 106

posted      Profile for The Laurenendôrian   Email The Laurenendôrian   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Setting aside the question of whether it actually 'existed', what is the 'Door of Dight', and what are the 'Walls of the World', and the 'Gates of Morning'?

On the one hand, 'Door of Night' and 'Gates of Morning' seem to refer to portals through which the sun and the moon pass when setting and rising respectively. Even then, though, it is unlear where they lead: do they lead under the Earth, or into the heavens? Or both?

Then, there is:
quote:
But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void; and a guard is set for ever on those walls, and Eärendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky.
This seems to indicate that the Door of Night leads into the Void, which seems at odds with its earlier description. Is this just misapplication of the same name to something different?

---

A final note: 'Walls of the World' is to me evocative of a phrase in the Lucretius that we're reading at school: flammantia moenia mundi (I think) - 'the flaming walls of the world', which was referring to the ether around the world. Are the 'Walls of the World' in the Silmarillion related to this conceptually?

From: Taruithorn | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Thorin
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 816
posted      Profile for Thorin   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
* is flabbergasted that someone mentioned Lucretius *
I don't know about him, Laur - I've never thought of that before. Very interesting idea, though. Maybe Miz Lobelia knows. I think she is one of our last Latin scholars around.

quote:
To begin from the Outside: beyond the Walls of the World lies 'the Void, the Night without form or time', Kuma (Avakuma); and this is of course an aboriginal conception, 'the outer dark', 'the limitless dark', 'the starless vast' of the tale of The Hiding of Valinor. The Walls of the World, Ilurambar, are the unbroken, uninterrupted shell of a vast globe; they are cold, invisible, and impassable save by Ando Lomen, the Door of Night.
Commentary on the Ambarkanta

Now this is one of the earliest conceptions of this idea. Originally, there was no "Gates of Morn," and the Sun rode over the Wall in the East (where the Wall was lower) but through the Door of Night in the West. Then in the second draft of the Hiding of Valinor the Door in the East was established.

This detailed description of the Wall and the Gates are absent from the Silmarillion, yet from the use of their names in that book, I believe that most of the ideas for them and their function were retained. We'd have to ask Christopher why some references were left to them, and others cut from the published Silm.

Does this help, Laur? This is from HOME 4, and there is a great deal more information there regarding this, but here is the quick summary. If you want more information or clarity, let me know.

From: Helsinki | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dark Lord Andúril
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2564

posted      Profile for Dark Lord Andúril   Author's Homepage   Email Dark Lord Andúril   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
In later Mythology, Arda was taken to mean the Universe. Therefore, one could say that when Melkor was banished from Arda, he was banished from the universe and went into the void.

Now Tolkien later envisaged that his world of middle-earth would actually BE the same planet as our earth, which can be seen as he endevoured to edit his provious mythology so he would be able to fit in with this theme.

If once considers that Melkor was banished from the universe, then the void outside the universe would be considered hyper-space. Now the only way that one can currently enter into hyperspace is (theoretically) by going into a black hole. This is what I would consider the dorr or night to be in Tolkiens later mythos, even though such theories were after the time of Tolkien's conception of the door of night idea. I find it interestin that lots of his fiction can be attributed to fundamental scientific theories that exist at the moment.

From: In Imladris I dwell... | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Halion
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2140
posted      Profile for Halion   Email Halion   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
In later Mythology, Arda was taken to mean the Universe.
From Author’s Note 2 on the ‘Commentary’ to the Athrabeth:
quote:
Arda, or ‘The Kingdom of Arda’ (as being directly under the kingship of Eru’s vice-gerent Manwë) is not easy to translate, since neither ‘earth’ nor ‘world’ are entirely suitable. Physically Arda was what we should call the Solar System.


[ 05-10-2003, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Maerbenn ]

Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dark Lord Andúril
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2564

posted      Profile for Dark Lord Andúril   Author's Homepage   Email Dark Lord Andúril   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Well Maerbenn, there are very few walls in ten dimentional space where such walls exist. The only wall that could possibly exist would be the Oort Cloud but that is by no means impassable, and there are no doors. My latter post give my only explination.
From: In Imladris I dwell... | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
Captain of Avatars
Citizen # 156

posted      Profile for Fingolfin of the Noldor   Author's Homepage   Email Fingolfin of the Noldor   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I think the main reason for much of the confusion surrounding the conception of the "Walls" and those things related in the Silmarillion lies in the fact that as the published Silm is an amalgamation of serveral different versions the differences between these versions seem to lend to several seeming inconsistancies. Unfortunately though many of these can be cleared up by looking at where the specific passages came from and examining the evolution of Tolkien's ideas as to the nature of the "Walls" their specific 'final' nature nevertheless does not appear to have been fully worked out and therefore some difficulties have yet to and cannot really be resolved given the material we have now.

