Tolkien Gateway


"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
This article or section needs more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard and to provide proof for claims made.
Jerrel Salvatierra - Maiden of Sunlight.jpg
"Maiden of Sunlight" by Jerrel Salvatierra
Biographical Information
PositionGuiding the Sun
AffiliationVarda, formally Estë and Vána
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Arien
"Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendor."
― "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"

Arien (Q, pron. [ˈari.en], stem Ariend-) was a Maia who guided the Sun.


[edit] History

Arien was a spirit of fire. She tended the golden flowers in the gardens of Vána, and was devoted to Laurelin, the Golden of the Two Trees.

After the destruction of the Trees, Laurelin created one last fruit and Aulë crafted a vessel to hold it. Arien was chosen by the Valar to guide it above the airs of Arda and give light to the World, as she herself would be able to stand its heat. This vessel was the Sun.

Tilion, the Maia chosen to guide the Moon, loved her and followed her through the night sky sometimes catching up to her and becoming burned and blackened by her heat.[1]

[edit] Other Versions of the Legendarium

In other writings, Arien's name was Urwen or Urwendi, which translated in "Maiden of the Sunship". She was one of Vána's maidens who took care of the tree Laurelin; her task was to water it. When the Two Trees of Valinor were destroyed, she had to stir the Ship of the Sun.[2] [3] Morgoth wanted to claim Arien as a wife,[4] and ravished her, upon which she abandoned her body and "died", leaving the Sun to travel through the skies uncontrollably and burning parts of Arda the world. As well, it is stated in other abandoned writings that she was a Maia of Varda. It is not clear if it was Tolkien's intent to keep these elements in The Silmarillion tradition, had he lived long enough to publish it.

[edit] Etymology

Arien means "Maiden of Sunlight" in Quenya. It is derived from the root as-, seen also in árë "sunlight"[5] and -ien feminine suffix.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor", p. 73
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Tale of the Sun and Moon", p. 188
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", p. 405
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", arien
Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See Also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void