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Ilw

The second layer of air around the world as per BoLT1.

“…blue and clear and flows among the stars”


Details and Comments

Tolkien started working on the "The Book of Lost Tales" in 1916-17 during the First War, when he was 25 years old, but he left it incomplete several years later.Those writings - though very early and called provisional, however seem to be the only place where a very detailed description of the airs around the new world is given.

From Appendix;Names in the Lost tales - Part I:

"“Ilw -In QL the word ilu is glossed ether - the slender airs among the stars, while in GL the Gnomish name Ilon of Ilvatar is said to = Qenya Ilu. In QL ilw was first glossed sky, heavens, with a later addition the blue air that is about the stars, the middle layers, to this in Gnomish corresponds ilwint- concerning which it is explained in GL that the true form ilwi or ilwin was perverted to ilwint through association with gwint 'face', as if it meant face of God. Other words found in Gnomish are Ilbar, Ilbaroth- heaven, the uttermost region beyond the world, Ilador, Ilathon=Ilvatar, ilbrant-rainbow (see Ilweran).

The detailed description of the layers of the air wrapped around the world was abandoned in the Published Silmarillion except for some brief mentioning of the Outer Ocean (Vai).


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