In regard to the evolution the "Walls" here is a repost of a post of mine from TORC:

quote:
Morgoth's passage from Arda in the Ainulindale(that you cite) was a new element which as CT said "raises the question of the passage of the Walls of the World and of the form which that new conception took."


The original conception of the "Walls," it seems, can be found in the Book of Lost Tales where they are refered to as the
"Walls of Things" and they:

<<...stood at the outer edge of Vai[the entire literal ocean which the Earth at that time "floated on"]...-pg 256 BB HoME 1>>

and beyond them lay:

<<...the outer dark, and he who passes therethrough may escape the world and death and hear things not yet for the ears of earth dwellers. -pg 243 BB HoME 1>>

This "outer darkness" called "the starless vast" is not specifically defined as CT notes the exact relation between the Vaitya(the outer-most air) and it are not known. The Vaitya is defined as:

<<yet none could soar [U]the tenuous realm of Vaitya that is out side all[/U] -pg 203 BB HoME 1>>

Ct's note in regard to the original structure of the Walls:

<<...the implication seems clear that the Walls were originally concieved like the walls of terrestrial cities, or gardens - walls with a top: a 'ring-fence'" -pg 256 BB BoLT>>


Moving on to the Ambarkanta the name finally became "Walls of the World" and is more clearly defined(as you can see the new conception is in many ways quite different):

<<About all the World are the Ilurambar, or Walls of the World. They are as ice and glass and steel, being above all the imagination of the Children of Earth cold, transparent and hard. They cannot be seen, nor can they be passed, save by the Door of the Night
Within these walls the Earth is globed:* above, below and upon all sides is Vaiya, the Enfolding Ocean. -pg 289 BB HoME 4
>>
*globed in so much as 1 half a sphere was "ambar" the earth the other the sky

Here, at this time, the Walls of the World are most obviously essenatially the bountries of creation the "Void" being without:

<<the Door of Timeless Night that pierceth the Walls and opens upon the Void. FOr the World is set amid Kuma, the Void, the night without form or time -pg291 BB HoME 4>>

Here is one of Tolkien's maps which illistrates the structure of "the World" which here means creation. at the time Ilu now Ea:

 -

Here is a bit of a key:

Pg 295
<<
Ilu- The World

Ilurambar- the Walls of the World

Kuma- darkness, void

Vaiya- fold, envelope. In nature like to water, but less buoyant than air.... aka: The Outer Sea.

Ilmen- Place of Light. The Region above the air, than which is thinner and more clear. Here only the Stars and Moon can fly.

Vista- air. Wherein birds may fly and clouds sail.

ambar- earth. ambar-endya or Middle earth
>>


Moving to the writings from which the published silm was drawn:
In the diagram above Tolkien "long afterwards" changed the title-word "Ilu" to "Arda" and as CT notes for the ainulindale:

<<On this basis it may be said that the major difference in the new conception is that while Arda is physically the same as Ilu, it is no longer 'the Word globed amid the Void': for Arda is within 'the World[ie Ea]' - which is itself globed amid the Void. -pg 29 HoME 10>>

The specific passage(the one in question): 'he passed over the Walls of the Night' was a emendation of the original 'he passed over the borders of Ea'.

Now another change to the Ambarkanta diagram was the changing of Ilurambar 'the Walls of the World' to Earambar 'the Walls of Ea'(most certainly as CT notes they were the Walls of Ea in so much as they kept the Space of Ea apart from Arda, though Arda was aithin Ea it is held to be apart from it) and so it becomes sufficently clear that "walls of night" became the replacement of the 'walls of the world' as:

'the walls of the world(2)' -> 'the walls of Ea(3)'
'the borders of Ea(3)' -> 'the Walls of Night(4)'

This change is also further indicated by other things CT cites on pg 62(HoME 10)

and though Tolkien at first in the Ainulindale at least began to use the Ambarkanta diagrams it seems, as aforementioned, the new conception of the Walls and else was changed in such a way that he no longer could though of course certain elements were retained.

The major relevant change was that specifically of the structure of the Walls to the new type found in the published silmarillion. CT's comment on this as is follows:

<<The passage in the Annals of Aman[one of the texts from which the silm was drawn] is unequivocal: Mekor passed over the Walls of the Night. We have returned to the earliest imagination of the Walls: cf. my remark in [HoME]1 227, 'the implication seems clear that the Walls were originally concieved like the walls of terrestrial cities or gardens - walls with a top: "ring-fence".' >>

I will conclude this with CT's own words which I do not really know how to edit or simplfy without losing important meaning:

<<Amid all the ambiguities (most especially, in the use of the word 'World'), the testimony seems to be that in these texts the Ambarkanta world-image survived at least in the conception of the Outer sea extending to the Walls of the World, now called the Walls of the Night - though the Walls have come to be differently conceived. Now in the revision of 'The Silmarillion' made in 1951 the phrase in QS 'the Walls of the World fence out the Void and the Eldest Dark' - a phrase in perfect agreement of course with the Ambarkanta - was retained. This is a central difficulty in relation to the Ainulindale, where it is made as plain as could be wished that Ea came into being in the Void, it was globed amid the Void; how then can the Walls of Arda 'fence out the Void and the Eldest Darkness'?
A possible explanation, of a sort, may be hinted at in the words cited above from Annals of Amman: Melkor gathered spirits out of the voids of Ea. It may be that, although Annals of Amman is not far distant in time from the last version of the Ainulindale, my father's conception did not in fact now accord entirely with what he had written there; that he was now thinking of Arda as being 'set within an indefinite vastness in which all "Creation" is comprehended', rather than of a bounded Ea itself set 'amid the Void'. Then, beyond the Walls of the Night, the bounds of Arda, stretch 'the voids of Ea'. But this suggestion does not, of course, clear up all the problems, ambiguities, and apparent contradictions in the cosmology of the later period, which have been discussed earlier.
>>

As for the passage in question specifically:

quote:
But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void; and a guard is set for ever on those walls, and Eärendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky.
I do believe this comes from HoME V the QS specifically page 332(HMC):

quote:
But Morgoth himself the Gods thrust through the Door of Night into the Timeless Void, beyond the Walls of the World; and a guard is set forever on that door and Earendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky. -p. 367 BB The Lost Road and Other Writings 'The Conclusion of the Quenta Silmarillion[/i]
Therefore this passage being a relative contemporary of the Ambarkanta conception of the World and the Walls(given the sorrounding text) I think it makes sense why they are described in the manner that they are as again in the Ambarkanta we have:

quote:
About all the World are the Ilurambar, or Walls of the World. They are as ice and glass and steel, being above all the imagination of the Children of Earth cold, transparent and hard. They cannot be seen, nor can they be passed, save by the Door of the Night
Within these walls the Earth is globed:* above, below and upon all sides is Vaiya, the Enfolding Ocean...the Door of Timeless Night that pierceth the Walls and opens upon the Void. FOr the World is set amid Kuma, the Void, the night without form or time[/I] -p. 289, 291 BB The Shaping of Middle-earth(HoME 4)


From: Worcester, MA | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dark Lord Andúril
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2564

posted      Profile for Dark Lord Andúril   Author's Homepage   Email Dark Lord Andúril   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
So what was Tolkiens last thought? Were they the Walls of Arda or Ea?
From: In Imladris I dwell... | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 15

posted      Profile for Snöwdog   Author's Homepage   Email Snöwdog   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I think there was a 'flat Middle Earth before the downfall, so the Doors of Night and the Gates of Morning were the opening that let the sun and moon in and out.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

posted      Profile for Hamfast Gamgee   Author's Homepage   Email Hamfast Gamgee   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Whatever they were, I doubt they were places that mortal man should tread.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » The 'Door of Night' and related things
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic       The Red Arrow!       Admin Options: Make Topic Sticky   Close Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic

About  ~ • ~  Contact  ~ • ~  Minas Tirith  ~ • ~  F. A. Q.  ~ • ~  Help

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.6.1